We here at the USS Mariner don’t endorse many things. The exception to that is Rett Johnson, who’s so good we give him our full endorsement. That said, we’re not afraid to speak out against things we’re certainly against. Today that’s the folks over at Orbitz, who apparently have a monopoly on Internet pop-up ads. Looking through the day’s boxscores over at ESPN just now, I got an Orbitz pop-up ad on five consecutive pages and six out of seven. Your little games aren’t cute — throw the baseball! hit the golf ball! light these fireworks! — and they certainly don’t make me ever want to visit your freaking site, OK? Geez.
Oh, and another thing we’re against is Joel Pineiro throwing 123 pitches when the M’s are up 13-0. He was already at 111 through 7 with the score 6-0, at which point the M’s made it 9-0. I know the bullpen has been shaky lately, but this is no time to get crazy, Mr. Box.
Side note: In going to check Pineiro’s pitch count and how many pitches he threw in the 8th inning just now, I got Orbitz ads on five more ESPN pages in a row. Bastards!
Dave — don’t forget Vernon Wells. He’s at .307/.349/.568 this season (on pace for 50 doubles and 40 homers) and a mere 24 years of age.
Random Notes From a Game Dave Could Actually Watch
1. ESPN’s radar gun was on crack. If we’re to believe it, Pineiro throws an 87 MPH curveball, an 86 MPH changeup, and hits 95 regularly. I’m not buying that. He was definitely putting too much on his curve in the first inning, though. Its a much better pitch at 78-80.
2. Speaking of being on crack, does Joe Morgan have to broadcast every game I get to watch? Why doesn’t he just come out and admit that he hates Billy Beane and the A’s? Their on base percentage is suffering because people are now learning that they’re not going to swing at the first pitch? Come on Joe, you really think it takes 15 years for news to travel? The A’s have been doing the patience-at-the-plate thing since I was in little league. A more reasonable person would look at Chris Singleton, Ramon Hernandez, Miguel Tejada, and Eric Chavez and say “Hey, these guys are hacks.”
3. Ted Lilly has to be one of the most inconsistent pitchers in the majors. His mechanics in the first inning were awful, and his release point was all over the place. Come the third inning, he was brilliant. That curveball is just nasty, and when he’s spotting his fastball in the zone, he’s as tough as they come. One of these years, he’s going to put it all together and win 23 games.
4. If I was a left-handed pitcher, I’d wake up in a cold sweat at night thinking about facing the Mariners offense away from Safeco Field. As a team, we hit .301/.377/.454 versus lefties and .298/.367/.472 on the road. I’m just speculating, but I’d imagine our totals versus lefties on the road is something like .315/.390/.470. Even Dan Wilson can hit lefties, and Edgar eats them alive. Our worst hitter in the line-up against southpaws is John Olerud, and you can spot Greg Colbrunn instead if you feel like scoring 13 runs instead of 11.
5. Just a note for those who endured the ESPN telecast tonight, Willie Bloomquist is not a good defensive shortstop. He’s fundamentally sound, which is what Morgan focused on, but his lack of range cancels that out. He’s the classic example of being good at everything he gets to, but not getting to enough balls to really make himself a good fielder.
6. Mike Cameron’s awesome. Andruw Jones, Carlos Beltran, Mike Cameron. Pick your poison, but Cameron’s right there with them. I still don’t think Cameron’s going to be back next year, and someone is going to get themselves a huge bargain in free agency. Its not everyday you can pick up a gold glove player at a premium defensive position who can put up a .300/.400/.550 line. Nobody realizes just how good this guy is.
I have a complaint. I wrote a lot (here and on BP) about Melvin’s bullpen use, and in return I’ve gotten a lot of comments. The negative ones either say “you should have picked another game, you’re not showing how dumb/smart he’s been” (which wasn’t really my point, only to show that Melvin, in one game, made a series of strange decisions that don’t work out as a whole no matter how you look at them) or something along the lines of “You’re an idiot, and if you were so smart you’d be a manager, but since you can’t you criticize blah blah blah.”
Here’s the thing. If someone who does not perform an act is not qualified to comment on that act, doesn’t that mean that in writing about baseball, I should ignore all criticism from anyone else who doesn’t write about baseball?
Seriously, can someone explain to me why it’s not okay for me to write an article about baffling bullpen use because I don’t manage bullpen use as a job, but it is okay for someone who doesn’t publish articles or write about baseball every day to slag me for writing an article they disagree with? Shouldn’t these people by their own logic, say “I have no opinion on Box Melvin’s in-game tactics, because as I am not a major league manager, I am not qualified to have such an opinion. Ah, I see someone at Baseball Prospectus has written a long and detailed article on Box Melvin’s in-game tactics. I have no opinion on this article, as I do not write about baseball or publish baseball writing anywhere, and so am not qualified to have any opinion on this article.”
The M’s are now admitting that Kaz Sasaki, he of the Highly Suspicious Injury, can’t move without pain and isn’t likely to be back anytime soon. For those of you who don’t remember the original injury report, Kazu was returning back home, carrying his bags up a flight of stairs, minding his own business, when he slipped and fell, injuring his ribs.
Dave’s Post of Positive Stuff
You know, I’d rather just pretend that John Mabry wasn’t hitting 5th, Mark McLemore didn’t start, and Arthur Rhodes didn’t continue his descent into the tired, overworked reliever. So, here’s my take on the good things that happened yesterday;
1. Gil Meche, apparently without his best stuff, matched Tim Hudson pitch for pitch over 7 innings of work. The ability to hold down an offense even when you don’t have your A-game is a mark of a great pitcher.
2. Rafael Soriano was inserted into a tie ballgame. Hooray for the Box!
3. Ben Davis started. Hooray, again.
4. A power surge hit my apartment complex in the 9th inning, zapping my internet connection for the rest of the night. So, rather than lay in bed and listen to the carnage, I got a solid nights sleep, unaware of the awfulness going on 3,000 miles away. Hooray lightning.