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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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June 13, 2008 11:56 AM

Putz on DL

Posted by Geoff Baker

The Mariners just placed J.J. Putz on the 15-day disabled list, retroactive to two days ago. That means he'll be out until 13 days from now at a minimum. Roy Corcoran has been recalled from Class AAA Tacoma and will be in uniform tonight.

No, they weren't going to use this move to call up Jeff Clement. The team is still worried about wins and losses for this year. At least, avoiding 100 losses. This move is meant to solidify a bullpen that's down one late-inning reliever, since it's still not clear how long Miguel Batista will be in the bullpen, or whether R.A. Dickey stays in the rotation beyond this one start tonight.

As I wrote on the blog this week, and in the paper today, the Jeff Pentland firing bought this team some time until the next "sacrifice'' will have to be made in the name of appeasing irate fans about a season gone bad. I think the next jettisoning of someone will be a player, rather than a coach, manager or GM. I think that when that move happens is when you'll see Clement. Could be next week, or next month. Depends on how long it takes the next losing streak to come about.

If you're bored, here's our latest video, taken in Toronto. You'll see a brief taxi ride through the streets downtown, where you'll see a Toronto streetcar pass by. They still use them all over the downtown. We'll also show you the CN Tower, which, at more than 1,500 feet high, is still the world's largest freestanding structure. Not a building. A freestanding structure. It's a communications tower. There is a restaurant up near the top, as well as observation areas for tourists. The tour of the Rogers Centre (formerly the SkyDome) itself will be a little shorter. It was a great place in 1989 when it opened, but was outdated in a couple of years. Not too many interesting features beyond the retractable roof and the hotel in behind the outfield fence (famous for strippers and other people performing lewd acts in front of millions over the years). After that, I'll head downstairs post-game to the television studios where they do the Off The Record show and you'll see footage of John Rocker and others, with myself and the host, backstage before that show we taped the other day. Then, you'll see the intro to the show as it's being filmed. Enjoy.

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Posted by mistadoc

12:06 PM, Jun 13, 2008

Man, why not clement? Do we really need bullpen help in a lost season? Why not a glimpse of youth, and the future?

Posted by Ziasudra

12:09 PM, Jun 13, 2008

Corcoran? was this a seniority thing? he has an ERA of 6?
I guess we're still in the entitlement mode of running the M's. . . .

Posted by Finis Mitchell

12:10 PM, Jun 13, 2008

Yeah, I agree....
Why not some youth from Tacoma
Rob Johnson maybe??
They tried Clement, he was horrible.
Rob is a far better defensive catcher and we have seen serious defensive laps behind the plate this season.

Posted by T Dubb

12:13 PM, Jun 13, 2008

Finis - you're talking about Burke right? I know you are not talking about our regular starting catcher who just signed a sweet contract extension 'cuz bad players don't get sweet contract extensions right?

Posted by cesame

12:14 PM, Jun 13, 2008

Why Clement isn't coming with him, I don't know. There's absolutely no reason for Clement to play one more game in AAA this season. Also no reason why Wlad shouldn't be starting every game.

There was also absolutely no reason to sign Johjima to a 3year extension, but that didn't stop the Mariners.

Freaking joke. The laughing stock of baseball. I hope the M's are proud.

Posted by Ted

12:21 PM, Jun 13, 2008


Actually, I'm a bit relieved. Putz has been pretty shaky, and his appearances have been nail biters.

Better to figure out what's wrong. Better for him, better for trying to get some wins. I'm a big fan of Putz, but this year I feel like I've been watching a different guy who happens to be wearing JJ's number.

"Get well soon!"

Posted by Ted

12:24 PM, Jun 13, 2008


I know this is off topic... but I just want to say that for those who haven't yet read Larry Stone's Bedard piece in the paper today, it's totally worth the read.

Ted

Posted by Bill

12:24 PM, Jun 13, 2008

Why have they not called up Clement? DIdn't Bavasi say Clement would be up here sooner rather than later?


Why are they not playing Wlad (essentially they are choosing to play Vidro over Wlad, when they could have Reed in LF, Wlad in RF, and Raul at DH)?


Does any of this make sense?

Posted by Ziasudra

12:27 PM, Jun 13, 2008

To The End of Mitchell (sorry, couldn't resist temptation) - I've never seen Johnson catch, so I have no first hand knowledge. He no doubt is superior to Joh, who I rate as the worst defensive catcher I've seen, and that includes Mike Piazza. Clement looked decent while here. Hansen says he's ready for the bigs - so, do you know more than Hansen?
PS - I was a catcher when I played. . . .

Posted by Navy Chief, Navy Pride

12:35 PM, Jun 13, 2008

In defense of Roy, He did pitch very well when he was up here prior. Now that doesn't mean that I don't wish to see Clement up here. I still want to know why WFB is on our roster. He isn't that valuable right now, if he ever really was.

Posted by scrapiron

12:55 PM, Jun 13, 2008

Give me something to believe in
"avoiding 100 losses"? That's not going to get me excited about going to the ballpark. There are many parts on the roster that are here to help the team compete with the Angels in '08. That battle is over. It's time to jettison all those parts and get prepared for '09.

Sexson, Vidro, Burke, Cairo are old 2008 parts. Replace them with Reed, Balentien, Clement and Diaz. See if they can make progress in '08 and make you believe that they can be key contributors in 2009. Give me something to believe in!

It's a shame about Putz, but it gives us two weeks to see if Morrow can be the closer for 2009. If he does well the next couple of weeks, trade Putz this year too.

Posted by Dawgpack

1:02 PM, Jun 13, 2008

Don't worry M's fans. A closer is only required when you have a lead going into the 9th and we all know that doesn't happen much with this team.

Posted by Top pick in 09 draft

1:05 PM, Jun 13, 2008

Regarding Scrapiron's assessment on steps towards 2009, only difference I have is that Cairo should be kept in place of Bloomquist. Cairo offers so much more in versatility and baseball acumen over South Kitsap Willie plus Cairo can help mentor the young Latino infielders we have now on the roster and coming up in the system -esp. Truinfel. Every team could use a 25th man like Cairo on their roster while Bloomquist would be a AAA journeyman in most organizations.

Posted by cesame

1:09 PM, Jun 13, 2008

"As I wrote on the blog this week, and in the paper today, the Jeff Pentland firing bought this team some time until the next "sacrifice'' will have to be made in the name of appeasing irate fans about a season gone bad."


Well this fan thinks no time exists, and that the time to fire people is right now. No time has been bought in my eyes. The time has come and gone years ago.

The reason Clement isn't up is because the M's think vets give them a better chance to win, which is 100% wrong. And not only is it wrong, it's counter-productive to Clement getting to know the league. Same with Wlad. It's terrible thinking.

This organization does not know what they are doing. Period.

That's why Clement is still down in AAA
That's why Wlad isn't playing everyday.
That's why Vidro is the DH
That's why Johjima was extended
That's why Morrow isn't being stretched out

I'm not going to go on the other 100 terrible decisions by the M's, but you get the idea.

Posted by cesame

1:14 PM, Jun 13, 2008

Why the firing did absolutely nothing for me"

Per Rotoworld

"The Mariners have the game's worst record despite a top-10 payroll, and it's obviously Pentland's fault. He'll know better next time not to overpay for Richie Sexson, Carlos Silva, Miguel Batista and Jarrod Washburn. Also, he never should have traded for Jose Vidro and put together a ridiculous bench that included Miguel Cairo and Willie Bloomquist. And that's glossing over his biggest mistake of all: he saw two lesbians kissing at Safeco Field and did absolutely nothing to stop them. Lee Elia, his replacement, is very capable of putting the fans in their place when he needs to."


The firing was a joke.

Posted by Faceplant

1:23 PM, Jun 13, 2008

"No, they weren't going to use this move to call up Jeff Clement. The team is still worried about wins and losses for this year. At least, avoiding 100 losses."

Because clearly the best way to avoid losing is to leave one of your five best hitters in AAA.

Nice.

Posted by Chris from Bothell

1:33 PM, Jun 13, 2008

I'd feel a lot better about this if Clement was getting some practice at 1b down in Tacoma.

How much do you want to bet the next player to go will not be Sexson?

Posted by cesame

1:39 PM, Jun 13, 2008

I doubt Clement even owns a 1B glove. He's a catcher through and through. The M's blocking him is absolutely ridiculous, with an inferior player no less.

And save "Clement isn't proven yet and he struggled mightily when called up" talk. I think USSM did a study that showed Chase Utley's OPS was pretty much the same as Clement's over the same what...2 week period? Giving one of your best hitters in the organization only 2 weeks to make it or break it is retarded. Give Sexson/Vidro all the time in the world though, they deserve it I guess(puke).

I've said too much about this topic today. It's sunny and it's time to go outside.

Posted by Top pick in 09 draft

1:44 PM, Jun 13, 2008

My hope is that when Clement is recalled, he'll be the regular catcher and they move Johjima to play 1B. Doesn't make sense to keep him at catcher when no pitchers want to pitch to the guy - he calls a poor game and doesn't protect his pitchers well with the umpires. That will be a way for the M's decision-makers to save face with ownership who realistically probably mandated Johjima be extended. This organization is all about saving face rather than putting the best team on the field hence Sexson is still with the team and Horacio Ramirez and Weaver were allowed to remain on last year's team for the entire season because Armstrong & Bavasi esp. are afraid to admit making a mistake.

Posted by T Dubb

1:45 PM, Jun 13, 2008

Anyone see this from The Onion http://www.theonion.com/content/news_briefs/mariners_fire_whiffing (thanks to LongLiveTheKings at LL)
When The Onion is mocking you, well ....

Bill-It makes perfect sense which is why it hasn't occurred to the Ms

cesame- I thought the same thing when I heard about the Pentland firing. Makes sense to fire the hitting coach when you have what might be the worst DH in MLB history.

Posted by kweloper

1:47 PM, Jun 13, 2008

The Bagheads don't like to see any of our players injured but we do hope to see the holes that are created by our terrible front office's decision-making gape wider and wider.

Surely Bavasi et al must feel pretty stupid for trading Soriano at this point. The Vidro debacle continues... These outcomes are exacerbated by poor play from Sexson and Johjima and injuries like this to JJ.

Baghead Night approaches.

Posted by kaseyswagger

1:51 PM, Jun 13, 2008

Who are we gonna get rid of that is going to bring us any thing back?

Raul Ibanez is about the only player that could bring us back a couple prospects, him and Bedard and if Bavasi trades Bedard he may never get another GM job again for that train wreck.Jose Lopez is another piece but he wont bring much.Lopez will give you more production then he will get you in a trade.

Everyone else is either untradeable or old with terrible contracts.

So who goes Geoff?

Posted by Patrick F.

1:59 PM, Jun 13, 2008

When is enough enough? The firesale should begin sooner than later.

Posted by Tacoma Rain

2:05 PM, Jun 13, 2008

I do not understand.
There are plenty of players on the Mariner's roster that Howard Lincoln and Bill Bavasi would trade for....so why wouldn't anyone else trade for them???

Posted by David Gee

2:07 PM, Jun 13, 2008

Man, I hope JJ isn't headed down the same road that Eric Gagne went down. Gagne, like JJ in 2007, put up one of the greatest seasons ever for a relief pitcher a few years ago, got hurt, and now he's a bum. And JJ has having a season in 2008 that was worse than anything Jose Mesa ever put up here. Hopefully it's just a small glitch. Get well, JJ.

Posted by Jared

2:29 PM, Jun 13, 2008

I like how our new goal is now to not lose 100 games. haha wow.

Posted by Walla Walla Girl

3:14 PM, Jun 13, 2008

I second cesame's thoughts (1:09 p.m.): "Well this fan thinks no time exists, and that the time to fire people is right now. No time has been bought in my eyes. The time has come and gone years ago."

Exactly.

Go Bagheads.

Posted by Walrus

3:30 PM, Jun 13, 2008

Geoff,
Not to put words into your mouth, but I get the feeling you knw "off-the-record" that the M's FO is not going to let Bavasi make any significant changes...so the M's thus have to resort to these "stall tactics" to try to get to the end of the season without "embarassing" Bavasi and others who will be fired at the end of the year.
I do not know how you could confirm this, but....subtle hints may be working if that's what you are doing.

Posted by jro

3:57 PM, Jun 13, 2008

"I think the next jettisoning of someone will be a player, rather than a coach, manager or GM."

Geoff, I don't know about that. There's a serious pitfall if you (the F.O.) shag one of the players. Think of the repercussions:

1) Who do you pick? Seriously, there are so many pieces of luggage on this team, it would be tough to pick just one. I can think of three I would outright DFA today, no questions asked.
2) Selecting someone *other* than a coach starts to look random -- like you (the F.O.) aren't really strategic at all. (Newsflash: the strategy sucks already.) But still, they have a reputation they think they're guarding.
3) The hidden goal is to trade many of these pieces for *something*. Releasing one player could send signals to the rest of the league that the M's may not have trade value. (Newsflash: the league already knows).

Because of these (ridiculous) reasons, I doubt the F.O. actually backs up their veiled threats to replace the players who aren't getting it done.

I don't doubt the wisdom of replacing the failing parts. I doubt the guts and cojones of the F.O. to actually do it.

Posted by Adam

4:01 PM, Jun 13, 2008

Since when is 75 wins worth anything more than 65 wins?

Incompetence run amok...

Posted by SICK56

4:14 PM, Jun 13, 2008

Adam

since Bavasi is deserately trying to keep his job.
The way this ship is run, 75 wins just might be enough.

Posted by SICK56

4:15 PM, Jun 13, 2008

*desperately

Posted by Adam

4:22 PM, Jun 13, 2008

Good point.

Posted by Sounders

4:30 PM, Jun 13, 2008

That Onion article is hilarious! What's next?

"Mariners give five year extension to sucking coach"

As for future firings, I won't give a damn (and I suspect even casual fans won't either) until we hear Billy or Howie or Chuckie have rode off into that good night.

Posted by Sounders

4:48 PM, Jun 13, 2008

We BagHeads must stand strong. At games, on blogs, wherever. No matter what meaningless moves they make or media spin they use to try and distract us, we must not be moved. Billy and Howie and Chuckie must go.

Posted by BrianO

4:56 PM, Jun 13, 2008

I can see it now. Game #162 (is it at home? No matter). Mariner fans everywhere are biting their nails, sweating profusely. Will they or won't they? Can it be done?

Win the AL West? Nope. Win the wildcard? Nope. Win #116? Nope, been there, done that.

Win #63. "AND THE CROWD GOES WILD!!! LOPEZ, BELTRE, BETANCOURT, THEY ALL CHARGE THE MOUND AND DOGPILE JJ!!! THE MOOSE LEADS THE SCREAMING CROWD!!! DAVE NEIHAUS IS SCREAMING "MY OH MY!!!""

Somehow I think I will be watching the Seahawks that day.

And thanks Geoff for the video of Toronto and the Skydome, er, Rogers Centre. My wife is from Toronto, and I have been to both. You're right about the CN tower, it really makes you feel small when you are in the Rogers Centre looking up, but the view is not as great as the view from the Space Needle, as there are no mountains or Puget Sound, though you do see the Lake, and supposedly on a real clear day you can see Niagara Falls. Maybe the best part is the class floor, where you look down about 1000 feet or so.

Posted by Bums

5:03 PM, Jun 13, 2008

Bavasi said Clement will be on the club again this year. My pessimistic thoughts are he will be brought up as part of September call-ups. That fear still exists in me. They seem to be clinging on to the vets a little too much at this point.

Bavasi, et al, you want '95 all over again? Better get Griffey, Buhner, Randy, Edgar, and Tino in their best years again. This team does not have the talent or moxie to do it. Not to mention this record is much worse than they every had in '95.

Hope no more than 15,000 show up tonight. Management listens to money, not fans.

Posted by John

5:22 PM, Jun 13, 2008

I thought Stone's article today on Bedard was right on. There are those who would trade Bedard no matter what just to get "something" in return. I think that would be foolish. But I do think you put him out there and see what happens. If you get the right offer, I think you make the trade.
Unfortunately, as Stone pointed out, with Bavasi making the decisions, I'm terrified of what he'd settle for. Frankly, I don't think he's going to make a trade, even if a great offer came along. He just wouldn't want to admit he made a mistake in the first place. Just like most of the other over-the-hill dead weights he's brought in.

I'm convinced a new GM is the first step toward turning this thing around. Howard and Chuck aren't great, but a good GM would mask whatever faults they might have.

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