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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 28, 2008 10:52 PM

What might have been

Posted by Geoff Baker

sea0528 028.jpg

This is the Erik Bedard fans expected to see when that five-for-one trade with Baltimore went down. Bedard threw seven innings of two-hit, shutout ball, striking out eight batters. Brandon Morrow used some 98 mph heat to work through the eighth. J.J. Putz walked Manny Ramirez and Sean Casey in the ninth, but got Coco Crisp on a groundout (pictured above) to notch the save in a 1-0 win by the Mariners.

Fans tonight saw the pitching this team was supposed to have. They've seen it the last four days, really. And oh how much it must hurt. I mean, where was this stuff three weeks ago? This team is still 14 games under .500 and will soon be 11 1/2 back of Los Angeles -- getting wiped out tonight. But they waited a long time to put this mound stuff back on display. Too long.

"The starting pitching has really picked it up,'' Mariners manager John McLaren said afterwards. "And it's been huge for us.''

One for M's fans to savor, at least for 48 hours. They just took a series from a winning team, and that doesn't happen often. But someone get these guys a calendar. It's May 28. They are finally getting well-pitched games, not much offense but at least timely hitting, and some defense. Now, all they need to do is make a record comeback and all is forgiven.

Bedard looked comfortable all night. Even after that 25-pitch first inning.

"It's real hard, them and the Yankees, they take a lot of pitches,'' Bedard said. "You've got to pound the strike zone early.''

That he did. He averaged only 14 pitches per inning the rest of the way, finding that elusive rhythm.

"As a pitcher, you always try to get the most rhythm you can,'' Bedard said. "Inning by inning, you try to get the most you can.''

Bedard's personal catcher, Jamie Burke, told the pitcher beforehand that he should be mixing his change-up in more often. Bedard did that early and it threw the Red Sox off.

"I told him we have to start throwing that pitch a little more and we've got to get it going,'' Burke said. "You can't go out there with two or three pitches. You've got to have that other pitch. And that's a great pitch.''

Bedard made a lot of great pitches tonight. He finally did get it going. This team has turned it up a notch since embarrassing itself on the road.

But the season doesn't start in June. If this was the final week of spring training, these M's would be poised and ready to live up to their hype as the season neared. But it's May 28. All they can do now is hope the newer hype about how bad they've really been so far enables them to catch teams off guard. To sneak up on opponents the way they did in 2007. To make this disaster of a 2008 season a little more palatable in the won-lost column. And to learn something going forward. Maybe give the folks running the show a little better idea of what needs to be fixed. Their timing would be the first thing on the repair list.

Judging by how they've played these past four days, the timing truly stinks.

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Posted by Corey Miller

9:22 PM, May 28, 2008

Ok did Mac predict that shutout?!?!?!

Nice win M's!!!

Posted by Bobby

9:25 PM, May 28, 2008

Refuse to Lose ?

Posted by Miles

9:26 PM, May 28, 2008

Not that I really believe it means anything, but the Yankees were 12 1/2 games out at Memorial Day last year. Are the M's the Yankees? No. But then again, the AL West isn't the AL East either.

Anyway, I'm hoping for a nice little winning streak here; maybe it will get the team on a more confident footing.

Posted by Jonathan

9:27 PM, May 28, 2008

I must say, moving Morrow in the bullpen looks more and more like the right thing. He is easily our best set-up guy right now, maybe if we hadn't foolishly traded Soriano away I'd be for putting him in the rotation but for now I believe he's in the right place.

Does this erase my doubts about the team? No but I'll take it, great win.

Posted by cesame

9:29 PM, May 28, 2008

My stance hasn't changed because the M's won two in a row against a terrible road team. People still need to be fired. People still need to be held "accountable" for the mess this team is in.

Posted by Adam

9:32 PM, May 28, 2008

Disastrous win for the M's.

The Incompetents, desperately seeking justification, will think they are on to something and the necessary moves for the team will be delayed even longer.


If you love the M's, root for them to lose and lose big.

Posted by zona

9:33 PM, May 28, 2008

Probably just a coincidence the M's win 2 in a row with Sexson on the bench.

This doesn't change a thing... Armstrong, Bavasi & Mac all need to go. Let the next GM clean up the mess.

Posted by cesame

9:38 PM, May 28, 2008

Exactly. Two wins doesn't magically make all those terrible, embarrassing games go away. Nothing has changed. People that don't deserve to have a job right now still do. It's beyond mind-boggling.

Posted by tommyfoutball

9:44 PM, May 28, 2008

I love Father Niehaus, but I am so sick of the Homer Mariner announcers declaring the turnaround has begun and the team has got this straightened out.

It is sad that it has gotten so bad, but it equally foolish to think that two games makes a turn around, I believe they won two before losing seven in the past week. Right?

Do those announcers really think folks are that dumb? Or are they just fielding the script the Mariners demand?

Posted by -j.

9:45 PM, May 28, 2008

Now if we can just shut out every team we play the rest of the season, we are in like a dirty shirt.

Exciting win today. Morrow chucking 100 mph. J.J. struggling a bit but notching the save. But.. the whole 'even a blind pig finds an acorn once in a while' analogy really does apply here.

Watch, they will try to spin this into a "SEE! We told you this team could win!" angle.

Posted by 11Records

9:45 PM, May 28, 2008

In the 2 losses with Sexson on the bench, they scored a total of 5 runs. So, it's not like they're killing it on offense. But, Cairo is good at forcing the runner at 2nd on bunt plays.

Even if the pitching gets on a roll, the M's are still gonna have to start scoring some runs.

It is encouraging to see these kinds of performances from Bedard and Morrow though. And JJ fighting through a tough 9th.

Posted by rowlfdog

10:10 PM, May 28, 2008

I could jump on the "fire 'em all" bandwagon if someone could suggest a realistic candidate as a new GM or field Manager. Is this group rallying behind Jim Riggleman? Is Sam Perlazzo clearly the man to set this team on a .700 run to the pennant?

I've never heard of a team dumping the entire staff at mid-season. Who's the favorite out there to replace Bavasi? Or McLaren?

Posted by InExile

10:20 PM, May 28, 2008

To the ones that want to talk about a comeback...

The Yankees last year were one of the unluckiest teams in baseball, in both pitching and hitting, through half the year. Boston was also playing well above their skill level. They Yankees were only 2 games under 500, much like this year. Boston was so far ahead of the curve it was bound to take a dive.

Face it, it's harder to dig yourself out of a .370 hole than to pick up 6 games after a .500 pace. Call me when we're at .500 and the Angels lose a few more players.

Posted by ken

10:24 PM, May 28, 2008

A solid performance tonight; team plays so much better with Big K on the bench as he sets the tone for the team's run of poor play with his all or nothing (usually nothing) approach at the plate. When Big K was suspended, the M's had two very crisp efforts against SD and now these latest two games against a tough team. Cairo is much better at playing small ball and is more agile at First Base. I hope Mac continues to keep him in the lineup.

Posted by jro

10:31 PM, May 28, 2008

Savor the win, but the issues are still there. The Red Sox are not hitting right now (swept in Oakland, lose the series to the M's), so we didn't see a really good ball team. The M's fought hard this series, I'll give them that much.

Over the long haul, Cairo at 1B is not a long-term solution (short-term either, but whatever.) We have to produce some runs, and this group isn't going to get any better at that.

The pitching, as we've seen, can definitely improve. I don't the offense can; it just isn't that talented.

Posted by 7hourlinedrive

10:35 PM, May 28, 2008

"If you love the M's, root for them to lose and lose big."

If you don't like this M's team, don't watch. Find something else to do this summer.

If you can't find some optimism in two straight victories over Boston and its lineup, you've completely lost perspective.

Don't sit there and tell me about the long term, that it's better if the Mariners go on a long losing streak and end up firing Mac and Bavasi by the end of the month.

I guess I shouldn't be surprised that some "fan" would mitigate two straight wins and a series win over a team like Boston by bringing up its "terrible road" record (though any baseball fan with a shred of perspective knows that that road record isn't going to be at a .367 percentage when it counts in a few months), but I suppose that's the perspective of the "more cynical than thou, more negative than thou" baseball "fan".

There are 14 teams with winning records right now, and you could probably latch on to any one of them soon. But if you can't bring yourself to root for the Mariners, even as they are, then don't waste your time. They don't need you, either.

The problem with the "fire-em-all" crowd is that none of them HAS a suitable replacement for either, or at least none they'd be satisfied with, even if the manager were Valentine or LaRussa, even if the GM were Antonetti or Ng.

Some "fans" are so crusted by their cynicism they can't enjoy two straight one-run wins over the Boston Red Sox.

Posted by levinea

10:37 PM, May 28, 2008

Geoff, your recent comments criticized a lot the failure of the pitching staff. I agree the pitching was not brilliant the last three weeks but putting the blame on pitching saying we should have expected from them to give up less than 5 everytime is too much. When a team scores more than 4 runs only 6 times in May, you should expect to win a lot.

Posted by SDF Mariner

10:37 PM, May 28, 2008

Adam,
What in God's name do you think will happen if the M's "lose and lose big"? Seriously. What are the steps this team needs to make? Call up everyone from Tacoma and let them finish out the year for the M's? Fire Bavasi and hire.......? Fire Lincoln and hire........? Fire McLaren and hire.........? Seriously, you idiots are so quick to demand the management be completely gutted but offer up absolutely ZERO solutions. It's disgusting that you call yourself a "fan" of the Mariners. I've never seen a group of people who get more upset when "their team" actually wins 2 games in a row against the best team in the AL. I don't think this team is going to turn it around and make the playoffs, but I'm sure as hell not going to root for 100 losses. Until you clowns offer up a REAL LIFE solution to this mess, you have no authority on the subject. Get a life and find a way to enjoy 2 very nice Mariner victories in a row.

Posted by levinea

10:39 PM, May 28, 2008

I mean you should not expect to win a lot.

Posted by DistantFan

10:39 PM, May 28, 2008

Much in agreement with other entries. Glad to see them win. Unfortunately, my gut feeling is that this just prolongs the inevitable. And by prolonging it, we waste valuable time in rebuilding. I would gladly eat my words, if we could just witness the offense finally bust out for a string of games. With these low-scoring totals by the M's, we're just sitting ducks waiting.

Posted by Gerald

10:40 PM, May 28, 2008

rowlfdog

I can't speak for others, but it's not about finding guys to come in and make this team win this season. Fire McLaren, don't fire McLaren, I don't care. Bavasi can't be allowed to ruin the future of this team more than he already has. What's next, a three-year, $30 million contract extension for Ibanez? A two-year, $16 million contract for Vidro?

Posted by tugboatcritic

10:45 PM, May 28, 2008

Adam- One would hope that you don't pretend to have knowledge that the M's brass doesn't share. I could bring up several issues, defense being the first. Do you really feel that based on your newly acquired SABR appreciation that you know with your brethren that defense matters? By what measure? Pick one of the many and stick with it. Those same measures also tell us that Ichiro isn't so grand in the field. Is that an accurate assessment of his skill? I surely hope that you don't think that your boy Dave invented the concept. Only in the last 10-15 years have big league teams leaned towards offense out of their up the middle players. They did so for good reason.

And for God's sake, can't you just be a fan for one night? Do you really need to wonder why your creed takes shots from the "great un-washed" fans? Can you (collectively) affect any change on the field? Have you ever? I thought not. Quit lecturing folks you don't know, who may have vastly more experience and know-how than you or your kin, because you think the numbers tell you so. The collective blogs around here are very sophisticated numerically, and very childish, practically.

Posted by Maybe still alive

10:46 PM, May 28, 2008

Ok so i did a little math. If the Angles stay on their current pace they would end up with 94 wins. For Seattle to win the division they would have to go 75-33 the rest of the way which is a almost .700 ball. I am not saying that they are going to do it but there still might be a glimmer of hope for some.

Posted by ChicoV

10:47 PM, May 28, 2008

Rooting for your team to lose is STUPID! A win is a win and that is what they play the game to do. You have proved yourself to be no baseball fan, you just want to be right. The Red Sox are one of the top teams is the league and we just beat them twice! i will enjoy it if i feel liek it.

Posted by Chris from Bothell

10:51 PM, May 28, 2008

Jonathan - I agree. Argue all you want about Morrow's development as a starter being messed up, but right now he's a one-trick pony, and since it's a hell of a 100 mph trick, the 8th inning is exactly where he belongs. As long as the Ms are hanging on to the only thing motivating the players now (i.e. willful ignorance of chances of coming back from 12.5 back), then Morrow belongs in the 8th.

Adam - Don't worry, man, the buzzsaw is coming; the next 2 weeks from here are Tigers, Angels, Red Sox (on the road) and Toronto (on the road). And do I even have to mention that the wins only came b/c of way above average pitching? The Ms are still a team that has to hold the opponents to under 3 runs to have a shot. Nothing's changed. The Ms didn't win; Batista, Bedard, Morrow and Putz won. Or if you want to be really snarky, Boston lost.

Posted by Leftie Specialist

10:52 PM, May 28, 2008

Red Sox aren't hitting...blah blah blah....bad road team...blah blah blah...excuses from Bandwagon Nation.

What I saw were three masterful outings by our three starters. Take away 2 or 3 pitches from Felix's game and we win that one and have ourselves a sweep.

Give credit where credit is due. This team played a great series. It's funny to see people like that praying for the M's to lose and lose big, that is just terrible. Don't watch the games.

I'll be the guy in the beer garden saying 'I told you so' when we clinch a playoff berth, as I have predicted from day one.

Plenty of teams have come from deeper than our situation.

"There's something truly special about this team this year, I can feel it in my bones." GAME 1: DAVE NIEHAUS AKA YODA

Posted by Chris from Bothell

10:56 PM, May 28, 2008

Re: Sexson - do we see him back in the lineup to go against the lefties on Friday and Sunday, either @ 1st or DH? Or will he be held out until they hit the road at the end of next week, not wanting Richie to face the wrath of the Safeco faithful (all 40 of them in the park) when he strikes out at something low and outside for the billionth time?

Posted by Adam

10:56 PM, May 28, 2008

If you can't find some optimism in two straight victories over Boston and its lineup, you've completely lost perspective.

If you think two games by themselves should serve as the basis for anythign, you've completely lost touch with objectivity...

Don't sit there and tell me about the long term, that it's better if the Mariners go on a long losing streak and end up firing Mac and Bavasi by the end of the month.

In the long term it is better if the Mariners go on a long losing streak and end up firing Mac and Bavasi by the end of the month.

Quit thinking like Bavasi and McLaren.

The problem with the "fire-em-all" crowd is that none of them HAS a suitable replacement for either, or at least none they'd be satisfied with, even if the manager were Valentine or LaRussa, even if the GM were Antonetti or Ng.

Dumbest argument ever. Since when does any critique of Bavasi or McLaren need to also include a replacement?

Some "fans" are so crusted by their cynicism they can't enjoy two straight one-run wins over the Boston Red Sox.

Self righteous much?

Posted by tugboatcritic

11:04 PM, May 28, 2008

You should be so bold as to call another out on self-righteousness, Adam. Your knowledge of the game is based soley on what you can plagarize from another site. I have never seen a bullet point from you that wasn't previously harped on there. You have successfully found a site that allows you to do this behind your mask of original thinking. We can all go there to read their thoughts.

Posted by Adam

11:16 PM, May 28, 2008

SDF Mariner - Maybe you should come around here more often before assuming that this board hasn't had numerous discussions about what direction to take if Bavasi and McLaren are let go.


While you may find it disgusting that I root for the long-term health of this organization and hope for a regime that can actually put together a traditional contender, I personally take issue with the type of fan who says "YIPPEE!" at a two-game winning streak that brings the team's record to a mere 14 games under .500. One could make the argument that it is precisely those types of fans who enable our incompetent management to get away with mediocrity.

Get off your high horse, Mr. Mariner Fan. You may actually be a detriment to your beloved team.


But I'm just curious - do you have any opinion about the team's future?? Do you think they should make any moves? Or are you happy with them? Until you actually make a REAL LIFE analysis of this team, why should I listen to you?


ChicoV-

A win is a win and that is what they play the game to do. You have proved yourself to be no baseball fan, you just want to be right.

I'm not a fan because I want this regime gone so a competent one can lead the team to the playoffs? Really? Do you even follow this team? Do you know how averse it is to changing management? Have you heard the votes of confidence for Bavasi and McLaren? Can you point to one thing on the resume of either Bavasi or McLaren that would justify keeping them around?

Newsflash: I'm already right. Bavasi and McLaren are incompetent and need to go.

tugboat - Really don't have a clue as to what your point is. Do you honestly think I write on this blog in the hopes that Bavasi reads it and takes my advice? Or that Geoff prints off a copy and runs to McLaren's office waiving it in the air?

Or maybe, just maybe, I like to talk baseball and complain about my team when it sucks. Ever think that is perhaps a possibility? Ever think that the reason I call McLaren and Bavasi incompetent is because I took a look at their track record and made a reasoned conclusion?

I'm not sure why you are singling me out since there are plenty who voice their displeasure with the Mariner brass, but I'll speak for them all - WE ARE NOT GOING TO LET TWO VICTORIES CHANGE OUR OPINION OF THIS TEAM AND ITS MANAGEMENT.

Yippee. We won twice. Guess what? This is still a horrible team with horrible management which has shown absolutely ZERO ability to build a long-term winner. You'll excuse me if I don't join the chorus of lemming-enablers who jump for joy at a two-game win streak that doesn't change a darn thing.

Posted by Adam

11:19 PM, May 28, 2008

You should be so bold as to call another out on self-righteousness, Adam. Your knowledge of the game is based soley on what you can plagarize from another site. I have never seen a bullet point from you that wasn't previously harped on there. You have successfully found a site that allows you to do this behind your mask of original thinking. We can all go there to read their thoughts.


You want to call me a plagarist, tugboat? Go right ahead and prove it. Get to work.

Posted by tugboatcritic

11:31 PM, May 28, 2008

see the warts on the club, same as you. And I could probobly get closer to the heart than you. I don't expect you to dance when we win, but c'mon, man, that was 2 nice wins after 2 tough losses. Why not give the mantra a rest? You have been a two-track record since Dec. Bedard managed tonight to shove his ability and worth up... And your defense harping, you can't quantify it. Their are NO legitimate stats backing you up. Yet you continue to quote them to back your assertions. Eyes on field, knowledge of game, tells you what you need to know about pitching and defense.
No, I don't know you Adam, never will. I'm sure your a nice guy. You are relentless though, in your passing along of USSM brilliance. They make too many mistakes to make the claim that: and I quote " we are almost never wrong." That is so laughably false that the scores of cases where they were need not be mentioned.

Posted by tugboatcritic

11:35 PM, May 28, 2008

Don't challenge me on that, Adam. There is not a single issue that you have "educated" this blog on that wasn't spoken of there, first. And you know it. And you mostly pass it off as your idea. Plagarism, perhaps not. But you know what I mean.

Posted by Strasburg In 2009

11:36 PM, May 28, 2008

Unfortunately combined with the Padres loss today we have the Mariners once again tied for the worst record in the league. Betancourt proves he's not a team player for the second straight game by selfishly hitting a solo home run that would be the difference-maker in the game.

With Detroit in town Friday I can only hope the Mariners bring their "A" game once again like they did in Detroit.

Posted by Adam

11:43 PM, May 28, 2008

tugboat -

Not sure why you continue to talk about dfefense. I haven't brought it up in days.

But if you've got a problem with the methodology that Baseballprospectus.com uses (DER), or that Hardballtimes.coms uses (+/-, RZR), let's hear it. I'm sure if you went to those sites and tried to debate the legitimacy of those stats, you'd get blown out of the water. If you want to dispute them, fine. But they lay out the methodology for you, not hiding anything. What have you got to counter that?

Second, I'm not going to give the mantra a rest. Why should I? I will never count myself as one of the hordes of lemming-enablers who let this organization give us mediocrity year after year. I want a consistent contender, and there's no reason for me to keep quiet when I see the team headed to nowhere. (oh, and by the way - I'm not the only one who feels this way...)

Third, you want to link me with USSM, and call me a plagarist - get off your lazy butt and prove it. My arguments are my own. Do me and everyone else on this board who values vigorous, intelligent debate a favor and back up your claims that I plagarize from USSM. There are few people I respect less than someone who makes accusations without a shred of evidence to back them up.

Now put up or shut up.

Posted by Tacoma Rain

11:46 PM, May 28, 2008

Tugboat...
While Adam does not want or need me coming to his defense....I need to ask you you about your comments on the M's defense...do YOU actually think the M's defense is any good?
With my own eyes, and virtually ANY defensive metric you want toi look at...the M's defense sucks.

Posted by Adam

11:51 PM, May 28, 2008

Don't challenge me on that, Adam. There is not a single issue that you have "educated" this blog on that wasn't spoken of there, first. And you know it. And you mostly pass it off as your idea. Plagarism, perhaps not. But you know what I mean.


Ohhh, I get it. Because USSM once spoke on the importance of defense, anyone who argues about the importance of defense here is a plagarist.

By the same token, all those folks who loved the Bedard trade because "pitching wins championships" are plagarists, right? Because we've seen that idea before, right?

Shoot, if we follow your "logic," nobody here probably deserves to post anything, because there really aren't that many original ideas out there any more. "Pitching and defense," "veteran leadership," "clubhouse chemistry" - all are well-known and well-used arguments. I can't tell you how many times I've seen those arguments used on this board. We've got a real problem with plagarists, I tell ya...

I've issued a challenge to you, tugboat. Go provide evidence that I just pluck my arguments from USSM, or any Mariner blog. Keep in mind, that because I dare argue that defense is important, or that FIP is a better indicator of pitching performance than ERA, doesn't mean I'm a plagarist.

If that's your standard, then probably 99% of the world's population is nothing but frauds...

But go on and get to work. I don't want to keep you.

Posted by Willmore

11:52 PM, May 28, 2008

I was at the game and the one thing that struck me was the radical difference in the plate approach from both teams. This isn't news, we always knew that Boston is constructed of smart players who work the count and aren't afraid to walk. But today's game showed the difference.

Bedard and Wakefield were equally dominant today, albeit for different reasons - Bedard is good and Wakefield is pitching against the M's. Yet Wakefield averaged something like 10 pitches an inning and was under 60 pitches after 5 innings, despite allowing some hits and being down a run. Bedard was dominant, his fastball might have been spotty at times, but he consistently got strikes and strikeouts, but despite his dominance, players regularly worked the count to 2 balls and several walked. Bedard was averaging 20 pitches an inning and lasted only until the 7th because of it.

Now it is common knowledge that strikeout pitchers throw more pitches etc. etc. However Wakefield struck out just as many batters, and it's not because he was so much better. It was because the Mariners hitters are so swing-happy that they fail to realize that working the count against a knuckleballer is essential to success. You can't hit knuckleballs consistently, but you can expect that one of those knuckleballs will be flat, or better yet Wakefield throws a fastball. But you'll never see a flat knuckleball or a fastball if you strike out in 3 or 4 pitches.


I want better players on this team.

I want better coaching staff on this team.

I want better front office personnel on this team.

I want better ownership for this team.

Is that too much to ask?

Posted by scottM

12:00 AM, May 29, 2008

Adam, you brought on this abuse tonight. You've shown great restraint in the past not to gloat that this team isn't the playoff contender its own management proclaimed it to be after the Bedard trade. Neither are the M's as "horrible" as you proclaimed tonight in such ill-timed fashion on the heels of a series win over the World Champions. The '08 Mariners certainly have the skill set to win 80 to 94 games, although they will have to show serious resolve just to get to .500 this season. Whether they have the will or consist focused play to do so, I don't know. They've grossly underperformed thus far this season. I also continue to believe that shoring up the corner outfield spots and replacing Sexson and Vidro with better power performers will put this team in the hunt in 2009. Consequently, I don't think it matters at this juncture whether Bavasi and McLaren are fired on June 1 or October 1, 2008. Either scenario will allow for off-season transactions to bolster the team. For this reason, why not enjoy a wonderful pitching matchup like we saw tonight? Personally, I really dig the way Bedard pitches when he's on. Tonight was a baseball purists' treat.

Besides, it wouldn't be the end of the world if YOUR worst case scenario occurs: The M's pull off a legendary turn-round, make the payoffs, win the WS. As a result, Bavasi is named GM of the Year, the Mariners give him an extension for life, and the Bedard trade is officially proclaimed to be a stroke of genius.

Posted by tugboatcritic

12:03 AM, May 29, 2008

Tacoma, no no, I don't think that the defense is doing us any favors. My beef is the so called metrics used to describe it. Many locals (Adam) end up with an un-warranted emphasis based on either runs or wins valuation associated with it. That simply isn't accurate. The defensive mistake (for lack of a better term) should be taken in the context of the game that it happens in. Applying a run value to it a) asserts a subjective value where one may or may not exist, and b) totals such values as a cost of wins during the year. Ibanez may make many plays that hurt his value based on these subjective standards, but the realistic run or win cost is purely hypothetical and not to be referred to as proof in an argument. That said, he is not a good LF. If we could realistically swap him out and move him to DH, I would be all for it.

Adam, you have much the same response when anyone questions the validity of your expertise. Call me lazy, whatever. I won't go digging through their archives to find a post that you capitalized on. You have 2 speeds when it comes to M's debates and I for one, am getting tired of reading it. Don't like it? Go beat up your pillow.

Posted by tugboatcritic

12:11 AM, May 29, 2008

Adam, are you by chance an attorney? The way you generalize what you specifically have stated as common knowledge is uncanny. I guess that your right, the next time that simultaneous (or close, but whose counting?) genius takes place I'll look to the stars and wonder why I'm not part of the collective unconscious.

Posted by cesame

12:12 AM, May 29, 2008

"I'll be the guy in the beer garden saying 'I told you so' when we clinch a playoff berth, as I have predicted from day one."

Oh stop, you're killing me now.

The M's pray on you guys. Make a couple roster moves, throw up "Mojo is Risin'" and you guys eat it up.

And after being 16 GAMES UNDER .500, the M's win two in a row and all of the sudden they're in contention again...Sorry, it doesn't work like that.

Vidro is the DH
Cairo is playing 1B

Championship here we come.

Posted by Bob

12:25 AM, May 29, 2008

Two very good wins. It doesn't always have to be put in the context of the season. The M's took the series from a very good team. Oakland has the best ERA in the majors, 0.3 RPG better than any NL team. Boston ran into great pitching two series in a row.

The Ms are not a bad team, even if their record is horrible. Their performance has been way below their capability. They have yet to click as a team, but I'm hoping they do, even if they fall short of the pre-season hype.

There is no rule that says a team can't turn around a season this late, even if the odds and history are against it. If the pitching stays solid and more than a couple hitters start hitting at the same time....who knows?

Make a run and have some fun. If they tank, they tank, but enjoy the good ones when they come.

Posted by Leftie Specialist

12:57 AM, May 29, 2008

Vidro is a career .300 hitter. Enough said. I'm tired of hearing how terrible he is. I'll take a .300 hitter any day of the week.

Cairo plays great defense and is getting on base. Also, having a veteran guy like cairo showing up some of the high-salary guys could spark something.

If a series win doesn't over one of the best teams in baseball doesn't shake up the clubhouse to start putting some wins together, then nothing will.

Why not believe?

These guys have way better career numbers then what's being showed. All they need is a little confidence and beating a great ballclub in tight games is a great way to get confidence

As a player, a big series win definately gives you a little extra pep in your step for the upcoming series', I know from experience.

REFUSE TO LOSE

Posted by C.J.

1:25 AM, May 29, 2008

Wow-The way cairo played defense on that bunt was jaw dropping.Just like he did before.Forget Sexons meaningless homers against tired bullpens and 3-4-5 starters and Leave in Cairo.Sexson sucks-always has,alway`s will.

Posted by Gerald

1:53 AM, May 29, 2008


What the problem is (could I be more patronizing?), is that this organization lacks a fiery clubhouse leader. A lack of accountability and lackadaisical attitudes have festered within the front office too long and created a losing culture. Ichi- I mean Howard Lincoln only cares about collecting his 2 million fans, Chuck Armstrong gives all the wrong signs and the fans don't want him to catch them laughing at his stupidity, that beanpole Bill Bavasi aimlessly flails about trying make a blockbuster and always strikes out.

Where's the accountability? They don't answer questions after every game their team loses. Someone needs to kick these guys in the butt and make them be accountable to all the guys (and gals) in that front office, or they need to hit the road (please!).

Take that, Seamheads. Chemistry does matter.

Posted by Matt W

2:39 AM, May 29, 2008

No matter how you evaluate a team whether by metrics or more traditional methods, the current Mariners managment is undeniably a failure. They have had the money, they have had the time, they have had the opportunity and they have failed consistently. Their flawed thinking led the team to seriously compromise its future this winter. The danger now is that they remain in place and cause further damage the organisation going forward. You need look no further than the decision to leave Morrow in the bullpen in the ludicrous belief that this season is not done to see that this is danger is very real and the regime must change sooner rather than later. The Mariners are not as bad a team as they have been playing to date and I am certain they will improve. Enjoy the wins when they come, but seriously, do not lose sight of the big picture.

Posted by earlybird

4:23 AM, May 29, 2008

Geoff, is there audio of Bedard's post-game comments? Can you post, please? Thanks!

Posted by YakimaMarinersFan

4:40 AM, May 29, 2008

Let's not forget about 1995, we were 13 games back in August and won the division. It is only May!

Posted by Joof

4:50 AM, May 29, 2008

Yeah, but check who the Angel's GM was in 1995. He may be familiar to you. One Bill Bavasi. When he traded for Erik Bedard, he cited a 1995 trade deadline trade to support his trade. Obviously, that worked out well for him then.

Posted by Matt W

5:09 AM, May 29, 2008

Leftie Specialist - "Cairo plays great defense and is getting on base."

I assume "getting on base" refers to when he is fielding at first?

Posted by Mr. X

6:05 AM, May 29, 2008

Well, that's two nights in a row that Ichiro has been able to play since going through a wall for his team for the first time in his career. Still no ill effects from what I can tell. Now every time he doesn't do it, what will his excuse be? He can't use the old one anymore. I'm looking forward to a "brand new" Ichiro patrolling centerfield, and making that extra effort like Junior used to always do.

Adam, I'm not sure why you're surprised about the plagiarism charges. It's not like you haven't been caught before. I believe that someone else caught you plagiarizing Churchgirl's website awhile back. Something about Ibanez and owning a glove, I believe, and sources were cited in that instance if I remember correctly. If you want to be the "Cliffs Notes" source for those two websites, I don't have a problem with it. I wouldn't notice, because there's not enough time in the day for me as it is, so I appreciate your efforts.

Posted by Spike Owen

6:13 AM, May 29, 2008

Ha ha! Good one Matt

Posted by InExile

6:25 AM, May 29, 2008

August 1st, 1995 -
LAA - 55-33
SEA - 43-45

We were playing almost .500 ball, and the Angels were well above us at ~.625.

Much like the Yankee/Red Sox analogy before, in order for us to win, we not only have to pull ourselves out of 14+ games under, we also have to have LAA & OAK drop out of a completely sustainable .577 & .549 pace. OAK, I can see; LAA, not so much.

Posted by Seth Cotner

6:29 AM, May 29, 2008

Lets start the fireworks...

Did anyone realize we only scored 1 run? Our offense looked anemic last night against Wakefield.

I would hope we could win a game when its Bedard vs Wakefield at home.

Posted by InExile

6:30 AM, May 29, 2008

X-

I'd rather have a healthy Ichiro all season and miss one or two balls, then have him smash into stuff and become an injury risk. Dedication to the team means more than catching one ball, it means being there the whole season to catch a lot of balls.

Also, isn't there a quote around somewhere where Ichi says something like 'I don't need to dive for most balls, but today I dove for one that I knew I could reach otherwise, and everyone loved it.'?

Posted by Mr. X

6:57 AM, May 29, 2008

Except it's not just one or two balls. If that were the case, I'd agree with you. There's been 2 balls just in the last week, and he got to one of them. In the past, he would have just let that one drop. He knows that people are getting tired of his act. (teammates included, I'd bet)

Go ahead and name all of the Mariners centerfielders who have had "season ending" injuries due to fielding their position correctly. I can think of two, and one was more of a freak accident than anything. I don't believe that Ichiro is any more fragile (physically) than anyone else playing the position. Unless you count thin skin.

Posted by Mr. X

7:02 AM, May 29, 2008

"I'd rather have a healthy Ichiro all season and miss one or two balls, then have him smash into stuff and become an injury risk."

That's the old excuse that is no longer valid, almost word for word. Welcome to real baseball, Ichiro. Until Ichiro injures himself by making a spectacular defensive play, I'm going to assume that he won't injure himself. It's all a part of being a professional athlete, and a man, for that matter.

Posted by InExile

7:06 AM, May 29, 2008

Also, to the point - We got not one walk against a Knuckler in 8 innings. From a pitcher that puts up 4 BB/9 (League Average was ~3.2 last year, and ~3.45 this year), and 7 out of his 11 starts had 3 walks or more.

The most patient hitter on our 25 man right now is Beltre, at 12% BB. Clement has a 15.5% Career (MILB + MLB) BB, and his MLB-only stats are even higher. Vidro, on the other hand, sports a manly 7.5% BB.

Tell me why again we don't have Clement up? Oh yeah, that's right, we give our rookies 14 games, and even though he hits better than 1/3 of our normal lineup in that span while having to get used to MLB pitching, he obviously needs to get more seasoning (.372/.500/.735 in AAA, btw).

Also, a big WTF at McLaren. You don't def. sub Ibanez in the 9th, when we have Reed on the bench with the 2nd best outfield defense on the team?

Posted by faithful

7:07 AM, May 29, 2008

Bedard is a very good pitcher but what happened last night reinforces the recognition that this team is not going to win. One run against Wakefield? Still no offense. But putting Sexson back in the lineup will only make it worse!!

Posted by InExile

7:18 AM, May 29, 2008

X - Don't be dense. Crippling injuries happen more often to OFers than most other positions. Edmonds is the first to spring to mind, but there are quite a few more. Just because it hasn't happened here with frequency, doesn't make it any less likely if people like you egg him on to take more risks.

If Bedard or Felix went out there thinking something was wrong with their elbow, knowing the next curve he throws could blow it out, and knows one more curve will win that game, which do they choose? I know I'd rather take a loss. If Ichi is looking at that wall coming toward him, and thinks that diving headfirst into it will probably injure him, but win the game, I'll rather him take the loss. No win is worth catastrophic injury. None.

It takes a big man to insult someone's manhood, I have to say.

Also, I don't see you out here criticizing Raul. Oh, yeah, that's right. If someone dives at every ball, at least they're being a man, even if they only get a couple of them. I bet you think Jeter is a great defensive shortstop.

Posted by InExile

7:31 AM, May 29, 2008

And BTW - Ichiro's defense is still considered one of the best in the league (by some stats and most coaches), even w/o the dives and wall crashes.

Maybe I'd rather have that for whole seasons at a stretch.

Not to mention, players get worse as they get older, and those that get injured more often usually get worse faster (see Griffey Jr., Kenneth, and Edmonds, James). If Ichi stays healthy, he's worth more of his extended contract, because he will be healthier down the road.

But seriously, why do you hate Ichiro so much? Ever since you've started posting, you've always been down on one of the best players in the ML.

Posted by Insider

7:52 AM, May 29, 2008

Disastrous win for the M's.

"The Incompetents, desperately seeking justification, will think they are on to something and the necessary moves for the team will be delayed even longer.


If you love the M's, root for them to lose and lose big."

Posted by Insider

7:53 AM, May 29, 2008

can't say I agree with that adam

Posted by InExile

8:02 AM, May 29, 2008

What I'm pretty sure he's saying, in more palatable terms, is that this season is done, and we should really focus on next year and beyond.

The quickest way to achieve that end is a long losing run, which would force the ownership's hand, and get us a better management that hopefully understand baseball in its current state, as opposed to 40 years ago.

I don't think we're making it to the playoffs this year, and think that it wouldn't be a bad thing to be blown off the face of the earth and be able to start fresh, but I'll still take wins where I can get them, especially against NYY/BOS/LAA. It doesn't make Adam less of a fan to say what he does (as some have said, not you necessarily), just one with a longer view than most.

Posted by byebyeSexson

8:06 AM, May 29, 2008

Step one, bench Richie. Step two, win two. Step three, remove Richie, THE BIG K, from the team. Step four, make other moves many have suggested, rebuild, and have a competitive team in two or three years.

byebye

Posted by byebyeSexson

8:14 AM, May 29, 2008

Reed: Why did they bring him up? To fill a roster spot? To pinch hit (probably poor decision) late? To provide a benchmate for Willy? To find his stroke with regular play?

He needs to play and get AB's daily for weeks!

byebye

Posted by Bums

8:20 AM, May 29, 2008

I have to agree with what Adam is saying, as crude as he may sound.

The only way ownership/management will become committed to putting together a winner instead of a team that is "competitive" is by the fans sending a clear message stating they will not be content with being just "competitive". This message is sent by not going to games.

Problem is that it seems that many Seattle fans are content with being "competitive" at best. So, with more wins like the previous two, people will continue to show up and necessary changes will not be made and eventually Sexson will make it back on the field.

Posted by Husky Fan In New York

8:23 AM, May 29, 2008

Do we have any future 1Bmen at the AAA level who we could call up (Clement hopefully will still be a catcher)? Sexon and Cairo pretty much suck.

Posted by Adam

8:29 AM, May 29, 2008

ScottM - How am I gloating? I haven't once made any sort of "I told you so" statement - because if you recall correctly, I said the Mariners were the favorites to win the division after Lackey and Escobar went down. I've already said I didn't think the team would be this bad. Nothing I said in this thread changes that. This is a horrible team with incompetent decision makers. That's not an outrageous claim.

And I disagree with with you when you say this team has the skill set to win 80-94 games. Perhaps 80, but this is nowhere near a 90-win team. They haven't underachieved this year - they are just plain bad.

tugboat - if you aren't willing to back up your accusations, keep them to yourself.

X - Your memory fails you again. I didn't plagarize anything from Churchill's site. I made my own comment about Ibanez's defense, and then cited to a scout's report that Churchill had cited on his website. That's what you do to avoid plagarism - you cite to the source.

Posted by ken

8:29 AM, May 29, 2008

Big K's future with the team should pretty much be decided this weekend - if he is not in the lineup on Friday vs. a L/H, it is a good indication that a DFA is in the cards - a good move in my mind. Cairo is not a long-term answer at first base however I like the way he plays defense and he's a smart player who can play small ball - a poor man's Luis Sojo. Every team needs at least one player like that. Sexson's approach at the plate is everything that is wrong with the M's this year - all or nothing.

Posted by Adam

8:37 AM, May 29, 2008

I will gladly endure a 50-win season if it means getting management in place that is committed to, and is capable of winning. GLADLY.

That's why I'm rooting against the Mariners right now. The chances of them pulling off a miracle comeback are slim to none, but that's not the point. I cringe at the thought that the team plays .500 or better for the rest of the season and that is enough to save Bavasi and McLaren (not to mention Lincoln/Armstrong).

Perhaps I'm being paranoid, but the mere thought of anything going right for Bavasi or McLaren (such as Vidro actually getting his OPS over .700, or Silva being more than the league-average pitcher that he is) scares the crap out of me, because I believe ownership is just fine with the status quo.

Of course if the team won almost 70% of its games through the end of the year and won the WS, I'd be happy. But we know that isn't going to happen. To ensure the team changes direction, things have to get even worse, and stay that way.

Call me crazy, but I've had enough of this regime.

Posted by Scanman

8:49 AM, May 29, 2008

I have to agree with Adam , If we donít do bad now, and start winning a couple of games here and there, Management will continue on their merry way. And all of you will follow blindly along. Have you all forgotten a little thing like something called a World Series? You donít get there playing feel good baseball.

Posted by InExile

8:49 AM, May 29, 2008

Husky - Not really. We could move Clement over and get a little over league average production for him from 1B (since Kenjis not going anywhere). Either that or its LaHair (bad choice) or someone off the FA pool. There are always a few decent CO/1B types that will hit league average for a 1B after the seasons are over. Hinske was one last year, they seem to pop up like corner outfielders. (Wilkerson wasn't a dumb move, BTW, it just turned out badly)

Posted by scrapiron

9:04 AM, May 29, 2008

The Mariners say they lack a leader in the clubhouse, and cite Jose Guillen as the leader last year. Did anyone see what Guillen said after last night's Royals loss? Man, we need that kind of spark here.
-----------------------------------------------------------------
"Too many babies here," Guillen said - eliminating a few choice words that would make George Carlin blush. "They don't know how to play the game and win the game right, the way it's supposed to be played. And that's the problem here. Now I know why this organization's been losing for a while. Now I know."

Guillen also was incensed that anyone might blame the loss on manager Trey Hillman, whose late-game decisions included leaving Joel Peralta in to face Morneau in the 10th after he had allowed Craig Monroe's pinch three-run homer in the ninth that helped bring Minnesota back from an 8-3 deficit.

"He cares more than anyone here about winning," said Guillen, declining to name the players who he thinks aren't doing enough. "That guy cares. Every single day. It's killing him."
-The Associated Press

Posted by Scanman

9:10 AM, May 29, 2008

NEW MANINER MANTRA
If you donít hate to loose,
Then how can you have a passion to win.

Posted by Mike

9:19 AM, May 29, 2008

"The defensive mistake (for lack of a better term) should be taken in the context of the game that it happens in. Applying a run value to it a) asserts a subjective value where one may or may not exist, and b) totals such values as a cost of wins during the year. Ibanez may make many plays that hurt his value based on these subjective standards, but the realistic run or win cost is purely hypothetical and not to be referred to as proof in an argument."

Do you do this when you look at offensive stats like batting average, home runs, OBP or slugging %? Of course not.

Posted by MJ

9:23 AM, May 29, 2008

Exile-

Get off Ichi's jock. He's OVERRATED. Has been from day 1. ('01 MVP should have gone to Boonie.) One of the biggest problems with this team is that they are trying to build a team around a singles hitter who gets about 50 infield hits per year that inflate his avg. He's not as good an OF as you think, takes bad lines to balls, and won't lay out to save his mother's life. Not to mention he has zero leadership ability. They're paying this guy 18M a year? I think he's a fine leadoff hitter and a solid fielder (should probably be in left or right though), but he's not a guy to build a team around. Can you imagine Houston paying Michael Bourn ridiculous amounts of money and making him the face of the franchise? Can you imagine any other team doing that with a singles hitter that can steal a bunch of bases, but can't hit for power? (BP doesn't count, last I checked)

Posted by Brett in Bonney Lake

9:25 AM, May 29, 2008

God damn, I am really getting sick of the crappy attitudes in here from the Mariners "fans". They took a series from the reigning champs, that is worthy of getting excited about. Bavasi and McLaren aren't going anywhere this season, and this team has talent. It is going to be a long four months if all you guys do is bitch about everything.

I am not sure what is worse, the bandwagon Mariners fans, or the bandwagon Red Sox fans.

Posted by scrapiron

9:29 AM, May 29, 2008

It looks like the Mariners, as well as the Mets, are pursuing Scott Hatteberg. Here is the excerpt from Geoff Baker's story:

"Richie Sexson was on the bench for a second straight night Wednesday amid rumors the club is actively pursuing longtime Yakima resident Scott Hatteberg, released by the Cincinnati Reds on Tuesday. Sexson has posted just a .197 on-base percentage so far in May."
-Geoff Baker

Posted by Mike

9:30 AM, May 29, 2008

"Beane: Yeah and I just donít like that up and down yo-yo. Weíve been pretty good about avoiding that over the last 10 years. Itís not that it hasnít happened. Iím not convinced that itís a good idea. Weíre just not convinced thatís the best option at this point. Daricís done a good job defensively. Heís played good defense and I think I saw somewhere that one of the defensive fielding bibles had him as the best defensive fielding first baseman in the league.

Blez: Someone on AN wrote a post about that.

Beane: Yeah and some of the numbers that we use in-house are really good too. We think Daric is going to be a great major league hitter and we just have to exercise patience. If a time comes that we feel that a young player needs to go down to get some more experience, we will. But in Daricís case part of becoming a good major league player is being allowed to go through some struggles."

This from the Billy Beane interview. 2 things here. First, for those of you who don't think you can quantify defense, Beane refers not only to other systems but the A's own in-house metric. Betcha' Bavasi never says anything like that. Unlike Bavasi, when Beane claims his team is good defensively he can back it up.

Second point is note the difference in Beane's philosophy with young hitters versus giving Jeff Clement 15 games.

Perhaps now Mr X will accuse me of plagiarism for citing Athletics Nation.

Posted by Bums

9:36 AM, May 29, 2008

Hard to commit fully to a team that does not seem to care about winning it all.

How many championships have the Mariners won?

When was the last time the Mariners have really looked like a winner?

If the answers are acceptable, have fun giving your money to the owners and enjoy hoping (not expecting) your team will win.

Posted by InExile

10:24 AM, May 29, 2008

I love how people complain that Ichiro and Beltre are "overrated" because they don't think they are worth their contracts, yet ignore everything that says they are worth every penny, and are better players than almost any in that position. I won't go over it in detail, because it's been done before, and it's a waste of time, so here's a summary.

Ichiro - will once again go to the ASG in CF, deservedly. He is the quintessential leadoff guy in the ML. Period. No, he doesn't get power. That's what the DH (ahem) and Corner players are supposed to do. He gets SBs (league leader) and singles, and runs down flies in a great quantity. Try finding that on a veteran player in the FA market, and then tell me how much it would cost.

Beltre - If you look at the numbers, Beltre should be at the ASG starting @ 3rd, with ARods injury time taken into consideration. Hits for power (as much as the Safe allows), most patient hitter on the team (w/Clement in AAA), good speed, upper crust of the fielding 3Bs. Worth every penny, and once again, find someone with that skillset and see how much you would sign them for FA.

In other words, take a look at what players bring to the team instead of trying to get them to fit extra classifications you want them in. No, Ichiro isn't a leader. Neither is Bedard. We didn't get either one for that role.

And yes, Ichiro is above average in CF. That's tough to get with a bat of any stripe. Hell, we could have had Corey Patterson if we wanted a pure defensive CF.

Posted by InExile

10:30 AM, May 29, 2008

Oh, and the "building the team around" stuff is his fault? He's a leadoff hitter. Of course you can't build a team out of 9 leadoff hitters. That's all management. You can't possibly be putting that on his shoulders.

Some reason why I never hated Vidro. The management knew what he was coming in. When we needed a DH to power in the rest of our slap-happy singles hitters, they instead got another one. It's not like the Sexson thing, where we paid for power and he dropped off a cliff.

C'mon dude, really.

Posted by MJ

10:54 AM, May 29, 2008

Exile-

You completely missed the point, but you should continue to drink the IchiAid. It's funny really. Yeah, he'll be a starter in the All Star Game. Deservedly so? I think not. More like a million online votes from Japan. No big deal though.

I do not place blame on him for what he is or what fans like you and the media make him out to be. I don't think it's his fault the FO has built this team around him.

I'm just tired of guys like you building him up to be this amazing player that he quite frankly, is not. He's a fast guy that makes up for a lot of his inadequacies with his speed. Oh, and he has really great arm.

Posted by MJ

11:00 AM, May 29, 2008

By the way. I have nothing against Beltre. He plays a great 3B with a solid bat, I love Adrian Beltre. The difference between the two is the perception that Ichiro is some sort of superstar, when really, he's not that.

Posted by InExile

11:33 AM, May 29, 2008

Speed is part of what he brings to the table. You could say that speed, or lack of, makes or breaks any player. If Raul had Ichi speed, or even Beltre speed, he would not be nearly the abomination he is in LF.

Yes, he is an amazing player, partly because of his speed. If he didn't have that speed, he wouldn't be as good of a player, and people wouldn't like him as much as they do.

You say he's an average player w/o his speed, and I mostly agree with you. We would all be singing Raul's praises this year and last if he was hitting like he is, and had speed to make him a defensive asset (or even neutral) instead of a liability.

The Beltre thing wasn't pointed at you really, more the other people here that seem to ignore reality. But while we're on the subject, if Adrian didn't have the speed he has, to where he loses a step on the ball; all of a sudden he isn't the GG 3B he has been, and loses some of his doubles. Just sayin.

Posted by SnohoCo

6:04 PM, May 29, 2008

Adam, I see where you're coming from wanting the Ms to "under-perform" - with the hopes that such a lack of effort by the team, reflected onto Mac's style (or lack thereof), and Bavasi's continuing mismanagement will see them out the door. Sadly, this is not going to happen - clearly Armstrong, Bavasi and McLaren are circling the wagons and covering their respective rear ends. They've even said so in the press. Change is simply not going to happen.

As I've said in other posts (to avoid any hint of plagiarism), Lincoln is not a baseball guy - he's a businessman. He's an owner's rep. Howard is a nice guy, I like him (yes I've met and spoken with him at social functions.) A real shake up will have to involve the firing of Armstrong, Bavasi and McLaren all at the same time, or within a close timeframe. That's not going to happen during the season, and slim chance it will happen during the off season - a more "palatable" scenario would be for one or more of that group to leave/retire voluntarily, then the one or two remaining could be fired and a new management team could be installed.

Trying to hit the Ms in the pocketbook won't work - again, as I've said in other postings, no one buys a professional team with an eye toward making money while they own it - pro sports franchises are investments that pay off handsomely when they are sold - and it doesn't matter if the team is playing well when it is sold (reference Seattle Sonics.) Like owning a racehorse, a pro sports team is a nifty tax shelter.

So Adam, I do not disagree with you one bit, but the fact is there is no impetus for the team to make the kinds of changes you would hope for. 't ain't gonna happen.

Oh, yes, I agree - two wins in a row, even over the Red Sox, does NOT a season make.

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