July 31, 2003 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off 

The game has passed Pat Gillick by.

Dave, I think that’s about the best I’ve ever seen it put.

Whenever someone slams Gillick, the natural response from his supporters is something along the lines of, “He can’t be a bad GM. He’s been around the block. Look at the teams he’s built over the years. And he’s well-respected by his peers!” Those of us who bash Gillick — well, most of us I think — aren’t saying he’s a bad GM, we’re saying he just isn’t the right man for the job in this point in baseball history.

You remember the movie Swingers? Near the beginning of the movie, Trent and Mike drive to Las Vegas in search of some late-night hijinx. Upon entering the casino, Mike comments that it looks a bit dead. He says some of the newer places up the strip are supposed to be the money. Which leads to this exchange:

Trent: Oh Mikey. You don’t want all that “Pirates Of The Carribean” horseshit, or the “Rock and Roll Grunge Tip.” Guys like you and me gotta kick it here, old school.

Mike: Yeah, this is definitely old school.

And that’s Pat Gillick. He may have been money back in the day, but now he’s old school — and not in the good way.

July 31, 2003 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off 

Go Dave go!

Derek, I wouldn’t worry too much about Sanchez not starting last night. Apparently he only got to the park around 4pm after traveling, so Melvin decided to let him have the rest of the day off. No big deal.

Er, no pun intended there.

July 31, 2003 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off 

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, well, you know the rest. I really expected the Mariners to make a trade today. Actually, I expected them to make a couple of trades. Clearly, I just haven’t been paying attention. So, without further ado…

Dave’s 2003 Rant Against Pat Gillick

With any luck, this will be the last one I ever have to write. For the second consecutive year, I sit here on July 31st, disappointed that my hope for a trade has been crushed, and now look forward to a new hope; the hope that Pat Gillick will not return as General Manager of the Seattle Mariners next year.

The game has passed Pat Gillick by. The Mariners are run by a man who has not adapted, changed, or adjusted to the new century of baseball. 10 years ago, Pat Gillick was a great general manager when compared to his peers. He evaluted talent well, built solid clubs, and took the Blue Jays to two world series titles. 10 years ago, Theo Epstein was trying to figure out how to sneak into sorority parties and find people to buy him alcohol. How things have changed in a decade.

In 2003, Theo Epstein was busy adding a 4th starter, a left-handed reliever, and two quality relievers to anchor his bullpen. Pat Gillick, meanwhile, was in Toronto. Scouting? No. Moving. Theo Epstein wants to win a world series. Pat Gillick wants to spend time with his wife and grandchildren. I’m glad he has his priorities in order. Unfortunately, the job description of a major league GM requires you to not have your priorities in order. You are asked to live at the office, eat and breathe baseball, and sacrifice everything to make the team better. There are people willing to do this for the opportunity to win a ring. Pat Gillick is not one of them. That puts the Mariners at an inherernt disadvantage.

I’ve covered in the past my disagreements with Pat Gillick’s player assessments and what he values in a ballplayer. That doesn’t matter today. The issue is Gillick’s ability to compete with the current crop of general managers. He simply cannot do it. He does not have the creativity to work a three way trade or the willingness to take a risk by giving up a potential major league player. He cannot convince management that investing $1 million into the club now will net them $5 million in playoff revenues in October. He contuously fails to set his club up for success in the post season by spending every last dime of his allotted budget before March rolls around.

The Mariners pride themselves on being old school. Gillick, Jongewaard, and Pelekoudas are baseball men. They have no use for statistical analysis. They trust their scouts. They believe in character, team chemistry, and that pitching and defense is 80 percent of the game. Unfortunately, in this case, being old school also means being wrong. The Mariners are run by a man whose beliefs are antiquated and philosophies incorrect. His risk aversion repeatedly proves to be penny wise and pound foolish, while the team alianates its fan base under the guise of “contention.”

The Mariners attendance has fallen more than 10% this year, and it isn’t because Safeco Field is less attractive than a year ago. Fans are fed up. Fans want a world series. Fans don’t want to contend. Fans want to win. Pat Gillick would like to win, but it isn’t a necessity.

We can only hope that the Mariners take the 2003 offseason as an opportunity to change the guard. With the track record that Howard Lincoln has established though, that is a pretty slim hope.

I was really looking forward to October. I still am, to a degree. We’re still in first place, and Oakland didn’t do enough to overcome their offensive problems. But now, I’m more looking forward to November. Because that is when Pat Gillick’s contract expires again, and the M’s have another chance to hire someone like Theo Epstein or Mark Shapiro or J.P. Ricciardi. Someone who is willing to think outside the box. Someone who wants to win a championship. Someone who cares.

July 31, 2003 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off 

It appears that the Mariners have stood pat, once again. Once I get official confirmation that they did not make a trade, Dave’s Annual Rant Against Pat Gillick will commense. For those who missed it last year, don’t make the same mistake.

July 31, 2003 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off 

Five minutes until the deadline. Keep in mind, it usually takes some time for word to leak to the public, so we may not hear about a trade that was completed for an hour or more.

July 31st is one of the coolest days on earth.

July 31, 2003 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off 

I’d like to nominate Aaron Boone as the most overrated player in baseball.

People are flipping out, handing the Yanks the pennant, and chastising George Steinbrenner for buying stars. Hello, its Aaron Boone.

His line away from the Great American Bandbox this year: .249/.311/.408. Last year, he hit a spectacular .241/.314/.439.

I’ll easily suggest that going from Ventura to Boone is a downgrade. When you add in that the Yankees gave up a frontline arm in Brandon Claussen and a ton of cash, the only thing the commissioner’s office should be investigating is how to award Brad Kullmen a medal for sticking it to the Yankees.

Thank God for King George, who just saved us from ourselves. I’m glad Aaron Boone will be making outs for the Yankees this october.

July 31, 2003 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off 

The Red Sox just traded Freddy Sanchez to Pittsburgh and got Jeff Suppan and Brandon Lyon back.

The Mariners traded their version of Freddy Sanchez 18 months ago so that Dan Wilson could have an overqualified backup.

Just about 90 minutes left Pat.

July 31, 2003 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off 

I love the trade deadline. Writers on short deadlines, 20 articles looking for a different angle on the same rumors… it produces great gems like this, from Jayson Stark, on Giles to the Yankees, when the Yankees only want Giles (and not Kendall): “But if the Yankees toss names like Nick Johnson and Brandon Claussen into the mix, the Pirates would almost have to pay serious attention.”

If you toss Nick Johnson into any trade, you have to pay serious attention. It’s not like GMs are dozing off with Cashman on speakerphone and then when Cashman, sensing he’s not getting anywhere, says “and I can throw in Nick Johnson” but that’s not quite enough for a GM to pay serious attention, so they drift off to sleep.

Anyway — what’s the difference between taking Rafael Soriano into the playoffs and Francisco Rodriguez (and Soriano being better doesn’t count)? Soriano would be on the playoff roster legally. Thank you, I’ll be here all week.

I’d also like to offer my full endorsement to the IvarDog as Official Safeco Concession Entree. $4.75 isn’t really that steep and it’s mmm-mmm delicious.

July 31, 2003 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off 

Okay, what the heck has gotten into Randy Winn? He now has 6 home runs in July after hitting 2 from April through June.

Rafael Soriano is comparing favorably to what Francisco Rodriguez did last year before the playoffs began. At this point, he’s probably our best reliever, and hopefully the Box learns from Mike Scioscia and allows talent to overrule experience.

Thank God for George Steinbrenner. Aaron Boone just isn’t very good. His numbers are greatly inflated by his home park, and they aren’t overwhelmingly impressive anyways. He’s the new version of David Bell, and Safeco would have sucked the life out of his bat. For all the outrage over the Yankees “buying” Boone, Brandon Claussen is a heck of an arm, and this is a great deal for the Reds.

The city of Detroit has just optioned the Tigers to AAA.

Bret Boone: “Everyone knows we need to make a trade. I don’t need to say anything else.”

July 30, 2003 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off 

Rafael Soriano looked astounding tonight from the stands. I’m so impressed with Rafael Soriano I’ve decided to give him my full endorsement, though I don’t have an official title yet. If they dump Freddy and his problems on someone else (and they should), plug Soriano into the rotation. Or right now, swap roles with the rapidly deteriorating Meche and give Gil some work in long relief and mop-up.

I’m worried about Sanchez. I can babble about tools and their uses all I want, but if Box isn’t going to put Sanchez in tonight, or find someway to work him into the lineup, what’s the point? Why buy a scroll saw for someone who won’t stop playing Madden on the PS2? Not to go after Weaver too much, but Weaver sat around thinking “man, if McLemore was up last inning, and we’re up by 5, I can put Sanchez out there and make this go a little quicker, and if Sanchez has to bet, no big deal.”

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