Best Sweep Ever

Dave · August 20, 2006 at 8:19 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

The last four days, the M’s got swept. Again. That concluded an 0-11 road trip against the AL West where the team dropped 8 games in the standings. The first game of the road trip, they were playing to even their record. Now, they’re just as close to .400 as they are to .500, and the last two weeks have been nothing short of disastrous.

That, everyone knows. But the last four days have seen more than just the Mariners getting their butts handed to them on a nightly basis. The last four days brought more good news than we’ve seen in a month. For instance:

    Chris Snelling’s career as a minor leaguer effectively came to an end, and he got 10 plate appearances in four days, going 3 for 7 with 3 walks. The Mariners desperately need Snelling’s skillset in the line-up, and the fact that he went from troubled Triple-A soul to getting semi-regular playing time for the Mariners was a huge positive.

    The M’s took a proactive approach to keeping one of their prized young arms healthy – instead of telling Mark Lowe to buck up and learn how to pitch through pain, they shut down a kid who has been a revelation since coming up from the minors and has no injury that anyone can diagnose. He’s not hurt, per se, but the team decided to take the cautious approach and do a little preventative maintenance. For an organization that spent the last 10 years shredding arms, that’s a big step.

    Jamie Moyer was scheduled to make 7 more starts this season for the Mariners, none of which would have any impact on the future of this club. The season’s story has essentially been written, and he would have simply been pitching for pride and personal statistics. Instead of having Moyer just ride out the waves, the team turned him into a 23-year-old with a low-90’s fastball and a potential outpitch slider. In picking up guys like Baldwin and Travis Chick in the Guardado trade, the Mariners continue to stockpile kids who have enough raw talent to be something if things break right. Andrew Baldwin is better today than Mark Lowe was a year ago, or then J.J. Putz was when he was as a 23-year-old in A-ball. It’s easy to write off kids like Baldwin as longshots who are likely to fail, but they do come through sometimes, and the payoff can be very valuable.

    Ichiro played center field. Really. The starting outfield that we were calling for three months ago became a realization today, with the best defensive outfielder on the roster manning the most important of the three outfield spots in order to open up a spot in the line-up for Chris Snelling. If Ichiro and the Mariners are willing to make this center field thing stick, it opens up a lot of doors. As much as we like the future that Adam Jones could have, this team is better both today and in 2007 with Ichiro in center field and Snelling flanking him in a corner. Ichiro, as a right fielder, is an all-star and one of the better players in the game. As a center fielder, he’s a legitimate MVP candidate in most seasons.

    The annual Mike Hargrove late season collapse is on. No one thought he was going to be managing this team in 2007 several months ago, but after watching his team fall in on itself in the final two months of the season yet again, the only way Mike Hargrove returns to the club next season is if he personally catches Osama Bin Laden. And even then, it’d still be up in the air. The losing sucks, but it brings with it the guarantee of a new manager, and that’s a cheery thought.

    And finally, Doyle has arrived. Two thumbs up to the guys at KSTW who got that on the air.

So, yes, the M’s just spent another weekend with LLLL added to the tally. But, in the end, there was a ton of good news that came out the last four days. I’d argue that I’ve never been more pleased with an 0-4 weekend before. This was the best sweep ever.


221 Responses to “Best Sweep Ever”

  1. VaBeachMarinersFan on August 21st, 2006 6:35 pm

    I emailed the Mariners asking questions about why Hargrove is still here, why Jones rots on the bench and why Bloomie keeps getting trotted out there (I even included stats and specific examples). Here is the canned reply:

    Dear Benjamin,

    Thanks for your email. We really appreciate hearing from our fans – even if they are angry or disappointed – and we read every email. Your comments regarding Manager Mike Hargrove, Willie Bloomquist, and Adam Jones have been forwarded to the appropriate department. Again, thanks for taking the time to contact us with your opinion – Go Mariners!

    Seattle Mariners Fancare

    Is the appropriate department the “TRASH CAN” icon on the desktop? I would assume so.

  2. W00t4thplace on August 21st, 2006 6:46 pm

    Yes, it is the trash can icon.

  3. PositivePaul on August 21st, 2006 6:53 pm

    Heh. I wonder what they’d do if you randomly inserted names. Like, say:


    I’m so gosh darn tired of eating lima beans. Does Howard Bloomquist eat lima beans? No! So, when are the M’s going to fire Henry Hughes? He’s the worst manager in baseball! I don’t like how he leaves Jon Wells in there for so darn long!”

    Response from Fancare:

    “Dear Paul,

    Thanks for your email. We really appreciate hearing from our fans – even if they are angry or disappointed – and we read every email. Your comments regarding Henry Hughes, Howard Bloomquist, and Jon Wells have been forwarded to the appropriate department. Again, thanks for taking the time to contact us with your opinion – Go Mariners!”

    Yada yada yada…

  4. W00t4thplace on August 21st, 2006 7:01 pm

    Howard Bloomquist could kick the grit out of Willie Bloomquist. Willie is a wussy.

  5. VaBeachMarinersFan on August 21st, 2006 7:08 pm

    203 – Good idea but substitute Al Choholic, Seymour Butz and their ilk. I think I will try that, using of course my co-workers unlocked computer and email.

    It’s good to see some Doyle in the line-up. We have all waited some time for that. I’d definitely like to see some more.

    If they shut down Lowe for the year to protect his arm shouldn’t they shut down Bloomquist to protect his back? Might even be worthwhile to rest it all of next year too…just saying…

  6. SequimRealEstate on August 21st, 2006 7:10 pm

    Yeh!! for the trash can. Who would want to recycle?

  7. IdahoInvader on August 21st, 2006 7:39 pm


    Don’t forget Grover’s other name:

    Stu Pidasso

  8. argh on August 21st, 2006 8:03 pm

    My only criticism here is that Dave has been reluctant to use the only effective management tool available in venues such as this: the Stark Fist of Removal.

    The original post was thoughtful and informative (and even if it wasn’t, it’s his joint) and the first 30-40 posts were more or less reasonable Q & A on the kick-off. After that, not so much.

    Okay, human nature being what it is, some guys are doin’ their old ladies, some guys are just doin’ and other guys are payin’ attention. But keepin’ order in the classroom is, even in college, the teacher’s job. And you’ve got a bully tool to use for keepin’ order, Dave.

    So punch out those offensive posts. The other hosts do it without battin’ an eye and I think their threads are the better for it.

  9. Josh on August 21st, 2006 8:16 pm

    I apologize for my part in responding to something that should have been ignored. It won’t happen again.

  10. joser on August 21st, 2006 9:03 pm

    Why should Dave waste his time on a thread he’s already cast as a lost cause? It’s an off day, at the end of an awful roadtrip, nearing the end of an awful season. A good teacher also knows when the kids need to let off steam. And the easiest way to cure some people of their anarchist tendencies is to give them an eyeful of real anarchy. The next time the scent of the mod whip is sharp in everyone’s nostrils, and somebody bitches and moans about the tight reign (or tight reins) around here, he or she can be pointed to this thread as an object lesson in the perils of the alternative.

    That said, I do hope I never see another roster construction post, just
    [roster masturbation]

  11. pdb on August 21st, 2006 9:10 pm

    [Rosterbation] would be a pretty good tag.

  12. joser on August 21st, 2006 9:16 pm

    Did anybody follow the A’s tonight? To open the first Haren gave up a home run, a single, fielder’s choice, and another home run. After the first two innings, they were down 0-8. Eight runs, in two innings! Then the A’s came back to score 7 in the 3rd and 4 in the 6th. They ended up beating the Jays 12 to 10, and Haren went 5.2 innings while giving up 9 runs (14.3 ERA) on 11 hits… and still got the win. WTF was that? (Oh, and the Jays’ starting pitcher [Lilly] and manager got into some kind of dustup that ended up giving the manager a bloody nose, though both claim no punches where thrown… can we pay somebody to do this with Hargrove?)

  13. jephdood on August 21st, 2006 9:21 pm

    Is Gibbons a huge hothead or something? This is the second major “issue” he’s had with one of his own players this year.

  14. Brian Rust on August 21st, 2006 9:35 pm

    Irony, Oly, irony. I’m not trying to extrapolate Doyle’s performance. I’m merely suggesting the sadly realistic possibility that in six weeks of play, he could earn more free passes than three regulars (JLo, Joh, YuBet) will in six months.

  15. JeffS on August 21st, 2006 10:02 pm

    Joser, those type of results make me jealous. The A’s aren’t a good team, but they always seem to pull out games like these.

  16. Oly Rainiers Fan on August 21st, 2006 11:08 pm

    214: yeah, sorry I targeted you, I get the irony. Really. But there’ve been a fair amount of posts that are acting like one guy is the messiah (Snelling) and one guy is the problem (Hargrove) and I just couldn’t take it anymore. It’s never just one guy that’ll turn it around, not with a team that hasn’t won a game in their division since mid-June anyway.

    200: Rohn. I loved him in Tacoma. Have no idea how he’ll do with the big team, if he gets the chance. But you’ll see more aggressive baserunning, you can be sure of that. And, probably more fits with the umpires.

    He (Rohn) and Jeremy Reed were both at Cheney stadium tonight, watching as Bobby Livingston actually had a pretty good start and as the crowd sang Happy Birthday to Jeff Clement, who turned 23 and celebrated with a 2 RBI double in his first AB. I heard Travis Blackley was at the park tonight as well, but didn’t see him myself so it could have just been a rumor.

  17. joser on August 21st, 2006 11:35 pm

    He may not be the messiah, but — and relevant to the original subject of this post — he is one of the few fun things left to watch this season, patient approach at the plate and all.

    As far as Gibbons goes — I don’t know, but Lilly apparently wouldn’t give up the ball when he went to change pitchers…

  18. bongo on August 22nd, 2006 1:30 am

    Any chance LaHair will see some playing time in September? Even if he has little chance of winning a regular job, it might be useful to see what we have.

    Does anyone know what landed Foppert on the DL for so long?

  19. mln on August 22nd, 2006 4:20 am

    Speaking of wacky roster speculation, how about the Mariners sign Ted Lilly to a contract this offseason?

    And then sign John Gibbons to be the manager to replace Hargrove? 😉

  20. Evan on August 22nd, 2006 9:57 am

    Despite his fights with Hillenbrand and Lilly, Gibbons has been a good manager for Toronto. He’s been creative with his use of the bullpen – not constrained by the book – and his willingness to platoon guys or generally use them in situations where they are likely to succeed is an excellent quality.

    Unfortunately, he only had one good starting pitcher. Not much he could do about that.

  21. dw on August 22nd, 2006 10:22 am

    Does anyone know what landed Foppert on the DL for so long?

    He’s never recovered from Tommy John surgery. IIRC, they shut him down after he had pain while throwing yet again.

    Foppert is done, done, done.

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