Mariners Analysis

Friday, March 13, 2009

Good stuff in Mariner land

As baseball fans we get a little antsy waiting for the games to count. Sometimes a little pot stirring can be fun as the days get warmer, and todays discussion re: the Mariners defense certainly fits the bill.

Geoff Baker gets things started by claiming the Mariners defense was above average this year.

I love it that Geoff is using advanced metrics to talk about defense. I love it Geoff is talking to people like John Dewan. For the average baseball fan who gets most of their information from the local paper, this is a fantastic trend.

However, while Geoff is making progress I have to say he has a ways to go still.

My position is simple- no one who actively watched the team last year can honestly say defense was not a serious issue. Really, it's no more complicated then that.

How anyone could watch Ritchie Sexson with a lateral range of 4 inches play the infield and not see a problem is a mystery. How anyone could watch Yuni throw wide after struggling to get to a routine ball and not see a problem is a mystery. Do we even need to talk about Raul?

I don't have an issue with Geoff talking with John or publishing the results. But he should have applied a basic sniff test. Sort of a "did my eyes concur with the data I am seeing now?" It would almost be as if someone went to Geoff and told him the Mariners actually won 82 games last year. The brain would immediately question the data.

The article should have been based more on the subject of "can you believe what I was just told" rather than simply taken as fact. There is no way Geoff can say he watched the team last year and didn't notice any problems. There is just no way.

I'm not a baseball scout but I'm an avid baseball fan. I've seen a fair amount of games over the years and to my beginner eyes the 2008 Mariners were terrible fielding the ball. If someone tells me they have proof otherwise I'll take a look at it, but I have to say I'll be mighty skeptical...