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

“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.

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

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


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.

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

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.

July 28, 2003 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

Tell me you’re joking, Derek. You know how you know Jim Bowden is lying? Either his lips are moving, or he calls a press conference, whichever comes first.

There’s something to be said for Bowden’s willingness to watch the waiver wire for freely available talent. Unfortunately, that is such a small part of being a general manager that it didn’t come close to outweighing his negatives.

As much as I don’t like Pat Gillick’s talent evaluation methods, there’s no question that he’s one of the best managers of people in the game. There’s a reason the position is named General Manager and not Talent Acquisition Guru. The organization that Jim Bowden built was one of the cheapest, least-respected, and worst run in baseball. They low-balled draft picks to the point where college players were threatening to play in Japan as leverage.

I had a lot more points to make about why Jim Bowden is the last guy I want running the Mariners (okay, second to last, but thankfully Dan Duquette is busy with theatre now), but the library is closing. Thanks to everyone who sent in computing suggestions, even if you all disagreed with each other.

July 28, 2003 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

Couple items — feedback’s coming in on the new Safeco Field batter’s eye. Said Box Melvin: “The front office really went the extra yard to try and make the hitters feel better.”

I hate to be a killjoy — no, wait, that’s not true at all — but the front office didn’t go an extra yard, they ran in circles for years until they bonked their head on a wall. They tried all kinds of random solutions, never stopping to think them all through, or test different solutions on (say) similar situations they could have constructed in mock sets or something. This is a billion-dollar team, and they spent their time since opening Safeco painting and re-painting the walls, planting trees and cutting them down, and generally twiddling their thumbs. They don’t deserve any praise for finally finding what might be an acceptable solution, they deserve heaping portions of scorn for their inability to come up with a better solution before this.

Also, the Reds fired Jim Bowden and Bob Boone. Bowden’s taking the fall for a lot of Carl Linder’s mistakes, like the giant Barry Larkin signing (and subsequent press conference where they also announced that they’d be raising ticket prices). Bowden’s not a perfect GM by any means, but stuck with the Reds he did a lot of sign-and-flips where he’d gamble on rehab projects, made the most of freely available talent, working the waiver wires and minor league free agents. As of today, he’s my favorite not-me-or-my-friends candidate to replace Gillick.

July 27, 2003 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  


I’ve officially given up on Freddy. If the M’s can move him for someone like J.D. Drew (a popular name these days) or Trot Nixon (a relatively recent Gammons rumor) they should do so as quickly as possible. Normally I’d be against trading a starting pitcher for offense, but in this case: 1. The team really needs that offense; and 2. Right now it’s the equivalent of trading the 5th starter. Personally, I think Soriano — or perhaps Rett Johnson, if you’re into that sort of thing — can hack it in the starting rotation the rest of the year, and at this point it’s hard to imagine either one pitching worse than Garcia has this month.

If the M’s were really ballsy they’d look into the possibility of trading Ryan Franklin while his value is high, but I doubt that’s even a consideration. But as long as we’re just talking, how’s this for wild — Garcia, Franklin and a prospect or two for Manny Ramirez? Stick him in left for the remainder of the year, then let him DH the rest of the way. I know Ramirez is right-handed, but he’s such a good hitter that Safeco shouldn’t be a huge issue.

July 27, 2003 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

A couple quick Sunday points:

1. Jason has updated his Big Board (over on the left). It is still your one stop shopping for all transactions, promotions, injuries, and depth charts for every team in the Mariners organization, from rookie ball all the way to the big leagues. Three cheers for Jason.

2. The Future Forty update will be postponed. See below for details.

3. Felix Hernandez is taking the hill in Everett tonight. Go to the game.

4. Mariners 15th round pick Scott Maine and his adviser will be flying to Seattle on Monday to meet with Mariners officials. The Mariners knew that Maine wanted 2nd round money (around $500,000) when they drafted him, and they knew it when they asked them to come to Seattle. We should know by Tuesday whether the M’s will be snagging a late round steal or whether Maine will be attending college this fall.

5. For all those who email us, hooray for you, and don’t stop. However, please be understanding that we may not reply very quickly for the next week or so. My laptop decided to shut down last night, and hasn’t restarted since, so our ability to respond is going to be hampered. For those of you “who know more about computers than we do about baseball”, feel free to email me as I’m likely in the market for a new computer. Suggestions/warnings/advice welcome.

July 26, 2003 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

The Good: Joel Pineiro, complete game shutout with 7 strikeouts.

The Bad: Joel Pineiro, already averaging 109 pitches per start, throwing 126 today. He’s now 3rd in the AL in pitches thrown, behind only Barry Zito and Roy Halladay.

The Ugly: John Mabry, Designated Hitter.

July 25, 2003 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

Raise your hand if you think Jeff Cirillo is really hurt. Oh, put your hand down. This injury is as legit as (insert patented Jim Caple analogy here).

We may have just witnessed Rob Ellis’ last major league start.

Dan Wilson is making his 4th consecutive start, and he’s now gotten the nod in 6 of the last 7 games. Just so we’re clear:

Wilson: .251/.286/.333

Davis: .294/.339/.481

Oh, but Dan “calls a great game”. The team ERA with Wilson behind the plate is 3.60. With Davis behind the plate, its 3.86. That’s statistically insignificant. Last year, the team ERA was lower with Ben Davis behind the plate. He also throws out runners at a much better rate than Willy, if you care about such things. Every night that Box O’ Rocks pencils Dan Wilson into the line-up is a night that the Mariners handicap themselves. The single biggest improvement this team can make is turning Dan Wilson into a backup catcher who plays sparingly.

July 25, 2003 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

That thing you think you’ve been seeing, where Meche seems to cruise along until all of a sudden the wheels fly off — that’s not just you, it’s real.

Opposing batters facing Meche, by inning:

1-3, .231/.300/.375 (210 batters, 24 runs scored)

3-6, .250/.288/.427 (190 batters, 19 runs scored)

7-9, .416/.460/.543 (46 batters, 9 runs scored)

Or, by pitch, using the STATS Inc numbers on ESPN:

46-60, .189/.231/.378

61-75, .284/.321/.405

76-90, .324/.351/.592

91-105, .295/.354/.432 (much smaller sample here)

A batter in the late innings is almost twice as likely to score against Meche than one in the early/mid innings.

Pocket Lint has another column in the Times about trading-not trading, and it includes this gem: “Discussions with several sources confirm what generally is assumed to be Seattle’s basic trading stance: It is highly unlikely the club will add to its payroll, already more than $92 million, nor part with any of the top four or five prospects, pitchers Clint Nageotte, Travis Blackley, Rett Johnson and shortstop Jose Lopez. ”

ESPN has the Mariners payroll at $87m. No one, not even the Times when they wrote that article we made fun of here earlier this year, can manage to get their payroll up to $92m for 2003. It’s one of those lie numbers people come up with and say over and over hoping it catches on, and that a newspaper would eagerly repeat such a stupid, airy lie is lazy journalism and a disservice to its readers.

Go ahead and discuss, I’ll be back in a couple of days.

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