Game Thirty-Eight Recap

Dave · May 17, 2010 at 9:31 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Boo, 14-24.

American League Teams, sorted by winning percentage.

Tampa Bay, .711
New York, .658
Minnesota, .632
Detroit, .579
Toronto, .575
Texas, .538
Boston, .487
Oakland, .474
Anaheim, .450
Cleveland, .417
Chicago, .405
Seattle, .368
Baltimore, .308

When you’re behind the Royals, it might – just maybe – be time to consider making some changes.

Yeah, this roster works. Just keep running Griffey out there – I’m sure his bat will come around any day now. Keep Sweeney around for that oh so valuable leadership that has kept this team on track. Don’t bother with an actual bench, as pinch hitting and pinch running are overrated. Don’t worry about acquiring any one of the hundred or so guys in Triple-A that could improve your roster right now. Just keep sitting there, doing nothing.


132 Responses to “Game Thirty-Eight Recap”

  1. beadyeyes123 on May 18th, 2010 9:53 am

    Task #2: Stop purposefully fielding an undermanned team. If we have a roster filled with rather fragile position players, we can’t have a seven man bullpen and we can’t have two DH’s who not only can’t run or field but can’t hit. Why are we purposefully hamstringing ourselves when we already have a team with a very thin margin for error? What happened to the appreciation for “flexibility” that was so touted last season?

    Amen. Not only the fact that some are fragile but if we have zero bench flexibility due to bad hitting from the regulars and you are getting solid innings from 4 of your 5 starters, why are we holding onto a useless relief pitcher?

  2. beadyeyes123 on May 18th, 2010 10:03 am

    Don’t forget Wak is a Zduriencik hire too.

    I did not forget that and I still have no problem with it. I will call out Wak for bad lineups and this belief system that needs to adapt to reality but overall I am not calling for his head SOLELY because he was a great manager last year.

    I should rephrase my statement, Z is a great GM and I dare you to tell me who we should have hired (or can hire) over him. Kim Ng? Would she be doing much better???

    Coulda Woulda Shoulda…frustration seems to breed this kind of tone. Let’s see if he fixes the problems instead of saying he should be canned or he isn’t great or whatever nonsense that seems to be spewing out in frustration.

  3. eponymous coward on May 18th, 2010 10:23 am

    I’m still assuming the M’s turnaround last year was Deserved Success, but the misery we’re suffering this year is more Poetic Justice than Bad Break.

    I’d have to say yeah. Carrying Griffey AND Sweeney on a roster where you have two often-injured “regulars” (Jack Wilson and Bradley) was asking for trouble, especially given that once Hannahan went out the M’s basically had nothing at SS.

  4. mrt1212 on May 18th, 2010 10:34 am

    How bad is Griffey for the team?

    6 most at bats on the team, 4th worst OPS.

  5. Section337 on May 18th, 2010 10:35 am

    I’m seeing that there’s turmoil between Hanley Ramierez and the Marlins. I know it’s improbable, but do we even have the resources to trade for a player like him? What would we have to give up? Would it even be worth it?

  6. firova2 on May 18th, 2010 10:39 am

    It’s funny what raised expectations will do. The team overachieved last year, is underachieving this year, is .500 overall in the two years, and people are going crazy. The overall direction is still on the plus side, but because we have been tantalized by the possibility of playoffs (made more frustrating because of the weakness of the division) everybody is wak-ed out. We say things like the manager is now a dunce, Z isn’t trying to improve the team, the Rays want to drive in runs more than the Mariners do, etc. Dave’s high-risk/high reward analysis was spot on, and this is what happens when the risk kicks in. The team went a month without Cliff Lee, has gone several weeks without its #4 hitter, is currently without its shortstop, and has five or six people hitting under .200. Roster moves can change some of it–the seven man bullpen should be reduced, but it isn’t like Adrian Gonzalez is coming to save the season.

    Basically, Lee gives the organization a chance to add some offense for next year, probably in the form of a couple of younger players who need a chance, Franklin Guiterrez style. Combine with Saunders, Ichiro, Guiterrez, a regressed Figgins and Bradley, the retirements of Griffey and Sweeney, and you have the makings of something a bit better in 2011. Maybe Ackley contributes at second and Figgy goes to third. I don’t see Lopez or Kotchman as Mariners next year, and Adam Moore had better figure some things out this year or the team will have to find a catcher. Finding a Branyan-style first baseman who is merely adequate in the field but carries some clout at the plate seems doable in the offseason.

    If that sounds like giving up on 2010, what other expectation can we have at this point? It was always a strong possibility that this roster wouldn’t work even without the double headed DH. The slumps have just made it happen sooner than anyone expected. No one wanted to give up on the playoff dream this early.

  7. shortbus on May 18th, 2010 10:42 am

    The Seattle fanbase has never turned on a player who produced but wasn’t ‘clutch.’

    Thank goodness. Since “clutch” isn’t a skill it’s stupid to turn on a player for not having it.

    Xteve X…I doubt anyone on this blog is the kind of fan that irks me at Safeco. I expect everyone here is actually there to, you know, follow the game.

    I stand by the notion that we don’t want to be a spoiled-rotten fanbase that hounds good players because, for whatever reason, they didn’t take us to World Series glory. Basically the theory behind this behavior is that by being a total asshole, you can get what you want from your team. I call that “douchey.”

    Seattle fans need to become more knowledgable, need to cheer harder when the game is close, and do the wave less when it isn’t. But we don’t need to be bigger jerks just because we think it will help Chone Figgins hit better.

  8. everett on May 18th, 2010 10:43 am

    What I can’t stand is the people who think that Ichiro is being selfish by continuing to hit 1st. How does it help us that much to move him down and get him fewer at-bats? Who’s going to get on base in front of him? I can name three things that are not the problem for us this year. Ichiro, Guti, Cliff Lee. Don’t mess with them, as they’re part of the solution, not part of the problem. Felix for the most part has also been fine, as long as whatever the problem is from the last 2 starts is remedied today.

  9. bermanator on May 18th, 2010 10:51 am

    Dave’s high-risk/high reward analysis was spot on, and this is what happens when the risk kicks in.

    There is a difference between high risk/high reward and high risk/no reward. The latter, I think, is the cause of most of the frustration here. Most people get that the team made some moves that should have worked out but haven’t … the reason Junior and Sweeney get most of the criticism isn’t that it’s their fault that the team is struggling, but that there doesn’t seem to be any chance that they will be a part of the solution and there is no upside to them being around.

  10. eternal on May 18th, 2010 11:01 am

    What I can’t stand is the people who think that Ichiro is being selfish by continuing to hit 1st.

    Not sure if you’re talking about me, but I didn’t infer that he is being selfish. I’m just looking at Chone’s OBP and thinking that Ichiro is a better hitter. One space down in the order is not going to drastically change his PAs, especially if he isn’t hitting into DPs and Chone is getting on-base.

    And Chone CAN get on-base. He has a 320 OBP. And this might be simple-minded but what changed for him from last year to this year? He went into the 2 hole. Is that messing with him? I don’t know but something isn’t working…Why not try it out?

  11. mrt1212 on May 18th, 2010 11:03 am

    What I can’t stand is the people who think that Ichiro is being selfish by continuing to hit 1st. How does it help us that much to move him down and get him fewer at-bats? Who’s going to get on base in front of him? I can name three things that are not the problem for us this year. Ichiro, Guti, Cliff Lee. Don’t mess with them, as they’re part of the solution, not part of the problem. Felix for the most part has also been fine, as long as whatever the problem is from the last 2 starts is remedied today.

    Isnt that the truth? The best you can hope for with Figgins is that he WALKS to get on base. It’s really awful to look at the OBP and realize that after Ichiro and Gutierrez, the next best guys in that category with any ABs are Sweeney, Bradley and Figgins. CMON! Any batting order changes are merely rearranging deck chairs.

  12. Rick Banjo on May 18th, 2010 11:12 am

    I’m usually not this blunt, but Ichiro haters are completely stupid. You want him to hit 3rd, go ahead and justify your position. Call him a prima donna, and provide some evidence.

    I think you’ll have an easier time finding an argument for batting him third than proving he’s a prima donna.

    That’s because the latter has no evidence to back it up whatsoever. It’s stupid, and I hope that the next time you look that hall-of-fame gift horse in the mouth, he bites your face off.

  13. Tek Jansen on May 18th, 2010 11:14 am

    What I can’t stand is the people who think that Ichiro is being selfish by continuing to hit 1st.

    The times when the M’s struggle and Ichiro excels are known as “Blame Ichiro Time.” And aside from a couple of seasons, most of the time is “Blame Ichiro Time.”

  14. mrt1212 on May 18th, 2010 11:36 am

    One of the other things about Ichiro batting 3rd is that he get’s a heck of a lot of ground outs. 3rd worse ratio of GO/AO on the team. He has one of the worst GO % on the team at ~33%. The only reason we don’t notice it is because he has a good BA and doesn’t have anyone ahead of him.

  15. Oolon on May 18th, 2010 11:36 am

    It seems odd that there’s no mention about whether we should have been a bit more cautious with our expectations for this year’s team.

    The Mariners were outscored by 52 runs last year yet had a winning 85-77 record to give the (false) appearance of a better than average team.

    The Mariners were incredibly lucky in 1-run games with a 35-20 record last year. Make that .500 in those games (28-27) and they end up right at their pythag expectation.

    The Mariners had a fantastic defense last year to help balance the weak offense. Dave estimated our defensive production would drop by 40 runs this season.

    And the Mariners didn’t make any blockbuster moves over the winter that improved the team’s poor run production.

    Maybe instead of Griffey and Sweeney and Wakamatsu and catchers that can’t catch and the 12 man bullpen and the inflexible bench players – the real culprit is the unattainable expectations that snowballed on this blog for what was probably never a playoff caliber team.

    The result is the angst and depression that we’re seeing now.

  16. eternal on May 18th, 2010 11:39 am

    Hey guys. I’m not sure where you got me blaming Ichiro! I love the guy. Favorite part of the team. I have seats on that side so I can see him more. There is no blame here and I’m totally willing to concede that this might just be arranging deck chairs as I’ve seen Figgins lead off innings with a groundout many many times. It was just a thought based on OBP and also that Ichiro’s numbers show he hits into fewer DPs.

    Can I suggest changes without having to blame somebody? Yes, get rid of Sweeney and Griffey, but maybe the order can also be adjusted. I don’t see how doing one changes why you do another.

  17. eternal on May 18th, 2010 11:40 am

    I suggested Ichiro! batting 2nd, not third

  18. codybond31 on May 18th, 2010 11:42 am

    Someone made the point earlier, There are really over 100 Triple-A hitters or MLB bench players that could really help this line-up…

    So true, and it would really cost us nothing. My example is that Toronto. They really needed a leadoff hitter (and have for years), so what did they do. They traded for Fred Lewis for *future considerations. Now is Fred Lewis, Ricky Henderson? Of course not. But has he stabilized their lineup and filled a huge need? YES! It’s not that hard to do.

    There is no way guys like Josh Wilson, Tui, Kotchman, Langerhans, Jr., Sweeney or every catcher that’s been behind the plate should be on a MLB roster at their stage of their careers. Some too early (Tui, Moore, etc.) some too old (Jr. and 4-6-3). But either way this is ridiculous.

    My suggestions: try to get catcher Ryan Doumit from Pittsburgh. He’s a young, switch-hitter catcher, who happens to also be from Washington. He has a lot of talent but is not as hot in their org. due to injuries in the past slowing his progress.

    Also here’s a list of other good bats that either are on the bench of other teams, or are splitting playing time that good be easier to get:

    OF-Corey Hart, Mil., Matt Diaz, Atl., Luke Scott, Bal., Jeremy Hermida, Bos., Xavier Nady, Chi., Austin Kearns, Cle., Seth Smith, Col., Delmon Young or Jason Kuebel, Min., Marcus Thames, NYY, Jack Cust, Oak., Ryan Church, Pit., Matt Stairs, SD, , Jermaine Dye, FA,

    INF-Mike Lowell, Bos., Mike Jacobs, NYM., Jim Thome, Min., Willie Aybar or Hank Blalock, TB,

    What a list huh??

  19. mrt1212 on May 18th, 2010 11:46 am

    I think the GIDP stat is flawed if you are considering moving the Batting Order with a leadoff because let’s be honest, Ichiro probably hasn’t had that many people on base to screw into a double play.

    Whatever they do, Kotchman shouldn’t be allowed to swing at anything if there is a runner on first.

  20. eternal on May 18th, 2010 11:50 am

    I need to go find the post but I believe Matt wrote something on LL about the GIDP with Ichiro and even taking into account what you just said, he’s less likely to do it – maybe because of his speed, he’s more likely to gound out into a fielder’s choice than a DP. Chone seems to ALWAYS GIDP.

  21. mrt1212 on May 18th, 2010 12:02 pm

    Looking at possible lineups, here’s what I consider the best option;

    Suzuki-Bradley-Guiterez-Saunders. Bradley and Guiterez both have much lower GO/AB and Saunders has one of the better AVGs on the team. But that’s just kind of sad isn’t it?

  22. Dave Spiwak on May 18th, 2010 12:04 pm

    Dave, why can’t you run the team?

    He’s too busy running Great Britain.

    Is this the longest blog by time elapsed?

  23. HititHere on May 18th, 2010 12:19 pm

    Whatever they do, Kotchman shouldn’t be allowed to swing at anything if there is a runner on first.

    Contrary to popular belief, Lopez is the one you need to be most angry at about GingIDPs.

    Lopez hits in the heart of the order more frequently, and has 6 GIDPs to Kotchman’s 2. Kotchy also has a wOBA over 30 points higher.

    Blame Lopez.

  24. fermorules on May 18th, 2010 12:19 pm

    Hey Pgreyy: You nailed it!

    Clearly the marketing dept. is more important to Armstrong/Lincoln then the baseball dept. For example, Saturday marks the third Griffey promotion this year at Safeco Field-and the season isn’t even 40 games old!

    Perhaps that’s why Griffey made his decision to return so early, because Armstrong wanted to green-light Adamack and Co. to go full-bore with a 2010 campaign centered around Griffey and 1995.

    Someone else said it but it’s worth repeating. Did Mariner calendars stop on Dec. 31, 1995? Must we continue to live vicariously in a time-warp that didn’t even produce a league championship? Most organizations, after all, have several moments like the Edgar/Junior double in 1995.

    Alas it’s the same-old same-old in Seattle. Chuck Armstrong’s fingerprints (which will never be found on a World Series ring) continue to hinder the baseball dept. Instead of grilling Wak, how about we grill Chuck Armstrong? He’s been here since 1982 (1982!!!!) and we’re no closer now to a championship than the day he began. Yet it’s never his ass on the line. The man has proven time and again he knows nothing about baseball while also proving incapable of keeping his nose out of business of the talent evaluators’.

  25. HititHere on May 18th, 2010 12:22 pm

    Tried to edit but I was too late. Typo. Edit:

    Loafie has 6 GIDPs to Kotchman’s 4. Not 2.

  26. don52656 on May 18th, 2010 12:35 pm

    The sad truth is that this team isn’t going anywhere. Since 1978, I can only find one example of a team starting off 14-24 and ending up with a winning record: The 1989 Toronto Blue Jays ended up winning the east with a 89-73 record. The 1980 Atlanta Braves ended up at 81-81. Every other team finished with a losing record, and the average number of wins was 69. In order for this team to make the playoffs, they will have to generate a comeback of historical proportions.

  27. spankystout on May 18th, 2010 12:57 pm

    Actually I said perennial contention. You can’t buy a world series. But you can buy a contender. Learn how to comprehend simple sentences before posting. And yes the Chicago Cubs have been in the playoffs a hell of a lot more than the M’s. Which makes them contenders. The White Sox won a ring a few years back. What the hell have the M’s done? Oh yeah……nothing.

  28. HititHere on May 18th, 2010 1:07 pm

    And yes the Chicago Cubs have been in the playoffs a hell of a lot more than the M’s. Which makes them contenders

    The Cubs have been to the playoffs 4 times since 1990. The Mariners have been to the playoffs 4 times since 1995.

    If you want to go further back, the Cubs have been to the playoffs 6 times since World War II, a rate of once every 10.6 seasons. The M’s have been 4 times in their history since 1977, a rate of once every 5.5 seasons. So for the past 60 years, the Cubs have experienced twice as much seasonal futility as the M’s.

    The White Sox, though they have 1 WS win, are a worse example because they have been to the playoffs 6 times since 1920.

    Your arguments come off better if they’re accurate, even disregarding the jerk-factor of your (or anyone else’s) posts.

  29. spankystout on May 18th, 2010 1:24 pm

    Joe Posnanski posted an article about pressure in different markets if you want to check it out.

    If you disagree with me that is ok. But me, obviously overstating the Cub’s accomplishments doesn’t change the original idea.

  30. mrt1212 on May 18th, 2010 1:24 pm

    Demanding contention doesn’t yield contention though. Maybe this is just narcissism on your part but fans can’t force the front office to listen to them, to make the right moves, to play the right players, and make the players perform better on the field.

    And there are obvious teams that are in contention constantly that have a fan base that is composed of idiots (Phillies fans prefer Kruk to Schmidt and vomit on opposing fans), or non existent ones like the Florida Marlins(Kidding, sort of). The Oakland A’s post 1991 didn’t bring in fans again until they started competing again.

    Of all the factors of contention, fan pressure has to be the least important because of the success teams have without out it or in spite of it. Contenders generate fans, fans don’t generate contenders.

  31. Breadbaker on May 18th, 2010 8:30 pm

    Oops, wrong folder

  32. biscuit on May 19th, 2010 10:45 am

    Entering this season two things were stuck in the back of my mind. 1, we did nothing to fix our offensive malaise of 2009. And 2, why trade for Lee without addressing #1. There is still time to finish with a decent(.500 or better record) but that time is quickly being lost. We were lucky last year to have a winning record after being outscored by 59 runs, to rely on that same luck again this year was pure folly. Elias did a study that covered the last 100 years and found that if you win a prepoderance of one run games one year, it corrects itself the next. To summarize no luck next year, we are finding that to be oh so true. Make a trade, or promotion; try something anything please before the entire season is lost.

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