Mariners Analysis

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Compare and contrast

I don't think there is any question a large number of Mariner fans and front office folks prefer veterans over youth. This has been well established over the years.

At the trading deadline, influential writers such as Geoff Baker of the Times criticized the Mariners for not getting veteran bullpen help. Perhaps the recent trade with Baltimore was an attempt to rectify that situation, since on the surface the trade makes zero sense from a pure talent perspective.

Last night was illustrative to the dangers of relying purely on veterans.

The "rookie" Boston pitcher Matsuzaka who the Mariners wanted nothing to do with pitches a great game and limits the Orioles to one run over 7 innings. Time to turn it over to the Boston bullpen, and the newly acquired Gagne. We don't want to beat a dead horse here and get in all the gory details, but suffice it to say Gagne has been a disaster since the trade. He loses the game singlehandedly, and Boston dropped a game it really can't afford to drop.

Similarly, it is well known in baseball what Cashman and the Yankees have been trying to implement- a well stocked farm system that reduces the need to constantly acquire aging (i.e. expensive) and risky (i.e. injury prone) veterans. Instead, the Yankees rely on newly acquired Joba Chamberlain, who started the year in A ball.

Think about that... A ball!! The Yankees, on the verge of staging one of the most amazing comebacks in baseball history, has the audacity to play a kid with no major league experience, much less playoff baseball experience in New York. Don't they understand you don't play kids because they are unreliable?

Apparently they didn't get that memo. I really hope writers such as Geoff Baker, who I like very much, pays attention to what other teams in baseball are doing.

What is often presented as "facts" are in fact simply the way things used to be, and relying on outdated thinking and simplistic stereotypes will continue to hurt the Mariners.