Boone’s impending turnaround

DMZ · June 23, 2005 at 8:30 am · Filed Under Mariners 

This week’s PI article is on Boone, and his collapse from brief greatness. Boone’s response was to hit a single.

Since the last time I wrote something like this it went “if Sele keeps up like this, he’s clearly the guy to get dropped from the rotation” I can only hope this means we get 2001 Boone for the rest of the year (Sele now leads the team’s pitchers in VORP with 16.3).

It also touches on Boone’s Hall of Fame chances, but not in a whole lot of detail. Boone is not as good as players already enshrined, he’s not as good as other players who haven’t been voted in, and I don’t see how he has much of a chance. I resent the implication that Mariner fans, or any home team fans, have an obligation to support their team’s most marginal candidates zealously because they wore one uniform or another. Fandom can mean support without blindness.

Also, Clint Nageotte made an appearance in the Arizona league, went three innings and struck out six. He’s been out with back issues.


42 Responses to “Boone’s impending turnaround”

  1. paul on June 23rd, 2005 8:48 am

    In fairness to the Sele Effect, DMZ, the article was posted during the game last night, so Boone didn’t get a chance to read it before last night’s game. I look for a 5-5 night with 4 RBI tonight.

    I also look for a bag full of money just sitting on the sidewalk every time I walk down the street, and I don’t have much luck with that, either.

  2. ballgame on June 23rd, 2005 8:54 am

    If Boone had compiled several (i.e. 5-6) offensive seasons like 2001, or even 2003, he would have a shot. If he had won an MVP, he would have a shot. He has not done either. Personally, it would have been nice to see him be a more vocal team leader with the media as well.

    He had a nice run but is not worthy of HOF consideration. Our best hope is that he finds his stroke and/or returns to “Little Tarzan” form of the 2001 campaign.

  3. Basebliman on June 23rd, 2005 9:11 am

    Nageotte in the Arizona League? I wonder if he had to change shirts between pitches the way he sweats!

  4. IggyReilly on June 23rd, 2005 9:14 am

    Are you guys still predicting Tommy John for Nageotte?

  5. Ken Hanselman on June 23rd, 2005 9:16 am

    I suspect that the M’s Marketing Machine is working overtime on an emergency promotion. “Boonie Bobblehead Night” has to happen sooner than later, and hopefully before Boone himself bobbles too many more ground balls. Seriously, I really respect what Boone has brought to the franchise, but also hope that his current status as trade-bait comes quickly to fruition. Nice article.

  6. Milorad V on June 23rd, 2005 9:21 am

    As has been writtten on this site several times, Boone is in decline not because of his mechanics or his discontinued use of ointments or a plague of gremlins, but because 2Bmen at 36 decline as a matter of routine.
    His skills have declined, both def and off, but he can still contribute…he just can’t make 8 million dollars doing it anymore.
    He’ll make nifty stabs. He’ll hit a timely dinger or two.
    …but the sun has set on 2001-type numbers for him. It’s cruel, but it’s life in baseball.

  7. Dave on June 23rd, 2005 9:30 am

    Still? When have we ever predicted TJ surgery for Nageotte?

  8. eponymous coward on June 23rd, 2005 9:39 am

    Oddly enough, Jay Buhner probably has as good qualifications to the HOF as Boone does (several really good seasons among league leaders in stats, some solid defenisve performances)…but you don’t hear about HOF talk for him.

  9. DMZ on June 23rd, 2005 9:43 am

    He struck out too often.


  10. roger tang on June 23rd, 2005 9:56 am

    re 9

    Bwah hah hah! Makes my morning!

  11. Xteve X on June 23rd, 2005 10:13 am

    That’s a great article Derek. I’m just surprised that Grover can say that he’s a legit HoF candidate with a straight face. He’s no Robbie Alomar, Jeff Kent, or Ryne Sandberg. He basically had 2-3 really amazing seasons … nowhere near enough to enshrine him.

  12. msb on June 23rd, 2005 10:22 am

    speaking of Boone, why all the posts ragging on him for working off a tee, as though the tee was invented for little leaguers? As pointed out by another poster yesterday, Edgar used tees consistantly to refine his stroke (I have a swell shot of him from ST doing just that) and Griffey & Alex followed in his footsteps. Lee Elia always used it with his hitters, Baylor has long advocated using the tee (and FWIW, Andres Galarraga has long credited Baylor & his program for his (Galarraga’s) batting title….)

  13. DMZ on June 23rd, 2005 10:24 am

    Hargrove might not believe Boone’s a Hall of Famer but said that as part of his “it’s not a benching” campaign to ensure that Boone didn’t get discontented and start causing trouble. It’s hard to resent someone even if they’re sitting you down if they’re also paying such high respects.

  14. msb on June 23rd, 2005 10:43 am

    #11- Xteve X said:”I’m just surprised that Grover can say that he’s a legit HoF candidate with a straight face.”

    and Boone doesn’t think he is either (“Check out my bubble-gum card. I’ve had some tough years. I’m not going to the Hall of Fame.”) but others than Hargrove have mentioned the HOF and Boone together in the last 5 years… I’m not saying Boone has any chance, just that Hargrove isn’t the only guy to mention the two together.

  15. wabbles on June 23rd, 2005 10:57 am

    My first reaction upon reading Grover’s comments (and the about Lopez being sent back down) was absolute outrage. (Did I mention Lopez was one of my favs?)
    Then I calmed down and hoped that it was just the start of the pump and dump campaign to make him more attractive as trade bait. He won’t bring as much if anything if he is not just sitting on the bench but being dissed by the higher-ups.
    But if Grover is calling Boone a Hall of Fame candidate, maybe he actually does have a lot of support for him. argh
    And walking home one night down Coal Creek Parkway south of Bellevue in 1994, I DID find $17.25 in rather beat-up quarters, so these things do happen.

  16. eponymous coward on June 23rd, 2005 10:58 am
  17. Shannon on June 23rd, 2005 11:15 am

    Is anyone else having a problem with the chart showing EqA over a nice big advertisement? Is there any way to remedy this?

  18. Colm on June 23rd, 2005 11:19 am

    Re 15. Wabbles. What? Were they all in a sock or something?

  19. Colm on June 23rd, 2005 11:20 am

    17. Yes it’s cocked up. Highlight the test with your mouse and it stands out much better from the background.

  20. ningwers on June 23rd, 2005 11:22 am

    17 – If you’re using Firefox (which everyone should be really) you can simply block the advertisement picture. Granted, it’s not the best solution, but it’ll get the job done.

  21. wabbles on June 23rd, 2005 11:26 am

    RE 18: No, they were spread over a couple hundred feet of the road and were very banged-up looking. I guessing they were in a sack (maybe tip money or something) and fell from someone’s car or bike.

  22. Colm on June 23rd, 2005 11:33 am

    It’s not as bad as the two lunatic motorcyclists in England who lost close to 10,000 pounds in used twenties when the rucksack that the pillion passenger was wearing burst open last week on the M3 motorway.

    They got just 540 pounds back. Then their motorcycle broke down. Tough day.

  23. Chris S. on June 23rd, 2005 11:39 am

    #16, I’m casting my vote now for his enshrinement in the Boone Family Hall of Fame.

  24. earlweaver22 on June 23rd, 2005 11:39 am

    I think it’s part of the pump & dump campaign for Boone as well. At least I hope they are going to trade him.

  25. Nadingo on June 23rd, 2005 11:46 am

    Great article, DMZ. One question, though. When you compare RFs for Boone, Bloomquist, and Lopez, are you just looking at the four games that Lopez has played at 2B this year? Because I know you preface it by saying that there isn’t nearly enough sample size to draw definite conclusions, but four games worth of sample is small enough that you probably shouldn’t even show the comparison, because it will undoubtedly be misleading.

  26. Steve Thornton on June 23rd, 2005 11:47 am

    Two ideas for Boone HoF promotions:

    1. Bobble-glove doll, with the upraised glove on a spring instead of the head.

    2. Free bottle of Boone’s Farm Apple Flavored Wine Product to the first 10,000 adult fans. Public intoxication and thousands of empty glass bottles make for a festive summer afternoon!

  27. PositivePaul on June 23rd, 2005 12:00 pm

    Damn, Steve (#26) — You and I think a lot alike. I was just going to suggest the Boonie Bobble-Glove Doll giveaway…

    DMZ — As much as I’d LOVE to hope you’re right about Boone catching fire as much as Sele has since you highlighted his suckfest, I think you’re going to be 1-2 on that. Boone’s past done, possibly even beyond where Olerud and Edgar were last season.

  28. IgnatiusReilly on June 23rd, 2005 12:03 pm

    Dave – I believe you said you suspected he would be having it. It was more of a throw-away comment within a comments section, but I’m 95% sure you did indeed mention something about it.

    If you don’t remember it, or feel that way still – it can only be a good thing. (Or never said it at all and I read it on another blog).

  29. roger tang on June 23rd, 2005 12:19 pm

    Frankly, I don’t have a problem with Hargrove using “Hall of Fame” with respect to Boone. He’s Boone’s superior, and it’s a cheap way to massage his ego and get the best out of him; simple management psychology.

    Now, I have a problem if some BBWA wags use that term….

  30. wabbles on June 23rd, 2005 12:36 pm

    As long as we discussing terrifying scenarios, I also read that Spiezio is getting ready to return to actively sucking at the big league level.

  31. Mike Barer on June 23rd, 2005 12:38 pm

    I would much rather have David Bell back. If I was GM and could trade Boone for Bell, I would do that. I realize they are at different positions but there backgrounds are similar. I think Bell was steadier and believe that he could play second.

  32. wabbles on June 23rd, 2005 12:43 pm

    Nothing has gone right since we got rid of David Bell. He was a steal in the Joey Cora trade and was very useful plugging holes in our infield, the last one being at third. We replaced him with Cirillo and nothing has gone right since. I call it (and this is becoming hackneyed, I realize) The Curse of David Bell. But he’s too old now to reacquire in a trade.

  33. Colm on June 23rd, 2005 12:47 pm

    …and too well paid for his distinctly average labours. He was a versatile, competant fielder, and occasionally hit for power, but made a lot of outs and projected the sort of hang dog demeanour that is the last thing the Ms need now.

    I quite liked David Bell while he was here, but I thought the Phillies paid him a ludicrous amount of money for what he offered. To anyone who thinks otherwise, I suspect nostalgia for 2001 is clouding your judgement.

  34. Colm on June 23rd, 2005 12:51 pm

    I’m still baffled as to why Boonie has his old job back, and Lopez is headed to Tacoma when Spezio gets healthy. Do Hargrove and Bavasi really think this is the best thing for the team, or are they hoping for Boonie to up his value prior to a trade?

    If Lopez is our 2nd baseman of the future (and pray God he is), surely it is more valuable to have him up here now learning how to handle major league pitching?

  35. wabbles on June 23rd, 2005 12:59 pm

    Can we put some kinda Doyle-like embargo on the “of the future” tag? The Seahawks put that label on every one of their post-Dave Kreig quarterbacks and NONE of them amounted to $$%#@. As a daily user of language, “of the future” to me means that he’s not good enough now but we project that someday, far down the road, he will be. What’s wrong with saying he is our second baseman NOW and allowing him to grow into the position if necessary? As an example of that, Buhner won a Gold Glove in 1996, but he wasn’t always that good.

  36. msb on June 23rd, 2005 1:10 pm

    Bell’s got that funky demi-mullet thing happening these days

  37. Daniel Carroll on June 23rd, 2005 1:12 pm

    Note: They are planning a Boonie Bat Night….

  38. wabbles on June 23rd, 2005 1:13 pm

    Boonie Bat Night? Is that where the first 25,000 fans get a bat with two or three large holes in it?

  39. Evan on June 23rd, 2005 1:13 pm

    My high school mullet was way more impressive than that.

  40. eponymous coward on June 23rd, 2005 2:39 pm

    Shouldn’t it be “Boonie Tee Night”?

  41. Dead Ball Tim on June 24th, 2005 6:55 am

    At this point, 10 games back or so at the end of June, putting Boone out there at 2B is merely politics and business. Whether he begins to play well now or not will make no difference in the team’s chance to be competitive. These expressions of confidence in him have to be a show for other teams who might be convinced to pick up 25-50% of his contract… which is better than kicking him out to waivers. Even that is a long-shot now. Long-shots are the only shots they have so why not play them out? The way I see it, they must make room for Lopez and Reese within the next month or so. Boone won’t be here much longer…

  42. Adam S on June 24th, 2005 8:21 am

    Great piece Derek. Two questions for you. How many “Boonie-hater” emails did you get in response to this column — it’s pretty harsh, though perfectly fair. Second, among second baseball all-time, where would you say Boone ranks all time? I’d say between 30-40 but that’s a very unscientific guess.

    Boone is one of my favorite players, but when I saw Hargrove’s comments about the Hall of Fame, I almost wrote Bavasi demanding he be immediately fired. If you have that understanding of baseball, you shouldn’t have a baseball job. Boone has been a good second baseman (you have to be to last 12 years in the majors), but really he’s been average except for 3 or 4 big years. For his career, he’s similar to Frank White, Willie Randolph, and Lou Whitaker, none of whom received more than token support.