KUOW today, PI article

DMZ · March 17, 2005 at 10:22 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Two quick things– unless the time changes again, I’m on KUOW today at 2:30 PM (Pacific) talking about the Mariners, BP, and other good stuff. If you’re a regular reader, I’ll be frank–probably nothing you haven’t read here.

Then, because this is a fairly important point, I screwed up in today’s PI column w/r/t the reference to Dobbs v Leone and the park factors involved. As I wrote in a comment thread:

“There’s a fix submitted for the column, as that is obviously not as it should be. That should have been much, much clearer in what happened where, what the levels were, and how park-adjusted stats compared the two.

One of my largest problems writing these PI columns is that I’m trying to strike this balance between technical but readable in a short form, and this is a case where I obviously errored in trying to shorten and simplify, to the point where the finished product is wrong. “

Sorry. I’ll be entirely frank here: this was a product of the amount of time and brain power I had available to devote to this, given my other crushing obligations, and other stuff I’m not going to get into.

I should have done better.


38 Responses to “KUOW today, PI article”

  1. kathleen on March 17th, 2005 11:46 am

    here’s a link to the beat, the show derek will be on, which
    starts at 2pm….


  2. msb on March 17th, 2005 12:07 pm

    cool– and with John Moe, playwright, short-story author, radio guy, list-maker, comedian, fine blogger in his own right, and
    author of Memo from Osama, a classic that got him listed as an urban legend: http://www.snopes.com/rumors/cavememo.htm

  3. Pilots fan on March 17th, 2005 12:25 pm

    Derek, I enjoy the articles you’re writing for the PI — sorry about the mix up in today’s, we’ve all been there in one form or another. Hang in there.

    With respect to 12 pitchers, do you really think Grover plans on sticking with 12? I have been assuming that they will revert back to 11 shortly into the season, possibly when Bucky is ready, maybe before. I don’t think it is that uncommon for teams to open the year with 12 to make sure the starter’s arms are ready to log (hopefully) 6-7 innings per game, is it?

  4. Jason Lake on March 17th, 2005 12:54 pm

    Derek, it looks like your cheese is being left to hang out in the wind by the PI’s editor(s). Do they even look at your columns?

  5. Dobbs on March 17th, 2005 12:56 pm

    No link to said article?

    It’s too bad Dobbs isn’t doing well. People might like me more if there was a pro athlete with the same last name.

  6. Evan on March 17th, 2005 1:28 pm

    Someone should transcrbe Derek’s KUOW appearance. I’ll try to listen, regardless.

    Here’s today’s Off The Wall:


  7. Jim Thomsen on March 17th, 2005 1:30 pm


    No worries, as long as it all gets cleared up in a timely fashion.

    We appreciate your prolific output. I hope you’re not too high up on the Writers Abuse Points chart, though. You need rest between “starts,” you know. We can’t all be a keyboard-sutured version of Livan Hernandez.

    Then again, I might take my own advice — I’m working full-time as a newspaper page designer, writing a ton for the Seattle Weekly and other mags, and just finished up a bunch of snarkalicous player profiles for Grand Salami. But nah. I like to write. And work. And get paid.

    Your pain is felt: Just today, in a story I published yesterday in the Kitsap Sun, I had to run a correction because I’d identified a man as the “legal adviser” of the person about whom I was writing. The correction read thusly: “Christopher Duffy was not serving as a legal adviser to Doug Perry as stated in a story Wednesday. The retired lawyer appeared at Perry’s hearing before the state Clemency and Hearings Board only to summarize the facts of Perry’s legal case as he observed them.”

    Breathe deeply. “The Dude abides … The Dude abides … The Dude abides ….”

  8. Jim Thomsen on March 17th, 2005 1:31 pm

    I don’t know if Derek can hold my attention after “Music For Recorders,” though … that’s a pretty high entertainment threshold to reach for ….

  9. Evan on March 17th, 2005 2:47 pm

    Derek wasn’t bad on KUOW.

    It was a really laid-back interview (as I’d expect on NPR), though he did get to compare Willie to syphilis again.

  10. DMZ on March 17th, 2005 2:48 pm

    I didn’t compare Bloomquist to syphilis. It’s very carefully worded.

  11. DMZ on March 17th, 2005 2:48 pm

    That “carefully worded” is from my answer to a question on that, by the way. Hee hee hee.

  12. PositivePaul on March 17th, 2005 2:52 pm

    10 minutes of air time, and further jabs at WFB.

    Without hesitation, Bret Boone as the barometer of this season (i.e. guy whose play should directly correlate to the team’s success). Interesting. I would’ve said Felix Hernandez myself, but Bret wouldn’t be a difficult sell.

    Handled it well, Derek!

  13. PositivePaul on March 17th, 2005 2:57 pm

    Unfortunately Amazon sent me BP 2004 when I ordered BP 2005, and I liked 2004 so much I didn’t want to send it back. First I’d heard of the Bloomquist ~ syphilis relationship, though. Still, no matter how carefully you word things people are going to interpret them in one way — most likely the way you’re trying to avoid.

  14. eponymous coward on March 17th, 2005 2:58 pm

    Derek Zumsteg:Willie Bloomquist::Bill James:Omar Moreno

    (there’s a bit of history in that one…)

  15. Milorad V on March 17th, 2005 3:04 pm

    Damn… I missed it. Maybe transrcption coming…
    Mistakes aside, the writing you have done for the PI is head and shoulders above anything else M’s related they peddle. It’s a shame the atricles aren’t in the Paper versions…people need to read shrewdly assessed baseball commentary. Not just bloggers–a maniac fringe, we all know it–but regular Sports-page readin’ Joes. It could work wonders.

  16. Easton on March 17th, 2005 3:07 pm

    Derek – thanks for the 9.5 minutes on KUOW – public radio and baseball chat work well…I smell a weekend show pitch for you – although you’d have to get used to drinking chai tea and wearing “fair trade” clothing…

    One point that you brought up that I can’t believe doesn’t get more play is the almost total ineptitude of the M’s front office. If Seattle was a city like, say, NY or Boston or even St. Louis, the fans would’ve run Bavasi out of town for the moves he’s made. Why is there not more outrage?? Admittedly, I am originally from Boston, so maybe I get more angry when I see GMs boning the team, but c’mon…btw, the Bloomquist issue was well said.

  17. kathleen on March 17th, 2005 3:09 pm

    for anyone who missed it, the show is up at http://www.kuow.org/thebeat.asp

    all the archives are available about 5 minutes after the show broadcast ends. happy listening!

    your friendly kuow staff person.

  18. Nintendo Marios on March 17th, 2005 3:20 pm

    i think we should move from WFB to SWB.

    it’s carefully acronymed…

  19. eponymous coward on March 17th, 2005 3:21 pm

    If Seattle was a city like, say, NY or Boston or even St. Louis, the fans would’ve run Bavasi out of town for the moves he’s made.

    You mean like signing Beltre? Or getting two starting position players and a prospect for a pitcher (Freddy Garcia) who was going to be a free agent in 3 months?

    Bavasi hasn’t been perfect, for sure (that Guillen deal is pretty awful, though NOBODY was predicintg Guillen was going to hit like he did in 2004), but many of the problems of 2004 originated from before his tenure (an unproductive farm system, a team loaded with old players on the downside of their careers).

  20. Evan on March 17th, 2005 3:31 pm

    But everyone should have been predicting that Guillen would hit better than Aurilia, though, and he cost $1 million less. The Garcia trade was the first good move Bavasi made, and he’d already been GM for half a year by then.

  21. Milorad V on March 17th, 2005 3:33 pm

    “If Seattle were a city like NY Boston,etc…”
    then the fan-base would be screaming blue-murder anytime anything happened at all. Fire the GM! Fire the Manager! Make the Manager King! Cannonize the SS! No wait, Trade the SS, he’s a Loser! Struck out with RISP? Burn him alive!
    Seattle is, indeed, no great example of a knowing baseball town, but the sheer animalistic, reactionary caterwolling you get in the cities you mentioned doesn’t make a terribly good case for them, either.
    The Dominican Republic….now, they know their game.

  22. Easton on March 17th, 2005 3:52 pm

    I think the Beltre and Sexon signings were a direct reflection of the poor choices of the previous year. If, and that’s a big I and F, Sexon stays healthy (likely not) and Beltre performs near his level of last year which is not a certainty considering his inconsistent past. Oh, and Pokey’s got a bad thumb and Boone has a fork sticking out of the middle of his back. There were other deals out there that would’ve added pitching strength and hitting without the financial outlay for the two big guns. This year will be better than last, but no go for the playoffs…

  23. Easton on March 17th, 2005 4:00 pm

    Ok, ok the emotion runs hot in those other cities, but having an “anamalistic, reactionary caterwolling” fan base does keep the heat on the front office and forces smarter decisions. If there were more public scrutiny of the GM and others we wouldn’t have to worry about WFB (or SWB now) or the like…

  24. Ralph Malph on March 17th, 2005 4:20 pm

    I agree with epcow, it’s too early to call for Bavasi’s head. This season — especially the midseason action depending on how the year goes — will tell us a lot.

    So far he hasn’t done much to move himself out of the mediocre middle ranks of GM’s. The Beltre deal looks great at this point, some of his early moves were questionable but might have still been under Gillick’s influence. I’m not thrilled with the bench and bullpen construction coming into this season but we haven’t seen the final product yet.

    So the jury is still out as far as I’m concerned. I don’t see that he’s gotten a free ride in Seattle.

  25. eponymous coward on March 17th, 2005 4:41 pm


    Note that I said that move was pretty bad. It would have been pretty bad had Guillen had his usual .280. BA/.340. OBP/.420 SLG season in 130 games with a stint on the DL, because Aurilia stunk up the joint and was an older player with a greater risk of collapsing.

    The Sexson deal is also pretty “meh” in my mind- I would have MUCH rather we spent money on Clement and gone with cheap options for another bat to go along with Beltre, even at the risk of having to suffer with Ibanez at 1B.

    That being said, he’s not an unmitigated disaster, either- like Ralph Malph said, he’s in the middle of the pack GM-wise, with a lot more to be written yet.

  26. Shoeless Jose on March 17th, 2005 5:12 pm

    …having an “anamalistic, reactionary caterwolling” fan base does keep the heat on the front office and forces smarter decisions.Yes, that certainly has worked for the Mets these past few years.

  27. Easton on March 17th, 2005 6:00 pm

    do the Mets have fans?? I think there are maybe a couple of guys in a bar in Queens drowning their sorrows – NY is a Yankee town through and through…

    As for the pitching this year – Clement was out there, AJ Burnett was available through trade and monetary compensation (don’t scoff, look at his numbers in Aug. and Sept.), Odalis Perez, Javier Vasquez(who would thrive in this laid back town) both were easily available. Any of these guys(all of which rank much higher than any of the M’s SPs ) could have been picked up this year while still spending money on offense.

    My main concern is that an, at best, average GM is unacceptable in this kind of a market. Seattle has the resources to be a contender every year and should be in the top 10 in pitching and offense without question. Bill has to work harder and smarter.

  28. Paul Covert on March 17th, 2005 6:05 pm

    Re. caterwauling by fanbases: The difficulty there is that it only helps if it has a clear tendency to favor intelligent decisions rather than stupid ones– an unlikely scenario, I expect. Swapping A-Rod’s and Jeter’s defensive positions might well be a good baseball move for the Pinstripers, for example; but the likely fan reaction only makes it even more unlikely to happen than it already would have been.

    Not that I’m advocating mindless cheerleading, mind you; just that I consider mindlessness as bad in one form as in another.

  29. Easton on March 17th, 2005 6:20 pm

    I believe Baseball fans, in general, have a deeper and clearer understanding of good and bad moves than, say, an NFL fan. Not to harp too much on the AL East(we are talking about rabid fans though), but NY fans, for the most part, agreed with the move of A-Rod to 3B and in Boston, the Sox fans hardly flinched when they traded Nomar and didn’t resign Pedro.

  30. Graham on March 17th, 2005 6:40 pm

    Yeah, but A-rod to third is just silly. He’s a far better shortstop than Jeter. It’s not even close. Unless you were making the point that Yankees fans are clueless…

  31. Ralph Malph on March 17th, 2005 6:51 pm

    Easton —

    Last year the M’s were an old team without a lot of young talent in the minors anywhere near ready to come up. We can argue all we want about the relative merits of Leone and Dobbs but the fact remains that aside from King Felix the cupboard was pretty bare when Bavasi got here.

    No one could turn that around overnight. Bavasi has made a start by acquiring Reed in trade, hanging on to his young pitching — which was much in demand last year — and now signing Beltre and Sexson.

    It’s certainly not his fault that none of the highly touted young pitchers amounted to much last year and they’ve had a flurry of pitching injuries (I’m not including Madritsch because he wasn’t one of the hot young pitchers that other organizations wanted us to trade them).

    Of course there have been some bad moves — Guillen for Santiago + Aurilia being at the top of the list — but I had the sense that deal was essentially forced on Bavasi because of the organization’s dislike of Guillen.

    Spring is the time for optimism. I’m for giving him a chance.

  32. AK1984 on March 17th, 2005 9:47 pm

    Off-Topic Question: Who are the Seattle Mariners going to drop from the 40-Man Roster if Aaron Sele and/or Jeff Nelson make the team? Obviously, placing Rafael Soriano on the 60-Day Disabled List is an option, but that would still leave one extra spot; could Justin Leone be traded or DFA’d? You know, if Leone left the organization, it would give the M’s a chance to move Mike Morse to third base at Tacoma, and have either Mickey Lopez, Ramon Santiago, or Benji Gil start at shortstop for the Rainiers.

  33. Lefebvre Believer on March 17th, 2005 10:37 pm

    I was hoping there would be more discussion on the thread concerning
    Derek’s article.

    I also think that 12 pitchers to start the season is ridiculous for the following reasons. 1) No need for a 5th starter until May. 2) Close Proximity of Tacoma. 3) If we are in a bind pitch the heck out Ron Villone or Atchison (who cares about their pitch counts) 4) It would be nice to have another hitter on the bench because of the offensive hole we have at shortstop.

  34. LB on March 17th, 2005 10:58 pm

    DMZ: You also led by saying “12 man bullpen” when I’m sure you meant “12 man pitching staff,” right?

  35. John D. on March 18th, 2005 12:04 am

    Re (#16 & # 19) The emoting fans of such cities as Boston, New York, and St. Louis: I’ve lived in those cities. Those fans would have raised such a ruckus–especially after the GUILLEN trade *–that BAVASI would have been ridden out of town on a rail before he could pull off the GARCIA trade and the BELTRE signing.
    BTW, re (# 33) The need for a 5th starter: As has been pointed out, very few teams use an x-x-x-x-y rotation; most teams now use an x-x-x-x-x rotation. A 5th starter is “needed” for the 5th game (April 9, this year), regardless of off-days that come before that 5th game.
    *In all fairness to Bavasi, I think he was told to get rid of Guillen.

  36. vj on March 18th, 2005 4:27 am

    re #33 and #35: The mariners will have 11 games in a row starting April 13. Then at the latest they’d need five starters as using four on four-days-rest is unlikely.

  37. msb on March 18th, 2005 8:44 am

    Shoeless Jose said:””…having an “anamalistic, reactionary caterwolling” fan base does keep the heat on the front office and forces smarter decisions….” ‘Yes, that certainly has worked for the Mets these past few years.’

    and the Phillies 🙂

    Easton said: “As for the pitching this year – Clement was out there, AJ Burnett was available through trade and monetary compensation (don’t scoff, look at his numbers in Aug. and Sept.), Odalis Perez, Javier Vasquez (who would thrive in this laid back town) both were easily available. Any of these guys(all of which rank much higher than any of the M’s SPs ) could have been picked up this year while still spending money on offense.”

    FWIW, Clement wasn’t cheap at 3/$25.5M (not to mention fighting the allure of the BoSox) If Burnett was so easily available, why didn’t he get moved when the Orioles among others tried to get him? Why would the Yankees have moved Vasquez to the Mariners when he was their one chip to get RJ? If the M’s had gotten one of these pitchers, who would you have picked up for that offense?

  38. Jamie on March 18th, 2005 9:32 am

    I loved the KUOW interview. I listen to KUOW all day long and John Moe interviewing Derek is one of my secret fantasies. I’d love it if they’d invite you back throughout the season for baseball commentary, kind of like Stephan Fatsis on All Things Considered (NPR geek reference). Strangely enough, I think the USS Mariner perspective fits a lot better on public radio than on something like AM 950.