Boston’s magic number down to 2, four games to play, fighting for your proverbial lives, with the remnants of John Lackey on the mound; who is up for a 5 hit shutout? Sounds like a grand old time.
In happier news, Brian Sweeney may just be pitching himself onto the 2004 roster. Heck, Willie Bloomquist is crap, everyone knew it, and he parlayed 33 good at-bats in September last year into the opportunity to be a yearlong sinkhole this year. Interestingly enough, I haven’t heard from those in the “Willie just needs consistent playing time” crowd recently. But I digress.
I have a question that’s been dogging me for a while: I do a lot of carping about the M’s ownership, as they loot the team for $many millions and claim they’re not really doing that well, but who would we rather have?
Steinbrenner wants only to win the World Series, but he comes with all kinds of issues
John Henry’s a smart owner with money and wants to invest in the product. Okay, one.
Toronto’s got ownership willing to spend some money, take a risk with a new breed front office guy… maybe
Baltimore’s got Angelos, who has gone from being a smart owner behind a good team to a meddling warlord
Tampa Bay’s got nothing.
Carl Pohlad’s Monty Burns. That his baseball team wins 70 games is a miracle
Kansas City’s Glass seems bright, he’s learning where to spend their money… maybe
White Sox have Reisdorf. I think he’s a particularly slimy owner, but he’s spent when the opportunity was there… but no.
The Indians are rebuilding, and I’m not sure if they’ll invest in long-term deals for their talent when the ttime comes.
Detroit’s got a terrible owner.
Oakland’s owner is like the M’s ownership, except with a lower payroll and a much worse stadium and penny-foolish ways. No.
Anaheim’s owner is too new to say anything about.
Tom Hicks spends foolishly sometimes in Texas, but I wonder how much of that is his undisciplined GMs trying to buy themselves out of holes they dig themselves. Still, he’s smart enough to realize Alex Rodriguez is a good deal. Yes.
AOL Time Warner sucks, and I think they’ll be a Fox ownership group and look to get out soon.
Jeff Loria’s scum, and I don’t care if the Marlins win a wild card.
Philadelphia, don’t know anything about that group
Cubs, no way. The M’s are into possibly-legal ticket-scalping-related operations, but the Cubs are much, much worse.
Houston, sure, they’ve spent when they’ve needed to, they’ve done well for themselves and invested in development
St. Louis, sure, same deal except investing in a few draft picks over any kind of quantity (mmm.. Ankiel/Drew…)
Pittsburgh, I don’t know
Cincinnati, not a chance, Carl Linder’s a guy Reisdorf calls when he wants to feel better about himself after a hard day being scummy
San Francisco: privately built stadium? oh yeah. Plus, spends on the on-field product, sees the value in Bonds.
Fox poured money into the Dodgers with no plan. Now, their programming rights secured, they’re bailing.
Arizona: Colangelo’s a big liar head and that whole ownership group’s riddled with boll wevils
Colorado: I don’t know, they can’t seem to figure out what they’re doing or who’s going to get them there.
San Diego: No way, Moore’s conduct with the strike threatening was abhorrent.
So, to answer the quesetion — who would I trade the M’s ownership for?
1, 2, 3 in the AL, one definate (SF) and two less-enthusiastic sures in the NL, and a couple of maybes out there.
That’s not that bad, to have only four ownership groups preferable to your own, and yours on par with the next tier of guys.
We forget something that makes the moral absolutist in me scream: while the Mariners have an insanely lucrative lease we gave them for no reason, and they’re absconding with tens of millions of dollars with money while probably already trying to figure out how they can claim a loss this season, the Mariners ownership invests the money they think will keep the team competitive. There’s something to be said for that.
The bad part about it is that if you believe that, as the M’s have said, they’re in the business of being competitive every season and not trying for the World Series, what would they do if they hired someone smart and saavy like (current Derek favorite example GM) Kim Ng, and she went out and assembled an ass-kicking super team (or a 1997 Marlins-style playoff-winning machine) on $80m?
Would they be happy the team played so well, and continue to invest? Or would they say “if we can win 95 games and go to the World Series on $80m, we should be able to get back to the comfortable 85-90 win level and only spend 65-70m, leaving us an extra $10-$15m.”
That’s a question two, three down the years, though, and requires the M’s first to hire a top-rate GM. If Gillick doesn’t come back, stick around for argument and speculation on possible hires right here.
Also, even though Jay The Insight Machine (“He’s one of the good ones”)(“This kid is going to be good for a long time”) said tonight that the first order of business should be re-signing Hasegawa, let me say that any GM coming into this job first thing, before they even clear out Gillick’s executive toys, should drive over to Edgar’s and say:
“Edgar, will you please come back next year? I drove this dumptruck of money over here, just to show I’m willing to pay, even though I know money’s not really an issue. But you’ve got more career marks to set, and we need you, and I’m going to get some bats off the bench so we can rest you more often, please please please please please?”
And then not leave until he agrees to come back next year. If the team had a modest DH guy in the system, a Durazo, a Conine, whatever, Edgar would be worth two, three games on the season over that guy. And they don’t. If they could get a Fullmer on the cheap, which they won’t, Edgar’s games up on that guy, though Fullmer-type might come cheap. Rafael Palmeiro’s going to be not much less expensive and much less good.
It’s late, I need to sleep. Long season.
So Pat Borders catches Garcia for the 4th time in a row, Garcia has his 4th good-looking outing. There’s gotta be something to this. Was I the only other person who noticed that Wilson came in and Garcia gave up two hits, didn’t get another K, and then gave one up in the ninth? Split Garcia’s pitching line tonight:
Borders: 7IP, 1H, 1BB, 5K
Wilson: 1IP, 3H, 0K, and against the bottom of the lineup, too
Also, for all the carping on Shawn Wooten’s defensive abilities and game-calling, that more do you want out of Shields? Holy mackeral, that was another great start for the guy.
When Rhodes was brought in, I turned to my wife and said “watch this, he’s going to come in, give up a hit, and then get pulled.” And lo, I looked smart briefly. What kind of pressure is that to put on Soriano, anyway: “hey kid, welcome to the game, you’ll note that we have to win to have any kind of chance of making the playoffs, no outs, guys on first and second and you’ll be facing Tim Salmon. Have fun, bye!”
And Soriano, as he’s done in nearly every outing, didn’t react at all, just pitched the lights out.
Speaking of lights… There’s a Sleater-Kinney (of Olympia!) song for tonight: “Funeral Song” (There’s nothing left to say/Turn out the light)
Congratulations to Bobby Madritsch and Justin Leone, both members of the Future Forty, who were named today as members of the Olympic Qualifying team and will represent our fair country. The entire roster is available at Baseball America.
Hey readers — I’m doing another chat on Baseball Prospectus today at 5pm Seattle time. Feel free to come in and throw me questions, hang out, and generally make sure I get some snarky comments about taking too many questions from Washington again. If you can’t make it, you can submit questions ahead of time and then check out the wrap later.
And in case you missed it, here.
Hey, my birthday’s in October!
In April, hope springs eternal.
In June, optimism is justified.
In August, faith lives on.
In October, disappointment instead.
There’s always next year…