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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 18, 2008 11:36 AM

Big weekend ahead

Posted by Geoff Baker

Sitting at the Oakland Airport, waiting to catch my flight to Orange County ahead of tonight's Mariners game against the Los Angeles Angels. I'll show you the video later. First, let me say how disappointed I am with some of the quality of discussion taking place on this site the past 24 hours. Truth is, the comments we generate represent a tiny fraction of our overall readership, which has nearly tripled since the start of last season. So, I'm not going to live and die off the comments, but, on the other hand, I do believe they are a reflection of who we are and what we want this blog to be.

I've said it before. This is a place where everyone, Adam, Mr. X, Oregongal, Stango, Chris from Bothel, and anyone else, should feel free to comment. I love having Adam on this site to play devil's advocate and push the sabermetric point of view. And he should be able to do it without being called a bunch of names. Argue your points with him, passionately if you want, but don't lower yourselves to mudslinging. It disproves everything you set out to do. For the record, I read USS Mariner every day, along with Lookout Landing, Detect-O-Vision and a bunch of other sites many of you have never heard of. I like listening to what USS Mariner has to say. They are having an event down the road that I will be making every effort to attend. Sure, we zap each other from time to time, sometimes just to keep things interesting. It's a long season.

The best part about the Seattle blogosphere is that you have both of us to listen to. We even agree on a whole lot of things, like the worthlessness of batting average, the uselessness of bunting in a majority of situations and the abilities of Reed Johnson and how he would have made a fine addition to the Mariners this year. We disagree on other stuff -- loudly disagree at times. So what? Get over it. Read both sites. It's not like you have to show an ID card to get past the velvet rope.


I'm not naive. I know where a lot of the animosity comes from. Some of you think that posters on that site -- and on this one-- try too hard to push a negative point of view.

I can't speak for them. I know they are fans, or they would be seriously wasting their time trying to run a website that generates just about zero revenue. So, let's get past that argument, please.

I can speak for myself. The way I look at things, is, a critical eye is needed when you cover a baseball team as a professional journalist, which I am. That said, it's a delicate balancing act as to whether your critical eye is being a little too fine-tuned. You don't want to be heaping criticism on a team every day for six months, only to finally admit the team is pretty darned good the day it clinches a division title.

That's bad journalism. It's more self-serving than it is a public service.

So, we try to balance those interests daily. Measure our criticism against the results actually being put up by the team over the longer term. I have been in favor of the Carlos Silva signing from the start because of his demonstrated ability to go seven innings. Whether it's making a certain pitch he needs in a key situation, or avoiding the situations that lead to big innings and run up pitch counts, he can do it.

I am not going to call what he's doing "a fluke" because he's done it before. Not this well -- with as few runs allowed -- but in my book, any pitcher who goes seven innings, allowing four earned runs or less, gives his team a chance to win every night.

It's not as if we can argue his defense has been saving him. He plays for the M's. This team's defense is not as bad as some think, but it's hardly great. So, that's my take on Silva. Want to argue otherwise, go ahead. But do it with some civility.

A big weekend coming up for a team on a roll. The M's have avoided potential road disaster by sweeping the A's. Now, they can try to make some headway.


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