Things I learned from this week’s Mariner Mailbag
Every time I think we’re never going to link to the mailbag on MLB.com again, the cold slap of unreality makes my cheek (and brain) hurt.
This week’s gems:
* Pokey Reese might be a good defensive player, but he’s not as good as Bret Boone, who has three Gold Gloves to prove it; and
* Willie Bloomquist has developed into one of the best utility players in the majors; and …
… one last one that I have to quote in its entirety.
Why is everybody ragging on the Mariners pitching? Last year, it was considered their strong point and it hasn’t changed all that much. Just because they all had a down year at the same time doesn’t mean that they are going to struggle for life, right? I think they are severely underrated. — Rob S., Jefferson, N.J.
When fans notice that none of the starting pitchers won more than seven games last season, the natural reaction is to think it’s a bad group of pitchers. But insiders, like yourself, realize that if the Mariners’ hitters had provided more leads early in the games, the pitching would have been much better. An improved offense and defense should make things easier this season.
There is so much going on in that two paragraph excerpt, though it’s tempting to focus only on Jim Street calling a random guy from New Jersey who sent him email an “insider.”
What’s distressing is that a question like that is actually an opportunity to engage some important issues, like aging in pitchers and how it applies to rare specimens like Moyer; how wins are misleading, because they depend upon an array of factors outside a pitcher’s control; arm attrition among the M’s staff, two of whom are serious injury question marks; independent league talent, like Bobby Madritsch, and how valuable a pickup like him can be; and on and on and on.
But no, we get “if the hitters had been better, the pitchers would have been better.” More on this last bit later, possibly.