Conclusions – Correct and Incorrect

Dave · July 25, 2007 at 10:06 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

It’s only natural to draw emotinoal reactions to games and series like this. Losing four straight games by one run is brutal on the psyche, and tonight’s loss couldn’t have been a bigger heartbreaker. However, in spite of our emotional reactions, we should still be sure that our opinions are based in reality and aren’t just frustration turning into a call for a senseless action. So, with that, here are some good and bad conclusions that I expect people will come to.

The season is over.Bad conclusion. The M’s are 3 1/2 back and the calendar still reads July. The season is not over.

This team isn’t good enough to make the playoffs.Good conclusion. This is an decent team with some strengths and some glaring weaknesses. There’s almost no way to believe that this 25 man roster is better than what Detroit, Cleveland, Los Angeles, Boston, or New York are running out there on a daily basis. This team needs an influx of talent.

See, this is why we need an 8th inning setup guy so we can save J.J. for the 9th inning.Bad conclusion. He was going to blow one eventually, and it’s not like he’d been overworked lately. He threw a bad pitch that Vazquez hit out of a bandbox of a stadium. It happens occassionally. And, really, until the Mariners actually give Sean Green and George Sherrill a chance to prove that they can’t handle the 8th inning, they have no ground to claim that the team lacks anyone who can do the job.

The M’s should put a hold on making any trades and see how the team responds this weekend.Good conclusion. If the M’s trade some of their valuable young talent only to see this losing streak extend through the weekend, next week’s USSM gatherings will turn into a mass seppoku. We can’t handle both a simultaneous collapse of the season and the loss of hope in the next wave of talent.


43 Responses to “Conclusions – Correct and Incorrect”

  1. Tak on July 25th, 2007 10:29 pm

    seppuku 😛

  2. kentroyals5 on July 25th, 2007 10:31 pm

    The ‘dont go and do a stupid trade’ is the part I’m scared about

  3. sokala on July 25th, 2007 10:35 pm

    I can’t think of a set of coming games that I fear more than the ones in the next week. What is going on with these guys?

  4. Sports on a Schtick on July 25th, 2007 10:38 pm

    I was thinking of a seppuku reference tonight as well. Then again, so was about 74% of M’s fans.

    Seattle can either make the best transaction of any team before the deadline…

    “Recalled OF Adam Jones from Triple-A Tacoma”

    …or they can do something stupid.

  5. SethGrandpa on July 25th, 2007 10:44 pm

    I’m liking the seppuku idea. But I nominate Rual, Bavasi, and Richie to go first.

  6. Mike Honcho on July 25th, 2007 10:49 pm

    The Mariners need to make a move, any move, to give the team a “spark.” Bad Conclusion. Making a desparation move to go all out for a playoff push (Adam Jones for Dontrelle Willis?) is not the key.

    The Mariners need to make some roster changes to get better and stay in the chase. Good Conclusion. As has been discussed ad nauseum here and in other places, the M’s have no excuse for not putting AJ in left and pushing Raul and Vidro to a DH platoon. A Broussard/Sexson platoon would also make perfect sense. These needed changes would make the team much better without costing a thing.

  7. Carson on July 25th, 2007 10:50 pm

    I hope people can step back, and realize what tough luck the team is through right now. Just like all the good luck we got in the first half, bad luck happens, too.

    JJ Putz has been the best reliever in baseball this season, and not even he could stop this skid. It’s going to happen.

    No time would be better for this streaky team to rip off an eight game win streak now.

  8. John in L.A. on July 25th, 2007 11:01 pm

    If Bavasi tries to trade AJ for Willis I hope he is insta-fired.

    Insta-fired and berated with a printout of this website so thoroughly that he has an imprint of the Future Forty tattooed on his back of his head.

    Trading away the future scares me much more than not making the playoffs this year.

  9. gag harbor on July 25th, 2007 11:02 pm

    Bavasi: “that Dave guy from USSM got way too much press for his Felix pitch selection rant”

    Staff: “he suggests we bring up Jones and I think everyone here agrees it is a good idea”

    Bavasi: “no, you see, that would be playing into his little game of predicting my moves so it looks like I am following his advice”

    Staff: “if we don’t do something soon, the season will slip away and the over-achieving we’ve done thus far will have been lost”

    Bavasi: “get the Braves back on the phone to see if they’ll send us Andruw Jones for Adam Jones and Chris Tillman and this way I show everyone that I don’t bow to anyone. My dad always said I need to make bold decisions in the face of adversity”

    Staff: “oh”

  10. Sports on a Schtick on July 25th, 2007 11:08 pm

    “Slocumb was involved in an infamously bad trade for the Mariners when he was sent from Boston to Seattle in 1997 for pitcher Derek Lowe and catcher Jason Varitek.”

    Wikipedia speaks the truth. Dare history repeat itself?

  11. nfreakct on July 25th, 2007 11:12 pm

    I trust Adam Jones is safe since Bavasi has said that he’s the only untouchable prospect in the system. And if nothing else, Bavasi is not a guy whose going to lie about something like that to the media.

    I’m more worried about a bad trade where we send good second-tier prospects for a righty setup man. The Scott Linebrink trade today just hammers the point that pitching is expensive in this market and even to get crap teams are going to need to pay up.

  12. jeffinfremont on July 25th, 2007 11:21 pm

    AJ needs to be called up and play in left.

    Ibanez needs to share DH duties with Vidro.

    Broussard needs to share 1B duties with Sexson.

    Mac needs to start paying closer attention to the splits.

    I’m just amazed that a complete schmuck like me knows this to be true, but for whatever ridiculous reason the front office won’t do anything about it.

    I’m finally excited about this team again, and yet I feel like it’s all going for naught. A second half implosion is nearing inevitability.

    WTF? I mean, WTF?

  13. Jigga8481 on July 25th, 2007 11:39 pm

    I was fairly young at the time but this situation seems to be similar to the year we traded Jose Cruz Jr. He was completely “untouchable” but then he left the game against Milwaukee and we find out that we get Paul Spoljaric, Mike Timlin, and some other guy. Does it matter that Cruz was never as good as we expected? Why doesn’t this one go down as another one of our worst trades? I smell the same level of desperation this year and it scares the hell out of me.

  14. rcc on July 25th, 2007 11:39 pm

    With each disheartening one run loss my fear that Bavasi will do something stupid grows. The rumors all seem to highlight over the hill veterans, no doubt with great clubhouse presence, in exchange for some of the Mariners best prospects. I ask again….don’t we have enough of those guys already on this team? Dave’s suggestions seem so reasonable that the Mariner Front Office will feel free to ignore them…..

  15. Mr. Egaas on July 25th, 2007 11:40 pm

    Before we just didn’t care when they lost ALL the time.

    Now they’re just teasing and frustrating.

  16. Jigga8481 on July 25th, 2007 11:41 pm

    15- We were so innocent then

  17. eponymous coward on July 25th, 2007 11:43 pm

    Of course, if “don’t fix it when it’s not broken” is a “chemistry” reason not to bring up Adam Jones, you’ve now set the team up for “they’re panicking” if you bring him up now- plus if he starts out cold…


    And yeah, this team is on a glide path to 85 wins right now. Pity that the team isn’t willing to infuse any talent. Live by the close win, die by the close loss.

  18. Jigga8481 on July 25th, 2007 11:50 pm

    Now let’s not go and get worried about everything… Bill Kreuger, Mike Blowers, Dave Valle, Dave Sims, and Brad Adam watch this team up close every day and they’re not worried yet. Now if THEY started getting concerned then we’d have a reason to start sweating. Plus they all got their hair cut.

  19. Mr. Egaas on July 26th, 2007 12:17 am

    They said that Broussard cut a ‘Hawk, but it was just buzzed. That woulda been awesome.

  20. Wishhiker on July 26th, 2007 12:41 am

    Excellently written.

  21. Tom on July 26th, 2007 12:48 am

    #18: They are controlled by FSN and the Mariners basically, they aren’t supposed to be worried. At least every one of them except Dave Valle is.

    Just will someone please call up Adam Jones and bench Richie Sexson for the love of pete? Oh, and how about also we hold up on those contract extension talks with Jose Guillen. We are pretty right handed heavy as it is.

  22. naviomelo on July 26th, 2007 12:55 am

    17 – 55 wins in 99 games is on pace for over 88 wins.

  23. DAMellen on July 26th, 2007 2:06 am

    10, we’ve discussed that trade. We gave up too much for Slocumb, but he was a huge part of our playoff push in 97 and it is extremely unlikely that the Mariners could’ve made the playoffs without him. I’m not saying it was a great trade or anthing. It clearly wasn’t. However, it was a pretty standard late season deal. We traded guys with potential for a guy who helped us make the playoffs. To call it “infamously bad” is a bit much.
    I think 13 makes a good point. We gave up Cruz (our 97 version of Adam Jones) for two pitchers who performed terribly and did little to help the Mariners. We gave up Varitek and Lowe (our 97 versions of Adam Moore and Ryan Feirabend) for a pitcher who played just mediocre (maybe even a little worse than mediocre), but was our best reliever and gave the Mariners the only decent closer they’d had all year (again, maybe even a little worse than decent). Why don’t people complain more about the Cruz trade?

  24. terry on July 26th, 2007 4:22 am

    Can we please quit suggesting that Ms haven’t promoted Jones because of the recent press that USSM has received? Bavasi may very well read USSM content-he’s an intelligent, dedicated individual so I’m sure he reads a ton about baseball including content at such a great site as this one. That said, Bavasi doesn’t give a lick about popular sentiment regarding what he thinks is best for the Ms and there simply is no credible reason to believe that he’s making personnel decisions just to spite Dave. In fact the suggestion is beneath the quality of commentary that has made USSM such a treasured place for us Ms fans (and really baseball fans of all those lesser teams too-you know who you are…).

    If Bavasi does have a position concerning USSM, I’m sure it’s one that is more inclined to support this community than one that considers the authors here and the fans that interact with them to be the bane of the Ms existence. This is supported by the notion that Bavasi has interacted with the USSM crowd on several occasions (even though alot of his decisions have been questioned be the authors).

    By all accounts Bavasi is a stand up guy who takes pride in his job. So come on, it’s alright to be frustrated that Jones is in Tacoma, but lets not make ourselves look silly by being so blithely insulting.

  25. built2crash on July 26th, 2007 5:29 am

    [deleted, spelling errors, no punctuation]

  26. Chris Miller on July 26th, 2007 6:01 am

    Can’t help but think about the Good Idea, Bad Idea clips from Animaniacs.

  27. scraps on July 26th, 2007 6:44 am

    10, we’ve discussed that trade. We gave up too much for Slocumb, but he was a huge part of our playoff push in 97 and it is extremely unlikely that the Mariners could’ve made the playoffs without him.

    We discussed it, but I don’t remember anyone agreeing with you.

  28. msb on July 26th, 2007 6:45 am

    He threw a bad pitch that Vazquez hit out of a bandbox of a stadium.

    a pitch which Vazquez got up into the the dreaded wind-swirl-induced jetstream, per Valle– who may not know a lot about a lot, but who does know how that stadium plays.

    I’m sure another factor in any shake-up decisions is how the clubhouse feels. Just before this losing streak the feeling appeared to be that changes didn’t need to be made, that they could win with what they had (much the same sentiments that are coming from the Angels clubhouse)

  29. Paul B on July 26th, 2007 7:06 am

    How would Wlad be likely to hit in the majors right now?

    At first glance, his hitting looks really similar to AJ (OBP almost identical, slugging is 30 points lower, so OPS are about 30 points apart. I understand that AJ has his fielding to put him ahead of Wlad on the depth chart.

    But, if I ran the zoo, I’d be thinking about how I could get both of them into the M’s lineup, and who I would have move or bench to do that.

    My fear though, is that Wlad will be deemed expendable for the reasons stated above, and will be traded for some middle level pitcher.

  30. Kunkoh on July 26th, 2007 8:01 am

    27. Haha that’s pretty much how I remember it too. Seems he’s the only one that actually thinks that trade was worth while. I wonder how the M’s would have done ’98-02 if they had kept Lowe and Veritek. Or at least traded them for something truly useful.

    I agree with all those conclusions. We need something to get over the hump this year; but not at the expense of the next 6 years. It’s not time to panic; and no reason to get mad at JJ.

  31. Scotts on July 26th, 2007 9:48 am

    I hate noticing this, but had the M’s managed 3-3 splits of their two recent six game loss streaks against crappy teams, they’d have the best record in baseball.

    That they could *not* manage at least a few wins against those opponents does not augur well. You have to own the little guys to (deserve to) make the playoffs.

    Free Adam Jones!

  32. flippy on July 26th, 2007 10:20 am

    Every team hits a low spot during the season. There is no reason to panic. The M’s have done pretty well all season and then they go on the road against bottom dwellers and subconciously they don’t try quite as hard.

    It’s not “OK”, but it is expected. It’s a long season.

  33. DAMellen on July 26th, 2007 10:43 am

    Then you guys didn’t read the whole conversation. Not that I blame you. Me and Dave discussed it for a pretty long time. Eventually he agreed that because Slocumb had the lowest FIP of any of our relief pitchers, he was our best relief pitcher. He maintained that even though his FIP was the lowest on the team, his FIP was still pretty high and Slocumb was not especially good, which I agreed with.

  34. byronebyronian on July 26th, 2007 10:48 am

    My #1 gripe about Geoff Baker is his belief that we need to trade for a set up guy. We have Sherrill and Green and both seem capable (both in ability and statiscally) of getting it done. Why can’t Johnny Mac not see this?

  35. timc on July 26th, 2007 11:00 am

    33 – The least stinky pile of crap is still a pile of crap, and trading two useful pieces for said pile of crap is a bad deal, even though you have stinkier piles of crap around.

    I don’t know how you can go from Dave’s concession that Slocumb’s FIP was not as jaw-droppingly awful as the rest of the bullpen’s to dismissing the badness of the trade with a simple “we’ve discussed that trade.”

  36. Kunkoh on July 26th, 2007 11:09 am

    Yes, the problem is that you assert that it was a good trade because it helped (marginally, if really at all) to get our team to the post season that year. The problem is, that trade then hurt us for the next few years; and wasn’t even enough of an improvement to get past the first round of the play offs. I don’t think that justifies calling the trade successful. The argument that it was good trade because he was better than what we had, while completely ignoring how it hurt us for the next few years.

    I also don’t believe that the trade lead to us being 6 games ahead of Anaheim that year, and would bet money that we would have beaten the Angels without him. (Can you honestly argue that he was worth 6 games???) So, IMO it was a trade that did not truly effect the outcome of the year, and thus didn’t need to be made, AND went on to hurt the M’s for the next several years.

    Which comes back to this year. Would a trade like that be worth while? IMO, no. Not when it would only help a smidgeon this year, but hurt us for the next few years. I’ld rather miss the playoffs this year, and have a real shot at them for the next 3-4yrs.

    I also don’t remember him agreeing with you more than admitting that he wasn’t as horrible as every one else. That’s not agreeing that the trade was a good idea. Just that dog poop is better to step in than elephant poop. Either way, it’s still poop.

  37. eponymous coward on July 26th, 2007 11:09 am

    We gave up too much for Slocumb, but he was a huge part of our playoff push in 97 and it is extremely unlikely that the Mariners could’ve made the playoffs without him.

    Nope, no-one agrees with you. We finished 6 games in front, and Slocumb was very mediocre.

  38. Dave on July 26th, 2007 11:15 am

    DAM, you’re just massively wrong about this whole issue and living in dillusion if you think I agreed with you.

  39. eponymous coward on July 26th, 2007 11:52 am

    Slocumb for Varitek/Lowe is comparable to picking up Jose Mesa for Feierabend and Clement. There is NO WAY anyone would endorse that, even if we did win a pennant in 2007 with Mesa pitching decently the rest of the way.

  40. tyruschen on July 26th, 2007 12:48 pm

    Hi Dave,

    Do you think the losing streak is some kind of regression since M’s expected wins are much lower than actual wins? (I’m sorry if somebody has asked this.) After the cruel sweep they still have a +4 advantage (index = 1.82) and that’s the highest in AL.

    And if their overachievement keep on decreasing then trading some good prospects for a slim chance may not be a good idea…

  41. westfried on July 26th, 2007 1:41 pm

    “but had the M’s managed 3-3 splits of their two recent six game loss streaks against crappy teams, they’d have the best record in baseball”

    I think that’s the rub about this team. And why we (collectively) seem so “pessimistic” about them.

    Does anyone here really believe the Ms are the best team in baseball? Or are even close? I have a hard time calling them top-5, maybe even lower than that.

    They’ve got a good record, which is better than having a bad record, but that doesn’t make them a great team. They’ve overachieved, which is great.

    But they are a deeply flawed team. Terrible 3-4-5, worst DH in baseball, mediocre-to-bad starters, 2/3 bad outfield defense, and consistenly bad managing.

    So, we get all emotional, we complain. Not because they’re doing “badly”, but because they could be SOOO much better. AJ in left, Sherrill more than a loogy, etc. All the pieces we’re discussing. And, to take the wish-casting even further, how ’bout a dominating righty setup guy (oh, name rhymes with “taffy”) that we didn’t need to trade away? Etc.

    The team is a tease. We want them to do well, we see how the could do better. That’s not pessimism, that’s realism.

  42. msb on July 26th, 2007 3:28 pm

    My #1 gripe about Geoff Baker is his belief that we need to trade for a set up guy

    like this?

  43. Bearman on July 26th, 2007 5:24 pm

    I agree the season is far from over and the M’s have overcome losing streaks of this and bit longer duration already.Maybe a 10 game homestand is just what the doctor ordered we’ll see.

    Agreed but that doesn’t mean they aren’t good enough to put the fear of God into them til almost if not the end of season and the wild card still is a real possible goal.

    Agreed the M’s have the setup guys they just need to let them do their job Sherrill/Green/O’Flaherty and with the recent addition of Lowe you have more than enough arms to bridge to JJ with great success.

    Again Agreed unless a deal is offered that has a very low trade cost with a good upside like the the rumored Sexson for Matt Morris one withthe Giants.
    Best deal would be the aquring of P Aaron Harang from the Reds provided they don’t ask a unreasonable trade price (namely Jones/Balenien/Morrow).

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