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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 27, 2008 12:59 PM

Oakland Athletics at Mariners: 4/27 game thread

Posted by Tom Wyrwich

3:27 p.m. Brad Wilkerson watches strike three, and strands the eighth runner of the night for the Mariners. Heading to the ninth, A's lead 4-2.

3:11 p.m. Two more RBI singles, and it's 4-2 Oakland, and here's the worst part for the Mariners: the bases are still loaded, with just one out. Now it's Sean Green's turn to try and escape.

Here's Hernandez's line: 7 innings pitched, six hits, four runs, four earned runs, 4 walks, 10 strikeouts. He's on the line for the loss unless the Mariners make something happen at bat.

2:59 p.m. Emil Brown's broken-bat single with the bases loaded brings home two runs to tie it at 2-2. And that's it for Felix Hernandez, who won't leave Felix Hernandez jersey day with the win. But he could with the loss. Brandon Morrow will come in, needing to get out of a jam with no outs to keep this game tied.

2:52 p.m. With men on second and third with no outs, the Mariners have Brandon Morrow going in the bullpen.

2:42 p.m. To correct my earlier post, now we're heading to the bottom of the seventh, with the Mariners sending out the top of the lineup. I don't see anyone up in the M's bullpen, so it looks like Hernandeez will come back out for the eighth. And it's beginning to drizzle in the ballpark.

2:30 p.m. Quick game, huh? Moving into the bottom of the sixth, and Hernandez continues to look like he has his best stuff going. He's at 83 pitches through six innings, and he's a solid bet to go eight or even nine innings tonight.

2:18 p.m. Big fist pump from Hernandez, who truck out two straight to get out of another jam. He's now at eight strikeouts in five innings. He had a pair of walks in that inning, and looked a bit frustrated by the strike zone. But he got out of it.

2:05 p.m. Yuniesky Betancourt found one way to avoid getting stranded on base: just hit a home run. He hit a rope that just cleared the Pepsi sign in left field and sent the A's bullpen scattering to get out of its way.

1:59 p.m. That might be the shortest distance Frank Thomas has ever hit a ball on a full swing, but it worked to give the A's the bases loaded with just one out. But Hernandez's strong day continues, as he works out of the jam with a strikeout and a ground out. The Mariners, meanwhile, have left six on base through three and still lead 1-0.

1:42 p.m. Another solid inning for Hernandez, who struck out two and is only at 30 pitches so far.

1:27 p.m. Bing. Bang. Boom. Three A's up, three A's down on strikes, and Hernandez has thrown fewer pitches through two (19) than Blanton threw in the first (23).

1:23 p.m. Offensive struggles? What offensive struggles? The Mariners get one run on three hits against Joe Blanton in the first. Jose Lopez's double to left center couldn't have threaded the needle between Jack Cust and Ryan Sweeney better, though I suspect those two A's outfielder are beating themselves up for not making a play on it. Beltre knocked Lopez home from third with a rope to left, and Greg Norton followed with his fourth hit in five at-bats. One guy's struggles continue: Richie Sexson, who could fall below .200 today if he goes hitless.

1:12 p.m.: A nicely turned 5-4-3 double play on an Emil Brown ground ball gets Hernandez out of the inning quickly after allowing a hit to Daric Barton.

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Posted by Jim Anderson

1:23 PM, Apr 27, 2008

Watch Blanton's foot twist as he starts his delivery. Anyone else in the league do that?

Posted by Babu

1:31 PM, Apr 27, 2008

King Felix strikes out the side! Is it significant that the first three letters of the Captcha were: k-k-k?

Posted by Get Griffey

1:33 PM, Apr 27, 2008

KKKing Felix!!

GO M's!!

Posted by SonicsandMeBFF

1:53 PM, Apr 27, 2008

Did Neihaus just say on a 2-0 pitch: "Wilkerson should be able to get a cripple here"? WTH?

Posted by Lance

2:11 PM, Apr 27, 2008

Can anybody rightly disagree with me that Yuniesky Betancourt should be hitting #3 in this lineup.

Imagine what he could do with the pitches he'd see with Raul hitting behind him instead of the singles hitting Ichiro!

That would allow a platoon RF situation of Jeremy Reed and Willie Bloomquist hitting ninth after cutting or DLing Wilkerson..

Better yet, cut Cairo, let WB go back to being the utility infielder and bring up Charlton Jimerson to platoon with Reed.

Posted by Walla Walla Girl

2:16 PM, Apr 27, 2008

Forgive the dumb jingle from previous post? No way! I am proud to say I 'got' all three of your inspirations (before your explanation) and enjoyed it very much! Ha!

Yay--swing and a miss! Long live the King!

Posted by scottM

2:26 PM, Apr 27, 2008

Thx, WallaWallaGirl. Can you believe the M's mgmt? They don't listen to you, me and Frankie about extending Jose Guillen, but they go ahead and block Clement at the plate with this extension to Joh. Let's hope they have a trade for Griffey in the works.

Also, regarding Felix. In my book, he's still a Crown Prince. I'll wait to crown him King until he either wins the Cy Young, or takes us to the playoffs. He's looking more kingly than princely today, though!

Posted by scottM

2:35 PM, Apr 27, 2008

People love to complain about Ibanez's defense in LF. Take a look at Cust today. Note: that's a poor defensive Left Fielder.

Posted by Walla Walla Girl

2:42 PM, Apr 27, 2008

scottM, I am hoping the same thing! Bring the sweetest swing in baseball back to Seattle.

The King might have been crowned a bit early ... but he is The King. ;-)

Nice catch, Yuni!

Posted by Faceplant

2:47 PM, Apr 27, 2008

"People love to complain about Ibanez's defense in LF. Take a look at Cust today. Note: that's a poor defensive Left Fielder."

Yet, Cust's revized zone rating was almost 50 points than Ibanez last year. Note...

They both, are pretty terrible.

Posted by Faceplant

2:52 PM, Apr 27, 2008

"Let's hope they have a trade for Griffey in the works."

No thanks. Griffey has stated his desire to retire a Mariner. The M's would be retarded to give up talent for him, when they can get him in the offseason without giving up anything.

Also, I don't think people realize that Felix was one of the best pitchers in the AL last year. This year he's easily taken it to another level.

Posted by blahblahbah

3:02 PM, Apr 27, 2008

once again, dummy mclaren is too late. felix was obviously done, and the dummy leaves him. for the love of GOD

Posted by Matt

3:03 PM, Apr 27, 2008

Unbelievable. Felix pitches brilliantly, walks away after giving up 2 runs (thus far), and once again, will not be getting a win. Somebody we'll be able to score more than two runs for this guy.

Posted by Ali

3:06 PM, Apr 27, 2008

I am not comfortable with Felix pitching 115 pitches each game. Why couldn't Mac have pulled him after 7 today? I think that would have made sense today, bring in RRS or Lowe to pitch the 8th...

Posted by AKMarinersFan

3:07 PM, Apr 27, 2008

yep when you need to settle the game down bring in the guy with the control problems

Posted by Rounders

3:08 PM, Apr 27, 2008

Again and again, snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. Makes no sense at all.

Posted by Faceplant

3:08 PM, Apr 27, 2008

God I hate McLaren. Runners at first and second facing one of the most patient teams in baseball, AND with two of the most patient hitters in the game coming up and he brings in Brandon Morrow. The guy who walked almost as many as he struck out last year.

There are no words to describe how pathetically run this team is.

Posted by Nat

3:08 PM, Apr 27, 2008

Matt: I agree more than two runs should be doable. We tend to take Felix for granted. Apparently so does the team. The A's don't.

To see one get away is harder on us than to be behind from the beginning...

Posted by Faceplant

3:09 PM, Apr 27, 2008

Oh, and now we are gonna waste ANOTHER strong Felix start.

Posted by AKMarinersFan

3:11 PM, Apr 27, 2008

I think the A's hitters eyes light up when they see Morrow come into the game. He is the pitcher that Moneyball is all about.

Posted by AKMarinersFan

3:15 PM, Apr 27, 2008

On the road against Cleveland and the Yanks its just going to get better.

Posted by Faceplant

3:15 PM, Apr 27, 2008

And with the bases loaded, let's bring in the next pitcher who is notorious for control problems.

Posted by AKMarinersFan

3:30 PM, Apr 27, 2008

Wilkerson struck out looking. Who could have seen that coming?

Posted by ethan

3:30 PM, Apr 27, 2008

The Mariners organization needs an enema.

Posted by Corey Miller

3:33 PM, Apr 27, 2008

Atleast swing the F***ING BAT Wilkerson!!! Last time I checked you cant hit the ball with it on your shoulder.

Posted by scottM

3:35 PM, Apr 27, 2008

Again, where is the put-this-game-away mentality. Chalk this one up, MOSTLY, to an inability to deliver with RISP. Sexson's meek first pitch grounders were especially egregious.

Tough to blame McLaren for how he pulled Felix. Had he pulled him prior to the 8th and the BP had given up the lead, the noise here would have been deafening. Let him go as deep as possible, and people still complain.

Again, two runs won't cut it most of the time. Rally caps!

Posted by Corey Miller

3:47 PM, Apr 27, 2008

The Mariner's are a bigger tease than my any of the girlfriends I have ever had!!

Totally get you hooked in the think you have something and are about to win and then BAMMMMM they hit you over the head and take your

Yeah...thats how I feel right now...mugged and unsatisfied.

Posted by Choska

3:52 PM, Apr 27, 2008

We managed to score 10 runs in 3 games against the As. That's not good.

Argue all you want about Wilkerson and Vidro/Balentin and Clement, but that is just arguing about how we arrange the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Until we get rid of Bavasi this team is going nowhere.

Posted by scottM

3:53 PM, Apr 27, 2008

"No thanks. Griffey has stated his desire to retire a Mariner. The M's would be retarded to give up talent for him, when they can get him in the offseason without giving up anything."

That's an excellent point Faceplant, if we're playing for 2009. The reason to trade for him now, is if the M's want to have any semblance of a decent offense in 2008. I know you agree that "offensive" games like this one are getting tough to stomach.

Posted by Troy

3:57 PM, Apr 27, 2008

Funny stuff, Corey...

Depressing. Deflating, Demoralizing...We just lost again to the only other team in the league that can't hit their way out of a paper bag...but they're patient, and they can manage an occasional clutch hit. If Wilkerson is starting when we hit Cleveland, I think Bavasi and Mac should both be fired. Clement should be up here. This is starting to get ridiculous.

I have to go vomit now.

Posted by Babu

4:00 PM, Apr 27, 2008

Well, now the Ms have lost the last three series in a row, two of them to division opponents -- and this despite excellent pitching from Bedard and Felix. I think we are probably allowed to worry seriously now -- and see some changes in the offense. Way, way too weak to support our pitching.

Posted by Corey Miller

4:03 PM, Apr 27, 2008

Ok everyone...lets test out the vocab skills of the average blogger here....

Whats the one word adjective you can think of to describe the current level of the following:

1. Mac's managerial skills
2. The teams bullpen
3. Wilkerson's offensive production
4. Felix only having 2 wins this year

1. Sophomoric
2. Eratic
3. Missing
4. Unbelievable

Posted by Faceplant

4:06 PM, Apr 27, 2008

"That's an excellent point Faceplant, if we're playing for 2009. The reason to trade for him now, is if the M's want to have any semblance of a decent offense in 2008. I know you agree that "offensive" games like this one are getting tough to stomach."

I don't agree with sacrificing your future viability for a short term gain. Especially when a better hitter is sitting at home waiting for a job.

Posted by Troy

4:07 PM, Apr 27, 2008

Oh...and the A's also have a bullpen that doesn't suck...What a difference a year makes.

Posted by AK Mike

4:23 PM, Apr 27, 2008

Bad bullpen + Offense near the bottom of the AL = getting our a$$es beat by teams like Baltimore and Oakland, who by the way have 1/3 our operating budget. Somebody please tell me again why Bavasi still has a job?

Posted by dave@ussm

4:26 PM, Apr 27, 2008

felix was pretty awful

Posted by Bums

4:27 PM, Apr 27, 2008

Sexson and Wilkerson such a great 1-2 punch OUT!

Face it, the A's are doing well and one of the things we needed to happen was for them to be terrible. Even though it is early, I don't see this team having the players to turn things around. Bullpen is terrible, DH, left field, catcher, and 1B are terrible. Too bad a top pick is not as big a deal as the NFL. Time to get excited for the upcoming NFL season.

Posted by Corey Miller

4:29 PM, Apr 27, 2008

Dave? Are you serious?? You can't be watched the same game the rest of us did right? I mean I know Marines don't have a great sense of humor but c'mon...Felix???

Posted by Bums

4:32 PM, Apr 27, 2008

To spice things up for the fans, Safeco needs to start playing "Fire Starter" by The Prodigy when one of the pathetic relievers are brought in.

Posted by scottM

4:33 PM, Apr 27, 2008

So Faceplant, are you suggesting that Clement play the DH and we, potentially, "sacrific[e...] future viability for a short term gain" by not letting him mature as a defensive catcher in AAA?

Again, your point is a solid one, and, if Griffey is available for the likes of Rob Johnson, Johjima, etc, the pros-and-cons of such a trade are not easy to weigh. I still say that the decision has to do with the value of 2008 VS 2009.

Johjima's offense again stunk today. This is not a minor concern.

Posted by John

4:51 PM, Apr 27, 2008

Things are about to get really nasty in Mariner land. The offense is putrid ... as bad as I've seen it since the days when Alvin Davis was the best hitter we had to offer.
And now we're heading into Cleveland and New York. Despite our solid starting pitching, I can see us losing the next five or six games and really dropping out of the race early.

Posted by Mr. X

5:05 PM, Apr 27, 2008

Why all the long faces? According to the Mathletes, we're the 5th best team in the AL right now with a 14-12 record, and will be tied for 4th if the Angels lose to the Tigers tonight. Perspective, people. Our real record does not count.

Posted by Adam

5:12 PM, Apr 27, 2008

Time to show some love to the A's. While we may think they are a fluke, they are second in the AL in run differential, at +28 (the ChiSox are at +29).

The A's have allowed the fewest runs in the AL (90). They have struck out 87 more than they have walked. They easily lead the league in ERA (3.27), and that is no fluke - their FIP is 3.59, second only to the White Sox. They have the best RZR (zone rating) in the AL, and fourth in the AL in turning balls in play into outs.

Yes, they have trouble hitting the ball, but this is a classic Oakland team - built around defense, pitching, and timely hitting.

We should actually be thankful that the A's signed Frank Thomas instead of Bonds - if you put Bonds in that lineup, they become a pretty darn good team. They've got a few prospects in AAA who could help the team this summer (C. Gonzalez, Gio Gonzalez, Joey Devine) and we'll see if Thomas starts to hit.

I've already said the A's will be a sleeper team; I think we might now have to acknowledge them as contenders in this division. It is no surprise that they are 16-10.

Posted by Faceplant

5:25 PM, Apr 27, 2008

"So Faceplant, are you suggesting that Clement play the DH and we, potentially, "sacrific[e...] future viability for a short term gain" by not letting him mature as a defensive catcher in AAA?"

No, I'm suggesting that the Mariners sign Barry Bonds to a one year incentive laden contract. But we've already beat that horse to a bloody pulp.

"Again, your point is a solid one, and, if Griffey is available for the likes of Rob Johnson, Johjima, etc, the pros-and-cons of such a trade are not easy to weigh."

The Reds are not going to trade Griffey for a package centered around Rob Johnson. Just because the Reds have a need doesn't mean that they are going to trade a valuable player for just any random nobody. The Reds at a minimum are going to be asking for Jeff Clement. I doubt the Reds are going to have much interest in a 32 year old catcher who will be making 8 million dollars in his age 35 season.

The Reds aren't going to give Griffey away. If you want value you have to give up value, and as much as I like Griffey there is no way I give up anything of real value for a 38 year old DH who will likely be out of baseball in two years. Not when a better hitter can be had without having to give up anything.

Look, if Griffey could be had for Rob Johnson, I'd pull the trigger. But that isn't going to happen. And as much as I like him, Griffey just isn't going to be worth what the Reds are going want.

Posted by Adam

5:27 PM, Apr 27, 2008

X - you are right, there is no reason to panic. We've lost seven one-run games. SEVEN. That's half of the team's losses. We've only won ONE one-run game. That should even out.

Of course, I am on record as saying that the 2008 bullpen would be worse than the 2007 pen, given the loss of Sherrill and the fact that Morrow isn't as good as he was last year. The Sherrill point has already been clear, and losing Putz was a blow.

I expect the bullpen to get better, and we should start winning some one-run games. However, we are still not as good as the Angels, and we have just about lost our window for opportunity with Lackey out.

Posted by John

5:50 PM, Apr 27, 2008

I agree totally. The offense will come around a little, which will mean turning some of those one-run losses around. But the window is closing as we head into the tougher part of the schedule and Lackey returns.
The writing is on the wall. We're not going to keep pace with the Angels. Sexson isn't suddenly going to turn into a .250 hitter, Vidro is a liability that isn't going to change and Wilkerson is a joke in right. That's three huge holes in critical parts of the lineup.
At this point, as someone pointed out earlier, bringing up minor leaguers, etc., is just moving chairs around on the Titanic.
This Mariner ship ... she be sinking.

Posted by yes_panic

5:56 PM, Apr 27, 2008

Losing 1 run games on a consistant basis is the exact reason to panic. This team, especially the manager has no clue how to win...or are completely content with just playing. This team needs to be blown up or its going to be this barely, sub-500 ball for years to come.

Posted by Chris from Bothell

5:57 PM, Apr 27, 2008

I would pay the price of my trip to the ballpark today twice over again, if it would make the Ms "forget" to bring Wilkerson with them on the road trip.

Felix was furious when he came out of the game, slamming some stuff around in the dugout before storming inside. Pity we don't see that kind of passion and intensity from, well, just about anyone else on the staff.

I don't understand why Joh was back out there today. Or what Wilkerson was doing out there. It mostly undoes Mac's talk from yesterday about benching poor performers. If Norton, Burke AND someone-anyone-could-even-be-a-ham-sandwich aren't out there for Vidro, Joh and Wilkerson on Tuesday, then Mac was full of it. Again. Still.

I still believe in Felix Day.

Free Clement.

Posted by steriods is cheating

5:58 PM, Apr 27, 2008

oh brother..barry bonds again....NOT Going TO HAPPEN!!!...drop it....sheesh..

Posted by seavet

6:13 PM, Apr 27, 2008

I for one am glad to see the last of that umping crew. Why were they held over for a second series? Wilkerson, whom I thought was a bad pickup from the beginning, but who has at least shown decent discipline, struck out looking twice today on pitches way off the plate. Even if you're prepared, it's hard to swing at a pitch six inches out of the strike zone. Damned if you do, damned if you don't (in this case.)

Now it's Cleveland and New York. Holy cow.

Posted by purplereign

6:24 PM, Apr 27, 2008

I guess bavasi doesn't know what to do with a 100 million dollar plus payroll, while oakland is handing us our butts in our own stadium with 1/3 the payroll. The season isn't lost yet, but it is getting pretty close. The gm needs to be replaced before the end of the year.

Posted by scottM

6:24 PM, Apr 27, 2008

There's one thing far worse for the M's organization than passionate bloggers going ballistic after losses such as the one today.

If the M's find themselves out of the playoff hunt by June 1st, guess what?

The fans won't be coming to the ballpark. So, MAC, you can try to send a message to your slumping batters with Norton (your only Band-Aid bat on the M's bench), or you can look at your more legitimate options (Clement, Balentien, trade). Fankly, if you don't muster up a viable offensive attack, the message to you will be loud and clear. You'll be gone by August.


6:26 PM, Apr 27, 2008

felix had 1 good inning which uss mariner is shitting their collective pants over and got fucking ROCKED later on. he gave up 4 ER. That is not good. that is some jarrod washburn shit right there.

Posted by OCJeff

7:00 PM, Apr 27, 2008

I know some may disagree with my opinion here, but I don't think that our offense is nearly as big of a problem as our bullpen is this year.

Today's game was a classic example. Felix pitched well, but he wasn't lights-out. I know he had 10 Ks, but he also had a bunch of walks and worked out of a number of jams. As soon as he walked the batter to lead off the top of the eighth, it would have been great to be able to call in our setup man and then go to the closer to preserve the win.

Yes our offense only got us two runs today, but we had a two-run lead! Last time I checked, you only needed to have one more run than your opponent to win. In most of our losses this year, we have had a lead late in the game. Felix twice has had wins taken away by the bullpen and our lack of holding leads is a more pressing concern to me than our offense.

Sure it would have been great to take a 6-0 or 8-0 lead into the top of eighth, but we aren't always going to have that option. Nearly every top team in the league has a great setup man and an equally great closer. We have a great closer, but no one to pitch the eighth and shut the door. (Of course, we did have a great setup guy last year and he now has five saves against us this year.) I mean, look at what Oakland did in the eighth. The A's had enough faith in the pen to go to a set up man, then a closer and ended up winning the game! They, too, had a two-run lead in the eighth!

I would gladly hand $5 million to a quality setup man that to a big bat right now.

Posted by usesomelogic

7:09 PM, Apr 27, 2008

I think you could get Griffey for a Rob Johnson/Reed package and maybe a "B" pitching prospect.

Even though that's three players for an aging Griffey, I'd do it because Reed and Johnson are not going to get a real shot on this team with Clement and Wladamier.

we just need some LH power, Griffey/Bonds whoever....

Posted by Walla Walla Girl

7:13 PM, Apr 27, 2008

The M's main problem continues to be lack of offense and timely hitting. Either plug this gaping hole with a significant fix--not just a piece of gum--or we'll be dreaming of next season.

I wish they had upgraded (or at least maintained) their offense during the off season. Two runs per game is not enough, even with a good bullpen.

I wish they had won this one before the road trip. Oh well, put your seat backs in the upright position ....

Posted by scottM

7:13 PM, Apr 27, 2008

OCJeff. The bullpen has cost us several games, however, of greater concern to me now the JJ is back, is the lack of a fiery competitiveness at the plate.

Ok, Jose Guillen is gone, but, twice, Sexson dribbles the first pitch into a routine ground out, or Yuni smacks a first pitch into an ugly double play. It feels as though the members of this team lack a competitive killer instinct. Today we left eight men stranded and failed to lower the hammer when we had our chances. Last season, with Guillen, and with Joh and Vidro hitting well, there were no glaring weak spots. Nine players hit for 50 RBIs or more. That's called a balanced offensive attack. This year we rely on hot hitters solely, such as Ibanez and Sexson last week. We have an imbalanced attack from this lineup. Tis a serious problem for '08, more so than the bullpen IMHO.

Posted by Full Count

7:29 PM, Apr 27, 2008

There is no argument to be made on which part of this team is the weakest, both offense and defense blow!!

Simply put, they don't have the skills at this point or killer instinct to finish off any team. It's just not in this teams make up on offense or defense..

Posted by Batter Up!!!

8:16 PM, Apr 27, 2008

If you think the King is going to resign with this pathetic offense you better check your pulse.....

Mac if you are going to make changes, you better get to changing Sir or find the keys to your little red truck and get out of Dodge............

Posted by kranky

9:35 PM, Apr 27, 2008

I have read all of these rantings. And I just want to say for the record that I agree with every one of them, 100%.

Fix the offense or the rest of the season is toast. Felix should not have to pitch a perfect game in order to get a win.

Posted by sjazzdude

9:40 PM, Apr 27, 2008

Why hasn't McLaren gone down in to Tacoma to get a RF?? While he's at it, why doesn't bring up a DH, SS????

We need to at least bring Clement and Balantien up here. I also think that Johjima should temporarily go to Tacoma to work on his swing. The whole bottom half of the lineup is practilcally non-existent. Obviously Wilkerson, Sexson, Vidro and Johjima are not the answer. In fact, I wonder what their mindset is going to the plate. I would think that if there are runners on, then their approach would be to move them over instead of swinging for the fences.

I wouldn't be opposed to replacing Betancourt. When there's two runners on base, he has a tendency to ground into double plays, It's pretty clear he has no idea how to move runners over.

What seems to be a recurring theme with this team is the inability to move the runners over and they can't extend the innings. They do hit the occasional sac fly, but that only scores one run and doesn't extend the inning. They've stranded too many runners on the basepaths.

When are they going to start playing like a team??

Posted by AK1984

9:44 PM, Apr 27, 2008

It's time flat-out release Brad Wilkerson (EqA: .204; OPS: .555; VORP: -4.3), Miguel Cairo (EqA: -.155; OPS: .167; VORP: -1.2), and Jose Vidro (EqA: .197; OPS: .552; VORP: -3.2) -- especially before he reaches the numbers to trigger his vesting option for 2009 -- and, in turn, recall Wladimir Balentien, Jeremy Reed, and Jeff Clement.

The Seattle Mariners should look into trading Richie Sexson (EqA: .261; OPS: .742; VORP: 1.4), too, even though it'll be difficult for Bill Bavasi to dump the remainder of his $14,000,000 salary on any team.

As it is, the only realistic destination for Sexson would be the New York Yankees -- since the San Francisco Giants seemingly have no desire to compete this season -- with Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees first baseman Juan Miranda, who was a former teammate of Yuniesky Betancourt on the Cuban National Team during the early-2000s, being acquired for him as an adequate replacement and a platoon partner along with Greg Norton.

It downright sucks that Kenji Johjima (EqA: .178; OPS: .509; VORP: -5.2) was re-signed to an astonishingly ludicrous three-year, $24,000,000 contract extension. That's a complete and utter joke on the part of Bavasi, which isn't nothing new considering his less than stellar track record.

Because the 32-year-old Johjima isn't hitting worth a damn this season, catchers age more quickly than other position players, and Clement was improving upon his defense according to Roger Hansen, there was absolutely no point in extending his deal.

I was also hoping that Ken Griffey, Jr. would be signed to a one-year contract as a free-agent during the upcoming off-season; yet, that seems less likely due to Clement apparently being pegged as the team's future designated hitter.

Unless Clement starts playing first base for the Tacoma Rainiers -- which, in light of the fact that Bryan LaHair doesn't have any legitimate potential, is a good idea -- then I don't foresee Junior returning to the Emerald City for one last hurrah. Oh well, it's probably just a pipe dream to watch #24 truly retire as a Mariner.

Posted by doug

10:12 PM, Apr 27, 2008

agree betancourt is my least favorite mariner. he cant hit walk and is NOT CLUTCH. And i think the poster a few up is right, kenji needs to go to tacoma for a few weeks to work on his swing and clement needs to be up.

Posted by pat

10:19 PM, Apr 27, 2008

Have you heard about the trade with Clement going to the Yankees for one of their young pitchers?

Posted by Dump Mac

10:43 PM, Apr 27, 2008

I am back. first post this year, been holding off but cant take it any more. Mac just has no clue how to manage a ballclub. His decisions of when to pinch run, pinch hit and work his bullpen with the best guy to pitch when and how long is just terrible. refuses to bench the Walrus perm. and bring up Clement. i swear he falls asleep on the bench, because he sure doesn't know what to do..or when.

unless Mac is fired in the next 3 weeks, this team will be so far behind the A's and Angels, we will never catch up!

Posted by nick

10:50 PM, Apr 27, 2008

worst team in the majors

Posted by Tacoma Rain

11:20 PM, Apr 27, 2008

On April 26th this year, you said that the M's have a chance at reaching their goals for 2008, if the M's made the proper adjustments.

Could you please elborate on this - specifically...
1. Is amking the play-offs the only goal...or are there other goals that the M's would be satisfied with.
2. Any suggestions from you on the proper adjustments needed...I'd like to hear your top 3.
3. Timing for the adjustments...can any of the adjustments occur soon, or do the adjustments have to wait until mid May or June too??
4. What are the roles of Cairo, Baek, Corcoran, Dickey, EOF, and others who have been on the roster this year...
I look forward to your or others that care to answer these questions responses.

Posted by dan

11:27 PM, Apr 27, 2008

3rd place behind LA and Oakland, just another normal baseball season in Seattle! With Lincoln and Bavasi at least.

Posted by Corey Miller

12:09 AM, Apr 28, 2008

Hmmmm...sounds to me like the A's had a game plan:

Jack Hannahan opened the eighth with a walk, then Mark Ellis doubled to left. Daric Barton worked a nine-pitch at-bat for a walk to load the bases.

"He had already thrown 110 pitches, so maybe he's a little tired," said Barton, who has 18 walks on the season. "Then he throws ball four and next thing we get a knock."

So while all of us in the stands...and all of us at home knew his pitch count going into the 8th inning did Mac and Mel NOT have this information?? The A's knew it. They knew he had a high pitch count so why didnt we counter that?

Geoff I am looking for a little insight here because I can't seem to understand why no one was prepped in the bullpen starting the 8th.

Posted by Joof

12:12 AM, Apr 28, 2008

Funny how much difference an offseason makes. Right now, people are screaming about how unclutch Yuni is. However, last year, his middle name was clutch. Almost all of Yuni's home runs last year either tied the game or put the M's ahead. He also had countless walk off hits or game winning RBI's. He also hits well and can use his speed on the base paths well as long as he's not stealing. Shortstop is in good hands, and screaming for change there is stupid.

Posted by BradA

1:01 AM, Apr 28, 2008

Joof- I was thinking the exact same thing.

Posted by Matt McMullen

1:05 AM, Apr 28, 2008


Posted by aaron

2:21 AM, Apr 28, 2008


Posted by Beniitec

2:22 AM, Apr 28, 2008

As I posted previously on 12:35 PM, Apr 25, 2008. This team already knows it's own problems. No offense. We have a formidable pitching staff, but there are too many holes in the lineup. We can't wait all season. Norton was a great addition. He is helping, but more people need to hit consistently. If we wait too long to make changes, this season is going to be lost. The clock is ticking.... Steve Kelly takes the words right out of my mouth this morning. Vidro, Johjima, Wilkerson, not inspire confidence in anyone offensively. We are a sub .500 team with a much better pitching staff than last year. But pitching alone doesn't win ball games.

Posted by Babu

5:16 AM, Apr 28, 2008

Thanks, Tom, for filling in for Geoff. Here's an update from Tacoma:

--Balentien was back in the lineup for last night's Tucson game (went hitless).
--Clement got one of the Rainiers' three hits but committed two throwing errors.
--R.A. Dickey took the loss with the following line:
7.0 IP
11 H
4 R
2 ER
2 BB
2 SO

Posted by Bring back Junior

5:36 AM, Apr 28, 2008

Bring back Junior,,,,,wait, we can;t do that because Ichero would get insulted...after all, he IS the star.

Posted by Walla Walla Girl

5:45 AM, Apr 28, 2008

Thank you, Steve Kelley.

Posted by scottM

6:19 AM, Apr 28, 2008

Ditto on Steve Kelley's column today, WWGirl! That bum plagiarized our blog. To recap:

Griffey in.
Clement & Balentien up.
Wilkerson & Cairo gone.

Mr. Bavasi & Mr. McLaren, ARE YOU LISTENING??????

Posted by Frosty Raptor

6:41 AM, Apr 28, 2008

Trading for Ken Griffey Jr. is only going to further clog the M's lineup toilet. What the M's need is a plunger. And that plunger's name is Jeff Clement.

Since the M's extended Kenji, the only viable full-time position for Clement in the immediate future is DH. Where would the Mariners put the Griffey Jr? In right field? He's a defensive liability (heresy, I know).

Although his Range Factor per 9 innings at 1.82 would represent a marked improvement over Brad Wilkerson's 1.02 (ewww...), it's still below league average (2.17).

His .244/.330/.422 line probably isn't out of reach for Jeff Clement to replicate, either. And Clement only costs a roster spot.

Acquiring Griffey would strip the M's farm system of another prospect and give the team four players (Ibanez, Griffey Jr, Clement and Vidro) who best serve a team by not bringing their gloves to the park.

I love Ken Griffey Jr. He's my favorite player in the world. But acquiring him is the proverbial water dousing of Greek fire at this point.

Posted by Thomas

7:31 AM, Apr 28, 2008

Stop with the Griffey talk! He's not the same Griffey that left Seattle. This Mariners team is a disaster and who's to blame? The guy that put it together! BAVASI! It's great that he went and got Bedard and Silva, but he didn't do anything else to upgrade the team. A team with $115M+ payroll! You lose 2 of 3 to the Orioles and A's. No more excuses about how the bats need to get going or that guys are adapting to new roles. Why the hell do you send down R.A. Dickey when the guy earned a spot on the team in spring training? It's not like the other relievers you have up here are getting the job done.

As far as the offense, it's pathetic. I don't even watch the games anymore cause I know the only way the team is going to score is by hitting sacrifice flies. How many times have we seen bases loaded and 0 outs and the most they'll score is 2 runs. McLaren isn't going to change anything. He's just as bad as Hargrove when it comes to making decisions. No more talk of having a connection with the 95 M's or the 2001 M's. It's time to move forward and not live in the past. Get some new blood and an adequate GM in place! When are they going to fire BAVASI? The guy is a laughing joke of MLB!

Posted by statboysdad

8:31 AM, Apr 28, 2008

The problem will never be letting your #1 or #2 go longer then they should of. They set the tone for the others to achieve. The problem is offence!!!
I agree with putting Yuni ahead of Raul. But we need a RF NOW!!! Vlad needs to stay down for a while. Reed, Jimerson are the cheapest choices. A trade for Griffey, sure would light up the stands and the club house..But who would you have to give up? Youth!! Try step one 1st. These guys deserve a shot if not for a couple of weeks. But Wilkerson, Cairo need to go away. Find a place for Clement. Do this for the next road trip, NOW!!!!

Posted by eastcoast

9:02 AM, Apr 28, 2008

I want to apologize for my anger filled rant a few days ago. Unfortunately, I was already in a bad mood when I learned of the Johjima extension - and then things just fell apart. Tim Kirkjian of baseball tonight called the extension the absolute right thing to do. Said it tells you something about where the M's are going - although he declined to finish that statement. I, however, have a few things to say about where the M's are going.

Following the Johjima extension, I was sitting thinking about the "grand" scheme layed out by the decision maker BB. Let's forget about complicated stats for a minute and just think about common sense. We (the M's) play at a pitchers park that favors gap hitters and LH power. I think we can all agree on that. That being said, lets look at the state of the lineup.

C - Joh, just signed to a 3 yr/24 mill extension. Without question, has improved defensively. Offensively, a hacker. 2007 OPS .755. Tends to try and pull everything. Result - lots of groud balls and DP's. Last yr, hit .248 with RISP. Alternative - Jeff Clement, less D, big LH power bat. M's decision - Joh.

1B - Big Sexy, now averaging .200 over the last 185 games. Defense has diminished. 2007 - hit .187 with RISP. Alternative - Anybody that can play D and hit .250. M's decision - Big Sexy. Oh BTW, makes 14mill.

2B - Lopez, at $500,000 this yr - the best bang for your buck on O. Yes, he is inconsistant and doesn't do the little things well (bunt), but he is trying and improving. If he had a supporting cast, Lopez is a solid contributor.

SS - Yuni, a solid bargain at 1.25mill this yr and signed through 2011. One of, if not the most clutch hitter on the M's - hit .345 with RISP in '07. Good D, though like Lopez, is inconsistant.

3B - Beltre, making 12mill this yr and signed through '09. Great D, OPS of .802 last yr but hit only .247 with RISP. Now batting 4th. More of a 6th or 7th type guy.

DH - Vidro. Older, slower, kinda chunky. Making 8.5mill this yr!! What does he add to this M's team? D - no, speed - no, power - no, avg - yes. Alt - probably a number of other guys could do what he does for a lot less. M's decision - Vidro.

LF - Raul. At 5.5mill, another bargain. Would be a good DH for the M's. Alt - a better defender.

CF - Ichiro - though he tends to go through droughts at the plate, his defense and arm alone make him a perfect fit at Safeco.

RF - Wilkerson, 1yr/3mill. Again, what does he add to this team?? D - no, arm - no, avg - no, speed - no, power +/-. Alt - Balentien, Lofton, Jay Buhner, I mean seriously.. cut your losses. A career .249 hitter!!! There has to be somebody who can add better speed, D, and some lick of an avg.

Overall, we have 4 LH bats - only one with legit power. We have Ich, Beltre, and Yuni for speed. But besides Ich, no one is really fast. Defense has been very poor this yr, and we don't do the little things very well, like bunt, go 1st to 3rd, steal bases, etc. Toss in some questionable managerial decisions and you have a team in disarray.

When I read Steve Kelleys column, I realized that the majority of M's fans probably see the same thing I do. Who is making the decisions for this team?? Is it nintendo?? Was signing Joh some PR move for BB? Listen, the time to make changes is now! There is no more grace period. Mac has been coaching baseball for years! He shouldn't need more than 50 games to get his feet wet.

I am torn over the Joh signing. I do appreciate his defense, and I do wonder whether Clement behind the plate is even an option (I honestly don't know). Just prior to his signing, I was actually thinking he would be a good trade piece. Trade him for a RF, plug Clement at C, Wlad in LF, and Ibanez at DH. It seemed to make sense. Now, once again, I don't know where the M's are going. Maybe Clement won't ever play for the M's again, because (sure as sh*t), he is going to be the one player any team wants a trade.

Anyway, sorry this is so long, but this team just frustrates me to end. The decisions they make are just about as logical as the Chicago Bears once again drafting no QB.

Posted by EdmondsFan

9:24 AM, Apr 28, 2008

I’m glad the postings about “early in the season” have diminished. A basic mathematical fact is that the best predictor of later performance is early performance, although sometimes teams do significantly improve or worsen.

At present, the Mariners are a sub-500 club with little hope to become something else. While Oakland and LAA and “getting the job done”, we constantly hear that Richie is a “late starter” and “does better away from the hostile Safeco crowd”. Great. The next step is that we will be told that he does better on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. He’s a 0.200 hitter with borderline defense, high strikeout ratio, and moderate power numbers. Vidro and Wilkerson have lost it. And the ability to advance runners with less than two outs is sad for everyone. The bullpen sucks.

So, what to do? I enjoy the comments of former Mariner Jeff Nelson, who is the only ‘color commentator” who tells it like it is. While acknowledging that baseball is difficult and players try hard, he also notes that these men are in a business and that it’s not personal. Changes will need to be made if the Mariners have hopes of changing their present situation.

Posted by Mike

9:34 AM, Apr 28, 2008

Yes EastCoast....Lousy roster construction. Counting on best case scenarios from so many players was not smart management. We overvalue veterans on the downside of their career and undervalue young players and defense.

Our bullpen might look better if we had a little more offense. In our 6 one-run losses we've averaged 3.16 runs per game.

Trading the future Bedard meant we had to try to win now. So we need either to call up the kids or get Bonds or make some deals per the advice of USSM. But we need our offense to be less, um, offensive.

Posted by M's Fan

9:50 AM, Apr 28, 2008

Well, if Mac is as (expletive) upset with the (expletive) hitting as he sounded in the post game, then why doesn't he (expletive) DO something about it?????
DOWN to AAA or OUT: Wilkerson,Cairo,Vidro
UP: Reed,Balentein,Clement
The current line up isn't producing Mac!! Time to give someone else a shot.

Posted by Get Griffey

10:00 AM, Apr 28, 2008

OK first I will say that all the posters who want to get rid of Yuni are CRAZY, and should think before they post the first thing that pops into their mind!

Then we can talk about some changes that make since, like calling up Clement (full time DH/part time Catcher) cutting Wilkerson and Cairo, then maybe calling up Balentien. Finally… GET GRIFFEY!!

In fact just reed Steve Kelley’s article and you will understand my position.

Posted by Bill

10:16 AM, Apr 28, 2008

Watch Bavasi go and trade Clement for Griffey.

I don't believe the M's are going to be any better off in close games. Even if the offense starts to produce there will still be close games and the M's will lose them because of Mac's poor in-game tactical strategy. The scores may not be 2-1 or 4-2, but there are going to be close games.

Posted by Lance

10:43 AM, Apr 28, 2008

"We just have to do a better job (of hitting with runners on base)," McLaren said.

Mac, you're sounding like a broken record. I swear, I'm surprised you haven't already said, "Polly wants a cracker."

This off-day, heading out on a road trip, is the perfect time to start making some moves. I know I've seen enough of some things. Hopefully, Bill and Mac have, too.

First, DL Wilkerson, if not release him outright. His double yesterday is fool's gold. That ball should have been easily caught (and please quit saying Raul Ibanez is the worst LFer in the league. I think we just saw the worst LFer in the league. Even worst than Manny.)

Outright or release Cairo, too. There's no use for him on this team. Which is why he's not being used.

Bring up Jeremy Reed and Charlton Jimerson to platoon in RF. Both are hitting .320+ in AAA, are good fielders and have speed. Reed is already on the 40-man so no one has to be dumped there. Jimerson replaces Cairo. WB goes back to utility infielder.

And, please. At long last move Yuni to the three hole. The reason we have so many LOBs is because when we have runners on base we bring up a bad hitter to try to knock them in. The results are pretty predictable.

Beware, people. Unless moves are made depression is going to set in with this team. That wasn't a happy Felix sitting in the dugout after the game (SeaTimes photo). He was also pretty visibly upset when he came out of yesterday's game. Not so much about coming out, but, I'm supposing, over not having more than two runs to work with.

We don't want an uphappy Felix. Or, any uphappy starters. But, that's what we're going to get with this lack of run production and a bullpen that sets fires instead of putting them out.

Time to make some moves NOW, Mariners. TODAY!That's not panicking. And, we already have players we can make moves with. No need to go out and find somebody. Can't you see that? We're a month into the season. It's not early, anymore.

If we wait until YOU think it's not early it may actually be too late.

Posted by Chris from Bothell

10:52 AM, Apr 28, 2008

Lance - I'd guess Felix was ticked at himself for not getting himself out of trouble in the 8th, before guessing he's ticked at lack of run support. He's a proud guy and a fierce competitor, and he's pitched his way out of things like that before.

Posted by Chris from Bothell

10:56 AM, Apr 28, 2008

Scouting report: Comparative analysis, Seattle Mariners, RF (Wilkerson, Brad v. Sandwich, Ham)

.AVG and .OPS - Brad, Sub-.200, Sub-.400; Ham, untested, but due to size, strike zone would be near-impossible to hit, thereby ensuring he'd walk more than Brad. Advantage: Ham.

Defensive range - Equivalent. Ham sandwich guaranteed to take direction from Ichiro, so if Ichiro can cover, effective range better. Advantage: Ham.

Speed Brad, average to poor; Ham sandwich, "has mustard on it". Advantage: Ham.

Intangibles Brad: consistent, hard-working, good in clubhouse; Sandwich: high brand recognition, contains yummy, yummy swiss cheese. Advantage: Ham.

Salary Brad, 8.5 million; Ham sandwich, $3.49. Advantage: Ham.

Conclusion A ham sandwich is preferable in right field.

Posted by seavet

10:59 AM, Apr 28, 2008


Did Baek's performance upgrade his trade value?

If the M's let Cairo go, who is the second backup infielder? Have to bring someone up or in from the outside, right?

If Sexson hits on this road trip the way he did on the last one, would a trade become more possible? (Of course, the M's would have to eat some of that giant contract.)

I have one conclusion: I'd rather see Clement brought up to DH than a trade for Jr. In any case, doesn't make sense to do both, unless the Reds do a deal that would be very generous for the M's.

PS: Unless he's a consummate liar, Ichiro loves Jr. and would be delighted to play with him.

Posted by Lance

11:05 AM, Apr 28, 2008

CFB, you're probably right. But, I'm also sure that the thought that he had only two stinking runs to work with crossed his mind. Although he'd never say so.

BTW, the ham sandwich comparison was hilarious.

Now, I'm also wondering if it would be preferrable to have a turkey sandwich run the Mariners baseball operations over Bavasi, or manage the team, over McLaren. Then again, maybe we already do.

Posted by Lance

11:13 AM, Apr 28, 2008

Seavet - Baek should have trade value. And, yes, I'm sure his recent performance should enhance that. Although, we'd be unless to get a top prospect for him.

Also, no need for a second utility guy. Norton can play the corners and Video second base. And, we shouldn't need three shortstops for any one game. Although Lopez could fill in if necessary.

Posted by seavet

11:13 AM, Apr 28, 2008

I was all for the ham sandwich comparison until Chris put swiss cheese on the sandwich. Gotta be cheddar; swiss is for roast beef.

But, give Chris credit; at least he didn't put mayonnaise or ketchup on it. So I guess his comparison survives.

Posted by Lance

11:17 AM, Apr 28, 2008

Oops, "unless" should be "unlikely". Besides, teams know what Baek can do. There are no secrets in baseball. Just good or bad judgements. One game wouldn't hurt or help much, either way.

Posted by seavet

11:19 AM, Apr 28, 2008

Lance, Wilkerson can also play the corners in a pinch. (Unless/until he goes.) But Bloomy is the only backup at short, so you're limiting what you can do with him.

Too bad Morse went down. The consequences ot that injury are wide-ranging. Mikey is a hard luck ballplayer so far.

Posted by seavet

11:23 AM, Apr 28, 2008

And, I see Baek as a chip in a Griffey trade. We don't really know what Baek can do as a regular starter over a season, do we?

He looks like a pretty good fourth or fifth NL starter to me.

I wish Jr. would get to 600 so we could see if there's any real shot at him.

Posted by Lance

11:38 AM, Apr 28, 2008

BTW, I wouldn't get too excited about Wladimir Balentien right now. He's hitting .228/.313/.474 against AAA [itching at this point.

He's also a RHed hitter, which doesn't play as well at Safeco as Reed would. He's also a kid who needs ABs to get better, which is why Jimerson would be a better fit to platoon with Reed at this time.

Posted by kingk

11:39 AM, Apr 28, 2008

Edmonds fan... i agree with you on Nellie He ripped on the joh signing calling him a terrible catcher and hinting that M's pitchers did not like throwing to him

Posted by Lance

11:45 AM, Apr 28, 2008

I don't see Griffey coming here this year. Maybe, maybe even likely, next.

First, they're not going to eat Vidro's $7 mil. and replace him with another big salary.

Second, they'll have to finally figure out how they want to use Clement, because as a DH he'd just be eating into Junior's ABs. And, if and when he comes back it'll be primarily as a DH..

And, Lopez would be fine as a third shortstop. He came up as a shortstop, you know.

Posted by Lance

11:51 AM, Apr 28, 2008

Also, in any Griffey deal Baek is most likely a throw-in. Hardly a chip. You'd have to include a pitching prospect as the chip.

Posted by Nat

11:52 AM, Apr 28, 2008

Why all the long, drawn out comments? As if there is anything new to suggest! It cracks me up as if these very same suggestions haven't been put forth hundreds of times on this blog alone in the last two or three months.

Yesterday was too late. Bill Bavasi is sitting on his hands and McLaren spouts platitiudes such as, "We just have to do a better job." My goodness, tell us something we don't know!

Mariner fans are longsuffering. That's because we are so hopeful by nature. But there will come a time unless the obvious moves that Steve Kelley reiterates in his article are made, attendance will drop and people will find other things to do besides following Mariner baseball.

It's a simple equation really. More empty seats = loss of revenue. Time to make those obvious moves that signal an upgrade for this team.

Posted by Faceplant

11:53 AM, Apr 28, 2008

"I would gladly hand $5 million to a quality setup man that to a big bat right now."

Or, you know, you could actually use Ryan Rowland-Smith against something other than just LH hitters. I swear to god this team treats every LH reliever as if he's only capable of being a LH specialist.

IMO RRS is the second best reliever in the pen.

Posted by seavet

11:56 AM, Apr 28, 2008

Lance, you're right about Lopez; he'd be at least as competent at shortstop as Bloomy would be as the third catcher. Don't know why I spaced on that when you wrote it the first time.

I don't completely agree with you on Jr., although I do see Jr/Clement as an either/or proposition this year.

We know what they're being forced to wait for if Jr. is their target. If Clement is the option management favors, what are they waiting for? The longer they wait before bringing Clement up, the more convinced I become that they're angling for Jr.

Posted by Choska

12:02 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Where are you Geoff?

I hope the lack of a new thread is because you are working on a scoop along the lines of:

Bavasi and McLaren have been fired
Chris Antonetti has been named the new GM with the mandate of turning the ship around even if it means spiking this year
Vidro, Cairo, and Wilkerson have been DFA'd
Clement , Reid, and Corcoran have been called up
Rowland Smith and Morrow have been sent down to work on becoming starters
We are looking for two more guys off the scrap heat, like Corey Patterson, to take at bats and pitch innings for the rest of the year
Ibanez has moved to 1st, Reid is in left with (gulp) Bloomie in right until Corey Patterson can get on a plane and get fitted for his uniform.

How about it? Please tell me you are working on this story.

Posted by Nat

12:06 PM, Apr 28, 2008

John McGrath from the TNT has an excellent article on Felix's situation in the 8th inning yesterday.

Lots of blame to go around.

Posted by Faceplant

12:34 PM, Apr 28, 2008

"agree betancourt is my least favorite mariner. he cant hit walk and is NOT CLUTCH."

Which must make it even more ironic that he has a slightly higher OPS than Ken Griffey Jr. at this point in the season. This team has lots of problems. Betancourt IMO, isn't one of them.

"Bring back Junior,,,,,wait, we can;t do that because Ichero would get insulted...after all, he IS the star."

If you are going off of number, Ichiro, RIGHT NOW, is a better hitter than Ken Griffey Jr. He's also a better defender than Griffey at this point in his career.

Oh, and in casey you didn't know (which sounds obvious) one of the reasons Ichiro said he wanted to play for the Mariners as far back as 1999 was that he wanted to play on the same field with Ken Griffey Jr, who was his favorite American player.

"And, please. At long last move Yuni to the three hole. The reason we have so many LOBs is because when we have runners on base we bring up a bad hitter to try to knock them in. The results are pretty predictable."

And your solution is to stick a guy with a career .713 OPS in the three hole? Good god man! Let's not go off the deep end here!

"Did Baek's performance upgrade his trade value?"

No. One performance isn't going to raise your trade value. Scouts that have watched him in the past aren't going to change their opinions based on this one start. He was the same junkball pitcher, always around the plate that he always is. Baek has 150 big league innings under his belt, and 671 minor league innings under his belt. Baseball is well aware of what kind of pitcher he is.

Posted by Beniitec

1:04 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Hey faceplant... you really ought to introduce Bavasi and McLaren to this crowd you call "Baseball is aware". I'm normally one of the quiet ones...sorry. I've had enough of the same garbage.

Posted by Nat

10:56 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Spike Owen- This team needs to be wakened up and shaken up, I would add. The thing that keeps coming to me though is that it's not gonna be one piece that solves the Mariner riddle. It will be one piece here and one piece there and another here IMO.

I would be surprised if Junior becomes a Mariner this season- but you never know. I wouldn't want to pay too high a price for him tradewise or otherwise. And to imagine that Junior will supply all this 'positive energy' - something the Mariners and fans are in short supply of right now - seems like wishful thinking. So many things can go wrong, the least of which are injuries, something Junior is very famiiliar with.

What I really hope doesn't happen is that we wait and wait and wait and Bavasi and McLaren decide to give the guys we have 'time to work it out.!'

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