August 15, 2004 · Filed Under Mariners · Comments Off on  

Any win against the Yankees is a good win, but ahhhhhh, a 7-3 victory’s even better. A couple of thoughts:

I don’t care what color men or analysts say about scratching out a run to win a game, because it’s not true. The M’s won today like they used to win when they had league-best offensive attacks: by busting open a huge inning out of nowhere, chasing pitchers off the mound crying, not recording a single out, as the crowd roars for the next reliever to be brought out for the lions.

In almost every game today, the winning team scored as many or more runs in one inning than the losing team scored all game. It was true in every game in the AL: Minnesota over Cleveland, Baltimore over Toronto, Texas over Tampa, Anahiem over Detroit, Kansas City over Oakland, Seattle over New York. In the NL, it was nearly complete: Arizona over New York, San Diego over Cicny, San Francisco over Philly, Pittsburgh over Colorado, LA over Chicago, St. Louis over Atlanta.

Some of those were low-scoring games, but there it is.

Only two games didn’t go like that — Houston over Montreal, Flordia over Milwaukee.

You can win games putting one run on the board every few innings. You win many, many more when your offense can put up a huge number in one inning. I’ve always felt, in the abscence of any evidence at all, that this is part of why putting together good offensive sequences is so important: once you start the party, everyone who shows up should bring something for the potluck.

Unfortunately for us, Melvin seems addicted to the poisonous potato salad of Scott Spiezio. 0-4 for Spiezio, again underscoring why he shouldn’t be in a lineup. Spiezio’s .205/.279/.335 is significantly worse than 2002 Jeff Cirillo and about the same as 2003 Jeff Cirillo, which cost Jeff his job (rightfully). How good does Spiezio’s glove have to be to carry that awful of a bat at first, the least demanding job on the field? Why not just play Bucky there every day? [edit: as our readers note, Bucky’s got a knee fluid problem that keeps him from playing first regularly, which goes to show the kind of thing I miss out on learning by skipping out of town for a week or two]. Or a can of tomato soup? Small strike zone, hard to pitch to, same approach every day, steady contributor….

And he (Spiezio, not the can of soup) is better than today’s third baseman, Willie F. Bloomquist, now hitting a pity-inspiring .239/.261/.291.

What’s it going to take to end the Bloomquist myth — that he’s talented, and can contribute to a contending ball clup? We’ve offered his minor league lines, his major league service… none of it has been persuasive. If he plays almost full-time, as he has lately, from now until the end of the year, will that put this wounded legend out of its misery? Or will a new crop of excuses spring from the ground in this winter’s rain, that he has to begin the season as the starting third baseman if he’s to be expected to live up to that, or that Bloomquist’s still young and developing, and was concentrating on his defensive play this year? Even if those were true, doesn’t that make him such a limited player as to be useless?

Will this myth fade away, its adherents quiet about its former prevalence, and someone new and (I hope) more deserving annointed as fan favorite? Or like many cults of the irrational, will every failure of his talent in every test only increase their fervor and belief that he’s the team’s unjustly maligned savior?