Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Latest John & Mike discussion......


Let's assume that this years Mariners finish the same as last year with 90 some odd wins and out of the playoffs. Which team would you enjoy watching more, the 2003 or 2004 M's?

Myself, I prefer to watch the crisper defensive version of the M's. I'll live through the momentary pain of a Cirillo at bat or a frustrating Cameron strikeout when all he needed to do was make contact or a FrankenFreddy start in order to watch every ball hit into the outfield tracked down or an infield defense that committed hardly any errors (physical or mental). I guess I'd rather see the highest highs and live with the lower lows than watch a team that is totally mediocre across the board.

I felt the same way watching the M's in the early 90's. I would stop what I was doing to make sure I caught every Griffey at bat because he was something extraordinary. I looked forward to days when The Big Unit pitched because something amazing could happen. The team as a whole was good, not great, but they held my attention a heck of a lot better than the current M's do. Even the "gold standard" team of 2001 with 116 wins had a lot of really good on it and a couple of really greats (Boone & Ichiro).

Several pundits are predicting the M's and Angels will end up with around the same record. Which team would you rather watch? A team with Vlad, Guillen and Colon balanced out with Eckstein and Erstad or a team of Winn, Aurilla, Ibanez?

Is the joy of watching Barrry Bonds play worth it if he's surrounded by Neifi Perez, Michael Tucker and Edguardo Alphonzo?


Well, this team has been quite ugly to watch in the opening going. I'm having a hard time getting excited about it - it really is bland. We talked about how the starting lineup would be improved, but my goodness, there is just no power and I don't see where it's ever going to come from. Spezio is certainly not going to solve that problem.

I want a winning team and I don't really care how they do that, but if the team is going to lose, I'd certainly want there to be a special player or two to watch. Am I the only one that has lost the fascination with Ichiro? I mean running out those singles and staying out of double plays is nice, but he's our franchise player and it doesn't look like the 2001 Ichiro is going to be showing up again.

This off season has just killed me. Last year was the "let's sign our own players" off season - it is was kind of OK. Yes they had a fade, but they almost made it and with the pitching and amazing defense we seemed to be always in the game. Now, with two years of fades, they made changes - but it looks like for change sake. The simply had to get one of Tejada or Guerrero and should have gone for both - how about at the expense of Ichiro. And I don't want to hear about mortgaging the future. Does any team have more of a sweetheart deal with it's stadium and revenue?

If my initial sabermetric education (thanks Rob Neyer, BP and USS Mariner) led me astray anywhere it was in undervaluing defense. The Mariners historic defense has collapsed and there is no sign that the offensive changes will come close to making up for it. I guess the Mariner Optimist is right - I am a pessimist. Of course I'm rooting for the team to win, but I'm going to have a hard time hanging in with the bad times when they were so clearly of the teams own making.


So to summarize....On a good playoff bound team, we don't care what they look like, if you're going to field mediocrity at least give us something extraordinary to watch over the course of the game.


Post a Comment

<< Home