Bucky out

DMZ · September 9, 2004 at 8:21 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Reading Musings this morning, I was dismayed to find that Jacobsen’s out for the year:

An MRI on the knee revealed a defect in the articular cartilage (the surface covering the bone). Surgery has been scheduled for next week, and Jacobsen isn’t expected to play between now and then.

Peter’s got an interesting comment on how Jacobsen’s strikeout rate isn’t important, but that misses the point — the Mariners think it’s important. It’s a big part of why they didn’t offer Cameron arbitration, it’s why they don’t like A.J. Zapp, and the fixation on strikeouts is a huge organizational blind spot that’s going to dog them… until they get over it, really.

Peter also points out there’s an obvious error in the article (which hasn’t been corrected yet, either) — the PI gets Jacobsen’s strikeout total wrong.

The other thing in the article worth mentioning comes when they talk about Ibanez working out at first:

Right fielder Ichiro Suzuki, center fielder Randy Winn and Ibanez are all locked into contracts for at least two more seasons. That would make it hard for the Mariners to go after a big-name free agent outfielder like Houston’s Carlos Beltran.

How so? I understand the team might be reluctant to spend more money (which is already a given) but the fact that you’ve got awful contract A on the books doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try and upgrade the team. You’re stuck with the first contract no matter what. You can’t figure you’ll play him some and they’ll have a hot streak that allows you to dump them and move on (see: Jarvis, Kevin).

Also, technically Winn’s not locked in for two more seasons. The last year’s a complicated option where the team or the player can both elect to extend the deal, and depending on who does the extending, the price differs. It’s possible the team could decline to bring him back and he could decline to return. I see that as unlikely.


49 Responses to “Bucky out”

  1. Pete on September 9th, 2004 9:49 am

    As you say, I don’t think having three outfielders locked in for a couple more years should impede the Mariners from pursuing an outfielder in free agency. Especially when one of the outfielders is sub-par defensively. Ibanez could easily be slotted at DH or 1B next year. I would prefer him at DH next year, if Bucky isn’t able come all the way back.

    Regardless, if you can land someone like Beltran, you can afford to deal with the minor log-jam problem after the fact. There’s no way they should use that as an excuse…

  2. Troy Sowden on September 9th, 2004 9:52 am

    Any chance they call up Zapp now? It seems unlikely sure, but Bloomie has spent far too many games at 1B for anybody’s tastes. The options at first seem to be: 1) Giving the job to Ibanez and playing Reed full-time 2) Giving the job to Spiezio 3) Calling up Zapp 4) Keeping up the rotation of Bloomie, Cabrera, and utility player of the day.

    I’d much prefer number 3, although number 1 wouldn’t upset me much.

  3. Pete on September 9th, 2004 9:54 am

    As for Winn, I don’t think we should undervalue him as someone who has turned out to be – if he can stay consistent – a pretty darn perfect hitter in the 2-hole. Ichiro and Winn’s hot streaks have coincided almost perfectly…I’m not sure which caused the other, or that Winn is Ichiro’s savior, but I think Winn has filled an important spot in the line-up, bridging the gap to our non-existent (hopefully existent next year) middle of the order.

    I don’t like Winn in center, but would really enjoy an outfield of Winn, Beltran, and Ichiro.

    I think if I had a choice I’d choose Winn over Ibanez at this point.

  4. Troy Sowden on September 9th, 2004 10:00 am

    By that same logic, we won’t be going after Beltre since we have Spiezio locked up for two more years. I’m not saying the M’s won’t USE that logic, just that the logic says. In this case, I do feel alot better with Bavasi at the helm than I did with Gillick. He might not know what moves to make, but at least he’ll do SOMEthing.

  5. Troy Sowden on September 9th, 2004 10:01 am

    That’s supposed to say, “just that the logic SUCKS,” not “says.” I should really review my posts before submitting them. Sorry guys.

  6. Pete on September 9th, 2004 10:03 am

    Are there any teams with a surplus in starting pitching or bullpen pitching, who need to fill holes for next year?

    A team that could use multiple average players, who would give one quality pitcher (starter or reliever)…

    Spiezio, Ibanez, Franklin…It would be cool to find a way to somehow parlay two of these three into a mid-rotation starter or set-up reliever. Any two of their salaries add up to about $5-$6 million – enough for one good pitcher in that mold.

    Is that way to much to hope for? I guess these guys contracts might be too much to move?

    Seems like there could be a team who needs a couple/few average guys for one good player.

  7. jwb on September 9th, 2004 10:07 am

    The fact that Bucky has an 835 OPS should exclude him from any discussion about whether he strikes out too much. If you’re a slow-afoot player like Bucky aren’t you better off striking out than, say, hitting into a double play? Worried about “putting the game in motion?” He already doing that by getting actual singles, doubles and homers as opposed to groundouts that move a guy from second to third.

  8. Paul Weaver on September 9th, 2004 10:18 am

    I think here on USSM, we understand that players good players get out roughly 70% of the time. Whether that out is a strike out, a fly out, or a ground out shouldn’t make too much difference. Yes, a productive out is nicer, but the strike out shouldn’t devalue the player’s worth that much. Reggie Jackson, Jim Thome, Mike Schmidt, the list goes on and on, – players who whiffed when they failed, knocked the cover of the ball when they succeeded.
    Jacobsen has exceeded expectations, but do you think it can hold? Zapp would be a good replacement for him.

  9. IceX on September 9th, 2004 10:24 am

    It’s this type of rhetoric that got the M’s where they are today.

    You upgrade where you can.

    Whether it is incremental or from scrub-to-all-star, a contending team has to upgrade all the time.

    Raul Ibanez and Randy Winn are not excuses to not get Carlos Beltran or JD Drew. You get one of the latter, and either trade one of the former or put them on the bench.

    That said, Ibanez or Winn would make perfect 10th Man masher types, sort of like McLemore/Javier of 2001.

  10. Paul Weaver on September 9th, 2004 10:41 am

    I doubt Ibanez or Winn would be as versatile as McLemore/Javier. But they could make good pinch hitters, DHs, and back up outfielders. This team will trade and sign. (It did it with Guillen to make way for Aurilla, ugh) Who is this PI writer? Oh! It’s two writers. Hickey and Andriesen are mentally handicapped it would seem. Why are they being paid?

  11. Joel on September 9th, 2004 11:21 am

    If those are the PI beat writers, I wonder if that isn’t just idle speculation, but something drawn from conversation with real decision makers in the front office.

  12. bob mong on September 9th, 2004 11:24 am

    I think that having those three outfield spots locked up does make it hard to upgrade in those spots.

    Look at it this way: Ibanez is signed for, uh, $4 M /yr for the next two years and let’s say his production is only worth $2 M. So say the Mariners decide that is a sunk cost and decide to get a $10 M/yr LF. That means that the Ms are paying $10 M for an $8 M upgrade or, to look at it another way, they are paying $14 M for $10 M of production from LF. That’s a waste of $2 M on top of the $2 M they are already wasting that, in theory, might be better spent elsewhere.

    It might be better to pay $10 for an upgrade at 1B, 3B, or SS, where they have no money committed, and get a $10 M upgrade.

  13. Aaron on September 9th, 2004 11:32 am

    It’s not just Ibanez, Winn and Ichiro. If you figure the callups this Sept. were a sort of pre-spring training, Reed will very likely get the call sometime next year for good. Even if Ibanez gets moved to 1B, you still have a full OF.

    Winn would make good trade bait, but come on people. This is still Bavasi we’re talking about. Make a hole to fill, and he’s much more likely to offer $2 million too much to Alou or Burnitz than he is to make a good offer to Beltran or Drew.

    And with the botched Vizquel deal still in mind, I think it’s more likely that he lets the OF stand pat, and sign Tino Martinez to play 1B anyway.

  14. James G on September 9th, 2004 11:53 am

    re: Paul’s desire to see Zapp. Let’s get Zapped baby! I got to see him on Pat Borders Bobblehead Day in Tacoma a few weeks back (I know, but I swear it’s true) put a ball into absolute orbit against a Wilton Chavez, who otherwise made the Rainiers look foolish. He also struck out looking and got ejected for directing some salty language the ump’s way. He has cajones and power and should be a big-leaguer, hands down. Strikeouts mean something when you’re hitting your weight, and nothing if you’re hitting .300 w/20 or 30 dingers!

  15. DMZ on September 9th, 2004 12:13 pm

    Bob — Yes, but also… there’s more to this.

    Say for instance you’ve got two gaping holes in your lineup, LF and 3B. LF is occupied by a guy who makes $4m and 3B by a guy who makes $300k. It doesn’t matter which guy you replace: you’re going to pay those two their contracts no matter what, and they’re not going to perform no matter which one you swap out.

    Say a left-fielder and third baseman are both available to upgrade the team, and offer the same total value in contributions for the same price. If you upgrade the outfield, you’re up the same amount in performance for the same outlay in cash as if you replaced the 3B.

    Now you’re arguing replacing Ibanez means you’re not getting much performance and the improvement costs a lot, while improving elsewhere may come cheaper… totally agree.

    But I’d like to raise another idea, though: Winn as vastly overpaid but good 4th OFer– can rest CF/LF (and even, ugh, RF) regularly without hurting the team tremendously on defense if you pick his starts, offers a switch-hitting bat in the lineup, and would be a marked upgrade in that role over, say, Hiram — and then Winn’s salary isn’t a dead weight, either, you’re getting a lot of value out of a non-traditional role….

    man, am I sleepy. I’ll leave that there.

  16. bob mong on September 9th, 2004 12:37 pm

    Hey, I’ve been arguing for Randy Winn as Best 4th OF In The Game(tm) for almost a year now. He can hit for a little average, hit for a little power, takes a reasonable number of walks, can steal bases, plays decent defense – he’d be perfect. Too bad the Mariners decided to give him several million fistfuls of dollars, making him pretty severely overpaid for that role.

    But the point to my post above was that none of the OF spots are “gaping holes.” Winn is 4th among AL CF in VORP, and Ibanez is, er…, 12th among AL LF, despite missing a bunch of time. Ok, maybe Ibanez is a gaping hole.

    If we’re looking for sunk costs, then Scott “Second Coming of Cirillo” Spiezio would be the first place I’d start.

  17. PositivePaul on September 9th, 2004 1:01 pm

    JamesG — I, too, was at the PB Bobblehead game (got there too late to get one, though) and indeed can vouch for Zapp’s performance. You probably heard us screaming at the ump from behind home plate — Zapp was right for barkin’ at the ump. As we were yelling, the white line around home plate denotes the batters box, not the strike zone. Zapp was just reminding the ump of that as well.

    Like Mr. Churchill pixelates over at InsideThePark, I, too, am really scratching my head over why Zapp is not up here (reference http://mariners.theinsiders.com/2/292142.html). He really must have done something to P.O. the M’s. There’s no explanation AND no excuse for him not being here, especially when we have a HUGE hole at first, and a big lefty bat to fill it for the rest of the year. It’s completely senseless, and so Bavasi-like.

    (Mr. Weaver and I are NOT the same person, although considering our common first name, we do think quite a bit alike)

    Of the guys left down in Tacoma to finish the season, I was most impressed with (in this order): Zapp, Reed, Dobbs, Christianson (sp?) and really none of the pitchers (except maybe Randy Williams, who was inconsistent). Zapp would be a perfect fit for Safeco, considering what he did with Cheney. He hit it out in every one of the games I saw, and seemed to always hit in the clutch. Sure, it’s just a small sample, but still, the season ticket holders I talked to in Tacoma loved him too.

    Besides — it’s a fun cheer to yell “Zap it, Zapp!!!!”

  18. Pete on September 9th, 2004 1:10 pm

    Did anyone else notice the second section of the PI article on Bucky? It was on Eddie Guardado, who seems to be in great spirits after realizing he was losing a ton of power from his legs – it wasn’t just fluid, he had a piece of cartilage removed from behind his knee! He said his knee and his shoulder feel great.

    We have to take into account that Eddie is always overly happy and positive…but I have to believe that a guy with his work ethic and fire will be ready like he says he will. And having a healthy knee that he can actually bend should help his delivery as well, and take some of the stress off his shoulder.

    Anyway, I thought that was some overlooked positive news. If he’s healthy going into spring training, we’ll just need to sign someone or have someone step into that all-important right-handed set-up role before next season.

  19. Troy Sowden on September 9th, 2004 1:21 pm

    Churchill’s right – Zapp should be up here, and there’s really no good reason why he’s not, especially with Bucky down.

  20. PaulP on September 9th, 2004 1:35 pm

    Why does the organization not like Zapp?
    I thought I’ve seen reference to it here before, but I haven’t seen specifics. At least say “no comment” if it’s something that’s shouldn’t be public.

  21. Pete on September 9th, 2004 1:41 pm

    I think you’re right. Zapp should probably be up here playing first base.

    However, would you agree that it wouldn’t be particularly advantageous to have two slow, inexperienced, strikeout-prone hitters in the line-up next year? I think Zapp should be up here simply to determine if he is a better DH/1B than Bucky. We should be choosing between the two for next year, not plugging them both in.

    The other thing is, if Zapp came up and did great for a month, who says the M’s wouldn’t use that as an excuse for not having to fill either 1B or DH via free agency….then we see both Zapp and Bucky not perform as well next year as they did in a couple-month tryout…which would be huge problems.

    Bottom line: call up Zapp in only in order to choose between him and Bucky for our DH next year.

  22. Pete on September 9th, 2004 1:44 pm

    In other words I’d like a Bucky/Delgado combo or a Zapp/Delgado combo a whole lot better than a Bucky/Zapp combo…

  23. Digger on September 9th, 2004 1:49 pm

    To assess Bucky’s potential you can find another player who had similar numbers in his “breakout year” at age 29. Numbers are pa/avg/obp/slg/ops:
    Player B(ucky): 176/.275/.335/.500/.835
    Player A: 312/.280/.353/.495/.858
    Player A is Ibanez in 2001.

  24. Evan on September 9th, 2004 2:02 pm

    My first thought when I heard about Bucky’s knee injury was, “Man, Dave Myers took out another one?”

  25. Troy Sowden on September 9th, 2004 2:10 pm

    Digger, nice digs at Bucky, but I think you’re overlooking a few things.

    First, how bad is the knee, and will it be better? If the knee comes back stronger he may be a better hitter than he’s shown. He certainly seemed to wear down the last few weeks.

    Second, Bucky’s “breakout” has been as a right-hander in Safeco. Obviously, he’ll still have to play at the Safe in the future, but there’s not too many tougher situations to hit in, and he’s done fairly well.

    Most importantly, Ibanez wouldn’t be a bad player for $300,000 and not costing us a first round pick. Unfortunately, neither of those apply to Raul. I don’t think Bucky’s an All-Star in the making, but he can be an effective, CHEAP part for a team that should go spend a lot of money on hitters this winter.

    I do agree that we don’t necessarily want both Zapp and Bucky in the lineup next year, and I’d probably choose Bucky if given the choice (depending on the knee), BUT that doesn’t mean we can’t at least give AJ a cup of coffee and take a look. Seriously, why not?

  26. James G on September 9th, 2004 2:12 pm

    I’m seeing a Bucky/Zapp platoon and thinking what would have happened had, say, Dave Kingman and Greg Luzinski been in the same lineup…or a Cecil Fielder/Ken Phelphs combo. The mind reels. This site thinks Zapp will be traded soon. And that, my friends, like everything else this year, is unfortunate.

    PosPaul, we must’ve been in the same section! I’m no lip-reader, but I’m pretty sure I remember a “M-effer” coming from AJ, thus ensuring the heave-ho.

  27. Pete on September 9th, 2004 2:13 pm

    We agree then.

  28. RCC on September 9th, 2004 2:22 pm

    The Mariners already have the press release written why they don’t or won’t go after Beltran, Beltre, Drew, or any other top tier free agent…..”Too many years, Too much money, Not a good club house guy” You pick the excuse, and fit it in. Top Management is not interested in doing what it takes to win….only to give the illusion that it cares. Get ready for a cheapshot…..this is like the Republicans…..they don’t give a damn about the working people…they want to create the illusion that they do.

  29. Jon Wells on September 9th, 2004 2:31 pm

    I’m not interested in a Bucky/Zapp DH/1B platoon either but that doesn’t mean you can’t have Bucky be your starting DH and Zapp as a backup 1B and DH and pinch-hitter. You could do a lot worse with your bench (the M’s have) than to have a left-handed hitter capable of belting them out of the park there. You’re gonna need someone to backup 1B and DH and play in case of injury — why not Zapp?

  30. Pete on September 9th, 2004 2:37 pm

    Point very well taken Jon. The M’s have been incredibly short on power off the bench.

  31. Pete on September 9th, 2004 2:40 pm


    I would agree with you wholeheartedly….

    But I love the team too much to let myself believe that there is no hope at all.

    Hope is really all we have at this point.

    You very well could be right. Lincoln’s recent comments and letter could just be another illusion. His comments at the end of last year sure turned out to be hollow.

  32. Dave on September 9th, 2004 2:47 pm

    Does A.J. Zapp deserve a shot? Maybe. But this isn’t some kind of criminal travesty. He literally has no future with the M’s, even if they wanted to keep him around (they don’t). As outlined in the 40-man post the other day, the M’s just don’t have a spot for a lot of their marginal prospects, which is a category Zapp falls into.

    Zapp is replacement level talent, a 26-year-old 1B who won’t get on base much at the big league level but can whack a homer every once in a while. In his prime, he’s probably a .260/.310/.470 guy. Basically, Brian Daubauch or Russ Branyan. These guys can be had every year for nothing. Losing Zapp isn’t that big of a deal.

    Would I have called him up? Yea, probably. Is it the end of the world? Not at all. This is a lot of fuss over nothing.

  33. Shannon on September 9th, 2004 2:51 pm

    Not to be a gossip-monger (or perhaps I am, lol) Re: Zapp, my boyfriend was at the Rainier’s game on Sunday and they let a handful of some of the season ticket holders on the field to take batting practice after the game. Dan Rohn was talking with some of them and he apparently made a comment about how AJ Zapp did something during Spring Training to piss off management and that’s why he hadn’t been or wouldn’t be called up. I have no idea what to make of this, but I keep wondering what could be so bad that the M’s would act as vindictively as it seems they are. Why not call him up to see what he could do to try to increase his value and then trade him?

  34. Shannon on September 9th, 2004 2:52 pm

    Or perhaps Dave just answered my question. Hehe. 🙂

  35. James G on September 9th, 2004 3:02 pm

    Dave has to go burst our bubble, just when we having fun ‘fussing’ over nothing! I’m reminded of Big Mac’s appearance on “The Simpsons”, where he asks the people of Springfield if they want to know the horrible truth about MLB or want to watch him hit dingers.

    I firmly believe a hothead who will strikeout more than Juan Samuel, hit moonshots to the Cascades, yell at umps and throw helmets and bats is just the thing to put butts in seats. From a marketing standpoint, it’s Pinella for the price of Putz…as for his age and being marginal, my good judgement is clouded by emotion and for Pete’s sake we have one-homer Wee Willie and .207 Scott Mendoza Spiezio getting time at 1st now!

  36. Troy Sowden on September 9th, 2004 3:13 pm

    RCC, I’ll go on record as vehemently disagreeing with your political comment, especially considering the vast majority of working class areas in the Midwest and South vote Republican. I prefer to keep my politics and sports separate, but like you said, that was a cheapshot, and completely unnecessary. In the interest of finding common ground, I’ll say I absolutely agree with your assesment of Mariners management, they’re horribly dishonest, cheap, and in many ways, incompetent.

  37. Jon Wells on September 9th, 2004 3:22 pm

    Sure, guys like Brian Daubach and Russ Branyan could supposedly be had every year for nothing. But the M’s haven’t been very good at recognizing these guys and picking them up — when was the last time they had a player on their bench of that caliber? If Zapp projects to a .470 slugging pctg. in the majors, why not keep him for the ’05 bench? At $300K! The 2004 bench includes such luminaries as Bloomquist (.314 slugging), Cabrera (.403 slugging), Dan Wilson (.310 slugging) and the lineup has a stud like Spiezio (.347 slugging) and Edgar just recently got his slugging over .400).

    If Bucky hadn’t gotten called up this year, we’d hear the same thing, that it’s no big deal, that we can find these guys under every rock. But he did get called up and produced better than anyone could have expected and now we have a cheap, power hitting DH for ’05 and ’06. It’s ridiculous that Zapp didn’t get called up for a look when they called up garbage like Mickey Lopez. At 30 years old what exactly is Mickey Lopez’s future with the organization beyond being outrighted at the end of the season? The major league team needs guys that can hit home runs, Zapp can hit home runs. Instead we get Mickey Lopez and Willie Bloomquist (cause every team needs those gritty guys like them that have no talent but make the most of what they have).

    ’03 bench and their slugging pctgs (McLemore .314, Bloomquist, .321, Mabry .356 and Ben Davis .382). ’02 bench…(Better actually), Relaford .374, Sierra .418, Ben Davis .404, Charles Gipson .361 and Ugueto (.348). Offerman (.383)

    So if guys that can slug .470 off the bench grow on trees and can be picked up for free, how come the Seattle Mariners never have any of them???

  38. IceX on September 9th, 2004 3:35 pm

    Spot on, DMZ.

    Winn would give you an excellent 4th OF that would allow you to field a pressure offense EVERY SINGLE GAME, even if you rest Ichiro or someone else.

    The M’s in 2001 had the moniker of “Two Out, So What?”. That was because of the ability to field a team that would be able to keep pressure on the opposing team. Part of that was Mark McLemore and Stan Javier.

    The M’s have for the last few years (except 2001, where the cards all fell right) had a bench full of useless Swiss Army knives. It’ll do everything, but nothing great. No way to fill a gaping hole in places of injury (Gar, 2002). No way to rest anyone (Ichiro, Boone). No one you could reliably PH with.

    Though not exactly related, this year’s Cardinals didn’t have a great LF until they got Larry Walker. But even then, LaRussa got like 18 HRs and 70 RBIs out of the likes of So Taguchi, Marlon Anderson (IIRC) and that Roger Cedeno stiff for their gaping LF hole.

    Now that’s a bench.

  39. DMZ on September 9th, 2004 3:56 pm

    RCC, I’ll go on record as vehemently disagreeing with your political comment, especially considering the vast majority of working class areas in the Midwest and South vote Republican

    I only want to point out that this doesn’t disprove RCC’s cheap shot (if they’re only pretending to care about the working man — it’s result without causation). Also, while we can argue over the strange red/blue state thing, I think a large survey by income level of Americans would reveal the same basic split you would see in every state and the characterization of some states as “working class” is at its best an oversimplification.

  40. Bob Melvin on September 9th, 2004 4:10 pm

    So if the Mariners are set in the OF with Winn, Ichiro and Ibañez under contract, why the HELL did they trade for Jeremy Reed? So he can spend 3 years in AAA cooling his heels while Ibañez hits .255 with 15 homers each year?

    Considering that with Reed, Strong and Choo that puts them up to six OF’ers who are corner OF’ers without 25 HR power who are either ready or close (seven if you count Snelling), why would you not consider trading guys away? What would you rather have, an OF of Ibañez, Winn and Ichiro or Reed, Beltran, Ichiro with Ibañez at 1B and a bullpen arm for Winn?

    And yeah, Winn’s more valuable than Ibañez. That’s the point. The Mariners have to actually get something back for the guy other than garbage (see Jarvis, Kevin)- I’d argue bullpen help, somebody with a good arm who’s making a couple million but isn’t a “proven closer”.

  41. Aaron on September 9th, 2004 4:25 pm

    Recently, between USSM, BP and ESPN, I’m getting a little sick of the inserted political commentary. Sorry for the bluntness, but if I want to hear some stereotypes and political attacks, I’ll turn on Crossfire. Let baseball be baseball.

    I was going to mention Strong and maybe even Snelling earlier, but Strong doesn’t have a future in the starting lineup, and Snelling has lost a step with all his injuries, so he may be the real DH of the future, if he ever stays healthy enough to sign a contract. Choo is far enough off that Winn will be long gone, so he’s not blocked.

    Reed in 2005 is the only player without a position right now, unless you move Ibanez (nobody going to take the contract, and he’s just productive enough that he’s not getting dumped) or trade Winn (best option). Even then, there’s STILL no room for a free agent OF (unless they make both moves).

    Actually, the more I think about it, I expect the Mariners to focus on filling out the pitching staff in the FA market, and give this offense another shot (With Reed in center, Winn in LF, Ibanez at 1B and perhaps Bucky at DH). Spezio might be looked at, but they’re probably stuck with him.

    Spending a lot on pitching is always scary, but the Mariners need to. Badly.

  42. eponymous coward on September 9th, 2004 5:34 pm

    You’ve got to be kidding me. This offense you just described flat out doesn’t work- even if you assume Reed = Cameron, Bucky = Edgar and Ibanez = Ole circa 2002/2003 (which is a dubious assumption), that was STILL an offense that wasn’t good enough to win in the West, even with Boone hitting WELL. Best case, we win 80 games and lose a lot of 3-2 games.

  43. AK1984 on September 9th, 2004 5:37 pm
  44. IceX on September 9th, 2004 6:53 pm

    Actually, Snelling has never really lost a step. All his peripheral stats have been pretty constant in between injuries, much like Griffey.

    Patience, folks, patience. 😀

  45. Troy on September 9th, 2004 9:25 pm

    AK1984, no way does Lopez = Manny Alexander. That’s a ridiculously baseless charge. He’s only 20 and at least as good as Alexander now. His homerun and 2 doubles tonight are just a sign of things to come. Derek, I concede the political point. I’m sorry I even entered into it, I’m just tired of the cheapshots. I’ll stay on track from now on.

  46. Jerry on September 9th, 2004 10:25 pm

    I’ve got a whacky idea: why don’t the M’s just address their most glaring needs, then trade the players that they don’t need. Ibanez and Winn are not guys that have zero value. According to a post-draft posting on this site, the M’s had a few offers for Winn before the deadline. He hasn’t done anything to mess up his numbers, and has in fact improved. In the offseason, both guys will be more tradable, because they will be one year closer to the ends of their contracts. They could move either. They might not get premium players, but they could get something. But if they just want to clear space on the roster, both guys could be moved. Or they could work out a package with some team that needs an outfielder and other pieces. I hope that they can address the hole at 1B by trading some guys like Winn or Ibanez. Ryan Howard or Hee Seop Choi would be good additions. Both players are very much available. Both are big, young, cheap, lefty power hitters. Both guys have tons of potential. I bet that the M’s could work out a trade for either guy. Maybe even for Winn or Ibanez.

    I don’t think that you can put Winn or Ibanez on the bench. Both guys would be very unhappy about not playing regularly. Both are paid too much either. You don’t want to have 10 million sitting on the bench, and that would be the case if Ibanez and Spiezio were both sitting.

    If the M’s go out and sign Carlos Beltran, they can work something out with their outfield. That should in no way keep them from signing a player of that level. Or they can just stick Ibanez at 1B. Or DH. Or trade the guys for marginal prospects. Those are the types of trades that end up looking like highway robbery when one of the prospects emerges as a star. Whatever. Just sign some good players.

    By the way, I totally disagree with the people that post strange conspiracy theories about Bavasi and Lincoln as evil plotters, just trying to scam Seattle fans out of their money. If they wanted to make tons of cash, they would not be in baseball. If they were into hosing people, they would be lawyers or working for the IRS. It is just silly to think that Bavasi and Lincoln want to make the M’s suck, while keeping the working class disenfranchised. I disagree with the team’s philosophy of avoiding giving big money or long contracts to star players. But I think that the reason that they have done this is because so many teams have been handicapped by bad salaries. To them, they think that this is the way forward. And to be honest, it has worked out for the M’s pretty well so far. Besides Tejada, all the star players the M’s have either passed on or traded have turned out to be good decisions (Randy, A-Rod, Griffey). Look at what has happend to the Rockies with big contracts. That said, I hope that they re-evaluate thier stance, and I honestly think that they will.

    Lincoln and Bavasi are not plotting in some office about how they can ruin the franchise. They want to make money. In order for them to make money, they need to win games. And that is what we all want. It is silly to make them out as “the man”. You can argue that they are inept, or too conservative, but they are not sadists trying to crush the hopes of Seattle fans.

  47. Jon Wells on September 10th, 2004 12:16 am

    “Besides Tejada, all the star players the M’s have either passed on or traded have turned out to be good decisions (Randy, A-Rod, Griffey).”

    That’s a joke, right? Not paying Randy Johnson “Maddux Money” ($11 mil a year at the time) was one of the biggest blunders this organization has ever made. 4 Cy Youngs with Arizona and a World Series. Me thinks the M’s would probably have at least one WS ring if they’d kept RJ. Maybe we couldn’t have afforded to upgrade 3B with Jeff Cirillo, but…

    Others stars they’ve passed on include Vladi Guerrero this past winter, not trying to trade for Brian Giles, etc. Those haven’t worked out so well, now have they?

  48. N Jenkin on September 10th, 2004 5:11 am

    As someone who has followed Bucky Jacobsen his entire career, I am convinced that given 500 at bats a season Jacobsen would produce .260/.340/.490 in Safeco. He is a grizzly catching trout as a fielder and his speed vanished at birth, but the man can hit.

    Long-time Brewer fan. Went to UW-Madison. I was drawn to a baseball player named “Bucky” like a moth to flame. Ha, ha.

  49. Paul Weaver on September 10th, 2004 10:36 am

    It’s fun to watch the twists and turns of this thread.
    Political-to-FO talk: Being someone who is deeply cynical of government, I think just about anyone who gets into the upper-echelons of the federal branches has some kind of double talk in their blood. We could probably more accurately (or at least, less controversially) call Bavasi, Lincoln, etc politicians. They will water down their language to please more people. They will also, with their positions of power – that earn them way more money than IRS lawyers, believe me – be less likely to think anyone is wiser than them. Upper-management of almost any baseball team is notoriously known for being happy if the team is making money, even if they aren’t winning. Fans are esentially punished for their loyalty. Fortunately, fans here in Seattle are not loyal on the whole and fielding a poor team draws poor attendance, people buy fewer Mariner’s goodies, etc. The upper management arrogance will wash away with financial problems.
    In politics, votes are political currency. In business, currency is currency. Money talks. Job security will prevent these people from being completely incompetent, or Lincoln will seek help (i.e. fire Bavasi).
    Oh, and Bucky: Cheap, power, can’t lay off or hit the breaking pitch. He is not the answer at 1B, except as a placeholder.