Another Fun Fact

Dave · May 14, 2012 at 11:00 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Three teams decided to spend big money in free agency this winter, showing their “dedication to winning”, their “commitment to their fans”, and their “willingness to do what it takes”. These teams showed that those fools who care about budgets and contracts are just pawns who don’t understand what baseball is really all about. Those teams are the real winners in baseball.

Except, you know, on the field, where those teams – the Angels, Tigers, and Marlins – have combined for a 50-56 record on the season, a .472 winning percentage.

It might come as a shock to some people, but lavish free agent spending really isn’t a magic formula for success. Who knew?


22 Responses to “Another Fun Fact”

  1. 300ZXNA on May 14th, 2012 11:10 pm

    So at what point can we stop nervously laughing about Pujols and start to wonder if he is truly broken? What’s going on with him?

  2. Westside guy on May 14th, 2012 11:19 pm

    I dunno… the Angels are running neck-in-neck with the Mariners right now. If they hadn’t spent all that money, maybe they’d be even further back! 😀

    In all seriousness – I have to believe that, in large part, Pujols has just been unlucky. But the disappearing power is weird.

  3. huskies2010 on May 14th, 2012 11:31 pm

    Subtle Geoff Baker slam.

  4. diderot on May 14th, 2012 11:48 pm

    I wish Blethen had the cojones to hire Dave and Jeff Sullivan to each do a guest post a week on their site.

  5. CCW on May 14th, 2012 11:54 pm

    It’s a little early in the season to be writing a couple of those teams off. The Marlins look like they’re going to be OK, and the Tigers probably will be, too. The Angels have dug themselves quite a hole, though.

    Anyway, I’d love to see you make your point without the sarcasm and passive aggressive attack on the dumber half of the Mariner blogosphere. For rational fans, the question was never whether it was a good idea for the M’s to blow stupid money on Pujols or Fielder. The questions were much more complicated. Do the Mariner owners have the wherewithal to increase payroll? Should they increase payroll, as a moral obligation to the fans or the city, or even as a good economic investment?

    These questions involve a much more nuanced analysis than one that involves simply assuming a payroll amount and evaluating how best to spend the money.

    Put yourself in the shoes of Mike Ilitch. You’re old. You want to win right now. The best free agents other than Prince have already been signed. In that context, I understand whey Detroit signed Fielder. Now imagine you’re the Angels. You’ve got shitloads of extra cash. What do you do? You buy the best ballplayer money can buy. It makes some sense. And the Marlins mixed some dumb moves (Bell) in with some smart ones (Reyes). Add it up, and they’re a good team. Context matters.

  6. IdahoInvader on May 14th, 2012 11:56 pm

    Tigers deserve extra black marks for not even being able to beat us 😉

  7. bronmaderine on May 15th, 2012 12:04 am

    But . . . veteran leadership. It’s the way baseball has always been played.

    And what do you know. You are just a blogger who is good at math. Leave the thinking to the guys who write the checks like Chuck Armstrong and Howard Lincoln, when they can find the elbow room for all of the World Series trophies on their desks. They are EXPERTS.

    @CCW. There is nearly nothing but nuanced analysis on this blog. He has often argued for the Ms to increase their payroll spending, as long as it was spent smartly. As I recall, he was enthusiastic about spending tens of millions on Fielder. I believe the number he thought was reasonable was around 5 years, $14 million. But I might be wildly off on that number.

    Dave usually only results to snark out of exasperation at so-called experts who seem to go out of their way to insult their readers’ intelligence.

  8. Westside guy on May 15th, 2012 12:11 am

    Watching Fielder during the Mariners recent visit – he gets this gigantic contract, and yet he apparently felt no need to demonstrate his commitment towards his new team by making any effort at all towards controlling his weight.

    I think Fielder will end up being awesome this year, and maybe next year. But the way he looked in that recent series, I really wouldn’t be surprised to see him fall off a cliff performance-wise by year four.

  9. Klatz on May 15th, 2012 12:31 am

    This commentary will have much more weight at the end of the season. If those three teams go on extended win streaks you might be eating crow in September.

    I’m not saying you’re wrong, just perhaps tempting fate a bit. I know you’re critiquing the thought processes but results are, with enough sample size, the ultimate arbiter.

  10. ThundaPC on May 15th, 2012 12:41 am

    Gosh! I thought for sure spending tons of money automatically lead to wins and domination.

    Perhaps we should ask Angels fans how “dedication to winning”, “commitment to fans”, “willingness to do what it takes” is working for them in terms of money spent? From what I can tell, Angel fans sound more grumpy and frustrated than Mariner fans are currently. Mariners big free-agent signing was Hisashi Iwakuma (1 year/$1.5M).

    Ahh…the amazing power of winning and losing baseball games.

  11. ppl on May 15th, 2012 12:44 am

    The Yankees spend and usually have a goal directed at winning every year. Spending on front line free agents, trading for expensive proven veterans, and even paying well for role players.

    It has gotten them seven championships since 1977.
    And that is the most of any team in that time.

    But since the goal was almost always win it all every year there are 27 seasons of failure (not counting 1994) since 1977 also.

    And the great Yankee teams always have key players that they actually developed also.

  12. vertigoman on May 15th, 2012 1:42 am

    Wow, I totally know who you’re talking aboot!

  13. wabbles on May 15th, 2012 2:30 am

    Well, anyone who has followed free agency almost since it’s beginnings in the 70s could have told you that. The first two teams to try buying a championship were the Angels and the Rangers. (Yes, it’s nice to have money so you can keep your developed core or championship team. The 1984 San Diego Padres invented the term “fire sale.”) Another team of that era was famous for free agent spending. As ppl noted, the Yankees won the AL 76-78 and the World Series in 77-78. Then they lost the 1981 World Series to the Dodgers. They next appeared in the playoffs THIRTEEN YEARS LATER, in 1995. And remember, the core of that ensuing dynasty was built when Steinbrenner was legally prohibited from running the team. So, yeah, it’s nice to have money and free agency can help if used properly but it’s not a magic bullet despite what some Mariners beat writers think.

  14. gag harbor on May 15th, 2012 4:00 am

    Sometimes it works (A. Beltre), sometimes it doesn’t (C. Silva, R. Sexson, A. Soriano, R. Ortiz, B. Zito, V. Wells). Sucks when it doesn’t and the damn contract just won’t go away. Pujols could be a 10-year disaster for the Angels. Ouch.

  15. djw on May 15th, 2012 7:39 am

    It’s a little early in the season to be writing a couple of those teams off

    Indeed. The Tigers, in particular, are still overwhelming favorites to win their division, I think. (The Marlins and Angels never were). It would take a pretty esoteric reading of this post to interpret it in such a way that this comment contradicts any claims made.

    yet he apparently felt no need to demonstrate his commitment towards his new team by making any effort at all towards controlling his weight.

    Omitted: any evidence whatsoever his weight is a drag on his performance. (Evidence that it may not be: 2006–2011)

  16. themedia on May 15th, 2012 9:01 am

    No Geoff Baker slams are subtle. Nor should they be.

  17. msfanmike on May 15th, 2012 9:22 am

    Prince Fielder would have been an extreme waste of money. Besides, we already had the minor league version of him (physically) in Luis Antonio Jiminez – who can apparently hit AAA pitching and has been playing minor league baseball forever. More walks than strikeouts this year, too.


    How did that happen?

  18. FrankTheTank on May 15th, 2012 9:52 am

    So, definitive statements off of small sample sizes and results based analysis are only ok if they agree with your pre-defined opinions?


  19. MrZDevotee on May 15th, 2012 9:54 am

    snicker snicker… (pointing at Geoff Baker)… LOL.

    Love it, Dave. His frickin’ article the other day was a worthless drivel of pretentious wrong-headedness, disguised as holier-than-thou righteousness. I wonder if the Times realizes just HOW MANY of his articles are directly aimed at this “tiny little blog” that very reasonably and quite thoroughly ridicules each and every one of his articles of ineptness?

    If I was the Times, I’d have a little talk with my son about bullying the smart kids, and maybe going to class more and not smoking so much “cannibis ignoramus”. He needs more chores, or maybe a trip to military school. But they’re probably just typical rich, entitled parents who can’t be bothered with their kid’s behavior and will let him keep acting like a fool.

    My eyes are sore from rolling all the time, though…

    (And I don’t even read him all the that often, only when somebody mentions “you should see the recent Baker article– total crap!”…)

    Dumb man. Dumber ideas about baseball.

  20. MrZDevotee on May 15th, 2012 9:59 am

    Hey FrankTheTank-

    Way to miss the irony/humor of the post. Pretty sure Dave doesn’t seriously think the Tigers and Angels are horrible baseball teams…

    I believe the Geoff Baker life story starts off with the classic phrase “People in glass houses…”

    But if that wasn’t already obvious, I don’t know why I’m trying to point it out to you?!

    I mean, you could just read Dave’s last sentence again… THE REAL POINT IS SPELLED OUT RIGHT THERE FOR YOU TO ENJOY:

    “It might come as a shock to some people, but lavish free agent spending really isn’t a magic formula for success.”

  21. Mariners35 on May 15th, 2012 11:02 am

    To me, Larry Stone is the Times’ beat writer, and always has been. Larry Stone actually writes coherent, insightful and respectful articles about baseball in general and the Mariners specifically. No agendas, no drama, no trolling his readers, no trolling and baiting LL and USSM. Just baseball.

    Yay for Larry.

  22. bigpoppa01 on May 15th, 2012 11:32 am

    I will say this about Heavy P. He busts it down the line like a fat man chasing his last meal. All kidding aside, he plays harder than most of the naturally gifted athletes that I saw.

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