Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.
July 16, 2008 10:30 AM
Posted by Geoff Baker
Wow, wasn't it fun watching last night's All Star Game? Or, as we here in Seattle like to call it, just another Mariners adventure? I mean, when's the last time we in the Emerald City were able to see so many runners left on base in the same game? Probably last Sunday, or Saturday, I'd suspect.
At least Larry Stone got to star gaze a bit. Ah, the joys of covering the All-Star Game. Know them well. Up at 6 a.m. every day to cover sponsor-driven press conferences, then to bed by 3 a.m. after being forced to sit through the entire Home Run Derby, then a 15-inning game, in which you have to hustle off to interview your team's player, who went 0-for-2 or something. Actually, at least Ichiro gave Larry plenty to write about, going 1-for-3 and throwing out Albert Pujols trying for a double on a ball off the wall. Good on Ichiro, though if he'd connected with those guys on base, the game might have ended two hours earlier. Anyhow, if you see Larry after the break, or write in on his guest blog appearances, give him a hand. These all-star things are not as easy to cover as they might seem.
For those wondering how the M's are faring on the pitching market, this start next week could have plenty to do with whether a Seattle pitcher gets moved to Philadelphia. From that same blog (a lot shorter than ours, wouldn't you say?) comes word that the Phillies are taking a look at Joe Blanton. Not surprising. So is everyone in baseball in need of pitching. No big concern there.
OK, on to today's topic.
I read a comment from 7hourlinedrive written at 2:11 a.m. this morning, which states: "You people, you "fans" who claim to be Mariners fans but waste no time trashing its players, its coaches, its management, want so badly to hit Riggleman with the idiot stick, that you just can't fathom the fact he could be RIGHT... so you'll spend all your energy disproving it or explaining it away, with the whole "correlation doesn't prove causation" argument. You've been proven wrong, at least for the moment, and that so badly discombobulates you. You people still don't deserve the M's when they get better. You've abandoned them.''
Doesn't mince words, huh?
Anyhow, it struck a chord with me because I've noticed, for the better part of a year, a growing gap between what is written here, by me, and a lot of you when it comes to numbers and analysis. It's bothered me, because we all used to get along so well (holding back a smile here). But seriously, there is also an obvious gap between the day-to-day decisions taken by this team and what some of you consider to be logical and acceptable statistical analysis. And it's not only with decisions made by this team. But in just over a year, I've now seen three Mariners managers, Mike Hargrove, John McLaren and now Jim Riggleman trashed on this blog for being what some of you have called "stupid" and "idiotic" and "clueless".
Now, obviously, those three men are neither. They do know the game of baseball. Better than just about any of you, and certainly more than I do, for that matter. No, that does not mean they are always right. They have been wrong before and it's been pointed out. But after thinking about it for a bit, I think a big part of the gap is that their timeframe for making logical decisions is different from the one being used by many of you, and other folks on sites like U.S.S. Mariner and Lookout Landing.
In the case of major league baseball teams, both the Mariners and other clubs, the timeframe for making their "logical" moves is often short term. With a lot of you, it's the longer term. And that's where it gets tricky.