Here’s the thing about that article

DMZ · January 22, 2008 at 7:15 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

We’ve gone out of our way here at USSM in the last couple of years to talk about how our beef is not with Bloomquist, who we’ve over and over said is a decent use of a back-end roster spot, particularly on a team that can use his defensive versatility and base-stealing ability, and where a team doesn’t need a bat off the bench. He’s proven in extended trials of regular playing time that he can’t hit, and there’s no evidence at all that he would be a useful starting player at any position. Even then, I acknowledge that means he’s hugely talented among the population at large. I couldn’t hit .200 in the major leagues.

Our beef was with Hargrove for running him out there so often, for using him in ways that didn’t help the team, and more generally, it’s been with the unjustified media adoration for his scrappiness and having his praises exaggerated and pushed down our throats (Rick Rizzs being the most guilty of this among the broadcasters). And sometimes, annoyance when Bloomquist comments that he thinks he should be starting, but even then, I’ve said I understood that that kind of self-confidence is what got him to the major leagues, and it’s understandable any player would want to play a larger role.

I don’t have any disdain for Bloomquist. I don’t know him. He’s a good enough 25th man on the roster and though that skill set is pretty easy to find, I understand why the Mariners have been willing to throw him a little money for the local connection and a known quantity.

The thing that bugs me is that it conflates a realistic view of Bloomquist (he’s not a very good player) with a negative view of Bloomquist, when that’s exactly the kind of thing we constantly argue against.

There’s no connection between being more or less gifted athletically and being more or less of a person. Bad pitchers aren’t always lazy jerks, and great players don’t always have good work ethics and don’t send their mother cards on her birthday. Our evaluation of his abilities doesn’t carry with it any judgement about Bloomquist himself.

Intentionally or not, it’s a misrepresentation of what we’ve written about Bloomquist to paint it as “disdain” for him.


88 Responses to “Here’s the thing about that article”

  1. Graham on January 23rd, 2008 5:00 am

    It’s called perception or opinion. I have mine, DMZ has his, you have yours.

    Schools need to stop teaching kids that having an ‘opinion’ is a get out clause for everything, and that everyone’s should be given equal weight.

    Your opinion on the motivation behind the Pony picture, for example, is both worthless and woefully inaccurate*. Your opinion on the shamefulness of said picture might have some merit, but I can extrapolate from your earlier (wrong) opinion and say that I shouldn’t take that particularly seriously either.

    *Nobody else’s on the subject is really worth a lot either, but at least they’re closer to the mark than you.

  2. terry on January 23rd, 2008 6:36 am

    the scrappy heart of the team with a peppy pink pony. I don’t see how that’s shameful.

    Hey I get the joke now! That’s pretty funny.

  3. terry on January 23rd, 2008 6:46 am

    My opinion is that DMZ and many others make fun of Bloomquist for whatever reason but then backtrack and say that he is good enough for the role he plays. I am asking which is it?

    There is a difference between making fun of WFB and accurately describing his worth just like there is a difference between making fun of WFB and making fun of those who can’t accurately determine his worth. Or to put it another way, there is a difference between making fun of WFB and making fun of those who can’t tell the difference between accurately describing WFB’s worth and making fun of those who can’t accurately describe his worth.

  4. gwangung on January 23rd, 2008 7:51 am

    Hm. I do recall recall game threads where posters were saying of Willie…”Put him in! Put him in! Mac, what are you thinking????”

  5. Carson on January 23rd, 2008 7:51 am

    28 – Wow. I literally just spit coffee, dude. Do you plan to email that to the guy who wrote the article? If not, I’ll be happy to.

    45 – So, I’ve always wondered. What exactly does it feel like living in a delusional world?

    48 – It’s a blog. Blog authors blog about what’s on their mind. Funny that you go on to rattle off your opinion after two paragraphs of questioning the posts, though.

  6. msb on January 23rd, 2008 8:15 am

    If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you’ll know there have been several articles on Bloomquist’s performance. That performance is OK for a bench player and a late inning base stealer, but it not adequate for a regular. (Go ahead, look them up).

    which may be why 4 different managers have not played him as a regular.

  7. msb on January 23rd, 2008 8:24 am

    oh, and when did it become impossible to admire qualities in a person, while also acknowledging their deficiencies?

  8. pumpkinhead on January 23rd, 2008 8:27 am

    Dave, you forgot to mention the degree of grittiness he possesses! That’s gotta be worth playing every day.

    And I’m kidding, I completely agree he was mis-used and hopefully this year they can better utilize him by not using him in unnecessary situations.

  9. pumpkinhead on January 23rd, 2008 8:28 am

    Errr, Derek. Damnit.

  10. marinerfaninvenice on January 23rd, 2008 8:31 am

    the only guy with more self-serving false hustle than WFB is Eric Bynres.

    I know Eric Byrnes, and WFB you are no Eric Byrnes. (unfortunately)

  11. tangotiger on January 23rd, 2008 8:43 am

    It all comes down to this: how much are you willing to pay for a guy like WFB on the open market?

    If you had your 24-man roster set, and Willie was a free agent, do you think any of the other 29 teams would offer him more than a 1 yr $1MM deal? Maybe one team? Maybe?

    Now, is there anyone out there that can argue that a guy that is worth at most $1MM to one team (and worth alot less to the other 28 teams), can be worth even $2MM to the Mariners?

    Willie is what he is: the 420nd best nonpitcher in MLB. And if the minor leagues were opened up, he wouldn’t even be the 1000th best nonpitcher in the world of baseball.

    He should count his lucky stars every day he was born near a town whose team values native sons so much. If he was born in Queens, he would not be playing for the Mets.

  12. tgf on January 23rd, 2008 9:38 am

    61: Well said. And this is exactly why WFB gets a hard time from some of us. His belief that he would be productive enough to be a regular if given lots of playing time is self-delusional to an extreme.

  13. msb on January 23rd, 2008 9:48 am

    #62– as mentioned above, if you don’t have god-given super talents, how else do you advance in sports unless you have belief in yourself?

  14. Graham on January 23rd, 2008 9:54 am

    Yep, there’s nothing wrong with Bloomquist having faith in himself.

    The problem arises when other people buy into it.

  15. Jeff Nye on January 23rd, 2008 10:26 am

    Personally, I only get irritated when Willie kvetches to the media about his playing time.

    Belief in yourself is all well and good, but at some point you have to realize that your whining is bad for team chemistry (tee hee!) and shut up.

  16. Steve T on January 23rd, 2008 10:37 am

    OK, let me be the first to go on record as saying that yes, I disdain Willie Bloomquist.

    I’d like to see him gone, just so the yahoos who think he’s the greatest thing since sliced bread can find something and with any luck somewhere else to practice their hagiography.

    I’m sick of hearing dopes tell me that Bloomquist should play every day (heard it many times), that he’s the best player on the team (heard it more than once), that he represents everything that baseball ought to be but isn’t because of all these selfish so-and-sos who won’t run out ground balls. If you want to win the Hustle Series, go ahead, but WHY, WHY, WHY, do you always have to be ahead of me in line at the grocery, behind me in Safeco, and clogging up the blogs everywhere I look?

    I disdain him. I wish he was a Royal starting tomorrow. I hope he never gets another at-bat in the major leagues.

    But that’s just me. I’m cantankerous. Like “scrappy” in some ways, but less fun in the locker room.

  17. Xteve X on January 23rd, 2008 11:06 am

    “I would label that picture as “disdain” for Bloomquist.”

    Meh. I disagree.

    It really irritates the hell out of me when people ascribe comments made by posters to site authors.

    “He should count his lucky stars every day he was born near a town whose team values native sons so much. If he was born in Queens, he would not be playing for the Mets.”

    Bingo … rampant homerism, watch it tar & feather anything that gets in its way.

  18. heyoka on January 23rd, 2008 11:37 am

    As far as being a baseball town, Seattle still needs to catch up.

    Critical fans are part of the process. The anti-WFB campaign is only counter spin. We can also call it disdain and still say its not personal. It’s baseball.

    If we see him as a good player #25, then it is not hypocritical to call him a bad player #10. It is good to poke fun at him (even be rough about it), because maybe other fans catch on (attracted by the humor) and begin to understand what makes a good baseball team, and then maybe he gets utilized correctly – a trickle up factor.

  19. scraps on January 23rd, 2008 11:48 am

    You are defending yourself against public perception and that perception is that this site is baised against Bloomquist.

    Not public perception, but a fraction of public perception, which admittedly includes sportswriters who see their status threatened by weblog writers getting too much attention, and fans who can’t stand to see their favorites cricitized and make ludicrous claims in their defense.

    Bloomquist has been criticized many times, because he is constantly overpraised by these people, and it cries out for an intelligent response. But the mockery is saved for his irrational advocates, who sense that they are being mocked and so rise angrily in defense of themselves, pretending it is Bloomquist they defend. Like the religious zealots who sensed they were being mocked by The Life of Brian, and rose angrily in defense of Christ, who was of course not being mocked at all.

    If you have a problem with Willie Bloomquist on a pony, imagine the pony with you on top of it instead, and you will have divined the inner meaning of Willie on the pony.

  20. terry on January 23rd, 2008 12:08 pm

    It really irritates the hell out of me when people ascribe comments made by posters to site authors.

    Unfortunately, it’s a fact of life to an extent.

    Terry is awesome BTW.

  21. Tiboreau on January 23rd, 2008 12:19 pm

    He should count his lucky stars every day he was born near a town whose team values native sons so much. If he was born in Queens, he would not be playing for the Mets.

    I’d hate to see what the Mets would produce if they valued their native sons, considering their one-time love for Joe McEwing.

    This time of the year is so long. . . .

  22. bakomariner on January 23rd, 2008 1:57 pm

    I don’t think that you should worry about what the Kitsap Sun says about you DMZ…I just read an article on Simms from the Sun and they list Blowers as a former catcher of the Mariners…unless I’m mistaken, he played 3rd and 1st, and not catcher…so if they can’t even get facts straight, they’re not worth getting worked up over…

  23. tgf on January 23rd, 2008 2:13 pm

    63: You could turn that around and say “How can you improve if you believe, against all evidence, that you are already better than many of your peers?” If you know you need to get better to survive in your profession, maybe you work harder.

  24. msb on January 23rd, 2008 3:12 pm

    #72– Sims.

    Blowers was emergency catcher, and IIRC, did play at least one game there.

  25. marc w on January 23rd, 2008 4:25 pm

    74 – yes, 7/23/93. Though he only played at C briefly after Valle and the back-up catcher (mackey sasser!) were lifted for pinch hitters.
    This counts the way Raul being a catcher counts (1 game in 1999).

  26. Dave in Palo Alto on January 23rd, 2008 4:25 pm

    Mike Blowers and Bobby Valentine — the Mariners catchers nobody respects.

  27. bhammarinerfan on January 23rd, 2008 4:37 pm


    Wille has more fans than Felix because of accessability. People are in awe of Felix’s physical prowess, while Willie just seems like a guy down the street. Its kind of like the people that chose the president based on who they would rather have a beer with. You could really see yourself having a beer with Willie as opposed to Felix.

  28. Evan on January 23rd, 2008 4:37 pm

    Derek, you need to decide who your audience is and write for them.

    Here’s a tip: Replacement Level Blogger isn’t your audience.

  29. Taylor H on January 23rd, 2008 4:53 pm

    Steve T – I respect you for admitting your disdain for Bloomquist. I am sure there are some other posters on this site who really ought to admit that same thing.

    Myself, I prefer him over Mike Morse or whoever our other back-up infielder of the moment is, but I would much rather have Jeff Clement or Rob Johnson have his roster spot. But the management likes his hustle.

    BTW, the dragon picture of Willie is almost as awesome as the pony one.

  30. seadiv88 on January 23rd, 2008 5:05 pm

    Willie is like one of those key-chain swiss-army knives. Not very dangerous, but surprisingly useful, and convenient.

  31. terry on January 23rd, 2008 5:08 pm

    Steve T – I respect you for admitting your disdain for Bloomquist. I am sure there are some other posters on this site who really ought to admit that same thing.

    I too fear the secret society of WFB haters who covertly post disparaging comments about him (but apparently only do so in such a way that it’s impossible to discern who the evil perpetrators really are). It’s a travesty and I’m sure the outing of these individuals would be the first step in their healing.

    If only we could give the pink pony a group hug…. (idea: USSM pink pony plush toys-c’mon Dave and Derek. Make it happen!)

  32. Kwickie on January 23rd, 2008 5:23 pm

    Have you guys even done a search and seen what you’ve written about him? And you’re telling me that’s impartial?

    I love you guys, I truly do, but to now suddenly come out and say “Who? US? We’ve always thought (and wrote) that Willie Bloomquist was a decent player” is really a stretch.

    I grant you that there have been posts that you reiterate exactly what you’ve said in this post. That he’s a major leaguer, that he’s a sedrvicable bench player, etc.

    But honestly, read this post then say it wasn’t written with at least a little “disdain”

  33. david h on January 23rd, 2008 5:51 pm

    #82 – that post is perfectly reasonable and after reading it three times I can’t see anything untoward or that could be considered even a mild drop of “disdain.” Disdain towards professional writers and coaches touting Bloomquist or suggesting the nearly impossible, sure, but not towards Bloomquist himself.

  34. Jeff Nye on January 23rd, 2008 5:53 pm

    Uhh, did you actually, y’know, READ what you linked?

    The PI article that was linked to in that post was yet another Wee Willie Should Be A Starter article, based on the assertion that he’d suddenly figured out how to hit major league pitching.

    Derek’s response:
    “Given what we know about Bloomquist’s skill set, and his long history in the minor and major leagues, his performance when he’s played consistently, the evidence is overwhelming that he cannot effectively hit major league pitching. Players like that don’t start to hit for power this late in their career. They don’t start to recognize pitches. Bloomquist is unlikely to blossom.”

    Which is as true now as it was then. But nowhere in there does it say ANYTHING about his value as a bench player; it simply debunks the notion that he’d suddenly “figured something out” and thus deserved more playing time/to be a starter.

    Was there some humor in there? Absolutely, because the suggestion in the PI article was laughable.

  35. Taylor H on January 23rd, 2008 9:51 pm

    Terry (comment 81),
    I just didn’t want to be mean about it. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I just don’t think some people are owning up to being overly mean about Willie’s OK skill set and high self-confidence. I mean, have you ever heard of Endy Fucking Chavez or Omar Fucking Infante?

  36. nathaniel dawson on January 23rd, 2008 9:53 pm

    So how come it is that you’re assuming the article was pointing a finger at you? It certainly didn’t name any names, though you seem to have taken it to heart.

  37. Typical Idiot Fan on January 24th, 2008 3:44 am


    No, it doesn’t specifically say “USS Mariner thinks Willie Bloomquist sucks”. What it says is “USS Mariner, Lookout Landing, Prospect Insider, Mariner Morsels, Seattle Mariners, etc all think Willie Bloomquist sucks”. He’s making a generalized attack on all Mariner based blogs, and since Derek doesn’t write for the other ones, he’s responding here.

    Besides, he’s probably never heard of Seattle Marinerds (sorry Deanna), but he’s almost certainly heard of USS Mariner. Just because an attack has a veil over it doesn’t mean you can’t see where it’s aimed.

  38. BillyJive on January 25th, 2008 8:29 pm

    This is my first post…keep up the good work by the’s the only way us Canadian fans get to talk about the’s all hockey or Blue Jays…
    I am one of the few Willie B. fans…When I make my annual trek to Safeco you can’t miss me…I’m usually the only guy there sportin’ the number 16 jersey…what can I say..the guy doesn’t hit and he’s not the greatest at any of the positions he plays…but I root for him anyways…He sorta reminds me of Joey Cora a little…except Cora could hit once in awhile…
    Who knows..maybe Willie’s right, maybe if he played more he’d get into a groove and start hitting…
    Speaking of groove check out my band’s website Our goal this year is to play at Safeco for the annual ‘Turn back The Clock’ promo…

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