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Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.

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March 18, 2008 7:03 AM

M's no longer AL West underdogs

Posted by Geoff Baker

Thanks to Larry Stone for filling in on this blog yesterday. Don't have any limericks for you, but I'm sure we'll have plenty to discuss after this post.

Never thought I'd be saying this in March. Not the way the season ended last September. And certainly not the way the Mariners looked to me a year ago at this time. But as things currently stand, I am picking Seattle to win the AL West. I know that's going to set quite a few of you off, which seems a little odd to me considering most of you are fans of the team. But no matter.

Miguel Batista, quoted in a preview story about the M's in today's editions of USA Today, says he liked the idea that nobody is favoring Seattle in the AL West. Wants the M's to be able to sneak up on folks. Those quotes were taken last week, I believe, before the Angels were rocked by an injury to John Lackey. As of today, I believe that changes the division landscape. Batista wants his team to be the darkhorse. But I don't believe that's the case any longer.

Some of you know that after the Erik Bedard trade, I still had the M's pegged to finish second in the division behind the Los Angeles Angels. But at the time, I believed that the gap between the teams was close enough that a couple of breaks here or there could tilt the scales.

Well, the season hasn't even begun and the M's have already had those couple of breaks. The kind that would not only tilt scales, but send them toppling to the floor. The Angels, as I've just mentioned and colleague Stone wrote about in Monday's paper, have lost their 1-2 punch in the starting rotation for at least the first six weeks of the season. And believe me, the injuries to Lackey and Kelvim Escobar trump any issue the M's are currently dealing with.

Worried about the need for another big power bat? Those are easier to pick-up, mid-season or early season, than two potential ace starters. Remember, the M's will also be starting the year, most likely, with Jeff Clement and Wladimir Balentien at Class AAA. You can always call either of those two up if there are no immediate power solutions on the horizon.

Felling a little edgy about the bullpen, what with Sean Green's spring struggles, Brandon Morrow's tired arm and the uncertainty over whether Eric O'Flaherty can fill George Sherrill's shoes? Fair enough. But I've liked most of what I've seen out of Arthur Rhodes this spring and feel that he, and Mark Lowe, could be ready to return and help this bullpen out with another month or so of rounding their elbows back into shape. Again, the bullpen may not be as steady as last year's. But I'd rather be looking for a seventh or eighth-inning reliever than two ace pitchers.

Sure, Jose Lopez might not be the real deal. But he was a black hole to this offense a year ago and it finished with slightly above average production. How much worse can it possibly get?

Many of you were worried about Raul Ibanez over the winter. The way he's squaring up on the ball this spring -- compared to the injury-hampered cuts he was taking a year ago -- I feel those concerns were overblown. And I've yet to see his defense cost the team anything. I've seen the infield defense cost a bunch of runs. That has to improve. But that's why they have spring training.

I hear all of your concerns. But the bottom line is, the Angels have their share of concerns as well. They just lost the equivalent of Bedard and Felix Hernandez. If that had occurred in Seattle, many M's fans would be bailing on the season before the first pitch was even thrown.

I thought the Angels could have done a better job of upgrading themselves this winter. Not landing Miguel Cabrera left open a window of vulnerability for that team. My biggest offensive concern for the Angels, if I was a fan of that team, would be the impact of losing shortstop Orlando Cabrera. Let's not forget, for much of last season's first half, it was Cabrera, not Vlad Guerrero, acting as an offensive sparkplug. Yes, Reggie Willits did his part by getting on-base. But Cabrera was the one knocking him in. Cabrera was the guy making it on to plenty of first-half MVP lists. Torri Hunter will supply some pop for the Angels, but a lot of that will be offset by Cabrera's departure. I'm not very bullish on the Los Angeles offense.

Second and most obvious when it comes to concerns is when Lackey and Escobar will return to top form. Sure, they could be back in the rotation by mid-May. But when will they become effective again? I can envision a bunch of five-inning outings. That carries into June and giving away a third of a season like that is a huge hole to allow your division rivals to crawl through.

It's possible that Lackey and Escobar may take all season to hit the stride they found last year. But even if they do regain their form come June, it will be interesting to see the impact that has on the Angels' bullpen. Remember, that was a relief corps already showing cracks in the second half of last season, perhaps from overuse, given the number of pitching injuries that team had to deal with early.

Those injuries from 2007 were nothing compared to what the Angels will experience the first two months of this year. As tough as the first half got for the Angels in 2007, with injuries to Bartolo Colon and Jered Weaver, they still had the 1-2 Lackey-Escobar punch. Not anymore.

Will the Oakland A's trade Joe Blanton to the Angels? I can't see why. Why on Earth would Billy Beane want to add any more starting depth to an Angels squad that arguably has the best starting five in the division when healthy? Especially since the A's do plan on contending against the Angels in the near future? Oakland doesn't have much of an offense to speak of. This division has been won time and time again through pitching. Why give even more pitching to the Angels if you're the A's? Makes no sense. Not even Billy Beane, accused of having one of the game's bigger egos at times, would be bold enough to tempt fate like that.

And if Blanton isn't LA bound, then the logical conclusion is that the M's are now the division favorites. At least in my book. I've thought, since the Bedard trade saga began, that Seattle had narrowed the six-game gap between them and the Angels from last year's standings. The Angels outgained their Pythagorean record as well, let's not forget, and owned the M's to a 14-5 tune in head-to-head matchups. That's a disparity unlikely to continue. Especially with Lackey and Escobar due to miss at least the first two series between these clubs.

Not everyone will agree with this, of course. Some folks are even on-record stating that computer-simluated seasons show the A's may actually win the AL West. We'll see. I don't agree with that one. Doubt the A's see it that way, either. We'll know soon enough. Other local sites recognize the M's may have just gained the biggest break any team will catch this season. As I said, in a division where starting pitching has often been the decisive factor, the M's now have the finest. For at least a third of the season. Argue it any way you want, but there's no getting around that one. Bullpen isn't too bad either. Perhaps not as strong as the Angels' now have, but we'll see how the Lackey-Escobar injuries impact that.

And so, here we are. At this stage, picking the Mariners to win the AL West, as crazy as that may have sounded to me a year ago, today makes very good sense. And I am going to pick them. The moves they made this off-season, acquiring Bedard and Carlos Silva, set them up to pounce on any advantage or break that fell their way. They just got two of astronomical proportions. Now, as we've been saying all winter, the games will be played. And when they are done, I do expect the Mariners to come out on top.

p.s. I apologize for all of the technical problems being experienced on the site. I have been told we are in the midst of a systems rebuild that will take a while longer to complete. Thanks for hanging in there and bearing with us as we try to get our system in order. Hopefully, the folks in charge will figure it all out quickly.

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Posted by

7:22 AM, Mar 18, 2008

Great article Geoff! I am so excited for the season to begin! Win or Lose, this should be a fun team to watch with the lots electrifying players.

PS. lets see how long it takes for AKmarinerfan to get on here and call someone a moron, and tell Geoff how wrong he is.

Posted by

7:40 AM, Mar 18, 2008

I believe! Here's to another summer of a great blog.

Posted by

8:07 AM, Mar 18, 2008

"Sure, Jose Lopez might not be the real deal. But he was a black hole to this offense a year ago and it finished with slightly above average production. How much worse can it possibly get?"

I really want you to be right, Geoff. I certainly have hope but, did you have to ask that question??? :-)

Posted by

8:08 AM, Mar 18, 2008

I like your pick Geoff . Nice job by Larry filling ing......Go M's !

Posted by

8:25 AM, Mar 18, 2008

I'm trying to restrain my excitement, but it's becoming very difficult. With the addition of Bedard, the injuries to Lackey and Escobar, this should be an fun filled baseball year. And best yet, I just signed up for my MLB extra innings package so I can see the majority of M's game. March 31st can't get her soon enough - I'll be grilling hot dogs, drinking a cold beer, and watching Erik Bedard hopefully strike out another 16 Texas Rangers at beautiful Safeco. The only thing possibly better would be actually being there.


Posted by

8:29 AM, Mar 18, 2008

Good pick, I think the M's are in a good position. Hopefully when the Angles hit their stride late in the season it will be just in time for the M's to be tuning up for the post season.

Question for you how many pitchers are going to be available through waivers at the beginning of the season that have run out of options and being sent back to the minor league clubs that the Angles could pick up to soften their blow. Is it something we should worry about or is there no tallent out there better than what the Angles have in there orginazation already?


Posted by

8:36 AM, Mar 18, 2008

I think Geoff makes an astute point about the ripple effect that the Angel's depleted rotation is likely to have. If they can't get their aces healthy within the first two months of the season, it will put a lot of pressure on their bullpen. That could crack them in the second half, even with Lackey and Escobar back. Look at the M's bullpen last year. It was burned up by the poor starting performances.

None of it matters if our guys can't deliver of course. One thing is for sure, April is going to count for a lot. If you get an edge on a team as talented as Anaheim, you don't waste it. The M's have the start of the season nicely teed up for them. It would be nice to be chased rather than chasing for once.

Posted by

8:41 AM, Mar 18, 2008

We got it this year!!!!


Posted by

8:43 AM, Mar 18, 2008

I'm still a pessimist about this season. The Angels' "1-2 punch" goes down for 7 weeks and suddenly the M's are division favorites? Did you forget about the other 19 weeks of the season? The M's will need to have a pretty big lead at the end of May to sustain it through the summer and into the playoffs.

No matter how many of the Angels' pitchers go down, the M's defense is still horrible and will cost the team many games.

Posted by

9:03 AM, Mar 18, 2008


How much did the M's marketing department pay you to write this? Do you need a new car or something? :)

I have been crushed too many times the last few years to buy into it. When they learn to not lose 10-11 games in a row during key stretches of the season, then I will start to come around.

The Angels have depth at SP, and they should be able to hang close the first part of the season.

But I want to believe. I really do.


Posted by

9:11 AM, Mar 18, 2008

Great article!

Posted by

9:26 AM, Mar 18, 2008

Re: the bullpen - Let's not even pretend that Arthur Rhodes can replace perhaps the best LH reliever in baseball (at least lefty specialist). Neither can Eric O'Flaherty. Given Morrow's continuing control issues, one has to wonder whether he'll get by like he did last year (pitchers with walk rates like his almost NEVER have an ERA of 4.12).

And given the fact that most of the Mariners' overachievment vs. Pythag. has been attributed to the bullpen, even a slight regression by the pen could be trouble.

Re: Lopez - I sure haven't seen anything to suggest Lopez is getting better. Over at, Jason Churchill talked to several scouts who said he looked "lost" or “without any confidence he can hit the ball hard at all." Should he better than last year's abomination? Sure. But there is no sign that he will even be a league-average 2B.

Re: Ibanez - Glad to see he's swinging better. He's a key. But his defense will hurt the team this year. Just because you don't see him dropping balls or failing to get to a ball in the gap doesn't mean his defense will not be a liability. Especially in LF in Safeco. He should be platooning at DH, period.

Re: the Angels' moves - Hunter was a huge get. He makes their OF defense much better (Matthews is overrated). He is an upgrade in the lineup. And as good as Cabrera seemed to be for the Angels, his OPS+ was 95. Yes, he was a below-average hitter. Whether the Angels replace him with Izturis, Aybar, or Brandon Wood, the gap won't be as big as one would have you believe. Cabrera is a good player. But he's not irreplacable.

Further, the Angels had injuries to key players last year: Kendrick (a future batting champ), Kotchmann, Figgins, Vlad, Garret Anderson, Mike Napoli. That's a lot of room of improvement. If we want to talk about how "injured" Raul and Vidro were last year, and how much they should improve in 2008, then we had better acknowledge the worse injuries that the Angels dealt with, and how much better they will improve in 2008.

Re: Blanton - don't think for a second Beane won't trade within the division. He's smart, and if he can get Brandon Wood or Nick Adenhart for a pretty ordinary pitcher, he'll do it. He doesn't care about the Angels in 2008. He cares about his team in 2009 and beyond.

As I've said many times before, I dont' think the gap between the Angels and Mariners is/was six games. Considering injuries and other factors, there was no reason to believe Bedard and Silva made up the gap.

I'm not ready to call us the favorites in the West, because I still think the Angels will defend, score runs, and pitch out of the pen better than we will.

The Angels were 23-10 in games started by Lackey, or a 70% winning percentage. They were 22-8 in games started by Escobar, or a 73% winning percentage.

If each misses 10 starts, that's about 14 wins that the Angels have to make up. (14 out of 20 - 70%) It looks like Ervin Santana and Dustin Moseley will get their starts. The Angels won 42% of Santana's starts last year. They won 38% of Moselely's starts.

Now, I know things change from year to year (one could argue that Santana will improve, or that the better offense and defense from the Angels will push up those numbers), but let's just say the Angels only win 40% of those 20 starts missed by Lackey and Escobar. So, that's six games (14-8).

Personally, I don't think that passes the eye test. The Angels are better equipped this year to handle losing Lackey and Escobar this year than last. But even if we go with six games, does that make the Mariners the favorites?

I don't think so. I always believed on my rudimentary analysis that the Angels will still 8 or more games better than us, even with Bedard. You can't ignore that the Angels are better offensively, defensively, and probably in the pen than they were last year, while our team made no improvements in those areas.

So while Lackey and Escobar missing time brings the Angels closer, I'm not ready to anoint us AL West favorites.


Posted by

9:33 AM, Mar 18, 2008

I agree with you Geoff. Where did Cabrera go? He WAS the key for much of last year for them. He was a thorn in many people's side. He was always on base. With that, and the Angels' big early season loss - we need to take advantage. I am concerned about Silva's performance yesterday. What happened? I know guys try new pitches and try to refine certain things, but that was a beating. What about the infield defense? I thought we were pretty solid there. Lastly, do we have enough 'O'? I guess time will tell. Thanks for all your hard work.

Posted by

9:50 AM, Mar 18, 2008

To Adam - you forgot that Bedard and Silva replaced two of our pitchers that we lost some 38 of their 55 starts - that's minus 20, compared to an expected plus 15 from Bedard and Silva. That easily beats out the Angels -
I think the change in the assistant coaches this year will a major impact (positive) on the team as well.
I agree that Sherril was a big help, but so were Morrow and O'F until they got worn out by aforementioned now-departed pitchers. And we'll get Lowe back. That's huge. He can look like JJ when he gets in shape.
I'm quite optimistic.


Posted by

10:12 AM, Mar 18, 2008

What no reference to the 1993 Blue Jays?

I have a suggestion, why don't we have somekine of online pool where everyone predicts the 2008 Mariners record. Need to have a tiebreaker (Vidro's slugging average, home runs hit by Bloomquist, number of tired epxressions used by McLaren).

Whoever is closest gets to spend the weekend at the halfway house with Get Griffey.

Posted by

10:19 AM, Mar 18, 2008

I think it mostly comes down to Sexson. He hits, the M's win the division. He doesn't, and the front office annoyingly sticks with him like they did last year, they don't make the playoffs...

Posted by

10:23 AM, Mar 18, 2008

Mariner Prison Blues

An ode to Morse for doing his time like a man and now being able to get his shot at the big leagues.

(Guitar starts strumming)

I hear the train a coming, its rolling round the bend, and I aint seen the sun shine since I don’t know when.I'm stuck in Mariner prison and Spring keeps draggin on,
but that train keeps a rollin on down the San Anton.

When I was just a baby, my mama told me “Son, always be a boy don’t ever play with roids”
But I shot a pint in A ball just to watch me fly, when I hear big Richey coming I hang my head and cry.

I bet Big Richeys eatin in those fancy dine-in cars he’s probly drinking coffee and smoking big cigars,
But I know I had it coming, I know I can’t be free. But those players keep on moving and that’s what tortures me.

But if they freed me from this prison if that first base bag was mine I bet I’d move it on a little farther down the line. Far from Mariner prison that’s where I want to stay,
and I’d let that lonesome whistle… blow by blues away.

(a parody by
the Man in Blue)

Posted by

10:25 AM, Mar 18, 2008

Should be "good boy"

Posted by

10:28 AM, Mar 18, 2008

and the end should be "my blues" not "by bluse" stupid key bord.

Posted by

10:39 AM, Mar 18, 2008

Ziasudra - I have already considered Bedard and Silva.

Posted by

10:41 AM, Mar 18, 2008

Guess who the blogger is that felt the need (again) to include some snide comment about Get Griffey in their post. Man AK if you love Get Griffey so much just ask him out or something.

Posted by

10:48 AM, Mar 18, 2008

The Masked Blogger says:
I'm with you Geoff, so let’s leave tow quickly before the sheriff rounds up a posy to find our gang of optimistic M's fans and sends us to that hanging judge AKM’sfool!

Let’s keep that wagon train a moving
The Masked Blogger

Posted by

10:49 AM, Mar 18, 2008

Nice positive article. I love the thoughts and with that the HIGH expectations.
Now, if the Mariners are not in first place by mid May or June or the All-Star break...I hope you have the journalistic integrity to call out the under-performing Mariners and the front office...instead of saying oh he was hurt, he is a second half guy, or we could not have predicted he would not rebound.

Posted by

10:49 AM, Mar 18, 2008

To Adam - was that you at 10:39? How could you have considered Bedard, and assign us to an even lower expectation this year than last? I don't understand your (I started to say logic, then thinking, but neither word was appropiate) statements.
Going on what my eye saw last year, Cabrerra was the driving force in a good ten of the Angels' wins against us. I do not project Tori making that up.
To 10:23 poster - Great! Black to Blue - love it!


Posted by Chris from Bothell

10:51 AM, Mar 18, 2008

"Worried about the need for another big power bat? Those are easier to pick-up, mid-season or early season, than two potential ace starters. Remember, the M's will also be starting the year, most likely, with Jeff Clement and Wladimir Balentien at Class AAA. You can always call either of those two up if there are no immediate power solutions on the horizon."

Sorry, Geoff, that's where you lost me. Time and time again this org has shown they will ride their veterans, and their starting 9 overall, into the ground. Even if Richie, either of the Jose's, or Raul, all flame out, you're not going to see them replaced unless there's a serious (60-day-DL) injury. If oen of those guys underperformed I would be absolutely STUNNED to see someone called up before the ASB.

Same general principle for the bullpen. Even at best case, by the time the Ms tried to figure something was wrong with the pen and correct it, Lackey and Geoff'sManCrush would not only be back from the DL, but have had the couple starts to get their feet under them (i.e. late May to early June).

There is just not a track record over the last couple years of this team being able to stand up to egos, or face up to consequences of poor signings.

The only way the Ms are favorites, is if they do everything right to captialize on this gift. Which means career average or better performances from everyone 1-9, and which means not just keeping pace but absolutely dominating out of the gate. With their relatively weaker schedule, the Ms have to be first-to-30-wins in the division in the first couple months, by several games. Or it just won't fly. The second-half Angels will be strong, right at the time when the Ms have choked the last few years (mid-late July to early August).

- Chris from Bothell

Posted by

10:52 AM, Mar 18, 2008

That the Angels will, "outscore the M's by 100 runs or more" seems to be a popular argument against the M's favored status.

Last year the Angels outscored the M's by only 28 runs, and I don't see that they've made 75 runs worth of improvements to their offense, or that the M's look like a good bet to devolve by any runs, muche less 75.

I am just hoping that you can shed some light on a clouded argument.


Posted by Walrus

10:52 AM, Mar 18, 2008

I am lost. Why do you want to rush Brandon Morrow back to the 25 man team, and you want Mark Lowe to wait a month to round in his elbow?
Both young guys with histories with arm problems???
Why the difference?


Posted by John

11:01 AM, Mar 18, 2008

Great article!

Posted by Walrus

11:21 AM, Mar 18, 2008

I am puzzled about why you think it will be difficult for the Angels to find/ pick up a pitcher or two that can average 6 or more innings with a decent ERA, since the Angels have one of the best defenses in the league.
The Angels have several pitchers on their staff with major league starting experience, plus they have one of the hottest SP prospects waiting in AAA. Further, the M's are going to release Baek, and other teams will also releasing borderline 5th starters before the year starts.
There will be a lot of pitchers to choose from for the Angels....and as Adam showed, those pitchers don't have to be that great to keep the Angels in or ahead in the division race.

Posted by

11:22 AM, Mar 18, 2008

Between the lines, what Geoff is really saying is that if the M's can get some momentum going during the first third of the season, and the Angel's can get some negative momentum going with their bullpen depleted and starting aces struggling to get up to MLB form even upon returning, the M's can run away with this division. Momentum is everything in baseball, which is the factor that computer projections can't take into account and explains how a team can surpass expectations and 250 hitters can have breakout seasons. Bottom line, trading for Bedard was a gamble that the M's could catch some breaks and capitalize on them, and given the Angel's situation it certainly appears to have been a good move. Even if we don't win the division, we'll at least have a great pennant chase, which is a hell of a lot better than just writing off a season.

Tallahassee-Mariner's Fan

Posted by

11:48 AM, Mar 18, 2008

What will be amazing to me is that Bedard could have 5 bad outings in a row during spring training and everyone will be able to shrug it off as its just spring training. However if he gets shelled on opening day there will be panic.

Posted by

12:03 PM, Mar 18, 2008

Hey Adam, posted at 9:26 you should just stop being a Mariner fan. No one really cares for your pessimistic views. Why dont you actually try to be a fan instead of a critic of everything in this blog. If you want to be negative why dont you become a Royals fan. I just hope the M's come out this year and take the division. That way you won't have anything to say ever again.

Posted by

12:26 PM, Mar 18, 2008

I love the optimisism. More here need to have this attitude.
However, we will all rue this day if or when the m's are not in first place, because we will hear about it FOREVER, FOREVER, FOREVER, FOREVER, FOREVER, FOREVER

Posted by

12:48 PM, Mar 18, 2008

Thanks Geoff for that infussion of hope. Hopefully you are right and we will have an exciting season that ends in a different fashion than years past

Posted by

12:58 PM, Mar 18, 2008

I liked Carlos Silva's quotes explaining his horrid outing. ST is, indeed, the time for him to be experimenting.

As for the slam on Adam as a poster, I disagree. He is not like AKMariner's Fan and the constant negative drivvel. Adam argues with well-rationalized facts, I don't recall him ever making personalized attacks on other posters, and there are many times when he makes positive statements about players, suggestions for team improvement, etc. The same can't be said AKMarinersFan and his black cloud.

Posted by

1:06 PM, Mar 18, 2008

Hey 12:03--and 12:26. Give it a rest. Adam is less optimistic about the Ms chances than you. There is room for optimism, realism and pessimism here. And frankly I think Adam is a realist. You can love your team and want them to be better.

Adam backs up his points with facts and data. I think he brings more to the comments section than just about anyone else. Certainly more than people who just want to cheerlead. Don't get me wrong. "Rah rah" is great in context but the blog would get really boring if all we did was talk about this being the year we were sure Willie was going to hit .300 and we'd sweep the world series.

So disagree with Adam if you will. Be my guest to refute his points. But "Adam is too pessimistic" is a lame argument.


Posted by

1:25 PM, Mar 18, 2008

Personally I see Willie hitting .350 a softball league this summer...

Posted by

1:26 PM, Mar 18, 2008

The Masked Blogger says: LOL to the post at 12:26 because I actually got that quote, and it brought back some great memories.

Posted by

1:32 PM, Mar 18, 2008

The Masked Blogger also agrees with the post at 12:58 about Adam and AKMfan's dark cloud.

Posted by

1:34 PM, Mar 18, 2008

I wonder why some of you think the M's history shows that they will ride Sexon all year even if he doesn't perform. I think the examples of Boone and Olerud show that they won't put up with it all year like they did last. I really hope that he is able to rebound from last year and have a great season, but if by the end of May or mid June it is still more of the same, I think he'll be gone. He is not under contract for next season and they are already paying him for this year, so it won't matter pay roll wise one way or the other. I think at that point they will take their losses and move on. Like I said, I think the releases of Olerud and Boone show they are willing to make that move.


Posted by

1:38 PM, Mar 18, 2008

Chris from Bothell, Walrus, and Johan got their names back but why not us??
Get Griffey

Posted by

2:28 PM, Mar 18, 2008

It didn't seem to matter who was pitching or hitting against the M's last year if you were an Angel, the outcome was pretty much the same. That won't change this year. Angels are a winning club, with the mentality of winners. M's are stuck with a sad sack GM and baseball illiterates for executives. I want Soriano back. I want Adam Jones back. I want Tillman, Sherill and the other guy back. I want new owners, someone who will put a premium on winning and not just moving money around, overspending, forcing us to watch horrible players like Vidro and Sexson and who waste great talent when they have it. I want Lou Pinella back. The M's will break all of your hearts again this season.

-Roger That

Posted by Tacoma Rain

2:42 PM, Mar 18, 2008

Roger That...
I can be as pessimistic as the next guy, as many here will attest....but wow.
There is no guarantee that new owners will be any better....think Sonics for easy reference.
Sweet Lou was TERRIBLE assessing pitching, never played rookies, and I guarantee he would play Vidro every day and twice on Sunday if he could. Although the images of what Pinella did to Cirillo happening to Sexson brings a smile to my face.
Lastly, I do not think there is a person on this site that would not like to have any of those players back if we could...but unfortunately your comments on the FO and management of this team are correct.
Tacoma Rain

Posted by Nick in PDX

7:04 PM, Mar 18, 2008

"I know that's going to set quite a few of you off, which seems a little odd to me considering most of you are fans of the team."

Nicely condescending remark there. It's possible to be a die-hard fan of a team without having to blow rainbows up the team's collective backsides. Realism > fanatacism.

Posted by TJFENTON

10:23 PM, Mar 18, 2008

With Mel as our pitching coach, and our starting five, not to mention a pretty dynamic bullpen with the lights out pitching of Putz, there’s no doubt we’re going to be the team to watch.
If only Sexson and Beltre can produce like we know they can, we will be on top, regardless of what the A’s or Angels do, come September.

Posted by Charles

11:17 PM, Mar 18, 2008

I think this Silva signing is going to come back and bite us. Did you guys see what kind of money Kyle Lohse got? Silva and Lohse were placed in the same tier and were expected to get about the same amount of money. 1 year for 4.25 million and 48 million over 4 years are very different numbers.

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