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.


104 Responses to “What Now?”

  1. 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!

  2. 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).

  3. 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.

  4. 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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