July 30, 2003 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

The A’s just picked up Jose Guillen for Aaron Harang, Joe Valentine, and a PTBNL. Your move, Pat.

July 30, 2003 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

Mariners attendance is off this year by 10%. While this will be used as at some point as an excuse by the team for why they can’t afford to take on payroll, I would like to offer some pre-emptive responses to this.

  1. The team did not take on payroll when attendence was higher anyway
  2. The drop is due in part to the team’s failure to make a deal last year
  3. The drop is due in part to the team’s public comments about not being interested in winning a World Series
  4. The drop is also due in part to the disappointment of seeing the team come up just short at the end of the year after seeing the team fail to make a move and putting up with those comments

Therefore, I propose that that team needs to make the big deal not only because the team needs it, but because they’re going to continue to see their fan base stay home if they feel the team doesn’t care about winning pennants and titles.

July 30, 2003 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

The logic here just doesn’t fit. Because Mark McLemore sucks and Rey Sanchez sucks, we’re just throwing them into the same offensive pool of crap and not recognizing that they are on entirely different levels of suckness.

If the Mariners trade for J.D. Drew and install him in left field, everyone will rejoice about how we’ve upgraded the offense. The difference between Drew and Winn over the rest of the season should be approximately 10 outs.

The difference between McLemore and Sanchez the rest of the year? Approximately 9 outs.

You can argue that Sanchez’s combination of offense/defense at shortstop is more valuable than McLemore’s, and I won’t disagree with you. I’ve said repeatedly that McLemore should never be allowed to play the infield again. I just don’t understand why we categorize all lousy ballplayers into one big group and not recognize that Rey Sanchez is going to hurt this offense every bit as much as J.D. Drew would help it. For a team already having problems scoring runs, that is an issue.

July 30, 2003 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

I like the Sanchez pickup. Dude can pick it with the glove, and I think if you’re going to punt offense anyway at short, you might as well not punt defense as well. Sanchez has been a stellar defender in the past, and while age certainly erodes speed and defense the most, I see him as a big defensive upgrade over McLemore, who he’ll replace in Guillen-injury duty.

w/r/t Ugueto v Sanchez at the plate: Ugueto in his minor league career, spent almost entirely in the Gulf Coast League and Florida Something League, hit .246/.280/.306 in 3,066 ABs. Translated to what he might have hit in the majors, that’s, uh, .000/.000/.000. There’s really no evidence at all that he’s capable of hitting a baseball consistently. Now Sanchez sucks, don’t get me wrong, but his career MLB line through 2002 was .273/.309/.334, which is much better than what Ugueto was putting up against low-level competition in the minors.

Here’s another way to look at this, though — the bench consists of tools. The Mariners didn’t have anyone on the bench who was a good defensive replacement at shortstop (or really, at second, either). Sanchez can’t hit, but if nothing else, with Guillen out they can put McLemore-Bloomquist at short with the fly-ball starters and then sub Sanchez in later if you’ve got a ground-ball reliever coming in (though with Box Melvin’s constant reliever swapping, this is less effective than it could be). Or, if you’re Earl Weaver, you start Sanchez for the defense and if you need the slightly-stronger bats in, you can pinch-hit them and punt defense later.

By comparison, Ugueto’s been the team’s backup pinch-runner, and hasn’t offered the team anything they don’t get out of Bloomquist.

July 30, 2003 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

Luis Ugueto, 2002: .217/.280/.348

Rey Sanchez, 2003: .207/.240/.236

Calling Sanchez a worse hitter than Ugueto is “insane”?

Honestly, trying to find a worse hitter than Sanchez is nearly impossible. If you only played Jeff Cirillo at home against right-handers and made him bunt on every play, he’d still manage to be a better hitter than Sanchez.

Did we need a backup shortstop? Yes. I’ve been saying that since last winter. Am I glad that Mark McLemore won’t be playing shortstop anymore? Absolutely. And I obviously agree that Kenny Kelly is worthless, and we gave up nothing of value. But I see no reason to believe that Sanchez is better at anything than Luis Ugueto, except be old and veteran-like.

July 29, 2003 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

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.

July 29, 2003 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

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.

July 29, 2003 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

And so it begins…

Rey Sanchez.

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.

July 29, 2003 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

I’m dedicating the blog this week to my niece, Kristen Reese Croffut (7/10/03 – 7/29/03). Rest in peace, little lady.

July 29, 2003 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

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.

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