Franklin struck out one in eight innings, which is still troubling, and despite the talk about his new pitch, is still a fly ball pitcher who gives up the long ball. But today the wheel turns: 29 batters faced, 26 balls in play…. four hits. Heh heh heh. Maybe he can work this all year long after all.
And if any of our dear readers have experience with the Bellevue permit process or know of decent software to generate floor plans etc (I’m using Visio now), please drop me a line. The less I spend on this latest disaster the more time I have to write extremely deep essays here.
M’s win! M’s win!
Between the cliches, the contradictions and the made-up words (“adrenalate”?), listening to Dave Henderson makes my brain hurt.
Bad stat of the day: 1 walk drawn by M’s hitters. Normally a pretty patient club over the past several seasons, the M’s are dead last in the AL in walks so far in 2004. They’re also dead last in homers, but that’s not nearly as big a surprise.
New Big Board. Here are the moves:
Rafael Soriano: Optioned from Seattle to high-A Inland Empire. He’s only there for one start (and it’ll probably be a short one) before he’ll be on his way to Tacoma. Basically, they want him to get in the work he missed during spring training without it being at the major league level.
JJ Putz: Called up from Tacoma to Seattle. Putz fills Soriano’s roster spot. This also makes room for…
Aaron Looper: Back from the Dodgers, for whom he never actually pitched. The M’s traded LHP Glen Bott for Looper, who’ll probably close games in Tacoma for the time being.
Ryan Christianson: Also gone from Tacoma’s roster (he was on their DL, officially), as the M’s have requested unconditional release waivers on the former “catcher of the future.” That didn’t work out so well, did it? Basically, this move was made to get Christianson off the 40-man in order to clear space for Looper’s return.
Rob Gandolfo: San Antonio’s scrappy 2B is out 2-4 weeks with a bum hamstring.
Glen Bott: As previously mentioned, gone to the Dodgers and thus no longer in SA’s rotation. I’ve left that spot blank for the moment.
Scott Spiezio: Begins a rehab assignment with Inland Empire today. I wonder if he and Soriano took the same flight.
Evel Bastida-Martinez: Best known for attacking a pitcher with his bat last season (earning him a lengthy suspension and nearly causing the M’s to cut ties with him), he was moved from Wisconsin to San Antonio to take Gandolfo’s roster spot.
John Levesque has a front-page (of the sports page) column in the PI today about the M’s woes, BP, and also mentions our humble web page. Check it out.
As some readers have pointed out, I passed up Henderson’s comment last night about the stolen base (“Who’s the GM who says the stolen base is obsolete? It’s still an important weapon” or something quite similar to that). I rolled my eyes when I heard it… I mean, come on, no one says that the stolen base is obsolete. Nobody. I hate arguments like this when people set up their strawman and then look good beating up on it. Beane, who is who almost certainly is who Henderson’s talking about, figures not that speed isn’t important but that’s it’s too expensive, and he can find slow players who are as or more productive for less money if he’s willing to punt that. He’d love to have 9 guys who hit .300/.450/.600 and steal 50 bases a year (at a high success rate) but as long as he’s compromising, he’s decided that speed is a good place to start.
This kind of argumentation is so common it’s stupid. Bush did it in his press conference this week: “There are those who want to ignore the threat of terrorism….” Who? Who in this country, or anywhere in the world, wants to ignore terrorism? Has his opponent ever said anything of the sort? Arrrrghhh.
But me complaining about the quality of debate is almost as common at this kind of straw man tactic, so I’ll leave it at that.
What a tough game to watch.
A couple of thoughts:
When you’re the visiting team, the smart move is to play for the win. Is that conventional wisdom or did I read a study on this once? I forget.
Once again we saw the defense fail us. One of the things that’s easy to forget is that it’s not just errors that determine the outcome of a game, it’s the balls that drop in for singles, that skip through the left side of the infield.
Take Freddy today. 6 innings, he faced 31 batters. He struck out 4, so 27 balls were put into play. A normal team turns about 70% of those into outs. The Mariners last year with their excellent defense turned 73% into outs. So you’d expect 20 of those 27 to get turned into outs, with seven hits — no. 13 hits, almost twice as many as you’d expect, and twice as many as the M’s gave up on average last year. The Mariners play decent defense tonight and they probably win the ballgame. Or, if you think it’s luck, hey, they catch uh.. seven or eight breaks, that works too.
One of the things that annoys me about watching games is the inflation of compliments. I understand they’re in the business of marketing the team, but Ibanez’s throw to Davis was up the line and outside to catch a limping Guerrero (who should not have run anyway). Guerrero would have been a good match for an injured Edgar in an AL West picnic’s three-legged sack race. It’s a good throw, sure, but it went from being a good throw to a great throw to a perfect throw, and it probably was “outstanding” at some point on that curve. This happens all the freaking time, it’s like every replay enhances the defensive value of the play by one power. Actually, I know what it’s like: it’s like Statler and Waldorf in reverse.
“Not a bad play by Bloomquist there.”
“It was okay.”
“A decent throw to Boone, sure.”
“See how he gets in front of the ball? That’s good footwork. A nice, easy play by Willie.”
“It really is, and he stays calm and gets the throw off, makes it routine. Good work there by Willie Bloomquist.”
“It’s oustanding work to turn two, see how he takes the step, plants, gets ready to catch and throw, but he doesn’t take his eyes off — excellent defense there by Bloomquist.”
“Absolutely, and it gets the M’s out of an inning, just a gem of a play.. by Willie Bloomquist.”
“This is the kind of consistent play you need out of your third baseman. You want your pitchers to be able to trust in and rely on the guys behind them, and Bloomquist’s amazing glove back there allows them to be more aggressive.”
“No question about it, that is the kind of perfect play the Mariners will need to make this year, and we should all take a moment to appreciate the beauty of this seemingly routine play by Willie Bloomquist.”
“I shall never see a poem as lovely as this play by wee Willie.”
“Indeed, it’s safe to say that that is the best play ever by a third baseman in the history of baseball. This highlight will be passed down to future generations as an example of how you go about playing the game the right way.”
“Absolutely, we’ve received word from the truck that in the Utah salt flats orbital lasers are now carving out a line drawing of this play that will be visible from Alpha Centauri.”
“It’s great to know that alien races will be able to benefit from this revelatory play… by Willie Bloomquist. Ibanez grounds into a double play, ending the inning, and the Mariners lose 14-2. We’ll be back with the post-game wrap-up after this.”
Teams with good advance scouting are going to run on Winn this year. Winn may start to compensate by playing shallow, and then those XBH totals would get really ugly as singles go over his head for doubles and triples… ugh.
New GM Watch
April 15th edition
a brief and unfair comparison of GMs in their freshman year at the helm of their teams
Dan Oâ€™Brien, Reds, 5-2, .714 [last year .426]
Paul DePodesta, Dodgers, 5-3, .625 [last year .525]
Bill Bavasi, Mariners, 1-7, .125 [last year .574]