PI: Bloomquist gets his chance

DMZ · February 21, 2006 at 1:58 am · Filed Under Mariners 

From the notebook:

“The most heated competition will be at second base,” manager Mike Hargrove said. “We’ve got three very good, quality candidates. These are all legitimate guys.”

Did the Mariners sign two more… nooooo… I guess he must be talking about Fernando Vina, who hasn’t played in a year, will be 37, and hasn’t been a decent player since 2001, and Bloomquist, who…

Update, from the Times: “Three-way race for second“.



73 Responses to “PI: Bloomquist gets his chance”

  1. Steve Nelson on February 21st, 2006 6:16 pm

    #49: Safeco Field breaks out into a polite applause when a batter gives himself up to ground out to 2nd with nobody on to get the runner over to 3B.
    he can
    Any player who can move a runner to 3b while grounding out to 2nd with nobody on deserves all of the applause we can muster.

  2. Jon Wells on February 21st, 2006 6:33 pm

    #39 wrote “I like the Petagine signing, but I fear that he’s just here in case Lawton or Everett gets injured.”

    Keep in mind that Lawton will be suspended for the first ten days of the season — and suspended players can be replaced on the 25 man roster, so Petagine could well start the year with the team. And hey if he hits a couple of bombs maybe they’ll find some way for him to stick around…

  3. Mat on February 21st, 2006 6:42 pm

    “Any player who can move a runner to 3b while grounding out to 2nd with nobody on deserves all of the applause we can muster.”

    Check your nearest run expectancy matrix. Mine tells me that with no outs and a runner on second base, teams score on average 1.14 runs for the rest of the inning. With one out and a runner on third base, teams score on average 0.98 runs for the rest of the inning. Unless you have an *extremely* slow runner on second base, or there is some other special circumstance, moving the runner from second to third base just isn’t as important as that out is.

    Assuming you can only applaud so much in one game, you should save your applause for the guys who can hit a halfway decent single or extra base hit that can score a runner from second base.

  4. tgf on February 21st, 2006 7:00 pm

    you should save your applause for the guys who can hit a halfway decent single or extra base hit that can score a runner from second base.

    And also feel free to applaud the manager for not putting the bunt on in that situation. Conversely, some boos would be in order if he does.

  5. The Ancient Mariner on February 21st, 2006 7:11 pm

    Re #53 — Umm, Mat, you kinda missed the point of Steve Nelson’s crack. Let’s rerun the quote, shall we, and pay attention to the italicized words:

    “Any player who can move a runner to 3b while grounding out to 2nd with nobody on deserves all of the applause we can muster.”

    Catch that?

  6. JAS on February 21st, 2006 7:19 pm

    I wanted to argue with Mat, given that he left out the fact that leaving a runner at 2B with one out drops the expectancy to .6911. Superficialy, it would seem that a productive out would be better than an unproductive out (sic).

    However, at least one individual (from Cyril Morong’s Sabermetrics @ http://www.geocities.com/cyrilmorong@sbcglobal.net/PROD.htm) performed a more rigorous analysis and came up with the following nugget:


    It would seem that employing the strategy of PRODUCTIVE OUTS with such hitters as WFB really is counter productive. The only possible (pseudo?) value that the WFB’s bring to a ballclub is roster flexibility. Given that Willie can play a multitude of positions, he frees up a spot for the 12th pitcher and allows the rest of the bench to be filled with one-trick ponies. The problem is that the super-utility player, by the very nature of his flexibility, gets too many ABs in the process. Those extra ABs, at such low productivity, surely offset any value that a 12th pitcher brings to a staff.

  7. Mat on February 21st, 2006 7:40 pm

    “Catch that?”

    Unfortunately, Ancient Mariner, I didn’t catch that. My bad. Thanks for picking me up there. When I read Steve’s post correctly, I wholeheartedly agree with his point.

  8. jack howland on February 21st, 2006 7:58 pm

    I can’t think of a decent offensive player who has come out of our farm system in the last ten years. (I’m sure somebody will, and there is no guarantee that Veritek would have had success in Seattle.) This may be due to bad drafts, bad instruction, or simply bad luck. Lopez has had been somewhat successful at the minor league level. He is a player we can be fairly excited about. (Not Alex Rodriguez exicited, but maybe Jose Vidro excited.) When I hear that the Mariners want to tinker with Lopez’ approach at the plate, I get worried because we just don’t seem to have the best track record when it comes to that sort of thing.

  9. msb on February 21st, 2006 9:07 pm

    FWIW, from Drayer on KOMO tonight when asked if Willie has a shot at winning the job at 2nd:

    “Willie is being given a shot at it, but I think when push comes to shove they love the role he’s in. The only thing that could possibly change that would be if Morse can really play all the positions they’ve been trying to play him at; he’s not going to be quite as good of a baserunner, but he is a little bit faster than he was last year, and he is running on that, and he may, he may bring a little bit more bat and that’s going to be interesting to see what happens with him, because Adrian Beltre is going to be gone for a long time and that’s going to afford more playing time for Morse, and if he hits like he did last spring backed up with what he did last year, then I think they are going to be looking at him more closely and that’s got more of an opportunity to put Willie at 2nd, if that’s what you want to do. A lot of this is to push Jose.

    Mike Hargrove said, I asked him about this, oh, a couple of days ago, and for the first time he said something that I’d never heard him say about Jose before, and that was that he’s really got to get his focus together. Jose says that he likes to play happy out there, that’s part of his nature out there, you’ve seen it, you’ve seen him clap his hands out there, and I think that maybe sometimes they wonder if he is 100% into it along those lines, or if he’s a guy who’s out there happy to be playing baseball. That’s a good thing, but focus also comes into it. They also want him to go the other way; the very first time Jose stepped into the batter’s box this year, the first time he went out, every ball he hit in the first round that he went through, did not pass center field, everything was to right field, he’s gotten that message loud and clear. Now Vina, thats an interesting possibility, if he can hit decently, he knows what to do once he gets on base, a lot better than he did the first time around [chuckle], he was just a kid, but if he can play a solid defense it’s worth a consideration because you don’thave a lot of veteran up the middle right now. So Jose’s really going to have to prove it; I would say it is his position to lose, but there are people gunning for him on that front, and he hasn’t exactly won that position yet.”

    btw, she also mentioned that Rivera has been great in camp (even though there was a brief & shining moment before Johjima was signed when Rene thought he had the starting job all to himself) He has been planting himself near Joh to pick up all he can from him, and that when Joh is working with the latin pitchers he will hustle out to help translate.

  10. DMZ on February 21st, 2006 9:45 pm

    That’s a long transcript. Beltre’s going to be gone for a long time? What? What happened?

  11. msb on February 21st, 2006 9:50 pm

    He’s got to go to the Dominican for the WBC… I also have some long-winded comments by Rick Griffen 🙂

  12. msb on February 21st, 2006 9:52 pm

    sorry, that should be “go with the Dominican team to the WBC” (Pool D, featuring the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Australia and Italy, will play at the Disney Wide World of Sports Complex in Orlando, Fla., on March 7-10. The top two teams from each pool will advance to the second round, which takes place March 12-15 at Hiram Bithorn Stadium in Puerto Rico and Angel Stadium in Anaheim. The semifinals and finals will be held at San Diego’s PETCO Park on March 18-20.)

  13. John in L.A. on February 21st, 2006 10:49 pm

    1. You scared the crap out of me with that Beltre business.

    2. Good for Rivera.

    3. I really hope they don’t equate being happy in any way whatsoever with being focused.

    Man, they really don’t want to give Lopez any time to be a rookie do they. I don’t recall them riding Reed this hard after he disappointed. Maybe they ran it by a shrink and decided that’s what Lopez needs. Wouldn’t work on me, it would have the opposite effect.

  14. msb on February 21st, 2006 11:30 pm

    #63– Man, they really don’t want to give Lopez any time to be a rookie do they. I don’t recall them riding Reed this hard after he disappointed.

    possibly because I don’t believe Reed ever exhibited the ‘work ethic’ problems that Dave mentioned (in #43) following Lopez …

  15. johnb on February 22nd, 2006 12:53 am

    They just want to give Lopez som competition to make him work hard. No way does Vina make the opening day roster unless there is an injury.

  16. deltwelve on February 22nd, 2006 9:10 am

    #23 – DMZ

    Bloomquist in the PI says “I understand that . . . it still might not be best for the team to have me be the second baseman.”

    Bloomquist in the Times says, “in a team sense, it may be best to keep me where I’ve been.”

    What more do you want from the guy? Understanding often is the same as believing. Also, people often recognize their beliefs as wrong. Hell, I believe I could hold my own with the US World Cup side, but I understand that that is crap. Also, the post you were referring to credited Willie for “pointing out” and “recognizing” that he might help the team more in a utility role, not that he “believed” it.

    Sorry to pick on such a minor point, but it seemed unnecessarily dismissive of you to stomp on someone’s post that reflected Willie in some kind of favorable light, even when it had nothing to do with his skills. This is why there are often posts complaining that this site goes too far in Willie-bashing, and it undermines your defense that you criticize his lack of skills and the Mariners inability to recognize that lack.

  17. Evan on February 22nd, 2006 9:25 am

    I think the relevant distinction here is between Willie recognising that the team may think it’s best if he doesn’t start, and Willie himself recognising that it’s best for the team if he doesn’t start.

    The quotes seem to support Willie’s recognition that it might be best for the team that he not start.

  18. DMZ on February 22nd, 2006 12:56 pm

    w/r/t being overly dismissive of Bloomquist’s comments, hating Bloomquist, being a terrible person, etc — I had not read the Times quote when I wrote that comment (which, if you’ll read it, doesn’t even hash on him, but asks where the distinction is drawn).

    The Seattle Times comments hadn’t come up yet (if you’re confused by the Times link just ahead, that was the Roberto P/team doc resigns).

    So I don’t particularly take offense here, but you’re skewering me for asking a pretty innocent question in the abscence of later information. That’s kinda unfair.

  19. msb on February 22nd, 2006 3:18 pm

    ok, I don’t know what genius writes the captions for the Yahoo photo archive, but under a Thompson shot of Fernando Vina (who looks the same as ever) was this frightening pearl of wisdom: “Seattle Mariners’ Fernando Vina fields a ball during a drill at MLB baseball spring training Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2006, in Peoria, Ariz. If Vina, 36, succeeds in his increasingly likely comeback attempt and wins the Seattle Mariners’ second base job this spring from inconsistent, unproven Jose Lopez, he’ll be thanking the NBA’s Sacramento Kings. Specifically, he’ll owe the hometown team trainer who rehabilitated Vina’s bum left knee, which has kept the former Brewer, Cardinal, Tiger and All-Star from playing since 2004.”

  20. mln on February 23rd, 2006 2:54 am

    Denial all you want, but Willie Bloomquist will be the Mariners’ starting second baseman … for the next 10 years!

    The Willie Bloomquist Era in Seattle is beginning!

    WillieMania is here to still. Catch the Fever!

  21. ZWorking on February 23rd, 2006 10:54 am

    Hear hear!!

  22. msb on February 23rd, 2006 11:47 am

    #69, and the answer would be one Gregg Bell of the AP.

  23. John D. on February 23rd, 2006 4:09 pm

    PRODUCTIVE OUTS (See # 51) – I say that “any player who can move a runner to 3B while grounding out to 2nd with nobody on, deserves” much more than our applause; at the very least, he deserves enshrinement–probably with those players who can turn double plays with two out.

    THE INJUNCTION AGAINST “WILLIE-BASHING” (See # 51) – I lost track, but at one time, there were more negative CARL EVERETT remarks than there were negative WILLIE BLOOMQUIST remarks; but I don’t recall anyone speaking out about the negativity concerning EVERETT; only the negativity concerning Bloomquist.
    Hmm !

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