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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 28, 2008 12:28 PM

Going bat-ty

Posted by Geoff Baker

Can't blame any of you who pulled your hair out watching yesterday's game. I stuck to merely shaking my head, nice and slowly, as I spent the afternoon culling over travel receipts (our expenses are due this week) and watching the Mariners waste a fine pitching performance by Felix Hernandez. I'm sitting at the airport as we speak, waiting for a flight to Cleveland (through Minneapolis) that's an hour late. Northwest Airlines this time. You've all seen my videos. How many late flights, all with different airlines? Nice way to run a business. Maybe if I filed all my game stories late, we could still run a profitable newspaper. What do you think?

Anyhow, it's getting real late, real early for the M's. Yesterday's game had to be a wake-up call for this team if it wasn't already. I've been saying all along that mid-May should be the cutoff point for a decision to be made about whether some bats are going to turn around, or not. Now, I'm starting to think I may have been too conservative. When a guy gives you seven shutout innings like Hernandez, you simply cannot throw that away because you offense has gone to sleep.

The M's are now 0-10 in games in which they've trailed by two or more runs at any point. This offense is now in chronically bad shape, to the point where small ball is only goingt to make up some of the difference. John McLaren got the ball rolling on some changes by moving Greg Norton more into the mix that he'd been before. Jose Vidro might see playing time reduced going forward unless he can prove he should be in there every day.

A month has gone by since the season began. We're getting a clear picture of what this team has. It has fantastic starting pitching. It has a pretty good bullpen, though not as good as last season. Some of the young arms have not rebounded from a poor finish last season. Without the experienced George Sherrill around, the bullpen is less stable than a year ago. We still don't know who the right handed setup guy is. No one has stepped up and locked-down the job. I still say Miguel Batista could be that guy down the road if things continue this way. But we've got some time to wait on the bullpen. I think injuries, guys pitching outside their set roles and others having not pitched all that much recently (Arthur Rhodes and Mark Lowe) have contributed to the slow start by the relievers.

But the hitters don't have that excuse. Brad Wilkerson, Jose Vidro and Richie Sexson all entered the season with question marks hanging over them and have still not answered all. Sexson has shown flashes of power, which is encouraging, but has to start doing at home what he does on the road.

It won't be easy finiding replacements for three power positions in the lineup. I'm sure the team does not want to make trades for a ll three spots and is hopiong, praying, that at least one, if not two, come around. But do you know what? There is no longer any excuse for Jeff Clement to be sitting at Class AAA Tacoma ripping the cover off the ball when the offense is in such bad shape.

This isn't a matter of waiting for Vidro to find his DH legs, or Raul Ibanez to come off an injury as he did last season. As far as we know, the problems this year won't be solved by injuries healing or guys getting used to their roles.

If you have a left handed bat down in the minors who is ready for major league ball, he should be up here right now. Should be on the plane and headed for Cleveland. If Clement hits in the majors, then you've got a guy who can be rotated around. He can be a DH some, can even catch if he has to. If anything, it maybe fixes one of the trouble spots and buys some time on the others while trades are pondered. I don't know about Wladimir Balentien's readiness just yet, coming off that injury, but Clement is healthy and he's hitting. This team just threw away two games to the Oakland A's because of an inability to score more than two runs in both contests.

Seattle got pretty good pitching in all three games, but almost got swept in the series. That can't be allowed to happen any more. The schedule is about to get a whole lot tougher than it's been.

If Erik Bedard is healthy and the bullpen is healthy, then it may be time to go back to 11 pitchers. If the team wants to wait on Miguel Batista and Carlos Silva's health status, I understand. But then, it gets tougher to justify having Miguel Cairo around. This has nothing to do with what I think of Cairo as a player. He has not had a chance to show what he can do -- unlike many of the other hitters.

But if the team isn't going to use him, it's got to do away with this fantasy of pinch-running teams to death late. It's been a month. That plan isn't working. It isn't even getting a chance to work. Two pinch-runners is a luxury for a team where more than a third of the lineup is barely treading water.

Why did the team extend Kenji Johjima for three years? Beats me. Either it has absolutely zero clue about timing, or, as has been suggested to me repeatedly this week, this was a call made by the ownership in Japan. Perhaps Johjima will rebound. For the team's sake, he has to. But his extension should not preclude Clement from coming up and being used part-time behind the plate if it's going to help the team.

It should have nothing to do with him staying in Class AAA another day. Bill Bavasi told me aty the press conference the other day that Clement's bat is his big league ticket in any case.

Good then. It's time to punch that ticket.

Because watching this offense another day, whether it's you, or me or the starting pitchers, is going to start driving us all batty.


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Posted by Frito Bandito

12:40 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Amen to that Geoff. Tell Clement to bring Reed with him when he gets on the plane to Cleveland.

Posted by -j.

12:41 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Vidro should be penciled a bench bat at this point. The offense is anemic and just can't afford to have a slappy singles hitter at DH. There isn't room for it with how poorly this offense is doing as a whole.

Relying on small ball all year long isn't getting anyone to the playoffs.

Posted by jimmytown

12:44 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Please, don't let the front office try to do something stupid like trade Clement for Griffey Jr...

Posted by -j.

12:49 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Geoff, reading though this writeup, I can't say I have ever agreed with you more. I tend to disagree quite a bit with some of your views, but this one is right on man.

Clement should be with the big club yesterday and Cairo should probably be the one to hit the bricks.

The starting lineup in Cleveland should be..

Iciro
Lopez
Ibanez
Beltre
Clement
Sexson
Wilkerson
Johjima
Betancourt

Posted by -j.

12:51 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Clement for Griffey would be unforgivable. I don't think Bavasi is that stupid.

...at least I hope not.

Posted by Kameron

12:56 PM, Apr 28, 2008

0-10 when trailing by 2 or more runs at any point, that is sick, and I mean that in the bad way, or is that still sounding like its good. I really wonder what the clubhouse mindset is right now after seeing a stat like that, or if they even care about stats like they always seem to convey. Not being able to score two runs to break even or three runs to lead is just awful. On paper this offense "should" be at least good, way better then what they have shown.
I've always been a semi fan of Sexson, I remember back before he played for the M's, when he was with Arizona and he got a hold of one and busted some lights out on the center field score board. That was a shot, but since then I have not seen him even get close to a monster HR like that. Come the end of Sept. whether or not we are in the playoffs or not, he's got to go, the management can't even think of resigning him, and I know Im speaking for many Mariner fans across the NW.

Posted by Jesse

12:57 PM, Apr 28, 2008

When is SOMEBODY going to look at getting Ken Griffey Jr. from the Reds??? I just don't get it - are they thinking the farm system is totally depleted after the Bedard acquisition? I find it hard to believe he would require giving up more than prospects. Putting him at DH / Rightfiield would have an impact clear through the lineup.

Posted by Everett fan

1:01 PM, Apr 28, 2008

The really bad part is, I'm starting to lose interest. . . .

Posted by Troy

1:05 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Wilkerson absolutely cannot remain in our line-up. Clement should be in Cleveland by tonight. Vidro will make a good PH. Cairo needs a ticket outta town (just no place for him). Balentien or Reed needs to be called up, as well. Release or send down Wilkerson (if that's even an option). Hopefully Sexson will get it together and Johjima will start to hit, too.

At least consider packaging Baek and Wilkerson and/or Reed in a deal to get a real hitter. There have to be teams out there in need of starting pitching that have someone available with a decent stick.

We're sinking too fast...

Posted by Lance

1:05 PM, 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 reboskar

1:06 PM, Apr 28, 2008

It has a pretty good bullpen, though not as good as last season.

The Mariners have the second worst bullpen ERA in the American League despite having thrown the least amount of innings. How is that a good bullpen?

Posted by jimmytown

1:11 PM, Apr 28, 2008

The problem with trying to get Griffey this is that it will cost us Jeff Clement. Why should we do this now, when he can hypothetically sign with us next year as a free agent?

Bringing up Clement is the first step - and everyone who watches this team on a regular basis knows this move should have been made yesterday.

And why not try to get Kenny Lofton (unsigned) for our RF - left handed bat, good OBP. We can move Yuni up on the lineup and have Lofton hit in the 9th spot. He'll come cheap and not cost us any farm talent. DFA Wilkerson.

Ichiro
Lopez
Ibanez
Beltre
Clement
Sexson
Yuni
Johjima
Lofton

IMO this is a cheap way to improve the team ASAP while considering more carefully how to deal with the 1B situation.

Posted by PayClayBennett

1:15 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Geoff - you ask all of these questions like you have not witnessed anything the past couple of years. All of these questions and the ridiculous answers to each are found in one man - Bill Bavasi. He signed these guys (Wilkerson, Johjima to extension, Sexson, Vidro, etc.) he's keeping Clement in Tacoma, and he's keeping Cairo on the roster for a purpose I do not think anyone can understand. He runs this team this way and they're still somewhat competitive.....just think how it would be if they had someone who wasn't a jack ass in there.

This is no shock people. Vidro surprised last year with average, but everything else was usual Vidro. Sexson is mired in a 182 game slump and his cheesy 1-for-4's with no production belong in high school. Wilkerson....the single buggest questioned acquisition of the off-season - at least in my house. Low and behold, he sucks as bad as I thought he did, only it seems worse cuz Johnny Mac lets him play everyday. Morse getting hurt sucks, but I think the end reslut with either one of those guys would have been similar.

This team has no bench and 33% of the starters are hitting under .200. Anyone surprised? You shouldn't be. Clement and Vlad could help, but as long as Mac and Bill are locked on Sexson, Vidro and Wilkerson - it won't happen.

Bavasi is the wrinkle and always has been since he's been here. That would be my first move - bye bye Bill. Then I would re-interrogate Mac as well as he's pull some dumb moves at various points, of course utilizing his lack of quality personnel. I would give him some other players to use before I moved him.

Ichiro's .260 ain't helping either and Ibanez is either scorching or a block of ice. Go get Griff too - I like Steve's idea on that and get him while he can still crush. He'll play RF with Ichi and Raul....

They don't look terrible, but they're going anywhere with the pieces they have.

P.S. This blog sucks technically (4th time I have piped on that) - "test entered was wrong"...WTF does that mean because when I redo it the same way I did the first time - it works fine.

Posted by scottM

1:15 PM, Apr 28, 2008

My prediction about the M's signing Johjima to trade him to the Reds for Griffey makes less sense than the rumor that the Japanese ownership forced Bavasi's hand. Fortunately, Johjima IS a good defensive catcher with proven potential with his bat, so the extension is not without merit. The timing is very odd, though, and three years is one year too many.

Trading Clement before he can prove his worth at the plate would be assinine. ASSinine.

I don't know how the M's would acquire Griffey through an immediate (post 600 hr) trade, but it ought to happen with the idea that he would replace WIlkerson in right field, not the DH spot. Let Clement play the DH and back-up catcher. Release Burke, and keep a 12 man bullpen.

As for Baek, I think he proved his value when he took over for Batista. I like him as an insurance SP more than Dickey.

Amazing how quickly your wait-until-mid-May posture got foreshortened, GEOFF. But, then again, a game like yesterday's will do that. First things first:

FREE CLEMENT!

Posted by gMoney

1:19 PM, Apr 28, 2008

As a young pitcher, how much patience/tolerance do you have watching your amazing performances get flushed down the toliet? What is going through Felix's mind when he is watching this... ? Put up 7 runs when Washburn starts, lose. and give 2 runs for Felix to work with. Do they kick it into higher gear when the back of our rotation pitches because they know its their only chance of winning or what??

Posted by Lance

1:20 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Even more than the 0-10 record you cited, Geoff, I'm concerned about the 1-7 record in one run games. What was a strength of this team last year has become a weakness.

Also, our RHed setup roles have been established I'd say, Green and Lowe.

Morrow should be in the minors developing as a starter. Teams have a book on him now. The lack of minor league time has caught up with him. In fact, Corcoran should still be here.

Watching Morrow makes me think of a quote by the great Warren Spahn. "Hitting is all about timing, pitching is about upsetting that timing."

Morrow is upsetting nobody's timing. Mac's infatuation with his 97-mph fastball is just going to hurt this team further.

And, can't we use Baek more often than once every ten days? Is it that hard to find a way to accomplish that?

Posted by Jared

1:23 PM, Apr 28, 2008

I just can't stand Mclaren. I try but everytime i see him i just feel he is in over his head.

We don't have anyone that is taking a real leadership role, pushing guys to step up and getting some enthusiasm in that dugout.

This has been tough to watch so far, when you got Wilkerson, Vidro doing ..... noothing and Clement is ripping it up in Tacoma in the meantime... AHHH!!!

Posted by Lance

1:24 PM, Apr 28, 2008

People, Bavasi is never going to trade Clement for Griffey. If he wasn't willing to trade him for Bedard, why on earth would be trade him for the aging Griffey.

I can't imagine anyone would even be worried about something like that.

Posted by Jared

1:24 PM, Apr 28, 2008

FREE CLEMENT!!!

Posted by reality3

1:25 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Frustration is an understatement right now. Reed and Clement have NO business being in AAA. However, we are trying to understand the moves of a crazy person (front office) and like my dad always told me, "Son, you cannot rationalize with crazy people".

Posted by Peter80s

1:26 PM, Apr 28, 2008

All of this analysis and none of it matters. The Seattle Mariners are in this to make money not to win games. As long as the Dippin Dots, strawberries on a skewer, Stich and Pitch night and the dancing grounds crew continue to bring the pathetic unknowledgeable fans in the gates nothing will change.

Keep up the good work Geoff, enjoy your stuff.

Posted by alfrulz33

1:27 PM, Apr 28, 2008

It is official, they suck.
They are out of the race, never going to make the playoffs.

Offense is horrible
Defense is bad
MANAGER is a bench-coach, while Perlazzo, the bench coach, was a manager.

They sign a has-been/never was 32 year old catcher and pay him like he is Piazza, but he is Olivo in disguise.
The manager is all excuses and cliche's.
"been through the wars"
"needs time to get on track"
"not executing properly"
translation: I have a bunch of old, useless players that are dead weight, but I cannot do anything with them because I have no input on who does what, that is all up to Bavasi and Howard Lincoln."

GM thinks he has fielded a championship calliber team that has 4 starting players hitting under .200 and one (Cairo) with an average of .000

If that is champion calliber, wow, is that GM out to lunch or what?

I will end with the typical chants of all bloggers:

FIRE BAVASI
FIRE MAC
LOSE WILKERSON
LOSE VIDRO

BRING UP CLEMENT
GET GRIFFEY

my own is BOYCOTT THE MARINERS

Posted by Mint Husky

1:27 PM, Apr 28, 2008

All this talk about Griffey makes me sick to my stomach. The romance is over between that guy and Seattle. Bringing him back would be nothing more than a PR stunt. I can just see Bavasi shelling out bags of money for him only to watch Griffey sit on the DL if his past is any indicator to that extent.

Posted by don gato

1:37 PM, Apr 28, 2008

"... this was a call made by the ownership in Japan."

If this is true, I hope they sell the team.

Posted by cesame

1:40 PM, Apr 28, 2008

It's starting to get bad. I'm starting to lose interest in watching this team. It's hard for me to watch this team day in and day out and know the best decisions aren't being made. I don't know how anyone can spend money to go to the ballpark and watch this team play at this point, minus Felix day.

It's to the point I don't even get mad anymore at the dumb decisions. I've just come to accept them and just shake my head, then turn the channel.

Posted by PayClayBennett

1:40 PM, Apr 28, 2008

AB 90
Griffey 2008

R 12
HR 4
RBI 15
BB 11
KO 15
SB 0
BA .244

Would you take that over Wilkerson? I would, as long as it comes cheap.

Posted by Scott

1:42 PM, Apr 28, 2008

If only we had seen that this offense wasn't very good before this season. If only there had been voices of reason warning us that this team was not a #1 starter away from the playoffs. If only these guys had played poorly before this season.

Oh wait, they did. Bedard is awesome, but this team was never a Bedard away. Getting rid of Bavasi alone won't fix it, we need an entire front office makeover starting with Howard Lincoln. My great fear is that it won't happen soon enough to keep King Felix out of pinstripes.

Posted by j

1:42 PM, Apr 28, 2008

FYI you guys:

If Clement gets called up before May 7th, 2008 counts as a year of service time because the 27 days he was up last year will be added onto his service time for 2008. If they wait a little longer, then Clement won't be able to total the 172 days needed to get credited for a full season between 2007 and 2008. That means the M's would control his rights through 2014 instead of 2013. They're going to wait.

Posted by Faceplant

1:43 PM, Apr 28, 2008

"I don't know how the M's would acquire Griffey through an immediate (post 600 hr) trade, but it ought to happen with the idea that he would replace WIlkerson in right field, not the DH spot."

I'm not sure the people who want Griffey in RF really realize how bad his defense is at this point in his career. Would it represent an improvement over Wilkerson overall? Yes. But that isn't the best way to go about it. Get Clement time at first base in AAA, and stick Griffey (if we acquired him) at DH (although my first choice is Bonds). Give Balentien a shot in RF. Although he will never be a defensive wiz, he's certainly an improvement over Wilkerson, and Griffey defensively, and easily an improvement over Wilk offensively.

Posted by seavet

1:43 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Jesse, Jr. has 597 home runs. When he gets to 600, let's see what happens.

If it's all about box office, only box office, then the M's management has nothing to consider. Go get Griffey.

If it's about experience from the left side, go get Griffey.

If it's about improving yourself in right field, go get Griffey.

Those contentions I see as about as close to fact as opinions get.

Less factual, but my opinion: If they give up Clement for Griffey, they've made a deal far worse than the Bedard trade.

Posted by Mopper999

1:44 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Personally, I don't see why we are focusing on the DH position more than the RF spot. I think that Norton/Vidro combination at DH is a lot less spotty than Mr. Wilkerson in RF. Vidro has started slowly but he did hit over .300 last year, and a lot of that production came in a scorching second half of the year. Wilkerson on the other hand hit .234 last year, is hitting .189 this year while slugging a massive .264. That is just plain pathetic.

Don't get me wrong, as I would love to see Clement get called up, but I don't think that is addressing our main concern at RF right now. I'm not sure I have the answer as to what to do out there. Not sure if Norton can play outfield at all?

Posted by PayClayBennett

1:44 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Cesame -

"It's to the point I don't even get mad anymore at the dumb decisions. I've just come to accept them and just shake my head, then turn the channel."

This is the same apathy that Howie Schultz created with the Sonics with the stellar roster management that went on there and look where they are now? I certainly do not blame you for your thoughts - I have turned off many games already this year, but things can only get worse if the fans quit caring.

Bavasi is the single connection - he was a bad hire that has only gotten worse since he was hired. He needs his head called for and that can't be done if everyone decides to just not care...

It can't happen soon enough, but the way this season is going, it can't be far off.

Posted by dc

1:45 PM, Apr 28, 2008

This seems really simple but I don't expect the powers that be to actually do it. The secrecy that shrouds their thinking drives me nuts and makes no sense. It seems like we go through this whenever we desire to see a callup from AAA. The front office fights it tooth and nail until it's seemingly too late.

I mean how hard would it be for the following:

Release Cairo
Vidro's now a pinch hitter/part time DH
Clement plays every day as your DH and spells Kenji twice a week. On the days he spells Kenji you let Vidro DH.
Norton's in right field until Balentien shows he's ready or Griffey's finished hitting 600 so he can be had in a trade.
Wilkerson gets released.

This would give you the following lineup....

Ichiro (L)
Lopez (R)
Ibanez (L)
Beltre (R)
Clement (L)
Sexson (R)
Johjima (R)
Norton (S)
Yuni (R)

I believe Norton has experience in RF. Anything he provides would be better than Wilks. Then, once Balentien or Griffey are ready you go with one of the following:

Ichiro (L)
Lopez (R)
Ibanez (L)
Beltre (R)
Griffey (L)
Sexson (R)
Clement (L)
Johjima (R)
Yuni (R)

or

Ichiro (L)
Lopez (R)
Ibanez (L)
Beltre (R)
Clement (L)
Sexson (R)
Balentien (R)
Johjima (R)
Yuni (R)

Posted by Pete

1:46 PM, Apr 28, 2008

"Let's add Clement and Griffey!" says 12-year-old-version of Pete.

CF Ichiro
2B Lopez
LF Ibanez
3B Beltre
RF Griffey
1B Sexson
DH Clement
C Johjima
SS Betancourt

Posted by Donovan

1:47 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Anybody else see this article about the "Dirty Dozen" deals that MLB GMs wish they could undo? Yes, Sexson makes the list, but he's definitely the least onerous of the 12. Just in case you think bad, high dollar deals are a Mariners exclusive. I know, pretty weak consolation isn't it?

http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/8063664

Clement will be up soon. He has to be. At this point, there is no risk to this move. You don't even have to cut Wilk loose yet, since Cairo can be moved. You could even shorten the pen, as Geoff says, though i'd have to ask why that would be preferable.

As is often the case when I read Steve Kelly's opinions, I agree with all his statements up to his final conclusion, at which point we arrive at diametrically opposite places. The last thing this team needs is a placebo, feel-good acquisition like Griffey. Signing KGJ will be proof to me that the team has given up on the season, and is just trying to salvage gate receipts. I sure hope they don't reach that point when we are 4 back in late April. I'd rather see a parade of minor leaguers who might actually improve our offense in the long term, if it came to that.

Posted by kujo

1:48 PM, Apr 28, 2008

If Bavasi waits another week to recall Clement it will be too late. It is absolutely absurd to have your #1 prospect over matching AAA pitching while you ML club has almost no offense. The only weak excuse, improving catching, is gone. Stop driving your fan base crazy and away.

Posted by seavet

1:50 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Good point, j, about the importance of May 7, if you're correct. I didn't know that--thanks. But it makes sense.

If Geoff knows that, why didn't he mention it?

If he didn't know that...maybe you should be writing this blog.

Posted by fred

1:53 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Yep, unless things turnaround soon, both Bavasi and McLaren will be in danger of losing their jobs---McLaren first because he will the easiest fallguy for the personnel decisions Bavasi made in the off-season.

Yes, call up Clement. Balentien, Reed and Jimerson as well. Those latter three add speed and energy and are upgrades over their replaceements. Put Sexson, Vidro, Cairo and Wilkerson on immediate waivers. If anyone claims them, trade 'em for whatever is offered. If not claimed, eat their salaries and dump them.

We are perilously close to blowing this season.

Posted by Ben

1:53 PM, Apr 28, 2008

All well and good - but do you think Clement will be up this week? We're going off to face good hitting clubs and throwing our 3-5 pitchers at them... we better be ready to hit.

Would the team really carry 3 catchers?

Will our relief pitchers continue to destroy the efforts of our starters?

Will the club go after a free agent outfielder (Lofton?) or trade for an outfielder (Griffey?) any time soon? And who do they view as trade bait (Baek/Reed?)?

Posted by Mike

1:53 PM, Apr 28, 2008

On the bright side our pitching has been really good. We are on pace to only give up 679 runs this year compared to 813 last year.

Unfortunately the front office believed that the good pitching would carry us to contention and beyond.

Posted by jimmytown

1:54 PM, Apr 28, 2008

j, good point about the service time for Clement. The Ray did the same for Evan Longoria this year IIRC.

Posted by kujo

1:55 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Doesn't matter who knows that. It is a pitiful excuse. They could be done with any real prospect of winning the division by then. That would be an acceptable excuse if they were hanging in there. they are not.

Posted by Get Griffey

2:00 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Ditto seavet!!

P.S. Thanks for the info j! Heres hopping for a May 8 call up for Clement.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

2:03 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Note to Bavasi: call up Clement and Balentien please.

Say no to the Bavasi Bathouse members call for more veteran experience with Matt Murton or Corey Patterson in left field. They want to mortgage the future for more veterans. In the real world teams aren't going to give up a Nick Johnson or Ryan Freel without asking for prospects. I pray Bavasi doesn't listen to the radio today.

Posted by Adam

2:08 PM, Apr 28, 2008

I've held off on passing judgment on any hitter, but now that we are a month in, and four games back of both the A's and Angels, it's time to make some changes.

Here are the OPS+ we are getting from our RF, 1B, and DH spots:

Wilkerson: 61
Sexson: 106 (9th of 14 AL 1Bs)
Vidro: 53

If there anywhere in the lineup where it is relatively easy to find offense, it should be these three spots. And you see, instead what Bavasi and Co. have given us.

Earlier this year, there was still hope for Wilkerson, because he was seeing pitches and because his BABIP was so low, below .200. A month in, his BABIP is up to .263, but his production is still horrible, even though he still sees the most pitches per AB on the team. I'm starting to believe he is not going to come around - time to send him to the bench or to the waiver wire.

As for Sexson and Vidro, they both were seeing more than 4 pitches per AB earlier in the year. Now they are both seeing 3.8 pitches per AB, getting more and more impatient.. Vidro's BABIP is .200, which suggests some bad luck, but his LD and GB rates are down, meaning he's turning into a flyball hitter. Since he has little power anymore, it's no wonder that he doesn't get many hits to fall in. Perhaps if he stops trying to hit the ball in the air he could improve, but I think Mr. Vidro is done. Sexson's BABIP is a low .228, but this is the second year his BABIP has lagged. while his LD rate is down. And for the previous three years, his GB rate is up (down 5% so far this year), suggesting his bat is slowing.

In short, the worse-case scenario might be unfolding right before the eyes of the Mariners. They must have known that these hitters (along with Raul, who is defying age, even though he's cooled down considerably the past 10 games or so) were right on the precipice of age catching them. It could well be that age has caught them. And that doesn't even include Johjima - obviously Bavasi doesn't believe age is a problem for our soon-to-be 32 year-old catcher.

So what to do?

First, I'd suggest going after a Cincinnatti OF. Corey Patterson. I brought up his name in the late spring, and I think he'd be fine for our LF spot. He's got an OPS+ of 101, which is better than the OPS of another Cincy OF, Ken Griffey Jr. (96) Plus, Patterson plays a MUCH, MUCH better OF than Griffey. And he'd be a lot cheaper than Griffey, perhaps costing Adam Moore or Ryan Feierabend.

With Patterson in LF, where range is more important in Safeco than in RF, we can move Raul to RF. I'd love to see him in a platoon with Sexson at 1B, but let's face it, he's not leaving the OF. And his arm, while not great, is probably adequate. Replace Wilkerson's bat and glove with Patterson, and you've instantly made the team quite a bit better. And the team becomes younger and much more athletic.

I'd also call up Jeff Clement and make him the regular DH, while catching a couple of days a week. It just makes too much sense. Vidro would go to the bench and Cairo would be DFA'd. The improvement from Vidro's bat to Clement's would be quite tangible.

Finally, regarding Sexson, I'd like to follow USSM's suggestion of Nick Johnson, but I see Jim Bowden asking for the moon. Perhaps Scott Hatteburg would be a nice platoon with Sexson, but this is a case where we might have to live with Richie. I'd suggest Raul to 1B, but it won't happen.


The Angels are very good, and will get better when Lackey gets here. The A's are better than we thought, and we should be thankful they haven't signed Bonds. Both have 4-game leads over us, and a month is gone. Time to act.

Posted by kujo

2:10 PM, Apr 28, 2008

"All well and good - but do you think Clement will be up this week? We're going off to face good hitting clubs and throwing our 3-5 pitchers at them... we better be ready to hit.

Would the team really carry 3 catchers?"

Good points but don't you want your best bats facing the best pitching. Yes to three catchers when one is a DH.

Posted by jimmytown

2:11 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Until May 7th we have 3 games against CLE, 3 against NYY and 3 against TEX. If we go .500 in this stretch that's hardly losing the division. Clement is not going to single-handedly beat the likes of Carmona, Sabathia and Wang.

Posted by greyguy3

2:13 PM, Apr 28, 2008

I don't know, man. I didn't think the M's would contend this year even with Bedard, but it's not like I predicted Vidro and Wilkerson to be unable to hit the Mendoza line.

On the other hand, I don't know why they're clinging to Sexson. He sucked all of last year, so his current sucky streak isn't just a month long. They need to move Ibanez to first and get a couple of decent outfielders.

I don't know why everyone is so keen to get Griffey though. Haven't we have enough of washed up injury plagued has-beens? Do you know who's fun to watch in years when you aren't contending? Young players with exciting futures.

Posted by K-Man

2:13 PM, Apr 28, 2008

It was early in the seventh inning, as tears of joy turnedd into tears of rage. The King had just walked the first Oakland "hitter" and was clearly losing his ferocious edge, while Mac and Studs conferred in the dugout, and the bullpen remained strangely quiet.

"Get someone up," I said to my dog. But I knew the game was lost.

"Score more runs," said my dog. "The King has no militia."

As he screen went blank I grabbed her leash. My dog scores more runs than this club.

Posted by I was there 4/6/77

2:17 PM, Apr 28, 2008

"j"

I like your lineup with one change.

Iciro
Lopez
Ibanez
Beltre
Clement
Sexson
NORTON
Johjima
Betancourt

Posted by kujo

2:21 PM, Apr 28, 2008

"Until May 7th we have 3 games against CLE, 3 against NYY and 3 against TEX. If we go .500 in this stretch that's hardly losing the division. Clement is not going to single-handedly beat the likes of Carmona, Sabathia and Wang."

No offense but, Bill is that you?

That's a big if in there, not to mention it's assuming our division rivals tread water with us. I'll take significant improvement over no improvement any day. Other changes are also welcome.

Posted by byebyeSexson

2:22 PM, Apr 28, 2008

1B Sexson

As I read all those wonderful lineups, I find, "1B Sexson" listed in each one.

It is unlikely we can make the playoffs with a "black hole" in our lineup.

I agree with the callups that most everyone wants.

Posted by seavet

2:25 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Adam, why would a GM choose Griffey over Patterson?

$$$'s.

I can just imagine the howls from M's fans...bringing in a Cincy player other than Griffey.

These deals aren't made in a stats vacuum, except in fantasy baseball.

Posted by Kyle

2:27 PM, Apr 28, 2008

I agree on trying to get Griffey, but the Reds aren't letting him go until he's over 600 dingers. They've invested $70+ mil in the guy over the past 6-7 years. They're not going to let the guy go and lose out on the biggest PR event to happen there in a long long time. How's this for a starting lineup though....

CF - Ichiro
2B - Lopez
LF - Ibanez
3B - Beltre
RF - Griffey
1B - Sexson
DH - Clement
C - Johjima
SS - Yuni

That's a pretty solid group minus Sexson and Johjima's struggles. Also, I am the only one noticing our clean up guy has 4 homers, but only 8 RBIs. Beltre is hitting for a decent avg, but disappears with men on base!

Posted by Frankie

2:28 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Well, unlike last year with the whole Adam Jones debate, I am 150% in favor of bringing up Jeff Clement ASAP to help this offense. It hurts to even watch this team anymore, and I believe that a young, energized bat like Clement's can really help to jumpstart this offense.

FREE JEFF CLEMENT (not Adam Jones)!!!!!

Posted by Mike

2:29 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Well said Adam-----Though I would be really interested in finding what it would take to land NIck Johnson I think the price would be too steep for me.

And an alternative to Patterson is Lofton, who is older obviously and a short term solution but wouldn't cost us a player and should deliver similar results.

The wild-card is Balentien. If he's a ready (and admittedly that's a big if) you could put him in right. Then you platoon Raul & Richie at first (Yeah, I know, won't happen but that doesn't mean it's not the right thing to do) and bring Clement up to DH and as you and others have suggested, let him catch 2 days a week.

You could run this lineup out against righties.

Ichiro
Lofton
Beltre
Ibanez
Balentien
Clement
Johjima
Lopez
Yuni

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

2:32 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Adam Moore has close to the same power Clement has and is better defensively. He's an impact prospect that could be our #1 catcher in 3 years when Clement will be the DH. Dealing Adam Moore for injury prone (Chris Snelling) Nick Johnson is simply a brain dead move. Ryan Freel or Johnson would also ask for our best outfielder prospect below Balentien in Michael Saunders. I say no to this Bavasi GM ideology madness!

Matt Murton, Corey Patterson, are marginal improvements reminiscent of Rich Aurilia and Scot Spiezio. Have we not learned from the past mistakes of veteran stop-gap players????

I say we steer as far away from the USSM/Adam plan of action as possible. Stick Balentien in left and Clement at DH asap!

Posted by Zach C

2:34 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Any news on how Bedard is feeling after his start?

Posted by Mike

2:37 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Resin---I agree IF we were to make a deal I'd be loathe to give up too much but these guys aren't over the hill by any means. Murton is 26, Patterson, 28.

Posted by dc

2:39 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Hey 'j' - great point regarding Clements service time. If that's the case I'm supportive of him waiting 9 more days. If waiting those days gives us an extra year I'm for it....and to me that would be a great reason. Of course, there's no way the KGB that runs the front office would ever communicate that. We'll be forced to endure while waiting for the Messiah.

Hey Clement....if you're reading this blog.....hang in there buddy. You'll be playing at Safeco at some point this year. Let's just hope it's not as part of the September callups.

Hey Geoff - Fix the blog. 1/2 the time it kicks back my entry as 'wrong text'. This makes me lose what I wrote and I have to reenter. I've resorted to copying my entry onto my clipboard before pressing submit so I don't lose anything.

(and it just did it to me again). The text you see here was posted from my clipboard after being told I entered the wrong text. %&%$#@!

Posted by jimmytown

2:42 PM, Apr 28, 2008

kujo, I take offense to you calling me Bill - but if I were him, I would quit this afternoon to show you that I agree that this team needs change (from the top).

All I'm saying is that it does give a pause as to when to bring Clement up - I personally would hold my pitchfork and torch until May 7th to see what happens. I would have them by my side, but I wouldn't be storming the castle... just yet.

Posted by bsstecks

2:46 PM, Apr 28, 2008

It's been awhile since I've posted, but here it goes:

The BP will rebound, the arms there are fine, its only a matter of time before everyone settles down.

Morrow, Lowe, Rhodes and RRS will figure out how to finish out the 7th and 8th innings and then thats that, probably one of the best pitching staffs in the game.

The offense needs a shot in the arm. Now, this is the point where I figured I'd hear eveyone clamouring about: "Where's Jones and Sherril! I told you so!!!!"

Fact is, Jones wouldn't make our offense any better right now. Vidro has to go, and here's my suggestion:

Trade Balentin and a couple prospects (besides Triunfel) to Cinci for Griffey. Bring up clement, cut Vidro and watch the offense wake up.

Yes, this puts a big hit on our defense: Raul, Ichiro, Griffey (in right)

But it has to happen for the offense. Clement can play DH, 1B, and C, on days he spells Johjima, Griffey or Raul can take a breather at DH and Wilkerson can fill in in RF or LF.

Ichiro
Lopez
Raul
Griffey
Beltre
Sexson
Clement
Johjima
Betancourt

There should be some runs in that lineup.

Rhodes, Morrow, RRS, Lowe will calm down and thats a great setup for Putz...by the way, I will say this til the day I die, NEVER UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES INSERT A CLOSER INTO A GAME WHERE YOU ARE LEADING BY 4+ RUNS.

I don't think I've ever seen this pan out well, more often than not, they almost blow the game and then have to leave and someone else comes in and finishes the meltdown for them, its dumb, don't do it. It NEVER results in a solid outing.

Ok, thats enough raving.

Posted by NB

2:52 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Resin,

Have you personally scouted Moore?

I had a conversation with a NL scout over the weekend who was pretty non-plussed with him. Plus the majority of his offensive success has come in High Desert, which is a hitter's paradise.

I'm not bring snarky. Just curious what gives you that opinion. Personal scouting or Baseball America (which I know you are a big fan of).

Posted by NB

2:53 PM, Apr 28, 2008

*being snarky. Hooray typos.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

3:04 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Matt Murton had good plate discipline like Wilkerson did in his early years with Montreal. The scouting reports I have on Murton point to a long swing at times, no speed, weak arm, potential 20 home run hitter out of Georgia Tech if he adds loft to his swing. He probably is a .275 hitter in the A.L. and closer to a 15 home run guy like a Jason Werth. There's a reason Boston got rid of Murton and he hasn't been able to start everyday in the majors. We are looking at a Jeremy Reed 4th outfielder.

That's a complete downgrade to Wladimir Balentien who projects 30 to 40 home run hitter who can hit for average and has shown he can also walk and has a rocket cannon in right.

Why on earth would we gamble and choose Murton over Balentien? Team scouts raved about Balentien so highly that dealing Adam Jones made it a no brainer to deal him for Bedard according to reports. I realize that the author that opined against calling up Balentien has advocated trading him for years. So there is a bias in that opinion. Honestly, Murton's skill set is closer to a young Wilkerson that you may realize. These guys are a dime a dozen.

Posted by kujo

3:05 PM, Apr 28, 2008

"but if I were him, I would quit this afternoon to show you that I agree that this team needs change (from the top)."

Dang jimmy now I'm wishing you were him, no now I'm wishing you were Lincoln. Seriously though, I was being sarcastic and only asked if you were Billy because it sounds just like the thing the M's would do, just to show they can remain calm while Rome is burning.

You obviously have more confidence that this team can hang tough through a rough part of the schedule. In the mean time LAA gets B-More and KC while A's get B-More and Tex. We could easily return home more than 6 games out.

Calling up Clement seems like a pretty low risk upgrade to me. Cairo looks like he can use a vacation.

Posted by scrapiron

3:13 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Adam, great analysis and suggestions, except one thing: your plan involves moving Ibanez to right field. A right fielder can have limited range, but must have a strong arm. Have you seen Ibanez throw the ball? No thanks. If he's going to play the outfield, left field is the only place you can play him. I fully agree with you that he would make a great DH.

As far as acquiring an outfielder, how about Luke Scott or Coco Crisp? Both are probably available, and not a high price tag. I'd still rather platoon Balentien and Reed to see what we have in house first though.

Posted by macdoubter

3:15 PM, Apr 28, 2008

What planet are you people from that have Sexson in your proposed lineup? On this planet, baseball players are expected to HIT the ball, which leads to scoring runs, which leads to winning games, which...oh never mind.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

3:15 PM, Apr 28, 2008

NB-I am going off of Baseball America's scouting reports on Moore. I am well aware of the park effects of the California League for many years now. The scouts printed in B.A. raved about Moore. The recent handbook states the M's brass was extremely impressed how Moore handled his pitchers and game-calling. They said they cleaned up his bad habits from college with Roger Hansen.

Posted by Mike

3:18 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Resin---I hope you are right about Balentien and that Dave Cameron is wrong but I think you are overstating your case in a couple of areas. First, 30-40 home runs?? Maybe, one day....maybe.

As for the scouts on the Ms. I saw one article where someone on the Ms said that it was possible that Balentien could outperform Jones offensively.

Again, I'd rather call someone up than trade for someone if the production is comparable but let's not make the case, as you seem to imply, that we somehow snookered the Os into taking Jones when we knew Balentien is the real gem.

As for bias in Cameron's opinion, I've both seen him change his mind (Adam Jones comes to mind) and admit to being wrong.

Posted by scrapiron

3:23 PM, Apr 28, 2008

The Mariners batting average is the worst in the American League against right-handed pitchers. That's where we need to focus.

The two worst among regulars is Wilkerson and Vidro. McLaren has fixed the Vidro situation, at least temporarily, by using Greg Norton at DH.

In right field, Mac is sticking to his old school "left handed hitters hit right handed pitchers" rule, despite the fact that the numbers prove this is incorrect. Over the past 3 years, Wilkerson has hit .264 vs. LH, .228 vs. RH. Considering that he is playing almost exclusively against RH, he's actually hitting his career norms.

And this weekend when Wilkerson was about to face a left-handed pitcher, he pinch hit Bloomquist for him. Bloomquist has the same issues as Wilkerson. Over the last three years, Bloomquist has hit .248 vs. left handers, .264 vs. right handers.

You want to pick up the offense against right handed pitching? Jeremy Reed and Jeff Clement.

Posted by Kyle

3:30 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Macdoubter,

I think you see all of our lineups with Sexson because we all know he is not going anywhere. Do I wish he wasn't there....YES! Do I think the Mariners will do the right thing and limit his liability to the lineup...no.

Posted by Adam

3:31 PM, Apr 28, 2008

These deals aren't made in a stats vacuum, except in fantasy baseball.

And smart GMs don't make a move because the populace loves the player coming back. Smart GMs make moves to improve the team first, rather than the attendance.

Taking into account his defense, age, and salary, Patterson is better for the M's than Griffey.

Resin - Please cite to any scouting report that says Moore has "close to the same power as Clement." I've never seen that. And as NB rightly noted, Moore's big year came at High Desert, home to perhaps the best hitter's park in the minor leagues. It's not surprising that his slugging % is 140 points lower this year than last. Don't get me wrong, Moore could be a nice player for us, but he's not indespensable. And given the three-year deal for Johjima, plus Clement's presence, the 24 year-old Moore is blocked.

Why on earth would we gamble and choose Murton over Balentien? Team scouts raved about Balentien so highly that dealing Adam Jones made it a no brainer to deal him for Bedard according to reports.

LOL. There is a reason that the Orioles and every other team involved in trade talks asked for Jones rather than Balentien - and it wasn't because they didn't see him enough - it was because Jones is the better player. But one reason why you might want Murton over Balentien is because Murton has shown he can at least play in the bigs. Is he a superstar? No. But he has a career OPS of .813, plays a passable LF or RF, and won't cost much.

Balentien has a .787 OPS in Tacoma right now, with an OBP of only .313. Does he have a higher ceiling than Murton? Yes. Does that mean he's better for the Mariners right now? No. And no one is advocating giving Patterson or Murton the job permanently. But for 2008, they are better options than Wlad - at least at this point.

Maybe if Wlad has a great May, we can discuss bringing him up - and moving Raul to 1B. But he's not ready like Clement is. Just because your imaginary scouting reports say he's a superstar in-waiting doesn't mean he's ready to contribute to this team. Other, better options are available than Balentien.

Posted by Bill

3:32 PM, Apr 28, 2008

"Trade Balentin and a couple prospects (besides Triunfel) to Cinci for Griffey."


You are out of your mind. Maybe it's your voice Bavasi hears in his head.


I pretty much agree with Adam's 2:08 post word for word and suggested Patterson in ST. At that point he was unsigned. Unfortunately, now he's not.

Posted by usesomelogic

3:37 PM, Apr 28, 2008

I just don't get it....why are they waiting? Clement is ready and he is hot right now. The only think I can think of is maybe their worried about his development if they bring him up now and he struggles. They might be worried that he ends up like Jeremy Reed did which will ultimately deplinish his value.

I don't understand why they don't see if Bonds can help this team. They are being too conservative, they need to try and win a division. No one will care what Bonds has done in the past if he can help this team win.

Posted by Mike

3:38 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Scrapiron---Really interesting and made me look at OPS as well. We are next to last in OPS vs righties at .666 and ripping against lefties at an .858 clip. That's a pretty amazing disparity.

Posted by ricofoy

3:41 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Corey Patterson? Are you kidding me? He sucks!
LMAO Just what the the M's need...another disappointment who bounces from one team to another. Now that I think about it..it would be a typical Bavasi move..an IDIOTIC one!

Posted by zach

3:45 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Wtf is bavasi still here for. How many more retarded moves can the man make cuz i really want to start something today, as a fan of The M's(the first professional sports team i ever took an interest in back in 1995 when yes i was only 8 but still) we need to get bavasi out of office EFFECTIVE NOW! someone find Howard Lincolns phone or email him and tell him this list of Terrific moves he has made than i can recall

Trades:
carlos guillen to detroit for ??? noone of importance
Freddy Garcia to CWS for yes we still have reed but F*** man
not one closer but two closers(rafeal soriano and sherril) for Horacio and Bedard ( a combibined what 10 wins so far for both of them)

look at our bullpen minus those trades

Morrow, Sherril, Soriano , putz and either rhodes or whoeveer it wouldnt matter

asdrubal cabrera(starting 2nd base of indians watch for him in this next series) for eduardo "i work on baseball tonight* perez

thats the majority of trades i can remember but lets get to signings LOL

Sexson(o wow, remember he got a DUI the first month of his contract, in which he was sippin on Heinikens. the dude was drinking heinis not ever coors light , RICHIE!!!)
Beltre- dudes been alright, sure not worth the money we shelled out since he has gave us only one gold glove and no silver sluggers.
Carl everett- dudes is the equivalent of wilkerson will be gone by summer in their respective careers with us
Jarrod washburn- WTF HAPPENED TO THIS DUDE
rich aurilla, pokey reese, - LOL!@!!!!!
chris reitsma- where u at buddy
jeffry weaver - WOOHOO

i mean the list doesnt stop because the madness will never stop does anyone know wehre he was a GM before the mariners? was it LAD or ?????

Posted by joe

3:46 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Maybe McCaren and company should study the heck out of the 1906 Chicago White Sox.

Posted by Adam

3:50 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Patterson's a better choice than Griffey, or Balentien, or Reed.

Griffey has had one season with an OPS over .900 in the last five years, despite playing in GAB. He's got an OPS+ of 96 this year. His slugging is a career-low .422.


Patterson has an OPS+ of 101. One of his biggest problems over his career is his discipline; this year he's drawn more walks than strikeouts. And, he's a much better OF than any other guy out there in the discussion.

Is he a great player? No. But he's better than any other option, including Griffey.

Posted by Anthony

4:05 PM, Apr 28, 2008

I think the roots of this team's problem begin with the ownership. We have Japanese majority owners who don't seem to even care about this club. I mean when was the last time you saw our owner (and I DON'T EVEN KNOW HIS NAME THAT'S HOW BAD IT IS) do anything around the club. Does he even watch the team? I think the only thing he cares about is having japanese players on the team. Bavasi probably got a strong twist of the arm to sign Johjima because that was a terrible move. I never thought I would say this but I wish we had an owner like George Steinbrenner. Someone who is passionate about the team and makes decisions, whether they're questionable or not -- I just want someone who CARES!!

Can we get Paul Allen to buy the M's?

Posted by Mike

4:08 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Let's keep in mind that this ownership group kept the team in Seattle, got Safeco Field built and shells out a budget of over $100M a year.

Whatever flaws exist in our front office (and I think there are many), not caring is not one of them.

Posted by daddydriz

4:10 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Who the heck ever said it is going to cost Clement to get Griffey? One poster writes it here, and all the sudden it is the Reds' asking price. THAT'S assinine. After the attendance bump of the 600th homer is over for the Reds, and they are 10+ games out of 1st (already 5 1/2 right now), the Reds will dump Griffey and his salary for whatever collection of AA long-shot prospects the M's want to offer. And, remember, he can veto any trade, so he can force the Reds to trade him to Seattle. He played that card once, and you can bet he'll play it again.

Posted by Choska

4:14 PM, Apr 28, 2008

So far today Adam Jones is 2 for 4 with a triple and a double. The GD trade for Bedard has crippled this franchise.

Arguing about Clement, Balentien, Patterson, Griffey, etc. is like discussing the color of the deck chairs on the Titanic.

NOTHING is going to change until Bavasi and Armstrong are replaced by people who actually know something about baseball. (The fact that a bunch of bloggers know more than Bavasi is painful.)

Chris Antonetti in '08

Posted by trs249

4:18 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Went to the game on Friday and just about threw up watching the offense struggle - we have to rely too much on trading outs for runs. It's a sick feeling watching your starting pitcher give up runs in the first and conclude that the game is already over.

I'd bring up Clement and strongly consider Reed too. Reed hit better than Wilkerson when he was here, although power is an issue, plus I don't know enough about his arm strength in right field. Clement's bat is ready now, and if you read the quotes from the catching instructor, it sounds like he's close defensively as well.

We had what should have been a relatively easy first month of the season, and we're not even at .500. Time to admit it's not working before it's too late.

Posted by Anthony

4:19 PM, Apr 28, 2008

BTW, I'm watching the Indians/Yankees telecast on ESPN and Dan Schulman just announced that snow is in the forecast for tomorrow. Just what the Mariners need, the team getting even colder. I'm seriously going to be so pissed at this Deja Vu if it indeed happens...

Posted by Mike

4:20 PM, Apr 28, 2008

daddydriz---I may have inadvertantly started the Clement/Griffey thing on Friday, when I joked that I feared Bavasi would think it a good idea.

Ordinarily it would have justifiably been ignored but with Bavasi's track record on trades can we really be sure?

Posted by Beady Eye Guy

4:25 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Can we get over this idea that Griffey is the magical cure to our problems?

Sure, he's an upgrade but I SHIVER to think what we will have to give up to get him back here.

Clement is a good solution, use him.
Reed is scorching the ball at AAA, give him one more shot.
Balentien is getting it done with runners on at AAA, bring him up.

Dump Wilkerson, dump Cairo and send down Morrow so he can be ready to start by All-Star break.

If any of the kids can't fix the leak and we somehow stay in the race, then it's time to make a trade. If we are out, time to fire Mac and then give Bavasi his walking papers (when the season is over).

FYI folks, if you fire Bavasi you basically mess up the draft. Sorry, if there is one thing Bavasi's done right in his time here it is Bob Fontaine running the draft.

If Bill leaves, Fontaine could follow. I shudder to think we'd mess that up by letting him go too soon.

Mac is easier to do, just let him go if this nonsense continues.

Posted by Mr. X

4:27 PM, Apr 28, 2008

LOL

This is now the perfect thread. We have a defender of the absentee ownership, a call for Antonetti, a Snelling sighting, and the daily Adam Jones update.

You know what's really scary? The FO could have listened to one of the Mariner blogs and moved Ibanez to 1st and traded Sexson. Then we would have Ichiro, Wilkerson, and Jones in the outfield. Yes, the same Jones who is hitting .205/.273/.256 with runners on and .217/.296/.261 with RISP. Pathetic. And oh by the way, his 22 strikeouts would put him at 2nd on the team behind Sexson, and right above the equally pathetic Adrian Beltre. If you have 27 hits and 4 home runs, you should have more than 8 RBI. Beltre's .200/.333/.350 with runners on and .125/.323/.250 with RISP just isn't cutting it.

Posted by Beady Eye Guy

4:27 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Folks, if Bavasi wanted he would have given Clement to the O's. He didn't. He won't give Clement up to the Reds for Junior. PERIOD.

Posted by Mr. X

4:30 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Oh, and a Bavasi Bathhouse reference. I believe that the health department shut all of the metro Seattle locations down. I believe that there are still a couple in Idaho.

Posted by Beady Eye Guy

4:34 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Mr. X, correct me if I am wrong but Adrian is one of those slow starters, right?

I am least worried about him as he heats up along with the summer.

My concern is Wilkerson who I was never sold on. Cheap and risk-free, yes, but a big waste of time when Wlad looks ready or Reed would have been most likely an upgrade.

I am worried about Sexson as he pulls his disappearing act at Safeco once again.

I dislike the idea that Cairo wastes precious space on the bench while we trot Bloomquist out there and the team pretends he's a valuable OF. Shoot, I suspect if Jimerson had gotten the requisite ABs, he would have at least hit better than Princess Willie. While I wouldn't go so far as saying he'd be the solution, he was UP and could have filled in when Bradley pulled his Hammy.

Can we tell this team that Willie is a 25th man at best and stop pretending he's more than he is?

When I look into the DH position, I see Norton replaced Vidro. Good but not good enough. I like Norton as an off the bench option but not a starter. I don't mind that he gets ABs as he proved Saturday that he can hit it hard (anybody can compared to Turbo), but I hope the team is looking elsewhere for help here. I just hope the braintrust doesn't overpay for Griffey.

Posted by NB

4:36 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Mr. X.

I'll tell you what, I'll take nine of Adrian Beltre and you can have nine of Jose Lopez and let's go play a seven game series and see how we do.

Posted by Donovan

4:36 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Griffey is old, fragile, slow, and ordinary at this point in his career, and he is going to get worse fast. If he had played for any other team in '95, then the thought of acquiring him would generate dozens of "Bavasi is a moron!" and "More washed up Veterans!" rants here. That is what bothers me so much about this back to the future stuff. The primary motives behind it are irrational. There only rational motivation to target Griffey is to pack Safeco with fans who are more interested in remembering the past than investing in the future, and that it would surely do.

Yes, almost anything would be an improvement on Wilk or Vidro's production during the first 4 weeks, but that doesn't mean we should settle for a feel good bandaid. Just forget that it is Jr. for a moment. What other 40ish OFer with an average bat, limited range, and long history of injury and clubhouse problems would you clamor for? 1995 should be irrelevant to this process and decision. It was a long, long time ago.

Posted by Mike

4:42 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Mr X---As for your, um, interesting points, I'll only deal with mine own...absentee ownership.

Yes, I'd rather have Paul Allen. BUT we have a team and a stadium and a yearly budget that with a better front office should win regularly.

Did Dave Cameron once beat you up and take your lunch money?

Posted by Nat

4:56 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Yup, you're rright, Geoff- it's time for some changes on the good ship Mariner!

If the person who made the comment that Clement shouldn't be brought up til May 8th is right, then that's reasonable, let's wait. In the meantime there are interim moves that can be made.

1) Say goodbye to Wilkerson now and bring Reed up to take his place until/if Bavasi can make a trade for Cory Patterson or ? - drawing on Adam's numbers. (Griffey is not an interim trade; probably isn't going to happen til next year if at all).

2) Goodbye to Cairo AND Vidro, unless Vidro agrees to PH. Bring up Clement on May 8th to DH/C.

Lots of good suggestions out there. As Adam said, the Mariners can improve significantly without complete restructuring; the main thing is let's see some of that get started now. It's shake up time!

Posted by seavet

4:57 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Curiosity question: where did the "Princess Willie" nickname originate? It seems to me he's a competitive and hardnosed guy. In fact, if his skills matched his toughness, he'd be a helluva player in my opinion.

If it's a term used to rag on his fans, somebody should be able to come up with a better one.

Posted by macdoubter

5:02 PM, Apr 28, 2008


Macdoubter,I think you see all of our lineups with Sexson because we all know he is not going anywhere. Do I wish he wasn't there....YES! Do I think the Mariners will do the right thing and limit his liability to the lineup...no.

Kyle . . . Well put. Isn't that the sad and unfortunate truth!

Posted by northamericanscum

5:10 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Pretty good bullpen. I'd say average at best. A pretty good bullpen wouldn't have lost that game yesterday. Actually I think a pretty good manager woulda pulled his starter with runners on 2nd and 3rd with no outs. With that being said, lots of sloppy infield play and too many LOBs. We stink right now. Period

Posted by Adam

5:12 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Did Dave Cameron once beat you up and take your lunch money?

Maybe not, but I'm positive Adam Jones didn't give him an autograph once...

Posted by Lance

5:44 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Why are so many hung up on bringing in Wladimir Balentien. He's hitting .228/.313/.474 against AAA pitching. Could be he's still hurt some, but it hardly screams ready for the big leagues.

On the other hand, Clement, Reed, and Jimerson are all hitting .320+. They should each be able to help this team offensively., Reed/Jimerson in RF and Clement DH/C/1B.

And, why do we have twelve pitchers when one is being used every ten days, and another once about every four to five? And, one of our best short guys just got sent to AAA.

As John Lennon once said, "Strange days, indeed."

Posted by Walla Walla Girl

5:46 PM, Apr 28, 2008

One thing is clear: It is time to stir the pot.

AAA guys: Get on the plane if you haven't already. Go to Cleveland. Be in the lineup for the game at 4:05 PST.

Mojo risin'?

Posted by Zach C

5:57 PM, Apr 28, 2008

If this season's a bust, might as well get griffey for the sake of nostalgia...

Posted by John

5:57 PM, Apr 28, 2008

I have never seen this blog in such complete agreement. And I will add my own enthusiastic voice to Geoff's blog entry and Steve Kelley's column today.

If Clement is not with this team very soon, it will cement the fact that Bavasi is a stubborn cement head. Which, quite honestly, has already been cemented. Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if Bavasi didn't make the moves people are calling for just to prove to everyone he's in charge and isn't caving to the voice of the masses.

I agree with everything Kelley proposed in his column as well. We should trade some of our AAA and AAAA talent like Reed, Baek and maybe even Balentien (who I would prefer to keep) to bring in Griffey. What an instant shot in the arm for the fans and this team!
Clement is an instant upgrade at DH and Griffey is huge in rightfield offensively and defensively. As nice as it would be to sack Sexson, I think we're stuck with him for the year.

I also think Batista could be a two-inning right-handed setup guy as Geoff suggested, and Dickey should be the No. 5 starter.

Regardless, we cannot go on this way. We may not be GMs, but that doesn't mean we're stupid. All of us can see there is an obvious problem, and there ARE solutions, or at least options to try to make this team better. For the front office and McClaren to not address and address it soon before this season is wiped out in the first month is ridiculous.

Posted by all4ms

5:58 PM, Apr 28, 2008

It's frustrating to watch this offense, in particular, Wilkerson, Vidro and Sexson. I'm glad that Norton is getting some well-deserved playing time. He's swinging a really hot bat now.

What I would like to see is Clement inserted as the full-time DH this season, and Reed in RF. Both have been hitting the ball extremely well in AAA, and there's no reason to keep them down there, especially with the offense choking like it has the past month.

Interesting enough, Reed has been starting at RF in AAA, and Clement has been the DH the past few games down there.

This is the lineup I would like to see in Cleveland.

Ichiro CF
Lopez 2B
Ibanez LF
Beltre 3B
Clement DH
Sexson 1B
Reed RF
Johjima C
Betancourt SS

Posted by TokyoMariner

6:07 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Re. this theory that ownership would be behind the Joh extension, there's never been any indication in the media here that Yamauchi has anything more than a passing interest in the team, certainly not to the level of a catcher's extension, even a Japanese one. More likely in the case of Ichiro last year as the face of the franchise, but then management wanted to extend him anyway so not much of an issue there. Also, Yamauchi wasn't pushing for Matsuzaka or Fukudome either. (actually, management should have been going after Fukudome anyway given that they had decided to trade AJ, but I repeat myself.)

Posted by LD

6:16 PM, Apr 28, 2008

You knowGeoff, I respect you and your insights. Yours is one of the only blogs I'm willing to read, and this is the first time I've chosen to comment on any blog, mostly because I don't like to dwell in negative commentary and attack. Geoff I appreciate how you tend to keep a balanced focus. But, I'm going to risk a comment here because I think people are missing something big. I have to say that I think you're missing the mark on Johjima. I think he's going through a hitting slump, yes. But his overall worth to this team as a catcher is huge. Here's a guy who had to learn 2 new languages, a whole new way of playing the game, a whole new team of pitchers, etc etc and he has come through big time. He gave up an opportunity to play on the Japanese team and win the World Baseball Classic with his countrymen so that he could be with the Mariners to learn what he needed to learn. Each year he has improved one of his skills (throwing out base runners, blocking the plate at home, etc), and has done everything the management has asked of him. Not only that, but he gives positive energy to his pitcher, a pat on the back, a smile, a way of showing he supports his pitcher. He's solid, like a rock. So, sure, bring up Clement, sure let him catch some and get his major league catching experience, and add his hot bat to the lineup. But to think that a catcher like Johjima can just be let go and replaced so easily is to miss all that he offers, even when his bat is not hot, which I believe is a temporary problem anyway which, as you've pointed out, many are suffering from, and some for way longer than Johjima. Jamie Burke was quoted on the Seattle Mariners website as saying that Johjima is one of the premiere catchers in major league baseball. Catchers respect him. I'm sure there will be people who disagree with this post, who will have statistics to show that "prove" the Mariners shouldn't have kept Joh. Frankly, I think you're missing what a "catch" Joh is. Last year it was everyone "trashing" Ibanez, saying he should be replaced by Jones, "he's old, he's slow, his defense is bad" etc etc and look at Ibanez now! Where would this team be in this hitting slump without Ibanez? How soon we forget. So, give Johjima a chance to get his bat back, he will give you way way more in return.

Posted by John

6:24 PM, Apr 28, 2008

As much fun as it would be to land Griffey now, it isn't going to happen this early in the season. The Reds aren't going to give up him until it's clear they're out of contention, which won't happen until the trade deadline.
That said, the idea of bringing up Reed to replace Wilkerson is a good one. It improves the defense, and it's pretty clear you could stick a Girl Scout at the plate and not do much worse than Wilkerson right now.
Reed deserves one more shot to prove he can hit at the major league level, and it also gives time for Balentien to heal up and hopefully improve.

Posted by Nat

6:42 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Anthony, somebody was bs'ing about the weather in Cleveland! The only day that looks iffy is Tuesday (tomorrow) and that's due to possible rain showers, not snow.

TUESDAY
Showers
Hi 50F, 10C
Lo 33F, 1C

WEDNESDAY
Intermittent Clouds/Sunshine
Hi 56F, 13C
Lo 42F, 6C

THURSDAY
Intermittent Clouds/Sunshine
Hi 66F,19C
Lo 52F, 11C

Posted by kranky

6:58 PM, Apr 28, 2008

I looked it up. Cairo has had 5 at bats this season, and three of those came in one game against the Angels. There is no better proof that the guy is just taking up space on the roster.

If MacLaren is not careful here, he is going to find his name linked with Bill Plummer in the book of Mariner lore.

Posted by Lance

7:04 PM, Apr 28, 2008

LD, nice to see you comment. But, just so you know, new paragraphs are allowed.

Posted by Rugger5

7:10 PM, Apr 28, 2008

This team is boring me to death lately...I'm starting to watch the Angel games for baseball entertaiment. Something needs to change. Why do the M's look clueless at the plate? How many sucker pitches does it take for a pro ball player to learn how to bat anyway? How many first pitch strikes are they going to watch go by? Maybe Raul should hold class and show the rest how its done. Maybe pass out some chew, start spittin and get with it.... for cryin out loud...

Posted by Al

7:13 PM, Apr 28, 2008

For once I can agree with everything you have said.

But, my personal pessimism of Bavasi is that he's going to trade Clement and Wlad for a player like Jason Bay, another useless aging heavy contract right handed suspect player.

Well here's hoping that the M's actually know what they're doing cause it's not looking pretty having made no progress in getting out of 3rd place for almost a month.

Posted by Mariners_2008

7:21 PM, Apr 28, 2008

I just saw Orioles highlights and there was a shot of Adam Jones walking and chewing gum AT THE SAME TIME!!!

We got hosed.

Posted by Anthony

7:25 PM, Apr 28, 2008

I hope they were bs'ing about it. Would not want to see that happen again!

Posted by Eric

7:33 PM, Apr 28, 2008

I agree with bringing Clement up and Reed as well. Put Reed in right and let Wilkerson work out his problems in Tacoma. The fear I have with bringing Clement up is that Maclaren will let him rot on the bench until his eye and timing are gone.

Posted by kingk

7:39 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Choska... Jones also got thrown out rounding 3rd as the winning run and sherrill blew the save oh and last i looked Bedard threw a 2 hitter stfu What is your problem? that's the moves we made it's done and it will pay off...

Posted by Fading

7:41 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Teams around the league should watch what the A's did to the M's and do likewise: wait around and do nothing until the M's beat themselves. Swinging at pitches over their heads... pitchers losing the strike zone... it's driving me nuts!!

Geoff, if management doesn't see what you've seen as blatantly obvious, then they should be replaced too.

I think a big part of the problem not only hitting is the gel, the chemistry. Where are the leaders in this group? Where's the center? Who will kick some butt with their words and actions and bring this team together? I'll give them one more week to find it, or heads must roll.

Wake me up after the All Star game. If anything's changed.

Posted by thomas

8:15 PM, Apr 28, 2008

DAVE CAMERON GETTING OWNED ON FAN GRAPHS FOR HIS INNACCURATE AND BIASED SLAM ON JACK CUST!!! GO CHECK IT OUT GUYS! ITS FREAKIN GOLD

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

8:48 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Why are so many hung up on bringing in Wladimir Balentien. He's hitting .228/.313/.474 against AAA pitching

Lance, many advocate Balentien being called up because they understand the fact Balentien hit.291/.362/.509 in 124 games and 477 games at the triple-A level last year. We don't care about 16 games this year. Does he really need another year repeating the same level so we can trade prospects for a career .257 hitter folks!!!

Patterson is another Wilkerson!!!! Patterson has a career .297 OBP!!!!!! Corey hit 8 home runs in 132 games last year. Yes Corey Patterson sucks, only a Bavasi or USSM zombie would follow Dave Cameron's advice for us to land Corey Patterson. My God I can't believe people actually watch real baseball to call out for Corey Patterson.

Thomas-That is hilarious.
Cust and Dave Cameron classic debate

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

8:57 PM, Apr 28, 2008

We should also be taking note that we have Richie Sexson's replacement raking this year. Wladimir and LaHair both went yard tonight.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

9:11 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Oh make that 2 home runs for Balentien tonight!

Posted by Esteban

9:13 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Where in the FG comments does Mr. Cameron 'get owned' or 'get slammed' with regards to his analysis of Jack Cust's struggles so far this year? And when did he call for the M's to go after Patterson? I know he did a great write-up on Patterson's new-found plate discipline at FG, but I don't recall him calling for the M's to pick Patterson up.

Posted by Adam

9:33 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Actually, Resin - in spring training I was advocating a move for Patterson, before USSM did. At that time he was a free agent. But I'd still move a piece to get him.

It's a small sample size, but he's dramatically cut down on his Ks - his Achilles heel - and actually has drawn more walks than Ks in 2008. He's also been more productive than the board favorite, Ken Griffey Jr. He's also younger and cheaper. And you, like so many others, forget entirely about defense. He's an outstanding defensive OF, and would make the team better if he only matched the production of Wilkerson or Vidro.

Despite Balentien's year last year, there were still some concerns - namely his K/BB rates. He also slumped badly in the second half. So it's no question that he still has to show something. If he's hitting a .900 OPS in mid-May, I'm all for calling him up.

A Patterson/Ichiro/Balentien OF would be nice.


And LaHair isn't a prospect. Even Baseball America doesn't have him among their top-10 Mariner prospects.

Posted by chancey

9:38 PM, Apr 28, 2008

LaHair not a prospect!

He was the Mariner's Revolution number 1 prospect.

ROTFLMAO

Posted by Esteban

9:57 PM, Apr 28, 2008

I said: 'And when did he call for the M's to go after Patterson?'

Ah, in 'The Question' post. Never mind!

Considering, however, that he was once an elite prospect, and that we have a GM with questionable negotiating and talent-evaluation skills, I wonder if the price for Patterson may not be more considerable than is widely thought.

Posted by Spike Owen

10:19 PM, Apr 28, 2008

People know that bringing back Junior would not guarantee the division, but the positive energy of the whole thing could kick-start the team.

And, we're talking Griffey Jr. here... If you're a (long-enough) loyal Mariners fan, you absolutely want him on your team as long as he's an improvement over somebody else.

I wonder what he could bring leadership-wise. The team badly needs to be waken up.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

10:28 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Adam-We disagree. You see prospects that are blocked as trade chips which in my eyes is completely counterproductive to the whole process of having a farm system.

I also don't see any supporting argument on why LaHair couldn't replace Sexson. The knock on LaHair is he couldn't hit lefties and questionable power for a first baseman.

Lahair is hitting lefties at least for average, and he's showing more power at age 25. If he sustains the streak the rest of the year, I wouldn't hesitate to call him a prospect that we can from our system to replace Sexson. I could care less what you deem who or who isn't a prospect. Morneau and Ibanez, and tons of MLB hitters that can't hit lefties play everyday don't platoon, and yes are in the big leagues.

Posted by EdmondsGuy

10:36 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Anyone notice that Frank Thomas went 3 for 3 (with 2 RBIs) in today's route of the Angels by the A's?

Of course, "the season is early" and our DH numbers will pick up given that Sexson is said to typically get a late start and play better away from home, and Vidro is also known to be a slow starter (yea, right).

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

10:43 PM, Apr 28, 2008

3 home runs tonight by Wladimir Balentien. Thank you and have a good night.

Posted by Nat

11:02 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.!'

Posted by all4ms

11:40 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Latest from today's AAA game:

Reed 4 for 5 (1 double)
Clement 3 for 5 (1 double)
Wlad 3 for 6 (3 HRs!!!)

And the Ms have guys who can barely scratch out a hit. I wonder how long more we have to wait.

Posted by Blair

12:05 AM, Apr 29, 2008

Well one thing cheered me up in today's headlines. Zito is heading to the bullpen after giong 0-6. At least we didn't get him for $100+ million. Has there been any discussion from McLaren about why this team is not more agressive on the basepaths? Didn't he stress that in spring training? I realize that's a minor issue right now but why do we have these pinch runners and not use them? And why do we need our #2 hitter who is 4-4 on the night to bunt over our best base stealer who he claimed would steal 80 when the A's closer is not even paying attention to him? And why...There's just too many questions. I've thought McLaren deserved a shot since he was moved up last year and haven't been convinced he's a bad manager. But there's just been too many times this year to say "what can you possibly be thinking" He seems to be a good guy and may have been a good bench coach but he reminds me of Keith Gilbertson when he was promoted for the Huskies a few years ago. A good assistant but in over his head. Let's hope he turns it around or realizes it's time to move on. Go Mariners, I haven't given up yet.

Posted by manny

12:11 AM, Apr 29, 2008

yeah Corey Patterson is exactly what we need! The dude is barely batting .200 @ .213 and has on OB% of just .281 he willl guide the Mariners to the promised land for sure!

Posted by -j.

12:39 AM, Apr 29, 2008

Latest from today's AAA game:

Reed 4 for 5 (1 double)
Clement 3 for 5 (1 double)
Wlad 3 for 6 (3 HRs!!!)

And the Ms have guys who can barely scratch out a hit. I wonder how long more we have to wait.

Is there any rule against just swapping out the entire Tacoma offense with the Mariners?

Posted by Miles

1:36 AM, Apr 29, 2008

I was perusing the various team stats for MLB so far and noticed something interesting. Despite all the angst, Mariner offensive team numbers are actually pretty average. Team batting average, RBI's, slugging percentage, all middle of the pack.

What was interesting was that it's the M's pitching stats that aren't where you would thnk. For all the talk about a good/great rotation and solid bullpen, the M's right now are a below average team in key team pitching numbers like ERA, men on per 9 innings, and batting average against.

Being 2 games below .500 doesn't seem so strange.

Meanwhile, the Angels have very similar pitching numbers by a much better offense, and the A's have much better ptiching combined with a below average offense.

Posted by Scanman

7:02 AM, Apr 29, 2008

As I told all of you at the end of spring training, Take Up Golf. You'll live longer. What I don't understand is why some of you rate a catcher who can't throw a strike to 2nd without a hop, as a good defensive catcher. I think the old hype machine has gotten to you

Posted by M Dogg

7:15 AM, Apr 29, 2008

"Why are so many hung up on bringing in Wladimir Balentien....."

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/mariners/2004379906_taco29.html

Hmmmm.Wlad or Wilky, Wlad or Wilky, Wlad or Wilky
tough choice.... (NOT!)
Get Wlad,Clement and Reed on that plane to Cleveland!!!!!!

Posted by Adam

7:55 AM, Apr 29, 2008

Resin - I honestly don't understand how you can say I view prospects as mere trade chips. Did you miss the entire offseason debate we had about Bedard?


As for Wlad - good for him. A great night. It doesn't mean he's all of a sudden ready to play RF for the M's, but it's a great night, for sure.

Posted by byebyeSexson

8:15 AM, Apr 29, 2008

"Wladimir Balentien hit three home runs..."

Old news by now, but worth repeating.

BRING HIM UP!

PLEASE let Willy, the bat boy, Raul, anyone from Tacoma, ANYONE play first and send Richie to the Portland Beavers. He would be a home town favorite.

Posted by thatgirl

8:34 AM, Apr 29, 2008

Reed - .354
Balentien - .254
Clement - .397
Jimerson - .326

Bring 'em all up. Vidro, Sexson, Wilkerson need to be out of the lineup. I think Mac's pie-in-the-sky managerial style has already come back to bite this team. 11 vs. 12 pitchers to start the season and 2 pinch runners that sit on the bench? Teams like the A's thrive on youth. Detroit built a winner based on youth. I'd like to see the M's do the same.

Posted by usesomelogic

8:41 AM, Apr 29, 2008

Dear Mr Bavasi,

I realize you get a lot of criticism on this blog but as you know this comes with the job of being a general manager where the fans want nothing short of a winning ball club. So far I applaud you this year for taking a risk with Erik Bedard, I do believe he makes us a much better team.

However, you let the best hitter on the 2007 team walk away in free agency. You replaced him with Brad Wilkerson, let me repeat, you replaced him with Brad Wilkerson. Last years #3 hitter was replaced by a guy who had one good year in his career.

I know sometimes you need to take a chance and I'll forgive that move along with the trading of Carlos Guillen, Rafeal Soriano, Asbura Cabrera (sp?) and Freddy Garcia if you go and do what needs to be done. Which is the following moves-

Release Wilkerson, Cairo and Vidro.

Sign Barry Bonds or trade for Griffey.

Bring up Wlad.

Bring up Clement

I have never been a sign Barry supporter but desperate times calls for desperate measures. You have the best lead-off hitter in baseball, the best 1-2 punch in your rotation and one of the best closers. Do not waste this opportunity, Ichiro is getting older, you can only count on pitchers for so long before something terrible happens.

Please take into account what some of the fans are saying along with the writers, we can't wait much longer. As the great catcher Jake Taylor said "there's only one thing left to do.....win the whole Fu*#ing thing".

Sincerely,

Tired of loosing Mariner's fan.

Posted by Lance

8:54 AM, Apr 29, 2008

I just got around to reading Steve Kelley's column from Monday (no, he's not on my 'must read' list). And, so we can all appreciate at what level his baseball expertise lies, there was this little gem of a line:

"They gave the Orioles an outfielder with A-Rod-like potential, Adam Jones..."

Hey, I loved having AJ here. I believe, and still believe, trading him was a mistake. But, even I'm not going to say he's got the potential to be baseball's all-time home run champion.

Kelley writes with his heart, not his head. Anything he says, like trading for Griffey now, must be taken with a grain of salt. Lots of salt, in fact.


BTW, three home runs for Wladimir in Tacoma last night. That sore knee must be feeling a lot better. So, yes, you've got to consider promoting him, as well. Besides Clement, Reed and Jimerson.

But, he'd have to play fairly regularly. Which means LF against all but the toughest righties. Raul would have to move to 1B on games WBa plays.

Then you'd have to do something with Sexson. Do you release a guy you're paying $14 mil to. I doubt it.

Oh. the perils of having a lot of good young hitters when your good old ones aren't hitting a lick. .

Posted by ANDY R

8:58 AM, Apr 29, 2008

Clement and Balentien need to come up NOW. How long can we possibly sit on these two guys in AAA when our two biggest holes in the lineup are DH and RF? It is time to say goodbye to Wilkerson, and no one can tell me Vidro's bat off the bench would be a bad thing. We are lacking in starting lineup run production and bench production. this would fill both needs.

Posted by Lance

9:00 AM, Apr 29, 2008

What this team needs is a few well placed sprained ankles or pulled quads.

Oh, wait. We do have a well placed pulled quad. But, the guy's playing through it.

He's a real gamer, that Brad Wilkerson is. A real gamer. They may be lost games. But, games nonetheless.

BTW, where's Oregongal been?

Posted by mhawkeye

9:05 AM, Apr 29, 2008

Why have the Ms failed to call up their hot AAA hitters when the has-been guys in their lineup are hitting below the Mendoza line?

Because Bavasi clearly prefers vets over young players. Gives up Cabrera for Perez. Signs Matt Lawton and Vidro but keeps Jones/Morse/Reed in Tacoma. Aurelia, Spezio, Everett, Wkilkerson.... the list goes on.

Who was the last impact position player that came to the Ms from their own minor league system? (No, Lopez and Yuni don't qualify as impact players) I'm thinking A-Rod, some 14 years ago.

Posted by Faceplant

5:43 PM, Apr 29, 2008

"Say no to the Bavasi Bathouse members call for more veteran experience with Matt Murton or Corey Patterson in left field. They want to mortgage the future for more veterans."

Uh, Matt Murton is 26, doesn' t even have two full years of major league service, and with the Cubs depth in the outfield, he's a man without a position. He's not going to cost hardly anything. Certainly isn't going to force us to "mortgage the future".

These are exactly the kinds of deals smart teams make. Picking up useful talent, for spare parts. As for Corey Patterson, I don't want him. But you are being pretty dishonest if you are trying to convince people Matt Murton is going to cost an arm and a leg. He isn't.

Posted by Faceplant

5:59 PM, Apr 29, 2008

"Matt Murton, Corey Patterson, are marginal improvements reminiscent of Rich Aurilia and Scot Spiezio. Have we not learned from the past mistakes of veteran stop-gap players????"

Matt Murton is 26 years old. He isn't some Veteran on the wrong side of 30 like Aurilia and Spiezio.

And Murton is a marginal improvement while Balentien is expected to be some kind of an impact bat?

Balentiens career minor league OPS? .862

Murtons career minor league OPS? .851

Murton hits for less power, but makes up for it by walking a lot, and generally not striking out a ton. He also plays decent defense. To be honest I think it would be a crapshoot as to who puts up the better year if they were both starting.

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Game thread, Mariners vs. White Sox, 8-18

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