What Now?

Dave · July 27, 2007 at 7:06 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Sitting here after a seventh consecutive loss, I don’t know what to write. It isn’t for lack of topics, but instead, I’m wondering what the point is. We’ve talked the roster to death. We’ve talked about the poor job of managing the bullpen that John McLaren has done the past week. We’ve talked about the line-ups that don’t make any sense. We’ve talked about the offense, the pitching, and the defense. We’ve talked about ways to improve the team for a playoff run. And here we are, watching the team’s playoff hopes slip away, and nothing changes.

If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, maybe we’re the ones who need mental help. We all badly want the Mariners to win, to be successful, and to field a team we can be proud of and root for. But who are we kidding? This isn’t that team. Maybe it could be if things were different, but things aren’t different. Reality is staring us in the face, and it’s a decent but flawed ballclub with no signs of real improvement on the horizon.

More than anything else, I’m amazed at what this team has done to my psyche. For most fans of contending teams, the trade deadline is one of the more exciting times of the year – it gives you a chance to dream, to wonder what if, and to think of how the new guy you may acquire will improve your chances in October. I’m not excited. I’m petrified. I just want it to be August 1st already, knowing that the team hasn’t made another disastrously bad decision based on their inability to correctly evaluate major league talent.

I could sit here and hope that the team will make the necessary moves to improve the team. I could sit here and hope that they won’t make an ill-advised trade for someone who had some modicum of success several years ago. I could sit here and hope that the team will end this losing streak and return with a vengence, blowing through the A’s and Angels the next week.

But it wouldn’t really be hope. It would be a wish, because this team hasn’t given me any reason to believe in them.

Comments

104 Responses to “What Now?”

  1. jefffrane on July 27th, 2007 7:23 am

    According to the chucklehead Brian Meehan, writing in this morning’s Oregonian, eh, no big deal. (Article not yet available on their infinitely crappy website.)

    “They say a ballclub adopts the personality of its coach. Just 22 games into his tenure, the Seattle Mariners are showing signs of reflecting new manager John McLaren’s relaxed but aggressive style.” It goes on from there in much the same vein. Blah blah, pretty much sucked on the road . . . “But McLaren didn’t panic. Instead, he participated in a group haircut before Wednesday’s game in Texas.”

    Thank god for those haircuts, huh? Lots of happy talk about small ball and the hit and run. And a suggestion that they bunt once in awhile. No suggestion that the lineup is filled with dead wood that should be benched.

  2. msb on July 27th, 2007 7:25 am

    What Now?

    you mean after the clothes-rending & hair-tearing and general anguish?

  3. ConorGlassey on July 27th, 2007 7:32 am

    “They say a ballclub adopts the personality of its coach.”

    I don’t know about personality, but they all look like they’re hitting with one arm in a sling…

  4. mrmitra on July 27th, 2007 7:39 am

    I would think that with this current slide McLaren would want to shake up the line just for the sake of job security. Performance like this cannot be good for his chances to be manager next year.

  5. built2crash on July 27th, 2007 7:42 am

    I’m with you Dave, I’m scared of what the front office will do to “improve” our ball club before the deadline.

  6. ducky on July 27th, 2007 7:47 am

    I checked in this morning to see whether I was the only one feeling desperate about where this team is headed. Obviously, I am not alone. Several weeks ago I commented about how the last guy you want in charge with the trade deadline approaching is Bill Bavasi, and this whole situation with Adam Jones still in the minors is making me really uneasy as we near the end of the month. I can think of no reason that he is still there beyond that they may have decided he is trade bait. If anyone knows differently, please say so.

  7. terry on July 27th, 2007 7:51 am

    My biggest fear is for this team to be actively involved in trade negotiations.

  8. Bernoulli on July 27th, 2007 7:51 am

    The funny thing is that the wishing can go both ways. The Mariners could turn it around and rediscover the pennant race, or go the complete opposite direction and implode, with the FO taking some of the shrapnel.

    The idea that terrifies me is that we could go .500 the rest of the year, and head into 2008 with the roster (and manager and GM) intact.

  9. Carson on July 27th, 2007 7:56 am

    So, I’m not going to go into specifics, but I read about a trade rumor for Wlad. We’ve all discussed how his right handed pull hitting ways are not ideal for Safeco. So, assuming Bavasi is trying to trade him this week, what available player(s) that we know of would be acceptable?

    And please don’t say “no one.” Cute. I get it, and agree. I’m just curious who we all think would be the best option if Bavasi is this dead set on moving the guy.

  10. Rick L on July 27th, 2007 7:57 am

    Dave, how would you evaluate McLaren so far? Is he repeating Hargrove’s mistakes and adding a few of his own?

  11. pumpkinhead on July 27th, 2007 7:59 am

    It’s pretty sad how my daily outlook on life changes with the M’s progress… or lack of.

  12. ducky on July 27th, 2007 8:03 am

    8: Couldn’t agree more.

  13. danb on July 27th, 2007 8:06 am

    A “We have a secret plan for success against the Germans”
    B “It wouldnt happen to be walking very slowly accross no mans land now would it?”
    A “How could you know that Blackadder, that’s classified information!”
    B “It’s the exact same thing we tried last time, and the 17 times before that”
    A “Ah now that is the brilliance of the plan Blackadder! Doing something that failed so badly 17 times before is the last thing they would expect us to do this time!”

    That is essentially what the Mariners are hoping for.

  14. revbill on July 27th, 2007 8:11 am

    I have a terrible feeling in the back of my mind that we’re going to be watching the game on the 31st and hear that they traded Adam Jones. Then we’ll all have that sickening wait to hear who they got and it’ll be Eric Gange or Dontrelle Willis or something.

    Part of being a Seattle sports fan is accepting that you’re not likely to ever watch any of the major teams win a championship in your lifetime. After you get past that it’s a lot easier to enjoy the sports for what they are.

  15. Kunkoh on July 27th, 2007 8:17 am

    I suddenly had the fear yesterday that the reason Bavasi is leaving Jones in Tacoma is so he doesn’t mess up the team’s magic chemistry set by bringing him up, and then trading him. So, he can leave him in Tacoma, and trade him for Garland (puke). And then his magic chemistry set will remain in tact, and he can say again, “Mission Accomplished” because he got a starting pitcher.

    So, now I’m having panic attacks and nightmares because it sounds all to like a Bavasi-esque move. I can’t wait for Aug. 1 also.

  16. Carson on July 27th, 2007 8:17 am

    14 (revbill) – I wish someone had told me that when I fell in love with the Mariners. Luckily, I’m still a 49ers fan and didn’t fall for the Seahawks.

  17. terry on July 27th, 2007 8:18 am

    Here’s a question for fellow Ms diehards…. lobotomy or the pain associated with the understanding of a hopefulness reality?

    For those theologically inclined…. forget the fire…hell is a burning longing for salvation amidst a permanent Godless existence. If an enlightened Ms FO is God and a world series is heaven, you can see the depth of despair weeks like this last one might conjure… This has been a feel good summer for the most part but this last week summons the despair I felt last fall when the FO sent that wonderful letter of support for Hargrove. Dave has hit the nail on the head. It can’t even manage it’s active roster in an effective manner. Why should the fan base trust this FO with it’s farm? This really speaks directly to the Ms future and….cough, our hope as fans for a better one.

    Damn it man, just give us hope. There’s a comfort in knowing there’s a fighting chance. That’s all we really want.

    If our hope gets battered and beaten down further by an all too in character TD deal that defies logic, I might physically wretch. As it is I tremble at reports that Ms scouts are out and about at of all places…..where David Weathers is pitching.

  18. bookbook on July 27th, 2007 8:18 am

    It is as much the previous euphoria that was unwarranted as the current despair.

    The team is what it’s always been. An OK team, with enough offense and bullpen to slightly outweigh a poor rotation and front office.

    When the offense and bullpen struggle, it gets ugly fast.

    When they reached 25% playoff chance (or whatever it was) it felt more like the peak of a hot streak than a real assessment of their capacity and likely success. Right now we’re at the nadir.

    It’ll come back. The M’s will win 84 games or something of that sort. And we will make some moves over the offseason to get marginally worse. And then 2008 will be a new year.

    (I don’t believe Bavasi will touch Adam Jones nor Clement at the trade deadline. That’s not the nature of his screw-ups. He might trade Wlad for Kenny Rogers or something like that.)

  19. Logger on July 27th, 2007 8:20 am

    I’m a newbie. What does “FO” mean?

  20. Kunkoh on July 27th, 2007 8:20 am

    19 – Front Office.

  21. Dylan on July 27th, 2007 8:21 am

    9-

    You’re not going to go into specifics? So you are rosterbating without anything to rosterbate to. Nice post.

  22. Dayve on July 27th, 2007 8:24 am

    Remember, it’s a long season. They had these slides in the first half as well–perhaps not as bad as this but they had them and they came out of them. We all know when they are playing well they are playing above anyones expectations of how good they should be. They aren’t as bad as this either. No one here ever expected them to be much above 82 wins this season, so consider this gravy. Could they do something to help themselves win? Theoretically. It’s easy to sit here and say what can be done, but not being on the inside, no one knows what truly goes on behind the walls and why decisions are made and not made. We can speculate and denegrate but these aren’t stupid people running the show, as much as we’d like to believe. It’s frustrating, to be sure, but to further the cliche, that’s baseball.

  23. dw on July 27th, 2007 8:31 am

    Of the seven losses, five were one-run affairs. One of those was a blown save.

    And we know that one-run games are a combination of good luck and effective management. It seems like both ran out on the M’s in the last week.

    I don’t think it’s the end of the line. If the M’s can salvage the A’s series and then take two of three from the Angels, they’re right back in the race. Then comes Boston, a team they’ve done well against in the last few years, and then Baltimore and the Chisox, both bad teams, and the Twins, who can’t figure out if they’re going to win this year or not. They really don’t play a “good” team from Hiroshima Day to the last week of August.

    But it’s clear they need to make a move. At this point, this team sucks, and something has to be done. Why haven’t they made the most glaringly obvious move? Well, this is a team that waited a month too long to DFA Boone. It shouldn’t surprise anyone.

    There’s still optimism, somewhere in all of this. OTOH, I still think this is a bad team that played way over their heads and has benefited from Billy Beane’s inability to evaluate defense.

  24. Bernoulli on July 27th, 2007 8:32 am

    22: We can compare the results of what goes on behind our walls to those that happen behind the walls of, say, Cleveland, who just so happened to start rebuilding the same year that we did.

    Going 85-79 instead of 82-82 because we got lucky on run differential is not “gravy”. It’s mediocrity. And it’s only mediocrity because we have an ownership willing to spend $11mil money on $4mil talent. Once we’re mediocre long enough and the FO decides to cut payroll… we’ll be in Pittsburgh Pirates territory.

  25. terry on July 27th, 2007 8:33 am

    #22: and that’s the core of my frustration manifested in hyperbole….. it’s not about intelligence….it’s about competence and I’m not convinced that the current leadership has exhibited the competence necessary to give many of us hope…

    I want to believe. I want to spend butt-loads on Ms garb. I don’t want to have to wear Indians gear in Reds country in order to make a statement about which team embodies my value system.

  26. Carson on July 27th, 2007 8:34 am

    21 – It’s just a question of opinion on what Dave, or someone else who feels they are informed, thinks the best case scenario is if we are going to watch Wlad get traded.

    Since Dave himself yesterday assumed Wlad will get traded, I think it’s a fair question. If that is “rosterbation,” my apologies.

  27. Dayve on July 27th, 2007 8:36 am

    We rebuilt? When? Certainly not the same way the Indians did, not the same goals.

  28. M's Fan in Red Sox Nation on July 27th, 2007 8:42 am

    18 – bookbook: I don’t think anyone disagrees, this team was lucky at the time. What doesn’t make sense to those of us who read this blog often (well, or frankly darn near anyone whose given it a thought) is the apparent lack of trying to get better. Dave wrote a post a week or two ago outlining several _easy_ (effectively in house) steps that could immediately improve the club. There are many ways that the M’s could have done something to assess the reality of their situation (we’re playing well, but getting lucky…we have some obvious holes, and we should do x, y, and/or z to address them). What it seems they’ve done is said: “Boy, we were doing well. And we can’t mess with that, even if we’ve lost 10 of our 15 games since the All-Star break, because we’re just a win-streak away from winning again.” They haven’t (it seems) decided to do anything to change the club, which suggests that they have not judged well the talent that they have and the team’s ability to win. And it doesn’t help to know that the Angels have pretty well sucked at the same time and even playing 0.500 ball would put us right behind them, instead of 4 back and playing frankly helpless looking baseball.

  29. scraps on July 27th, 2007 8:42 am

    The worst thing is that the early success this season is just drawing out our agony longer, both this year and for the future. Unless the team falls below .500 — not inconceivable — this year will be taken as another improvement, and Bavasi will be retained. And we’ll suffer through another year of incompetence.

    The only good thing likely to come of this season — and it is a very good thing — is that the team played over their heads long enough to get Ichiro re-signed. I guess in the long run if we have to sacrifice another year to keep Ichiro, it will have been worth it. But for now, it’s hard.

  30. Arkinese on July 27th, 2007 8:43 am

    3 – Sounds about right. See you at the game.

    Anyway, just piling on here with my paralyzing fear of Bill Bavasi’s trade deadline “magic.”

    I was reminded of it in full force looking at Weaver’s 2-9 record in the paper this morning. It just took me back to the dread I felt in April and May whenever it was Unhappy Weaver Day, where I would think: “What kind of asshat GM lets a guy keep pitching in the rotation after every start is a disaster, setting the team up for failure every fifth day?”

    It’s the same incompetent idiot who will trade Wlad (pissing off Felix) for whatever mediocre starting pitcher some lousy team throws out there; or who will pick up somebody for the *bullpen* with some ludricrous justification; or who will get this season’s version of Carl Everett to platoon with Vidro…

    This might be the most depressing week in sports that I have *ever* witnessed.

  31. Mike Honcho on July 27th, 2007 8:46 am

    McLaren has been a big disappointment, in my opinion.

    It’s been discussed at length how he has mishandled the bullpen, and his insistence that Raul be in the lineup every day is maddening. While there could be a debate about whether a manager helps or hurts his team, I don’t think there is any question that McLaren hasn’t contributed in a positive manner.

  32. robbbbbb on July 27th, 2007 8:50 am

    As frustrating as the last week has been, I find that I can still switch on the TV or go to the ballpark and cheer.

    Yeah, this team is immensely frustrating to watch when they’re on a downskid. But this is a streaky team. I always feel like they’re five minutes from another hot streak. There’s still hope for a postseason appearance.

    Are there things the FO could do to make this team better? Absolutely. And Dave’s identified a bunch. But it ain’t over, and the M’s are still breathing. And when they click, gosh is it fun to watch.

    I’ll still be in front of my TV this weekend, cheering for my team. It’s not like years past, where I’ve been watching games with a ho-hum attitude.

  33. oNeiRiC232 on July 27th, 2007 8:53 am

    Best case scenario for trading Wlad? Just hope the that the piece of crap that comes back doesn’t have too bad of an albatross contract. That’s your best case scenario.

    Poor trade market +
    Bavasi “needing” something +
    Expendable trade chip =
    No possible good outcome.

    Remember Bavasi’s quote about how “kids get people fired?” They know Jones and Wlad are good — but they don’t care. They can trade them away for aging veterans that fill a hole for a year or two and keep their jobs a little longer. It’s not that irrational or surprising if you just consider the fact that their motivations differ from ours.

  34. Crushgroovin on July 27th, 2007 8:54 am

    I think we need to leave Presley at third to maintain the chemistry and veteran leadership.The fans love the guy and there are worse players in the league. Besides this Martinez guy in the minors doesn’t have the kind of major league experience to handle a tough stretch drive.

    I just love being a M’s fan!

  35. Adam S on July 27th, 2007 8:55 am

    What now? Fire up the Antonetti ’08 campaign again.

    Obviously the last seven losses aren’t purely Bavasi’s fault. But he is the guy who made Vidro a key piece of this team, is too stubborn/dumb to admit Vidro isn’t good, and thus is responsible that Adam Jones isn’t in LF on daily basis. And he is the guy who’s considering an extension for Jose Guillen. Why oh why? How did I miss that Guillen was having a such a great year that we needed to lock him up?

    That said, the season isn’t over because of seven losses in a row. We’re only 4 back (in both the division and wild card) with 62 to play. The problem is the seven losses, and the decision making behind them, further the belief that the Mariners are the 6th (or maybe 7th) best team in the AL. And that’s not a playoff team unless you have a head start on the competition.

  36. Steve T on July 27th, 2007 8:56 am

    It’s a losing streak. Big deal. PLEASE don’t go all Red Soxy on me here. A loss is not the end of the world, and a win is not a sign from Daddy God that he loves you best.

    We know the big move they need to make at the trading deadline, and it doesn’t involve any other teams. Adam Jones, and let all the other teams throw away their future for middle relievers.

  37. ghug on July 27th, 2007 8:56 am

    34- Presley?

  38. Bernoulli on July 27th, 2007 9:00 am

    I think the desperation that this losing streak has provided is real, and not simply because it’s an direct indication of the team’s season. No one believes they’re going to lose another seven in a row. Nor is it just because this week was what might be the best opportunity we’ll have to catch up to the Angels.

    It’s because there are sixty-two games left, as opposed to seventy-seven at the All-Star Break. And making up four games in sixty-two is not trivial. It means we have to play 6% better than the Angels the rest of the season: basically, if the Angels are a 90-win team, we have to play like a 100-win team the rest of the way.

    And what that means is that we can’t count on winning despite our own management: 90-win teams occasionally do that, but 100-win teams don’t. We simply won’t make the playoffs unless the FO does everything right the rest of the way. And I don’t think anyone believes they will.

  39. Carson on July 27th, 2007 9:00 am

    37 (ghug) – Yeah, that wasn’t a post for anything current. Think real hard about a guy named Martinez, who played third base, and was left in the minors for too long.

  40. SequimRealEstate on July 27th, 2007 9:01 am

    Connor #3 mad me LOL Thanks,
    Greg

  41. SequimRealEstate on July 27th, 2007 9:01 am

    made me

  42. gk91 on July 27th, 2007 9:04 am

    I think it’s time for some signs in the stands saying stuff like:

    Forget the fries, send up Adam!

  43. Russ on July 27th, 2007 9:08 am

    It’s not that irrational or surprising if you just consider the fact that their motivations differ from ours.

    Yes it is. If this is their attitude, which evidence is increasing to confirm, then why bother with a farm system at all. Those systems are expensive to maintain. They may as well just shitcan the whole damn thing and just buy (supposed) talent on the open market.

  44. terry on July 27th, 2007 9:14 am

    36: No one is suggesting this season’s story is being written in tea leaves or being revealed through divine revelation.

    The point is simply this….the sky isn’t falling… it can’t be… we’ve been breathing the upper atmosphere as Ms fans for quite some time now… This has been a feel good summer thus far. It’s been one in which a vision of the promised land has emerged from a break in the fog cover. What about the FO has changed to make any of us think that such a vision was really anything other than a mirage at worst or at best a stolen step onto land that we have no future in settling permanently?

    Like it or not, the game is changing quickly and we have a FO that neither embraces this changed way of thinking nor actually was it really very good doings things as they’ve always been done.

    The season isn’t over (not by a long shot) but we’re not likely witnessing a rebirth of the franchise’s ability to compete in the long term either…

    A seven game losing streak doesn’t mean the season is over but it sure can tweak the heck out of some latent frustration that has at times bordered upon despair.

  45. eternal on July 27th, 2007 9:14 am

    It’s interesting that Geoff Baker is calling for a trade of Jones for Willis as of last night. I think starting pitching is inconsistent, but it is not horrible. There are signs of life. Anyway, it sure would be nice to win one sometime…

  46. sodomojojojo on July 27th, 2007 9:18 am

    I had a sign last nite (along the left field line) “Adam Jones mom called, she wants her fries delivered to Safeco soon. FREE ADAM JONES!” Hope it helps, couldn’t hurt & also made my seat mates aware of the improvement just waiting to come up and help.

  47. AuburnM on July 27th, 2007 9:18 am

    I consider myself an optimist, but even I am disgusted at the Ms stubborn refusal to do the most obvious things with their lineup, begining with bringing up Adam Jones.

    The FO will probably trade Jones for Julio Franco because God knows what we need is another “veteran bat.”

  48. Sec 108 on July 27th, 2007 9:19 am

    “If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, maybe we’re the ones who need mental help.”

    I have known for some time that my most apparent manifestation of insanity is my love for MLB, and in particular the Mariners and Cubs. That said, sitting in my seats tonight at Safeco, win or lose, with beer in hand, will be a better way to wrap up my work week than just about anything else I can think of.

    My father, who was a therapist, also used to say that the most insane people are the ones who do not think the have any crazy in them at all. Therefore, your admission makes you more sane than anyone working for the Mariners.

  49. PositivePaul on July 27th, 2007 9:32 am

    I’m MUCH more inclined to urge Bavasi to SELL SELL SELL than to buy right now than I was right around the break. Makes you sorta wonder if Ichiro has buyers remorse…

    I don’t trust Bavasi when he’s buying, and looking at this market full of rotten apples, bruised peaches, wilted flowers and day-old bread, I’d rather hope he sets up a booth rather than strolls around with his wallet…

  50. carcinogen on July 27th, 2007 9:34 am

    One of the worst things about last night was that Swisher’s HR will reinforce the notion that “the governor” can’t pitch against right handers. This will lead to even more terrible bullpen usage.

  51. Jeff Nye on July 27th, 2007 9:43 am

    I am not watching or listening to another game until Adam Jones is in Seattle.

  52. Left-Handed Sock on July 27th, 2007 9:45 am

    The Ichiro angle is interesting. Since he re-signed, the club has floundered badly. I would have expected a shot of adrenaline to the team, instead the opposite has occurred. Probably a coincidence, but it is interesting…

    I definitely second everyone’s fears about Bavasi buying. Buckle up and let’s hope we make it through to August 1 without him doing any more damage.

  53. darrylzero on July 27th, 2007 9:45 am

    My thoughts exactly Dave. I just feel so helpless. It’s not like I should be able to do anything about it, obviously, but the experience of not being able to influence them at all to put their best product on the field and use the resources they do have on the field in an efficient way is totally maddening.

    50, yeah, but if we’d just dump Reitsma for Mickolio it wouldn’t be such a big deal.

  54. Mr. Egaas on July 27th, 2007 9:53 am

    I’ve got confidence we won’t deal Adam Jones… Now whether or not we’ll call him up… it hasn’t happened yet, so i’m skeptical.

    As far as I’m concerned anybody not named Triunfel, Jones, Morrow, or Aumont can be dealt.

  55. Mike Honcho on July 27th, 2007 9:57 am

    As far as I’m concerned anybody not named Triunfel, Jones, Morrow, or Aumont can be dealt.

    I agree. Getting a #2 pitcher for a good package of our prospects, plus a Jones callup is what the team needs.

    Oh, and someone whispering in McLaren’s ear that Green and Sherrill, rather than Reitsma, are the proper options in the eighth.

    And a healthy Mark Lowe.

    And…

  56. CaptainPoopy on July 27th, 2007 10:07 am

    On top of the AJ for Willis per Baker, I’ve heard of Balentein (+ pitching prospect or two) for John (Jon?) Garland. Not to turn this into rosterbation. I’m just worried. I dont like Bavasi at all and most of that is an extension of me not understanding his moves. There talking about giving Guillen an extension, but trading young, cheap talent? Balentein would be Guillen-like and cost about 8-9M less per year. It’s pure insanity. Give these kids a chance. Us running out with the same lineup is the exact fucking same thing as using Raul in the 3 spot because he HAS to turn it around at some point.

  57. CaptainPoopy on July 27th, 2007 10:10 am

    Sorry… mid paragraph should have been “They’re” instead of “There”. I was typing faster than thinking.

  58. thefin190 on July 27th, 2007 10:25 am

    I have to agree with Dave, there isn’t really much to talk about anymore, everything that could be said has been said. Its been sad, seeing guys get in scoring position with only one or no outs, where as a month or even a couple weeks ago, our cleanup guys would be bringing them home, now our clean up guys are striking out back to back. Plus, now with Raul slumping more than ever, this should be more than ever time to bring up Adam Jones to take his place for a few games and see where they go from there.

    But what i am thinking is that the M’s fans are growing impatient for a winning ball club, and young talent such as AJ and Wlad and etc takes years to develop, and i think the M’s fans have suffered enough losing the past few years to go through a few more (even though they haven’t been as bad as the pirates). What Bavasi does is grab veteran help left and right that is proven, but is more expensive and won’t last as long in order in hope to see immediate results and possibly have an injury history (HoRam and Reitsma). You can’t blame Bill if he makes an ill-advised move, he is just trying to get immediate help to help the team today, not in years ahead. I am not supporting bavasi by any means, but im just saying. Maybe we can dump Sexson for Dye and Garland, but who knows, we might just have to trade some of the future for the present. As long as it isn’t Adam Jones.

  59. Bernoulli on July 27th, 2007 10:35 am

    58: I can blame Bill for making ill-advised moves. I can blame him for the ones he made two years ago that leave us in the position we’re in now. And I can blame him for making poor moves now and mortgaging the future.

    As 27 joked, the Mariners’ definition of rebuilding is to replace the manager.

    We want a winning ballclub, yes. But without an ability to accurately judge talent, you’re no better off throwing millions of dollars at veterans than you are at promoting unproven rookies. It still ends up being a coin flip, and we all know where coin flips lead us: the magical .500 mark.

  60. Blastings Thrilledge on July 27th, 2007 10:37 am

    Geez being a Mariners fan sounds really depressing. I thought the Mets were bad with the way they favored Shawn Green over Lastings Milledge, Paul Lo Duca over Ramon Castro, and Jose Valentin over anyone else. I’ve had Adam Jones sitting on my fantasy team with a red “NA” for a lot longer than I expected. Also, I still can’t wrap my mind around the Jose Vidro thing. Bavasi missed the boat by about 6 years on that one. I wonder if he thinks the Montreal Expos are still playing.

  61. Nick on July 27th, 2007 10:38 am

    Everybody needs to just relax. We’ve still got Willy Ballgame!

  62. brian_sun on July 27th, 2007 10:43 am

    McLaren has been terrible in my opinion. I hate Hargrove, but I almost wish he’s still managing the team at this point. Sean Green was doing great and got demoted from the 8th inning guy to a 6th or 7th inning guy just because Chris Frigging Reistma had a good outing. Raul Ibanez was hitting .188 in July, and not only did McLaren put him in the lineup every day, but batting him 3rd! Not to mention that he keeps putting Sherril as a 1 batter pitcher, despite his .209 BA against RH… Numerous times that he kept his starting pitchers in the game too long, even though they’ve shown that they have nothing left…

    The numerous mistakes he’s made make me worry that this trading deadline will be like in 1997, when Norm Charlton keep blowing saves, and they traded Jose Cruz Jr. to Toronto for Spoljaric and Timlin. I dreaded the same fate for Adam Jones. If they trade Adam Jones for Willis, Javier Vasquez or Jon Garland, I won’t watch this team any more. Heck, at this rate, they might trade Adam Jones for Jose Contreras, who has given up 5 runs or more in 7 of his last 8 games, which was as bad as Jeff Weaver was in the beginning of the season.

    I am telling you this team has no hope as long as BV is the GM.

  63. John in L.A. on July 27th, 2007 10:51 am

    58-

    “…young talent such as AJ and Wlad and etc takes years to develop…”

    Yes, thank god they have had them.

    “What Bavasi does is grab veteran help left and right that is proven, but is more expensive and won’t last as long in order in hope to see immediate results and possibly have an injury history (HoRam and Reitsma.”

    You call those two “proven”?

    “You can’t blame Bill if he makes an ill-advised move”

    Oh, yes I can. Can and will.

    Also, his moves are not usually so much “sacrificing the future for the present” as they are “sacrificing the future AND the present.”

  64. maalox on July 27th, 2007 10:52 am

    The most disenchanting part of it all is not the questionable bullpen management, bizzare roster, and past-their-prime “veterans”– it’s that nobody can make any sense of it. I wonder what this forum would look like if the team made it public _why_ Ibanez is still playing left field. Perhaps there’s some hidden meaning to it, some kind of long-term strategy that McLaren has seen time and time again during his time in the majors.

    I think we all suspect, though, that there is no rationale behind his decisions. It’s like watching a headless chicken, I guess– It’s interesting to see exactly how far it can go without any brains at all– but I really don’t expect the Mariners organization to keep my interest for much longer.

    And Dave– Just keep reposting the lineup thing. Remember how many times you had to say “Mix your pitches” before Rafael Chavez actually took the printout to Felix himself?

  65. Jeff Nye on July 27th, 2007 10:55 am

    CNNSI’s Jon Heyman article on trade rumors is depressing as well (note: this is not an excuse for rosterbation, and I don’t know how credible the guy and his sources are).

    We apparently are considered by him to be the frontrunners to get Matt Morris and/or Livan Hernandez.

    *gurgling noises*

  66. popsey55 on July 27th, 2007 11:01 am

    30 – Are Felix and Wlad great friends or what? Has Felix said specifically he wants Wlad to stay?

    If not, then I’m all for trading Wlad to get some starting pitching. The Ms rank 22nd in ERA from the Rotation. The bullpen is not shabby as it is ranked 8th in ERA (however for teams in the top 10, only us and Texas have less than a 2-1 K/BB ratio out of the bullpen).

  67. John in L.A. on July 27th, 2007 11:01 am

    22-

    “No one here ever expected them to be much above 82 wins this season, so consider this gravy.”

    That’s not really how it works. If they do better than expected, that’s gravy… when they SUBSEQUENTLY do their level best to piss that away… that’s not gravy, that’s high-level frustration.

    “Could they do something to help themselves win? Theoretically.”

    No, not ‘theoretically’. The word you were looking for there is ‘absolutely’. “Could they do something to help themselves win? Absolutely.”

    And it should be some things, not thing.

    “It’s easy to sit here and say what can be done, but not being on the inside, no one knows what truly goes on behind the walls and why decisions are made and not made.”

    Ah, the old ‘X is immune to criticism by virtue of secrecy’ chestnut.

    “We can speculate and denegrate but these aren’t stupid people running the show, as much as we’d like to believe.”

    In some ways, yes, yes they are. I am sorry you don’t see why.

    I can’t believe how many people believe this, though… are all of your bosses the smartest people in the company? All of your managers at your job are competent, infallible and beyond questioning?

    Because that sure as hell hasn’t been my experience.

    And it equally certainly isn’t the case here.

    Whether or not they ARE stupid, they certainly are BEING stupid… and which it is doesn’t matter much to us.

  68. giuseppe on July 27th, 2007 11:07 am

    Anyone know who or what answers the number posted on the official website for the Mariners front office?

    Would it be worth calling and just asking to be transferred to Adam Jones’ extension?

    Maybe if a dreaded trade occurs we can all call and ask for Chris Antonetti. Then ask when he’ll be available if he’s not there now.

  69. Dave on July 27th, 2007 11:11 am

    If you want to vent to the front office, just post it here. They read the blog. Calling the office and ranting on a voicemail isn’t going to do any good.

  70. giuseppe on July 27th, 2007 11:13 am

    This link actually works.

    I’m 0-2 in the last two days in posting links. I quit.

  71. BillPhi2 on July 27th, 2007 11:15 am

    66: And if ERA were an effective tool for evaluating pitcher talent, then you would have a point. Not so much.

    In fact, if you look at the left-hand side of the blog under ‘features’, you’ll find a handy link called “Evaluating Pitcher Talent”. Have a read and try again.

  72. Jeff Nye on July 27th, 2007 11:24 am

    As much as I am a fan of not using ERA to evaluate pitchers, I don’t think the point about our starting pitching not being very good is invalid. Just used the wrong tool to get to the right conclusion.

    However, this does not mean that we should spend talent to get any of the completely mediocre options on the trade market.

    Especially not Adam Jones for Dontrelle Willis, as certain columnists that we generally really like have recently suggested.

  73. DiamondDave on July 27th, 2007 11:27 am

    I just want to thank Dave for all the great posts. At times like these, Ms fans need an outlet, a place to vent, commiserate, grieve. This site provides that. And for free, how great is this? The Internet is a wonderful thing.

    Put up the “buy the authors a beer” button again. You guys deserve, and god knows, you need it after the disaster that this season is becoming/has been.

  74. BillPhi2 on July 27th, 2007 11:28 am

    72: Agreed. Our starting pitching is not very good, but there’s not anything out there that’s worth giving up low risk/high reward prospects to obtain.

  75. Left-Handed Sock on July 27th, 2007 11:29 am

    The reason Raul Ibanez is still in the lineup in the 3 hole every day is because he is a hard worker, favorite with the casual fan, non wave-maker, good clubhouse guy, leader, star in commercials etc. etc. The Mariners value these attributes more than production on the field. It’s as simple as that.

    The Mariners appear to base absolutely no decisions on scientific number-based evidence or logic. Everything they do is based on gut feel, loyalty and past accomplishments.

    They’re baseball dinosaurs.

    That’s the only way to

  76. Gilgameche on July 27th, 2007 11:33 am

    Love the site, and analysis is spot on.
    But after a while aren’t we like vegetarians going to McDonalds and being upset that the hamburgers contain meat?

  77. Gilgameche on July 27th, 2007 11:37 am

    Caveat: I have no idea what is actually in them burgers.

  78. popsey55 on July 27th, 2007 11:40 am

    71 – I know hwo to evaluate a pitcher, and ERA is not the best way, but it is the easiest when you’re making a post within 2 minutes. ERA will do just fine for what I was trying to say, which is that we need starting pitching.

  79. BillPhi2 on July 27th, 2007 11:43 am

    78: Um, Ok.

  80. John in L.A. on July 27th, 2007 11:44 am

    76 – More like vegetarians who order the garden burger, but are given a Big Mac that’s been under the heat lamp for eight hours and TOLD that is a nice, delicious garden burger*.

    78 – I am at a loss to find any available pitching that would help this team much. Certainly not help the team more than just bringing up AJ.

    *I know there is no such thing in real life, this is merely a hypothetical.

  81. Cmalone187 on July 27th, 2007 11:45 am

    They’re apparently scouring the land looking for mediocre pitchers:

    “The Mariners, who need pitching help, were at Minute Maid Park on Tuesday checking out Jason Jennings.”

    http://www.fannation.com/truth_and_rumors/mlb#

  82. popsey55 on July 27th, 2007 11:46 am

    79- Do you have a suggested site where I can find HR Rate, K%, BB%, Etc for entire starting pitching and entire bullpens? That would be great to know of, thanks

  83. BillPhi2 on July 27th, 2007 11:48 am

    80: Well said. And pitcher evaluation needs to be done on available talent as well as our current staff in order to make a reasonable decision about whether a trade is worthwhile. Looking solely at our staff and deciding we need to trade for pitching is inadequate at best, disastrous at worst.

  84. terry on July 27th, 2007 11:53 am

    Jason Jennings is hurt.

  85. F-Rod on July 27th, 2007 11:54 am

    ERA isn’t the best for individual pitchers but when looking at a whole pitching staff or starters and bullpen it is not terrible. The luck will even out and it has value in a quick retort.

  86. CaptainPoopy on July 27th, 2007 11:56 am

    I seriously doubt that Antonetti would even want to come to Seattle.

  87. BillPhi2 on July 27th, 2007 11:59 am

    79: It was your quoting of our staff ERA and reasoning that we needed to trade Wlad for pitching based on same that was the source of my objection.

    Since we won’t be trading for an entire staff, we need to look at available talent capable of improving the team and what we’d need to give up to obain that talent. Simply saying “our ERA is bad, so we need more pitching” is not the best way to make the point.

  88. Dayve on July 27th, 2007 12:00 pm

    61

    That’s one thing that people on this board should rejoice about: haven’t seen much of Wille B since Mac has taken the reigns.

  89. rcc on July 27th, 2007 12:01 pm

    I think it interesting that so many share my dread that Bavasi may pull the trigger on a deal to bring in another one or two over the hill veterans, with great club house presence, for the stretch run. Is it possible that Bill could take a longer view, and try and get rid of our deadweight (yeah I know there is alot), and try and set the club up for next year and beyond.

    On the A’s blog their fans are arguing whether Billy Beane should throw in the towel and get rid of their veterans for future prospects. It will be interesting to see the contrast in the respective approaches of both the A’s and M’s over the next few days.

    One rumor was that the A’s would swap Kielty to the Red Sox for Pinerio….no chance of that happening….Billy Beane is not stupid.

  90. Cmalone187 on July 27th, 2007 12:03 pm

    85: All the more reason not to trade for him! :D But I’m just going by what the Houston Chronicle said through that site.

  91. Dayve on July 27th, 2007 12:03 pm

    reins, that is.

  92. popsey55 on July 27th, 2007 12:09 pm

    88- Yes, I agree that at wasn’t a good point citing the team ERA and then saying we need pitching, if it was even a point at all. I was stating the obvious. Horacio should not be on ANY major league roster. Weaver is no Cy Young either, but he is at least comparable to other pitchers that are on the trade block around the majors. Batista peripherals are solid, so he stays in the rotation of course. Getting a 5th starter to replace Horacio would be one of my top priorities as the GM. I’m not suggesting to make irrational trades to acquire a Matt Morris or Jason Jennings, but adding either of those two would be an upgrade over what we have now.

  93. DiamondDave on July 27th, 2007 12:11 pm

    76, I love the McDonald’s analogy. We should have wised up by now. I myself am not into stats, but if I was getting paid good money to manager/direct a baseball team, you better believe I’d be looking at all the data I could get my hands on.

    Question: Do the Ms employ a stats guy like other teams do? If not, that’s pathetic. Look at what Theo/BIll James have been able to accomplish in Boston, and what Billy Beane does with the As. Imagine if the As had the Mariners’ budget. They’d probably win the world series.

    Heads in the sand. That’s the Ms. We might as well bring back Stand Pat. He couldn’t do any worse than BB.

    PS Have you been watching what Piniella Has done with the Cubs? Shades of 1995? I’m sure the Cubs will find a way to blow it, as they are cursed, but still, that’s a hell of a turnaround by lou.

  94. kenshabby on July 27th, 2007 12:13 pm

    It’s amazing that this is the same team that won 8 straight not too long ago. Over the past seven games they’ve appeared lifeless and often clueless – where’s that vaunted “veteran leadership” when you really need it? Where’s that “clubhouse presence”? Ah, to live in fantasyland.

    As others have pointed out, about the worst thing than can happen is if they continue to play .500 ball the rest of the way – should they finish around 86-76 (my original predicted record at the start of the season) it’ll be seen as a success of sorts and little constructive shall happen during the offseason. Constructive as in, the replacement of McLaren and Bavasi. Though I even doubt that such moves would have much impact.

    But what should we really expect of this team? Mediocre starting rotation, anemic offense, pitiful defense in several spots, dreadful managing decisions, over-reliance on the bullpen, crappy baserunning, veterans past their prime…it’s surprising we were even in the race at all.

    There’s just no way this team has what it takes to make a serious run now that the team has fallen flat on its collective face; the other AL teams are just too solid. Sure, we may see another 5-6 game winning streak, but we’ll also probably see another 5-6 game losing streak. I’m just glad that I have more than one team for which to root.

  95. BillPhi2 on July 27th, 2007 12:16 pm

    93: I agree with your central premise that we need to improve the pitching staff. Without getting into major rosterbation, I also don’t believe the available talent is worth the price we’d have to pay for it. So we both agree and disagree. ;)

  96. bergamot on July 27th, 2007 12:20 pm

    Any starting pitcher acquired by the M’s will have about 12 starts for the remainder of the season. He would have to be Stealth Bob Gibson to make a big difference at this point.

  97. CaptainPoopy on July 27th, 2007 12:31 pm

    Matt Morris would cost too much in terms of payroll additions. Jennings would be out of the question…. as I believe he’s too valuable to their franchise (they did give up some decent players for him). No thanks to any pitcher on the trading block as of now. Dontrelle is not worth AJ, or his paycheck for that matter.

    There’s no pitcher that can help us right now. Every pitcher out there is either too expensive or sucks (mostly both though). The moves I say we should make the rest of the year is as follows; bring up AJ and sit pat. Let him get experience and dont make any other roster moves. That includes not signing Guillen to a long-term deal.

  98. SpokaneMsFan on July 27th, 2007 1:36 pm

    Per Dave’s suggestion I am posting here to vent to the front office: Would you please at least give us a press release explaining why we have a DH that slugs significantly under .400 and a left fielder that doesn’t catch fly balls? I’m sure there would be a lot less frustration if we were given anything that resembles a logical explanation as to these two seemingly illogical circumstances.

  99. Slippery Elmer on July 27th, 2007 1:37 pm

    “I guess you just want to shave your head, have a drink and be left alone.

    (Is that too much to ask?)”

  100. Bearman on July 27th, 2007 1:57 pm

    I was never a supporter of Hargrove and I in fact wanted to see McClaren in the job.Now I still don’t regret that support for him then and not now.

    Unfortunately I believe he is under the same pressure from Bavasi and his upper level bosses. In many cases play contract over team best interest and to play offseason aquisitions by Bavasi namely Reitsma,HoRam,etc………

    He is being limited in his ability to make game decision by the interference of that policy from above .
    This is also the reason for the failure to callup the needed help from AAA in Jones/Balenien etc……
    That policy is also why many here and in other blogs,forum etc…..fear the M’s will waste those very prospects to make one of Bavasi’s deadline deal for a overthe hill overpaid “proven vet”.

    The key to the future of this club is the complete overhaul of the FO from GM up otherwise expect season after season of just .500 ball or bit better but no playoffs.

  101. Donald P. on July 27th, 2007 2:11 pm

    I don’t know who is aware of this but while Reitsma continues to stink it up Julio Mateo is down in Tacoma with 0.85 ERA, in 22 games with 31.2 innings pitched. I’m not the biggest Mateo fan but he DOES NOT walk people, he might get hit but in those 31.2 innings he’s struck out 28 and walked 2 freakin batters. Come on what are they waiting for. I realize he had the Domestic Abuse problems, but if they were gonna let him go don’t you think they would have done it by now! Bavasi is driving me crazy how he could improve this team without even making a Trade and yet nothing is happening! i.e. Jones and Mateo!

  102. eponymous coward on July 27th, 2007 2:33 pm

    dw @ 23-

    I’m not particularly optimistic about “coming back”. Pythag says his is a .500 team that got lucky winning a lot of close games (their 18-9 June record is based on a 142-133 run differential), and now is finding out that close games don’t really tell you a lot other than “you’re lucky”.

    I was never particularly impressed by the “but those blowouts don’t mean anything” line of argument as to why the M’s were really better than their Pythag. Good teams don’t get blown out a lot, and have better pitchers than Bad Jeff Weaver, Bad HoRam, and Bad Feierabend, and aren’t dead last in walks in their league. Right now, the book on these guys should be “don’t throw strikes and let them get themselves out”.

    A few weeks ago, we were an 85 win team that might win 90 if we stayed a little lucky and made some moves to improve the roster. Now, we’re an 85 win team that had the lucky streak at the craps table run out, and the roster moves aren’t being made and are costing us. The team hasn’t really changed: Ichiro rocks, but the entire team still doesn’t walk or strike out and lives on dies by streaky singles hitting, the core of the lineup mostly depends on guys over 30 who are good candidates to collectively decline as a group from here on out (Raul, Vidro Johjima, Sexson, Guillen- and the one power hitter who ISN’T is also the one guy who’s under 30, Beltre), the rotation has 4 #3-4 starters unless Felix learns his craft, the #5 is a joke, the corner OF defense is bad, the middle infield is mildly disappointing, and the bullpen is still strong but cannot be expected to be superhuman for a 162 game season.

    All told, I don’t see why you should pick these guys over NY, LAA, CLE, BOS or DET… so basically, all the wailing and gnashing of teeth is over a bad run at the craps table after a good run.

    I also have some questions about expecting Adam Jones to provide a big offensive lift, since he’s a) not a particularly patient hitter, joining a team of guys who have never seen a pitch they won’t swing at, b) a de-facto rookie who might easily struggle for 50-100 PAs adjusting to major league pitching, since he hasn’t likely seen any since late April-early May when all the good AAA pitchers left the league via callup, and c) a RHB on a team that’s way too heavily RHB anyway. I think he’s still the right move, on the grounds that there’s no better time than the present to put in the better player, and Jones > Raul or Vidro, take your pick…but this might not pay off right away (and it’s why it would have been nice if this move was made weeks ago, so it would be closer to paying off if he struggles for a bit on the initial callup).

  103. Paul L on July 27th, 2007 6:11 pm

    Does anyone wonder if this maybe is not Bavasi’s fault but that he’s actually trying to make changes and his hands are being tied by upper mgmt?

    Dave seems to have connections to the organization – maybe he can poke around and find out?

    I dunno, maybe I’m grasping as straws. It just seems so irrational to literally do NOTHING at a time like this that I’m assuming other factors are in play.

  104. scraps on July 27th, 2007 7:25 pm

    Have you been watching what Piniella Has done with the Cubs? Shades of 1995? I’m sure the Cubs will find a way to blow it, as they are cursed, but still, that’s a hell of a turnaround by lou.

    The Cubs had been playing as far below their Pythagorean projections this year as the Mariners had been playing above. The Cubs are making a run from a hole they never should have been in in the first place. If Lou gets credit for the Cubs’ charge now, he should get the blame for how much below their potential the team was playing most of the year — and for the apparently awful state of the clubhouse.

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