Mariners Analysis

Friday, February 13, 2009

Kudos to Baker on morning show

Some of you might have caught Geoff this morning with Mitch on KJR. I have to say, I was really impressed with what they both talked about.


Now the topic is to be expected, but the way Geoff described the player and the situation surrounding him was simply fantastic. In the past, we would have heard some feel good story about the aging slugger returning to bring glory to the falling franchise. Not this time. There were a number of directions this conversation could have headed, and Baker didn't stray once:
1) He clearly stated Griffey has no where else to go. It's important to remind casual fans just how far Griffey has fallen. We are not GETTING junior. We are settling for junior.
2) Attendance. Mitch asked Geoff about the big bump in attendance we'll expect to see, and the common claim we hear from Griffey fawners who say he'll more than pay for his contract in ticket sales. Again he nails it. He cites past experiences with other returning players and the data simply doesn't support this attendance bull shit. Sure we'll see a swell of enthusiasm but it will quickly dissipate. Smack down point number two, and we heard references to actual data, not head-up-my-ass type analysis we might have gotten in the past.
3) Use of Griffey- Geoff doesn't mince words regarding playing time. There as no talk about a crowded outfield or his defense in left. The audience heard the beat writer explain very clearly what he is being brought in for- platoon DH, nothing more.
4) Role on team- Again, Geoff explains the returning hero is not going to be here three years from now. If the team needs to sit Griffey to get more at bats for Clement, Wlad or whatever as the season goes on, Junior need to understand it now. This isn't about Griffey, this is what's good for the team.
5) Pay- Geoff explains he really should be making a million or two at the MOST. Anything more and the team is throwing money away (see point 1).
6) Budget- Geoff really earns his pay here. Mitch wanted to know how we got here, and Geoff immediately launched in to the Washburn situation and how Jack's hands are really tied in terms of ownership and past decisions. We got here because Armstrong made it happen by cutting the budget and nixing player moves like Washburn to the Twins. It wasn't the answer Mitch was expecting, but it was the right response and Baker really put it all together for the listener. Griffey is joining the Mariners because Jarrod Washburn is a Mariner. Not what some might have thought, but it's true.

It may seem silly to say good job to the beat writer, especially one as popular as Geoff Baker. But after disagreeing with him so often on McLaren, Bedard, Adam Jones, Bavasi, defense, home runs etc... it's refreshing to hear him absolutely nail the Griffey situation. Very few fans bother with blogs or forums during the off season, and people like Baker is where they get their news.

Would the average KJR listener have heard this from Finnegan or Hickey back in the day? No way. Keep up the great reporting Geoff.