June 30, 2004 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

Randy Winn during June, pre-tonight (so this is slightly low):

.290/.385/.470, 100 AB, 11 XBH, 14 BB, 15 K, 4 SB

There may be a chance we get out of that contract just yet. He’s one of the guys the M’s should be actively trying to move, taking just about anything in return. There are much better ways to spend $4 million come this offseason.

Update: Just about to shut off Mlb.TV and go to bed when I hear the following phrase: “Winn (drawn out last sylable, pause), can’t get to it.” I’m guessing that ranks right up there with “frustrating loss” and “another blown opportunity” as the three most used terms during M’s broadcasts this year.

June 30, 2004 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

On the game, at 8:30 — I totally support the abolition of the balk rule, followed by a limitation on the number of times a pitcher can throw to a base before delivering a pitch. Trickery and stealing bases are fun. Throwing to first 9,000 times when someone fast is on first is fricking boring.

June 30, 2004 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

Is there any real reason Clint Nageotte is still in the majors? He was pretty obviously not ready when they called him up, and he hasn’t done anything to show that he deserves to stay. He’s burning service time and development opportunities. Send him back to Tacoma and let him continue to work on his command and a third pitch. Having him in Seattle isn’t doing anyone any good.

Felix Hernandez makes his Double-A debut for San Antonio tomorrow night. A few people have asked about his time table and when we might see him in the show. I mentioned during spring training that the club believed he could end 2005 in the majors, and he hasn’t done anything to change those thoughts. There’s a very real chance Felix is going to be in Safeco Field a year from now.

June 30, 2004 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

Yes! Exactly! That’s what I should have said after I got all mad there: carried the argument in a worthwhile and interesting direction.

Also, here’s the other issue: maybe the M’s demographic is as skewed as it is because they *make it that way* by marketing and shaping the experience to that demographic.

June 30, 2004 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

Just my quick $0.02 on the female fan issue. I don’t think there is any disputing that, as a group, female fans view the game differently than males. Just like they view everything else on earth differently than we do. Even the women who have written us who were upset by Thiel’s column will agree with that point, I’d imagine. However, I feel that the breakdown in Lincoln/Thiel’s argument is the assumption that their different perception of the team necessitates a different product be placed on the field. To me, this sounds like a “reasonable” assumption that a bunch of men would come to about women that, in all likelyhood, is completely wrong.

As an example, I work for a division of a major corporation that makes prodcuts strictly for women. However, our division is run by men, planned by men, organized by men, and almost completely driven by the male point of view. Almost all of my coworkers are female, however, and some of the products we’ve put out have become the running jokes of the office. They’ve been designed with seemingly well thought out motives and been analyzed by some of the top male minds in the industry, but it takes the women in our office 10 seconds of practical use to realize the giant design flaw that the men never caught a hold of.

Thats what this whole thing reminds me of. The men in the Mariners front office have, no doubt, ran numerous demographic surveys and realized that they have a significantly large portion of their fan base that is female. The normal assumption, then, as a male, is that the Mariners have more casual fans in their fan base that care less about winning and more about personality than a normal major league organization, and feel the need to make sure that those traits are covered in player acquisition as well.

I’d argue that this is where the logic breaks down. My Mom is a huge Mariner fan. She loves Dan Wilson, in spite of the years I’ve spent extolling his weaknesses to her. She thinks its great that the team has a bunch of family-values guys who do charity work and aren’t out partying on the weekends. And, while thinking all that, she’s been to exactly one game this year, far less than normal years, because she thinks the team stinks and isn’t any fun to watch.

I think a large majority of the female Mariner fans would tell you that they really cared about how nice the players were and love the ad campaigns and family friendly atmosphere. And I think a large majority of those woman aren’t coming to the games anymore because the product on the field stinks. Just like the men in their lives aren’t coming to the games because the team stinks.

Male fans and female fans certainly view the game differently. When it comes right down to it, though, they are all still fans, regardless of gender, and what they really want is for the team to be playing in October. If the Mariners want to cater to their female fan base, they should concentrate on winning ballgames. Because women love winning too.

June 30, 2004 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

Art Thiel’s column “Sentiment blurs Mariners’ vision” is one of the more disturbing columns you’ll read this year.

Bavasi’s not trading Dan-Edgar-Jamie because the fans have a connection with them.

“There’s absolutely no question that the nature of this market is different than nearly every other in baseball,” team president Chuck Armstrong said.

His strongest evidence is consistent fan surveys done by the club and major league baseball that show more women and families attending games here than any other park in the country.

Thiel then mentions but passes over the really disturbing part:

That doesn’t mean women can’t be hard-core fans demanding excellence, or that men can’t enjoy just hanging at the yard.

If that’s the case, then what’s the whole point of mentioning women as a factor in the decision? Doesn’t this reasoning demand that you believe that women, even allowing for that token exception, don’t care about quality of baseball and want to see their players cute and cuddly (as Thiel puts it)? Or that parents who bring their kids want to see clubhouse guys over quality of play?

Thiel then falls into the trap himself!

“I don’t know if the word ‘fault’ is right, but it’s probably our doing,” Armstrong said. “We said, ‘You gotta love these guys.’ We end up keeping players longer than other teams.”

It isn’t just female fans who have pull. A 1996 decision to keep popular second baseman Joey Cora came from some of the local minority owners who couldn’t bear to see the cute little guy go away.


See, he’s gone back and tipped over the cart while you weren’t looking. It’s not “women and families” anymore. No, it’s those darn female fans, with their love of Dan Wilson, that are the reason the Mariners can’t compete by picking up good but unfriendly players.

Where is the evidence — any evidence — that female fans of the Mariners don’t care if the team wins or loses? Isn’t that just the basest of gross stereotypes, that women are shallow and concerned with appearance over performance, emotionally invested in personalities but not competition?

I’m disappointed in Thiel. If he’s parroting Mariner management, he passed up a prime chance to grill them on these deeply sexist, offensive views of female fans and the parents who bring their kids to the ballpark.

If it’s his own view that female fans are this way, I’m even more disappointed.