Just wanted to let everyone know that I am indeed working on a Big Board update. I had some technical difficulties immediately following the Freddy Garcia trade that made it so I couldn’t get an update done, and now there have been a number of changes in the past week or so. I’m also dealing with trying to put together a roster for the M’s entry in the rookie-level Arizona League, where rosters seem to change daily and information is scarce. Look for a big update Sunday-ish.
Notes from Tacoma: Catcher Jim Horner started in left field tonight. Odd. Gil Meche… not so good. 4 IP, 7 H, 9 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 3 HR and his ERA is up to 5.20. So long, trade value. Jamal Strong is off the DL and was the starting DH. Jeremy Reed remains the club’s starting CF, at least for the moment.
Congrats to Justin Leone on his first big league homer. So far he’s making the most of his opportunity.
Okay, so I just heard that tonight was John Olerud’s night to honor kids with disabilities at Safeco Field. And, showing an unbelievable amount of class, he showed up in street clothes and went through with the promotion.
Three cheers for John Olerud. That’s awesome. And, seriously, they couldn’t have DFA’d him tomorrow, knowing that he was part of the pre-game ceremonies tonight?
Today’s trivial complaint: the AFLAC trivia question is often phrased so that you can’t get it wrong, or that there are at least many different correct answers.
“Can you name the three hitters with the most home runs in Safeco Field?”
Some possible answers:
- No, I do not (correct!)
- I could guess (correct!)
- Yes, I can (correct if you know them)
And holy mackeral, the left field ball girl ran out, put her body in front of the ball, got the glove down, and made a nice pick of a grounder. I wonder if she has the arm to play shortstop.
Derek, you can speak for me as long as you send me a comp. version of my own talking bobblehead. I agree with Jason that Olerud’s a pretty poor major league first baseman right now. He’s basically a part-time player who should never face lefties and be pinch-hit for in tight situations. But, unlike half the roster, he actually belongs in the major leagues. He’s light years ahead of Scott Spiezio, who gets little to no grief from the fans. I just don’t really understand why he became the target for fan angst; there are a bunch to choose from, and he’s hardly the worst offender. It’s like prosecuting a pickpocket to the full extent of the law and asking for probation for the guy selling crack to kids.
Things learned while watching the Indians broadcast on MLB.tv. Friday is ladies night in Cleveland, where all female fans get a free massage at the park. Nothing to get the crowd riled up and in the game like a massage. Why not just pass out pillows and announce the seventh inning nap and serve herbal tea?
Also, on Villone, he’s a mortal lock to be traded before the deadline. He’s starting in order to see if the M’s can extract a slightly better prospect due to his value as a swingman rather than a lefty reliever.
To those comments: it looks like Bucky’s going to be playing DH/PH/1B, and Edgar’s going to see his time reduced.
Also, w/r/t Olerud: no one’s arguing that Olerud’s awesome. I would say that my (and, though I hesitate to speak for him, Dave’s) position is that he’s not terrible. I mean really, look at his park-adjusted stats the last couple of years, and he doesn’t look thaaat bad. Not everyone gets to be above average, though you want to pay your average guys $1 rather than what Olerud’s making.
What it does do, though, is offer Leone more of a chance. With 1B vacant, Spiezio can play more first, Leone more third, and that at least makes me happy. Though if you thought Olerud wasn’t hitting well enough to stick at first, start leaving those tomatoes out in the sun because you’re going to want something squishy and rotten to throw at Spiezio before too long.
From Melvin’s comments on the broadcast just now, it appears that Villone’s going into the rotation. Which means Villone’s going to make a lot more money this year, which means that we’re going to hear about the unexpected costs the team had to run up, eating into that contingency fund… oh well, it’s not like they’d have saved it for next year anyway.
And hey, one more thing. I’m all for giving Bucky Jacobsen a shot, but I do wonder how much he’s going to play — to me, this doesn’t appear to be a straight swap with Olerud. Jacobsen really isn’t a 1B, at least as evidenced by his time in Tacoma. In 81 games played, he appeared at first just five times, spending all the rest of his time at DH. So either the M’s are going to run him out there at a position he hasn’t played much this year, or he’s going to sit on the bench (which doesn’t tell us much about his ability to hit major league pitching). It might have made more sense to call up AJ Zapp.
OK, I’m going to take the other side.
I don’t understand why people are defending Olerud. He’s been awful for a year and a half, and his defense isn’t anywhere near good enough to make up for the fact that he doesn’t hit enough to play first base. He may well have been the second- or third-best hitter on the team, but that’s much more an indication of just how bad the M’s hitters are than an indication of how good Olerud is. Ultimately, he may not have been the biggest problem, but I certainly wouldn’t score him in the “positive” category, either.
Oh, and I was just baiting you on that CBA thing.
I don’t understand why people are piling on Olerud, either. Aurilia at least wasn’t hitting at all or playing good defense, at least. It’s too easy to focus on what a player doesn’t do — we harped on the need to get Olerud a platoon partner, for instance. But Olerud got on base like crazy against right handers, made decent contact — for a first baseman, he didn’t hit for the power you want, but when he’s the second, third-best hitter on the team, he’s not the problem.