Tuesday newsotronic

DMZ · March 21, 2006 at 1:09 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Johjima has glove, tongue
Beltre doesn’t think Cubans will defect from WBC team.
Ichiro’s out of his slump.
And the M’s traded Thornton. PI, TNT, Times.

The Times, in their re-designed and vaguely confusing new page, have similar content (Johjima and the staff)


31 Responses to “Tuesday newsotronic”

  1. ray on March 21st, 2006 2:21 am

    You don’t have insomnia do you? Congrats to Team Japan! And of course no Cubans will defect — if they did their families will be imprisoned. Anyway, they were given a great incentive (for reaching the finals): an extra month’s ration of bread, rice, and black beans. Would you defect and miss out on that?

  2. Typical Idiot Fan on March 21st, 2006 2:50 am

    Easy mistake this early in the morning, but the Ichiro article URL is broke.

  3. msb on March 21st, 2006 8:34 am

    Doug Miller at mlb.com diplomatically answers the most oft-asked question he gets at the Mailbag (i.e. WTF WFB); he also once again answers the ‘retired number’ question.

    The Trib and the Herald tell us that Kenny Williams & Don Cooper have long coveted Matt Thornton

  4. argh on March 21st, 2006 8:48 am

    That Herald piece had an interesting comment from somebody (lost track of who was being quoted there) buried down toward the last graph: “he’s [Borchard] still not that type of player able to come off the bench and perform.”

    And could anyone shed some light on what a hitting coach might do with Borchard to try and teach him, at this late date, pitch recognition? Just how teachable is that skill — assuming it’s a skill, of course.

  5. petec on March 21st, 2006 9:08 am

    I wish someone in Doug Miller’s position would just tell the brutal truth about Willie to the dumb$#&ts who write in with this kind of question. Here’s the answer: “Dear Dumb*&%t – Willie isn’t starting at 2nd because he can’t hit. He didn’t hit in the minors and, except for one hot streak, he hasn’t hit in the majors. If he were a regular, he’d be somewhere in the bottom 10% of all major leaguers in production. His OPS the past two seasons has been below .620, which is pathetic. Jose Lopez, on the other hand, hit much better than Bloomquist in the minors and has had equivalent production in the majors, although he’s only 22 and improving while Willie is 28 and has probably peaked.”

  6. leetinsleyfanclub on March 21st, 2006 9:41 am

    The mailbag is for the typical M’s fan who doesn’t know s— from shinola (which is the vast majority of them). I can barely stand to read the darn thing and when I do I feel a tremendous sense of embarrassment being an M’s fan. Doug Miller must just want to puke.

  7. DMZ on March 21st, 2006 9:51 am

    In fairness, Doug does a much better job of these than Jim Street did. Not to hash on the retired Street too much, but some of those old Mailbags were horrible.

  8. Zero Gravitas on March 21st, 2006 9:52 am

    That Japan-Cuba game was fun to watch. I remember reading about Matsuzaka a while back on this site. He looked awesome last night, throwing with excellent velocity and control under a lot of pressure. Wonder if he’ll ever make it over to the majors. If so, he just boosted his value quite a bit.

  9. eponymous coward on March 21st, 2006 9:55 am

    Ah, Jim Street. Good times, and lots of drinks cleaned off of my monitor after reading his stuff.

  10. Steve T on March 21st, 2006 9:56 am

    Um, that’s a little harsh. Not everybody fell out of their momma’s womb already a genius, like you and I did. If there’s no room in baseball for the beginning fan, or the casual fan, or the young person, the game’s gonna die for sure. “Why doesn’t Willie play every day?” is a legitimate question for someone who is new to the game and hears so much about his “contributions” on the air, in the paper, and in the stands.

    And there are some tough questions; I know I wouldn’t want to have to explain the balk, the infield fly, or the suicide squeeze to my grandma.

  11. DMZ on March 21st, 2006 10:29 am

    I’m not sure what that’s in reply to, but I’ll say that one of my complaints about Street’s answers was that in selecting questions, he tended to pick really strange and uninteresting ones (“Why don’t the Mariners trade Joel Pineiro and a prospect to the Yankees for Derek Jetere and solve their shortstop problem?”) and when he did answer the kind of questions you’re talking about — the balk, the infield fly, the suicide squeeze — he was frequently wrong, and wouldn’t respond to nice notes citing (for instance) the rulebook.

  12. Choska on March 21st, 2006 10:30 am

    The Nats are having trouble with Soriano who refuses to play the OF.

    “The Nationals acquired Soriano from Texas in a December trade that sent outfielders Brad Wilkerson and Terrmel Sledge and pitcher Armando Galarraga to the Rangers.” – ESPN

    We have a surplus of guys who can play the OF, and a bunch of decent infield prospects plus a couple of pitchers who are at least the equal of Galarraga.

    I don’t want Soriano, but a three-way deal that solves the Nats problem, gets someone else Soriano, and delivers a quality pitcher to us would be nifty.

    C’mon Bavasi, let’s play Deal or No Deal and break the Lawton/Everett/Morse logjam by shipping one of those guys out of town.

  13. dlupham on March 21st, 2006 10:42 am

    I saw the new Seattle Times online sports page this morning and also found it a little confusing. But then I just decided that it was confusing because it was not the same as what I had become used to. In a few days I bet we won’t even notice the different layout. As to WFB, one of the problems the casual fan has is that they get most of their info from newspapers and radio/television. None of these “sources” has ever said that Willy can’t hit as well as regular should.


  14. msb on March 21st, 2006 11:03 am

    #12– some takes this morning from Boswell, Svrluga, and Loverro in DC & Heyman in NY

    I think it interesting that several people have mentioned that Manny Acta pulled Soriano during the final games of the WBC games for a defensive replacement, and have wondered why Soriano is still so convinced of his shining ability to play 2nd ….

    oh, and I had to look up the Disqualified List: “A player who violates a player contract or reservation may be placed on this list. There is no minimum number of days the player must remain on the Disqualified List before the player can be reinstated to the Active List. A player on the Disqualified List does not count against a Club’s Active List limits or its Reserve List limits.” Apparently Bert Blyleven & Dickie Thon are among players who have hit the list at differetn times.

  15. dw on March 21st, 2006 11:05 am

    The new Times design is confusing. It’s hard to tell where you’re supposed to start.

    Sorta like the new UW home page, only without the SUPAMEGA OMGWTF TEH FLASH!!! that confuses me even more.

  16. petec on March 21st, 2006 11:08 am

    Steve T – if it was me being harsh (and I was), let me put it another way. I don’t think it’s too much to ask for Doug Miller to engage in some gentle education of his readers. He can point out Willie’s abysmal On Base Pct. He can talk a bit about his complete lack of power. I don’t think he needs to talk about VORP, RCAA and WARP-3 to raise the readers’ baseball IQ a few points. To just give the stock answer “he’s too valuable as a utility guy to give a starting job to” may be the M’s party line, but it’s flat out wrong. He’s perpetuating a myth that needs to be put to rest.

  17. Karen on March 21st, 2006 11:20 am

    Maybe WFB won’t talk to Doug Miller EVER AGAIN if Miller happened to comment on The Truth about WFB in his column… 😉 …and you know what happens to sports reporters that a player like WFB won’t talk to…

    (Pssst, Doug? Not much. Go for it!)

  18. Ralph Malph on March 21st, 2006 12:14 pm

    Doug Miller is an employee of MLB [actually I’m assuming that since he writes for mlb.com; for all I know he is an employee of the club itself], not an independent journalist. That really makes him more of a PR flack than a reporter. When he takes that sort of a job, a guy gives up the ability to say exactly what he thinks. I don’t imagine his employers really want him to write that a player stinks and should get cut.

    Finnigan, Kelley, et al don’t have the same excuse.

  19. msb on March 21st, 2006 12:54 pm

    speaking of Doug Miller, he talked to Jeff Pentland yesterday… and remember, “This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.”

  20. Evan on March 21st, 2006 12:58 pm

    The story didn’t get vetted, no, but if he writes something they really don’t like he’ll hear about it.

  21. Dave on March 21st, 2006 12:59 pm

    Evan’s right. Miller got reamed by the front office during the winter meetings for the reported offer to Kevin Millwood.

  22. msb on March 21st, 2006 1:06 pm

    sorry, I was mocking with my quote… say, did we ever come up with a sarcasm emoticon?

  23. Jim Thomsen on March 21st, 2006 2:21 pm

    From espn.com’s Transactions today:

    Optioned pitcher Bobby Livingston to Tacoma of the Pacific Coast League (AAA); assigned catchers Jeff Clement and Rob Johnson and infielders Asdrubal Cabrera, Todd Sears and Matt Tuiasosopo to minor league camp.

  24. Grizz on March 21st, 2006 2:25 pm

    But doesn’t the front office also ream the unaffiliated writers who report items that the team does not want disclosed? Or did the team go after Miller even though the offer was on the record or confirmed by an outside source (such as an agent or an official from the league or antoher team)?

  25. Jim Thomsen on March 21st, 2006 2:43 pm

    I wonder if the same strictures apply to Bob Finnigan, who is basically a Mariner employee.

  26. eponymous coward on March 21st, 2006 2:46 pm

    My guess is a certain beat writer with a nickname here that rhymes with “socket flint” probably doesn’t irritate the front office TOO much. I doubt you can be a very effective beat writer if you are constantly challenging the company line- the front office will start scooping other writers and so on. No doubt Armstrong is quite comfortable with the old veteran beat writers who are happy to reprint the company line without wondering “Gee, why is a 27 year old no-hit utility infielder really the best person for a second base job?”, or “Why is it the M’s always sign some free agents when every year the numbers I get leaked indicate they can’t?”.

  27. DMZ on March 21st, 2006 3:03 pm

    It’s fairly well-known that on MLB while technically “it’s not subject to approval…” they are, in effect, subject to approval, and you can’t really write bad things about any team or player without it getting edited. Which is why faint praise suffices for criticism in almost every case.

  28. Churchill on March 21st, 2006 4:13 pm

    Apparently the only thing that isn’t “subject to approval” is the subject itself, officially anyways.

  29. eponymous coward on March 21st, 2006 4:57 pm

    PS: the title of this makes me wish jc was posting, so we could see the jc-o-tronic 2000 again. Man, those were good times.

  30. joser on March 21st, 2006 7:56 pm

    Since this is the grab bag and appears to be the the place for post-WBC musings, Verducci’s summary is worth a read, especially the remarkable tale of Australian sidewinder Peter Moylan.

  31. adamt on March 21st, 2006 10:20 pm

    Just because Thornton throws 95 mph doesn’t mean he’s without a heart:


    From one ex-Mariner to another 😉 “Here you go Justin!”

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