Random Notes

Dave · June 15, 2007 at 7:37 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Haven’t done of these in a while. So, on to the blurbs.

Daily Adam Jones Update: 3 for 5, double, steal. He still belongs in the Mariners line-up.

The M’s recalled Ryan Feierabend from Tacoma after the game last night, shipping Jake Woods back to Triple-A. Feierabend was already with the team in Chicago, as they flew him out Wednesday in case Miguel Batista wasn’t able to go deep in the game. Feierabend is expected to work out of the bullpen until the team finally throws Jeff Weaver overboard.

And, seriously, Jeff Weaver’s still not good. Results based analysis will tell you he calmed down and settled into a groove. It’s not true, though – we’ve talked about Weaver’s batting average on balls in play eventually regressing to the mean, and that’s what happened in innings 2 through 6. When you pitch to contact, sometimes guys will drive the ball and sometimes they won’t. It has a lot more to do with the hitter than the pitcher.

In case we weren’t sure, J.J. Putz has cemented himself as the best reliever in baseball. And, to boot, George Sherrill now has a great argument as the best LH reliever in baseball. Those two are lights out at the end of ballgames. Brandon Morrow, not so much.

The M’s should have already been looking forward to facing a bad Astros team this weekend. Well, that bad Astros team just got even worse – defensive wizard Adam Everett collided with Carlos Lee and predictably got the worst of it, breaking his leg, and is now on the DL for the next two months. Taking the best defensive player in the game off a team that was already going nowhere makes this an even easier series for the M’s. They really should take 2 of 3, and a sweep wouldn’t even be much of a challenge. Houston’s a bad baseball team.

I mentioned that Dan Fox was doing some really cool work with the advanced gameday data from MLB.com, and that he was going to have some great stuff about Felix shortly. The article I was referring to was published at BP yesterday. If you’re a subscriber, it’s required reading. If you’re not, here’s the basic summary – everything we’ve said in the Charting Felix series is demonstrably true, and Felix’s velocity and movement is significantly down from his opening day start against the A’s. The pitches just aren’t breaking like they did in his first start, and he’s not throwing as hard. It’s something to be concerned about, honestly.

Comments

181 Responses to “Random Notes”

  1. Carson on June 15th, 2007 7:47 am

    Yeah, I had a rough time convincing a few people not to feel bad for Weaver when the bullpen blew his first potential win of the year. He was still hit, and hit hard. I believe before the Cubs surged at the end, and the Mariners still had a one run lead, the Cubs were out hitting the M’s 10-3. Late in the game. Yet, luck doesn’t play a factor in baseball apparently..

  2. Otto on June 15th, 2007 7:52 am

    Any word if Hernandez injury is still lingering and that is causing the reduce in velocity?

  3. Dave on June 15th, 2007 8:05 am

    My guess is that he’s just not going full effort on most pitches, trying to keep the injury from recurring. He’s flashed 99 in each of the past few starts, so the velocity is still there when he needs it to be. But my assumption is that he’s coasting at 80% effort or so, trying to get through the games without endangering his arm by throwing max effort.

  4. msb on June 15th, 2007 8:16 am

    re: Morrow, Baker has some things to say today about his inning, with a good quote from Morrow when asked about perhaps being squeezed:

    “Yeah, borderline,” he said of a couple of the pitches. “But when you throw the other ones a foot and a half out of the strike zone, they don’t give you those. I mean, it doesn’t really matter.”

  5. VaBeachMarinersFan on June 15th, 2007 8:16 am

    Would the 80% effort be something he is doing on his own or is that coach induced?

    Is he going to reintroduce a little more each game until he feels back at 100 percent?

  6. Dylan on June 15th, 2007 8:31 am

    His stuff has looked progressively better since he has come back, in my opinion. It doesn’t surprise me at all that he isn’t throwing max effort. His loss of control would lead to him taking a little bit off to hit his spots. Add that to his injury and it makes sense. I just hope he’s not hurt.

  7. Tek Jansen on June 15th, 2007 8:32 am

    Sherrill is incredible. I hope he makes the all-star team. Yet I would guess that his chances are slim to none.

  8. Grizz on June 15th, 2007 8:34 am

    With Monday’s off day, Hargrove will skip Weaver’s next start, right? Right?

  9. drjeff on June 15th, 2007 8:46 am

    In a strange way, this injury to Felix summarizes one of the things I like best about baseball. Not that I would ever wish anything bad on Felix, and I hope that he recovers fully and pitches better than ever before. But, it’s always striking to me how quickly fortunes can change. A star pitcher goes down, someone presses through a slump, park effects influence the way a particular player does in a game. On a game-by-game, series-by-series basis, you get a chain of small surprises that can add up to unpredictable results.

    It’s a cliche, but you so often hear “wow, I’ve been around this game a long time, and I’ve never seen THAT.”

    I wonder how much that happens in other sports?

  10. sparky on June 15th, 2007 8:50 am

    “J.J. Putz has cemented himself as the best reliever in baseball”

    Not that I’m disagreeing with the statement, but, aside from saves (and maybe leverage of IP) Pat Neshek is awfully close.

    Also, when looking on Fangraphs a few stats popped out.

    -JJ’s BABIP is .170 this year (it was .320 last year).
    -His K/9 and K/BB are actually lower this year than last.
    -His LOB% is currently 100% (last year was 78.9)

    I know it’s a very small sample so far, but it’s kind of interesting.

  11. darrylzero on June 15th, 2007 8:52 am

    Dave, do you make much of Morrow’s velocity being a little down as well (at least according to Gameday)? On the one hand, it seems pretty obvious that something like this was going to happen eventually, considering how wild he’s been. But on the other hand, he only had one 93 mph pitch that I saw, and everything else was slower. Is that pretty normal for a reliever every once in a while, when they’ve been pitching a lot? Or is it a cause for concern?

    I really, really hope they call up Jones soon.

  12. williebfan on June 15th, 2007 8:54 am

    Didn’t I say that in the last game thread about Felix? Arm problems…still hurt…?

  13. Tek Jansen on June 15th, 2007 8:57 am

    Morrow might be tired, and his loss of control stems from trying to throw harder than he can at this moment.

  14. pumpkinhead on June 15th, 2007 9:04 am

    Well, this fits right in with random notes. This taken from ESPN- I thought it was rather humorous. It mentions quite a few upcoming items to be excited about this Summer, this among one of them.

    “In the Summer of Glove, we will get Buhner Buzz Cuts, crank up the grunge, wear old flannel (well, old flannel jerseys) and turn back the clock to the ’90s to welcome Ken Griffey Jr. back to Seattle for the first time since he was considered the best player in the game and our only worry was whether the Y2K bug would end civilization before he had a chance to lead the Mariners to the World Series. (And while we’re back in time, we will also see if we can exchange our Microsoft shares for Starbucks).”

  15. Seth on June 15th, 2007 9:08 am

    I hate everything.

  16. joser on June 15th, 2007 9:09 am

    So if Feierabend was already there how would they have used him in case Batista couldn’t go long? Woods would’ve come in for Batista and then they would’ve pulled this Woods-Feierabend flip before yesterday’s game instead of before today’s? , How often does this kind of thing happen, where a team on a roadtrip carries a 26th man for the bullpen and then juggles the roster to swap him in? I realize if they were at home I wouldn’t blink at the Tacoma shuttle, but this seems kind of unusual. (Of course, long roadtrips without off days are kind of unusual too).

  17. AuburnM on June 15th, 2007 9:10 am

    1. Bring up Jones to replace Ellison!

    2. Weaver may not be good, but with our lack of pitching depth we need him around – at least for awhile.

  18. Safeco Hobo on June 15th, 2007 9:13 am

    Please don’t bring up Jones to replace Ellison…I would rather have Jones hammering AAA pitching and getting reps then to have Grover play him once a week.

    If Jones comes up, somebody has to take a substantial reduction in AB’s…Vidro, Ibanez, Ichiro, or Guillen.

  19. darrylzero on June 15th, 2007 9:13 am

    #10, I’m also wondering if Nathan can really be considered to have been less-effective-enough to have given up the crown. One thing Nathan at least used to give the Twins a lot (though I don’t know if he still does) is a lot of 2 or even 3 inning appearances. That’s worth a lot.

    But I’m happy calling Putz “merely” no worse than any other reliever in baseball. If it’s a tie with a couple of guys from the Twins that I really like anyway, well, I can live with that.

  20. Safeco Hobo on June 15th, 2007 9:15 am

    Derek, hit on it earlier this week. As constructed, this roster does not lend itself very well at all for getting Jones ANY playing time until there is a major roster move…and there just doesn’t appear to be an easy fix.

  21. darrylzero on June 15th, 2007 9:17 am

    Hobo, yes, if he’s going to be a barely-used 4th OFer, that’s no good. But hopefully he’s gotten good enough now that even Hargrove couldn’t imagine not playing him. Maybe I’m riding the wave of his recent dominance a little too much, but I’m starting to feel that way.

    And how much more does he have to learn from hitting AAA pitching anyway? He’s murdering them. Can we really imagine that not playing every day, at this point, would really hurt his development that much? I say the ABs he did get against ML pitching would be more useful, though I don’t actually know anything about player development.

  22. Dave on June 15th, 2007 9:18 am

    Not that I’m disagreeing with the statement, but, aside from saves (and maybe leverage of IP) Pat Neshek is awfully close.

    This is a case where I think looking at situational results matters. J.J’s FIP is driven up by the fact that he’s given up 3 HR this year. However, look at the situations they came in.

    Up 5-3 with 2 outs in 9th inning, gives up solo HR to Mark Teixeira, M’s win 5-4.

    Down 4-2 with 2 outs in 9th inning, gives up solo HR to Matt Kata, M’s lose 5-2.

    Up 14-5 with 2 outs in the 9th inning, gives up solo HR to Ian Kinsler. M’s win 14-6.

    In three situations where he was clearly just throwing the ball over the plate, because allowing a HR had essentially no impact on the team’s chances of winning, he give up meaningless solo homers.

    When the game is on the line, he’s untouchable. There’s not a reliever on earth I’d rather have protecting a one run lead than J.J. Putz.

  23. bakomariner on June 15th, 2007 9:20 am

    Hobo- there is a VERY easy fix…bench Vidro…Rauuuuul at DH…Jones in left…doesn’t get more simple than that….

  24. marc w on June 15th, 2007 9:30 am

    As much as Pat Neshek has kicked ass this year, I’m with Dave. It’s not merely that Putz has pitched higher leverage innings, it’s that his role is such that he can’t avoid lefties; he can’t avoid managers PH’ing guys to get to his platoon ‘weakness.’
    Neshek came up as a RH specialist and was dominant in that role. Sort of like Sherrill, the Twins have used him a bit more flexibly, and he’s been great against lefties as well. But still, the majority of the batters he faces are righties, and if someone brought in a tough LHB, the Twins can always go down and get Reyes (or Nathan).
    Putz has faced more lefties than righties so far, and faced a fairly even split in 2006 and 2005.
    He’s also got a better WPA, though you could say that’s *because* he gets the high leverage innings. Of course, a blown save would really torpedo his WPA – more so than a lost lead in the 7th – but as JJ’s unilaterally decided not to blow saves anymore, that’s more of a hypothetical issue.

  25. sparky on June 15th, 2007 9:30 am

    #22, As I said, I see no reason to disagree with the assertion that he is the best this year. I guess I was mostly struck by the fact that, assuming I am interpreting the peripherals corretly, he was actually better last year. I’m wondering if the low BABIP and higher FIP are indicative of a little bit of luck.

    The situational stuff is interesting. Aside from looking at game logs, what is the best way to identify those types of situations? Has there been research that shows higher HR rates for pitchers (or even relievers in particular) when the lead is greater? If so, are such patterns similar across pitchers or are certain pitchers more likely to have a spike in HR rate (e.g., high strikeout pitchers, high FB% pitchers)?

  26. Evan on June 15th, 2007 9:32 am

    My guess is that he’s just not going full effort on most pitches, trying to keep the injury from recurring. He’s flashed 99 in each of the past few starts, so the velocity is still there when he needs it to be. But my assumption is that he’s coasting at 80% effort or so, trying to get through the games without endangering his arm by throwing max effort.

    And if he’d mix his pitches better, that could still work. If he can coast through games to make himself more durable, that’s a good thing. He could be the second coming of Christy Mathewson.

  27. Jim Thomsen on June 15th, 2007 9:37 am

    Dave, if you ran the Houston Astros, what would you do about the crawling embarrassment that is Craig Biggio?

  28. Dave on June 15th, 2007 9:42 am

    I guess I was mostly struck by the fact that, assuming I am interpreting the peripherals corretly, he was actually better last year. I’m wondering if the low BABIP and higher FIP are indicative of a little bit of luck.

    Last year, Putz had one of the great relief seasons in major league history. I think we all knew he wasn’t going to be that good again, but the fact that he’s been able to sustain a very high level of performance even while dropping off from a HOF level performance is impressive. He won’t keep stranding runners or preventing hits on balls in play at this rate, but he doesn’t need to – he’s completely dominating hitters, and he could get worse and still be the best reliever in baseball.

    Has there been research that shows higher HR rates for pitchers (or even relievers in particular) when the lead is greater? If so, are such patterns similar across pitchers or are certain pitchers more likely to have a spike in HR rate (e.g., high strikeout pitchers, high FB% pitchers)?

    I’m pretty sure I read an article a year or so ago that showed that HR rate with the bases empty was higher than we’d expect it to be if the base/out state didn’t have an impact on HR rate, implying that pitchers do indeed throw more get-over fastballs when there is no one on base.

    Dave, if you ran the Houston Astros, what would you do about the crawling embarrassment that is Craig Biggio?

    Let him get his 3,000 hits. They aren’t going anywhere this year anyways, and in a year where wins and losses aren’t going to make the difference between a playoff spot or not, giving a hall of famer who has spent his entire career with your franchise a chance to reach a milestone he badly wants is the right thing to do.

  29. Ralph Malph on June 15th, 2007 9:46 am

    Biggio is 15 hits away from 3000. Batting .230 that will take 65 AB — less than 3 weeks. I say you manipulate his playing time to make sure he gets there at home, have a big celebration, and then take him aside and have a heart to heart with him about retiring.

    The team’s going nowhere, he’s a fan favorite, and if he wants to stink it up the rest of the season before he retires, it’s not that big a deal anyway.

  30. Jim Thomsen on June 15th, 2007 9:50 am

    Did the Astros sacrifice this season on the altar of Biggio?

    Houston mystifies me. The team is absurdly loyal to three daily players who offer nothing on offense — Adam Everett, Brad Ausmus and Craig Biggio. (Only Everett has any defensive value.)

    And … what do you do about Brad Lidge?

  31. DMZ on June 15th, 2007 9:51 am

    Dudes, really, we had two threads yesterday that turned into “DL this guy, move this guy here, etc etc”. I think that that discussion’s better off there.

  32. bp in dc on June 15th, 2007 9:52 am

    RE: Brad Lidge

    Convince him that Albert Pujols isn’t under his bed or in his closet.

  33. Dave on June 15th, 2007 9:52 am

    Everett’s defense is so amazing that his non-offense doesn’t matter. He’s still a valuable player. Biggio, the loyalty is totally understandable. He’s their version of Edgar. Ausmus is just terrible.

    What can you do with Brad Lidge? Keep running him out there and hope he re-establishes some value by getting over his gopheritis.

  34. Jim Thomsen on June 15th, 2007 9:56 am

    With Biggio, though, I think it’ll be long-remembered that he got to 3,000 on his knees, long after he was even a marginally productive player. Is that really how he wants to get into the Hall of Fame? With no dignity whatsoever?

    What I’ve liked about the 3,000-hit threshhold in recent memory is that every player who’s gotten there in the last 15 years of so did so while they were still fairly decent.

  35. bakomariner on June 15th, 2007 9:58 am

    he’s not the player he was, but i wouldn’t say he has “no dignity whatsoever”

    he’s a hall-of-famer…

  36. Jim Thomsen on June 15th, 2007 10:01 am

    I just can’t see Edgar Martinez hijacking the Mariners to meet his personal goals.

  37. dnc on June 15th, 2007 10:07 am

    Dave, do we know anything about Edward Paredes? 20 year old lefty threw 5 shutout innings for Tacoma yesterday with 5 k’s and only 1 walk. It looks like that’s his first experience above the Venezuelan League. Is this an arm to keep an eye on, or was this one fluky appearance?

    http://www.minorleaguebaseball.com/milb/stats/stats.jsp?n=Paredes%2520&pos=P&sid=milb&t=p_pbp&pid=487675

  38. em on June 15th, 2007 10:08 am

    Edgar for the !!!HOF!!!

    Felix doesn’t concern me. In the long run, I think the injury will make the King far more effective at ruling his kingdom (use a soft touch when you can, lower the hammer when you have to).

    My big concern is Jones. At what point will management acknowledgment of Jone’s prowess become compulsory?

  39. em on June 15th, 2007 10:09 am

    err…Jones’

  40. robbbbbb on June 15th, 2007 10:09 am

    Edgar had a down season (for Edgar), where he was still a productive hitter, and called it quits. Edgar’s retirement from baseball is one of the more graceful exits from the game we’ve seen in recent years. I don’t know if that’s a fair comparison to anyone.

  41. Dave on June 15th, 2007 10:11 am

    Dave, do we know anything about Edward Paredes? 20 year old lefty threw 5 shutout innings for Tacoma yesterday with 5 k’s and only 1 walk. It looks like that’s his first experience above the Venezuelan League. Is this an arm to keep an eye on, or was this one fluky appearance?

    I asked Curto about him last night during the game – he said he’s a guy who throws stuff that moves and commands the strike zone. But, a general rule of thumb – whenever an organization is willing to use a guy as an emergency fill-in, they’re probably not much of a prospect. The fact that the M’s were willing to have Paredes make his stateside debut in Triple-A means that they’re not overly concerned with his development, at least not in the same way they are with Juan Carlos Ramirez or Chris Tillman.

  42. dw on June 15th, 2007 10:12 am

    I just can’t see Edgar Martinez hijacking the Mariners to meet his personal goals.

    OTOH….
    Edgar’s last season: .263/.342/.385
    Vidro 2007: .292/.346/.361

    And what did Edgar do in 2004? Hit his 300th homer and his 500th double.

    I hate to say it, but Edgar looks like he did what Biggio is doing. He was just a little more productive.

  43. em on June 15th, 2007 10:14 am

    How does comparing Edgar to Vidro make Edgar like Biggio?

  44. dw on June 15th, 2007 10:17 am

    Edgar wasn’t a productive DH his last year.

  45. dnc on June 15th, 2007 10:20 am

    dw, the difference is Edgar retired immediately after his first non productive year. Biggio was not productive last year, and is back for more.

    Dave – thanks for the synopsis on Paredes.

  46. Grizz on June 15th, 2007 10:23 am

    But Edgar was a productive DH in his second to last year, so he did not return for his final year just to pursue personal milestones.

    Edgar previous year: 294/406/489
    Edgar final year: 263/342/385

    Biggio hurt his team by playing last year, and this year is absolutely killing his team.

    Biggio previous year: 246/306/422
    Biggio current year: 230/275/385

    Edgar is not above scrutiny, but there is a huge difference between the end of Edgar’s career and the end of Biggio’s career.

  47. em on June 15th, 2007 10:25 am

    Nope, he wasn’t. BUT, I’d argue that Edgar’s last year was still legitimate (and superior to Vidro’s current pace). I don’t know if you can call Biggio’s hanging on as legitimate, although he has sported a .500 slugging percentage over the past 7 games.

  48. davepaisley on June 15th, 2007 10:25 am

    It’s not like Biggio is a total embarrassment. A .650 OPS is crappy, but hey, there are five qualifed MLB 2B under .700, and it’s not like .450 or something totally insane.

    And I think the Edgar-Vidro comparison was to point out that Edgar’s last season was as bad as we’re currently bitching about from Vidro. And it was painful watching him “run” for the last few years he played. Even Turbo isn’t that slow.

  49. AQ on June 15th, 2007 10:28 am

    “What I’ve liked about the 3,000-hit threshhold in recent memory is that every player who’s gotten there in the last 15 years of so did so while they were still fairly decent.”

    I could be wrong (I haven’t looked it up to double-check), but didn’t Wade Boggs get his 3000th hit as a Devil Ray? It seems to me that he wasn’t hitting .320 at the time when that occurred.. I think he had eroded down to about a .270 hitter by that time. Not as horrid as Biggio, but still..

  50. davepaisley on June 15th, 2007 10:29 am

    Comparing a DH to a 2B (albeit one with increasingly poor range) isn’t really fair now, is it?

    A .728 OPS for a 2B (Biggio last year) isn’t awful, even if the same player was once capable of much better.

    When you factor in that he’s Houston’s “Edgar Martinez”/”Cal Ripken” I think you cut them a bit of slack.

    Houston has a lot more problems than just Biggio.

  51. Jim Thomsen on June 15th, 2007 10:29 am

    I just don’t see how you can look at the last few years of Biggio’s career and conclude he’s anything other than a selfish bastard who has gotten his organization behind his selfishness. (Or is it the organization that’s being selfish for him?) If I were a Hall of Fame voter I’d have problems when Biggio becomes eligible because his career is so obviously padded with counting stats that it’s going to take a little doing to sort out how long he was a good player — and how good he was when he was good.

  52. em on June 15th, 2007 10:29 am

    A lefty with movement and command in the strikezone could mean just about anything. Is he Eric O’Flaherty, Ryan Feierabend, Travis Blackley (the good one), Jamie Moyer, or what? Does Parades have any velocity? And, what are the chances that the M’s think he is major league ready and want him to get a handfull of games in before he gets a call up?

  53. AQ on June 15th, 2007 10:30 am

    Ok, I just looked it up.. while Boggs did hit .301 in his last year (in which he got his 3000th hit), he put up a Vidro-esque .754 OPS.

  54. eponymous coward on June 15th, 2007 10:33 am

    Biggio was a good player not so long ago:

    2005: .264/.325/.468
    Pre-AS Break, 2006: .289/.345/.439

    This isn’t Pete Rose we’re discussing here, who, as a 1B after the age of 40, had exactly ZERO seasons where he OPS’ed better or equal to league average, including years that went .271/.345/.338, .245/.316/.286 and .219/.316/.270, where he clearly was a lousy player.

  55. dnc on June 15th, 2007 10:35 am

    Jim, I think you’re being way too hard on Biggio. I think it can be argued that he shouldn’t have come back for this season, but I don’t see how his “last few years” are questionable. The stats just don’t bear that out.

    Also, how do you know he’s only playing for his counting stats? Isn’t it just as likely he’s out there “for the love of the game” or because he’s deluded himself into believing he’s still helping his team win?

  56. eponymous coward on June 15th, 2007 10:42 am

    And if we’re going to rip players for staying in the game after their peak in pursuit of counting stats, not only do we have Pete Rose to point a finger at…

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/r/ripkeca01.shtml

    Basically, except for a half-season in 1999, Cal Ripken was nothing special as a hitter after age 30- and he was getting into All-Star games nonetheless.

    Shall we boot St. Cal from Hall of Fame consideration, too?

  57. em on June 15th, 2007 10:44 am

    News flash: Miguel Batista is our best K9 (5.79). Weird.

    Has anyone performed a statistical analysis of the impact Jones would have replacing Vidro in the lineup (Vidro is by far the most likely, and most necessary guy to go).

  58. em on June 15th, 2007 10:45 am

    The Biggio/Edgar discussion flamed out of relevance pretty quickly.

  59. Tek Jansen on June 15th, 2007 10:51 am

    #57 — Are you only counting pitchers who have enough innings to qualify for rate stats? Without even looking it up, I can safely assert that Felix has close to 9 K/9.

  60. eponymous coward on June 15th, 2007 10:54 am

    Also:

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/w/winfida01.shtml

    Dave Winfield had a 103 OPS as a DH the year he hit 3000 hits, then spent a couple of years being worse than that.

    Paul Molitor was pretty awesome hitting 3000…

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/m/molitpa01.shtml

    But he was pretty bad for two years after.

    Seems to me you get cut slack if you have a HOF career, and Biggio’s certainly had one. One other thing to consider evaluating him is he played his best years in the Astrodome, so his offense is understated. I think he falls into the Molitor/Yount class of players and gets in without a lot of trouble.

  61. Dave on June 15th, 2007 10:56 am

    A lefty with movement and command in the strikezone could mean just about anything. Is he Eric O’Flaherty, Ryan Feierabend, Travis Blackley (the good one), Jamie Moyer, or what? Does Parades have any velocity? And, what are the chances that the M’s think he is major league ready and want him to get a handfull of games in before he gets a call up?

    He’s 20 years old and his 5 innings last night were the first five he’s pitched in the U.S. He’s obviously not major league ready, and they have no intention of calling him up.

    To understand how the minor leagues work, major league teams are often raiding the Triple-A club, and the teams often find themselves in need of a player to help get them through with a thin roster. In this case, the M’s just took Ryan Feierabend and Jake Woods away from the Rainiers, and they were running low on arms. Paredes was chosen to fly up from Peoria to give the team another arm to eat some innings.

    He was chosen because he’s not a big time prospect. The organization doesn’t want to mess with promising young kids development by jerking them around from league to league whenever a team needs a fill-in.

  62. Jeff Sullivan on June 15th, 2007 11:02 am

    Based on WPA, Craig Biggio’s lost the Astros about three games so far this year at the plate. That’s really really bad, but 30-36 isn’t much better than 27-39, and it’s not like it’s Biggio’s fault that Berkman and Ensberg stopped hitting. Besides, he’s still a plus defender, according to UZR, so it’s not like he’s without value.

    The man hasn’t been a plus player for years, but “selfish”? Yeah, I’m not buying that.

  63. Jim Thomsen on June 15th, 2007 11:07 am

    Don’t forget that the M’s organization regularly signs boatloads of players out of the indy leagues every summer for this very purpose. For every Bobby Madritsch or George Sherrill or even Jeff Harris, there are nonentities like Tim Hyrnio, Byron Embry, Mike Bumstead, Brett Evert, Tim Rall and Mike Nannini.

  64. Jim Thomsen on June 15th, 2007 11:08 am

    Plus defender? Watch him play this weekend and see if you still believe that.

  65. Jim Thomsen on June 15th, 2007 11:11 am

    My favorite Indy league signing, if only for the name, is Andy Shibilo.

  66. dw on June 15th, 2007 11:17 am

    Comparing a DH to a 2B (albeit one with increasingly poor range) isn’t really fair now, is it?

    I would think it is, if you’re comparing position expectations. Only Josh Phelps was a worse DH in terms of OPS, and Phelps was DFA’d before the season was out.

    And honestly, Biggio’s not hurting anyone. He’s not blocking anyone in the system, he’ll be gone at the end of the year, and Houston is pretty much toast now.

    And that was Edgar’s position in 2004: No one to take his place, likely retiring at the end of the year, and Seattle was done before Memorial Day.

    Let Biggio get his hits, sell some tickets, and then sell more tickets to his retirement game. They don’t have a .300/.400/.500 2B or the next Ozzie Smith in Round Rock, so why dump him for someone who will allow to make up, at most, one game on the Brewers?

  67. dnc on June 15th, 2007 11:18 am

    64 – don’t we know better than to trust our eyes over the stats?

  68. dw on June 15th, 2007 11:22 am

    Shall we boot St. Cal from Hall of Fame consideration, too?

    Well, didn’t the streak prove his incredible selfishness?

    /sarcasm

  69. dnc on June 15th, 2007 11:24 am

    68 – lol.

    I’ve always hated the Cal hype.

  70. marc w on June 15th, 2007 11:27 am

    “He was chosen because he’s not a big time prospect. The organization doesn’t want to mess with promising young kids development by jerking them around from league to league whenever a team needs a fill-in.”

    To be fair, the M’s seem to do a lot more of this AAA fill-in stuff with good prospects than other orgs. Troy Cate got a game in AAA in 2003, like Ryan Ketchner did a year before, or Shawn Nottingham in 2004. Yeah, these guys weren’t exactly Felix, but they also were NOT org filler. These guys were mid-level pitching prospects. More recently, we’ve seen them do this with Austin Bibens-Dirkx, Emiliano Fruto, and Kyle Parker.
    I’m not saying Paredes is/isn’t a ‘spect, but they seem to treat these pitching fill-ins a bit differently than they do with the hitters, where a Dean Zorn or a Marquis Liverpool fills in for one game.

  71. bermanator on June 15th, 2007 11:31 am

    It’s hard for me to consider Biggio selfish for putting his own goals above his team’s when:

    1.) The team is terrible.
    2.) It’s not like there’s somebody younger and better waiting patiently for him to step aside.
    and
    3.) He’s not the one writing his name in the lineup.

    It’s not like Houston has Adam Jones in the minors waiting for Biggio to be benched so there can be enough lineup changes to give him a regular spot.

    Besides, calling him selfish assumes that he thinks he sucks but wants to play anyway. I doubt very much that that’s the case. Even Jeff Weaver goes to the mound confident that on that day, at that time, he’s the best option the team has at his position. It’s management’s job to make changes if that turns out not to be true.

  72. Dave on June 15th, 2007 11:37 am

    Ketchner, Cate, and Nottingham are organizational fillers, though. I know you like guys who put up good numbers in Tacoma, more than I do anyways, but those guys were never more than longshots to be a 12th man on a bad team.

  73. JH on June 15th, 2007 11:37 am

    Paredes spent two years as a reliever in the DSL, which as a general rule tells you everything you need to know about a guy. He has a lively fastball and little else. He doesn’t have a starter’s repertoire, he didn’t sign for a high bonus, and he isn’t projectable. Odds are he won’t sniff AAA again for a very long time, if at all. Nice performance by a guy the league had absolutely zero advance scouting on, but there’s nothing to see here except a potential LOOGY 3-4 years down the road.

  74. Gomez on June 15th, 2007 11:53 am

    I can’t believe the comments here about Biggio being selfish. C’mon guys, name one guy in the Astros org who absolutely should play at 2B over Biggio right now. Chris Burke? LOL.

    What difference does it honestly make? The Astros have far bigger problems than an over-the-hill Craig Biggio chasing 3000 hits. This is like debating how the dishes should be washed at a badly run restaurant.

  75. joser on June 15th, 2007 12:06 pm

    How many additional people will the Astros be able to lure to the ballpark as Biggio gets close to his milestone? How many more viewers? How many more Biggio jerseys sold? And how many more if the remainder of the season becomes his announced retirement tour? (What else is going to get people into Minute Maid for the last home game of this season?) And what would have been the alternative? Pushing him to retire before the season? Trading him? What would that have cost?

    For the Astros as an organization, already looking at a lost season anyway, it’s a completely defensible business decision, and could even be construed as putting the Astros ahead of Biggio.

  76. scraps on June 15th, 2007 12:13 pm

    I’m not going to judge any man for pursuing the thing he’s devoted his life to for as long as he can.

  77. Jim Thomsen on June 15th, 2007 12:23 pm

    I don’t understand the Biggio defenders. I thought major league baseball was for major league baseball players. Asking “what difference does it make” is short-sighted — what if the Astros had gotten a major-league-quality second baseman and leadoff hitter in the offseason? Maybe they’d be in contention today.

    I don’t fault Biggio for dragging out the corpse of his career as long as he can — players are notoriously the worst judges of their own abilities, as witnessed by the comparatively few times great players have retired while they’re still pretty good. Biggio is a typical myopic ballplayer in denial about his own disintegrating abilities, it would seem. That’s okay; I’m his age and I still have a hard time accepting that it’s harder for me to do now the things I could do at age 22.

    I do fault an organization that values artificial and empty milestones over trying to win every possible ballgame. Once you’ve stopped trying to win, what’s your purpose for existing?

    Craig Biggio is going to be a Hall of Famer. I don’t deny that. He would have been in the Hall had his career ended with 2,800 hits, though. What’s the point of getting to 3,000 when it does no credit to anyone and does nothing to help win ballgames?

    Baseball is entertainment as much as sport, yes. But you’re only successfully entertaining if you’re putting asses in the seats, and nothing puts asses in the seats like winning ballgames. How can losing ever be defensible?

  78. juneau_fan on June 15th, 2007 12:24 pm

    Is there any hope that anyone is management saw the reality of Weaver’s performance? It was an utter miracle that Cubs only scored three runs while he was out there–or their shitty play. It cannot be good to have your fielders running around like Little Leaguers out there at every swing of the bat. After a while it seemed as though the Cubs were targeting Ibanez in particular, as he did his wildly circling thing, which is when I find myself saying, ‘wwwwhhhhaaaa….wwwhhhaaa…wwwhhhaaa..whew!’

    The only question I have about Craig Biggio’s major league performance is, why, why, why does he wear that freakishly large batting helmet?

    And the origin of grit is explained on the offical site’s latest Willie lick: “One of life’s lessons that Bill Bloomquist taught all of his kids was to take effort to a higher level.

    Don’t just try hard, try harder.”

    “It bothers me when somebody beats me, or when somebody is better than me,” Willie said. “My old man developed that attitude in me, and it’s still there. When I was told that I would become a utility player, I decided that I would become the best utility player in the Major Leagues.”

  79. Dylan on June 15th, 2007 12:26 pm

    You’re knocking the guy for his work ethic? Really?

  80. msb on June 15th, 2007 12:27 pm

    J.J. Putz has cemented himself as the best reliever in baseball

    and a true gamer

  81. dnc on June 15th, 2007 12:28 pm

    “It bothers me when somebody beats me, or when somebody is better than me”

    Willie must hate life in the majors.

  82. scraps on June 15th, 2007 12:32 pm

    I don’t fault Biggio for dragging out the corpse of his career as long as he can

    I’m glad to hear that, because I thought you were calling him selfish. A “selfish bastard”, even.

  83. Jim Thomsen on June 15th, 2007 12:33 pm

    Yeah, well, I wrongly projected onto him the team’s warped view of him, I’ll admit that. I do wish Biggio had the self-awareness to realize he’s hurting his team and to walk away on his own, but a professional athlete’s ego rarely allows that. I’ve decided that’s a defensible human failing.

  84. joser on June 15th, 2007 12:35 pm

    I do fault an organization that values artificial and empty milestones over trying to win every possible ballgame. Once you’ve stopped trying to win, what’s your purpose for existing?

    If you’re an MLB team, your purpose for existing is to make money. Every year, and especially when the team is sold to the next owners. Of course, if you can fool people into thinking you have some other purpose — like trying to win — and that earns you more money, so much the better. The day a team loses so many games for so long that it is sold for a loss is the day losing becomes indefensible. Until then, maximizing ROI doesn’t necessarily mean maximizing wins.

  85. Dave on June 15th, 2007 12:35 pm

    I do fault an organization that values artificial and empty milestones over trying to win every possible ballgame. Once you’ve stopped trying to win, what’s your purpose for existing?

    Not every team can win every year. That doesn’t mean you give your fans the finger and stop giving them a reason to come to the park.

    The Mariners sucked for the entirity of my childhood. But I have some awesome memories of going to the Kingdome, including watching Alvin Davis collect his 1,000th career hit. Is 1,000 hits really anything special? No, obviously not. Did it mean something to my attachment to the organization? Absolutely.

    Part of the reason USSM exists is because the M’s were able to create an emotional attachment to me as a child despite having awful teams who weren’t winning games.

    I think you’re just way off base in regards to Biggio, Jim. When people talk about statheads missing the rest of what makes baseball great, this is the kind of argument they’re talking about.

  86. joser on June 15th, 2007 12:36 pm

    Anyway, to try to get the conversation back from the bowels of Biggio’s career:

    What’s the matchup tonight look like? Wandy Rodriguez (Wandy? Wan-Rod?) Looks like a fairly average pitcher who doesn’t strand a lot of runners, but this year has seen significant improvement in both his BB and K rate — better command? His flyball rate has gone up as well, so is he just getting more fastballs over the plate?

    His best comparable is Wayne LaMaster? He’s a lefty who seems to get hit the same by LH or RH hitters, though it appears that’s because he actually has gotten significantly worse against LH and better against RH this season; not sure what that means, but it sounds like a good opportunity for Raul to continue finding his power stroke.

  87. Jim Thomsen on June 15th, 2007 12:37 pm

    I finally got around to reading Dan Fox’s BP article … and, wow. This should be required Rafael Chaves reading. It seems more clear than ever that Felix should be using his fastball — particularly his four-seamer — much less to be effective. Especially when he can’t or won’t get maximum giddy-up on it.

  88. terrybenish on June 15th, 2007 12:39 pm

    Jim, did you cover Biggio, somewhere along the line in Houston or during his minor league time?

  89. Gomez on June 15th, 2007 12:43 pm

    This season, Wandy’s overcome the disadvantage of being a lefthanded pitcher whose home games are in a park where RHBs have the advantage of a very short porch… to post a halfway decent season so far, keeping walks way down while striking out about a batter per inning. It’s interesting to me how he’s been able to find the zone and cut way down on his walks without getting destroyed.

  90. bermanator on June 15th, 2007 12:44 pm

    I agree with Dave. On a practical level, you can’t piss all over your fanbase in a season that’s gone horribly wrong by benching the future Hall of Famer and the face of the franchise for a marginal upgrade that isn’t a long-term solution.

    The ideal would be for Biggio to get his 3,000th hit, for the Astros then to trade Lidge or someone for their 2B of the future (if such a player is available; Jose Vidro doesn’t qualify), and then to start that transition while the team is playing out the string. He could take his farewell tour over the final couple of months of the season, and the Astros organization could prepare to move on.

  91. Jim Thomsen on June 15th, 2007 12:44 pm

    I guess we’ll have to agree to disagree, Dave. I love the M’s wholeheartedly through their first 15 years of abject suckitude, and “milestones” had nothing to do with it. My irrational fandom was based on the belief that as bad as the team and the organization was, they were still honestly trying to find ways to win.

    That, and it was fun to develop absurd attachments to bad ballplayers. When I was in high school in the early 80s, a few friends and I formed “The Dan Firova Fan Club” and called the J. Michael Kenyon show on KVI (the only Seattle sports-talk station) in those days to make a good-natured, humorous lobbying effort to get Firova more playing time.

    I think it was based on the fact that Firova had only four fingers on his throwing hand.

    But things like Gaylord Perry’s 300 wins and Alvin Davis’ 1,000 hits? Those didn’t even register with me because they didn’t seem very organic. I always tuned out on the organizations’ attempts to hustle me with artificial injections of false fervor. Signing World Series “hero” Milt Wilcox and faded Brewer slugger Gorman Thomas? Even as an idiot teenage fan, I saw right through those.

    If Ichiro gets 3,000 hits in a Mariner uniform, that’ll be nice. But it’ll hardly be a defining moment in my Mariner fandom. Because, really … what does it mean?

  92. Jim Thomsen on June 15th, 2007 12:46 pm

    #88: Nope.

  93. Dave on June 15th, 2007 12:47 pm

    I think you might want to consider that you’re in the minority on this one, Jim. To the average fan, especially kids, milestones are extremely cool. Everyone wants to be a part of history.

  94. scraps on June 15th, 2007 12:47 pm

    It’s too bad the Seattle fans don’t get to see Everett this series. You don’t often get the chance to see a best-of-generation defender in his prime. One unfortunate side of Houston’s collapse is that Everett still isn’t famous, and defense peaks early.

  95. dw on June 15th, 2007 12:50 pm

    I’ll admit that. I do wish Biggio had the self-awareness to realize he’s hurting his team and to walk away on his own

    Let’s come back to that one more time.

    Round Rock’s 2B is 27 year old Brooks Konrad. He’s hitting .223/.324/.417 there. You really think that’s an improvement over Biggio?

    Don’t like that option? There’s 32 year old utility guy and current SS Danny Klassen, who has 85 games and 287 PAs in the Show and hasn’t appeared in the majors since 2003. He’s hitting .310/.357/.456 in AAA, but also has a career MLB line of .226/.289/.341.

    As a reminder, Biggio is hitting .230/.275/.385.

    I don’t think either of these guys is going to lift the Astros into contention any more than Biggio can.

  96. Dave on June 15th, 2007 12:51 pm

    I think, when we look back in 50 years, the fact that Adam Everett has never won a gold glove will be the most unbelievable thing about this entire generation of baseball.

    The guy is the best defensive player since Ozzie Smith, and probably one of the 5-10 best defensive players of all time. And he’s never won a gold glove. It’s ridiculous and amazing at the same time.

  97. Jim Thomsen on June 15th, 2007 12:53 pm

    #96: Because they insist you be able to hit, too. Ridiculous, but they never like to give awards like that to such obviously imbalanced players.

  98. Jim Thomsen on June 15th, 2007 12:53 pm

    #95: Again, why didn’t the Astros deal with their second base/leadoff hitter problem in the offseason?

  99. Grizz on June 15th, 2007 12:53 pm

    Jim, you are not alone. And it is not because I am the only other one who remembers the J. Michael Kenyon show.

    I don’t think anyone was arguing that Biggio does not deserve consideration for the Hall of Fame, or that Biggio is the reason that the Astros will miss the playoffs, or that there were no worse offenders than Biggio in terms of a HOF-caliber player hanging on too long.

    It is a fair criticism, however, that Biggio’s crawl to 3000 hits comes as a below replacement-level hitter that tarnishes that achievement to some extent – an asterisk, if you will. Regardless of the Astros’ complicity in the matter, Biggio is hurting his team (albeit a team going nowhere) in order to get to 3000 hits. It is not quite as bad as when the high school kid with the broken leg is allowed to score one last time to set a record, but it certainly comes to mind.

    Biggio deserves to the make the Hall based on his other credentials, but the mere fact he reached 3000 hits should not be an automatic basis for his admission.

  100. Tek Jansen on June 15th, 2007 12:54 pm

    GG might be the most irrelevant award. It is obvious that the voters (GG voters are the managers, correct?) care far more about reputation and hitting and put absolutely no effort into actually deciphering who is the best defensive player at a particular position.

  101. msb on June 15th, 2007 1:01 pm

    #100– R. Palmiero, GG after a season where he played only 28 games in the field.

  102. scraps on June 15th, 2007 1:01 pm

    The decline phase is a normal part of a player’s career. I don’t think anything is tarnished by reaching a milestone at the very end of a career, at the very edge of beingable to hang on in the game. Biggio is not worse than the available alternatives, and he’s not the worst player in the game, nor the worst starting second baseman. It is not remotely analogous to the kid with the broken leg.

  103. bermanator on June 15th, 2007 1:03 pm

    #99-

    It’s a fair criticism, except for the fact that all available options within the organization are likely to be below that below replacement-level hitter.

  104. Jim Thomsen on June 15th, 2007 1:07 pm

    #96: I just took a look at the career of the late Mark Belanger, the no-hit shortstop who won eight Gold Gloves in his career.

    It seems clear that he was punished for his worst-hitting years by having the Gold Glove withheld from him. For instance, Belanger won every year between 1969 and 1978 except for 1970 and 1972.

    In 1969, Belanger hit .287. He won the Gold Glove.

    In 1970, Belanger hit . 218. No Gold Glove.

    In 1971, Belanger hit .266. Gold Glove.

    In 1972, he hit .186. No Gold Glove.

    From 1973 to 1975, he hit either .226 or .225, but by that time, a) his defensive-wizard reputation had been established; and b) no-hit, no-power shortstops became the norm in baseball.

    Regular SSes in 1973 included Don Kessinger (.250), Eddie Leon (.228), Ed Brinkman (.237), Roger Metzger (.250), Freddie Patek (.234), Rudy Meoli (.223) and Tim Johnson (.213).

  105. Sammy on June 15th, 2007 1:07 pm

    Adam Everett is the only reason I was excited to watch this series.

  106. MarinerDan on June 15th, 2007 1:08 pm

    105 — Really?

    What about Felix against Wandy? What about Carlos Lee and Lance Berkman?

  107. Tek Jansen on June 15th, 2007 1:11 pm

    Carlos Lee does not excite me.

  108. msb on June 15th, 2007 1:14 pm

    Carlos Lee does not excite me.

    especially after he squashed Adam Everett like a bug.

    what’s the deal with Berkman this season, I ask, mostly rhetorically…

  109. Gomez on June 15th, 2007 1:18 pm

    I am also curious about Berkman. Could it be that he’s one of the few remaining threats not named Carlos Lee in the Astros lineup and thus pitchers are working around him and giving him nothing?

  110. Adam on June 15th, 2007 1:19 pm

    #98: Who says they would have? You can’t go look back into the past and play “what-if” games. There is a similar chance that they wouldn’t have gotten a productive second basemen if Biggio retired. Automatically assuming they would have gotten a solid 2B/Leadoff hitter is silly.

    #99: How does it tarnish the achievement? Biggio is far from the first player to achieve a milestone in this matter. Several members of the 3,000 hit club were unproductive or injury-prone when they made it.

  111. feingarden on June 15th, 2007 1:22 pm

    #63 – This is a random notes thread, so maybe this won’t get deleted for being OT, but here’s a recent press release from the Winnipeg Goldeyes re: Madritsch. Note that it is over a month old.

    “May 12, 2007

    Madritsch Facing Surgery

    Results from an MRI indicate Goldeyes starter Bobby Madritsch will need surgery.

    Madritsch dislocated his left shoulder last Sunday while pitching in St. Paul. He was examined and released that day from Regions Hospital in St. Paul and further examined this week in Winnipeg. He underwent an MRI that revealed he had torn his labrum.

    The game last weekend was the first time Madritsch had pitched in more than two years, dating back to 2005 when he hurt his shoulder on April 6 while playing for Seattle. He had surgery that October and had spent the time since recovering and getting his shoulder back in shape.

    Details of when and where the surgery takes place and who the performing surgeon will be are pending. As this information becomes known, it will be made available to the media and via the team’s website.”

    Despite the last sentence, this is the last I’ve heard of him. Poor guy, you gotta feel sorry for him.

  112. Karen on June 15th, 2007 1:24 pm

    #51 (and to answer #55, also) Jim Thomsen Says: I just don’t see how you can look at the last few years of Biggio’s career and conclude he’s anything other than a selfish bastard who has gotten his organization behind his selfishness. (Or is it the organization that’s being selfish for him?) [...]

    One last shot at Biggio… :)

    I’m with Jim Thomsen. Although I really don’t care if he’s selfish now, but I thought he was a selfish bastard when he resisted a move from catcher back in 1990.

    Biggio was average in competency, but hardheaded; the pitchers didn’t like pitching to him. The Astros got a competent although extremely rusty (15 ABs in 2+ months) demoted-from-#1-catcher replacement in a trade with the Red Sox, but never gave the guy a chance.

    That guy was on the bench permanently after a couple of weeks because Biggio wanted back behind the plate instead of playing 2B or the outfield. But by 1992 someone convinced Biggio 2B would suit his skills better and give his career some longevity. The other catcher was long gone, but they brought up Scott Servais and acquired Eddie Taubensee to platoon.

    And the rest is history.

    As for that “freakishly large batting helmet”, juneau_fan, it’s that large because there’s 19 years of pine tar on it… :)

  113. dw on June 15th, 2007 1:34 pm

    #95: Again, why didn’t the Astros deal with their second base/leadoff hitter problem in the offseason?

    Because you don’t want to piss off your fanbase by making a move that wouldn’t help you all that much?

    Here were the available 2B free agents in the offseason that, in the end, didn’t sign with their original team:
    Counsell
    DeRosa
    Easley
    M. Giles
    Kennedy

    Giles wasn’t going to play in Houston. Easley is hitting .263 in a bench role, but he’s also 36. Counsell is getting on-base more than Biggio (.237/.348/.321). Kennedy is suck-o-licious with the bat this year and was already showing signs of decline.

    That leaves DeRosa, who fell off of last year’s pace but is still hitting pretty well (.274/.356/.447). He might be worth something in the win column, but the Astros would have had to beat a 3/13 deal from the Cubs to get him.

    As for players who re-signed with their own team, there’s Ray Durham, who has a 2/14 with SF. Otherwise… Aaron Miles? Kaz Matsui? Jose Valentin?

    Really, it was Biggio or DeRosa. And that’s an easy decision to make.

    I guess they could trade, but wasn’t the only 2b that changed hands this year Jose Vidro? Please tell me how on his knees he could play defense better than a 41 year old Biggio — and at a price far higher than Biggio’s $5M.

    Even before you add in the “don’t piss off your fanbase who still remember when you traded Joe Morgan” factor, retaining Biggio makes sense.

  114. dnc on June 15th, 2007 1:40 pm

    113 – the voice of reason.

  115. dw on June 15th, 2007 1:47 pm

    The Astros got a competent although extremely rusty (15 ABs in 2+ months) demoted-from-#1-catcher replacement in a trade with the Red Sox, but never gave the guy a chance.

    Rich Gedman at that point hadn’t been the #1 catcher in Boston in four years and was 30. I’d take 1990 Gedman over 1990 Biggio.

  116. edpellon on June 15th, 2007 1:48 pm

    113 – amen

  117. Dave on June 15th, 2007 1:49 pm

    I am also curious about Berkman. Could it be that he’s one of the few remaining threats not named Carlos Lee in the Astros lineup and thus pitchers are working around him and giving him nothing?

    Probably not. His walkrate’s the same, his strikeout rate is only marginally higher, and the protection theory is generally bunk anyways.

    There are two main changes in Berkman’s line – his GB% is 8% higher than last year, and conversely, his FB% is 8% lower. Basically, some of the balls he hit in the air last year are going on the ground this year. That leads to more singles, less extra base hits.

    His HR/FB rate has also dropped to 14%, the lowest rate he’s posted in the last 5 years. Considering that there aren’t any real reasons to think that he’s lost his power, this is probably going to regress back towards 20%.

    But the combination of less flyballs and those flyballs not going so far have driven his power through the floor. Unless he’s hurt, these likely aren’t long term concerns, and he’ll probably go back to destroying the ball in the second half.

  118. Churchill on June 15th, 2007 1:50 pm

    Here’s another number that backs up the whole “Felix is trying to stave off injury” theory:

    Pre-Injury –

    2.53 sliders per inning

    Post-Injury -

    1.10 sliders per inning

  119. Dave on June 15th, 2007 1:56 pm

    Hmm. That actually goes counter to what the gameday data shows.

    On opening day, he threw 20 sliders out of 102 pitches – 19.6%
    In three “gameday” starts since returning from injury, he’s thrown 72 sliders out of 308 pitches – 23.3%

  120. dw on June 15th, 2007 1:56 pm

    At the end of the day, the one person who could have pushed Biggio into retirement, besides Biggio, was Chris Burke. But he just hasn’t hit well enough to force his way into the lineup, and now that Pence is rapidly being ensconced in CF, the Astros are dangling him out there as trade bait.

  121. Grizz on June 15th, 2007 2:01 pm

    Really, it was Biggio or DeRosa.

    No, not really. Free agency is not the only means to acquire players. Giles was available for a bag of balls before the Braves non-tendered him. Brendan Harris was DFA’d by the Reds. The Astros signed Mark Loretta and could have spent Biggio’s $5 million to upgrade elsewhere.

    What the Astros and Biggio are doing is certainly understandable. Loyalty is admirable. But the 3000 hit milestone itself (not Biggio’s entire career) is cheapened because it will basically be the result of a publicity stunt. He is done as a major league player, and 29 other teams would have put him out to pasture. Too bad Fred McGriff was not a lifelong Astro, or else he would have reached 500 HRs.

  122. Sammy on June 15th, 2007 2:06 pm

    106. Yes, really.

    In the interests of time and sanity, I limit my baseball viewing to M’s games exclusively, so I was looking forward to watching a true marvel with the glove for an entire series.

  123. RussM on June 15th, 2007 2:08 pm

    #85 – Dave, I was also at that AD 1000th hit game. Another game that I went to that brings back great memories was the first father/son game with the Griffeys. Did Senior make an impact on the field for the M’s? Not really. But I remember that father/son thing to be HUGE back then, and moments like that were far and few in between for the Mariners.

    If the most excited that you get about your team in a 10-year span is when they sign Kevin Mitchell, you have to have moments like that.

    It’s good to know that “statheads” don’t forget that there’s a sentimental factor that keeps this great game great. Let the Astros fans have their moment with Biggio and then move on!!!

  124. scraps on June 15th, 2007 2:11 pm

    He is done as a major league player, and 29 other teams would have put him out to pasture.

    Neither of these things is true. He is done as a star, and he’s done as a good player, but he’s not done as a major leaguer. I repeat, he is not the worst starting second baseman in baseball right now. He’s bad, but he’s bad within the range of major league starters.

  125. Sammy on June 15th, 2007 2:24 pm

    Re: Biggio

    I could see all the consternation being justified if this had been his third full year as a replacement level player, but Biggio’s bat didn’t really fall off until after the All-Star break of last year. I can’t believe what I’m hearing. You guys think a marginal improvement in the W’s column when your team has no chance is better for the team and the fans than giving your future Hall of Famer – who’s been on your team since 1988 – one last year to come back and reach a personal milestone?

    What if Edgar was 70 hits away from 3000 at the end of 2003 and the M’s cut him for his poor 2nd half? Can you imagine the wrath the organization would have incurred?

  126. dw on June 15th, 2007 2:26 pm

    Giles was available for a bag of balls before the Braves non-tendered him.

    Giles was going to play with his brother. That was a given.

    Brendan Harris was DFA’d by the Reds.

    Harris was dealt to the Reds because he couldn’t push past Jose Vidro or convince management he was better than that real waste of space, Cristian Guzman. His blossoming in Tampa is a shock.

    The Astros signed Mark Loretta and could have spent Biggio’s $5 million to upgrade elsewhere.

    That’s true, but what would they spend it on? They needed pitching, but a market where Jeff Weaver got $8M, what would $5M get you?

    At the end of the day, the Astros spent $5M on courtesy and fan goodwill. The other options weren’t much better, and the ticket-buying blue collar fans value things like loyalty and showing up every day. I have friends who are still pissed the Phils dumped Dale Murphy… in 1992.

  127. Benno on June 15th, 2007 2:28 pm

    Any word on how hard Weaver was pitching yesterday? I heard 88-89 early on, and then someone mentioned 91. Any way to get consistant information? I couldn’t get away from the office, and I really didn’t feel the need with Weaver tossing underhand. Unfortunately, it looks like Weaver gets another start, and the talk becomes how he is making the adjustments to overcome his horrid start of the season. 10 hits, with 4 extra base hits does not inspire any confidence.

  128. jdam on June 15th, 2007 2:28 pm

    Can we be done tearing down a future HOF’er because he wants to play baseball as long as he can? I guess I’m just missing where all this animosity is coming from. I live in Houston (and will be watching Felix tonight) and can tell you that there aren’t a lot of great reasons to go to the games, but pulling for Biggio to reach 3000 is bringing together a lot more fans than would otherwise pay attention this season.

  129. msb on June 15th, 2007 2:35 pm

    well, maybe not just a bag of balls; the Braves waited until 9 hours before the deadline to non-tender him, still hoping for an offer they liked. Once he was a free agent he apparently had two firm offers & some other inquiries — not that (as mentioned above) he was likely to take anything but the Pads’ offer

  130. msb on June 15th, 2007 2:39 pm

    hmph. well, I messed up the quote/reply in #129 nicely.

    The battle for All Star catcher is too darned close.

  131. terrybenish on June 15th, 2007 2:43 pm

    112

    Rich Gedman was done in 1990, in fact he was done three years before that.

    87 OPS of .483, 88 .599, 89.504. He could not hit breaking stuff at all.

    Biggio played 54 games in the outfield in 90 and no 2b. In 91 he played 3 games at 2b.

    He wasn’t asked to move to 2b until the winter after the 91 season.

    He’s not only not selfish, but one of the hardest working guys in baseball.

  132. Mr. Egaas on June 15th, 2007 2:45 pm

    How good would Adam Jones look in the 2 hole of the M’s lineup.

    Needs to happen by the end of the month.

  133. Anna11 on June 15th, 2007 2:52 pm

    #111 — I do feel sorry for Madritsch. I saw his first win. He was good. Too bad about the injury.

    Here’s a random note I found about Hargrove. It’s from the P-I. It’s pretty interesting. http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/baseball/319930_kolloen15.html

    Hargrove does seem to be managing better under pressure. I don’t think he should be Manager of the Year by any means, but he is getting better. It’s Bavasi who has to go.

  134. dw on June 15th, 2007 2:54 pm

    Needs to happen by the end of the month.

    Then start praying for God to tell Kenny Williams that Vidro is the future of the White Sox franchise and that he should offer Buerhle and a large mound of cash to the M’s for him.

    (Even then, Bavasi would probably reject it unless they get Thornton back or something.)

  135. Gomez on June 15th, 2007 2:54 pm

    What the Astros and Biggio are doing is certainly understandable. Loyalty is admirable. But the 3000 hit milestone itself (not Biggio’s entire career) is cheapened because it will basically be the result of a publicity stunt.

    He still has to step in the box and actually get those hits against big league pitchers. No one’s going to hand those last 70 hits to him, just like no one handed him those first 2930. How is that cheap? If he has no business playing big league baseball, wouldn’t he look absolutely hopeless against big league pitching? Wouldn’t he be lead-socks at 2nd? I strongly recall a web gem I saw last week where he made a sprawling snare of a worm-burner, popped to his feet and got the runner by a step. Yeah, clearly, he’s done as a useful player.

    Some of Willie Mays’ 660 HRs came during that last horrible year with the Mets. Some of Pete Rose’s 4200+ hits came as he kept penciling himself into the Reds lineup long after he was an effective hitter. And Cal kept playing consecutive games despite fading as a player overall.

    In the end, Phil Garner has to pencil someone in to play 2nd. And Danny Klassen and Chris Burke are hardly such superior options, in terms of production or drawing power, that it’s worth punting a fan favorite like Biggio, someone who can actually put butts in seats to see a mediocre ballclub get jobbed to the rest of the NL Central.

    I’m no real Biggio fan, nor do I have all that much of an interest in seeing him get 3000 hits, but this impormptu anti-Biggio crusade is becoming as absurd as the trade-Ichiro threads. What is so wrong with Craig Biggio that the Astros playing him at 2nd is such a detriment to their welfare as an organization?

  136. Anna11 on June 15th, 2007 3:03 pm

    #130 — Agreed. Pudge Rodriguez is one of my favorite players. Over on Drayer’s blog, somebody ask her to tell the story of why she likes Pudge Rodriguez and you’ll find out why. The guy is an all-around All Star.
    But Kenji’s having one helluva season. So is Posada. Kenji deserves to go to the All Star game. Realistically, based on the “each team gets one player” rule (which is absolutely ridiculous, in my opinion), Posada probably won’t go if Pudge gets in. There always are Yankees on the All Star team. By that logic, I doubt Kenji will go either.

  137. Cynical Optimist on June 15th, 2007 3:09 pm

    Wow, this Biggio thing really has legs.

    But unless I’m mistaken, the choice wasn’t between Biggio and a free agent 2B, it was between Biggio and in-house alternative Chris Burke.

    The Astros felt Burke had earned his shot at a starting position, and because 2B (his natural position) was taken, they forced him into a bad fit in CF (in turn forcing Pence back to AAA). The plan seemed to be (some speculation required) that Burke would patrol CF until Biggio got the record, at which point Burke would shift to 2B, Hunter Pence would be called up to play CF, and Biggio would get the occasional mercy start and retire at the end of the year.

    Burke’s trial at CF was short because he hit .245/.345/.363 over 102 at-bats. Maybe that’s too small a sample size and maybe Burke would have hit better at 2B without the defensive pressures of CF hanging over him. Maybe he had a short rope because of the display Hunter Pence put on in spring training. I don’t know. But given the other imperatives of running a ballclub, it’s hard to want to scorch the Astros too bad here for refusing to throw a fan favorite and future Hall of Famer overboard for a marginal 27-year-old even if that decision was made at the cost of the team on the field.

    The real sin (IMHO) would have been forcing a real prospect like Hunter Pence to remain at AAA. That didn’t happen, so, here we are.

  138. Anna11 on June 15th, 2007 3:09 pm

    Someone posted exerpts from this on Baker’s blog. Earth to Larry Dobrow — Hargrove already received a contract extension.

    http://sportsline.com/mlb/story/10224760

    Sad to say it, but I think he might be right. If the franchise wants to build for the future, then Bavasi has to go. I have mixed feelings about Hargrove. (Maybe he can stay, as long as he’s constantly managing under pressure. Somebody give him a permanent panicky feeling, and we’re fine.) If the Mariners keep winning and say, barely miss the playoffs, we could be stuck with Bavasi for a while. Very few of his big signings have really paid off. And it seems to be the guys from the farm teams — Putz, Sherrill, etc — who have made the bullpen what it is today. Those arms were probably in the M’s system before Bavasi even got hired.

  139. Grizz on June 15th, 2007 3:11 pm

    Neither of these things is true.

    Name a team that would trade its regular 2B (not some backup forced into playing time) for Biggio.

    Giles was going to play with his brother. That was a given.

    Not if he was contractually obligated to play for Houston. Giles was still under team control with the Braves, so if the Braves had traded him instead of non-tendering him, Giles had no choice.

    His blossoming in Tampa is a shock.

    Harris is a former decent prospect with good minor league numbers who never really got a shot in the majors before this year. The point is that there is decent talent like Harris freely available, so the Astros were not confined to a Biggio or DeRosa choice at 2B.

    If he has no business playing big league baseball, wouldn’t he look absolutely hopeless against big league pitching?

    His line of 230/275/385 certainly suggests so, and is very similar to 231/299/385, Bret Boone’s final line with the M’s.

    someone who can actually put butts in seats to see a mediocre ballclub

    You mean like some sort of publicity stunt?

  140. msb on June 15th, 2007 3:18 pm

    #138– IIRC, Putz was drafted by Mattox under Gillick and Sherrill was scouted out of the Independent league by Charlie Kerfeld under Bavasi.

  141. Sammy on June 15th, 2007 3:24 pm

    139.

    Okay. Fine. It’s a “publicity stunt.” That doesn’t mean it’s not the right move. Cutting your HoF 2nd baseman half a year after his bat fell off when he’s 70 hits away from a huge milestone and your team is well out of contention? What a giant finger to the fans and your players.

  142. Thom Jimsen on June 15th, 2007 3:25 pm

    No, a giant finger to the fans and players is putting other goals ahead of trying to win ballagmes. Fans and players love nothing more than winning, and winning ballplayers.

  143. scraps on June 15th, 2007 3:32 pm

    I think it’s a good thing that many fans and players recognize that there are other priorities than winning, and that every once in a while trading a few games in a season for something else is worth doing. I am not so cold-blooded that I wouldn’t be cheering for Biggio if I’d grown up an Astros fan, even if Houston was anywhere near contention.

  144. thewyrm on June 15th, 2007 3:35 pm

    Dave, we need to make sure we archive this thread where it can never be lost. I want to have the proof to show everyone giving Biggio a hard time for wanting 3,000 hits their hypocrisy when just like the rest of us they will be crying like schoolgirls in 2017 when Ichiro collects his 3,000th.

  145. scraps on June 15th, 2007 3:37 pm

    No, a giant finger to the fans and players is putting other goals ahead of trying to win ballagmes. Fans and players love nothing more than winning, and winning ballplayers.

    If you think the Astros fans and players wouldn’t have been outraged if Biggio was dumped, you’re nuts. Do you think the fans and plyers in Houston perceive management flipping them off by playing Biggio? Come on. You have your opinion, but you can’t seriously maintain that management is giving fans and players th finger just because you would take it that way.

    Has there never been a time in your life when winning wasn’t the most important thing?

  146. Bearman on June 15th, 2007 3:38 pm

    Anna11 Believe me when I say Baker’s got it 100% right when he says the M’s aren’t going to get any better with Bill “Bonehead” Bavasi as GM.
    I can tell Baker that the majority of the arms that make up the pen are prospects aquired and/or drafted pre Bavasi with the exception of Morrow and even then Bavasi had little or no say in that one either.

    If Hargrove had gotten a contract extension the FO would have been raided with torches and pitch forks like in a ’40′s horror movie.

    The M’s are winning in SPITE of Grover’s managing NOT because of it and best managed games were the ones McClaren did during Grover’s abentence for his daughter’s graduation.

    The players are taking alot in their own hands and winning for many reasons and Bavasi and Grover aren’t among them.However the retaining of Ichiro is one.

    I agree a spot has to be found for Adam Jones the way he’s playing at AAA with both the bat and glove.
    However only IF that spot is as a everyday STARTER and not as 4thOFer etc…….I must admit my thinking was along those very lines after maybe some trades at the July deadline but after futher research into his #s offensively across the board and his excellent solid D with the glove.
    I must now say if the spot for him isn’t a starting one then leave him in AAA to continue to hone his skills and tools til there is a DEFINATE starting spot for him.

  147. dnc on June 15th, 2007 3:40 pm

    144 – no kidding.

    I always thought the stereotypes of statheads were overblown. Obviously, at least in a few cases, they are not.

    Crazy, crazy thread.

  148. 93MPHSlider.wow. on June 15th, 2007 3:40 pm

    142: That is just plain wrong. Fans of the Astros love seeing Biggio, and 99% of them would not want him cut, even if they had a better replacement (which they don’t). Every team in MLB would be doing exactly what the Astros are doing in this situation. I just don’t get where this is coming from, this feels like a personal vendetta.
    144: Couldn’t agree more. This is going to be one where I bet even the posters realize how crazy it sounds.

  149. Sammy on June 15th, 2007 3:41 pm

    142.

    Again, I think the Edgar analogue appropriate. If Gar was 70 hits away from 3000 and we cut him before the 2004 season despite his stated wish to return, can you imagine the furor from the fans? It’s not like Biggio has been awful for years now. He’s given the team a lot, and, while loyalty should never be the exclusive consideration of a club in hiring decisions, it’s foolish to ignore that loyalty doesn’t matter at all.

    Fans and players love nothing more than getting into the playoffs, and this Astros team had no hope with or without Biggio.

    Really, Jim, I value your input, but it astonishes me that you can’t see that this was the best decision for the team and the fans.

  150. The Ancient Mariner on June 15th, 2007 3:41 pm

    But by 1992 someone convinced Biggio 2B would suit his skills better and give his career some longevity. The other catcher was long gone, but they brought up Scott Servais and acquired Eddie Taubensee to platoon.

    Yeah, and remember who they gave up to acquire Eddie Taubensee? Kenny Lofton. Remind me again how that worked out?

  151. Thom Jimsen on June 15th, 2007 3:44 pm

    #145: No, but that’s a false argument. I don’t run a baseball team, I live my life. The goal in all sports endeavors is to perform successfully and with integrity. It’s my opinion that the Astros are doing neither in regard to Biggio.

  152. 93MPHSlider.wow. on June 15th, 2007 3:46 pm

    The Astros would have less integrity if they cut him before this year when he wanted to come back. And they still would not be successful.

  153. Thom Jimsen on June 15th, 2007 3:51 pm

    The Astros have made a number of dumb decisions in the last year (hello??? Woody Williams???) but I don’t know how you can authoritatively say the team was destined to fail no matter what they did during the last offseason. What would back up such an assertion?

  154. Evan on June 15th, 2007 3:52 pm

    Wandy is killing my HACKING MASS team.

  155. Evan on June 15th, 2007 3:54 pm

    Jim has one very good point, here. Despite what fans might say in focus groups, or what teams might think fans want, this season’s attendance always correlates very well with last season’s winning percentage.

    How or why they won or lost doesn’t actually affect attendance.

  156. 93MPHSlider.wow. on June 15th, 2007 3:56 pm

    No one said the team was destined to fail no matter what they did last offseason. But the Biggio decision was not the deciding factor in their success. Therefore, if they had uncerimoniously cut him like you would have preferred, they would probably be a very similar team right now, but with a whole lot more angry fans and empty seats.
    And contrary to your belief that the goal in all sports endeavors is to perform successfully, the actual goal of MLB teams is to make money.

  157. Tek Jansen on June 15th, 2007 3:57 pm

    #144 – I would suspect that Ichiro will collect his 3000th hit prior to the 2017 season. Or he better. Rembember, he plans on converting to a pitcher at age 40.

  158. scraps on June 15th, 2007 3:58 pm

    If the Astros dumped Biggio after last year, they could never again seriously expect loyalty from a player.

    Thom, this may be news to you, but baseball players and executives are also people living their lives. The goal of a company is to make money; do we condemn them when they sacrifice some of that goal for decent human concerns? The goal of winning in sports should not be more absolute than any other life goal, and no goal that completely ignores human concerns is worth pursuing, in my opinion.

    It’s just sports. I love sports, but if anything is more important than treating loyal people decently, it sure as hell isn’t winning at sports! In my goddamned opinion.

  159. dnc on June 15th, 2007 3:59 pm

    155 – I think you’re speaking a little too strongly there. Yes, prior seasons winning percentage is the strongest correlation to attendance. However, that is not without exceptions. Remember McGwire and Sosa chasing Maris’ record? Remember Ripken’s pursuit of the consecutive games streak?

    There are exceptions to the rule, and I think it’s highly likely that Biggio’s pursuit of 3000 hits is going to put more butts in the seats (and more eyes on the TV and more ears on the radio) in Houston than they would have had in this lost season otherwise.

    Will his presence cost them enough games that next season’s attendance dips enough to offset his value this year? Possible, but, given the alternatives they had at 2B outlined throughout this thread, I highly doubt it.

  160. Thom Jimsen on June 15th, 2007 4:28 pm

    What’s so great about loyalty?

  161. Xteve X on June 15th, 2007 4:36 pm

    Bizarre.

    C’mon Jim, Biggio is still their franchise guy regardless of how badly he’s fallen off. They are no more likely to put Biggio out to pasture than the M’s were with Boone, Olerud or Edgar … and all 3 of those guys were pretty clearly past their sell-by dates near the end.

    I understand your point but that’s never going to happen in reality. What Astro fan is NOT going to want to see Biggio get 3000 hits regardless of how bad a year he’s having.

  162. dw on June 15th, 2007 4:37 pm

    Not if he was contractually obligated to play for Houston. Giles was still under team control with the Braves, so if the Braves had traded him instead of non-tendering him, Giles had no choice.

    Let’s see how that conversation would go:

    ASTROS: Hey, you want to give us Giles?

    BRAVES: Sure. We need a reliever.

    ASTROS: We’ll give you Brad Lidge.

    BRAVES: Willy Taveras.

    ASTROS: Hello? I think I’m losing you, I’m going through a tunnel [click]

    His line of 230/275/385 certainly suggests so, and is very similar to 231/299/385, Bret Boone’s final line with the M’s.

    Speaking of, I talked to a woman last year who refuses to go to games because they dumped Bret Boone.

    Can’t win for losing.

  163. dw on June 15th, 2007 4:37 pm

    What’s so great about loyalty?

    Ask A-Rod.

  164. Sammy on June 15th, 2007 4:38 pm

    160.

    Jim,
    Do you believe sentimentality has any place in sports at all? If you don’t, I’m not sure what I can say, and I’m not sure why you even follow a home team instead of following the best and the brightest every year. You are loyal to your team, aren’t you?

    If you do believe sentimentality has a place, then loyalty matters to 99% of the fans. For every Astros fan that’s under the age of 30, Biggio has lived and died with their team for the entire course of their fandom. He MEANS something to these people, something more important than a couple extra wins a year.

  165. Sammy on June 15th, 2007 4:40 pm

    The last sentence of my post should read:
    “[…] something more important that a couple extra wins this year.”

  166. Thom Jimsen on June 15th, 2007 4:40 pm

    No, I don’t believe sentimentality has any place in sports. I believe my coming-of-age Mariners memories matter to me, but I’d have traded any of them for one winning record in the first 15 years of the franchise.

  167. dnc on June 15th, 2007 4:41 pm

    I feel obliged to point out that, while they are on the same side of this debate, Jim Thomsen and Thom Jimsen are not, I believe, the same person. I believe Jim is being credited (or perhaps blamed) for many of Thom’s comments in this thread.

  168. Thom Jimsen on June 15th, 2007 4:41 pm

    #163: A-Rod is the greatest player in baseball. If lack of loyalty got him there, so much the better.

  169. Sammy on June 15th, 2007 4:42 pm

    166.

    . . .

    I don’t believe you. Why do you root for the M’s? Why not root for the best players/teams every year?

  170. Thom Jimsen on June 15th, 2007 4:42 pm

    Actually, Jim Thomsen posts from home; Thom Jimsen posts from work. (The reasons are complicated but for some reason I can’t post as Jim from the office.) They are the same person.

  171. Sammy on June 15th, 2007 4:42 pm

    167.

    Jesus Christ, that clears a lot of things up.

  172. Thom Jimsen on June 15th, 2007 4:43 pm

    I root for the M’s because I believe they usually try the best that they are able. The last few years have been a serious challenge to that belief, however.

  173. dnc on June 15th, 2007 4:43 pm

    Interesting. My bad Jim/Thom.

  174. Grizz on June 15th, 2007 4:44 pm

    They are no more likely to put Biggio out to pasture than the M’s were with Boone, Olerud or Edgar … and all 3 of those guys were pretty clearly past their sell-by dates near the end.

    Boone and Olerud say moo.

  175. dw on June 15th, 2007 4:47 pm

    Oh, and if Biggio has a huge weekend and kills the M’s, I’m personally holding both Jim Thomsen and Thom Jimsen responsible.

  176. Thom Jimsen on June 15th, 2007 4:48 pm

    Me too.

  177. _David_ on June 15th, 2007 4:49 pm

    Dave, you mentioned Everett as one of the 5-10 best defenders ever. Is Cameron anywhere near that designation? Griffey?

  178. Sammy on June 15th, 2007 4:57 pm

    Jim/Thom:

    I still don’t believe you. I think you’ve dug yourself a ridiculous hole and you’re bull-headedly digging yourself deeper (to mix metaphors…). You are loyal to this team because you grew up rooting for this team and you want your hometeam, the team from your childhood to win it all one day. That is sentimental. If you were looking for the best run or most efficient team or most exciting team you’d have jumped this ship long time ago. But you’re still here, just like we all are.

  179. thewyrm on June 15th, 2007 5:11 pm

    157. Well, I was being a little cautious and figured 10 years would be a good figure for 1500 hits granting drop offs in performance, no longer playing everyday day, and/or injuries.

  180. C. Cheetah on June 15th, 2007 5:32 pm

    I kinda recall being with roughly 40,000+ others on the day that Gaylord Perry won his 300th here in Seattle….I wonder if Houston remembers….

  181. Anna11 on June 16th, 2007 1:26 am

    #146 — The quotes came from Larry Dobrow’s blog over on CBS Sportscenter. Sorry for being so late in responding — I’m 9 hours ahead of y’all.

    The info about Hargrove’s contract came from Baker’s blog. Here’s the quote. It’s from sometime in April (April 22?) “One note about Hargrove, based on a reader comment below: I actually did hear the other night, from an assistant in another team’s front office, that Hargrove had quietly been given an extension for 2008 behind the scenes. Such an extension, I’m told — and nothing has been confirmed to me — would not preclude him from being fired this year. In other words, the team would eat the money. Again, just to repeat, this is just the word going around. Do not treat it as gospel. The point of me bringing it up now, rather than before, is that even if true, it would not impact the tenuous state of Hargrove’s job security.”

    I found this in the PI, dated April 24. “OVER-EXTENDING? A Seattle Times blog mention of a rumor that Bavasi has quietly given a contract extension to Hargrove drew neither confirmation nor denial from several Mariners front office officials Monday, including Bavasi himself.

    “I have a long streak that I’m going to keep intact,” said Bavasi, who is traveling with the team. “I never talk about employee’s contracts.”

    The Mariners will only say that Hargrove initially signed a three-year contract and they have nothing new to report. Hargrove is in his third season in Seattle, having gone 69-93 and 78-84 before this year’s slow start.”

    So they won’t confirm or deny it. Sounds to me like they quietly gave him a contract extension.

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