Calm Down

Dave · April 6, 2008 at 5:57 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Yes, the Mariners have lost three in a row to the Orioles. But man, reading through the comments, you’d think McLaren attacked Felix with a knife in his sleep. Can we inject a little sanity into this process?

Look, no one’s been more critical of the job the organization in building the 2008 Mariners than I have. All winter, I talked about my concerns about how the team was going to score runs, play defense, and win on days when Felix and Bedard aren’t pitching. This roster has problems – we’ve known it for months, and it’s not a big surprise.

But really, the team has scored 23 runs and allowed 24 in six games. That is not cause for panic. It’s just not. Nothing (besides Putz’s injury) that has happened since opening day should have changed your opinion about this team one ounce. If you weren’t freaking out a week ago, you shouldn’t be freaking out now.

This isn’t to say there aren’t valid criticisms of the roster or the way it’s being handled. There are, obviously. But one of the main criticisms of the blog (fairly or not) is that we don’t get particularly excited about the team doing well when it’s not sustainable. The flip side of that should also be true – there’s no reason to freak out when the team loses a one run game. It’s not proof that this team is terrible; it’s proof that one run games can go either way.

We call out the organization and the local writers when they do things that aren’t up to the standard we expect. In turn, we need to hold ourselves to a standard above firing the manager because the team is 2-4 in six games. Rationality works both ways.


69 Responses to “Calm Down”

  1. msb on April 7th, 2008 9:27 am

    how is it “flawed planning” for the manager, the pitching coach and the trainer to make sure he is healthy by having a throw day, and then putting him back on his regular schedule after the throw day is a success?

  2. joser on April 7th, 2008 9:54 am

    Is he intentionally avoiding pitching in Baltimore?

    I love the conspiracy theories and wild-eyed armchair psychoanalysis. I’m not really sure how Bedard automatically lost the benefit of the doubt so soon in his career here in Seattle (what, because he didn’t feel like answwering yet another round of the same inane questions from the reporters? So suddenly we’re on the side of the media we’re always complaining about?) But let’s give it a rest. We really have no basis for speculating in such a scurrilous manner, and we have ample evidence from his career so far that he’s fragile and misses a lot of innings (one more reason a lot of people, including me, objected to the trade — I’m still betting he won’t pitch 180 innings this year). Then again, we had idiots “fans” who suggested Felix didn’t like the way that Twins game was going so he “faked” his forearm injury last year, so I guess there’s an undercurrent of this no matter who is involved.

  3. currcoug on April 7th, 2008 10:01 am

    Bavasi unwisely weakened the bullpen two consecutive years, by trading two of the top setup men in MLB. The first was Soriano for Horramible. Soriano is currently the closer for Atlanta, and the recipient of a well-deserved $ 9 million, two year contract. Horramible was cut.

    The second trade was the inclusion of Sherrill in the Jones/Bedard trade. Most of us were not privy to the actual discussions, but have a hard time believing the Orioles would have walked away if Bavasi had refused to include Sherrill. Sherrill is currently the closer for the Orioles, and has proven effective in that role. The Mariners certainly could use him with Putz on the DL. Could Bavasi have predicted Putz’s injury? No, but Putz threw a lot of innings in 2007.

    Because of these questionable trades, Bavasi arguably merits the lion’s share of the blame for the late collapse of the bullpen in 2007, the failure to develop Morrow as a starter, and the current bullpen woes of 2008.

    McLaren deserves blame for sitting the hottest bat in the lineup, Morse, even when obvious pinch-hitting situations arose in Seattle. It is inevitable that Morse will make several horrid defensive plays this year, but it is fair to point out that he has played a solid RF to date, including showing the strong arm he possesses (it was so sweet seeing Roberts get nailed at the plate).

    While Lopez missed a critical play yesterday, Beltre, Betancourt and Sexson have made critical errors as well. Moreover, Lopez has been solid defensively, not to mention the fact that his bat has been one of the M’s hottest.

    It is early, but the M’s needed a hot start against inferior teams.

  4. JMHawkins on April 7th, 2008 10:02 am

    how is it “flawed planning” for the manager, the pitching coach and the trainer to…

    It’s not flawed planning. It’s just a damned high level of frustration that the Ace we traded for has only given us five innings so far, and we’ve already lost two games due to not having one of the guys (Sherrill) we gave up for him. A week into the season and we’re already -2 on the trade. It’s part of the general panic. Mac is doing the right thing with Bedard, but we gave up a lot for the guy and people want to see him on the mound.

  5. VaughnStreet on April 7th, 2008 10:13 am

    I agree that now is not the time to panic. But I do detect some panic in McLaren. So, to me, that gives us reason to panic. I fear the Ms are going to do something real stupid — on a level of hiring Rick White — as they continue to value things other than skill and fail to correctly assess talent. We shall see.

    Remember, this is an organization that gave away Soriano for a steaming pile of crap, grossly overpaid for Bedard and continues to retain the services of Bavasi and McLaren. What will they do to us next?

  6. Jeff Nye on April 7th, 2008 10:14 am

    Ugh. I can’t wait until Morse gets his “chance” that people keep clamoring for, so that he can be demonstrated as exactly the mediocre player that his entire history shows him to be and people will (hopefully) stop wishcasting based on a month of meaningless spring training games.

    Mike Morse is not the answer to any question you should be asking.

  7. DMZ on April 7th, 2008 10:25 am

    Please. Bloomquist got many chances, and that didn’t do anything to dispel his hold on his followers.

  8. currcoug on April 7th, 2008 10:29 am

    It is more probable than not that Morse would have performed better than Wilkerson has to date.

  9. Jeff Nye on April 7th, 2008 10:39 am

    Maybe it’s me that’s wishcasting, then! Thanks Derek. 🙂

    I just don’t get it, though. At least Bloomquist is somewhat likable (when not griping about his playing time), local kid with a good story, etc.

    Mike Morse doesn’t have any of that going for him. I don’t get his appeal.

  10. currcoug on April 7th, 2008 10:54 am

    Now I don’t get it. Mike Morse is by most accounts a likable kid, with a good story.

    Bloomquist? Ugh. Drafted twice by Seattle (8th Round, 3rd Round).

    BTW, I also liked the use of “wish casting” in your response.

  11. Dave on April 7th, 2008 11:01 am

    A good story? Guy uses ‘roids, gets suspended, compares himself to A-Rod, and ends up as a marginal reserve. Sounds like a tearjerker to me.

  12. msb on April 7th, 2008 11:06 am

    A good story? Guy uses ‘roids, gets suspended, compares himself to A-Rod, and ends up as a marginal reserve. Sounds like a tearjerker to me.

    FWIW, “they say” (you know, “they”) that he has grown up a lot in the last year; he certainly seems determined to turn himself in to a clone of Ibanez, and even if he never has the baseball career, he could do worse than model his personal life after Raul.

  13. Jeff Nye on April 7th, 2008 11:19 am

    I’m sorry if my use of the term wishcasting offends you, but that’s exactly what all the Morse love amounts to.

    This organization does a lot of things wrong, but keeping Morse on the bench is not one of them. It’s exactly where he belongs, if you have him in your organization at all.

  14. Red Apple on April 7th, 2008 11:38 am

    So Felix says he wanted to be pulled after 8 innings because he wasn’t 100 percent, and he had faith in O’Flaherty getting lefties out. I’m glad he’s thinking long term.

    Yes, the O’s got some hits off of O’Flaherty, and Lowe looked like he was a little overly pumped, but they’re good pitchers, and these games just happen sometimes. It sucks, but it’s only one loss.

    Better that Felix stays healthy.

  15. currcoug on April 7th, 2008 11:41 am

    What is wrong with a kid patterning himself after A-Rod, especially since they are physically similar and both are from Florida? Yep, that really bothered A-Rod, who bought Mike and his friend’s dinner one afternoon, shortly after Morse was drafted. It is also worth noting that Cal Ripken took the time to see Morse play on two occasions, after they met in Wilmington, Delaware.

    Morse rises in the White Sox organization as a SS prospect. Morse is then named as the third player for Freddy Garcia/Ben Davis (instead of Borchard).

    Admits steroid use and apologizes, in contrast to several MLB players.

    Serves suspension, changes positions, suffers torn meniscus/surgery (2006), wrist surgery (2007), breaks a legend’s spring training record (Edgar), demonstrates a strong work ethic, and puts up better stats in MLB than he does in the minors. Morse surprisingly makes the 2008 Mariner squad as a platoon player, with the other guy being a former #1 pick, Brad Wilkerson, who is making $ 3 million.

    It is also likely that Morse is going to be the last remaining player Seattle received for Garcia.

  16. currcoug on April 7th, 2008 11:44 am


    I spoke plain English when I stated I liked your use of the word. I am sorry you took it the wrong way.

  17. kentroyals5 on April 7th, 2008 2:51 pm

    You may need another “Calm Down” post…thanks to more Mac retarded-ness. His decision making isn’t going away.

  18. eponymous coward on April 7th, 2008 3:57 pm

    Morse’s projection according to ZiPS: .275/.329/.411
    Wilkerson’s: .228/.325/.416
    Sexson’s: .234/.323/.441

    Basically, they’re all pretty interchangeable levels of replacement-level performance offensively ( you can find .325/.425 corner outfielders/corner infielders/DHs all through the majors/minors as essentially “free” talent). Morse just gives you a superficially better batting average to disguise the level of suck involved in his skillset.

    Morse MIGHT make sense if he was part of a DH platoon with Ibanez (who really IS that awful against LHP) and 1B backup, since he’s just not a very good defensive player… but the problem is that management wouldn’t dream of platooning Face of the Franchise(tm), and the M’s specialize in collecting overpaid and mediocre to bad DHs (Vidro, Sexson) to go along with the annual Veteran Impact Bat (Wlikerson).

  19. currcoug on April 7th, 2008 4:43 pm

    In regards to Morse’s projections compared to Sexson and Wilkerson…Morse is making less than $ 400,000.00 thousand, while Sexson and Wilkerson are making $ 14 million $ 3 million respectively. That money would have been better spent on the bullpen.

    The quip about Ibanez is hilarious.

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