For those of our readers who weren’t able to see the game today, here’s a quick visual reference for today’s game:
Also, you’ll note my experiments with adding comments didn’t get us comments yet. We’re not sure if it’s a feature we want to add, for a couple of reasons, but I still plan on giving it a whirl if I get over the technical/etc barriers. Or maybe setting up a forum (“I was a minor league baseball player for a small mid-western team…”). In any event, we’re all about reader service here at the U.S.S. Mariner, as long as reader service includes writing about the Mariners a lot.
Depending on where you look, Meche or Franklin gets the start tonight (Meche in the vast majority of spots). Against the Orioles, will the obviously tired and worn pitcher look good, or is there a point where leaving pitches up means even the Orioles hit you? And I can’t find the possibly-magical phrase I posted a couple of times that (may have) resulted in Meche having a couple of nice starts. So– I hope that Meche comes out and looks like April Meche, keeps the ball out of the stands, and racks up some good Ks. I hope that Meche is not, as it appears, worn down and in need of rest or worse.
Some people have asked why I hashed on McLemore, since he’s hitting well in August (superficially) to the tune of .312/.330/.323. Out of the guys on the bench — Mabry, McLemore, etc — Mark had the name that Jason and I started playing with while we were at the game, and fit well perfectly into a well-known poem. Like this town’s support for post-good Wilson, I don’t understand why McLemore has a contingent of people who are such big fans. Since coming to Seattle:
His career line is .259/.349/.342. When he’s hitting, McLemore provides quality on-base work and no power, and for the last couple of years, the only position he can play with the glove is LF, and left-fielders as a group hit .283/.340/.457. I’d agree that 40 points of OBP are worth punting 50 points of SLG.
That’s not my point, though — in the last couple of years, McLemore at his best has been an average-hitting average-fielding left-fielder with declining speed, and who can in an emergency play some ugly infield defense. This year, he’s been plain bad. In fact…
If you’ve been hanging out for a while, you know how much it pains me to say this, but… Bloomquist, being young and able to play infield defense at a couple of positions, is the pick of the litter if you’re shopping for bench players.
It’s interesting then that people *hate* Cirillo. They want him released to prove some point, they’re convinced he’s a clubhouse cancer, while the difference of $3m makes McLemore immune to criticism and another $3m makes Bloomquist the apple of our eye. And please, no more emails about how good Bloomquist’s was hitting while the regular 3b — I’m not buying that there’s some difference between playing 3b at .330/.402/.426 and playing SS .176/.263/.235 or LF .179/.233/.214. Moving right along, though —
We have also heard from a reasonably reliable source sympathetic to the pitcher that Garcia does not party any more than other players, and never before game days. I haven’t figured out if that should scare me w/r/t other players, or if much of this was a feedback loop: once Freddy got nailed with his party reputation, people noticed him at the clubs and talked about it, and that led to more people looking out for him, and since Freddy had the reputation, the story would become ‘oh, Freddy and X were out… Freddy’s always out, blah blah blah’.
At the same time, the volume, and some of where it was coming from… I think perhaps this report’s a little sympathetic to Garcia, and the entire truth of party spectrum/night-life is never going to be known to some dude like me.
And none of that resolves the work ethic issues and Price’s agonized comments over trying to work with him over that year of sustained awfulness. I don’t know what happens to him this off-season: Freddy’s contract is huge for what he’s done, and the M’s have many choices approaching ready (though if Meche’s arm falls off before the end of the season, they’ll also have an additional need). If the team doesn’t offer him arb, though, they don’t get the draft pick(s) when he signs elsewhere… but then Freddy’s going to have a choice between accepting arbitration, which at worst would cut his salary a little (there are limits to how much arbitration can reduce salary) and keep him in the organization for only another year, or jumping ship and seeking his fortune elsewhere.