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

The Veteran

by Derek Zumsteg, with help from Jason, and with obvious apologies to Poe

Once upon a game day bright and sunny, while the Mariners took fan money,

As I puzzled working over statistics like a drunk sophomore,

While my thoughts grew thick, there came a sound quick,

Like scratching of a great bird, on my office door.

‘Tis the cat,’ I sighed, ‘scratching at my office door –

Only the cat, and nothing more.’

So clearly I remember it was in sunny July,

And my home office sunlight fried.

The M’s were losing, and I was choosing

Something else that could my mind occupy –

Some missed statistic that I could classify

And I resigned myself to failure with a sigh.

And the creep of premonition, the cold spine of dark suspicion

Ran through me, wondering of reader’s revenge sworn;

I picked up my softball bat and readied myself saying

‘Tis the cat wanting in, outside my office door –

Madeline the cat wanting in, outside my office door –

Only Mad Cat, and nothing more.’

I opened the door, and no cat looked up, mewing

And back into the office I turned, setting down the bat once more.

But then again I heard a scratching, further inside than before.

I grabbed my bat and threw open the closet door

And I fell back in shock to see a uniformed veteran of years before

Standing there, behind the office closet door

He stood, and smiled, and I swore.

Then this white zombie took a seat and put up his feet,

And though I tried, it’s not something you can ignore

‘Though I don’t know you, I’m sure you’re a wise player.

Who is the man who goes oh-for-four,

Not part of our young core?’

Quote the veteran, ‘McLemore.’

‘Who’s the man who cannot score,

Not even with a saucy whore?

Who makes the fans awfully sore

As bad as shitty players of lore,

Reminder of the M’s of yore?’

Quote the veteran, ‘McLemore.’

‘Runs as if his tendon’s tore,

Offers defensive adventures galore,

His jerseys go unsold in our team store,

Ground balls go by him by the score,

He plays like an arthritic boar?’

Quote the veteran, ‘McLemore.’

‘Who’s the man who can’t hit anymore,

His deterioration past restore,

The team’s bad bench he underscores,

His play forces thoughts of blood, and gore

Every day harder to ignore?’

Quote the veteran, ‘McLemore.’

What yields the bat of McLemore?

Only outs, and nothing more.

To the Mariners we implore

Hear a city’s tortured roar —

‘Trade him now to Baltimore.

Or send him to a foreign shore,

So we must watch him nevermore.’

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


Out of first place for the first time in just over four months.

What is there to be done? It’s been a total collapse this month. The pitching staff has a 4.71 ERA for August, though to me that really doesn’t explain how bad things have been — the five starters have a collective ERA of 5.79, if I’m reading this correctly, which I think I am. Oh, and don’t forget 34 homers allowed in 25 games, either.

Offensively things have been better, but not much. They’re scoring 4.72 runs per game on .279/.339/.388 hitting, the former which sounds pretty good but the latter which looks pretty bad. They haven’t been walking as much this month, either, with their walk total falling below 10% of their at-bats (yes, that includes Tuesday night’s walk-o-rama against Tampa Bay). Power hitting has dropped off as well — roughly 26% of their hits have gone for extra bases this month, compared to nearly 32% for the first four months of the season.

I dunno. It’s pretty ridiculous at this point to suggest drastic moves like releasing McLemore and Mabry, because we all know those things aren’t going to happen. On the pitching side of things, they appear to be pretty much stuck with what they have. The good news there is that there should be no way all five starters can pitch this poorly for another month, though at the same time I think you could probably make a pretty compelling argument why any one of them easily could.

In any event, I’m not optimistic.

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

On the fleeting nature of random stats: while I reported here earlier that Baseball Prospectus’ Postseason Odds Report had the M’s winning a playoff berth what, 80% of the time, they’re now down to a 41% chance at the division title and a 20% chance at the wild card, which means there’s a 40% chance I’ll have paid the M’s a huge ‘handling’ fee for my playoff strip that would have been better spent playing poker, say.

Oakland: 59% division title, 14% wild card berth

Boston: 17% division title, 52% wild card berth

To toss out some more cliches, though — there’s no point in this exercise. The Mariners and Oakland play six games between now and the end of the season, and when these two teams get together you can throw out the projections. The Mariners control their own destiny. And so on and such and such.

Matt Stairs Watch: Matt Stairs is not a Mariner

Tony Clark Watch: ah, what’s the point?

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

Just as a service note, I’m screwing around with possibly adding comments today. I’d add RSS, but it looks like it would require an additional investment of $ by me, and frankly, the in/out money ratio on this blog is currently running… well, I’m getting a “div 0” error. So if you see a comments link, feel free to give them a whirl. And if you don’t, well… you get what you pay for. The cliches are free.

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

Somebody just posted on our comments section — hey! we’ve got comments! [ed. note: had] — about perhaps putting Soriano in the rotation to shake things up. I like it. I had been reluctant about this before, when things were going well and he was tearing it up in relief, but now it seems like a good idea. I don’t know how long you can keep running out the same five starters when none of them have been effective for basically the last month. I wouldn’t be averse to trying Mateo, either.

Now the question becomes: Who do you yank from the rotation? My nominations would be Meche and/or Franklin.