March 22, 2004 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

Hey, all. I’ll be pimping this in the future, too, but for those who plan way, way in advance:

Portland readers — come hang out

PORTLAND April 7th

Barnes & Noble @ 7:30pm

1720 N Jantzen Beach

Portland, OR 97217


aaaaaaaaand a week later, all you faithful U.S.S. Mariner readers here in Seattle can come out to the downtown Seattle B&N on your lunch hour a week later —

SEATTLE April 14

Barnes & Noble @ 12:30pm

600 Pine St., Suite 107

Seattle, WA 98101


Free pizza at both locations! I think. I’ll sign anything (almost) that you want to see significantly decrease in value. Fair chance someone will attempt to do me bodily harm!

March 21, 2004 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

Here’s a fun article.

And by “fun,” I mean it’ll make you want to beat your head against the wall.

First up: Bob Melvin’s obsession with Willie Bloomquist. “For me, Willie’s on the team,” Melvin said. “He’s such a great fit on a club, he’s got so many attributes that may not be noticeable to an outsider, but he really helps a team.” Further, “This is a guy we can use at shortstop or center field and don’t worry about what kind of game we get,” Melvin said. “How many players at any level can you say that about, and we’re talking majors here.”

OK, no. You can’t use Willie Bloomquist at shortstop or in centerfield. I cannot state this strongly enough. And what does that mean, they don’t worry about what kind of game they get? That makes it sounds as if they’re just throwing players out there without regard to performance, which is pretty odd thing to do.

Next: Kevin Jarvis. Kevin Jarvis worked two innings after Meche and had his best outing of the spring, and officially is still competing for a bullpen job. He also officially is a bad pitcher, in case anyone is keeping track of such things, and has no business on the M’s roster. This isn’t the Detroit Tigers we’re talking about — this is a contending team, and that’s no place for a pitcher of Jarvis’ ilk.

Finally: The left side of Tacoma’s infield. Jose Lopez and Justin Leone are projected to switch back and forth between short and third base, and it might be difficult to keep Santiago ready to fill in if the Seattle club needed to bring him up. Leone and Lopez are projected to switch back and forth? Look, I like Leone, but he’s not a shortstop. He’s a pretty good third baseman, and he probably has a better chance to make the majors as a utility guy than otherwise, but this jerking around of Jose Lopez has got to stop. If he’s going to have value, it’s as a shortstop, because he isn’t likely to hit enough to play third.

Sometimes I think I’m better off not reading these beat writers.

March 19, 2004 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

Thanks to everyone who sent in replies to my plea for help on Photoshop and Excel recovery. Our readers rock, no questions asked. And, since I’m on a non-baseball post roll, anyone want to buy a nice used digital camera? (Note, don’t buy it through the link. I just used his page to show you what mine looks like). I’m upgrading to a digital SLR, and in order to finance this move, I need to sell my previous, still working tremendously, digital point and shoot. Basic overview: 3.3 megapixels, extremely small and light, included accessories of 6 sets of AA NIMH batteries, rapid charger, 3 smartmedia storage cards (16, 32, and 64 MB respectively), a mini-tripod, and a case. Have original box, all cables, and manual. Its in perfect shape and is a tremendous personal digital camera. I’m asking $300 for the whole kid and kaboodle. Considernig Steve’s Digicams wants $329 for just the camera, you’re getting a heck of a deal.

Questions and/or offers, drop me a line with something camera related in the subject to make sure I see it.

Back to baseball soon, I promise.

March 18, 2004 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

Baseball Prospectus ran a Prospectus Triple Play today that included this tidbit — the PECOTA projected AL West standings

Team W-L RS/RA

Oakland 91-71 788/689

Seattle 86-76 799/753

Anaheim 83-79 748/724

Texas 76-86 835/892

I know I’ve been saying that the M’s are a 85-win team for a while now, but I’m sort of shocked to see some giant computer agrees with me. Also interesting, though… I thought the division might be a sack race to see who could limp to 85 wins, and instead PECOTA sees the A’s as a 90-win team today.

March 18, 2004 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

So here’s an interesting development.

PEORIA, Ariz. – If the Seattle Mariners’ regular season began today, they would have two catchers on their 25-man roster — and neither would be Ben Davis.

The M’s are so down on Davis right now that there’s serious talk of optioning him to Tacoma and beginning the season with a Dan Wilson / Pat Borders catching tandem. I didn’t realize Davis had an option year left, but apparently he does. And hey, not only did Borders hit .314 last season, but he seemed to whip Freddy Garcia into shape down the stretch.

More tidbits:

In a Tuesday game with the Padres in Peoria, scouts and front office personnel from both teams sat near one another behind home plate. Davis, who went 0-for-2, dropped a pop fly and misplayed a throw to the plate that allowed a run to score. “That’s why he’s your problem and not ours,” one Padres scout said. “We saw four years of that.”

Worse, the team is so disenchanted with his work behind the plate that there’s already been an edict issued: If Davis does make the team, he won’t be calling pitches.

“Everyone likes Ben, but a lot of us are starting to wonder if he gets it,” one Seattle coach said. “He said he wanted to be the starting catcher? Then earn it. Right now, he’s not even on the 25-man roster.”

We’ll have to see how this one plays out.

March 16, 2004 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

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.

March 16, 2004 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

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.

March 16, 2004 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

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.

March 16, 2004 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

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:

Ichiro, Boone

Franklin and Shiggy







Wilson, Olerud





(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:

Willie Bloomquist

Freddy Garcia

Yup, you heard it here first. Freddy Garcia last year had his own ad, this year doesn’t get squat.

March 15, 2004 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

What’s really sad about this is that every year Griffey seems more crazy. Maybe that’s the way the press is covering him, but…

Early in Mariners career: happy-go-lucky Kid

Late in his Mariners career: counting fan signs, disappointment when anyone else got more signage than he did, organization covering for his increasingly petty clubhouse whims

The trade: weirdly played by everyone, the M’s trying to trade him where he doesn’t want to go after he narrows his list of acceptable teams, which actually should have been “Cincy” instead of a list…

With the Reds: injuries, betrayal and rejection by the organization and fans, SI interview (was it SI?) where he thinks he’s being followed constantly, expresses sort-of-paranoid thoughts about his family.

Now: belief that he’s going to be traded soon, and to the Mariners because Nike sent him teal shoes.

I was worried about him before this, but now… he’s friends with Buhner, can’t he talk to Griffey, make sure the Kid is doing okay? We’re to the point now where I half expect Griffey’s next interview will have him talk about how he was abducted by UFOs, sits in a pyramid for an hour every evening, and wears one of those magnetic bracelents to help him stay healthy.

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