Mike Zunino and the 40 Man Roster

Dave · June 11, 2013 at 10:47 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

In the wake of Mike Zunino‘s promotion today, there was rationalization. You can always count on some kind of spin from certain corners, and this time, one of the primary talking points is that this was a short term move, and if Zunino’s only here for a few weeks, what’s the problem? Even a couple of dozen challenging big league games won’t hurt him, and if he’s truly not ready, he’ll just be sent back to Tacoma. No harm, no foul.

That explanation might seem to pass muster on the surface, but if we accept it as the truth, then the organization has an entirely different problem: an incorrect valuation of 40 man roster spots.

To get Zunino to the Majors, the Mariners had to purchase his contract, which is the official language teams use to add a player to the 40 man roster. His spot on both the 25 man and 40 man rosters was cleared by designating Brandon Bantz for assignment. Bantz is a non-prospect who won’t get claimed on waivers and will accept his assignment back to the minor leagues, so there’s no cost associated with DFA’ing Bantz. He’ll be back in Tacoma in no time.

There is, however, a cost for prematurely putting Zunino on the 40 man; The Mariners just haven’t paid it yet, but that time is coming soon. If the plan really is to put Jesus Sucre back on the roster when he gets healthy and option Zunino back to Tacoma, the Mariners will then be using a 40-man roster spot on a player not on the active roster. You can’t take Zunino back off the 40 man roster without putting him through waivers, which isn’t happening of course. So, he’s on for good.

Bantz would not have been on for good. When Sucre returned, Bantz could have been DFA’d just as he was today, and the team would have had a 40 man roster spot for one of the three players they currently have on the 60 day disabled list. One of those players, Josh Kinney, is already in Tacoma on a rehab assignment, so the M’s only have a little more than two weeks before they have to either find room for Kinney in Seattle or DFA him as well. The only way to get Kinney back on the active roster will be to reinstate him from the 60 day DL, at which point he’ll require a spot on the 40 man roster. A spot that Bantz could have given him, but that is now occupied by Zunino. So, instead, the Mariners will have to look elsewhere for a 40 man roster spot.

The Mariners have already lost both Francisco Martinez and Vinnie Catricala to other organizations due to this very issue, as Martinez was DFA’d so that the Mariners could call up Nick Franklin and Catricala was DFA’d so that the Mariners could add Jeremy Bonderman. Both players were acquired by other teams who were willing to give up enough cash to get them through trade rather than hope they were able to claim them on waivers, so while neither looks like any real prospect of note, other teams saw some value in both players. The Mariners dumped them both for essentially nothing.

Next on the chopping block is probably Eric Thames, at least if I’m guessing. Thames is 26-years-old and not that good, and the organization hasn’t promoted him at any other time they’ve needed an outfielder this year, strongly suggesting that he has no real future here. Like Catricala and Martinez, Thames doesn’t look like any kind of impact player, but baseball’s weird, and you never know when a guy might have a light turn on.

So, instead of Bantz getting the cut when Kinney comes back, now it’s maybe Thames. But, each time you cut someone, your list of expendables gets smaller and smaller. With Thames already gone, what does the team do when Stephen Pryor returns from the DL? Or Franklin Gutierrez, if that ever happens? Or if they decide they want to promote Brad Miller, who has continued to hit extremely well since being promoted to Tacoma. Who’s next after Thames? Lucas Luetge, maybe? Jeremy Bonderman could go when they decide to promote Erasmo Ramirez, so there’s one spot that could open up eventually should the team actually decide to correct the mistake that occurred in putting Bonderman on the 40 man in the first place. Then who? Bobby LaFromboise? Chance Ruffin?

None of these guys are individually all that likely to turn into a valuable piece, but the reality is that if you toss a half dozen fringe prospects overboard, you’re going to end up regretting it. The Mariners should have learned this lesson in the spring, when they ended up crowding Shawn Kelley and Mike Carp off the 40 man in order to accomodate the useless Veteran Leadership Brigade.

If the Mariners really are willing to just toss a 40-man player out of the organization so that Mike Zunino can get a week or two of experience in the big leagues, then they have an organizational weakness in understanding how valuable a 40-man spot can actually be. And that’s harmful. If the plan really is for this to be a short term cup of coffee while Jesus Sucre gets healthy, then the Mariners are punting organizational depth for no real gain.

This is one of the reasons why I don’t believe that is actually the plan. The organization might try to feed that line to reporters in order to turn the tide of negativity against a move — just like they reassured everyone that Raul Ibanez wasn’t actually being brought in to play much, just be a good guy on the end of the bench — but the facts don’t add up. Or, if they do add up, it says that the people in charge are willing to just waste roster spots for no reason.

The 40 man roster is a real constraint. You don’t just put a prospect on the 40 man just for the fun of it, because, hey, it can’t hurt, right? It can hurt. It causes problems. That’s why teams don’t do it. Other teams value their 40 man roster spots, and they use their open spots to take fliers on young players who other teams are discarding, looking to land the next Ben Zobrist or Nelson Cruz or Josh Donaldson.

If the whole plan is for Zunino to be in Seattle for a week or two, then the Mariners are putting themselves in the position of being a talent discarder for an outcome that offers no upside. They could have just grabbed Chris Snyder for nothing, as he was DFA’d last Tuesday and had the right to refuse the assignment and sign with any other team as a free agent, which he would have done if there was a Major League job for him.

Or, they could have grabbed John Baker from the Padres for nothing, after they DFA’d him yesterday. Part-time veteran catchers are not hard to find, and any of them could have held down a job share for a few weeks until Sucre was ready to be activated. At which time, you DFA the random replacement level catcher and give the 40 man spot to Josh Kinney. Or Franklin Gutierrez. Or Brad Miller. Or whoever.

That’s what big league organizations do when they need a short term stopgap and they don’t have a 40-man guy in-house who can fill the spot. They don’t call up their top prospects and add him to the 40 mant just so he can see what life in the big leagues is like and then head back to the minors a few weeks later. It’s just not a good way to manage your resources.

Punting the 40 man spot makes a lot more sense if they’re not planning on sending Zunino back. And not sending Zunino back makes a lot more sense if they’re hoping that the 2013 season can be salvaged and their jobs can be saved. That’s not the kind of thing you tell the media, though.

Comments

96 Responses to “Mike Zunino and the 40 Man Roster”

  1. vertigoman on June 11th, 2013 11:39 pm

    I see your point and agree with the premise. I just don’t see this as being that big of a deal this year. He was going to be added to the 40 for a sept call up anyways. This amounts to some risk taking of the 40 man roster during another lost season. Most of the fodder is just that. Long term Kelley and Carp really had no place. For different reasons. Keeping a roster spot open for the potential addition of a player like that really means little. This year at least. There are plenty of players of that caliber available every off season.
    As for the process I think it’s important to remember that Jack called up Sucre first. The situation was only marginally less dire. So the right call was made then an injury exposed the lack of depth at the position. Signing Snyder really would have only left a taxi spot on the roster till Zunino or miller’s contract was purchased anyways. We’re all assuming that’s going to happen later this season anyways. 13 is lost so what’s the issue?
    Besides the reason why 13 is lost in the first place that is.

  2. Westside guy on June 11th, 2013 11:47 pm

    Kelley has pitched very well but been somewhat unlucky, so it may not be as obvious to the Mariners ownership group just what a loss he was. Carp, conversely, has put up numbers to where he probably looks like a bigger loss than he really was (I’m not saying he wasn’t a loss, just that he’s probably not an upper-tier starting first baseman).

    I guess I’m hoping that the owners aren’t so blind that the loss of those guys isn’t on their radar – that they look at what Carp’s done and it strengthens their resolve to change the front office as soon as possible, even if they love Rauuuuul and believe Morse is going to blossom into a super-stud any day now. Because even by older-school standards, the Z regime has made some really dumb moves.

  3. Typical Idiot Fan on June 11th, 2013 11:51 pm

    And not sending Zunino back makes a lot more sense if they’re hoping that the 2013 season can be salvaged and their jobs can be saved.

    Stop reaching conclusions without any tangible evidence. The Zunino promotion could mean one of a thousand different things. Latching onto one plausible explanation is what I expect out of Geoff Baker, not you.

  4. PackBob on June 11th, 2013 11:53 pm

    Another way you could put this is that good teams are careful with their 40-man while the bad teams are sloppy, because, it really doesn’t matter much, right?

    Attention to detail and caring about the little things is often the difference between average and great in many disciplines. Little things add up. Dealt with sloppily, they compound.

    I’m convinced that management rarely reveals anything other than what is patently obvious, especially the Jack Z. regime. The initial injury assessments passed out are truly a joke. Who knows what this organization is thinking? Jack Z. is the master of sounding like he’s saying something while saying nothing.

  5. scraps on June 11th, 2013 11:57 pm

    you make my head hurt dave! they know what there doing!

  6. scraps on June 12th, 2013 12:08 am

    geoff will clear up my head tomorrow ill bet.

  7. The_Waco_Kid on June 12th, 2013 12:21 am

    I agree with a lot of this, Dave. Echoing vertigoman, we knew Zunino would be up this year. July/August seemed more likely. They’re giving up a 40-man spot prematurely, but probably by only a month. That’s sloppy, but it’s not a huge deal.

    As far as Raul’s playing time, that’s injury-driven. Not that Raul playing every day doesn’t suck, but we’ve had a lot of injuries and this wasn’t “the plan.” Still, the plan could have included a better roster.

    Does Z know what he’s doing? Good question. It seemed like it awhile ago. Were we really so blind? Or did he get worse? I really don’t know.

    Finally, are those rumors about the team being sold really crazy? I wouldn’t be shocked.

  8. vertigoman on June 12th, 2013 12:22 am

    My point is that these are little moves. Bad little moves maybe. Bad little moves would cripple a playoff team squeezing roster spots for depth. We are not that team. The difference between Kelley and say Eduardo Sanchez ( first player I saw on the MLB trade rumors dfa list) is minimal to this team.
    Also good to note how many fans were decrying keeping Medina on the 40 last year and this off season. He’s proven to not be a waste of the roster spot.

    I think you’re splitting hairs Dave. Big picture is not effected by this move.

  9. GLS on June 12th, 2013 12:39 am

    @Westside guy – what makes you think the owners are paying the slightest bit of attention, or even if they are, that they would understand roster machinations at this level?

    Dave’s logic, unfortunately, is somewhat relentless here. I wasn’t sure before that the front office was making moves to try and save their jobs, but that conclusion is becoming inescapable.

    Given the 40-man roster crunch, I wonder if a deal is in the works in the next few weeks.

  10. Prozach on June 12th, 2013 1:10 am

    So we may have traded away Steve Delabar for nothing, if it is Thames who ends up getting sacrificed. This sorta thing happens way too often, with the Fister trade simply netting Furbush and Trayvon for Andino becoming a debacle. Granted, tough to say how long Delabar or Robinson would have remained on the roster either, but it’s annoying how we have to continually speed up the process of dropping players on a consistent basis.

    I think that paragraph made sense. It’s late, so I dunno.

  11. davepaisley on June 12th, 2013 1:18 am

    If you’re worried about losing Luetge, Ruffin and LaRaspberry you’re worrying about the wrong things.

  12. bookbook on June 12th, 2013 1:43 am

    This is a good point. I think we may ultimately regret losing Catricala. Thames, we shouldn’t regret, because even if he figures it out, the M’s won’t bring him up. Luetge and La Fromboise? We aren’t punting as much value there as we did this offseason with Carp and Kelley. These guys are going to be tossed overboard this offseason, as better prospects squeeze them out, won’t they?

    It’s bad, but not as bad as an organization that thinks Raul can play the outfield. Also, a sign that they are hoping Zunino performs better in the majors than he did in the minors (maybe he just has a Tacoma problem, they’re hoping.)

  13. zak24 on June 12th, 2013 1:49 am

    Hey Dave, “It’s what you learn after you know it all that counts.” – John Wooden

    Why don’t you write an article about how Jack signed a Cy Young candidate in the offseason for 2 years and 15 million? His “plan” may be a key reason Felix signed a deal to be a career Mariner (other then the fact that he is just loyal and awesome and wants to win with honor and dignity)? If you watched his press conference you probably remember him saying he trusts Jack and “we gonna be good believe me!”

    So, Jack Zdurencik is telling the media things that aren’t true in order to buy himself more time? In that case maybe the “pursuit” of Josh Hamilton was all for show too, Dave. Maybe the Justin Upton “proposal” was really an attempt to show the Marlins that if they trade Stanton without calling us first that would be foolish. I mean, I don’t have any proof, but it’s no more speculatory than this article..

    In two years we’ll have enough of the full picture to make an accurate judgment of the Zduriencik era, but it’s still too soon to conclude that his plan won’t work considering the draft picks under Jack’s scouting team still working their way through the system, and the financial flexibility that comes with having only Felix under contract long term and even the TV money on the horizon. Timing is everything. Even though Dave’s analysis is incredibly accurate when it comes to the facts he has, let’s not forget that he doesn’t have all the facts.

    If crucifying Wedge buys Zduriencik more time so be it but I personally hope they are both still around when we turn the corner and find sustainable success here in a the next few years.

  14. Woodcutta on June 12th, 2013 2:09 am

    The bigger picture isn’t losing some roster fodder here or there, it is what happens when that fodder is gone? As it stands now, the 40-man roster (including injured players) is…

    Currently Untouchable (will not be DFA’d at least this year) (22)
    Carter Capps
    Danny Farquhar
    Felix Hernandez
    Danny Hultzen
    Hisashi Iwakuma
    Brandon Maurer
    Yoervis Medina
    Oliver Perez
    Erasmo Ramirez
    Tom Wilhelmsen
    Jesus Montero
    Jesus Sucre
    Mike Zunino
    Dustin Ackley
    Nick Franklin
    Kendrys Morales
    Brendan Ryan
    Kyle Seager
    Justin Smoak
    Julio Morban
    Michael Morse
    Michael Saunders

    Unlikely to be DFA’d unless huge need (9)
    Jeremy Bonderman
    Anthony Fernandez
    Charlie Furbush
    Aaron Harang
    Joe Saunders
    Kelly Shoppach
    Jason Bay
    Endy Chavez
    Raul Ibanez

    Likely to be DFA’d (9)
    Blake Beavan
    Bobby LaFromboise
    Lucas Luetge
    Hector Noesi
    Chance Ruffin
    Alex Liddi
    Carlos Triunfel
    Carlos Peguero
    Eric Thames

    That doesn’t include currently injured players that the M’s will have to make room for (Gutierrez, Pryor, and Kinney).

    Now out of those listed 40, there is still some fodder but this is June 12th and there’s another 100 or so games left in the season. What happens if players at the same position get injured? Or if they have a rash of injuries that requires players to go on the DL?

    I’ve narrowed the list of players most likely to get DFA’d to 9. Of these nine I don’t think this organization will want to cut Beavan, Noesi, or Triunfel this year. That leaves three relievers, a 3B, and two OF. When Guti comes back Thames is the most likely to go while Luetge and Ruffin would be my guess as to who gets DFA’d for Kinney and Pryor. That leaves 3 players (LaFromboise, Liddi, and Peguero) the team could “afford” to lose. Once those options are gone then it does start hurting the team as they will have to make decisions on young players that have contributed to the team this year or are at least the best available backups. You may not like Beavan or Noesi but there isn’t a better option in the minors or they would have already been called up. For any team, the 40 man roster needs to be carefully handled and especially, IMO, for a team like the M’s that can’t afford to give away players.

  15. scraps on June 12th, 2013 2:12 am

    yah! wedge for manager for life!

  16. scraps on June 12th, 2013 2:14 am

    dammit now you made my head hurt woodcutta!

  17. maqman on June 12th, 2013 2:27 am

    Damn Dave your negativity is starting to impair your objectivity. Join the Geoff Baker Fan Club, you’ll be the second member.

  18. terryoftacoma on June 12th, 2013 7:12 am

    Woodcutta left off an important catagory in the handling of the 40 man roster. Trades. We’re entering the trade time of the season and anyone that thinks we won’t be sellers is in my opinion kidding themselves. At least, this year we don’t have a starter to trade away.

  19. casey on June 12th, 2013 7:25 am

    I just don’t get this angst about calling up our best position prospect – in Pittsburgh they are raving about a mediocre performance from their 22 year old Cole, and fantasy players can’t add 22 year old Dodger Puig fast enough. But in Seattle we are wringing our hands over maybe having to give away a 40 man roster spot 6 weeks early for our best prospect (not to mention worrying about the mental damage the kid might get by being exposed to big league baseball at such a tender age). Weird – I will be eagerly watching the debut tonight.

  20. MrZDevotee on June 12th, 2013 7:30 am

    Dave-
    This sounds like rationalizing your last article on the subject… If there’s a plan to make some moves before the trade deadline a lot of what you’re worrying about here clears up. And the best player on this team (Kendrys Morales) probably isn’t a Mariner next season, so he’s a prime candidate… A pitcher or two… Etc.

    The moves were predicated out of necessity. We could pickup a catcher easy enough, but he won’t be ready to play the very next day and Shoppach needs a day off like 3 days ago (he’s played pretty much non-stop, bar “Bantz Day”, including every inning of the 16 inning affair). Their own explanation was that Bantz was a day or two emergency move until Sucre was ready, but then Sucre ended up worse off than expected. So they were stuck.

    There are guys on this 40 man roster that aren’t gonna be on this team in a month, so it’s a non-issue, much less a “real teams don’t do this” moment.

    Just enjoy the awful ride as it unfolds.

    My new slogan for the year: “C’est La Merde Vie”

  21. Ralph_Malph on June 12th, 2013 7:45 am

    The root of the problem is the lack of roster flexibility that comes from having too many old players and DH’s, which forces them to do all kinds of roster gyrations when somebody gets hurt. That is what plugs up too many spots on the 40, and as a result puts fringe guys like Catricala on the bubble prematurely. I think most of us could have seen this coming in the spring.

  22. MrZDevotee on June 12th, 2013 7:50 am

    /\
    What Ralph said. Simple. Concise. Absolutely correct.

    A sound front office doesn’t get us in that pickle. The Zunino thing, or even 40 man roster fears, are just “meh” moments in that bigger, larger, swollen pickle.

  23. ChrisFB on June 12th, 2013 7:57 am

    “…if you toss a half dozen fringe prospects overboard, you’re going to end up regretting it. The Mariners should have learned this lesson in the spring, when they ended up crowding Shawn Kelley and Mike Carp off the 40 man…”

    You’re a fan of Shawn Kelley and Mike Carp now? Really?

  24. Hunter S. Thompson on June 12th, 2013 8:02 am

    Everyone keeps repeating that Zunino, would be up in six weeks anyway, or be on the 40 man roster in September, why?
    Because at the beginning of the year we thought he would be up in july? When we made that assumption, we also thought that he would be hitting well enought to deserve a promotion, not struggling with his batting eye against triple age pitching.
    Zunino hasn’t earned a promotion to the majors, he hasn’t demonstrated he is ready. So yes, burning a 40 man roster spot to rush him to the majors on a team that is going nowhere is a big mistake, a mistake well run teams don’t make.
    So yes, Dave is evil and being influenced by his emotions because he feels this move reeks of desperation.
    Of course the fact that several front office types around the league have been quoted (unnamed of course)by Churchill as ripping the M’s over this move, shows that this is just Dave being all emotional, and not a valid point

  25. scraps on June 12th, 2013 8:08 am

    Casey: You keep insisting that Zunino is the same as everybody, so bring him up. Cole and Puig are up, and their fan bases are not crying, yadda yadda.

    Zunino is not ready. You say “best prospect” as though that means we can’t rush him, everything will be okay, I’ll be eagerly watching his debut — you know what? I too will be watching, watching eagerly, but also tensely, too. If you can turn that off — if you even know enough to feel tension at the Mariners’ potential for screwing this up, which they have ratchet it up with no reason — well, good for you, I guess. Angst-free Mariner watching.

  26. nwade on June 12th, 2013 8:08 am

    MrZDevotee – “We could pickup a catcher easy enough, but he won’t be ready to play the very next day”

    Please explain how a minor-leaguer with NO experience in the MLB could be “ready to play” faster/sooner than a veteran backup free-agent with years of MLB experience. You haven’t offered a single scrap of evidence/logic/reason.

  27. scraps on June 12th, 2013 8:14 am

    everything will be okay, I’ll be eagerly watching his debut

    I meant “you’ll be eagerly watching” the first time. Argh.

  28. scraps on June 12th, 2013 8:19 am

    nwade, presumably he means the machinations of switching teams will take at least a day. (I don’t know about this, but I read it this way.) (It’s a very weak argument, to me, but what the hell.)

  29. cougarcountry on June 12th, 2013 8:24 am

    I’d like to see a comparison of the use of the 40 man by orgs like the Mariners (who’ve stunk for a decade) and an org like the Cardinals.

  30. MrZDevotee on June 12th, 2013 8:41 am

    nwade-
    Yeah I did. I did yesterday too, directly to you.

    Zunino has caught Bonderman, Ramirez, he’s caught all these guys but Harang in Spring Training.

    He knows our system. He knows our coaches. They know him.

    When you’re picking up a DFA’d catcher from someone elses scrap heap you’re not talking about a guy who has invaluable knowledge of catching in the majors– hence he was dfa’d.

  31. terryoftacoma on June 12th, 2013 8:42 am

    I look forward to the next in this series, which I know will come, showing the errors of this management group. To be followed by a new management group which in a few years we will repeat the cycle again. Ah, the trials of being a Mariner fan.

    Zunino is up and has a 40 roster spot. Throwing rocks may make you feel better but it doesn’t change that.

    There are a lot of reasons not to care for this management group. Some big, some small in my opinion and this promotion comes under the small. It’s just not that big a deal.

  32. drlo on June 12th, 2013 8:45 am

    Very well-written piece, and pretty compelling logic.

    My take is a bit simpler: This is the action of a regime whose house of cards is falling down around it. Smoak, Ackley, Montero — the kids for whom we have been implored to be patient — have failed, at least in the short term. As this young talent has been all that the Z regime has had to talk about over the past few years, it could be as simple as getting Zunino up, giving him some chances, and HOPEFULLY seeing him produce to provide some basis for the argument that they really know what they are doing with respect to their young talent. This is the action of a desperate regime trying a last act to save itself while it still has a shred of a chance to do so.

  33. ndevale on June 12th, 2013 8:48 am

    Sorry if I missed it but has somebody already said
    JOHN JASO?

  34. MrZDevotee on June 12th, 2013 8:50 am

    I also love the off the cuff, armchair GM idea that (assuming this is a temporary thing, waiting for Sucre) picking up another guy to play catcher, from some other organization, a guy who will catch 2 maybe 3 games before being released, is as simple as a phone call and a “hey come play catcher for us for a week or so”… “Sure, thanks!”

    These are multimillion dollar enterprises, the paperwork wouldn’t be done before he was released. Why bother? So that we don’t lose Eric Thames? Who we can pick up anytime (pointing at Corey Patterson). Hell we could just resign Eric Thames if need be, and not have ANY paperwork, assuming we haven’t cleared the cache in the roster computer yet?

    Not. A. Big. Deal.

    “Zunino, we need you for a couple weeks to help Kelly out… Come have a cup of coffee, check out the show, then we’ll get you back down to finish your ‘education’… Welcome to Seattle, kid.”

    They tried a different plan first– with Bantz– which wasnt’ gonna work, so they had to do something, and there’s nobody else in house than Zunino who can fill that hole temporarily.

    “C’est La Merde Vie”

  35. stevemotivateir on June 12th, 2013 8:54 am

    This is one bad game of chess by Jack. The first couple of moves this offseason were fine. He re-signed Iwakuma and Perez. Everyone felt good about those. The next 10-12 moves were questionable (or flat-out terrible), though they left a little chance for hope.

    Now, things are spiraling out of control. Each move he makes is a step closer to defeat. He has few pieces left and he’s reaching with each of them.

    What worries me now, is the possibility of more desperate moves that could follow.

  36. casey on June 12th, 2013 8:59 am

    I have always valued this site because of the statistically based balance it reports on the Mariners and baseball in general. All the warts combined with the beauty of something like old man Harang’s 2 hit 10K shutout last night. Lately it seems all about how horrible the Mariners are managed (almost like Baker’s fixation on money). No matter what move is made is the wrong move and just more proof of how terrible it is to be a Mariners fan. And many of the fans rushing to join the barricades – off with their heads so we can bring on more incompetents – see I told you. I should stop reading because it does make it tough to be a fan (the Mariners 2-1 losses are tough enough) but will be enjoying watching our #1 position prospect in his debut week thinking Buster Posey, hell even Johnny Bench.

  37. jak924 on June 12th, 2013 9:00 am

    Does the “absentee” owner in Japan even remember he still owns this team? Isn’t there a way that Selig and some of his owner-buddies could nudge this along?

  38. nwade on June 12th, 2013 9:17 am

    Absentee owner doesn’t exist, jak. He was essentially “cashed out” and ownership was transferred to Nintendo of America a couple of years ago.

  39. ivan on June 12th, 2013 9:30 am

    I’m with Casey. Step away from the ledge, Dave and the rest of you.

  40. sawsatch on June 12th, 2013 9:37 am

    Two more years? Really?
    Just because Felix signed doesn’t mean the Plan is working.
    I just keep looking at the won/loss record. Silly me.

  41. MrZDevotee on June 12th, 2013 9:42 am

    Okay– official USSMariner Poll.

    Which is uglier with the M’s:

    A) The Process
    or
    B) The Results

    Normally people take sides and care about one or the other, but I would argue they are holding hands, Thelma & Louise style, straight off the cliff together at this point.

    “C’est La Merde Vie”

  42. Gormogon on June 12th, 2013 9:43 am

    I don’t post much, but I am a bit surprised at the lack of agreement with this article. Now, I can’t say that I imagine I would be friends with Dave Cameron in real life…there’s a snark and a chip on the shoulder that I wouldn’t enjoy being around. But I almost always find Dave’s articles to be spot on, even if they flow negatively.

    Look, my take was that half the point of the article was to show that we are either (1) being fed bullshit or (2)that the management doesn’t know what they’re doing. Argument 2 relies on the 40-man transactions.

    Every transaction has a cost. Dave’s point that other teams are picking up our guys for actual cash means that they have value on some other team’s 40 man roster. In case you haven’t noticed, the A’s are a great team with a great GM and they just took Catricala off our hands. And what do we get in return? Don’t you think these marginal 40 man guys are still better than, or have more likely upside than (1) some lower level minor league guy who now must be moved up to a higher minor league or (2) Corey Patterson (or some other 30 year old who has been released 10 times?). I do. I don’t think Dave was saying that all the guys filling up the back of the 40 man roster are going to be contributors on the Seattle 25-man at some point. But that doesn’t mean they don’t have value, either in the upper minor levels, likely ceiling, or as temporary replacements for injured 25 man guys.

    Ralph above had it right – blocking roster spots with bad veterans helped to cause this situation. But that also agrees with Dave’s #2 argument.

  43. RaoulDuke37 on June 12th, 2013 10:00 am

    You don’t want the truth because deep down in places you don’t talk about at parties, you all know that no matter what they do, they’re going to screw up Zunino.

  44. sawsatch on June 12th, 2013 10:09 am

    Process? Results? Chicken? Egg? It’s all a runny mess.
    New owners of the kitchen will help.

  45. MrZDevotee on June 12th, 2013 10:13 am

    Gormogon-
    But I think the point a lot of the rest of us are arguing is that it’s not worth getting worked up over at this point. And is kinda expected.

    We are essentially all in agreement with your point #2…

    We’re expecting to go into full rebuild, to replace our management core, trade some veterans, hire some new bosses, blow things up and start re-piecing it together.

    Basically, my argument is– when we recognize the hole in the hull, and that the ship is sinking into oblivion, and important people are drowning, getting upset that the deck chairs are floating away isn’t a major concern while trying to nail planks over the hole.

    Toronto were considered World Series contenders this season, and picked up Casper Wells… And dropped Casper Wells.

    Colorado picked up Jon Garland, when we had huge question marks at pitcher and let him go, and they just dropped him.

    If you’ve got a great team in place, a’la Oakland, Vinny can be a nice secondary piece of the puzzle. And Carp. And Jaso. But we don’t need secondary pieces, we need primary pieces, and there have to be places to put them.

    Is management being a bit desperate– well, yes they are. But it’s more a result of injuries and failing top prospects, than trying to save jobs via reckless decisions.

    They gambled with a lack of depth in building this roster, and it’s biting them HARD. So yeah, not only is the ship sinking but the sharks have found the wreckage and are picking off survivors.

    Basically, the entire roster is sort of in “day to day” mode currently. Listing horribly.

    The idea that our starting day roster would be without Ackley, Montero, Smoak and Guty… And then throw in various days without Morales, Saunders, Morse, Raul… Hell that’s almost EVERY guy we were counting on… (Whether we SHOULD have been counting on those guys is a whole other question…)

    It’s a mess. Making moves that are in the best interest of this club is really difficult at the moment. Fielding a roster of competent baseball players is difficult at the moment.

    Yay baseball. (sad sigh)

  46. scraps on June 12th, 2013 10:26 am

    MrZDevotee — I have a terrible time typing that — you said “you’re not talking about a guy who has invaluable knowledge of catching in the majors– hence he was dfa’d.” But knowledge is not baseball skill. Many good managers had mediocre-to-bad careers. The fact that someone was dfa’d doesn’t mean he can’t have invaluable knowledge of catching.

  47. Seattleken on June 12th, 2013 10:26 am

    Its very clear Jack Z, is in over his head as a MLB GM. It takes more than being a good scout to manage a team. I began to worry when he gave Washburn away for nothing. Yes M’s got lucky he didn’t do well like Fister did but the move was a waste of resources as he was doing well enough to get a B prospect in return.

    He has constantly put himself in positions where the other GMs can fleece him. Its very clear that he doesn’t plan more than a week in advance, as how many times has he had to DFA players and get nothing in return? We all knew is old guy signings in spring would result in needing to move Wells and Carp who were cheap and as good as Ibanez and Bay. Those two moves and the Saunders resulted in us not having enough money to get a better starter like Lohse.

    Simply the M’s are were they are after 5 years because of Jack. Hes not learned or improved on the job. Hes a scouting based dinosaur who built this team, he can’t blame Bavasi anymore hes had his 5 years thats long enough to know he doesn’t have what it takes to build a good team.

    The trouble is all his defenders kept saying trust him, yes he lost player X, but that doesn’t matter the player wasn’t going to be great. That old guy signing isn’t bad it was only 3 million. Well all those small losses and wasting of a couple million here and there add up to a team that is behind everyone else. You end up where we a fair amount of money tied up in replacement players and not enough roster spots to keep cheap role players.

  48. sawsatch on June 12th, 2013 10:41 am

    Find me an NFL player who doesn’t want to be a Seahawk.
    The Mariners should have such problems.

  49. Choo on June 12th, 2013 10:44 am

    I remember the Washburn thing – nobody wanted him because he was expensive and his flyball tendencies were muted by Safceco and an awesome OF defense. In fact, here is what Dave said about the Washburn trade:

    “As a Mariner fan, this trade makes me want to jump up and down and hug someone. The M’s turned a 35-year-old lefty strike throwing flyballer who is due $3.5 million over the rest of the season and then becomes an expensive free agent into a 24-year-old lefty strike throwing flyballer who is due $0 over the rest of the year and won’t be a free agent until after 2015. And they got a 20-year-old lefty with huge strikeout numbers in A-ball to boot.”

  50. Choo on June 12th, 2013 11:22 am

    The front office has likley known since Peoria that Francisco Martinez and Vinnie Catricala were going out with the recycling. Both players had 2+ months to turn it around, GMZ had 2+ months to shop them around, and nothing materialized on either front. The market value of each player was exactly what the Mariners got in return: a little cash from a team who wanted to jump the waiver line in order to fill a hole in their system with something slightly more interesting than the absolute bottom of the barrel.

    Hoarding DH-types during the off-season is the real issue, and while it has led to some premature pruning of the 40-man, the pruning was going to happen soon regardless. In fact, there are probably a few other guys the org would be happy to dump for spare change. I am willing to trust their judgement in that regard – nobody knows their own players better, right?

    This appears to be the beginning of a period of transition – a flurry of moves over the next month that will change the landscape of the 40-man and the major league roster. Or, it could just be a total clustercuss of a GM painting his dysfunctional roster into a corner. Either way, the next few weeks should generate discussions that are far more interesting than watching the team play.

  51. sawsatch on June 12th, 2013 11:32 am

    I see the 5 DHs (including Montero) as a way to generate some offense so that fans might want to come out to see a game. Season Ticket sales were not spectacular. Being weak up the middle, and with the younger players not living up to expectations didn’t help the situation.
    There’s a fork in the road; the problem is neither of the paths are good.

  52. scraps on June 12th, 2013 11:43 am

    He knows our system. He knows our coaches. They know him.

    He does? Then god, get someone else.

  53. Athanasius on June 12th, 2013 11:45 am

    This is much more of a reasoned and thought out post than what was written yesterday.

    That said, I still believe there are rational and legitimate reasons for not jumping off a ledge and instead having a measured and level headed reaction. It was strongly proposed on this blog that the promotion of Pineda out of spring training two years ago would be a major problem due to lacking a changeup. It wasn’t a problem and Pineda had success of varying degrees in his entire first year in MLB.

    That in and of itself in no way legitimizes this move, but it does illustrate the limited information we have access to that informs the opinion of whether or not this promotion is called for or not.

    As far as the continual accusations that this front office is stupid, in past years they have demonstrated to me that they do recognize the value of aquiring under valued assets. While recent moves in regards to the 40 man roster are confusing, these moves in and of themselves do not completely cancel out the historical perspetive of the front office.

    Perhaps I’m wrong and the FO has turned on a dime and changed their philosophy in building a winner. I’m not going to view the more recent moves in isolation (I recall Dave mentioning the propensity to over react to recent history) and draw the conclusion that as a result of recent moves that they are all idiots.

  54. scraps on June 12th, 2013 12:04 pm

    No, just Wedge.

    Seriously, when Dave writes that Z is maybe coming to decisions when his job is at the front of his mind, it does not help that some people say “so, are you saying they’re idiots?” No one, but no one, is saying that Z is anything but sharp.

  55. currcoug on June 12th, 2013 12:15 pm

    If Thames is DFA’d, there is little doubt Zduriencik made another bad trade. Toronto received a MLB player…Delabar is having another fine season (4-1, 1.91 ERA)..against LHB and RHB.

    We received Thames, who apparently can’t crack the M’s lineup. Thames is putting up solid numbers at AAA, and one would think Zduriencik would be able to trade him for some value. Hopefully, that is what occurs.

  56. Athanasius on June 12th, 2013 12:56 pm

    No one is saying Z is anything other than sharp? Perhaps using the word “idiot” was overstating it, but you obviously haven’t read this blog since the end of the 2012 season. Look through some old posts. Or look through some recent posts for that matter.

  57. msfanmike on June 12th, 2013 1:22 pm

    Maybe Z doesn’t want to can Wedge until after he can say, “well, I gave him the best talent we have and he couldn’t win.”

    And Zunino is more talented than Bantz.

    Never mind the fact that Z put this horse-bleep roster together in the first place with what appears to be a big Wedge thumb print in the middle of it.

    Maybe Z just wants to have a clearer conscience before he fires the guy he never should have hired in the first place … and shortly before the axe starts heading in his direciton.

  58. murf on June 12th, 2013 1:38 pm

    Hey- How come Geoff Baker’s blog does not have a link here- right next to Larry Stone for the Seattle Times. Explains a lot about the opinions and assertions between this blog and Baker’s.

  59. G-Man on June 12th, 2013 1:48 pm

    A couple trades for promising minor leaguers not yet on a 40-man would be nice, but it’s only mid-June. The guy I would hate to lose but see as likely to go sometime would be Chavez. I can’t see them DFA-ing him the way he’s been performing, but maybe a contender would trade some sort of prospect for him.

  60. Will Lofton on June 12th, 2013 2:15 pm

    People keep saying that the catching situation happened unluckily, and it’s not Z’s fault that Montero sucks and Sucre is injured. That calling up Zunino was the only option this organization had.

    Well, the M’s wouldn’t have been in this situation if they hadn’t traded John Jaso (2+ win player with three years of control left) for Michael Morse (rental and constantly injured).

    This front office also decided to stack the roster with 1B/DH types, leaving just one legitimate catching option on the roster in Shoppach. Montero is not an acceptable catcher, I’ve been saying that on this blog for the past year but Dave and the rest of you guys were concerned that he wouldn’t be as valuable as a 1B/DH.

    What frustarates me the most about this team is they tried to sell the fans as a winning ballclub because of acquisitions like Michael Morse and Raul Ibañez. The front office is manipulating the knowledge of the fanbase by acquiring players like this. The common fan, like most of my family members and friends, thinks these were good acquisitions for the Mariners because they’re good bats, where in reality they’re not really good at all.

    Zduriencik and Wedge have an idea of how this team is going to perform when they put together a team each year. The fact that this team has made no progress is a tremendous dissapointment, and they don’t deserve to keep their jobs.

    I really hope Zunino proves us all wrong and becomes the next Buster Posey, but as a realist, unless this happens to be a short term callup, he’s going to end up just like Ackley, Montero and Smoak.

  61. ndevale on June 12th, 2013 2:33 pm

    murf…
    has to do with an un-funny ad-hominem attack baker made on DMZ some time back…

  62. sawsatch on June 12th, 2013 2:37 pm

    J. Jaso is a great addition to an already good team. I’m happy for him to be in a place where he can be best used.

  63. zak24 on June 12th, 2013 2:38 pm

    All you vampires and zombies are one year early to be drawing these conclusions. It’s as simple as that. I just don’t get how we can all compliment Jack’s drafting savvy and collectively agree that he’s a sharp guy, then flip our shit after 5 years with a bunch of exciting players so close to the show! It’s always darkest before the dawn; those of you calling for Jack’s head too soon I say we’ve come this far and paid our ten bucks so why not let this thing play out fully instead of walking out of the cinema prematurely right before the big finale. I wouldn’t defend this roster in year 7, but the financial flexibility (only 1 long term contract commitment) with the TV deal on the horizon, and the dope filthy farm system at this moment in time are positive things attributable to Jack and his staff.

    Dave has national news outlets tracking his posts and hiring him to write articles, linking to him on twitter, he has to produce these cutting articles because they fuel Jon Heyman and Dave Schoenfield’s pieces about “Jack Z on the hot seat” and “The M’s wasting Felix.” But when they write about the cubs and Theo Epstein it’s all about the 7-10 year rebuilding plan. Ask other GMs what they think of Zduriencik and I bet they tell you he scares them.

  64. scraps on June 12th, 2013 2:45 pm

    Athanasius: I’ve read this blog steadily for nearly ten years, and four years especially since my stroke — jeez, google search ussmariner.com under “scraps” — and everybody agrees that Jack is sharp through that time; a sharp guy who made increasingly bad decisions, but show me the commenter who says “idiot” or a word resembling it to describe Jack, and I’ll show you a commenter who got laughed at. I’d invite you to look up some old posts and show me.

  65. ivan on June 12th, 2013 2:55 pm

    “If Thames is DFA’d, there is little doubt Zduriencik made another bad trade. Toronto received a MLB player…Delabar is having another fine season (4-1, 1.91 ERA)..against LHB and RHB.”

    Oh, stop it. Please. This organization has relief pitchers coming out of its ears. Delabar and Kelley were good pitchers, but excess baggage. The difference between them being here, and Farquhar and Medina being here, is negligible.

  66. diderot on June 12th, 2013 3:00 pm

    Here’s how the process works:
    1) Observe the moves of the GM
    2) Realize the GM is not making the moves you would make if you were GM
    3) Invent motives
    4) Ignite the hot seat
    5) Strongly imply that in a reasonable and fair world, YOU would be the GM–and a damn good one, at that
    6) Congratulations, you now ARE Geoff Baker.

    Sad.

  67. Athanasius on June 12th, 2013 3:24 pm

    Scraps, I have no doubt that you are a regular here. I mentioned that I probably shouldn’t have used the word “idiot” as I haven’t seen that specific word used here.

    What I have seen is a repeated questioning of Z’s recent moves with emotive and reactionary language. It’s all over the place in the last few weeks and months.

  68. Will Lofton on June 12th, 2013 3:25 pm

    With the way Jack Z constructed the roster, I don’t think he deserves any more time. He’s shown us that he’s not fit to be a GM.

    One commenter suggested that we get David Forst. I love that idea.

  69. Athanasius on June 12th, 2013 3:50 pm

    It is interesting to me how supported Z was with his plan here on the blog: the Figgins signing, the Guti trade, advocating for promoting Ackley weeks before he was actually promoted (to the point of stating that in 2011, while in AAA, Ackley was the second best hitter in the organization — oops) and the acquisition of Smoak. When those moves initially weren’t looking good, the retort was, “how could Z have known? They were moves anyone would have made at the time.”

    Now that we have some distance from said moves (and their failure), a FO “change in philosophy” argument has conveniently been concocted that absolves Dave from continued support of a FO that had his full support for several years.

    I do agree that the “change in philosophy” argument does have some reasoning behind it. For his mistakes, Z might (probably?) pay with his job. For others who don’t have their jobs at stake, arguments can be constructed that speculate on motives and intentions without nearly as dire of consequences.

    As long as we are free to speculate about motives, these weakly supported speculations and arguments re: FO philosophy also provide a conventient loophole from further support of a plan that in retrospect has not worked, regardless of whether this FO has changed philosophy or not.

  70. sawsatch on June 12th, 2013 4:22 pm

    But…. the power bats were brought in to attract paying customers. That was not part of the original philosophy.

  71. Athanasius on June 12th, 2013 4:34 pm

    That’s part of the point. The power bats aren’t the biggest problem, as it is being made out to be. The main problem is that the original philosphy didn’t work out as was originally hoped or predicted.

  72. sawsatch on June 12th, 2013 4:39 pm

    Exactly… and the power bats were to be the band-aid to hide the wound.

  73. zak24 on June 12th, 2013 4:39 pm

    Well said Athanasius.

    Dave has publicly stated the hope that he’ll be wrong when predicting failure for the Mariners.. but c’mon, does the military industrial complex profit during peacetime? He’s capitalizing on their failure with every deprecating radio interview and article.

    Better times are ahead for the M’s; much closer than the DJ’s, the bloggers, and the defeatist who-can-blame-them fans would have you believe.

  74. scraps on June 12th, 2013 4:40 pm

    Athanasius: Okay. I hear you. You are now saying “What I have seen is a repeated questioning of Z’s recent moves with emotive and reactionary language,” which is a description I mostly agree with (or at any rate, I wouldn’t disagree so much that I would post about it). I will say people can disagree, strongly even, without saying Jack is an idiot (or anything like). And that’s what I’ve been seeing here. Maybe emotive and reactionary language, but still (frustrated) respect. Toward Jack, I mean; toward Wedge, no. (Leaving me open to outrage from Wedge-defenders. It’s true, I have little respect for Wedge as a manager and a baseball-thinker.)

  75. Athanasius on June 12th, 2013 4:42 pm

    Assuming there even was an “original vs. new philosophy,” which we have no way of knowing.

    Scraps — I hear you and agree.

  76. mca on June 12th, 2013 4:44 pm

    The discussion since the Zunino promotion is the most contentious I’ve seen in USSM comments. I’ve only read, though, for 7 years, so perhaps the Bavasi debacle may have been worse.
    While I think those critical of Dave here have some legitimate claims, I will be cheering for Zunino to do well, and Dave’s rebukes of those who comment can sometimes be harsh, I really do not think it is fair to say that either of Dave’s last two articles have invented motives. It seems perfectly reasonable to say something that amounts to: the moves Z has made this year reek of incompetence or desperation. If one professionally analyzes baseball, it seems even more reasonable. If the posts seem to imply the latter, it seems reasonable given that Z had several years that seemed to suggest competence, making this year’s moves difficult to rationalize without at least the possibility of desperation.
    I think it’s fair to say that we need to look closely at the plan that Dave, and many others of us, thought was a good plan and evaluate whether the outcomes do or do not invalidate the philosophy behind it. However, for one to argue that this year’s transactions have not seemed to demonstrate a marked philosophical shift from moves earlier in Z’s tenure, it would require much explanation of how all of these moves fit.

  77. scraps on June 12th, 2013 4:45 pm

    zak24, your two posts recently about Dave and what motivates him are laughable. That’s all; they don’t deserve more.

  78. scraps on June 12th, 2013 4:47 pm

    And what mca said, if you’re looking for a respectful response.

  79. mca on June 12th, 2013 4:49 pm

    A quick look at the archive of the first several years of Z’s regime debunks the allegation that USSM just exists to capitalize, through relentless criticism, off of the Mariners’ failures.

  80. zak24 on June 12th, 2013 4:51 pm

    Oh please. Let’s do this scraps. You think Wedge is the problem? That guy is wearing it for this whole franchise right now. And his players respect him, to me the most important quality in a manager of any sports team. So maybe I’m throwing shit at the wall in regards to dave but i’m sick of his know it all articles last time he called for heads to roll they went on a hot streak and roared back to .500 it can happen again and then you’ll be reading about why baseball is ultimately unpredictable at the end of the day.

  81. sawsatch on June 12th, 2013 4:58 pm

    Wedge would love to put Trout and Posey in the line-up; but they’re not on his team.

  82. mca on June 12th, 2013 4:59 pm

    zak24, Dave does have a know-it-all vibe sometimes, but the fact that he knows far more than me about an analytic approach to evaluating baseball moves is why I read USSM. With the huge range of choices of what you can read, I’m curious why you choose to read.

  83. zak24 on June 12th, 2013 5:17 pm

    mca: same reason, i respect his sabermetric perspective, but i disagree with him about things that are harder to measure like chemistry and veteran leadership.. the human element behind baseball. i don’t think that they are the be all end all but i do think a sparkplug like brad miller with his goofy batting stance and high socks can come up and energize the whole franchise, the same way ackley’s lack of confidence and montero’s prancing can detract from the mentality of the guys around them. that stuff doesn’t support the kingdom of numbers which dave has created at fangraphs but i don’t think he needs to write them off completely the way he does as this game isn’t played on paper

  84. scraps on June 12th, 2013 5:21 pm

    The discussion since the Zunino promotion is the most contentious I’ve seen in USSM comments.

    It’s funny; it’s contentious, but to me it’s not that contentious. Except the one thread that had a bunch of Baker-Minions.

    Let’s see, more contentious discussions. Maybe trading Adam Jones? trading Michael Pineda? Brandon Morrow as reliever? Dingers vs Everything Else?

  85. zak24 on June 12th, 2013 5:23 pm

    whatever scraps you’re like ian kennedy you throw fastballs at peoples head then walk off the field and let your teammates fight your battles

  86. mca on June 12th, 2013 5:26 pm

    scraps-I wasn’t here for the Adam Jones discussion (does that mean my mention of 7 years is off. I read for the following season). I thought that there was definitely disagreement, but it seemed less hostile. Perhaps its just the open antipathy towards Dave that feels different.

  87. scraps on June 12th, 2013 5:28 pm

    zak24, that (and this) is all I’ve got for you. You’re not up to snuff. Practice on the Mariners board. I left you at “let’s do this scraps.”

  88. mca on June 12th, 2013 5:35 pm

    USSM is a website based on numbers-based analysis. While I agree that there is probably more human element to the game than can necessarily be quantified (although I despise Eric Wedge’s condescending attitudes about toughness), I think expecting Dave or others here to listen to any of our claims about veteran grit or leadership is a bit like someone asking a doctor of evolutionary biology to stop his lecture and let the person insert his ideas about creationism. There is a separate forum for that, and one should not be forced to cede time to it in his/her own forum. This may sound like group-think or a hive mind, but I see it more as respecting the discourse community you’ve entered.

  89. zak24 on June 12th, 2013 5:36 pm

    well maybe that’s your problem, a couple half baked points and you write off a person completely? i’m a little rough around the edges i admit that but if you had the balls to go toe to toe with me on a topic you might learn something

  90. scraps on June 12th, 2013 5:39 pm

    mca, most of the open antipathy toward Dave is from the Baker’s Minions. You can tell by the new userIDs.

  91. zak24 on June 12th, 2013 5:43 pm

    i can respect that mca, at least you don’t sound disrespectful. i am well aware of the numbers-based nature of USSM and i am not posting here hoping for god himself, dave cameron, to descend upon the board and respond to my post, i just like to engage people i disagree with. you want to talk about numbers? Try 1. That is how many players we have under contract long term. Try 5 or 6, that is how many years it should take before we start to see what jack means when he says “building through the draft”. Smoak, Montero, Ackley may have been misfires up to this point but there is a bubbling of talent beneath the surface that is being underrated and you have no idea what moves jack is working on behind the scenes .

  92. zak24 on June 12th, 2013 5:57 pm

    and scraps i’d rather be a prick than a swallower.

  93. Woodcutta on June 12th, 2013 6:59 pm

    If you are defending Wedge you obviously haven’t watched a single M’s game. To me, the most important quality in a manager is competence.

  94. Athanasius on June 12th, 2013 8:48 pm

    My observation is that Dave often strongly argues for a particular position and when doing so, becomes less and less nuanced in his writing in his attempts to get his point across. Example: Dave states what Z’s motive is in the Zunino call up unequivocally. He has no business making that judgement — “Well, here’s act one of the “I Don’t Want To Get Fired” playbook.”

    To me, that is making up a motive, not saying that there is evidence that points to a possible motive. Big difference.

    Contrast that with Jeff’s recent writing, which acknowledges the limited information he has to work with when making decisions, “The Utility of Shrugging.” Because of that limited knowledge, he (in an attempt to paraphrase) finds it irresponsible to come to hard and fast conclusions, but feels more comfortable making observations in an attempt to get as close as possible to a likely solution/conclusion.

    I happen to respect that brand of analysis a lot more. It’s more responsible, honest and nuanced.

    In my experience, if you go around telling other people what they are thinking and why they do what they do, you don’t get very far and you lose your own credibility very quickly.

  95. scraps on June 12th, 2013 9:12 pm

    Dave aside, that last sentence is wise, and should be put up over the desk of every commenter (internet and otherwise).

  96. diderot on June 12th, 2013 11:03 pm

    I don’t even think we have to put in the ‘Dave aside’–he has hurt his own credibility (well earned over the years) by ignoring this statement.

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