I Have A Complaint

Dave · December 2, 2009 at 5:35 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

For most of USSM’s existence, we served as the voice of why everything the Mariners were doing was wrong. Not that we wanted to, but the organization made so many bad decisions that we wrote millions of words explaining why they just screwed up. We pointed out why Horacio Ramirez wasn’t any good, that signing mediocre pitchers to big contracts was a recipe for disaster, that making the offense marginally better while destroying the defense wasn’t actually improving the team, that right-handed power hitters were a bad fit for the ballpark, and the list goes on. Every winter, the team gave us new transactions to rant about, and while it was miserable, it was also really easy to cover. M’s announce move – head to the blog to explain why they shouldn’t have done that.

Yesterday, reports broke that the Mariners were interested in Gregg Zaun, a switch-hitting catcher with some power who would fill the experience gap behind the plate and give the team an option beyond Adam Moore and Rob Johnson. Today, the rumors have the M’s strongly pursuing Rich Harden to slide into the rotation spot behind Felix and give the pitching staff a bit more upside. What am I supposed to write about when they’re doing exactly what we suggest, targeting players we’ve already advocated for because they make a lot of sense?

I mean, yeah, the team is getting better, but I’m running out of material. I don’t know how many different ways to write “woohoo! good move!” I feel like I should just write a script that fills in the blanks when transactions are announced.

Today, the Mariners (signed/traded for/stole) Player X, giving up Worthless Thing Y in exchange. Once again, the team has exploited an inefficiency in the market, adding an asset at a fraction of what he should have cost. This (trade/signing) continues to show how well run the organization is, and how they’re making every dollar count. They are building a team that will win and soon. This is a great organization to root for. Welcome to Seattle, Undervalued Player X.

Sure, it’s nice to win, but blogging about this team is no longer easy. Thanks for making my job harder, Jack. Could you screw up once in a while so that I don’t have to think so hard about things to write about?

Comments

57 Responses to “I Have A Complaint”

  1. Dave on December 2nd, 2009 5:37 pm

    And, just because its the internet and someone out there will take this post seriously, I don’t actually want the M’s to make a bad move. I’ve never had this much fun covering the Mariners. I love these guys. Please don’t ever leave.

  2. kennyb on December 2nd, 2009 5:56 pm

    Isn’t it great?
    After Bavasi left the cupboards almost bare I was real down on the organization. Then Zduriencik made the Putz trade and I thought, well maybe this team will be good in 2011.
    Then he made several more moves that helped so much that I now feel this will be a very good team this year(2010). I feel like he has accelerated the recovery by more than a year. It is now fun to look for these updates.

  3. dmojr on December 2nd, 2009 5:57 pm

    love the disclaimer.

    It’s fun again! GO M’S

  4. Leroy Stanton on December 2nd, 2009 6:00 pm

    All you need to do now is sit back and watch the ad revenue poor in!

  5. MarinerFan on December 2nd, 2009 6:06 pm

    Totally agree Dave. I can’t wait to see what the M’s do and excited with the direction they are going.

  6. stevie_j13 on December 2nd, 2009 6:07 pm

    I think Dave has one of two options:

    1) Just analyze the heck out of Z’s moves so that everyone can see his genius, or

    2) Change the blog to ussroyal.com

  7. Mustard on December 2nd, 2009 6:12 pm

    I would like those moves. Funny but I am a big Zaun fan. He is an awesome guy in the clubhouse and goes after it everyday. (At least he did here in Toronto) He also fully earned my respect for his handling of the Shae Hillenbrand clubhouse incident with the Jays.

  8. Mustard on December 2nd, 2009 6:13 pm

    Sorry, Shea.

  9. Leroy Stanton on December 2nd, 2009 6:14 pm

    Uh, that should be “pour in”. Probably just a Freudian slip because of all the money I want the M’s to spend on FA’s.

  10. skipj on December 2nd, 2009 6:14 pm

    Very funny.
    Suggestions for posts:

    The Moose, scary to many kids.

    Why does the red Hydro always win?

    Enough already with the dancing groundskeepers.

    And the one I really want to see:

    M’s win ALCS!

    Maybe sooner rather than later

  11. philosofool on December 2nd, 2009 6:34 pm

    What you should probably do with this is just keep writing about guys the M’s should and shouldn’t pick up, because the M’s FO is using this blog as a crib sheet.

    Here’s a guy that fits the M’s need who is presently a free agent: Jack Cust. In 2008 he was the King of TTO hitters, he’s left-handed, and had a wOBA among the top in baseball. He sucks at defense and probably should never have any letters besides his name except “DH”. His approach to the plate in 2009 was completely different and he wasn’t a great hitter. How much money should the Mariners offer Jack Cust, and which 1B/DH types should they make offers to before they send one to Cust?

  12. Sports on a Schtick on December 2nd, 2009 6:35 pm

    I think it’s pretty important for M’s fans to appreciate the team right now, even though the franchise is “only” in good and not great shape.

    Because bad times will come again. Probably not in the near future but they’ll come back. Best to enjoy the afterglow of a nice 2009 season and focus on how this team is constantly making gains.

  13. Leroy Stanton on December 2nd, 2009 6:51 pm

    I’d like to see Dave give us his analysis on what to do with all the starting pitching. What do we do with RRS, Snell, Fister, French, Vargas, Olsen, and Silva (did I miss anybody?) Do any of them have any trade value? Potential? Is it time to release Silva?

  14. Snyder on December 2nd, 2009 7:07 pm

    Analysis of all rumors, good or bad, would be awesome. Also, whether the rumor has any substance.

  15. Typical Idiot Fan on December 2nd, 2009 7:22 pm

    Thanks for making my job harder, Jack. Could you screw up once in a while so that I don’t have to think so hard about things to write about?

    He’s just kidding Jack! Jack? JACK! Read the first post in the comments section, Jack! Mr. Zduriencik?! Are you listening?! Wait… no… don’t do that! AAAAAGGGGHHH!!!

    Anybody ever see that movie 80′s movie D.A.R.Y.L? I feel like we’re at that point as a team where the FO is D.A.R.Y.L. and we’re the mom waiting for him to screw up to prove he’s human.

    Then again, there has been a move or three that have made us scratch our heads. The Morrow and Aumont decisions come to mind. So it’s not like we’re completely free to look the other direction.

  16. The Ancient Mariner on December 2nd, 2009 7:34 pm

    Well, and if re-signing Griffey as DT (Designated Tickler — he sure can’t hit much anymore) leads to them dropping Langerhans, that will give you a post or two.

    (Though if it leads to an 11-man pitching staff, then yay, Junior!)

  17. Goody on December 2nd, 2009 7:45 pm

    I hear that Jack Z just hired Tim Ruskell and Wally Walker as talent consultants. Maybe that will give us all something to bitch about!

  18. PositivePaul on December 2nd, 2009 8:15 pm

    Well you can complain that the FO is paying more attention to LookoutLanding and giving them shoutouts on the radio. Although Graham is a moderator here too, so I guess you’re covered there.

    Hmpf. You’re right.

  19. katal on December 2nd, 2009 8:20 pm

    It always amuses me when certain local Mariner blogs – you know, the ones that aren’t USSM or LL – start going on about what homers you and Derek are. Weren’t they making the opposite complaint two years ago?

    Anyway, after what we had to put up under the Bavasi administration (“The Mariners are rumored to be interested in doing X. It looks like a bad decision. The Mariners have done X. We wish they hadn’t. X is three months in the past. Everyone in baseball agrees it was a bad move.”), it’s great to have Jack Zduriencik, Tony Blengino, and company.

  20. Taylor H on December 2nd, 2009 8:21 pm

    LL got a radio shoutout? When was this?

  21. Boy9988 on December 2nd, 2009 8:30 pm

    I was looking at the roster as it stands now, i wonder whether Zaun is necessary. Unless Rob Johnson is going to be out at the start of the season, or he will be sent to the minors, I wonder if carrying three catchers is a good idea. In addition, looking ahead to next off season, I think it may be prudent to not sign Lackey and look into one of Webb, Lee, Halladay, or Beckett. All of whom at this point are set to be free agents and at least two if not three should make it and not be extended.

  22. sodomojo95 on December 2nd, 2009 8:32 pm

    You know its “bad” when the only thing you can ridicule is the M’s signing Griffey. And who can ridicule that? Griffey is one of the best things that’s ever happened to Seattle.

    It’s like the dilemma Jon Stewart has with the Obama administration. But Stewart has enjoyed himself by ridiculing FOX News.

    So maybe the blog should start ridiculing other blogs

  23. henryv on December 2nd, 2009 8:38 pm

    So maybe the blog should start ridiculing other blogs.

    Shooting fish in a barrel.

    I want to see Dave spend more time taking the absolute moron hacks at ESPN, Yahoo, and SI to task.

    Seriously, does ESPN even have a single journalist left?

  24. DaveValleDrinkNight on December 2nd, 2009 8:43 pm

    Ditto on that idea henryv. Did anyone read SI’s team by team analysis on the M’s off season needs?

    The writer said something to the effect of, “The M’s are terrible, will never be any good and aren’t worth writing about.”

    Journalism yeah!

  25. Mike Snow on December 2nd, 2009 8:44 pm

    Here’s a guy that fits the M’s need who is presently a free agent: Jack Cust.

    Jack Cust is not a free agent.

  26. The Ancient Mariner on December 2nd, 2009 9:16 pm
  27. Notor on December 2nd, 2009 9:55 pm

    Think of it this way, eventually if this keeps up you’ll get lots of extra content to write about in October.

  28. mark s on December 2nd, 2009 10:00 pm

    Give it time. I am sure they will do something crazy and nutty. With enough time, we all make mistakes and bad choices.

  29. Tim B. on December 2nd, 2009 10:33 pm

    I too trust where Zduriencik is leading the team. Apart from occasional bad luck, and the low-cost, high-reward gambles that don’t pan out, the only potential problem I see is one of inaction, rather than action. But it will not be JZ’s fault.

    To put it another way, I worry that JZ might come close to a number of great trades that fall apart at the last minute, and then he will be forced to accept replacement level free agents to fill holes. The longer JZ remains a GM, the more other GMs will see that he knows what he is doing, and will be much more cautious with him.

  30. mw3 on December 2nd, 2009 11:22 pm

    The last year in Marinerdom has been like a great dream without end. I can’t help but feeling that a World Series is in the near future.

    The Mariners are a joy to follow again, as is this site.

  31. Typical Idiot Fan on December 2nd, 2009 11:22 pm

    I hear that Jack Z just hired Tim Ruskell and Wally Walker as talent consultants. Maybe that will give us all something to bitch about!

    On a more realistic note, what could be the effect of Kevin Towers joining Jack’s team? What role would he, as probably one of those “special assistant to the GM” types, have on influencing decision? Too many voices? Or would it be awesome?

  32. TerryMc on December 2nd, 2009 11:45 pm

    Today, the writers as USSMariner.com (informed/entertained/prognosticated) on the subject of the Mariners while asking for (nothing/nada/zippo) in exchange. Once again, the writing team has uncovered an insightful aspect of todays baseball news, adding new perspective and enjoyment for the reader. This (post/comment) continues to show how well run the blog is, and how they’re making every analysis or humorous column count. Welcome to web, (shrewd/discerning/observant/amusing) post on the topic X.

  33. TerryMc on December 2nd, 2009 11:57 pm

    The longer JZ remains a GM, the more other GMs will see that he knows what he is doing, and will be much more cautious with him.

    My guess is that point of view largely exists only in the media. If I give you “X” for “Y” I have decided there is more value in “Y” for me than for “X”. If “X” becomes very valuable for you in the future, good for you, but if I was making an astute judge of value at the time it should not effect future potential trades. GMs need to look at past results to determine if their process in identifying needs and expendable assets is working but whether or not they “won” a previous trade should not matter to them. Of course some are probably blinded by their own ego/hubris and will allow themselves to be fleeced over and over since “they are sure to win this time”.

  34. pinball1973 on December 3rd, 2009 12:01 am

    This is,, like, that “irony” stuff I keep hearing about, right?

    Save the words for noting the effectiveness of what moves end up being made.

  35. joser on December 3rd, 2009 12:48 am

    I was looking at the roster as it stands now, i wonder whether Zaun is necessary. Unless Rob Johnson is going to be out at the start of the season, or he will be sent to the minors, I wonder if carrying three catchers is a good idea.

    Moore is young. Johnson just had surgery on both hips. It’s entirely possible that they’ll need a third catcher. If everything goes well, you can always move somebody to Tacoma or non-tender somebody coming out of Spring Training. And if everything doesn’t go well — hey, look: you still have two catchers.

  36. DMZ on December 3rd, 2009 1:05 am

    This is,, like, that “irony” stuff I keep hearing about, right?

    Save the words for noting the effectiveness of what moves end up being made.

    Really? That’s your comment? You sat there at a keyboard and thought “Yeah, I’m going to go with that” and hit the button?

  37. Liam on December 3rd, 2009 1:39 am

    It’s fun to browse the USSM archives from the last off season and see how far we’ve come. Aside from a small entry months earlier, Jack Zduriencik wasn’t even in the ongoing discussion for GM until a week before he was hired.

  38. Garton on December 3rd, 2009 6:34 am

    DaveValleDrinkNight,

    I would agree mostly, except I do enjoy ESPN baseball guys Rob Neyer and Keith Law. Of course Law is Insider Only, so the only thing I ever get to read of is are his chats (between those and the authors of this blog, I get my weekly “snark” fix). But yeah, in general the big boys of the interweb still have way, way too many scribes who believe hustle, grit, determination and clubhouse chemistry are important. Jon Heyman of SI is my least favorite.

  39. msb on December 3rd, 2009 8:32 am

    The Moose, scary to many kids.

    Make that “The Moose, scary to many.”

    Re: the LL shout-out, here is an endorsement for 710′s Hot Stove League show on Wednesdays, 6-8pm. Hosted by Shannon Drayer, it features a weekly segment with Tony Blengino. This week he explained FIP (which led to the mention of tRA). Next week’s show will come from the Winter Meetings.

  40. Paul B on December 3rd, 2009 8:53 am

    I’m interested to see if there are any market inefficiencies that Jack and Tony can take advantage of this winter. That should make some good research fodder, although it isn’t as easy as:

    but the organization made so many bad decisions that we wrote millions of words explaining why they just screwed up

    Last winter was genius. Saves are overvalued? Sayonara, JJ! Defense is undervalued? Hello, Franklin!

  41. Squooshed on December 3rd, 2009 9:25 am

    I like the new form post better than the one under the Bavasi era, which inevitably went something like this:

    Today, the Mariners (signed/traded for) Player X, (paying way too much/giving up more valuable Thing Y/getting ripped off) in exchange. Once again, the team has demonstrated that it has no idea how to win baseball games and is far behind the market, adding a negligible asset for much more than what he should have cost. This (trade/signing) continues to show how poorly run the organization is, and how they’re wasting every dollar. They are building a team that will lose a lot of games for a long time. This is a terrible organization to root for. When will we get a better front office? Regardless, welcome to Seattle, Overvalued Player X.

  42. nadingo on December 3rd, 2009 9:43 am

    You want to complain?! Look at these shoes. I’ve only had them three weeks and the heels are worn right through.

    If you complain nothing happens, you might as well not bother.

    Oh my back hurts, it’s not a very fine day and I’m sick and tired of this office!

  43. fosio on December 3rd, 2009 10:13 am

    Dave,
    what do you make of Bakers’ blog posting this morning that the M’s are apparently making a push to sign Bay?

  44. IHaveALittleProject on December 3rd, 2009 10:17 am

    fosio – it has to be a reporter writing a non-story at a slow time. As I think most would agree, Bay doesn’t fit the total package analysis we’ve come to expect from Z at all, unless the deal is 3 years $24 mil to DH.

  45. IHaveALittleProject on December 3rd, 2009 10:17 am

    Which, I forgot to add, is 100% impossible.

  46. Mariner Fan in CO Exile on December 3rd, 2009 10:18 am

    A great tongue-in-cheek post, Dave. You won’t be able to win either way with a segment of the blog’s readership (though now you’ll spend more time justifying moves that were made rather than breaking down why a move was bad), but it sure is nice not to live in dread. For so long, Mariner fandom has been a constant fear of our captor breaking through the cell door with a nightstick to beat us over the head repeatedly. We started to look forward to the days when the door simply remained shut, and a beating was withheld.

    How short a time to shift one’s mentality from “Geez, I hope the team makes the least bad possible move, or stumbles into the right one though probably for the wrong reasons,” to “What good things can we hope for today!?”

    Good stuff.

  47. hub on December 3rd, 2009 10:21 am

    Jason Bay = New Material

  48. fosio on December 3rd, 2009 10:24 am

    @IHaveALittleProject — Bay seems to go against everything that the new M’s brass targets (all (right-handed) bat, no glove), but it just seems curious that Baker posts it today. Personally, I’d rather see the M’s give Saunders a solid shot in LF. Young, cheap, good glove and speed, and a lefty with power potential. Just thought the Baker posting would give Dave something “not so cheery” to discuss.

  49. John S. on December 3rd, 2009 10:28 am

    Hub beat me to it. Go to it, Dave.

  50. Holmes on December 3rd, 2009 10:47 am

    Jason Bay = New Material

    ding ding ding ding ding we have a winner!

  51. mw3 on December 3rd, 2009 10:48 am

    If Baker’s latest rumor is correct we’ll all have something to complain about very soon.

  52. joser on December 3rd, 2009 10:51 am

    Hub beat me to it. Go to it, Dave.

    Dave beat you to it by a couple of months, too.

  53. Taylor H on December 3rd, 2009 10:56 am

    Thanks for the link, A.M. Not sure how I missed that.

  54. MarinerFan on December 3rd, 2009 11:49 am

    Pease DON’T sign Bay!

  55. Breadbaker on December 3rd, 2009 12:39 pm

    Luckily, you didn’t name the site FireBillBavasi.com, in which case you’d have had to go the way of FireHaroldReynolds.com. Zaun would be awewsome, particularly when he took away all of Griffey’s DH at-bats.

  56. joser on December 3rd, 2009 4:22 pm

    Wasn’t there a LeoneForThird.com at one time?

  57. joser on December 3rd, 2009 4:23 pm

    Sorry, forgot the winking emoticon….

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.