Mariners Analysis

Friday, August 13, 2004

Throw out the record book when the Yankees come to town

At least for Mariner fans anyway. A sold out series with the Yankees awaits M's fans. There is a reason the M's-Yanks series always sell out. One, the majority of us hate the Yankees. Two, we get to boo Alex. And now three, we get to see John Olerud.

I'm sure John will get a nice ovation when he is introduced (at least I assume Tony Clark isn't starting tonight :)

Part of the ovation will drown out the "Why couldn't you have hit like this when you played here!" cry, but what are you going to do.

For M's management wondering the same thing, the answer is clear. You don't make an aging first baseman who showed a serious sign of declining skills one of your keys to driving in runs during the year. Olerud clearly is a good 8-hole hitter on a team where all he needs to do is play good defense and know practically every base hit will drive somebody in. He is under very little pressure, as the Yanks are only paying him $100,000. They (the M's) needed to go out and get that big bat over the offseason and they didn't do it- Olerud as a Yank is a perfect example of what you realistically could have expected from him in '04.

Of course it doesn't hurt John that the M's releasing him served as a good wake-up call. I'm sure he is playing with a little bit of energy and drive he clearly didn't have playing here. Getting fired from the worst team in the AL will do that to you.

So I'll be at the game tonight, giving John a good cheer when he is introduced.

But... if he hits a home run late in the game, especially after I've had a few beers, I might be tempted to yell at him a little. You know, just to prepare him for the playoffs and all!

If the M's wanted to really spice up the series tonight, I recommend Villone drill Olerud in his first time up. We haven't had a good brawl in a while, and I think it would be good for the Tacoma boys to be able to bond with the veterans while they discuss who gets suspended.


So Villone is pitching tonight and the M's are talking contract extension. I won't get too worked up about this until I see the numbers. At this point in his career, Villone should never get anything more than a two year deal, and that should be a stretch. If he gets three years Bavasi should be fired immediately.


Bret Boone cleared waivers, which just goes to show what his value is on the market today. I said all year NO ONE besides the Yankees would touch him.

I am surprised the Yanks don't see him as an upgrade- do they have bad feelings over trading for his brother last year? Money would seem to be of no concern for the Yanks, but even they don't want to pay Boonie $9 million next year.

This winter will be VERY interesting as far as market value for free agents.


Everyone is reporting Carlos Beltran is asking for 5 years at $15 million/per.

The M's should simply ask: "Who do I make the check out to...?"


I have heard the M's are more likely to land Carlos Delgado. With the Yankees almost certainly going hard after Beltran, the M's need to be REALLY aggressive in the offseason. They can't sit around and wait for players to let them know they might be interested in playing here. They need to show players, agents and other clubs they mean business, and the old M's style is dead.

We'll have lots of time to discuss the offseason, but I'm predicting Delgado is an M next year.