Future Forty Update

Dave · August 29, 2004 at 5:46 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

It’s a few days early, but the September update of the Future Forty is now available. There’s some shuffling in the top 5, as Jose Lopez passes Clint Nageotte and Travis Blackley. The poor showings in Seattle haven’t helped the confidence of either pitcher, and I’d been contemplating moving both down for a while anyways. Their performances in the big leagues seemed completely out of line with their Triple-A numbers, but park effects could have been skewing our expectations.

Nageotte at home: 31 IP, 16 H, 13 BB, 28 K, 2.03 ERA
Nageotte in all PCL parks besides Cheney Stadium: 49 2/3 IP, 62 H, 22 BB, 35 K, 5.98 ERA

Blackley at home: 51 IP, 35 H, 19 BB, 45 K, 1.59 ERA
Blackley in all PCL parks besides Cheney Stadium: 59 1/3 IP, 65 H, 28 BB, 35 K, 5.76 ERA

Cheney’s a good pitcher’s park, but those are ridiculous splits. Sample size comes into play, and I’m not trying to say that Nageotte and Blackley aren’t good prospects anymore. I do, however, think that their Triple-A performances weren’t as impressive as first appear, and we all believed they were rushed anyways. At this point, neither has conquered the PCL, and both need a good deal more work before they see the majors again.

Also, Bucky Jacobsen and J.J. Putz lost eligibility and have found their way off the Future Forty. Josh Womack and Bryan LaHair played their way off the list. Three new arms appear in the 30-34 range, led by converted catcher Rich Dorman, who is posting eye-popping K numbers but just can’t throw strikes consistently. Newly claimed Brett Evert and non-drafted free agent signee Brandon Moorhead also make their first appearances on the Future Forty. Oswaldo Navarro finishes out the list at #40, coming back to the list after dropping off earlier this year.

You’ll note the brief comment about Mike Morse being suspended. This is one of those cases, like Rett’s “personal issues”, where I don’t feel like it benefits anyone to reveal the details of what happened. It’s a fairly serious issue, and I’ve been asked to keep this one to myself. On stuff like this, I think it’s a reasonable request, and therefore, I’m going to do so.

This will likely be the last appearance on the Future Forty for Lopez and Madritsch, who will see their rookie eligibility expire fairly soon. Removing those two from consideration, the M’s farm system over the offseason is going to rank among the bottom tier, despite King Felix’s presence. There’s a pretty serious lack of impact players througout the system. Thank you, Frank Mattox.

Also, interestingly, despite the sentiment that the system is rich with arms and not so much with bats, the Future Forty is split right down the middle with twenty pitchers and twenty hitters. 14 of the top 22 prospects are hitters. I’d say that sentiment has long past lived out its truthfulness. This is no longer a “pitching rich” system.


33 Responses to “Future Forty Update”

  1. ATK on August 29th, 2004 6:46 pm

    It is utter crap to hold back any information regarding a player — even if he is a minor leaguer — for it is a slap in the face of the fans, who indirectly support this frachise financially. I am wholly sick of this management, and the way in which they operate; as far as I am concerned, they can all fall of the face of the Earth.

  2. Jeff Sullivan on August 29th, 2004 6:50 pm

    It is a personal issue, and the general public has no right to demand disclosure.

    We already know how much money every player is making per year. These guys deserve to have at least a shred of their own lives, free from mass knowledge.

  3. jason in nj on August 29th, 2004 7:26 pm

    agreed, jeff.

    hey atk, what does it help the average fan to know this stuff? does it at all? or are you just really extra curious?

  4. Paul Covert on August 29th, 2004 8:27 pm

    Thanks for the update, Dave. I’m curious about how you balanced risk and reward. The fact that you rated Nottingham above Atchison makes an interesting test case: Atchison is contributing already, if in a small way (low-risk, low-reward), while Nottingham is probably four years away from doing so (high-risk, high-reward?). Atchison seems to only need to solidify what he’s doing now to become a significant contributor, while Nottingham has several steps forward to take between here and there. Does Nottingham have that much upside? Or do you view Atchison as unlikely to keep up what he’s been doing?

    Also– what happened to Snelling? I assume he got hurt again playing in Arizona; he’d been doing all right for a couple weeks there, and then disappeared from the box scores all of a sudden, and if the explanation was ever put in print I missed it.

    (And by the way: Yes, I support the privacy of Rett and Morse and any other players who need it; if they were drawing Rodmanesque attention to themselves that would be another matter, but if it’s just immature young guys trying to get their lives under control, I can sympathize, and would feel myself to be violating their privacy if I knew the details as a member of the public.)

  5. Jim Thomsen on August 29th, 2004 9:46 pm

    As a working newspaper journalist, I can see without equivocation that as a matter of law AND a practice of standard journalistic ethics, Michael Morse is NOt entitled to a reasonable expectation of privacy. I think any libel expert would agree that Morse is a public figure and that he willingly made himself one by virtue of his desirfe to seek fame and fortune as a professional athlete. Sports journalism has a long history, egregious and heroic, of reporting on the private lives of such people as it bears on his public performance. Since his personal issues are directly affecting his public/professional life, they are more than fair game for any media outlet which chooses to report on them. I think any media or legal expert would back me up on that.

    That being said, I don’t think this is a case in which the media (blogs included) has an obligation to report on Morse’s personal issues. It’s a judgment call requiring a fair degree of subjectivity, but I don’t see where the public NEEDS this information. Therefore, I personally would not dig too deeply into it UNLESS it involves criminal or civil-liability matters, in which case the public DOES need to know.

    But don’t confuse what the public NEEDS to know with what it has a RIGHT to know. By any standard, the public has a RIGHT to know what’s going on with Michael Morse. And those who know what his personal issues are have a right to withhold that information, so I don’t fault David for doing so … which I’m sure he’s doing to protect his credibility with his inside sources and to exercise a degree of subjective human sensitivity.

    But I’m willing to bet it will be reported in the press sooner or later … I’d be surprised if some San Antonio beat writer isn’t working his team sources as we speak.

  6. James on August 29th, 2004 10:53 pm

    As a “future fan” of this player, I want to know the kind of player I would be rooting for. I have a right to judge this player by levering his past “character issues” with what he’s done since.

    This isn’t rumor or innuendo. The Mariners have suspended this guy for whatever reason, therefore it’s fact.

    The Mariners conduct their business in the public eye. The players play in the public eye. What a player (and their organizations) do on their own time, is a marginal amount of my business, but he’s been suspended, which means it’s affecting the product on the field (and might again). He obviously let it spill into the public domain.

    This is a very callous view point, but why does Michael Morse get a reprieve?

    There’s a chance when I find out the information, I’ll say, “So what? I didn’t need to know that.” But there’s also a chance it will change my opinion of the player.

  7. Sane on August 29th, 2004 10:57 pm

    Dave – In the Future 40, and in your previous write-up about Jose Lopez (well-written by the way), you’ve indicated now twice that he’s “completely overmatched” in the bigs. I’m curious as to why you think this–keeping in mind that the kid is only 20 years old. He’s not putting up great numbers, granted, but he was brought up to be challenged (and he is–not overmatched, but challenged). I’ll be damned if I can’t find the quote (been searching high and low for about 40 minutes here) … but sometime, somewhere, somebody in the Mariners system (Scouting director? Hitting coach from AAA?) who worked with–and watched–Jose Lopez at the AAA-level said that he had nothing more to learn at that level. That he was ready for the Major Leagues RIGHT THEN, and had no more development left to do in the minors. And then Lopez, as expected, was promoted.

    Right now, as a 20-year-old, with no more than 104 ABs under his belt, Lopez is posting a .231-.259-.317 line. Not impressive at all. In fact, close to dismal with that OBP and SLG. And yes, he’s posting worse K/BB rates than he did with Tacoma. But if you watched Jose Lopez when he first came up to the bigs, from DAY ONE (and up to this point), he has looked very comfortable at the plate. To me at least, I’m no expert, but he always looks like he has a focused gameplan–even if he struggles to execute. But there a few reasons that I don’t think he’s being overmatched to such a critical degree that I think you might be claiming. 1. He’s only 20 years old–and very few 20-year-olds will be able to post very respectable numbers at such a young age–but that does not mean they’re not ready to develop at the MLB level, 2. He’s been commended by both coaches and players alike for his mature, focused approach to the game–both with his hitting and fielding, and 3. That .231-.259-.317 line isn’t that bad, all things considered. Keep in mind that at age 21, in his first 100 MLB AB’s of his call-up year, Miguel Tejada posted only a .202-.240-.333 line.

    I only argue this point because I believe you were contending that Jose Lopez should be sent back down to further develop his skills at a lower level. I don’t believe that that’s the solution, especially given the quote(s) (that unfortunately I couldn’t dig up) of those who have worked with him. You are right that Lopez can definitely go one way or the other–stardom or nowhere–but he won’t get either way any quicker by going back down to the minors. He’s up here to develop at the highest level because he’s ready for it, he’s showed that he’s ready for it, and he’s been challenged–but not overmatched.

    That’s just what I think. Again, with all due respect–I’m no where near being an expert on any of this, and respect the fact that you have more qualified views than I do, but I just have a hard time believing your statements that Jose Lopez is “completely overmatched” and should be sent back down to AAA.

  8. Sane on August 29th, 2004 11:20 pm

    And one last note to that last comment: I’m not trying to so much argue your judgement, but just asking why (or how) you think he’s being overmatched to that extent–specifically?

  9. adam on August 30th, 2004 12:04 am

    You have to remember, if Rich Aurilla wasn’t horrible he would still be in AAA.

  10. Tim F on August 30th, 2004 12:47 am

    This is the second mystery suspension that Morse has gotten this year. He was in the middle of the first one when he was traded to the M’s. It was reported as a “violation of team rules” but apparantly it was severe enough that the M’s honored the suspension that the White Sox imposed on him.

    If I had to guess. I believe that he’s been busted for juicing. Why else would this is so tightly kept under wraps. If he were having family issues he’d be on the “unvailable list” not “suspended”


    On to another player. Greg Jacobs was suspended then basically kicked off of the Rainiers, then brought back for 2 games and now he’s gone again. What’s his story?

  11. Ralph Malph on August 30th, 2004 8:57 am


    NO privacy? NONE at all? The public has a right to know absolutely everything that happens in the lives of every public figure? Even if he’s a young kid playing in the minor leagues?

    Certainly a public figure has LESS right to privacy — and how much less depends on how prominent a public figure. But not none.

    Even the president has a right to some privacy — doyou think you should be able to find out as a journalist what he talked to Laura about last night? How often they have sex?

    My god, there are limits. And whatever Michael Morse’s problem is, if he and the Mariners think it should remain private, I’m OK with that.

  12. bob mong on August 30th, 2004 9:57 am

    Do any Rainiers hitters have wacky home-road splits? Seems like if Cheney Stadium is skewing some of the pitchers’ stats it might do likewise for some of the hitters.

  13. Zzyzx on August 30th, 2004 10:32 am

    The one question that does come up is if this is something that is likely to affect his development or not. It doesn’t look good either way.

  14. Jeff Sullivan on August 30th, 2004 10:52 am


    Reed is hitting .360 and slugging .570 at home; he’s at .259 and .343 on the road (beware small sample sizes).

    Zapp is .246 and .502 at home, .330 and .543 on the road.

    Leone was .326 and .843 at home, .238 and .463 on the road.

    Jacobsen was .339/.736 at home, and .292/.608 on the road.

    Lopez was .246/.412 at home, and .329/.571 on the road.

    Dobbs is .299/.454 at home, and .281/.439 on the road.

    Santiago sucks everywhere.

  15. bob mong on August 30th, 2004 11:08 am

    Jeff, thanks.

  16. Conor Glassey on August 30th, 2004 11:36 am

    Hey Jeff – where do you get minor league splits?

  17. msb on August 30th, 2004 12:53 pm

    FWIW, the Birmingham suspension was with two other players (lefthanders Brian McNichol and Dennis Ulacia):

    “The quick start and resulting win helped the Barons overcome the sting from the loss of starting shortstop Mike Morse, starting pitcher Dennis Ulacia and top reliever Brian McNichol. All three players were placed on the team’s restricted list for an incident following the Barons’ 2-1 home win over Huntsville last Friday.

    All three of the players are with the Barons and will continue to work out with the club, but won’t play for the next 10 days, according to Birmingham manager Razor Shines. None of the players nor Shines would cite what the violation was, but Morse did say, “It does not involve drugs or substance abuse or anything like that.”

    “We made a mistake and now we’ve got to pay for it,” the 6-foot-5, 225 pound highly-regarded shortstop said. “It’s a lesson I’ll learn from.”

    Shines said he and White Sox officials concurred on the suspension, that it was something he had to impose on the three players.

    “When you violate team rules, you have to be punished,” said the Barons’ first-year manager.

    “I’m not going to be more specific about what happened. It’s a team matter and we’re handling it in-house. Not only will this be a lesson that will sink in with those guys, it will sink in with the entire team. And that’s why we have to do what we have to do.””

    the San Antonio suspension was:

    “Morse suspended for season: Missions’ infielder Michael Morse was suspended. Manager Dave Brundage wasn’t specific on Morse’s suspension, but he did acknowledge that a rule was broken and that he is gone for the season.

    “Basically, he broke a major league policy,” Brundage said

    Teammate Luis Oliveros was suspended for a similar infraction on Monday, Brundage said. However, he declined to get into specifics on either case because of the MLB confidentiality clause.”

  18. Ralph Malph on August 30th, 2004 1:29 pm

    Why is Ugueto on the restricted list? He was having a pretty good year.

  19. Jeff Sullivan on August 30th, 2004 1:38 pm

    Conor, there are impossible-to-find splits located at CNNSI.

    Home/road splits for Tacoma: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/baseball/minors/stats/2004/pcltacomahmrd/

    Lefty/righty splits don’t work, for some reason.

    I’m sure there are beOR=# places to get them – I just don’t know where.

  20. Jim Thomsen on August 30th, 2004 2:12 pm


    Okay, Michael Morse has SOME right to privacy. He can use the bathroom privately.

    What he doesn’t have is a right to privacy as his personal problems affect his PUBLIC status. Once his personal problems imperiled him professionally, they fell under the purview of the public’s right to know. Same with Greg Jacobs.

    Having been threatened with a lawsuit over this sort of thing in the past, I’m well-studied on the topic and can say with confidence that just about any journalist or legal expert would agree.

  21. Ralph Malph on August 30th, 2004 3:39 pm

    Baloney. You have no LEGAL right to information about his personal life. Though I realize it is of major interest to many members of the public, the Mariners are a privately held, for-profit corporation. He is a private individual employed by that corporation, not a public employee or public official.

    Yes, there are good reasons why teams choose to make information available on their players. But those are PR reasons, not legal reasons.

    It’s reasonable for the press to ask, and it’s reasonable for the public to pressure the team to release information. But you have no legal right to know.

    I don’t claim to be a legal expert or a journalist, but I am a lawyer. By the way.

  22. Steve on August 30th, 2004 4:04 pm

    Jim – I think that if you have the information, you are free to publish it with the libel standard relevant to public figures.

    That does not mean that everyone is obliged to realease all information that meets that standard. They are free to refuse to answer the question, and you are free to try to find the information by some other means and publish it.

    But if you can’t locate the information, they are not obligated to give it to you.

    Furthermore, journalists are not obligated to publish all of the information tney obtain. Most of the time journalists pick and choose the information they choose to put into a story and how they choose to interpret that information.

    If David chooses not to publish information at his disposal, that is his privilege, and, just like almost any other journalist, he doesn’t have to justify his decision to anyone except his editor and publisher. And since he is editor and publisher, it’s his call all of the way.

  23. DMZ on August 30th, 2004 4:25 pm

    There are also cases where teams not only morally should not release information but are barred from doing so, and potentially liable for huge damages if they did so. Say a player’s suffering from a mental illness that’s preventing them from playing and he doesn’t want disclosed publically — while the change in status this affects the team and the player, the team’s going to be stuck being as vague as possible.

  24. Paul Weaver on August 30th, 2004 4:30 pm

    Wow! Two competing points. I keep flip flopping on how I feel.
    It’s a private organization…but it’s in the public eye.
    It’s private information….but it affects play in the public.
    Either way, I don’t feel it is Dave’s responsibility or obligation to report it. I keep secrets, and if any of my friends (or ex-friends) became famous, their secrets are safe with me. I know it, you don’t – it’s not like this is an Energy Council briefing…….
    Perhaps it is the organization’s obligation.
    But in the end we may be arguing over peanuts here.
    A “personal issue” that keeps a minor leaguer out for a couple weeks may not mean much.
    But it’s a fun argument.

  25. Dave on August 30th, 2004 7:58 pm


    Balancing risk and reward is tough, and I’m not sure I can define exactly how I try to balance them. Felix has as much risk as anyone in the system, but he’s #1 by a mile, so I guess I’m not too gunshy. The Nottingham-Atchison thing isn’t so much risk-reward, though, as it is opportunity and availability.

    When I build the Future Forty, I’m attempting to quantify the possibility of each player helping the Mariners. This is a list for M’s fans and not a complete overall ranking of ability. In order to determine how likely it is for a player to succeed with the M’s, I allow a decent amount of input from the organization to go into a player’s ranking, though in the end, it is my list, not theirs. If they’re down on a player, no matter how good he is, he probably isn’t going to get a shot, and that will affect his ranking on the Future Forty, even if I’m personally a fan of his.

    So is the case with Scott Atchison. I think he could make a nice swing man reliever for the next three years before arbitration starts awarding him too much money. The M’s see him, essentially, as roster filler. He was unprotected in last year’s rule 5 draft and passed over, and it is up in the air whether he will remain on the 40 man roster after this season is completed. He got the label of organizational soldier and is going to have to pitch very well in the big leagues to shake it. My gut feeling is that if Atchison has a major league career, it will be in another city. Therefore, he isn’t ranked especially high despite the fact that he’s contributing in the major leagues today.

    Another way to look at it is that the minor leagues are filled with Scott Atchisons. Value is inherant in things that are not common, and Atchison being the essential definition of replacement level talent hurts his prospect status. If he’s exposed to the rule 5 draft and taken, it isn’t really that big of a loss, because players with similar talents are signed as minor league free agents every winter. What he brings to the table just isn’t that hard to replace. Nottingham, while not contributing anytime soon, at least has the potential to be somewhat less common. Nottingham, viewed as a decent prospect by most clubs, has actual value in the market. If needed, the M’s could use him as an asset in trade, while Scott Atchison would return next to nothing.

    Baseball talent is a pyramid. Scott Atchison is part of the very broad base. Shawn Nottingham is showing signs of being able to move up the pyramid a bit, putting himself in a slightly more valuable position to the organization. The odds are probably higher of Atchison having a major league career than Nottingham, but to which one has more value in the baseball marketplace, Nottingham is the answer.

    As to Snelling, he felt a pain in his arm the day before his rehab assignment was to end and was shut down for the year. There’s some more potentially bad news on the prospect injury front coming that I can’t reveal just quite yet, but will probably surface late tomorrow or early Wednesday.

  26. Dave on August 30th, 2004 8:30 pm


    I know there is an undercurrent of M’s fans who feel that Lopez is the second coming, a top-level prospect, one whose talent simply cannot be guaged so far. But, honestly, to say his performance in Seattle has “not been great” is like calling Roseanne “a little overweight”. In 104 at-bats, he’s hitting .231/.259/.317. Just 5 of his 24 hits are extra base knocks, so it’s not like he’s roping the ball all over the field when he does hit it. He’s drawn just 3 walks and struckout 15 times. He’s also made 5 errors in 28 games, a pace for 29 over a full season. Production wise, he’s been abysmal, one of the worst performers in the major leagues.

    Now, obviously, he’s 20. We’re not holding this against him, and I don’t think this 100 at-bat stretch does anything to affect his development nor should it alter anyone’s outlook on his potential. But to say that he’s just being challenged and not overmatched is, well, silly.

    As for the comment from a Mariners official that claims Lopez has nothing else to learn at Tacoma, I’d simply say that the man is just plain wrong. Lopez, today, is a terrible major league player. His numbers in Tacoma this year translated out to a .231 EqA in the big leagues, which is a terrible major league player. His numbers in Seattle are worse than that, as his EqA stands at .208. All of this is excusable, because 20-year-olds aren’t supposed to be quality major league players. This isn’t a knock on Lopez. He’s ahead of most 20-year-olds, darn near all of them, in fact. But his approach at the plate currently makes him a very, very easy out. There’s no reason to throw him a strike. He will get himself out. He’s going to have to learn some modicum of patience. He doesn’t have to become a walk fiend, but he has to stop chasing at least some pitches out of the strike zone. Can he learn this in Seattle? Sure. Could he learn it in Tacoma? Yep. Which one is better for his development? You could make a case either way. But one thing is clear; he’s got a ways to go before he’s major league ready, and there really isn’t a good argument to be made that he has nothing left to learn at Triple-A. It’s just not true.

    That’s all the objective stuff. For the subjective argument “he’s looked good, but just hasn’t executed“, I just disagree. He’s flashed the athetlic ability, solid swing, plate coverage, and power that indicate that he could become a nice hitter. But he’s also shown an approach at the plate that is so easy to exploit that he’s barely a challenge to major league pitchers. He’s shown his potential, and perhaps that’s what you’ve seen and have been impressed by, but he hasn’t looked challenged. He’s looked out of his element, a minor league hitter facing major league pitchers. And that’s fine, because at this point in his career, that’s what he is. It isn’t an insult to not be ready at 20-years-old. We should all be willing to admit that, no matter how much we may want Lopez to be a phenom who defies normal development patterns, he just isn’t. He’s got some major improvements to make before he can contribute as a valuable part of a major league club, and I’d rather not flush his service time down the drain waiting for those improvements to come.

  27. Paul Covert on August 30th, 2004 8:50 pm

    Thanks, Dave. Yes, I’m well familiar with the talent-pyramid concept. It’s just that I had (rightly or wrongly) been perceiving as Atchison being not far from establishing himself as a solid setup man, which if true would make him roster filler. (His K/W numbers have been quite good, both in Tacoma and in Seattle this year.)

    As for Nottingham, on the other hand, I’m sure I’ve read descriptions of him as having gotten very good results with unspectacular stuff, which if true would have seemed to put his ceiling at “respectable innings-eater,” which isn’t that much higher than “solid setup man.”

    So I agree with your methodology, and if it’s indeed true that Nottingham’s reasonable ceiling is more like Pineiro than like Franklin, then your valuations do make good sense. I hadn’t been that optimistic (and yes, I know he’s got a no-hitter going through six tonight!).

    (As for the “further bad news on the prospect injury front”: What else could go wrong?! Now you’ve got me imagining that Nageotte’s back strain turned out to be a herniated disk or something….)

  28. Paul Covert on August 30th, 2004 8:52 pm

    Oops… in the first paragraph above I meant “…which if true would make him MORE THAN roster filler.” Amazing what a minor typo can do to the implications of a sentence….

  29. Dave on August 30th, 2004 8:56 pm

    As far as I know, Nageotte’s back problems aren’t serious.

  30. Sane on August 30th, 2004 10:29 pm

    Thanks for the explanation Dave — I appreciate it.

  31. Jim Thomsen on August 30th, 2004 11:04 pm

    Some of you folks haven’t been reading what I’m saying. The public has a right to know about Michael Morse IF his personal issues have a direct bearing on his public performance because he is a public figure and anything can be legally said about him in the press, absent malice. I NEVER said anybody had an obligation to give up information on him, and I made it clear that I respected Dave’s position not to disclose the information. But if a media outlet gets hold of the info, it’s entirely their choice and their discretion about whether to publish it. As I said, I would only if it was a criminal or civil-liability matter. That is my personal threshhold of newsworthiness. Other press outlets may feel differently. The point is that there is no legal mechanism to stop them as long, as I said, they do so with the absence of malice.

    Rent the fine 1981 movie, “Absence of Malice,” starring Paul Newman and Sally Field. Some of the legal details are understandably a bit out of date, but the underlying boundaries and legal foundations are pretty much the same now. It’s a good study in how the media can think something about somebody is newsworthy, only to find it really isn’t … as an innocent quasi-public figure gets his life ruined in the process. It’s overdramatized and utterly implausible at times, and yet gives you a good primer on the press and public-private boundaries.

  32. James on August 31st, 2004 12:37 am

    No, it’s not Dave’s or the Mariners’ outright responsibility to report “personal” information of this nature about a player. However, anyone who does have concrete information about Michael Morse, either from this incident or prior, better not, at a later date, write with intention of touting his character without disclosing this information.

    Here’s the danger to not disclosing this information… every time I hear anybody write about Michael Morse, I’ll wonder what it is everybody’s hiding until it sees the light of print or pixel.

    Hiding this information is a no-win battle for Morse. Either it’s no big deal on a public level, and I’ll dismiss it as such, so there’s no reason to keep it under wraps. Or it is a big deal, so the public should definitely know or never confront the name Michael Morse ever again.

  33. DMZ on August 31st, 2004 1:52 am

    James — It’s not a no-win battle for Morse in certain situations. Say a player is fighting a drug problem, or schizophrenia, or… a hundred other intensely personal, difficult things that could put a player out, either by breaking the rules or because they’re unable to play. The win would be to get that player help, keep the spotlight off him, and see what you can do to get them back together, if not back playing.

    If I knew a player went through depression one season, it effected their play, but they didn’t want to disclose it, I wouldn’t say anything. I’d probably even avoid saying anything that would hint at it. I don’t think reasonable discretion in these cases is unreasonable or that it hurts anyone.