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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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July 7, 2008 11:11 PM

M's can't score

Posted by Geoff Baker

oak0707 029.jpg

Ichiro, above, reaches second base with one out on an infield single and a throwing error in the ninth inning. But once again, the Mariners failed to cash in the runner and go down to a 4-3 loss to the Oakland A's. A ton of guys left on base tonight. Double-plays, baserunning mistakes, you name it. No runs scored after a Richie Sexson homer in the first inning.

The ninth inning ended when, after a walk to Jose Lopez put two on with one out, Raul Ibanez popped out to third against Oakland closer Huston Street. Adrian Beltre then came up, looking for his fifth hit of the night. But he flied out to left to end the game.

Jarrod Washburn went eight solid innings, allowing four runs. He continues to increase his trade value with each outing. But it was all for naught on the scoreboard tonight.

"We've got to win that ballgame,'' Mariners manager Jim Riggleman told reporters. "Richie jumps us out to an early lead, Washburn pitches a good ballgame. That's just one where I feel like we didn’t put the killer instinct on them. Jump on them and get them early.''

Riggleman seemed to feel a little of what John McLaren felt on a nightly basis towards the end of his tenure. He's not losing his mind. But you could see the frustration. He's been upbeat for the first few weeks of his managerial stint. He wasn't tonight. He saw his team score one run in 15 innings on Sunday, get held to one run until the eighth on Saturday, then notch no runs after the first inning tonight.

After the game, Riggleman walked to a table where Beltre and others, including Miguel Cairo, Cesar Jimenez and Felix Hernandez were eating. A low key conversation ensued, where the topic of the Beltre baserunning mistake in the fifth inning came up. Beltre, you'll remember, had left second and rounded third on a flyout by Kenji Johjima. As Beltre was scampering back to second, he forgot to touch third and wound up called out on a double play.

Towards the end of his chat with the players, Riggleman lightly rapped his fist on the table.

"We've got to win that game, man,'' he said, turning and walking away. "We've got to win that game.''

Riggleman went out of his way to tell the media he considers Beltre one of the game's best baserunners. So, no, he wasn't hanging him out to dry. And Beltre made no excuses. He told me he's never botched a play like that one. He just didn't touch the bag and only realized it when he was called out.

As for his four hits., he said he hoped it was a sign some of his hard luck will change down the road.

"I just pray that in the second-half, things start to turn around,'' he said.

Washburn really had only the one bad inning, in the fifth. He threw a backdoor slider to rookie Wes Bankston on the first pitch and watched him belt a game-tying homer.

"Right there is a perfect example of not knowing your hitter,'' Washburn said. "I'd never faced the guy before. I didn't really know how to approach him. Usually, Oakland guys are really patient and take some pitches. I thought I'd get a nice little strike one right there, and he was on it.''

Yes, Washburn had read scouting reports on Bankston. But no, he added, those don't really help. Won't tell you the guy is going to hack at a first-pitch breaking ball. Not the same as facing him in a game. Now, Washburn knows what he's capable of. A little late, but he knows.

His team needed to score more than zero runs after the first inning. The way Washburn's pitching, he likely will have a different set of teammates in a few weeks.

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Posted by ethan

9:33 PM, Jul 07, 2008

go spiders.

Posted by yardwork

9:38 PM, Jul 07, 2008

Here's wishing for a couple of bloopers to drop in tomorrow so we can put up 5 runs and have a chance

Posted by Dave from the coast

9:42 PM, Jul 07, 2008

Well, at least tonite the M's didn't have to find a new way to lose. They just couldn't score after the first inning, and over the course of the following innings, San Diego won. Ritchie Sexson must feel partially vindicated, thinking, "well, okay, everyone gripes about my striking out, so I hit a 3-run homer and we still lose." Sort of an incentive-evaporator. Nothing wrong with Washburn's effort (other than allowing that 4th run, I guess)...everyone of late (me included) has been talking about the 'spring' in the M's steps lately...I kinda thot I saw that disappear about midway thru this game.

Posted by scottM

9:43 PM, Jul 07, 2008

Just when we think Sexson will have a break out night, he follows up his three-run homer by hitting into one of his classic double plays. I'm wondering if, in the M's dugout, he prepared by watching Johjima's video: "How to Hit in the Clutch"?

I'm also wondering if yesterday's Let's-Give-Away-the-Game-After-Fifteen-Innings marks the end of Riggleball as we know it. Tonight the culture-of-losing was back in full force.

Except, of course, for Washburn who is pitching as well as he has in two years. Hey, Wash, shining it on so you can get traded to a contender???

Posted by joey

9:47 PM, Jul 07, 2008

Geoff: You are so wrong in your analysis it is not funny. Your baseball analysis is not the only thing that is shaky; your writing is not up to standards. Did the Canadian schools not teach the subjunctive mood as part of a formal English (grammar) class? Some examples follow: If I were; I wish I were; if it were; etc.
Washburn is terrible. So are you. Please bring back Larry Stone or Jose Romero. At least they are credible and coherent. What a concept! They can also construct a sentence that is syntactically and grammatically correct. I am sorry. I forgot. You were educated in Canada just as your buddy, Bedard, was. By the way, you and Bedard also have the same people skills. C’est dommage!

Posted by dawgafn

9:54 PM, Jul 07, 2008

Great home run by Sexton. I think that should quiet most of the naysayers about Richie being let go. He has proved he is as valuable as any member of the team - way to go Ritchie.

Posted by Pilots O 69

9:54 PM, Jul 07, 2008

The M's looked dispirited and bland-faced all game tonight.

Go M's.

Posted by Oly Mike

9:57 PM, Jul 07, 2008

"Jarrod Washburn went eight solid innings allowing four runs." Still a loss no matter the so called solid outing.

I'm going to puke if I hear about Washout having another solid outing. He llost again and as I have said before he always finds away to lose in crucial game situations.

What!!! Do you want Washout on the team next year? If he is on the team next season we might as well keep Richie too because he hit a homer tonight. Doesn't that merit another chance for Sexsonnext year?

These losers need to go-- Washout, Silva, Batista, Kenji, Sexson and Vidro. With this infamous six gone the Mariners might have a chance. If any one of them stays the misery will continue!!!!

Posted by Visiting Fan

10:01 PM, Jul 07, 2008

Mr. Baker, are there plans to give Bedard an MRI arthrogram (like the Cubs did with Carlos Zambrano) to confirm that the shoulder is structurally sound?

Posted by Nat

10:03 PM, Jul 07, 2008

Joey, regarding your comments to Geoff: just keep your ethnocentric statements to yourself, why don't you?

Last night when Riggleman made the decision to bring in Burke as opposed to Dickey or Rhodes (I don't buy Riggleman's excuses) and effectively giving the game away, I figured that loss would leave the team feeling not only exhausted today but also a little demoralized after playing 15 long, dragged out innings.

Posted by out with the dead weight

10:04 PM, Jul 07, 2008

I can wait until Sexson is gone just so that I don't have to hear and see people calling him Sexton. And it's Richie, not Ritchie.....and I really hope that you are being sarcastic calling him valuable.

Posted by Lenny Randle's Breath

10:13 PM, Jul 07, 2008

Geoff, If any deals are made will the M's try to land a solid offensive player or prospects? I hope they make a couple moves. It seems like they can't shake the funk.

Posted by Herfus McGillicutty

10:39 PM, Jul 07, 2008

"Just when we think Sexson will have a break out night..."

"Great home run by Sexton. I think that should quiet most of the naysayers about Richie being let go."

OK, you's guys...

Put the crack-pipe down, and slowly back away.

Posted by Briguy17

10:42 PM, Jul 07, 2008

Despite the somewhat decent record for the month, the M's have managed to score more than 4 runs just once in 7 games, a 7-6 win against Toronto on July 1st. The M's are averaging less than 4 runs per game this month.

The only reason they've been getting wins is because of the improved pitching. Washburn, Dickey, and Silva have all gotten better, and the bullpen's been lights out.

But if you can't hit, you can't win, and the M's aren't hitting.

Posted by Scott

10:58 PM, Jul 07, 2008

It is SEXSON!!! How many years does a guy have to be here before we can stop with the Sexton.

Posted by Mariner faithful

11:00 PM, Jul 07, 2008

I'm with you nat. Joey, go read another blog if this one upsets you so much. Negative morons like you should keep to yourselves. Why don't you read all the posts and nitpit all the grammatical errors. Maybe that will bring some satisfaction to your life.

Posted by JerdsterSHS

11:17 PM, Jul 07, 2008

I am from Portland, Oregon, and I have always been a fan of Northwest Sports Teams. I love my Blazers, Seahawks, and Mariners. This reoccuring theme of the Northwest Sports Franchises. Great success, then downfall, then rebuilding seasons. Take the Blazers for instance. They are now poised to be serioius playoff contendors next season. It pains me to see the Mariners playing so badly. And it's pretty much the inevitable; in order for the Mariners to get back into playoff contention, they need to trade Ichiro. He is our only All Star, our only consistent player. Although Ichiro is the primary reason that fans still come to the games, if we trade Ichiro, we can get A LOT for him. Great young prospects that can be brought up in future seasons. Adrian Beltre also adds possibilities with his amazing fielding. Raul Ibáñez also, JJ Putz too. The point is, is that we need to trade our best players in order to get many great young players that can help this team return to the former glory of the 2001 season

Posted by kaseyswagger

11:19 PM, Jul 07, 2008

When are the M's gonna start dealing we need to start getting prospects.Maybe we can get Matt Kemp or Andre Eithier from the Dodgers in a trade with Bedard.

We have no young hitting talent besides Jeff Clement and Wladimir if he can put it back together.Imagine if we could of gotten Laporta in a deal with Bedard the Mariners are always slackin though.

Posted by NB

11:49 PM, Jul 07, 2008

I sincerely hope that after his conversation with his gold glove third baseman who had just gone 4-5 Riggleman walked over to a mirror, thought about when he pinch hit Jeff Clement for the dead, bloated corpse of Jose Vidro, and hit himself repeatedly in the head with a hammer. Saying to himself, "We've got to win that game man, we've got to win that game."

What an epic collection of incompetent fools.

Posted by oceansaway

11:56 PM, Jul 07, 2008

I just looked up the stat info on Matt Laporta at Brewers AA affiliate...Michael Wilson is two years older, but putting up very similar seems that he has been very up and down, but now on a definite upswing.

What is the current thinking on his upside?

Also, Halman is younger than Laporta and continues to show power, speed and average after making the jump to AA. How far away do we think he is from the majors?

Or Saunders?

Lastly, if we are going to consider dealing Washburn to the there any way we could package something with him and get Clayton Kershaw?

Posted by Stevo in Oregon

1:31 AM, Jul 08, 2008

So, so bad......

They are playing betting with Riggleman and I like his demeanor a lot better than McLaren. I think Riggs is doing as much as he can with this collection of stiffs.

I can't help but keep turning to the mental part of the game. Three quarters of this roster has no mental toughness whatsoever.

How many times are we going to see mental little league type mistakes before something is done. Lopez didn't throw to first for a double play this weekend because he already thought there were two outs. Tonight, it appeared that Beltre thought there were two outs in rounding third on a somewhat routine fly ball. He did get back to second, but I guess he didn't know the rule that he had to touch third again. These mistakes are embarrassing and inexcusable. That little trio of Beltre, Betancourt and Lopez appear much to cavalier about their games. The concentration is not there.

Beltre is a GREAT defensive player. The best defensive third baseman in team history. I don't care that he went 4-5 tonight. His four hits, as usual, came with the bases empty. Of course, with the game on the line and two on base, he tries to pull the outside pitch, and as usual, flies out weakly to left. I've asked this before and I'll continue to ask this....why can't supposed major league hitters like Beltre and Kenji make adjustments like taking the ball the other way? There is a reason they hit no better than .250 every year....they are one dimensional hitters. I CAN'T stand it. It' grueling to watch. I also sat in the bleachers Saturday night and watched Beltre alone leave six men on base. Where is our guy that was arguing a couple of weeks ago that Beltre was 'unlucky' with RISP? That's a bunch of garbage. He's just bad, and so are many of the rest of the crew with RISP.

Geoff, please ask Elia or Riggs or offer your opinion on why these pathetic dead pull hitters can't make these adjustments and why they aren't mandatory. Have they tried???????

Okay folks, so here's hoping some major changes for the future are made this month. Please!!!!

I don't believe anyone is 'untouchable' besides Felix, Morrow and Clement. I don't mind keeping Ibanez (a true professional with mental toughness and a class act but would trade him for some good prospects), Lopez (turn it up mentally), Betancourt (I guess), Beltre (maybe), Reed (I've been impressed) and Bloomquist (scrapper, flexible....takes too much of a bum rap around here)..I'm also satisfied with the likes of RRS, Green, Dickey and such...of course, they are not untouchables, but our bullpen is our most solid piece of the current team.

We all know Vidro and Sexson will be luck to be here past July and will be here no longer than the end of this season for sure (get rid of them now please).....Ichiro needs to be traded before the deadline.....I think we can get more for him now than later.......Bedard....get out of here you pansy, classless clown........Batista....bye-bye.....Cairo....he does his job, but we don't need both him and Willie...thanks for the service Miguel.

Well, that's my take anyway.

Posted by Stevo in Oregon

1:36 AM, Jul 08, 2008

P.S. - I like it that Riggleman put Burke in there on Sunday. I think he knew the M's could have played 40 innings and still not scored. He also didn't want to see Sexson go 0 for 15. He just got his average up to .225 and he didn't want to mess that up.

Actually, I applaud him for thinking about more than just the one game and what is best for the future of the club. I'm not so sure the Presidential ticket of Bavasi / McLaren would have done that.

By the way, maybe it has been mentioned here before, but it is my understanding that the M's aren't signing autographs this year. That is according to the usher who watches the M's dugout. Is this true? I watched six Tigers sign for twenty minutes before the game Saturday. I almost rooted for them as a result. Who's decision was this? You have a crappy team and then you are going to treat the fans, who deserve to be paid to watch these clowns, like that?!?!?!!?!? Geoff?

Posted by Chris from Bothell

6:19 AM, Jul 08, 2008

I'm going to go out on a limb and say:

- No one gets traded until the new GM comes in, in the late fall.
- Lineup doesn't fundamentally change for the rest of the year.
- Bedard gets shut down for the rest of the year from the ASB on.
- We don't start seeing anyone from AAA until September.
- 90 losses.

Even though the ASB would be a logical time to dump people en masse, and call up a good 3 or 4 AAA people, and trade people even for one or two prospects / draft picks. I don't think the logic should be, "trade only Bedard, or others who can get us multiple guys"; even if you only get one guy for someone like Washburn, it's better than nothing.

Posted by mark

6:23 AM, Jul 08, 2008

Joey. Shut up! You big mouth moron. Go away!!!

Posted by faithful

6:24 AM, Jul 08, 2008

The middle of the limeup, which should be major run producers, is a disaster. Four .220 hitters even worse with runners on. Sexson, Vidro, Johjima, Beltre simply do not contribute. Hopefully, they;ll be gone in a month.

Posted by BrianL

7:30 AM, Jul 08, 2008

Stevo - Adrian Beltre goes 4-5, and he's the player you're most upset with? Even if Beltre had gotten back to second safely, do you really think he would have been driven in with two outs? Look at who's hitting around him.

What do you want Beltre to do? Go 0-4 when no one is on? Listen to yourself, you're mad that he's getting basehits with no one on base, as if it's his fault that the people in front of him aren't getting aboard. How is that rational?

If you're going to get mad at Beltre for not getting a hit in the bottom of the ninth, you'd better be furious with Raul Ibanez, who weakly popped up to first, failing to even advance the runners.

You single Beltre out on Sunday for his inability to hit with RISP. You'd better be angry at the other nine guys in the lineup as well, because they fared no better. I guess what I'm saying is that you should try the whole rational approach. You're coming off as rather vitriolic.

James was right. Bad teams (fans, media, analysts etc) hate their best players.

Posted by Montucky

8:27 AM, Jul 08, 2008

That's the thing about EVERY washbum start, there's always that ONE bad inning/pitch. I'll admit, he DID pitch well last night, and yes, we should have won the game 10 different times, but maybe wash shouldn't have thrown that 84 mph suckpitch belt high. I know OUR guys (and apparently Ivan Rodriquez) can't hit it, but major leaguers can. FELIX hit Johan's suck pitch, do you think Johan should have scouted him more, no; stay away from the suckpitch. This is going to be HARD for wash, cos that's all he's got. He's the Willie Bloomquist of pitching...all grit and moxy, no true skills.

There are only 2 kinds of Washburn starts. 1) Gets an early lead, wash grinds it out and by the 4-5th inning its tied or we're losing...and we go on to lose, or 2) He gets no run support and still gives up 3-7 runs...and we go on to lose. EITHER way he can whine about our offense not getting the job done, which IS partly/mostly true. The point is, its always something, it NEVER his fault for throwing the suckpitch, centered, belt high, 84.
I am calling it now, in his next start (KC) Jose Guillen (who MURDERS LHP) will eat him for lunch. So will the rest of the Royals and it will destroy some of the 'value' that he's worked so hard to gain in the last few weeks.
I am sure glad to see him 'turn it on' now that he can see the light at the end of his M's career. Not like we needed him in those other 3 years of him sucking...
I'm sure his a nice enough guy, but I can't stand him the ballplayer. "Do I hear a dollar, gi'me a dollar, who's got a dollar, no alright, 75 cents, 75 cents, SOLD!! for nickel to his wife in the front row.


Posted by eastcoast

8:36 AM, Jul 08, 2008

This has officially become bizzaro world. Nothing this team does makes any sense!!!!

"Towards the end of his chat with the players, Riggleman lightly rapped his fist on the table.

"We've got to win that game, man,'' he said, turning and walking away. "We've got to win that game.''

Hey Jim, why does it matter?? Because, if memory serves me correctly, DIDN'T YOU JUST GIVE A #&$&#*&$ GAME AWAY YESTERDAY!!! This is so maddening! Why does it matter today when it didn't matter yesterday! And don't tell me that they were out of arms, b/c that is simply BS! Seems to me a saw Rhodes and Morrow warming in the BP last night. Did Rhodes arm improve that much in 24 hours?? There is a culture of losing that is deeply imbed in this team, and that is not going to change with a simple turnover of 2-3 players.

Posted by snowbird

8:42 AM, Jul 08, 2008

Riggleman gave the team "permission to lose" in the 15 inning fiasco. That was a dangerous precedent.

Posted by eastcoast

8:46 AM, Jul 08, 2008

Montucky - I completely agree. Washburn always seem to have one or two bad innings that will kill him. Last night, he had 5 1-2-3 innings, 1 1-hit inn, and the two big multi-hit innings. However, I was a little surprised to find that the difference wasn't as severe as I suspected:

Bases empty:
53.2 IP, 4 HR, 11 BB, 33 K, WHIP 1.4, BAA .281

With runners on:
44.2 IP, 8 HR, 18 BB, 28 K, WHIP 1.59, BAA .323

Despite all that, I will compliment Wash for manning up and pitching a solid game and giving his team a chance to win. They really needed him to go deep into the game and he did. I can't imagine that his trade value will ever be any higher than it is right now.

Posted by BrianL

8:47 AM, Jul 08, 2008

Say what you will about Erik Bedard, but at least he's better at damage control than Washburn.

Posted by eastcoast

9:06 AM, Jul 08, 2008

Not to belabor the point, but I wanted to say one last thing to Nymariner05.

My argument is this: Simply put, I do not believe that the core players of this team (even with the addition of 2-3 trades, FA, etcs) is capable of winning a title (division or otherwise). Could they be competitive with the addition of Giambi, Bay, etc.? They will be improved. Maybe competitive. But I still don't think those moves even make them the best team in the AL West, let alone the rest of baseball.

So your point is buy, buy, buy.. whether it is with cash (FA) or prospects (trades). Take the chance that this thin upper echelon of talent that you have assembled will produce a title in the very short window of opportunity that you have. I understand that getting Bay may only take a few prospects. My problem with that is.. WE ONLY HAVE A FEW VIABLE PROSPECTS IN THE MINOR LEAGUES! Our farm system is one of the thinnest in baseball. So it is time to realize that this team is not going to win a championship (which would be my goal as GM) and start to build from within. Meaning, sell off the pieces you can and restock the farm system.

We're all entitled to our opinions.. my is that Bedard needs to go!

Posted by scottM

9:09 AM, Jul 08, 2008

Riggleman tapping the table and saying that this was a game we've got to win, brings me back to the 15th inning giveaway.

Again, isn't Jimeñez a stretched out starter from Tacoma. He was throwing great. Yes, he had gone five innings and sixty or so pitches. Why not send him out for a sixth inning in the 15th instead of Jamie Burke????

Why didn't you ask this question, GEOFF? You asked about RADickey who had thrown a whole game the day before. And, obviously, Arthur Rhodes is not the gamer he could have been, but WHY NO JIMEÑEZ in the 15th?

And, yesterday, more lackluster play.

from STEVO in OREGON: "That little trio of Beltre, Betancourt and Lopez appear much to cavalier about their games. The concentration is not there."

Bingo! And that was the most intangible value of José Guillen. He was the alpha dog among this little group. Guillen has plenty of faults, but he was never cavalier, and, the edginess and fear-of-consequences he brought to this team, was most evident in how it affected these three guys.

Say, Guillen, Lopez, Yuni, and Beltre are all staying home for the All Star Break. Maybe the M's can hire Guillen to charter a plane to the Caribbean for a few days of soul-searching. Our guys can comb the beaches in search of some resolve. Guillen will make sure they concentrate.


Posted by byebyeSexson

9:12 AM, Jul 08, 2008

dawgafn, you made my morning. The subtle twist of your sarcasm really is cool. Richie is on schedule to have 60 rbi for the season. Ya, 60, wooo hooo.
Someone pick him up on a minor league contract and let's get on with it.

Just for fun, I've got to read that post one more time...

Posted by dawgafn

9:54 PM, Jul 07, 2008

"Great home run by Sexton. I think that should quiet most of the naysayers about Richie being let go. He has proved he is as valuable as any member of the team - way to go Ritchie."


Posted by Top pick in 09 draft

9:44 AM, Jul 08, 2008

Things have been awful quiet on the Pelekoudas front since the activity of three weeks ago. This tells me either deals are being worked on behind the scenes or more likely that Lee is regarded as a caretaker and no substantial moves will be made until the end of the season when a real GM is named. If either Washburn or Bedard is dealt, this frees up additional salary savings and I could get excited if the team goes hard after Rich Harden. You always have to factor in at least one DL stint per season but the guy can dominate when healthy. A move like that could cut a year off the rebuilding process.

Posted by BrianL

9:52 AM, Jul 08, 2008

Oakland is not going to trade Rich Harden to a division rival.

Not unless the piece they're getting back is named Felix Hernandez.

Posted by scrapiron

10:03 AM, Jul 08, 2008

Let's say Sexson hits 30 more home runs this season. He still won't be here next year. It doesn't matter.

Let's say Vidro hits .400 the rest of the season. He still won't be here next year. It doesn't matter.

Giving Balentien, Diaz or maybe Saunders at bats to learn how to adjust to major league pitching? Priceless.

Wasted at bats equals a wasted 2009. Let's move on.

Posted by Top pick in 09 draft

10:39 AM, Jul 08, 2008

BrianL: Harden is a free-agent to be at the end of the year so we're not talking about a trade here. The A's aren't likely to resign him which is why his name is now coming up in trade discussions.

Posted by eastcoast

10:45 AM, Jul 08, 2008

The A's have a club option on Harden for 2009 @ $7 mill. Harden has no buy out option either. If I'm the A's, I think $7 mill is a bargain for him, so I keep him unless blown away by a trade offer

Posted by Lance

10:47 AM, Jul 08, 2008

If nothing else, sounds like Riggleman WILL hold players accountable for their actions and not feel that they'll have to be always continually caudeled after boneheaded plays that cost games and waste solid efforts by teammates.

Which brings me to Yuniesky Betancourt. I love what he's capable of doing. But, if he's going to continue to play the game like he's a little leaguer maybe he should be sent to Tacoma for a few days until he can take major league baseball more seriously, a la what the Braves did with Jeff Francourer.

Posted by PayClayBennett

10:53 AM, Jul 08, 2008

Wash put on a nice show for potential contenders eh could end up with - send him now!!!

Posted by BrianL

11:06 AM, Jul 08, 2008

Only 7 million? That's a bargain, the A's are most likely going to pick that up.

Posted by Top pick in 09 draft

12:00 PM, Jul 08, 2008

Thanks for the clarification on Harden's contract. Being a Victoria native, he probably is one of the few pitchers who might be interested in coming here. Only way M's could get FA pitchers here, with the current FO mess, is to overpay in years & $ (Silva for 4yrs/$12m per year; Washburn & Batista, et al). Now that Joh isn't the regular catcher, we may be able to attract more interest this offseason but I don't think there are good SP out there that we have a realistic shot at. Guys seem to use the M's as the stalking horse to drive up offers from other teams (Kuroda, Zito & Schmidt thank god)

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