Mariners to add grit

DMZ · November 10, 2004 at 3:17 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Also, grime. Dust is a secondary priority, but if possible the team is also looking to increase the amount of gravel and clay on the roster…

Mariners want to add true grit

“We have some guys who lay it on the line every game and aren’t affected when things get a little hairy in a tight situation,” general manager Bill Bavasi said, “but we need more of those guys. We are looking for players with good makeup between the lines and finding good, tough guys will be an important part of what we do.”

This is the kind of thing all GMs say all the time, along with standard lines about improving situational hitting, so I’m not particularly concerned.

That said, one of the reasons the 2004 team caught fire and fell over was because they did exactly this, attempting to bring in veterans like Aurilia and Spiezio who’d been parts of championship teams and could add that kind of veteran leadership and clubhouse presence.

It didn’t work out then, and if you look at the free agents who are reputed to be that same kind of player, you can see that it wouldn’t work this year either.


40 Responses to “Mariners to add grit”

  1. SAF on November 10th, 2004 3:21 pm

    We need the kind of player who make their own bat out of a tree hit by lighting.

  2. Jeff on November 10th, 2004 3:30 pm

    I think they mean they want players that will sell Grit, as Harvey comics used to encourage us young lads to do.

    If Aurilia had done that, the money he brought in might have even paid for some of that awful contract.

  3. msb on November 10th, 2004 3:32 pm

    The main problem was that all the grit guys were either hurt or hit like crap, and it’s a Well Known Fact that you have to play to lead. (I don’t know why it is A well Known Fact, I just know what I’m told.)

  4. Goob on November 10th, 2004 3:33 pm

    I read the title to this as “Mariners to add grits” and thought to myself (1) People eat grits in Seattle? I thought that was just a southern thing. And (2) I can assure them that a breakfast food won’t fix things any time soon.

    Yes, I am an idiot.

  5. Pete on November 10th, 2004 3:37 pm

    If they are seeking to add power and grit, who the heck of the available free agents are they looking at? I don’t perceive Beltran, Delgado, Beltre, Glaus, Sexson, or Drew as particularly “gritty” players. They can sure hit the snot out of the ball.

    Does grit mean Koskie? McLemore? I’m afraid…very afraid.

    Or maybe I’m just ready too much into the word. Maybe Beltre and Delgado and Clement are true grit.

  6. PositivePaul on November 10th, 2004 3:37 pm

    Uh oh. I’m hearing voices…





  7. PositivePaul on November 10th, 2004 3:40 pm

    Or are they planning on cloning Sandpaper, uh, I mean, Sandfrog? Talk about gritty…

  8. Ken Hanselman on November 10th, 2004 3:45 pm

    Yeah, this aughta be a fun year! And, just before the daily “crowding the plate” training session, Baylor will serve bowls of nails for the team breakfast each morning. And no, you don’t get sugar on top, Boonie. Oops, scratch that diminutive. From now on, it’s just “Bret.” Get ready for some sweaty, stubbly, grungy dudes who can’t seem to speak without using the F-word, if they speak at all! – K.

  9. Paul Covert on November 10th, 2004 3:52 pm

    Okay, so much for “family-friendly.”

    (Unless, of course, “Family-Friendly” was the F-word to which you were referring?)

  10. Jon on November 10th, 2004 4:06 pm

    I know, I know. GMs say inane things right out of the book of baseball cliches. But, still, Bavasi’s dopey comments were such complete throwaways. That’s the best he could come up with? Meaningless blather?

  11. Dave in Palo Alto on November 10th, 2004 4:20 pm

    Good makeup between the lines. Not that crappo Maybelline stuff; we’re looking for Chanel, Revlon, dig? Mascara that won’t run when your lunging for a hot chopper. Eye-shadow that doesn’t make you blink at the high hard ones. The stuff that A-Rod would wear.

  12. Jeff Sullivan on November 10th, 2004 4:25 pm

    So, is there some sort of psychic connection between your blog and mine, or what?

    Trying to bring in grit smells an awful lot like Buck Showalter.

  13. msb on November 10th, 2004 4:30 pm

    hmm. Whilst engaged in GM meeting media chat, what would be better Meaningless Blather? aside from the classic Non-Denial Denials?

  14. Ty on November 10th, 2004 4:37 pm

    Hopefully this is a gritty enough:

    Dan Wilson and Miggy C
    Delgado 1B
    Boone 2B
    Jose Lopez/Free agent SS
    Free Agent or trade 3B (or if all else fails, Leone)
    Winn LF
    Reed CF
    and of course, Ichiro RF


    Moyer (maybe)
    Meche or free agent or trade (must be something good)
    Matritch (I don’t care that I probably spelt it wrong)
    Free Agent

    Vilone for sure
    Shiggy (maybe)
    and other people

    And Eddie

    Please note that I just threw this list together. Make edits to my list please. I deeply encourage it. The people I put up are basicly my choices though. If anyone can fill in the blanks here, that would be great.

  15. Jon on November 10th, 2004 4:42 pm

    Here is an example of Bavasi’s wit and wisdom:

    “But Bavasi said power takes a back seat to production.”

    Which means what exactly? How does that keen observation really help the M’s? We should avoid home run hitters and go for pure RBI guys (as if those are mutually exclusive)? The only thing I can think of is he’s really saying that the power hitting free agents will cost too much, so we shouldn’t want what we can’t have. Instead, we need to be happy with guys we do sign, because they’ll somehow drive in runs despite having marginal power. Yipes.

  16. Pete on November 10th, 2004 4:52 pm


    I love your comment. It’s exactly what I was thinking, but hadn’t gotten around to saying yet.

    I love reading into words way to far. You’ve done it perfectly.

  17. Pat on November 10th, 2004 4:58 pm

    Bavasi: “When I mention run production, I’m not necessarily referring to hitting home runs,” he said. “We need to improve our offensive production and we have to make sure the [free agents] we sign also help us in 2006 and ’07.”

    You mean like THIS?

    R Ibanez singled to center
    B Jacobson singled to left, R Ibanez to second
    K Koskie singled to left, R Ibanez to third, B Jacobson to second
    J Lopez struck out swinging
    D Wilson grounded into a doubleplay, first to shortstop to pitcher, K Koskie out at second

  18. Pete on November 10th, 2004 4:58 pm

    The thing is, Jon’s right. In the past, Bavasi has said that players like Aurilia and Speizio are “run-producers.” These are probably the types non-power, run-producers he’s referring to. The thing is, he’s called these two guys run-producers, and even before their disastrous seasons, they’ve had about ONE(1) 100+ RBI season between them.

    In my opinion, run-producers are 80+ RBI guys; power guys are 100+ RBI.

    Bavasi’s track record of using that term would indicate that run-producing means a lower RBI total.

  19. Evan on November 10th, 2004 5:09 pm

    For importantly, run-producers are .330 OBP guys. Power hitters are .380 OBP guys.

  20. Matt Williams on November 10th, 2004 5:29 pm

    Maybe I should try to get on the team, I think I could convince him I have “grit”. Ran a marathon on multiple stress fractures, carried an 85 pound pack into the desert alone, etc. Sure, I can’t hit a baseball but he doesn’t really seem to be interested in that part of the game.

    It might be more effective if we formed a group of guys to try to get on the team. Lots of leather and peircings, show up and intimidate him into paying a couple mil a year. Who’s in?

  21. Peter on November 10th, 2004 5:41 pm

    I love comment # 1, that is awesome. Maybe we could get Robert Redford to lend his powerful, gritty presence to the ballclub. While we’re at it we could get the chubby batboy, and Wilford Brimley to manage, and a lady in white to stand up in key situations. Unstoppable!

  22. PositivePaul on November 10th, 2004 5:42 pm

    Not to toot our own horn too much, but Munchausen and I have become your new neighbors in the blogosphere — I posted a thread hoping for discussion on what people consider a big-splash signing. Where does “true grit” come in on the list of criteria on which players’ signings would constitute a “big splash?” I’m inclined to believe that it’s fairly low on the priority list, especially with Bavasi’s pre-2004 signings of players based on his understanding of “true grit.”

  23. Lenny Dykstra on November 10th, 2004 6:24 pm

    Seattle: hope you’re ready for a whole bunch of super-luxury car washes cuz I’m on my way to lead that cast of True Grit coming to the Safe next spring! Love, Nails

  24. Bavasi on November 10th, 2004 6:28 pm

    I’m know you’re asking yourselves “How hard should the noses be?” Well, I’m looking for oh, about “medium- to very-hard.”

  25. Bavasi on November 10th, 2004 6:32 pm

    The Mariners’ second-year GM isn’t specific about exactly how much money he has to spend on free agents, but published reports have indicated there could be as much as $30 million, or as little as $13 million, available.

    “I would say it’s higher than the low figure, and lower than the high figure,” he said.

    But, sorry, I’m not going to take the bait. Nice try (Larue). I won’t comment at all on the money we’ll be spending… except to Jim Street.

  26. isaac on November 10th, 2004 7:37 pm

    if george w. bush really thinks we are a country of optimists, he should check out this blog.

  27. James L. Crockett on November 11th, 2004 12:06 am

    Or maybe he’s just having trouble sanding over some rough spots… like the last three years. Cause I’d go for more grit, if that were the case. Though I don’t know if there’s enough grit out there to take care of gouges the size of Randy Winn, Raul Ibanez, Ryan Franklin and Scott Spiezio.

  28. James L. Crockett on November 11th, 2004 12:08 am

    …or maybe he’s talking about having a Clint Eastwood double feature after every Saturday home game? That would be a pretty gritty addition to the SafeCo Field experience.

  29. John Pontoon on November 11th, 2004 12:49 am

    I feel that the Mariners DO NOT need grit. They need grout. Grout and spackle. And caulk. For their bench coach, they should hire Sal Bondo.

  30. Wally Backman on November 11th, 2004 1:14 am

    If Bavasi really wants grit…I’m available.

  31. eponymous coward on November 11th, 2004 1:20 am

    If the Mariners wind up seeking a cheaper option at third base, they could look at Twins free agent Corey Koskie, whose agent they have reportedly spoken with. Koskie, who batted .251 with 25 homers and 71 RBIs last season, is seeking $15 million over three years…

    Don’t say you weren’t warned. Delgado and Koskie, here we come…

  32. Bob on November 11th, 2004 3:43 am

    My first reaction to this whole “grit” thing was “uh oh”.

  33. Scraps on November 11th, 2004 4:49 am

    But every winning team has lots of grit. They’ll tell you so themselves.

  34. big chef terry on November 11th, 2004 10:17 am

    Delgado is the only thing resembling a nugget in this mining for tailings process…

  35. DMZ on November 11th, 2004 10:37 am

    What kind of nugget, though?

  36. Ralph Malph on November 11th, 2004 10:54 am

    Is “gritty” the same thing as “white”? They may not mean it that way but it seems to be the end result.

  37. Mike Hargrove on November 11th, 2004 11:05 am

    “Um, ‘grit’… You know, Bill, that’s a great idea, but let’s just stick to getting players who can hit the snot out of the ball.”

  38. big chef terry on November 11th, 2004 11:18 am

    DMZ, I think he’s a probably real value when contrasted to Spezio, Aurelia, Hillebrand, etc…

    Do you percieve any undervalued FA that would explode out of their price range in this crop?

  39. eponymous coward on November 11th, 2004 11:29 am

    I’m thinking Chicken McNugget. Delgado might be fine in 2005, but by 2007 fans will be ragging on him for non-production just like Olerud.

    Mark McLemore also counts as a “gritty” player, FWIW.

  40. big chef terry on November 11th, 2004 1:03 pm

    very different players…not all 35 year old superstars are totally in the tank, and big Rude was never a superstar…just good.