Dave · December 16, 2004 at 12:03 am · Filed Under Mariners 

I figured this was all going to go down while I was in the air.

I really don’t want to turn this into another Sexson thread. We’ve had a ton of those lately. We made it clear two months ago that we weren’t in favor of signing Richie Sexson to more than a 1 year deal, so obviously, we’re not going to like this contract. Rather than discussing the merits of this deal, let me segue for a second.

I’m pretty disappointed in the quality of the comments, recently. We’re not going to start moderating for intelligence, however, I’d like to challenge everyone to raise their standards for posting a response. The signal to noise ratio has been growing rapidly lately. I’d love it for that trend to reverse.

So, let me just offer this up as a challenge; rather than posting a one line throwaway response without punctuation, ask what it adds to the discussion? Don’t insult other people. Don’t question their motives. If you have a response to the subject of the thread, make a valid point and try to support it.

If you just want to post mock line-ups and fire off witty one liners, there are a ton of message boards that would love to have you. Personally, I’d love to see the comments here look a lot more like The Market thread. Reasonable discourse. Rational responses. It really isn’t any slower to use punctuation and complete thoughts.

There is a logical argument to be made in favor of the Sexson signing. I was just a bit disappointed that I couldn’t find one in the mass of hundreds of replies on the topic. Even if someone tried, it would likely get lost in the sea of comments that add little to the discussion.

You don’t have to post everything as it comes to your mind. How about we raise the bar back up a bit, okay?


24 Responses to “Commenting”

  1. brain on December 16th, 2004 12:14 am

    I think you have a great point. The stream-of-conscience aspect has become boring. As the site gets more and more traffic, it’s hard to believe it won’t get worse, though. Maybe I’m wrong and people will listen to your request.

  2. Paul Weaver on December 16th, 2004 12:21 am

    Awwwwww, I like the occasional one-liners. Okay, they haven’t been as witty lately, but I’m holding out for some good ones.

    As for logical arguments in favor of ….particular signings this thread is not about….it hurts the brain to even try.

  3. Jordan on December 16th, 2004 12:22 am

    Great comments, I appreciate them very much. On Sexson, this is definitely more money than I wish we had spent on him. Too too much. However, I am not entirely disgusted by the deal. I mean, we all know there is potential for injury. But a good point was made over at Inside The, why get all pissed about it now? Lets at least for now (where nothing can really go wrong) enjoy the thought of having a true power hitter in the midst of our lineup and what that will do for the Mariners. For me, as long as we still sign Beltre, or at least Delgado, then I like the fact that we have Sexson, even if we did overpay. Which we did. It is such a backloaded deal, who knows, maybe this is really just bait to let Mr. Beltre or Mr. Beltran know that we are serious about changing this team and they will want to be a part of it. Again, not thrilled about the whole deal, but there is definitely positives to it. Lets not be such “Mariner fans” that we fail to see any good in any signing as we are used to. 🙂

  4. Jordan on December 16th, 2004 12:24 am

    I’m really sorry. I totally missed the part about this thread not being about “you know what.” 😉 Sorry! 🙂

  5. eureka on December 16th, 2004 12:25 am

    OK but at times it only takes a sentence.

    Please let us know the truth regarding length of contracts as pertains to insurance companies coveringing player.

    Secondly please let us know your top 24 can’t miss if no injuriers way lay them.

    Lastly ENJOY THE HOLIDAYS to the great site & all that post..Ocgh Sexson signed

  6. DMZ on December 16th, 2004 12:27 am

    Hee hee hee.

  7. eureka on December 16th, 2004 12:28 am

    Meant up coming young players that have enormeous potential (5 or 4 tool players}. Thankyou

  8. DMZ on December 16th, 2004 12:39 am

    So you have a good flight there, Dave?

  9. eponymous coward on December 16th, 2004 1:08 am

    eureka’s either really dense or really pulling our collective legs.

    OK, the logical argument:

    Bavasi has tentative deals for one of Winn or Ibañez and a commitment from Lincoln to boost the budget (which they’ll spring later, around FanFest time). He can plug Reed for Winn (thinking rather optimistically but not totally unrealistically that he could be a cheap Randy Winn with less of a noodle arm), but he’d like the best possible option at 1B- plus Bucky has some injury history as well.

    So he decided to sign the best FA 1B on the market right now- which would arguably be Sexson, since Delgado is holding out for more money/years/a pony and is older- they think Sexson is a better risk being under contract at 34 than Delgado at 36. The plans also include Beltre and a starting pitcher (from dealing Winn or Ibanez), probably Perez.

    Now, I’m not sure I BUY the argument (to me, why Sexson over Drew? or a trade for someone else)… but I can make it, kind of like a lawyer who suspects his client is likely guilty even though there’s no confession, but his job is to argue reasonable doubt and convince the jury. The fact is there’s no certainty in baseball until AFTER the games get played.

  10. Michael Kale on December 16th, 2004 1:09 am

    I agree completely with your sentiment here, but I think a reqest for rational discourse right after a post filled with stuff like “WHYYYYY GOD WHYYYYYYYY??” might be slightly mis-timed…


  11. Adam K on December 16th, 2004 1:25 am

    I’m not trying to be confrontational here, but it appears as if you’re trying to alienate all those you disagree with. By saying “There is a logical argument to be made in favor of the Sexson signing. I was just a bit disappointed that I couldn’t find one in the mass of hundreds of replies on the topic,” you imply that the only people being unreasonable are those that are for the Sexson signing.

    Which is, of course, not true. I give you post 73 from the “Sexson signs, 4 yrs $50m” thread:
    “NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! AW MAN!!!!! PLEASE do not sighn Delgado now! Sighn Beltre! I’ll say that slowly for you, Bavasi! BEEEELLLLLTTTTRRRREEEEE!”

    Obviously, there are poor comments from people on both sides of this issue. The post that you offered up, however, says, in effect, that all those posting in comments that support the deal are illogical, unreasonable, and irrational.

    In the same thread I mentioned earlier, I’ve been trying to have, what I feel, is a logical discussion (see posts 59, 71, 89, 107, and 109). On post 109, you’ll also see me asking for an elevation in discourse, asking to stay away from one liners that get us nowhere.

    I like the writing on this site. I’m a loyal reader, and have been for quite a long time. I even posted with Dave on the TeamOneBaseball message boards three years back or so. Sometimes I disagree with you guys, but shouldn’t we encourage discourse? Singling out one side of the debate, painting that side in a bad light, and then ignoring all the other side’s faults, creates an environment in which only those who are on a certain side of an issue are respected, the others seen as illogical.

    I like talking baseball. I like disagreeing with people about baseball. I don’t see the need to paint ALL the people for the Sexson trade with such a wide brush.

  12. Gary on December 16th, 2004 1:45 am

    Here’s a feasible argument in favor of the Sexson signing, whomever they may sign later:

    The Mariners have a history of bidding just enough to not sign a first rate free agent. Sexson is not a first rate free agent. However, the signing could demonstrate to other general managers that the Mariners are not going to be easily outbid for the first rate free agents.

    Secondly, it demonstrates to those first rate free agents (and their agents) that the Mariners may well be willing to overpay for them. Furthermore, now they have Sexson who, if healthy, is a good guy to have batting behind you if you’re Beltre, Beltran, or Drew. Which (following traditional baseball logic–widely believed if not precisely true) means that you’re going to get better pitches to hit and plenty more chances to drive Ichiro in.

    Granted, Delgado would have been a better choice, but as he seems to be playing hard to get, overpaying for Sexson in order to get Beltre (which you might not be able to do if you waited for Delgado and got neither) is an acceptable strategy. Look at Sexson’s salary as part of the price for getting Beltre instead of a gross overpayment and it makes a kind of hypothetical sense.

    That’s giving a lot of credit where it may not be due, granted. But if you’re looking for a reasonable argument for the signing of Sexson, then as part of a strategy for getting Beltre, it’s feasible, as I originally claimed.

    Even if the Mariners don’t sign Beltre, if signing Sexson was part of their strategy for getting him, it’s hard to entirely condemn. And if they do get him, both Sexson and Beltre are good fielders and hence could attract people like Odalis Perez and other non-three-true-outcome pitchers (and improve Moyer and Franklin besides).

    If that’s all true, well, I think we’d all have to admit:

    Bavasi, you da man.

  13. tede on December 16th, 2004 1:54 am


    I wish you and DMZ could develop a “projected lineup” filter for the comments.

    As for short comments, I’d say that this narrow column WordPress comment format makes them easier to read (and write) than longer comments. As to their content….that’s another matter.

  14. GWO on December 16th, 2004 2:01 am

    The signal to noise ratio has been growing rapidly lately. I’d love it for that The signal to noise ratio has been growing rapidly lately. I’d love it for that trend to reverse.trend to reverse.

    Just for the record, if the signal-to-noise-ration has been growing, that’s a good thing. A lot of signal, not much noise. What’s been happening here is a diminishing of the signal-to-noise ratio. Consider this comment my contribution to your decline.

  15. Raul Montero on December 16th, 2004 2:04 am

    I never post here or any place, but that doesnt mean I dont read everyday posts of other guys at this site. Ive been a fan of the Seattle Mariners for years and Im not even from US, Im from Mexico so to be honest with you Im excited with the sign of Sexson, it proofs that Bavasi and the GM are going to spend big time to bring back our years of glory (even that we haven´t make it to the world series, I dont lose my hope I know we can get into playoffs sooner than we expect, or anybody expected 116 wins in ’01), Maybe 50 millions dollars are a lot but 99 losses are a lot too, so give Sexson a break and lets see if he can bring something positive like other FA attentions and also a lot of HR. (Please forgive my english for any further mistake)

  16. LB on December 16th, 2004 2:12 am

    #12: Interesting possibility. Perhaps Bavasi was playing the same game with Renteria. The Providence Journal reports: “The Detroit Tigers and the Seattle Mariners had helped drive the price up for Renteria, with one team — it’s not known which — offering a five-year, $50 million deal and the other presenting a four-year, $44 million proposal.” (See

    Based on the Sexson deal, either one of those could have been from the M’s. But Renteria would rather have a shot at a ring than a bigger pile of money, and who can blame him?

  17. Paul Covert on December 16th, 2004 2:38 am

    What was great for me about the “Market” thread was that, not only did the people commenting in response to mind actually understand what I was saying, but the people pointing out areas of imprecision in my post actually did so politely. And that on the Internet– imagine!!

    As for the high noise-to-signal ratio (as well as the tendency of some to function with a high opinion-to-knowledge ratio)– my dream would be a baseball site where you have to pass some sort of a Sabermetrics 101 test in order to post comments. No insult whatsoever intended to those who wouldn’t pass it, just that I’d rather see them in learning mode than in venting mode. Those who are willing to learn would generally be able to do so quickly with a little guidance, and would reach the qualifying standard before too long. Those who prefer merely to vent– well, as I think Derek says in the FAQ, there are plenty of places on the Internet for that.

    A more serious suggestion to Derek, Dave, and Jason, though (if my so-called “Super Reader” status entitles me to make one): Have you considered making your occasional “NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!”-type posts non-commentable? You guys are analytically and verbally skilled enough to get away with a rant every now and then; but, although not everyone has those skills, I find it hard to blame the general readership for taking the ranting-and-venting posts as justification for responding in kind, and that’s where things often seem to go wrong.

  18. Dr. Roe on December 16th, 2004 6:45 am

    Hey I am a first timer on this forum, I am a die hard Mariners fan through and through, it’s just been awfully tough to get back into the business of the M’s after such a downfall the past 2 seasons. But having just listened to the whole Richie Sexson press conference on the Mariner’s website, I was thoroughly impressed with this young man. The numbers speak for themselves, this guy will produce- and don’t you worry about the shoulder, the M’s worked it out and looked at it about as thoroughly as one can. It is as good as new, 100%. No he is not Carlos Beltran or even Adrian Beltre, but I really do think he will produce for us.

    I really think just as important, though, is the MAKEUP of this young man. I wanted to comment on how mature, composed, and humble Richie is. This guy has true character. He’s a winner, through and through. He’s the kind of guy on first impression that you’d want as your big brother- a gentle giant if you will. Don’t think he doesn’t exude confidence though. He just doesn’t do it arrogantly. It’s very subtle. For those of you naysayers about Sexson I’d give you this advice- go to the Mariner’s website and listen to his press conference. I think you’ll change your mind about this guy once you do.

  19. Brian Thornton on December 16th, 2004 8:21 am

    I’m curious whether the Sexson signing will mean the end of the second Raul Ibanez experiment in Seattle. Looking at the money being laid out, I’d think it would make more sense to move his salary than it does to move Winn’s. I realize there is more upside to moving Winn (in other words, what one might expect in return), though. Is there any chance of the M’s moving both? Or do you folks think the M’s are more likely to keep Winn in left field, Reed in center, Ibanez as the DH and Jacobsen for the bench (assuming both Reed and Jacobsen have had a good spring). I’m assuming (hoping?) that the M’s are going to land either Delgado or Beltre, but for the purpose of this question, I haven’t included either in the mix of speculation.

    On another note, I saw Odalis Perez’s name mentioned in either the Times or PI (and not in an article written by Finnigan) as a possible acquisition, so that might make Derek at least grin. I agree that the guy could be an intriguing pick-up, and they’ll need another lefty in the rotation. Any chance Hargrove will do the sensible thing and make Moyer his situational lefty out of the bullpen?

  20. Laurie on December 16th, 2004 8:40 am

    Re: signal-to-noise ratio of the comments. No kidding. It’s getting like the PI blog. There’s probably nothing you USSM guys can do about it, though, and we readers, of course, can choose not to read the comments. Even though there are always a few nuggets among the drivel, there’s an awful lot of drivel. Oh well. It’s the internet. It’s America. Everyone has a right to bore the rest of us senseless.

  21. Dave on December 16th, 2004 8:43 am


    You’re right, my post does single out the anti-Sexson side. My mistake. I didn’t mean to do that. Most of the posts that I shook my head at were the type that you referred to with people on the verge of suicide over the signing.

    We don’t want to drive away those who disagree. What I want to do is encourage them to post really well thought out points, and encourage those who disagree with them to treat them with respect. Maybe I’m a pie-in-the-sky kinda guy, but I don’t want this to be a message board. I think there’s potential here for a lot more.

  22. Evan on December 16th, 2004 11:01 am

    I have found that I no longer read entire comment threads. I scan them for posts from a select few people – probably because the quality of the posts generally is declining.

    In response to #11, I don’t think Dave implied any such thing (though, I do tend to dispute universally the existence of implication). Dave said that he could no find a rational argument in support of the Sexson signing. He made no remarks at all regarding arguments against the Sexson signing. And even if you infer that he did think there were rational arguments against the signing, I think you can find those in the comment threads. Not every anti-Sexson comment is quality reasoning, to be sure, but some of them are. Since Dave complained that all of the pro-Sexson arguments were bad, you can’t then turn that around and complain that some of the anti-Sexson arguments are bad. That’s a much weaker standard.

    Don’t blame Dave for your inference.

  23. There'sAHorseInTheHospital on December 16th, 2004 12:30 pm

    Yeah, this is the new Symposium. Congrats, Socrates. Just to ‘logically’ further your righteous prolegomena, I believe that we should also require submission of a formal essay by prospective voters that will be peer reviewed and justly graded by a panel of ‘effective’, proven intellectual veterans who are well-spoken and sabermetrically-minded and who are also dynamite with the “Chicago Manual of Style”. I mean, in this golden World of Baseball Ideas, every poster is a childless philosopher king who has impeccable spelling, flawless syntax, and a true aristocrat’s eye for ‘signal-to-noise ratio’. I think you guys have plenty of interesting things to say, and I understand– It’s your site. However, I have noticed in several posts an insidious arrogance and self-righteousness undergirding your general outlook towards your ‘followers’. I may be mondo off-base here, but I just hate to see populism patronized. Like I said, I ‘get it’: you guys are running this ‘ship’. Still, if you are going to tacitly encourage a working relationship with a general readership (i.e. a blog), I don’t think you should wax all 95 Theses over the rabble writing ‘clever’ one-liners, etc. I read your site and enjoy it greatly– the writers themselves (eloquent and EXTREMELY well-informed) and the responders. Granted, there is some curd, chaff, pick-your-poetic-needs-to-be-removed-metaphor, from time to time. But, from my perspective, the timbre of the material on this blog helps to keep me au fait in all things Mariner. I, personally, have just been intellectually alienated by this post and wanted to voice my opinion. You still do great work and I am sorry if this falls under the category “noise” or whatever.

  24. bagchucker on December 16th, 2004 4:26 pm

    when you post things like “NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!” you earn one line responses. So here’s mine: At that kind of money, Sexson better get 40 and 100.