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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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May 6, 2008 10:01 PM

M's routed before record-low crowd

Posted by Geoff Baker

wlad0506.jpg

As I mentioned already, Seattle's 10-1 shellacking tonight at the hands of the Texas Rangers was witnessed by only 15,818 fans, making it the smallest crowd in Safeco Field history. Things are going down the drain in a hurry on this club, now at 7 1/2 games behind the Los Angeles Angels. I said before the series opener that the M's needed to take three of four, so I'll stick to that. But it's getting late in a big hurry on this team in 2008. I've seen this kind of fade act before from an expected contender, back in Toronto in 2004, and let me tell you it was not a fun summer for the fans or the team.

This season could get real ugly. In short, the M's have to win these next two games, with their two best starters on the mound, and worry about undoing some of this damage after that. It won't be easy. This is a formidable hole being dug.

Batista has no idea why he's been so inconsistent, dating back to even his first few outings. He hasn't felt physically comfortable. It could be lingering from that spring training back problem. It's possible that favoring his back caused the groin problem a couple of weeks ago, one that is still lingering.

But Batista, the trainers and coaches are going to try to figure it out.

"We can't actually pinpoint it yet,'' he said.


Can't pinpoint it, he means, other than the fact he's been walking too many guys.

"You can't execute your game plan when you're inconsistent,'' he said. "If you noticed, they let me breat myself. They hit the home run, but they didn't really hit the ball hard other than that.''

Texas outhit Seattle 8-7, but didn't take the lead in that category for good until the final inning. The Rangers had only six hits -- but 10 runs -- heading into the ninth.

Jarrod Washburn told me after the game that he'll make his next start. A doctor he spoke with confirmed he's torn some scar tissue from his previous calf injury. There is also a possibility that the popping sensation he felt on the mound was the result of a ligament in his leg tearing. But Washburn said it's one of those non-essential ligaments (like the one they take from the wrist to repair elbows with Tommy John surgery) and that it won't affect his pitching.

Wladimir Balentien continued to hit today, doubling and scoring Seattle's only run .He's got his average up to .280 and his OPS up to .840.

"I just started to make adjustments,'' he said. "Swinging at good pitches and not bad pitches.''

He's doing his job. The same can't be said for others in the lineup. That runners in scoring position thing we discussed earlier? Still there. But when a team is down 10-0 by the third inning, the hitting's a non-issue.

"The third inning wasn't a good inning,'' Mariners manager John McLaren said. "We need to make better pitches.''

McLaren and mel Stottlemyre will delve into what's going on with Batista a little further tomorrow. For now, he needs answers about his team, too. And in an awfully big hurry.

That was a fun day, wasn't it? Hey, at least the comments are flowing fast and freely on this site now. Big change from yesterday.

Be sure to catch me on my Talkin' Baseball segment at 8:30 a.m. tomorrow on the Mitch in the Morning show on KJR 950 AM. I'm sure it will get interesting.


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Posted by Jared

10:09 PM, May 06, 2008

Ugly,ugly game tonight. Balentien 2-4 at least.

Posted by ChicoV

10:13 PM, May 06, 2008

The persons on this team that need to go, swing bats. Blaming pitchers and managers and coaches is looking for blame in the wrong places. Period.

Posted by Sounders

10:14 PM, May 06, 2008

It's simply too painful to watch. I take partial blame for having unrealistic expectations.

Posted by Johnny Mac

10:15 PM, May 06, 2008

Not only are they digging their own grave, LAAA is not giving them any assistance nor are they likely to do so anytime soon. Win the next two without LAAA losing and you are still no better off than when the series began, in fact one game further out. All those, "Its early," "First week in May," types are day dreaming the season away - this team is done. Put a fork in them and serve it up.

Posted by Choska

10:16 PM, May 06, 2008

You think it is ugly for the fans and the team, if these attendance numbers impact the bottom line then things in the front office will get REALLY ugly.

UGLY will be the board making a cash call on the owners due to declining revenues.

My guess is that it will be the cash call that will force the owners to look for a new GM.

Chris Antonetti in '08

Posted by DanfromEugene

10:17 PM, May 06, 2008

The Mariners are as done as the Clinton candidacy. Time for the fork.

Posted by Sounders

10:19 PM, May 06, 2008

If this continues, combined with the economic crunch (that explains the small crowd tonite) this team is gonna be in more trouble. Only the super high payroll has kept them as close to the playoffs (but not there) as they have been. Imagine if Bavasi only had half of the financial resources he has had. That's what we could be looking at in years to come.

Posted by jherz13

10:19 PM, May 06, 2008

WOW, smallest crowd ever at the Safe!

I was one of the 15,000 there, although I was back home long before the game ended! When I walked in the stadium at 6:30ish I was thinking to myself that concourses and food lines were emptier than I had ever seen. I would have saved 2 hours and some change had I not showed up for this one...

On a more positive note, I still believe the M's have plenty of time to turn things around. Yes, it might take winning at a +.600 clip, but we do have the personnel to make a run. IF we get some TIMELY hitting (remember "8th inning, so what?" and some improved bullpen play, I think the M's are fully capable of rattling off 8 of 10 here or there.

And, Balentien and Clement both look great! Balentien is an extra-base hit machine thus far, and Clement has been stroking the ball hard albeit at opposing players. I think Wilkerson could have helped this team mightily (why did we DFA his potential power-bat over Vidro?), but Clement has youth and his ML at-bats are much more important than Wilkerson's.

All things considered, I'm still optimistic. Clement, Balentien, Ichiro, JJ, Felix, and Bedard still get me excited. However, I plan on not watching the game 5 days from now when Batista takes the mound.

Posted by Johnny Mac

10:19 PM, May 06, 2008

ChicoV - How is it wrong to blame underachieving performers and a clueless manager who relies on a rabbit's foot and four leaf clover for success? Unrealistic expectations indeed, these guys fooled everyone, there is no way they will compete for anything but the cellar.

Posted by Scott

10:20 PM, May 06, 2008

It is possible to fire Bavasi before he makes any more moronic moves?

SOS

Posted by Adam

10:26 PM, May 06, 2008

I imagine that, with attendance falling and the team lagging behind the Angels, the calls for Griffey will only get louder.

But would someone please explain why a 38 year-old OF with a .681 OPS in the NL, playing in Cincy's stadium is the answer?

And is going to take ABs away from Clement, Wlad, or both?

And what is he going to cost?

Posted by Johnny Mac

10:27 PM, May 06, 2008

Talk about unreasonable expectations, this kind of optimism is not only fantastic, it is down right delusional. This team could lose 8 - 10 games in a row, but not in a million years will they win that many in a row. Jhers13 post sounds like a McLaren spin following a ten run loss, in fact, it must be "spintastic" tonight, but I just can't bear to hear such muck.

Posted by bavasi sucks

10:29 PM, May 06, 2008

Seattle's 10-1 shellacking tonight at the hands of the Texas Rangers was witnessed by only 15,818 fans, making it the smallest crowd in Safeco Field history.

Bavasi should be ashamed. This is a very very depressing low point for the Mariners.

Posted by Batter Up!!!

10:29 PM, May 06, 2008

Yes, I'm sure he fans will be flocking out to the Safe in this great weather, against this world class competition, to see these big bats in action.

Of course Dave Sims hawking tickets all night tonight will have tomorrows attendance up by 10K.

Posted by helpFelix

10:36 PM, May 06, 2008

I hear the Griffey talk, and in fact Chuck Armstrong brought out in the USA Today article today that he would love to see Griffey come back and retire a Mariner! That's the 1st I've heard any M's executive comment on the Griffey thing!

Now with that said, I now don't think we are just a Griffey away to winning this division, especially with Lackey back on 5/12. Cincy has been wanting a decent #3 LHP since last November, and they also want a proven catcher. AND tons of rumors out there that they are "willing" to part with Dunn AND Griffey now!!!

Here is my solution:

Get BOTH Griffey and Dunn

Give up:

Washburn/Baek/Johjima/Ibanez

"If" we can keep Ibanez and platoon Ibanez with Sexson at 1B that would be stellar. Ibanez is awesome against RHPs, and Sexson is GREAT at LHPs.

I know bavasi is a big Ibanez fan, but his LF defense is atrocious!!!

I'm sure Cincy's gonna want Clement instead of Johjima, and I personally don't want that to happen! BUT if it allows Seattle to land both Dunn AND Griffey...Cincy better pay a decent portion of Dunns contract!

Dunn/Griffey

for

Washburn/Baek/Clement (Maybe Ibanez) + cash

Why would Cincy do this?

Because this would give them a SHORTTERM 2yr contract on Washburn which is actually pretty decent in this market, and "if" Johjima would give them 4 years with a proven catcher. Plus Washburn would be moving to the NL, and his numbers should improve.

Besides a trade, as a fan and devoted Mariner optimist...I am FINALLY at a total LOSS!!!

I guess that's why I"m not a GM!

Posted by Choska

10:40 PM, May 06, 2008

Adam, preach on brother.

Griffey is a heart warming story, but he isn't going to make a lick of difference for this team. We are sinking faster than the Titanic.

He might, however, get more fans like Troll in the stands. For the Ms sake they better hope there are a helluva lot more people like him ready to buy tickets to see the 38 year old version of Griffey

Posted by Johnny Mac

10:42 PM, May 06, 2008

What's that you are smoking - helpFelix? Delusional! Why should we want either one of these cast offs? Use your chips for someone who has more chance to make an impact for some years ahead. Let Griffey come back for a day when his day is due, not before, he is hitting little better than Sexson and we don't need more "professional hitters" like Turbo.

Posted by Sounders

10:47 PM, May 06, 2008

At this point I think the M's just need to stick with what they've got. Mac needs to formulate a lineup and go with it, no matter what. The hitters haven't looked ready to play ball. Maybe because they don't know their roles. I'm sure they get into a mindset before the season that a position in the lineup or batting order is theirs, and they get prepared for that. I don;t think any more shuffling is going to help. They just haven't looked ready to play. Not sure who's fault that is but. The loss of Morse has been a real downer too. Always really liked that guy, he can hit.

Posted by thomas

10:50 PM, May 06, 2008

Time to burn it all down. Trade ichiro and ibanez for what ever their walking corpses of their former selves are worth. Ditch beltre for some pitching talent, bedard and felix for 5-8 arms combined and when we lose 120 games and get the #1 pick get that pitcher outta washington state HS that struck out every batter in a game he faced.

Posted by ice

10:50 PM, May 06, 2008

It's funny all the fans calling for the call-ups but they're not coming to see them.

Adam, I disagree with you more often than agree, but I agree with you on Griffey.

Posted by ethan

10:51 PM, May 06, 2008

no character, no emotion, no passion, no brains. (no, I'm not talking about Ronald Reagan)
EGGSHELLISH - as Sherrill would say.
as much as i hate to watch the Angels...they're fun to watch. GA went off tonight.

Posted by Adam

10:52 PM, May 06, 2008

In 2007, the Mariners were last (14th) in the AL in walks, and 13th in strikeouts.

In 2008, the Mariners are 12th in walks (so much for the early emphasis on taking pitches) and last in strikeouts.

Perhaps Clement and Balentien make a dent in those numbers - probably not - but this offense is what it is.

The more I think about it, the more I think Geoff had a point early today about Balentien and Clement. We shouldn't expect anything drastically different from the rest of the lineup, so if we want improvement, it has to come from the two guys who are replacing last year's DH and RF. And the M's have no choice but to let them play.


As for the pitching staff - I think we should amend the prevailing notion that the rotation is good. Felix is very good, Bedard is pretty good, Silva is average, and Washburn and Batista are below-average. The bullpen is a shell of it's former self.

So this team has plenty of pitching issues.

And finally, the defense is bad. I think Wlad is already an upgrade over Guillen and WIlkerson, but I worry about Ibanez, Betancourt, and Sexson, as well as Lopez to a smaller degree.

THis team has lots of holes, while the Angels seem to be patching their holes right up.

Posted by Full Count

10:55 PM, May 06, 2008

Fans should stay away from the ball park and be recognized as a financial source we are. We love our Mariners but why should we pay for bad management and bad baseball.

This management team has the ninth rated MLB team salary at $117,993,982 wow, we could do last place for half that. Philadelphia Phillies #13: $98,269,881, first place, NL East, Arizona Diamondback #23: $66,202,713, first place NL West and we got our rears kicked by the #21st rated team salary at $68,239,551.

Management and scouting are seriously lacking a vision and future for this team, the Mariner's management must get leaders motivated to be the best. Especially if there willing to spend $117,993,982, for this team.

Fan must stay away for a week to show we can make a difference and see how these players like empty seats, this is our chance to motivate.

They only hear our money.


Posted by Johnny Mac

10:56 PM, May 06, 2008

Sounders - Why stick with a group of losers who can't hit for squat? The season is over and there is no hope for the playoffs at this point. Why this team can even keep itself out of the west cellar, time to make over the roster and get some players in here for next year. Dump Sexson, Vidro, Cairo and Washburn - acquire the best available hitter as long as he is not over the hill - e.g. Griffey, Bonds, types - and delve further into the minors for some talent that has potential and in need of a challenge - e.g. LaHair, Reed, etc. At least it would be more interesting to watch younger players with fire in their bellies trying to prove themselves as opposed to such bloated dinosaurs like Turbo. All the pitching acquisitions of the winter are for nought because no attention was given to a failing offense and a weakened bullpen. There are now signs of a declining starting pitching staff. The 08 M's are broke and in need of a complete makeover.

Posted by thomas

10:57 PM, May 06, 2008

Felix very good and bedard pretty good? woooooow, felix walks soooo many batters while bedard gave up 4-5 runs last week. that isnt good, that is mediocre. trade em all for young arms, as many as possible. one of them has to turn out quality.

Posted by Mint Husky

10:58 PM, May 06, 2008

This is getting surreal.

I've been planning a trip over to see the series against the Padres since February, now I'm thinking I'll just go to one game and spend the rest of the time doing some other stuff in Seattle.

Go Ms. I'm not sure where, but go! Somewhere. For the love of God...

Posted by aaron c.

11:05 PM, May 06, 2008

thomas-

Really? Trade Felix and Bedard are "mediocre" and should be traded for "young arms"? That's an interesting plan you've got there.

Posted by SICK56

11:11 PM, May 06, 2008

this team got about as much soul as George W !!

MOJO DYIN !!!

Posted by DB Cooper

11:11 PM, May 06, 2008

This ship is sinking fast... time to jump!

Posted by BrianL

11:13 PM, May 06, 2008

Now that attendance number is something that'll get Armstrong and Lincoln's attention in a hurry. If that keeps happening, it's going to get Nintendo's attention too.

This team has a lot of problems. What we're seeing now is years of FO incompetence hitting a boiling point. Management has stocked the roster with aging 1B/DH/RF type players who have no business starting on an ML roster, and now we're seeing the results of bad talent evaluation.

You want this team to succeed, you're going to have to do something that's going to be tough to swallow: admit Moneyball was right. Take a look at some of the most successful AL teams this season and over the last several:

Cleveland
Boston
Tampa Bay
Oakland

Their GMs were born out of the Billy Beane mold. Sign players who are low-risk, high upside. Abandon batting average in favor of walks and OPS. Forget ERA as a pitching metric and use FIPx and GB%.

This is a paradigm shift in player evaluation that has been several decades in the making. Branch Rickey realized the importance of statistical analysis ages ago. Bill James preached the gospel of Sabermetrics and is now a big reason why the Red Sox are one of the most successful and consistent franchises in baseball.

In short, the Old Boys Club of front-office cronies needs to die a quick death in Seattle. If this team doesn't embrace a philosophy change soon, they are going to be left in the dust and we will become the Montreal Expos of the 2000s.

You want a good GM, go out and hire Chris Antonetti now and give him complete control over the roster. You combine his player evaluation prowess with Seattle's payroll and this club will field a competitor in 2009.

Posted by 3 2 count

11:13 PM, May 06, 2008

Full Count - Examine the rosters of Philadelphia and Arizona, you might find that they are made of younger players developed over time rather than quick fix high priced veterans who after receiving a super inflated long term contract. Bavasi has taken the quick fix approach to casting this team and it has cost a bundle with little to show for its outcome. The M's would have better spent their money on player development and acquisition, that's the secret of Beane at Oakland. The M's FO assumes that the outcome by throwing money at free agents, but in doing so they have consistently lost the best free agents to other teams so that they have settled for middling lesser types. Look how they missed the boat when Bad Vlad went to LAAA during free agency. Time to blow up this model and get some youth combined with the veterans who are producing - acknowledge that it is delusional to continue to dream of the playoffs this year. Make moves for coming years while building a core of players necessary to meet critical mass. This is the approach succeeding in the other locales and Oakland that are producing winners.

Posted by LakersAgain

11:14 PM, May 06, 2008

Geoff I give you lots of props for covering one of the worst teams in baseball that is full of the most boring, uncaring players I have ever seen. Johnny Mac can say all he wants but does this team really care if they lose 2/3 games consistently? At least I am headed to AZ this week and get to see the best team in baseball, that also shows a bit of emotion play something that resembles professional sport.

Posted by jherz13

11:15 PM, May 06, 2008

Johnny Mac, I did not say we could win 8 or 10 in a row...I said we could win 8 of 10 here or there...ya know, chip away at the Angel lead.

Sorry for being optimistic~!

This blog is full of negative energy. Yes, we're 14-20, but it's not the end of the world. We're only 3 one-run losses from being 17-17. I mean, c'mon, give the incessant complaining a break...

As for Griffey...I don't think he is the answer in May, but he may be the answer in late July. No need to question his current .689 OPS....his OPS last year was .868!!! Even though the timing isn't right (because of Balentien and Clement), we may be able to get him for a bargain with his early struggles factored in. His contract is very complicated though with 16 mil owed next year and 4 mil buyout. I'm sure a potential trade for him would include an agreed-upon buyout and 2 year renogotiation.

Perhaps Geoff could explain how we could buyout his contract and re-negotiate a 2 year retirement contract for him. I would love to Griffey playing OF or DH until he turns 40. He still has two more 20+ HR seasons in him and he would re-invigorate our fan base. With Griffey, I can guarantee we wouldn't have any 15,000 fan nights anytime soon at the Safe.

Posted by bluecollardollarbill

11:24 PM, May 06, 2008

@10:50 PM, May 06, 2008
Ice said:

"It's funny all the fans calling for the call-ups but they're not coming to see them."

Hmmm, I was going to go to the game, really I was. I busted my ass all day, did the math and realized that it would cost me two days work for me and my two boys,to gas up the car cruise to The Safe, pay for parking, watch a game, eat a dog or two, have a beer, popcorn, buy my boys a hat....etc etc etc

But I decided to watch the first 3 innings on tv and save the money for my son's college fund. Man am I glad I didn't go to the game

These players all seem to be overrated, over paid and really don't seem to give a damn about the blue collar hard working fans. Why should I care to spend my HARD earned cash to pay their bloated slaries? Screw that! I could go on..................

Posted by Johnny Mac

11:27 PM, May 06, 2008

Nice argument Jherz13, it might have some merit, however, it hard to believe that this team can be transformed by one aging star who has not shown that he can compete on a level necessary to win. Wonderful sentiment will fill the stadium for a few games but to guarantee filling the seats night in and night out when the novelty wears off and Griff's Sexsonlike average manifests itself for the crud that it is, the fans will abandon him just like they are abandoning these Mariner losers. It is the fix of a fairytale fantasy, one that will flop in the real world.

Posted by cesame

11:41 PM, May 06, 2008

I wouldn't pay to watch this team right now. I was offered to free tickets for bobblehead night on May 16 from my Dad for free and I didn't want them. I'm simply not driving 3 hours to watch this crap. They're good seats too, but I couldn't care less.

Posted by BrianL

11:44 PM, May 06, 2008

Another note

This team is is on pace to score 687 runs (That's San Francisco bad). Pythag had them pegged at about 683 runs.

Posted by jay

11:48 PM, May 06, 2008

Griffey is the spark the team AND the fans needs right now...lets get some emotion back at the SAFE...make room and bring back Jr.

Posted by BrianL

11:50 PM, May 06, 2008

Jay, give it up.

Griffey has a 76 OPS+ playing in the National League. His defense has degraded to Wilkerson-bad.

The last thing this team needs are more washed-up 1B/DH/RF type players who can't hit their weight anymore.

Posted by Brian

12:13 AM, May 07, 2008

Wait, you said you saw this from Toronto in 2004. Isn't this what Toronto does every year? For a team with such great pitching you'd think they'd do better.

As for the crowd size for this game, it doesn't surprise me. Why waste an evening watching the Mariners play the lousy Rangers? Doesn't sound like much fun.

Posted by Lance

12:52 AM, May 07, 2008

It's hard to believe the M's made Sydney Ponson look like an All-Star. I've got to congratulate them. That's not easy to do.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

12:59 AM, May 07, 2008

Truly disturbing performance. Today's embarassment at the hands of the worst team in the division shows you why signing veterans to band-aid a team year after year is stupid.

Can you imagine if Geoff had his way and Balentien was traded last year? We would watch our former prospect rake the ball with Tampa, but we hold comfort that Al Reyes the veteran reliever and his leadership was useful last year on an 88 win team. Trading the future to contend for one year is complete madness.

You absolutely do not trade for a veteran bat and give up prospects for one single player who will not compensate for Ibanez, Beltre, and Sexson not being true great hitters. These guys aren't even All-Stars. You can blame Bill Bavasi and those who defended him as the architect of the Angels championship team.

You can blame those that wanted to give Bavasi 5 years or more, and now you see the results in the fan attendance and a flawed middle of the order.

You can blame the bloggers that stated Bill Bavasi has never made a bad move and that Ben Broussard was the best left handed bat since Griffey left. You can blame those that stated this is the best Mariners team since 2002, and for those who year after year advocated bringing in veteran players to patchwork the aberration you see today.

And while excuses for Bavasi's incompetence continues to flood the blog here.

I ask you did Beltre ever live up to his 48 home run season? Hell no. Did Sexson live up to being that big impact bat we needed to replace Edgar and A-Rod? Hell no. Or how about the first season Bavasi took over. Instead of signing Pudge Rodriguez, he
trades for Miguel Olivo. Instead of Vladimir Guerrero, he signs Raul Ibanez. Instead of offering what they offered a horrible Barry Zito $100+ million, they fail to add another year and increase Miguel Tejada's $45 million year offer. Then Bavasi tries signing Omar freakin Vizquel who fails his physical.

How would Troy Toluwitski look as our shortstop right now? We passed him up for Clement. How would Tim Lincecum look in our rotation instead of Miguel Batista? We passed him up for Brandon Morrow.

I am so sick and tired of this regime. I want the resignations of Bavasi/Armstrong/Pelekoudas/Waldman
at season's end. If Howard Lincoln had any decency left in him, he would step down.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

1:12 AM, May 07, 2008

You want this team to succeed, you're going to have to do something that's going to be tough to swallow: admit Moneyball was right.

Moneyball is a sham and story spread by those who want to support an agenda. Three 20 game winners who were dominant in Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder, Barry Zito, in the rotation along with great hitters in Giambi, Chavez, and Tejada in their prime is what helped Oakland win penants, not the high OBP players they drafted. How many rings has Moneyball provided Billy Beane?

Posted by tomscuba

1:16 AM, May 07, 2008

Being a Seattle sports fan this year is great.

I will now go clean my eyeball a skill saw.

Posted by patrick

1:17 AM, May 07, 2008

Everything Bavasi touches seems to turn to SH*t. I am way past patient with this team this year. I would love to go and boo their sorry asses.

Posted by tallahassee-mariner's fan

4:49 AM, May 07, 2008

This game should serve as a wake up call to Geoff, the optimists, and anyone else who has deluded themselves to believe we can “win it all” in 2008, even despite our grossly flawed team. And I understand – who wants to publicly admit that 2008 is a wash and that we should just move on to the future? The M’s FO went “all in” this year to win, acquiring Bedard in exchange for much of our future, and they have far too much pride to admit they were wrong and do the sensible thing and rebuild.

But rebuilding is the only sensible thing to do. We have a handful of talented veterans (Ichiro, Ibanez, Beltre, Bedard, Putz), but due to their age they are becoming more and more inconsistent, and importantly, they are surrounded by untalented, washed-up veterans (Turbo, Sexson, Washburn). This team is just not good enough to win this year. For the sake of argument, let’s assume all the cards line up and we go on a huge hot streak this summer and somehow slip into the playoffs. What then? Are we going to beat the Red Sox in Boston? Are we going to beat the Angels in Anaheim? There’s just no way. The legitimate AL contenders are great teams, not because all their aging veterans miraculously had career years, but because they were well-constructed from the outset. Their lineups are packed with guys who hit for average and power. They are athletic in the field and manage to steal away hits with great defensive plays. They stock their rotation with talented, young pitchers. The point: they’re well rounded teams, not conspicuously lacking in any area, constructed to score 5-8 runs a game. And they would destroy the M’s come the playoffs. Sure, Bedard and Felix would pitch great, but the defense would give up a few errors, maybe at left field and second base, and we’d be facing a 6 run deficit each night, while our offense struggles to even get on the board.

The point I’m trying to make is that getting to the playoffs isn’t enough. Lets talk about winning once we get to the playoffs. Let’s put a team on the field that can compete for the WS not just this year, or until Bedard’s contract expires, but from here forward. I believe that Felix, Betencourt, Balentein, and Clement could be a part of our WS team, but the rest of our team, even those who are still contributing, will certainly be on the downhill slope once we’re ready to compete. So I propose this: we drop the charade that 2008 is going to happen, take stock of our current talent, and start constructing a WS-caliber team that is not only good enough to slip into the playoffs, but good enough to win it all once they get there.

I know, I know, we’re “all-in”, but its fun to imagine what could be if the FO swallowed its pride and did the sensible thing.

Posted by Frosty Raptor

5:18 AM, May 07, 2008

Resin isn't Cheating, you don't honestly believe that Moneyball is a shame because the A's didn't win a World Series, do you?

The playoffs are an absolute crapshoot. You could easily argue that the 2002 Angels, 2003 Marlins and 2006 Cardinals were the worst teams of their respective playoff brackets. And yet they all won.

Don't look now, but the Oakland A's seem to be faring pretty well without any of the players you mentioned, and in a rebuilding year to boot.

I don't think it's time to blow up the team, again, 2009 provides one more shot with the core of Erik Bedard, Adrian Beltre (who is worth every penny), Felix Hernandez, a healthy JJ Putz and Ichiro Suzuki. And that's a pretty smashing core. Supplement that with the double play twins, a years worth of experience for the recently promoted padawans and the Mariners can try and patch the rest of their offensive shortcomings in the offseason by chasing after Teixeira. There's a lot of money coming off the books if Vidro's option doesn't vest.

This team is not horrible, they're a poor man's Blue Jays. Except Vidro ate the defensive prowess. And we don't have anything remotely like Dustin McGowan. Trading away a valuable prospect for Griffey isn't going to help matters.

Don't lose sight of the forest for the trees people.

Posted by BradA

5:42 AM, May 07, 2008

Money Ball might have it's flaws, but it certainly isn't a shame. Its pretty accurate and the Red Sox DID win a championship using its general philosophy. It's not an end all be all, but its a tool that should be utilized. Then again maybe the world is flat and the sun revolves around earth.

Posted by lost interest

6:18 AM, May 07, 2008

Tim Linsecom stats:

W-L SV K ERA WHIP
4-1 0 45 1.49 1.37

Morrow in minors

Need to say more?

Posted by greyguy3

6:28 AM, May 07, 2008

"That was a fun day, wasn't it? Hey, at least the comments are flowing fast and freely on this site now. Big change from yesterday."

It seems to bother you that more people post to complain than to cheer, but I think that's natural. "yay team" does not make a very interesting post. I'm happy when we win, but I don't have anything interesting to say about it because I remain pessamistic about the season.

I don't think the FO has a good strategy, and I don't see how things are going to get better anytime soon. "Win now at all costs" isn't going to work until we get a better team, and I can't see how that's going to happen until the M's show an ability to evaluate talent and quit trading all our prospects away.

Posted by greyguy3

6:40 AM, May 07, 2008

“Moneyball is a sham and story spread by those who want to support an agenda. Three 20 game winners who were dominant in Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder, Barry Zito, in the rotation along with great hitters in Giambi, Chavez, and Tejada in their prime is what helped Oakland win penants, not the high OBP players they drafted. How many rings has Moneyball provided Billy Beane?”

I haven't read Moneyball and don't know exactly what it says, but I have noticed that Oakland contends every year despite having half the payroll that we do. There's obviously something to be learned from them.

Posted by Bob Boberson

6:52 AM, May 07, 2008

Geoff, you should construct a matrix of all the positions in the field including the dh, and then list each player from each team at each position by their OPS. You could use this year's numbers, last year's or career. Regardless, the Mariner's don't show up well for last year's numbers or this year's numbers. Beltre is maybe the only player that is in front of the other divisional 3basemen. Ichiro will get his numbers now that it doesn't matter any more.

The Ms improved their rotation on paper, but two of the holdovers are struggling mightily in Washburn and Batista and the bullpen is much weaker.

In aggregate maybe your prediction of them winning the division was wildly out of line

This looks like a 70 win team, they should dump Sexson and Vidro and move Ibanez to first and play Jeremy Reed in left field.

Posted by Ryan

7:12 AM, May 07, 2008

I think alot of us, myself included, had unreal expectations before the season about how good this team was going to be. The bottom line is, they really aren't that good. Lack of hitting and defense are the worst holes on this team. To lose to Sidney Ponson is borderline comical. I watched the game for awhile last night. His suff wasn't that good. I think we got down and just gave up.


Hey Chico,


We lost 10-1. I think the blame falls on the pitching for last night. Batista couldn't throw it in the ocean from a boat. He was all over the place. I agree that hitting is the problem, but when you give up 10 runs you won't win too many, even if you score 9.

Posted by Ryan

7:19 AM, May 07, 2008

Why would anyone trade Griffey and Adam Dunn for Washburn and Johjima?? What trade value do either one of them have?? Both have monster contracts and are underperforming. Washburn has won 20 games in 2 plus years, and Johjima is hitting .190.


The problem is, the only guys on this team with any trade value are the two we just called up to help our offense. We're stuck with what we have.

Posted by Chuck

7:33 AM, May 07, 2008

Good. Keep the low attendance coming. Maybe we can convince the Ms brass that we will pay only for quality entertainment.

Posted by Scott

7:36 AM, May 07, 2008

I hate that this is happening, but it is also really funny, because so many of you are saying that no one saw this coming. A lot of us saw this coming, this is exactly why we were against the Bedard trade. We knew this team was not a good offensive team. Do I wish I was wrong? yep. Was I? Nope.

Posted by joe

7:39 AM, May 07, 2008

Record low attendance? I can't say that I am too suprised. I have thought about going to a few games this homestand, just to see Felix or Bedard.
On the other hand I ask myself, do I really want to drop 100+ bucks to watch THIS team?

Don't get me wrong, I am a diehard Mariners fan. Growing up, my friends and I would hop on the #7 bus down to the Dome (50 cents). I think we could get cheap tix ticket for about 3 to 4 bucks back then. Of course we had to stop in at The Iron Horse for a burger before the game (4.50). And a bag of peanuts was like a buck fifty. So for around ten bucks we had ourselves a great night. Albeit the M's usually lost.

I don't think I would mind blowing 100 bucks or so now, but this team jusy seems listless. There is no chemestry, very little heart beyond Felix, no leadership, no hustle. I watch on TV for free and I see Big Ritchie scraping along the Mendoza line, swinging at pitches so far low and outside that even his 6'8 reach looks silly. Then I realize this dude is earning 15 million a year! I say "earning" lightly. I watch guys like Washburn and Batista pitch great for 4 to 5 innings, then seemingly give up or in and blow the game. I love Ichiro, but he is a primadonna (sp?) it appears as if Ichiro only cares about Ichiro. That is too bad because he has a great opportunity to be an outspoken team leader and a assett to the community.

Bottom line is, I love the Mariners, but why fork out the cash to watch them drag ass live, when I can just tune em in on my TV?

How I long for the days of fan friendly Mariner heroes like Alvin Davis, Tom Paciorek, Spike Owen and larger than life characters like Buhner, Joey Cora (now that guy had hustle!) or Bosio. And why the hell did they have to close down the Iron Horse? oh well I think I'm just rambling now, haven't had my morning Joe.

Go Mariners

Posted by joe

7:42 AM, May 07, 2008

one last thought: On a team loaded with so many veterans, how come it seems like there is really no veteran leaders?

Posted by Beniitec

7:47 AM, May 07, 2008

Chill out everyone. Two weeks from now you're all going to be jumping back on the bandwagon. If you're a true mariner fan, then you continue to pull for them. Period. It's one game. How many times this season has the pitching staff faltered this bad? It's going to happen. We can't afford it right now because of how far behind we are getting in the standings. But it's going to happen. That's baseball. I see many bright spots for the season, and they are only going to get brighter. It was one bad game...against a bad team. I wonder how tough it is as a player to have less than 10k fans at the game... It must feel weird.

Posted by MyBestFriends

7:48 AM, May 07, 2008

We're not there yet! I remember going to games in the Kingdome with 2 to 5 thousand of my best friends!!! Keep up this losing and we'll get there.

Posted by eastcoast

7:51 AM, May 07, 2008

"The more I think about it, the more I think Geoff had a point early today about Balentien and Clement. We shouldn't expect anything drastically different from the rest of the lineup, so if we want improvement, it has to come from the two guys who are replacing last year's DH and RF. And the M's have no choice but to let them play." - Adam

If we are prepared to admitting that, then the fire sale should have started yesterday. We can, and should, not expect huge things from Wlad and Clement. They are rookies. We talked about Beltre yesterday - here are some more.

Sexson OPS .732 w/ RISP 3 for 30
That means that last nights 4 and 5 hitters are a combined 7 for 62 (.113) with RISP. Does that mean that trading the both of them for Mario Mendoza would double our offensive output??

Ichiro 4 for 22 with RISP (.182)
Ibanez 9 for 36 (.250) after last nights game

So, excluding Lopez, our 1-5 hitters are 20 for 120 (.167) with RISP this season.

The fact of the matter is that if our "top" hitters don't pick up their games in a big way, and soon, this season will be over very quickly. Our success or failure, in no way, depends on the two rookies. Balentien hitting for an OPS of 2.000 will not overcome a 10 run deficit, it would also not overcome the complete lack of professional hitters in the remainder of the M's line-up.

Posted by J Dub

7:54 AM, May 07, 2008

The M's rank 12 th in the AL in OBP.

The discipline at the plate is horrible.

Posted by Mr. X

8:01 AM, May 07, 2008

LOL! Beane hasn't even produced a team that can win a playoff series, much less a Championship. Being a "contender" is nice and cute, but it means nothing. I'd take one World Series win over 10 years of being a contender. Just ask a Braves fan. It's an easy choice.

If it's true what someone said on the other thread about Mac crying in the postgame, he should be looking for new work this morning. We don't need that garbage around the clubhouse.

Posted by Peter80s

8:02 AM, May 07, 2008

Can someone tell me how in the world Bavasi has a job? I watched Wally Walker destroy the Sonics and Bavasi has done the same thing in his time year. This franchise is an embarassment.

Posted by Keith M

8:21 AM, May 07, 2008

I will go with Sounders on the economic crunch. I live out in the sticks and with gas and ticket prices as high as they are few fans will be coming in from the outliying areas. A family of four can just say to themselves "I am saving $200 by not going to the game."

Posted by medfordfan

8:22 AM, May 07, 2008

Leadership. In the front office, in the dugout, on the field. All are sorely lacking on the good ship "Mariner." Pride, purpose, determination, attitude? You can see it in all of the empty seats. John McLaren may be a good Lieutenant, but as a General he's lacking. Close your eyes for a moment and imagine this team with Lou Pinella in the dugout. At least we'd see pride, purpose, determination and attitude.

Posted by greyguy3

8:30 AM, May 07, 2008

"LOL! Beane hasn't even produced a team that can win a playoff series, much less a Championship. Being a "contender" is nice and cute, but it means nothing. I'd take one World Series win over 10 years of being a contender. Just ask a Braves fan. It's an easy choice"

That's ridiculous. A team that gets in the playoffs has a chance to win the world series, period. That they haven't done so is bad luck. Being a "contender" does in fact mean something.

Besides which, the M's have languished in the basement with twice Oakland's payroll. That isn't even "nice and cute."

Posted by Refuse to Lose

8:48 AM, May 07, 2008

I think the M's have plenty of time to catch up, but are watching their fans completely give up on them, admittedly not all without justifiable cause. However, I suggest we tell them exactly what we want to see out of them. We tell them to REFUSE TO LOSE!! Bring it back. We just want to see them giving everything they have no matter what is going on in the game. We want to see them care.

Posted by Oly Mike

8:54 AM, May 07, 2008

Everyone on this blog is complaining and rightfully so. But what is needed is a plan or strategy to to do better now. Planning for the future is good and what should be done but there are nearly 130 games left. So the M's need to do something. They cannot blow up the entire team or coaching staff or even the offense or Bull pen. So what could be done to help put a better team on the fiefd now based on what is there now.

Coaching
1. Get rid of the take the first pitch and take on a 3-0 count. Let the hitters swing at good pitches when they get one. Or just get rid of Pentland. He has had 2 years now and this offense is just horrible. Following rules just won't cut it with an offense that is stugggling this much.

2. Giving up runs to get an out. Maybe this also should be rethought. Cutting off some of those runs last night might have helped.

Catching

3. I believe that Jamie Burke is the quintessential Back up catcher. He can set on the bench for several games and then when needed he comes in and does a decent job. But you don't want 3 catchers and you don't want Clement sitting around not playing. So it appears logically Johjima is the problem. Could he be sent down to improve or trade him?

First Base

4. Sexson is just not doing it offensively. Ibanez is not the answer. Either correcting Sexson's offensive flaws or getting rid of him is. Trade Sexson and/or bring up Bryan LaHair?

Bench

5. Willie Bloomquist is a good bench player (plays every position, pinch run etc.). Exactly what a team needs. Get rid of Cairo and bring up Jeremy Reed as the fourth outfielder.

Bull Pen

6. Get JJ Putz regular work he sits around too much and is out of sync. Arthur Rhodes is doing fine. He and Rowland-Smith are just not used effectively. Greene is overworked. Lowe and Morrow are similar styles. One or the other should be sent down. Morrow probably to be converted into a starter. Bring up Dickey. His knuckleball style may at least confuse opposing offenses when everything else is not working. Promote Baek to a starter and give him regular starts. If he doesn't work out get rid of him.

Starters

7. What can anyone say. Washout and over the hill Batista should go to be replaced by some combination of Baek, Dickey, Morrow, Fierenbe, whoever, because anyone could do as good of a job as Washout and Batista.

DH/ Pinch hitter/ Left Field

Vidro is ok as a pinch hitter and occasional DH. So was Greg Norton. Either would do well ridding the pine until they are needed to pinch hit. Ibanez should become the regular DH or platooned with somone else. Bring in another young left fielderwith lots of upside and get rid of Vidro if there is no room on the roster for both. I don't think Reed is it, although he would be an excellent 4th outfielder.

All other positions

The rest of the team as it stands should be ok! Lopez has come around and is doing a good job at secomd. Beltre and Betancourt should imrove their offense as the season progresses. Balentien will improve also. Ichiro is Ichiro. And the threesome of Bedard, Felix and Silva are doing ok and should turn out as predicted. So I believe that these potential changes could turn this team around without blowing it up and prepare some young players for the future. I don't believe bringing old players in now even Griffey is going to help anything.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

8:56 AM, May 07, 2008

Money Ball might have it's flaws, but it certainly isn't a shame. Its pretty accurate and the Red Sox DID win a championship using its general philosophy.

The Mariners organization has vast money to spend. There is no reason to adopt Billy Beane's ideology of being cheap and never keeping a cohesive unit around long enough for fans to identify with the club. That's what Beane did, he certainly can evaluate talent well, and make good trades and signings. But Beane did this out of necessity at a time his club was competing against the Yankess, and his club did not advance past the big spending Yanks in the post season.

Beane has not been successful enough for us to model ourselves after him. In fact, Beane has been quoted many times stating that Moneyball was not about soley drafting offensive players with high OBP. It was about succeeding in a small market, and admitted some with their own agenda to push have twisted the message of the book.

And if you ignore the fantastic rotation they had along with Giambi and Tejada in their prime, your simply ignoring the facts.

Boston certainly did not use the Moneyball philosophy to become a dynasty. They have money and have spent it on retaining their star players like Manny and Ortiz and to pay for huge contracts in Lowell and Beckett's when they acquired them via trade.

They spent good money in free agency on Dice-K and Okajima. Sure Youkilis fits the high OBP style player, but he's not the single reason for their success.

Posted by Bill

8:59 AM, May 07, 2008

How is Griffey the spark this team needs? Do any of the current M's even know Griffey? How many actually played with the guy?

Posted by Mike

9:05 AM, May 07, 2008

"Moneyball is a sham and story spread by those who want to support an agenda. Three 20 game winners who were dominant in Tim Hudson, Mark Mulder, Barry Zito, in the rotation along with great hitters in Giambi, Chavez, and Tejada in their prime is what helped Oakland win penants, not the high OBP players they drafted. How many rings has Moneyball provided Billy Beane? "

Back to disagreeing with Resin. Those great hitters had really good OBP and since their teammates also valued getting on base those great hitters could bring them home. Looking at Oakland's roster, who thought they'd be good? Other than a few SABR-heads?

And have you read Moneyball? It's not written by some SABR-oriented person with an agenda. It's largely not about stats at all. It is about finding undervalued skills in the baseball marketplace.

Billy Beane continually puts out teams that outperform the Mariners at a fraction of the cost. I'll take that kind of sham.

Posted by BrianL

9:06 AM, May 07, 2008

Resin, I don't even know where to begin with you. I honestly have no idea why you hate, loathe, and despise statistical analysis so much. Did Billy Beane shove you into a locker in high school? You make sabermetrics sound as if it were a conspiracy theory, which in and of itself is amusing I suppose.

I want Chris Antonetti to be the GM of this franchise because he is uniquely capable of using both statistical analysis as well as traditional scouting to evaluate player talent. He is the reason the Indians have been able to build good ball-clubs. Why do you think he's Mark Shapiro's go-to guy?

If payroll is the end-all to success, why have we been out-classed by Oakland so many times since 2000? I suppose Oakland is just a lucky team, right? I'm really not convinced you've ever read Moneyball. It's not about succeeding as a small-market team: it's about evaluating players in a new method that is producing ridiculously good results.

What about the Red Sox? Certainly not a small-market team but Moneyball seems to be working for them well. You combine top-5 league payroll with smart sabermetric player evaluation, and this team will be competitive next season.

Leave the vitriol at home next time you blog, Resin.

Posted by Mike

9:19 AM, May 07, 2008

Oops--Resin and I were posting at the same time.

I don't think anyone is suggesting we completely adopt Beane's style because of the very reason you point out Resin and we do have more money. But let's say we could evaluate cheaper talent and fill a portion of the roster with those guys and then have bigger money to pay really exceptional players?

Guys who hit for some power but don't play premium defensive positions are not super hard to find. Yet the Ms went into this season (and last)paying over $20M to Sexson and Vidro. You could have improved production at a fraction of the cost and have money to go after another top starter.

Or imagine if we weren't paying a total of $35M a year for our 3,4 and 5 starters. Billy Beane isn't. He's finding guys whose peripheral stats look better than their ERA and understanding that results will eventually follow.

Of course his budget does work against him. Putting Cust in left for any length of time is a disaster. But we have a big budget and still manage to put only a slighty better fielding leftfielder out there.

Beane seems to have a plan (and an ego to be sure). We seem to make decisions one at a time allowing ourselves little flexibility either on the field or with payroll.

Posted by Kara M.

9:23 AM, May 07, 2008

Mr. X for team president!


Resin for GM!


They will bring up everyone from the minors and we will win!

Posted by Esteban

9:24 AM, May 07, 2008

Mike,

Very well put. Here's to hoping that people with a similar philosophy as your own can find meaningful employment in the next Ms FO. (I'm not holding my breath however...)

Posted by Craig

9:26 AM, May 07, 2008

The Oklahoma City Mariners.

It's got a nice ring to it. Can we include them with the Sonics in some sort of package deal?

Posted by statboys dad

9:30 AM, May 07, 2008

Chemestry missing...look after trade?

Ichiro CF Willie, Cario
Lopez 2nd
Griffey Rf, Dh,1st
Dunn Lf, dh,1st
Beltra 3rd
Yuni ss
Clement C Burke C
Raul Lf, Dh, 1st Sexson Dh, Bench, 1st
Wlad Dh, Rf

Washburn, Reed, Morse, Minor player??

Make the trade , we now have the winning chemestry...this is a player issue not a coaching problem!!

Posted by BlahBlahBlah

9:57 AM, May 07, 2008

I would love for someone to answer this question....

How can the Mariners owners/upper management look at the job that GM Bill Bavasi has done and think to themselves, "Wow, hes good, lets keep him around."?

Posted by Lenny Randle's Breath

10:00 AM, May 07, 2008

I'm dressed like Braveheart as I type...

Mariner Fans Unite! Cheer for your team!

For all the stat nerds how come I never hear you talk about the variable? That's where it's at. The variable. A 5 foot something against a 6 foot 5 dude hitting the ball out of the park. You know, the Rockies coming out from nowhere. That kinda stuff.

The season is not over. I watched these same guys run off some long streaks last year. (would still like to see Ichiro hitting 3rd)

GO MARINERS!!!

Posted by Lenny Randle's Breath

10:06 AM, May 07, 2008

Oh Yeah, The A's haven't won a World Series since 1989. I thought it had been a while. Was that a chapter in moneyball? That's what they're playing for, right?

GO MARINERS!!!

Posted by Mike

10:08 AM, May 07, 2008

"How can the Mariners owners/upper management look at the job that GM Bill Bavasi has done and think to themselves, "Wow, hes good, lets keep him around."?

I'm sure they see a record that has improved every year and a team that won 88 games last year as evidence Bavasi is doing a good job. I certainly disagree with their assessment but there is a realistic argument to be made that Bavasi has done a good job.

Posted by hugh

10:10 AM, May 07, 2008

Don't jump off a bridge.

Posted by Ryan

10:13 AM, May 07, 2008

I didn't go to the game last night, but I did watch it. There seemed to be no excitement in the ball park, even before the score got bad. I think funerals have more noise than Safeco last night. Have the fans lost interest?? It seems that way.

Posted by BrianL

10:15 AM, May 07, 2008

Lenny, how many times have the As been to the playoffs since Billy Beane took over in 1997? How many times have the Ms been to the playoffs in that time?

5-3, in favor of Oakland

In that time, they have also finished higher than Seattle in the standings 7 times.

Posted by slik doggg

10:16 AM, May 07, 2008

DAY OF GAME TICKET PRICING SUCKS!!! It seems to me that the low attendance this year is not only due to the sub-par team that is out on the field, but also has to do with the increase in ticket pricing. Note to Mariners: I will NOT just show up at a game knowing that I have to pay more than if I bought tickets prior to the day of the game. I personally used to just show up to games on a whim and by the end of the season I may have gone to 20+. With your new price increase I will only be going to the 12 games I bought at the beginning of the season. PLEASE make this up to us next year and be more reasonable with your fans and you might get me back as of day of game customer.

Posted by statboys dad

10:22 AM, May 07, 2008

I haven't even looked yet to see what the replys were after my last posting. I am retracting that one. Dunn is hitting .238 5hr and 25k's, griffey i love him but to get hime for a player or more is not worth it at this time. What we should be doing is bring up Reed. You now have an out field!! Vidro has to go to save $$ (Next year). Bench Sexson and play Clement more 21st. If there was an opportunity to get a big bat, trade Washburn (beating Texas is not a reason to keep him) he would do well in the NL. Reed and a few others are going to still have a hrd time cracking this team, trade them for some one.

Bavasi, sorry to here about your dad, make him proud! Change this around...thank you.

Posted by Ryan

10:23 AM, May 07, 2008

Maybe we should make Willie Bloomquist our new GM. I'm only kidding of course!! I got caught up reading the posts from yesterday.

Posted by Michael

10:27 AM, May 07, 2008

I think any non GM could've done what Bavasi has done during his tenure when you take into consideration the state of the club when he took over and the payroll he's been given. Is it unfair to have expected more?

Is it too early to panic? What's the team record when the they fall behind 2-0? I think they're 0 for ...

I'm done with figuring out personnel decisions cause I know Bavasi is incapable. Until we get a new GM and philosophy in place, this is the garbage we'll have to live with.

For those people clamoring for Griffey, Bonds or having guys like Edgar, Buhner on the coaching staff, PLEASE STOP! Stop living in the past!

Get a new regime in here and let's get this thing right.

Posted by Ryan

10:27 AM, May 07, 2008

Statboys dad,


Someone is finally on to this. Jeremy Reed has trade value, not Johjima or Washburn as was previously mentioned. We could probably get something for him. No one would want those two in any package.


I do like Adam Dunn for his power, but he would just be a left handed Sexson. I think we just DFA'd one of those.

Posted by HawksFanNYC

10:28 AM, May 07, 2008

As someone who's been going to games since I was four, the current climate of losing is absolutely killing me. I think we can all agree that last year's team overperformed, and I do think that management made moves that seemed in line to improve last years team. Look, the 2008 starting pitchers are about 100 times more reliable than last year's rotation. Our FO made those moves. Granted, those are pretty much the two best moves by far this group has ever made, but... In any case, whille there's no way they could've predicted the huge fall off in offense from Vidro, Jojhima and Ichiro, they certainly didn't have a plan in place in case the team did falter offensively early on. Wilkerson? I mean, come on. That guy'd make a better hitting coach than bench player.

I was watching the Mariners series against the Yankees last weekend, and the Yankees announcers made a very astute observation. They said that this team (the M's) will get their hits. The problem is, to score runs you have to get 3-4 hits in a row. With so many strikeout threats in the lineup, it's hard to string together run scoring rallies. I've seen way too many 6+ hit games this year where the M's scratch out 1-2 runs. OPS is not the end all, be all, but I think we're pretty sure, statistically, where the problems are with this team.

And to those who question what the point of getting Griffey would be (though I think it's a long shot), it's not his hitting. That's irrelevant. What is relevant is his attitude and leadership. Is it worth it to pay a guy for those qualities and not his abilities? Well, I'm not totally convinced he's washed up anyway... he had a good season last year. But this team is SORELY in need of someone to get with the players and get their head's straight. What habits are Clement and Balentien going to pick up from the current bunch of low-energy losers?

Posted by Michael

10:35 AM, May 07, 2008

It's not just the players, it's also the manager. Does anyone recall the Angels series when Ichiro was thrown to, not only once but twice! Did a Seattle pitcher retaliate? NO! That's the personality of this club. They're a bunch of nice guy wearing panties. I remember when it was good to get into a brawl just to bring the team together and have some fire. Anyone recall the brawl in Baltimore? This team shows no emotion whatsoever!

Posted by Disgruntled

11:26 AM, May 07, 2008

I was shocked when McLaren was named the coach to be last year and Bavasi was going to continue as the G.M.

They have both lived up to my expectations for them. With the end of the 07 debauchle I thought surely a new coach would be the first thing the M's went out an got, second being a new GM.

This is the bigs, we have seen enough of Johnny McLaren to realize he isn't a great big picture guy. You can get all the players in the world and if they don't have a good leader, well, good luck. The entire team is struggling; fielding, hitting, inconsistant pitching, you name it, we got it

Go M's

Posted by Lenny Randle's Breath

11:26 AM, May 07, 2008

BrianL - First let me say that I'm glad you're a fan and you care about the Mariners playing well.

I could say have the A's ever one 116 games in a season?
You could say have the Mariners ever won a World Series?

The answer would not matter.

What matters is deciding that you're a Mariners Fan and then being that. A fan. Not an armchair GM. A crazy or other. ( I'm not calling you those things by the way)

I mean, despite what some people think. The reality is the Mariners are still in it this year. But the vibe on here would have you believe otherwise. That's crazy! They may not be playing to their full capability but why stop cheering for them? Are they your team or not? I live in LA now. I would love to have been one of the 15,000 at the game last night! I don't know if the people that post on this blog feel the same way and that's sad.

GO MARINERS!!!

Posted by dave

1:00 PM, May 07, 2008

no team can win with ibanez as your no.3 hitter compare him to other teams no.3 he's not close to being that type of hitter. this club needs barry bonds.

Posted by SF Patrick

1:40 PM, May 07, 2008

Bald Bavasi is a stoopid F%^k who isn't half the man his dad was. I think the wrong Bavasi died. The reason the A's seem to compete every year is because their front office has a clue. Bavasi couldn't close a deal if his life depended on it. M's need a new manager and a new front office.

Posted by PeteMcNasty

9:42 PM, May 08, 2008

1 run in 28 innings....

I think I just threw up in my mouth......

Posted by PeteMcNasty

9:44 PM, May 08, 2008

we make the Rangers look like the Boston Red Sox.

yhbgttttttttnskdjfhsakdjgfa;segjfa;ksjdgfa;skdghas

oh sorry.....

that was me pounding my head on the keyboard

Posted by DONE

9:49 PM, May 08, 2008

Mariner's are boring. They've been boring for some time. They've squandered the best years of Ichiro's career with their boring ineptitude. Small crowds? They're BORING. I don't care if you bring Griff, Bone and Edgar back. Randy too. They'll still be boring, only in a sad way now. Ibanez is the poster boy of this boring team. A decent role player, but so many holes in his game and he's well past the point he is going to get any better. As is Sexson, Bloomquist, Cairo, Washburn, Lopez (plays like a 35 year old), Betancourt (his promise ended early) and the rest of the lot. Beltre, Ichiro, Putz, Hernandez and Bedard are keepers. The rest should be DFA'd, traded or forced into retirement. The front office and the staff should all fall on their tridents in an attempt to exit with honor. That is their only hope.

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