Mariners Analysis

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Go vote!

No, I'm not talking about Michael Moore's latest film, I'm talking about the All Star game. My son last night reminded me to get on the Internet and submit my vote before it's too late.

I first started voting over a month ago at the ball park, and it's just as tough now as it was then. As I mentioned quite a while back, you really have to think about your AL SS this year. Jeter has bounced back since then, but no way he gets my vote. I'd take Tejada over Jeter for numerous reasons, but of course Carlos gets my vote simply based on the season he's had.

Nor do I factor in past seasons- only in the case of a tie breaker. To me, the All Star game is about who had the best season THIS YEAR. I know many think the opposite- they don't want half-season heroes, they want people with a track record.

Personally, I think if you vote for anyone on the M's other than Ichiro you are a homer of the worst kind. Bret Boone is the only one who will even get any kind of votes, and how can you possibly vote for him with the season he's had? I bet Bret would be embarrassed to go to the All Star game, and he doesn't deserve it anyway.

So anyway, go vote here.

BTW- I hope Boston bounces back and takes one from the Yankees. It's no fun if the Yanks run away with it.

Also, I am rooting for Garcia tonight. It will be interesting to see how he handles the trade on the field.

Finally, the only reason to watch tonights game is to see Clint pitch. I doubt half the people filing into the stands even know who he is.

Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Should the M's trade Moyer?

With teams like Boston and NY looking for quality pitching, the M's are in a great position. As we saw with Garcia, quality pitchers can carry a premium at the trading deadline. By not trading any prospects, the M's are in a position to trade veterans knowing they have a ton of choices to replace them. With so few quality pitchers available at the deadline, this would seem like a great time for the M's to replenish their farm system with position players.

With that being said, what quality pitchers are available at the deadline? While the new rumor seems to be Randy Johnson, there's no guarantee at this point he's available. If Jamie Moyer were put on the market, there is no question he would be attractive to a number of teams.

So should the M's move him? (Let's forget the rights of a 10-5 guy for a moment and lets assume KOMO-TV is right and Jamie has already told the M's he would go to a contender.)

It would seem to be an obvious decision to trade him. At this time, Bavasi has indicated he won't due to "veteran influence." Apparently he thinks Jamie is worth more in the clubhouse to young pitchers than he is on the trading block. But what is the true value of Jamie Moyer?

Certainly if the right deal came along, you'd move him. If the Mets had a brainfart and offered their stud 3rd baseman David Wright for Jamie, you'd move him in a heartbeat, right? I'm not trying to say anyone would make such an offer, but the point is you don't really know what you'd get in return if you don't put him on the block. Is he worth an A-level prospect. AA? AAA?

So if the right deal came along, Bavasi should at least be considering moving him. Let's face it- you just traded away a 28 year old winning pitcher with the 5th lowest ERA in the AL. If you'll trade Freddy, how in the world can you not trade a 41 year old pitcher?

It's not like the veteran influence is helping this year. After all, you have one of the worst records in baseball. And isn't it the pitching coaches job to help the young pitchers?

Finally, if you trade a young pitcher, you have no idea what they could turn into. After all, there is a good chance one of the M's young pitchers could really turn into a nice pitcher. With guys like Swift, Hampton and Lowe getting traded, the M's have to think twice about trading pitchers. The nice thing with Jamie is you know what you have already, and he's only got a few years left.

Finally, it's not like fans go to the game to see Jamie pitch. Randy Johnson yes. Jamie, no.

I agree you don't trade Edgar for any reason. But I can't think of any logical reason to keep Jamie if the right deal came along. And the only way you'll know what you can get is to make him available to other teams and see what his true worth really is.

You decide when the offers come in, not based on leadership or fan loyalty.

Texas has our number this year

Quick thoughts:

I thought Safeco was a pitchers park. Don't the Rangers know you aren't supposed to hit home runs there?

Lousy pitching by Franklin, and more good hitting by the Rangers. Anything left over the plate and they jump all over it. Pretty much the exact opposite of the Mariners right now.

When Boone hit that 3-run home run, he didn't flip the bat- I think it has been so long he forgot how to do it. Good game for him to flash some power if the Phillies really are interested in possibly trading for him, as it has been reported they were at the game. If the M's are willing to pay some salary, any player is movable.(We all agree, if Jeff Cirillo can be traded, ANYONE on this roster can go.)

Still, there doesn't appear to be anyone on the M's horizon that would seem ready to take over second next year. I'll believe Boone gets traded when I see it, but I'm sure the M's don't want to be shelling out $9 million next season either. This will be interesting to watch.

Regarding bunting Bob? Yet another reason he should not be managing this club.

Finally, I'm surprised at the attendance for recent games. The fans must really love these guys, because lost in all the excitement of trading Freddy was one of the worst games you'll see all year in the 5-1 loss to the Padres. The M's collect 3 hits all game, and get to watch Jeff Cirillo hit a 3-run bomb.

And yet 39,000 fans can say they were there to see it.

Monday, June 28, 2004

Tampa Bay wins again

Wow, Texas in first place and Tampa Bay rolling. Crazy times.

I see a few people are trying to justify the trade of Garcia by rationalizing that he will probably start to decline as a pitcher. While I am happy Bavasi made the trade, it is crazy to try and say Garcia is overrated .

If you look at Garcia's career here in Seattle, we see two trips to the All Star game, and one AL ERA crown. Not bad for a guy who just turned 28. We also see lots of innings, and great durability.

If there is one thing we can be sure of all the parties traded Sunday, Garcia will almost certainly be an effective pitcher in the future. With any kind of run support, he would be going to the ALL Star game THIS YEAR. We traded an All Star pitcher, in his prime. To try and rationalize this trade by predicting Garcia will fail because he's not pitching in Safeco is ridiculous.

I wish Freddy well. He pitched great against the Yankees, and I will miss him.

And I have no doubt the White Sox are thrilled to have him, and he will continue to pitch well. Have a good career Freddy.

With decent run support, I suspect Freddy will start to look like the pitcher we saw in 2001.

Sunday, June 27, 2004

Let's hope Freddy doesn't sign with the Yankees

I'm sure Chicago will try to sign Freddy ASAP- with all they gave, they simply can't afford to let him get away. Meanwhile, I am so thankful the M's didn't cave in to the power of NY and let him become a Yankee. Just because Brian Cashman really wanted him didn't mean we had to trade him and accept whatever they had lying around.

Bavasi in post-trade interviews sounded pretty good- he admitted the M's defense sucks, and they need to bring in more offense.

We now know Reed will go to Tacoma, but are still waiting to hear who will replace Freddy. Meche? Villone?

This trade is so exciting. And the best part? I suspect a few more positive trades will take place in the next month, based on Bavasi's comments.

M's did what they had to do

In trading Garcia today, the M's front office finally did SOMETHING. Will they go on to regret trading him later on? Perhaps. But with this offense playing the way it has, they really had no choice. Even if Garcia turns into Pedro Martinez on the mound, the M's are generating so little offense we can't concern ourselves with woulda-coulda-shoulda.

How did Bavasi do on his first trade? I think you'd have to say very well. Getting a starting catcher AND a prospect like Reed would have been plenty given Garcia's contract situation. Getting Michael Morse is truly icing on the cake. And getting rid of Ben Davis too? Wow, I'll take it!!

Speaking of which, I'm a little surprised the M's wanted Michael Morse in the trade. I can only assume the M's scouts have seen something beyond the numbers- modest average in AA, poor defense, not much speed, possible attitude problem... will be curious to hear why the M's wanted him. Bavasi after the trade indicated they wanted to boost their depth in the IF, so maybe that's all it is.

Now that this opens a spot on the 40 man roster, will be interested to see who gets on it. I hear they are planning on playing Reed in August. I would love it if we saw a position player already in the M's minor league system get a shot before then. How about Leone? I don't see how the M's can keep ignoring his numbers.

At least with the trade, we have something to write about instead of Cirillo hitting a 3-run home run.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

Beltran trade

First impressions of the Beltran trade? About what you'd expect. We knew KC wasn't going to get everything they wanted- not with Boras being the player to-be-named later. So they get a starting pitcher, a catcher and a 3rd base prospect.

I see already some of the other blogs are down on what KC got in return. I think they are being pretty critical of the prospects, as KC could very easily have an average 3rd baseman, starting pitcher and catcher. For a team with the worst record in the AL, that's a nice place to start, as all will be cheap for years to come.

If the M's were smart, they'd realize the same thing. No team not named the Yankees can have All Stars at every position. If you can get 3 guys ready to help your club at minimum salary, that's a great way to gain financial flexibility.

The bigger concern for M's fans is of course watching Billy make his team better IMMEDIATELY. He didn't wait around for his team to blow 10 more saves, or get swept by Texas. He saw a problem and at least tried to fix it. Dotel is probably about as good as Billy could get at this point in the season.

As far as Houston, who cares? I want the Cubs to win!

Texas has 21 hits so far!

With Moyer still pitching, it will be interesting to see how Melvin handles his pitchers this weekend. Will they call someone up, or move up the starters? Of course while I ponder this, I catch myself realizing it doesn't really matter what they do...

Texas is so surprising right now. The M's pitchers went in to this series doing quite well, but the Rangers are just killing them. I would have never imagined they would be leading the division this late in the season- I still don't think they can keep it up, but with Anaheim and Oakland struggling, the West appears more and more to be wide open.

Except to the Mariners of course. You can't help but be even more frustrated with the present club knowing a .500 team right now would be in the race. As many of us have pointed out, the M's don't need to make a huge trade right now. They have a number of players having nice seasons in Tacoma that could easily be brought up, but the M's refuse.


I'm guessing part of it is due to the 40 man roster. If they wanted to bring up someone not on the roster, the likely candidate to go off the list would be Santiago. And I doubt the M's want to make it look like they traded an All-Star SS to Detroit and just put one of the two players obtained on waivers before the break.

There is nothing stopping them from bringing up Jamal Strong from Tacoma of course. Or Leone. We've been discussing for weeks that the M's should be evaluating young talent to better make informed decisions in the future, but the FO doesn't see it that way.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Oh, and one more thing about Bavasi's comments

As we've all read today, Bavasi made clear two scenarios he is not considering-

1) Trading prospects for a rent-a-player.

2) Trading a "better player" (his words) for prospects.

In other words, Bavasi has basically said they won't do anything this year.

How many times do we see a team in contention trade a valuable, locked-up offensive player at the deadline? Almost never. The whole point of a team making a trade with an eye towards the playoffs is to get better THIS YEAR. The team on the receiving end makes the trade to get better FOR THE FUTURE. The team who is already out of contention doesn't care if they win a few more games- they are already out of the race. That is by far the most common trade made at the deadline- a mutually beneficial trade between a team doing well this year, and team hoping to get better next. It's not like the Yankees and Red Sox will be talking trade scenarios any time soon, right?

It's amazing to think that Bavasi is not already looking towards next season when it comes to position players. There is no way you can go into next season and expect to fill out half your everyday players through free agency. Since you obviously don't like what you have in the minors, since you refuse to play any of them, use the trading deadline coming up to help your team. It's that simple- you don't even need to think of it as being a buyer or seller; you're just making your team better.

I just can't see how Bavasi doesn't see the same thing.

Unless he restricts himself to only making trades with teams who are also out of the race, thereby reducing what he gets in a trade, then by Bavasi's own logic the M's are seriously limiting their options.

The only other scenario is to trade junk-for-junk eg. the Hidalgo trade. We trade our guy who sucks for your guy who sucks, and let's hope a change of scenery fixes everything.

But that wouldn't seem to work with Garcia (he's not junk).

So like I said at the beginning, either Bavasi goes against everything he said today, or the M's will make no serious moves this year.

Yet another loss to the Rangers

As the Rangers take another game from the M's, 6-3...

For those that didn't watch, the game was similar to Monday. Ryan took a 2-1 lead into the 6th and a big inning pretty much decided the game.

The biggest reason we lost yet again?

We have what must be the worst 3-5 hitters in baseball. Boone has become an automatic out, and is at best surrounded by singles hitters. How many times do we see the lead off runner get on base and never come around to score. With a good team, you get excited when the leadoff man is on. With the M's, you know he's at times 3 singles away from coming home.

I've said it multiple times before, but Ichiro does not belong in the 3-hole. It would be an interesting experiment if Ichiro was trying to increase his power at the expense of batting average, but that is not the case. Why can't Ichiro hit doubles any more?

Don't know. But I do know he doesn't belong in the heart of the lineup if he is bunting or slapping singles with guys on base. Rip the band-aid off, and fix the problem!

Why do the M's refuse to play minor league players that could help them right now? I'd like a chance to ask Bavasi and Lincoln point-blank why they won't utilize properly players in the farm system.

Want yet another reason I don't think we have the proper management of this club?

Give Ichiro a day off once in a while!!!

Has this club not seen Ichiro fade the past two years? Is this club destined to make the same mistakes over and over? We hear that due to Ibanez' injury, the club just can't figure out how to get Ichiro out of the game.

Get creative Melvin! (I'd offer suggestions, but it's not like he's listening right now anyway.)

I wonder how many losses it will take before the M's stop talking about reloading for the stretch run?

Ugly game last night

A few quick thoughts on watching the M's lose 10-2 last night to the Rangers:

My jaw dropped when I saw Ichiro try to bunt his way on with a guy on second. Has Melvin actually talked to Ichiro about what his role with the club is supposed to be when he moved him down in the lineup? I don't understand how Melvin can think this is working.

Watching Randy Winn take balls right down the middle of the plate is enough to drive you crazy. I think he picked it up from Olerud (veteran influence you know).

When the M's actually broke up the no-hitter and got a few hits, the announcers made a point of saying they got pitches up in the strike zone, and were able to do something with it. Of course they completely ignore the fact we had just watched 4+ innings of M's hitters get a ton of pitches "up" and "over" the plate that the M's either missed or didn't even bother swinging at. Oh, maybe a foul ball or two here and there.

It's hard to judge the Rangers as a team when they play the M's (since we suck and all), but Texas is clearly a fascinating team. By all accounts their pitching should stink, and they should not be leading the division. They trade the best player in the AL, reduce payroll and are in first place.

I keep expecting them to fold and they just keep winning. Maybe I need to think opposite.

I now predict the Rangers will win the division by 12 games.

There, that should get us a victory tonight...

It's hard to not comment on Bavasi's drivel in both local papers today- example

I'm glad I didn't make a trade, I'm glad I'm content to watch this team flounder, I'm pretending Lincoln never mentioned changes were coming. By golly, we have those AL West clubs right where we want them. Bavasi in a nutshell.

And what is this crap about trades that would require a lot of work?? I've never heard of a GM talk about a trade being a lot of work. Maybe he picked this up from Gillick, who was probably talking about trying to make a trade from his deck in Toronto being harder than he thought.

Oh and Bob, way to go all out on the hair. Way to motivate the team, way to get everyone fired up.

Bavasi and Melvin- how lucky we are to have these two paired together.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Let's see if Clint can continue to pitch well

Besides getting a glimpse of Melvin's new look, tonight allows us a chance to see Clint Nageotte pitch again. For all the whining about the FO, the simple truth is the future of the M's is all about pitching. The pitching we didn't give up in years past, the pitching that allowed us to sweep the Pirates, the pitching that will allow us to swing trades.

The entire value of the M's on-the-field performance is based 100% on its pitching. And if we see guys like Clint Nageotte pitch well, then we can rest assured we will not have to go through a rebuilding process like the Indians or Rangers have done.

So on to the Texas series. Let me congratulate Melvin on not skipping Clint's start as he did the last time they had a day off. It would have been easy given his reliance on veterans and fear of change, but he obviously saw enough in his two starts to allow him to pitch. How short a leash remains to be seen- if he blows up against the Rangers, will he go back to the 'pen? Tacoma? who knows.

Moyer had a terrible game against the Rangers earlier this year. Playing the Rangers is like playing two different teams- at home they are a hitting tour-de-force. On the road they are something else. If anyone thinks the Rangers are for real, they'd better hope the road numbers of Texas hitters starts to rise, because you don't go to the playoffs behind Kenny Rogers and road numbers of -


.246 \.301 \.414 \ .716

To put that into perspective, here are the light hitting M's season hitting stats-
.258 \.327\ .379 \.705

At Arlington (or what Clint will be facing)
.309 \.370\ .522 \.891

Wow. It sure makes you think twice about trading for a young Texas hitter. BTW- if you are a big Mark Teixeira fan, he is most certainly available. Between his road stats, inability to hit righties, and Scott Boras, I'm not as big a fan of Teixeira as others, but at Arlington he's worth all of his $2.6 million. He's another reason to watch, for sure.

How will we do against Texas, who we will be facing 7 of the next 10 games? It all comes down to pitching.

I expect the M's will catch up to the Rangers at some point this year. Why? The M's can't possibly hit any worse, and yet they have similar numbers to the Rangers in the road. And I expect the Rangers pitchers will melt down in the crushing Texas heat of August. It's possible the Rangers new-found confidence will have them battling to the end, but the numbers don't look like playoff team, and I like Seattle's pitching staff.

The wild card of course is what each team will do at the deadline.

So let's watch the M's tonight, and hope their pitching continues. Because if they continue to hold opponents to 2-3 runs a game consistently, we'll have plenty to write about all summer...

Current M's "win streak" hurting team?

What little information we have on the M's front office seem to indicate they are taking the recent success a little too seriously. While every person with half a brain watching the M's can see this is no playoff-caliber team, the FO is starting to believe all their prayers the past 2 months are paying off.

I won't bother trying to point out the difficulties of passing 3 teams, of how hard it is to make up 9 games, blah, blah, blah. If you are reading this, you are undoubtedly on the same page.

How low has it gotten for the Seattle Mariners?

- so low, the M's front office is actually rethinking plans based on a 3-game sweep of the Pittsburgh Pirates
- so low, the M's manager has to dye his hair over a 4-game winning streak
- so low, Melvin thinks Ichiro batting third is working so well he won't even consider changing anything
- so low, the local papers talk about hitters getting their swing back based on sample sizes of 10-15 at bats (eg. with Aurilia hitting 4-13 during the past few games...)

Could 2001 seem any further away?

I find it particularly bothersome when I hear Lincoln talking about waffling over being a "buyer" or "seller" this year at the trading deadline.

Hello, newsflash to Lincoln. Your team has been neither the last 5 years. You have done absolutely nothing to improve this club at the trading deadline, and what few times you have, in general backfired. How about deciding to actually be a "PLAYER" at the deadline, and go in with the simple plan of improving this club. How about finding out the actual value of your players by talking with other clubs? How about taking the initiative and identifying players YOU WANT and doing what it takes to MAKE IT HAPPEN. Is there a 3rd basemen in the minors you'd like to see in an M's uniform? Is there a player out there that is an improvement over what we are rolling out today? MAKE IT HAPPEN!

It's almost impossible to believe sometimes these are supposed to be successful business leaders.

Here we have Peter Gammons reporting once again the M's are waiting this one out to see how things progress.

"the reading we're getting is that the Mariners are not giving up on this season because of their fans"


The team has their most valuable trading commodity, Garcia, on the block but won't trade him because of the fans?? Have they noticed the absolute lack of run support said pitcher is getting? Have they noticed he is a losing pitcher right now? Have they noticed the fans are more likely to watch said pitcher lose, because we can't score any runs, as they are to see him win? How is that in the fan's best interest again??

How does Freddy ending the season, at what 10-14(?) help the fans exactly? Meanwhile, the less starts teams gets for Freddy would seem to lessen the trade value.

But again, how do the M's know Freddy's real value when teams don't even believe they are serious about trading him?

Are the M's still thinking not trading Freddy is an option?

I guess let's just watch Clint work tonight and worry about the other stuff later...

Monday, June 21, 2004

Enough with the Boone trade scenarios

I keep reading and hearing from people talking about trading Bret Boone. If we ignore for a minute whether we should trade our former All Star 2nd baseman, lets focus on reality.

There is no trade market for Bret Boone.

I think the impression that Bret is valuable is based simply on the fact he has been so good for so long (in Seattle years), surely he must have tremendous value. Just a few years ago, the guy was a serious MVP candidate. So why do I believe he has no trade value?

Look back on Bret's career:
- he came to Seattle as an afterthought when we lost Alex
- he had to take a one year, $3 million offer from the club (sound familiar ie. Rich Aurilia anyone?)
- only after a breakout year did he get the 3 year deal, with an option for the 4th (the club fought to the end to not have to go 4 years- that looks to be a good call right now)
- many believed he'd never duplicate the success he had in 2001
- this year he has performed terribly
- he is going to be due $9 million next year after 450 PA

Name a club that would take Bret Boone and his $9 million option right now. For nothing.

If Bret Boone were put on waivers, with a club having to take on nothing more than his salary, most clubs would pass without hesitation. There are very few clubs willing to take on $9 million next year for a veteran player having a terrible year.

The only club that jumps to mind are the Yankees. Obviously they would have no problem with the salary, and Bret even in a down year is an upgrade over anything they are rolling out there right now. But the Yankees have come right out and said pitching is their priority- until they get their starting rotation figured out, they are not trading for Bret Boone. And even if they did want Bret, who do they have that even interests us?

The only way Bret can increase his value is if he starts hitting. Which to date he shows no signs of doing. And of course if Bret had a more reasonable contract (say 3 years at $4 mil/year) then he would have trade value.

So w/o even factoring in the M's have no second baseman in the wings, he is popular, he is one of the only power sources in the lineup etc... we can see little reason the M's would trade him.

But the simplest reason of all (and I don't care what Peter Gammons is reporting) why the M's won't trade Bret Boone is because they can't.

Melvin's going blond- catch the excitement

Wow, the M's are on fire- 4 wins in a row. Perhaps Melvin got tired of seeing Lou get all the pub and decided to start his own streak.

So what were the M's missing at the beginning of the season that they seem to have now? The formula seems to be-
- play equally bad teams
- get unbelievable starting pitching

No, it wasn't moving Ichiro in the 3-hole, and it wasn't sitting Edgar. The M's haven't really been scoring more either; Boone still sucks, and the M's have been struggling to put 5 runs on the board even when facing pitchers with ERAs over 6 and facing being sent to the minors.

But when your starting pitchers are keeping teams to roughly 2 runs a game, you are going to win some games. We don't need to have played professional baseball to figure that much out.

Meanwhile, we can only guess what the FO is thinking. Is Bavasi telling everyone, let's hold off on making a move until this plays out? Is the fact the M's are only 9 games out (which would put you on pace to finish the season at over 20) causing the FO to change whatever secret plans they had?

I'm disappointed at the lack of coverage in the local papers- we are not getting any real insight of late into what the M's are doing. Steve Kelley seems to think the Lakers are a local team, and without regular interviews with the FO we can only guess what is going on.

Meanwhile, Melvin gets his hair colored- read all about it!

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Quick thoughts while we watch game 2 get started

First, I don't like Ichiro hitting in the 3 hole. It's putting a band-aid on a problem- no one thinks this is something that should continue long term. So why not actually TREAT the symptom? ie. put someone there either via trade or the minors. In the meantime, we might be cooling off the only hitter having a decent season so far.

I blame Melvin if he doesn't see this shortly and try something else.

Which leads to me to obvious point #2. With the trades this week of Hidalgo and Koch, the trading season has officially begun. Teams are not waiting to see if they should be buyers or sellers, they are trying to make their team better. I wish the M's would do the same.

Also, with Rhodes absent, the A's blew another save to the Cubs with two runs allowed in the 9th inning. I'm telling you, CALL BILLY NOW!!

There is an opportunity here- we have a closer we don't really need, and the A's have players we desire. There are lots of possibilities for who we would get- Billy is shrewd, and can help ole Bill out if need be.

Call the damn A's!!

Oh yeah, go M's.

Friday, June 18, 2004

Oh, and congratulations to Melvin for yesterdays win

Putting in Ramon Santiago was risky, but Melvin was willing to "shake things up" and we got a win.

Good for you Bob, I can hardly wait to see the lineup for tonights game against the Pirates.

Regarding the Lincoln memo and the supposed changes coming. Give me a break- I'll believe it when I see it.

How can you have changes when your own GM comes out and admits he's not taking offers for Garcia?

Or maybe he was talking about Ramon Santiago starting last night.


With Lincoln watching the M's play the Pirates, he may actually see some hitting this time. The next two Pirates pitchers are REALLY awful.

I am smarter than Billy Beane.

Well okay, not really, but at least I knew something before the season started that Billy didn't, and I bet you did too.

I am talking about our good friend Arthur Rhodes. The man, put simply, is no closer. I knew it, you knew it, everyone breathing EXCEPT Billy Beane knew it.

Who can forget those mammoth shots Justice hit off of Rhodes back when the M's didn't completely suck? Who can forget Rondell White and a certain bases-loaded situation last year with Rhodes on the mound? Who doesn't even need to look at his career numbers, because we just KNOW the man sucks when the score board operator changes the inning from an 8 to a 9?

So here is Mr. Beane, a genius, a man who lives for numbers.

And he completely ignored the numbers and signed him anyway. To a three year contract!

So he has a little bit of a mess on his hands. He's in first place, he has no closer, and he knows he needs to friggin win a playoff series at some point in his lifetime. While he is going to go with Justin Lehr for now, I am certain he wouldn't mind someone with a little more experience.

This is where the M's come in.

We have a closer, a really good one in fact. The problem is we suck so bad we rarely need him. What we need is to get younger. The A's have a 3rd base prospect, Mark Teahan who is coming through the system. Perhaps you might have heard of him? (grin)

Plus the A's have a guy named Chavez who plays the position, and should be back before the end of the year.

We know Beane is a little reckless sometimes, and isn't afraid to take chances. While you don't normally trade in your division, Seattle is no threat to the A's making the postseason this year. We'll worry about next year, next year!

So, would you trade Eddie Guardado for Mark Teahan?

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Will the M's make a record profit this year?

Here's another thing Lincoln needs to start thinking about- If the M's don't start acquiring more payroll, they are going to make a ton of money this year.

And I would think given our current record, this is going to be a public relations disaster.

Of course before I get into the money problem, maybe I am wasting my time threatening the M's with a PR problem. After all, this is one of the dumbest businesses I've ever seen when it comes to PR. If the M's actually waste money each year on a PR firm, they need to fire the firm ASAP, and if they don't have one, get one!

A quick look at the brilliance of the M's PR department-

  • On the same day Griffey receives his MVP award, the club announces they will not re-sign Randy Johnson. Good call.
  • Instead of offering Johnson any contract, and allowing themselves to say later they at least TRIED to retain the future HOF, the M's refuse and create a pouting, angry distraction. The end result also creates the impression believed by many that Randy would have never signed, as he was headed to Arizona. Today, the team will never know if he would have actually stayed.
  • M's watch Randy win 4 Cy Young awards, and a WS
  • M's take pitcher obtained in Johnson trade and eventually publicly make him the team scapegoat for why they cannot make mid-season trade
  • M's trade SS obtained in Johnson deal to Detroit, where he quickly has an All-Star season
  • M's promote players obtained in trade over more deserving homegrown players
  • M's FO tells manager to put Jarvis on roster over manager objections
  • M's FO tells manager to play Jarvis as often as possible
  • M's replace young SS sent to Detroit for aging, NL hitter who no longer benefits from Barry Bonds
  • M's find themselves in the cellar, Lincoln is asked if he would consider lowering concession prices. Lincoln refuses to even consider lowering prices of any kind.
  • Dusty Baker takes a team to the world series, and wants to manage the Mariners. The M's refuse to even interview the nationally known manager with extensive experience.
  • When major free-agents are available, the M's refuse to even talk to the player or agent, creating the impression to fans they care more about profit than winning (eg. Vlad, plus a hundred others)
  • And on, and on, and on. I can think of a dozen more w/o even trying, but I think we get the idea. Everyone makes mistakes, but this organization makes Microsoft look like a non-profit. Do I need to even get started with the whole Safeco cost over-run situation...

Okay, so I've established that the M's don't care as much as you might think about the PR hit they will be taking in the future, so I'll get back on topic regarding profit.

Let's walk through what we know. Last year the M's payroll was in the $93 million range. Even with that payroll, the M's still managed to pocket around $15 million. (It is impossible to get an exact figure, but enough sources have indicated they made a profit that I think most of us agreed they did quite nicely.)

Well today, the present payroll on the field is in the $75 million range. Of course we can't forget our good friend Jarvis, which puts the payroll back around $80 million. Now it's true the M's will experience a drop in attendance this year, but not enough to make up the difference. With so many tickets sold before the season, the M's stand to make significantly more money this year.

How do you think it's going to look at the end of the year when the M's finish in last place, and we hear Lincoln and crew had the most profitable team in all of baseball? $20 million profit? $25 million profit?

That's what makes this team so frustrating right now. Not only are we not doing anything, we have money sitting on the table that needs to be spent.

It's OUR money, the money we spend every time we go to the ballpark, every time we watch a game. The M's are not spending our money, and I'm getting sick of it!!

Melvin starting to wonder if the M's will turn it around...

How can you not laugh at Melvin's antics after the game- its like he's slowly figuring out what we've all been saying for months. This team sucks, its not going to magically get better, and moving Ichiro into the 3-hole is not going to win you a manager-of-the-month plaque. He's the last person with any interest in baseball who still thinks they can turn this thing around and catch those pesky A's.

Bob has been running the same lineup out there for a year and half now, and Mr. Creativity is starting to realize he may have to actually do something. You know Bob, some people might say your job is on the line, and you might want to look back on your time here and feel like you at least TRIED to do something.

Watching Bob manage this teams reminds me of the movie "Office Space." I can just see the consultants coming in to interview the M's front office during the season, and try to figure out what exactly Bob does:

Consultant #1:   So Bob, its your job to fill out the lineup card, right?
Melvin: Yeah, that's right.
Consultant #2:   So you fill out the lineup card, and then what?
Melvin: Well, I don't actually fill it out, Lachemann does it for me.
Consultant #2:  Then it goes to the umpire, right?
Melvin: Right.
Consultant #2:   So you walk it over to the ump, then.
Melvin: usually Myers or Aldrete does it for me.
Consultant #1:   So, help us out here Bob. What exactly do you do here?
Melvin:  I'm the manager dam*&it! It's my job to fill out the lineup every day!! Can't you see that. Don't you get it, I'm a people person. I manage the Seattle Mariners...

It can't be just me right? Can someone actually articulate in a logical manner why Melvin should continue to coach this team? I would love to hear a compelling "pro-Melvin" case study that can show something he has actually done as manager of the M's.

Nice guy? Absolutely.

Manager material? Haven't seen it. Likely a great bench coach, great guy to have in the clubhouse, extremely loyal. Not a deep thinker. Not the guy I want leading us out of the mess we are in. I have lost confidence in his leadership, and need to see something to get it back.

So while we wait to see what brilliant ideas Melvin comes up with...

* Why haven't the M's signed Matt Tuiasasopo? Either Matt has significantly altered his demands, or the M's are waiting for more picks to sign to better evaluate the market. I suspect the latter.

* A few nice throws from Mr. Borders last night. While I don't like wasting valuable playing time during a season going nowhere, I have to admire a guy who can still nail a runner like he did last night, while scoring the teams only run.

* After all the early season pitching problems, this team is now where we thought it would be- near the top of the AL in ERA. The future of the franchise rests in its pitching, and there is a glimmer of hope to be found here.

* Great job pitching by Nageotte last night. Could the guy have been sweating any harder? Cripes, I felt like taking a shower just watching the guy. Too bad about the hand cramp, I would have liked to have seen him pitch a few more innings.

* After watching yet another great pitching performance by a starter go nowhere, and seeing the M's almost shut out yet again, was anyone screaming "Get Contreras!" at the TV? I know I wasn't...

C'mon Frankie, let's see you pitch great today. I love reading all the excuses why you shouldn't be on this team.

Franklin basher- "Sure he pitched 7 innings and gave up 3 runs, but his (insert whatever statistic you feel is more important than ERA here) ratio in day games is .45 over league average, and without Cameron in center we might as well forfeit the game, and ...

Good times, good times.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Would you trade Randy Winn for Mike Cameron?

As many of you know, Mike Cameron has been struggling of late for the Mets.

REALLY Struggling.

You know, Cirillo-like struggling.

In case you don't believe me, here's what the NY Times has to say about Mr. Cameron... link

So let's suppose the Mets either sign or trade for Carlos Beltran. Mike Cameron is moved to right, where he is not going to be happy. If we imagine Mike to be happy now and hitting .195, imagine what he would hit if he was upset. Yikes!

Then again, maybe he needs to get upset...

But regardless, if the Mets get Beltran to try and outdo the Yanks, Mike is certainly available. In fact, he is probably available right now. I bet if the M's proposed a trade of Randy Winn, who makes less money, for Cameron, there is a serious chance they could get him. Certainly if they sweetened the pot.

Would you make that trade?

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Contreras rumors won't go away

The NY media still keep hinting Contreras could be part of a Garcia package- NY Post

"Not only was Florida reported to be interested in Contreras, but Seattle had scout Ken Madeja at Thursday's game watching him for any potential deal for Freddy Garcia. "

I still am at a loss to explain why the M's would be interested in this guy. Initially I just blew these reports off, figuring it was wishful thinking on the part of the NY fan base. But we are seeing too many reports of interest by the M's to just keep ignoring it. So is it possible Contreras is heading to the NorthWest?

Let's look at what we know:
- 95 mile an hour fastball
- great slider
- at times stuggles with his command
- has been sent to the minors this year
- according to everyone, doesn't trust his stuff enough

Of course I'm talking about Gil Meche. But other than the fact Contreras looks 53 years old, and makes 4 times what Meche does ($1.95 million) it's hard to see what the M' desire that they don't already have.

The problem with the M's today is crystal clear- they need hitting. They need power, they need youth, they need energy. The one thing they do have is pitching- while their pitching has been a disappointment this year, it is getting better and is at least fixable. Every one of us reading this all agree we need hitting.

So why would the M's possibly be interested in picking up an expensive pitcher with control problems? Even if NY eats his contract, it doesn't help you score any runs. It seems so obvious that any package for Garcia needs to involve position players, not pitchers.

Also, we know now that Garcia is clearly the best pitcher who will be available at the trading deadline. You have a ton of teams in the race, and position players are to be had. Just because NY really, really needs a quality starting pitcher, doesn't mean the M's have to oblige.

The only possible scenario I can think of is if Bavasi thinks he can turnaround and deal Contreras as part of a 3-way or next day deal. Perhaps he has targeted players he wants but needs to get creative to make it happen.

But nothing I've seen to date suggests Bavasi is capable of any such deal. More likely, Bavasi is moving cautiously, talking to his inner circle, and hoping the nightmare goes away.

Monday, June 14, 2004

Neyer no longer available...

As I'm sure you've all noticed, Rob Neyer now requires a subscription to view on

They have been promoting this for awhile, so we all saw it coming, but I have to say right now I don't see myself shelling out $40 a year to read it. We'll see.

On another note, I can't help but marvel at the Oakland A's. The M's sweep the helpless Expos, but don't pick up a single game. Those darn A's lose their best player and go on a 7 game winning streak!

Aside from the California thing, I am jealous right now of A's fans. There is little in sports more exciting than being in a pennant race, and I am further disgusted at the current crop of M's that I can't participate.

Why are the M's trading Freddy?

This is a pretty big question, and one I expect to explore over the coming weeks. I doubt there is one simple answer, and without some of the inside information, we have to speculate more than we want.

But that's what we do as fans; sit around and try to figure out what the heck to do to make our team better.

With that being said, why would the M's trade Freddy?

He's young, durable, healthy, keeps a low profile and has had outstanding success overall to date.

And yet at this point, it seems to be a foregone conclusion that he will be gone by the deadline. We have heard nothing to date from Garcia's agent, or the M's front office, that they are talking about an extension. Without one, it would be crazy for the M's to risk letting Freddy walk with little compensation at the end of the year. So until we hear otherwise, he appears to be gone.

And again, why?

It would seem there appear to be issues with the M's front office and Garcia personally that is behind this. Why do we believe that? Because of one of the few facts we do know- that the M's were downright pissed when they lost arbitration to Freddy last year. In fact, they were so petty about the whole thing, Lincoln even hinted it was due to Freddy winning his case the M's would not be able to make a mid-season deal due to money. The arrogance of an owner pinning the blame on a player for hindering the ability to acquire new players is unbelievable when we now know the M's have been operating at a roughly $15 million a year profit clip for four years.

We also know the M's were very disappointed in Garcia last year, especially with regard to his inconsistent pitching. Combined with winning his arbitration, he also upset management with performances not befitting a #1 starter. The result almost led to the M's non-tendering Garcia this past winter.

Can you imagine how close the M's came to an unbelievable disaster this past winter? Imagine if Garcia was 8-1 with the Yankees right now!

So all we can figure is Garcia made a lot of money, and disappointed management by not performing to the level expected. If this is indeed the case, then management must be livid at Jon Olerud. After all, the guy is making over $7 million this year, more than Freddy ever has, and is one of the worst 1st basemen in the league.

And what about Bret Boone and his year to date? I can only guess Lincoln isn't taking his calls, and is planning on dumping him the second he gets the chance?

And yet we hear nothing but support coming from the front office with regards to our overpaid, underperforming sluggers.

I think it is reasonable for baseball fans to sit back and wonder why Freddy will be traded this summer. In fact, fans must demand to know why management is trading one of baseballs most precious commodities- a top-of-the rotation pitcher.

Before we talk about what we can get for Freddy, the first question needs to be:


M's should take a look at Scott Podsednik...

First of all, when you play a series at Milwaukee, you are going to have to dig deep to find something of interest. And for the Mariners, that something of interest is Scott Podsednik.

What the Brewers have found is that Podsednik is not a bad center fielder. Has some pop in his bat, good speed, and plays some D. I don't think anyone would argue that he is certainly an upgrade over Randy Winn, and at $400,000 is significantly cheaper. The money saved would have enabled the M's to use that additional money on the big-time bat they need.

However, the M's had no use for Mr. Podsednik, and Milwaukee picked him up off the scrapheap for nothing. The M's developed him, and Milwaukee benefits. Good if you're a Brewers fan.

Now before we jump all over the M's front office, we certainly have to look back at the M's over the past several years. If you have a CF in your organization who is getting on in years, and hasn't really put up any eye-opening numbers, what do you do with him? It's not like there was a huge interest in the guy as far as a trade, and with this organization having Griffey and Cameron roaming Center, when did you plan on getting him some at-bats?

So for the M's, clearly this is not a gaffe on the order of trading say, Derek Lowe and Jason Varitek. Or Billy Swift. Or Mike Hampton. No, Podsednik is a decent player who just didn't really fit in with the M's during their heyday of veterans winning 90+ games. Bad timing certainly played a part in all of this.

But the lesson for the front-office is clear- the only way to know if there are other Scott Podsednik's in your organization is to play them!!! Someone like Podsednik- hitting 25 home runs, getting on base, playing solid defense- would sure come in handy right now. And it is certain there are guys capable of doing this in the M's organization. With a season like we are having today, giving at-bats to guys like Borders and Cabrera later in the season is criminal. We need to start investing in our future and seeing what the Jamal Strong's of the world can do.

Now before I get too carried away, let me be clear that Podsednik is not the greatest CF to play the game. He is 28 years old, expected to be a backup, and is having a nice season. I have heard some people practically start crying when his name comes up, and I think they are getting carried away. Every team makes mistakes, and for the M's this one doesn't come close to cracking the top 20.

Instead, the M's need to recognize that they are rebuilding this season, whether they like it or not, and need to have as much information as possible during the offseason. The M's only need look at the starting center fielder for the Milwaukee Brewers to remind them.

Saturday, June 12, 2004

Edgar strikes out in the 9th?

Wow, who could have predicted such a thing? But really, we'll go easy on Edgar- there were plenty of offensive at-bats last night.

I would congratulate Franklin on a nice pitching performance, but because it's the Expos I'll refrain. I know a lot of M's fans do not like Ryan, which leaves me as one of his biggest supporters outside of family. All I'll say is at least our manager didn't leave the starter in too long...

Otherwise, I have to wonder how many fans last night felt like they received good value for their money. Watching the M's squander scoring opportunities is about as boring as it gets- I'd rather see 9-7 games than the borefest we saw last night.

On another note-

I agree we need to leave Beltran to teams still looking to make the postseason. Let's see how KC handles trading a star, and compare to Bavasi's approach.

You know, stick your head in the sand and pray the nightmare ends...

Friday, June 11, 2004

What will it mean if the M's can't win the series this weekend?

Big picture, you're in last place even if you sweep this weekend, but lets face it; the M's should win at least 2 games in the series, dontcha think?

I mean, you practically juggled your schedule to have your best pitchers on the mound (another jab at not pitching Clint this weekend).

You're facing a team that might actually suck more than you.

You play them at home.

They had to travel 400,000 miles to get here.

What possible hope can Bavasi and other delusional types have about coming back this season if the M's can't even handle these Expos? While most of have long since stuck a fork in these guys, managements reluctance to acknowledge the huge elephant in the room means we have to sit through meaningless series like this weekend.

No callups for deserving left-handed relievers with insane strikeout rates, and no glimpses of infielders with power.

No, we're just left with two teams with the worst record in baseball going head to head.

But unlike Bill, I don't get paid to watch it.

The guys at U.S.S. Mariner are sure worked up

Wow, lots of energy at U.S.S. Mariner- ripping on Stark, ripping on Neyer. Personally, I read both the articles and didn't see what the fuss was all about. Maybe I need more coffee or something.

So we have this HUGE series with Montreal tonight, and I am guessing parking won't be a problem? We haven't had a matchup like this in a long time in Seattle- the two worst teams in all of baseball playing right here at Safeco. What do you think, is it worth paying $7 for a beer to sit and watch Randy Winn play center? Or Edgar strike out? Or some no-name Expo's pitcher having a terrible year throw a complete game shutout?

What we should have to look forward to is seeing Clint pitch again, and perhaps get a glimpse into the future of the Mariners. Instead, I have yet another issue to raise with Bob. Why are you not using this time to evaluate talent? If Clint pitches great, it might make you feel better about trading Freddy. Or maybe not, but it sure helps Clint stay in a routine. Given it is such a long season, and your #1 starter is over 40, would it kill the guys to give them an extra day of rest here and there. Instead of giving your frontline starters rest, you decide to push back Clint's start to next Wednesday.

Let's look at Bob's use of Clint. He calls him up, and then has him sit on the bench. When he finally gets in the game, he hadn't pitched in 10 days.

He then is finally given the chance to start, and he pitches well.

Now, you are going to have him go from a Monday start, and then pitch the following Wednesday. Or will you have him pitch in relief this weekend?

I don't know, maybe I'm making too big a deal about this, and rookies are meant to be abused. I just think they should be looking real hard at what they have, before they are able to make informed decisions about this team come the trade deadline. But hey, that's just me.

After all, I think they should be playing Strong in center tonight, so what do I know.

On another note, it was nice to hear the Gillick interview this morning on KJR. Pat didn't really have much to say, and Mitch went pretty easy on him I thought. He tended to focus on the dilemma Pat faced in signing guys like Olerud and Boone, where he'd get ripped if he didn't sign him, and ripped when he did and they aged too soon.

I don't have an issue with Gillick regarding Jon and Bret. They are big boys, making a lot of money, and they are not performing. In those cases, I blame the players. Where I have an issue with Pat is not making any deals at the deadline, having poor drafts, not interviewing experienced managers when Lou left, not giving guys in AAA a chance to help the club, not having a plan for the future, not trying to sign big-name free agents when you had the money, staying in Toronto during the trade deadline last year...

I could go on, but I think Mitch sort of missed the pulse of the fan when it comes to problems with Gillick.

Let me know if I'm wrong, but those are the problems I have with the GM of this club.

Thursday, June 10, 2004

You have to feel sorry for Jamal Strong

After going 2-4 last night, Jamal is hitting .347 down in Tacoma. He has literally nothing to prove in AAA, and yet he sits.

Lets compare to Randy Winn-

Randy- makes $4 million, no power, bad arm, good speed on the basepaths, makes bad baseball decisions, spits WAY to much
Jamal- MLB minimum, great arm, no power, great speed, will likely make rookie mistakes

Jamal is cheaper, would upgrade the defense, and is already on the 40-man roster. Casual fans don't pay to watch Randy Winn play, so I cannot think of a single reason he doesn't play.

Why do I think he isn't playing? Because we need to justify why we traded a possible All Star shortstop to Detroit, and can't have those ex-Tigers sitting down in Tacoma.

Only thing I can think of. If you have a better idea why, let me know.

Good thing the M's have day off today

So Bavasi and crew can ponder this season and hopefully realize they might have to actually make a decision some time this summer. A few thoughts on last nights game-
* Freddy pitched great again. I can't believe teams aren't killing themselves to get this guy. All the attention is on Beltran, but realistically Freddy might be more effective in getting your team to the playoffs.
* That catch Randy made over the wall was fantastic. I thought for sure it was a homer, and loved how Randy casually produced the ball. Notice he never smiled once? C'mon Randy, it's okay to smile every once in a while.
* The catch Randy didn't make in the 8th on Jeff Kent's blooper was terrible. Did you notice Randy didn't even run hard after the ball, he was jogging in and watched it fall. A true CF calls off guys and makes that catch.
* Melvin getting tossed was so staged and fake, it was hard to watch.
* I don't know why I keep watching these games, but I do. It's sort of like watching a train wreck I guess, you can't help but look at the carnage.

But whatever you do Bavasi, don't resign your best pitcher, and don't take offers for him either. Just keep hoping the nightmare goes away.

I know I am.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Best pitcher in the modern era?

While it was disappointing to see the M's lose 1-0 last night, the roughly 34,000 at Safeco last night at least got to see the greatest pitcher they will likely ever come across. Some people have commented on not seeing him at his finest- he did manage to shut out the M's. Then again, that's not really saying much, is it.

The M's did play some nice defense. I hope Melvin will understand that if Winn was in center, this would not have been a 1-0 game. We actually saw some great plays coming from the CF position, and I hope Melvin is watching closely. Given some of his crazy statements of late, I have no idea what he will do when Ibanez comes back.

Regarding the play at home that allowed the one run to score. A number of people have taken to commenting on Winn's throw. All I can say is the throw was way ahead of the runner, and if Wilson holds on to the ball, he's out. You can talk about Randy's lousy arm all you want, but that play was all about Wilson, IMO.

Finally, I sincerely hope this is Edgar's last season. Watching him come to the plate in critical situations and look foolish time and time again is getting old. It is so obvious he is pressing, trying to make something happen. I am seeing Edgar swinging at pitches he never swung at in the past. I don't know if it is his eyes, his slower swing, or what, but he is on pace for roughly 150 strikeouts.

Barring a second-half turnaround, I have to assume this is Edgar's last season.

Let's see how Freddy does today. He has the lowest ERA of any starting pitcher in interleage play, which might mean something if I'm an NL team looking to bolster my pitching this year...

Tuesday, June 08, 2004

Fun game to watch last night

It was great watching Nageotte pitch last night. We have been told his biggest problem has been walking people, and it wasn't hard to see why after watching him pitch. He was all over the place- pitch in the dirt, next pitch shoulder high, inside, outside... It was very entertaining seeing major leagues swinging at some REALLY bad pitches- reminds me of little league, where you scream "What were you thinking swinging at that pitch?!!" (Including Ichiro, did you see that pitch he swung at for strike 3 that I think hit the ground before it even reached the plate? But I digress)

In some ways the Astros might have been the perfect team to go against- they like to swing, and went up there hacking- Let's call it Hack-a-Clint, and it worked perfectly. Let's see how Clint does against a more patient team like the Yankee, Red Sox or A's.

The only real issue I had about his performance was the pitch count- it gets old watching our pitchers hitting 70 pitches in the 4th inning. We are seeing this even with our veteran control guys like Moyer. Nobody can zip through an inning any more, and this scares me a little bit. With the bullpen troubles we've had this year, we are going to continue to see Melvin leave pitchers in an inning too long trying to get those extra outs.

Sending Nageotte out with almost 100 pitches for his final inning had me a little nervous, but fortunately it went quickly.

Now on to the Rocket. I might have more to say about this later, but I really can't stand the guy. Naming all his kids with a K? What's up with that? He drives a Hummer. He was a Yankee...

And what about this beanball stuff over the years. Remember how everyone said we'd never see Roger pitch inside so much since he doesn't have to bat in the AL? Well I haven't see Roger getting beaned by the opposing batter, so I'd like to hear if he is not pitching inside as much, of if all the attention means he's getting a free pass. I expect as the NL Central race heats up, Roger will make some punk move during the season and bean somebody.

Let's hope Joel can control himself out there and make this game exciting. How about the last place M's give Roger his first loss of the year!

Monday, June 07, 2004

More signs Bavasi is a fool

Per Peter Gammons today regarding trading Garcia:

"Williams, like Brian Cashman, Theo Epstein and others, was told by Mariners GM Bill Bavasi that he wants to wait a couple of more weeks before he starts taking bids on Freddy Garcia."

Why in the world would you wait to take bids? It makes no sense. How can you make a rationale argument to re-sign Garcia if you don't even know what you could get for him? Haven't we been told teams are more willing to trade now when they know they get more starts from him, as opposed to the trade deadline?

What does Bavasi think will happen to the M's in two weeks?

What the Mariners should be doing is taking bids NOW.

At the same time, they should be talking to Garcia's agent and finding out what it would take to sign Freddy to a long term deal. The M's have money, so that is not the problem. If Garcia refuses to negotiate, then you already know what teams are willing to offer in return. Trading a young, successful pitcher like Garcia is a HUGE decision. Make the wrong choice, and you could join Woody in the Hall-of-Shame. The more you wait, the less time you have to make the correct decision. You need more information right now, NOT LESS!

By taking bids now, you also can be more open with other GM's- eg. Look Theo, I already have an offer for 2 blue-chip prospects, so you're going to need to up the offer....

This gives each team more time to put together their strongest offer, and allows you to get maximum value. Telling teams to wait on giving you trade scenarios is idiotic.

This team is so paralyzed by fear of making the wrong decision, they are simply postponing the inevitable hoping it will go away. Well guess what, this team is going to suck no matter how much Bavasi procrastinates.

Just to make the M's look like even bigger idiots

Will Carlos Guillen be playing in the All Star game? Look at his current line in Detroit-

.325\.402\.560 \.961

With 8 home runs and 35 RBIs, these look like All Star numbers to me. If Pudge were to get hurt, he almost certainly would be the Tigers representative. These are better numbers than anyone on the M's roster right now. He's going to get my vote if he continues (Michael Young has better hitters around him, and gets to play in Arlington). Carlos, I hope I see you get the managers pick, you deserve it.

BTW- update on the M's draft. Overall strategy appears to be college position players. Through the 10th round, they have two pitchers- the rest are every day players. Hmmm. Have to give the thumbs up so far, as it's a sound strategy given the current farm system. (It's not like I've seen any of these players play, so all we can do is look at overall thought behind the draft.)

The more I think about it, the more I'm convinced the gamble for Tuiasasopo will be a good one. Do not think for a second he won't sign. The M's will wrap this one up quick.

Matt Tuiasasopo a good pick for several reasons

I know it is easy to criticize every thing the M's do lately, given their poor track record, but I actually like taking Tuiasasopo with the 93rd pick.

The M's know they need to make some moves- both baseball and PR wise. For a team that values pitching so much, it is good to see them take a position player. Reality check #1 for the M's; they have noticed they can't score any runs- good for them.

Two, they just spoke with Tuiasasopo yesterday. I am quite sure the M's talked money, and know exactly what it is going to cost to sign this guy.

Without having a 1st and 2nd round pick, the M's have money to spend. Considering the current payroll is well below where it should be, for once, the M's can spend what it takes to get this thing done.

Tuiasasopo has already said he will only play one sport- baseball or football, not both.

The M's would have not drafted Tuiasasopo if they didn't know he is signable, and money will not be the issue.

Expect Tuiasasopo to sign with the M's by the end of the week. Seattle fans win either way- I'd much rather see Tuiasasopo in an M's uniform instead of pinstripes. The Yankees were interested in Matt, and no way do I want to see a local guy become a Yankee. It's bad enough we have to see his brother play for the Raiders.

Let's see how the rest of the picks go and perhaps we can identify a pattern to the M's draft this year.

Nice to see the M's come from behind

Of course it's too bad they have to come from behind for practically every game they win, since the idea of putting some runs on board early against a teams starter hasn't stuck. You also could argue Koch lost the game as much as the M's won it, but hey, a win is a win.

Plus it's nice when the fans get to go home happy, something they haven't done very many times this year.

I have to say I am still somewhat shocked over how bad Randy Winn's defense has become this year. I watched a TON of games last year and never found myself questioning Randy's defense in LF. Sure he's always had a weak arm, but with Cameron and Ichiro I thought the M's had one of the best outfields in baseball defensively, and never thought of Winn as slow.

But man, this year he is just awful. He had yet another ball go over his head for a double that should have been easily caught last night. And this was when he was in LF, not center. I just don't see how he could have gotten so bad so quickly. He can't read the ball at all off the bat, and he seems so confused as to his route.

Wow, and to think the M's signed him for 2 more years. Let's hope the M's are recognizing that he is struggling and are working with him. Given some of Bob's comments lately I'm not so sure.

Oh well, I can say I am excited to see Clint pitch tonight. And of course tomorrow, man I hate the Rocket. I truly hope the M's finally hit this guy, as I was in the stands for the infamous 1-hit playoff game with the Yanks and went home mighty disappointed.

At least I have a reason to watch some games for a change.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

More and more, I'm convinced Melvin must be let go

I've struggled with the thought all season about how much blame should be pinned on Melvin. I mean, can we really blame the manager when Bret Boone is hitting .220? When Bavasi trades your SS and brings in a guy who's older... blah, blah, blah. We know all the things that are going on with this team, and a lot of them are not the managers fault.

I was so pissed at the Mariners last year when they refused to even interview Dusty Baker. I thought a team like the M's were one of the premier managerial jobs, and was put off by the arrogance of Lincoln and crew. Instead we were given a rookie who had never managed, and I seriously believed with Baker we could have made the playoffs last year. Melvin made rookie mistakes last year- overworked Meche, refused to juggle his starting pitching in September, didn't get enough rest to Ichiro etc...

But more and more I am seeing things that make me lose all faith in Melvin, and I now believe without a doubt he should be let go after this season.

Bunting in the 8th last night. Unbelievable.

The final straw were his comments regarding Ramon Santiago and Jamal Strong. With Ibanez going on the DL, the M's have no power at all. So instead they bring up Ramon Santiago. So he must be doing really well in Tacoma to at least warrant the call up, right? No, he has been performing terribly, hitting .159.

Melvin speak, per the PI on Strong, and why Melvin has no use for his .331 BA and defense-

"He's a guy who, down the road, we can see playing every day," Melvin said. "But bringing him up here and not playing him is just not the right thing to do for him."

I'm sorry, but Bob, have you actually been watching your current CF play? He has no range, hits for no power, and I would think you would be begging to get this guy out. You play Strong in CF, EVERY DAY and move Winn to LF, where he performed adequately last year.

Bob, your current team stinks! Have you not been noticing your team is the worst in the AL? You cannot keep running the same guys out there- they are not getting the job done. Can there possibly be a better time than now to start seeing what these guys in Tacoma can do?

Okay Bob, you keep running Cabrera out there, and do what you will with Santiago. Go get whatever cast-off you want from other teams, and let your boys in AAA stay in Tacoma.

But I don't want you as my manager of this team any longer.

It is time for Melvin to go.

Friday, June 04, 2004

Exciting team coming to Safeco

Oh wait, Houston is not until next week. Oh well, we can watch those lovable White Sox until Clemens comes to town.

I took a look at the NY Times article on Jose Contreras and supposed M's interest. I don't buy it at all. This sounds more like a NY fan dreaming about somebody taking this guy off their team. After all, it must be killing NY fans to see this guy get yanked after 2 outs in the first inning, and know he is making $8 mil a year to work on his command and confidence.

We should all get that kind of on-the-job training.

What it does show you is how sophisticated the Yankees are about creating interest in a guy they would now dearly love to unload. After all, the article is supposedly about the M's interest in Contreras, and yet-

"Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman said the Mariners had not told him of their interest. "

And yet the name of the article is Contreras Draws Mariners' Interest!!

This sounds like the same kind of reporting we get here in Seattle about major changes coming to the lineup. It's all about publicity baby.

What the Yankees would love to do is create the notion there are a ton of teams out there who would love to get this guy. The fact of the matter is right now, unless Contreras starts pitching a whole lot better, or unless the Yankees are willing to eat practically the entire contract, there is moderate interest at best at doing the Yankees a favor and taking this guy off their hands.

I mean, if the M's want a player with a high ceiling but command and confidence problems, we already have a guy named Meche who fills that role perfectly, and he doesn't cost $8 million!

What he M's need to be doing is creating the idea that Garcia is THE pitcher for teams looking to upgrade for the stretch run, and they expect to get tremendous value for him. This guy would look great pitching for Boston, or NY, or the Reds, or the Dodgers or...

C'mon Bavasi, start creating some positive publicity for this team, or I'll be the only watching when the pesky Expos come to town.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Bret Boone will not be traded this summer

I still keep seeing plenty of commentary on the issue of trading Boone this summer. You'll also notice articles mentioning the fact you might not get much for Garcia. Let's look at the two-
- Both are free agents at the end of this year (unless you want to bring back Boone's option for $9 million, which I can't imagine a team doing besides the Yankees and M's)
- Boone is old
- Garcia is young
- Boone is having a terrible year so far
- Garcia is having a terrific year
- Lots of teams need pitching
- Fewer teams need veteran 2nd basemen

So explain to me why we feel Boone will bring in talent but Garcia won't?

As I've said before, I am sure a team like the Yankees might value Boone's pop and Gold Glove defense, but other teams are few and far between. How many are willing to add payroll, or have prospects to give? Not many.

Given that Boone is such a popular player in Seattle, and we have no stud 2nd basemen waiting in the wings, I expect Boone to be here all summer.

Count on it.

Don't expect major changes for the M's any time soon

The interview with Bill Bavasi after yet another M's loss last night was fairly informative. A quick recap for those that missed it:

  • Bavasi acknowledged the M's have been getting many calls from teams inquiring about their players
  • He also indicated he is listening to those calls
  • He then admitted he had no intention of acting on any of those calls, but it was prudent to at least listen
  • He listed the Giants winning streak as a reason why no team is out of it right now
  • He mentioned the Reds as yet another "surprise" team
  • When pressed, he said mid-to-late June was the earliest he would actually consider admitting the season was not salvageable, and might trade a player

So after listening to all this, I just thought to myself "This is the guy who will be in charge of rebuilding this team? No!!..."

The articles mentioning major changes to the roster coming soon? Complete garbage. I demand the editors of the respective papers complete an internal investigation on these "sources" and apologize to all M's fans. It sounds like the sources were found on the Tops bulletin board, based on Bavasi's comments. I hope the authors of those articles address them in the coming week.

This isn't to say trades won't be made at the deadline, just that they aren't be planned by the M's right now. Management is living in such a dreamworld that they don't want to throw in the towel just yet. As we said earlier, they are praying the current M's start performing so they don't have to make tough decisions. It is so disappointing they will not recognize the poor value of the product they are running out on the field right now. I just cannot imagine not being active with other teams right now with regards to trades.

If I was Bavasi, here is the message I would have relayed in the interview-
1) We are actively calling every team in the major leagues targeting players we feel would improve this club.
2) Our scouts are currently evaluating several players based on conversations we've already had.
3) A large number of teams are interested in making deals, due to so many teams still in the race.
4) This will work to our advantage, and we expect a number of changes soon.

Last night, after the grand slam by Toronto in the second inning, the game was over. Did anyone actually believe the M's were going to come back? Even after loading the bases in the same inning, the M's never gave you a reason to think they were capable of taking this series. Pathetic team right now, and Bavasi is still feeling like they are a good run away from getting into the race. Unbelievable.

What is the line right now for over/under on record lows for Safeco this summer.

I'd say 5, but that seems too low.

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

Surely this was Meche's last start, right?

It was obvious in the second half of last year, and it is even more obvious now- Meche needs to be sent down to work on his command. He is not going to magically figure it out, and the team doesn't even need him. Let's face it, when you are in last place and have one of the worst records in baseball, how important is your 5th starter?

Is it worth destroying the confidence of one of your brightest prospects? Who has an option left. When you have half a dozen prospects you could bring up to take his place. Surely he will be sent down, right? (With a low pitch count, and plenty of rest between starts, I might add.)

I cannot think of any logical reason for the M's to keep Meche on the big league club. The only reason at all would be if you wanted to keep his trade value high, but why would a team watch a night like last night and then want to give you something in return? I would think his trade value would be higher if scouts watched him regain his command in AAA than watch him get roughed up in two innings of work like last night.

If Meche remains on this ballclub after last night, then Bavasi and Melvin are both incompetent.

Edit- I am now being told Meche is out of options. I thought he had one left, but if he is out then I understand how this complicates things. I doubt he would clear waivers, but then again teams might be scared by his record...

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

M's $90 million payroll a myth

Going into this season, most fans expected the M's payroll to be in the $90-93 million range. Considering the huge amount of revenue the team brings in, this allowed the M's to field a good team AND make a nice profit.

However, by not signing a Tejada-caliber player, and with Kaz leaving, the M's opening roster was actually $81 million.

If we subtract Kevin Jarvis' salary, who should have never been on the club in the first place, the current salary is actually closer to $75 million. If Rich Aurilia were to be dropped, and with Q released, the M's would have roughly $70 million in payroll on the field.

To put that into comparison, fans everywhere like to talk about how frugal the A's are, and how they are able to beat teams like the M's with a lower payroll. The opening day roster for the Oakland Athletics was $59 million. This means the difference in salary between the M's and Athletics is not nearly as large as many of us imagined.

The M's are not paying TWICE the salary as the Athletics, even though the revenue difference is HUGE between the two clubs.

When we try to figure out what the M's should do, it is important to keep in mind money is not the problem. They have plenty- in fact, you could make the case the M's are not spending enough. Keep a rainy day fund, and you are inviting showers.

Will the M's finish the season at .500?

It looks like the M's are starting to play somewhat better, and it seems like they are perhaps playing like a .500 club. Of course if you take away Boston (where they lost 2 of 3) they have been playing better against the likes of Cleveland and Toronto. I would hope the M's aren't kidding themselves into thinking this team is starting to play the way the front-office intended earlier in the year. Do they not remember Detroit coming in and almost sweeping the M's?

There is no way this team is a playoff caliber team, and with the M's having the second highest revenue in baseball, anything else is a joke. For the M's to have been eliminated from post-season contention in MAY is beyond comprehension. Gillick and Bavasi, directly responsible for the fiasco, haven't given us any clue as to the plan moving forward.

Instead, we all get to sit around and guess what the M's might or might not do. What about all the changes we were led to believe were coming? Does the mid-level execs push for change but are getting overridden by Lincoln? It's impossible to say right now.

Why is Aurilia still on this team? Didn't we hear he was about to be dropped from the roster? Was the information wrong, or was the plan based on the Cubs actually trading for him?

Who knows? Even Peter Gammons is left to guess at what the M's might do, because it is clear THERE IS NO PLAN.

Trade Boone, keep him. Platoon Olerud, dangle Garcia, re-sign Garcia... It makes you crazy trying to predict what they will do. With the way this team plays, and with the way this management team makes decisions, it makes you crazy trying to predict their thought process.

So, with Meche pitching tonight, we should expect him to get lit up.

Which means he'll probably pitch great :)