So Long, Pocket Lint (super exciting dual post!)

Dave · August 27, 2006 at 4:00 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

An era is offically over in Seattle – Bob Finnigan has written his last story for the Seattle Times. After 20 years covering the team as the beat writer, today is day one of his retirement. As a farewell gift, lets bring the USSM-critique-of-Pocket-Lint column out of retirement.

General manager Bill Bavasi said this week that the Mariners are trying to win each day, a position that is probably predictable and possibly posturing. However, it is that mindset, born of years of being competitive under former manager Lou Piniella, that has brought the current dark and stormy night to the Seattle franchise.

Reference to the good old days under Lou Piniella? Check.

Baseball fortunes run in cycles, and are always — always — based on how good one’s pitching is, unless there is a lack of pitching through the division or league, as there is now.

Ridiculous, untrue cliche about what it takes to win baseball games? Check.

Even with a month to go, it is not hard to see where this year’s failure came from and where the solutions lie.

The root of the rot that ruined this season is found in the Mariners’ — and fans’? — unwillingness to ride the cycle, which can be as short as three years or as long as five.

Here’s a poorly phrased critique of the team’s decision to not go for a full scale rebuilding, but instead to try to win games while adding youth to the roster simultaneously. We made this same critique of the organization – three years ago. It was true then, during Gillick’s last year and Bavasi’s first year, that the team’s core was flawed beyond repair and that the organization needed to face reality and start over. But heading into 2006, that wasn’t the case. His point would have been valid if he had written it in the fall of 2003. Now, it’s just wrong.

The Seattle organization has accomplished some important things. While it is totally lost in the welter of losing, it is building a future around a young bullpen and middle defense, and outfielder Adam Jones stands a chance to be the best player the Mariners have produced in a decade.

Felix Hernandez says hello, Bob. I wouldn’t trade Felix for three Adam Jones’.

In fact, it is because of this building — while trying futile and misguided efforts to win — that Bavasi and manager Mike Hargrove stay in place. While trying to compete daily, as Bavasi said, their watchword is patience.

Futile and misguided efforts to win? What a crock.

Rather than risking fans’ reaction to a downswing, the Mariners tried to buy their way through this natural pause in win production and they have failed. Only the New York Yankees do this well; even the Boston Red Sox have shown this year they cannot with any consistency.

The Atlanta Braves and their 13 consecutive division championships say hello, Bob.

It’s not so much their requirement to avoid a loss each year as the idea that profits — or monies saved like those from moving Eddie Guardado and Jamie Moyer — of one year can’t be set aside for when the time is right.

Hey, look, we agree! He’s totally right – this policy is asanine.

Cynics are clamoring that Mariners CEO Howard Lincoln has finally gotten a team that mirrors his style of organization, tight (uptight?). But credit Lincoln with one huge thing. He understands now that baseball bears risks beyond most other businesses.

Research and development normally produces products that sell. Baseball R&D produces no more than best-guesses that if someone stays healthy they stand a chance of doing the job you paid them for.

While the second paragraph is true, I’m not sure why we have to credit Howard Lincoln for understanding that. Everyone who watches baseball understands that. That’s not a new revelation, and it’s not one that has helped the M’s in any tangible way.

While it is easy to slam the team for paying too much for free agents, and players for earning too much, understand Seattle is deep into a losing mode and as former GM Pat Gillick once succinctly explained, must “pay a premium of $2 million to $3 million a year to attract good players.”

Beliefs like that are why Pat Gillick is no longer an effective general manager. People who believe comments like that don’t deserve to win baseball games.

In Sexson and Beltre, the Mariners thought they were getting glue guys, re-creating the team chemistry, cohesion, camaraderie that Jay Buhner and Edgar Martinez, even Mark McLemore and Stan Javier, brought to the lineup and to the clubhouse.

Actually, they thought they were getting two right-handed power hitters who would help the team score runs. And, though in alternating years, that’s been true of each player for half their time here.

But Sexson and Beltre are both naturally introverted, and despite their team’s desperate need for more from them, have shown no interest or understanding of giving beyond sincerely hard efforts to win each game. They have been distant and/or distracted, self-absorbed, both intensely embarrassed by their own struggles.

This last psyche naturally fed feelings that their inability to produce as expected on the field undercut them to act like leaders. But that is wrong. Buhner, for instance, never lost the raucous upbeat mood he spread around the room.

Teams pay for stature as well as statistics. But even Beltre, as intelligent a fellow as you’ll find on any roster, seems to have no feel for sharing his character.

This is the worst part of sportswriters having access, right here. Finnigan watches Beltre and Sexson not yell and hoot and call team meetings and decides that their lack of leadership is why Joel Pineiro can’t pitch well. It’s stupid, and almost every beat writer in America writes this crap.

Ichiro could be a leader, as shown by his vociferous and spirited leadership of Japan’s team in the World Baseball Classic. But this is impossible because the outfielder, despite six years in Seattle, chooses to remain wrapped in his own way of doing things.

Much of this is admirable, total preparation and focus, and disdain for much of what he sees around him, dismay, maybe even disgust, that he presumably reports back to owner Hiroshi Yamauchi each winter.

Ichiro’s stature as one of the game’s great contact hitters is undercut by the way he approaches the game. His tunnel vision is on getting hits — his idea of how best to help the team — not doing all he can to help.

And now, we rip Ichiro for his lack of leadership. Sure, why not? Clearly he’s been dragging the team down the last six years.

For instance, although he has played center field in Japan, it took him a month to agree to move to center for the Mariners. Meantime, Seattle suffered. Shin-Soo Choo, who may or may not prove to be a sound big-league player, was forced into center field and not right, where he stood his best chance of helping.

Had Ichiro not agreed to move, Chris Snelling, who looks a potential major-league producer, would have as little chance as Choo had. Choo got a measly 11 at-bats, a joke of a tryout, while struggling to play out of position while Ichiro watched and did nothing.

We’ve been calling for Ichiro to move to center for years, so we obviously agree that the M’s are better off with him there than in right field. But to blame Ichiro for the lack of opportunity given to Shin-Soo Choo is ridiculous. Carl Everett got 400 plate appearances as a Mariner DH this year. If the Mariners had any desire to give Choo a legitimate chance to hit major league pitching, the opportunity was clearly there. They chose not to, and Ichiro’s reluctance to move to center field had nothing to do with the team’s decision to play Everett instead of Choo.

Should Hargrove be firmer? First of all, the days of firm managing are far between in the majors and Hargrove reputedly was the subject of some of Ichiro’s comments to Yamauchi last winter, so that may play a part here.

Overall, the manager has an easy rein on his veteran regulars. Hargrove can be faulted for letting them play all they want, which is virtually all the time. As a result, fatigue could have had a role in this recent collapse.

I’m not sure there’s another manager in baseball who would have put up with Carl Everett as his DH for four months while trying to contend. Writing off Grover’s slavish devotion to bad players as part of the new culture of baseball management is just wrong.

Yamauchi, who has paid for the right to be involved, could be too much so, although it is undoubtedly well-intentioned. He was right in recommending catcher Kenji Johjima, although his offense is much more than his defense and game-calling at a position that cries for more balance between the two parts.

And now we get a shot at Kenji Johjima’s defense. Ichiro’s not a leader, Kenji’s not a good game caller – I’m curious what he would have written about Daisuke Matsuzaka, if given the chance. Perhaps Daisuke’s strikeouts would bore the fielders and cause them not to hit? I’m guessing Bob’s not going to be vacationing in Japan anytime soon.

When the Mariners were asked for Ichiro in trades at the deadline, they refused, although their need for a top-of-the-rotation pitcher is far greater than a singles hitter who covers a corner outfield spot well.

Can they trade the owner’s favorite player? It might be best, if they can overcome what is thought to be Yamauchi’s firm stance against losing Ichiro.

Now that Ichiro has agreed to play center, he’s one of the five best players in the game at that position. You can call him a singles hitter if you want, but the ridiculous amount of singles he hits makes him absurdly valuable, and removing Ichiro from the roster isn’t going to make this a better team.

For certain it would help financially, saving about $11 million in a winter when the payroll budget is near-certain to tighten by 10 percent or more.

Because Finnigan has been so accurate with his predictions of Mariner spending in the past…

Attempting trades does not play to Bavasi’s strength. Gillick once admitted he was not a good trader and preferred building with free agents and youth.

Bavasi does not have a good record as a dealer, either. But his forte seems to be what the Mariners most need now, building through development.

Pat Gillick preferred building with youth? How did he write that and not fall out of his chair?

If it comes to trades, it might be easier to move Sexson, a proven longball hitter, although no one is going to take on his full salary. If Seattle could split the difference, with Ben Broussard or Greg Dobbs playing first base, they would save about $7 million.

If the Mariners want to, they’ll be able to move his whole salary this offseason. And nice Greg Dobbs mention there, Bob. Nothing like continuing to hype up terrible players even on your way out the door.

The departures of Moyer, Guardado, Gil Meche (who could also agree to return for less than he might get on the free-agent market), Carl Everett and Pineiro would reduce the payroll by about $25 million.

Some of this money, about $5 million, will go to raises for J.J. Putz, Yuniesky Betancourt, et al. In fact, expect great effort made to get a number of the younger players signed to multi-year contracts this offseason.

Yuniesky Betancourt is under contract through 2008, and is signed for next year at the whopping total of $400,000. So, no, don’t expect the M’s to be tearing up Betancourt’s contract this offseason. He’s one of the biggest bargains in the game.

Club officials are anticipating three openings in the rotation to go with Felix Hernandez and Washburn, and while Jake Woods (whom Hargrove wanted in the rotation months ago) could fill one and maybe Rafael Soriano another, they need a veteran starter who can start on opening day and maybe another for Day 2 as well.

Jake Woods is terrible. Saying that Hargrove wanted him in the rotation months ago is an indictment on Hargrove’s inability to evaluate talent.

Pitching, the deeper the better even in these days when no team has quality depth on the mound, is where success begins.

Tell that to the Houston Astros.

There is solace and considerable hope in the fact that in the bullpen, and middle infield, notable by the standards of even first-place teams, the Mariners are far ahead of where they were this time last year.

Good to see Bob end his career on a note of truth, even if it runs counter to what he just wrote in the previous 1,500 words. I’m not totally sure how “far ahead of where they were…” gets written in the same column as “…the current dark and stormy night…”, but that’s Bob Finnigan for you.

So, with that, we say goodbye to Pocket Lint, the man who got his nickname by being such a tool of the organization that his writings were more often propaganda than journalism. I hope you have a great retirement, and one that lasts forever.

endDave endDave endDave endDave endDave

[Jason says: Dave and I wrote our posts about essentially the same time, unbeknownst to each other, so we decided to run ’em both on one post…]

beginJason beginJason beginJason beginJason

As you no doubt heard on the broadcast this weekend, Saturday was Bob Finnigan’s last day on the M’s beat for the Seattle Times after 25 years. On one hand I was surprised he had been here so long, but on the other hand it made sense — I can’t remember him ever not being here.

Interestingly, Finnigan takes some strange parting shots at the M’s on his way out the door. In this column, he bashes Ichiro both for not being a leader, being too focused on getting hits, and for not moving to center earlier. He calls Shin-soo Choo’s 11 at-bat tryout “a joke,” says the M’s finally have a team to match CEO Howard Lincoln’s personality “tight (uptight?)”, and even says ownership “must be knocked for their iron-clad business principles.” On the positive, he closes with the Larry Stone “but they’re better off now than they were this time a year ago” line of thinking.

But he’s not done yet! In this notes piece, he discusses the prospects the M’s got for Jamie Moyer, saying “It might only have been a matter of time before the two pitchers wound up in the Mariners organization since both have Northwest ties.” (Incidentally, Andrew Baldwin took a no-hitter into the seventh for Inland Empire in his M’s system debut last week.)

Honestly, this is more negativity than Finnigan has expressed since we founded the good ship USS Mariner. It’s almost like he’s been saving all of this up for the day he finally stepped aside, no longer worried about whose feelings he might hurt.

Finally, sports editor Cathy Henkel showers Finnigan with praise (“A fond farewell for our own MVP”) in this piece, which mentions that the new beat writer will be announced next month. Smart money’s on Geoff Baker — we’ve already discussed him here and here. Good news in the meantime? Larry Stone will pick up the M’s beat. Woo.

Oh, and one more thing — does anyone else think it’s weird that he’d retire at this point in the season? I mean, another month and he could finish the thing out. Maybe he has somewhere to be, maybe they want to bring in the new guy so he’s not coming in cold next spring… I dunno. Just seems odd to me, not that I’m at all familiar with the inner workings of a MLB beat writer.


100 Responses to “So Long, Pocket Lint (super exciting dual post!)”

  1. firova on August 28th, 2006 8:44 am

    Finnigan seems to have taken it personally that Beltre, Sexson, and perhaps Ichiro apparently do not want to be his “friends” like Griffey and Buhner were; ergo, the team is losing. Good riddance.

  2. JMB on August 28th, 2006 9:37 am

    Good call firova. Beltre and Sexson probably didn’t give Finnigan their cell phone numbers like Griffey and Buhner, so as a result there’s no showering of praise.

  3. strong silence on August 28th, 2006 10:05 am

    49 – rdf!

  4. Ralph Malph on August 28th, 2006 10:27 am

    Finnigan is not unique in slamming Ichiro, as shown by Thiel’s column this morning:

    But as it has for the past five seasons in Seattle, it starts with Ichiro.

    Perhaps he is seeing for the first time how taking one for the team, in this case leaving his comfort zone, has a salutary effect on his mates in ways he did not imagine.

  5. Karen on August 28th, 2006 10:33 am

    #18. Ichiro isn’t going to the Yankees in 2007 so long as they have Matsui, Damon, Abreu, and Sheffield under contract. Even if they dump Sheffield, they still have good enough outfield that they don’t need Ichiro.

    Sometimes I think “need” has nothing to do with what the Yankees acquire.

    There’s absolutely nothing keeping them from trading Johnny Damon (unless he has the Sacred NTC) any time after this season…and they’d sure like to replace Johnny Damon’s noodle arm with Ichiro’s.

    Gawd knows they have enough other thunder in the lineup that a 200+ singles-hitter wouldn’t “hurt” their chances of steamrolling other teams, as usual.

    Ichiro’s mystique and habits would just drive the Yankee faithful NUTS, though. They’re already foaming at the mouth and polarizing attitudes over ARod’s fragile psyche, and HE’S an open book.

  6. JI on August 28th, 2006 10:35 am

    How did Finny get the name “Pocket Lint”?

    Just curious.

  7. Dave on August 28th, 2006 10:36 am

    It’s in the post.

    So, with that, we say goodbye to Pocket Lint, the man who got his nickname by being such a tool of the organization that his writings were more often propaganda than journalism. I hope you have a great retirement, and one that lasts forever.

  8. The Ancient Mariner on August 28th, 2006 10:40 am

    To explicate the nickname, though: he was so deep in the pockets of M’s ownership, he might as well have been pocket lint.

  9. JI on August 28th, 2006 10:44 am


    Me not so smart.

    If the 401K dries up, he could always take up Jim Street’s old gig.

  10. Ralph Malph on August 28th, 2006 11:11 am

    As far as the timing of his departure, couldn’t this just be when he is eligible to retire? Based on years of service or whatever?

  11. joser on August 28th, 2006 11:11 am

    I can’t really see the Yanks replacing Damon with Ichiro. Damon is highly-visible and well liked, and he also hits doubles and HRs; the Yankee faithful don’t really understand singles (though they do understand records: if Ichiro had broken Sisler’s record while in pinstripes we would have never stopped hearing about it). Plus Damon was a prize wrested from the Red Sox, and his clean-shaven presence in the Stadium is an continued spit in the eye of Fenway. I don’t think The Boss would value Ichiro as highly as he (over)values Damon; afterall, they put up with Bernie Williams’ arm for years. Besides, they already have the Japanese market/demographic covered via Matsui.

    If Ichiro ever becomes freely available (vs resigning with the M’s without testing the FA market) I’d be more worried about one of the California teams.

  12. gwangung on August 28th, 2006 11:17 am

    As far as the timing of his departure, couldn’t this just be when he is eligible to retire? Based on years of service or whatever?

    Or, more conspiratorily, the Times found out Finnegan WAS receiving unde influence from the Ms and gave him the gracious way out…

  13. Dave on August 28th, 2006 11:20 am

    We’ve known Finnigan was retiring for like 8 months. They’ve kept pushing it back – there’s no conspiracy, and he’s not getting pushed out the door.

  14. Evan on August 28th, 2006 11:27 am

    Yankees fans often say to me of Ichiro “he’d look good in pinstripes”.

    That said, if Ichiro ever leaves Seattle, I think he’ll head back to Japan.

  15. msb on August 28th, 2006 11:54 am

    well, Yankee fans think anyone would look good in pinstripes 🙂

  16. IdahoFan on August 28th, 2006 12:09 pm

    I’m curious, if Hargrove wanted Woods in the rotation three months ago, why wasn’t Woods in the rotation? Is Al Davis secretly the Mariner’s owner also?

  17. John in L.A. on August 28th, 2006 12:10 pm

    65 – What is really tragic about that Onion piece is that a full 40% of the picture came true. Scenarios so absurd as to be satirical and the Yanks were well on their way to achieving them. A-Rod and RJ.

    66 – Huh?

    Goodbye, Finnigan, you weird, misinformed sitcom of a sportswriter.

  18. joser on August 28th, 2006 12:14 pm

    Willie Bloomquist in pinstripes!

  19. Jon Wells on August 28th, 2006 12:31 pm

    #66 IdahoFan said:
    “I’m curious, if Hargrove wanted Woods in the rotation three months ago, why wasn’t Woods in the rotation? Is Al Davis secretly the Mariner’s owner also?”

    If it’s true, then it was probably Bavasi (or someone higher up) telling Hargrove that Pineiro needed to stay in the rotation so that he’d have value at the trading deadline. Any idiot could have told them that there was little chance of Pineiro pitching well enough for them to swing a deal, but as usual, they were unreasonably optimistic.

  20. msb on August 28th, 2006 12:36 pm

    Moyer’s luck has returned to Marineresque proportions. In the bottom of the 3rd a dink, an error, some interference, a fielder’s choice, an infield single that somehow scores both the runner on 3rd and the slow catcher from 2nd (???), a bizarro call at 3rd, etc etc etc. So, 6 runs later …

  21. msb on August 28th, 2006 1:01 pm

    sigh. here. Charlie Manuel also got ejected in the 3rd. I imagine he used some folksy ‘baseball language’ when it happened.

  22. Nintendo Marios on August 28th, 2006 2:51 pm

    “He has a boundless hunger to probe the insights of the ones that mattered — the players, managers, coaches and executives with whom he had an incredible capacity to form a bond of trust,” said Larry Stone, his teammate at The Times as our national baseball writer for the past decade. “In my 20 years covering major-league baseball, I’ve never seen a writer who had a better rapport with those with whom he interacted.”

    Damned by faint praise; Pocket Lint indeed. That’s some fancy footwork by hero-scribe Stone.

  23. firova on August 28th, 2006 2:56 pm

    72. Isn’t that the truth? When “rapport” is valued above everything else, not much journalism is going to get done. Easy to cross that line from “rapporter” to “sycophant.”

  24. pinball1973 on August 28th, 2006 3:22 pm

    #21 – Ichiro played center most of his first full-time seasons, as I recall, with a good-glove, nothing-special guy named Motonishi in center for most of Ichi’s second big season.
    Yoshitomo Tani took over center from his rookie year, with Ichiro set in right.
    Soh Taguchi spent almost all of his time in left, except for a weird year when he played a lot of second base.

  25. BelaXadux on August 28th, 2006 3:33 pm

    I read that stinker of a swan song column from Bob Fawnnigan, just to see what burden was being lifted from mine eyes. Apart from praising to the skies Howie and Bavasi for their vision in ‘putting the club on a sound footing,’ he then lays the blame for the tames floptastic ways this year on “Selfish” Suzuki, and stabs Ichiro in the back with a poison pen on the way out, trying to promote some kind of dump-trade. Ickkksville. Obviously Bob has it in for Ichiro; probably tried to to an interview and got blown off as a clump of mealy-mouthed turkey manure, and bears a grudge. So long, Finny, and don’t let the screen doon hit yah in the butt on the way along. You won’t be missed or even remembered ’cause total shills leave no recognizable fingerprints.

  26. patl on August 28th, 2006 3:34 pm

    65. I agree and wish that Pocket Lint had the sportswriting skills of The Onion.

  27. BelaXadux on August 28th, 2006 3:37 pm

    Ichiro may _decide_ to play elsewhere at some point, although I’d lay no money on it. He won’t be traded in my view, unless he initiates it. Ever. Period.

  28. Jim Thomsen on August 28th, 2006 3:56 pm

    Much of this is admirable, total preparation and focus, and disdain for much of what he sees around him, dismay, maybe even disgust, that he presumably reports back to owner Hiroshi Yamauchi each winter.

    How very Finnigan to say Ichiro is not only a bad teammate and a poor leader, but also a whiny third-grade tattletale who runs to the teacher after school to tell on the other kids. And I love the “presumably” — it’s also very Finnigan to write something while having no idea whether or not it’s true. But, hey, let’s say it anyway. Why not? It’s not like the copy editors will ever red-flag it, right?

    Bob, as a human being and a journalist, you are pure excrement.

  29. jimbob on August 28th, 2006 5:10 pm

    Great post. I’d like to add that one of Finnegan’s worst attributes, in my opinion, is that he’s boring as hell, like almost all Seattle sports writers.

  30. Steve T on August 28th, 2006 5:16 pm

    News flash: every city in America has sportswriters even duller than Finnegan.

  31. msb on August 28th, 2006 5:22 pm

    another news flash– Mateo out for the season after a free weight drops on his non-pitching hand. No word on who did the dropping 🙂

  32. Coach Owens on August 28th, 2006 5:32 pm

    I’m sad to see Finnigan go. I liked his articles a lot, especially compared to Stone or Kelley.

  33. Emerald on August 28th, 2006 5:57 pm

    msb – Seriously??

  34. Emerald on August 28th, 2006 5:59 pm

    Sweet jeebies, Mateo out with a broken left hand

    I bet Hargrove will still try calling the bullpen to get Mateo warmed up.

  35. Eleven11 on August 28th, 2006 6:00 pm

    I read this article this morning and thought about it all day. I decided to post because I like this site, it is quality and thoughtful. This piece does you no credit and does not add to the Mariners discussion. Sorry, just my view.

  36. sidroo on August 28th, 2006 6:07 pm

    Presumably someone’s considered writing a letter to the Times with some of these objections.

  37. John in L.A. on August 28th, 2006 6:14 pm

    85 – “Sorry, just my view.”

    A rather empty view without any rationale behind it.

    The post and the thread has pages and pages of explanation and support.

    I’m trying to figure out what bothered you about it.

    Finnigan was an embarrassment to both the press and the sport.

  38. Eleven11 on August 28th, 2006 6:39 pm

    You want rationale. Fine. It’s the same shit in this country over and over again. Don’t like a guy, call him names. Was he a good writer? I don’t know, I’ll take your word for it that he wasn’t but why do the name calling crap. Internet and blogs allow rude behavior because you never face the person. It’s sad. We see it with ball players and managers. If they are bad, fire them but respect the human being. But why call him names. He probably is a decent guy and a good family man and husband. Is Finnegin a shit? I’ll bet not. He was called that here today.

  39. Jim Thomsen on August 28th, 2006 6:46 pm

    Actually, I know him credible people who know him personally, and he is a shit.

  40. Ralph Malph on August 28th, 2006 6:49 pm

    Eleven11 — My first reaction to this post and a lot of the comments was the same as yours — that it’s lousy form to dump on a guy upon his retirement. But then I read his actual article and it — like a lot of what Finnigan wrote — not only showed his usual lack of understanding of the game of baseball, but it is petty, small-minded, and personal in some of its references. Like the Ichiro stuff. Given that, I don’t feel bad for Finnigan.

    I agree with you to a point — I hate the nastiness of the Internet. But Finnigan’s writing is nasty, and I think he deserves it.

  41. Eleven11 on August 28th, 2006 6:54 pm

    Then maybe it’s just me. I tire of this stuff in politics and other discussions. I like this site because it talks Mariners and baseball. I am not a stat guy but love reading the information and views of guys that are. When it sinks to the levels of the other sites where posters just abuse whoever they don’t like, it bothers me. Maybe this wasn’t that bad but it did not sit right. I don’t know him and don’t care. He was a newpaper writer, so was my father. Sensitive I guess.

  42. John in L.A. on August 28th, 2006 7:06 pm

    91 – Fair enough. I think, in the case of Finnigan, he has done enough hachet jobs in his time to take a well-deserved one on the chin.

    But your larger point is noted.

  43. BelaXadux on August 28th, 2006 7:12 pm

    I generally avoid personal remarks; for exceptional people, I make exceptions. I’m wholly unimpressed with most of the beat writers and sportscasters in the Ms univers—but Finny was, ahh, exceptional. I have less than no respect for him as a journalist, and little for him as a person, and I’m only too glad he’s not part of my universe any longer. And that disdain, he’s earned.

  44. strong silence on August 28th, 2006 7:47 pm

    Hitting a ton of singles does not give a player an exemption from criticism.

  45. strong silence on August 28th, 2006 8:05 pm

    Why don’t those who think Finnigan isn’t a nice person, share why they think he is nasty? Accountability and responsibility, central to community, would help to bring about a kinder Internet.

  46. The Ancient Mariner on August 28th, 2006 8:43 pm

    Eleven11 — this really isn’t a matter of “posters just abus[ing] whoever they don’t like.” In the first place, aside from Jim Thomsen’s comment — and remember, Jim’s also a member of the Seattle-area sports media, a colleague of Finnigan’s; he has a perspective on the man none of us have — this isn’t a personal attack on the man, it’s a critique of his work. Yes, it’s a harsh and pointed critique; it’s also a critique which is amply supported by evidence, and which is (imho) completely deserved. In the second place, again excepting Jim Thomsen, the dislike of Pocket Lint is not personal but is completely a response to his body of (wretched) work.

  47. gwangung on August 28th, 2006 9:04 pm

    Hitting a ton of singles does not give a player an exemption from criticism.

    Sure it does…if he makes no outs. Or if his batting average is .500, or….

  48. gwangung on August 28th, 2006 9:05 pm

    Hitting a ton of singles does not give a player an exemption from criticism.

    Sure it does…if he makes no outs. Or if his batting average is .500, or….

    And if hitting a ton of singles does not give a player an exemption from criticism, then neither should his retirement…

  49. Tap House Dan on August 29th, 2006 12:48 am

    Finnegan wrote a column 2 months ago speculating on which FA starting pitchers the M’s might make a run at in the offseason. One of the first names he threw out there was Kelvim Escobar. I wrote him an email which included a link to an story about Escobar signing a 3-year extension with the Angels about a month earlier. What’s the old saying? Never let facts get in the way of a good story?

    He sent me back a very terse, sarcastic reply about how he was grateful that I “took the time to help him with his job.”

    Good riddance. He won’t be missed.

  50. strong silence on August 29th, 2006 8:14 am

    Hitting a ton of singles also does not exempt a person from heart disease, penguins from the laws of biology, and the combining of peanut butter, honey and bread from producing a nice sandwich.

    What is your point, gwangung?

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