Dave · June 26, 2006 at 7:53 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Due to the resurgent Mariners offense, I’d like to appeal to the governing board of the Julian calendar to please let next month be referred to as June 31st through June 60th. You can return to using “July” next year. Thank you.

Now, onto Dave’s Random Ramblings.

    1. Due to one of our patented East Coast Thunderstorms Of Doom, I haven’t had any internet access at home since Friday evening. Thus, I missed the entire series with the Padres. Good to see the team wasn’t discouraged by my absence and continued to hit the crap out of the baseball.
    2. Kenji Johjima is now hitting .290/.335/.454, pretty much exactly what we all expected. In fact, in that roundtable, I wrote: “If he hits .280/.350/.440, which is about where I have him pegged, he’ll be an easy choice for the all-star team.” Amazingly enough, though, not only is he not an easy choice, he’s not even in the discussion. American League catchers have been hitting the tar out of the baseball this year.

    Joe Mauer – .368/.436/.506. Jorge Posada – .293/.406/.486. Ramon Hernandez – .285/.346/.506. Victor Martinez – .292/.361/.465. And, while he hasn’t played as many games, Mike Napoli (.294/.433/.578) has already out VORPed Johjima due to his ridiculous offensive performance. Even Gregg Zaun is hitting .328/.390/.555 while playing half the time.

    AL catchers – they can hit this year.

    3. Speaking of us being right about things, Marcus Thames is hitting .310/.378/.655. I’ve been advocating bringing in Thames for years, as he’s the prototypical freely available corner outfielder. He’s been tearing the cover off the ball in Triple-A forever, and he’s finally gotten his shot. He’s nowhere close to being this good, but he’s so much better than Carl Everett, it’s not even funny.

    My idea for upgrading left field last offseason was platooning Jacque Jones and Marcus Thames. Jones is hitting .326/.359/.558 vs righties, and Thames is at .286/.355/.571 vs lefties (he’s killing righties, too). Carl Everett – .244/.321/.384. I’m just saying.

    4. Since I just spent a couple paragraphs saying I told you so, let me reiterate that we were wrong about Raul Ibanez. Again. He already has as many home runs as he had in all of 2004 and he’s posting the highest OPS of his career. Guess those high strikeout rates last year weren’t signs of a loss of bat speed. We were wrong about Raul when they signed him, and so far, we’ve been wrong about the decision to give him a contract extension. Ibanez has been a major bargain since the day he arrived. Kudos to the M’s on that one.
    5. J.J. Putz has faced 141 batters this year. 50 have struck out, 45 have hit ground balls, and 46 have done anything else. His Fielding Independant ERA is 1.38. He’s almost certainly not going to make the all-star team, but he should. He’s been as good as any reliever in baseball this year.
    6. How much do home runs matter? Take a look at Felix’s line next to Jeremy Bonderman’s:

    Felix: 19.2% LD%, 55% GB%, 8.6% IF% 22.7% HR/Flyball 2.7 BB/G, 8.6 K/G
    Bonderman: 19.9% LD%, 51% GB%, 14.9% IF%, 8.5% HR/Flyball, 2.6 BB/G, 9.1 K/G

    The differences there are pretty minor with the exception of the HR/Flyball rate. Bonderman’s ERA – 3.65. Felix’s ERA – 5.10. They rank #2 and #3 in American League xFIP, by the way.

    7. The M’s travel to Arizona to play the Diamondbacks who, under the watchful eye of Bob Melvin, have lost 17 of their last 20. And, since I’m bringing up manager quality, we should mention that everything that Mike Hargrove has been doing wrong all year is still hurting the team, and they’d still be better off if he was replaced, but it’s awful hard for a manager to cause a team scoring 6 runs per game to lose, even with crazy aggressive baserunning and awful bunts.


114 Responses to “Petition”

  1. Mike Snow on June 27th, 2006 10:51 am

    I’m surprised no one’s pointed out yet that we don’t use the Julian calendar (unless any of you are Eastern Orthodox), but rather the Gregorian calendar; and since that was put in place by the Pope, I think Dave needs to call the Vatican pronto.

    Yes, but it was the Julian calendar that was responsible for the names we use for months, so you can still make a case for Dave’s initial formulation.

  2. Evan on June 27th, 2006 11:00 am

    94 – I honestly think Manny has all the skills to be quite a good left fielder. He just doesn’t seem interested.

  3. Dave on June 27th, 2006 11:13 am

    Being smart is a skill.

  4. Brian Rust on June 27th, 2006 12:53 pm

    Being smart is an ability. The skill is in applying it to the problem at hand.

  5. Jim Thomsen on June 27th, 2006 1:27 pm

    Re the trade that sent Mark Hendrickson and Toby Hall from Tampa Bay to the Dodgers for Jao Seo and Dioner Navarro … this has all the earmarks of a nothing-for-nothing trade. Hendrickson will be out of baseball in two years(his 3.81 ERA is a whopper of a lie — his FIP is 4.65 and his xFIP is 5.20), Seo can’t stay in the majors, Hall will never be a starter again and Navarro … well, who knows? He was a hot prospect once and could be good, I guess.

  6. pablothegreat on June 27th, 2006 1:29 pm

    104: Skill and ability are synonymous.

  7. Mat on June 27th, 2006 2:16 pm

    MGL decided every other park was essentially the same and doesn’t do a park factor adjustment for those.

    Huh, that seems a bit sloppy to me. Looking at defensive efficiency rankings for teams, there always seems to be a bias towards teams with pitchers parks, and there are certainly other parks with features that would make you think, in principle, that they would play differently (for instance, the baggie in right field at the Metrodome–a medium-sized Green Monster, essentially; all of the foul territory in Oakland; the cavernous left-center alley in Safeco).

    Maybe I’m just not reading this right, but it seems really odd to me that we accept using park factors for just about every offensive and pitching stat, and then someone (who clearly does a lot of good work) turns around and only park adjusts two different ballparks for defense.

  8. Evan on June 27th, 2006 2:19 pm

    With Manny, I think being smart would inhibit his ability as a hitter.

    In fact, I think Curt Schilling said that.

  9. pygmalion on June 27th, 2006 2:20 pm

    106: I once got into an argument with someone about whether or not Shaq or Dale Ellis had more “skill”. I actually have no idea who was right but my belief at the time was that Shaq depended in large part on strength and size, neither of which I would call skills, while Ellis relied on smooth shooting, which is more obviously a skill.

    So now to my point. Despite being synonyms “ability” and “skill” don’t have the same meaning. Most synonyms don’t. My sense is that an ability is more general capacity for something and a skill is an ability that has been developed in a more particular direction. This seems close to what Brian meant and to the definitions given in the dictionary.

    There is smudginess involved in distinguishing the two (e.g.: strength is “developed” but who would call it a skill?) but if we want to be precise, why not distinguish them? I could be as smart as smart but not track fly balls, having never bothered to develop this skill, even though I have the ability to develop it.

  10. waldo rojas on June 27th, 2006 3:24 pm

    Dale Ellis relied on smooth, smooth bourbon as well.

  11. Benno on June 27th, 2006 4:36 pm

    Quiet day. Here is hoping the M’s can pile onto a struggling Arizona team.

  12. Jim Thomsen on June 27th, 2006 5:13 pm

    From the Associated Press:

    BOSTON — ESPN baseball analyst Peter Gammons was stricken with a brain aneurysm Tuesday morning and underwent surgery at a local hospital.

    The 61-year-old Gammons is expected to be in intensive care for 10 to 12 days, the Boston Globe reported on its Web site. Gammons started at the Globe in 1969.

    Gammons, a member of the writers’ wing of the Hall of Fame, has been a regular on ESPN’s Sunday night telecasts this season. He worked the Braves-Yankees game in New York on Monday night.

    In the 1970s while at the Globe, Gammons popularized the style of baseball notes columns that became staples in Sunday newspapers. He later wrote for Sports Illustrated.

  13. Thingray on June 27th, 2006 5:27 pm

    Man, that’s a shame about Gammons. I hope and pray for a quick, full recovery for him.

    He has an album coming out on July 4th too…

  14. Dr. Johan on June 27th, 2006 5:32 pm

    In other news, AL All-star 2B leader Robinson Cano hits the DL, and might miss the AS game. Any chance this opens a spot for Lopez

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