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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 23, 2008 8:28 AM

Stayin' Alive

Posted by Geoff Baker

We all spent a couple of days over the winter waging computer battle over the relative merits/problems with keeping Jose Vidro as the team's everyday DH. At the time, I laid out the reasons why I felt Vidro was still a useful part of the club. There are still reasons why he is. We saw it last night, when he delivered a two-run single off Jeremy Guthrie (yes, I goofed, inititally, Dennis Sarfate came on to face Richie Sexson after Vidro's hit) to deliver a Seattle victory.

There is real value in having a switch hitter who is almost equally proficient from both sides of the plate. Vidro can hit lefties even better than he does righthanders, which is why you did not see the Orioles try to turn him around to the right side by pulling a tiring Guthrie to bring in lefty Jamie Walker. Over the last few seasons, even with his body not what it used to be healthwise, Vidro has put together a .291 batting average against right handed pitchers and a .311 average versus southpaws. When all you need is a single in any given situation, he's the guy you'd like to have up there. His versatility from both sides of the plate negates the strategy that managers could employ by bringing in a new pitcher. Those splits don't make for the sexiest of stats, but combine them with Vidro's patient eye -- you saw how he didn't go up swinging at Guthrie's opening gas, out of the zone (despite the umpire's expanded definition of what constitutes a called strike) -- and they're a useful, if somewhat hidden, weapon to have.

In fact, Vidro was everything this team needs. In a pinch-hitter.



Trouble is, and we touched on this all winter long, Vidro has yet to deliver the minimal production the club needs out of a DH. It's only three weeks in. But as we've mentioned since December or January, the club can't afford to wait three months this time. Maybe half as long. So, let's refresh the memories a bit.

What was written here, was that Vidro's ability to hit .300 in the No. 2 spot could not be overlooked. Well, he isn't the No. 2 hitter anymore, with Jose Lopez filling that role well. So, that's out. More concerning to me is that Vidro has yet to hit .300. He's at .211 after last night's game. When he's hitting .300, it's not, despite much ink spilled on this subject, because of flukey infield hits. Every hitter gets a degree of those and while Vidro did pile up a bunch of them early last year, the main reason he remained a .300 hitter in the second half was because of line drives. Some of those fell into the gaps for doubles. When the M's traded for Vidro, they expected a doubles gap hitter whose lack of home run power would be offset by a respectable OPS.

His OPS in July, August and September of last year was .829, .901, .767. Spread that production over six months and Vidro finishes with an OPS roughly around what Jose Guillen had last season. In other words, decent production and not a catastrophe at DH. With Lopez getting his game untracked and Richie Sexson flashing his power again, you don't need Vidro to be David Ortiz. Just the line drive, gaps doubles hitter we've talked about. That ball Vidro hit last night was a solid line drive single. No bloop or flukey infield stuff involved.

But it hasn't happened enough. If Vidro is going to hit two homers a month -- which would lead to double the six he had last year -- he's still going to have to seriously improve on his doubles totals. I believe that anywhere from six to seven doubles a month would be a good place to start. In his second half run last year, Vidro had six doubles in July and seven in September. He had only four in August, but also generated three home runs.

This is the minimal power Vidro must supply to make him worth it as a DH.

He finished with 26 doubles last year. Six or seven per month gives him 36 to 42 doubles on the season. Combine that with a .300 batting average and Vidro becomes a useful part of this daily lineup.

So far, in April, he has a grand total of two doubles. His average is closer to .200 than it is to .250. That's not going to cut it. He knows it. I know it. You all know it. As I said, it's only been three weeks. But the clock is ticking. He's got to show that last year's second half was not a "fluke'' as many people have called it. If Frank Thomas were to come in here (don't ask me, I don't know how close that is to happening), then Vidro's chances to prove himself will be greatly diminished. But for now, he's still got time. If Thomas does not sign here, Vidro might have a lot more time. Perhaps even all the way through May. I don't make the calls for this team. But he has to get it going.

So far, we're seeing the first half Vidro from last year and that wasn't good enough. If he wants to keep Stayin' Alive as the DH, he needs to deliver more line drives like we saw last night and have some of them find the gaps. That's it, that's all. It's no more complicated than that.

Catch my Talkin' Baseball segment at 8:35 a.m. today on the Mitch in the Morning Show on KJR 950 AM. Coming up in seven minutes.

ADDITIONAL COMMENT (9:25 a.m.): For David in the comments thread, from what I know of the Liberty Mutual purchase of Safeco Insurance this morning, the deal won't be completed until the end of September, so Safeco Field's name is safe for 2008. Also, the deal calls for Safeco to retain its brand name as a subsidiary of Liberty Mutual. That would suggest to me the new owners would be willing to keep the field's name the same. But it would be up to Liberty Mutual. I'm sure it's not their prime concern in a $6.12-billion deal. But a good question by you.

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Posted by Kyle

8:42 AM, Apr 23, 2008

Wasn't Vidro's hit off of Guthrie? That is what chased him from the game. I can't believe they left him in there to face Vidro. I suppose Vidro's 10-57 against righties had something to do with it.

Nice Hit Vidro, now go to the bench!

Posted by oldiecoach

8:47 AM, Apr 23, 2008

I thought Vidro got the hit off of Guthrie. Sarfate came in to get the customary strikeout of Sexson.
Sexson lets the first pitch go by...which is generally down the middle, and then goes to the Beltre school of swinging at everything down...doesn't matter if it's "in or away"...just swing and hope that he makes contact.

Posted by seattlelawigrl

8:53 AM, Apr 23, 2008

Yep, the hit was against Guthrie.

Posted by markus

8:53 AM, Apr 23, 2008

I agree completely. But does the team have the guts to put Vidro on the bench and who do they bring in to fill the gap? Another aging veteran who also is past their prime? Like many others, I would like to see Raul DH and Wlad (when healthy) or Reed in the OF. Or both, since I'm almost convinced that Wilkerson is on the wrong side of the equation also.

Posted by scottM

9:11 AM, Apr 23, 2008

Baek and Dickey are basically a wash, as seen in their two starts. Baek, against the formidable Angels was pulled TOO early for O'Flaherty who tanked in game three of that first home stand. Baek should have been allowed to clean up his own two on mess. Dickey has options, Baek doesn't. Why lose him for nothing. The jury is out on Bedard, so keeping Baek until we know for certain, makes sense--as insurance.

Baek isn't the only reliever getting splinters. This is the excellent outgrowth of a starting rotation that is consistently going 7+ innings. A good problem.

Why not bring in Frank Thomas if he is cheap? Competition between Vidro and the Big Hurt can only help, not to mention adding a legitimate home run threat. This one isn't rocket science.

Posted by NB

9:12 AM, Apr 23, 2008

Jose Vidro is not an everyday player and this team will improve as soon as he is replaced at DH. He knows it. I know it. You know it.

Also, Richie striking out against Sarfate isn't that bad. Sarfate is freaking scary!

Posted by scottM

9:13 AM, Apr 23, 2008

Wilkerson must go! Free Balentien!

Posted by Mike

9:13 AM, Apr 23, 2008

I agree that Vidro has a lot of use as a PH. IF his struggles against righties this year is more about bad luck then having Vidro available to pinch hit for Joh, or Jose or Yuni against some tough righty makes him a valuable part of the team.

Posted by Donovan

9:16 AM, Apr 23, 2008

Ironically, in that situation in the 8th last night - tie game, 2 outs, bases juiced - the last thing I would have wanted to see was a power goon swinging for the fences. Our DH-lite career .300 contact hitter was just the ticket, especially given his numbers against Guthrie. I was very surprised they didn't go to the pen there. When you need a single to win, you want a singles hitter in there. This doesn't vindicate Vidro as the DH or anything, but last night it worked out. Nice job Jose. I gotta say, I love Vidro as a PH late in the game. As a DH, he will always be ripped for lack of power, even when he hits for average.

My assessment of Baek hasn't changed since opening day. Trade bait. Ditto Jeremy Reed. I am absolutely certain they are shopping both of them. They have no obvious future fit here. They are also likely to wait and make sure Bedard is healthy now though, so I expect him to to be on the ML roster for a couple more weeks at least. After that, they might try to get him through waivers to see who is interested. You can always pull him back. Dickey will be back up. I'm certain of that, but they have to decide on Baek's fate first.

The RF soap opera keeps getting more complicated. Who is going to go tonight, Bloomie, presumably? I think Wilk is in a much deeper hole than Vidro. How is Wlad's knee doing?

Posted by David

9:21 AM, Apr 23, 2008

hi Geoff, question for ya. So in the business world today, Liberty Mutual agrees to buy Safeco. Which most likely also would assume the naming rights to Safeco Field. So does the stadium have to change its name now or soon?

Posted by ajdaddy

9:22 AM, Apr 23, 2008

Great point. The skills he has...great as a PINCH HITTER. In a way, you almost see him as a (and I'm aging myself here) Rusty Staub type. His last years with the Mets he had no legs (not that he ever did), and got stuck in the field occasionally (NL rules), but was a killer pinch hitter. Could hit lefties and righties, and got the bat on the ball. A professional hitter, in short. I'd be a lot more comfortable, if the current trend continues, seeing him pinch hit as opposed to Willie Ballgame.

Posted by M's Fan in CO Exile

9:30 AM, Apr 23, 2008

"In fact, Vidro was everything this team needs. In a pinch-hitter."

Perfect. That's exactly his most useful role. On a weak bench, he'd be a decent pinch hitter.

You and I have been over this a few times, Geoff. I think last year (the whole year) is as good as it gets for Vidro. He is not capable of hitting as many doubles as you think he should to be productive. His second half is also not sustainable over the whole year given his mobility problems and skillset. Even when he gets it going, he's not going to be better than he was last year, and I don't think he can repeat given what we've seen. The man has 2 doubles. He's grounded into as many double plays. His OPS+ is 64. Yes, it's 76 at-bats, but this is the time of year that the gap in the standings is going to be created. We can be distancing ourselves from the Angels, or they from us. Having a black hole at DH is a problem.

The issue we face now, though is lack of options/outfield depth with Wilkerson having a slow start as well, and Adam Jones gone. We can't move Raul since both corners are already defensively bad, and even a healthy Morse would have been no solution. It would have been nice to have an outfield option (besides Willie and Mike) who could provide some real defensive strength in the outfield. Reed can't hit, and Wlad isn't ready. We may have no choice but to stick with Vidro due to poor roster construction until a trade presents itself. It's a bad spot to be in with some good things happening on the pitching front, and with some of the other bats coming to life in stretches. And I am tired of hearing people calling for Jeff Clement to DH. His utility is as a decent hitting catcher. Make him a DH and side-track him, and you've essentially wasted his primary value to the organization. Sort of like having Morrow pitch in . . oh never mind.

Posted by Stat Prof

9:35 AM, Apr 23, 2008

CO Exile :

You could bring in Reed or Wlad to play left.

Reed would be a defensive upgrade. Somehow he seems to have gotten lost in the system since his injury.

Posted by -k

9:41 AM, Apr 23, 2008

To be honest, i'm a little annoyed that we're are even having this conversation. Yes, Vidro's not getting it done, but he is hardly the team's biggest problem: RF is.

I'm not giving Vidro a pass here. He needs to step it up or get out of the everyday lineup. What i'm saying is if we are going to trade reed and baek for someone, lets take care of the team's biggest weakness first.

If the M's make a move, whether it be a trade with Baek and Reed, or one regarding a true prospect like Tui or Wlad, it should be for a RF, not a DH. The upgrade in RF, both offensively and defensively, will have a greater impact on the success of this club than getting a new DH.

Posted by AKMarinersFan

9:42 AM, Apr 23, 2008

I agree Geoff. Vidro would be very valuable as a pitch hitter who could come of the bench in situations last night.

Posted by Donovan

9:44 AM, Apr 23, 2008

One other observation (prompted by Mr. X's post in the last thread about the M's having no leadoff hitter) - It is nice to see Ichiro start driving balls into the gap again. Two huge triples to lead off innings in the last two games. His hit in Anaheim pretty much kept us from getting swept, and he picked Felix up right away last night by getting on third so Raul could drive him in. Given that, I'll forgive the weak 8th inning pop- up. I agree with X on one thing though - the offense can only improve.

At least with our pitching, we are always likely to be in the game. With last year's rotation, this team has a record more like the Rangers do now.

Posted by M's Fan in CO Exile

9:48 AM, Apr 23, 2008

Stat Prof,

Reed can't hit. Granted he'd probably give you something more than Vidro is showing you now, but I don't know if he'd be that much better long-term than where Vidro will shake out. Defensively, he would be an upgrade over Ibanez, no doubt. However, he may be called in to play RF if Wilkerson keeps stinking it up. We actually have problems at both corners right now, just on different sides of the equation.

I still don't think Wlad is ready. I actually would prefer to stick with Raul at least unti the all-star break if the only choice was Wlad in LF. He needs more time in AAA in my view to work on his game. He might need the whole year, and his stats look a little wonky in small sample size theater. I'm not sure when he'll find his grove, but it doesn't appear to be right now.

Posted by Troy

9:51 AM, Apr 23, 2008

Can I assume that Baek has better numbers against the Orioles than Dickey since he'll be called upon to start again for us (with brittle Bedard looking like the AL version of Pedro Martinez)?...or was that move to send Dickey down simply based on the fact Baek is out of options, and the club doesn't want to lose him on waivers?

Vidro is PERFECT for the PH role! He's a professional hitter who sees a lot of pitches, won't chase bad ones, can hit equally well from both sides of the plate (historically), and won't rattle easily in pressure-packed situations.....but the lack of power and the pitiful batting average make him a liability as a full-time player in our line-up right now. With Wilkerson stinking it up even worse in RF, the lack of production at DH is that much more intolerable. I say give the Big Hurt a shot to inject some power into our line-up. He's a slow starter, but he's bounced back each of the last two years, and had very respectable numbers by season's end. I suppose you could say the same for Vidro last year, BUT minus the power we need to start seeing at that position. If he doesn't work out, it costs us nect to nothing, and we can call up Clement...and perhaps Wlad, as well, if Wilks doesn't start showing up!

Nice to see Sexson flashing some early power (and robbed of two round-tripeprs in Anaheim).

Posted by M's Fan in CO Exile

9:52 AM, Apr 23, 2008

Ahem. That'd be "groove" not grove.

Posted by Rain King

9:52 AM, Apr 23, 2008

On a news segment this morning on KOMO 1000 they spoke to a Liberty Mutual/Safeco executive (or some other company talking head) and they flat out stated that the name of Safeco Field would not be changing.

Posted by Big Ebu

9:55 AM, Apr 23, 2008

M’s fan in CO: I agree that Clement’s value to the Mariners is as a catcher, not a DH/1B. Converting him to a DH/1B is essentially making lemonade out of a lemon (not to say that Clement is a “bad” player, just that the decision to draft him with the 3rd pick in the 2005 draft is “bad”). Remember in 2005 we passed on Troy Tulowitski, Ryan Braun, Jacoby Ellsbury to get Clement because we needed a catcher. As you say to sidetrack him to push his development back as a catcher won’t help the M’s in the long run.

You do not burn a top 5 pick on a DH. But then you also shouldn’t burn a 1st round pick on a RH setup man either.

Posted by John

10:29 AM, Apr 23, 2008

While I agree that you don't burn your first-round pick on a RH setup man, that's obviously not what the M's envisioned or where Morrow is likely to end up. If someone asked you now if you would take J.J. Putz in the top 10 picks, most people would do so. Morrow could very well be the next closer in Seattle, and a good one. It's too early to tell. Until he flames out, I'm glad to have a guy that throws 95-99, young, and still developing. Just because he's been misused doesn't mean it was a bad pick. Would I like to have Lincecum? Sure. But Morrow could, and I think will, be a valuable member of the team for some time.
As for Clement, if he develops into a left-handed power-hitting catcher who can hit for average as well, even one who's not a superior defensive catcher, that is absolutely worth a first-round pick.

Posted by Donovan

10:37 AM, Apr 23, 2008

I suppose there is no reason to change the name of Safeco if the brand will continue in the marketplace. I'm thinking that would not be a cheap alteration. It isn't just the giant neon signs at the entrances, but all kinds of marketing materials, souvenirs, Seattle street signs....

Corporate pseudo-ownership of venues is appalling and offensive, but it isn't going away, not at the ML level anyway. I attended a minor league game a couple years ago in Mobile, AL at beautiful Hank Aaron stadium - a AA ballpark with luxury boxes. Of course, they sold sponsorship to the field, the scoreboard, even individual concourses, but the stadium is The Hank, which is as good as it gets. It would be cool if all stadiums were named after actual baseball icons instead of being leased out as corporate vanity plates. Seattle doesn't exactly have a native son to match up to Mobile though - Olerud Field?

At least Safeco Field is reasonably inoffensive sounding. You can almost pretend that it has some baseball meaning. Just think of the indignities Padres fans have lived through, first seeing Jack Murphy Stadium (possibly the most egalitarian name of a pro sports venue ever, since Murphy wasn't even rich) renamed Qualcomm Stadium, then getting a modern new baseball-only park called Petco. Yeechh. Then there is Houston, who had to scramble to rename their new park after a juice company when the original sponsor Enron flamed out in scandal. Then there are the Giants, who played in a horrible park with a cool name (Candlestick), sold out to turn it into 3Com, and then had to rename their new palace because of corporate merger (Pac Bell became AT&T). It's all very demeaning to anybody who values tradition. You can be sure of one thing. The Yankees will always play in Yankee Stadium. Some brands have more staying power than others.

I remember this Ron Judd piece from back in '98 about the naming of Safeco. Personally, I would have enjoyed going to "Tacoma Screw Field" more, but I guess they didn't have the dough.
http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive/?date=19980606&slug=2754678

Posted by Paul

10:40 AM, Apr 23, 2008

Donovan and M's Fan/exile...

I think we all agree that Reed is no superstar prospect a la Adam Jones was. But he's proven that, even as a young and learning player, he was a better hitter than Vidro has been as an aging vet. He's proven also that he'd be a significant defensive upgrade over Raul in the OF (or Wilkerson, for that matter). I fail to see how he has more value to the team as trade bait than on the big roster. If he's not valueable enough to our team as a player, which is completely struggling in one OF position and at DH, who is going to give up MORE to us than his value to us currently? Baek, yes. We have one of the best rotations in the league, and he'd be a back-rotation starter for someone else. But Reed? He has more value to us than he would to anyone else in the league.

I know some people (not you two) seem happy to say, "look, we're above .500 and in the hunt" when we should be saying, "geeze, we're good enough to dominate if we'd just replace one or two players." Reed can help. Baek, not so much.

Posted by ignacio dee

10:42 AM, Apr 23, 2008

Met several Japanese journalists in Manila and they are watching how their favorite player, Ichiro Suzuki, is faring, along with Kenji Jojima, whom they say is a very good defensive catcher.

Posted by Jay

10:46 AM, Apr 23, 2008

Can someone who was watching the game last night break down for me what happened in the away half of the first? I tuned in late, checked the log, and all I see is a CS home, an error on Beltre, no out recorded, but no run scored either. It doesn't make any sense to me. Was it a botched double steal or something?

Posted by Ben

10:46 AM, Apr 23, 2008

Griffey!! Griffey!! Griffey!!!

There's another option for you.....with Jocketty coming in, it looks like his focus is to reset by dealing his older players with expiring contracts(like Griffey / Dunn). Time might be right (after his 600th HR).....make an offer. To our benefit.....Griffey may limit the teams he can dealt to (just like last time).

The dream may just have taken a closer step to reality......

Posted by Chris from Bothell

10:49 AM, Apr 23, 2008

"In fact, Vidro was everything this team needs. In a pinch-hitter."

Not much more to say than that. Vidro essentially pinch-hit for himself last night, and helped get the Ms the win. It's good, it's not to be dismissed... but it's not a great use of a DH spot either.

Posted by D

10:53 AM, Apr 23, 2008

I'll take Vidro any day at the plate, in any situation, over Reed, Bloomquist, or Wilkerson. I'll take Reed in the field over Bloomquist, Morse, Wilkerson, Wlad, or Raul. Morse, Wlad, and apparently Wilk are now hurt, which leaves few options. Jeremy Reed is certainly one, though not a very appealing one in the net. An interesting conundrum. As an everyday player, I'll take Reed over Bloomquist, but only if he plays the field, not as DH.

Maybe the M's should form a marketing arrangement with a biotech company and start trying to develop transgenic players who combine talents of the guys we have.

As I (and others) have posted before, I don't see Vidro as anywhere near the main offensive problem that Wilkerson is right now. Would you have rather had Wilk up in the 8th last night? How about Bloomie? How about Reed? Me either.

Posted by Donovan

10:58 AM, Apr 23, 2008

Jay - the deal in the 1st last night was runners at the corners. Felix picked off the runner at 1st, who got in a rundown. The runner broke from third at which time Yuni threw home to Kenji. Kenji chased him back toward 3rd, threw to Beltre, who tagged him out, then dropped the ball. Runners safe now at 2nd and 3rd, E-5. Weird play indeed.

The poster "D" was me by the way. Don't know what happened there. Not ducking responsibility for that one.

Posted by GeoW

11:09 AM, Apr 23, 2008

I'm no fan of Vidro as the egular DH, but last night in the 8th inning, bases loaded and two outs, he was the best batter the M's could have had up. He had seen Guthrie for three previous at bats, and knew what to expect. I knew he'd get his bat on the ball. Who else could have done better? Ichiro and Lopez had already failed.

Posted by Beady Eye Guy

11:11 AM, Apr 23, 2008

To those who disagree that Clement can't come up and play C & DH here's the quote:

"Mentally, he's getting it done, his game-calling is much improved; all of it," Hansen said. "He's ready to go to the big leagues and catch."

If Roger Hansen says Jeff is ready, I believe him more than anybody posting that he isn't ready on the blogs. Too many people are telling me he looks good behind the plate. He isn't going to magically lose those skills splitting time with Kenji AND DH'ing on days when he isn't Catching.

His ability to hit MLB pitching should be given a look. I believe he would make an instant impact if called up now. Split him with Pepe Vidro at DH and then play him at Catcher 2 days a week minimum.

Posted by Chris from Bothell

11:11 AM, Apr 23, 2008

David - Where can I sign the petition to get SafeCo field renamed Niehaus Field?

Would love to be able to say, "The M's are in the 'Haus!"

:)

Posted by scottM

11:26 AM, Apr 23, 2008

The M's, hypothetically, are supposed to be building a big "easy" early season lead over the injured Angels (and the A's who, for some reason, aren't obeying the predictions that they stay in the cellar). As they say, that's why we play the games, and the games reveal our warts. Our biggest wart isn't whether it's Safeco Field or Liberty Field, it's Right Field.

We'll know on Frank Thomas in the next couple of days. If we don't get him, then what?

The M's have a major pressing concern in Wilkerson's poor performance. As many here have said, Vidro, indeed, is a concern, but less so. Assuming we don't pick up Thomas and take a chance on his aging power stroke, then what?

Would the M's be better off waiting until closer to the trade deadline and then see which teams are out of contention and might have a legitimate power hitting Right Fielder available in trade? With an actual power hitter in right, Vidro becomes yet less of a concern for the M's.

First thought for this is Griffey, if the Reds are struggling.

Baek is not a primary concern. The roster spot he holds won't hurt us as long as the Starting Rotation continues to go deep into games. However, both he an Reed ought to be traded if the M's don't plan to use them.

Get rid of Wilkerson!

Posted by Simon

11:35 AM, Apr 23, 2008

I don't think the stadium will change its name, but if we are talking about naming them after players instead of corporations, doesn't Edgar Martinez Field sound pretty good?

Posted by K-Man

11:43 AM, Apr 23, 2008

Warning, voice of reason here.

In 2007, Wilkerson put up this line (.234 / .319 / .467) with 20 Home Runs in only 338 at-bats. Three weeks (and now we hear with a bad hammy) is not enough time to pass judgement.

Keeping Guillen was not a viable option as he wanted a 3-year deal. Wilkerson for one year is a far better option. The negative vibe surrounding him is only due to the fact that he's starting off slow in a new city. He needs to work his way out of it. That takes more time.

I do agree that regardless of whether or not Wilkerson starts to hit to his abilities, that if the Reds are out of it the team should definitely look to work a trade for Griffey.

Posted by Donovan

11:49 AM, Apr 23, 2008

Simon - It sounds good to me, but (to his credit), I don't see Edgar ponying up 2 million per year to have his name over the door.

This list may be dated, but it tabulates what corporate sponsors are paying for this stuff. There is quite a range.

http://espn.go.com/sportsbusiness/s/stadiumnames.html

Posted by Get Griffey

12:19 PM, Apr 23, 2008

Pry Griffey away from the Reds and make him our DH (yes, I know it's tempting to use him in RF but I don't need to see him get injured again), Vidro becomes perhaps the best PH in MLB (our version of Manny Mota), and Cairo gets released because he has less speed than Bloomquist.

However, we would still have a problem in RF...Balentien?? (when he is healthy again).

Posted by Grandson

12:30 PM, Apr 23, 2008

there are rumors that me may snatch Magwhich of waivers to play rf. he would be a perfect fit with vet. leadership.

Posted by MrMyke

12:35 PM, Apr 23, 2008

Glad to see Vidro have some clutch success...but it shouldn't obscure Ichiro's FAILURE just prior.

Geoff, I would love to have your thoughts on what the heck the deal was there. The first bunt attempt look like he was going to bunt for a single...then he obviously gave up on the idea and hits the foul pop-up.

What does anyone think the stragegy is there, by Ichiro and McLaren? Is Ichiro above sacrifice bunting?

With a contact hitter of his magnitude, it doesn't make it less appropriate for him to have two tries at a sac bunt, it makes it MORE appropriate. If he hits two strikes, he still has a strong chance to pull a ball to advance Yuni. But, moving Yuni over was SO important at that point, I have to think that a sac bunt was absolutely the best call to make...and it wasn't tried at all.

So....Why didn't Ichiro sacrifice Yuni over????

It's just luck for Ichiro that Vidro bailed him out...that luck shouldn't bail him out of this discussion.

Posted by Bob

2:20 PM, Apr 23, 2008

Wouldn't it be nice to have a team that came out of the gate batting hot, like the 2001 Ms? But then, the Angels have done so, and they are still only 1 game ahead of the Ms.

Vidro has 12 RBIs, fourth on the team. and 11 runs scored, which shouldn't be overlooked. Even with the low BA and lack of OPS, he's been coming through.

Replace him with anyone and it's a guess as to whether the replacement will perform, whether it's Thomas or Clement or anyone. If the Ms could obtain Thomas without long-term commitment, they could retain Vidro as pinch-hitter and see how Thomas works out. If he flops, re-insert Vidro. If Thomas performs, maybe even switch them in and out of the DH slot, depending on match-ups.

Posted by Alaskan

2:33 PM, Apr 23, 2008

Grandson,
Forgive my ignorance. Who's Magwhich?

Posted by Get Griffey

4:58 PM, Apr 23, 2008

MrMyke-

By “this discussion” do you mean one poster talking to himself on an internet blog? LOL


P.S. To the “Get Griffey” who posted at 12:19. DON’T STEEL MY SCREEN NAME!

Posted by Get Griffey

5:00 PM, Apr 23, 2008

Although I agree with your point, just find an original name please.

Posted by JMHawkins

5:14 PM, Apr 23, 2008

It would be cool if all stadiums were named after actual baseball icons instead of being leased out as corporate vanity plates. Seattle doesn't exactly have a native son to match up to Mobile though - Olerud Field?

I'm a big, big, John Olerud fan, but The Hutch would be the first choice, I think.

Posted by Faceplant

6:17 PM, Apr 23, 2008

"When he's hitting .300, it's not, despite much ink spilled on this subject, because of flukey infield hits. Every hitter gets a degree of those and while Vidro did pile up a bunch of them early last year, the main reason he remained a .300 hitter in the second half was because of line drives."

Geoff,

Vidro's XBH% last year was a pathetic 19%. His LD% was the lowest it had been in three years, and his GB% was the highest it had been in FOUR years. Meanwhile his BABIP last year was an unsustainable .337.

A flukey amount of singles is the EXACT reason that Jose Vidro hit for the average he did last year.


"He finished with 26 doubles last year. Six or seven per month gives him 36 to 42 doubles on the season. Combine that with a .300 batting average and Vidro becomes a useful part of this daily lineup."

The only problem is that Vidro did not finish with 36 to 42 doubles over the last year. In fact Vidro hasn't even managed to put up 42 XBH (2B, 3B, and HR combined) in any of the last four years.

Posted by Faceplant

6:21 PM, Apr 23, 2008

"In 2007, Wilkerson put up this line (.234 / .319 / .467) with 20 Home Runs in only 338 at-bats."

I think you are probably seeing the "Arlington Effect".

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