Game thread, Mariners at Athletics, 9/28

September 28, 2004 · Filed Under Mariners · 42 Comments 

Meche v Hudson. Hoooooo boy.

Some people have mentioned this in the comments, but it’s been impressive to see the good work turned in by Atchison in relief this year. Putz put up great numbers since August, too, and it’s some hope to us that they’ll be able to contribute next year as part of cheap, effective bullpen (plus Hasegawa) as the Mariners devote their considerable resources elsewhere.

Guardado to instructional leagues

September 28, 2004 · Filed Under Mariners · 12 Comments 

Seattle Times ran this in a notebook item a couple days back, but Guardado’s headed to Arizona to pitch a bit and test his strong-feeling arm.

My feeling on this is… I don’t count on Guardado being back next year. Rotator cuff problems are huge, and medically we’re not to the point where we know what effective rehab looks like even if we know what the problems are and repair them through surgery. So when I say my feeling is this, or that, it’s a guess, just like everyone else’s opinion, including his.

If he comes back next year, it’s a huge risk to be re-injured and then he’s out for the season at least.

The pro side of this says that if he injured the shoulder because his motion was thrown off by another injury, if he’s healthy his mechanics should be okay and the shoulder, in turn, should also be okay.

But we don’t know. So in the 2005 roster construction post, for instance, I don’t have him slotted as the closer.

Game thread, Mariners at Athletics, 9/27

September 27, 2004 · Filed Under Mariners · 51 Comments 

I don’t feel bad about saying this — the A’s are reeling, having problems getting people out, particularly. I’d love to see the M’s beat up on them this last series to play spoiler and get them out of the playoffs, just because it would cause so many people to go insane with rage. People I want to see go insane with rage.

Moyer v Zito

Melvin, the pro and con

September 26, 2004 · Filed Under Mariners · 39 Comments 

As we approach Melvin’s inevitable canning, and because this seems to take over many other threads, here’s the catalog of Melvin’s purported strengths and weaknesses, with some commentary. Some I think are clearly fact, but most of these are subjective to some degree. I’ll probably think of more after I publish this, but that’s what editing’s for, right?


  • Can win given the right team, as with last year’s 93-win team (counter: given that team’s performance, they should have won more, and an accordian-playing monkey would have won 90 games managing the 2003 Mariners)
  • Relaxed leadership style makes veterans comfortable (counter: relaxed leadership style seems to be without accountability)
  • Player’s manager style. Everyone knows their roles, when they’ll be coming in, and there’s little discontent about it (counter: you shouldn’t make those kind of promises to players in the first place, as Weaver will tell you)
  • Willing to let players win jobs through performance, and to lose jobs (counter: even this is inconsistently applied, see “poor judge of talent” below)
  • Doesn’t slag his players in public, even when they clearly deserve it (counter: this sometimes makes him appear ignorant of the obvious, like “Winn’s not doing so well in center”)


  • Relaxed leadership style is boring (counter: style, in itself, is no reason to replace a manager)
  • Team appears poorly coached, making baserunning, fielding, and other in-game blunders that indicate they aren’t adequately prepared for the team they’re facing and don’t quite know what they should be doing.
  • Poor manager of pitchers. Ran Meche out there all year in 2003 as Meche wore down and fell apart, for instance, and has repeatedly left tired pitchers in one inning too long, left them work deep into meaningless games (counter: how much of this is Price or the organization?)
  • Has never had to deal with difficult personalities, like a Milton Bradley, and so his ability to help develop younger players or those with unconventional skill sets is unknown (counter: wasn’t Cirillo supposedly a huge problem)(counter-counter: and what did he do about it?)
  • Poor judge of talent, and prone to using his own impression of a player even when wrong, as with his belief that Clint Nageotte was the right-handed set-up man his team needed, when Nageotte clearly was not (counter: look at the talent he’s given)(counter-counter: look at the results he got from the players he told the team to go out and pick up, like Colbrunn, McCracken, etc)
  • Poor motivator of players (counter: veteran players are pretty tough to motivate)(counter-counter: other managers do it)
  • Inflexible adherence to ‘roles’ that make people comfortable mean some players are used badly. For instance, Soriano’s confinement to set-up duties because he was productive there (counter: we don’t know how much of this is player or organizational stubbornness)
  • Loyalty to veterans, combined with inflexibility means players are often run out in roles they’re not able to do well in, even when it’s obvious they’re no longer suited for that limited, inflexible role. Like Hasegawa setting up in close games, for instance.
  • Poor lineup construction. Other weaknesses put together result in a poor job doing the one thing managers can do well that most helps or hurts the team. Belief that Spiezio is an everyday player, and working to find ways to work him into a lineup, for instance, hurts the team far more than mechanically calling for the sac bunt with runners on 1-2 and no outs. (counter: how much of this, too, is organizational powers asking for the manager to showcase a Jarvis, or Spiezio?)
  • Rigid adherenece to certain counter-productive in-game strategies, and is outfoxed by opposing managers
  • Rigid adherenece to lefty/righty pitching matchups, resulting in poor bullpen usage strategies (also is extremely boring)

Crowded sports bars for M’s games?

September 26, 2004 · Filed Under Mariners · 9 Comments 

I’ve got an email here from a Japanese TV producer looking for an enthusiastic sports bar where people watch M’s games and cheer for Ichiro! as he pursues the hit record on the road.

I can’t think of any that they’d be able to count on. Anyone have any suggestions I might be able to pass on to this fellow? I want to be helpful but I don’ t know any good sports bars that have good crowds for M’s games.

Game thread, Mariners at Rangers, 9/26

September 26, 2004 · Filed Under Mariners · 29 Comments 

Baek v Drese

I’m surprised Baek’s still in the rotation. I’d have thought the M’s would have picked someone off waivers, or signed some retired veteran guy to suck up innings the rest of the year. There a ton of guys floating around like Travis Driskill that can pitch sorta-badly every fifth day, and being up’s not doing Baek any good.

More Ichiro

September 25, 2004 · Filed Under Mariners · 9 Comments 

Jeff Sullivan has more good stuff on Ichiro’s hitting style and value. Check it out.

Game recap, M’s @ Rangers 9/24

September 24, 2004 · Filed Under Mariners · 32 Comments 

Derek notes: this is a long, long in-game post on Friday’s M’s-Rangers game. The excerpt here starts out (as the game does) talking a little aboutt he pre-game, but it does follow the events of the game as they occur. It runs, and I’m not kidding, a couple thousand words. Just so you’re prepared.

Ichiro! trots out of the dugout at 5:03 and it’s time for the McDonald’s starting lineup. Here’s my problem with sponsoring everything: while I understand ‘the starting lineup, brought to you by McDonald’s’ which implies (falsely) that McDonald’s played some role in providing the starting lineup to you, the viewer, perhaps by giving everyone in the production crew a combo meal of their choice to make sure they had the energy to type in and display the graphic. But to brand the starting lineup itself doesn’t make sense. It’s like having the EA Sports sunrise time, or the Dell astronomical unit. McDonald’s doesn’t play any part in either the composition of the lineup ‘ unless Edgar got a bum milkshake last night, forcing him to sit out the game ‘ and they certainly don’t play a part in presenting it. A more honest presentation of this would be “the starting lineup, with McDonald’s logo”.

Ibanez hits fourth, our suddenly slap-hitting DH. Fifth is Jolbert Cabrera, who with his career batting mark of .257/.306/.362 seems like a strange candidate for that lineup position. However, when the rest of the lineup is Reed, Spiezio, Wilson, and Lopez, it’s not like the order of the outs matters much. Spiezio, I hear, is in the latest Sporting News, being called out by his teammates for having a terrible work ethic (last to arrive, first to leave) and generally being lazy. Which, if true, says something about Melvin’s powers of leadership and motivation, but also about the basic folly of investing in a player’s intangibles. People are whimsical things, and react in unexpected ways to situations like being on a terrible team.

Ron Fairly reads the scouting report and remarkably, paraphrases, then the defensive lineup. Then he reads some stats off the notes sheet. Joqain Benoit has some numbers, and has done some things. This is a perfect example of stats without insight: what does any of the things Fairly went through mean? How will they be important, or even not important, in the game ahead?

Read more

Cloning Ichiro

September 24, 2004 · Filed Under Mariners · 6 Comments 

.356/.394/.413. That’s the Mariners offense the last 7 games. 95 hits, 85 of those are singles. Only two home runs and 22 walks in 267 at-bats. But they’re averaging 6 runs a game over that stretch because they’re singling the other team to death. If you ever wondered what a team full of Ichiros would like like, we’re seeing it. Leading the charge are Ichiro (naturally) and Raul Ibanez, who are a combined 29 for their last 54, a .537 batting average. All 29 of those hits have been singles.

For the month of September, Ichiro and Ibanez are a combined 67 for 175, a .383 average. Sixty-two of those hits have been singles.

This is one of the most unique offensive attacks you will ever see.

More on Ichiro!

September 24, 2004 · Filed Under Mariners · 19 Comments 

Nate Silver has a good free piece over at BP on Ichiro and offensive batting average on balls in play. Since we’re being inundated by a bunch of ridiculous “Ichiro isn’t as good as you think” type articles, this one is a breath of fresh air.

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