News and Notes

Dave · April 11, 2007 at 8:06 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Larry Stone has the story of the Mariners getting a beatdown yesterday, as well as a notebook where Johjima compared the gyroball to a cut fastball or a slider. Also in the Times, Jay Buhner and Dino Rossi are now minority owners of the Everett Aquasox.

Over in the P-I, Art Thiel asks why the M’s didn’t go after Daisuke Matsuzaka, but he never really answers the question. In fairness to the M’s, no one expected a $52 million posting fee, so even if they had attempted to get in the running, it’s unlikely they would have won. Also, John Hickey talks about tonight’s Game Of The Year candidate. Felix vs Matsuzaka – it doesn’t get much better than this.

Which reminds me: Happy Felix Day. Every day should be Felix day.

In other random tidbits from around the majors, USSM-endorsed offseason pitching acquisition #1 Rodrigo Lopez made his second start of the year last night, going 7 innings and allowing 1 run, bringing his ERA all the way up to 1.38. He’s given up 11 hits, walked 2, and struck out 7 in 13 innings. The Rockies are paying him $4 million this season, or half what the Mariners are paying Jeff Weaver.

USSM-endorsed offseason pitching acquisition #2 Claudio Vargas made his first start of the year last night, going 5 innings, allowing 5 hits, 1 ER, 0 BB, and 9 K.

Alex Rodriguez has had 28 at-bats through the first 7 games. The Mariners have 120 at-bats through their first four games. Alex Rodriguez has twice as many homers (6 to 3), more extra base hits (9 to 8), the same amount of walks (5), and the same amount of RBIs (15) as the M’s entire team. By himself.

But that’s okay, because we still have Felix.

Late Edit: Michael Garciaparra claimed by Phillies off waivers. Now he can hang out with Greg Dobbs. When Gillick gets a mancrush on a bad player, he doesn’t let go.


73 Responses to “News and Notes”

  1. joser on April 11th, 2007 1:47 pm

    Actually, I think Bavasi has an easier excuse with Weaver than with C-Rex: “Arms were insanely expensive this past winter. We took a chance on what we thought was a bargain by those standards. It didn’t work out.”

    Now, that’s the PR spin, which overlooks certain facts: Beane could see the pitching market was going to be nuts but Bavasi was completely taken by surprise, and that going by his talent — and not his anomalous postseason — Weaver couldn’t be considered the best use of that money. But that’s the spin they can use, pitching is such a “fluky” thing they can make a better case for being caught by surprise by Weaver’s meltdown than they could be C-Rex’s.

  2. Evan on April 11th, 2007 2:03 pm

    It’s not Ichiro’s job to motivate the 24 other highly paid professional athletes on the team. They’re highly paid professional athletes – they can motivate themselves.

    Ichiro’s a slight dude. Crashing into walls is most certainly not something he should do.

  3. Gomez on April 11th, 2007 2:04 pm

    Actually, if DMZ’s just getting IV rehydration, he’ll probably check out of the hospital within a couple hours. He’s probably headed straight home for rest and recovery, but he’ll likely be out of the hospital in short order.

    I’m sure, given his current struggles to make ends meet, he doesn’t need a hospital bill for an impatient stay on top of the bill for IV rehydration anyway.

  4. Tek Jansen on April 11th, 2007 2:07 pm

    Shouldn’t Caple notice that Ichiro’s approach to baseball has kept him in the lineup every single day. Playing recklessly increases chances of injury and thereby decreases a player’s effectiveness and value. Is Aarron Rowand (sp?) a better player because he plays in a manner that constantly lands himself on the DL?

  5. No Rhubarb on April 11th, 2007 2:11 pm

    Weaver would have done as well as Lopez and Vargas had his World Series ring not gotten in the way.

  6. marbledog on April 11th, 2007 2:12 pm

    FYI, because Jim brought it up and you might be wondering, DMZ is alive and well and should be back home any time now. Hopefully he will rest for a few days. Severe dehydration is majorly sucky. However, he didn’t miss a beat in his marketing efforts. By the time he was done at the hospital, his nurse had gone online and read all of the Amazon reviews to his book, and I assume had ordered a dozen or so.

  7. Gomez on April 11th, 2007 2:13 pm

    I want to see four more starts apiece like that from Vargas and Lopez before I go saying ‘Yeah, shoulda got them instead.’ Lopez may turn out alright but I’m not sold on Vargas.

    Weaver was not a smart pickup, however, either way you slice it.

  8. Jeff Nye on April 11th, 2007 2:20 pm

    Ughg. Not another “Ichiro isn’t a leader” column.

    Ichiro’s job is to hit the baseball and to catch the baseball. Motivating the other players on the team is Hargrove’s job, not Ichiro’s.

    It’s just a cheap way for members of the media, who don’t like Ichiro being aloof with THEM and not recognizing their journalistic magnificence, to get back at him. And it’s disturbing to see people lap it up so eagerly.

    Another thing that is not Ichiro’s job is to coddle the egos of sportswriters.

  9. Zero Gravitas on April 11th, 2007 2:32 pm

    re: Caple.
    In 2006, Ichiro got on base 264 times (excluding Home Runs). He scored 110 runs overall, but hit 9 HRs so basically he was driven in by his teammates 101 times out of the 264 times he got on base (38% of the time). To reach Caple’s recommended “personal goal” of 120 runs, he would have to either hit more HRs (not his game), or his team would have to have driven him in over 45% of the times he got on base last year. Just as a comparison, the Yankees couldn’t even do that for Johnny Damon with Jeter, A-Rod, Sheffield, Giambi et al. hitting behind him (they drove him in 43% of the time). Ichiro would have had to get on base over 313 times to reach this goal last year. I think that’s putting a bit too much responsibility on Ichiro. His game is what it is, and it’s pretty awesome. Maybe if he hit more doubles he’d be that much easier to drive in (again by comparison, Damon hit 35 doubles last year to Ichiro’s 20), and maybe that’s something he could work on. But calling him out like this is ridiculous. Ichiro will give us 120 runs a year easily if the people behind him don’t hit like a steaming pile of crap. Unfortunately our #3 hitter this year is Jose Vidro.

  10. Evan on April 11th, 2007 3:13 pm

    Jose Vidro = steaming pile of crap

  11. hardball24 on April 11th, 2007 3:17 pm

    Jose Vidro

  12. big on April 11th, 2007 3:29 pm

    off topic: I am [deleted,off-topic]

  13. Tek Jansen on April 11th, 2007 3:30 pm

    Any chance that Vidro is as bad as Everett at the plate? I did not think that Vidro could sink to Everett depths, but after watching the first four games, it is possible.

    As for Garciaparra, I don’t think that the Braves and Mets should worry about the Phils.

  14. Spanky on April 11th, 2007 3:31 pm

    Continuation from #64: = $16 Million steaming pile of washed up ground ball crap

  15. Xteve X on April 11th, 2007 3:33 pm

    W/r/t Caple, ESPNs is the last place I tend to look for intelligent analysis, especially for West Coast teams … Caple’s a tool. If Ichiro actually did what Caple wants him to do and started calling out teammates and Hargrove in the press Caple would write an article about what a cancer Ichiro turned out to be.

  16. CouchGM on April 11th, 2007 3:36 pm

    So how much does it take to own the Aquasox anyway? Did Buhner and Rossi kick in a few thousand bucks or a few million? Personally I think it would be nice to be able to claim to be a part owner of a baseball club (even a minor league club) – so long as it doesn’t cost too much.

    This leads to a question I’ve had a long time. What does it take to start a minor league team somewhere. I’ve always dreamed of having a AA team in, say, Olympia area. AA’s my favorite level. Why are there no AA teams out here? Only A and AAA. And it’s only short season A. Is it just the weather?

  17. gwangung on April 11th, 2007 3:36 pm

    So it’s Ichiro’s responsibility to become more American to be a leader? And not the team’s responsibility to become more Japanese to follow Ichiro?

    Um, who’s puting up the better numbers? And isn’t it a truism that a bad team blames its stars for not doing more and not themselves for getting better people?

  18. Spanky on April 11th, 2007 3:46 pm

    As for Ichiro…I’m not complaining about his playing style. I think he plays hard and does things the right way. He might even take a few more chances in the right (playoff) situation.

    But what I’m saying is to take some vocal leadership on the team now rather than sitting back silently. Maybe he does and we just don’t hear about it. But for all his talk about passion for wanting to play on a winner…I’d sure like him to call out a few players of his own! For example:

    Leader: Derek Jeter and Jason Giambi (everyone knows this and sees it). I’ve seen these guys be vocal and call people out.
    Careful to say things the right way to protect his image: ARod

    Which does Ichiro more resemble?

    I understand I don’t know jack about what happens in the clubhouse and you’re right…I can only go off what I read. You can also say I don’t understand his culture and that’s not the way they do things. But, it just seemed to be a different Ichiro for the World Classic than we see day to day with the M’s.

  19. dw on April 11th, 2007 3:55 pm

    Why are there no AA teams out here? Only A and AAA.

    Well, let’s look at the names of the AA leagues:
    Southern League
    Eastern League
    Texas League

    And let’s look at the name of the short-season league out here:
    Northwest League

    I think you’ll find your answer in the names of these leagues.

  20. John D. on April 11th, 2007 4:00 pm

    Bidding for the Negotiating Rights to MATSUZAKA

    Art Thiel is right; not just for the reasons he states, but for another reason too.
    Even if we’d lost, had we submitted a reasonable bid–one of about the $30 million that many had thought would win–ICHIRO would have realized that the Mariners were serious about winning, and probably would have re-signed with them.
    Now, there is little chance of his re-signing with the Mariners.

  21. Red Apple on April 11th, 2007 4:33 pm

    Spanked! Nice going, Guillen.

  22. scraps on April 11th, 2007 4:33 pm

    Ichiro’s teammates appear to respect him immensely. The comparison to A-Rod doesn’t hold up.

    People say this kind of crap about every quiet great performer. They said it about Tim Duncan before he won championships. They’re saying it about Greg Oden now. It’s yet more of the human desire to reduce complicated human interactions to simple storylines and morals. The world doesn’t work that way. The Mariners don’t need Ichiro to be in anyone’s face; they need to be better.

    Remember when Jack Clark got in Tony Gwynn’s face and called him out for being selfish? That did a lot of good, didn’t it? Was Clark being a leader? I don’t think so.

  23. CouchGM on April 12th, 2007 11:39 am

    Why are there no AA teams out here? Only A and AAA.

    Well, let’s look at the names of the AA leagues:
    Southern League
    Eastern League
    Texas League

    And let’s look at the name of the short-season league out here:
    Northwest League

    I think you’ll find your answer in the names of these leagues.

    Okay. I’ll rephrase my question: Why is there not an AA league out West?

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