Mariners Analysis

Monday, April 28, 2008

Ugly series ending

You don't want to make too much of a tough loss in such a long season, but really the weekend in general was bad for Mariner fans.

The weekend didn't start off on a good note with the Joh extension. I see most fans have been largely negative on the deal, and I agree with them. In a perfect world this is a good business deal, but we aren't dealing in that universe. It's the Bavasi/M's world that is far more scary.

If you are an optimist towards the M's moves, like say Baker of the Times, then this is good business sense because you could always move him in the future if Clement takes off. By letting him play out the year, you risk losing him for nothing if a team comes along and offers him silly money. As long as the contract is reasonable, the teams gives itself some options for the future.

The pessimist of course says you signed a catcher on the down side of his career and have already given up on your #3 pick of the future in Clement. After we watched Morrow and his stunted development as an 8th inning guy while Timmy lights it up in San Fran, you can see why M's fans are stunned to see this approach.

How can Bavasi already proclaim Clement's future is not behind the plate when he refuses to give him any time to see with his own eyes? Are the Mariners really this down on his defensive abilities after three years they are ready to move him somewhere else? Where they haven't even seen him play any other position!! Is Bavasi really saying Clement at 25 is DH material only?

Can Clement play a decent 1st base? It sounds like Bavasi thinks so, even though he's never seen any extended time there. Remember the word from KC that Ibanez does not make a good 1st basemen? You can't just automatically think any stiff can catch the ball so 1st base isn't an auto-option. (Of course then again, this franchise thinks Sexson is tall and really good at first base, so then again anything is possible.)

Short answer is the signing of Johjima was depressing. It was depressing because it means Clement is a long ways from helping the team, if ever, and it means this season will be a long one.

Then of course we had the Felix disaster. Remember all the talk about how a 1-2 punch stops losing streaks? What if your starting pitcher is really good, but you have no one you trust to hold the lead until you get to your closer? So you leave your starter in too long for multiple games, driving his pitch count up in the process. Then your team loses anyway because it can't score runs.

That's what the Bedard trade has netted us so far. Two good pitchers, a weakened bullpen and a lousy offense.

Now it's up to the players to either turn this around, or watch Bavasi and company make a panic move to try and save their jobs. The blogs will be busy this summer regardless of how it turns out.