July 11, 2003 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

Jermaine Clark just went back to the Rangers. I’m not a great fan of Clark — in fact, I laughed when it was suggested that he’d have been an upgrade on Mike Young for the Rangers — but lemme see, he hits a little, can play a little defense. He’s like a not-as-good Jiminez, almost, another useful player the Mariners could really have used and let go through the waivers. I know Gillick’s concerned about the feelings of Willy Bloomquist, but let me say this: under no circumstances should the feelings of Willy Bloomquist prevent the team from trying to improve.

I’m on vacation next week, but before I go I wanted to let a bit of steam off: I write about the Mariners and baseball because I like to. I try to offer some original insight when I can, and at least be amusing even when I’m not the most orignal. I like to explore topics that get in my craw, and sometimes that means I find all kinds of weird stuff. As a result, though, I am fed heaping plates of crap by a certain segment of readers. I’ll give you an example:

– on Prospectus, I wrote a Playoff Preview of the Twins v A’s series, and picked the wrong side

– many people wrote me (after the Twins won) to tell me I was an idiot

– I then wrote a column where I talked about how I went about writing the piece, where I thought it was wrong in retrospect, and where I’d been going along the right vein but things didn’t go as I’d thought they would. I thought it was really good, and explained a lot about the folly of trying to make predictions in general and short series predictions in particular

– many more people then wrote me to tell me I was a cowardly idiot who wouldn’t stand behind my predictions

I have no respect for these people. This is a large reason why there’s little quality dialogue about anything in the country: I can’t say “Hey, I said this last week and I’ve been thinking about it some more, and I’ve decided that’s too simplisitic. Here’s the other things I thought of” without having people dance around and say na-na-na, you admit you were wrong, even if that’s not the point at all. In terms of dealing with feedback, I’m actually better off coming up with some wildly wrong theory and then defending it to the death rather than continuing to spend any time thinking or looking for interesting tangents that can prove me wrong. But the hard path is the path to enlightenment, and it’s the only one I’m interested in taking.

So if you’re going to read my stuff here, and you’re not down with an ongoing, informal search for knowledge, where I’m going to be wrong, semi-wrong, half-right, and sometimes totally and wonderously correct and accurate all at once, go buy Ann Coulter’s “Treason” and don’t read my stuff. I’m not your author.

But for the rest of you — you’re the ones I’m writing for, and I’d buy you all a beer if I could.

July 11, 2003 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

Derek and I went to the game last night, so you know a good time was had. In any event, I feel compelled to point out a very surprising move Box Melvin made last night — but one I agree with 100%. In fact, it was such a good move I’m giving it my full endorsement. One day after I bitched about Box hitting red-hot Ben Davis 9th, Davis was hitting 5th last night! Even better, he went 2-3 with a walk. Davis, in case you’re wondering, is now hitting a robust .302/.342/.503 and 44% of his hits this season have gone for extra bases.

At the same time, I must also complain about Mark McLemore hitting 2nd yet again. Ichiro has been getting on base like it’s going out of style this month (July OBP: .436), but this on base-i-ness is being wasted by the likes of McLemore and Randy Winn hitting behind him. Carlos Guillen, we never knew we’d miss you this much… get well soon! Seriously, I would have rather seen Ben Davis hitting 2nd than McLemore or Winn. John Mabry started at 1B last night, which an entirely different issue, but is no less troublesome.

I also think it’s time we start bracing ourselves for the reality that the M’s are not going to improve the team at the trading deadline. Gillick’s comments lately — not to mention his history — point towards the status quo, however silly it may be to cling to the likes of Willie Bloomquist, Randy Winn and the rotting corpse of Mark McLemore. This team still needs a slugging LF, a decent middle infielder on the bench and perhaps even a starting pitcher, but chances are they won’t add even one of those three pieces. Remember, the M’s are built on “pitching and defense,” have “budgetary contraints” and are already a “pretty good” team.