Notes From the Dailies

Dave · September 28, 2006 at 5:27 am · Filed Under Mariners 

A few interesting columns in the local papers today. First, in the P-I, Rafael Soriano voices his desire to convert back into being a starting pitcher.

“I’ve seen him as a starter, and I’ve seen him very good as a starter,” said pitching coach Rafael Chaves, who coached Soriano in the minors. “But that’s a decision that will be made by somebody else.”

If Soriano is still here next year, they have to at least try it. If it doesn’t work, you can always shift him back to the bullpen, but there’s no point in not seeing if he can succeed as a starter again.

Then, over in the Times, Geoff Baker begins a five part series on looking at the M’s year. Today is Bavasi and Hargrove, with lots of intimations that both will be back but that the decisions have yet to be made. As usual, the discussion shifts to the team being young.

“The players have gotten better,” Bavasi said. “It’s a young team. No manager likes playing with young players. They don’t want any part of young players. And [Hargrove] has accepted them willingly, with a positive attitude. He’s made them all better.”

Accepted them willingly? Really? Tell that to Shin-Soo Choo, Adam Jones, or Chris Snelling, all who came up and were immediately shown the bench. Or tell that to any of the arms in Tacoma who had to watch Joel Pineiro get 150 innings this year to prove that he’s done. Or any of the arms in the bullpen who got to see high leverage innings handed to Julio Mateo.

“There’s a real thin line between being patient and being foolish,” Hargrove admitted this week, not naming any specific cases. “And I’ve learned that, no matter how long you do this, you have a tendency at times to cross that line. It’s not always bad that you do. It’s just bad if you don’t recognize it in time.”

I’m glad that he’s aware that he crossed the line between patience and foolishness with pretty much every veteran player on the roster this year. This isn’t something he should be realizing in his 15th year as a manager, though, considering this same criticism has been leveled at him for years and years.


78 Responses to “Notes From the Dailies”

  1. Gar on September 28th, 2006 1:35 pm

    45 – Neyer: If I didn’t have any stats in front of me and could go only on what I’ve heard about the Mariners this season, I would guess they’ve underperformed.

    Way to get to the point Neyer. Guess you really didn’t have any Mariners stats in front of you. Did you?

    Neyer: After all, Ichiro has been down a bit (well, except for the steals), Richie Sexson has struggled some (well, except for the grand slams) and Felix Hernandez hasn’t been the Cy Young candidate some of us (OK, me and my shadow) were expecting.

    Shame on you for believing that Sexson is more than just a home run hitter who strikes out a lot. I’m also sorry that you put too much expectations into a 19-year-old pitcher who is just finishing his first full season in the big leagues.

    Neyer: Also, none of Hernandez’s rotation mates was better than decent this season.

    I think it would have sounded better if you said “none of Hernandez’s rotation mates WERE better than decent this season. It’s still a pretty poorly writen sentence, though.

    Neyer: You know what? I still can’t figure out why they did as well as they did.

    Oh, I don’t know? How about the great season that Raul Ibanez is having? JJ Putz taking over the closer role? The emergence of young stars, like Jose Lopez and Yu-Bet? Johjima behind the plate and with the bat? The 18-8 record in June? Anyone?

    Neyer: Except they didn’t have any absolute zeroes in the lineup (once Carl Everett was gone) and, with the exception of Joel Pineiro, none of the pitchers was awful.

    Don’t even get me started here. Again, it should be “none of the pitchers WERE awful.” And just so I get this clear through all the garble, you’re saying that Hernandez was “better than decent,” Pineiro was “awful,” and I guess the rest of the Mariners’ pitchers were just “decent?” Gee, I wish it was always that simple. Maybe Hargrove sucks worse than we all thought?

    Neyer: Essentially the M’s had a few good players and fewer bad ones.

    Way to close it out, Neyer. You really saved face with that final observation. FEWEST words from you about the Mariners would have been better.

  2. Coach Owens on September 28th, 2006 1:36 pm

    50. Tell me that’s a joke.

  3. Gar on September 28th, 2006 1:41 pm

    52 – I believe it. Wish I had proof, though.

  4. edgar is go(o)d on September 28th, 2006 1:43 pm

    I wish it was a joke, but I just received it. There’s lots of other stuff naming the players who are helping with the improvement, saying they’re frustrated too about how long the rebuilding is taking, and some general marketing fluff. But the Hargove part is what kills me.

  5. NODO Dweller on September 28th, 2006 1:43 pm

    50, 52. No joke, I just received the same mail and was coming over here to post that little nugget. I’ve forward the entire mail over to the moderators, hopefully we’ll see a post on this 😉

  6. NODO Dweller on September 28th, 2006 1:47 pm


  7. Coach Owens on September 28th, 2006 1:56 pm

    Howard Lincoln is an idoit.

  8. PositivePaul on September 28th, 2006 2:01 pm

    I’ve heard about this e-mail elsewhere, too. WTF is up with this?

  9. NODO Dweller on September 28th, 2006 2:08 pm

    They send a few of these types of mails out every year. For example, we also got a “here’s why we signed Carl Everett even though we know you probably think it’s stupid” email right after that signing was announced.

  10. Coach Owens on September 28th, 2006 2:09 pm

    I hate Hargrove! duh, duh, duhduh, duh. I hate Hargrove! duh, duh, duhduh, duh.

  11. leetinsleyfanclub on September 28th, 2006 2:09 pm

    Retaining Mike Hargrove for next season is simply a case of Chuck and Howard refusing to admit they were wrong to have hired him in the first place. It would have been an indictment of them as much as anything. I KNEW this would happen.

  12. Coach Owens on September 28th, 2006 2:12 pm

    61. Isn’t Bavasi that deals with coach hirings/firings? Also we should all use the chant of my last comment next year.

  13. darrylzero on September 28th, 2006 2:17 pm

    OK, if I’m participating too much in derailing this thread too much toward the Hargrove problem, feel free to delete and accept my apologies. If not…

    At least I will say this, I think Bavasi is moving the roster closer and closer to one that Hargrove could mismanage less. The big problem will be sitting Snelling against left-handers, though. That will flip me out all year long if he’s really back. But if the bullpen were, for example:


    With no Pineiro and everyone else healthy the Mateo innings will be a problem, but that’s really it. The other big problem was using Sherrill as only a LOOGY, but that’s only bad if you don’t have enough awesome RHers to bring in (or O’Flaherty to use next time around). That Mateo problem will loom very large, though.But he’s shown an ability to not overwork pitchers, at least compared with some other managers. And that’s crucial for this team.

    Hargrove infuriates me in a way that few other people could even approach, but I’m not convinced he could hurt the 2007 Mariners as badly as he hurt the 2006 Mariners. And Dave’s right, the number of wins he lost us, while depressing and painful, were not sufficient to make this team into a playoff team. They really weren’t. But we could definitely be there next year.

  14. Steve Nelson on September 28th, 2006 2:19 pm
  15. gwangung on September 28th, 2006 2:25 pm

    OK, if I’m participating too much in derailing this thread too much toward the Hargrove problem,

    Ain’t off topic now, given the Seattle Times article….

  16. Jeff Nye on September 28th, 2006 2:30 pm

    As I said in the other (wrong) thread:

    I was planning on getting season tickets next year. I have now changed that decision.

    There is no sensible reason to retain Mike Hargrove after this season (I was never in favor of getting rid of Bavasi) and to do so demonstrates that the Mariners organization has no clue of how to right the good ship Mariner.

  17. scraps on September 28th, 2006 2:32 pm

    Please, somebody, I really want to believe this isn’t so.

  18. Hoppy on September 28th, 2006 2:32 pm

    When I get the Strat-o-matic cards in a few months, I guarantee I win the AL West with the M’s by 5 games over the A’s. I will do this with friggin common sense, and stick to a couple rules:

    1. Joel Pineiro will never pitch. Ever. Of course it would be hard to launch his strat season when his card is in my backyard covered in chicken squirts.
    2. Bloomquist will play ALOT less. As in a pinch runner for the catcher sometimes if I feel like it. Nah, screw it, I’ll use Jones for that. No money bags for WFB. Cuz I said so.
    3. Felix is my number 1. Not Moyer so he feels good about himself.
    4. Ichiro is in Center and hits leadoff. Funny how a little card can’t give you any shit about a position change.

    The lineup writes itself, and the pen with Lowe, Soriano and Putz is sick. I like this team alot with simple subtraction.

  19. Ralph Malph on September 28th, 2006 2:33 pm

    If Mike Hargrove is uniquely qualified to lead a young team, then I’m uniquely qualified to perform neurosurgery on wombats.

  20. Go Manures! on September 28th, 2006 2:39 pm


  21. Go Manures! on September 28th, 2006 2:45 pm

    Let me try a Steve Kelley column-ending type post a shot:

    Another year of Mateo as a lead protecting type reliever.
    Another year of Snelling being replaced by Bohn and his ilk late in games(which is nuts, did you see Snelling’s throw to home last night? Perfect toss)
    Another year of WFB as the given way to muh credit for what little he does. (Did you hear, Rick? Willie had 5 hits in one game last year!)

    Of course, the problem with this is that Kelley will come out with a pro Grover column soon.

  22. leetinsleyfanclub on September 28th, 2006 2:53 pm

    Maybe Fairly quit because he heard Grover was coming back. Man, would I love to run into Dan Rohn right about now.

  23. Death On A Pale Horse on September 28th, 2006 2:58 pm

    It looks official – the Mariners will keep the bastard. Say it ain’t so, someone. Please.

  24. Jay R. on September 28th, 2006 3:00 pm

    This may be the last straw for me. If he comes back, I won’t be watching next season.

  25. pinball1973 on September 28th, 2006 4:09 pm

    I’ve come to have a modicum of respect for Bavasi, whom I was entirely against at first, but this evaluation of Hargorove proclivites and skills is horseshit worthy of certain Adminisstration officials, and I really find it unforgiveable, even if Har-Har leaves this time, last week.

    What an absolute crock!

  26. LB on September 28th, 2006 4:24 pm

    If Chuck and Howard have decided that they’re under contract to pay for Hargrove next year and don’t want to pay him to sit on his couch and watch TV, that’s not a fight Bavasi can win.

    And from the looks of that email, Chuck and Howard have made that decision.

  27. Dave on September 28th, 2006 8:31 pm

    Derrick Turnbow. At least, I’m not aware that any injury has been offered as an explanation, though perhaps that’s yet to be discovered.

    Turnbow was good last year, but he was Soriano-good, not Putz-good. 3.4 BB/G, 9.1 K/G, 50% GB rate. The super low ERA was a function of his LOB% (88.1%) and his BABIP (.249). For the year, his FIP was 3.07.

    Putz this year has been, well, way better. 1.6 BB/G, 12.9 K/G, and the same 50% GB rate. His FIP is 1.78.

    Turnbow wasn’t a relief ace last year, despite the shiny ERA. He was a guy who missed bats, had iffy command, and left a lot of guys on base. Putz has been completely unhittable.

    12 walks and 99 strikeouts? That’s just not a fluke.

  28. Mike Snow on September 28th, 2006 9:47 pm

    The difference between Turnbow in 2005 and Turnbow before and after is comparable to the difference between Putz now versus before this season. Other than in 2005 and early this year, Turnbow has been a pitcher who doesn’t belong in the major leagues at all. Putz belonged in the majors before now, so he’s got a higher baseline, but the spike is similar.

    It is or isn’t a fluke much like Beltre in 2004 is or isn’t a fluke. The ability was there to begin with, and presumably still is, but that particular performance might not ever be repeated. That’s why I want to see Putz show he can repeat it before I start assuming that he will repeat it.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.