Random Thoughts

Dave · October 18, 2004 at 7:19 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Just because, a list of things that have strolled through my mind the past few days, as I’ve actually been able to watch a little bit of playoff baseball.

1. I could have sworn that Tim McCarver told me that pitching and defense won championships. Why are the four remaining teams all offensive machines who hit the crap out of the baseball?

2. How do the Yankees spend $180 million to build a roster and fail to come up with a decent LOOGY, especially when your division rival boasts a line-up of lefties with platoon issues?

3. Carlos Beltran is pretty good.

4. Albert Pujols is better.

5. Nearly every team left in the postseason has been burned by bringing in inferior middle relievers to face the heart of the order in the 6th and 7th inning, while their closer loses a chance to close anything out and ends up sitting on his hands. Have we ever seen a more glaring series of examples that the current way to build a bullpen is not ideal? The organization who has determination to bring back a true “relief ace” is going to reap some pretty big rewards.

6. Alex Rodriguez. Jason Varitek. David Ortiz. Derek Lowe. John Olerud. Mike Myers. The ALCS is a collection of reminders of Mariner blunders over the past 10 years. Good times…

7. I guarantee that we hear a Clint Nageotte-Brad Lidge comparison at least once during the offseason, especially if they officially decide to move him to the bullpen permanently.


71 Responses to “Random Thoughts”

  1. Jim Thomsen on October 18th, 2004 5:07 pm

    And, of course, Anthony Michael Hall in the critical supporting role of Kirk Rueter.

  2. Pete Livengood on October 18th, 2004 5:28 pm

    MSB (#42) – I stand corrected about not offering a deal, but as I read the stuff you quoted, it sounds like they offered him 8 years at $14.5M when Boras was saying $20M would be needed. I still say, what if they had considered 8 years, $20M/per?

  3. Jim Thomsen on October 18th, 2004 5:36 pm

    There’s a huge difference between $20M then and $20M now … even though baseball was on the upward part of a salary-inflation curve, $20M was still off the charts. Today, near the bottom of the downward slope of that curve, it’s even more off the charts … but, ironically, probably not as unthinkable as it was then.

  4. tede on October 18th, 2004 6:09 pm

    Add in Miguel Cairo to the ex-M’s list. He was a Mariner for three weeks and in that time figured in two bad Woody Woodward deals.

    They got him back for Mike Blowers in the 1995 postseason salary dump. Then 3 weeks later they traded him and Bill Risley to Toronto for Paul Menhart and Edwin Hurtado. So basically the deal was Mike Blowers & Bill Risley for Paul Menhart, Edwin Hurtado and Willie Otanez.

    In ’97 Jose Cruz, Jr. for Timlin and Spoljaric
    In ’99 David Segui for Tom Davey and Scott Sinclair

    Woody Woodward definitely had a habit in odd numbered years of trading a starting player for two crappy Toronto pitchers.

  5. Conor Glassey on October 18th, 2004 7:24 pm

    Jim Thompson –
    Until Piazza is inducted, I think the answer to your question is Nolan Ryan, who was drafted in the 12th round of the 1965 draft. Which reminds me – I never mentioned that Pujols was a 13th rounder.

  6. tede on October 18th, 2004 8:19 pm

    Not knowing what exact pick Nolan Ryan was taken on, but the 12th round in a 20 team league (1965)is roughly equivalent to the 8th round in a 30 team league, excluding sandwich picks and other whatnot.

  7. Jurgen on October 18th, 2004 9:38 pm

    I’ve posted this elsewhere, but I’ll say it again:

    Astros – Clemens ($5M) – Kent ($10) = Beltran

    I’m not convinced he’s going to New York.

  8. Conor Glassey on October 18th, 2004 10:14 pm

    Well, the next closest I could find was Ozzie Smith, who was taken in the 4th round of the 1977 draft. Most of the HOFers who were drafted were taken in rounds 1-3. This is interesting and it reminds me of some research I did last spring when Bob Fontaine said, “…I have always been a firm believer that the majority of [future Major League] players come after the third round.” in an article about giving up top draft picks to sign Ibanez and Guardado.
    This quote made me record the draft round of every current major leaguer (at the time of the quote) and here is the breakdown (sorry, this is really off topic, but it’s still interesting!):
    Of the 740 players I looked at (current rosters at the time, plus guys on the DL, guys who had been in the bigs – but started in AAA, etc…)
    There were 174 players that were not acquired through the draft.
    So, of the 566 players that were drafted…
    46% came from rounds 1-3 and 54% came from the 4th round on down…
    So, while Fontaine is *technically* correct – it’s a very misleading statement and shows that rounds 1-3 are exponentially more important than 4 – 50.

  9. The Ancient Mariner on October 18th, 2004 10:55 pm

    Further thought on Bonds: steroids are bad, you shouldn’t take them, but how exactly such a discovery would tarnish his accomplishments, I don’t see. Sure, fine, they made him stronger. Big deal. Stronger isn’t what turned him into Mega-Muto-Terror Man at the plate. Steroids don’t make you quicker, as far as I’ve heard, and I know they don’t do anything for your hand-eye coordination, much less give you the ability to read the pitch before the pitcher releases it, as Gwynn says Bonds can do; and as for strength, the man was strong enough before. IMHO, the notion that steroids are “performance-enhancing” with regards to baseball is unproven.

  10. Jurgen on October 18th, 2004 11:04 pm

    The sad thing about Bonds and steroids is that it might obscure the fact that the leaner Bonds of the early nineties was already as good a player as most of us have ever seen.

  11. The Ancient Mariner on October 19th, 2004 2:35 am

    True indeed.

  12. big chef terry on October 19th, 2004 6:56 am

    #59 “steroids don’t make you quicker…”

    ummm…so Ben Johnson took steroids to get stronger?

    Silly statement…in 1999 he wasn’t even one of the top 100 players and now between the age of 35 and 40 he’s transformed into a player who’s bat speed is markedly faster than anyone else in the game?

    So show me his comparables…how many players can you find who hit .370 and slugged .900 or whatever it was between the age of 35-40…when he came up he weighed 173 pounds, now he’s 65-70 pounds heavier, his ears look buff for crying out loud…

    use your own tools and ability to analyze…

  13. paul mocker on October 19th, 2004 7:49 am

    Give it time. I prefer not to say anything about him, or speculate, or find his place on the list of all-time greats, until I feel that all information that is going to come out is out. In other words, I will wait until his final days, and perhaps beyond, in case the truth behind the myth is revealed.

  14. The Ancient Mariner on October 19th, 2004 12:31 pm

    “In 1999 [Bonds] wasn’t even one of the top 100 players”? What a ridiculously ignorant statement. In 1999 Bonds hit 34 HR in 355 AB, posting a .617 SP to go with a .389 OBP (which was, admittedly, the first time in a decade that his OBP had been below .400). 1999 was the beginning of Bonds’ power surge; what has happened since then hasn’t been an increase in power but an increase in batting average–which I submit cannot be explained by steroids.

  15. Conor Glassey on October 19th, 2004 2:20 pm

    David J. Corcoran – I thought of another ex-Mariner in the playoffs: David McCarty. I don’t think he’s on the playoff roster, but he was on the Red Sox.

  16. Jurgen on October 19th, 2004 11:45 pm

    “In 1999 [Bonds] wasn’t even one of the top 100 players”? What a ridiculously ignorant statement.

    I think he was referring to Bonds’ omission from the All Century Team. Speaking of which… how the hell did that happen?

  17. Bela Txadux on October 20th, 2004 3:01 am

    Yo, Dave,

    I am quite certain myself, with no way by time as the test, that the Yankees _WILL_ make the top $$$$ offer to Beltran. He fits George’s mold. Their farm systems has no stars. The team has a fine core, but has age or health issues outside of that. Matsui and Posada are, to me, the most underrated players on that team, and while A-Rod had a good-not-fantastic year, I would simply call it an off year; he’s a champ (if increasingly jerkish on field, but). Jeter will never repeat his pre-2000 numbers, but he’s still an offensive force. Giambi: will he ever be an effective player again??? He’ll DH if so, but I think the Yankees FO and owner are extremely down on him and will move heaven and hell to get out from under his contract, even if they have to eat half of it or more. Sheffield: can he even _play_ next year??? Remember, he has a chronic (and most probably steroid-induced condition) in his shoulders. Williams should be in right and is signed, but he’s subpar in center, and that’s assuming _his_ body holds up, which is no sure bet, either. The team faked there way along quite well with Cairo at 2B and more or less did the same at 1B, and could again at both positions. Signing Beltran means that there is a certain core of A-Rod, Matsui, Posada, Jeter, Beltran—that is a perennial playoff force regardless of what the rest of the roster looks like: it’s the _certainty_ of that foundation that will drive the sign. And I think they will sign him unless Beltran has his heart set on some other team.

    Here’s what I think the Yankees will do in the offseason, and it is _quite_ doable for them. Sign Beltran. Sign Pavano. Deal Vazquez for another starter, probably a lefty, potentially eating a bit but not a lot of his contract. Sign one more arm for their bullpen. That’s it, but that’s plenty.

    Yes, yes, the Yanks need to fix their rotation: where are the star free agent pitchers??? This simply isn’t a good offseason for that. Pavano is the best option, and they’ll make the big play. They’re down on Vazquez and Brown but Brown is nearly untradeable at his price, pitched decently this year when healthy, and has been a force in the past, while none of those statements are true of Vazquez. With this done, their rotation is Mussina, Lieber (has thrown well, and is a better bet than Radke to keep doing so, _and_ cheaper), Brown, Pavano, [acquisition for Vazquez here]. Frankly, the idea, mentioned above, of the Yankees going after Randy Johnson again makes so much sense that I feel sure they’ll go back and do the deal, perhaps in a three-way for Vazquez to line up the bodies, particularly because Johnson gave a strong hint that he’d go for it. Randy is a much, much better option then Pedro at this point in their careers, think about it. The Yanks may look to do a further deal for a starter in season when other guys come on the market, but the rotation I suggest above is more than adequate to _start_ the season; if it includes Johnson it is more than adequate to do deep in post season, health issues (which could well be very, very major with that group) excluded. But George has a history of discounting health problems long-term since he always budgets for the short-term.

    Or so sez I.

  18. Bela Txadux on October 20th, 2004 3:16 am

    So Ancient Mariner, #59 . . . I _really_ suggest that you get some information on what steroids actually do for you. Really. That done, you will have no need to posit further.

    —But since you don’t have that info, apparently, consider this: It’s not that hard to hit flyballs at the major league level, it’s just that they tend to end up in outfielders gloves. Supposing you send a buddy down Mexico way who comes back with a simple potion that can reliably add 30 feet to every solidly hit flyball you can put in the air next year. For a guy like, say, Jeff Cirillo (just to pick a name) who has no great power to begin with, that means you tattoo the walls for a bunch of line drive doubles for a couple of years. For a guy like Jay Bell (pick a name, any name) who’s good for about ten jacks a year, even down in ThinArizona, that’s worth about 20 homeruns and a career year at an advanced age wildly at variance with demonstrated career abilities. For a guy like Bonds, with outstanding vision, super quick hands and a regular for 40 jacks a year, that’s 60+. Mr. Personality down in SF appeared to get on the stuff in ’99, you have that exactly right (although yes, I know that’s not what you wrote), that was the year that Barry, once my favorite player, became the Guy I Leave the Room For.

  19. msb on October 20th, 2004 10:42 am

    “I think he was referring to Bonds’ omission from the All Century Team. Speaking of which… how the hell did that happen? –Comment by Jurgen — 10/19/2004 @ 11:45 pm

    um, because it was a fan vote? the final votes for “Outfielders”– the top nine were selected to the team:
    1. Babe Ruth………………1,158,044
    2. Hank Aaron…………… 1,156,782
    3. Ted Williams…………. 1,125,583
    4. Willie Mays…………….1,115, 896
    5. Joe DiMaggio…………. 1,054,423
    6. Mickey Mantle…………… 988,168
    7. Ty Cobb………………….777,056
    8. Ken Griffey Jr………. ….645,389
    9. Pete Rose………………..629,742
    10. Roberto Clemente… ……..582,937
    11. Stan Musial…………… 571,279
    12. Joe Jackson…. ………. 326,415
    13. Reggie Jackson…………..296,039
    14. Tony Gwynn.. …………….232,476
    15. Carl Yastrzemski…………222,082
    16. Frank Robinson…………..220,226
    17. Rickey Henderson…………180,940
    18. Barry Bonds…………… 173,279
    19. Lou Brock…………….. 131,361
    20. Billy Williams…………. 97,911
    21. Tris Speaker…………… 84, 461
    22. Willie Stargell…………..71,585
    23. Al Kaline……………… .67,719
    24. Duke Snider………………63,410
    25. Cool Papa Bell……… … 59,189
    26. Mel Ott………………….51,748
    27. Ralph Kiner…….. ………32,302
    28. Al Simmons…………….. 15,930
    29. Paul Waner….. ……….. 15,057
    30. Oscar Charleston……….. 13,893
    31. Joe Medwick. ……………..11,238
    32. Wee Willie Keeler…………10,553
    33. Goose Goslin………………9,475
    34. Harry Heilmann…………….9,415

  20. The Ancient Mariner on October 20th, 2004 11:59 am


    1) I’ve spent enough time around doctors to have a fair bit of knowledge on steroids (including the knowledge that I don’t like taking them). I never claimed my knowledge was encyclopedic (hence the “as far as I’ve heard”), but that doesn’t mean I know nothing.

    2) The biggest difference in Bonds, aside from his fluke 73, has been an increase in batting average, not power (well, that and walks, which is largely the result of the league now being scared to death of him). A guy who was usually a .290-.300 hitter has, in the last four years, hit .328, .370, .341 and .362; it seems to me that if you’re going to put down his improvement to steroids, then steroids have to explain that (and in that case, you should really start agitating to have Ichiro checked).

  21. Evan on October 20th, 2004 2:58 pm

    Bonds’s best seasons have happened in this century, not that one. I think the real crime on the list was the omission of Rickey. Rickey should have scored ahead of at least 3 guys in the top 10 (Griffey, Clemente, Mantle)