A Helpful List

Dave · June 22, 2008 at 12:57 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Since interim GM Lee Pelekoudas has stated that he wants to take some time to evaluate the roster and not make any rash decisions before deciding what moves to make, and because the coaching staff wants to make sure that everyone puts Ichiro, Bedard, and Beltre at the top of the list of problems, let me offer up the list of what the actual problems with this roster are, in the order that they should be addressed.

1. Vidro’s offense.
2. Sexson’s offense.
3. Ibanez’s defense.
4. Sexson’s defense.
5. Johjima’s offense.
6. Cairo’s playing time / Bench in general
7. Betancourt’s defense.
8. Lopez’s defense.

134. Bedard’s media relations.
135. Beltre’s lack of taking early batting practice.
136. Ichiro’s personal stretching routine.

Fixing the top eight problems range from easy (release Sexson and Vidro, move Ibanez to DH) to a bit tougher (if you trade Betancourt/Lopez, who replaces them?), but you’re only allowed to worry about the lower tier problems once you’ve worked on the upper tier. Okay? Good.

Hope this helps.


51 Responses to “A Helpful List”

  1. Benne on June 22nd, 2008 1:41 am

    I would also add:

    9. Washburn’s pitching/overall douchebaggery
    10. Batista’s pitching
    11. Silva’ pitching

    It baffles me how the media insists on blasting their best players while these guys (along with Turbo and Raul’s defense) get a free pass.

  2. Benne on June 22nd, 2008 1:42 am

    To be fair, Washburn did have a good night tonight (that or the Braves hitters had a really bad night). He still sucks.

  3. Breadbaker on June 22nd, 2008 1:45 am

    With Burke catching, he’d have pitched a perfect game, three pitches an inning.

  4. Steve T on June 22nd, 2008 2:02 am

    Right on, Dave. Right effing on.

  5. Bender on June 22nd, 2008 2:26 am

    The very fact that this post needed to be written terrifies me.

  6. SethGrandpa on June 22nd, 2008 2:53 am

    I think you ranked Ichiro’s stretching way too high.

  7. jimmylauderdale on June 22nd, 2008 2:55 am

    The thought that this team could go on a mini-run and and make the powers that be decide that the turn around warrants the removal of the interim tags from the guys in charge now terrifies me.

  8. Reinserts tamale on June 22nd, 2008 3:36 am

    In an indirect way, one of the problems could be that Lee Pelekoudas has been in on the design, analysis and putting together of the existing roster already. So why more time needed? Is he looking to find:
    137. Felix needs to establish fastball early.
    138. Ichiro does not do the little things that help you win?

  9. Typical Idiot Fan on June 22nd, 2008 4:46 am

    9-133. The Mariner Moose doesn’t run over enough Boston Red Sox players.

  10. terry on June 22nd, 2008 6:12 am

    Even though Pelekoudas is only “interim”, does he have full throttle blessing to make major decisions (i.e. ones that would effect the roster beyond this season)?

  11. Sports on a Schtick on June 22nd, 2008 6:20 am

    Yuni’s defense is bad. Whatever it was a few years ago is no more.

  12. terry on June 22nd, 2008 6:36 am

    Rosterbation alert (honestly you won’t hurt my feelings with a snarky comment between the brackets):

    If Pelekoudas both has the power and the market to trade a guy like Bedard (and I don’t know what his trade value might be), there might be a fit with the Dodgers. They’d probably see Bedard as a boon to their playoff chances. Kemp and Hu might be a way to address some of the top issues on Dave’s list. Maybe even a guy like Young could be a serviceable option for DH for a couple years.

  13. argh on June 22nd, 2008 6:50 am

    There are so many problems that could go on that list.

    Before the game, Riggleman had said he would close with Batista because he had experience getting the final out.

    Larry Stone, Seattle Times, June 22, 2008.

    I’ve found it’s helpful when reading the endless stream of optimistic, gritty estimates of the team’s abilities by Mariner management to add the words, “every once in a while” to whatever mindless baseball bromide or silly bit of optimistic spin they trot out.

    For example, from Riggleman’s first media session after being made interim manager:

    “I think we’ve got to get ourselves feeling like we can win ballgames, every once in a while

    or the late and unlamented McClaren in his post-firing press conference:

    They play as a team extremely well, every once in a while, they pull for each other, every once in a while….

    Try it and I think you’ll find the Mariners regular doses of public relations nonsense will go down as easily as a spoonful of cod liver oil.

  14. argh on June 22nd, 2008 6:52 am

    Damn you, html tags!

  15. daviswalker on June 22nd, 2008 7:03 am

    Don’t you guys think there’s at least something to what the coaches are saying? It doesn’t bother me that Beltre doesn’t take extra BP, but if that leads to a general environment where nobody takes extra BP, then you have a bunch of players who aren’t maximizing their tools. In just about every situation in life, good leadership can positively affect performance, and the quotes from those coaches show pretty starkly that baseball is no exception. Isn’t it possible that players can affect their abilities through hard work and practice, and that there’s something about the environment in that clubhouse that makes it so that it’s not happening here?

    I’m not saying that’s an excuse for batting Vidro 3rd or continuing to run out Sexson. But I think there might be something there more important than #136.

  16. wabbles on June 22nd, 2008 7:10 am

    RE 13: Yeah, Bobby Ayala and Heathcliff Slocumb also were good at getting that final out. It’s just that they gave up several runs first before doing so. Somewhere high on that list (maybe 9?) HAS to be Rally Fries. Dumping those would go a long way to improving this team’s OBP.

  17. 1000N on June 22nd, 2008 7:19 am

    One of the attendees at a party I was at last night observed things being taken out of Sexson’s house and into a moving van on Thursday. It may mean nothing, but the optimistic side of me hopes that it means problems #2 and #4 will be solved soon.

  18. andrew23 on June 22nd, 2008 8:20 am

    I don’t think LAD would trade Kemp straight up for Bedard, let alone throw in another player.

  19. Paul B on June 22nd, 2008 8:22 am

    And #3 is an easy fix once #2 and #4 are out of the way.

    The most bizarre thing is that #1 is at the top of the list. Has there ever been a team anywhere that had such a poor hitting DH?

  20. Steven Stadnicki on June 22nd, 2008 8:43 am

    12, 18: Sadly enough, my early-morning brain read that as ‘Kent’, and my first thought wasn’t ‘the Marinerss would never trade for him!’, it was ‘he *is* still on the Dodgers, isn’t he?’. Attitude problems aside, he’s got exactly the kind of proven-veteranness that seems to mark the kind of guy the Ms go after…

  21. JMHawkins on June 22nd, 2008 8:55 am

    If I were GM, the only thing keeping me from DFAing Sexson asap would be waiting for return calls from the rest of the league to see if anyone was willing to flip me a live arm or semi-prospect in return for Sexson (with Seattle still footing the bill for his contract). I don’t know if anyone would bite, but it would be worth a shot. While calling around, I’d also ask the NL teams if they’d like Willie Ballgame, since he seems to want to play over there next year. Might as well give him a head start, if someone’s willing to offer something in return.

    Cairo and Vidro, it’s just a matter of figuring out who gets called up to replace them.

    ESPN keeps saying the Cubs need another arm for their playoff run. Wonder how Bedard would like working for Lou?

  22. aaron c. on June 22nd, 2008 8:59 am

    Attitude problems aside, he’s got exactly the kind of proven-veteranness that seems to mark the kind of guy the Ms go after…

    Hey, he’s exactly the kind of fiery, spirited clubhouse leader this team needs! And a great role model for the kids. I’m all for sending some prospects L.A.’s way if it brings back a proven vet like Kent, but we should probably all pitch in to buy him a year’s worth of free car washes at Brown Bear. Can’t afford to have a guy like that out of your lineup.

  23. msb on June 22nd, 2008 9:13 am

    can we send this Helpful List to the potential candidates that would want the plum jobs this organization has to offer?

    just as a handy check-list, you know.

  24. Joe C on June 22nd, 2008 9:25 am

    I’m very concerned about Ichiro’s stretching. If there ever was a player that was a polar opposite of Ken Griffey Jr. (who has a lot of power and never stretches) it would probably be Ichiro (who has more power than he shows and stretches every waking moment).

    And a 56 year old Ken Griffey Jr is not the answer to any of the above problems.

  25. OscarM on June 22nd, 2008 9:27 am

    If the problem on this team is attitude it has nothing to do with when their third baseman takes BP. The owner and management of this team have been happy with functional mediocrity for as long as I can remember. A goal of “competitiveness”, whatever that means, is not a goal at all, it’s an excuse to fail. Their standard for this year was to be two games better than last year. Sheesh!

    I’ll bet that the management of this team could no more tell you why the team won 116 games in 2001 than they can tell why this team may lose 100. Until the folks who run this team demand more of themselves they cannot demand more of their employees.

    For all its resources, this team is very sick. It doesn’t need arm or leg surgery, it needs a brain transplant.

  26. Adam S on June 22nd, 2008 9:48 am

    Is Lopez’s defense really that bad? I know he doesn’t make some plays he should but is he bottom of the league, or just below average?

    Is that really a more pressing issue than Silva and Batista’s contracts? If Lopez and Betancourt are so bad on defense that you NEED to move them, do they have any trade value? This sounds to me like the “Sexson sucks, let’s trade him and Vidro for …” rosterbation comments. You’re talking about two guys who are 290/300/410 and that doesn’t have any value outside of middle infield. I guess if you found a team that doesn’t understand OBP and defense, you might be able to get more than fair value for Lopez. And if you moved Lopez, Betancourt might be a + defender at 2B.

    If MI defense something the Mariners could improve with practice and coaching without changing the roster?

  27. JI on June 22nd, 2008 10:02 am

    Well said.

  28. north on June 22nd, 2008 10:16 am

    I would also add:

    9. Washburn’s pitching/overall douchebaggery

    Agreed, but I’d revise for consistency:

    9. Washburn’s pitching

    127. Washburn’s douchebaggery

  29. SDRE on June 22nd, 2008 10:21 am

    Certainly the top part of the list is why this team has sucked. Finger pointing is an act of a desperate team. Change, though, seems inevitable and the smart move. Bedard has to go at this point. Perfect timing (not meaning the back spasms but the trade deadline). Go get a legit prospect not name Pie. A player with power. A young player that fits in long term with Trunifel, Ichiro, Felix, Aumont, Clement, Ramirez, Saunders, Pineda and Halman. LaPorta, Vitters, or Tabata would be nice.

    Beltre, Lopez, Ibanez, and Putz, you also have to consider trading them also at this point. All of them are at their peak value. In addition, they will be in too of a decline when this team is ready to contend long term.

    The question to me is who takes on the rebuild and when does it start. Does Lee with his interim tag have the power to blow it up? Are they still in “the couple of moves” might get us back in contention mode? (Here’s two: release of Vidro and Sexson) A true rebuild is screaming at this point. Should we wait for a new GM to enact it? Will Armstrong and Lincoln be open-minded in the hiring process when a GM candidate mandates this rebuild vision. Is Lee the right guy for this? Does Lee have this vision? Why, if you’re in Lee’s interim position, not be bold in making moves to show the management a new approach? The trade deadline seems like the best time to strike while the iron’s hot.

  30. mikeym on June 22nd, 2008 10:21 am

    If you were able to ask M’s management the difference between the 2001 M’s and the 2008 M’s they’d probably say, and truly believe, something like:

    In 2001 the stars aligned and everyone on the team had a career-best year, in 2008 the stars have aligned in the opposite way and everyone is having a career worst year. It’s one of those things that defies explanation.

    I actually heard a version of that quote during the pregame radio broadcast sometime in the last week, though I can’t remember if it came from Rizzs or Sims.
    If you just plain don’t understand concepts like plate discipline, the ability to punish hittable pitches, missing bats with pitched balls, and actual defensive range (not “he must cover a lot of ground because it sure looks like he tries hard”). You’re only left with things like veteran leadership and chemistry to try to explain what you think is inexplicable. After all, even those stat geeks agree that you can’t really measure those things.

  31. mln on June 22nd, 2008 10:36 am

    More items for GM Lee Pelekoudas “to-do” list:

    123. Petition Bug Selig to allow Raul Ibanez to play LF with a butterfly net instead of a glove.

    172. Have Willie give the Mariner Moose a sponge bath. His smell is starting to frighten fans.

    177. Send a lifetime supply of Rally Fries to DMZ, courtesy of the Mariner front office. (He will love this free comp!)

  32. joser on June 22nd, 2008 10:51 am

    Actually, Armstrong did say exactly that jut a month ago:

    “In my 23 years, I have never ever seen anything like this,” Armstrong said. “We saw it the other way in 2001. I mean, you have to ask yourself, ‘How did the Mariners win 116 games that season with that roster, compared to this roster?’ This is just as inexplicable the other way.”

    In other words, he has no clue. But don’t forget, this is the man you also said “In my own mind, I’ve used statistical analysis the whole time I’ve been in the game” and “We’ve been improving every year since 2004″

    There ain’t no delusion like clueless self-delusion…

    “in his own mind” he uses statistics a lot.

  33. joser on June 22nd, 2008 10:52 am

    Man, sorry about the fuxor’d blockquote. I need more coffeeee.

  34. msb on June 22nd, 2008 11:02 am

    Have Willie give the Mariner Moose a sponge bath. His smell is starting to frighten fans.

    tchaw. Everyone knows you wash the Moose with the special long-handled brush.

  35. bonesbarry on June 22nd, 2008 11:06 am

    Can we put the dynamic duo of Sims n’ Blowers on that list? Please? I mean COME ON

  36. edgar for mayor on June 22nd, 2008 12:28 pm

    to a bit tougher (if you trade Betancourt/Lopez, who replaces them?)

    Well, we Valbuena in AA, he’s doing pretty well. Tui could move back to SS, but I don’t know if thats a good choice. Well, Lopez has trade value at least, maybe we could get a SS in return.

  37. LordLes on June 22nd, 2008 12:32 pm

    98: Put the Moose in charge of field operations where he can put his special “fertilizer” to best use.
    99: Get Bedard a Media Makeover Kit with anti-wrinkle cream and long lasting pain relief gel.

  38. Benne on June 22nd, 2008 1:54 pm

    100. The grounds crew dancing to Michael Jackson’s “Bad.”
    101. The hydro races are rigged.

  39. jzalman on June 22nd, 2008 3:01 pm

    Steve T said it, but I’ll reiterate:

    Right on Dave. Right effing on.

    Seriously, this is one of the best posts so far. The fact that focus/blame is misdirected just doesn’t get enough attention. It’s one thing to have a team full of problems, but quite another to address the problems totally bass-ackwardsly.

    Yeah that’s right…bass-ackwardsly.

  40. LordLes on June 22nd, 2008 4:42 pm

    102. Air Force flies over AFTER the game so the fans have something to cheer about.
    103. Nintendo DS alerts before every train whistle (would be voted fan favorite by centerfield fan)
    104. Nintendo DS alerts whenever peanut guy is close by (works for other treats too)
    105. Nintendo DS alerts when the managers turn in their lineup cards so fans know when to start groaning.
    106. Nintendo DS alerts whenever Bedard leaves clubhouse to chum it up on the bench so star struck female fans who like the “not too strong and boyishly silent types” ™ know when to start rehearsing today’s 4 questions.
    107. Nintendo DS alerts whenever Johima is on deck (cause he is Japanese and so he gets special treatment)
    108. Nintendo DS alerts when the game is over so you can tune in to the post game show during your ride home from the game that you left in the 4th inning with the Mariners down by 15.
    109. Nintendo DS alerts when the “Rally Fries” are, once again dammit, given to someone else and now you can stop waving your lame cardboard pizza box with custom thick black lettering extoling the virtues of garlic.
    110. Nintendo Ds alerts each and everytime someone gets fired.

  41. LordLes on June 22nd, 2008 4:43 pm

    39jzalman said:

    Yeah that’s right…bass-ackwardsly

    Didn’t that dude used to own the Sonics?

  42. kafka24 on June 22nd, 2008 6:20 pm

    As a longtime reader, I had to register just to ask this question:

    Why is Bedard being defended so much here (mostly from commenters)? Ichiro I get. Beltre I understand. Bedard’s media relations being a non factor, all good. But enough people seem to be sticking up for Bedard’s on field (lack of) performance that I figured I’d ask what I was missing.

    In the interest of full disclosure I live in New England so I get to see about 3-5 M’s games on TV a year. Right now I’m at 1.

  43. gwangung on June 22nd, 2008 11:30 pm

    Why is Bedard being defended so much here (mostly from commenters)? Ichiro I get. Beltre I understand. Bedard’s media relations being a non factor, all good. But enough people seem to be sticking up for Bedard’s on field (lack of) performance that I figured I’d ask what I was missing.

    Perhaps the relevant question is why should he NOT be defended?

    If it’s the injuries—we knew about them. His fragility is a matter of record. And that’s a defense in and of itself. I would like to think that we’re not stupid enough to blame a players for his injuries.

    If it’s for the limits he puts on himself–see above. Are we going to blame a player for not pushing enough so he gets injured?

    Your turn–where is Bedard’s behavior criticizable…

  44. kafka24 on June 23rd, 2008 6:29 am

    I don’t really care about his behavior, just his performance, which hasn’t been anything close to expectations.

    He’s lasting a hair over 5.3 innings a game. Okay, maybe (I’m skeptical) he knows exactly how far he can push himself before he gets into trouble. When 3 of our relievers have their arms fall off because Washburn, Batista, and our staff ace can’t make it to 6 innings consistently, at least we’ll still have Bedard’s healthy arm.

    He’s averaging a walk per game more than last year, and getting close to 10% fewer groundballs than those years too (though he’s not giving up any more line drives than in past years). His K rate has dropped off too, but maybe that means last year was an outlier, not him putting it all together.

    He went over 100 pitches/game pretty often last year (baseball reference’s gamelog page is down right now or I’d be more specific). He even threw (gasp) 120 pitches once. I don’t think the world ended, but maybe this (2008 Mariners season) is, in fact, hell?

    Maybe you’re right. Maybe asking out after 100 pitches is smart and better than the alternative. Maybe this is simply who Bedard is and the full force of my anger should be at the front office for trading so much for a candybone with talent. I don’t know. Combined with the poor performance for an ace, it just smells bad to me. Given his poor performance, I was juts surprised at all the people jumping to Bedard’s defense without him having the history or numbers in an M’s uniform to (in my humble opinion) warrant it.

  45. gwangung on June 23rd, 2008 8:00 am

    Maybe this is simply who Bedard is and the full force of my anger should be at the front office for trading so much for a candybone with talent.

    Well, that’s what >I’M< doing. Because physical fragility was a known quantity before the trade and to get angry at him rather than your own bias for ignoring that is kinda stupid.

  46. Jeff Nye on June 23rd, 2008 8:18 am

    I’ve never heard someone called a “candybone” before.

  47. kafka24 on June 23rd, 2008 8:36 am

    It’s not like what Bedard’s doing this year is right in line with his past. Yes the FO traded for a fragile starter. But I don’t think they should have expected we’d be getting so little out of him either.

    Bedard’s History:
    04: 26 starts, 137.3 innings, 5.28 innings/game, 17 starts < 6 innings (65.4%)
    05: 24 starts, 141.7 innings, 5.90 innings/game, 9 starts < 6 innings (37.5%)
    06: 33 starts, 196.3 innings, 5.95 innings/game, 12 starts < 6 innings (36.3%)
    07: 28 starts, 182.0 innings, 6.50 innings/game, 5 starts < 6 innings (17.9%)
    08: 13 starts, 70.3 innings, 5.41 innings/game, 6 starts < 6 innings (46.2%)

  48. kafka24 on June 23rd, 2008 8:48 am

    I’ve never heard someone called a “candybone” before.

    Heh, I figured testing the site censors on my 2nd ever post was a poor idea

  49. Jeff Nye on June 23rd, 2008 8:56 am

    What site censors? Nobody touched your post.

    I’ve just never heard someone use the term, is all.

  50. kafka24 on June 23rd, 2008 9:27 am

    What site censors? Nobody touched your post.

    I’ve just never heard someone use the term, is all.

    Sorry, I meant I self-censored. Instead of saying one form of bleeping-bleep or another I went with that.

  51. Ike Clanton on June 23rd, 2008 7:05 pm

    This reminds me of being a smart kid in a public school. If I couldn’t help the idiot next to me with his algebra, it was my fault, not his. Where’s the teacher in this equation?

    I guess we can trade away Ichiro and Beltre at the deadline and build a new team around our scrappy base of Bloomquist, Vidro, and Cairo.

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