Good news, everyone — Stan Williams is out as the M’s advance scout. He’s off to Tampa Bay to join Lou’s Crew in the same capacity.
Williams, if you recall, served as Lou Piniella’s pitching coach for two seasons with horrible results before being replaced by Brian Price. Williams (“Steamer,” as he’s known) then took the advance scout job. You generally don’t hear much about advance scouts, but think about it — if Williams had been doing his job this season, would the M’s have had all that trouble with pitchers they’d never seen before? I don’t think so.
There’s a funny anecdote about Williams you might have heard, but I’ll pass it along in case you haven’t. When he was pitching for the Dodgers at the beginning of his career, he had some serious problems with the old base on balls. In an effort to cut down his walks, the team put some sort of fine in place for each one he issued. To combat this, it’s said, whenever he would get to a three-ball count on a hitter, he’d simply drill him with the next pitch rather than risk the walk.
I have no idea if this is true or not, but I’ve always liked that story. In the words of the immortal Troy McClure, “That’s too funny! I can’t remember when I’ve heard a funnier anecdote. OK, now you tell one.”
Also, the team has its 2004 schedule, a schedule which does not include a trip to Japan. That could still change, though.
Antipodes, Jason, antipodes. Here’s how you figure out one.
LaRue, Tacoma News Tribune: “Mariners whittling list of potential GMs“. Armstrong says he thinks they’ll interview fewer than 20 candidates. TNT’s also been running pieces on each possible candidate. Check ’em out:
Omar Minaya (choice quote: “Why he might be a good fit for the Mariners: What’s not to like? He’s young, he has a background in scouting and has previous experience as a GM.” What’s not to like? Um, he’s not any good, for starters.)
Mike Port (who we have sadly not talked much about here yet)
Larry Stone (“Not Responding to Endorsments by the U.S.S. Mariner Since 2003”) wrote a Inside Pitch column Sunday about choices the M’s have for their GM job, focusing on existing GMs.
John Hickey at the PI writes the team should go after what Hickey sees as the top candidates — Beane, Hunsicker, Cashman, Sabean.
News of last week: the M’s wanted permission to talk to Mike Port, which makes him the only guy we are absolutely sure they’re talking to.
You’re probably wondering why I’m not writing x thousands of words/a day, I’ve been seriously sick and catching up on sleep at night, and moreover, I have a lovely new job that requires me to do things like… well, like not post really long essays in the middle of the day.
Also, my boss is a U.S.S. Mariner reader, so no more rants about work (though honestly, I don’t think I’d be ranting about work if I could. Now my last job, hoooo boy, could I post about that).
Folks, I have no idea what Derek is talking about.
I will, however, say that the Florida Marlins turned in one heck of an 8th inning tonight in Chicago. Have you ever heard a crowd go from excited (“We’re going to the World Series!”) to pissed (“Kill that #@*!”) to dead silent (“What the…?”) so quickly?
Seattle’s antipode is not, as previously speculated, New York, but is (approximately) Port-Jeanne d’Arc in the French Southern and Antarctic Lands. Unfortunately, as there are no permanent inhabitants of the FSaAL, there is no baseball, so I can’t tell you what the opposite-land Mariners look like: owned by a Texas billionaire or a Martian, whether they’ve won championships or languish in the cellar. Sorry, this avenue of research has come to a dead end unless I can figure out a universal antipode.
Hal McRae rumored to be in the running as the new hitting coach. Oh heck no. The butcher job he did on the Tampa Bay team while manager should be enough to keep him out of baseball permanently.
How much money has Jeff Nelson cost himself the past 3 months? Seriously, can anyone see him getting more than a 1 year contract for next year?
I know we say this a lot, but you guys rule. Seriously, it is now rare that a day goes by without getting an email from someone who is following the team from somewhere other than Seattle and says all kinds of nice things about us. We wish we could respond to every email we get, but we appreciate them all anyways. Keep on sending em in.