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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 13, 2008 5:26 PM

Gloomy day at The Safe

Posted by Larry Stone

Remember how good everyone was feeling after Saturday night's win, the second in a row over the Angels? Now, not so much.

For starters, there was the 10-5 loss Sunday, one of the few games this year tthe Mariners have been blown out. Of course, there's the lingering concern over the health of Erik Bedard. If he's out long-term, that's a major blow to their playoff hopes. Even if he's cleared to pitch this week, you have to wonder if this hip injury is going to be a lingering thing. Not the sort of feeling you want to have about the guy brought in, at great cost, to be your ace.

There's the hamstring injury that kept Adrian Beltre -- another huge key for this team -- out of the lineup on Sunday. And a new injury cropped up during the game. Mike Morse had his left shoulder in a sling afterward, the result of his dive in the sixth inning. He has what is being called a sublexation of his left shoulder. Basically, it popped out when he hit the ground, then popped back in. He was going to have an MRI tonight. He could be headed for the DL. Even if not, you have to wonder how much more outfield time Morse will be getting. He struggled out there today, particuarly on the double by Howie Kendrick, a catchable ball that sailed over his head in the fifth when the game was still relatively tight.

Finally, there is the continuing struggles of Eric O'Flaherty, who gave up eight hits and six runs in 2 2/3 innings -- and had his ERA remain at 20.25. McLaren left him in the game today in hopes that he would figure things out, but it was another rough outing. McLaren said the brain trust was planning to meet later in the evening to discuss various issues. Obviously, one issue will be what do with O'Flaherty. No doubt Tacoma will be an option. They also may need to import some short-term long relief help now that Baek has been burned.

And now that the Angels are gone, things don't get any easier. The mighty Royals are coming to town.
It might not last, but they're looking great so far, with the best starting pitching in the American League.

I wouldn't be at all surprised if there are some new faces when we get to the ballpark tomorrow.

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Posted by joe

5:46 PM, Apr 13, 2008

by not removing Oh'Flaherty, Joh McClaren sent a message, a negative message. "I give up."
.
When O'Flaherty entered the game the score was LA 2 Sea 0. It was clear that Eric didn't have what it takes to get the Angels out. Yes, he had some bad luck, but McClaren could have went to the pen and try to keep the game relatively close.
.
McClaren, however stuck with O'Flaherty. By the time he was gone the Angels had scored 10 runs.
.
As a fan watching the game, I could not believe that. McClaren flat out quit, gave up. Very disheartening.
.
I wonder what the Mariners players were thinking as The Angels racked up hit after hit, run after run on O'Flaherty. " Well we might have had a chance, but skipper doesn't seem to agree"
.
Does McClaren have a mancrush on O'Flaherty? I am baffled. This was a game that, with positive managing we could have had a chance to win. John McClaren, and his refusal to go to the bullpen, single handedly stole that option away from his team.
.
Well, at least it's still early in the year right...

Posted by Adam

5:48 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Hey John - My argument is, and always was, that EOF pitched well ON THURSDAY. But if you feel you need to misconstrue my argument in order to make a point, that's up to you.

There's no doubt he took a step back today.

But he's a lot better than this. His career numbers suggest otherwise.

Posted by Adam

5:54 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Bedard's health is a real concern, and this was a huge reason why so many were opposed to this deal.

Bedard is as talented as any pitcher in the league, but he's no ace. Not yet at least. To give up we did for a guy with only one great year under his belt, with a health record like his, was awfully risky. And if Bedard is out for any extended period of time, any advantage we gained by the Angels losing Lackey and Escobar is out the window.


Finally, can we all start to disagree with the MSM's idea that the Mariners are good defensively? Our corner OF defense is terrible (and it has already cost the team runs), Sexson's defense is very poor, and aside from Felix, Putz, and a healthy Bedard, our pitching staff needs good defense behind it. Still some big holes for the M's.

Posted by Michael

6:02 PM, Apr 13, 2008

There's this guy down in AAA name Balentien that actually plays the OF and is a pretty good looking prospect.

I'm still not sure why Dickey isn't on the major league team. Feierabend and Jimenez are also pictching well in Tacoma.

Posted by couger

6:03 PM, Apr 13, 2008

hey geoff, ready to admit u were wrong about the mariners being contenders yet?

Posted by Everett fan

6:05 PM, Apr 13, 2008

I hope to see two new faces tomorrow night - RA Dickey (for EOF), and Vlad B (Morse on the DL). And while we're at it, How about an able body for Cairo?
There were two positives today, Baek pitched well, into the fifth with only 2 runs given up. Greg Norton, 2 for 2, means Morse is expendable at the moment. And when Morse gets off the DL, he can become an IF sub, putting Jimerson into the OF sub role.

Posted by fastrs4x

6:06 PM, Apr 13, 2008

You know it's tough as a fan of the Mariners. You never really know what's going on...

Bedard - Is he really hurt that bad? Is he a hypochondriac? Are the Mariners just coddling him a little? Did he chicken out for his start against Baltimore and now LA? The management never really gives us enough info to feel comfortable with anything.

My father was a professional pitcher back when they had a four man rotation. He pitched every 4th day for a long time. Never complained. Never hurt. Just wanted to be out there pitching. He honestly feels like 4 days rest is too much. Let alone 5 days when you have a day off. Almost harder on guys. Hard to stay sharp and in shape.

Now it seems like management makes any excuse possible not to have a guy pitch. Then Mclaren brings in a guy who hasn't thrown in a game in many days. And they struggle with control. When was the last time RRS pitched?

Obviously we as fans don't know what someone like Bedard physically feels. So it's hard to really place any judgement.

But it seems like there needs to be a little more tough love in the Mariners organization.

REALLY miss Lou..

Posted by tallahassee-mariner's fan

6:06 PM, Apr 13, 2008

joe wrote in the previous post:

"by not removing Oh'Flaherty, Joh McClaren sent a message, a negative message. "I give up." "

i could not agree more. you're right, its like mac just gave up. he wanted to give OF yet another chance...fine. but with run after run scoring, you'd think he'd eventually put someone more reliable in before the game got completely out of reach. the m's scored 5 runs in this game, and had several other opportunities with RISP, so with even a little managerial skill this game was winnable. this was not merely a case of bad managing for mac, this was a case of flat out desertion of duty. up until now i just questioned his strategy, but now i'm actually questioning his loyalty to the team. shame on mclaren.

Posted by scottM

6:14 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Baek is an asset for this team. Had Guerrero's foul ball been a foot closer, Sexson makes that catch and the first two Angel's runs don't score. Yeah, it's a game of inches as Vladamir slaps one of his a-foot-off-the-plate-low-and-outside pitches into Right Field to score two runs. Morse dives for the ball and it costs us one of those runs. Raul would have caught it on a hop and saved us the second run. That's the difference between greatness in a corner outfielder and mediocrity.

The M's had plenty of opportunity to give Baek run support and didn't. Morse's K, Burke's check swing DP ball and Ibanez stranding Ichiro on third. Hard to pin that offensive ineffectiveness on Baek.

O'Flaherty needs to be sent down, Dickey brought up. Morse needs to go on the DL for 15 days and Balentien brought up. Then let's see how Balentien does and evaluate after fifteen days. Let's see if the knuckleballer is for real.

No cause for alarm (except for hoping that Beltre and Bedard heal quickly). It was a good two out of three against the Angels.

The M's need to look at the next two against KC and the two after that against Oakland as being important for us to win three out of four.

Posted by tallahassee-mariner's fan

6:17 PM, Apr 13, 2008

geoff,

what a crappy game- i couldn't agree more. but a few things:

1) no one is worried about OF. you make it sound like this is a big loss for the team. what a joke. good riddance i say.

2) Morse. so the guy is hurt. this would matter, except that he's basically seen no playing time all year, despite posting incredible ST numbers. i feel bad for his injury, but i guess we won't have to argue back and forth about anymore about whether he should be getting playing time.

3) i do agree about beltre and bedard. please heal quickly! (and JJ too!!)

you forgot to add a special paragraph for mac though. it could have gone something like this:

"mac suffered a head injury today, tripping on his grand daughters barbi and falling down the stairs. doctors knew the injury was severe when he left O'Flaherty in the game after giving up 6 runs and 8 hits."

I think after all these years the moose has earned a turn to try managing.

Posted by Chris from Bothell

6:22 PM, Apr 13, 2008

++1 to Everett fan's comments, except for the fact that Jimerson was released, so it seems like Balentien and Willie are the next OF options.

If Bedard's hip is still playing with him, take the hit now and put him on the DL. Ace or no ace, bad trade or no bad trade, we need him healthy later in the season. Take the hit now and patch it together with Baek/Dickey/RRS, and take advantage of how deep Felix and Silva have been getting into games to rest the bullpen... oh, wait, that's right, Mac hasn't demonstrated he knows how to use the bullpen.

Speaking of: I officially cannot understand McLaren's managing decisions any longer. The only way he can redeem himself, in my eyes, is if we get to late August or early September, are still in contention (i.e. within 2 or 3 games of the Angels), and the rotation and bullpen are healthy. That has an outside chance of proving to me that these overly long looks at guys like EOF now, were the right decisions to make. B/c it might show that Mac figured out who the right people were in the regular season and found roles / uses that were correct for the pitcher's abilities and luck. That's the ONLY semi-plausible reason he's staying with individual pitchers this long.

And whither Stottlemyre? Wasn't he supposed to be God's gift to pitchers, and coaching them, and knowing what they can do? How are we having this many problems with the bullpen and no one calling for Mel's head like we do Mac?

Finally, EOF is snakebit. To hell with numbers, to hell with career, to hell with "he made his pitches". I'm freely admitting that I'm not basing this on any stats except the win/loss (mostly loss) results of games he's been in. Dismiss as you wish (and plenty of people will.) I'm going to be completely irrational and say that a combo of overuse by Mac and bad luck on him, just makes him plain unusable now.

Free Dickey. Free Balentien. Find a Reiki specialist to a distance-healing of Bedard's hip.

Posted by Everett fan

6:33 PM, Apr 13, 2008

(Chris - I knew that)
As many have suggested, EOF needs rehab in AAA - maybe not physical, just mental.
Anybody know how Rhodes is throwing?

Posted by Chris from Arlington

6:42 PM, Apr 13, 2008

I just walked in from the game. I could not agree more to most of the comments here.

O'Flaherty has to go to Tacoma to hopefully regain his confidence. Bring Dickey up.

Morse looked like a high school kid on that fly ball to right. Jay Buhner must have run and hid when he saw that play. Bring Balentien up. He is an outfielder! Morse is an infielder!

Most of the fans around me wondered why we did not have another pitcher to come in when OF was getting hammered! If they see it why doesn't Mac?

We will need every win we can get over the Angels!

Posted by Gibbler

6:54 PM, Apr 13, 2008

O'Flaherty was sent to tacoma and Dickey was called up.

Posted by couger

6:57 PM, Apr 13, 2008

geoff made a giant condescending blog entry saying fans were too negative and the mariners are contenders. Why wont he eat crow when its clear the fans were right. this team is BAD BAD BAD.

Posted by Pokenour

7:01 PM, Apr 13, 2008

If such is the case - EOF to Tacoma and Dickey to Seattle - then there is the inkling of reason, a quality that McLaren appears to be missing in his complete lack of strategic management of this team. However, is there any word on a Morse to DL with Balentien to Seattle? And how about another situational lefty? Jimenez in lieu of Cairo?

Posted by -j.

7:02 PM, Apr 13, 2008

"O'Flaherty was sent to tacoma and Dickey was called up"

Link?

McClaren isn't going to last if he keeps managing like this. I remember seeing him make some really stupid moves last year too but sort of forgot about it over the winter. Seeing him go back to the stupid moves brings it all back though.

Posted by gibbler

7:08 PM, Apr 13, 2008

no link. happened right after the game. i was in the clubhouse.

Posted by Pokenour

7:18 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Thanks gibbler, it is a necessary move, but the Ms need to go to a seven man relief corp. Last year the bullpen wore out in August, at this rate it will not make it that far. And another certain move is necessary to deal with the outfield problem. Morse may have been hurt, but in the process he helped to give away this game with miscues leading to five runs. In the spring, McLaren said that Morse was an adventure when playing outfield, but no one could have expected this level of incompetence in the outfield. He looked like a little leaguer out there today. McLaren further failed the team when he left EOF out there to take such a beating and let the game get out of hand. Repeatedly this patience with his pitchers - while the score gets out of hand - has been a trademark of McLaren's, it was widely practiced last year.


Posted by M's Watcher

7:21 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Did Mac finally get that you walk Guerrero when you have a base open, or he'll drive in runs to beat you? How many years did it take him to figure that out? And Burke? Nice bases loaded DP. Rally killer. It's clear we mailed it in today after taking the series. What a wasted opportunity.

Posted by mitch

7:33 PM, Apr 13, 2008

McLaren's performance today illustrates why he is not qualified to skipper a big league club. He is well suited to coaching and staying close to his players, but has not changed with the change in responsibilities. When you are a bench coach, you can afford to be loyal to your players. As skipper, you have to put the team first. McLaren somehow expects different results when he uses the same bullpen rotation day after day, and seems to stay with it as a way of rooting for struggling players. It is bad for the team and bad for EOF. EOF needs to go to Tacoma and find himself. McLaren needs to find himself too, and quickly.

Posted by oregongal

7:39 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Mac said we had to wait for the players to find their roles. Maybe he's waiting to find his, too.

Seriously, I'm wondering what Mel and Norm are doing with the bull pen in terms of preparation and deciding who should come in games when. Is this all Mac, or is he relying on his pitching coaches?

Posted by Pokenour

7:53 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Well said mitch, McLaren is a man promoted beyond his competence - bench coach to manager - it is a classic case of the Peter's Principle. He has taken on the duty of managing but retain the methods of a bench coach. While I do not have the figures before me, it seems to me that I recall seeing last year that his winning percentage was less than that of Grover's. Certainly it does not look to get better this year. As several noted above, McLaren gave up on this game, a game that could have been won with more attention to selection of personnel. He did say earlier that Morse was an adventure in the outfield, but this was beyond anyone's imagination. Defensively Morse is an infielder 1B, SS, 3B, DH type and that means he is something of a duplicate of Cairo whereas Bloomquist has more flexibility in his ability to play the outfield. Something has to give, he needs to choose Cairo or Morse, for one of the bench slots. That leaves Norton to fill in the outfield and at 1B when completing the bench makeup. Bring Wlad up and dfa Cairo or if he is injured dl Morse for this move, but give Wlad a chance to be the everyday starter in right. Changes must be made, if there is to be any contention for the division lead and maybe those changes are not to be confined simply to players.

Posted by Lap Dog

7:59 PM, Apr 13, 2008

gibbler - are you sure it was dickey they called up or are you just sure that they sent EOF down and you assume dickey gets called up? Thanks.

Posted by gibbler

8:02 PM, Apr 13, 2008

positive dickey is called up

Posted by gk13

8:15 PM, Apr 13, 2008

I'm shocked Bedard was able to tell someone he was hurt. What if it takes the doctors more than 4 questions to find out what's wrong with him?

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

8:16 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Finally, there is the continuing struggles of Eric O'Flaherty, who gave up eight hits and six runs in 2 2/3 innings -- and had his ERA remain at 20.25

Not according to Adam. It's just bad luck. Results be damned because EOF has a great slider and will work things outs according to Lookout Landing analysis....

Posted by pirate

8:19 PM, Apr 13, 2008

I think its funny that everybody was in love with Morse at the beginning of the year and now everybody hates him. thats funny.

at least everybody is consistent... oh wait their not.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

8:19 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Is this all Mac, or is he relying on his pitching coaches?

The manager makes the final call, coaches can never override Mac and his "gut" instincts.

Posted by Zoro Man

8:20 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Just heart that Dickey got called up.

Posted by dave

8:20 PM, Apr 13, 2008

bedard is a freaking JOKe. he has missed 2 starts while we NEEDED sherril and jones. christ on a stick.

Posted by oregongal

8:26 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Resin, I completely agree that it's Mac's responsibility and didn't mean to imply otherwise. I'm also not really surprised at his pitching changes anymore. I'm more wondering whether his coaches are of the same mindset or try to steer him in different directions.

Like I said before, it boggles my mind that Mac used to be a bullpen coach.

Posted by BrianL

8:33 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Resin, I suggest you take a look at the analysis piece Lookout Landing did on EOF last week.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

8:33 PM, Apr 13, 2008

"by not removing Oh'Flaherty, Joh McClaren sent a message, a negative message. "I give up." "

Mac did this a few games ago when he pulled players out of the game in the 8th inning and we rallied making it a close game. Mac sabotaged the team's chances of winning then by thinking he was resting position players early in April. Mac has no business managing an MLB baseball club. Sadly, fans will witness Mac waiving the white flag in many more games this year so he can keep his three man bullpen fresh.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

8:41 PM, Apr 13, 2008

BrianL-I' don't need to read it when I can tell with my own two eyes EOF doesn't have a plus pitch in his arsenal. He's not going to blow MLB hitters away with his 89-91 mph fastball or average slider. Besides I already read LL state EOF has a dynamite slider. That was enough for me to stop reading there.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

8:48 PM, Apr 13, 2008

McClaren isn't going to last if he keeps managing like this.

Unfortunately for us, and I'm paraphrasing here, but Howard Lincoln stated publicly he would think twice about placing a manager or GM in the "hotseat" ever again.

Posted by Choska

8:52 PM, Apr 13, 2008

"I wouldn't be at all surprised if there are some new faces when we get to the ballpark tomorrow."

Any chance that Bavasi will be one of those sent somewhere else?

Look folks, it is time to start placing the blame squarely on Bavasi's shoulders. It has been clear to everyone that Morse simply can't play in the field, no matter how "hot" he was in the Spring.

Finally, there is the issue of Bedard's injury. Bavasi doesn't get a pass for "bad luck" because Bedard, aka Bavasi's Folly, is hurt. Even if Bedard were healthy it wouldn't negate the damage that Bavasi has done to this team:

- Our RF's can neither hit nor catch
- Our bullpen is a disaster
- Our bench is a joke (They might as well run a promotion where fans in the stands are picked at random to ride the pine.)
- We are on the hook for Carlos Silva for the next four years. And friends, what he has done so far is about to fade away. He's not this good. His luck, and our infield defense, is going to get him.
- The cream of our pitching prospects are now in Baltimore.
- Rafael Soriano, even if he is on the DL, is still in the league.
- Asbrudal Cabrera is still in the league.
- Spiezio, Weaver, HoRam

Bavasi seems like a good guy. But he, like the guys he puts on his team, isnt qualified to do the jobs the team is asking him to do.

Morse can't catch.
Bedard can't stay healthy.
Bavasi can't judge talent.

The time has come for us, the fans, to stop blaming guys like Morse and EoF for not being able to play like first-rate Major League Baseball players. They can't. No harm in that.

The blame sits on Bavasi's shoulders. Time for the Mariners management to let Bavasi find another job because he clearly isn't capable of the role he is in now.

Posted by oregongal

9:03 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Well, putting the responsibility on Bavasi isn't exactly new. Lots of us were, uh, unimpressed with the team he put together. Again.

Posted by dawn2

9:09 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Hello Geoff (or Larry Stone),
Were you able to find out from McLaren as to why he left O'Flaherty in so long when it was apparent that his performance was analogous to pitching batting practice by virtue to giving up the inherited 2-runners, plus 6-more on his own? Moreover, did we see the end of Morse in Right Field? Take care.

Posted by dx

9:15 PM, Apr 13, 2008

If word of Dickey's promotion is true, then it's about time. I knew that he would be in the majors as soon as we think.

Everything's been said about Mac's goody-2 shoes approach to mgmt, like keeping EOF in play so his 'feelings wouldn;t get hurt". He did more damage to both the team AND the team's respect for this sorry excuse of a manager and I wouldn;t even be surprised there would be a mutiny from the player's.

The only silver lining is that WE WON THE SERIES.

Posted by mike

9:24 PM, Apr 13, 2008

I hope O'I'llgiveitupFlarherty is gone. We have played 13 games and he's cost the team 4 to 6 games. Next to go is his dumb uncle McLaren. Reminds me of pinella going with bobby ayala in the old days. except lou didn't have anyone else to pitch so i can't blame him.

Posted by scottM

9:27 PM, Apr 13, 2008

The lack of patience by fans is mind-boggling. April is a time to allow a roster to settle. Guys like Eric O'Flaherty bomb, guys like Jose Lopez exceed expectation. The team is cautious with April tweaks to JJ Putz, Bedard, and Beltre. Morse is subpar in Right Field. Baek as an insurance policy in the bullpen proves valuable. Wilkerson is STILL a big question mark at the plate. Johjima starts the season in a slump. Ibanez is hitting GREAT right now. Sexson is showing wonderful patience at the plate.

OK, the team is 6-7 and the performance is a mixed bag. The fans who wish to blame McLaren or Bavasi for every early season shortfall, while ignoring the good developments, are ridiculously unfair. Judgment on the value of Bedard vis a vis Jones and Sherrill is highly premature.

Hey, I'll bet my mortgage that, barring injury, Johjima won't end the season batting .118 with an OBP of .211. Let's blame that on Bavasi. Bedard's hip hurts. Let's blame that on Bavasi. JJ's rib. Let's blame Bavasi. Vidro is hitting .191. Wanna bet your kid's college fund that he doesn't stay below the Mendoza line?

Winning two out of three against the Angel's was great. As for today's game, I put the blame more on the batters––Morse, Burke, and Ibanez––for piss poor RISP when Baek was pitching, than on EOF. Had we scored runs to support Baek, EOF wouldn't have pitched today.

Oh, yeah, Ibanez stranding Ichiro at third was Bavasi's fault, too, because Ibanez totally sucks, especially this series.

Posted by Adam

9:27 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Not according to Adam. It's just bad luck. Results be damned because EOF has a great slider and will work things outs according to Lookout Landing analysis....


That's it. I apologize to others for my tone, but this needs to be said: Resin, either you are dishonest, or you are stupid.


Quit misstating my argument. Or try to understand it. For the 100th time - my argument that EOF had not pitched poorly was limited to his performance on THURSDAY. Although he gave up three runs, he was a victim of bad luck (namely a baggy jersey and a seeing-eye single). Of course, I have made no such analysis of EOF's performance today, because he was hit hard. He performed poorly today. So if you have the intelligence or integrity to accept this point, please do.

Furthermore, with regard to the Lookout Landing and Gameday analysis that we previously discussed, I'm still waiting for you to prove to me that EOF's slider is not an effective pitch.

Your first point was that it didn't break very much, at least not like Felix's. I used Gameday to prove that, in fact, EOF's slider in Tampa broke as much as Felix's did on Friday. I also acknowledged that Felix has more speed, so it's a better pitch (not a point that you argued, but I digress). I then noted that Lookout Landing found that he's getting a much higher swing-and-miss rate with the slider against lefties than he did last year. I further noted that the Lookout Landing study found his fastball to be missing, finding the big part of the plate too often.

Of course, you have yet to provide any sort of rebuttal to those points. I guess you conceded them.

I also pointed out that his career numbers (2006 and 2007) were much, much better than his performance so far in 2008.

Using deductive logic (try to keep up, if you can or wish to engage in a productive discussion), I argued that, since his slider appears to be just as good, if not better than before, there is no reason to believe he won't right the ship if he can start locating the fastball better (something he has done previously in his career, so we do have a track record).

Now, it's possible that he's just lost it. Or maybe he's injured. Possible, but not necessarily probable. Given the probabilities involved (ie, that he's not hurt, he hasn't gone Rick Ankiel on us, that his career numbers do matter), I came to the conclusion that we should see EOF get better and revert to the form that made him a pretty darn good reliever for us last year.


Again, for the record, I believe, based on EOF's career numbers, his peripheral stats, as well as my own observations, that he'll recover from this funk and be a productive member of the bullpen. He's a better option than any other LHP in the entire Mariner organization. Six games isn't going to change that.

Of course, you choose to mock this argument with really lame ad hominem attacks and instead rely on a whopping six appearances. Good on ya.


Honestly, Resin, for once I'd love to see a thoughtful, logical argument from you. If you are at all in favor of, or capable of, such discussion on this blog, you'd do us all the courtesy.

Posted by Walla Walla Girl

9:36 PM, Apr 13, 2008

My guess is that McLaren knew that EOF was likely heading to Tacoma as soon as the game was over, so he put EOF in the game to eat up some innings (and "save" the rest of his bullpen). I agree that McLaren gave up on the game long before it was over. :(

Remember when Lou would put a pitcher in to face one batter, and then march out there and bring in a new pitcher for the next guy ... whether or not the first reliever got his guy out. I remember seeing that play out numerous times. I miss Lou.

Some of us keep asking what Stottlemyre and Charlton are doing and thinking. Inquiring minds want to know.

Good news: We won the series! Go M's!

Posted by oregongal

9:41 PM, Apr 13, 2008

scottM--I would say that I'm pretty patient. I don't make snap judgments based on April (or even May)numbers. I don't even care if the team gets to the playoffs, as long as they play good ball along the way.

What I see is a team with good starting pitching, an iffy offense, a below average defense, and not much depth to bolster things. The only reason I think the M's have a chance at the playoffs is because the Angels are going through their own set of injuries.

I'm not excited about the team now, and I'm not giving up on them. I still think they're going to be a little above .500. Yeah, Bavasi put the team together and it's his responsibility.

If I'm wrong and they tear up the league, I'll be happy to admit it while whooping it up for the guys.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

9:53 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Honestly, Resin, for once I'd love to see a thoughtful, logical argument from you.-Adam

Resin, either you are dishonest, or you are stupid.-Adam

Nice. Take your own advice Adam and practice what you preach.

Your previous intelligent well thought out rebuttal to my argument was "did you watch the game?" When a person has that kind of response, there's no reason to even debate a topic with someone who believes they are always right.

Posted by Chester

10:01 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Rexin,

Every blog you have participated in results in the same reaction from folks.

Wasn't it you that stated "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result"?

Posted by MrMyke

10:04 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Hey Geoff -- do you have any inside word on what was up with the (attempted) beaning of Ichiro??

Hard to believe it was retaliation for Silva hitting Hunter...that was clearly not a purpose pitch.

So, what the heck? No question the pitches to Ichiro were intentional.

At first I thought Sciosa went out to chide the pitcher for doing it...then it occurred to me it could be he was chiding the guy for MISSING him.

Anybody got any thoughts, or, Geoff...??

Posted by Adam

10:06 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Are you deliberately ignoring that I followed up that one, isolated comment with plenty of argument? Way to dodge the issue.


Seriously, I'm still waiting for a substantive argument from you re: O'Flaherty. You'll pardon me if I rely on independent hard data to make my conclusions, but at least if it ever comes down to who is right and who is wrong, I'll have something to fall back on.

My conclusions may end up being wrong, but at least I back them up.

Now go on and some up with your next ad hominem...

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

10:10 PM, Apr 13, 2008

No I never said that, Chester. Welcome to the blog.

If Adam wants to believe EOF's slider is "dynamite" or a "plus pitch" based on Gameday stats, have at it. I don't believe it, because from what I have seen of EOF's backdoor slider, it's not even in the same class of Felix.
Adam asked for a rebuttal to an argument that is one-sided. I can't control his reactions Chester.

Posted by Adam

10:14 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Glad to see you agree with me that Felix's slider is better than EOF's slider, Resin.


Now explain why that would lead anyone to the conclusion that EOF's slider isn't an effective pitch. I mean, just about everybody's slider is going to pale in comparison to Felix's...

Posted by desertbronze

10:15 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Hopefully the poor performance by the corner outfielders today opened some eyes in the front office. Ibanez needs to move to DH - Reed and Balentien need to be called up - and Morse and Cairo need to be sent packing. This pitching needs a good defense - they don't have it now.

Posted by Chester

10:15 PM, Apr 13, 2008

It's just a matter of time before you completely self -destruct Rexin. Time to change handles so you can keep it together.

Posted by oregongal

10:17 PM, Apr 13, 2008

MrMyke--I can't see any reason for Scioscia to want to start something when they were beating us. He ticks off a lot of the Angel fans because he won't return HBPs if he thinks his player gets bopped accidentally. I still think Speier thought Ichiro showed him up by not getting into a batting stance for the first pitch. On the other hand, the pitcher has a sore right knee and hasn't been pitching very well, so maybe he was just really bad. I'd love to hear more.

Posted by scottM

10:18 PM, Apr 13, 2008

I wasn't referring to you, Oregongal, and your measured comments. Also, there is plenty of merit to be critical of Bavasi and McLaren since they've been here, but heated, knee-jerk responses and over-the-top judgements to a 162 game season that is 13 games old get really tiresome. Other than getting swept in Baltimore, the season has been a good one, with areas of good surprises and areas of legitimate concern. That's baseball.

Posted by oregongal

10:22 PM, Apr 13, 2008

scott, thanks. I think everybody had high expectations going into today and seeing the train wreck was harder than if we'd been expecting it.

Posted by Chris from Bothell

10:26 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Adam, for the love of God, drop it.

You've gone in one weekend from fellow with a well-thought-out opinion to obsessed blogger more interested in being right and praised on each part of his analysis point by point. Ponder for a moment why you SO BADLY need to be right, to have your points conceded to, to have one specific Random Internet Guy agree with you.

Trust that your hours of research are correct, curse Resin's irrational name in private, and move the hell on.

Isn't watching Mac's bullpen and bench management torture enough?

Posted by Maui Mariner

10:33 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Spot on oregongal.

I agree Chris but Adam did admit that he used to be a lawyer and that's what they do and once a lawyer................................
That small fact helped me understand him much better.

Let's see what Wash can do tomorrow with KC, another game down, many more to go.

Posted by oregongal

10:43 PM, Apr 13, 2008

In case you haven't seen it, here's the Mariners' take on Bedard:

http://seattle.mariners.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20080413&content_id=2523715&vkey=news_sea&fext=.jsp&c_id=sea

Basically, it happened once before eight years ago, but hasn't bothered him since. He's on medication which helped, but not enough, and they're being cautious because it's early in the season.

Posted by oregongal

10:48 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Aloha, Maui. That's a funny comment about lawyers. My husband wrote poetry as a young man, but law school ruined his writing because he kept trying to do things the right way instead of trusting that artistic side of him. It was kind of fun to watch him retire and regain his creativity.

Posted by Maui Mariner

10:54 PM, Apr 13, 2008

It just made me think about his arguments in a different light so yes I see your point oregongal, it does take some doing to snap out of it.
At least we are all M's fans.

Posted by Chris from Bothell

11:00 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Maui - Yah. Wash is supposedly pretty good against the Royals, and they start a weird road trip (2 with us, 2 with LAA, 3 somewhere else) so let's hope the Ms do well.

Posted by NB

11:17 PM, Apr 13, 2008

1) I was at the game today. Would have been nice of the team to let me know they weren't really going to try to win. Would have skipped it.

2) If Adam and Resin could combine forces they would actually make one hell of a baseball mind. Scouting and sound logical thought working together as one cohesive unit!! No it cannot be says I. Adam is a nerd who lives in his mother's basement and eats cheesy poofs!!! Resin is a wizened baseball man with a keen eye and a left knee that swells when it's going to rain or he sees a future all star!!! Joe Morgan Joe Morgan Joe Morgan........

Posted by oregongal

11:19 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Hey, Adam, just to be clear, I didn't mean for the story about my husband to suggest anything about you. I don't always agree with you, but I sure like having you around.

Posted by Nat

11:44 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Well said, scottM - I share your reflections on the state of the Mariners overall. I was very encouraged by these first two games against the Angels.

The frustration I feel from many of the comments regarding tossing Bavasi and Mac, dumping Cairo, Wilkerson, and/or Morse (fill in the blank with other appropriate names), reminds me of last year after Mac came on board with many of the daily comments carbon copies of the last half of last year. Simply put: redux.

It's boring to read over and over, knowing that IF those changes occur (outside of possibly bringing Dickey up, sending OEF down) , they won't happen on any timetable fans are going to like - not the way this FO works.

Mac is going to continue to bumble along with in-game strategy, the lineup, and BP management. This is his on-the-job training, like it or not! I am trying to find positives where I can in what individual players do and what the team is able to do overall with each series. Otherwise it would just be too hard to be an Mariner's fan!

Posted by David Gee

11:50 PM, Apr 13, 2008

Even though a baseball manager doesn't make the difference that a football or basketball coach does, McLaren is just terrible.

The most important thing to remember about McLaren is a senior citizen and this is his FIRST major league managing job. Isn't there a reason for this? Shouldn't we be either giving a younger guy his first managing job, or a "retread" who at least has had success as a major league manager?

Hopefully McLaren will straighten things out, but I have this bad feeling that he's going to keep screwing up.

Posted by lwl

4:59 AM, Apr 14, 2008

message to Bavloser. You better do something about Mac before the new guy does!!!!

Posted by To Mariners "Fans"

7:27 AM, Apr 14, 2008

I enjoy most of what everyone types in here. But in all honesty, some of you shouldnt call your selves fans. You're haters. Now, dont get me wrong, frustration is fine. It's normal. But then you get a poster like COugar, and comes on here and admonishes Geoff for being a Mariners reporter and showing optimism. And then says that the Mariners are "BAD BAD BAD". Here's a solution....stop watching, stop cheering, and by ALL means, when they do turn this thing around and start winning, do NOT call yourself a fan.

Posted by Stevo in Oregon

7:47 AM, Apr 14, 2008

Two Words: DAMAGED GOODS!

Posted by Adam

7:52 AM, Apr 14, 2008

Chris - I don't enjoy people misstating my position. It's a weakness I have. This isn't about me being right or wrong - it's about setting the record straight.


BTW, it's pretty funny that I'm being ridiculed by some for actually having an optimistic view of EOF. I thought I was a pessimist!!! ;)

Posted by Dan Mellen

8:08 AM, Apr 14, 2008

Are people ready to admit it was a bad trade yet? And don't give me any "Well, if he hadn't got hurt..." crap. One of the main issues I (and I'm sure other fans who disliked the trade) had with the trade was Bedard's fragility. This injury is not a surprise. Maybe it'll turn out to be minor. Maybe it won't. Giving up three good prospects, one spectacular prospect, and a very good relief pitcher (who could be closing games for us with JJ out) for a talented, but injury prone pitcher is just a ridiculous idea. Just ridiculous. It would be a bad trade for a pitcher with a long history of health, but for a guy who's never made it through a season without an injury? Ridiculous. Bill Bavasi deserves to be made fun of by ESPN.

Posted by Adam

8:10 AM, Apr 14, 2008

BTW, here's someone's detailed analysis of EOF's outing yesterday (I haven't commented on it since I was enjoying the 80-degree weather with my family and did not see EOF pitch):

http://www.lookoutlanding.com/2008/4/13/392619/o-flaherty-s-bad-day


Some good, some bad. Looks like right now his defense is letting him down (Ibanez, Morse) and his mistakes are getting hit pretty hard.

Commence your scoffing at the idea that someone would dare suggest EOF isn't the worst pitcher in baseball...

Posted by downinthegroove

8:17 AM, Apr 14, 2008

EOF will be fine and he is not a bad lefty. Question is who is our lefty now that he was sent down?

Statistical analysis works. Just ask Oakland and Boston. Imagine what Seattle could do if they even looked at it....

Bavasi is living the dream. This team is turning out to be exactly what many of us thought....
Poor defense...
Bad bullpen....
No offense....
Bad Manager....

Hey I may not like my president but I love my country so knock it off about fanhood b.s.....

And perhaps a blessing is the Morse injury. He has no pop which this team needs and he is like watching Canseco in the OF!

This team needs some major changes or else you can join those cheeky folk that in mid July will be expecting a major turn around from well....Everyone.

Posted by sjazzdude

8:44 AM, Apr 14, 2008

Bavasi, Thank you for trading our top prospects and best bullpen pitcher for a tempremental, whiney starter who doesn't even want to be here. His attitude and performance ( or lack thereof ) shows that he's only dedicated to himself and his mind is anywhere else than the Mariners. How much is he the costing the Ms? You know he'll be collectiing millions of dollars sitting on the bench rationalizing his hatred for his new team as a hip injury.

Posted by stango

9:02 AM, Apr 14, 2008

Glad to see that the comments are starting to be more directed at BB than at Mac. Now, I'm no Mac fan, but this roster is so flawed.

The fact is that, although RRS may eventually disprove this (as EOF may as well), but coming into this season, EOF is BY FAR the best LH option out of the pen. He has sucked this year, though (understatement), but it is still early. Coming into this year, EOF is the only guy in the pen who got out LHB's with any consistency. Now we have to send him down to get right again, because of our utter lack of BP depth.

The bench is not just filled with marginal guys (as bench guys usually are). What roles were they expected to play? Other than Willie (who I begrudgingly admit has a lot of value because of his versatility), when would we use Cairo (can't hit or field), and Morse (can't really play any position, he's a DH)? I do like Burke as a backup catcher, though. Calling up Norton was a good move, since we now have a guy to PH against a LHP.

Vidro (#5 hitter?!?) still sucks, Ibanez should be DH, our defense is worse than below avg., Bedard still has a long history of injury trouble, and I hope that he proves me wrong. The way I see it, not having AJ in the OF, Sherrill in the pen has cost us at least 3 games already this year. Bedard has won two, so it's almost a wash, but he certainly hasn't looked like the "ace" BB was selling us.

And...
Blogging is for debating things, and I welcome arguments, I mean, that is why we're here. Can we please refrain from the personal attacks? The rule in a blog should be: if you wouldn't say it to someone's face, don't say it. Act like you're talking M's in a bar; if your comment might get you punched in the face (deservedly or not), don't type it!!!

It makes you look as bad as the person you're supposedly insulting, even when I agree with the gist of the comment.

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