By the way, I’m back from Florida. I’m burned to a crisp, but I had a good time. I saw five teams play three games (with a double helping of the Mets) and a hoard of minor leaguers, and came away with two distinct impressions, both of which will be presented in more detail soon. But, here’s the short version:
1. James Loney is awesome and-short of a catastrophic event similar to the flood-is going to be a tremendous major league hitter. Watching him and Robin Ventura play next to each other made one thing obviously clear; as of today, Robin Ventura is half the player Loney is, and Loney’s getting better. This kid is scary good. I was really high on him before. After watching him this weekend, I’m running low on superlatives.
2. The M’s should jump for joy that they didn’t get Kazuo Matsui. He’s got serious issues with his swing, and unless he makes some adjustments, is going to be a groundball machine. There’s just no way he hits for any real power with his current hitting mechanics.
Those longish posts I’ve been wanting to make are probably going to have to wait. If the Griffey deal goes through, we’ll be all over that, but my time is short this week. Allow me a quick plea for help on two computer-type issues, since I know we have a solid readership base with crazy knowledge of Windows.
1. I need help recovering an archived/cached version of an excel file in Win98. It contained formulas that are tough to recreate, and have been erased from the current version of the file. If there’s a way to go back to a version of this file from a few days, weeks, or even months ago that contains this formula, I’d love to know.
2. If you know a legal way to obtain discounted licenses for Photoshop for a non-profit organization, drop me a line. Its for a good cause, and we’re hoping to avoid the brutal costs of paying retail for multiple versions of the program.
If Jon is right, wow. The team may be making the move for the wrong reasons (popular former player, cheaper than other moves they could have made), but it’s at least bold. And is Winn in this year’s commercials at all?
Buuuuuuuuut it’s worth considering that even cheap, it may not be as good a move as it seems. First, given Griffey’s history, even if he agreed to come back and be a good citizen of the clubhouse and so on, doesn’t it seem like when things go wrong he’d be likely to toss that out? And how bad would it have to get — booing if he drops an easy fly ball? What recourse would the team have at that point?
Any injury time Griffey misses will be covered by Q McCracken, who… he’s pretty bad… Say Griffey performs like everyone wishes he would: he hits .290/.370/.550 (GAB played neutral last year, so that’s counting on the kind of Ibanez-endorsed “lefties don’t lose anything). He magically plays 120 games, which he hasn’t managed since his first year as a Red. For 40 games, we’d get McCracken’s .260/.315/.370 — and for the season out of center we’d have a .282/.356/.503. And it deteriorates fast the more playing time QMcC gets.
Huh. Mike Cameron hit .253/.345/.431 last year (and actually, not magically) for a full season, and played stellar defense. If Griffey stays in center and plays 120 games, the position’s pretty much a wash from last year, in terms of both overall performance and in cost.
The larger issue is that Griffey’s defense is nowhere near what it used to be in center, and playing him there exposes him to further injury — especially since his leg problems would be likely to be aggravated by the running. It would seem smart to consider swapping him with Ichiro, though the team’s attitude about that previously doesn’t give me much hope that it might happen.
Its not our scoop, so I’ll let Jon break the news shortly, but we’re hearing there is actual life to the Griffey rumors this time. Stay tuned.
On Mariner ads:
One of the things the team likes to do is keep the ads focused on guys who are unlikely to be traded or blow out. Having to pull an ad with Jeff Nelson after he’s traded means a tighter rotation of ads or new ads, and new ads are expensive.
“Hey now, get all of it” — what the heck is that?
With that in mind, here’s the team’s relative attatchment to their players, drawn from this year’s family-friendly, happy-go-lucky ads featuring those great guys the Mariners:
Franklin and Shiggy
(seen but not heard)
McCracken (slides into home)
And I think I’m missing someone from the poker game, but anyway
So, players who can be easily traded without anyone ever noticing:
Yup, you heard it here first. Freddy Garcia last year had his own ad, this year doesn’t get squat.