Shallow thought for the night

June 27, 2008 · Filed Under Mariners · 8 Comments 

For all the problems the M’s have had, Morrow’s step forward this year has been great to watch. I still hold out hope that they’ll find a way to convert him to starting, because I’d love to see this development continue.

Game 79, Mariners at Padres

June 27, 2008 · Filed Under Game Threads · 129 Comments 

7:05. Jarrod “The Bus” Washburn v Randy Wolf.

Randy Wolf signed a one year deal with the Padres for $4.75m, with some nice incentive clauses for games started and innings pitched. He was with the team before for $8m and the Padres declined his option and re-signed him for $4m less than he was due.

The M’s are paying Washburn $9.85m to suck this year and will pay him $10.35m to suck next year unless embarrassment spurs him to retires or something.

Actually — that’s too harsh. Washburn, for his terrible record and terrible outings, has overall been a more or less average pitcher with some bad luck. Sorry.

Washburn: 5.87 K/9, 3.05 BB/9, 1.06 HR/9, and a .344 BABIP
Wolf: 8.27 K/9, 3.04 BB/9, 1.05 HR/9 and a .305 BABIP (which is still a little unlucky)

Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeyup. Good thing we locked Washburn up to that long-term deal, because otherwise there’d be no way to replace him.

RF-L Ichiro!
2B-R Lopez
LF-L Ibanez
3B-R Beltre
1B-R Sexson
C-R Johjima
SS-R Betancourt
CF-R Willie “Evil in Spikes” Bloomquist
P-L Washburn

That’s at least… more defensible than most McLaren lineups towards the end.

The Worst Stretch Of Hitting… Ever?

June 26, 2008 · Filed Under Mariners · 72 Comments 

Derek’s post on Bloomquist below inspired me to do some digging into longest stretches without an extra base hit, since WFB is a couple of weeks away from the one year mark since the last time he got more than a single (July 15th, 2007). His streak currently stands at an impressive 150 plate appearances, which struck me as a really long time, so using Baseball Reference’s awesome Play Index, I started comparing that to other players in the last twenty years.

At first, I didn’t think I’d find anything that surpassed Juan Pierre’s 2000 campaign, when the Rockies called him up from Triple-A in August of that year to make his major league debut. He got two doubles in his first four career games, and then finished the season without another extra base hit, spanning 203 plate appearances. While playing in Colorado. He even hit .306, but it was all singles. Pretty amazing.

But then, I saw this, and my mouth hit the floor.

From April 25th, 1997 to June 16th, 1998, Mike Mordecai not only didn’t get an extra base hit, but he played in 71 games and went 15 for 127. Fifteen for One Hundred Twenty Seven. He tossed in 3 walks and 25 strikeouts for good measure. That’s a .118/.137/.118 line.

I can’t even fathom keeping a position player around long enough to go 15 for 127 without an extra base hit and three walks. Every time he went to the plate, you’d have been better off with a random pitcher.

That’s the kind of performance you would think would get you drummed out of baseball, but Mordecai went on to play seven more seasons after that stretch of futility and rack up 1,362 major league at-bats over 12 years.

.118/.137/.118. From a position player.

For all of Willie’s faults, he’s no Mike Mordecai.

Rainiers Game Thread

June 26, 2008 · Filed Under Mariners · 6 Comments 

Since there’s no M’s on tonight, check out the Rainiers vs Salt Lake tonight, as Robert Rohrbaugh takes the hill to challenge Shane Loux.

All-Time All-Mariner Roster: Second Base

June 26, 2008 · Filed Under Mariners · 92 Comments 

Bret Boone, 2001. There’s no doubt this is it. Stellar defense, and by far, the best offensive season by a Mariner second baseman. This is one of the ten best seasons at the plate by a Mariner ever, and — well, unfortunately for him, many of the higher spots are occupied by young Griffey and Alex seasons, so the good defense doesn’t help him climb the ladder much on the all-time all-season chart.

So with no interesting discussion here, assuming fans want to discard Boone’s years for whatever reason, should we talk about whether the best non-Boone season was Li’l Joey Cora 1997, Jack Perconte 1984, or Harold Reynolds 1989? The Cora-Reynolds axis of power dominates the second-tier of Mariner 2B-seasons.

Yep, there’s no argument to be had here. Bret Boone’s 2001 season is one of the great second base seasons of all time, and there’s not another Mariner second base season within 300 yards of that performance. This is just a slam dunk – ’01 Boone had the best second baseman season in M’s history.

So, in lieu of talking about his 2001 season anymore, I’m going to diverge and talk about the 2001 performance that got the least amount of notice for the most amount of value, and because Jr is going to dominate the CF discussion, we won’t get to talk about him again in this series. In 2001, Mike Cameron was unbelievably awesome, and simply overshadowed by some historic performances from his teammates, but we can’t miss out on just how great he was that year. His .267/.353/.480 mark in that run environment was worth about 20 runs more than an average hitter. Meanwhile, he was the best defensive player alive, putting up a season where his glove alone was worth about 20 runs more than an average defensive center fielder. When you factor in the position adjustment, Cameron was legitimately a 5 win player in 2001 – that’s a borderline MVP candidate in most years.

Now, obviously, with Boone and Edgar and Olerud putting up the offensive numbers, a guy who was remarkably valuable while hitting .267 simply wasn’t going to attract the attention of the fan base, but in 2001, Mike Cameron had more value to the Mariners than Ichiro has had in any single season since he’s been a Mariner. Cameron was the most valuable outfielder on that 2001 team, and as good as Ichiro was in 2004, ’01 Cameron was better still.

When the best defensive player alive is also two wins better than a league average hitter, you have a remarkably valuable player, and that’s exactly what Mike Cameron was in 2001.

Bret Boone gets the nod here for having one of the best seasons ever at his position, but let’s not miss out on how good the guy playing the outfield behind him was.

No skipping ahead! Not to digress too far, but yes– one of the things that we used to have to harp on all the time was that the 2001 Mariners didn’t have a star — they had so many it was hard to pick them out. In the top thirty or so offensive years you got Boone, here, Edgar, Ichiro, Cameron, and Olerud, and four of those guys were really good defenders at their positions. That’s crazy.

Anyway, back to Boone. His 2003 is a fair distance back, and then the gap between him and Cora 97/Peconte 84 is so huge I didn’t believe it until I looked it up. Boone 01 to Cora 97 is the gap between Cora 97 and Harold Reynolds 86, when he hit .222/.275/.290 — the worst Mariner 2B season ever (offensively)(though Lopez 07 is close). Offensively, this is one of the top ten seasons by any Mariner ever, and this is a team that had Ken Griffey Jr, Alex Rodriguez, and Edgar Martinez in the prime of their hitting careers.

.331/.372/.578 from a quality defensive second baseman. What’s there to argue about? I guess you could say that his 5 SB against 5 CS brings him down a little compared to the 16-3 2003 version, but that still doesn’t close the gap.

So yeah. Boone’s 2001 is the best season by a Mariner second baseman ever.

Another walk through ESPN’s stats

June 25, 2008 · Filed Under Mariners · 73 Comments 

sort by plate appearances

expanded stat

Sort by XBH

Go to the bottom

But his uniform's dirty.

Read more

M’s looking at USSM-endorsed candidates

June 25, 2008 · Filed Under Mariners · 66 Comments 

Says Lincoln to concerned season ticketholder:

  • Paul DePodesta
  • Chris Antonetti
  • David Forst
  • Kim Ng

Awesome. I hope they get the full consideration they deserve.

Game 78, Mariners at Mets

June 25, 2008 · Filed Under Mariners · 121 Comments 

Batista v Maine, 4:10.

Wednesday morning

June 25, 2008 · Filed Under Mariners · 73 Comments 

Soooooooooooo not a lot going on until these two teams face off again tonight, huh? Really, a prank call to JP Ricciardi is an ESPN top story on the baseball page. That’s a slow news day.

On an unrelated note: if you were trying to reset your password lately and it hasn’t worked, drop us a line — I’d hoped it was an issue caused by all the load, but that hasn’t fixed everyone’s issues. We’ll reset them manually at some point, tonight hopefully.

Game 77, Mariners at Mets

June 24, 2008 · Filed Under Mariners · 166 Comments 

4:10 our time. Dickey v Perez.

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