Best part about these Marlins games is seeing Jack McKeon, who managed the Reds unconventionally, did well, and got fired, whupping up on Alou and Baker. The Marlins play like you want to see a playoff team play: he throws everything into every game he can win, will throw guys in earlier than conventional wisdom advises, and realizes that the post-season is played by different rules.
I raise a beer to McKeon and hope that in some small way, his success will help unravel the slavery to set roles like ‘closer’ and rote in-game tactics.
Go Fish! Hooooooooooo!
Stupidest comment of the night, on the attention paid to that foul ball guy:
“It’s a sad sad comment on the state of our society…”
Look, for one, no, and for two, what? How does this reflect anything more than Cubs fans being crazy? That this guy’s identity is public and his life’s gotten a lot worse in a day is weird (you’d think they’d make Alex Gonzalez’s life hell instead, but noooo), but if anyone’s responsible it’s the Fox crew for their comments last night about how the fan got in Alou’s way and Alou would have caught it… for them to act holier than thou tonight to try and make up for setting this up displays a lot of gall.
And as to the 2nd-stupidest comment:
“All those fans who say they would have let it drop are hypocrites.”
One, no, they’re not, unless they say that and then don’t do it. They might be liars, sure, but they’re not hypocrites. And two, no. Just because all of those fans reacted to catch doesn’t mean they’re not dumb. All those idiots on the front row of M’s games who interfere with balls in play are idiots, and I wouldn’t touch a ball in play if I was up there. My desire to pay attention to the game and not cause harm to my team doesn’t make me some kind of two-faced liar.
Anyway, to the M’s. And yeah, we’re behind on GM updates.
We catch some flak, directly and in asides, for not being satisfied with 93 wins. Typically people point out that this would have won another division, or was better than a playoff team.
All of which is true. However, the Mariners were not at the end of the season a 162-win team. Arthur Rhodes’ injury-hiding and then injury-related-ineffectiveness meant few of Melvin’s matchup games worked out for the team, and there were pitchers — particularly Meche — who got much worse as the season went on. Colbrunn went from having a slow start to out for the season. Ichiro wore down again, Davis’ hot start went to seed, and the only improvement we could really point to was the Guillen-Sanchez left-side infield was more productive (though not particularly so) than Guillen-Cirillo. And Borders-Garcia seemed to create an ace out of erraticness, which has its uses in short series ball.
The M’s didn’t improve, or address their developing weaknesses. When the season ended, they had 93 wins but wouldn’t have had a hard time taking three of five from any other playoff team. That’s what fans are disappointed about. No one’s complaining the team won 93 games.
You know, the Mariners might not be in them, but the playoffs still rule. Kerry Wood going yard? Game sevens in both LCS’? Pedro vs the Rocket to determine the American League Champion? Seriously, this is awesome.
As was pointed out by uber-reader Ivan Weiss, Brad Fullmer was inexplicably released by the Angels today. He was in the midst of a career year before his knee blew apart, and he would be a terrific addition to the M’s bench and possible replacement for Olerud if the decline continues.
The Reds and Mets are almost certainly going to settle on their new GM before the Mariners do, and that is fine by me. Retreads just aren’t any fun. We want new blood!
And hey, the Arizona Fall League is still going on. Go Justin Leone.
The good news keeps rolling in; in a surprising decision, the Mariners decided to put Allan Simpson on the 40 man roster, protecting him from the Rule 5 draft. I’m a fan of Simpson, and I think this is a good move. With some more improvement in his command, he could be a solid right-handed reliever next year. Also, Giovanni Carrara elected free agency (hooray), and Chad Meyers decided to find work for another AAA club as well (no big deal).
Cincinatti’s GM job is down to Omar Minaya, Wayne Krivsky, and Dan O’Brien. Here’s hoping they hire Minaya, which would end any possibility of me having to impale myself on a spoon during the press conference announcing him as the next M’s GM.