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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 24, 2008 8:59 AM

Hitters needed

Posted by Geoff Baker

They say the first month of any baseball season is all about taking stock. Figuring out what a team needs, making adjustments and moving on from there. It's been an interesting first 3 1/2 weeks for the Mariners. Far more interesting than some of us might have imagined. With six games left in month No. 1, the Mariners are playing .500 ball at 11-11, two games out of first place behind the A's and Angels. The team's Pythagorean Expectation so far sees them as a 12-10 team, one that should win 88 games based on run differential that's substantially improved because of pitching. Considering all this team has been through with injuries, including last night's minor one that finally prevented Carlos Silva from yet another seven-inning outing, being on-pace for an 88-74 record on the sabermetric front isn't too bad.

That's the good news. The bad news? Well, it's what we've alluded to since January. This team's schedule hasn't exactly been filled with contenders. A glance over at the third-order wins and losses adjusted standings at Baseball Prospectus (third set of numbers on the right, under W3-L3) shows the M's to be more of a 9-13 team based on strength of schedule. The Angels aren't doing so hot either, but good teams worry more about themselves this time of year. Now, let's not forget, this is all subjective. If it turns out the Oakland A's are a legit contender, the M's schedule for April just got a whole lot tougher than any of us imagined. I'll also owe Derek at U.S.S. Mariner and the Diamond Mind simulation people a huge tip-of-the-cap if the A's really are that good. Having seen them in-person last week (the A's, not Derek and Diamond Mind), I can't believe that's going to last. But, as we've said, that's why they play the games.

What's screaming out at me now? Some 3 1/2 weeks into the season? The offense, naturally. It's easy to jump all over Jose Vidro and Brad Wilkerson -- and we have -- but what jolted me this morning was the number of M's with an on-base-plus-slugging percentage below .700. That won't fly. Not for a team hoping to contend.

Here are some of the names and OPS stats and it's not all what you'd think:

Kenji Johjima -- .515
Brad Wilkerson -- .546
Jose Vidro -- .564
Yuniesky Betancourt -- .670
Ichiro -- .676
Jose Lopez -- .689

These numbers are shocking. I know it's early. Some of these numbers will still be vulnearable to wild fluctutation. But it isn't that early. We're roughly a seventh of the way into the season. If you think of a .700 OPS being sort of the Mendoza Line for hitting (and I do), then two thirds of the Seattle lineup is below the Mendoza Line. If two thirds of a lineup's batting average was below .200, you would all be up and screaming. Well, this is arguably worse.

The fact that three guys are under .600 is worrisome indeed.

That seems likely to change. Just because it's tough to stay truly that bad for a prolonged period. Hardly comforting, I know. But we also know Ichiro is unlikely to remain below .700 for long. Betancourt as well, though he's got to get it going. What worries me somewhat is Lopez, who, I wrote just yesterday, was doing a fine job in the No. 2 spot. He has to a certain extent, but he can't stay below .700 in OPS for very long. Last year, when some of us were ready to run him out of town, he was at .639. So, an improvement so far, but not much of one.

For all the guff Richie Sexson takes -- and his average is back down to .205 -- his OPS is at .785 so far. The team needs him above .800, but it's a start.

In the interest of being fair, we'll weight the OPS of some of the main culprits in terms of park factors, since Seattle has played many of its games so far in "pitcher friendly'' parks, including Liberty, I mean, Safeco Field.

Johjima -- 43
Wilkerson -- 53
Vidro -- 56
Ichiro -- 86
Betancourt -- 83
Lopez -- 89

Yep, still ugly. Remember, an OPS+ score of 100 is the definition of league average. So, Johjima is 57 percent below league average. Lopez is only 11 percent below, but, as I mentioned, he has to step it up. Same for Betancourt. Lots of hype for those two guys, but so far, the sticks aren't measuring up. The defense hasn't been lights-out either.

Why are the numbers so bad? As many of you mentioned, the team drew a plethora of walks the first 2 1/2 weeks or so. But in the last week, that's all stopped. What happened? Anaheim is what happened. Actually, Zack Greinke happened before that. Not to mention Edwin Jackson prior. But in Anaheim, a true streak began where the M's would allow pitchers to go seven and eight innings deep while the hitters looked overwhelmed. There was Joe Saunders, then Ervin Santana, then Jeremy Guthrie, not to mention Daniel Cabrera last night. Four pitchers in five days. All with excellent "stuff'' that can overwhelm hitters. If those guys were reading the scouting reports from the Jackson and Greinke starts against Seattle, they would have seen that throwing strikes against this bunch can pay off.

Cabrera's biggest downfall has been his wildness over the years. But if you whisper in his ear that the M's won't make a pitcher pay when the balls come in over the plate, even he is capable of hitting the zone. And to my naked eye, that's what is happening. Sure, we saw Sexson make Saunders pay a few times late in Anaheim. Maybe Raul Ibanez. But how many other M's can scorch a hittable pitch? Not too many so far. That's got to change.

The only way these M's are going to beat pitchers like these is by working counts in their favor, like 1-0, or 2-1 and then hitting the next fastball down the middle. Not by fouling it straight back. Actually hitting it, the way Sexson did in Anaheim. Until that happens, my layman's eye tells me the book is out on the 2008 Mariners. Sort of the way it is on the 2008 A's so far. Throw strikes and dare them to hit the ball. More times than not, they won't.

So far, anyways. And until the M's start making pitchers pay for those strikes, the offensive numbers are going to stay ugly indeed. Not for two thirds of the lineup. Not all year. But for too many of these guys. If I'm running this team, I'm taking notes, considering my options and figuring out just who is capable of a rebound. And also exactly when -- not tomorrow, or next week, but not in mid-August either -- the day will arrive that it's time to pull the proverbial plug.

Here's a tip: one of those options won't be slugger Frank Thomas, who just signed with the A's for undisclosed terms. Local boy Travis Buck is a casualty of that arrangement.

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Posted by Grandson

9:14 AM, Apr 24, 2008

so the good news here, really is just bad news. we are a .500 team against poor opponents.

Posted by DoubleT

9:15 AM, Apr 24, 2008

When does Interleague start?

Posted by ajdaddy

9:28 AM, Apr 24, 2008

Great post. The M's have been ok, and you could add a couple more wins due to some uncharacteristic bullpen flameouts, but the offense, or lack thereof, just gives you a sense of disquiet, of anxiety. This is where the stats-based analysis comes in so handy, as you can put a number to why the M's aren't scoring. Those OPS numbers are scary! Especially when you've sacrificed some outfield defense for better hitting (Wilkerson?) It feels like the M's are riding a bit of a tightrope. With the starting pitching they've gotten, put a good offense behind it, and they are rolling. I hate to see them punt quality starts, because they're precious. Especially to this team. On the positive, Silva is looking pretty good. Love the speed at which he works, and his combativeness. They had better not be planning on platooning Willie Ballgame, however.

Posted by California Bob Kelly

9:33 AM, Apr 24, 2008

Geoff, a very astute, well researched article as usual. Also, as usual the fans seem to have a better clue than M's management and managers. Why, in the name of M's history, have the M's been satisfied with punch and judy hitters instead of getting Griffey as our DH? You could pencil in 25-35 dingers, 90-110 rbi's and fear in the rest of the AL with Griffey batting in front or behind a Beltre who continues to swing at pitches over his head or a foot outside. Why do we play 2 players in right with a composite of good fielder and great speed and absolutely no power, Bloomquist, and Wilkerson who has a little gap power, strikes out on any good fastball in and has a little league arm. Frankly, Reed, Jimerson or Balentien or combination thereof have more to offer than the present tandem in right. Also, Johjima continues to look like a little leaguer at the plate...can you say, Clement, sooner than later.

Posted by Rod

9:34 AM, Apr 24, 2008

The problem I see is that this line up is incapable of making much improvement. Who in this line up actually puts fear into an apposing pitcher? Raul? Ichiro? Those two might make a pitcher a tad nervous, but fear? No way. You have no one protecting anyone in this line up. This line up needs an influx for at least two stud hitters, which in turn will make everyone around them better. You put a "Griffey type" hitter behind Beltre, and all of a sudden Adrian starts seeing better pitches to hit since no one wants to walk him to get to that "Griffey type" hitter. You'd think a teams DH would at least raise some concern for an opposing team. The only thing our DH instals is the fear of hitting a single. Yeah, that's great when the bases are loaded with the winning run on third, but it doesn't do much for the rest of the game, and it does very little to protect the hitters around him.

Why are we sitting on our hands right now? I've seen enough of Clement, both during his call up last season, and how he hits in Tacoma, to know that this guy is legit. He needs to be our DH TONIGHT, and Vidro sent to either the bench, or First Base. Balentien needs to be called up TONIGHT, and inserted into Right Field. These guys are an instant improvement over what we're putting on the field right now. There's a lot of dead weight on this team, and it's time we get rid of it.

Posted by Martin

9:40 AM, Apr 24, 2008

Geoff: Thanks for the post. I was at the game last night and moaned when RR-S gave up the dinger. I groaned with one out when Vidro came up with Sexson to follow. I just knew it was going to be two outs.
What do the M's do from here, bring up Clement and trade Kenji to the Reds for Griffey? Clement becomes the Catcher (with help from Burke) and Griffey is the DH (and some OF), with Vidro helping the IF and Raul helping at 1B?

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

9:41 AM, Apr 24, 2008

Manager Needed

OPS, SMOPS at small sample size, it doesn't matter how we do it. In the real life scoreboard at the ball park, it's the number of runs after 9 innings of real life baseball that matters.

The M's as a team have scored 100 runs and the Red Sox have scored 123 runs. The M's are 8th in the A.L. in doing so which is league average. The Angels are ranked 3rd. These numbers give us a better grasp on the reality of the situation. Only 3 runs seperate the M's from the Rays and from being above league average.

If Ichiro our franchise player/alleged "elite player" had been producing more, I'd argue the team would be above league average in scoring runs. Ichiro's lack of offense is killing us offensively for the money we are paying him. Do I advocate benching him, no. But his struggles are a large part of the offense struggling, and he should turned it around soon.

Vidro hitting .200 is unacceptable, Clement should be DH right now. Balentien as soon as healthy should be in right. We could then afford to wait for Johjima to turn it around at catcher. How long is Mac going to go with Bloomquist at right? Honestly, we are the laughing stock of the league by running out Willie in right.

The team really has failed in winning close games. I'd argue as much as the offense is ranked #8, league average, and has struggled. I'd argue losing close games at the hands of Maclaren's questionable decision making this month has prevented the M's of taking advantage of the Angel's loss of Escobar and Lackey.

Posted by Beady Eye Guy

9:47 AM, Apr 24, 2008

Rod, Balentien can't be called up tonight due to injury but Reed could be a good fill in until that time as he couldn't POSSIBLY be any worse than Wilkerson at the plate.

He's also a defensive upgrade. Can we go to Jocketty and see if Johjima and some low level Minor league prospects can get a deal done for Griffey?

Posted by Beady Eye Guy

9:52 AM, Apr 24, 2008


With all due respect, Ichiro ALWAYS has bad Aprils. He seems to be snapping out of it.

In the end, he's not the problem. The problem is McLaren's lineups. Vidro as an everyday DH? Why can't he insert Norton in there more often?

Willie as Wilkerson's platoon mate? I'd rather see what Jimerson can do with those at bats as he couldn't be much worse.

THOSE are our problems. A Catcher hitting like crapola like Kenji is makes me wonder if this is more than a slump.

I find Betancourt to be a bit streaky so he will more than likely find his bat in the coming weeks. The problem with this team is Mac's insistence on having Willie Sr & Jr on the bench. Why is Cairo here? If he's here for Jose Lopez, it seems to have worked to some extent so far so cut him loose and bring up Reed or an OF so we can stop watching the travesty of Willie B. playing OF regularly.

If I was Bavasi (and I am glad I am not!) I'd be telling Mac that his way isn't working and that he is getting new pieces. Take his toys away (Cairo) and give him ones he HAS TO PLAY.

Posted by Scott

9:53 AM, Apr 24, 2008

It's a good thing we went out and got that number 1 starter that was the missing piece.

Posted by Jason

9:59 AM, Apr 24, 2008

I wish Junior would retire so we don't have to read or hear anymore posts about bringing him back.

You really want another aging (aged?) veteran who can't really play defense anymore and is a gigantic injury risk? Listen, I love Griffey too. Watching him play in my teens was a thrill I'll tell my grandkids about but it's time to let it go.

Nice props there, Geoff. For what it's worth both Dave and Derek defend you over there when someone jumps your s***.

Posted by usesomelogic

9:59 AM, Apr 24, 2008

We are all fans of this team and the one thing EVERYONE in this blog agrees on is that we need more hitters on this team. Now we might all disagree on who those hitters are but this team NEEDS offense. I don't understand why it's so obvious to us and yet Bill Bavasi and the FO is sitting on their hands.

I know it's not the perfect scenario but you have the greatest homerun hitter ever in baseball sitting in free agency if you need some left handed "sock" or if you want a right hander you've got Frank Thomas.

Taking a chance on those guys is a NO BRAINER, you don't give up prospects, you probably don't even have to pay them a whole lot. The cancer of this team NOT doing everything it can to win is more than the team doing everythign it can.

In a perfect world you go get Griffey and bring up Wlad. You put Wlad in the 7 spot and Griffey in the 5 spot and you have them and Raul all spilt time in RF/LF and DH....

Posted by Rod

9:59 AM, Apr 24, 2008

Thanks Beady. I remembered that after I posted. I agree with bringing up Reed for the time being. I know some on this blog don't believe he's that good, offensively speaking, but I for one think that if given a chance, Reed would surprise a lot of people. Jeremy's a very good defensive player with a sweet swing. He's young, but given a little time as an everyday player, I really think his confidence would grow and he could become a solid .290 hitter, maybe even .300 someday. I realize he struggled a bit when he was our starting centerfielder a couple years ago. But as we all know, this game is 70% mental. He's got the tools, and I think the maturity has come a long way. That said, I do like what Balentien brings to the table, and he has more pop than Reed. Heck, why not both of them PLUS Ichiro in the outfield? Pretty good defense if you ask me.

Posted by Patrick

10:00 AM, Apr 24, 2008

Vidro hitting in the 5 hole is embarrassing. Wilkerson hitting anywhere in the lineup is also embarrassing. It's all the more frustrating because there's an easy fix. Call up Clement and Balentin (when he gets healthy) and plug them in at DH and RF. yeah it'll occasionally be rocky, but even with the inevitable rookie slumps they'll produce more than our 2 washed up veterans. The only problem is I can see our inept FO and our inept manager waiting for injuries to force their hand due to some belief that non-producing veterans are more deserving of playing time than talented, hungry rookies.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

10:02 AM, Apr 24, 2008

Chris-If Green had walked the first batter in the 8th and then
Mac decided to pull Green for RRS. I'd have no problem in the decision.

However, Green broke Melvin Mora's bat and was ahead of Mora the whole at bat and looked good enough to finish the inning in my opinion since he hasn't pitched in 5 days.

Posted by Ben

10:05 AM, Apr 24, 2008

Well we're not going to sign frank thomas (which i think is actually a good thing).

Posted by ET

10:05 AM, Apr 24, 2008

Geoff - would love your honest opinion on a Griffey deal. He appears to be hitting for a little power, though his average isn't out of this world. He retains a certain amount of fan equity here and I think even if he underperformed the "feel-good" nature of his return would boost a lot of spirits. The Reds just changed GMs - what better time to get that team, which remains pitching poor, to re-think its future? We could use the lefty bat - not sure his deteriorated D would still wouldn't be a RF upgrade, and we could always platoon him as DH/RF. It's a sentimental move but one that could re-energize both parties here - I think he'd love to come "home" (at least to the place where he walks on water for many fans and isn't blamed for a franchise' mediocrity), but the price for the organization would be, yet again, young pitching. Bavasi's chip stack is already in the middle of the table - why not? Love to read your thoughts...

Posted by Ziasudra

10:13 AM, Apr 24, 2008

Geoff, you are correct on the scouting report angle. Throw Beltre a slider in the dirt; throw Sexson a low pitch, it will be called a strike, and he'll swing at the next two even lower; throw Joh a high pitch (eye level) and he'll hack at it. Vidro, Wilks, throw anything - they can't hit it. Throw a first pitch strike to Lopez and Yuni, because they have been ordered to take one strike; then they will hack at anything close, esp. a 3-1 pitch in the dirt. And, I'm not a professional scout; who knows how much more accurate they can be?

Posted by Cdn M

10:14 AM, Apr 24, 2008

Hey Geoff,

Any updates on Frank Thomas? I read this morning on USA Today that a mystery team, reportedly the M's or the Rangers, stepped in with a last minute offer. Have you heard anything from other sources?

Great post as usual!

Posted by Coop

10:17 AM, Apr 24, 2008

The A's signed Thomas this morning.

Posted by Ben

10:17 AM, Apr 24, 2008

Griffey's OPS thus far: .786 (Batting Average: .256)
Carreer OPS: .926

He's an upgrade over wilkerson/vidro for sure - but i really don't see anyone but mariners fans talking about this.

I don't think the Mariners would bring up Clement to be a full time DH because they want him to learn to catch fully, but maybe bringing up Balentin to DH and then play a little RF would work... That or we could just start hitting with the guys we have...

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

10:21 AM, Apr 24, 2008

Beady-Ichiro, will turn it around. I just wanted to point out his struggles since we were talking about the offense struggling. And the majority of fans give Ichiro a free pass. I especially have enjoyed him taking flyballs away from Ibanez and Wilkerson in recent games on balls that he caught standing right next to the players involved....

I don't like the Reed idea. In fact, Bloomquist and Reed are basically .250 hitters. I don't see much upside except the defense. I'd rather give Balentien a call up. If the knee is just bruised he can DH initially then go to right.

The A's just signed Frank Thomas.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

10:28 AM, Apr 24, 2008

Ziasudra-You have to wonder if Mac's game strategy filters down to the way we prepare our hitters on game day. If Mac is giving Lopez the take sign on the first pitch of every at bat, do you blame Lopez or Mac?

I recall even Hargrove benching Betancourt for swinging at the high fastball out of the zone. And Grover was considered a passive manager. I wonder if hitters are being given any instruction except the signs at the plate.

Posted by Brennan

10:33 AM, Apr 24, 2008

Anybody else get the feeling that with a new GM in Cincy now the Griffey trade might happen?

A Vidro/Rob Johnson for Griffey trade might not be a bad one for both squads.

I'm not screaming to get Griffey back, but his skills make sense for what we need.

Posted by Rod

10:41 AM, Apr 24, 2008

I'd love to see Griffey back in an M's uniform. Why some of the "pee in your Cheerios" posters around here dislike him is beyond me. (you all know who you are. ;) He still plays a respectful defense, could platoon at DH, and he'd put a TON of butts in the seats. I'm not too concerned with his slowish start. Griffey still has a few years left in him, and his bat would definately help this pathetic offense. Yeah, there's the "feel good" element to this, but there's also the very real fact that the Kid can still play.

Posted by Mike

10:44 AM, Apr 24, 2008

The numbers really tell the story offensively. 8th in runs, 9th in runs per game, 11th in team OPS (under Geoff's Mendoza line at .698), 12th in OBP.

In 22 games we've score 4 or fewer runs 14 times. Not surprisingly we are 4-10 in those games. Even good pitching will only take you so far.

Posted by Mike

10:46 AM, Apr 24, 2008

Griffey's defense might be "respectful", I'm just not so sure it is respectable any more. I think in the AL he's a DH.

Posted by Bellevue Rob

10:48 AM, Apr 24, 2008

We need a hitter that puts fear into the opposing pitchers. That player is available, but since the Mariners organization is not interested in winning, but only in providing a quality competitive product that keeps them profitable ( 18 M last year) we will not get him. Sorry M's fans no Barry Bonds, no playoffs just more money for Nintendo.

Posted by Jason

10:53 AM, Apr 24, 2008

Fear? Perhaps Jim Rice will come out of retirement.

Posted by Jared

10:54 AM, Apr 24, 2008

As soon as Belentien is healthy we need him in RF!! Clement should take Cairo's spot on the roster and be switching with Vidro at DH and Johjima at Catcher. It would only be an upgrade!

Lets give Washburn some run support tonight!!!

Posted by Chris from Bothell

10:54 AM, Apr 24, 2008

I'll say it again: the Ms are 1-5 in 1-run games. Fix that, and the Ms are on their way.

They need to resume their patient ways (Sexson from first couple weeks, for example). And they need just one batter replaced with a league-average-or-better hitter, be that swapping out for Wilkerson, Vidro or Joh.

That's it. Doesn't take massive panic moves, radical lineup shifts, anything.

Assuming all else is equal - pitching is as good, bullpen and defense don't degrade - the Ms can turn the corner.

Free Wlad OR Reed OR Clement, plug them into RF (or in Jeff's case, DH), leave the lineup exactly in the order it's in (so, new guy hits 5th or 6th), and if they can start out of the gate as a league-average guy for OPS, the Ms are fine.

Posted by MJ

10:59 AM, Apr 24, 2008

Sign Bonds and trade for Griffey to play RF. Griffey's average may be down this season but pitching in the NL is filthy this season. Those two bats although aging would help make this offense relevant again. Someone goes down with an injury and you still have two young mashers in the minors you can bring up to get them some seasoning. If we are willing to pay Ichiro 18M for 75 infield base hits a year, why not pay those guys to put some balls in the stands?

Posted by Adam

10:59 AM, Apr 24, 2008

But how many other M's can scorch a hittable pitch? Not too many so far. That's got to change.

It's not going to change. This team was among the worst in baseball in 2007 when it came to hitting for power, and now it is a year older.

What you see is what you get, folks. Unless you add Bonds, Wlad, or Clement to the team.

Posted by Chris from Bothell

11:00 AM, Apr 24, 2008

Resin - re: Green - perhaps. I can see what you mean about his last strikeout being a sign that he'd become dialed-in. But if Green had given up the homer instead of RRS, then it would have been "argh, Green was left in too long".

Entirely likely that now that JJ is back, John "Cryin' Man" McLaren is back to strict roles, one inning per reliever, period. No matter how well a given reliever is doing, if you did your inning and/or if there's a L/L or R/R matchup coming, you're done.

Posted by Mike

11:02 AM, Apr 24, 2008

I'm sorry for my rant in advance and I rant with the caveat that I know the season is only 14% complete.

When we made the move for Bedard we signaled that we were going for it this year but we did nothing to improve an aging offense that looked destined to regress, particularly after not resigning Guillen. The Ms brass simply chose to take for granted the good performance from last year as repeatable and assume the poorer performers would rebound. Wishful thinking is not how to build a good baseball team.

I don't know how much credence to give to preseason simulations but they came under a lot of fire for predicting the Ms would score significantly fewer runs this season. Right now they look reasonably accurate.

Sure 6 people are stinking it up right now and some will improve but we will also see some regression from Raul, Beltre and Sexson.

I honestly don't know if the answer is to bring up the kids or signing Lofton, or Bonds but we need to do something. Even the A's have jumped back in the game.

Sorry for the length of this. I'm just very frustrated with Ms management right now. The Angels are vulnerable and I fear we won't be able to take advantage.

Posted by Jason

11:07 AM, Apr 24, 2008

Does everyone really want to see the M's get fleeced again in a trade involving Griffey? Time to stop trying to re-live '95 again people. Sign Bonds, he doens't cost anymore prospects and will almost certainly cost less $ wise this season than Griffey.

Posted by David B

11:11 AM, Apr 24, 2008

Why not Barry Bonds? Left hander with power perfectly suited for Safeco Field..... yeah I know taboo on roids.... but hey take a chance unless u like our big swingers whiffing night after night when it counts.

Posted by joe

11:12 AM, Apr 24, 2008

one of the only reason I felt it might be a good idea to sign Frank Thomas, was to keep him away from an AL West team. Well that didn't happen, and now the A's are that much stronger. Even if they don't play Thomas all the time, the fact that they kept him out of our struggling offense is a coup. Kudos to Billy Beane.

Posted by Bill

11:16 AM, Apr 24, 2008

The A's just signed a big-hitting DH and a speedy OF. Hmm...I wonder what other team in the division could use players like that.

Maybe the A's re-signed Thomas just to keep him away from the M's.

With the expectations the team and the fans had, if the M's tank this year and fail to contend will it be the end of the line for Bavasi and Mac?

Posted by BrianL

11:21 AM, Apr 24, 2008

Bill -

I'd imagine it would be the end of both Mac and Bavasi's tenure in Seattle. However, the two people who need to be leave first are Lincoln and Armstrong.

Posted by BrianL

11:22 AM, Apr 24, 2008

*the two people who need to leave first

I think I need to get some caffeine in my system.

Posted by well_armed

11:22 AM, Apr 24, 2008

Anyone who thinks signing Griffey would be good is delusional.

Posted by Jeff

11:34 AM, Apr 24, 2008

This is really quite a silly post. Many of us, based on analysis before the season began, already had a pretty good idea that we needed another hitter.

But hey, spending time defending the current roster last season and during the off-season and now talking about how it needs to change gives Geoff and the Times something to write about!

Posted by MJ

11:47 AM, Apr 24, 2008

Delusional in the fact that he's a fan favorite and most exciting Mariner ever or delusional in the fact that he can hit 30 bombs for us and be a real power lefty which the M's don't have?

Posted by K-Man

11:50 AM, Apr 24, 2008

From Stone's prior post:

"It seems like just about the whole Mariners' team is sick with either the flu, bad colds, or both. Trainer Rick Griffin said it reminded him of a stretch three years ago when a similar flu bug leveled the Mariners."

All due respect to Geoff's excellent OPS analysis (and the other posters here), but I'd wait until this thing blows over before I'd seriously advocate benching, releasing, promoting, trading and/or signing guys to play LF, RF, C and DH. Patience is for winners, especially in April.

Also, Griffey won't be available until after he gets to 600. And how strange would it be for him to be celebrated in Cinci for that achievement, and then accept a trade to Seattle? Homecoming celebrations like in 2007? Expected to be a savior for the 2008 Mariners? Sounds a little far-fetched, dont'cha think?

Posted by Corey Miller

11:53 AM, Apr 24, 2008

Ok since the theme of some of the entries seems to be the vast disparity between our lineup and...well...everyone else's lineup, is the fear factor.

So here is the question: When was the last time the Mariner's lineup, NOT counting the 2001 lineup, really made a pitcher think about who he wanted to pitch to and who he wanted to avoid?

Posted by MJ

11:54 AM, Apr 24, 2008


Posted by BrianL

11:57 AM, Apr 24, 2008

Griffey's contact technically is over at the end of this season. There is a mutual option, but the Reds would have to be out of their minds to vest that albatross. Chances are, he'll be an unrestricted FA in '09. If the Mariners want him back, they'll likely wait until then because it will free up more payroll as opposed to trading for him and then picking up that option.

More available payroll allows them to sign someone like Mark Teixeira in the next FA period.

Posted by Fett42

12:08 PM, Apr 24, 2008

Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds.

Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds.

Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds.

Posted by Stevo in Oregon

12:08 PM, Apr 24, 2008

Who knows if Thomas will work out for the A's or not, but at least they are trying something. Billy Beane wins again! Too bad we have the worst GM and Manager in the game. That's a bad combo.

Posted by macdoubter

2:23 PM, Apr 24, 2008

Who knows if Thomas will work out for the A's or not, but at least they are trying something. Billy Beane wins again! Too bad we have the worst GM and Manager in the game. That's a bad combo.

steveo you're absolutely right. This should be repeated again, and again, and again until the final disappointing out of another losing season.

Does anybody (who's sane) really truly honestly and sincerely believe that things will be better with this GM and manager? Even Geoff is starting to sound like he's on the Nintendo payroll.

Posted by Beady Eye Guy

4:29 PM, Apr 24, 2008

Why not Bonds? Chuck and Howie wouldn't do it. The team could be dead last and they still wouldn't do it.

Realistically, Chuck still reportedly has a tude regarding Junior. If we can get Junior for Baek and agree to take on salary, fine. Rob Johnson is too much when catching is a premium and he could fetch a good player in a package deal.

I'm for Lofton but I've heard he can be a handful to manage.

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