May 8, 2004 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

We’ve talked about Mussina here before, but I wanted to briefly say this: as much as Moyer is the master of preparation and control, Mussina is wildly underappreciated for doing the same things. If he can find a player’s weakness, there are few pitchers as adept as exploiting them as Mussina. That means that he’s not always pitching to his strengths in the way (say) Randy Johnson did (you’re a fastball hitter? not anymore you’re not) but man, watching him set up and sit down Mariners tonight makes me shake my head. I don’t like seeing it happen to my team, but I have to respect it.

May 8, 2004 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

Gay-rod? Jeter’s boyfriend?

Are these really the best taunts we can come up with for Alex? I think this whole thing is ridiculous, but if you’re going to go after him, do it with some style.

I had to sit near this guy tonight… he talked all night long, and he knew about 10% of what he thought he knew. I suspect that even if he knew everything, he’d demonstrate the difference between knowledge and wisdom. I know that sounds arrogant, but that’s the truth.

Fun examples:

Jason (1/8/1971) and Jeremy Giambi (9/30/1974) are twins. He went on for a while about this.

Gil Meche pitching well for the Mariners is all the sweeter because he used to play for the A’s.

“Look at how shallow Lofton is playing!” (pointing to Lofton, who was playing at a perfectly normal center field depth)

Quinton McCracken came over from the Devil Rays (at least this one you can say “well, QMcC was in CF, and our regular CF…”)

Anyway. We’ve gotten some reader mail lately like this:

Fun (and profitable!) as it is to heap obloquys on Bavasi for Jarvis, Ibanez, etc., aren’t you guys missing the boat on the aftermath of Project: Dump Guillen? Did you see his line from last night when he almost singlehandedly beat the Rangers? Maybe it’s just early season, and Cheeto-man will crumble with some injury later . . . . but Aurilia? He’s on his way to being the Cirillo of 2004, but without the fielding. Frankly, it’s hard for me to see a bigger disaster from the off-season at this point. –David Steuer

There’s a couple reasons we haven’t stuck it to Bavasi over this one. I think as a group we thought this would be a small positive… but we also said some things like

Both players, statistically and scouting-wise, are average defenders at their position. Carlos, injury-hampered, has been adding power, then OBP, then power, and at 28 if he’s healthy (yes, I know) there’s a fair chance he’ll put together a full season where he hits really well. Like .285/.370/.420 or better. And that’s probably going to beat what Aurilia puts up here. (me, 12/31)

And David said

Which of the following is not alike: .253, .264, .267, .312, .255, .259. If you do a google search for the word “outlier”, Rich Aurilia’s 2001 season comes up, right next to Brady Anderson’s 1996 campaign (okay, it doesn’t, but it should). Yet somehow, every article I read about this trade mentions that just two short years ago, Rich Aurilia was hitting .324 with 37 home runs. And, by God, Carlos Guillen only has 29 career home runs. This must be a big upgrade. Spare me.

However, as usual, the truth lies somewhere in between the local media spin (every move is great!) and the overall blog reactions (every move is a steaming pile of horsecrap). Aurilia is a decent player, and at $3.5 million for one year, is a decent little pickup. Now, keeping Carlos Guillen and spending that extra million intelligently would be more ideal, but lets be honest, that million bucks was going to be as useful as an oasis of salt in the Sahara. There’s a pretty good chance that Aurilia is going to be worth his contract, and in this offseason, that makes this a prime candidate for best move of Bavasi’s tenure.

But then again, we also said stuff like

“Carlos Guillen simply is not a reliable option for a contending team. You can count on him missing at least a month of the season, being hobbled for another month, and just an average player when he is healthy. The Mariners should view shortstop as a position of weakness and look to upgrade.”

Which is to say that I what totally right! WOOOOOOO!!!*

Carlos Guillen in Detroit: .314/.408/476

Man, that’s sweet. Now, I don’t think he’s going to be this good over the course of the season. But… we did point out (there and elsewhere) that there were some serious concerns with Aurilia after his elbow surgery a couple years ago (particularly that his power disappeared).

This was the risk the team took, and it turned out badly.

*I’m joking! Please don’t send me nasty email about what a know-it-all I am