Mariners Analysis

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Oakland thing getting old

We all know the drill. Make the M's record against Oakland .500 this season, and suddenly the Angels are in the playoff picture, with the M's right in the thick of it. If the M's played Oakland straight up, the most optimistic projections for this year would have been realized. Bavasi would be a lock for next year, Hargrove keeps his job...

That's a lot of change based on one opponent. When you see how the Mariners fared against other top teams- NY, Detroit, Chicago, Boston etc... it becomes even more confusing. How could one team give the M's so much trouble, so consistently, over the years?

It really needs to stop. I don't know if Hargrove needs to order a few intentional beanings, if he needs to threaten Ichiro with being pinch-hit with Bloomquist or what, but something needs to happen. Oakland has owned Seattle over the years, especially at home, but this is much worse than usual. Somehow the A's just flatten the Mariners, and Bavasi and company better figure out how to get the team ready to play next year when they come up on the schedule. I'm not advocating building my team around one opponent, but I am advocating taking this seriously and stop with the "these things happen" bullshit we hear over and over. Hargrove should be losing plenty of sleep over one of his rivals consistently kicking his ass over and over.

A few more thoughts...

- People need to stop with the "untradable" contracts of Sexson and Beltre. The truth is either can be traded easily, with no money coming from the Mariners at all if they so choose. San Diego would take Beltre in a heartbeat, and give a B level prospect in the process. You aren't going to restock your farm system by trading either one, but to somehow link these two to players like Spiezio/Cirillo contracts is wrong. There are markets for both of these players. Your trash is someone elses comeback-player-of-the-year. The only way the Mariners would have to pony up cash is if they wanted to upgrade the prospects coming in return. To jump to an A level prospect would require bringing your checkbook. But to just clear salary room for next year? Not a problem for either one. The same people who believe Beltre and Sexson are untradable thought we should have traded Bret Boone for Ryan Howard in '05 when we had the chance...

- I'm so glad Ichiro's streak is over. I think he plays too often as it is, and the longer this thing went the bigger it would have become as he got older. Now hopefully a new manager comes in next year and feels free to give Ichiro a rest for 6-8 games next year.

- Regarding money for next year. We all know the M's brass is famous for having a tight wallet. There is no way they are increasing the payroll. There is also no way they take on a major pitcher from Japan without trading someone who is making lots of money next year. When you build your fantasy roster for next year, if you have Matsuzaka on the Mariners staff, you better subtract Sexson or Beltre. There is no way they can afford Matsuzaka with the way the present roster salary for next year is constructed.

- I can't believe anyone from a local paper advocated signing Alfonso Soriano.

- No, actually I can. Apparently the local writers can read blogs, but don't agree with any of them. ANY of them.

- The M's can find a 5th starter next spring internally. That's it. The rest will need to be acquired, preferably via trade.

- The M's need to see what Adam Jones will bring you this winter. This club needs pitching, and if Ichiro continues to play center, he's your most tradeable bat in the farm system.

- Not drafting Miller is looking more and more like a mistake. Even Lincecum looks closer to the majors at this point. Given the state of our pitching staff, perhaps readiness to pitch in the majors should have been given higher priority.

Anyway, I'm glad the team hasn't collapsed. I was certain a 90 loss season was coming a month ago, and the team didn't completely mail it in.

And I really hate Oakland. (not really, I just hate them beating us all the time)