Player A/B comparison

August 31, 2004 · Filed Under Mariners · 32 Comments 

Been a loooooong time since I did one of these.

Player A: .241/.268/.352
Player B: .241/.281/.309

Which of these players is more valuable? Well, a point of OBP is worth aaabout two points of SLG, so… well, it’s Player A, right?

Not so fast. What if I told you one of these players (A) was born in 1983, and the other (B) in 1977?

Yes, folks, it’s Jose Lopez versus Willie F. Bloomquist!

I think it’s funny that we’ve had arguments here on whether Lopez is overmatched, as Dave wrote, or if he’s just struggling badly but will come around and stick at short, as others have argued — while the question of how bad Bloomquist is (at least in our circles) is so well-established and accepted that we don’t even mention it any more. Overmatched? Lopez… maybe. We can discuss that. Bloomquist, oh yeah (Kool-Aid man busts through monitor).

Randy Winn’s arm

August 31, 2004 · Filed Under Mariners · 30 Comments 

You know, I’m no longer surprised at Randy Winn’s lack of range in center. But how on earth can his throwing arm be so bad? Tonight Carlos Delgado (9 career stolen bases, none since 2002) tagged up on Winn. Not to score from third. Not even to go from second to third. Carlos Delgago advanced from first to second on a fly ball to center field!

This is even more pathetic than Frank Thomas going from second to third on Winn in spring training. How often do you see runners, even fast runners, reach second on a fly ball? Almost never. Ugh.

Cheer up

August 31, 2004 · Filed Under Mariners · 21 Comments 

This hasn’t been one of my favorite days. I got a string of pretty nasty emails from people who think that I’m obviously an idiot because:

A. I rely too much on scouting reports to evaluate players and haven’t learned the value of statistical analysis.
B. I rely too much on statistics in evaluating players and don’t understand the value of scouting.
C. I’m a jerk who has nothing good to say about the organization and wants to see the team fail.

Apparently, I also butcher small children in my spare time and funded the 9-11 terrorists. If all the people out there who hate me could just do me the favor of keeping it to themselves for the rest of the week, I’d appreciate it. I need a break from reading how awful I am. Thanks.

But, before I head to bed, at least I have this: Indians 22, Yankees 0. Sweet.


August 31, 2004 · Filed Under Mariners · 11 Comments 

The M’s have scratched their way back into this game, but I don’t think I’ve had a moment that more sums up my feelings about this season than when Boone got thrown out in the top of the fourth.

Bottom of the third: Moyer’s in a battle with an unlikely opponent and then boom, he’s given up four runs. I blink. Moyer? I’ve seen this I don’t know how many times this season, and I still don’t believe it when it happens.

Then top of the fourth, Boone gets thrown out at home by decent margin after being waved around by Dave “Snelling Crippler” Myers. Inning over. Mariners give up four and then run themselves out of an inning.

That’s my season: frustration at the coaching, at the constant stupid little things that go wrong, mixed with disbelief that in a matchup between Moyer and Towers, it was Moyer who got tagged with four runs early in the game.

This team doesn’t need a new manager and a new GM, it needs an entirely new staff with a cadre of exorcists, wiccans, motivational speakers, Feng Shui experts, and whoever else wants to take a crack at chasing these demons away. Ugh.


August 31, 2004 · Filed Under Mariners · 20 Comments 

I alluded to this in the Lopez comments yesterday, but am just now getting clearance to release the information. And, if you’re curious, this was the main reason I moved Blackley down in the Future Forty.

Travis had an MRI on his shoulder yesterday. Preliminary diagnosis, not yet agreed upon by the entire M’s medical staff, is that he has a torn rotator cuff that will require surgery and keep him from pitching for the next year. If Pedegana agrees, he’s done for ’05.

Yep. Good times to be a Mariner pitching prospect. Light a candle for King Felix.

M’s trade Borders; apocolypse near

August 31, 2004 · Filed Under Mariners · 44 Comments 

The Mariners have traded Pat Borders to Minnesota for B.J. Garbe, one of the biggest busts in recent draft history. Garbe, now 23, was the 5th overall pick in 1999 out of Moses Lake High School, where he teamed with Ryan Doumit (now with the Pirates) and Jason Cooper (Indians) to form one of the best high school teams in state history. Since then, he’s managed to hit like a one-armed girl, including a .201/.283/.278 line this year. Garbe has no value and will certainly be exposed in the rule 5 draft this fall. The M’s essentially made this deal to give Borders another shot at the playoffs.

Of course, the Rainiers are now screwed at catcher for the last week of the season.

More Beltre

August 31, 2004 · Filed Under Mariners · 33 Comments 

Tim Marchman has a good column on Adrian Beltre’s breakout season and whether it portends greatness in his future. It’s a quality read, but in case you hate clicking links, here’s the basic summary:

Of the 10 postwar players who had the most comparable offensive seasons to the one Beltre is having, six are of Hall of Fame caliber and the rest all had good careers after their age-25 season save Jim Ray Hart, a fine player who injured his shoulder in 1969 and was never the same again. The only one who stands out as a fluke, and the comparison that should most worry anyone thinking about signing a fat check made out to Beltre, is Larry Parrish

An 80 percent success rate? I’ll take two, thanks.

I don’t understand people

August 31, 2004 · Filed Under Off-topic ranting · 7 Comments 

I put a link up for the Lance Armstrong Foundation. Lance Armstrong and I both ride bikes and wear those little yellow wristbands, and between the two of us we’ve won six Tour de France races. I think it’s a fine cause, and I encourage everyone to check it out.

But less importantly.. on the wristbands. There are these yellow silicone rubber bracelets you can buy (for $1) and wear to support the foundation. The foundation is selling them as part of their drive to raise $5 million dollars. You may have seen a lot of them during the Olympics (I think swimmer Michael Klim had one out of the water, women’s beach volleyball gold medalist Kerri Walsh wears one, among many others).

People are buying these things 2 for $15 and up, plus shipping, on eBay. Not for an item — for a pre-order where the seller’s not even certain about when they expect to get any (“These are Pre sale items. I just contacted the foundation and should expect to receive this shipment the week of September 10th.”).

You could, for the same price, buy two from the foundation for $2 and donate $20, tax deductable, get them at the same time and help people survive cancer instead of giving that $20 to some dude who’s going to spend it on uh… supporting murder in the third world. And as the LAF site points out, there are side issues around reselling.

I don’t expect eBay to crack down on this, though… I feel like it’d be nice if they did. But realistically, they sell all kinds of crazy illegal crap and as long as they get their cut they’ve never seemed particularly interested in shutting down auctions unless they’ve been visited by a plague of well-funded lawyers.

But what I don’t understand — do people want these things so badly that they’ll pay more to not get it? Are they just not reading the fine print? Isn’t the whole point of the exercise to do something worthwhile, and doesn’t craving them for fashion items dodge that? If you could counterfeit a receipt from the Humane Society, what kind of a person would do that and go around to people bragging about how generous they are?

Seattle at Toronto

August 31, 2004 · Filed Under Mariners · 22 Comments 

Boy… this’ll be a thrilling confrontation, won’t it? An active team with a plan suffering a huge setback from injuries hosts a team that implemented a disastrous plan and is also now racked by injuries.

Reasons to watch the remaining Mariners games

  • Ichiro!
  • Can Melvin forge a rotation that must include at least one pitcher from a set of guys that haven’t seized opportunity yet?
  • Can Melvin patch together a bullpen with the pieces he’s given?
  • Is Meche’s arm going to fall off while he’s on the mound, or on the side during warm ups?
  • Is Jose Lopez overmatched, or unlucky?
  • What in the world is this team going to do for September call-ups? Tacoma’s already been gutted and we’re already seeing the team have second thoughts about exposing these pitchers to ML hitting.
  • Does Melvin get fired?
  • Does Bavasi get fired?
  • Where do the Mariners wind up in next year’s draft?

Constructive things to do about Section 101

August 30, 2004 · Filed Under Mariners · 27 Comments 

Concrete things you can do
If you’re as ticked as I am about the Mariners’ decision to destroy the beer garden and sacrifice stadium personality and fan experience for the sake of ~240 bad seats, here are actual things you can do to try and get this fixed.

Your message
Use your own words, feelings, and examples, but you want something like–

The Mariners have destroyed the center field landing, a unique feature of Safeco Field, in order to insert about 240 more seats in center field. The sunny beer garden, enjoyed by many every game and a key part of Safeco Field’s fun atmosphere, has been sacrificed because the Mariners thought they might make an extra half-million in revenue this year on seat revenues. While it was bad enough that last season they snuck bleachers in for certain high-demand games, it’s even worse this year as the seating section is present every game, whether there are two people sitting there or twenty — and the Mariners still claim they’re temporary. As someone who paid a share of the over three hundred million dollars to provide the Mariners with this stadium, I am appalled both at this decision and at the failure of the Public Facilities District to exercise their oversight authority and stop this.

I know that’s not my finest writing, but it’s intended as an example of what you could say. Change and embellish as best suits you. If you’ve stopped going, put that in there. If you’re not buying beer, put that in there, if you’re just dismayed and disappointed, put that in there. Be specific, pointed, and quick. You’re much more likely to be printed/read/paid attention to if it’s a sharp jab instead of, say, extended torture by phone-book reading.

Please don’t cut-and-paste that: editors and everyone else can smell fake letters pretty well, it’ll only annoy them, and it definately won’t get run. Please don’t test that theory.

Talk to people
Point it out when you’re at the park. Mention it to people you know are fans. Everyone I’ve talked to about this, down the most casual of fans at the park, reacts badly: “What? Are you serious? That’s awful.”

Make sure people know. The more people know, the less likely this is to come back.

Bug the Mariners
Call, write, or email the Mariners to tell them you’re ticked off about this. Writing letters is good, but does cost money. The Mariners do care about fan opinions, and if they think it will drive revenues, they’ll sit right up.

P.O. Box 4100
Seattle, WA 98194

Phone: (206) 346-4001

Bug the PFD
Call or fax the PFD and ask them to please exercise their oversight responsibility and keep the Mariners from repeating this mistake next season.
Phone (206)664-3076
Fax (206)664-3194
No email contact yet.

Bug your local media
Write a letter to your favorite (or least-favorite) paper or columnist and express your opinion, or ask them to write about this. Call into sports talk radio — this is a power-to-the-people story, and I’m shocked that they haven’t already all taken up torches to rail against the team.

Seattle Times Editorial Board
Fax: (206) 382-6760
Letters Editor
The Seattle Times
PO Box 70
Seattle, WA 98111

Seattle Times Sports page
Sports Editor
The Seattle Times
P.O. Box 70
Seattle, WA 98111

Fax: (206) 464-3255

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle PI did take a shot at them, but hasn’t made this a story.

Letters to the editor link or email Or:
P.O. Box 1909
Seattle WA 98111-1909

Letter to the sports page: email

Tacoma News Tribune

The Editor
The News Tribune
PO Box 11000
Tacoma, Wa. 98411
Fax: (253) 597-8451

They even let you call the sports desk: 253-597-8680 (kudos for printing that, btw)

Seattle Weekly
Send a letter to the editor at Mention that you’re disappointed that they were willing to run what was easily the harshest and most prescient coverage of the Mariners before the season when that took a little courage, and then passed this up.

The Stranger

Letters to the editor go to

Let us know
If you get published in the paper, or get your voice on the air, or you hear anything else about this, drop us a line and we’ll get a link up.

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