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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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April 7, 2008 8:40 AM

Monday musings

Posted by Geoff Baker

You know, as bad as the Mariners have looked at times this first week, things could be far worse. The Angels are not exactly setting the world on fire. A win this afternoon and the M's will be a game out of first place. As I said, this is not the time to panic. And no, to answer the reader question in the comments thread of the prior post, getting swept by the Rays will not amount to panic time either. A lot can happen between now and May, never mind now and season's end.

I liked the theory one reader put forth about this being a bad time for good teams to play expected cellar dwellers. Just ask the Angels about that after they dropped a series to Texas on the weekend. Or ask the Detroit Tigers how it felt to have their lunch handed to them by the Kansas City Royals and Chicago White Sox. Neither of those two other clubs was expected to do anything this season.

Perhaps the Boston Red Sox can explain what it feels like to get swept by division-rival Toronto. A 3-4 showing was not what the defending champs wanted after week number one. Toronto is a trendy pick this year and I do have them ahead of the New York Yankees. But not the Bosox.

And how about last season's other World Series darlings, the Colorado Rockies? Remember them? Poster children -- literally -- for how fine young talent trumps veteran leadership every time? Well, they are off to a 1-5 start. Nobody's burying them yet, but they are hardly fulfilling expectations. Things could be much worse for the Mariners.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not excusing their play.

But this kind of stuff is not unusual in early April. As I mentioned, it is not implausible for teams expected to be horrible to find a prize or two this early. Sort of like the guy who sprints out ahead of the pack in the first mile of a marathon. Anyone can do it. Not everyone can run miles at a 4:30 pace after that and actually win the marathon. That's a bit of what baseball is about. The contending teams are the ones that stay close until September and then have enough left for a finishing kick.

Safe to say, the Royals, White Sox and Orioles are unlikely to be among those clubs. And not even by September. They should all be out of it by June.

So, sit back, get some work done and let's see if the M's can stay within a game of the Angels by the end of the day.

The sky is a long way from falling. Even if some of you are preparing to drop out of it.

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Posted by MM

8:48 AM, Apr 07, 2008

More offense is needed. Wilkerson is batting .067. It makes no sense to have Morse sitting on the bench. Wake up Mac!!

Posted by snowbird

9:11 AM, Apr 07, 2008

So, let me get this straight--after 6 games the Mariners are once again in the cellar. Their new "Ace" has an attitude problem AND comes up lame when it is time to face his old team, adding pressure to last year's Ace. Sexson is flirting with Mendosa and Wikerson is taking batting lessons from Sexson. Betancourt and Lopez are the only players hitting 300. AND Geof Baker thinks the Fans (who are paying higher ticket prices this year) are over reacting?

My oh My

Posted by Jordan

9:15 AM, Apr 07, 2008

This is what really irks me:

"Unfortunately, after throwing 97 brilliant pitches, Seattle's young right-hander didn't have enough energy left to get three more outs. So when the bottom of the ninth started with Hernandez in the Mariners dugout, the Orioles were absolutely delighted."

"How happy was I? Extremely," said Aubrey Huff, who had an RBI during a three-run rally that provided Baltimore with a 3-2 victory Sunday. "Once he came out, I knew we had a chance."

Great Job Skipper!

Posted by Elimno

9:19 AM, Apr 07, 2008

Just wondering why Jose Lopez is getting a free pass? I've not seen a post or a story about the ball he should have come up with in the 9th. Jose Lopez lost the game. Not Lowe, Mac, Wilkerson, Felix, Bavasi...

Posted by David Gee

9:24 AM, Apr 07, 2008

2-4 isn't the end of the world, obviously. But giving the Orioles a big psychological boost like that yesterday and then pretty much throwing the game would be the end of the world if the Mariners come up one game short of the playoffs. You can't just give games away to undeserving opponents at ANY point of the season.

Posted by SpokaneFan

9:24 AM, Apr 07, 2008

I agree. It's as much Lopez's fault as anyone's. His range is just terrible. Instead of flat out diving for the ball he instead goes to that slide that he loves to do so much. I miss boonie. His bat may have died but you could always count on him making a play out there.

Posted by SpokaneFan

9:26 AM, Apr 07, 2008

I agree. It's as much Lopez's fault as anyone's. His range is just terrible. Instead of flat out diving for the ball he instead goes to that slide that he loves to do so much. I miss boonie. His bat may have died but you could always count on him making a play out there.

Posted by Lance

9:28 AM, Apr 07, 2008

Moving Sexson and Wilkerson down a notch or two in the order would not be a panic move. Nor would using all 25 guys on your team, not 20 of your favorite, as Mac seems bent on doing.

BTW, yesterday's game was one for the books. Jason Stark said it was the first time in eight years a team had a starter throw eight shutout innings only to have the bullpen with a lead of at least two runs or more lose it all in the ninth.

So, although it might not be time to panic, their losses have already taken on historic proportions.

And, what's this about Felix wanting out in the 9th. Since when has Felix Hernandez EVER wanted to come out in the ninth.

I'm not buying it for a moment. Just a player trying to cover for his manager. That's actually kind of sweet. But, after 97 pitches he didn't want to at least go out for the 9th? I'm not buying that.

Even so, all the more reason Miguel should have been in the pen subbing until J.J.'s return in the first place. This bullpen should be fine once J.J. returns provided the kids aren't expected to take on more than they're capable of.

Posted by o's fan

9:33 AM, Apr 07, 2008

Hey guys... not here to rub it in or anything. Lord knows my O's will be awful this year eventually.

But I do come to warn you about what you have in Erik Bedard. While he is a dominant pitcher, YES, an ace he is NOT. He is surly. He is not vocal with the fans or the media. He'll want to come out of the game after 6 innings and 94 pitches. His reason why? "I was done." Can't tell you how many times us O's fans have heard that one. He doesn't WANT the ball like an ace. He's exactly the kind of guy that comes up with a questionable injury before facing his old team.

When he's out there, he can be amazing, but I think you guys will find yourself asking why he is your ace when a bulldog like Felix fits the pitcture much better. Being an ace is more than being the best pitcher, it's being a leader, too. Something which Erik is absolutely not. Hopefully, that won't matter because the M's will have a nasty pitching staff.

Posted by David Gee

9:34 AM, Apr 07, 2008

I hear you Spokane fan. I forgot to say that we wouldn't be having this conversation if Lopez would stop doing that stupid slide for the ball. That's what, the third time this season he's missed a ball doing that? You can't be missing balls that every other second baseman in the game would have successfully fielded. Hell, I would have made that play. And I SUCK.

Posted by Where is Morse?

9:36 AM, Apr 07, 2008

Where is the bench?
Where is Morse?
Cairo?

It has been a sorry state for all top teams, I just hope the M's dont run into the gauntlet of Tampa Bay...
I hope the sucky Rays show up!

Still awesome to see all the games in HD

Posted by scrapiron

9:36 AM, Apr 07, 2008

Felix DID want to come out in the ninth. He had just had a throw day two days prior, and was actually supposed to pitch today. When Stottlemyre talked to him at the end of the eighth, he told Felix he had lefthanders due up and O'Flaherty was ready. So Felix was a little tired, and the percentages said that a rested left-handed pitcher had a better chance of getting left handers out in the ninth than a tired right-handed pitcher.

So there is no conspiracy, McLaren played the strategically sound move, but it didn't work. Felix himself said if he was pitching on his normal spot in the rotation he would have pushed to go out in the ninth.

Posted by Frustrated

9:39 AM, Apr 07, 2008

The players may love Mac, he may be great in the clubhouse, and he may have hired a great coaching staff, but he does't have the skill to be a top caliber field manager. Hargrove was 12 games over .500 as manager last year in 88 games and Mac was 2 games over in 84 games. He just makes poor decisions that cost close games. I think it's pretty clear that we are going to need these two 9th inning losses if it's going to take 90-93 wins to take the division.

Posted by scrapiron

9:40 AM, Apr 07, 2008

O's fan: That may have been how Bedard performed in Baltimore, but that is not the case here. He had a twinge in his hip and notified the team, and they were the ones that jumped to the precaution of skipping his start. In fact, Bedard showed up yesterday and told the team he felt fine and wanted to go. The team felt that was unfair to Felix on such short notice and kept him out.

Now if the Mariners are 20 games out in July, then maybe Bedard will revert to his old form.

Posted by David Gee

9:45 AM, Apr 07, 2008

Dang, Frustrated, the Mariners got 10 extra games last year and still didn't make the playoffs? Now I'm "Frustrated" too!

Posted by sfmsfan

9:45 AM, Apr 07, 2008

I'd rather have a reliable fill in at closer than 5th starter. I think Batista should be the closer, until we get Putz back. We can let Baek start and hopefully increase his trade value so we can call up Dickey for the pen.

We all know, teams that outperform their Pythag are teams that win close games. We need to give ourselves the best possible chance in those situations and I believe Miguel is the answer, for now at least.

I think it's pre-mature to begin calling for hitters heads just yet, but I do understand that for Richie it's not a week of not performing (semi-meaningless home runs don't count for much in my book), it's a season and a week so I understand the grumbling there. The one thing I will say for Wilkerson and Sexson is they both have walked 5 times in 6 games, and on a team that refuses to look at pitches it's nice to see them working counts, hopefully they'll start taking advantage of pitcher's mistakes.

Posted by JI

9:47 AM, Apr 07, 2008

I thought the Devil Rays were the trendy pick...

Posted by fukell

9:47 AM, Apr 07, 2008

fire Mc. He looks dumb out there! Let Bavishit go also. Bring up the young talents to help out the shitty offense...very shitty offense- have not score more than 4 in a single game. JJ needs to get back into the pen or else they can kiss this season good bye by the end of april.

Posted by David Gee

9:51 AM, Apr 07, 2008

Hey guys, by the way, I need a little help. I was making fun of Washington State in their forum, and even though there was no foul language, racism, or personal attacks involved (except for being on the receiving end), one or more of them got me banned - and the ban extends to ALL forums so I can't even talk Mariners with you guys in the forum.

It's horrible that it's so easy for somebody to get somebody else banned, and apparently it's ridiculously easy.

I've tried contacting the "webmaster" but have failed. Any other ideas?

Posted by ptldguy

9:59 AM, Apr 07, 2008

I was pretty upset about Felix being removed yesterday, but I now know why, and the sun did rise this morning. Atleast I think it did! Maybe will see it later today.

The one thing I am relieved about, is not starting the season with 4 games snowed-out and 1 game rained-out. GO M's!

Posted by JI

10:00 AM, Apr 07, 2008

2 other things:

-Mike Morse sucks, he is not any sort of reasonable starter.

-Miguel Batista was a bad closer, if he had been good he would have stayed in that role instead returning to being a mediocre starter.

We have some good arms in the pen (Lowe, EOF, RRS), we just have to ride this thing out and remember that yesterday's meltdown was the exception more so than the rule. That said, the team has to use RRS more, he's far and away the best guy we have down there right now.

Posted by sfmsfan

10:09 AM, Apr 07, 2008

I'd much rather stand by Miguel, who has saved at an 80% clip for his career than 3 young guys. There's definitely something to having a closer's metality, so someone with nearly 40 big league saves is our best option for now. Maybe all those saves are Sasaki-esque where with a 3 run lead he gives up 2 and puts the tying run on second, but I'd take stranding the tying run at 2nd everyday over crushing one of the young arm's confidence early in the season (and their career) with a few blown saves.

Posted by Sean-O

10:09 AM, Apr 07, 2008

We've played SIX games! Still 157 to go..

Step back from the ledge M's fans.

Posted by KirklandDawg

10:12 AM, Apr 07, 2008

Hey Bob or anybody else,
Off the topic I know but what's the lastest in Booney's comeback?

Posted by sfmsfan

10:13 AM, Apr 07, 2008

Boonie's comeback is on hold until they remove the steroid ban.

Posted by CHEMDORK

10:15 AM, Apr 07, 2008

Just curious on how pushing Bedard back will affect Washburn, won't that be lefties back to back, which makes Washburn feel like he can't be effective?

Posted by Paul

10:28 AM, Apr 07, 2008

Production-wise, Sexson is outperforming most of the regulars. I'm not defending his 4-hole spot, and I know he sucked like hell last year, but his .810 OPS is (unfortunately) 5th on the team among the regulars. So in my book, there are 4 other guys to complain about more than Richie. His double yesterday WOULD have been the winning run had Felix stayed in the game or the bullpen done its job.

Believe me, I complain about him like crazy when he puts that golden sobrero on his head and when his approach sucks and he leaves guys on base. But he's not the worst offender on the team as of now, so maybe a little patience would be prudent with him.

Wilkerson? There's a guy to complajn about.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

10:28 AM, Apr 07, 2008

His range is just terrible. Instead of flat out diving for the ball he instead goes to that slide that he loves to do so much. I miss boonie

Obviously you only remember the good about Boone and forgot how he constantly dove for the ball only to fumble the ball on the ground unable to make the throw to first. Lopez's range isn't the main problem, it's good enough at second. Lopez needs to get back to working the count, and our franchise player-Ichiro needs to ignite the offense.

Posted by Chris from Bothell

10:37 AM, Apr 07, 2008

Resin -

"Lopez needs to get back to working the count, and our franchise player-Ichiro needs to ignite the offense."

*scribble scribble*

"Lopez needs to get back to working the count, and our #3, 4 and 6 hitters - ostensibly around for power and RBIs - need to ignite the offense."

Fixed that for you.

Posted by oregongal

10:38 AM, Apr 07, 2008

Lopez isn't the only one who's had trouble in the field. He just happened to to miss one at an inopportune time. I'm not giving up on Beltre or Yuni because they've been charged with errors, and I'm not giving up on Lopez. He's actually providing offense this season and that's been a greater plus than his defense is a minus.

Posted by Kirkland Dawg

10:46 AM, Apr 07, 2008

Booney is 3 for 12 for the Columbus Clippers

Posted by K-Man

10:48 AM, Apr 07, 2008

Boone is in AAA Columbus. I'm rooting for his comeback.

Safeco Field, Baltimore and the M's lineup are all really, really cold. Coincidence?

Felix is really, really good.

Mac has his work cut out for him as new manager. But he made all the correct moves on Sunday, they just didn't work out. Lopez was playing close (correctly) and thus couldn't make that play. Score more runs.

Posted by Paul

10:48 AM, Apr 07, 2008

"our franchise player-Ichiro needs to ignite the offense."

That's possibly the most sensible statement I've seen around here in a while. I know Sexson-bashing has become our own national pasttime among M's fans, but Ichiro hasn't done anything to help the team win yet either. Obviously he's counted on more based on past performance, but nobody is impervious to criticism...

Posted by slescotts

10:51 AM, Apr 07, 2008

Wilkerson is not working out. Where's Dickey? Sexson needs to get a lighter bat and work on a swing that gets rid his 'wristy', groundball inducing downward, forward hack. He glances these balls, pitchers know what to throw at him. As for Wilkerson? Go with youth.

Posted by Chris from Bothell

10:52 AM, Apr 07, 2008

Geoff, there's still a fundamental disconnect between how you're approaching the season and how the naysayers, pessimists, rooting-to-fail folks and yes, even some true fans, feel.

A normal person looks at the season in isolation, see the big reset button hit in Spring Training, knows that it's a long season and people take time to get going. From that (very reasonable) perspective, it's only been 6 games. You take that approach with most teams. Especially if they're "been through the wars", but more especially if they've WON some of said wars. Not all experience is good...

From some M's fans' perspective, the team is resuming right where it left off last September. Many of the things being lamented are not things that need time to warm up. It's strategy, it's players seeming to fall into old habits.

Does Mac really need a few games to get his feet under him, strategically speaking? Or should he just know how to manage a bullpen? Know the psychological impact of sending a dominant (if gassed) starter out for at least one more out / one more hit? Know that you don't put the slow-starting, struggling power guy in the #4 spot (since other teams know it so well that they'll actually walk the bases loaded to get to the "cleanup" hitter)?

The manager threw half the bullpen at one of the worst teams in the league, to win a game in April. The field manager and the GM assembled a lineup with no power. The manager left the hot bat and the live arm on the bench (Morse) and AAA (Dickey), respectively.

And so when games like yesterday's come along, it's not about "it's only game 6 of the 08 season", it's "it's game 80-something of the McLaren Era", and games like yesterday have a slow-motion train wreck feeling to them. I knew, the other day, that Richie was going to strike out with the bases full. I knew, yesterday, when Felix was pulled, that the Ms were going to lose.

The converse to that is that I'm encouraged and pleasantly surprised to see Yuni and J-Lo performing, to see even Richie drawing more walks, to see more power from Vidro, to see the starting pitching be pretty much as advertised on the first time through. But the repeats of the negatives just don't give me hope that Mac (and the team at large) will learn, and adapt, over the course of the season. I have every reason to believe they'll just stay with reliever's roles, stay with the lineup, stay with struggling players, until it's beyond saving.

This is not a blank slate approach to a team with a proven history. This is not "hey, it's the Red Sox, it's essentially the same team as last year, we know they'll get better". It's "hey, it's the Mariners, it's essentially the same team as last year, why aren't they learning".

THAT is why people are doing the-sky-is-falling. This is not reacting to 6 games of playing. It's reacting to months of managing and years of roster construction.

Posted by Tacoma Rain

10:59 AM, Apr 07, 2008

Chris from Bothell....well stated.

Posted by Bill

11:03 AM, Apr 07, 2008

Chris, I agree. This team is not showing anything different from what dropped them out of playoff contention last season.


I don't care how horrible the Sox and Tigers are doing. I care about the M's losing winnable games.

Posted by Bill

11:04 AM, Apr 07, 2008

Except for the improved starting pitching, that is.

Posted by K-Man

11:07 AM, Apr 07, 2008

"I have every reason to believe they'll just stay with reliever's roles, stay with the lineup, stay with struggling players, until it's beyond saving."

Well, think what you like, but I have every reason to believe quite the opposite. Mac has already demonstrated that he won't shy away from benching guys who are struggling (see Sexson, Lopez last year). He DOES need more than six games to arrive at a conclusion, however. And no, he's not going to dismiss the off-season like it never happened.

Posted by JI

11:08 AM, Apr 07, 2008

"I'd much rather stand by Miguel, who has saved at an 80% clip for his career than 3 young guys. ... There's definitely something to having a closer's metality, so someone with nearly 40 big league saves is our best option for now."

With this type of mindset JJ Putz could have never become major league closer.

I'll take talent over veteran-ness every time.

Posted by Mike

11:08 AM, Apr 07, 2008

Baseball is a marathon and we've taken but a step. If this week were to happen in July we'd all be a lot more okay with it. Personally I think it always takes a little time to get into the rhythm of a season, particularly because it coincides with the final four where everything is important and dramatic.

Nevertheless, despite the incredibly small sample size, my dark fear is that our offense will turn out closer to those PECOTA projections than I had hoped.

Posted by LA Mariner

11:17 AM, Apr 07, 2008

What we see of the M's this season is not much different from last. No hitting. Terrible baserunning. Mediocre fielding. Suspect pitching. Horrible management. Do we really think these will change throughout the year?

Posted by mike

11:20 AM, Apr 07, 2008

i miss george sherril, why is sexson batting cleanup? lets see morse, and get rid of eric
O'Flaherty he sucks period

Posted by Narvin

11:23 AM, Apr 07, 2008

"BTW, yesterday's game was one for the books. Jason Stark said it was the first time in eight years a team had a starter throw eight shutout innings only to have the bullpen with a lead of at least two runs or more lose it all in the ninth."

So Stark isn't counting the time last year when the Os, up 5-0, pulled Guthrie after 8.1 innings against the Red Sox, and lost?

The funny thing is that their manager last year was none other than Sammy Perlozzo, another manager who liked to go with his hunches instead of statistics and common sense.

Posted by Jared

11:36 AM, Apr 07, 2008

This is frustrating because i dont know how many times i heard people say that the Mariners gotta have a good April because of the Angels rotation injuries and that they have an easy first month schedule. We all know how close we are to being the top team in the division that one bad month can easily be the factor in the division winner. So knowing that its hard to watch them give away games. And know that we have a guy on the bench that can produce (Morse) and isnt getting used as often as he should.

Sexson, well im not writing him off yet becuase he is showing better plate discipline, getting more walks and deep into counts but he shouldnt be batting clean up and i read today that is going to change today. Beltre batting cleanup. I like that better.

And Mclaren well i wasnt a fan of a lot of his moves he did last year and its showing already this year. Lets go win a ballgame today get home after Tampa Bay and beat the Angels.

Posted by scottM

11:36 AM, Apr 07, 2008

The thing to remember about last season was that the M's had nine players with more than 50 RBI's. This means there is balance throughout the line-up. Yesterday was the first game where the M's failed to score 4 runs. We're seeing hints of improvement from Sexson and Ibanez. Vidro, Ichiro, and Johjima need to turn it up a notch. The batter who is the biggest worry is Wilkerson who is turning into an automatic out.

Bottom line, this team needs to score five runs a game to win. One more player besides Yuni, Lopez and Beltre need to contribute more consistently.

For April, especially, the SP has delivered.

Our worry is the bullpen (even when JJ returns). Which guy will step into Sherrill's void?

Posted by Geos

11:36 AM, Apr 07, 2008

Narvin.. i dont like McLaren.. but he didnt go with his hunch yesterday.. he went with the his best lefty reliever against a string of lefties.. and then his best right hander vs righties..

It wasnt a hunch move.. it was the move most statistical guys would have went with

Posted by Batter Up!!!

11:44 AM, Apr 07, 2008

Today's Lineup has Beltre, Wilkerson, Sexson batting 4-5-6.

Posted by sfmsfan

11:49 AM, Apr 07, 2008

JI,

In 2006, I'd give Mark Lowe the shot, but he hasn't shown that form since coming back from surgery. Hopefully he can get back to where he was, but right now he simply doesn't have the stuff. 94 without much movement and lacking location will result in a lot of gopher balls.

As far as O'Flaherty and RRS, niether of them have ever shown they have the stuff to be a closer. There's a reason so many lefty's in the game are situational and so few become closers. Other than Billy Wagner, I can't think of a lefty dominating in the closer role in reent times (Guardado was good).

I think when someone gets caught up in potential they lose sight of what's important, wins and losses. I think if someone is flat out not ready for something then you don't force the issue. I'll take 80% until JJ is back, and then I'll hope he's the 95% guy he was last year.

Just remember; Clint Nageotte and Travis Blackley had "untouchable" status due to their 'talent' when we were making our playoff runs and could have gotten a much needed lefty bat. I prefer trying tested before 'talent' and if it doesn't work then give those guys a shot.

Posted by Walla Walla Girl

11:50 AM, Apr 07, 2008

Chris from Bothell, 10:52 a.m.: My thoughts exactly. Thanks.

Go Mariners!

Posted by Ben

11:50 AM, Apr 07, 2008

Is it wierd to want Sexson to bat before Wilkerson?

Man - Wilkerson's 0.067 average is a lot better than what Jose Guillen was giving us...

Posted by Frankie

12:05 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Well Geoff, for some reason, I felt better after reading that last post. But the window is still open ready for me to jump out.

Posted by Bob

12:08 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Every team struggles at times; this just happens to be at the beginning of the season. Losing two top pitchers (counting Morrow) ain't a good thing. Ask the Angels. Ichiro usually has a slow Spring.

Although the team is playing very ugly, quite ugly, they're not getting blown out, they're in every game. That's a positive.

They are spinning their wheels right now. I think they'll be getting some traction soon.

Posted by oregongal

12:09 PM, Apr 07, 2008

That's why Ichiro gets more leeway.

Posted by oregongal

12:11 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Rauuuul, with lots of u's!

Posted by Frankie

12:12 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Wow...offense is off to a good start today. Hopefully it can continue!!

Posted by JI

12:16 PM, Apr 07, 2008

"There's a reason so many lefty's in the game are situational and so few become closers"

Because many managers are idiots and they are slaves to hundred year old superstitions that have no relevance in the game today?

"I can't think of a lefty dominating in the closer role in reent times (Guardado was good"

B.J. Ryan? Randy Myers? Brian Fuentes? Norm Charlton??? Dave Righetti? Mark Davis?John Franco?

I could go on forever. Handedness doesn't matter, the ability to get outs does.

"I prefer trying tested before 'talent' and if it doesn't work then give those guys a shot."

Why must you assume that the younger player will fail?

RRS has better stuff than Batista, and has had success as a reliever-- Why would you want to go with someone who has "proven" himself to be mediocre? Who would take his starts? It makes no sense.

"Just remember; Clint Nageotte and Travis Blackley had "untouchable" status due to their 'talent' when we were making our playoff runs and could have gotten a much needed lefty bat."

Maybe because the Mariners had them "pitch through pain" and it ruined their arms? It doesn't mean that young players are bad.

Posted by Nat

12:38 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Chris from Bothell- your 10:52 am comments were very well articulated, and I wholly agree. It's the pattern, specifically from last season spilling over into this season, that freaks us out. Are we overreacting? Well, yes and no.

scottm- you make a good point about needing at least five runs per game, and thus, more than three hitters are needed to get that done usually.

For all of you clamoring to hold Ichiro accountable for his low OBP the last six games- if you've paid attention at all for the last seven years you know that he doesn't hit well in April but because he does heat up eventually we know he WILL get going, and thus, we give him a pass. Fair or unfair, doesn't matter. Prodding him with a poker iron isn't going to get him going any faster.

IMO the fan angst is legitimate, but perhaps for the sake of our overall mental health we should learn how to take it one game at a time...at least for April!

Oh wow, thought the pre-game was on, was thinking the game started at 1:00. Go M's!

Posted by James from Walla Walla

12:39 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Geoff,

Good questions for Mac. Why not use a pinch runner for Wilkerson in the late innings. Or, pinch runner for Sexson when he hit a double late inning yesterday. What if he gets thrown out at home with the winning run? I love the speed that Jimerson brings to this team. Plus, then he stays in the game as an upgrade to the OF. To me this is a NO Brainer! These are just a few cases I thought a runner could have been used. We saw some of the mistakes Texas made when we put the game in motion and that was with our slower runners.

Finally, using Bloomquist late innings at 2d sounds smart. I contend, we are keeping speed on our bench and NOT using it.

Your thoughts??

Posted by genesisfan

1:37 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Aging and redemption: Having just checked out the career batting statistics for Wilkerson, Sexson (who just doubled in the 6th) and Vidro, I see they all had peak years earlier, much earlier, but are now entering their mid 30's. In recent years all 3 of their batting stats have declined (Vidro's avg rebounded last year, but not his overall numbers). What are the stats on 3 aging vets all rebounding in a single year? Doesn't a gm really need to catch younger hitters during their ascendency? The broadcasters keep saying things like "Wilkerson's a veteran...he'll come around." Not in recent years.

Posted by sjazzdude

1:38 PM, Apr 07, 2008

That fact that Jones and Sherrill are already making an impact with their new team shows that Bavasi made the wrong decision. . . again. These instant gratification trades has done nothing for us, but is showing that we are the farm team for the rest of the league. Bavasi has shown no direction for this team and so that's what they are displaying on the field. The M's sixth highest payroll in the league is the epitomy that the amount of pay doesn't reflect in the standings.

I'm tired of watching Beltre and Sexson just barely producing, and now Bedard with his sweltering hip and head. No wonder the Baltimore sportswriters are stating that the M's made the boneheaded trade of the year. They are thanking the Ms for taking the Bedard headache away from them.

I say bench Beltre in favor of Morse and bring up Jeff Clement, who can play backup cather, first base and even DH duties. That would make Sexson expendable and play Bloomquist. They are not up in Seattle just to take up space on the bench. Play them. They can't do any worse than what's on the field now.

Posted by sjazzdude

1:48 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Question, Why doesn't McLaren start Jimerson in right field?? Why is he still sticking with Wilkerson? Wilkerson hasn't shown anything at all at the plate and he's a below than average fielder.

Posted by *another O's fan!

8:28 AM, Apr 08, 2008

Hey, another few comments on Bedard... what O's fan wrote was absolutely correct! Bedard really only looks out for himself.. I recall last year he requested to NOT play a game (when we really needed him!).. because, now get this, he slept on his neck wrong! ..also true that he will not go deep into games-- all true.
I wasn't surprised he didn't face our O's Sunday, had a sneaking suspicion something was gonna come up!
In my opinion, no matter what Erik says, he doesn't like looking bad, watch how red his cheeks get when real pressure is put on him..
It is true that he's got some really good stuff, but he shouldn't be considered an ACE or a LEADER!
Good Luck to you M's fans and I am sorry but we SWEEPED you! Enjoyin it !

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