Cheer up

Dave · August 31, 2004 at 8:26 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

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.


21 Responses to “Cheer up”

  1. Jeff in Fremont on August 31st, 2004 8:51 pm

    Cammy, I’ve disagreed with you on more that one occasion (even going so far as to label you a “hack” after you criticized Gillick for the Cirillo fiasco that you backed), but for the most part, you do a very good job of supporting your views with statistics. A lot of people just get turned off becuase you tend to be a “half empty” type when it comes to scouting, and more casual fans are more appreciative of enthusastic hype that flat out reality.

    You are right to place more emphasis of a player’s flaws; after all, this is a game based the notion that faliure is the most likely outcome. I appreciate that you would rather come across as a crusty pessimist than risk damaging your integrity.

    On the other hand, I do agree with others that you’re being way to hard on Lopez.

  2. Jim Thomsen on August 31st, 2004 9:20 pm


    I’m surprised you get attacked. Or maybe not so much … I mean, this is baseball we’re talking about. It begs the question: Is this really as personal and emotional to people as, say, religion, sexuality, morality, politics, etc.? I mean, I always say I love baseball … but do I say that too casually? Do I love baseball the way I love my family? Probably not, because I can separate it out, the same way I “love” the novels of Stephen King, Stephen Dobyns and Tom Perrotta, or the musical oeuvre of Dar Williams, or “Seinfeld,” or Monet’s paintings of giant bran muffins. (Yes, they’re sheaves of wheat, but they sure LOOK like giant bran muffins.) It’s baseball … it’s what I make time for in bedtween making money and looking in on my widowed mom and trying to stay “on” with my on-again, off-again girlfriend. It’s fun, and fulfilling to a certain extent, but I just can’t see it ever getting THAT personal.

    What I think is going on is that the people who flock to USS Mariner are very smart, very studied people … and everybody wants to be seen as the smartest person in the room. And I think some resent the truth that you and Derek and Jason are in a three-way tie for that title, and that they’ll never get the attention and respect for their observations that you do for yours. It’s the old junior-high-school strategy of building yourself up by tearing someone else down.

    It’s shame, but it distracts from what is by and large extremely stimulating, exceptional bright daily discourse and disagreement among people of the personality type to be able to go back and forth on opposing sides of a topic all day long and then say, “Okay, eno0ugh of this. Let’s get some pizza and beer.”

    Let those folks carry the day, and don’t let the others get you down. Don’t withdraw or pull your rhetorical punches here for fear of being flamed.

    I’ve been reading USS Mariner for about a year now, and it has made me a better, smarter, more aware Mariners fan than I have ever been, dating back to my presence as an 11-year-old at that wonderful 6-0 shutout at the hands of the California Angels on April 7, 1977. At the risk of sounding like Renee Zellweger to Dave’s Tom Cruise, I’ll say that Dave makes me want to be a better thinker. I cite Mike Cameron as an example. My first-ever e-mail to Dave was about how I believed the conventional wisdom about his spiritual brother Mike. Dave told me I was wrong, and patiently explaIned why … and, well … in time, I could set my own ego aside enough to see that he has been proven to be right.

    If we do more listening here, instead of waiting to talk, we just might not only raise the level of discourse to higher levels, but do so with even more colorful civility.

    (That being said, I can’t resist a dig about how “overmatched” Jose Lopez was at the plate today.)

  3. Jeff in Fremont on August 31st, 2004 9:27 pm

    I forgot to say how much I enjoyed hearing about the Yankees getting utterly thrashed at home. What is it with the freakin’ Indians? The team that came back from a 12 run deficit against the eventual 116-win Mariners…on national TV, at that! Now I can’t help but wonder if this isn’t some sort of talisman of doom for the f’n Yanks, especially now that the BoSox are only 3 1/2 out.

    After Omar went 6 for 7 tonight, I couldn’t help but wish he’d passed that physical last winter.

  4. tvwxman on August 31st, 2004 9:34 pm

    The Yankees, for all thier bluster, forgot one major thing: Pitching trumps hitting.

    The Yanks were relying on spit and chewing gum to get their starting 5 through the season. Hoping that 3 pitchers on the wrong side of 34 (Lieber, Mussina and Brown) would be effective, and Jose Contreras would turn it around was wishful thinking at best. And when they realized that they needed pitching…surprise! No one would take any prospects from their gutted farm system. Now, they’ve got a staff of 5-6 inning starters, and no one to get to Rivera/Gordon, unless they can throw 150 innings each.

    Bottom line: No team pushing a $200 million payroll should have to rely on Tanyon Sturtze, CJ Nitkowski and Bret Prinz in their bullpen.

  5. bigcat on August 31st, 2004 10:09 pm

    Hey Dave,

    I’ve been reading since the TNT posted your URL. At first, I thought you didn’t know what the hell you were talking about. I’ve come to appreciate your mix of stats and scouting. I like all three of you, but I really appreciate your honest assessments of the state of the M’s. Keep up the good work. BTW, as far as I can tell, the comments are working out fine. Don’t change a thing!

  6. johnB on August 31st, 2004 10:14 pm

    Very interesting your getting attacked.
    You seem to be pretty right on…here, let me get you a kleenex!

  7. Sergey on September 1st, 2004 12:46 am

    Dave, Ditto on paragraph #5, comment #2 (Jim Thomsen). I am a more knowledgeable mariner fan because of USS Mariner staff.

  8. Gary on September 1st, 2004 12:48 am


    I sell books on and today I found myself feeling bad because one of my buyers gave me a bad rating due to the fact that, although I mailed the book on time, the US Mail took a long time to deliver it.

    Eventually I ceased my ignominious hand-wringing and brow-beating and realized (for the forty-bazillionth time) that I can never control other people’s bad reasons or their right to vent them.

    Some days I feel conscious, other days I don’t. Over the years I’ve developed a sporadically useful trigger that prompts me with the realization that when I overreact to an invalid criticism, I’m not being very conscious and that, in turn, affords me a leg up on extracting myself from my weepy, trogloditish mire.

    All a very verbose way of saying, hang in there dude. Though I seldom comment, I read you virtually every day, and you’re the only baseball writer that I do. If I didn’t the thought of the Lincoln-Bavasi-Melvin troika would eradicate my consciousness completely. Or Rik Fizz or Ron “that of” Fairly.

    Best regards and keep on sailing.

  9. JR on September 1st, 2004 1:21 am

    Man that’s just not right…Mr. Cameron has cosistently given insightful analysis since I first read his work on this site last June…The person who said that the folks leaving these comments is kind of like a “junior high” situation is correct with that assessment…Mr. Cameron, I’m not even an M’s fan and I appreciate reading about your team each day. I follow the A’s and have since I was about 8 years old, but you’ll never see me pull against the M’s when they make the playoffs. You seem to be a pretty good guy and I would hope that you’d definitely continue to keep up the great work you do here. For every person who bashes you, I’d bet there’s at least 10 people who really appreciate what you write…Keep up the great work and hopefully your M’s can be back in the thick of the AL West race in the very near future!!!!

    God Bless and have a great day today

  10. drm on September 1st, 2004 3:15 am

    I can’t help but find it ironic that you got attacked. As I once e-mailed you disagreeing about something you wrote. I had said everybody has an opinion and mine was different from yours. You called me plain stupid and said I didn’t know what I was talking about!! It was one of the rudest e-mails I’ve ever recieved.

  11. Brian Bach on September 1st, 2004 6:00 am

    David, Have you ever seen the Albert Brooks movie, “Defending Your Life?” Those that resort to personal attacks after reading your posts must only be using about three percent of their brains, while you routinely use 47 percent of yours in analyzing the Mariners. I wish you continued success as one of the best baseball writers around.

  12. tvwxman on September 1st, 2004 7:12 am

    I have been a braodcast meteorologist for almost 10 years now. I have been called everything but a child of god for not only getting the forecast wrong, but also for running warnings on the screen for counties in our area (“well, it’s not raining at my house — take them off!”), not using the “correct” temperature listed, of course, at the local bank, and a myriad of other complaints.

    (as an aside — Hell hath no fury like an old lady whose soap opera is pre-empted for the first round of the NCAA basketball tournament)

    Roll with the punches. Any time you put your opinion up for public consumption, there will be a score of people who think they’re smarter than you are, and will belittle you to prove their point. If you still enjoy what you’re doing, do what I do and laugh at the stupid complaints, and think about the legit ones.

  13. Barry on September 1st, 2004 7:34 am

    From the linked article: The largest lead held by a team that failed to finish first was 11 games by the 1995 California Angels, according to the Elias Sports Bureau

    Hmm, I wonder which dashing and wonderful team it was that overtook those 1995 Angels?

  14. bob mong on September 1st, 2004 8:16 am


    for what it’s worth, you are probably my favorite baseball writer on the planet. Don’t take the hate mail too hard; there are some things people can’t be rational about: politics, the home team, and, of course, Fan Favorites.

    In other news…

    I could enjoy the Yankees getting pasted a lot more if it didn’t help the @#$@#$ing Red Sox get closer to a playoff berth. Oh well, when they choke in the playoffs and go down in flames I suppose it will be that much sweeter.

  15. Peter on September 1st, 2004 10:44 am

    Fiscally speaking, it would probably be more effective to sell drugs and guns to children, and then send the proceeds to the 9/11 terrorists. Let the kids take care of the butchering while you free up time to watch Ms games from section 101.

  16. Erik on September 1st, 2004 11:00 am

    Sorry to hear you’re getting dogged, Dave. I’m sure Derek (and Jason?) can sympathize.

    I’ll echo others: I’m twice as knowledgable an M’s fan today than I was before USSM, so thanks.

  17. Troy Sowden on September 1st, 2004 11:15 am

    Interesting, Dave. Just the other day I commented on here how i think you’re the best writer I know of when it comes to balancing scouting analysis with the statistical variety when it comes to prospects. I still think that. I’m sorry you’re getting ridden so hard, but don’t give up man. There’s a lot of fans who count on your wisdom for reasoned, intelligent analysis. We would miss you badly if you ever left. (That goes for Derek and Jason too.)

  18. Mother on September 1st, 2004 12:06 pm


    You don’t need to worry what the other children are saying about you. What really matters is the type of person that you have grown to be. Your father and I have both been so proud of you and all the great work you do for that uhhhh….clothing store. Keep up the great work sweetie, at least you will always know your brothers will be reading.

  19. Michael Lloyd on September 1st, 2004 4:44 pm

    I have to agree with Sergey’s comments. The USS has helped me learn so much about the game (as someone who only came to baseball in 1996), not to mention the wit of Derek, the analysis of Jason and incite of Dave. Moreover, it has helped make me a killer player of MVP baseball 2003!

  20. Rich on September 1st, 2004 5:08 pm

  21. Herman M. on September 1st, 2004 6:26 pm

    LOL I think i like Rich.