Adjust Or Fiddle

Dave · July 24, 2007 at 8:42 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

The M’s have now lost 5 games in a row, wasted a great opportunity to make up ground in the standings, and have dug themselves another hole that will take a lot of work to get out of. The season isn’t over, and losing four one-run games in five days doesn’t mean that this team is a huge failure. They’d won more than their fair share of squeakers during the first half, and regression to the mean said they were going to lose some.

However, this five game losing streak should be enough to break the hold of the myths that have frozen this team from making the necessary adjustments. This team doesn’t “just know how to win” any more than any other baseball team does. They aren’t really a .580 ballclub, even if they had a .580 winning percentage last week. This isn’t a team that qualifies for the If-It-Aint-Broke-Don’t-Fix-It exception to roster maintenance. This team has some issues that need to be addressed if they’re going to make a playoff run. They’re not a secret to anyone. They also can no longer be ignored.

The Mariners have a choice – they can continue to hope a solid but flawed team can overcome four better baseball clubs and sneak into the playoffs, or they can make the obvious internal moves that everyone on the planet knows would increase their chances of winning baseball games.

Promote Adam Jones and give him the everyday left field job. Let Jose Vidro and Raul Ibanez fight over the DH at-bats (Raul should never again face a lefty in any close game), and when Raul plays, hit him no higher than 6th. Play Ben Broussard at first base against right-handers more often. Show some willingness to use Sean Green and George Sherrill as more than situational guys against same-handed hitters, extending the high leverage innings into the hands of the team’s best relievers. Stick Chris Reitsma, the worst reliever on the team, as far from close games as possible. Or, heck, just admit that was a mistake, call up Kam Mickolio to take his place, and move on.

This team has talent, and it can still make the playoffs. But it won’t as currently constructed. You can adjust, or you can fiddle while Safeco burns. It’s up to you.


183 Responses to “Adjust Or Fiddle”

  1. Sports on a Schtick on July 25th, 2007 12:21 pm

    I think it’s safe to categorize Lopez as serviceable. He isn’t great and will probably never be great, but he’s a decent hitter who with a decent glove. Yuni on the other hand…

  2. MarinerDan on July 25th, 2007 12:22 pm

    I’m sure that, at least as of yesterday, McLaren would say that Reitsma is his backup stopper.

    That’s exactly my point. If this is true, McLaren should be summarily dismissed.

  3. Paul B on July 25th, 2007 12:24 pm

    I’d have to say that so far, I am extremely disappointed with McLaren.

    I expected his decision making style to be closer to Lou than to Grover. But if you put them on some sort of scale, McLaren would only be just a smidge different from Grover.

  4. Bernoulli on July 25th, 2007 12:27 pm

    I believe that the McLaren’s motivation (and one that I heartily oppose, by the way) is that relievers need roles, and that these roles must be instilled into the seemingly random pitchers selected to fill them. If a pitcher is coming back from an injury or a demotion, you have to teach them how to become a setup man again. What we’re going through, McLaren would say, is just the growing pains. Have him pitch in mopup duty? That’d do no good.

    It’s just another bit of collateral damage from the creation of the save. Chris Reitsma has 37 of them: Sherril has 1. Because he has more experience in close games, Reitsma deserves to continue to pitch in them: it’s the same mentality that you see in every inefficient office in America.

    I wish Theo’s experiment last year had worked, and that he could show how useless the save statistic is. Instead he’s got his third-best starter being used for seventy innings a year and everyone loves him for it.

  5. Jack Clark on July 25th, 2007 12:45 pm

    Was Adam Jones considered a good defensive player while playing shortstop? Was it a mistake to make him an outfielder, being that Yuni has really struggled in the infield.

  6. mikelb420 on July 25th, 2007 12:47 pm

    Just throwing this theory out there, but maybe Bavasi want’s to wait till after the trade deadline to bring up Jones because he thinks he can get more for someone if he calls them a “starter” than if they were benched because they called up AJ. Not saying I support it, but that is the closest thing I can come up with to a logical explanation of why someone reasonably intelligent hasn’t made this move. Bavasi being a total retard being the other explanation.

  7. Carson on July 25th, 2007 1:06 pm

    156 (mikelb420) – If that is his reasoning, I’d challenge his being labled intelligent.

    Why trade young talent, when you have an option that costs you NOTHING that would most likely be better than anything on the trading block?

  8. msb on July 25th, 2007 1:18 pm

    I see the ability to read management minds has resurfaced.

  9. joser on July 25th, 2007 1:40 pm

    At least they’re not still doing it in Japanese.

  10. joser on July 25th, 2007 1:48 pm

    Just throwing this theory out there, but maybe Bavasi want’s to wait till after the trade deadline to bring up Jones because he thinks he can get more for someone if he calls them a “starter” than if they were benched because they called up AJ.

    There have been some pretty bad GMs employed by various teams over the years, but I don’t think any of them would allow “starter status” to affect their evaluation of a player. I certainly don’t think there’s one working today who would.

  11. Russ on July 25th, 2007 1:50 pm

    Popularity has it’s price.

  12. Pete Livengood on July 25th, 2007 1:54 pm

    joser said:

    There have been some pretty bad GMs employed by various teams over the years, but I don’t think any of them would allow “starter status” to affect their evaluation of a player.

    Agreed. Sounds like the way a fantasy baseball GM might position for a trade, rather than a real one.

  13. Ralph Malph on July 25th, 2007 2:18 pm

    there are no replacements for lopez at all.


  14. Wishhiker on July 25th, 2007 2:33 pm


  15. popsey55 on July 25th, 2007 3:00 pm

    Theres a great article on Adam Jones Power comparisons over at…

  16. Bearman on July 25th, 2007 3:01 pm

    If Lopez was part of any trade plans then why sign him to an extension deal to lock him up to the club?
    However if the M’s did trade him there are replacements :
    At AAA
    Nick Green
    Yung Chi Chen (on 7 day DL)
    Gookie Dawkins
    Brant Ust
    all 2ndBmen but none are on the 40 or 25 man MLB roster.
    There is also Navvarro a SS who can handle 2ndB and is on the 40 man roster.
    Either way this is speculative talk and is a moot one Lopez isn’t going anywhere.

    117:Sexson for Matt Morris deal with the Giants while just a rumor is however a good deal for both clubs as long as it’s a one for one straight across deal.
    Salary and contract wise a wash and Morris would be a short term answer for the #5 slot in the rotation til either Feierabend or one of the others in AAA proves out better.

    However I doult the deal will be made but the chance is there cause the Giant GM has coveted Sexson for some time now.

    As to some here who are so hot with McClaren I say now what some many said to me about Grover:
    Cut the guy some slack and give him time to get his job done.
    I mean if Grover deserved nearly 2 seasons of patience then McClaren rates at least that.

  17. JeffS on July 25th, 2007 3:01 pm

    Once AJ is called up, what are you guys going to talk about then? 🙂

  18. Colm on July 25th, 2007 3:02 pm

    Who gets DFA’d next, and when.

  19. Bearman on July 25th, 2007 3:04 pm

    JeffS mostly likely Balenien maybe Clement etc…. Believe me with the AAA being in Tacoma there’s always a prospect of one position or another to praise and want called up or the reverse and on and on ………

  20. Colm on July 25th, 2007 3:18 pm

    Maybe there’s also a grammar class around here where they can explain what a run-on sentence is and why you shouldn’t use one because it is more difficult to read and muddies the meaning of what you are trying to say and the people you are trying to say it to tune out halfway through your run-on sentences and don’t get to the end or understand your meaning.

  21. Lauren, token chick on July 25th, 2007 3:44 pm

    Man. A’s are totally trying to come back in the 9th. Awesome.

  22. Lauren, token chick on July 25th, 2007 3:46 pm

    WOO Scuuuuuuuutaro! A’s have tied it up. Scutaro gets all of Raul’s U’s.

  23. SpokaneMsFan on July 25th, 2007 3:49 pm

    Is it depressing that I don’t mind we’re giving Raul’s Us to an Oakland guy?

  24. Lauren, token chick on July 25th, 2007 3:52 pm

    Hey, Raul wasn’t using them. Might as well lend them to an A for the moment.

    And yes, I realize that any sign of A’s competence will come back to bite us in the ass.

  25. Karen on July 25th, 2007 4:02 pm

    #174…Any sign of A’s competence: Joe Kennedy gave up a single w/1 out in the bottom of the 9th, a groundout got the runner to 2B, Rob Bowen (Jason Kendall’s successor at C) allowed a passed ball, and Izturis hit a single to score the runner from 3B.

    In other words, no sign of competence in the bottom of the 9th, anyway.

  26. Lauren, token chick on July 25th, 2007 4:08 pm


  27. SpokaneMsFan on July 25th, 2007 4:18 pm

    Is it still soon enough to nullify the giving away of Raul’s Us?

  28. Lauren, token chick on July 25th, 2007 4:33 pm

    Why not just continue on to give away Raul himself?

  29. SpokaneMsFan on July 25th, 2007 4:38 pm

    Not before his bobblehead night! That’s crazy talk.

  30. huhwhat on July 25th, 2007 4:39 pm

    Anybody listen to Geoff Baker’s audio response on his blog stating that he would trade the Adam Jones straight up for the potential Tommy John surgery needing, getting blasted in the N.L. and in pitchers parks Florida Marlins Dontrelle Willis?

  31. John in L.A. on July 25th, 2007 4:54 pm

    166 – Who was telling you to give Hargrove a chance? At least for here, that smells like a strawman.

    It didn’t take long at all to see where that ship was headed.

    Honestly, unless there is some completely crazy explanation, like a promise to do what he thinks Mike would do, or Mike actually making the calls by cellphone, or something involving large, last minute wagers…. then our new skipper has made some indefensible decisions already.

  32. SpokaneMsFan on July 25th, 2007 4:59 pm

    And I thought the whole (expletive) Dave Samson thing had ended the Dontrelle discussions, if that didn’t do it then what does it take?

  33. rango6 on July 25th, 2007 6:25 pm

    That’s how you drive in Ichiro. nice job AB

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