Wednesday, June 23, 2004

The Tigers have signed SS Carlos Guillen to a 3 year contract extension. He's the best shortstop in the league this year. He has 15 Win Shares so far compared to Rich Aurilia's 3 for the Mariners. Before the season I wrote that it didn't have a problem with acquiring Aruilia as Guillen does have a history of injuries, but I had a HUGE problem with giving up Guillen - especially for the crap we got for him. Guillen would have started the year as the utility infielder who could actually PLAY BASEBALL. When it became clear that Aurilia couldn't hit, no problem, in goes Guillen. Just a totally shortsighted move to trade your starting shortstop entering the prime of his hitting career for nothing.

Friday, June 18, 2004

To any and all readers....

I'm off for an 8 week family vacation. I doubt I'll have much in the way of internet access and when I do the effort will go into blogging the family trip instead of wasting time writing about Bavasi's horrible collection of "talent".

Hopefully I'll be able to catch games in Baltimore, St Louis, Chicago and Minnesota as the gang and I trek across the USA in the family truckasaurus, after making a brief flying detour to Wallyworld in Orlando. Wish me luck.

Mike will blog as time and energy and desire permit.

I picked a good year to be without daily M's access for most of the summer. Shrek sarcasm mode on - I'm sure when I get back they'll have completed some miracle comeback and be fighting for 1st in the division - Shrek sarcasm mode off.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Just some random stream of consciousness thoughts on the past week in Mariner baseball....

Let's start with Clint Nageotte's start on Monday night. It's quite obvious that while Nageotte has some good "stuff" he has no idea where the ball is going to go on any single pitch. The words used most often for his start were "effective wildness". Clint alternated between throwing great breaking balls, a god knows where this is heading fastball and several "my eyes are as big as Puss n' Boots" hanging pitches.

He works extremely slowly and every pitch is an effort. In 6 innings he threw 107 pitches. The good news is that 59% of them went for strikes. The bad news is that it took him 107 pitches to get through 6 innings. Contrast that to Freddy and Joel needing 117 pitches to get through 8 innings the past few games. He's got a heck of a breaking ball but don't let anyone try and convince you that he's the next Kerry Wood. My question to the readers. Has anyone ever been a successful MLB pitcher by being "effectively wild". The closest I player I can come up with is Mitch "wild thing" Williams. Mitch, despite giving up a lot of walks still managed to put up decent ERA's by giving up less than a hit per inning and combining it with great strikeout numbers. Feel free to hit the comments button and contribute your suggestions for "effectively wild" pitchers. All the great ones who started out wild, didn't become great until they gained control.

After Nageotte the M's decided their 5 run outburst would do for the rest of the week. The futility of the M's offense reached its zenith for the year on Tuesday night in the 8th inning. Given a gift triple to John Olerud to lead off the inning the M's managed to strand him there. Boone failed to get the ball into the outfield and then Spezio and Hansen K'ed to gift wrap the game for Houston. It's quite a contrast to the 2001 team where they always seemed to manage to get runners in from 3rd.

The offensive futility continued last night as Freddy pitched well enough to win playing for any other team.

Watching Boccachica in center has confirmed just how bad a fielder Winn is. I'd rather see Jamal Strong getting a tryout than Hiriam but there apparently is some secret handshake agreement among all MLB GM's that you can't truly "give up" on a season until after the all star break no matter how crappy your team is. Hence, you'll see no mass AAA player shift until mid July.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

The Mariners our featured in the latest Baseball Prospectus Triple Play. Ouch!
Ineptitude: Presented without comment, only tears...

Mariner Hitters, AVG > Average AL Hitter:

Player AVG AB
Ichiro Suzuki .340 247
Dave Hansen .333 45
Jolbert Cabrera .301 103
Dan Wilson .280 143
AL average hitter .270 --

Team rank: 20/30

Mariner Hitters, OBP > Average AL Hitter

Player OBP AB
Hiram Bocachica .571 4
Dave Hansen .412 45
Ichiro Suzuki .383 242
John Olerud .372 168
AL average hitter .341 --

Team rank: 24/30

Mariner Hitters, SLG > Average AL Hitter

Player SLG AB
Raul Ibanez* .505 194
Dave Hansen .452 45
AL average hitter .424 --

* On 15-day DL for a hamstring injury

Team rank: 29/30

Sunday, June 06, 2004

Guillen is the worst manager in MLB. What on earth was he thinking when he decided to walk Edgar with a 1-2 count, 1 out, men on 2nd and 3rd with Koch on the mound? Koch is known to be wild, Edgar hasn't hit this year and was down in the count. Why on earth do you fill the bases and give a fresh count to a new batter in that situation?

Thanks Ozzie, we needed the victory. You and Melvin both spent the weekend fighting over bonehead of the week honors. Bob has the lead with his brilliant "down by 3, 2 men on, 8th inning, lets bunt strategy" but you reclaimed the honor with your "9th inning total brain spasm" tonight.

Winn butchered another ball tonight. It's not center field that has him confused. It's playing the outfield. At least he went 4-5 from the plate including a monster home run (his 1st of the year).

On the trade rumors.....The M's should be looking for POSITION players only not trading for cast off starters from other organizations. Contreras? Fugedaboutit.

Free Bucky....

Thursday, June 03, 2004

In his column today, Larry Stone of the Times talks about possibly not getting much in trade for Freddy. That was fine but then he makes this leap:
It's all sobering enough to make you think that the Mariners should put their efforts in another direction — a pre-emptive strike to re-sign Garcia to a multi-year extension.

It is, after all, the best way to ensure they get fair market value for Garcia, who represents the most difficult piece to obtain for rebuilding teams — a staff ace.
Now hold on a second! Before that start of this season would anyone seriously be using the words Freddy Garcia and staff ace together? There was a huge discussion in the blogosphere about whether to offer him arbitration or not! So the guy has a great two months in his free agent walk year, and we should take to the indicate his future performance? I don't think so. The M's should be trading Freddy for the best position play prospect package they can get.