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

The past few days, all the trade rumors focused on a certain outfielder for the Pittsburgh Pirates. While the Pirates seem amenable to trading Brian Giles, having to absorb Jason Kendall’s contract as well looks like a disaster in the making. Giles is, after all, 32 years old, and has experienced a serious decline in power this year.

However, I still suggest we trade for a left-handed outfielder in Pittsburgh. Just a different, much less expensive one.

Giles: .302/.435/.500, 278 AB, 33 extra base hits

Stairs: .299/.378/.535, 174 AB, 24 extra base hits

Matt Stairs, a left-handed pull hitter, would have few problems adjusting to Safeco Field. His defense is attrocious and you don’t want him playing against lefties, but thats why we have Randy Winn. He’s due just $300,000 the rest of the year, so forget budget constraints. At age 35, with free agency looming, the Pirates won’t ask for a lot in return.

Is Matt Stairs the answer? Probably not. He is, however, a definitely available, reasonably inexpensive left-handed bat who would be a great addition to the club.

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

You know, if I was an Oakland A’s fan, I’d be really worried right now. Their offense is putrid. It’s going to take some huge changes to get that team jump started. The Big Three are great and all, but you can’t win if you don’t score runs. And that A’s lineup isn’t going to score runs in the playoffs. At this point, I wouldn’t even bet on them getting there.

Like Jason, I’m optimistic the M’s will do something this year. I’m just guessing its going to be along the lines of acquiring a bench player, a Jeff Conine type, more than any real impact. However, considering just how godawful our bench is, I’ll take what I can get.

Oh, and for all the Greg Jacobs fans out there wondering why he’s still in single-A, he’s not anymore. He got the bump to San Antonio, which means that one of the Missions outfielders is likely on their way to Tacoma (or Seattle).

July 24, 2003 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

Call me crazy [in unison: “You’re crazy!”], but for some reason I have a decent feeling that the M’s might actually make a move this year. Perhaps it’s just some sort of residual optimism left over from the Brian Giles rumor this week. Now, sure, that rumor has been pretty much shot down, but at the same time, it had to come from somewhere or something, right? Perhaps Gillick isn’t as quiet on the trade front as we might have thought.

All that said, if the move is trading for BJ Surhoff or a player of his ilk, I’m not interested.

July 24, 2003 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

[SOLD! In seconds! Man, do we have great readers] I need to get rid of two tickets, blah blah blah, details deleted. I’m flying out of town to attend funeral services in Alaska for my Grandpa (a long-time M’s fan), so I can’t attend (though I can meet for the transaction). Also, it means this weekend I’m not going to be answering email at all. As opposed to occasionally managing to answer some email. And for obvious reasons, job email’s top-of-the-queue when I get back.

July 23, 2003 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

Totally OT for our Puget Sound readers: anyone hiring a crackerjack IT analyst/PM should drop me a line. I could use the work.

July 23, 2003 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

The issue with Cirillo is that he’s viewed as such a huge disappointment that it’s hard to see past the money and gap between being the pay and value. People look at Cirillo and see a huge $ that can’t swing a bat, and when they look at Willie they see a young, smiling local boy. Here’s the actual situation, though: the team’s paying both of them either way. If Cirillo was an upgrade on Bloomquist and made $20m/year, while Bloomquist made $1/year, the team is still better playing the massively disappointing Cirillo over Bloomquist if doing so makes the team on the field better. The team, and fans, need to regard players as two separate and distinct things:

– their ability to contribute on the field

– their off-field cost and value relative to cost (which is trade value)

July 23, 2003 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

Apparently I spoke too soon. The most unbelievable boxscore line of the season did happen last night, but it wasn’t courtesy of John Mabry — instead, it comes to us from Omaha, where Tacoma’s Jamal Strong hit two homers yesterday. Entering the game, Strong had two homers in his entire minor league career (a span of 355 games).

July 22, 2003 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

Tonight’s game produced the most unbelievable boxscore line of the season to date:

              AB  R  H RBI BB

J Mabry, DH 1 0 0 0 4

Who walks John Mabry four times?!

July 22, 2003 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

Three cheers for Julio Mateo and Rafael Soriano. Is there a more underrated reliever in baseball than Mateo right now? His only flaw is his tendency to give up the long ball, and even that has been curtailed lately. Look at his monthly splits:

April: 12 2/3 IP, 10 H, 2 HR, 4 BB, 11 K, 2.13 ERA

May: 13 1/3 IP, 15 H, 5 HR, 4 BB, 10 K, 6.75 ERA

June: 6 IP, 6 H, 0 HR, 1 BB, 6 K, 1.50 ERA

July: 15 2/3 IP, 11 H, 1 HR, 0 BB, 15 K, 1.15 ERA

He was tateriffic in May, but he’s been lights out the rest of the year, and he’s been unreal the past two months. Righties are managing just a .179/.273/.231 line against him. Remarkably, he’s pitched this well despite not being spotted solely against right-handers. I have few issues saying Mateo is a better reliever than Jeff Nelson right now.

July 22, 2003 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

I have a feeling a lot of people are going to be up in arms about the Pirates trading 3B Aramis Ramirez to the Cubs today. After all, he’s 25, has some power, and is having a reasonable season with a .283/.333/.453 line. However, Aramis Ramirez just isn’t that good, and I won’t lose any sleep over not acquiring him.

He’s on the hook for $6 million next year, which is no small chunk of change. This is the same guy who hit .234/.279/.387 last year, has awful plate discipline, and boasts a career .313 on base percentage. He’s also right-handed, and does most of his damage versus lefties, making him a poor fit for the M’s needs. The real kicker, though? He’s a butcher in the field. I’d project him to hit something in the range of .250/.305/.430 as a Mariner, making him worth about 15 more runs than Cirillo offensively over the course of the entire season. There’s almost no doubt in my mind, however, that Cirillo’s glove is more than 15 runs better than Ramirez’s, and I’m not sure Cirillo isn’t a better fit for this team than Ramirez is.

Of course, that comparison would require Melvin to actually play Cirillo, who is stil the best third baseman on the roster. Consider, since Willie Bloomquist took over:

The Mariners are 3-5 against bad opponents.

They have allowed 45 runs (and counting) in 9 games

They have allowed double digit hits in 5 of the 6 games on the current road trip.

The carcas of Mark McLemore being allowed to play shortstop has something to do with the truly godawful defense we’ve gotten from the left side of the infield the past week, but Bloomquist isn’t helping with his glove at third base, either. Oh, and he’s 3 for 21 since the Tampa Series ended. Guess this small sample doesn’t count, though, right, because we all want Wee Willie to succeed.

Put Cirillo back in and be done with it.

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