Mariners at Angels, 9/21

DMZ · September 21, 2004 at 6:53 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

One of the more interesting and laughable assertions of the last couple of years ties into this game: the Orioles, who before the 2000 season turned down Aaron Sele at the last minute, probably at the direct request of Peter Angelos, skipped out on a three-year deal. Sele, as you know, signed with the M’s for two years, where he did okay — a pretty good pickup for the money, I’d say. Then he went to the Angels, where he’s been bad and had shoulder surgery late in the 2002 season.

The Orioles, who’ve suffered through no GM, more than one GM, and general confused leadership, have tried to spin the story that they turned down the deal not because they thought it was too long, or too expensive, or whatever the reason was, but because they say, in the results of his physical, clear signs that he would break down in three years, so they decided not to sign the deal.

This is obvious balderdash. Even the best doctors, the Yokums and the Andrews (Andrewses? Andrewii?), look at photos of pitcher’s arms and have trouble telling if a guy like Rafael Soriano is injured right then. Given the same photos of a pitcher’s shoulder, different specialists will come to entirely different conclusions (smart teams look at this and figure out who’s right more often) about what’s going on right then. Team physicians and players often waffle over whether or not a player should have surgery or rehab right then, based on all available evidence.

To think that anyone could look at pitcures of Sele’s arm after the 1999 season and say “well, it’s frayed, but not badly, and at the current rate of decline he should start to lose effectiveness… 2002. Yup. Why, were you thinking of giving him a three-year deal?” is… well, I don’t fault them for floating it, but at least tone the lie back: “We thought there might be an injury risk, and it was serious enough that we backed off.”

That they have to go for the gold ring of prescience by pretending they knew he’d have two good years — and how do you even know any pitcher’s going to have a good year, much less two? — and then get injured… it’s wacky. It’s like shooting for the big lie and then hoping people give you credit for 50% of it.

Which reminds me: I don’t think I’ve mentioned lately that I invented the taco. It’s true. All by myself. Think of me the next time you enjoy one. Also, widescreen movies, that was me too.


34 Responses to “Mariners at Angels, 9/21”

  1. Jeff on September 21st, 2004 8:09 pm

    How can Spiezio possibly decide to tag on a shallow fly to left field with Guillen’s arm?

  2. Napster on September 21st, 2004 8:32 pm

    You think inventing the taco is cool? Well I invented Napster but my roommate Shawn Fanning stole it from me while I was taking a nap.

  3. Dr. Evil on September 21st, 2004 9:12 pm

    Angelos often makes outlandish claims like he invented the question mark.

    Ichiro, 4-4 with 2 at bats (probably) to go!

  4. Jon Wells on September 21st, 2004 9:17 pm

    Actually the deal that Sele and the Orioles agreed to was a four year deal for $28 million, not a three-year deal. It was Baltimore’s team doctors that nixed the signing, saying he had a medical problem that wouldn’t allow him to pitch for the entire term of the contract…

  5. eponymous coward on September 21st, 2004 9:18 pm

    Anybody want to go out for zumstegs at Zumsteg Time?

    PS- It’s Bizzaro Spiezio tonight- 4 RBI’s.

  6. Sergey on September 21st, 2004 9:20 pm

    Ichiro, 4-4, 4 singles with 2 at bats (hopefully).

    Ironically, first mariners 13 hits were singles. So far, one double and 15 singles.

  7. Adam on September 21st, 2004 9:28 pm

    Angelos was probably trying to make Gillick look like a sucker, since the opposite had already happened.

    The Vizquel situation was the opposite – Omar’s bad checkup didn’t prevent him from playing a better shortstop than Rich “With Unearned Lucre” Aurilia.

    The same thing happened in LA recently – people angered by the Lo Duca trade were spreading rumors that the Marlins knew Penny would have arm injuries because they “had MRIs.” But the MRIs were all negative. I guess the MRIs showed them he wasn’t a gamer…

  8. shigelojoe on September 21st, 2004 9:37 pm

    5-5! Craziness! Let’s hope that he can get back up in the 9th.

  9. Jim Thomsen on September 21st, 2004 9:41 pm

    How very 2004 Mariners … Ichiro gets a hit, gets wiped out on a double play … again and again and again ….

  10. Matt on September 21st, 2004 9:50 pm

    Now if only Villone can hold the lead for our beloved closer JJ Putz.

  11. Dan on September 21st, 2004 9:51 pm

    No doubt. That your leadoff guy can have 240+ hits and not have 100 runs is a sad state of affairs.

    Speaking of sad, i’m kind of bummed out that carlos guillen is out for the season with the ACL thing. He was 3 runs and 3 rbi away from having 100 runs/100 rbi. This is to go with his, what, .318 average and .915 ops, 10 triples, 20 hr. Career year for that guy and it gets cut short before he can put the icing on it

  12. Jeff on September 21st, 2004 9:54 pm

    Don’t you love how FSN constantly misses action when coming back from the break? ala — Boone’s HR!

  13. tede on September 21st, 2004 10:00 pm

    My recollection matches Jon Wells in #4. It was a 4 year deal. I think Angelos was having buyer’s remorse and wanted Sele to redo the deal. He used the exam to bulster his position and Sele walked into Pat’s arms. Angelos was “right” this time….and the time he refused to field a scab team in spring training 1995.

    Useless Info. Dept.: Pat Gillick told the Toronto Star today that he is planning on becoming a Canadian citizen.

  14. Jim Thomsen on September 21st, 2004 10:02 pm

    Hey, the Carlos Guillen news proves that the Mariners were right! Bring Rich Aurilia back immediately! Bill Bavasi is a clairvoyant genius!

  15. JMB on September 21st, 2004 11:02 pm

    I don’t think it’s at all “ironic” that the M’s first 13 hits were singles, or that 16 of their 18 hits on the night were — this team isn’t built for power. C’mon, when you manage 18 hits you should score more than seven runs.


  16. Al Gore on September 21st, 2004 11:03 pm

    That’s nothing, i invented the internet.

  17. DMZ on September 21st, 2004 11:05 pm

    I think the medical exam was the *pretext* for the Orioles walking away from the deal. I think it was Angelos not wanting to go through with the deal, but even if the medical exam said “he’s too risky”, my point is that there’s no way for a good doctor to make a diagnosis like “he’ll be good for two years and then get injured” as the Orioles would now like you to believe they did.

  18. Paul Covert on September 21st, 2004 11:29 pm

    I don’t know if this was mentioned on the broadcast or anywhere (I don’t see it in the AP wrapup), but Ichiro’s fifth hit gave him a new career high for hits in a season (243). His season now stands at #9 all-time, having pushed his 2001 season down to #10. (The highest non-Ichiro hit total since 1930 is 240, by Boggs 1985 and Erstad 2000.)

  19. dave paisley on September 21st, 2004 11:42 pm

    “I don’t think it’s at all “ironic” that the M’s first 13 hits were singles…”

    Well, except to Alanis Morissette…

    Then it would be like “rain on your hit parade”

  20. LB on September 21st, 2004 11:54 pm

    It’s nice when the stats confirm what you can see with your own two eyes. The M’s are at the bottom the American League in SLG (.394), and in all of MLB, only the Brewers are worse (.385). But I think they’ve done it with lower payroll in Milwaukee.

  21. GW Bush on September 22nd, 2004 12:15 am

    Ha! I brought peace, democracy and prosperity to Iraq.

  22. eponymous coward on September 22nd, 2004 12:27 am

    Paul C., didja notice who’s dead freaking last in extra base hits on that list?

    And it’s not even close- Willie Wilson (who was anything but a power hitter) had more extra base hots in his big season than Ichiro does in 2004.

    Not that it’s not a great season- but it’s symptomatic of the Mariner offense.

  23. Colm on September 22nd, 2004 12:38 am


    You mean Willie Keeler, surely?

    Or were you distracted by “Willie” Wilson, the dead weight behind the plate?

  24. eponymous coward on September 22nd, 2004 1:47 am

    The 19th century players I sort of left out- but the lowest player on that list is at 45 XBH. Ichiro would need to have a monster could of weeks to beat that. And a lot of those guys could steal bases better than he could too.

    Ichiro in many senses is like George Sisler- a huge amount of his offensive worth is in his ability to hit singles, but outside of that, he doesn’t offer a lot. That’s not to say he’s a bad player (Sisler’s a HOF player), but it does mean on a list of all-time greats, he probably suffers in a comparison.

  25. don on September 22nd, 2004 5:39 am

    wow …. where were these baltimore doctors when they signed albert belle ??? a little prescience would have been handy then, eh ???

  26. Chris W. on September 22nd, 2004 5:45 am

    Epon. Coward: Sisler had 86 Extra Base Hits out of his 257. That’s 33% EBH. Ichiro has 36 out of 243… 15%. Sisler’s slg% was .632. Ichiro’s is .459. I don’t think they’re comparable.

  27. eponymous coward on September 22nd, 2004 8:22 am

    Look at Sisler’s CAREER numbers. Bill James said Sisler got a higher percentage of his offensive value from his batting average than any other 1B.

  28. Ken Hanselman on September 22nd, 2004 8:26 am

    If Ichiro breaks Sisler’s record, it doesn’t mean that he’s a better player than Sisler was…it just means he now holds the record. Watching Ichiro drop hits in between (and over the heads of) fielders in a concerted attempt at the record is pretty cool. Watching the Angels play as tight as they do in their concerted attempt to make the playoffs is even cooler!

  29. Troy Sowden on September 22nd, 2004 9:27 am

    JMB, good to see you here man, it’s been awhile. Hope fatherhood is still treating you well.

  30. Evan on September 22nd, 2004 9:50 am

    If I’m doing the math right, Ichiro also broke the all-time record for singles in a season last night. He now has 207 singles, passing the record of 206 set by Wee Willie Keeler in 1898.

  31. Bruce Lennon-Jones on September 22nd, 2004 10:11 am

    Not only did Derek invent the taco, but according to the Times ( the USS Mariner is all about Derek, too. Sorry, Dave and JMB. Nice front-page exposure, though.

  32. Paul Covert on September 22nd, 2004 11:20 am

    One more observation: With his seventh win last night and two starts to go, Moyer can still avoid breaking Floyd Bannister’s record for “fewest wins by a Seattle staff leader,” tying him with nine.

    Of course, Bannister did that in the strike-shortened 1981 campaign….

  33. Steve on September 22nd, 2004 2:43 pm

    You bastard! I HATE widescreen movies!

    Tacos are good, though . Thanks.

  34. Steve on September 22nd, 2004 2:45 pm

    Brewers’ payroll is what, about a third of ours.

    Oh, you were being funny. I get it.