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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 3:42 PM

O'Flaherty, Oh Mariners!

Posted by Geoff Baker

orioles3 025.jpg

So, back up from the clubhouse after Seattle's 5-4 loss to the Baltimore Orioles caps a four-game sweep by the home side. Aubrey Huff takes Eric O'Flaherty deep in the eighth to snap a tie score. The Camden Yards fans, pictured above, were far happier than the guys inside the visiting clubhouse. On to John McLaren: yes, his explanation was that O'Flaherty was his situational lefty -- accent on WAS -- and that he and pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre decided it was best to get him "back on the horse'' right away. Even on a third consecutive day. George Sherrill did it today. Then again, Sherrill has produced far better results.

The end result is, O'Flaherty is not the late-inning, situational lefty anymore. Remember I talked about McLaren giving some guys enough rope to hang themselves? Well, O'Flaherty just did. Not in permanent fashion, but at least for now. McLaren wants to use him in some non-pressure situations going forward and the team will probably go with lefty Ryan Rowland-Smith in the eighth and ninth for now. Arthur Rhodes is on the minor-league DL and not eligible to come off until Thursday. He has thrown back-to-back games in extended spring training. Not sure you throw him in late right away, so Rowland-Smith looks like the guy.

Frankly, I thought he'd be the guy today and asked McLaren if he had any hesitation about using O'Flaherty three days in a row.

"Absoloutely none,'' he said. "Mel and I talked about it and Mel said he felt strong. We were very comfortable in using him.''

I wasn't comfortable seeing him out there. Not with Rowland-Smith available. But I don't manage the team.

McLaren said his decision was two-fold: he wants to get O'Flaherty going and Rowland-Smith did not yet have the mindset that he might be coming in to pitch late. I understand the first part of the equation, but not the second.


Rowland-Smith did pitch late in some games towards the end of last season and performed well in higher-leverage situations. I spoke to Rowland-Smith after the game and asked him how much advance time he'd need to get fully prepared to handle such a role.

"To be honest with you, it doesn't matter when it is,'' he said. "First inning, or eighth, ninth.''

Rowland-Smith says all any reliever wants to do is get into a game, regardless of when it is.

"It's not like the seventh inning's gone by and I'm sitting there not watching the game,'' he said.

So, there you go. Rowland-Smith says he really didn't need any advance warning. But he'll get it anyways.

Is this a firing offense on McLaren's part? No, it isn't. It's a move that did not work out and cost his team a game. The way Seattle's been hitting, the M's might have lost this game even had O'Flaherty retired the side in order. O'Flaherty failed and now he's been pulled. His leash, it turns out, was a short one.

Many of you were clamoring for the M's to "play the kids" in key roles and they tried it with O'Flaherty, a big part of the bullpen last year. It hasn't worked out in Week 1, with lefties now 7-for-11 off him with a walk and a hit batsman.

Others were clamoring for the M's to have less patience with some non-performers. The patience has run out on O'Flaherty, at least in the late innings. At least for now.

As for the hitters, Brad Wilkerson was pinch-hit for by Mike Morse. His leash does not extend forever. As I said, I do expect to see the team take action if this goes on too much longer. A 2-5 start was not the result the M's were looking for after one week. But again, it's still only one week. No one is getting fired. You wanted moves and some moves are coming. We'll see what Tampa Bay holds. It had better hold some hitting for the M's or this week could get ugly indeed. A nice time to have Erik Bedard going.

Be back a little later...

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Posted by The Raven

2:40 PM, Apr 07, 2008

You've gotta love the look of a contender boys and girls!

At least one Seattle team gets it. Wake me up when the NFL season starts.

CROW CROW
Eat it.

Posted by James F

2:40 PM, Apr 07, 2008

I'm off to hang myself.

Posted by JI

2:41 PM, Apr 07, 2008

"By the way, George Sherrill notched his third save of the series in a 1-2-3 ninth"

So lefties *can* be closers???

//typical fan rant

Seriously, we have to go to Tampa now. The Rays are a good team, so it's only going to get more difficult. Here's hoping the bullpen gets smoothed out.

Posted by O's = 2008 WS Champs

2:42 PM, Apr 07, 2008

C'mon M's fans don't get too down.

You all just got swept by the eventual 2008 World Series Champs.

Nothing to be ashamed about in that.

O's rule!!!

Posted by Seth Cotner

2:42 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Deep breaths....... callllmmmm downnn.....

Posted by Get Griffey

2:43 PM, Apr 07, 2008

When O'Flaherty came in I knew it was all over!

I’ am staying on this edge until JJ comes back!

Posted by Richie Sucks, Son

2:43 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Wow, I guess all those folks who trashed the Bedard trade are sure sorry they mouthed off! I mean, all Sherril's done is save three games all season long.

Oh, wait.

Posted by thatgirl

2:44 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Poetic justice - way to to go Georgie! I miss ya in the Mariner blue.

1/7 RISP - yikes, come on M's help out the bullpen. No margin for error for these young arms.

Posted by NB

2:45 PM, Apr 07, 2008

"I know John McLaren is going to say that O'Flaherty is his situational lefty and has to be used in the eighth until someone else takes the job."

If McClaren says that its grounds for firing. I mean, I'm sure he will say something like that because he doesn't get it. But it's still insanely narrow minded.

Posted by AzMsfan

2:46 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Cant figure out why Mclaren keeps sticking the guy out there. I know its early and yes Iam upset with the M's right now but how many times does O' flaherty have to blow games before Mclaren tries someone else. I blame Mclaren , I watch almost every game they play and Mclaren seems to make bad decisions game in and game out. RRS was very good last year give the kid a shot for crying out loud. Those of you on Richie Sexson need to give him a break he seems alot more patient this year and I believe he will have a good year for the M's.

Posted by The Raven

2:46 PM, Apr 07, 2008

You hear that? That's the sound of the Projected Win/Loss stat correcting itself. Get used to losing 1 run games.

CROW CROW
Eat it.

Posted by Chris from Bothell

2:46 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Have already said all I have to say in the last 2 threads.

And since one of those threads was about yesterday's game, which ended almost exactly the same way today's did, that in itself says something too.

Please pass on to John "Cryin' Man" McLaren that one definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result.

Posted by John

2:49 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Well, I'll get it started.
I said before the season started that the guy this team was going to miss the most was Sherill. O'Flaherty isn't just bad ... he's awful. What's worse, though, is how long it takes people in charge to figure things out around here. Watching McClaren in the dugout is amazing. He just stands there with this puzzled look on his face, like he's surprised at what's happening.
I know some have said this is no time to panic, but when you're trying to get through what is supposedly the easiest month of your schedule, and it's pretty clear you have some serious holes in the bullpen, to just sit there and stare while another game goes down the drain is stupid.
McClaren's like of imagination and lack of willingness to depart from a formula that clearly isn't working is excruciating.

Posted by Scott

2:49 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Geoff,
I have to call you out on your rant against the nega-fans. It was a year ago that a lof of us were jumping for joy over the team's early performance and you insisted that we calm down. That team was no good you said. As it happened, the fans were right and it turned out to be a contender. Now, the situation is reversed. We fans can see what's going on. The first 7 games have exposed weak points that won't easily be fixed.

Posted by Anthony

2:49 PM, Apr 07, 2008

This is absolutely ridiculous! How can the Mariners go into Baltimore and get swept? Now they have to go to Tampa and face a Rays team that is no slouch, I think they are better than the Yanks and will prove that this season by finishing ahead of them.

Send O'Flaherty down and bring up Dickey and Rhodes right now.

Posted by fermorules

2:50 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Yes, it's early.

Posted by Kid A

2:51 PM, Apr 07, 2008

McClaren looks like the least confident manager in baseball. It seems like every time he puts the game in motion or brings in a reliever he just crosses his fingers and hopes he gets lucky. This team needs a no-nonsense manager (like sweet Lou) to kick this team into shape.

Posted by tyler

2:51 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Another 1 run game.

Posted by Beady Eye Guy

2:52 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Thatgirl, AMEN!

Why the heck is Cairo on this team when Norton and his Switchie bat is at AAA? Is he NOT one of the better PH in the game over the last bunch of years (yes!).

Why did we waste resources on Miguel Cairo only to see him rot on the bench (not that he'd be any better on the field) ala Roberto Petigene or Jason Ellison?

Did Mac NOT push Bavasi to sign this guy? Why is he not being given some late inning ABs (not that it would do much, but why is he wasting space?!?!?!).

When Morse came out to PH the O's did the smart thing and pulled Walker for the RH. Now with Norton, they may have had to keep Walker out there.

Posted by Andy

2:54 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Isn't there like 150+ games left? I fear that some of you will not make it.....

A few things to take into perspective:
No, they will not lose every 1 run game.
Yes, they will probably get swept in another series during the season.
Heck, they might even sweep a team or two themselves (with the help of HOFer MIke Morse).

Let's all calm down a little and remember it is a long season and all of these kinks will get worked out, but in longstanding tradition of this blog I will end it the way I see so many of you do:

Fire Bavasi, Fire McLaren, Trade Sexson, Trade Vidro
Morse for the Hall of Fame!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Adam

2:56 PM, Apr 07, 2008

If McClaren says that its grounds for firing. I mean, I'm sure he will say something like that because he doesn't get it. But it's still insanely narrow minded.

Testify.

Here's the bad news:

There are no reassuring prospects for improvement.

Brandon Morrow has 4 walks in 3 2/3 IP in AA. There is no idea when he'll be ready.

Arthur Rhodes was out all of 2007. He's 38. The last two years he pitched, he was actually better against RHs.

RA Dickey might be an option, but I'm sure the team wants Morrow up here first.

George Sherrill is in Baltimore.

Kam Mickolio is in Baltimore.


And finally, John McLaren is our manager.

Let's hope Putz gets back soon.

Posted by Batter Up!!!

3:00 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Mac looks like he's going to cry in the post game on Fox!

He did say get him back on the horse! OMG

Get that little red truck warmed up now!

Posted by scottM

3:01 PM, Apr 07, 2008

O'Flaherty's choke jobs obviously need addressing. RRS played well in many clutch situations last year. But, hey, don't worry. At the rate E.O. is being used, he'll need arm surgery by June, while posting 40 blown saves and an E.R.A. of 20.00.


Where's the clutch hitting? Ibanez's trickler, Johjima's broken bat specials, Wilkerson, the invisible man.

Actually, using Morse with Ichiro on third and two outs made sense. The first two called strikes were well outside.

The thought of trading Johjima and Wilkerson for some pop, bringing up Clement and Balentien, is looking better all the time.

Where is the resolve on this team? The fire? Hey, Frankie, is there anyway we can get Jose Guillen back?

Posted by zona

3:03 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Random thoughts:

What amazes me is that Mac seems to have surrounded himself with a very good group of coaches. Meanwhile, his game decisions continue to boggle one's mind.

This is going to be a long season if the bullpen doesn't dramatically improve quickly.

What is Wilkinson even doing on a major league roster?

Posted by Chico V

3:03 PM, Apr 07, 2008

We still have a lineup that makes 3rd rate pitchers look like Cy Young.

We have a bullpen that can't keep teh ball in the park let alone record an out.

But at least we have great starters!

Posted by Nat

3:08 PM, Apr 07, 2008

O'Flaherty, Oh Mariners, oh hell-

Outside of a miraculous recovery by Putz before tomorrow there aren't any easy fixes here. Dickey can't come up before wed or thurs. and eof obviously isn't ready for the setup role.

Positives: Silva kept us in the game today and the offense is slowly beginning to step it up.

The problem is it's too little too late to make a difference for this series. About Wikerson being "almost ready to contribute" ??? That means nothing to me. It feels like we're just bumbling along from game to game...

Tampa Bay, here we come! :)

Posted by Nick in pdx

3:08 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Rays >>> Orioles. The next series should be tons o' fun. Although given the upside-down nature of the season so far, the M's will probably take the series!

Posted by NyMariner05

3:08 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Wow, just wow. I didnt complain about bullpen usage yesterday.

But today, u can not throw out EO for a 3rd straight day, when he hasnt even been sharp. This isnt even a situation where u had a string of 3-4 lefties. It was R-L-L-R... This was an ideal spot for Rowland Smith given that he can actually get both righties and lefties out.

I cant believe he went to OFlaherty once again.

Does he realize there our other pitchers outside of EO and Green?

This guy is just a bumbling bafoon

From his decision to use a 6 man pen, to his distrust of half the guys making up the pen, to his abuse of OFlaherty..

Just pathetic.

Posted by Jennis0310

3:08 PM, Apr 07, 2008

I was at Camden yesterday and saw O'Flaherty's performance that effectively wiped away Felix's flawless performance. I realize its early but why is this guy still going out there? Any advantage of him being a lefty is clearly not worth this.

Posted by ross

3:08 PM, Apr 07, 2008

*ON THE BRIGHT SIDE*

At least we got all 4 games in and don't have to make 4 different trips to Baltimore for the rest of the Season on off days to make up games, but then again, maybe we would have at least won 1 or 2 of those! :-)

Posted by fermorules

3:09 PM, Apr 07, 2008

I meant to say....

Yes, it's early....

And no, 2-5 isn't the end of the world....

However, this team is giving off some rather ominous signs, and that goes double for the manager....

There is way too much dead weight in the lineup. Wilkerson is the last player this team needed, especially since management is hell-bent on shoving Sexson down our throats.

Without Putz, this bullpen is completely out of synch. And McLaren has compounded the matter with mind-boggling maneuvers....

Bedard, as many of you predicted, is going to be touch-and-go all season....

This team is very limited defensively.....

McLaren knows nothing about utilizing his roster (granted he doesn't have much on his bench)....

This team, when you watch it play, has limp body english. Nobody seems to be taking these losses very hard, except some of the fans. And we get scolded when we do so....

We keep getting told that "it's early."

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

3:10 PM, Apr 07, 2008

This is going to be another hot afternoon on the blog after Eric O'Flaherty is used for a third straight day

That's because people keep apologizing for Mac.. I would even go as far as Eric having a case with the player's union for "pitching abuse." You cannot excuse this as "Mac is working with what he has" lame excuse. McLaren must be fired by May 1st please in order to save the season. I admit we have several problems with other polayers not producing, but I predicted this would happen on the opening day thread. McLaren will cost us to lose close games with his decision making.

Posted by byronebyronian

3:11 PM, Apr 07, 2008

ScottM,

Ibanez isn't the problem here offensively. It's Vidro, Wilkerson and Joh that are the problems. Weird, Richie hasn't been completely awful which is a bit surprising. We shall see over time on him.

Release Cairo. Call up Norton.

Release Baek. Call up Dickey.

Release Wilkerson. Call up Wlad OR call up Rhodes in his spot and let Morse play RF w/ Norton if need be.

Posted by markus

3:11 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Really? Oh man...does McLaren really not understand that he has 25 guys on the roster? It's honestly like he prints out the roster and the roles in March so that he doesn't have to remember anybody. Unbelievable!

I know its the first week of the season, but things aren't even as bad as they could be.

Posted by NB

3:11 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Honestly the team looks ok. We've lost one run games and that sucks but it should even out over time. Also, the upshoot is that when we lose one run games it's easier to second guess management. In this case that is a good thing as this management desperately needs to be second guessed. If there was anyway we could pull a 2003 Florida Marlins, who sucked for two months, fired their manager, caught fire and one the World Series I would say yes please.

Posted by NB

3:14 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Mr. The Raven,

What crow should I eat? "Oh I think my team is flawed but I'll still pull for them to win oh crap they had a rough first week I guess I need to eat crow!"

That just seems silly. Also, if I ate crow wouldn't that be like eating your cousin? Seeing as how your The Raven and all. Why do you want me to eat your family? That seems really callous on your part man. Or should I say bird?

Posted by wwu130681

3:14 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Time for O'Flaherty to go to Tacoma! Also, does any manager these days go with their gut. I know O'Flaherty is the "Situational" lefty. Well he's also given away two games, so I think that title needs to be given to someone else. I know the %'s say bring in the lefty yesterday, but come on! Felix was on yesterday, even the O's said that. Then to go with the same guy today, when it's clear he is not on his game is ridiculous!! Lastly, what's up with FSN going to the shot of JJ in the dugout every time a reliever is doing bad. It's not like JJ would be in the 8th inning if he was healthy anyways!!!!!

Posted by Rasmus

3:16 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Lets make sure to spread the blame around here..

Wilkerson is just a terrible player.. he draws some walks, but he's Carl Everett part II.. He's gonna hit like .220, have a fair OBP, and about 10 homers before we decide to cut him.. Having him and Richie back to back is just a stupid idea.

AS for Sexson, he's at least showing some XBH potential, and he's walking a fair share.. not a horrible start for him..

The guy really killing us right now is Johjima.. he has what, 1 hit in 6 games?

Posted by Beady Eye Guy

3:17 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Nat,

Yes, the offense is picking it up a bit but the dead weight is going to bog it down in the muck if Mac doesn't wake up and make substitutions and try different things.

As for the pitching, yes - outside of Wash the starters have performed as expected (well in Wash's case, he's living up to his mediocre numbers). It's the pen that's a prob and for whatever reason Mac manages the BP like he manages his bench. It's one or two guys and the rest are forgotten.

I don't blame this fiasco completely on Bavasi BUT if he doesn't step in and make some moves to force Mac's hand, I hope he's fired asap. We saw it with Grover where Bill would take a toy away (Mateo, Everett) and force him to use what he has. Let's hope he doesn't back down and let Mac have his 12 man pitching staff. It's a waste when there are more holes in the lineup than there are in the pen (if he'd USE it properly).

Posted by zona

3:18 PM, Apr 07, 2008

NB...I didn't know the Florida Marlins "one" the world series in '03. Thanks for telling us.

Posted by Tom

3:20 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Jumping off a cliff now. . .

Posted by NB

3:21 PM, Apr 07, 2008

I misspelled a word?!?!?!?!? I've been zinged!!!!!

Posted by Mint Husky

3:21 PM, Apr 07, 2008

My head just exploded. If you all look out your windows to the southeast you'll see a mushroom cloud over the area that used to be Boise.

Posted by Walla Walla Girl

3:23 PM, Apr 07, 2008

In defense of our hometown boy, EOF has been overused by Mac. I blame the manager.

As others have pointed out, at least we are out of Baltimore. Starting pitching has been great.

Sorry about the called "strikes" on Morse.

Could we send Wilkerson to AAA?

Sadly, I knew it was over when Silva was done.

Posted by helpFelix

3:23 PM, Apr 07, 2008

The good news for this Mariner's fan?

Huff and Sherrill are BOTH on my fantasy team, and they scored me a ton of points to start the week off!

Geoff - Just a question here...How many more sweeps do we have to go through before you start getting worried and panicking? When you get swept in a 4-game series with the worse team in MLB...we got some SERIOUS PROBLEMS!

I hate to say it but NO BONDS PR could be as bad as the PR we're getting right now! Bonds can bring that "attitude" and spark to our offense that is desperately needed.

Come on Lincoln swallow your pride and bring either Bonds and/or Griffey in NOW!!!

Posted by thatgirl

3:26 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Ryan Rowland-Smith vs. EO.

RRS! RRS! RRS! RRS! I'm going to pound my fists on the table and cry 'we want RRS!' until....well, until dinner time anyway.

Posted by oregongal

3:26 PM, Apr 07, 2008

NB, you crack me up, man, no, uh, bird, no, uh, person.

Posted by Beady Eye Guy

3:27 PM, Apr 07, 2008

I refuse to accept that Bonds is going to give us much for all the nonsense and baggage he brings.

Want change? Call up Wlad. I would be willing to bet right now Wlad would be a HUGE upgrade over both Vidro AND Wilkerson.

Posted by Mike

3:34 PM, Apr 07, 2008

If we continue putting up 3.9 runs a game we need someone.

As much as I hate adding yet another aging hitter who can't run Bonds would add about .200 points of OPS to the DH position. Then I let Raul and Richie platoon at first and have an actual bat on the bench in Vidro, a switch hitting bat at that.

Yeah, I know it won't happen.

Posted by Adam

3:34 PM, Apr 07, 2008

There is no need to make drastic roster moves based on a couple of one-run losses. Honestly.


I would like to see Dickey called up and Cairo cut. I think Morse needs more PT in RF.

And I've been calling for Bonds for weeks.

Posted by Chris G.

3:38 PM, Apr 07, 2008

"with a healthy J.J. Putz last Tuesday and again yesterday, the M's are probably a 4-2, first-place club in spite of their struggles. If that were the case, no one would be panicking like they are. So, who do you blame for that? Putz? That's why it's important to keep a level head about this."

Geoff, there is no questioning that losing Putz is a huge blow to the organization and had the team been using a bullpen that included Putz the team's record would be quite different. However, this is exactly the reason why M's management has failed us. A good team should have enough depth to overcome or at the very least minimize the effects of losing a closer like Putz. Most teams don't even have a closer as good as Putz in the first place, yet somehow must manage to close out games. There's no such thing as "if they only had Putz". They don't, so there's nobody to blame but the front office for not having George Sherrill or Soriano as a backup. Let me ask you something, if a front office that has thrown caution to the wind and sacrificed a significant chunk of the future of an organization for the sake of making a World Series run, and with a payroll exceeding 100 million dollars, cannot sufficiently construct a bullpen, what makes you think they are capable of making proper personnel evaluations?

Posted by palermo22

3:41 PM, Apr 07, 2008

First off, I am an Orioles fan but I have learned you never make fun of the other team - especially when they have strong pitching and we don't. We may surprise a few pundits and win 70 to 75 games this year but everyone in Baltimore knows that we're all looking to 2010 until all of our former #1 and #2 draft choices make it. Until then, it will be rough - however, there will be a few shining moments and this past series was one of them. If I were a Mariners fan I would be totally optimistic with the pitching you have.

Posted by James

3:43 PM, Apr 07, 2008

McLaren's weakest attribute is the management of the pitching staff. Why he would turn to O'Flarety given his horrendous start AGAIN when he had other options is just moronic.

Nice creativity in changing the batting order but leaving the same players in the lineup. Wow! McLaren is on his way to being our Stump Merril.

Posted by flarkenberry

3:45 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Nice trade. Thanks. :)

Posted by theron

3:47 PM, Apr 07, 2008

We were a bad team the last few years with a great bullpen.

Minus George Sherrill, Rafael Soriano and JJ Putz and it's now a glaring weakness.

I hope our set up kids figure it out, and JJ's return settles things down so we can start to only worry about the offense.


Posted by eastcoast

3:51 PM, Apr 07, 2008

so,

1. we have an anemic offense, and you can guarantee that Sexson, Wilkerson, Joh, and Vidro will be right back in the lineup again tomorrow. And this is against two teams predicted to end up in the cellars of their respective divisions.

2. our bullpen is horrendous, having trouble throwing even one scoreless inning

but,

1. it is very early

2. at least we're not as underachieving as the Detroit Tigers.

Thanks Detroit for taking some of the attention off of us!

Posted by i heart Morse

3:53 PM, Apr 07, 2008

more kudos to Mac for yanking EOF from the role...contrasts with the passive, weak image many of us probably have of him

Posted by OCJeff

3:57 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Yikes. Does anyone else just absolutely cringe when it gets bullpen time? Kind of reminds me of 1995 just without the offense.

Maybe what we need is a psychologist to come into the dugout before the next game and "talk" to the players. "Losing is a disease, as contagious as contagious as the bubonic plague. Image you are on a boat out at sea, rocking ... gently rocking."

By the way, I don't care if we lose our next 50 games and are stil only scoring 3.9 runs per, I would NOT sign Barry Bonds. That is one way to completely destroy this team. That would be 100,000x worse than our other famous free agent slugger signings (Al Martin, Kevin Mitchell, Rich Aurillia, Carl Everett, Scott Spiezio, etc.) It's only seven games into the season, let's take a deep breath and see how things go the rest of the month.

You never know, maybe the Orioles ARE the team to beat in the East!

Posted by Nat

4:00 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Honestly, as hard as it is to post here sometimes, and I do mean that literally, this blog should be able to deny trolls a chance to log on and gloat!

I wish I was more optimistic about MacLaren's ability to grow and learn as a manager, but I'm not. I suspect after 38 years in baseball he feels he can trust his gut and is not really open to possibilities. The exact same thing can be said for Bavasi. The one thing I hope for tomorrow when we play Tampa Bay, a team Mac is very familiar with, is that he makes the correlation between good young players who bring youthful energy and a desire to prove themselves. Ditto for Bavasi.

The idea might not gell this week...or longer *sigh*... but if the Mariners come home with a losing record the losses would all be worth it if Wilkerson and Cairo got parked in AAA in exchange for Balentien and Clement, and Corcoran back to wherever, in exhange for bringing up Dickey. THEN we might actually have a chance to compete and win some games in the weeks and months ahead! It's not that I think Clement and Balentien won't make mistakes; that comes with the territory. Wilkerson and Cairo aren't contributing at all offensively as it is, though.

Posted by NB

4:00 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Yeah I mean if we sign Bonds it would destroy the orginization's foundation of character that has led us to so many World Series.....

Posted by Adam

4:02 PM, Apr 07, 2008

You don't "play the kids" THREE DAYS IN A ROW if they are relievers.


This is as much McLaren's fault as it is O'Flaherty's.


Sick of listening to anything that comes out of Mac's mouth...

Posted by Beady Eye Guy

4:02 PM, Apr 07, 2008

We don't need Bonds' aging bat when there are good options at AAA. Bonds has legal issues, folks and there is no reason that it could become a problem SHOULD he get convicted during the summer.

Wlad would give us a boost. The key is when to call him up.

Posted by Faceplant

4:08 PM, Apr 07, 2008

"Many of you were clamoring for the M's to "play the kids" in key roles and they tried it with O'Flaherty, a big part of the bullpen last year. It hasn't worked out in Week 1, with lefties now 7-for-11 off him with a walk and a hit batsman."


Now you are just being ridiculous Geoff. You really think O'Flaherty failed because he doesn' t have experience? If you want to flip this around, many (including you at times) clamored for experienced players to be given the key roles. They tried that with Rick White. We all know how that turned out.

Maybe it's the way the players are being (mis)managed. This organization is obsessed with roles. You put the player in the best possible position to succeed. Period. If that means O'Flaherty doesn't "get back on the horse" right away, then that's what it means. John McLaren has to be one of the least creative managers I've ever seen.

Posted by Beady Eye Guy

4:10 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Geoff,

With all due respect, using the "You asked for kids and O'Flaherty is one" plays right into the mindset this manager seems to believe works.

Sorry, but EOF isn't the problem, it's the manager who insists on carrying an IF who hasn't seen one inning/AB of action so far. The same IF is basically a waste when a proven vet hitter like Norton is at AAA instead of being our go to guy in PH situations.

The fact that Mac thinks RRS needs some bizarre advance warning is an insult to the pitcher as well as the fanbase's intelligence. C'mon what is that? The guy is a MLB pitcher regardless if he's got a year or 10 under his belt. If the team didn't think he could handle pitching late in the game, why is he up here? Same goes for Baek?

It's the MANAGER who insists on this limited approach to using his reserves and BP that should be to blame here.

I am not writing the team off by any stretch, but like others have said it's an ominous sign that Wilkerson isn't hitting and EOF/Green are being overused while others (Lowe/Baek/RRS) are not used pretty much at all.

The youth argument is moot since we've seen MANY youthful teams perform as expected (cough...Indians, D-Backs...cough - EVEN THE ANGELS!) when given the chance. Nobody is saying dump the vets UNLESS they prove they can't get it done.

A good manager will make changes and tweaks as the games go along. Letting pieces rot on the bench is NOT good management.

Posted by Rasmus

4:11 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Wow, what an absolute foolish postgame interview.

This guy does realize that RRS was used in the 7th/8th innings at time last season? Geez, he was the one using him! The guy also served as closer in the minor leagues.

The argument that he needs to be put in that mindset is so absurd i cant even comment on it.

I also dont buy this garbage about EO now needing to be removed from his role and given a bunch of soft landing spots.

How bout this idea.. Use both your lefty relievers in the 7th and 8th inning, insted of this ridiculous notion that one has to be the late inning guy and the other reserved for mop up duty

Posted by Faceplant

4:13 PM, Apr 07, 2008

"We don't need Bonds' aging bat when there are good options at AAA. Bonds has legal issues, folks and there is no reason that it could become a problem SHOULD he get convicted during the summer.

Wlad would give us a boost. The key is when to call him up."


Sorry, but Wlad won't give you anything close to what Bonds will.

.480 OBP and a .565 SLG last year. Left handed. Power to all fields? YES PLEASE!

Posted by Beady Eye Guy

4:14 PM, Apr 07, 2008

I might also add that if Cairo is so valuable to Mac, why hasn't he used him? After all, wasn't it Mac (per Bavasi) who begged for Cairo to be signed?

I will say it til I turn blue, why is Cairo here when Norton is a better all around hitter and a proven PH (check the stats). It's like Faceplant just articulated...it's mismanagement not some bizarre kid vs. veteran argument. You could have a vet in the pen and mismanage their usage (anybody remember how Torre would trot out Villone and Myers more than was reasonable and they ALWAYS faltered?). It takes a good manager to balance his pieces and not get trapped into this nonsense about roles. In the BP, the only two spots that matter are set up and closer. Even then, the set up role can be managed by committee IF the manager used his pieces properly.

Posted by Griffey24

4:15 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Wow, I really worry about some of those posting here. Life must be just one catastrophe after another. And I thought I was a worrier...

Posted by Beady Eye Guy

4:18 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Faceplant,

I disagree. Correct me (please) if I am wrong here but isn't SF's ballpark a hitters haven? I do NOT believe a rusty Barry Bonds can just come in here and magically put up OPS. I don't know if you are aware but the reason nobody will pick him up is his trial could cause us problems SHOULD we take that leap of faith.

I respectfully disagree on Bonds. I will give you something on Wlad but I do believe Wlad will hit better than some think he will and would certainly be an upgrade over a .220 hitting Wilkerson and Vidro too.

Posted by Beady Eye Guy

4:19 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Griffey,

No worries here. Just looking at some possible ominous signs of things to come IF we don't start addressing them soon.

Posted by jpit

4:19 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Actually getting Wilkinson was a brilliant move because he makes Sexson look good in comparison.

Posted by Griffey24

4:20 PM, Apr 07, 2008

-I hate that we lost four straight to Baltimore. But I won't jump off the bandwagon (or a cliff).
-Glad to see Richie is not being beaten as mercilessly as he was in the preseason.
-Sad to see McLaren taking the beating. I didn't like Felix getting pulled after 97 pitches either, but if Felix said he was tired, you gotta listen to the player.
-Liked the idea of shipping Kenji to Cincy in a deal for Griffey...I would LOVE to see Clement and Griffey in the lineup. Somehow I doubt the Reds will want to deal Griffey at this point, though (and for what it's worth, I'll go on record as saying I think the Reds have a legit shot at the NL Central title).
-I'll also go on record as saying I believe the M's will finish April over .500. Not necessarily as good as I hoped, but I also don't expect the ranters here to actually put forth predictions now anyways (more often than not, I see "I KNEW we'd lose when..." or "I KNEW we wouldn't be any good this year...". Ironic how it's easier to say what you knew in hindsight).

Posted by NB

4:21 PM, Apr 07, 2008

I was clamoring for good players regardless of age. The Mariners are looking for vets. I don't care about age, roles, experience, gemstone or turn ons. Why you seem to toe the corporate line on this one Goeff is beyond me. You're no corporate shill I know that. And you are a smart discerning, hard working journalist. I just don't get it.

Posted by chris uk

4:23 PM, Apr 07, 2008

7 games / one week - too short a time frame to judge anything accurately.
We as fans must be careful not to bear down to heavy or otherwise we make things worse for ourselves as fans - watching the game we love and our team will become very difficult.
That said, I too would prefer Dickey in the pen, Balentein and Clement as starters (RF/DH). Maybe that is what will happen soon.
Lets hope the next 7 days brings a little relief for the team and us as fans and in this regard a couple of wins against the Angels will soon bring back our optimism.

Posted by dblog

4:24 PM, Apr 07, 2008

O'Fla's got go down to T-Town and figure it out. He's ruined our starters solid efforts two days in a row! He's cost us or was in on 4 losses already! Enuff Mac, your on the Bud hot seat again with Boovasi and Stinkin' lincoln.

Posted by Chopper58

4:26 PM, Apr 07, 2008

I have seen absolutely nothing from McLaren last season or the beginning of this season to make me think that he knows how to manage a ball club. There are so many strange decisions that just seem unfathomable.

His inability to use his bench players. Not using Ichiro to steal. Making statements about using pinch runners earlier in the game and not putting them in when the opportunity presents itself.

What does RRS have to do to get a go. Maybe an Australian wronged McLaren in a previous life.

I fear while McLaren is still managing the M's, then we are going to continue to struggle and put up numbers like this consistently.

Geoff, although it is not all out panic stations, I think some of the roster needs to be seriously looked at and the use of the bench. What will 2-3 more consecutive losses do to the panic stations.

Things are going to have to change before the M's start winning. (and I'm just not talking about learning to hit the ball)

Posted by UW alum 06

4:26 PM, Apr 07, 2008

how long until we give Barry Bonds a call about a DH spot/ pinch hitting duty? This offense is pathetic.

Posted by Charles

4:40 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Brad Wilkerson entered this season with a .263 career average in April, the best of any month of the season. Did the FO even look at Wilkerson's stats before we signed him?

Posted by theron

4:41 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Stop with the Bonds comments.
It's a waste of time and energy.
No way - no how.
It's just plain not going to happen.

Wilkerson is a left handed bat with pop. He needs more than 7 games to get it cookin.

That being said I'd rather see Wlad and Morse out there right now. They are more exciting options than Wilk.

Posted by oregongal

4:44 PM, Apr 07, 2008

I agreed with McL not letting Bedar.......d back in after Felix thinking he was starting. That's a starting pitcher routine.

Thinking a young, strong, eager relief pitcher (RRS) needs to know before the game when he's going to pitch makes no sense to me. That's the advantage, not the disadvantage of young pitchers. They're not tied into the must-know-my-role thing. They just want to pitch and to know their manager has some confidence in them.

Posted by Faceplant

4:48 PM, Apr 07, 2008

"I disagree. Correct me (please) if I am wrong here but isn't SF's ballpark a hitters haven? I do NOT believe a rusty Barry Bonds can just come in here and magically put up OPS. I don't know if you are aware but the reason nobody will pick him up is his trial could cause us problems SHOULD we take that leap of faith."

Safeco does not affect LH power hitters anywhere NEAR as much as it does RH hitters. This park is death to RH. But with the short porch in RF it's taylor made for Bonds swing. That short porch is what has allowed Ibanez to put up the numbers he has in this park.

As for his trial... who cares? Nobody wants him, he will almost certainly take a one year deal, if he's convicted and has to go to jail you say "thanks for the production" and cut your losses. It's not like we'd be on the hook for years of salary.

Posted by Bucs59

4:54 PM, Apr 07, 2008

OCJeff you forgot Jeff Cirillo. He was really good for us...NOT!

Posted by NyMariner05

4:58 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Thinking about it, Mac is right.. RRS probably doesnt have the mindset that he's coming in to pitch late..

The way he has been used so far, im guessing his mindset was that he wasnt gonna pitch at all..

Posted by Choska

4:59 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Antonetti in '08!

Time to clean house with the Mariners. Let's hope we get some new guys (or a girl) calling the shots from the big chair.

This team is a mess.

Not that long ago the bullpen had Putz, Soriano and Sherill. We traded away Soriano for a guy who is now out of the league. We traded Sherill (and a helluva a lot of other guys) for Bedard who can't start because his "hip" hurts.

Not that long ago our strength was our infield depth in the minors. Of course, we traded away Cabrera for a guy who is no longer in the league. (Seeing a pattern?) This means we get to see the "range" of Jose Lopez at 2nd. I suspect that 25% of the people reading this blog have a better first step than him.

Like I said the other day, we are San Francisco North: a bunch of no-hit, no-field veterans complimented by some overrated youngsters.

Let's change the guy at the top, and let someone competent figure out how to rebuild this team. If we start tomorrow we *might* be competitive by 2012, and that's assuming we trade Ichiro and Bedard by this year's deadline for some decent prospects. We need to do it this year while they are still worth something.

Posted by Faceplant

5:00 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Do people care more about character than they do winning? Funny how everyone is so concerned that Bonds would be a clubhouse cancer, when they were cheering Jose Guillen, who is widely known as a collossal ass.


I want to win. If that means stomaching Bonds ego, then that is fine with me. Morse, and Wlad aren't going to come anywhere near Bonds level of production. If you really want to fix the Mariners run scoring problem how can you not consider the most obvious way to fix it.

Posted by scrapiron

5:03 PM, Apr 07, 2008

O'Flaherty gave up one extra base hit to a left hander all last year, and now he's given up two in two days? Yikes.

All McLaren is doing is expecting players to play up to their ability. O'Flaherty has always stuggled against right handers, but has historically done well against left handers. His latest escapades against lefties is unexpected. Mac put EO out their today thinking he could get lefties out and build his confidence going into Tampa. Failing against lefties again just cost his job as situational lefty. Let RRS have the role for now, and hope Rhodes has something left in his tank. Running out of left handed options.

Posted by SpokaneFan

5:04 PM, Apr 07, 2008

We need a big, feared hitter. I'm not too big on Bonds, the guy is too much of a locker room cancer. Now Griffey...that would be great. The idea of shipping Kenji to Cinci to acquire Junior would be perfect. I doubt the Reds would go for it but the idea of having Junior DH (best bet to keep him healthy) and bring up Clement...that would add some serious offensive threat that we're lacking.

Posted by Babu

5:10 PM, Apr 07, 2008

I was one of the frozen few at Camden Yards today. There were a few positive signs for the Mariners: a number three pitcher who can pitch more than five innings; Richie looking, to me, more comfortable and careful at the plate this year than last; and heads-up baserunning by Adrian Beltre. That said, what worried me was that the Ms looked listless. There was no excitement or eagerness in their play even as the score see-sawed back and forth. Their demeanor, I thought, was a huge contrast with the Os. The Os' sweep of the series is an overachievement for them and of course, very exciting -- even with so few fans there to cheer them along. But they looked a lot more motivated at the plate and in the field. I realize this is one of those "intangibles," but I'll put it out there.

And some of the pain of the final inning was relieved by seeing George Sherrill out there looking for all the world like a dominating closer.

I've been going to Orioles games for years, by the way, and don't mind the "O" shouted into the national anthem. Aside from the question of why the national anthem is played at all before a sporting event, I don't think it dishonors the anthem to have a local tradition attached to it. No different to me than shouting "Play Ball" as the last two words of the anthem at many parks. I like the fact that Baltimore has a baseball tradition that unites fans over the generations. And it gets people to actually sing the anthem, rather than talking on cellphones or keeping their hats on and shouting at the beer man, which is rather more disrespectful to the anthem, in my humble opinion.

What I don't get is why Baltimore plays "Thank God I'm a Country Boy" during the seventh-inning stretch. As fans of everything from Edgar Allen Poe to "The Wire" know, Baltimore comes with its share of urban grittiness, so the country song seems way off base. Maybe Graham Parsons' "The Streets of Baltimore" would be better. In fact, the Mariners could be singing in on their flight today:

"When I come home, with every muscle sore,
She dragged me through the streets of Baltimore."

If the Ms aren't feeling dragged through the streets of Baltimore, they just aren't playing with pride.

Posted by scrapiron

5:10 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Need a run producer?
21 Home Runs in 2007
92 RBIs
Free Agent
Probably will sign to DH for $1 mil or less
Doesn't have the "baggage" of Bonds

Sammy Sosa

Posted by scrapiron

5:13 PM, Apr 07, 2008

SpokaneFan: I think the idea of Kenji for Griffey is a good idea too, but won't happen unless the Reds are out of a pennant race. That's probably more a trade deadline deal, if at all.

Posted by Gerald

5:15 PM, Apr 07, 2008

I think it's time to clear a few misconceptions.

Bonds's perjury case is a non-issue this year. He's not going to miss time for court dates and he's definitely not going to jail anytime soon.

I love Griffey, but he's no less of a "clubhouse cancer" than Bonds. Griffey may have mellowed over the years, I don' t know, but the media in this town hated Griffey about as much as they hate Bedard right now.

Bond's is a better option than anyone else. He's a better hitter than anyone that has been discussed (SF's park is worse for lefties than Safeco) and he wouldn't cost prospects like Griffey or any other established ML power hitter would. The Reds aren't going to trade Griffey for Johjima because they'd only trade him if they were having a fire sale and they're going to want prospects, not a free agent catcher.

Posted by Sensitive Eyes

5:17 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Hey-
Can we watch the potty typing?

I dont want to be a "school marm", but the f-bombs and s-bombs are not needed.

Would you please use the normal blog abbreviations?

S**t, etc.

My kid reads this paper, I know he has probably seen and heard the words, but still...
thanks


Posted by Buschleaguer

5:48 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Not to defend Mac whatsoever but, I remember Lou trotting out Ayala every night and me pulling my hair out when it happened! Right now, we reeeeeaaaaallly miss JJ and Mac is just compounding the problem with his really bad decisions (not sending Felix out for the Ninth, using EOF 3 straight days etc...). It's gonna get better......

At least I hope.....

Posted by JJ

5:53 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Geoff, your little "it's still early" rants are already getting old. You act as though these games in April are somehow less important than the games in the final weeks of the season. 1 game equals 1 game, no matter what time of the year it's played.....seems like a beat writer should understand that. You act as though this season is so fresh with new problems to deal with....when in fact it's the EXACT SAME set of problems that we've seen for the past 5 seasons, and fans are getting sick and tired of it. How long are you going to use your "it's still early" excuse?? Memo to Bavasi: Bonds is sitting at home waiting for your call

Posted by northamericanscum

5:54 PM, Apr 07, 2008

I still can't believe that they lost four games in a row. Whats up with Morrow? When can he come back. Hopefully sooner rather than later.

I keep telling myself not to get too worked up about anything in April. But wasn't this was supposed to be the easy part of the schedule?

Jeez.

Posted by It's Getting Late Early

6:04 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Perhaps EOF has dirt on McL.

Posted by luv-da-moose

6:09 PM, Apr 07, 2008

hey...ya gotta love that George Sherrill! ..Go Austin Peay Gov's!

Posted by oregongal

6:10 PM, Apr 07, 2008

I'm not nearly ready to give up on EOF. A few bad outings, but he'll be an asset through the season.

Posted by Faceplant

6:11 PM, Apr 07, 2008

"Need a run producer?
21 Home Runs in 2007
92 RBIs
Free Agent
Probably will sign to DH for $1 mil or less
Doesn't have the "baggage" of Bonds

Sammy Sosa"

That's just what we need. A right handed power hitter to play in a park that is death to right handed power hitters. Yeah, he put up 21 HR, but that was while playing in Arlingtons little league stadium. And his patience has almost disapeared as he only managed a .311 OBP.

No thank you.

And I'm not sure I would trade Kenji for Griffey. I think Kenji is underrated even by Seattle fans. Right handed pull hitting catchers who can put up the line he does in a park that's death to right handed pull hitters? Over his short career he's posting at .805 OPS on the road, and was good for third in the league last year at catching would be base stealers.

Kenji is a very valuable commodity. If he were playing on almost any other team he would likely be an all star.

I know people hate Bonds. But he represents EASILY the most significant improvement this team could make.

Posted by Chopper58

6:15 PM, Apr 07, 2008

An interesting stat i found, currently the M's have 4 players in the top 25 of players that have flied out most often.

Lopez is on top,
Also on the list are Johjima, Vidro and Ichiro.

Not sure if this really means anything though. We are hitting the ball up?

Posted by Get Griffey

6:18 PM, Apr 07, 2008

THINK PEOPLE, sighing Bonds would be like saying “we are so desperate we will do anything even if it alienates fans and players, or undermines the integrity of the game”.
Even if they DON’T REALY care about the “integrity of the game” do you think any team is stupid enough to actually SAY that they don’t, (at least that loudly).

Also In the words of George Knox- “HEY, LET’S KEEP THE PROFANETY DOWN!!”

Posted by wayupwaydown

6:23 PM, Apr 07, 2008

I thought Mel S. was supposed to be a great pitching coach.

When does he start his job? Would like to see him show up.

Posted by huskiefan@aol.com

6:24 PM, Apr 07, 2008

You read it here first!!!! Its early, but the Mariners will NEVER recover from this sweep, will NEVER finish even .500 and will NEVER get into the playoffs. Mac is NOT the manager we want.......this could be a VERY long year......

Posted by tallahassee-mariner's fan

6:34 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Bonds! Sign Bonds!!! http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=caple/080407&sportCat=mlb

enough already, sign him!!! Sexson sucks. Wilkerson really sucks. Vidro is old. Ichiro is getting old. SIGN BONDS!!!!!

Posted by Lenny Randle's Breath

7:01 PM, Apr 07, 2008

The Mariners are 2-5. They won the first series at home. They were swept in Baltimore.

I don't understand all the freakouts. It's weird.

I'm still a fan. Still looking forward to a great season.
Anybody? Anybody?

GO MARINERS!!!!

Posted by good ol' george

7:08 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Eric O'Flaherty came awful close to making everyone forget Bobby Ayala. Yes, he's that bad.

Posted by Buschleaguer

7:08 PM, Apr 07, 2008

OK, its time we M's fan unite, band together and demand our team be made better.

Here it is:

It's time to start a Grassroots campaign, a groundswell that Bill Bavasi cannot ignore. Everyone, jump onboard.
Start calling the M's, make sure to end every blog post, every message board post with a call to sign Bonds. Call KJR, demand it! Do anything and everything!

Memo to Bill Bavasi: SIGN BARRY BONDS!!!!!!

If we do this right, the groundswell will be impossible to ignore. Bill will have to move on it. WE will cause a move to be made, a signing to happen, there is no way it can be stopped if we all band together and demand it!!

What do you fans say? Are you onboard?

Posted by Poe

7:12 PM, Apr 07, 2008

WOW ! HAve some cheese with all this whine will ya

Posted by tallahassee-mariner's fan

7:13 PM, Apr 07, 2008

I am racking my brain trying to come up with a metaphor for the M’s refusal to sign Bonds. But you know what? I don’t think there is one.

Baseball is war. Its all about winning- that’s it. Its not supposed to be about selling tickets, or creating a “family-friendly” atmosphere, or the stupid moose dancing on the dug out. Bonds will bring power to this offense—HR’s, doubles, RBI’s and walks to boot. The guy doesn’t come cost-free, but he’s one of the greatest players to ever play the game, and we’re just letting him sit there. And this isn’t Pittsburg- we have a FO that’s willing to pay, and getting Bonds wouldn’t even require trading talent. Sure, we’ll sell the farm (literally) for Bedard, but refuse to pick up a guy for free who can do just as much on offense as Bedard does on defense.

I guess not signing Bonds could only be compared to walking right by a 20 dollar bill when you’re desperately trying to put together money to pay for mom’s life-saving operation, yet not picking it up because it looks dirty.

Posted by O's Fan

7:14 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Guys: Your BP sucks. It sucks really bad. It sucks so badly, you just got beaten in four games with a lead by a team that won only four games last year trailing in the 8th inning.

No to Bonds, you guys must be insane. You need a late-inning set-up man. O's fans know this feeling, when the game is on the line, Posada steps up the plate, we're ahead by one, and two guys are on base. You just put your head in your hands, and listen as he clears the bases and your team loses.

Good luck the rest of the year (except against the O's). Hopefully your management figures this out.

Posted by USSLemming

7:17 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Yes, Antonetti Plz. Or Kim Ng too, cause it would be cool to have the first female GM in a female friendly city. Also, can't we go out and resign Chris Snelling? Snelling, Jones, and Ichiro! would have been an awesome outfield! Austin Bibens-Dirkx needs to be called up to take the 12th spot in the bullpen!

Posted by ricofoy

7:27 PM, Apr 07, 2008

I can think of plenty of reasons not to sign Bonds but the main one is that he's a cheating , lying, no-good, rotten SOB who pollutes everything and everyone around him. He's never won a damn thing and always choked under pressure except when he was loaded with steroids. Besides, this team needs a helluva lot more than a new DH. The only silver lining in that Bavasi may finally finally FINALLY be exposed as the IDIOT that he is.

Posted by Zach C

7:49 PM, Apr 07, 2008

this is insane,

step away from the computer...

breathe...

breathe...

breathe...

how many left? 155?...breathe

Posted by steve

7:51 PM, Apr 07, 2008


M's need to make 3 or 4 changes right away! Balentin up, and playing every day in field, Dickey up, and Batista to closer, Norton up as a switch hitting pinch hitter, Jimminez up as the left handed short man!

Posted by oregongal

8:02 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Well said, ricofoy.

Baseball is the opposite of war. It's where people go to play and watch when they don't want the real thing. Pretty sure Ted Williams and most any athlete would agree with me.

Posted by CG

8:11 PM, Apr 07, 2008

dammit, I liked Boise.

Posted by stango

8:14 PM, Apr 07, 2008

In the "Careful-what-you-wish-for" dept:

(Small sample size alert)

RRS:
vs RHB: 109 BF; .266/.346/.447
vs LHB: 59 BF: .275/.322/.412

RISP: .268/.346/.415

inning 4-6: .125/.229/.250
inning 7-9: .320/.384/.510
"Late and Close": .333/.300/.333; only 10 BF so almost totally meaningless.

Not stellar as a late-inning or situational lefty

EOF:
vs RHB: 148 BF; .315/.399/.446
vs LHB: 130 BF; .193/.271/.228

RISP: .260/.372/.351

innings 4-6: .273/.329/.338
innings 7-9: .268/.365/.373
"Late and Close": .343/.410/.429!!! (greatly affected this week, obviously)

These are our options for late-game situations?!?

So, the issue is not EOF, RRS or even Mac. This is the result of a poorly-constructed team. The philosophy appeared to be "our division sucks, and if we just get a pitcher, while ignoring our weaknesses (defense, bench, offense), and creating another (bullpen), we'll be 'a contender'"

Fire Bavasi!

Posted by stango

8:18 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Oh yeah, somebody did say this, but to reiterate, SBC Park (or whatever they call the Giants home stadium these days) IS NOT A HITTERS PARK!!!

In fact, it's particularly hard on LHB's.

Posted by Sammy Sosa

8:41 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Tallahassee,

If Ichiro is old what does that make Bonds?

Posted by Barry Bonds

8:42 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Unless you fools pay me $14 million, I ain't playing in Seattle! What makes you deluded fans think I will play for less than 10 mil?

Posted by Pretending to be an O's Fan

8:44 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Hey look I can pretend to be an Oriole's fan too just to try and get a rise out of people...neat fun. Must be pretty boring in the cubicle to be coming to the blog and trying to stir up trouble.

On another note I am glad to see O'FL is headed off to a place with less stress...well wherever that might be. Whether RRS will be the guy remains to be seen.

Its been awhile so can someone remind me who else we have in our bullpen besides O"FL?

Posted by Get Griffey

8:48 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Ditto to Ricofoy and Oregongal

also to Tallahassee-mariner's fan -
Before you start comparing sports to war,
CHILL OUT!!

Posted by Buschleaguer

9:56 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Give me some POP at DH!!!

Give me the HR King!!!

Sign Bonds NOW!!!!!!

Posted by Nat

10:10 PM, Apr 07, 2008

I just realized the game with TB will be their home opener. How lucky are we to get to play TWO teams in their home openers this year?! Two teams with something to prove…

And the M's now have the second to worst W-L % in the AL - already!!! Right behind Detroit. Not that we're doomed to stay there - we just need to get something going, right? Right????

Posted by fastball

10:15 PM, Apr 07, 2008

The problem with McClaren is he is too caught up in trying to be everyone's friend. I mean how many inteviews have I heard where he doesn't want to put pressure on the guys, how much have I heard him beat the encouragement drum for players that have performed questionably, etc. He's too damn nice. It's clear to me he goes into a situation with a plan because he believes in the person and when the plan isn't working he fails to cut his losses quickly probably because he can't admit he was wrong but wants to give the guy out every chance possible. He's paying too much attention to the human side of it. M's management gives players too much rope. That is absolutely the wrong way to manage. If something starts out bad odds are it will continue bad and ODDS are "getting them back up on the horse quickly isn't going to change ANYTHING. Here are some rules for McClaren and Bavasi

Relief pitchers should be given a VERY short rope. If they are having trouble throwing stirkes, or getting shelled odds are it isn't going to get better. Yank them fast and try someone else.

When a pitcher is having trouble let some time (a different series with a different team) go by before using them again.

Always have a backup plan and don't be afraid to use it

If your line up is not working, shake it up until it starts working. The more your try different things, the greater the change you will find what works.

If something is working (i.e Morse), for chis sake STAY WITH IT. Don't let your original plan get in the way of making good decisions.

Have a back up plan for Sexon because if he isn't working out soon, he needs to go.

Posted by oregongal

10:22 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Nat, riiiiiight.

Posted by ethan

10:26 PM, Apr 07, 2008

do you all see how the Angels have magic? and we dont? good. now get back to your wage slave jobs. we all know whats lies ahead. more of the same.

Posted by fish93

10:29 PM, Apr 07, 2008

At least one good thing came from the day. The Angles might be w/out theur closer as well.

Posted by Stevo in Oregon

10:29 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Hey, let's get a laugh. did you guys see this yet? Hilarious.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=alwest/080407

Posted by Bill

10:29 PM, Apr 07, 2008

What does someone have to do to get fired around here?

Posted by Stevo in Oregon

10:32 PM, Apr 07, 2008

A great National Championship Game. Great fortitude shown by the Jayhawks and a great shot by Alaska native Mario Chalmers that will go down as one of the all-time best (top 10) Championship moments. The Tigers choked though. For twenty years now I've never been able to understand why more coaches don't employ the foul with under 10 seconds and up three strategy. Don't even let them get off the three. Remember Romar against UConn in the Sweet 16. The other team ties it and wins it in OT all the time. I can't stand it.

Posted by oregongal

10:49 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Thanks, Stevo. Best part of an otherwise forgettable (please!) day in sports for me.

Posted by Stevo in Oregon

11:02 PM, Apr 07, 2008

You're welcome Oregongal. What part of Oregon do you live in? Did you originally hail from the Seattle area?

Posted by Gerald

11:21 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Ted Williams was a bigger jerk than Bonds and almost as good a player, so please don't act like he's some paragon of virtue for all to aspire to.

Baseball canonizes jerks and cheaters. What makes Bonds any different is lost on me. I hated the guy before it was popular, yet I don't think he's so bad now.

Tell me, why is Bonds (the junkie) vilified when Selig and the owners (the kingpins) get off scot-free? Spare me the holier-than-thou rubbish and recognize that this is all mostly a bunch of people gullible enough to buy into the media driven, and MLB approved, smear campaign.

Posted by scrapiron

11:29 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Faceplant - Before you dismiss Sosa out of hand, remember Safeco doesn't kill all right handed hitters. Beltre, Boone, Sexson have hit quite a few homers at the Safe.

Yes, his overall OPS wasn't much better than Vidro's, but his RBIs were significantly better. And don't forget his 1.023 OPS against lefties!

RBI production, eats up lefties, I know I could find room for him on my Mariner bench.

Posted by oregongal

11:39 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Gerald, I assume the Ted Williams comment was to me. I was using him as an example of why baseball is not war (because he served in two wars, giving up several prime baseball years).
I have consistenly said that the steroid era should be laid at the feet of Selig and owners and they should be punished for it.
I still don't want Bonds here.

Stevo, no, I've never lived in Washington, although as a kid I had family in the Enumclaw area that I used to spend summers with. Now I'm in Milwaukie. (Spelled with "ie" because the founder knew it would be such a big port that he didn't want people to confuse it with "ee" in Wisconsin. Yeah. Right.)

Posted by Gerald

11:49 PM, Apr 07, 2008

Not really directed at anybody in particular. I just think of Barry Bonds as a modern day Ted Williams and it baffles me how the two are regarded so differently. The rest was just a general rant about what I see as a failing of baseball fans. I personally feel like they're being manipulated into piling on the Selig-approved scapegoat and it irritates me.

Posted by Randolph the great

12:15 AM, Apr 08, 2008

Hi Geoff,

McLaren stayed with Eric too long. Send him down to Tacoma along w/Baek if no one claims him, & Lowe. Call up Dickey, Morrow, & acitvate Rhodes when eligible.
Also replace Cairo w/Norton. We need a lefty bat on the bench.
Thank you, Randy.

Posted by Pokenour

12:17 AM, Apr 08, 2008

Do you not see the problem with the Ms? Mclaren does not know how to manage - he exemplifies the Peter's Principle - a bench coach promoted beyond his ability. First, he broke spring camp with only six relief pitchers and one of them a starter. In doing so, he held on to several bench players that to date have seen no time and contributed nothing. McLaren professes to love his bench players but he really loves his veterans and never plays young players or those on the bench. So this move was self-serving at best and as he fails to use the players he sought to keep at the expense of the relief corp. Second, Putz goes down and everyone counts out the Ms based on no closer - McLaren uses Batista for one save but this wears him out so that he fails in his start two days later. Batista has experience closing with previous clubs, and Beck is a starter, so why not move Batista to the closer's role - at least two or three games lost in the last inning would have possibly been won in Baltimore. Beck would be every five days, so the improvement of having a proven closer in Batista would have been more valuable. McLaren always waits too long to go to the bullpen, Lou Pinnella was know for his quick hook but he also won more games. McLaren is now wearing out the bullpen because he has only six relief pitchers and he uses the same tired guys over and over. People need to see that McLaren is no manager, he is just a bench coach working beyond his ability, he cannot seem to see the big picture and his gamble with the relief corp is dooming this team to failure.

Posted by Pokenour

12:36 AM, Apr 08, 2008

Further thoughts on McLaren and his bench - McLaren has not constructed a very good twenty-five man roster. With Bloomquist and Morse, you have exceptional flexibility as these two players can fill almost any role. As a result, you do not need to keep dead weight bench players at the expense of the bullpen. While there are already too many DH types on this team - Vidro and Ibanez in particular - the addition of Wilkerson appears to be a bust. Jimerson cannot hit so his speed is of no use, save pinch running which Bloomquist is better at anyway. Cairo has seen no playing time and he is really not necessary with Morse and Bloomquist on the roster. Losing Adam Jones has hurt but there is a player at Tacoma who has as much the upside of Jones that is Balentien, so why did he not make the team instead of the dead weight of Jimerson and Cairo? McLaren never seems to believe in developing young players, he always favors veterans telling us that Sexon will break out any day now - all last season and again this year - so that Norton was left in Tacoma for the dead weight bench players mentioned above. It is time for the Mariners management to see that despite all his talent in choosing a coaching staff, McLaren cannot effectively manage a major league team.

Posted by ricofoy

6:03 AM, Apr 08, 2008

LMAO Comparing Ted Williams to Barry Bonds is like comparing Mother Teresa to Mata Hari. Besides a prickly personality and batting LH where are the similiarities? On the one hand you have a guy who TWICE served his country in time of war during the prime of his career compared to a guy who would let his best friend rot in prison because he refuses tell the truth. Did you know that it was Teddy who made the first black player on the Sox feel welcome on the team? Gee, for some reason I couldn't see Bonds doing that. Ted was a good teammate who despised the media and frankly some of his reasons were justified.
Bonds, on the other hand, is a bad teammate, a bad person and a cancer that the M's do not need.
Let some other desperate team and FO sell their souls to the devil and sign this piece of bleep.

Posted by ricofoy

6:31 AM, Apr 08, 2008

Time for Bedard to step up and do what aces do..stop the losing streak!
Of couse, at best, he'll give them 7 good innings and then turn the game over to the...gulp...bullpen. Yikes!!
So now RRS is the man..we'll see. Funny how 2 days ago he wasn't ready to work the late innings but now, miraculously, he is!! But if he doesn't pan out, who's next?

Posted by Babu

6:33 AM, Apr 08, 2008

Definitely a moment to take a deep breath, folks, when you start saying that baseball is war. Oregongal is right -- and Oregongal, I always enjoy your posts (and have actually been in Milwaukie, Oregon -- baseball is a sport and entertainment that helps takes our minds off war. It isn't war; it is a game. People aren't dying, being made refugees, having their homes devastated. Come to any Nationals or Orioles game and chat with the men and women there in their brand new prostheses and they'll tell you that a day at the ballpark is anything but war.

I'm sure Oregongal wasn't referring to Ted Williams' personality but his war service and noting that he would know the difference between baseball and actual war.

So please calm down. It isn't war. And it isn't worth climbing out on a ledge for, either (lucky you, if you are ready to do this over a baseball team, you haven't ever had a real crisis in your life!). Deep breaths, deep breaths.

Posted by ricofoy

6:36 AM, Apr 08, 2008

I just read the article Caple penned yesterday about the M's getting Bonds so now I understand where all the "get Bonds" vitriol is coming from. Caple has been a steroid and cheater apologist from day 1....I can't stand him.

Posted by NB

9:16 AM, Apr 08, 2008

Actually the Bonds talk comes from people who are tired of seeing Jose Vidro gobble up at bats as fast as he does donuts.

Posted by 116in01

9:19 AM, Apr 08, 2008

John McLaren makes me long for the good old days of Bob Melvin...

Posted by Gerald

10:17 AM, Apr 08, 2008

"Did you know that it was Teddy who made the first black player on the Sox feel welcome on the team? Gee, for some reason I couldn't see Bonds doing that."

You mean when Bonds stood up for David Bell when Jeff Kent was treating him like dirt doesn't count?

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