Separate post for game, other complaints

DMZ · October 3, 2004 at 12:04 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Overheard at the ballpark, 10/2, with extended preface:

I was sitting next to this 10-yr old kid tonight, who talked to me about everything, and was pretty quick on the uptake. In fact, I think he might have done a better job as a GM last year than the actual team’s much-more experienced brain trust would have. (“Who did we trade Guillen for?” “What? That was stupid.”) So I answered his questions as best I could through the game, explaining who Kida and the other pitchers were, so on. Then when they started to make preparations for Edgar’s ceremony, bringing out these red carpets, he said —

“If Masao Kida steps on the carpet, we should throw tomatoes at him. Because they won’t stain (briefest of pauses) the carpet.” — Austin

I’m still laughing about this. He was comedy gold for a whole game and then still had it in him to bust that out… man. I’ve tried a couple of times to write that quote up and I can’t quite capture the absolutely perfect rhythm that joke had, and he wasn’t even reaching for it, it was like he’d made this other funny point and then… man.

My big complaint: let Edgar play. If Edgar was game, and he must have been, let him take an inning at third. Before the game, I was hoping secretly that if the game was out of hand they’d let him come in to play the field, and when he came out I was so happy my head almost came apart from smiling so hard. To see Edgar take the field at third… oh, how great was that? And to immediately pull him, to make it sort of an honorary appearance to get another ovation — what? I can’t speak for Edgar, but I felt like I’d been slapped. As if Melvin had said “Hey, Edgar, you’re fine as an attention-getting novelty, but I don’t want to see you actually take a ball out there.”

The team’s down 10-4 in the top of the ninth. They’re barely going to escape losing 100 games this season. If Edgar wanted to play an inning at third in a blowout, why not? If he wasn’t embarassed to be out there, and he obviously wasn’t, should we be embarassed for him?

Even Austin picked up on this.
Austin: What just happened?
Me: They put Edgar in at third and then subbed in Bloomquist for him. You’re going to have a question for me in five seconds, and I’m not going to have a good answer for you.
(so I watch Austin, and I could actually see his brain working… 1,2,3,4 — he starts to speak and his sister (I think) puts her hand over his mouth and tries to wrestle him down, because… well, Austin and I had been making cracks about John Stamos, which is another topic entirely. Austin breaks free at last and says)
Austin: Why would they do that?
Me: I don’t know.
Austin: They should let him play third.
Me: I know.
Austin: This stinks.

I think he’s going to be officially endorsed by the U.S.S. Mariner this off-season, but that’s just a hunch.

So to my minor complaint: look, it’s Edgar’s night. I don’t like Bud Selig, and I didn’t boo him. I’ve been greatly disappointed by Gary Locke as governor, and I bit my tongue. For Edgar’s sake, would it have been that hard not to boo people, out of respect for the occasion?


25 Responses to “Separate post for game, other complaints”

  1. Raymond on October 3rd, 2004 1:12 am

    I don’t understand why Melvin took Edgar off the field after one pitch of him at third base either. The game was already 10-4, and how bad could it have been with him at 3rd? The only thing I can think of is that he didn’t want to run the risk of Edgar getting embarrased at 3rd since he hasn’t played the position in so long, but even then…the game’s out of hand. Who cares?

    Melvin’s gone anyway. I hope.

  2. paul on October 3rd, 2004 1:12 am

    Well, I myself was fricking livid about subbing out Edgar, and it lasted well into the ceremony.

    First, I was really, really upset that they took him out after one pitch. We’re close to losing 100 games, we’re 30+ games out of first, and we’re behind 10-3 in the 9th.

    The guy’s played 18yrs for us, and you take him out after one pitch like he retarded or something. I was insulted for Edgar.

    The thing that *really* got me was the bottom of the ninth, seeing guys get on and Edgar’s spot coming up and…Wille Freaking Bloomquist comes up. Again, totally insulting.

    At that point I turned to my buddy and said they should fire Melvin tonight and have Edgar manage the team tomorrow. What a stupid, stupid decision.

  3. dw on October 3rd, 2004 1:32 am

    I will say… the booing for Selig during the Edgar ceremony was nothing compared to the lusty raspberry (sounds like a strip club) he got during the Ichiro ceremony.

    They should have let Edgar play. If they were concerned about injury, how about having Cabrera flip back to third after the first pitch?

    And Darth Selig cast his HoF vote for Edgar tonight by naming that shiny trinket after him. If only the media would get off its anti-Ichiro high horse in the next five years and start giving him HoF votes.

  4. Chris Begley on October 3rd, 2004 1:54 am

    It might just be Edgar being the diplomat, but he said he understood it was just for one pitch, and was for a chance for the fans to give him one more salute.

    As an aside, what former M’s were there? I imagine Buhner and Valle, but I was thinking of names of former players that I liked, guys like Mike Schooler, Brian Holman, Mike Blowers etc.. and maybe even Griffey – that would have been kind of neat

  5. matthew on October 3rd, 2004 2:18 am

    What did Austin say when the crowd started the “Ed-gar” chant as Bloomquist took his spot batting? Straight from “Ed-gar” to silence. To boos…

    If it was Edgar’s decision and not Box O’Rocks, I’ll write it off to something silly like shaking Bush’s hand in public. heheh

  6. eponymous coward on October 3rd, 2004 2:29 am

    Well, let’s see. Edgar has a bad hammy- which originated from him getting injured playing defense. He’s pulled it before running the bases. But hey, it’s not like a hot shot to third requires a quick move, now, does it?

    Christ, how horrible would having him be carried off the field in his final game be? Good grief, he’s already fouled a ball off his OTHER foot already. No, DON’T leave him on the field for more than a pitch.

  7. eponymous coward on October 3rd, 2004 2:36 am

    And BTW, once you put your DH in the game for defense, you lose him (the pitcher or a PH for the P has to bat now and you have to replace the pitcher, just like in the NL, so say the rules- note that Taylor shows in the box score now)- so once they put Edgar in at 3B, putting Cabrera at 3B means Edgar STILL doesn’t bat in the 9th.

  8. eponymous coward on October 3rd, 2004 2:43 am

    Oh, and one other thing:

    Edgar post-ASB:

    .312 BA/.379 OBP. Power’s down, though (.451 SLG). But I still love how his last few months have given us the last taste of the Edgar we all know and love.

  9. JenV on October 3rd, 2004 2:52 am

    I think the main purpose of it, other than having it be cool to see Edgar at third, was that this way he got to run off of the field all by himself, for a standing ovation. This happens all the time with pitchers – a guy has thrown a great game but left the field sort of anonymously with the whole team, so you put him back out there to warm up just so you can send him off for the standing ovation. Similar with fielders and sending them out for one more pitch, but you don’t have the same opportunities with a DH. Melvin wanted Edgar to leave the field as the center of attention, but he didn’t know if he’d come up again in the 9th so he wanted it to be a sure thing. And if Edgar had played third the whole inning, he would have run off of the field with his teammates, which is less personal.

  10. JenV on October 3rd, 2004 2:56 am

    It’s possible, also, that Melvin realized that if Edgar came up in the 9th, he might have been in a position to make the last out of the game, which is kind of depressing. And as my boyfriend noted, Willie Bloomquist is much more qualified to make the last out of the game than Edgar. 😉

  11. David on October 3rd, 2004 9:23 am

    I’m fine with taking him out. One awful looking attempt at a ground ball and a subsequent ugly throw to first base would have given a sour taste to an otherwise sweet evening (for Edgar). I’m 26, and in good shape, and have played a lot of baseball in my day, but if a ground ball got hit to me and I had to field and throw it, it would be the ugliest thing in the world. Edgar is freakin’ 41 years old, hasn’t been out to first base in years…and, it’s just not worth the risk.

    On the other hand, if he makes a Rolen-esque stop and fires the ball to first just in time to nab the guy…well, that would have been awesome.

    Not likely; good call by Melvin, one of the last he’ll be able to make for tbis ballclub.

  12. David on October 3rd, 2004 9:24 am

    replace ‘first’ with ‘third’ in that last comment. But he hasn’t even been out to first base in quite awhile.

  13. Flavor Flav on October 3rd, 2004 9:44 am

    I think it was fitting that Willie Bloomquist came up in Edgar’s spot. It was symbolic of Edgar handing the torch to the next generation of Mariners and with Willie being a hometown hero who better than him to accept the torch. Wo! Ha-haaaaaaaaa

  14. JPWood on October 3rd, 2004 9:45 am

    I think Derek’s visceral anti-Bloomquist devil wrote that: anybody but the “home-boy”. Edgar got another salute, which is the most important in this. But Leone was on the bench too. What would Jeff Sullivan think?

  15. DMZ on October 3rd, 2004 10:24 am

    But here’s my point — if you’re giving Edgar props and a chance to play third, and he wants to, let him actually play third. Heck, we’ve seen Pat Borders there. Go for it.

    There’s no reason to play for one more ovation. Edgar’s going to have his own ceremony after the game, it’s not as if he’s going to disappear after his last at-bat.

    And as for the chances of injury and sadness — again, I say you leave it up to him. If he wants to play third and risk embarassment and injury, let him. If he doesn’t, then don’t run him out there.

  16. Jim Thomsen on October 3rd, 2004 10:32 am

    Off-topic: How conflicted are we that the Oakland A’s fell apart and won’t make the playoffs? On the one hand, it may be the death knell of “Moneyball” thinking (despite Theo and DePo, Billy Beane is and always will be the poster child for new-school thinking, thanks to the book … and Joe Morgan). On the other hand, they’re the Oakland A’s, and they’re annoying, and they barely have more fan support than Montreal or Tampa Bay.

  17. DMZ on October 3rd, 2004 10:47 am

    How could this possibly be a death-knell for Moneyball thinking? Headed into the playoffs are
    New York, stat-friendly but also divided
    Boston, stat-friendly
    Minnesota, anti-stat
    Anaheim, anti-stat
    Atlanta, doesn’t care
    St. Louis, also doesn’t care
    LA, super-stat-y
    And it’ll either be Houston (pro-stat in a sort of lazy way) or SF (sort of also doesn’t care but has stat-y guys in house)

    Stat-friendly front offices are doing well. Smart front offices of any stripe are doing well, but the one that embrace both sides are doing really well.

  18. Jim Thomsen on October 3rd, 2004 11:00 am

    Are the legions of Beane-haters inside baseball likely to discern the difference? People seem to be cool on Boston’s stathead successes this year, and all the talk on DePodesta seems to be centered on bashing him for the LoDuca-Mota trade (no matter that they’re wrong). You’re right, Derek, but I’m talking about perception, not reality. The majority of people inside baseball, and their mainstream media enablers, seem to love to trade in perception.

  19. Alex Sasser on October 3rd, 2004 11:14 am

    I think I remember reading in one of the papers a couple of days ago that Edgar didn’t WANT to play in the field. I would suspect that Edgar was put in at third with a self-requested caveat that he would come out after one pitch, to get his stat. While I don’t agree w/ Melvin and his managing style, I think this was a good example of Melvin’s class.

    Infrequently, the Seattle area papers are a good read…

  20. eponymous coward on October 3rd, 2004 11:26 am

    The A’s missed the playoffs by (at most) 2 games and a crappy September, after FOUR YEARS of making them with a low payroll and fantastic Septembers.

    Call the waaaaahmbulance. And isn’t Beane most successful exploiting undervauled opportunities? Everyone thinking “stats are bigus” would HELP him in this case.

  21. eponymous coward on October 3rd, 2004 11:28 am

    Er, “stats are bogus”.

  22. Shane mikesh on October 3rd, 2004 12:20 pm

    If you were going to let Edgar play any position. I think He should have walked out to the mound and signaled for the bullpen and take the ball from Kido… that would be an ovation!!!!

  23. Matt S. on October 3rd, 2004 2:36 pm

    When interviewed after the game, Edgar said that he was worried that a ball would be hit to him on the one pitch he was in there for, since he didn’t know if he could throw to first. I think the criticism of Melvin for this is undeserved (a first, perhaps).

  24. JPM on October 3rd, 2004 2:57 pm

    To Derek, I love your work and all, but methinks you have misread the Braves organization a bit. I love the team to death and all, but they are pretty clearly an athlete/tools organization. Every year, or 1st/2nd round picks are the best HS athletes int he GA region(whic seems odd, but I think they really like the whole hometown hero thing). Look at our acquisition’s the past few years, Russ Ortiz, Mike Hampton, Jaret Wright, Paul Byrd, with the possible exception of John Thompson noone in our rotation(currently) is a statsy kind of pickup. Lineup wise, the only real acquisitions are Drew(widely considered one of the better athletes in baseball, and while this was a stats approved move, I don’t think it was because of the stats) and Estrada, which at the time made no sense at all, stats or tools wise. OF the players coming up in our own organization, only Marcus Giles is a “moneyball” player, and it took them awhile to give him a chance.

  25. Joshua Buergel on October 4th, 2004 10:39 am

    On Selig: I booed lustily when he gave his pre-game speech for Ichiro, and don’t feel guilty at all. As an aside, I found it hilarious that he accounced he was going to give Ichiro the Historical Achievement Award…at some later date. But I too kept quiet during Edgar’s ceremony, as did most of my section. And it sure, uh, got a little dusty in the stadium. Must have been ash from St. Helens.