Portrait of the pitcher as a young man

peter · August 4, 2005 at 9:28 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

“Once upon a time and a very good time it was a tiger coming down the road and this tiger met a nicens little boy named King Felix…”

5.0 – 3 – 2 – 1 – 2 – 4 – 0

Remember that line. Make it a locker combination, password or something. It’s momentous stuff.

81 pitches. 49 strikes (that’s 60%). And that’s with a Wendelstedt strike zone shrunk to the size of the womp rats I bull’s-eye here in Kentucky. I mean, for crying out loud, when I was 19 I was sleeping through my sophomore statistics class.

Using the USS Mariner super-computer I’ve found that the first mention of Felix Hernandez on this website came on June 23, 2003 in this minor league recap back when King Felix pitched in my former stomping grounds of Everett.

Seems it was just yesterday that Dave was telling me,

“Get used to hearing his name folks, because the M’s absolutely love this kid. He’s been referred to as the best arm they’ve ever signed internationally. They’re going to baby him in Everett this year, but he’s got a world of potential.”

That was over two years ago.

And yes, Dave’s House o’ Tarot will be open all week.

Comments

98 Responses to “Portrait of the pitcher as a young man”

  1. hedgie on August 4th, 2005 9:43 pm

    does anyone know what number felix is wearing on his uniform ? i wanna be the first kid on my block with a king felix personalized jersey now that my boone jersey is passe.

  2. Rusty on August 4th, 2005 9:51 pm

    I have one story about Felix from 2 years ago. I never got to see him in Everett, but I did follow his progress almost from the start via Kevin Goldstein’s prospect report. At one point, I made a comment in an ESPN chat to John Sickels about him. Sickels was way high on him, but in the chat he said.. “not bad for an 18 year old.” So I emailed John and told him, uhh he turned 17 in April. Sickels went back and looked it up and emailed me back and said he was surprised, especially since he was from Venezuela where birth records are more accurate than other places in Latin America.

    So I contributed a tiny bit to the education of John Sickels.

  3. nate on August 4th, 2005 9:57 pm

    did dave say # 59 today?
    I believe that is what he said felix was wearing. he wore freddy’s number in the minors, but has 59 now.

  4. Rusty on August 4th, 2005 10:01 pm

    FYI… Doc Gooden’s first MLB start at age 19…

    New York Mets IP H R ER BB SO HR
    Gooden W(1-0) 5 3 1 1 2 5 0

    Pretty similar.

  5. Chief on August 4th, 2005 10:13 pm

    #4. You are correct Felix wore 59 today and in the minors he wore 34 to honor his idol Freddy. On the Ms Bryon Price wears 34 and it doesn’t look like he is giving it up at this time.

  6. Chief on August 4th, 2005 10:15 pm

    Sorry #6 should read Bryan not Bryon.

  7. eggs on August 4th, 2005 10:19 pm

    Price…Meche and Pineiro ruined…. Felix to come. Well actually on a positive note I don’t think even Price can ruin the King so the least he can do is steal his number.

  8. Rusty on August 4th, 2005 10:21 pm

    One more thing on the Gooden start. Gooden had 5 K’s total but only 4 against non-pitchers. So, but for Wiki Gonzalez catching and allowing a passed ball, the lines are almost indentical.

    Oh, except Gooden had an HR by Strawberry and the rest of the Mets offense behind him. That might have accounted for the Win.

  9. edgarfan on August 4th, 2005 11:24 pm

    Heh, heh, heh. I think Dave knows more about baseball prospects than about basketball prospects.

    A couple of posts below the one where he calls out King Felix, he bashes the Sonics for drafting Collison and Ridnour. I think the Sonics are kind of happy with those two guys….

  10. jtopps on August 4th, 2005 11:27 pm

    Further proof that when Dave posts, we should all shut up and listen.

    In other news, anyone think that Felix might help out Meche/Pineiro? All I am saying is with Felix taking the brunt of all the “expectations” — maybe these guys can just go out there and pitch. Maybe its not as big of a deal for Pineiro who may still be recovering from injury, but Meche’s problems could be explained as a bad “headcase” and thus, he may stand to benefit from the increasing shadow of Felix.

  11. PLU Tim on August 4th, 2005 11:37 pm

    Just a side note: As expected, Snelling wasn’t in Tacoma’s lineup tonight.

  12. IceX on August 5th, 2005 12:11 am

    Meche learning how to pitch like Felix wouldn’t be a bad thing. Their toolboxes are similar, just the quality is different (at least when comparing each toolbox at optimum… Obviously, we have the shell that is Gil Meche and the skeleton of Joel Pineiro).

  13. Steve on August 5th, 2005 12:17 am

    Some guy over at the P-I wrote an article about Felix. Sounded like he knew some of the writers here at USSM.

  14. John D. on August 5th, 2005 1:21 am

    PRICE (# 7) – Why the negative feelings about Brian Price? It wasn’t that long ago that many of us considered him to be one of the finest pitching coaches in the business.

  15. GWO on August 5th, 2005 1:24 am

    Always nice to see two James Joyce references this early in the morning. I claimed the King for my fantasy team yesterday…

  16. Jesse Scott on August 5th, 2005 1:30 am

    So…what do you suppose the chances are of Felix starting Sunday the 14th? (The day I happen to have tickets and will be driving all the way up to Seattle on.) If things stay pretty static and he makes every 5th start, I’ll miss him by one day. (Darn off day next Thursday…) But perhaps some happy circumstance will conspire to have him start on the day I’m up there. :)

  17. matthew on August 5th, 2005 1:44 am

    I wish I was able to have seen him before he hit the bigs. Still, I’m finally excited to go to the ballpark.

  18. eggs on August 5th, 2005 1:53 am

    #14

    Yea so did I but its been long enough.

    Look at Meche. Last year he went down and it was pounded into his head to simply attack hitters and the strike zone. What happened? He came back up, attacked the hitters with his great stuff, and had a great second half. This year it seems he is back to a ‘Price philosophy’ which includes sacrificing velocity to better locate pitches. He has said that many a time and I know that philosophy might be a good one for many a pitcher. Now we have Meche pitching at 90-92 range trying to pinpoint every pitch and the more he thinks of pinpointing his pitches the worse he gets. He should go back to attacking the hitters and the strike zone like the second half of last year. Obviously location is important but Meche seems like one who gets rattled and with that type you dont want him up there thinking just ‘locate and don’t worry about velocity’. You want him thinking ‘I have a 96mph heater and a sharp curve I’m coming after you all’.

    IMO which means little

  19. Logan on August 5th, 2005 2:18 am

    I wonder if Betancourt will be benched again. I have to have something to watch the brutal Joel pitch.

  20. Zach in Spokane on August 5th, 2005 2:28 am

    Looking back on those old posts reminds me of a few things:

    *Jeff and Peter used to have their own blogs, which were the only other Mariners blogs (among a sea) I found worth frequenting.

    *Dave knows his stuff. When I skim through the comments on a post, I sometimes see some dude saying “OMG DAVE U DONT KNOW, U SUXX”. But, sure enough, the truth comes out. Either through 20/20 hindsight on a prospect or though the AP a couple hours later, Dave is vindicated and the troller is in a situation where he would be forced to eat major crow if he weren’t some anonymus internet jackass. If you are wondering what the skinny is on some M’s prospect or about what moves the team is going to make, just trust what he presents already.

    *Derek was the most irreverent, self-righteous and uncompromising person writing about baseball. Damn if you could argue with what he was saying most of the time, though. And how could you turn your back on his humor and his intelligence? He’s mellowed a bit since those days, and I guess age has probably brought him wisdom, but my favorite posts are still the ones where DMZ lets the firebrand in him loose.

    Anyway, a couple of years is a long time, and it’s worth looking back at some of those entries. These guys are just the best when it comes to speaking candidly about what is happening with our favorite team. It was true then and it is true now.

  21. Dave on August 5th, 2005 7:20 am

    There was actually one earlier reference to Felix than the one Peter mentions above.

    http://ussmariner.com/?p=209

    In the original post, I actually called him “Felix Garcia”. Part of the confusing latin name thing, I went with the wrong surname. And, really, don’t fall all over yourself gushing about my prescience; in the same post, I was talking up Terry Forbes and Kendall Bergdall…

  22. Brent Overman on August 5th, 2005 7:44 am

    What ever happened to Forbes & Bergdall?

  23. Brent Overman on August 5th, 2005 7:45 am

    I also noticed this year that there’s been a Jeff Flaig sighting. How’s he doing so far?

  24. Pilots fan on August 5th, 2005 7:48 am

    re: #18: I think you’re right about Meche.

    re: #16: Sorry, I’ve got tickets for Mon. 8/15! They better not pull him up a day.

    BTW, is anyone else concerned about his pitch count? I don’t want to baby the guy, but I thought his pitch limit was 60 yesterday? (He went 81.) Now they are talking about 95-100 in the next start already. After the bursitis a few weeks ago … well, let’s just take it easy with the kid this year, huh?

  25. Todd in Phoenix on August 5th, 2005 7:51 am

    Random note, ESPN called him King Felix yesterday at some point in one of their articles..

  26. Dave on August 5th, 2005 7:55 am

    There are a ton of great pitching prospects in the minors. Guys like Adam Miller have great arms too. But, you know, here’s the thing about Felix: he is the rare prospect that has ridiculous potential and is already an all-star major league player.

    Seriously, right now, Felix is one of the best pitchers in the American League. If he never gets any better, he’ll still be a frontline starter. Here’s a few comparisons for you, just based on what Felix is today, and not projecting any improvement at all:

    Carlos Zambrano

    Brandon Webb

    Daniel Cabrera

    Jeremy Bonderman

    These guys have very similar statistical profiles: extreme groundball rates, high walk rates, high strikeout rates. They walk a ton of guys, and their command is certainly not a strength. But they induce so many groundballs, they essentially negate the extra base hit against them, and they strike out enough batters that the guys who get on base via the single get stranded at first base more often than not. Their performances this year bear out how good you can be without throwing strikes. They have Fielding Independant ERAs of 3.69, 3.82, 4.00, and 4.01 respectively, putting them among the top 30 pitchers in the game.

    As of today, Felix’s command isn’t very good. But it legitimately doesn’t matter. Yesterday, he faced 20 batters, and 11 of them beat the ball into the ground. Not one man managed to get the ball in the air. 0 flyballs in 5 innings. That’s absurd.

    Felix has all the potential to be a hall of fame pitcher. But, what sets him apart from the usual “prospect” is the fact that he doesn’t have to improve one bit to be an all-star. He’s a star level major league contributor at 19. Guys who can play at an elite level in the major leagues before they turn 20 almost always turn into superstars.

    With Felix, its not projection. He’s great right now.

  27. Dave on August 5th, 2005 8:01 am

    You could toss A.J. Burnett into that category too. Basically, if you find a pitcher who can induce a ton of strikeouts and a ton of groundballs, you’ve got an all-star, regardless of what else he can do. If he can also throw strikes, well, then you’ve got Roger Clemens.

  28. Pilots fan on August 5th, 2005 8:13 am

    For those of us that can’t remember all of the contractual rules, how long do we have Felix locked up for? In other words, he can’t file for free agency until when?

  29. Nick on August 5th, 2005 8:19 am

    Rototimes:
    The Yankees would like to sign Aaron Sele (P) Sea to a minor league deal to see if he pitches well at Triple-A Columbus, according to the New York Daily News. Sele’s agent, Adam Katz, said “several” teams are interested in his client, who was released this week by the Mariners.

  30. Dave on August 5th, 2005 8:26 am

    Felix won’t be eligible for free agency until after the 2011 season.

  31. bp on August 5th, 2005 8:28 am

    26. Well put, Dave. You’re absolutely correct, too: the fact that the Tigers didn’t put any balls in the air is unbelievable. I’m just waiting for him to slice through the Marineresque pathetic offense of the Twins.

  32. Rusty on August 5th, 2005 8:46 am

    I wonder if we might not have won the game with Torrealba and Yuneisky in the game. I think you have to put your best infield defense in the game for Felix with all these ground balls that he induces.

  33. David U on August 5th, 2005 9:01 am

    There was a segment on King Felix on ESPN’s Cold Pizza this morning. Most of the comments were worthless but one got me thinking. The argument was that a pitcher needs two to three years in the minors to build up arm strength. I guess that my question is whether or not there is any difference throwing a pitch in the majors or minors? I would think that throwing 80 pitches in Tacoma would be as stressfull as 80 pitches in Seattle (or Detroit). If anything because the training facilities (and probably staff) are better in Seattle, the probability of harm should be lower.

  34. rockymariner on August 5th, 2005 9:02 am

    We still didn’t score enough runs.

  35. helmut w on August 5th, 2005 9:06 am

    Felix Felicis–we can only hope.

  36. Rusty on August 5th, 2005 9:10 am

    Yeah, but 2 of the runs against us were unearned due to sloppy defense at catcher and shortstop. So then you might have been looking at a 1-1 tie with better defense at those positions. From there, who knows. I’m not saying Felix would have gotten the win. What I’m saying is there was a possibility to win the game in extra innings, everything else being equal and the 2 unearned runs not scoring.

  37. jc on August 5th, 2005 9:12 am

    Lets not call this guy GOD quite yet.He without a doubt has talent out the kazoo but Mr Price has a way of taking aggresiveness and fastballs away from are best young guys aka freddy and meche!!!!I think the kid will be a stud if price just lets him be himself instead of trying to change him like he allways does with are young guys who have emotion on the mound.If you saw this guy throw in tacoma part of his game is fist pumping talking to himself while walking off the mound staring at hitters after punchouts ala randy and pedro.So word to the wise keep a eye on this for those of you who saw him in tacoma and if there is a change we know where it is coming from.Other then that people allways remember this felix would be entering his sophmore year in college so dont get down on him if he struggles.

  38. Pete on August 5th, 2005 9:16 am

    Dave,

    Is there any confirmation that Felix is starting TUESDAY?

  39. Jerry on August 5th, 2005 9:19 am

    Dave,

    Speaking of AJ Burnett, do you think that he would be a good signing for the M’s to pursue in free agency. I know that he is an East Coast guy, and could be tough to sign. However, assuming that he would be interested in Seattle, do you think that he would be a good pickup?

    The injury issues are a concern with him. However, he is pretty young and has ace-quality stuff. In this upcoming free agent market, he is clearly the best pitcher available. Thus, I would think that he will command a similar contract as Carl Pavano signed last year, perhaps more. That is a lot of coin for a guy with a history of arm trouble.

    However, the M’s have a major major need for quality starting pitching. The only good thing about the M’s pitching situation is that the M’s do have some cash to throw at the problem. The M’s could afford to overpay a bit for Burnett (maybe 4 years, 44 mil?) and still have enough for a less costly second addition to the staff (perhaps trade for someone not bad but not too pricey either, like Kip Wells, or hopefully Daisuke Matsuzaka if he is posted).

    So, what do you think of Burnett? I think that the M’s should really go after him, even if they have to overpay a bit. He is a solid starter now, and has the stuff to be the ace that the staff needs. Although he has had health issues, he is now a few years removed from TJ surgery, and has been very good this year. I think he should be plan A.

  40. Dave on August 5th, 2005 9:20 am

    Yes, Felix is starting Tuesday. He’s in the rotation for the forseeable future. And Tuesday’s tickets are actually discounted from normal price.

  41. Jeff Nye on August 5th, 2005 9:20 am

    How far in advance are scheduled starters usually announced?

    I want to go see Felix’s first Seattle start, but I don’t want to go if he’s not likely to be starting.

  42. Jeff Nye on August 5th, 2005 9:21 am

    Wow, as I was typing, Dave answered my question.

    He really IS psychic!

  43. Dave on August 5th, 2005 9:25 am

    You know, most people are surprised to learn that AJ Burnett is 28 years old. He’s been around for a while. He’s always mentioned as one of the better young arms in baseball, but he’s not exactly a kid fresh from the minors anymore.

    Burnett’s going to get way more than 4 years, $44 million. I’d expect him to end up in the 5 year, $65 million range. Teams covet power arms, and Burnett’s got one of the biggest fastballs in baseball. The free agent market is so thin this year that to get anyone, you’re going to have to overpay. I’d be surprised if there was one “good deal” in the whole bunch. Everyone’s getting a premium this offseason because of the scarcity of talent available on the free market.

    Personally, Burnett’s mechanics and injury history are enough to scare me away at the money he’s going to command. Kevin Millwood is the free agent pitcher I’d pursue, and then fill out the staff with trades. In a market where free agency is bound to be filled with bad contracts, trading is going to be the best way to improve the team. The M’s have guys they can move, and there are some good arms who will be available. I’d pass on Burnett, go after Millwood, and focus on acquiring pitching in trades.

  44. ajp on August 5th, 2005 9:29 am

    Rather than overpay for Burnett, is there any pitcher the M’s could add via trade? Somehow, a rotation of Felix and the Dominoes…watch ‘em fall over all in a row…next year doesn’t excite me.

    Could Sheets be available? He’ll get $10M next year which would seem like a strain on the Brewers payroll. Is there anyone else?

  45. Rusty on August 5th, 2005 9:42 am

    I know this might be more myth than anything, but I always like the idea of balancing your starting rotation with different types of arms. Mulder was a power lefty, Hudson a power righty, and Zito a finesse lefty in a rotation that was very successful. Hitters of an opposing team that went up against the A’s in a 3 game series, would see 3 very good yet different pitchers.

    That’s one of the reasons I’m not excited about overpaying Burnett. If Madritsch comes back then along with Felix we already have 2 power righties in the lineup.

  46. Grizz on August 5th, 2005 9:45 am

    Dave, why didn’t the M’s seriously pursue Millwood as a free agent during the offseason? Yeah, he was coming off any injury, but he ended up signing a fairly reasonable, incentive-based deal with Cleveland.

  47. Alex on August 5th, 2005 9:45 am

    #44 – I thought Mads was a lefty?

  48. IceX on August 5th, 2005 9:48 am

    Folks…

    Think Gyro.

    As in Gyroball.

    P.S. Mads is Lefty

  49. bill on August 5th, 2005 9:52 am

    I thought Mads was a lefty?

    Mads is a lefty, and I’m not sure I’d consider him a power pitcher either. Thinking back to last year, I remember him sitting in the 91 – 93 range and his best pitch easily being his change. He’s not really finesse either, though… so I’m not sure how you’d classify him.

  50. Dave on August 5th, 2005 9:53 am

    The rotation wasn’t supposed to be nearly this terrible. Meche was coming off a decent finish to the year. Madritsch was awesome after getting called up. Pineiro, Moyer, and Franklin were all under contract, so they couldn’t be replaced without eating money. Felix was waiting in the wings, and the organization picked up Campillo and Sele for depth.

    In other words, the organizational need for a guy like Millwood wasn’t that apparent. Now, it certainly is.

  51. Tim K. on August 5th, 2005 9:54 am

    43 – The Brewers just extended Sheets this year and I don’t think they would have done that without plans to keep him (they could have let him play out the season under his old contract). You know, I think they can afford one $10 million contract – think of all the young positional players that they’ve got coming up who will be playing for next to nothing. And you look at their record, they’re still in the playoff hunt. In short, I don’t think the Brewers as a ‘fire sale in the making’ like they have been for the past 10 years. I think they’ve turned a corner as a franchise.

  52. Rusty on August 5th, 2005 9:55 am

    Oops. I stand corrected. Mads is a southpaw.

  53. Alex on August 5th, 2005 9:58 am

    Personally speaking, I’d prefer to have a rotation full of power arms (read: strikeout pitchers) than a bunch of pitch-to-contact guys like we have now. I do think that it’s good to have at least one lefthander in your rotation so that the opposing manager might be forced to make some adjustments to their lineup and their comfort zone.

  54. andrewdz on August 5th, 2005 10:02 am

    I just got my tickets for Tuesday’s game. Thanks for reminding me Dave about that Mariners ticket promo they sent out.

    Here is the link in case some of you don’t have it:
    http://click.mlb.com/ct/click?q=5e-ss5dIn0qt0dpzPnhw4~5ca6jzRRR

    You have to type in the promo password as well, which is RAUL.

    See you all there.

  55. David J Corcoran on August 5th, 2005 10:02 am

    I think most teams prefer power arms to pitch-to-contact guys.

  56. Phil on August 5th, 2005 10:06 am

    If he is starting Tuesday thats great news. If they keep him every 5th game like that, I’ll see him against the Yanks on Aug 31. (knock on wood)

  57. Rusty on August 5th, 2005 10:11 am

    I always want to see a pitch to contact guy, or two, in the M’s rotation. Safeco field and the defense that we generally put out there are built for such pitchers. To not staff the rotation with an economical finesse guy or two would be equivalent to putting too many singles hitters into the Rockies lineup.

  58. PCW on August 5th, 2005 10:14 am

    50, agreed, I don’t believe Sheets will be available. The brew crew looks like it could be really good next year

  59. Grizz on August 5th, 2005 10:20 am

    Thanks Dave. It is still frustrating that the front office pursued injury-risk Jaret Wright (who presumably would have bumped Franklin to the pen), yet passed on Millwood even though he accepted a contract for less money and with less risk than what the M’s were willing to give Wright. Now, Cleveland will offer him arbitration and either get to keep him for a reasonable salary or get a couple of draft picks for him. Shapiro is one smart guy.

  60. Dave on August 5th, 2005 10:25 am

    What Cleveland does this offseason will be very interesting. They want to bring Millwood back, but I think they realize that the market is going to be absurd, so they may just cut their losses and take the draft picks. They’re not thrilled with Sabathia, and he’s owed $7 million next year, and rumors around the game had him available at the deadline. But they’re good enough to contend next year, and I don’t see them just punting their pitching staff just because of salary concerns.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if the Indians made a few huge trades this winter.

  61. JoeM on August 5th, 2005 10:29 am

    Off Topic but Doyle is coming back up! Many more roster changes today.

  62. Jeff Nye on August 5th, 2005 10:35 am

    Just booked my tickets, Terrace Club section 244 row 1.

    Never sat in the terrace club before, should be fun!

  63. Tim K. on August 5th, 2005 10:38 am

    60 – That’s too bad, Millwood seemed like he might be an ‘under the radar’ type player while the Red Sox, Yankees, et al, bid up the market for Burnett. But I guess the market is that thin, and it’s hard to ignore that 3.12 ERA. What do you think it would take to sign Millwood?

  64. Dave on August 5th, 2005 10:39 am

    Millwood gets a Pavano type deal, probably in the 4/40 range. Millwood’s better than Pavano, though, so that might be as close to a “bargain” as we see this offseason.

  65. Steve Thornton on August 5th, 2005 10:44 am

    Is it just me? I don’t recall ever hearing the phrase “pitch to contact” before this season, and now I see it fifteen times a day. “Finesse”, “junkball”, “let ‘em hit it”, “ground ball”, etc. — yes, but never “pitch to contact” before now.

  66. eponymous coward on August 5th, 2005 10:45 am

    I think that’s probably a deal we’d have to try for. Unless we’re making a play for Morris, Millwood’s the best pitcher out there who doesn’t speak Japanese.

  67. Tim K. on August 5th, 2005 10:46 am

    Thanks, Dave. I guess we’ll have to hope Cleveland can’t find a market for Sabathia and then see what happens from there.

  68. Dave on August 5th, 2005 10:47 am

    Oh, Cleveland will find a market for Sabathia if they put him out there. The M’s would be near the top of the list. 25-year-old lefties who throw 96 and have several years of success in the majors don’t go on the trade block very often.

  69. Steve Thornton on August 5th, 2005 10:51 am

    So, how long before Our Dave gets snapped up by some team (hopefully Seattle) to beaver away in the front office, with a very specific “don’t be going and blabbing any of this on the blogs” clause in his contract? Because, no offense to anyone else here, but he seems to be a step above blogger level in his perceptiveness and analysis, if you know what I mean.

    Might have to shave off the beard, though. Of course, if you were a player, you’d be contractually obligated to sport any of several contenders for “stupidest goatee ever”, so that’s something.

  70. helmut w on August 5th, 2005 10:51 am

    Felix-poo get me up out of this mess . . . (from joyce to potter and back)

  71. Dave on August 5th, 2005 10:55 am

    The beard’s gone. It was a fun experiment, but clean shaven normal looking Dave is back.

  72. Jeff Nye on August 5th, 2005 10:57 am

    Slight derail, and apologies if it’s too far off-topic. Authors, delete away if it’s too much of a hijack, but I figured I might get a good answer here.

    Anyone sat in the Terrace Club before? Is it worth the extra dough that I’ve already paid for the tickets?

    The description of it on the M’s website makes it sound nice, padded seats, nifty concessions, etc, but is it really a superior experience?

  73. Ken Hanselman on August 5th, 2005 11:03 am

    I recommend the TC. No waiting for food or restrooms. Great view of the field, and great perspective on line drives (although there shouldn’t be very many of those on Tuesday night). It’s worth the extra dough, IMO.

  74. dw on August 5th, 2005 11:05 am

    Anyone sat in the Terrace Club before? Is it worth the extra dough that I’ve already paid for the tickets?

    The description of it on the M’s website makes it sound nice, padded seats, nifty concessions, etc, but is it really a superior experience?

    Terrace Club has:
    – Waitstaff who will take your order and deliver your food (thus the “extra fee” on the tickets)
    – Lots and lots of shade
    – A bar

    I don’t think it’s worth it, personally. You can get a pretty similar view in the first rows of the upper deck for less. Yeah, no wait staff, but with as many TVs and speakers blaring the game on the upper deck concourse, you’re not going to miss THAT much.

  75. Tim K. on August 5th, 2005 11:05 am

    68 – Interesting. Hope you don’t mind my exploring this Sabathia question further, but a) why do you suppose the Indians are frustrated with him, other than his rocky performance this year and b) to what do we attribute his rocky performance? I guess I’m giving Cleveland and Shapiro a lot of credit – if they don’t want somebody, I’m incline to think there’s a good reason to be wary.

  76. MSH on August 5th, 2005 11:11 am

    #72.
    In my opinion:

    Pros:
    Better bathrooms, better seats, more shade on the super sunny days (and warmer on those chilly nights), easy access to standard game food/drinks, in seat service.

    Cons:
    So-so view for the money, feels a little isolated from the game (could be a good thing depending on how you feel about the crowds), farther from the good park grub.

  77. Adam S on August 5th, 2005 11:13 am

    #72 Jeff, there’s some discussion of the Terrace Club in http://ussmariner.com/?p=2665

  78. dw on August 5th, 2005 11:15 am

    Meanwhile, Chris Karhl continues to be ignorant of baseball west of the Cascades. From the Transaction Analysis today:

    “Recalled RHP Felix Rodriguez from Tacoma; optioned RHP Clint Nageotte to Tacoma. [8/4]

    “It took some doing to work up the nerve to finally do it, and call up Rodriguez.”

    Aren’t the BP guys supposed to know something about baseball, like THE NAME OF THE BIGGEST PITCHING PROSPECT SINCE MARK PRIOR?

    Why do I keep my subscription again?

  79. DMZ on August 5th, 2005 11:17 am

    Because, no offense to anyone else here, but he seems to be a step above blogger level in his perceptiveness and analysis, if you know what I mean.

    This is Dave’s world. I’m happy to be a supporting cast member.

    Freshen your drink, Mr. Thornton?

  80. DMZ on August 5th, 2005 11:20 am

    ““Recalled RHP Felix Rodriguez from Tacoma; optioned RHP Clint Nageotte to Tacoma. [8/4]”

    You’ll notice it’s also linked to Felix Rodriguez’s info. That took some doing, to get it wrong three times.

    Even though I don’t work there, I generally send in corrections for this kind of stuff, just because I still have friends there.. I feel like giving up today. Rodriguez. Man.

  81. Grizz on August 5th, 2005 11:34 am

    Regarding Sabathia, I will defer to Dave, but the scuttlebutt is that very generally speaking, Sabathia is to Cleveland as what Garcia was to the M’s. There is a perception that Sabathia has not pitched to his potential, he lacks maturity, and he does not take care of himself (okay, that last is one fairly obvious). With his big payday looming after next season, Shapiro may want to trade him now at his peak value for a bounty of cheap prospects (like the A’s did with Hudson and Mulder, or to a lesser extent, like the M’s with Garcia) rather than make the serious financial commitment to a guy about whom they have concerns. A team with more financial flexibility and with bigger problems in the rotation (like the M’s) would be more willing to gamble on that big, fat, multi-year contract.

  82. aric on August 5th, 2005 11:37 am

    Back to Felix really quickly. The P-I has a pitch by pitch chart of Felix’s performance, but is not availible online. Anyone know where else that info can be obtained from? Or maybe someone on the board possibly, just maybe, has some sort of connection at the P-I to get this info?

  83. Dave on August 5th, 2005 11:39 am

    Grizz basically nailed it. The Indians are a very forward thinking organization, and they’re staring at owing Sabathia $7 million in 2006 and then having him be eligible for free agency as a 26-year-old. Unless he just tanks next year, he’s almost certain to get a 4 or 5 year deal for around $10 million a season, so, they’ve got to decide if thats something they want to fork out.

    Considering that his weight has been a problem, he’s having the worst year of his career, and he hasn’t been the frontline guy they expected him to be, there’s little real desire to give him a big paycheck. So, if they cash him in this offseason, they could apply that $7 million towards a different pitcher (or maybe try to bring Millwood back), plus get the two or three interesting young players they’d fetch in trade.

    I think CC gets moved this offseason. And I wouldn’t be surprised if he landed in Seattle.

  84. Steve Thornton on August 5th, 2005 11:39 am

    This is Dave’s world. I’m happy to be a supporting cast member.

    Yeah, I knew you’d take it the wrong way, Derek! Trust me, I’m not knocking your skills, perceptiveness, etc., or your writing ability. It’s just that I’m not sure how high writing ability is on the list of things that’s going to tittilate an MLB front office. I’d hire you both in a minute if I was running a franchise.

    Freshen your drink, Mr. Thornton?

    Hey, that’d be nice. I’m at work, though, so just a double for now. Oh, and hey, is there someplace around here I can get these shoes shined while I’m taking my massage? I’ll need ‘em by 1:00 PM. Here’s a buck. Thanks. Oh, and, uh, there’s another buck where that one came from if you forget to mention these two swimsuit models to Mrs. Thornton, if you catch my drift.

  85. Steve Thornton on August 5th, 2005 11:42 am

    82 — the Gameday is still up at mlb.com on yesterday’s scoreboard. Click on the pitch-by-pitch. It’s all there.

  86. DMZ on August 5th, 2005 11:44 am

    Yeah, I knew you’d take it the wrong way, Derek!

    No, no, no, I was trying to be funny, but to be clear, I didn’t take it the wrong way — if I’m not Dave’s biggest booster, his parents must be out whacking people to advance his career. I’ve bugged teams to hire him. I’m a huge fan.

  87. DMZ on August 5th, 2005 11:46 am

    I’ve bugged teams to hire him.

    After posting this, I realize that this comment raises an obvious follow-up, which I can’t answer entirely, so I’ll say this:

    - this is true
    - not the M’s
    - yes
    - can’t say

  88. aric on August 5th, 2005 11:47 am

    85 – Thank you.

  89. Rain Delay on August 5th, 2005 12:09 pm

    This may sound a bit to early to say, but how much money do you think the Mariners will have to spend on making improvements?

    I mean we have some young talent but do we wait and see what they can do or play the market for another power bat.

    I would rather see Bavasi spend the money to make improvements to the rotation and have the young players try their stuff next year..and see where it goes from there.

  90. Kelly M on August 5th, 2005 12:32 pm

    Sabathia’s performance this year has been a real shock. I tried, but failed, to get him on my fantasy teams when I drafted. I thought he had an easy shot at winning 15-20 and having a real breakout year. I’m sure the Cleveland guys have to be extremely frustrated.

    An additional concern is that pitching a full year at his current weight might be doing something to his mechanics, e.g., damaging his elbow, shoulder, knee, back, etc.

    If the Ms try to get him they should do their usual thorough job of evaluating his health and mechanics so he doesn’t end up on the DL. I’ve seen other clubs really take a step backwards when their pitchers get hurt. We don’t need that kind of bad luck around here, let me tell you.

  91. IgnatiusReilly on August 5th, 2005 12:33 pm

    “should do their usual thorough job of evaluating his health and mechanics.”

    *snicker*

  92. Jerry on August 5th, 2005 1:19 pm

    The C.C. Sabathia notion is pretty interesting one. It never crossed my mind that the Indians would think about moving him. That said, I can understand the Freddy Garcia comparison. I hate to say this, since I don’t know the guy, but Sabathia kinda seems like a punk. The hat sideways thing, the baggy pants, the clear lack of conditioning: he just strikes me as a guy who is pissing away a lot of talent.

    That said, he is a guy who could be a steal if he puts it all together. I wonder what it would take to land a guy like that? Adam Jones, Bobby Livingston, and a lesser prospect? Interesting.

    Hey Dave,

    Two questions:

    -Has there been any word on Daisuke Matsuzaka and the chances that he will be posted? I think that he would be a worthy risk. If he passes a rigorous physical, it would be a good way to add a good young pitcher without spending a whole lot of money (at least, money that counts toward the payroll) or giving up draft picks.

    -Any other starters that might be on the block? I wouldn’t be suprised to see Zito get moved while his value is high. Kerry Wood might be available if anyone would want him. Any other ideas?

  93. Steve Thornton on August 5th, 2005 2:43 pm

    FYI, Felix’s nickname at Baseball Prospectus is apparently ” “, as he appears sinisterly with no name in their list of Rookie Pitchers by VORP report. Which report he currently stands 32nd on, with 1.3 VORP in his 5 innings. That’s well behind Harris, a tad behind Sherrill, tied with Campillo, and well ahead of Thornton and and Nageotte. These numbers are of course immensely valuable, coming as they do for all but Thornton in a tiny sample. Look for Felix to climb this chart rapidly. I doubt he has time to move past the leader, Toronto’s Gustavo Chacin, before the end of the season, but you never know.

  94. msb on August 5th, 2005 3:30 pm

    Jerry said:”The C.C. Sabathia notion is pretty interesting one. It never crossed my mind that the Indians would think about moving him. That said, I can understand the Freddy Garcia comparison. I hate to say this, since I don’t know the guy, but Sabathia kinda seems like a punk. The hat sideways thing, the baggy pants, the clear lack of conditioning: he just strikes me as a guy who is pissing away a lot of talent.”

    see if these make you feel better:

    http://www.cleveland.com/search/index.ssf?/base/sports/11224567494180.xml?s5tri&coll=2

    http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2047624

  95. eli on August 5th, 2005 3:46 pm

    peter – i like the use of joyce’s famous first lines… nice touch.

  96. Dave on August 5th, 2005 11:54 pm

    Well, I missed the Sabathia extension. My bad for the incorrect information on that.

    I still wouldn’t be surprised if they moved him, though.

  97. Jerry on August 6th, 2005 11:27 am

    I do think that the Sabathia idea would a good one. I also think that Daisuke Matsuzaka would be an option well worth looking into. If the M’s could take some steps to make sure that his arm is sound, he could be a great addition. However, both of these options depend a lot on other teams, and I think that the M’s will need to go to free agency to add at least one starter.

    As several people have pointed out, the free agent market will be pretty thin this year. Perhaps Dave is right, and AJ Burnett might command $$$ in the $13 mil/year neighborhood. I don’t think that teams will go beyond 4 years, though. Although the market did go crazy last year, with mediocre pitchers getting a lot of cash, teams haven’t seemed willing to go beyond 3-4 years with pitchers. This is good.

    If the M’s have to decide between Kevin Millwood, or perhaps Matt Morris, at 4 years, $40 mil, and Burnett for 4 years, $52 mil, I still think that you would have to consider Burnett. Millwood and Morris have had issues in the past, and neither is a real, dominant ace pitcher. With Burnett, you are getting a guy who can throw in the mid- to upper-90s and strike out more than a guy per inning. Morris and Millwood are both good pitchers, but they just don’t have dominant stuff. As mentioned above, and in a really good article at Baseball Analysts, groundball tendencies plus strikeouts is a recipe for success, and Burnett has that. Millwood is a flyball pitcher, and Safeco will help him. Morris is having a good year, but he doesn’t miss many bats either. Morris and Millwood are both good #2 or #3 pitchers. Burnett is an ace.

    I think that Burnett, even with his injury issues, is worth $3 mil/year more than Millwood or Morris. Burnett has a lot more upside. He is a guy who could win a Cy Young. In the playoffs, he is the type of dominant ace that you need. I think that that is worth a little extra cash.

  98. Dave on August 6th, 2005 9:42 pm

    You’re overrating Burnett’s talent and underrating his bad mechanics. Burnett is a high risk arm. He’s got just as good of a chance to be the next Darren Dreifort as he does to help the team that signs him.