Random Notes

Dave · July 25, 2006 at 9:48 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Lots of minor points to make today, so let’s go to the notes format.

1. ESPN has fired Harold Reynolds, almost certainly for something not pertaining to his performance on the job. I’d be stunned if the M’s don’t do some checking on this and, if they’re satisfied that it wasn’t a huge deal, offered him a job. It’s very easy to imagine him broadcasting Mariner games later this year and in the future. Honestly, anything that isn’t Dave Henderson is a huge upgrade.

2. Tangotiger, one of the smartest baseball minds out there, has done a quick-and-dirty analysis on playoff odds if a team’s current winning% didn’t match their actual true talent level. BP’s playoff odds report and coolstandings.com both use past data to project the team’s odds of making the playoffs, but run into problems if a team’s past performance isn’t a perfect estimate of how they’ll play going forward. With the M’s almost certain to replace the giant sucking hole of Carl Everett before the end of the month and replace him with a real hitter, it’s very easy to say that the M’s will be a better team than their winning percentage to date would project. Here’s a summary of Tango’s point:

As I’ve shown, to have an even shot at a team that is leading the division, and you are in the bottom, and you are down by 3 wins, you simply need a team to be a true +.050 wins better than the leading team.

With the uncertainty level existing in all forecasts, you can make such a plausible assertion (every now and then).

3. Rafael Soriano’s shoulder is still bothering him, and he won’t be available tonight. The disabled list is a real possibility. The next arm up from the farm is almost certainly going to be LHP Eric O’Flaherty, who is pitching extremely well for Double-A San Antonio. He doesn’t have the same stuff that Mark Lowe does, but he throws 90-93 from the left side with a solid breaking ball and has shown both extreme groundball dominance and the ability to miss bats. If and when O’Flaherty comes up, he could easily stick for the rest of the year. It’s not improbable to think that this team’s bullpen in September will go something like Putz-Soriano-Sherrill-Lowe-O’Flaherty-Woods-Mateo, with Julio finally being relegated to the mopup duty he deserves.

4. That Lopez-Beltre scuffle I mentioned in the game thread has been uploaded online so you
can see for yourself
and decide whether this was playfighting or an actual disagreement of sorts. Thanks to Jeff Sullivan for getting this up. If you’re not reading his Lookout Landing blog, you’re missing out, big time.

5. Despite any rumors you may hear, Gil Meche isn’t close to being traded. If the M’s deal him (which gets less likely with every win), it won’t be til this weekend, when they’ve had a full opportunity to evaluate their chances of making a run this year. And the talent they’re asking for in return, anyways, is likely to preclude a deal. At this point, I think Meche ends the season as a Mariner.

6. Somewhat related, as of today, the M’s are buyers, not sellers. That could change over the next week, but don’t be surprised if the M’s go trolling for another Eduardo Perez type move in the next few days. David Dellucci would make all kinds of sense right now.


176 Responses to “Random Notes”

  1. Rockymariner on July 25th, 2006 3:36 pm

    #147- Sure, wealthy 8 year olds.

  2. msb on July 25th, 2006 3:36 pm

    it’s the whole Steve Phillips crusade that is so distasteful, acting as though he is speaking from a disinterested point of view (hello? Steve? “The Mets are not 24+1” ring a bell?) and the way it has been run into the ground, night after night.

  3. pygmalion on July 25th, 2006 3:52 pm

    I’ve long thought that Alex Rodriguez was too “slick” for his own good and rather insincere, but even when I was most disgusted with him over the Texas signing, I never doubted that Alex Rodriguez is one of the three best players of his generation. It is rather sick how he has been treated since going to NY.

  4. The Ancient Mariner on July 25th, 2006 3:57 pm

    As far as HR’s firing, the reference to Steve Phillips makes a good point. To fire Harold for sexual harassment and replace him with Phillips would be beyond laughable. Which goes to suggest, I think, that folks shouldn’t be so quick to assume the worst (much less to spread it around as gossip, which tends to take on a life of its own).

  5. Mouse in a Bottle on July 25th, 2006 4:02 pm

    “Sexual harassment” suggests repeated misconduct of a sexual nature. If HR was truly fired due to sexual harassment, I wonder how much ESPN tolerated before they let him go?

  6. jefffrane on July 25th, 2006 4:38 pm

    I watched part of one of the Yankee/Ranger games and, yes, they spent an incredible amount of time “analyzing” A-Rod. Funny, 153, but one of the comments was that he was “too slick.”

    Oh, and they concluded that he would be so much happier now if he’d followed Cal Ripken’s example and had stuck with one team throughout his career. Soooo much happier if he was still a Mariner.

    Be nice if they could stick to just covering the baseball game being played, but that’s never going to happen.

  7. darrylzero on July 25th, 2006 4:39 pm

    As much as I can’t personally stand the way A-Rod conducts himself on a day-to-day basis, if the coverage of him right now is the issue, HR should get a lot of respect for that. A former player being disgusted enough by it all to stake his job on that is really impressive to me.

    I live in NY too, though I’ve been out of the country all summer (thus missing the worst of this frenzy), but if there’s anything more obnoxious than A-Rod it’s ridiculous pronoucments that he’s not a real Yankee or whatever. I’m torn in the “choker” debates because I do think he’s a little mentally fragile, but clearly the criticism he gets in that regard is so overblown that I understand why people flip out on the subject denying the possibility. I wouldn’t want him at bat with a playoff game on the line, though.

    On the other hand, I hope Yankee fans do manage to chase him out of town, because I think it would be a total disaster for them, though they might be able to get a pretty amazing package. It would be pretty funny if he was pushed out of town and got back to the World Series before the Yankees (as long as it’s with an NL team, because I don’t want him back here). Anyway, I’m choosing to believe with no evidence that this is why HR has been fired, and I think it’s great.

  8. byronebyronian on July 25th, 2006 4:42 pm

    #153: Sick? Nah. He isn’t performing and it was HIS choice to sign that outrageous contract. I don’t hate him for signing that contract…I do dislike the disingenuousness of the man. The guy is the ultimate teflon man.

    So basically, he wants to be paid like the best player in baseball? He should deal with the catcalls and frustrations of Yankee fans who expect him to be one of, if not THE BEST player on his team.

    Shed no tears for A-Rod as he brought all this on himself. He knew the Rangers would be financially limited in signing more impact players should the team underperform.

    I just don’t feel sorry for him. I can’t. Just like with our beloved Mariners, if we sign a guy eating salary and he doesn’t perform, we tend to not be happy with that person (ahem – Adrian, Jerrod) as it’s hard to justify the money with the performance.

  9. hcoguy on July 25th, 2006 4:45 pm

    As much as I dislike Arod, there is NO evidence that he is not “clutch.” Anyone with 5 minutes and an internet connection can check his situational stats on espn.com, and yet the guys that get paid to talk about that stuff constantly ignore it.

  10. DMZ on July 25th, 2006 4:47 pm


    A-Rod will get his own post at some point.

    Until then, A-Rod comments are off-topic, and I’m going to start banning people in… oh, three minutes.

  11. msb on July 25th, 2006 4:59 pm

    tick tick tick

  12. G-Man on July 25th, 2006 5:18 pm

    Wouldn’t the M’s trading for Delucci be discouraging to Snelling? Or is he so far off the top of his game that he wouldn’t be discouraged by a trade for a player to fill a spot that looks ideal for him? Just asking.

    A racial angle to Everett’s continued presence sounds as good as any theory right now.

    As for the tussle, consider this factor: The team just won two straight from one of the best teams in baseball, and they had just scored again, and have a 4-run lead in the sixth. Does this sound like fuel for a fight?

  13. DiamondDave on July 25th, 2006 5:42 pm

    You know what I love about this site? I missed the game last night, haven’t seen the video of “the fight,” and yet I feel like I know about it intimately. Aren’t blogs great?

  14. DiamondDave on July 25th, 2006 5:46 pm

    Also, RE: Rizzs. Let’s admit it, the man’s kind of a clown and I dislike his “slickness.” But two things in his favor: He knows his baseball history like nobody’s business. I like that, because it shows he was just like a lot of us as a kid, soaking up the backs of baseball cards and all the baseball books he could find. And two, he always tells you the score and the inning on the radio, something Niehaus is TERRIBLE at.

    But Niehaus is the greatest, and anybody that gets on him for a few badly judged flyballs would probably kick a puppy while no one was looking. I hope he dies behind the mike, calling a “GRAND SALAMI”! He IS Mariners baseball to those of us who have been following the club since the beginning. Of course, he’s also the last one around from those halcyon days of the late ’70s. 🙂

  15. deltwelve on July 25th, 2006 6:19 pm

    “I hope he dies” is an interesting way to begin a friendly sentence.

  16. joser on July 25th, 2006 6:28 pm

    I don’t know anything about Harold Reynalds, or the situation. But I wouldn’t put a lot of stock in rumors until something gets confirmed. It wouldn’t be the first time that somebody did something (like, say, exploratory talks about going to work with a competitor) that
    not only got them fired but so pissed off someone in the hierarchy that they went around dropping sotto voce “leaks” about unsavory activities for no reason other than petty vindictiveness. It’s dangerous, of course, because if the leaks can be traced then you’re open to a lawsuit, but ESPN has always struck me as the kind of frathouse jock-wannabe kind of place where that kind of thing could happen.

  17. joser on July 25th, 2006 6:42 pm

    With respect to the “fight” — who’s to say this kind of thing doesn’t happen between those two a couple of times a week? Lopez could be one of those guys who gets seriously angry about some little thing for all of 30 seconds and then is back to laughing with his buddies a minute later; although Beltre seems to be more of the brooding type he might be much the same. I agree no one else seems to be taking it very seriously, including Felix who has Lopez tucked under his arm in a way that wouldn’t stop Jose from slipping free if he really wanted to go (the ease with which Felix tosses him back is pretty funny, though). Personally, I blame it on Bloomquist:
    Beltre: You know a whole weekend of this was bad enough, but now our All-Star is back and I’m still batting with Mr PanDeBlanco making an easy out right in front of me.
    Lopez: Hey man, I’m tired. It was a long flight, and I didn’t get any sleep before that with the kid crying and all. You know what that’s like…
    Beltre: No, I married my kid’s mamma so I could have the baby in the offseason–
    Lopez: What’re you saying, man?! You calling my kid…?
    Beltre: I’m saying you should have at least worn a damn–
    Felix: OK, alright, nobody is calling anybody’s kid anything, alright? We all get cigars just the same. Now let’s just watch the damn game!

  18. Bozo on July 25th, 2006 8:46 pm

    My interpretation of Shove Gate was that if (a) it was perceived to be serious by anyone in the dugout and (b) Felix was in the middle of it, both Beltre and Lopez would have been grabbed and told that if they had to fight they should do so around Willie (or around practically anyone but Felix.)

    Baseball fights are usually stupid and quickly forgotten, but they occasionally lead to equally stupid injuries.

  19. Replacement level poster on July 25th, 2006 11:51 pm

    I have a friend that went to the same high school that Harold went to. We both played baseball against each other (I lived in Albany which is next to Corvallis).

    Harold went back to the high school to accept an honor (They named the dugout after him or something), and my friend approached Harold to tell him how much of a fan he was and how he was proud to wear Harold’s number. Harold was pissy and said his number should be retired and walked away.

    I don’t think much of him, or his great guy act. I’m not buying it.

  20. mark s. on July 26th, 2006 1:05 am

    I was at the game. I THINK I saw the parts that came after the video ended. … Lopez and Felix where screwing around with each other and my mother was reminded of how my siblings and I would fight. We thought it meant they were comfortable with each other. I mean we are talking about a couple of 20-something dudes in a very dude enviroment.

    Look at the reactions of the other players. Lopez and AB either go at each other quite a bit or they were play fighting. The only person who was looking at them was Felix really. Raul was drinking water or cleaning out his eyes not a foot away and couldn’t seem to care less.

    I think the team is either use to the two play fighting or fighting-fighting. Either way almost no one else in the dugout seemed to give it a look.

  21. Jon Wells on July 26th, 2006 1:13 am

    The Seattle Times is reporting on its web site that it was sexual harassment that caused Harold Reynolds’ firing from ESPN.


    “Harold Reynolds, one of ESPN’s most visible analysts and a long-time panelist on “Baseball Tonight,” has left the network in the wake of one or more incidents of sexual harassment.”

    “Three people who work at ESPN and were familiar with the case said the cause was a pattern of sexual harassment, apparently culminating in a recent incident involving one of the network’s young production assistants.”

  22. Brian Rust on July 26th, 2006 9:17 am

    USA Today has an interview with Reynolds.

  23. BlackHaloBender on July 26th, 2006 9:59 am

    I actually work at ESPN and confirm that the rumor is sexual harassment. Sucks, I just met the guy for the first time the other day.

  24. Karen on July 26th, 2006 10:20 am

    That’s not saying much: “…confirm that the rumor is sexual harassment…”

    Sure enough, I too can confirm that it’s a rumor. So can DMZ. So can Dave. So can Corco. And so on, and so on… 🙂

  25. Karen on July 26th, 2006 10:31 am

    Also, it seems like there are several separate issues and stories in that USA Today interview.

    1) he mentions giving a woman fellow ESPN employee a hug as the “misunderstood” reason for his dismissal.

    2) he mentions his contract was up 6 months ago, and he “had opportunities to pursue”. (was that when he fished outside the ESPN waters?) and that he was in the first year of a new contract (evidently ESPN made it worth his while to stay with ESPN).

    3) he wants his ESPN job back, despite ESPN deciding to “go in a different direction (John Kruk 🙂 ) which he doesn’t agree with, however…

    4) he’ll pursue “other avenues that are there”, avenues that ESPN created (but as he says “in a strange way”). (???)

    As they say, stay tuned. This story could entertain (or disgust) us for months.

  26. BlackHaloBender on July 26th, 2006 10:36 am

    I had to say it like that because i’d prefer not to get fired.

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