M’s v Indians, Sep 6

DMZ · September 6, 2004 at 7:16 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Mmmm… Meche-a-licious. I’m not sure why anyone thinks Meche is going to contribute to the team next year: there’s a decent chance they won’t even take him to arbitration, where he’ll be compared to other players with his service time and the most the M’s could hope for would be a very slight decrease in the money they’re paying him… and if they want to pay a starter $2m to be ineffective, well, they’ve already got that in Ryan Franklin.

It’s Aaron as “ay-ron” by the way, as he’ll be happy to tell you.

Mickey Lopez in Tacoma: switch-hitter, played 100 games at 2B, hit .286/.369/.440. And we’re starting Bloomquist at first tonight.
Greg Dobbs in Tacoma: .271, .286, .416 … but in San Antonion, .325/.373/.507. Not a man who takes his walks, Dobbs.
Jeremy Reed rocks. Seriously. I can’t believe we got him and Miguel Olivo for Freddy Garcia.

When Niehaus called that Omar non-walk walk I was wincing, saying “Come on, notice, notice…”

Mmm.. Meche-a-licious. Travis Hafner should send Meche a nice thank-you note after Meche went to all the trouble of putting that ball on a platter.

Dear Gil,
Thought of you when talking about this season to my mother. Thank you for your recent pitch of September 6th, which I hit for a home run. It was delicious, both in speed and presentation, and I look forward to meeting you in future games.
Yours sincerely,
Travis Hafner.

7:40 — Also, Omar sends his regards.
7:58 — did you see that pitch Meche threw? It was a curve, huge break, hit about mid-plate on the lefty batting box inside line and bounced (it seemed) straight up. Olivo wathced it fly off — and it never lands, apparantly flying — where, the second deck? Did it veer off to the left somehow?

Weirdest pitch I’ve seen in a while.

8:02 — what’s Edgar got to do to get a fricking double this year?
8:03 — Ibanez grounds into another DP. Did you know that Ibanez is a clutch hitter and x of his y home runs tied the game or gave the M’s the lead? Seriously, clutch.
8:05 — Commercial break! If that White Sox fan wanted to hurt the Cubs, he’d make sure Sosa was in the lineup this year. Yeagh.

If you were at a car dealership and a crazy eighteen-wheeler came screaming into the parking lot like some meth-addicted banshee with a death wish, spinning out, disgorging cars everywhere, wouldn’t you walk off the lot? Who would want to buy a car that endures that kind of treatment in delivery?

8:08 the curve that made Belliard look stupid is part of the reason people keep insisting Meche is a starter of the future… Ron Fairly’s now claiming that being consistent is the difference between Gil now and early in the season, even as he mentions that Gil has a feel for the curveball and didn’t the last start. Memo to Ron Fairly: the definition of consistency… oh, it’s not like Fairly reads memos anyway.

8:11 Ron, here’s the thing — an umpire’s not supposed to call times if the pitcher’s in his wind-up. It’s not just “he doesn’t always” — it’s in the rules.

8:13 A rare unintentional glimpse inside the M’s broadcast booth as they turn the mikes on early
Valle: Robby, Robby, my ties are looking… proper
(presumably Robby): That’s up there (muffled– ?)
Rizzs (annoyed): Allright, Valle, you want to sit down so they can get a shot?
Valle (curt): Save it, Ric-o (?)
Rizzs: Here we go (clears throat, pause, switch to fake enthusiastic voice) And welcome back to Safeco Field….

I love how incoherent the announcers are if you really listen closely. Dropped words, mixed metaphors, weird sentence construction… I’m not saying I’d want to work a game where you have to talk for three hours, around action that’s unpredictable in rhythm and nature, but… come on now.

The huge downside to the TV/radio swapover isn’t just that you’re forced to listen to Rizzs no matter which way you’re watching, it’s also that you’re forced to listen to the crew that comes on second repeat the obvious information nuggets already mined by the first crew.

8:22 — I’m not saying that you have to be a great hitter to be a great commentator, but to hear Valle talk about the amount of concentration it requires to have a five-hit game… what do you know, Valle? If you concentrated super-extra-hard, maybe the key to being a good hitter is relaxation.

8:26 — Ichiro’s averaging 1.7 hits/game. At this rate he should break the single-season record about twenty games from now, about during the late-September road trip to Oakland. Unless he goes absolutely insane and manages it before the 20th, he’s not going to do it at home.

8:32 — I also love that the Dairy Council of Washington or whoever want you to have three servings of dairy products a day. Hey, guess what? The Zumsteg Advisory Board recommends that everyone send me a crisp $20 bill every day. It’s for your own good, really.

8:46 — Masao Kida! A reason to watch the rest of the game — crazy guys you may not have seen before!


77 Responses to “M’s v Indians, Sep 6”

  1. DMZ on September 7th, 2004 12:49 pm

    What’s up with this weird belief that I hate Meche? I don’t hate Meche. I like Meche, I’ve got enormous respect for anyone who comes through that kind of physical rehab. I don’t agree that he’s a good bet for future success, is all. Where does this perception that I’ve got some kind of personal hatred come from?

    And as for Meche having potential to put together a great season — so do I. It’s not going to happen for me, either, but it might. For an indication of how few people see Meche as a worthwhile gamble, consider again that he passed through waivers.

    29 other teams, smart and stupid, contending and rebuilding, all decided that Meche wasn’t worth taking on at his salary, with his service time. If I was wrong, and Meche really had the kind of upside that many claim, wouldn’t someone somewhere with some smart club, stathead or scout-head, have claimed him? I know there are cases where marginal players float around waiting for their chance to blossom, like… Billy McMillon, for instance. But future aces?

    For arbitration: last year it was dicey if the team was going to release Garcia or take him to arbitration again (and thank goodness they did), because at $8m he was too expensive. Garcia’d been mostly bad and at best inconsistent for almost two years, and he whupped the team over and over in arbitration. And again, the valuation issue: if he’d been worth gambling on and taking to arbitration this year, there would be other teams willing to do so.

    Meche isn’t going to go into arbitration and get $2m again. The Mariners will be lucky to hold him to $2m. Meche has got a ton of service time under his belt, and the M’s lose their arbitration cases anyway.

    The question isn’t whether Meche is a good gamble at $x million, the team’s going to look at it as “Is Meche a better gamble at $x million than one of our other talented-but-flawed pitching prospects at $0 million?”

    We’ll see if/when the two sides file.

    And on a huge list of random pitchers who get paid money — it doesn’t matter. I could make a huge list of players with worse contracts than Scott Spiezio, it doesn’t make Spiezio a bargain.

  2. IceX on September 7th, 2004 1:02 pm


    – Have to disagree with the “Meche won’t be here” rhetoric. Most of the prospects have all been toasted with injuries. What are you going to do? Pray Baek and Nageotte get it together and sign Jamey Wright again? That’s no way to run a contender (so I guess the M’s will release Meche, bleh.)

    – As for Ichiro, it was because he wasn’t Ichiro in April. He was doing what Molitor/Melvin were saying and it did nothing but dull his skills. (Also, I say that 2002 was because of the knee injury he had, which was minor but blatantly afffecting his game, and 2003 was a learning experience on pressure for him from himself. This guy hit .500 against the Indians in the most stressful position of “Run Away From Elimination” in the 2001 ALDS. He’s no weenie.)

    – PAP is an interesting stat since most of the ones that score high have few injuries, IIRC. Occasionally, it gets someone right, but even I could do that by throwing darts.

  3. Dave on September 7th, 2004 1:09 pm

    Ok, Ice, seriously, you think Ichiro’s really a .440 hitter who has had a remarkable run of bad luck that caused him to not hit up to his potential? It was pressure. It was a knee problem. It was Molitor and Melvin. At what point do you stop making excuses for the guy and say “hey, hitting .250 for a month just comes with the territory. He’ll hit .400 next month and all will be forgiven.”?

  4. Troy Sowden on September 7th, 2004 1:24 pm

    Sorry Derek, maybe I overreacted a bit. It just felt like comparing him to Ryan Franklin was way too much. I don’t really think you hate him or wish him ill will. As far as Ichiro is concerned, he’s on an incredible run of historic proportions, but I’ll be shocked if we see this type of performance out of him again, ever. Obviously I hope I’m wrong, but I think he’ll settle back in somewhere between his 03 and 04 performance. That’s still good, but not Ichiredible like we’re seeing now.

  5. Evan on September 7th, 2004 2:07 pm

    If you take those 1999-2000 stats for Meche and have Nate run them through PECOTA, how did Gil project then (or even the old Wilton projections if you have them kicking around)? Sure, he wasn’t Gooden, but those are great numbers for a guy in his very early 20s.

  6. Dave S. on September 7th, 2004 2:11 pm

    Let’s be clear, Dave. I’m basing this upon Melvin’s apparent fixation on playing Willie Bloomquist, Scott Spiezio, and Jolbert Cabrera at first base at least one game per week. I’m basing this on the fact that Winn or Ibanez won’t be back next year. I’m basing this on the fact that Bucky’s playing a little more than half the games.

    Melvin doesn’t recognize that Bloomquist should be sitting every night? Or that Reed should be playing every game that Bucky’s not starting, at the very least? And taking a start from Ibanez and Winn here and there?

    Seriously… when Bucky Jacobsen was taking at bats from Edgar back in July, where was this attitude? The fact of the matter is that Reed has a future with this team, and we owe it to ourselves to see what he can do up here. We don’t owe Boston or Oakland anything, and the implication that we do is frankly insulting.

  7. Dave S. on September 7th, 2004 2:12 pm

    Also, let’s be clear, I wanted him fired long before this, and you know it. 😉 This is just fanning the flames…

  8. Eric on September 7th, 2004 2:20 pm


    I tend to agree with you about Ichiro, every hitter has hot and cold streaks. But I’m starting to doubt my conventional wisdom here, he ia hitting what .480 since the All Star Break, 2 1/2 months? At some point it moves beyond just a hot streak.

  9. Dave on September 7th, 2004 2:38 pm


    I don’t see September as a useful evaluation period. No 70 at-bat stint is going to be a realistic sample that will give any real insight into a players abilities. More often than not, September performances mask true ability and do more harm to the evaluation process than they do good. Rather than relying on months of information, teams often make decisions based on what they and their fans saw in a limited basis, overriding what should already be known. The M’s don’t owe it to themselves to find out what they have in Jeremy Reed, they should already know. And whether he goes 1-70 or 40-70 should have a negligible effect on that opinion.

    Bob Melvin’s job as the manager is to win ballgames. Expecting a manager who knows that his job is in jeopardy to put inferior players on the field is unrealistic and unfair. If the M’s want Jeremy Reed to play everyday, they need to order Melvin to do so and let him know that the team’s performance during the next month won’t effect his job status. But we shouldn’t really care if Reed gets 40 at-bats of 70 at-bats over the next month. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t matter. And we better hope that the M’s aren’t going to make any kind of decisions on their roster construction based on what they see the next month.

  10. Gary on September 7th, 2004 3:25 pm

    They didn’t offer Cameron arbitration last year. Why should I think they’ll offer Meche arbitration this year?

    Put me in the Meche corner, by the way. I think they should keep him. If his newfound control isn’t a statistical fluke, then I think he’ll learn to locate the ball better in the strike zone.

    Finally, as to Edgar running the ball out, I think it’s a reflection of the team reflecting the manager, and it’s finally infected even the most professional of the players.

  11. G-Man on September 7th, 2004 3:51 pm

    I don’t think thatt his front office is a good bet to be able to replace Gil meche will better talent at the same price. Keep him and spend the time and energy that would be devoted to replacing him on pursuing other players. If we do somehow contend next year, it will probably mean the Good Gil rather than the Bad Gil shone through.

    As for who gets playing time this month, I want the organization to be looking toward 2005, and make lineup decisions accordingly. I am surprised by the absence of Spezio. I figure they’re stuck with him for two more years, so why not try to straighten him out? I guess they’re punting his 2004 season and hoping for a bounce back. Playing Willie B so much has puzzled me, too, but I’m guessing that they want a larger sample size so that they can better decide if he deserves a roster spot in 2005. Either that or the Kitsap County demographic is a proven gigantic walk-up ticket buying factor in September.

  12. Dave S. on September 7th, 2004 4:01 pm

    Gary: They like Meche. If they didn’t, they would have traded him. For some uncanny reason, they decided Cameron’s strikeouts outweighed his defensive value.

    Dave: Just seems to me that if he can find space in the lineup for Willie Bloomquist and Jolbert Cabrera to play first base, he can give Jeremy Reed more than a start “here and there.”

  13. Paul Weaver on September 7th, 2004 4:06 pm

    Plus, Edgar probably stands in the box, shocked that he hit the ball at his age.
    Ichiro’s September is more remeniscent of 2001, than 02 or 03. His performance is historic.
    Reed was a solid .300 hitter in AAA, and had lots of speed on the basepaths. He has to be useful.
    Isn’t comparing Meche to Franklin some form of hatred?

  14. Pete on September 7th, 2004 4:09 pm

    Dave S.-

    I would agree that “if he can find space in the lineup for Willie and Cabrera at 1B, he can give Jeremy Reed more than a start here and there” if Reed was an infielder. The reason Willie gets to play so much is that our infield, especially at the corners, is absolutely shot.

    Reed is an outfielder, and whether we like it or not, our outfield positions are pretty set in stone with veterans for at least the rest of the year. All three are playing pretty well in the second half, so it’s difficult to justify unseating them…

    Not saying that’s the right decision, or that it’s fair…that’s just the way they’re looking at it…

  15. Dave S. on September 7th, 2004 4:13 pm

    I want to bring up a comparison that was made earlier in the thread that I find completely wrong. Ryan Drese is averaging slightly more than three strikeouts per nine innings. He’s not “this year’s Esteban Loaiza” by any means. Loaiza led the league in strikeouts last year. Drese is destined for a huge decline in 2005.

  16. Dave S. on September 7th, 2004 4:13 pm

    Pete, the point is that Raul can play first base.

  17. Chris Robertson on September 7th, 2004 5:46 pm


    The point I was trying to make with that list wasn’t to show bad contracts, rather it was to point out that there are several starting pitchers on contending teams with similiar or worse stats than Meche and many of them are soaking teams for a heck of a lot more money!

    Meche has a very good chance to be a solid number 4 starter on a contending club. If he is better than that, great! The fact remains there are not a lot of real good number 4 starters even on good teams. So if the M’s already have one, why dump him and look for another guy when that isn’t the end of the rotation that needs the most attention? Would you expect Ibanez to leadoff for a full season? No, because that isn’t his role. Do I want Olivo on my team? You bet! Do I want him hitting cleanup for a full year? No, because that isn’t his role either. Meche’s value is at the back end of a rotation for a reasonable amount of money. No one should expect him to perform like a number 1 or 2 starter. If he performs close to how he has in the past he’d be one of the best number 4 starters in baseball. I stand by my words, if Meche is out there in the off season there will be plenty of teams seeking his services. Bank on it!

    Did it dawn on you why Meche might not have been claimed, if that indeed is a fact? You proably know that the market was totally flooded with players who were placed on waivers. Some teams more than likely placed EVERYONE on waivers in August. Just how many players does one team claim? Speaking of which, just how many players were claimed by non contending teams?

  18. matt on September 7th, 2004 6:08 pm

    meche should stay what is wrong with giving him a 2yr 5 million dollar contract.I would say signing all those starters like pavano
    or perez is so much more of a risk.And if we didnt have meche we would have to get two that is so much more of risk.But meche has
    shown that he has the stuff and he is worth taking a tiny risk on.
    And if he doesnt pan out whats the worst that can happen?we could just use someone like baek or nageotte.Without him we wouldnt have
    enough money to get two bats.

  19. DMZ on September 7th, 2004 7:20 pm

    Chris — Meche had to pass through waivers when he went to Tacoma. It’s a fact, and the market was not flooded at that time. That’s what I’m referring to.

    As to the “role” of players: the role of a #4 starter is the same as a #1 starter: it’s to be the starting pitcher in ballgames. The rotation only matches up for the first series, and then not usually all the way through before travel and rest days make things inconsistent. It’s not like the #2 starter has to do something different than the #5 starter when they warm up, or pitch differently during a game.

  20. IceX on September 7th, 2004 7:28 pm


    Considering most people don’t even give Ichiro the benefit of the doubt of switching entire leagues in the first place like they do with rookies, it’s not even worth it to argue over what excuses we should allow or not allow.

    Ichiro is just hitting is stride. .440? Maybe not. But HOF-caliber talent? Most possible.

  21. mike on September 7th, 2004 9:40 pm


    Meche did not pass through waivers. He was optioned to Tacoma, burning his final option year. Meche would not have cleared waivers, even with that unsightly 7.xx ERA he had at the time. Pitchers with 95 mph fastballs and an option left rarely clear waivers.


  22. Chris Robertson on September 7th, 2004 11:38 pm


    First off I want to say I understand what you are saying concerning the “role” of a starting pitcher however I think your defination of number 1 – 5 starters differ than most people.

    As a rule of thumb:

    Number 1 staters are usually considered the “Ace” of the staff, such as Randy Johnson.

    Number 2 starters on a good team are usually considered pitchers who you can count on winning mid to upper teens in games, on occassion they might win 20 games in a season.

    Number 3 starters are pitchers who should be able to win in the mid teens, rarely do you see these guys winning 20 games.

    Many number 4 starters have close to .500 records but are capable of providing at least 10 wins or more and are capable of eating up innings.

    A lot of number 5 starters don’t even win in double figures and it isn’t unusual to see them have losing records. If you number 5 pitcher is winning in the mid teens, you have a dang good number 5 starter!

  23. eponymous coward on September 7th, 2004 11:38 pm

    Er, yeah, Meche went though his last option, as I recall reading from…the USS Mariner.


    Did he actually go through options?

  24. eponymous coward on September 7th, 2004 11:38 pm

    Er, I mean, go through waivers?

  25. Matt Williams on September 7th, 2004 11:51 pm

    Chris Robertson you honestly think 1-3 starters should be expected to win in the teens? The difference between a 20 game winner and a 13 game winner is usually luck. Last year 51 pitchers won 13+ games, less than 2 per team. The year before it was 36. 43 the year before that.

    A 20 game winner is decided by run support. This year RAndy Johnson is 12 and 13. With a 2.80 ERA, best in MLB. Mulder has 17 with a 3.9 ERA.

    In fact, wins are, in general, an absolutely horrible way to measure pitchers. Joe “I may have played the game, but I don’t really understand it” Morgan is about the only guy who considers them a good way at looking at a pitcher.

  26. DMZ on September 8th, 2004 1:39 am

    w/r/t pitcher roles: I’m aware of what the ‘roles’ for # starters are. That doesn’t make any point except that those are considered the roles for those pitchers. The #1-4 starters all have exactly the same job. It’s not like left field/right field: one doesn’t have to have throw faster while one needs better control. One guy doesn’t need to give up fewer runs and have little endurance while the next guy has to go deep into games but it’s okay if he gets shelled. The #5 guy, if you don’t run a strict rotation, gets skipped and might be used out of the bullpen sometimes. That’s all. Saying this pitcher or that pitcher is a #2 or a #3 starter is almost always a meaningless distinction (the exception being if you’re talking about setting up playoff rotations). They’re good or they’re not. They’re worth the money or they’re not.

    w/r/t Meche and waivers: yes, he did. In fact, if I recall, it turned out the M’s actually had one more option year on him, though the reasoning on the ‘how’ of that is a little nutty.

  27. Paul Weaver on September 8th, 2004 11:53 am

    1-4 pitchers have the same job. The speculated best one is called “#1” at the beginning of the season. The one who performed best during the season is usually #1 for the playoffs. Imbetween it’s all a wash.
    You do like to have your 1,2,3,4 pitchers have varying styles to throw opposing teams offguard.
    If Meche ends up with an unthinkable 2.50, 20-5, 230 IP season next year, he will be called the #1 pitcher (making #4 money).

    Matt Williams,
    I agree that wins aren’t the best way to evaluate a pitcher. However, pitchers sometimes earn wins by pitching through problems and eating up innings long enough for their offense to come from behind. In those cases, the ERA may be higher than a phenom with low IP totals, but the pitcher with the higher ERA is overall more valuable – a Jack Morris type. (This is only a counterpoint to show wins aren’t something to overlook.)