Not so fast, Jason! Don’t forget about Mariner Talk!
Don’t worry, we’ll get that left nav updated pronto.
Oh man… yet another M’s blog. (Kidding. All these blogs and points of view make for a better discussion.) This time it’s Cracking The Safe, which I must say has the coolest URL of all the M’s blogs out there. “PC Loadletter? PC Loadletter?! What the *&!@ is PC Loadletter?!” Very nice.
Officially Endorsed U.S.S. Mariner reader Aditya Sood was the first to write in with this Omar-related quip: “So now we know why the Mariners had to non-tender Arthur Rhodes.” Many others followed, but only Sood was on the cutting edge of this humor razor.
The Score Bard posted a cool riff off my suffering comment yesterday.
Also, everyone’s nominating the 97->98 Marlins for worst off-season by a contender, but that seems like cheating to me. So to be more specific: I’m looking for the Worst Off-season Driven By Incompetence Alone.
With respect to Oakland — they just made a steal of a deal, sending reliever Mike Neu to the Marlins for lefty starter Mark Redman. In addition to the “Big Three” (Tim Hudson, Barry Zito, Mark Mulder), the A’s now have Redman and Rich Harden at the back of their rotation. With three lefties and two righties, it’s a wonderfully balanced rotation… and one which should, thanks to those lefties, carve up the M’s this season.
So here’s the new question: grant us that the M’s are, at best, a 90-win team next year. The A’s have had a pretty strange off-season, too: are they better than that? The Angels are spending serious money: did they make the right moves to win the division? And Texas… well, they’re still Texas.
Link to “Vizquel trade nixed“. If the article’s to be believed, one of Omar’s two surgically repaired knees (of three total) didn’t look good when the M’s doctors looked it over and that’s the end of that.
Here’s my long-not-awaited 2004 season rough cut estimates of what happens to the Mariners next year
Winn to Ibanez = -10 runs (yes, I’m serious)
Cameron to Winn = wash
Rotating 3b to Spiezio = +15 runs
Rotating OF subs to McCracken = -10 runs (and that’s generous)
Winn to Ibanez = -10 runs
Cameron to Winn = -20 runs
Rotating 3b to Spiezio = -5 runs (ish)
Rotating OF subs to McCracken = wash (and maybe an upgrade)
(Moyer, Meche, Pineiro, Franklin, Soriano)
Garcia to Soriano = +15 runs (but really, anyone’s guess)
Franklin to normal Franklin = -10 runs
(Sasaki, Mateo, Guardardo, Hasegawa, Soriano, ??)
Rhodes to Guardardo = +5 runs
Nelson/Benitez to random guy from AAA: -5 runs
That’s an overall drop of 35 runs, which puts the team a hair under 90 wins. What that doesn’t include, though, are the matchup problems with the lineup that we’ve been pointing out, the team’s natural age-related decline (it’s an oooold lineup), the vulnerability to lefties… I would bet that others out there will take a crack at this (I think Peter at Mariner Musings has the gap at ~50 runs overall before he started to take a swing at defense).
Oh please oh please oh please — MLB.com’s front page has a headline that reads “Vizquel to Mariners Nixed” but it links to the same pro-trade Jim Street article. I only hope the headline got updated in front of the article.
In fact, if anyone could email us if they can think of a contending team that had as bad or worse of an off-season as the Mariners, we’d love to hear from you. Even the Steve Phillips Mets teams didn’t go downhill this fast.
But to quote Supernintendo Chalmers, “It’s a hell of a toboggon ride.”
Jason’s projected opening day 2004 batting order: