Game 83, Mariners at Royals

DMZ · July 6, 2005 at 3:57 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

RHP Sele v Runlevys Hernandez.

The rumor is this’ll be Snelling’s first start, which would probably mean either Ibanez or Winn will sit. It’s also possible that Hargrove will write Snelling into the lineup card, batting #3, and then pinch-hit for him with Olivo.

I’m still a little mad about last night’s quite stupid move.


282 Responses to “Game 83, Mariners at Royals”

  1. adam on July 6th, 2005 8:21 pm

    I’m happy to see Doyle for the first time in forever….he really looks like a great hitter….

    As for McMillian….what a god damn joke.

    Sold us out just like A-Rod, I’m sure the first thing he’s going to say is “It’s all about winning.”

    I’m really glad we signed Allen before, Nate…have fun with Randolph and Patterson….they’ll never win a damn thing and he’ll regret this for the rest of his life.

    I’m glad he got his pay day…as mad as I am.

  2. Jeff in Fremont on July 6th, 2005 8:22 pm

    So who’s the next coach? Lenny Wilkens? Which actually wouldn’t be so bad…

  3. Dave on July 6th, 2005 8:23 pm

    5 years, $30 million for a guy who was on the verge of getting fired last year. Calm down. He’s a coach, and not that great of one.

  4. msb on July 6th, 2005 8:25 pm

    so with Nate, is it Allen money & Martell Webster?

  5. adam on July 6th, 2005 8:34 pm

    I think I’m just mad at the overall message this sends, it’s like Edgar leaving after all those years.

    I just hate how professional sports work.

    Eric Musselmen is my top choice, he was an assistant with the Grizzlies last time I checked.

    He’d probably do just as good as job as Nate did.

  6. firova on July 6th, 2005 8:37 pm

    George Karl and Nate McMillan crawling up the Sonics’ backs next year in the same division. This should be fun. Sort of.

  7. eponymous coward on July 6th, 2005 8:40 pm

    Now on the KOMO postgame show: they should play Spiezio so he can be showcased for a trade.

    Hut and Blow! They’ll be here all week! Enjoy the veal!

  8. Jeff in Fremont on July 6th, 2005 8:42 pm

    And now the cable goes out and the ruination of my night is almost complete.

  9. msb on July 6th, 2005 8:42 pm

    Calabro (shocked & surprised) has just pointed out that by going to the Blazers (even if the roster is uncertain and some of the players are not Macmillan-style players) his family (specif. Jameer) can stay home for the year, he probably is going to be given some autonomy in administrative matters, and he is getting paid buckets of money.

    Walker just released a statement of admiration for Nate, that included the note that their last offer would have made Nate one of the top 5 highest-paid coaches in the NBA…

    FWIW, Calabro off the top of his head mentioned Flip Saunders, Marc Iavaroni, P.J. Carlesimo, Doug Collins as names out there. Too bad Dwayne Casey is gone…

  10. firova on July 6th, 2005 8:44 pm

    The Mariners were atrocious tonight.

    Actually, this is quite understandable from McMillan’s perspective. He’s been the Sonics’ company guy his entire adult life. I can certainly understand wanting to be someone else’s for once. He could never be sure whether he had their full confidence because of his status as local hero, as opposed to a record of coaching accomplishment. And from the Sonic point of view, it has always been a delicate PR situation with McMillan, the franchise icon. They’ll take a bit of a hit, but at least they don’t have to fire number 10. It happens to everyone eventually, and that would probably have been worse.

  11. pensive on July 6th, 2005 8:48 pm

    Paul Allen vs Wally Walker no brainer. Sonics could have extended contract during season. They gambled and lost.

    I only wish Paul Allen owned Mariners.

  12. eponymous coward on July 6th, 2005 8:55 pm


    Yeah, the M’s should be owned by Paul Allen because the Blazers under Allen aren’t a team that never quite got it all together to win it all and then went on the decline, becoming a team full of overpaid, underperforming veterans.

    And the Seahawks, boy, that’s a well-run sports franchise with Allen behind it.

    Sheesh, people…

  13. eponymous coward on July 6th, 2005 8:57 pm

    PS- Sonics whining, over here.

    Stick to M’s whining here…

  14. Jeff in Fremont on July 6th, 2005 9:00 pm


    True, but Allen really didn’t handle day-to-day operations; that fell into the lap of one Bob Whitsitt, who never quite understood that talent does not always trump character. He made the same mistakes with the Blazers that he did with the Sonics, and carried on the tradition with the Seahawks.

  15. Jeff in Fremont on July 6th, 2005 9:05 pm


    Can I whine about my cable still being out, and the only show I can pick up is Dancing With the Stars?

  16. Marty Lighthizer on July 6th, 2005 9:12 pm

    For the whiners:
    Check out this reprint — perhaps the 432nd time this article has appeared…

  17. Jon Helfgott on July 6th, 2005 10:01 pm

    Dave said: “5 years, $30 million for a guy who was on the verge of getting fired last year. Calm down. He’s a coach, and not that great of one.”

    I’m bothered by the tone that seems to present your belief in McMillan’s mediocrity as incontrovertible truth. Going into the season, the Sonics were viewed as a team with a decent amount of talent who played an unorganized, inconsistent brand of basketball, and were picked to finish near the bottom of the Western Conference. To top it off, they had 9 players in contract years. I’ll be the first one to agree that cliches like “team chemistry” are pretty much irrelevent in a sport like baseball where individual performance is easily defined and quantified, but anyone who’s played organized basketball at any level knows how quickly a team can be ruined by one person out to do everything him(her)self.

    McMillan managed to create a consistent offense out of what was previously a team full of chuckers. Where many coaches would have designed an offense that would change their players’ games, demanding they take fewer 3s, McMillan found a way to win while playing to their strengths. I don’t know how much credit Nate truly deserves for the brute squad of Fortson, Evans, James, and Collison, but the offense he designed around rotating a bunch of underwhelming (or career underachieving) big men and letting them loose in the paint to mop up after the shooters and abuse bigger, more talented competition was a brilliant move, in my opinion. A lot of supposedly fantastic coaches have failed with extroardinarily talented teams by demanding that players adapt to their system. McMillan did the opposite, tayloring his system to his players’ talents.

    From 1993-2000, under Karl and then Westphal, the Sonics were a team with amazing individual talent that underperformed every year (except 96). This past year, the Sonics came in with a team most thought of as devoid of any talent beyond Allen and Lewis, and in the end, they gave San Antonio its only legitimate competition before the finals. McMillan accomplished this despite a potentially explosive contract situation, while sticking to an offense that no “expert” felt could consistently win games. Obviously, there’s a lot more subjectivity in basketball than baseball. Understanding that, I, for one, will remember McMillan as a damn good coach.

  18. pensive on July 6th, 2005 10:05 pm

    #262 What 264 wrote as well as those teams have salary caps. Baseball doen’t. Allen has always made available whatever the teams have needed. The FO people just were not as capable as they should have been.

    The M’s today are not in any better shape than Hawks or Blazers.

  19. AK1984 on July 6th, 2005 10:17 pm

    According to FSN, Willie Bloomquist is the M’s franchise player, as he’s hitting .571, playing amazing defense, showing his baserunning skills, and is full of energy . . . oh yeah, and by the way, they did mention that Bloomquist has done this in only 4 GAMES! Ugh, I hate Seattle’s mainstream sports media — they are full of dronish lemmings.

  20. Jeremy on July 6th, 2005 10:18 pm

    Well said, Jon (#267).

  21. eponymous coward on July 6th, 2005 10:41 pm

    Well, since this is derailed, anyway…

    The NBA cap is a soft cap, not a hard one (you pay a luxury tax, just like MLB)…that the Blazers went well over while Paul Allen shelled out money acquire overpaid talent. And let’s not forget how classy the Blazer players have been the last few years- arrests for possession, sex offenders and so on. Yeah, we could really use a lot more of that around here, huh?

    Sorry, you’re simply not going to convince me that Allen knew bukpus about running a sports franchise, or knew how to hire the right people (the Blazers have underachieved throughout his and Whitsitt’s tenure, and ditto the Seahawks). Maybe things are going to be better now, but I wouldn’t trade the last 10 years of the Mariners for the last 10 years of the Blazers, even if it meant we could have shelled out Yankee-style money. The Blazers have been classless jerks since Drexler left, the stereotypical overpaid, underperforming NBA team that can’t stay out of the police blotter.

  22. Vaughn Street on July 6th, 2005 11:13 pm

    #271 Ruben Patterson was a sex offender as a Sonic, not a Blazer. Something to do with the babysitter. I’m just saying…

  23. eponymous coward on July 7th, 2005 12:37 am

    Right, and the Sonics got rid of him…and the Blazers picked him up to go along with the other guys they had with rap sheets. Go figure.

  24. Itea on July 7th, 2005 1:14 am

    – As someone who worked for a Paul Allen company for a few years, I’ll confidently state he’s made a lot of mistakes in his business career.

    – The Sonics could have wrapped up Nate 16 months ago, and deliberately didn’t. Saying he’s disloyal for leaving without calling the organization out is one-sided.

    – The Mariners are in great shape for the future. I’m actually not an M’s fan, but they have a large relatively wealthy fan base and a money-printing stadium/stadium deal. They currently have league-average personnel, perhaps better, except for starting pitching. They need one of their starters to get better (Meche or Piniero) and one good free agent pitcher and this team is a contender. Yes, the current group playing on the field can be awful to watch, but the recent moves have been very positive. Snelling/Reed/Ichiro could be a very good outfield in two more years if the first two show typical or better improvement for their age range.

    It is much easier to improve a team like these Mariners, who have young talent and some bonafide top-level players (Ichiro, Beltre, Sexson) than it is to improve a team where basically everyone other than 1-2 players are below-average for a major league starter. Simply getting 10th percentile production out of their catcher and their bench would give the team another couple wins.

    Sure, if Beltre turns out to be a .269/.308/.412 player for the next 5 years, then the Mariners got screwed. But he won’t. It’s a lot more likely that he started his Seattle career with a small slump than that his performance record for the last 4 years he’s been healthy is a complete fluke. Sexson will most likely decline at the end of his contract, but it’s not your money he’s being paid with. Ichiro will be fine. And some of the young guys will pan out. The only thing that keeps this team from 90 wins in 07-08 is if the team can’t get some starting pitching going. With the largeish stadium they have and some ball-catchers in the outfield, the M’s should sign the appropriate kind of pitchers. They won’t be named Mark Prior or Jake Peavy, but they don’t have to be.

  25. Scraps on July 7th, 2005 5:46 am

    The assertion that the Sonics underperformed under George Karl just baffles me. I don’t even feel like I can have an argument with that position: we aren’t on the same planet.

    That aside, it seems to me that George Karl is the Billy Martin of basketball. You bring him in, he brings intensity, the team improves dramatically, soon he pisses everybody off, and then he needs a new home.

    (As for the WNBA: I love women’s basketball, and I loved the real players’ league that the WNBA crushed. I can’t love the WNBA.)

  26. Rusty on July 7th, 2005 8:32 am

    274… well said. The most concise and accurate view of this franchise that I’ve heard on this board, in some time.

  27. JMB on July 7th, 2005 1:26 pm

    The Sonics deliberately chose not to wrap up Nate 16 months ago because HE HADN’T WON A DAMN THING. C’mon, if wasn’t Mr. Sonic he’d have been fired two years ago.


  28. Xteve X on July 7th, 2005 1:30 pm

    #267: Speaking as someone who’s been watching NBA basketball for over 25 years, you’re wrong about Nate McMillan. He was an average coach at best. He jerked his players roles and his rotations around at will until last year. He admitted on several occasions that he “coached by feel,” which is tantamount to saying that he didn’t have a clue or a plan to what he was doing. He had exactly one playoff win in 5 years here. I’ll grant he didn’t always have the best talent on his roster but he had mediocre years with a mostly veteran squad, and mediocre years with a young squad. It took him four years to finally figure out that rotational stability and cutting out the petty mind games was the key to his success.

    If Portland was willing to overpay, let them. Nate McMillan isn’t even one of the top 10 coaches in the NBA, let alone top 5, but that’s the way Paul Allen does business. The Sonics were wise not to get into a bidding war. I wish Nate luck — he’ll be fired long before he finishes that contract. The two worst jobs in the NBA for a head coach are the Blazers and the Knicks.

  29. Xteve X on July 7th, 2005 1:30 pm

    #277 is right on the money.

  30. Steve Thornton on July 7th, 2005 3:15 pm

    What are these “Sonics” you guys keep mentioning?

  31. Itea on July 7th, 2005 3:24 pm

    #277 – You might be right, and I’m not saying that the Sonics should have given him an extension. All I said was that to call him disloyal for leaving is wrong after Seattle didn’t make him an offer during that time.

    I don’t think he’s a great in-game coach, but he’s terrific at managing egos. Last season the Sonics had a few players who had earned more playing time who had to sit on the bench instead. Murray had shown a lot in 03-04, and both Radmanovich and Daniels would have preferred to be starters and were good enough to be starters for multiple NBA teams. Nate kept that under control, and there was very little squawking by the players for any reason throughout the season.

    Nate commands respect, because he speaks carefully, acts with integrity, doesn’t blame his players, rarely complains about the officiating, etc. When the chips are down, he doesn’t lose it – he collects the team, and they work for the next game. Some of the things he did in-game were not what I would have done – in particular, I felt he did not exploit certain matchups enough – but there is a lot of value to the emotional and psychological stability he brings, as should be obvious by looking at any number of NBA teams who can’t seem to play together. Portland is the poster child of that bunch, and Nate is an ideal coach to get that franchise back to respectability.

    It’s interesting to see what the Sonics do now. Having lost Casey, I’d like to see them get Eric Musselman, who I think is a terrific talent evaluator/in-game coach, and hopefully has learned a bit about managing egos from his experience with the Warriors.

  32. Itea on July 7th, 2005 3:40 pm

    #278 – Well, to begin with he had 8 playoff wins. If you mean before last season, he had 2 wins in 4 years, but in 00-01 the team went 38-29 under Nate but couldn’t make the playoffs because they’d started so poorly under Westphal. So if you want to cherry-pick, you can say that from 01-02 to 03-04 the team only made the playoffs once in three seasons.

    I don’t think he played petty mind games at all. The big problem he had at the beginning was a personality war with his best player, who was in a decline phase. He also had personnel issues that basically stemmed from the McIlvaine signing, which led to Kemp’s dissatisfaction/ensuing trade/Vin Baker disaster.

    Again, I don’t think Nate is a great coach. Depending upon what a franchise is looking for, he can be a great fit or a mediocre one. For Portland, he’s absolutely perfect. I can’t think of any other coach in the NBA who gets more respect as a person from the player community.

    And saying that the Portland head coaching job is one of the worst two in the NBA is just crazy. I agree about the Knicks, but in Portland all he has to do is win some games in the next couple years and he could be there for a decade. They have a bad mix of personalities on that team right now, but Telfair is a decent citizen and if he can play average-level PG they can build off of that. If they keep Stoudamire, Van Exel, Patterson, Randolph and Miles all on the roster, it’d be difficult for God to make the team play as a unit and stay out of trouble, but probably 3-4 of those guys will be gone by November. Nate needs to get Miles and Randolph to play within themselves. I wish him luck.