Mariners Analysis

Thursday, July 15, 2004

The M's are killing their fans right now

I wake up this morning and hear on the radio the M's are releasing Olerud (per the PI, now confirmed).

My initial reaction is disbelief. This is a very aggressive move, especially for such a conservative organization. Given the passive nature of the FO, I have to give a

Standing ovation to Bill Bavasi

This is just as positive a move as the Garcia trade. The club clearly has a problem at first base, and they recognized it. They actually DID SOMETHING!

So bravo to Bavasi, you are giving me hope for this organization. However, there are a couple of things that are giving me pause from my celebration:

- First, the absolute piece of ^%&* article in the Times regarding the M's budget (link)
- The theory the M's are releasing Olerud purely for monetary reasons

Now Derek at USS Mariner beat me to it, but the article in the Times regarding the M's accounting practices for this year and next are so revolting it makes you want to boycott the M's. I'll vent on this in a minute.

Before I go ballistic on the budget issue, why did it come to this regarding Olerud?

Quick timeline on John:
- he joins the M's for the 2000 season
- has 3 good seasons (00,01,02)
- is rewarded with a 2-year contract
- was terrible last year
- equally bad this year

I know a lot of M's fans are going to be upset at how the M's are treating Olerud. However, you have to ask yourself, what has John done for the organization that Freddy Garcia hasn't?

I know John is a great father, and survived a brain tumor, and went to school at WSU, but why should that matter for the M's? Quick answer- it shouldn't.

If the M's are supposed to make baseball decisions based on your kids, or your wife, or your zip code, it's going to be a lot harder to get to the playoffs. The fact of the matter is John got paid a ton of money to play baseball in Seattle, and is set for life financially. If Garcia can be shipped off, never offered a contract, then the M's can shop Olerud. And if John refuses to play for a team that wants him, then what are the M's supposed to do? Just let him hang out with the club and collect a paycheck?

This is a really positive move both for the club and Olerud. The club can play prospects who might help in the future, and John can learn just how valuable his baseball skills really are. This is just the kick in the pants he needs right now.

One more minor point on why I'm not that sad to see John go. Would it have killed him to join a gym in the offseason? The guy has arms skinnier than Robert Swift. For a guy getting on in years, and making the kind of money he makes, I honestly believe he needed to dedicate himself more, especially after last season.

Edgar Martinez is in GREAT shape. John seems like he might be a guy who got by on talent for a long time, and time has taken some of that away.

Now several people are claiming the M's are releasing John for financial reasons. Basically they theorize the FO is hoping someone claims John on waivers and they pocket the extra coin. To be honest with you, I'm not sure I believe this.

More to come, but the M's are suddenly interesting again.