If you missed our draft chat with Patrick Ebert of Perfect Game USA, the transcript is below in comments. Patrick talked about all the big names and a bunch you’ve probably never heard of, covering a wide range of topics.
Make sure you check out Patrick’s coverage at Brewerfan.net throughout the year, as he does a terrific job covering the draft and doesn’t charge a penny for his efforts.
The Hall of Fame library has giant clipping files of newspaper and magazine artiles, organized by subject. I’ve been reading them all week (my eyes! ooooh my eyes) and came across this today, part of a tiny newspaper clipping with a handwritten date (“6/17/76”), which I’ll copy here, exactly as it appears, [sic] implied:
Pete Gebriam, Met farm director, received phone call. “Some guy from Staten Island wanted to know why we don’t have any Oriental players,” Gebriam said. “I asked him if he knew any who could hit or pitch. He didn’t.”
Six days after the scrawled date on this clipping, Sadaharu Oh hit his 700th home run while playing for the Yomiuri Giants.
The M’s have claimed Abraham Nunez off waivers from Kansas City. Nunez will fill the 25th spot on the roster that Dobbs and Santiago were fighting for. Bucky Jacobsen heads to the 60 day DL to clear up a spot on the 40 man roster.
Nunez is a 28-year-old former highly rated prospect who has never put it together. Of course, a lot of his highly ratedness came because of a falsified age, so in hindsight, the fact that he’s failed to live up to expectations isn’t surprising. In 302 major league at-bats, he’s hit .209/.288/.308, which sucks for anyone, but especially a corner outfielder.
His shiny numbers in Triple-A have come in severe hitters parks, so they should be taken with huge grains of salt. Nunez isn’t good, and he’s not going to help us win games. With any luck, he won’t be around long.
Added by Jason: In two other moves, the M’s optioned George Sherrill to Tacoma (boo!) and reassigned Dan Reichert to minor league camp.
One of the many cast-offs from San Diego once obtained by the Mariners, Ben Davis, has been cut by the White Sox, who opted to go with the mighty right-handed bat of your friend and mine, Chris Widger.
Davis cleared waivers and has been assigned to the minors. He could refuse and become a free agent, but would forfeit his guaranteed $1 million salary. Apparently, he hasn’t made a decision.
I mention this not for a former Mariner schadenfreude experience, but because the article contains still another amazing quote from Ozzie Guillen. Oz tried to talk Big Ben into staying with the organization thusly:
“I talked to him and I said ‘We want you here. You never know what will happen,’ ” Guillen said. “It’s a lot of money involved and (chairman) Jerry (Reinsdorf) did it because he wanted the team to get better and we know we’re going to need this guy … hopefully not soon, but we will need him.”
Kid we’re gonna need you. And it may be soon. [Pause] But boy, I hope not.
In other news: Larry LaRue’s TNT notes column mentions that Pokey Reese, whose shoulder is still bothering him, could be placed on the disabled list to start the year. This would enable the Mariners to carry an extra infielder at the start of the season, potentially making our dreams of seeing both Greg Dobbs and Ramon Santiago on opening day come true.
Every year, Diamond Mind (makers of Diamond Mind Baseball 9, the finest baseball simulation game available) runs a ton of seasons based on projected performances and publishes their results. Historically, they’ve been far more accurate than the picking-names-from-hats or picking-teams-by-experts methods. Check out methodology, etc, at the Diamond Mind article.
The good news: Mariners came out with an average record of 83-79, which is only a hair better than we’ve been kicking around here. They won the division 25% of the time, and the wild card 2%. That’s a lot better than I’d guess.
The bad news: Oakland’s at 85 wins, Angels at 84. Texas returned to the cellar with 80, and 80’s still a strong finish in this division.
Other interesting points: Cleveland, who I’ve been touting as a breakout candidate, is at 79. AL East is neck-and-neck.
The results should be taken only as what they are — seasons based on simulated games generated from projected statistics. Still, one of the problems with pre-season predictions generally is that everyone has to fight the natural inclination to hand out more wins than are available, and running actual simulated seasons like this makes that impossible.
83 wins, though — I’d be happy with that.
According to the Times, Jamie Moyer will start opening day.
Other moves of note:
It’s also decision day for the M’s with respect to Aaron Sele and Jeff Nelson either making the club or being granted their release. That announcement could come at any time, with the Times saying Nelson is probably in and that Sele is leading Ryan Franklin for the 5th starter job (despite Sele getting shelled yesterday).
Jeff: No. 4 Starter: Gil Meche
Gil Meche is younger than I am by four years. Already, he’s had
big-league success, major surgery, a long recovery process, another
full season as a starting pitcher and an almost comically up-and-down
season that saw him return to the minors, get knocked around, and
subsequently return to Seattle and a modicum of success.
As I mentioned previously, Patrick Ebert has graciously agreed to spend an hour chatting about the draft here, and we’ve set our first draft chat up with Patrick for Thursday night at 5 pm pacific time. Patrick is a staff writer for Perfect Game USA, the premier high school talent showcase association in the country. He’s also one of the main authors of Brewerfan.net, and maintains the best free source of draft information all in one place.
He’s a great source of information, so bring your questions about draft eligible players on Thursday and hear what he has to say. I’ll open up a moderated thread Thursday night, where all comments will go into a queue before they hit the site, and then I’ll release them one by one, much like the chats you’ll see at ESPN, Prospectus, and Baseball America. If you’d like to submit questions ahead of time, leave them in the comments here, and I’ll cull them into the queue for Patrick’s chat Thursday night.
The baseball deities have inflicted an ancient Chinese curse upon the Mariners: the M’s play in the most interesting division in baseball.
I say that after seeing that the gang at Baseball Toaster have an American League West preview up. There’s a real diversity of opinions, especially about how the Rangers and A’s will finish. Looking at Seattle, though, they see the glass as half empty. Actually, most see a glass with a thin film of dust where water once existed.
The M’s are the only team that no one predicts will finish higher than third. Seven out of the nine writers pick Seattle to finish last.
Even though I’m picking the Mariners to finish third, too, I come away after reading the comments feeling much more optimistic about their chances than these folks. Two other elements of this preview surprised me as well.
First, what gives with the Ranger love? Regardless of how good that infield is, it’s hard to feel good about Ryan Drese: Opening Day Starter, harder still to feel good about the rest of their arms. Admittedly, I didn’t see Texas’ great leap forward last year coming, either, so I could be off-base about this.
Additionally, the group is utterly split on Oakland. They’re picked anywhere from first to third, with a couple of guys suggesting they could finish last. I don’t see the potential collapse that some do. Whatever else you want to say about a team that dealt two marquee arms, this is a pretty deep squad with a pretty deep system.
Thankfully, it’s about time for the predictions to stop serving as prologue, and for some people to start looking silly. Perhaps me.
And that’s fine with me, since much of the pleasure in baseball is watching unforeseen developments take shape. Whatever happens, it should be — what’s the word?
Oh yeah. Interesting.
I’m in Cooperstown, New York doing research. It’s my first trip to the Baseball Hall of Fame, and while I might write up a longer post on the whole trip if there’s interest, what I wanted to write up even across this super-slow internet straw is that Ichiro’s here. Not Ichiro! himself, which would have been even better, but in the “records” section, there’s a free-standing display case with an almost life-sized photo of him on each side, commemorating his record-breaking season… and it’s coooooooool.
Like most of the Hall of Fame sections, there’s a seemingly random collection of Ichiro-related stuff there: shoes, a jersey, gloves, his bat, Sisler bats, his sunglasses, a really cool Japanese scorecard of the record game. It’s interesting to see that the Japanese game notation looks barely like American standard game notation. Ichiro’s sunglasses, on close inspection, are not as cool as when Ichiro’s wearing them, but they’re still really slick-looking glasses.
Or, in short: I went through the musuem pretty quickly, and there was stuff I liked, but what really made my day was being reminded of Ichiro’s triumph, and seeing the ticket stubs from the game I was lucky enough to see.
I’m a fan.