For those of you who haven’t yet signed up, there is still space available at the first ever U.S.S. Mariner feed. If you’ve missed the previous postings and failed to get on the mailing list, here is a brief rundown.
When: Saturday, December 20th, 4 P.M.
Where: Piecora’s Pizza Banquet Room, Capitol Hill
Who: Derek, Jason, and Dave, along with a large group of readers and a special guest or two.
Cost: $15 per person, includes full dinner (not just pizza) and soft drinks. Alcohol will be available for seperate purchase.
We’re going to spend several hours hanging out, talking baseball, getting to know some folks, and generally just having a good time with other Mariner fans. If you’re interested in attending, send me an email with “Feed Information” as the subject. This will get you on the mailing list, where further details will be provided. Spots aren’t going to last forever, though, so if you’re interested, let us know and reserve yourself a place at the feed.
One of the more common criticisms we get about Cameron is that he struck out all the time in rally situations. I’ll assume for purposes of this argument that clutch hitting exists, etc etc.
None on: .240/.317/.408
Runners on: .267/.373/.457
Runners in scoring position: .293/.401/.503
If you believe there’s something to be read in those numbers, how can anyone argue he wasn’t clutch? He did dramatically, undeniably better in traditional clutch situations than he did otherwise.
No one is saying that losing Cameron’s the death of the team: as a righty who hasn’t hit well in Safeco, he’s not a particularly good fit offensively. He’s over the hump and on the down side of his career. I think he’ll do well next year for another team.
If there was one thing I would say about Cameron, it’s this: he was, by far, the most undervalued piece of these winning Mariner teams. Their fly-ball staff lived and died by their outfield defense, and it was Cameron-Ichiro-Winn last year that made Franklin & Co. look so good. If the M’s replace his bat and find someone who can play average defense in center, they’ll still drop two games in the standings. If you don’t care about those two games — you’d rather see someone ground out instead of strike out, even if it means the team loses the division — well, I guess that’s your right. But don’t tell me Cameron was some kind of team-killing scrub, because you’re wrong.
On Borders: everyone emailing says he means Garcia’s coming back, because Borders was so good at whipping Freddy into dominating shape last year. Borders is Pat Gillick’s personal catcher and organization man, though — I don’t think we should read anything into this. It would be hard to find space for him on the 25m, for one thing, and carrying three catchers is hard (not as hard as carrying Gipson-Bloomquist-Ugueto, but there you are). Don’t read too much into this: if Garcia doesn’t take the team’s offer, they’re going to decline to offer arbitration and then say they couldn’t afford to risk him getting $9m.