Veteran Relievers

Dave · August 31, 2007 at 8:02 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Scheduling Note: No KJR gig with Groz today..

The Mariners quest for a veteran relief pitcher has led them through a series of arms this year.

Reitsma	7.61	23.7	37	22	20	3	9	11	56
Parrish	8.44	5.3	12	5	5	0	2	1	50
White	5.79	4.7	9	4	3	0	3	3	74
Total	7.48	33.7	58	31	28	3	14	15	58

34 innings, 58 hits, 31 runs, 14 walks, 15 strikeouts, and a combined ERA that is 42 percent below the league average for all pitchers (significantly worse when compared to just relievers).

Being old does not equal being good. Learn from your mistakes. Talent > Experience.


102 Responses to “Veteran Relievers”

  1. bp in dc on August 31st, 2007 8:09 am

    I just don’t understand this philosophy, especially when Trials 1 and 2 both turn out horrifically and cost the team several games.

    This Rick White situation, however, has been the most maddening of them all.

    What are the chances we actually see him in a high-leverage situation going forward?

  2. Mike Honcho on August 31st, 2007 8:16 am

    What are the chances we actually see him in a high-leverage situation going forward?

    You would think there is an obvious answer to that question, wouldn’t you?

  3. quickkick87 on August 31st, 2007 8:24 am

    As frustrating as this is for me, I would imagine that M’s regulars are pulling their hair out over this one. If this tailspin proves to be what takes the M’s out of playoff contention for good this year (which it may well), blame should fall squarely on management’s shoulders. This is not a result of the Mariners themselves failing to perform when it counted (though that has happened as well). Instead, it is a result of total and complete ineptitude at the managerial position. Rick White, Parrish, Vidro at 2nd, Jones in the outfield once every two weeks. Those are the systematic failures that will be this team’s undoing. It’s inexcusable

  4. Dobbs on August 31st, 2007 8:27 am

    The Experienced front office has just as much Talent as the veteran relievers they’ve signed this year.

    Perhaps when we see Talent in the FO, they’ll begin to rely less on Experience.

  5. JI on August 31st, 2007 8:35 am

    Best post ever.

  6. bergamot on August 31st, 2007 8:37 am

    Not to excuse the multitudinous blunders of M’s management, but even a sensible manager would have difficulties with this team. The bullpen has performed at a world-historic level for the last four months, and this wasn’t going to last forever in light of the number of innings they’ve pitched due to the starting pitchers who rarely go deep into the game.

    None of this explains the continued existence of Rick Nitroglycerin White, of course.

  7. scraps on August 31st, 2007 8:45 am

    What kills me is that there’s no real evidence that either Reitsma or White was ever good. Yet the Mariners have probably thrown away their season by giving these two guys multiple games to blow.

  8. Choska on August 31st, 2007 8:47 am

    Systematic failures of the front office is exactly right. This team has won a lot of games due to some surprising – though unsustainable – performances from some key people. The problem we see now has its roots in the front office’s critical mistakes that we identified at the beginning of the year.

    The one I’m thinking of in particular right now was a right-handed reliever with experience (Rafael Soriano) whom we traded away for Ho Ram. That trade looked bad then. It looks horrible now.

    The Mariner’s front office is unable to properly evaluate major league talent – either in getting those guys on the team or in managing them once they get there. Given Bavasi’s performance over the past few years, I’m more inclined to believe that the signing of Guillen was a desperation move that has turned out to be a lucky call. Chock that up to the fact that even blind squirrels can find nuts.

    Let’s all hope the results get better, and that we continue to get timely (lucky) hits. But let’s not forget that the process that generates those results is completely broken.

  9. Mike Snow on August 31st, 2007 8:52 am

    That composite line is still better than starting Horacio Ramirez on the road.

  10. Safeco Hobo on August 31st, 2007 8:53 am

    This bullpen management ‘style’ is something good teams should suffer early in the season. I can understand that Hargrove wanted to put Reitsma in tight situations trying to get a gauge on where he was coming off surgery. We are now 5 months into the season and yet the management continues to have no faith in the horses that got them where they are today. Instead they rather trust these retreads, over and over.

    To be fair, bullpen arms are the most tempramental aspects of baseball to manage. Given the average age of the M’s bullpen is 15, i can understand management may be leary of when to use certain pitchers. By this i mean, control problems, dead arms, and endurance issues all will rear their head for somebody like Morrow who hasn’t played in a 162 game schedule and has zero experience pitching out of the bullpen. But to give up on your own product and bring in somebody else’s rejects to protect a lead in the 8th makes no sense!

  11. oNeiRiC232 on August 31st, 2007 8:55 am

    It’s a young bullpen that earned it’s way into playoff contention in the first place. They deserve to see it through.

    To get that far, and then at the very end have management take it away from you in favor of some turd with a bleached forest creature on his chin?

    Let’s just say that it can’t be good for team chemistry. If I were anyone in that bullpen, I’d be MAD.

  12. msb on August 31st, 2007 9:11 am

    Mac said several times during the postgame press meet, “if the starters would just go longer…” After the replay, Norm followed up the thought by talking about just how much the bullpen has pitched already this season, and how many innings the young pitchers had pitched. He then went off on a ramble about the value of a veteran who’s ‘been through the wars’ and ‘doesn’t panic under pressure’, but the first thought was a valid one. True, the bullpen hasn’t been managed well, but it has also been stressed more than ordinarily, and there have been days when the call was made to ‘the wrong reliever’ because the right one couldn’t go.

  13. Dave on August 31st, 2007 9:14 am

    When J.J. Putz hasn’t pitched in a week, you abandon your right to claim that the bullpen is overworked.

  14. Ben Ramm on August 31st, 2007 9:16 am

    Who is more foolish, the fool or the guy who argues with the fool?

  15. Sec 108 on August 31st, 2007 9:17 am

    This season is the perfect example of how helpless a situation it is to be a real fan of a sports team. The Mariners have my allegiance no matter how much the crap all over me. I will still give them my money because even when they are terrible I still cannot think of a better way to spend a summer evening than being at the ballpark. All of that being said, I refuse to “Love these guys” just because management has forced them on me. I will be at the next home game against the A’s on the 10th, and unless this road trip turns fast I expect small and angry crowds.

  16. Colm on August 31st, 2007 9:20 am

    Ben Ramm

    We hope that the management of the Mariners are not fools, just people who make occasional foolish decisions.

  17. Manzanillos Cup on August 31st, 2007 9:29 am

    I think it’s time for “Open Letter To John McLaren and Bill Bavasi: RE: The Bullpen”.

    I feel we’ve reached a point where ranting no longer gives us needed respite. I’m drawn to action. Us fans can have a say, right? Right? :(

  18. msb on August 31st, 2007 9:29 am

    actually, wouldn’t that make the bullpen even more overworked? When the manager is fool enough to not use one pitcher just because it isn’t the ‘right’ time, then those innings have to be filled by the others in the pen …

  19. PCW on August 31st, 2007 9:37 am

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but is an ERA+ of 58 actually 42% below league average?

  20. terry on August 31st, 2007 9:41 am

    Why are we framing the choices of the obtuse and inept in terms of the collective ERA?

  21. firova2 on August 31st, 2007 9:42 am

    Does Davis not qualify for this list? They burned up nearly 26 innings with him and got a 6.31 ERA, more walks than strikeouts, etc., etc.

  22. Dave on August 31st, 2007 9:44 am

    Why are we framing the choices of the obtuse and inept in terms of the collective ERA?

    We’re fighting fire with fire. Groz almost always asks about the latest post on the site, and I think we’d all be better served if I didn’t spend five minutes explaining xFIP on the air in a few hours.

    Does Davis not qualify for this list?

    No – he’s not a veteran, and he wasn’t put in high pressure, game changing situations. His role on the team was totally different than the one that was handed to Reitsma, Parrish, and White.

  23. firova2 on August 31st, 2007 9:44 am

    I’m thinking that JJ himself should pay the manager a visit. Just to get things straight.

  24. lailaihei on August 31st, 2007 9:46 am

    JJ should have punched Rick White in the throat and gone out there himself.

  25. firova2 on August 31st, 2007 9:49 am

    It seems to me that among the few consistent advantages the Mariners have over their opponents are the ways they start the game (Ichiro) and end them (JJ). Hard to believe that McLaren would not use his end-game trump through six straight defeats, no matter the save situation or lack of same.

  26. Choska on August 31st, 2007 9:53 am

    BTW, Soriano hasn’t given up a walk since August 5th. He has pitched 11.1 innings in that stretch with 11 Ks and ZERO runs.

  27. firova2 on August 31st, 2007 9:53 am

    22. I see. So we lump him in with Sean White, long relievers acquired by the team who provided neither length nor relief? At least Sean could plead injury.

  28. Mike Snow on August 31st, 2007 9:54 am

    I think we’d all be better served if I didn’t spend five minutes explaining xFIP on the air in a few hours.

    Rather than trying to explain esoteric statistics in detail, I would suggest just giving a simple illustration. Remind people that Rick White was not charged with an earned run yesterday, even when we all remember how much he contributed to the loss, so ERA actually understates how detrimental he’s been.

  29. bakomariner on August 31st, 2007 10:10 am

    with as bad as the management and front office has been, i thank GOD that we signed ICHIRO…this incompetence would have sent him packing if he wasn’t already inked…

  30. beef on August 31st, 2007 10:14 am
  31. eddieranch on August 31st, 2007 10:22 am

    Safeco Hobo, totally agree with you about the timing of all this experimentation. As much as I cringe about McClaren’s move’s, the fact that he has to tinker with the line-up at this crucial stage is a failure of the FO to make crucial and necessary moves back in July. This is the time of year you make known, quantifiable changes — key platoons, defensive adjustments, and have your known 7th inning guy, 8th inning guy, etc. This is also the time of year you should know what your stud AAA call-up is capable of by having called hime up early enough to make a difference. Instead McClaren is just figuring out AJ, experimenting with 2B, DH, and LF spots, and using the newest member of the pitching crew, a beyond aging veteran, in 3 crucial spots in a row. The FO has given him few choices, and he’s compunding it by making all the wrong ones.

  32. scottg02 on August 31st, 2007 10:37 am

    It’s bad when being the fan of a team in a pennant race brings doom and suffering rather then hope and joy. I don’t claim to be a baseball strategy expert by any means but even my mom who is just a casual Cubs fan with very little baseball knowledge couldn’t believe they were trotting out White again, with the game on the line again. Its ridiculous. Its mind boggling. It’s insane. I wish I could just QUIT and not be a fan anymore, but I’ve tried that it doesn’t work. I’ve got Mariners in my blood. Even thought it makes me want to go hang myself after weeks like the past one.

  33. bakomariner on August 31st, 2007 10:39 am

    any word on who they are selecting for the september call-ups? i pray we never see ramirez start again and white will be gone…

  34. msb on August 31st, 2007 10:41 am

    #33– oh, no, according to Drayer last night, they have been stretching out White for long relief ….

  35. msb on August 31st, 2007 10:41 am

    oh, wait, you meant Richard F. White.

  36. msb on August 31st, 2007 10:42 am

    FWIW, LaRue had this note today:

    “That ailing bullpen will get a break Friday, when the roster expands and pitchers Ryan Feierabend, John Parrish and Sean White figure to join the club. That will give McLaren more arms, if not better ones.”

  37. etowncoug on August 31st, 2007 10:52 am


    Can you provide a list of the call ups the club is planning on making tomorrow?

  38. Sports on a Schtick on August 31st, 2007 10:57 am

    Damn it, no Groz? When is USSM going to have its own Hour of Power podcast? I’d listen.

  39. DMZ on August 31st, 2007 10:59 am

    Dude, USSM as it stands today takes so much of our time, and pays $0 – I’d love to do a podcast, but we just don’t have the time.

    If podcasting paid well, well….

  40. mcfly on August 31st, 2007 11:04 am

    I feel like starting my call for Dave Burba again, but I reckon I will be banned for life. There must be someone on the Nick Lachey Presents the Tacoma Rainiers that can be brought up for mop up.

    Seriously, there is something nice to see how Sean Green, a AAAA pitcher made big league adjustments and is now a good reliever. But, the Parrish, White, Reitsma thing – its the old dog, new trick thing. Just because a dog can shake your hand doesn’t mean he has been taught not to pee on the carpet.

  41. Andren on August 31st, 2007 11:05 am

    Count me as one of many who’d pay a subscription fee for USSM podcast madness.

  42. cgmonk on August 31st, 2007 11:06 am

    DMZ, your ad sponsors are colluding to pay you $0.00 in advertising.

    Here are the current winning bids and their ads:

  43. MedicineHat on August 31st, 2007 11:06 am

    Looks like the M’s are hitting some panick buttons, eh?

    Jose Lopez will head to the bench for awhile. Lopez sat out Thursday’s game and likely will miss the next several due to shoddy defense, according to the Seattle Times.
    “I don’t know how long we’re going to sit him,” manager John McLaren said. “But we’re going to sit him down for a while, let him gather his thoughts.” Jose Vidro started at second Thursday, but Willie Bloomquist is expected to get most of the time there over the next few days.


    Richie Sexson could miss the weekend series in Toronto due to a hamstring injury he suffered on Thursday. Sexson has apparently been bothered by the hamstring for awhile but has attempted to play through the pain, according to the Seattle Times. Ben Broussard will play first while Sexson is out.

  44. MedicineHat on August 31st, 2007 11:07 am

    that could also be “panic” lol. Man, too bad there is no edit button

  45. scottg02 on August 31st, 2007 11:10 am

    Does anyone else want to punch themselves in the face because Lopez is getting benched for shoddy defense and they start Vidro at second? Even with Willy that’s not an upgrade. What happened to common sense?

  46. VaughnStreet on August 31st, 2007 11:11 am

    Dear USSM:

    Hi, my name is Jason Davis and I sucked too!

    6.31 25.2 29 21 18

  47. SpokaneMsFan on August 31st, 2007 11:15 am

    So if today ends without me seeing White and DFA in the same article I am seriously considering becoming an As fan. Thank god Football Season started yesterday.

  48. scottg02 on August 31st, 2007 11:17 am

    47 – No way they DFA him with rosters expanded.

    Speaking of the A’s, can they catch the Mariners?

  49. Sports on a Schtick on August 31st, 2007 11:20 am

    Thank goodness September brings extra arms. Our bullpen is getting taxed by crappy starters and crappy management.

    Well not the entire bullpen. Putz is chillaxin’.

  50. VaughnStreet on August 31st, 2007 11:20 am

    “I don’t know how long we’re going to sit him,” manager John McLaren said. “But we’re going to sit him down for a while, let him gather his thoughts.”

    Gather his thoughts about what? About what a crappy manager McLaren is?

  51. lailaihei on August 31st, 2007 11:21 am

    McLaren should be DFA’d

  52. scottg02 on August 31st, 2007 11:23 am

    The one good thing that could come of this is maybe Broussard will play well and keep the 1B spot the rest of the season.

  53. lailaihei on August 31st, 2007 11:28 am

    If Jones doesn’t start today I’m gonna be pissed. He rides the pine for weeks at a time, you finally put him in and he’s one of the biggest impacts on the game.

  54. carcinogen on August 31st, 2007 11:31 am

    Why did Dave’s gig get canceled?

  55. IchirosTalkingDog on August 31st, 2007 11:46 am

    Maybe they are looking for a blogger who has been thru the wars.

  56. D Truth on August 31st, 2007 11:46 am

    Please! Please! No more bleach (Rick White)!

    Where’s JJ been? He hasn’t pitched in a week? What gives?

    Is McLaren actually worse than Hargrove? Guess so. Wonder what ‘ol Mike the Mumbler thought of last night’s blunder? Quitter!

    Don’t get me started on the Soriano for Ho Ram deal. That’s the whole reason Reitsma, Parrish and Bleach came to wear a Mariner uniform in the first place.

    And, the reason the Mariners are looking up at the Angels and Yankees now.

  57. msb on August 31st, 2007 11:51 am

    looks like Groz bailed on the day; Furness is in.

  58. carcinogen on August 31st, 2007 11:58 am

    bummer, I was looking forward to the absolute takedown of McLaren.

    Actually, what I’m looking forward to is the freaking playoffs…but I might have to keep looking.

  59. HamNasty on August 31st, 2007 12:00 pm

    Hargrove put Putz in games during 11 non save situations.
    And the day Grover quit he used JJ in a tie game in the 9th which they won and Putz got the W. June 27th Grover did the same thing against the BoSox and we won in the 12.
    On the 13th of this month McLaren did the same thing against the Twins, 3-3 game Putz in the the 9th and the W.

    Don’t tell me Putz shouldn’t be brought in during tie games. Hargrove might have liked roles but he wasn’t set on them alone like Mac.

  60. Sec 108 on August 31st, 2007 12:02 pm

    Derek 39 – Maybe it is time for you all to charge for membership to USSM. I’d pay, and I’m sure many others would too. Fact is that you guys put in the time to research many things that my career and family do not allow me to research. I very strongly want to say how appreciated the work you do is. I may not always agree on every little thing, but USSM is just an amazing forum for people who like to break the game down.

  61. saltydawg05 on August 31st, 2007 12:03 pm

    Is it possible Putz is injured? Otherwise I don’t get not using him at all in the last 5 days

  62. davepaisley on August 31st, 2007 12:03 pm

    58 – the playoffs will happen!

    They just won’t feature the Mariners.

    Red Sox, Angels, Indians, Yankees (GO Indians!!!)
    D’backs, Mets, Cubs, Padres (GO, um, anyone but the Mets!!!)

    Cubs-Indians series? Now that would be old school.

  63. davepaisley on August 31st, 2007 12:07 pm

    59 – That Twins game was at home, where, once the game gets to the bottom of the ninth tied, it is impossible for the home team to get a save. So McLaren’s logic was “JJ can’t get a save anyway, so I might as well use him.”

    On the road, the team has to close out the game in the bottom of the inning, hence the “need” to save your closer. Stupid? Yes, but that’s just the insane logic that drives old-school managers like McLaren.

  64. JMHawkins on August 31st, 2007 12:07 pm

    Does anyone else want to punch themselves in the face because Lopez is getting benched for shoddy defense and they start Vidro at second? Even with Willy that’s not an upgrade. What happened to common sense?

    Reminds me of an article I read on why people (American’s) buy foreign cars. They interviewed a bunch of people, and listed the foreign car they drove along with the reason they didn’t by an American car. The guy driving the Beemer said American cars didn’t handle well enough. The guy driving the Toyota said American cars didn’t get very good gas milage. The guy driving the Jaguar said American cars were not built very well and just weren’t reliable enough.

    They had pictures, and the third guy didn’t look anything at all like McClaren, but I think maybe it was him…

  65. vin on August 31st, 2007 12:13 pm

    #60 I don’t think they will ever charge people for USSM, Heck, they feel bad about having ads. Just do what I do and make your amazon purchases from them.

  66. HamNasty on August 31st, 2007 12:13 pm

    63- I know it was a home game, when I said “3-3 game Putz in the the 9th and the W.” I meant Putz got the W not the team. Obviously the team got it also. See how you misread it though.

    My point stands that McLaren and Hargrove used Putz in other situations so last night isn’t defensible by using the Putz is a closer only stance.

  67. davepaisley on August 31st, 2007 12:23 pm

    66 – and you didn’t get what i was getting at.

    McLaren DOES see Putz as “closer only”. The only reason he used him in the Minn game was because there was no way JJ could get a save, given that it was a tie game at home, bottom of the ninth.

    Hargrove used Putz in non-save situations, McLaren hasn’t.

    And even Grover wouldn’t do it as much now because his multiple uses of Putz for five out saves were burning him out. There was a point where the only reliever Grover trusted at all was Putz.

  68. Corey on August 31st, 2007 12:25 pm

    39 (DMZ),

    Very true. However, you guys had the buy you a beer option for a while.

    I bought you a couple beers then, and enjoyed it.

    As a side note, I am reading the Cheater’s Guide right now and am enjoying it. :)

    Cheers! (hoisting my Anchor Steam up high)

  69. lailaihei on August 31st, 2007 12:27 pm

    USSM should start doing Goodle AdSense advertising on the site.
    Google puts ads that are somewhat relevant to the content on the site, and you make money for every clickthrough! There’s good money in it, too. Try it. None of us will complain about a little sidebar of google ads. Even retail sites do it now…

  70. thefin190 on August 31st, 2007 12:28 pm

    Man, it sucks, right when the Mariners are just getting notice, Rick White has to come long and blow more than one (was it two or three games he blew by now?) game and still manages to stay on the roster, and now they lost their lead in the wild card.

    I wonder how many wins has Reistma, Parrish, and White costed the M’s combined? Is there any way to calculate it?

  71. gocougs1 on August 31st, 2007 12:29 pm

    #65 Does USSM get money if we click on the link to Cheaters Guide? Or for that matter any of the other ads? I will happily click on the ads as I exit if so.

  72. scottg02 on August 31st, 2007 12:30 pm

    64 – Ha, you might be on to something.

  73. eternal on August 31st, 2007 12:34 pm

    the problem with a subscription plan is that then you have to worry about deleting users, etc. Instead, they should have a donation system where we could just paypal a few bucks and see how that goes. I’d donate $5-$10 every once in awhile for this.

  74. eternal on August 31st, 2007 12:35 pm

    i honestly believe there is a direct correlation to ESPN doing an article on the Mariners to them sucking.

  75. MedicineHat on August 31st, 2007 12:38 pm

    Softy comes on at 1:30 pm Live from Syracuse for the Huskies opener tonight. That’s why no Groz and no Dave.

  76. Spanky on August 31st, 2007 12:39 pm

    First: How have other teams been able to pick up starting pitching but not the M’s? The Dodgers (twice), Cubs, and Diamondbacks have all acquired pitching help this month. Dodgers and Cubs got starting pitching. Some of those pick-ups looked better than HoRam. Where have the M’s been?

    Second: I think this 5 games losing streak has more to do with the hitting than pitching. Don’t get me wrong, the pitching hasn’t been strong…but it was the lack of hitting that killed the M’s. Except for one inning agains the Angels…really the hitting has been weak.

    Third: It is a absolutely a travesty that Jones hasn’t played more for this team. Enough said!

    Lastly: Can this team turn it around in time? Yes…but somebody needs to step forward and make a statement. Otherwise…this team will just wilt under the pressure of a playoff run.

  77. TBone on August 31st, 2007 12:40 pm

    Anyone read Baker’s blog? I found it a bit insulting.

  78. built2crash on August 31st, 2007 12:43 pm


    Me too

  79. davepaisley on August 31st, 2007 12:44 pm

    77 – Um, yes. I thought the commenter that called his rants passive-aggressive was right on the money. He should come and read this blog instead (or as well as…)

    Baker has a job to do, but I fear he’s fallen victim to Stockholm Syndrome.

  80. TBone on August 31st, 2007 12:53 pm

    He’s entitled to his own opinion, but calling people who disagree with him “group thinkers” is not only rude, but it’s not intelligent debate. The whole post was just an ad hominem and illogical attack. The whole thing seemed pretty hypocritical.

  81. Sec 108 on August 31st, 2007 1:00 pm

    I have enjoyed Baker’s blog, but his skin may not be thick enough to be blogging in the city that lives on the internet. Seattle is a different place. I have seen it eat many people alive over the years. That is part of why I love this town. I always tell people who move here to never talk down to locals by saying how you did things differently where you came from. The local will immediately invite you to return to wherever it is you seem to be missing.

  82. marinermiles on August 31st, 2007 1:03 pm


    Yeah, actually I already found it a bit insulting when he said “start your second-guessing” last night. If you have been following the authors’ arguments and logic here or at LL, you should know it is no second-guessing at all. And then comes the “group thinkers” comment. It’s a shame, as I’ve enjoyed Baker’s blog too.

  83. kenshabby on August 31st, 2007 1:04 pm

    80 – Well put (and thank you for spelling “hominem” correctly!). Seems like Geoff’s feeling were hurt, so he lashes out in a restrained, passive-aggressive (as the poster mentioned) manner. I understand that Geoff’s relatively new in town and is trying to be diplomatic and tactful (toward M’s organization, at least), though he clearly cannot appreciate the collective history and agony of M’s fandom. And BTW, many of us drink decaf only – enough with the Seattle coffee humor already!

  84. msb on August 31st, 2007 1:23 pm

    Baker has been getting bombed for the last week by hysterical blog readers, so I think he has just had it, thats all. He made a great crack the other day respoding to cries of sucking up: “Yeah, that’s right. I’m John McLaren’s “Pocket Lint”". I liked this mornings sum-up

    #75– turns out it was supposed to be Groz in for Softy, then Clayton; Clayton couldn’t do it, so Furness in for Softy, Groz in for Clayton, leading up to Honking.

  85. Teej on August 31st, 2007 1:31 pm

    Baker has a right to be pissed off with the quality of the posts he gets some days. And if anyone called me an “idiot” for not agreeing with them on one issue, I think I would react in a similar fashion.

    Just because Baker isn’t a complete moron and seems open to new ideas doesn’t mean he’s going to agree with a lot of our views regarding bullpen usage, “hot hands,” veterans, etc. He’s not new to baseball, and he’s going to do things his way for the most part. I think I’m OK with that.

  86. Ron Stevens on August 31st, 2007 1:40 pm

    Forget about the idea of using your closer in only save situatuions;optimize your chance of winning;in close games,use your best releiver when it is close;don’t waste him in 5 run 9th ninning lead situations;i know when negotiating a contract part of the pitcher’s contract money leverage consists of the number of saves he has;this is absurd.
    Also get rid of the notion of crafty veterans equals success;look at age patterns;current years success.Better yet hire a Theo Epstein.

  87. HamNasty on August 31st, 2007 1:49 pm

    67- We are arguing toward the same point in different ways I believe.

    My example of him using Putz in a non-save situation (Twins/Tor game) shows that he does not always save Putz. Those games could have easily gone on for 3 more innings and had a higher leverage index to use your best reliever. I realize the home and away differences with save opportunities. Putz has been used in a stopper role before and it showed success.

    The point I think we are trying to get at is McLaren is using (not using) Putz in a strategically bad manner. Hargrove used him at times in non save situations and it worked for him.

  88. eternal on August 31st, 2007 1:54 pm

    I do agree that there are some group thinkers out there. Especially when I see so many people just reiterate what Dave says here and there. If the case is made here (which he obviously reads), there is no sense in everybody going over to his blog to say the same thing over and over again. Seriously, how many people need to tell him that they are really pissed that Rick White was used again last night. HE KNOWS.

    Baker is in a weird situation. Blogging is his job. It’s not like us where this is a hobby done on the side and there are no risks. While I might not agree with everything he says, he does have an inside connection to the front office and is at least a good source of information for that. Sometimes I see people criticize him just because he mentions what the front office told him without taking a side one way or the other. I think that is a bit like shooting the messenger.

  89. kentroyals5 on August 31st, 2007 2:06 pm

    I have this theory of his ‘group think.’ Its so damn clear how poorly this team is managed (look at the bullpen usage, the same stinking lineup everyday, Sexson, etc) that its really easy to say “Holy ****, why did we just do that.”

  90. davepaisley on August 31st, 2007 2:10 pm

    I think part of the Baker situation is that he is misusing the term “blogger”. On further review, I think he probably meant “blog commenters go insane” which would have been a more accurate way to describe what he was trying to say.

    When he said “bloggers” it should really mean “blog authors” and that made it seem like he was taking a shot at (primarily) USSM and LL. Many of the commenters on his blog certainly took it that way.

  91. jlc on August 31st, 2007 2:10 pm

    89 – Baker’s been railing against group think from the beginning. I’ve taken a ton of abuse in comments over there from the people who think Sexson is a great first baseman and will (still) be the saviour of the team, that Raul is great in the field, the Mariners are the greatest thing since sliced bread, etc. His commenters “group think” (at least from the loud, obnoxious ones) tends to be the opposite of what I think makes sense.

  92. jlc on August 31st, 2007 2:13 pm

    90 – I agree. Baker’s actually been pretty supportive of USSM and LL, and when he talked about “group think” and wanting to shout down differing opinions, I think he was meaning his posters who sniff at these two sites.

    His commenters had arguably gone insane last night.

  93. TBone on August 31st, 2007 2:14 pm

    90 – I think you might be right. I certainly took it that way based on the title. And after further thought it seems that he might have just been talking about some obnoxious commenters on his own blog. Nevertheless, the tone of his article just bothered me.

  94. JJD on August 31st, 2007 2:48 pm

    Anyone else seen this funny (in a painful way) rant by David Schoenfeld on ESPN’s page 2? (if you guys delete the cut-n-paste, it’s at the bottom of this page:

    WHERE THE *$*#!*! WAS J.J. PUTZ?

    I’m a Mariners fan. Please allow me a few minutes to vent and purge my body of the stinky stench of hate.

    Back in June, Rick White was released by the Astros, a team more desperate for pitching help than Lindsay Lohan is for common sense. He was released because he was terrible – 7.67 ERA, .305 batting average allowed. In fact, Rick White has pretty much been terrible this entire century: 5.15 ERA in 2006, 5.29 ERA in 2004, 5.78 ERA in 2003, 4.31 ERA in 2002.

    The Mariners, in the thick of the division and wild-card chases, figured they would sign a guy who one of the worst teams in baseball had decided they didn’t want. On Aug. 23, he was recalled from the minors. Let’s review his first week with the Mariners:

    Aug. 25: Enters in bottom of sixth of 3-3 tie with Texas. Gives up two runs in seventh, M’s lose 5-3.

    Somewhere between Aug. 25 and Aug. 28: Dyes his goatee some ridiculously hideous shade of gold.

    Aug. 28: Enters in eighth inning against Angels, bases loaded, two outs, M’s trailing 7-6. Gives up two-run single to Vlad Guerrero, a wild pitch, intentional walk and RBI single.

    Aug. 29: Enters with M’s trailing 6-2, faces eight batters, allows four hits.

    Aug. 30: Enters in bottom of ninth in Cleveland, game tied, one out, two on. Let’s point out that even though White had pitched poorly the previous two days, manager John McLaren brought him in instead of J.J. Putz. White gets Jhonny Peralta to fly out, but walks Franklin Gutierrez to load the bases and then Kenny Lofton to lose the game.

    To recap: Since White joined the team the Mariners have lost six straight. White was instrumental in three of those defeats. And White wears a long, thick gold-painted goatee that makes him look like a clown.

    I hate the silly goatee. I hate Bill Bavasi for signing him. I hate McLaren for using him.

    It all means it’s time to update a list that longtime Mariners fans will understand:

    1. Rick White
    2. Pete O’Brien
    3. Jim Presley (would be higher but gets bonus points for opening night 1986)
    4. Ayala/Slocumb/Timlin/Bad Norm/etc.
    5. Matt Young
    6. Kevin Mitchell
    7. Can I put Argyros in here?
    8. Stormin’ Gorman Thomas
    9. Mike Schooler (could rate higher)
    10. Scott Spiezio/Rich Aurilia/Jeff Cirillo (tie)
    –David Schoenfield

  95. kenshabby on August 31st, 2007 2:54 pm

    94 – Wonderful piece by Mr. Schoenfield. The only alteration I’d make would be the order of the list.

  96. davepaisley on August 31st, 2007 3:03 pm

    Schoenfield bursts the notion that it’s just disgruntled bloggers who are pissed, surely?

  97. awolfgang on August 31st, 2007 3:32 pm

    #94, How about Eric Anthony, and every over LF that was added to the revolving door of that position in the 90s.

  98. mln on August 31st, 2007 4:05 pm

    To be fair, Rick White’s goatee deserves a distinct spot of its own on Schoenfield’s list.

    Same thing with Scott Spiezio’s tattoo of his (ex?) girlfriend.

  99. Karen on August 31st, 2007 4:21 pm

    A jello-red soul patch like Spezio’s is right up there with White’s goatee.

  100. scott19 on August 31st, 2007 4:23 pm

    38: Well, you know KJR…they can’t POSSIBLY have time for anything else the day that the Huskies (er, the LIVING DEITIES AMONGST US!) start their Next Glorious Season!

  101. scott19 on August 31st, 2007 4:28 pm

    94: Great piece by DS, but of course a few names are screamingly missing — i.e. Mesa, Russ Davis, etc.

  102. gwangung on August 31st, 2007 4:28 pm

    38: Well, you know KJR…they can’t POSSIBLY have time for anything else the day that the Huskies (er, the LIVING DEITIES AMONGST US!) start their Next Glorious Season!

    Well, they don’t. They’re PAYING for the Huskies and paying a lot more than they would Dave (though, perhaps they’d pay more attention if he mentioned his family….connections…more).

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