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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 18, 2008 9:42 PM

Cleveland Indians at Mariners: 07/18 game thread

Posted by Geoff Baker

indians0718 040.jpg

NOTE: This is for Brian L. in the comments thread, who writes more here in a day than I do lately. Just FYI, I have indeed seen Riggleman's quote on Bedard. It was taken from a story I wrote and a question I asked him at yesterday's workout.

You can see Raul Ibanez rounding the bases, above, after hitting a grand slam in the second inning.

The game is pretty much over at this point, with Seattle up 8-2 heading to the bottom of the ninth. Bryan LaHair just grounded into a double-play on a 1-2 pitch to end the eighth. He entered the game as a pinch-hitter and it was his first major league at-bat.

Felix Hernandez was pulled after six innings and 99 pitches. A wise move, given that there's little left to settle in this game. It's been over since the fourth inning.

indians0718 042.jpg
indians0718 033.jpg

Shin-soo-Choo and Jose Lopez chat before the game in the photo above.

8:28 p.m. Jose Lopez just added a three-run homer in the fourth, after an Ibanez single, to make it an 8-1 game. Not much of a contest tonight. Aaron Laffey of the Indians was knocked out after 3 2/3 innings, the Lopez shot representing his only earned runs allowed. But he gave up eight runs total.

Felix Hernandez is cruising now, allowing just the Grady Sizemore double and a run in the third. His only hit allowed. Hernandez struck out the final two batters he faced -- looking -- in the fourth. A bit wild early on, but appears to be in control now.

8:05 p.m.: Raul Ibanez hit his first grand slam of the season in the second inning. That gave the Mariners a 5-0 lead. Cleveland responded with a run in the third to make it 5-1, drawing a one out walk, then getting a Grady Sizemore double off Felix Hernandez, followed by an RBI groundout from Casey Blake.

The slam by Ibanez showed just what kind of a year it's been for the Indians. We all know how badly the M's have underachieved. But the Indians are really not much better. Seattle should have been out of the inning several batters before Ibanez got to the plate. But Indians starter Aaron Laffey yielded a two-out single to Jamie Burke, hit Yuniesky Betancourt with a pitch, then saw shortstop Jhonny Peralta muff an Ichiro grounder to load the bases.

Laffey then walked Willie Bloomquist on four pitches to force in a run. Up came Ibanez and "bye bye" went the baseball over the right field fence. Five unearned runs on only two his -- one of them a single. That's tough to do. Not a good showing by the Indians. Good job of capitalizing by the Mariners.

7:30 p.m.: By the way, J.J. Putz started for Class AAA Tacoma against Tucson tonight and retired all five batters he faced, striking out one. He threw 17 pitches. Putz may pitch for Tacoma again on Sunday, or be recalled by the team. We'll know more tomorrow.

The lineups:

INDIANS (41-53)

24 Grady Sizemore CF
1 Casey Blake 1B
12 Ben Francisco LF
2 Jhonny Peralta SS
17 Shin-soo Choo RF
10 Kelly Shoppach C
20 David Dellucci DH
30 Andy Marte 3B
13 Asdrubal Cabrera 2B

32 Aaron Laffey LHP

MARINERS (37-58)

51 Ichiro RF
16 Willie Bloomquist CF
28 Raul Ibanez LF
29 Adrian Beltre 3B
4 Jose Lopez 2B
13 Miguel Cairo 1B
2 Kenji Johjima DH
15 Jamie Burke C
5 Yuniesky Betancourt SS

34 Felix Hernandez RHP

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Posted by markus

7:29 PM, Jul 18, 2008

Yeah!!! No Vidro!!!

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

7:45 PM, Jul 18, 2008

We have 2 catchers in the line-up today, and we even have Bloomquist and Cairo for extra measure. Riggleman's line-up cards should immediatley be flown to the Hall-of-Fame after the game for worst ever.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

7:52 PM, Jul 18, 2008

Who was the genius that wanted to trade for Aaron Laffey?

Posted by Lance

7:54 PM, Jul 18, 2008

Contrary to what BrianL, and by extention, Jason Churchill, says, Raul's bat still looks pretty quick to me.

Posted by Batter Up!!!

7:55 PM, Jul 18, 2008

The King is Happy!

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

8:29 PM, Jul 18, 2008

Still want to trade Lopez?

Ibanez still has a quick bat. Somebody needs their eyes checked to say otherwise.

Posted by bikeman

8:31 PM, Jul 18, 2008


How's your prosposed trade Ibanez for Laffey trade look now?

Posted by 11Records

8:46 PM, Jul 18, 2008

So far Richie's doing ok as a Yankee.

I know that the M's have 8 runs tonight, but seeing Cairo in there as the 1B makes me feel a little sad. Ha. Man oh man.

I still think that with picking up Sexson's salary the M's should have been able to dump him for some sort of breathing body.

Anyway - nice to see Felix getting some breathing room so that he can relax tonight.

Posted by Adam

8:50 PM, Jul 18, 2008

Laffey had a 3.45 ERA w/a 50% GB rate and with a lower walk rate than any Seattle starter other than Washburn before tonight's game. And he's 23.

Ibanez has his worst OPS of the past five years. And he's in the last year of his contract. And he's 36. And he should be a DH, because he hurts his team in the OF.

But yeah, guys. One AB definitely throws all that out the window.

Awesome analysis.

Posted by Ms Fan in Exile

8:58 PM, Jul 18, 2008

Up 8-2, why hasn't Lahair been subbed in yet?

Posted by M's Fan

9:00 PM, Jul 18, 2008

"So far Richie's doing ok as a Yankee. " If a single,a walk, a strikeout with 2 on and grounding into a double play is OK....At least they aren't shelling out 14 mil. for it. I do hope he can stick it out there...

Posted by Ms Fan in Exile

9:03 PM, Jul 18, 2008

We paid Sexson about $254,000.00 per hit this year.

The Yankees, in one game, have paid him about $195,000 per hit, already.

Really pulling for the guy to at least somewhat resurrect his career.

Posted by Ms Fan in Exile

9:05 PM, Jul 18, 2008

Well, if Lopez gets on, or avoids a DP, we should see Lahair this inning. Then again, that is what a MANAGER would do. After all, he would be going in for one of only two starters without a hit. It's not like pulling Cairo out hurts the team.

Posted by Ms Fan in Exile

9:06 PM, Jul 18, 2008

Way to waste the chance for Lahair to check the water, Riggleman.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

9:06 PM, Jul 18, 2008

Laffey is having a good year. His stuff just isn't that good. Below average velocity and average movement on his fastball. His best pitch is the slider and it's average when it works for him. His sinkerball is nothing special, and his change is average. At 23, I don't see a lot more improvement in his ceiling for improvement, he's not overpowering and doesn't miss a lot of bats. Baseball America believes he's a #3 or #4 starter at best. I say #5 starter.

Laffey had a 3.45 ERA w/a 50% GB rate=small sample analysis. Heck I've seen plenty of #5 starters put up numbers like Laffey did in a short sample and end up regressing to what their talent allows them to perform at.

I'd gladly keep Adam Moore and Cleveland can keep Laffey.

Posted by bikeman

9:14 PM, Jul 18, 2008

Laffey has to have a good walk rate to survive in the majors. A 4 K per nine innings pitcher. Did he ever reach 90mph on his fastball tonight?

Laffey would be 6th for a Mariner's starter in K/BB ratio.

Posted by Ms Fan in Exile

9:15 PM, Jul 18, 2008

Ok, admittedly, I AM arm-chair managing a bit.

However, I believe part of the problem with our callups, is that they are used to playing everyday in AAA. We call them up for a reason. Not to sit on a bench. We need to play them consistently to see what they can do. We are not auditioning bench spots, after all.

Then after sitting for a week or so, seeing live pitching once or twice, the FO gets frustrated, because these kids aren't performing, and send them back down.

Can't you make any suggestions about getting BASEBALL people in the FO?

Posted by DFA

9:23 PM, Jul 18, 2008

Oh sure, Richie had an RBI single his first at bat as a Yankee. But then later on he struck out with a runner in scoring position and then grounded into a double play after that. Same old Richie. Don't change, ya big lug!

Posted by Batter Up!!!

9:26 PM, Jul 18, 2008

Burke is just showing off,

Ichiro's eyes must be getting weak.

When's the last time he hit a HR?

I suppose I could Google it but I'm sure Adam or Brian L will get me up to speed soon enough.

Posted by Batter Up!!!

9:34 PM, Jul 18, 2008

Burke is showing off...

But he can't bail Yuni. Yuni needs to sit...

Here's an Ichi homer...

Posted by 11Records

9:47 PM, Jul 18, 2008


LaHair got an AB.

You guys are all as big of Mariners nerds as me...

Who was the dude who got called up from AAA a few years ago who hit into a double play and triple play in his first 2 AB's?? I can't remember...

Posted by Ms Fan in Exile

9:52 PM, Jul 18, 2008

This is the start of a long win streak. M's win 38 of the next 44, shoot into playoff contention.

They sit Yuni, and put Vidro at SS, send Lahair back down, and Cairo becomes the regular 1B. They stretch JJ out to be our #5 starter, keeping Morrow in the closer role. Batista takes Felix's spot in the rotation, Felix becomes the long man in the pen.

Posted by M Dogg

9:52 PM, Jul 18, 2008


Posted by tomtom

10:38 PM, Jul 18, 2008

chuckle... Does the blogging Brain Trust still want to trade Ibanez or make him play 1st Base?

Who comes up with those ideas?

Posted by tugboatcritic

10:48 PM, Jul 18, 2008

In Adam's defense, it wasn't his trade proposal to begin with. I think that he had another simultaneous moment of genius from the other blogs.

It seems though, as if Adam has been supplanted as the analytical Xerox machine by Brian L. who must have come a bit late to the bash Ibanez party. If Ibanez has started to decline, this will mark the fourth straight year that it has been predicted by the local opinion makers. 1 for 4 ain't too bad, eh Brian? Pat yourselves on the back. The same crack analytical crew decided that Mike Lowell and Josh Beckett were done and over rated a couple of years back, citing things like slow bats, and all sorts of other crap that they knew nothing of then, and still don't . But keep reciting what these guys spit out, Brian, after all, they are never wrong.

Posted by BrianL

10:54 PM, Jul 18, 2008

Lance - I didn't say Raul was bad now, I said Raul is likely to decline in a hurry.

Posted by tugboatcritic

11:14 PM, Jul 18, 2008

And what about "old-player skills" ? What are they Brian? Better go ask. I think that I first heard of these about the time the M's re-upped Ibanez. What a ground breaking concept to declare that a player will decline in his 30's. I'm sure it has everything to do with a particular skill-set/athlete that you can identify ahead of time.

you know Brian, the emphasis placed on defense in analysis, (invented by the local blogoshere, just ask 'em) has a very convenient genisis with the realization that these same guys were proven to be so horribly wrong predicting Ibanez' downfall a number of years ago.

The fact is, Ibanez contract was one of the better deals made in the league, not just Seattle over the last several years.

Posted by Adam

11:16 PM, Jul 18, 2008

Aaaah, - Tugboatcritic is here to spew more lies.

Go ahead and try to find where any blog advocated trading Ibanez for Laffey. You won't find any, but what's truth got to do with it, right?

Still haven't produced one shred of evidence of plagarism, have you?

Posted by Adam

11:20 PM, Jul 18, 2008

you know Brian, the emphasis placed on defense in analysis, (invented by the local blogoshere, just ask 'em) has a very convenient genisis with the realization that these same guys were proven to be so horribly wrong predicting Ibanez' downfall a number of years ago.

So before the blogosphere came about, did "pitching and defense wins" simply read: "pitching wins"? Is that what you are saying?

Goodness you are a joke...

Posted by BrianL

11:21 PM, Jul 18, 2008

"Old Player Skills" refer to players who's skillsets tend to rely on mashing the ball. Richie Sexson is a prime example of this. Raul Ibanez has a bit less of an uppercut, home run swing, so it takes him a bit longer to fall off a cliff than Sexson.

This is about the age where players like Raul begin to fall apart. Although, if you had read my argument, I didn't say Raul was bad now, nor did I say the original deal offered to Raul a few seasons ago was bad. What I sad was that it's foolish to sign him to a 3-year extension. The point I was trying to make (but did so poorly, which is my fault) is that based on Raul's recent trends, I wouldn't extend him beyond next season. I'm terribly sorry if I didn't make that part of my argument clearer, that is entirely my fault.

Also, if you don't think defense matters, you're underestimating one of the most important parts of the game. Raul costs this team around 25 runs a year in terms of runs allowed.

Posted by tugboatcritic

11:24 PM, Jul 18, 2008

Oh Adam, you know that you used to borrow analysis, and that I called you on it. Its not a criminal charge man. Now I find that you have come up with your own stuff, good on ya. Its tough to have a dissenting opinion on the other blogs though, huh? Getting lumped with the likes of Edtrack,? Tough sledding.

Posted by Adam

11:26 PM, Jul 18, 2008

BrianL - What tugboatcritic is doing is accusing you of plagarizing USSM and LL. Because you speak of "old player skills" and the importance of defense, and because they also speak of those ideas, you are a plagarist.

By this logic, everyone who nowadays speaks of the importance of keeping the environment is a plagarist, since of course it's not an original idea. Everyone who promotes exercise for the body is a plagarist. Everyone who thinks sliced bread is a good idea is a plagarist.

It's really quite a stellar piece of logic, don't you think?

Posted by BrianL

11:28 PM, Jul 18, 2008

Adam - Curses, he's on to me. I was going to plagiarize LL and USSM's work in hopes of taking over the world.

Posted by Adam

11:29 PM, Jul 18, 2008

You didn't call me on anything. Because I use the same analysis or agree with those blogs ideas on occasion doesn't mean I'm a plagarist.

And as I said, you have yet to produce one shred of evidence that I stole any ideas from any other blog.

Quit being dishonest.

Posted by tugboatcritic

11:39 PM, Jul 18, 2008

No Brian, I don't think that defense isn't relevent. I do take issue with any metric that I have seen locally applying runs and wins towards it. Having data that is flawed in its conception and adding that to subjective values on top of that makes for poor analysis. No one would claim that Ibanez is a good fielder. He does not cost the team what 50 runs or whatever that has been thrown about by local guys that are just pissed that they were wrong in predicting his downfall as a hitter.

I probobly have a pretty good handle on watching a guy take his cuts and seeing if there is a glaring problem that is associated with aging. It has nothing to do with an upper-cut swing. More accurately, one might notice a guy punishing hanging sliders and cripple pitch fb's, but not being able to handle middle in fb's over his hands early in the count. In short, players show there age by cheating on pitches that they suspect are coming instead of reacting to what comes. I have seen no evidence of this in Ibanez, and while Sexson showed a decline in pitch recognition and bat speed, that is by no means a pattern that can be applied systematically to players of his ilk or skill-set.

Being correct in assuming decline with Sexson, yet failing with Ibanez for 4 years doesn't leave me convinced of an analytical skill.

Posted by tugboatcritic

11:46 PM, Jul 18, 2008

Good gravy Adam, you outright stole every talking point from UUSSM regarding the Bedard trade. You started repeating them in Dec. And continued into the new year. You did it, I read it, said something then, and will again. Am I going to go back and prove it? I think that brought up a few points sometime back. You denied it. OK. You have a mind meld of genius with them. I am quite sure that I'm not the only one to have noticed your transgressions.

Posted by BrianL

11:48 PM, Jul 18, 2008

No one said Ibanez was in that decline stage 4 years ago. What I'm saying is that he may be entering that decline stage -now-. I'm not sure what about this you don't get, or why you insist of accusing me of making arguments I didn't make.

My entire argument revolved around the idea that it was silly to offer Raul a 3-year extension. Actually, let me just state this clearly, so you can understand it:

Raul Ibanez is not a bad player now. There may be some signs he's entering decline phase, however. As such, I don't feel it's wise to offer him anything more than a 1-year extension.

See, that's the argument I'm making. Stop putting words in my mouth.

Posted by Adam

12:01 AM, Jul 19, 2008

That's just not true, tugboat. Doing a simple search of USSM finds that the first time they argued about Jones vs. Bedard was Jan. 8. I was arguing against the proposed trade well before that.

Here's their post:

And I remember you accused me of using these value projections that USSM used, even though I provided links to each of my posts for two weeks after that USSM post, and not once did I even mention them.

But to get to the real point, the reasons for hating a Bedard/Jones trade really were simple and easy to understand, and no one person or entity had monopoly over them. I didn't need any blog to tell me that the team wasn't good enough even with Bedard, that Jones, Sherril, Tillman, Butler, and Mickolio was too great of a package, and that Bedard's durability made the deal a problem.

Is it that hard to understand that two persons may have the same thoughts on a particular subject?

And finally, the reason I ask for some sort of proof to back up your claims is simple: I don't appreciate being accused of being a plagarist, so the least you can do if you really favor thoughful, intelligent debate is actually back up your accusations. Otherwise, you look like a complete hack. Just thought you'd like to keep some semblance of credibility...

Posted by tugboatcritic

12:02 AM, Jul 19, 2008

That is why I said that you were late to the party Brian. If you are going to borrow terminology and philosophy from the source that you do, you kinda need to be married to their musings from inception. And yes they did get on this downward spiral thing several years ago, old player skills and the like. I brought up another example of their claims: Mike Lowell, at the time of the Marlins-Sox trade.

These are 2 examples of being outright wrong when using whatever goofy-assed system for declaring that a player has "old-player skills." Therefore, I don't think that you should co-opt this logic when talking about anything regarding Ibanez. Its crap, and has no basis. And one other thing, saying that a 35 year old may start to decline is just stating the obvious. Most do, old or young player skills notwithstanding.

Posted by BrianL

12:04 AM, Jul 19, 2008

tugboatcritic - So by your logic, everyone that was in favor of the Bedard trade because they felt the team was only one TOR SP away from the playoffs was clearly plagiarizing Buster Olney's work.

Glad we got that straightened out.

Posted by tugboatcritic

12:29 AM, Jul 19, 2008

Brian, poor analogy of my leap of logic. I never stated that Adam borrowed the idea of opposing the trade. The information that he provided in his defense was obtained from another site. I called him on it. He did so a number of times in a number of ways. You obviously weren't around for that.

And my point for calling him on it was not to accuse him of plagarism, it was to point out that while he was far and away the loudest and most repetitive poster here, my opposition wasn't met with original thought. I might make that same suggestion to you. You denizens of the major local blogs enjoy the bully pulpit. I take issue with some (not all) of the methodology used when making your assertions. I also consider myself quite knowledgable about the game and have the ability to affect change on the field and observe the actions with a good understanding of "why."

But I resist the declaration (in attitude) that every discussion need be undertaken from the "seattleblogocentric" perspective. I find that a great deal of the "new" stat analysis is derivitive of the old counting stats that you folks live to trash. I also find that many of the "new" stats don't hold up to the scientific method like they claim. Take a gander at the tRA or whatever its called. On its face, very complex, lots of park adjustments and this and that. But if you look at its top 15 pitchers from last year, it has an eerie semblance to the top 15 ERA leaders which has been around for 100 years.

Yet, a lot of your guys time is taken up bashing the old counting stats. I would hope that if one has truly re-invented the wheel, he might hope that the conclusions reached differ from what he aims to replace.

Posted by BrianL

12:40 AM, Jul 19, 2008

"And my point for calling him on it was not to accuse him of plagarism, it was to point out that while he was far and away the loudest and most repetitive poster here, my opposition wasn't met with original thought"

Adam just posted evidence that he came up with the argument weeks before the USSM and LL made any sort of reference to it. Have you bothered to read his posts?

So here's the question, how could Adam have voiced his opposition to the trade in a manner that would have constituted original thought? From everything I read, Adam was opposed to the trade for the following reasons:

1) Erik Bedard was a health risk.
2) Adam Jones, George Sherrill, Kam Mickolio, tony Butler, and Chris Tillman was too great a package to give up for one TOR pitcher.

So because (according to you, anyways) these concerns were brought up by others, it's not an original thought and therefore doesn't contain enough merit to be brought up in debate?

What would have been "original thought?" Should Adam have cited the planetary alignment as reason not to make the trade?

Posted by tugboatcritic

6:58 AM, Jul 19, 2008

Brian, you should probobly stay out of what is not your battle. I don't care when Adam came up with the idea to not "like" the trade. My point then, and now, was that he lifted a lot of analysis and used it to argue his case. Several folks in here noted that he was doing that. All of the run value, future money whatever along with the defensive hogwash analysis. There were easily half-a dozen bullet points that he borrowed and co-opted without citation. But I really don't need to prove anything more to you Brian. You have shown a lack of comprehension of my premise and keep going back to the same simplistic accusation which I addressed in my first post. Adam knows that he was a little fast and loose with citation of others work, its why he's so defensive about it.

Posted by Adam

9:52 AM, Jul 19, 2008

And yet you can't produce one iota of evidence to back up those lies, tugboat.

The reason I'm defensive about it is because I'm a former attorney and I have a much better understanding of what plagarism is and how dishonest it is. So, it effect, you have repeatedly called me dishonest without any proof. Given my background, I don't like it. So you had better believe I'm going to defend myself. And the proof I've produced to counter your baseless accusations well outweighs your conjecture.

Last time we had this discussion, I cited to each and every thread on this blog for two weeks after USSM's Jan. 8 "dollar value" post. Not one of my posts in any of those threads came close to even referencing USSM's Jan. 8 post.

I just showed you that USSM starting posting about the proposed trade only in January.

You are wrong on all counts.

And yes, you specifically accused me of plagarism.

Quit being a liar.

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