Echoes of Columns Future

DMZ · May 6, 2009 at 5:27 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Many of you have gotten your wish, as manager Don Wakamatsu confirmed that Carlos Silva would not make his next turn in the rotation, and will pitch from the bullpen for the forseeable future. Silva’s been a divisive figure among Mariner fans since coming over after his 2007 campaign with the Twins that made him the #1 free agent pitcher on the market, signing a four year, $48m contract to solidify the rotation.

Unfortunately for him, a fan base that’s never forgiven Alex Rodriguez for taking the money and running in free agency expected so much of him it would have been impossible to meet expectations — and the backlash led to a situation where he could do no right, and went to the mound every start for a crowd that expected him to lose.

He never had a chance this season. Booing practically started after the last out of the previous game was recorded. But he did everything he could, everything anyone could have asked for. He dropped weight and adopted a new, rigorous workout schedule (which players like Ichiro are lauded for) and still they called him fat. He did everything to try to help heal a divided clubhouse by holding a party at his Minnesota home and reaching out to his teammates, and he was still mocked as fat. Silva was never given credit for the things he did well. People would rather dwell on his honest comments on the team’s problems with accountability last year than see how his sense of humor and generosity contributed to this year’s unity. And it carried into the view of his performances — even when there were encouraging signs of progress, he was met with defeatism and negativity. It’s hard to succeed under those circumstances.

But don’t question his dedication. He didn’t have to work so hard to get into better shape for this season — he’d have been paid whether he did or not. He did it because as much as many of you would like to forget it, he’s a competitor, a former rock of the Twins rotation. Remember how heavily his winless streak weighed on him, how he pitched through shoulder stiffness trying to grind out starts, and particularly think about how badly he wanted to stay in that April 25th start that ended up breaking his streak. Even the Silva so many have been so disappointed with still have his team a chance to win: the team had a winning record in his starts when he lost his rotation spot.

And while players like Ichiro are continually defended, every excuse made for their slow starts or poor performances, when Silva goes up against a fastball-hitting team he can expect mockery, not sympathy or support. If the team had been a little better about finding him good matchups, we might not even be having a conversation about whether his spot was in jeopardy.

As much as his detractors like to throw around terms like “sunk cost” it’s clear from the fan treatment of pitchers who’ve done just as much damage to their chances (cough, Corcoran) that his contract was as much an issue as his performance. It’s not hard to think that if he’d come to Seattle as a bargain, whether he’d have been a pleasant surprise, with fans looking forward to seeing him contribute in the future, instead of the current unpleasant situation, with over two years and $24 million left on the contract, saddled with unreachable expectations the previous front office put on him.

Hopefully, he can make the right adjustments in the bullpen, but it’s likely that the only way he’ll find success and Mariner fans will be able to move on is for him to be traded or released and get a new start with a new team, where hopefully he can find the support he needs and find the success that’s eluded him during his time in Seattle.


87 Responses to “Echoes of Columns Future”

  1. Milendriel on May 6th, 2009 10:30 pm

    Way to troll your own blog 🙂

  2. DaveValleDrinkNight on May 6th, 2009 10:34 pm

    Go in peace Tatonka.

    Take Batista with you.

  3. marcwolf on May 6th, 2009 10:37 pm

    he tried, now time to move on. anyone would have grabbed the cash. time to eat a mountain of burgers. as to the seattle fans, how long before he would have been boo’d off the mound in new york? seattle fans gave him time to fix the problem….the rope just got too tight around his slimmed down neck.

  4. scott19 on May 6th, 2009 10:48 pm

    “Echoing” a few others, Derek…drier than the Atacama…but superbly written!

  5. Gihyou on May 6th, 2009 10:52 pm

    The biggest clue is right at the beginning…the title, actually. “Echoes of Columns Future” Yes, this is what we will read in future columns concerning Silva.

  6. Jack.Hartsock on May 6th, 2009 11:07 pm

    Are you kidding me? This column echoes the same logic supporters of Ty Willingham used to employ. Only in Seattle is mediocrity tolerated so extensively. Silva can take his spot next to Batista as a mop up reliever while pulling in outrageous paychecks.

  7. JMHawkins on May 6th, 2009 11:39 pm

    There was a shot of Silva in the dugout after he was pulled and it really broke my heart (zero sarcasm here, I mean this). I’m absolutely convinced he needs to be pulled from the rotation, and I’m not at all sure he should even be in the pen. He’s making an obscene amount of money, and he said some things last year that pissed me off. But he’s in a sucky place right now personally, and I feel for the guy. The money will make things easier, but like the saying goes, money isn’t everything.

    Baseball isn’t very forgiving. A pitcher has to go stand out there at the center of everything all alone. Getting shelled start after start is embarrasing and Carlos Silva didn’t sign a contract to be a court jester. I’m as ready as anybody to give his rotation spot, even his roster spot, to someone else, but I hope Silva finds some way to salvage a little dignity.

    Looking at his face in the dugout tonight I saw a guy who sees his career falling apart and doesn’t know what he can do to fix it. Forget about the money, forget about it being a baseball career. That’s a demon people in other lines of work have to face too, and it’s not fun. Other sports seem to be a lot more cut-throat with guys who fall off the cliff, but in baseball we get to see them linger a while, fighting to hold onto something they love that’s slipping away.

    Tragedy touches other sports the way it touches anything. The Cowboy’s training facility collapsing on coaches, players and media – that’s tragedy, but everything in life is touched now and then by tragedy like that. Baseball incorporates it into the fabric of the game.

    Fucking hell of a game. Sure, there’s no crying in baseball. Never.

  8. scott19 on May 6th, 2009 11:47 pm

    All of the sarcasm aside…equally as well put, JMH.

    That’s gotta be a miserable, sinking feeling.

  9. Breadbaker on May 7th, 2009 1:10 am

    Steve Kelley called. He wants his column back.

  10. henryv on May 7th, 2009 1:59 am

    Steve Kelley called. I hung up on him.

    I immediately called back to apologize for hanging up on him…

    Before calling him an idiot first. Again, I hung up on him.

    I then called back to inform him that he was, in fact, fired. He could, however, remain… On the condition that he worked as a assistant to Jim Moore, who would in fact be hired to do his job.

    So, at least we got that figured out.

  11. DizzleChizzle on May 7th, 2009 2:12 am

    I hope that this is not what we’ll be echoing in the future. I have no sympathy for Silva and rather he ride off into the sunset with whatever the M’s owe him then to see him pitch on the mound again in a Mariners uniform.

    Why should I give credit to Silva for things he’s supposed to already be doing as professional baseball athlete? So he supposedly lost 30lb pounds? Good for him! He’s got a future with Subway. He should’ve came to the M’s last season in tip top shape. So he’s a competitor? So what! He’s supposed to be a competitor. I hope the M’s weren’t paying him his atrotious salary so that he could half ass it every 5 days.

    Someone enlighten me but does losing 30lb pounds mean that an overweight pitcher with batting practice fastballs is supposed to suddenly develop him into another Johan Santana? Losing 30lbs has not changed the mechanics of any part of his game. He sucked when he was fat and he still sucks now but he’s just a little less fatter.

  12. BigJared on May 7th, 2009 6:03 am


  13. terry on May 7th, 2009 6:08 am

    Here’s Silva in a nutshell… He cares too much and tries too hard. Putting too much pressure on himself prevents him from being the #3 pitcher of his imagination.

  14. jjracoon on May 7th, 2009 6:28 am

    It is hard to feel anything for Silva when a player like Olsen comes up from AAA and pitches 5 innings with 3 runs given up (one by error)and in comparison seems like a #2 or #3 pitcher. IF Silva could at least give the team a quality start every other time I could be somewhat less sick to see him pitch. It felt like the team quit when Silva started doing his stupid pitching against a worse hitting team than the Mariners!!!!

  15. rmac1973 on May 7th, 2009 6:47 am

    Some of you guys are too damned serious.

    Silva is the most-hated Mariner in history – and someone actually thought for a split second this article wasn’t 100% satiric?

    C’mon… it’s BASEBALL.

  16. msb on May 7th, 2009 6:54 am

    I agree with the post-game caller last night. Silva is a responsible team leader, and I bet he’d go to Tacoma without complaint, to work on things as well as share his experience and wisdom with the younger catchers and pitchers.

  17. rmac1973 on May 7th, 2009 7:24 am

    For everyone who thought I was being serious with my original post from yesterday, a portion of my Mariners blog…

    “At what point does a professional sports franchise finally admit that they have reached a point of diminished return from one of their players?

    Carlos Silva, a right-handed starting pitcher for the Seattle Mariners, signed a four-year, $48 million contract with a 2012 mutual option for $5 million prior to the 2008 season as a free agent. Since signing that contract, however, Silva has produced a 5-17 record with a 6.38 ERA. Not only are the final results bad, but his game-to-game performances seem to actually be regressing, something previously thought to be unimaginable considering his 4-15 record and 6.46 ERA in 2008.

    However, things have not improved for the 30-year-old and he has limped to a 1-2 record in his five 2009 starts with a 7.36 ERA in 25.2 innings of work. Unfortunately for him, though, he simply does not possess the physical gifts and tools to be a notably successful pitcher.”

    Silva tried. He did. It sucks that he’s just not good enough, but it’s also just as sucky that someone keeps thinking it’s a nifty idea to throw him out there every fifth game to give up his weekly allotment of 6 runs.

    He is Matt Young, redux.

    Wait… maybe he’s Steve Trout V-1.2.B

  18. Steve Nelson on May 7th, 2009 7:27 am

    For a post that purports as an echo of columns future I’m quite dismayed with Derek’s work here. There’s not a single one sentence paragraph in the entire piece.

  19. rmac1973 on May 7th, 2009 7:32 am


    That might have been the intent – to truly be satiric, Derek had to not only write a ludicrously bellievable sentiment piece, but also do it in a manner befitting an actual columnist.


    Awww, geez… I’m jus’ teasin’!

  20. justinh on May 7th, 2009 7:49 am

    I really do like Silva as a person. His work ethic and attitude are supreme in a game that has been ridden with cheaters, fat-cat’s who take the money and “do nothing”, and overall “laziness”.

    Did we make a poor decision signing Silva? Yes. However, let’s hope he can continue to do the “little things” in helping loosen up the clubhouse, teach Felix and keep his attitude.

    I remember the first few starts last year were great for CS as he had an ERA of 4.17 through mid-May. In 2006, CS was horrid with a WHIP of 1.54 and ERA of 5.94. In 2007 he comes back and has a WHIP of 1.31 and pitches well. Clearly it has nothing to do with walks, but he has been falling behind in the count, and if that happens, it is bad news. However, even scarier is the fact that his WHIP last year with after 0-2 count was OVER 2.0.

    Give him a couple weeks to rest up and get his mind straight. I don’t know if you want to move him to the pen if you want him to start again as that could be even worse as the long guy. Messes with your head big time. But, maybe he needs it!

  21. rmac1973 on May 7th, 2009 7:54 am


    Sorry, but I don’t think anyone wants Silva teaching Felix anything at all.

  22. Utah911 on May 7th, 2009 8:18 am

    I can think of 48 Million reasons why he gets no sympathy. People get paid to perform. Granted, Bavasi helped the free agent market boom to unthinkable contracts, but feeling sorry for a player because he performed poorly night after night and gets paid more than most of the players at his position warrants no pity or sympathy. If he was getting paid $500,000 a season he would already be RSVP’d at Richie Sexson’s pool party tomorrow night.

  23. rmac1973 on May 7th, 2009 8:23 am


    Richie Sexson’s pool party? Dood – he lives in Vantucky. Ain’t no pools here.

  24. downwarddog on May 7th, 2009 8:37 am

    Very funny. It’s hard to stay so dry up here in the great northwest. Nice work.

  25. don52656 on May 7th, 2009 8:56 am

    Excellent post DMZ, and I couldn’t agree with you more. I find it very hard to watch this, as I did last year with Sexson. On one hand, it’s hard not to get frustrated with players when they simply suck, but I think too many folks confuse sucking with not caring. As a Mariners fan, I am glad that Silva is moving to the bullpen, but as a Mariners fan, I hope he finds what he has lost, both for his own peace of mind and because it will help the M’s win more games.

    Carlos Silva is not worth $48 million for 4 years. But, I don’t blame him for taking it, and if he pitches like the guy who “earned” the contract, he’ll make the M’s a better team. I’m rooting for him.

  26. floydr on May 7th, 2009 9:06 am

    As Baker’s blog post this morning echo’s DMZ’s, I suspect that DMZ’s post is much less satirical than many here thought it was.

    I think that many of the posters here are falling into the trap that many observers decry about online (email, www, usenet, blog, …) communications: a general tendency to de-humanize people. Does one rant and flame people the same in person as online? Usually not. The use of phrases such as “hate Silva”, “no sympathy for Silva”, etc. demonstrates the disconnect between Silva’s pitching ability – not good at all – from Silva the person that many posters here have demonstrated.

    I believe that Baker (and DMZ) are demonstrating the true worth of REPORTING. It’s a lot more than ranting, and far different from “simple” statistical analysis.

  27. Dave on May 7th, 2009 9:14 am

    As Baker’s blog post this morning echo’s DMZ’s, I suspect that DMZ’s post is much less satirical than many here thought it was.

    Uhh… no.

  28. mironos on May 7th, 2009 9:14 am

    I think Baker’s read this story. His most recent blog post sounds vaguely familiar…

    Wow, you weren’t kidding. Baker’s trotting out the classics.

  29. Butwheredoesthemeatgo on May 7th, 2009 9:49 am

    My question is assuming Geoff Baker did not read this satire filled article on Silva before he wrote his article, does he feel at least a little predictable when you can write his article before he even writes it? Or is he as delusional about his “hard hitting” journalism as Silva is about his “sinker”? Where is your integrity Baker, sure, go ahead and report that Silva is saying that he is turning to the whole this is God’s plan B.S. to get him through this, but at least call him out on it, God has more things to worry about than why Silva’s sinkerball doesn’t exist, but Silva is still just arrogant enough to believe otherwise. Baker disappointed me yet again, write like a journalist, not a PR guy.

  30. don52656 on May 7th, 2009 9:56 am

    Actually, Utah911, in baseball, people don’t necessarily get paid to perform. They get paid once they have performed. But after the ink is dry, performance no longer is tied to wages, at least for the length of that contract.

  31. martini on May 7th, 2009 10:25 am

    I like Silva’s attitude, and was impressed that he put down the fork and worked out a little during the off season. But the poor guy is in for a very long next few years, unless he can turn it around and at least be as mediocre as he was on the Twins.

    I’m hoping that someone can slip a PED in his enchiladas, so he can get suspended and we won’t have to pay him.

  32. ChrisK on May 7th, 2009 10:29 am

    I think some readers literally don’t know what the word “satire” means.

  33. henryv on May 7th, 2009 10:46 am


    Its a type of tire designed by Tim Duncan?

  34. rsrobinson on May 7th, 2009 10:57 am

    I fully appreciate the supreme effort it took Silva to cut down on the Mondo burritos during the offseason and I’m sad I won’t get to see him waddle out to the mound for his next start. I salute the effort and competitive spirit it took for him to battle through the Murderer’s Row that is the KC Royals lineup for three innings last night. Will no one ever give Carlos his due?

  35. thebigp708 on May 7th, 2009 12:01 pm

    Wow… All this time I though I hated Silva because he was utterly incapable of getting anyone out, but it was really because of what he represents to us Mariner faithful…
    Actually, no. We boo him because he can’t get anyone out, nothing else matters. I could care less if he’s a great (or horrible) guy, I could care less if he works harder than any other big leaguer, and I could certainly care less if he’s fat. He is garbage on the hill every fifth day. Period.

  36. Mousse on May 7th, 2009 12:08 pm

    Baker’s blogs today pissed me off.

  37. terry on May 7th, 2009 1:56 pm

    I believe that Baker (and DMZ) are demonstrating the true worth of REPORTING. It’s a lot more than ranting, and far different from “simple” statistical analysis.

    I believe Baker’s Silva piece was an attempt at reporting, journalism, or whatever you want to call it.

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