Dave, I think you’re overstating the case quite a bit with respect to Rey Sanchez.
First off, the Brian Hunter comparison isn’t appropriate. Hunter was brought in to be the starting LF and lead-off man; Sanchez is a bench player only. Hunter was a poor hitter at a traditionally high-offense position; Sanchez is a poor hitter at a tradionally low-offense position, and one heck of a fielder as well.
Second, the M’s didn’t give up anything of note. Kenny Kelly may be one heck of an athlete and look great in a uniform, but he’s now had three years to show us he can’t handle AAA pitching. His plate discipline shows no signs of coming around and defensively he’s shaky even in RF. Also, if I’m not mistaken, he has to stick on a major league roster next season. No thanks.
Finally, to call Sanchez a worse hitter than Luis Ugueto borders on insane. Sanchez is no great shakes at the plate, but Ugueto can’t even hit AA pitching at this point in his career. Sanchez is light-years ahead of Ugueto offensively, even if his batting average is of the empty variety.
We’ve been complaining all year that Mark McLemore isn’t an adequate middle infield backup — we should be thrilled that Gillick picked up a guy with this good a glove, and at virtually zero cost.
This is eerie.
The day after the Mariners traded for Brian Hunter in 1999, I was doing a job shadow with Les Carpenter of the Seattle Times. We went to the Kingdome and watched the game in the press box. I proceeded to tell everyone within earshot how awful Brian Hunter was, and how he was going to ruin the Mariners offense. I even managed to offend Mr. Hunter himself before the game in my first attempt at an interview. Just a quick hint for everyone: Players who suck at getting on base do not respond well to the question, “So, Brian, how do you plan on stealing first?”
The Mariners won that game 22-6, and I looked like the biggest idiot on the planet.
4 years later, the Detroit Tigers are in Seattle, the Mariners have traded for a godawful hitter, I’ve made my opinion known, and the beating is on.
Cue the spooky music.
And so it begins…
In case you didn’t follow the link, do so.
Now, breathe, put down whatever breakable object you have in your hand, and repeat to yourself “it’s not worth it” ten times.
Suffice to say, the Mariners acquired the only player in baseball who is actually a worse hitter than Luis Ugueto. Congratulations Pat, you continue to astound even your harshest critic. In a morbid sort of way, I’m looking forward to hearing Gillick explain how Sanchez and his .207/.240/.236 line is going to help this team. I’m guessing the words veteran, leadership, and stability are going to factor in heavily. They should, because besides the fact that he’s 35, there isn’t any real reason for him to still have a major league job.
Unbelievably, Pat Gillick just made the worst bench in baseball history, well, worse.
I’m dedicating the blog this week to my niece, Kristen Reese Croffut (7/10/03 – 7/29/03). Rest in peace, little lady.
Trade rumors. Aren’t they grand? 99 % of them never come true, and 80 % of them have no substance in reality. But we love them anyways. So, here’s what I’m hearing.
1. Freddy Garcia’s trade value just isn’t very high. Most teams (correctly) assume he’ll be available in the offseason to whoever wants to go to arbitration with him. Due to the maximum 20 % pay cut rule, the least any team could offer him would be $5.5 million. Not surprisingly, there isn’t a huge market for teams lining up to pay him that much money.
2. Jim Bowden’s firing opens up the M’s options a bit. Gabe White and Kent Mercker are real possibilities as the second lefty in the pen.
3. The M’s can have Jeff Conine or Tony Batista without giving up nearly anything in return talent wise. They just have to decide if they want to pay them nearly $3 million combined for the next two months to be mediocre players.
4. J.D. Drew might be a Florida Marlin before I’m done typing this.
5. The M’s are out of the Brian Giles sweepstakes. The Padres will take most of Jason Kendall’s contract and give Pittsburgh Oliver Perez and Xavier Nady in return. For that price, I’m glad we’re not getting Giles.
“Pat Gillick has been making deadline-deal trades for more than 25 years.” starts the intro to an Alan Schwarz interview with Pat Gillick. Hee hee. Gillick says the standard economic lines.
I don’t think Bowden was responsible for the low-balling and cheap organization. I see all of those things as a symptom of Linder’s amazingly tight-fisted ways. We’d have to go interview Bowden and his cohorts at length to see if that’s the case — I admit that I can’t for sure pin the blame on either of these guys with what I know now. But Linder’s conduct in things like stadium negotiations and other comments leads me to believe that he’s the villian, not Bowden. Having given this more thought, though (and particularly after having read a couple articles on how much other GMs and his own people dislike him) I have to bump him down the list a ways.
Last night really ticked me off. Not because they lost, particularly, but because in the 8th I saw this:
Bloomquist moves from 3rd to 2nd, Boone sits
Ugueto enters at shortstop
Mabry enters at RF
PAT FREAKING BORDERS enters at 3b
If Box is going to treat the game as a joke, why should the fans take it seriously? Not that he should throw all his players into a blowout, but holy crap, give me a break, that’s ridiculous.
Is anyone else getting the feeling that all is not well over in Mariner-ville? A couple of recent stories and quotes make it sound as if some of the players are getting a bit snippy as the trade deadline approaches and their AL West lead slips away.
First, here’s Edgar asking the team to make a trade. I seem to recall him doing this last year as well, but to no avail.
Next, and perhaps most telling, is Arthur Rhodes accusing a few teammates of not being “gamers.” When Rhodes speaks, I listen.
Finally, you’ve got Mike Cameron seemingly blaming 3B coach Dave Myers for his getting caught off second base on Sunday, when Myers held John Mabry at third instead of waving him home. “I looked at the ball and I was sure he was going to score,” Cameron said. “That’s not Mabes’ fault at all.”
It’s time to do something. The team is 5-7 since the break and looks slow and uninterested. From what we’ve seen so far, it’s pretty clear they’re not going to get turned around by a Bob Melvin emotional tirade, meaning it’s up to Gillick to right the ship.