Kurkjian on the Mariners’ chances

Jeff · March 9, 2005 at 1:03 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Okay, so I called him “Tom” by mistake — and who put the “o” next to the “i” on a keyboard, anyway? — but Tim Kurkjian was still kind enough to answer my Mariner query in this morning’s chat, and I thought you’d like to know what he said. If you don’t want to scroll to the bottom, here it is:

Jeff (Bellingham, WA): Tom, what type of improvement do you see out of the Mariners with the addition of Adrian Beltre, et. al.?

Tim Kurkjian: (3:52 PM ET ) The Ms will be a significantly better offensive team and MUCH more fun to watch this year. But, Seattle will just have to depend too much on young pitching to win that division. They will contend for awhile, but they won’t make the playoffs. At least their moves in the offseason get them going in the right direction, again.

I think this is about right. It mirrors what I said in a chat yesterday with the Baseball Analysts’ Bryan Smith and Rich Lederer, along with Blez from Athletics Nation. Again, scroll to the bottom for the predictions if you like.


26 Responses to “Kurkjian on the Mariners’ chances”

  1. Bill Fugazi on March 9th, 2005 1:10 pm

    Thanks for the post, Jim.

  2. KW on March 9th, 2005 1:26 pm

    Ditto Jill: thanks for the post!

  3. Glenn on March 9th, 2005 1:37 pm

    Heff; another great post from you. Thanks for quicly becoming the most prolific poster on the site.

  4. Rusty on March 9th, 2005 1:49 pm

    The thing I most agree with is Tim’s comment that the Mariners will be “MUCH more fun to watch this year.”

    It’s just more fun to watch young guys trying to earn their way into the big leagues than older guys standing around collecting paychecks. I say dump Nelly and Sele, and go with as much youth as possible.

  5. David J Corcoran on March 9th, 2005 1:51 pm

    Nice job, Jerry.

    The way Nelson and Sele have been pitching (I know it’s early) they won’t make the club, and I am glad for it. This team will be like Texas. A lot of fun to watch, but overrated.

  6. troy on March 9th, 2005 2:11 pm

    Who’s overrating Texas DJC? When was the last time they were picked to win anything? To me they were underrated last year.

  7. David J Corcoran on March 9th, 2005 2:16 pm

    This year they are overrated. Last year they were underrated.

  8. Robot Pegasus on March 9th, 2005 2:17 pm

    Will this team really be overrated? Have you heard anyone predicting big things from them? It seems consensus that the M’s took an aggressive and, at least potentially, positive tack this offseason in acquiring some big bats and filling a ‘cornerstone’ position with a young and encouraging maybe-stud, but that their rotation will not be able to match the arms of their division’s better teams. This seems to be common knowledge at every coffee shop and in every office palaver I’ve heard in the last couple months.

  9. Evan on March 9th, 2005 2:24 pm

    Texas is overrated this year? Isn’t everyone predicting they’ll finish last, behind a team they beat by 26 games last year?

  10. TypicalIdiotFan on March 9th, 2005 2:28 pm

    “But, Seattle will just have to depend too much on young pitching to win that division.”

    Doesn’t everybody say that the A’s will compete despite their having to rely on a lot of young pitching? So the M’s wont compete because of our reliance on young pitching, but the A’s may compete despite their reliance on young pitching. What a difference Billy Beane makes.

  11. Robot Pegasus on March 9th, 2005 2:31 pm

    I think you’ll find that the A’s youth on the mound is a concern even for the most diehard Beane supporters.

  12. Ralph Malph on March 9th, 2005 2:40 pm

    Seems to me the M’s are depending primarily on OLD pitching this year, not on young pitching.

    Unless he’s assuming the old pitching will fail and THEN they’ll be depending on young pitching.

  13. Ralph Malph on March 9th, 2005 2:42 pm

    Unfortunately I can’t read the chat because I’m too cheap to sign up for premium content.

  14. David J Corcoran on March 9th, 2005 2:43 pm

    Maybe I am overrating them by saying they’ll place second behind Oakland.

  15. Jeff on March 9th, 2005 2:44 pm

    The way ESPN sets up these chats is weird. Many of them — like Kurkjian’s today — are free during real time, but become premium content within hours, when they’re added to the archive.

    Don’t worry, Ralph, they only took one Mariner question.

  16. troy on March 9th, 2005 2:45 pm

    Big difference though – the A’s still have Zito, and their young arms are healthier than ours. Plus Harden’s already a proven stud. I’d take their pitching over ours in a heartbeat. Young pitching is not created equal.

  17. Adam J. Morris on March 9th, 2005 2:50 pm

    Predicting 75 wins for Texas? Or, even worse, Bryan predicting 72 wins? And Texas finishing last, behind Seattle?

    Come on…I think I’m pretty pessimistic about the Rangers chances this year, but that’s going too far. This is probably still a .500 team.

    And I don’t see that Seattle has really done enough to narrow what was a 26 game gap between the two teams last year.

  18. John on March 9th, 2005 2:52 pm

    Anyone seen the box score for today’s game? Looks like Felix got shelled early, and I, for one, am happy. There is no need to rush this guy, no matter how talented he may be.

  19. Bill Fugazi on March 9th, 2005 3:20 pm

    #18, as long he doesn’t explain his poor outing on soreness in his shoulder, I tend to agree with you.

  20. firova on March 9th, 2005 3:32 pm

    It sounds to me like both the A’s and M’s are aiming for 2006, though the A’s have a decent shot this year. I wonder how the Angels project?

  21. Milorad V on March 9th, 2005 7:42 pm

    Predictions are for the birds. Statistical predictions are a little better (for smart guys dressed as birds?). In 2002, everyone had the Angels finishing 3rd in the ALWest and they won the World Series…and not a single solitary soul foresaw Marlins in 03…
    More importantly, the M’s absolutely promise to be more fun to watch–this is because the fun of watching a baseball game is not restricted to winning that game. Exciting young talent, new players, hell yes young pitching, the absence of the highschool guidance-counselor competitive fire of Bob Melvin…
    I will enjoy this season come what may…

  22. Noel on March 9th, 2005 8:19 pm

    According to Finnigan, the Mariners have one more reason to like their chances this year (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/mariners/2002201494_marinotes09.html):

    “…Willie Bloomquist made his spring debut in the outfield late in the game at Peoria. Bloomquist, regarded by some coaches last year as Seattle’s best center fielder, made two nice running catches and also had two doubles.”

    (A) Bloomquist was our best center fielder?? – at *any* time last year????

    (B) Which coaches did Finnigan interview about this? – most of them weren’t with the club last year!

  23. ray on March 10th, 2005 3:38 am

    Jeff, you said one of the classic lines of all time. Just the image of it is making me roll. Quote “Bartolo Colon falling off a ladder and crushing Vlad Guerrero.”

  24. msb on March 10th, 2005 9:51 am

    “Willie Bloomquist made his spring debut in the outfield late in the game at Peoria. Bloomquist, regarded by some coaches last year as Seattle’s best center fielder, made two nice running catches and also had two doubles.” Which coaches did Finnigan interview about this? –Comment by Noel — 3/9/2005 @ 8:19 pm

    maybe it was the Brewers’ coaches…

  25. Spiegs on March 10th, 2005 11:24 am

    Maybe it was Dave Brundage and the Double-A coaches.

  26. Noel on March 10th, 2005 8:51 pm

    Of course I realised after I wrote my comment that it was *last* year’s coaches that Finnigan was referring to.

    But then one could argue that almost all of those coaches were let go or reassigned, so maybe their opinion about Bloomquist ought to be called into question anyway!