Everett Herald on Reed

DMZ · January 27, 2005 at 3:01 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Lots of quotes, speculation, other good stuff. Check it out.


21 Responses to “Everett Herald on Reed”

  1. David J Corcoran on January 27th, 2005 3:14 pm

    I was unaware of his poor ST performance in ’04. That is interesting.

  2. Steve Thornton on January 27th, 2005 3:45 pm

    Nothing — NOTHING — hacks me off about old skool baseball types than their insistence that spring training means much of anything, and that the best way to choose between your options is how they batted in spring training, especially since what they usually mean is not ALL of spring training but a few at bats or a few innings pitched in the last couple of games. As if none of their previous record in real competition means anything. Lou Piniella used to be a horrible offender in this regard, with all his “well, we’ll just have to see how he does this afternoon” garbage.

    Reed’s .196 in 2004 spring training means about as much to me as his taste in movies. He HAS a track record, in the minor leagues, and if you know how to read those numbers, spring training means nothing.

    Lots of guys bust out in spring training but go back to being flops in real life, and vice versa.

    Spring training is where you find out if guys are injured, if guys are healed from injuries, to find out if that new pitch is breaking well, to work out the hitches in the swing, to get the new infielders commun icating well, and to just generally get back into the swing of playing games every day.

  3. Adam T on January 27th, 2005 4:14 pm

    Re: #2

    Agreed. A good point was brought up on KJR today about spring training being overrated.

    Anyone remember the 2004 Mariners won the Cactus (?) League during spring training? They sure brought that momentum into the regular season didn’t they!?!

  4. Adam S on January 27th, 2005 4:17 pm

    It’s also why when two guys are “competing” for a job, the one who hit .370 gets sent down and the one who hit .210 makes the team.

    I laugh every time someone says Villone (or Sele) is competing for a spot in the rotation. They’ve spent 10 YEARS competing for a starting job, can one month override that?

    On the flip side, if players are close, I think Spring Training does matter. I think Bloomquist, Santiago, Leone, Lopez et al are competing for back-up IF jobs in Seattle and Tacoma and what happens in the spring will decide who goes where. But it’s not just about who hits the best.

  5. Eli on January 27th, 2005 4:18 pm

    Amen. Ramon Santiago hit .377 / .441 / .509 in spring training last year.

  6. Evan on January 27th, 2005 4:24 pm

    Competing for a roster spot makes sense if there’s something in particular the coaches want to player to accomplish in spring training.

    Did the young pitcher refine his change-up in the winter league? Can the young hitte shorten his swing like we taught him? That sort of thing. But for older players who are basically the same player year after year, I don’t get it.

    This doesn’t mean that older players can’t compete with the younger players if the older players have something new. For example, if Ryan Franklin completely collapses this year, and comes back next year as a strict knuckleball pitcher, the quality of his knuckleball during spring training could well be the best way to determine if he belongs on the club. If his style changes sufficiently that his previous stats become meaningless, then he’s on even footing with the young guys.

  7. devil's advocate on January 27th, 2005 4:29 pm

    The whole notion (or anyway, what I see as the average notion) of Spring Training is totally antiquated- a relic and a tradition from baseball’s past. Before I get totally rantish lemme say that is by no means a Bad Thing. Anyway, sometime between 1905 and 2005, the average baseball player stopped drinking and smoking and getting fat over the winter and began to stay pretty much in playing shape. Quite a few of them actually get into better shape over the offseason; you may have heard of some of these *cough*Boone*cough*. Because of this shift in offseason habits, ST became merely a dusting-off of the elemental skills of the game. [Insert pretty much of Steve’s post here which I totally agree with and won’t regurgitate any more of.]

  8. David J Corcoran on January 27th, 2005 4:30 pm

    I certainly wasn’t trying to imply that ST stats were worth anything (because they aren’t), I was just unaware that Reed hit .196 in the Spring.

  9. Adam T on January 27th, 2005 4:31 pm

    “Amen. Ramon Santiago hit .377 / .441 / .509 in spring training last year.”

    He forgot to save some weak singles for the regular season apparently. 🙂

  10. LB on January 27th, 2005 4:36 pm

    #7: Maybe what you say goes for position players, but I think most pitchers need the spring to get “stretched out” to 100+ pitches. (And all ballplayers need a chance to get out on the golf course with their teammates.)

  11. David on January 27th, 2005 5:52 pm

    I’m willing to give the benefit of the doubt to people who work in baseball on this matter. I agree that spring training statistics are meaningless, but the manager isn’t looking at the statistics, he’s looking at how the player is reading pitches, swinging the bat (is he elevating the ball, is he getting jammed a lot by AA pitchers), etc. For the players on the bubble, this evaluation seems important, and gives someone like Mike Hargrove information that the statistics aren’t revealing.

  12. NBarnes on January 27th, 2005 6:03 pm

    What is Reed’s projected ‘good hitting year’ like, anyway? I wasn’t under the impression that he was a big Ramirez-like hitter of baseballs. More like a ‘gap power’ sort with good .avg, reasonable .obp, etc. He sounds like Randy Winn, franly… :/

  13. adam on January 27th, 2005 6:23 pm

    Randy Winn with a higher average is probably Jeremy Reed.

  14. David J Corcoran on January 27th, 2005 7:03 pm

    So basically we are looking at Mark Kotsay then?

  15. tyler (jorgensen) on January 27th, 2005 7:15 pm

    Oh good. The stat-community’s pupils devote several posts to the uselessness of spring training. Thank you David in #11. Yes, the rules of the offseason have changed, but the need for spring training is very much there, and always will be.

    You can say that stats are all-critical and you can fill out your line-up before you ever step on the field; you can also say that spring stats are completely useless, ergo spring training is useless. Both are gross over-simplifications of a complex situation.

    Spring Training is both a time to work out kinks and get in “playing shape” and– more importantly– a rite of passage, and the process of going through it critical in team-building. You need that time together to build your individual personalities and talents into a cohesive team.

    Both parts make for the whole. Both are considered by management when creating a team, “small sample sizes” or statistical anomalies aside.

  16. DMZ on January 27th, 2005 7:29 pm

    Oh good. The stat-community’s pupils devote several posts to the uselessness of spring training.

    This kind of dismissive grouping isn’t appropriate.

  17. David J Corcoran on January 27th, 2005 7:40 pm

    I should clarify again. I don’t think the STATS are useful, but ST is useful. It gets the players back in a baseball mindset, ready to play and compete and get to the top of their game. That is absolutely necessary.

  18. Smith on January 27th, 2005 8:45 pm

    Can you image a bunch of Cecil Fielders who gained 50 pounds in the off-season trying to get into (#15) “playing shape?” Man, I thought 1920 was, well, 84 years ago. So ergo visa vie concordantly. . . .

    By the way, which door do I step through for the (#15) “rite of passage?”

    And if say, someone was hurt and missed ST. Would the team then be lost? The player may not have had the chance to “build [their] individual personalities and talents into a cohesive team.” The team might as well give up on the other 162 non-anomalies that follow. With that ever-important part, all must be lost.

  19. Tyler on January 27th, 2005 11:46 pm

    DMZ– I wasn’t referring to all the writers.. just those that commented on the uselessness of spring training. I even supported the logic David presented in 11. But I suppose I was fighting a little brushfire with too much water. (or more fire, or whatever.) Here’s what I saw… feel free to correct me if you percieve I’m wrong:

    #2, parts of #3’s agreement with 2, and the comments of #7 about antiquated notion of spring training… they just rang untrue to me. I was presenting something from the notion of being more involved in a day to day setting than many of you. Yes, I bleed my home teams’ colors as well, but while coaching I see the seeds of things that don’t seem significant in the stat book that occur in the preseason develop into big things (both good and bad) during the season. I can give you an example just from today if you wish– just ask later.

    And issues like that are why Spring Training is a rite of passage. There is a process of communication that needs to begin before the first days of the playing season. You can’t expect players to just walk out and suddenly be ready to win ball-games. They need some “warming up” time with each other. Learning each others’ strengths and weaknesses. Even in an “individualistic” team sport such as baseball it is absolutely critical. Are they focused every moment they are out there? Probably not. But that, too, is part of the process.

    I think you, DMZ and the rest of USSM, are absolutely brilliant writers. One of the strengths that I see in you is that I believe you do look at and weigh both sides of an issue. I’m not being personal in my comment toward some readers, just defending my own. I see myself far more on the “old skool” side as it was put. And I think the filter some of your other readers presented in these earlier posts was one of quick thoughts or incomplete rationale, the old “statistics/scouting” one good one bad argument. For example, it seemed like about 4 posts somewhat supported this statement:

    “Nothing – NOTHING – hacks me off about old skool baseball types than their insistence that spring training means much of anything, and that the best way to choose between your options is how they batted in spring training”

    That just simply isn’t true. But at the same time, all things being equal (which they rarely are) why shouldn’t “what have you done for me lately” be the best way to chose your option? And I think that I explained (with some help from other posters) why Spring Training and the decisions that are made there go far deeper than just “wow… look at that kid hit right now.”

    There are a lot of issues to weigh, and trust me– I’ve been there, sitting up at 1 a.m. with a whiteboard listing the strengths and weaknesses of players and how they will fit in the team. It isn’t all fun and games and pick the best 15 players. There are peoples’ abilities and personalities, and at deeper levels their lives and personal satisfaction and hopes and dreams at play (not to mention your own job), and it isn’t so easy to work the “where are you now” argument vs. playing the “potential” game.

    So… does Spring Training matter? Yes. Very much. You can mock my “rite of passage” comment, or you can read some Joseph Cambell and look into the concept and see that the door is metaphorical and the game extends beyond the boundaries of the playing surface and the numbers that are put up during the game.

  20. Tyler on January 27th, 2005 11:59 pm

    Oh, and Smith…

    Cecil. Good example of an out of shape player, but I’ll admit, my Latin needs polishing. What did you say?

    As for the player who missed Spring Training… c’mon. While the Spring Training experience is significant, it isn’t that “deep.” Dogs bark, the caravan moves on. One player being gone doesn’t totally disrupt everything (Walter Jones, for example.) But when one turns into 4, turns into 8… well, that turns into a team that lacks cohesion and probably organization from above.

    And that turns into losses.

    But thanks for simplifying my argument.

    Oh… and if you want to go the other route and say that Spring Training is all important and missing it means you will never be a true part of the team– I don’t believe it, but I’ll play along. Here: I give you the St.Crispin’s Day speech from Henry V. (click my link).

  21. Evan on January 28th, 2005 9:38 am

    If, however, the discussion had begun with an assertion that spring training stats don’t mean anything, I expect there wouldn’t have been a disagreement.

    That Ramon Santiago hit .377/.441/.509 in spring training is useless information. That is not to say that spring training was useless for those evaluating Ramon Santiago.