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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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August 3, 2008 5:55 PM

Putz on the comeback trail

Posted by Larry Stone

The best part of the Mariners' 8-4 win -- besides the occasional flyovers by the Blue Angels -- was probably an impressive outing by J.J. Putz, who needed just 11 pitches to get four outs. As I mentioned before the game, the Mariners are just waiting for Putz to assert himself and show he's ready to close again before beginning the process of making Brandon Morrow a starter.

Today was a huge step in that direction. Putz really sounded pumped after the game. He was particularly happy with a nasty split he threw to Nick Markakis that resulted in a ground out. For Putz to get back to where he needs to be, he needs to regain command of his split. As he pointed out, other teams know he hasn't had it, and they're able to sit on his fastball and slider. And with more than a month off, those pitches aren't at full strength yet, either. With a split back in the arsenal, Putz should start to progress toward last year's success at a faster rate. I noticed he popped a few fastballs at 97 mph, another good sign.

"To be able go out and execute the split today was a very, very big step,'' Putz said.

He admitted he's anxious to close again but said he completely understands why Riggleman is going with Morrow.

"I think today was a really big step in making that decision (to put him back at closer) easier for them,'' he said.

And how about Yuniesky Betancourt's four-pitch walk in the seventh? It was his seventh base on balls in 281 plate appearances this year. It was a big one, too, loading the bases with none out in a 4-4 game. Ichiro got the tie-breaking run across on a fielder's choice, and Raul Ibanez broke it open with a two-run single.

Combined with the Angels' loss to the Yankees, the Mariners crept to within 27 games of first place.

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Posted by Putts Off

6:10 PM, Aug 03, 2008

But did he make any shaving cream pies?

Posted by dirty rotten scoundrals

6:19 PM, Aug 03, 2008

But why wait to move Morrow. It doesn't matter how many games we win this year so why wait to stretch Morrow out. This FO just does not make any sense whatsoever!

I think it's because the FO is torn between whether or not to make him a starter so if they drag this out long enough then they can say, oh well he will stretch out during winter ball. These guys suck.

Posted by mikey

6:22 PM, Aug 03, 2008

oh snap! only 27 games back!!!!

Posted by el búfalo

6:26 PM, Aug 03, 2008

Adiós Seattle. Me fuera a Kansas City. Usted está recibiendo un buen jugador a José Guillén.
P.S. - ¿Tiene una Ruth Cris'?

Posted by TJGS es idiotas

6:32 PM, Aug 03, 2008

Usted debe ser super-estúpido, Jose Guillen es un perdedor, el pasado peor que el común de jugador su flor. KC no tiene interés en el búfalo Silva.

Posted by Lars

7:00 PM, Aug 03, 2008

I think Ichiro has slipped quite a bit . He's getting much more credit - the last two All Star games for example - than his performance would merit. At any rate, I would take Abreau over him at this point. Bobby still has some life in him. He hits for decent power as well as average, runs the bases nicely, and is among the handful of elite right fielders in baseball, his odd unwillingness to not dive for balls excepted.

Posted by Batter Up!!!

7:08 PM, Aug 03, 2008

Thank you for your work Larry!

Too bad we won today! We could have picked up a game in the last place standing. The good news is both Washington & San Diego won also so we did not lose any ground.

Posted by Husky78

7:19 PM, Aug 03, 2008

Geoff and Larry,
Putz may understand why Riggleman is sticking with Morrow, but I don't. This season is lost. What does it matter if Putz is back in full form to close games. Does a blown save really matter in the grand scheme of this season? Isn't it much more important to stretch Morrow out and see how he reacts to being a major league starter? Wouldn't it also help form an outline and plan for offseason moves?

Posted by Top pick in 09 draft

7:41 PM, Aug 03, 2008

Credit to Silva for hanging in there today for nearly 7 innings and also to JJ and even Yuni for good performances. I thought for sure that Yuni would botch what everyone knew would be a bunting situation. If Yuni could start to draw some walks during the remainder of the season and demonstrate an ability to work the count, that would help ease the need to look for a long-term answer at SS. I think either Truinfel or Lopez will be playing 3B in 2010 assuming Beltre leaves when his contract is up.

Posted by BrianL

7:45 PM, Aug 03, 2008

I'm still not convinced Lopez has what it takes to play 3B. The sheer defensive and power drop-off from Beltre would be pretty staggering (today's home run aside). He's much more suited for 2B than he is 3B.

As for Triunfel, he's going to be good but 2010 is a pretty liberal estimate as to when he gets here. Remember, he has yet to record a single game at the AA level. I think the earliest he would be called up is sometime around 2011-2012.

Posted by Top pick in 09 draft

7:52 PM, Aug 03, 2008

BrianL: The M's are actually showing some admirable patience in their approach with Truinfel. Using Yuni as one example, they rushed him through the system despite his obvious flaws and free-swinging mentality and the result is what we've seen this year. I think Truinfel, assuming he continues maturing mentally (the M's suspending him earlier this year for unspecified team violations), could move through the system rapidly next season and could be here by mid-2010 - if we're lucky, about the same time that Strasburg makes his MLB debut. That could get people buzzing again after what shapes up to be another rebuilding season in 2009.

Posted by BrianL

7:52 PM, Aug 03, 2008

Lars - I didn't quite believe it when I saw it, but take a look at Ichiro's monthly slash-lines (Courtesy

April: .252/.310/.361: (80 sOPS+)
May: .319/.384/.398 (114 sOPS+)
June: .312/.364/.349 (92 sOPS+)
July: .333/.388/.435 (118 sOPS+)

Based on his current overall line, I thought those monthly numbers would look much worse. Instead what I'm seeing is that since April, Ichiro's hitting like his normal self. However, April was so unusually bad that it's skewing his entire season line.

I thought perhaps his defense was deteriorating, but his RZR rating (head over to to see the numbers) currently stands as one of the best of his career.

Back in April, we could have made an argument that he was in decline. Now, I don't think we can. Ever since then he's been playing like he always has.

Posted by BrianL

7:54 PM, Aug 03, 2008

Top pick in 09 draft - It's not out of the realm of possibility, sure. I think a more reasonable guess is that Triunfel gets up in 2011, or more likely 2012 (keep in mind he's still an extremely young player, it wouldn't hurt to let him mentally mature on a smaller stage).

More reason I think we should offer Beltre a 2-year extension, though.

Posted by Dave from the resigned coast

8:07 PM, Aug 03, 2008

Maybe this wasn't a sparkling pitching performance by Silva, but it was Good Enough. This is what I'm talking about...if we get at least "pretty good" pitching consistently, we would have a "pretty good" won-loss record. This was the M's first win at home since sometime in July...and this is supposedly a Pitcher's ballpark. Either we improve the pitching...or shorten the yard dimensions so we can (hopefully) hit more home runs. Either that or bring Jose Guillen back. And go get Bucky Jacobsen from the wheat fields.

Posted by el búfalo

8:19 PM, Aug 03, 2008

Adiós Seattle. Es cierto. El idiota es ... bueno ... un idiota. Adiós. ¡Buena Suerte José!

Posted by brian esta stupido

8:27 PM, Aug 03, 2008

BrianL esta stupido!

Esta ingorinto muy fuked upo!

Muy bassario!

Posted by Eddy

8:43 PM, Aug 03, 2008

I just hope Ichiro can keep all his important streaks going..300 avg, 200 hits, 100 runs. Honestly, nothing else matters at this point.

Posted by Chris from Bothell

8:43 PM, Aug 03, 2008

Combined with the Angels' loss to the Yankees, the Mariners crept to within 27 games of first place.

Geez, Larry, twist the knife, why don't ya.

Glad Putz is getting back to form. Sad that I couldn't bring myself to go out and join in Dave Niehaus Day, but even my love o Dave can't bring me to give the Ms more money this year. And I don't think I could enjoy it, knowing that in Dave's HoF year, he gets to witness... well, this.

Dave Deserves Better.

Posted by ninguna verdad para Jose

9:24 PM, Aug 03, 2008

El idiota que anuncia esta despedida a Silva y bienvenido a Guillen, debía tener la cabeza examinada. El es un completo loco y el peligro a la sociedad. Consiga una vida usted tonto de loco.

Posted by TJGS es idiotas

9:29 PM, Aug 03, 2008

BrianL es estúpido, pero la Sociedad de Jose Guillen está completamente loca y totalmente jodida arriba.

Posted by Strahlen Sie mich auf Scotty!

9:33 PM, Aug 03, 2008

Wo ist der Idiot ScottM mit seinem dummen Jose Guillen Gesellschaft? Es gibt keinen größeren Narren unter uns.

Posted by scottM

9:35 PM, Aug 03, 2008

Good game to see live today. Very nice Neihaus tribute. Bobblehead of Dave. Blue Angels. Sweet Suite. Silva showed up to play for the most part. JJ could be back. Yuni walked!

Then, in the eighth inning, before the Wave, the crowd stood and made it official. Behind the plate, third deck, up the third base line, in the outfield bleachers, from the Hits Here Café, M's fans stood en masse and sang "TJGS", their arms motioning the letters. Our movement gains momentum!!!!

José, there's no need to feel down.
We say, José, pick yourself off the ground.
We say, José, come on back to our town
There's no need to be unhappy.

José, there's a place you can go.
Mr. Guillén, you'll have no shortage of dough.
You can stay here, and we're sure you will find
Many ways to help the M's win all the time.

It's fun to be in TJGS
It's fun to be in TJGS.

You have everything for the M's to enjoy,
You can hang out with all the boys ...

It's fun to be in TJGS.
It's fun to be in TJGS.

You can get yourself cleaned, we can have a good team,
You can do whatever you feel ...

That's when someone came up to me,
And said, José, get away from K.C..
There's a place here called T.J.G.S.
The M's can start you back on your way.

It's fun to be in TJGS.
It's fun to be in TJGS.


Posted by scottM

9:38 PM, Aug 03, 2008

Wondering if we get the bi-polar, multiple personality version of our official song in Spanish and German, too?


Posted by TJGS are Idiots

9:40 PM, Aug 03, 2008

They did no such thing, ScottM, you are such a liar living in a fantasy world. Forget about that loser and go get a life.

Posted by ¡Emítame arriba Scotty!

9:43 PM, Aug 03, 2008

La estupidez es la estupidez en cualquier idioma y usted es el líder de la ignorancia insensata. ScottM es un idiota.

Posted by Strahlen Sie mich auf Scotty!

9:47 PM, Aug 03, 2008

Die Jose Guillen Gesellschaft ist übermäßig dumm und ScottM ist der Meister der Unwissenheit. Vergessen Sie diese Phantasie und erhalten Sie ein Leben.

Posted by scottM

9:48 PM, Aug 03, 2008

Were you there Señor Idiot? I think you're jealous of our Society's newfound fame!!!


Posted by Me rayonner en haut Scotty !

9:49 PM, Aug 03, 2008

La Société de Guillen de Jose est super stupide et ScottM est le maître d'ignorance. Oublier que cette fantaisie et obtient une vie.

Posted by Esteban

9:51 PM, Aug 03, 2008

With regards to the adulation recently being thrown Jose Guillen’s way on this site, just wondering, how does refusing to speak with your manager conducive to the twin concepts of ‘culture’ and ‘chemistry’ so much bandied about here? Does it help ‘light a spark under the team’, or some such nonsense?

Posted by Walla Walla Girl

9:53 PM, Aug 03, 2008

Thanks for the game report, scottM. That had to be one of the better home game experiences of the year.

It's fun to be in TJGS.
It's fun to be in TJGS.

Posted by scottM

9:54 PM, Aug 03, 2008

Posted by TJGS are Idiots

9:56 PM, Aug 03, 2008

It is stupid to be in the Jose Guillen Society - grow up you losers.

Posted by TJGS are Idiots

9:59 PM, Aug 03, 2008

Es estúpido estar en la Sociedad de Jose Guillen - le crece perdedores.

Posted by Oly Mike

10:00 PM, Aug 03, 2008

As I predicted the exasperation has finally boiled over on this blog. The bile and vehemence among bloggers has grown into a frenzy of namecalling and silly platitudes as well as prayers for the dying or dead already-- Guillen, Vidro and Silva. The problem is nothing we do or say here seems to have any affect at all. This team is on the slippery slope into oblivion for years to come. 2009 forget it. Maybe 2012. But the Mayan Calender says the world is going to end on 12/21/2012. So who will care. It is like the story of Sisyphus. Roll the big boulder to almost the top of the Mountain and it rolls back down. Endless frustration and no answers. I think we should all go away and check back next decade if the Mayans were wrong. And maybe something will have changed. And I said maybe.

Posted by TJGS ist Idioten

10:01 PM, Aug 03, 2008

Es ist dumm, in der Jose Guillen Gesellschaft zu sein - wächst Sie Verlierer auf.

Posted by Esteban

10:02 PM, Aug 03, 2008


With regards to the adulation recently being thrown Jose Guillen’s way, just wondering, how is refusing to speak with your manager conducive to the twin concepts of ‘culture’ and ‘chemistry’ that are so bandied about on this site? Is it supposed to help ‘light a spark under the team’, or some such truck?

Posted by TJGS est des idiots

10:04 PM, Aug 03, 2008

C'est stupide pour être dans la Société de Guillen de Jose - vous grandit les perdants.

Posted by scottM

10:06 PM, Aug 03, 2008

How does one say "MY OH MY" in Spanish, German and French?

Oh and Oly Mike, "My Oh My" is not a prayer "for the dying or dead already."


Posted by TJGS sono degli idioti

10:07 PM, Aug 03, 2008

È stupido per essere nella Societá di Guillen di Jose - cresce lei i perdenti.

Posted by TJGS is idioten

10:09 PM, Aug 03, 2008

Het is dom in de Jose Guillen Maatschappij te zijn - groei u verliezers op.

Posted by scottM

10:10 PM, Aug 03, 2008

In case you missed this:

How did you get around to lumping José Guillen in with Vidro and Silva? No comparison, Oly Mike.

Posted by Esteban

10:11 PM, Aug 03, 2008

When you’re relishing the thought of the return to your club of a player to thoroughly mediocre as Jose Guillen, I think it’s safe to say that your team has really fallen on hard times.

Posted by TJGS são idiotas

10:13 PM, Aug 03, 2008

É estúpido estar na Sociedade de Guillen de Jose - cresce-o perdedoes.

Posted by TJGS - идиоты

10:16 PM, Aug 03, 2008

Глупо находиться в Обществе Хосе Гуиллена - растут Вы проигравшие

Posted by TJGS er idioter

10:18 PM, Aug 03, 2008

Det er dum til å være i Jose Guillen Samfunnet - vokser opp du losers.

Posted by Oly Mike

10:19 PM, Aug 03, 2008

Scottm. Prayers for the dead or dying is simply this Players who are gone from the team or dead(Guillen, Jones, Sherill, Griffey etc.) or dying soon to be gone (Vidro, Silva, Washburn). A simple metaphor. I wasn't comparing them as players but only that I believe that once gone they are dead as a Mariner and in all probability won't or shouldn't return.

Posted by TJGS 是白痴

10:20 PM, Aug 03, 2008

愚蠢在 Jose Guillen 社会里 - 长大你失败者。

Posted by TJGSはばかです

10:23 PM, Aug 03, 2008


Posted by TJGS are Idiots

10:25 PM, Aug 03, 2008

In any language it is stupid to belong to the Jose Guillen Society and your who do so are foolish idiots.

Posted by scottM

10:31 PM, Aug 03, 2008

You're right, for the most part, on ex-Mariners, Oly Mike, but José Guillén is an exceptional case. Plenty of teams have had players with more than one tour of duty.

The José Guillén Society is not hearing much in the way of better, more viable outfielders in '09 than our man Guillén. We're all ears, in case the Royals and M's front offices are too unimaginative to make this deal.


Posted by BrianL

10:37 PM, Aug 03, 2008

scottM - In all fairness, I'd rather go after Juan Rivera. Similar production but will likely come at a fraction of the cost.

Posted by scottM

10:53 PM, Aug 03, 2008

BrianL: Adam Dunn and Juan Rivera are good possibilities. Rivera's recovery from his broken leg is a concern, and Big Donkey Dunn's not a great contact hitter, but has good power.

I still like the fire that Guillén would return to this team along with his solid play. Also, a deal with the Royals for José would be a better bet than acquiring free agents in the off season.

Posted by Walla Walla Girl

11:11 PM, Aug 03, 2008

Raúl Ibañez is an example of a Seattle Mariner who went away and then came back successfully.

Posted by scanman

11:24 PM, Aug 03, 2008

Sorry boys , I had a few to deink today and when I tried to read the blog it was all giberesh. kinda look like spanish or german or something. what ever, I gotta lay off that jagermeister stuff. I'm outta here. { Man my head is spinning}

Posted by sick of the stupidity

12:11 AM, Aug 04, 2008

Scott M you and the rest of you f*cken morons about that pos Guillen Shut the f*ck up already, quit messing up a decent blog

Posted by Merrill

5:00 AM, Aug 04, 2008

Howdy, Scott, just wanted to respond to your response to my response to one of your many, prolific, pro-Guillen posts.

(Chris, I'm gonna hafta copy-n-paste your original post with the numbers. That's some funny stuff.)

Anyway, don't really have much to say, actually, in response to your response to my response to one of your many, prolific, pro-Guillen posts, except that I do agree that we can contend next year, and that it's very likely Balentien and Diaz as LF-CF (not necessarily respectively) will be inadequate both defensively and offensively.

jI do find the vitriol bizarre and somewhat amusing at times (he said while looking down his nose). Talk about "messing up a decen blog"!

On a related note, any Oregongal sightings lately? You're one of the ones, SOTS, who drove her off in disgust. How's that for a Bavasi trade???

Posted by Jose Guillen Gesellschaft Büro Berlin

6:17 AM, Aug 04, 2008

Grüße und guten Nachmittag von der Gesellschaft Jose Guillen Büro Berlin. Wir möchten zum Ausdruck bringen, unsere Glückwünsche und besten Wünsche zu Jose mit seiner bevorstehenden Rückkehr in Seattle.
Jose Hail!

Posted by TJGS ist Idioten

6:49 AM, Aug 04, 2008

Guillen kommt nach Seattle, Sie dummer Narr nicht zurück. Niemand aber ein paar Dummköpfe haben Statistiken geeks Wunsch ihn um geführt und die Rezeption hat wenigstens genug Sinn, diesen Schnorrer zu vermeiden. Erhalten Sie ein Leben Sie Idioten.

Posted by Jose Guillen Gesellschaft Büro Berlin

7:13 AM, Aug 04, 2008

Sir, müssen Sie über ein Grolsch und entspannen. Bitte pass auf meine Hinblick auf Jose, wenn er ankommt.
Mit freundlichen Grüßen-Jose Guillen Gesellschaft Büro Berlin

Posted by TJGS ist Idioten

7:54 AM, Aug 04, 2008

Diese Jose Guillen Scheiße ist der dümmste Trick je, Sie und Ihre Gesellschaft muss äußerste Narren über hinaus Einlösung von irgendeiner intelligenten Gesellschaft sein. Vergessen Sie darum, nicht kommt Guillen nach Seattle.

Posted by Posted by Jose Guillen Gesellschaft Büro Berlin

8:11 AM, Aug 04, 2008

Es besteht keine Notwendigkeit für eine solche vulgären! Wir hoffen, dass die Ankunft von Jose beruhigen wird Ihre Wut. Ich Gebot Sie Guten Abend.

Posted by downonstrikes

8:18 AM, Aug 04, 2008

You've gone past humor and good taste gentlemen.

Posted by TJGS ist Idioten

8:19 AM, Aug 04, 2008

Ihre Dummheit kennt keine Grenze, Sie sind ein äußerster Idiot, der seinen Kopf braucht, hat untersucht. Guillen wird nach Seattle erhält dass in Ihrem dummen Schädel nicht zurückkehren. Kein Weg Jose.

Posted by scottM

8:33 AM, Aug 04, 2008


It would be nice to know what the M's F.O. intends. Hard to tell in light of the attempted Washburn deal whether Lincoln and Armstrong intend to re-load with a few key pieces, or simply dump most of its expensive pieces irrespective of the return. Seems they don't know what they want to do until the new GM arrives.

TJGS is an attempt to beg this bigger question by those of us who hope the F.O. seriously tries to field a winning team in '09 AND brings someone in who can ALSO segue the M's toward a consistent winner beyond '09.

Too bad this fun PR maneuver by TJGS encouraged the return of Mr. BiPolar, king of multilingual insults.

Posted by M Dogg

9:04 AM, Aug 04, 2008

FYI- Lee Pelekoudas will be on KJR am 950 in a few moments. Hopefully Mitch asks why Vidro and Cairo are still on the roster.

Posted by The Mariners FO.

9:04 AM, Aug 04, 2008

Hey Howard, that idiot ScottM thinks we don’t have a clue or plan for next year. Go ahead Howard tell them the plan. Ah Howard? I say Howie my man; you sure have a blank look on your face. Com’on Howard you do have a plan don’t you? Lee. Get in here!!! We have an issue.

Posted by Mike

9:06 AM, Aug 04, 2008

Merrill--Welcome back.

A guy goes away for a long weekend, hoping against hope that the Ms will stop playing guys who have no part in their future (Cairo, Vidro) and will bring up guys who just might (Balentien, Diaz).

In the offseason the next GM will have to make decisions about who might have a role next year and who won't. In essence we've wasted the opportunity for Balentien or anyone else to get about 100 plate appearances already. Why would you do this to yourselves? Certainly not because Vidro or Cairo give you a better chance of winning. They don't. It is just soul-crushing to see them in the lineup nearly everyday.

Balentiien may not be the answer but 300 PAs give you a better idea than 200 or 150 or 100. Remember it took Adam Jones 2 months to get it going this year.

Posted by Mariners Management

9:41 AM, Aug 04, 2008

Howie, you know what that idiot ScottM and his stupid Jose Guillen Society are proposing the return of Mr. Cancer to our club. Well I am thinking, remember my son's anthropology class on sacrifice, maybe we need to give the fans some more blood.

Gee Chuck that sounds gory, maybe we could just cut loose Vidro and Cairo then we wouldn't need to sacrifice anyone.

Thats just what I was thinking Howie, great minds work in tandem.

Yea and lets dump Washburn and his salary while we are at it.

You know you've got something there Howie, we might save some money for next year.

Lee, get in here!

Posted by Big Ebu

9:43 AM, Aug 04, 2008


Haven’t been checking on the blog much the past several weeks so I haven’t seen how the TJGS plans to acquire Guillen from KC? He still has 2+ years (and guessing $24M+) left on his contract so is the TJGS advocating that we take this salary on in 2009? I realize we have a lot of $$ coming off the books in 2009, but I don’t think turning around and giving $24M to Guillen is the best way to use it.

Unless of course you think KC would actually release Guillen????

Posted by M Dogg

9:45 AM, Aug 04, 2008

Pelekoudas on KJR: would not comment on Brandon Morrow situation or much of anything else. Unfortunately was not asked about Vidro, Cairo or bringing up some of the players from AAA before Sept. Oh well, what did I expect?

Posted by scottM

9:47 AM, Aug 04, 2008

Speaking of idiots. Mitch Levy at KJR-AM interviews Lee Pelekoudas and focuses on asking about the inside scuttlebutt on trades that never happened with Washburn and Ibanez. So what.

The doof never bothers to ask about whether the M's organization will be looking at a major team overhaul or to reload at a few key positions. All we got from this interview with Lee was the same old, same old. The M's will be looking to turn this around one step at a time. Duh.

Mitch Levy should go back to the East Coast where the media is in love with itself more than the big picture.

Posted by Oly Mike

9:50 AM, Aug 04, 2008

Ok!! Some of you want to bring back ex-Mariners that did well when they were in Seattle. Players like Guillen & Griffey. I think that that would be ok. But, it is like verything else with this team. They are living in the past. Both Guillen and Griffey will be another year older if they comeback for the 2009 season and another year awy from their prime time. What this team needs to do now is "bite the bullet" and start a youth movement and BUILD a future instead of resurrecting the past. Resurecting the past or careers of old veterans has not worked. We as fans are going to have to live through at least another couple of poor years before this team can develop a solid group of young players. The cost for this is the release of most of the overpaid underachieving veterans. And bringing more in isn't going to build the future!!!!

Posted by Bill

9:54 AM, Aug 04, 2008

Had to figure that w/ Levy conducting the interview no good questions would be asked. To think he went to Syracuse, too!

Posted by Chris from Bothell

9:56 AM, Aug 04, 2008

Mike - I do wonder about the conspiracy theory that popped up a while ago, saying that Lee/Jim are playing Vidro and Cairo b/c if they tank, Lee/Jim can claim they were just working with what they were given, whereas if youngsters tank, it falls to Lee/Jim and diminishes their chances of a fulltime job later. Occam's Razor probably applies though - it's likely that Lee/Jim honestly do think that Vidro/Cairo are the best options around.

Merrill - Good to have you back. And thanks. :) I think the OF you describe would be interesting to see, esp. under the theory of "we don't need superstars, even league average players would be a huge boost". But after seeing how slow the Ms are to change this year, I'm really disinclined to do much more rosterbation than I and others already have. Nothing really seems to change...

Geoff, if you read this far: Can we pretty please have the "changes coming in the months ahead to comment functionality" that has been at the top of the webpage for a year+, to have SOME sort of moderation to filter out the noise? This entry's responses - a kind of United Nations Ambassadors On A Bender - underscores the need for at least a bare minimum. I can hit the page down key as well as the next guy, but who knows what kind of insightful people we're missing out on b/ they take one look in here and think the blog has gone all Lord of the Flies?

Posted by Top pick in 09 draft

10:04 AM, Aug 04, 2008

I didn't hear this am's interview on KJR but I wonder if Lee P was able to give any of his impressions re. player development and hope for the future from some of the minor league prospects. Given Lee's background, I don't think talent evaluation and player development is a strength and given the dismal state of this organization right now, we need a permanent GM who has strength in these areas. If Lee is GM, I can see him blowing our #1 draft pick next June because of overanalysis (Strasburg throws too hard at 99 mph and may break down' he has too much movement on his fastball, etc) and he'll want to draft another slow-footed catcher or college relief pitcher.

Posted by scrapiron

10:08 AM, Aug 04, 2008

2009 rotation


That doesn't look all that bad. That's a solid rotation. I also think Gaby Hernandez might be able to push Silva for the #5 slot by ST or mid-2009 too. I'm assuming they'll trade Washburn in the off-season, and maybe we can get a decent prospect in return there too.

A healthy Bedard in a walk year might put up monster numbers.

Posted by scrapiron

10:12 AM, Aug 04, 2008

Top pick - If the Mariners do indeed get the #1 pick and don't draft Strasburg, there should be hell to pay. He's the most highly touted pitcher in years, and if he tears up the Olympics like everyone thinks he should silence any last doubters that remain. I also think Strasburg could make the jump directly to the big leagues, ala Ben McDonald.

Wow, this rotation looks better than my last post:

Posted by Chuck

10:18 AM, Aug 04, 2008

Minnesota has the right idea. They bring their prospects up, let them play everyday and if they really tank, they send them back down to get their groove back, bring them back up and play them every day. They learn how to adjust to major league pitching and they do fine. something like Adam Jones is doing this year. And Bill James of Saber... fame says if the guys have good saber points in the minors, (AA or higher)why waste them there longer. Bring em up and let them go to work. I say send Morrow down to learn how to start, and bring up Ballentein and Diaz and play them every day. We accomplish two things from a lost season. Get the young guys experience and work toward the #1 draft pick

Posted by Top pick in 09 draft

10:20 AM, Aug 04, 2008

Scrapiron: That last rotation you posted gets me excited just looking at it! Silva will be the highest paid mop-up man in the game at $12m/year and maybe Kenji could be his personal catcher since both are now under contract through 2011.

Posted by scrapiron

10:26 AM, Aug 04, 2008

Batista, Silva, Washburn, Gaby and Feirabend could all be in the wings if any of our starters get injured or struggle. That's a pretty deep staff. That would allow you to set a rotation based on performance, not salaries.

Posted by meagain

10:35 AM, Aug 04, 2008

After reading a few posts down, a couple of comments from one who attended the game yesterday.

At a crucial juncture, Ichiro gave himself up to advance a runner. Then he had what surely would have been a hit--for him--negated on an FC/E6 play. He had an excellent game all around, including a stolen base. I have no idea how his hamstring is, but his legs are in better shape than Bloomy's. (Willie got hurt coming out of the box the other night in Texas, and he's fairly obviously hobbled.)

Two words about diving for balls: Morse, Reed.

Abreu and Ichiro are about the same age. How many would make that swap? Do you think the Yankees would do it? Not that it's a theory that even a traveling secretary would dare to test.

Posted by Jonathan

10:43 AM, Aug 04, 2008

In response to Brian L, I'm not specifically referring to a post you made but a lot of the Saber metric stat guys talk down on Lopez. You called him an average hitter for a second basemen which I assume you do because of his OPS, something saber-geeks are obsessed with.

Just as he proved yesterday, sabermetrics don't tell the whole story. How about the fact he's our only .300 hitter? He's #2 in the AL for RBI's by a second basemen just 2 RBI's behind Kinsler. His splits are pretty consistent home/away, day/night, and he's been on a tear since the ASB.

I also like his .326 BAA with RISP, .333 BA Close and Late. I'll take a clutch guy like Lopez no matter what is OPS is.

Posted by BrianL

10:44 AM, Aug 04, 2008

meagain - I wouldn't make that swap. If I had to venture a guess, Abreu falls apart before Ichiro.

Posted by BrianL

11:05 AM, Aug 04, 2008

Jonathan -

Let's do some fact checking:

"Lopez is our only .300 hitter."

Ichiro is currently sitting at .303. He's also hit at least .312 in every month since April.

"He's #2 in the AL for RBI's by a second basemen just 2 RBI's behind Kinsler."

RBIs are a terrible tool to evaluate hitters. It is largely dependant on factors outside of a hitter's control. Earlier in the season, Jose Vidro was among the team leaders in runs batted in. Does that mean he's a good hitter?

"You called him an average hitter for a second basemen which I assume you do because of his OPS, something saber-geeks are obsessed with."

OPS is a rough tool that provides a cursory glance into a hitter. It's useful for evaluating how often a player gets on base, and how often they hit for power.

Through last season, Jose Lopez was a decidedly mediocre player based on OPS.

That isn't the only tool we use, though.

Throughout his career his LD% has been on the low end. In addition, he hardly walks. Those peripheral numbers did show him to be a rather middling hitter.

If he has turned a corner, great. If he can continue it this season and through next season, I'll say he's somewhat above-average when it comes to hitting.

Also, Johnathan, one game is a small sample size. It is proof of nothing.

Posted by scottM

11:11 AM, Aug 04, 2008

Top Pick In '09: Your Strasburg fixation is as laudable as that of THE JOSÉ GUILLEN SOCIETY. I like the idea of Strasburg as a Mariner, except it implies that the M's perpetuate a chronic culture of losing to get him.

The KJR-AM interview with one of the key people who can shed some light on this franchise's direction started off with all-important topic of UW quarterback Jake Locker's potential as a major leaguer. It then dipped from the wholly irrelevant to the gossip realm when Mitch Levy tried to find out what really happened behind the scenes with the Blue Jays on the Ibanez trade talks. Levy wanted to know who lied. Then he tried to touch on who was to blame in the press coverage of the Washburn/Yankees trade, and if the M's would consider trading with the Yankees again. What's Lee supposed to say? "The M's have officially blacklisted the Yankees." Duh.

He did ask about Morrow being stretched out, but did he honestly expect Lee to answer that question before Morrow is sent down? Duh.

Mitch Levy's head is too much into the self-importance of himself as Media player to ask anything about the future and near future strategic direction of the M's, except of course, the rude question of whether the M's are treating Pelekoudas more like an interim or are giving him the reins. What does he expect Lee to say? "They're treating me like doorstop here." Duh.

Levy's idea of the big picture has to do with bigger dances, not sports.

Thankfully, Levy gives GEOFF free rein when Baker does his segment.

Posted by Mike

11:15 AM, Aug 04, 2008

Jonathan--The reason "saber-geeks" like OPS is that it is a better indicator of success than BA. The stat most strongly correlates to offensive sucess is OBP. That makes sense in that outs are precious and not making them while adding a base runner is huge. Lopez doesn't walk much so while his BA is respectable his OBP is below average.

The second offensive skill that correlates to success is power and Jose stacks up fairly well here comparative to other second baseman. So he is about average. Offensively I'd rather have Kinsler, Roberts, Pedroia or Upton.

OPS is a better tool than BA. There are even more refined stats out there but having finally gotten my brain around OPS, I'm reluctant to OPS it is for awhile.

As for RISP, yes, his numbers are very good this year but lengthy studies have shown that there really isn't a skill for clutch hitting. At the end of the day most players overall numbers will be very similar to their clutch numbers but might vary from season to season...small sample size and all that.

Posted by BrianL

11:17 AM, Aug 04, 2008

Actually let's look at Jose Lopez another way, with the simple slash line.

Coming into this season, Lopez was a .253/.287/.376 hitter.

That's pretty mediocre, hence people said he was a mediocre hitter. If he can keep up his current pace through this season and into next, that label might be revised.

Posted by Chris from Bothell

11:40 AM, Aug 04, 2008

scrapiron: "That would allow you to set a rotation based on performance, not salaries."

AHAHAHAHAHA! AHAH! Ha. haha. ho. hee. ha. heh.

Are you assuming that some entirely new front office and management staff is doing this rotation setting? Because most of the pieces are in place to do the kind of performance-based managing you describe NOW... and there's no sign that the Ms ever take less than a season and a half to manage their roster or rotation based on performance.

Posted by Scanman

11:51 AM, Aug 04, 2008

Isn’t it interesting that growing up all you had to do was look at the back of a baseball card to know if a player was good or not. We could judge the likes of a Mickey Mantel, a Yogi, A couple of Willies. We could discern that Koufax or Gibson were great, and we knew about Tug McGraw, Tom Seaver and Nolan Ryan long before they became baseballs legends. I sometimes wonder if all the criteria used today to judge players are really necessary. I still think that if I can see Hits, Doubles, Home runs, and rbi’s and averages, I can tell whether or not I’d like to have that player on my team.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

12:12 PM, Aug 04, 2008

The doof never bothers to ask about whether the M's organization will be looking at a major team overhaul or to reload at a few key positions. All we got from this interview with Lee was the same old, same old. The M's will be looking to turn this around one step at a time. Duh.

That's KJR in a nutshell. Don't expect getting valuable information or analysis from those "entertainers."

Posted by 11Records

12:12 PM, Aug 04, 2008


What you point out with that rotation makes it all the more ridiculous that they didn't dump Washburn's contract when they had a chance.

- Felix and Bedard are obviously the #1 and #2 starters for next year.

- RRS and Ryan Feierabend are both lefties that can give comparable performance to Washburn for 1/25th the cost!

- Silva has 3 years and $36M left on his deal, so he can't be moved.

- Dickey has been quite effective in the rotation.

- Morrow should be a starter next year.

That's SEVEN starters who make more sense to be in the rotation next year than Washburn. Six of whom I'd actually trust to be effective. Obviously, in true M's fashion, it's the highest paid dude I'd assume would have an ERA of around 6. But, regardless, to next get him off the books is unbelievably foolish.

Posted by DC

1:04 PM, Aug 04, 2008

JJ needs to stop making excuses and just be the closer. Listening to him analyze his successes and failures reminds me of listening to Gil Meche. Meche always sounded primed and ready "to turn the corner on his season" after every decent start but then always "felt something tweak or pop" in the 3rd or 4th inning of a crummy start. Stop talking and just pitch! Then we can end this Morrow-as-closer buffoonery and do something useful this season.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

1:13 PM, Aug 04, 2008

The stat most strongly correlates to offensive sucess is OBP.

That is your opinion Mike and a subjective one at that, but you have that right. At the risk at anyone painting me as a fan of having players with OBP below .300, let's clarify, I do not support that. But Lopez at .325 is fine. He's hitting for average and driving in runs.

Mike says he would prefer Pedroia over Lopez, fine. It just shows the bias that stat heads have in preference of walk rates. This is reflected in the OPS and OBP.

12 more walks and six less strike outs, and five more extra base hits seperates statistically Pedroia from Lopez.

506 plate appearances for Dustin versus 407 for Lopez. Yet, Pedroia beats Lopez by nearly 50 points in OPS. Another example on why OPS is not liked by many traditional fans or the scouting community. There really isn't a 50 point difference in talent between Pedroia and Lopez. In fact scouting will look at both hitters and project more power for Lopez in comp to Pedroia physically.

I'd also like to say Lopez may be an average second baseman in the American League today, but I believe he has room to improve at 24 years old. If you use OPS, you can certainly make that conclusion he's average. Joe Inglett, Placido Polanco, and Alex Casilla may have better OPS but they are not better bats than Lopez this year. Polanco has lost quite a few steps this year. Lopez clearly showed better power, better slugging pct. than those players but less walks.

Posted by scottM

1:22 PM, Aug 04, 2008

from Big Ebu:

"I haven’t seen how the TJGS plans to acquire Guillen from KC? He still has 2+ years (and guessing $24M+) left on his contract so is the TJGS advocating that we take this salary on in 2009? I realize we have a lot of $$ coming off the books in 2009, but I don’t think turning around and giving $24M to Guillen is the best way to use it."

This is a good point, Big Ebu, but if Ibanez is gone, Guillén may prove to be an excellent replacement for him by fully assuming his salary. Let's look at the questions regarding the Mariners outfield in 2009:

Ichiro will start in RF (possibly in CF, depending on who else we have).

Ibanez in LF will be a free agent.

Balentien was well below average at the plate and barely average defensively in RF when he played on the big team in '08. The drop from José Guillen in '07 to Wilkerson/Balentien in '08 was precipitous, greater than any other single position, by far.

Jeremy Reed is an above average Center Fielder and a powerlite, average hitter. He is, by what he's shown in '08, a serviceable starting CF, but a better fourth outfielder.

Re-Signing Ibanez to play LF in '09 may happen, but the team will very likely want a better defender there next season.

If the M's intend to be competitive in '09, Balentien will NOT be given one of the OF positions.

There is room for significant upgrades in LF and CF for '09. One of these positions must be addressed if the M's have any intention of competing in '09. We NEED more offense.

There is actually no urgency in acquiring José Guillen until the off-season, but TJGS would like to see his name seriously considered. His intangible clubhouse presence for an M's team that plays without much fire, is seriously undervalued.

The M's should establish a ranking of potential viable Outfield acquisitions whether via free agency or trade:

Adam Dunn
Juan Rivera
Jose Guillen
Ken Griffey
Wlad Balentien

What is the cost benefit and risk analysis of each player?

Dunn: moderate-to-high cost/solid performer/low avg slugger/mid-career
Riviera: moderate cost/solid performer/ injury prone?/ mid-career
Griffey: high cost-high fan value/ solid, but declining performer/ injury prone/ very late career.
Balentien: very low cost/ poor MLB performer so far/ already with team/ early career
Guillen: high cost/ above avg power bat, average defense/ intangible upside for team chemistry/ late career

With Guillén we don't know if KC would do a salary dump for him or take on Silva's or Washburn's salaries in trade.
Would Washburn go to KC with his no trade contract clause?
Would KC be willing to eat some of Guillen's salary if Rob Johnson or other prospect were included?
Would they trade straight up for Silva?

Bottom line, if KC wants to dump salary and Guillen or trade for the likes of Silva, Washburn or Johnson, AND assuming that Seattle does not have a better alternative in place at a better cost/potential return, THEN by all means the M's should assume his salary.

If they think Juan Riviera can be acquired for a fraction of the cost and provide a better bat and defense for more years, then that option would be much better than standing pat.

On the other hand, relying on Wlad Balentien's shaky glove and buck-fifty free-swinging bat when there are so many other options for 2009, is simply not acceptable. I'd rather have Ibanez back in LF. This said, I encourage the M's to bring WLAD up for the remainder of '08 to prove us wrong.

Guillén, this offseason, may be an excellent option for the M's.


Posted by The Ancient Mariner

1:42 PM, Aug 04, 2008

Lets end the Morrow as closer buffoonery now, there is no valid reason to keep Morrow down in the pen for the rest of this horrible season. Move Batista to closer, who cares if he is not the best closer. we are in the race for the number one draft choice anyway and in the meantime we can get Morrow ready as a starter for '09.

Just as there is no reason to keep Vidro and Cairo on the team, we should be showcasing youth and evaluating talent for next season. Such is the only way the M's are ever going to get better, forget the dreams of instant offense from a Jose Guillen or like ilk, we need to develop our own talent. Dump the underachieving, overpaid veterans and work the young talent.

So send Morrow to Tacoma to stretch him out, bring up RRS or Fiererabend and lets see what one of them can do for the rest of the season. Move Batista to the pen as closer / set up man A second spot in the rotation can be had by moving Washburn for salary relief and some low level prospects. Afterwards find out if KC was really interested in the buffalo Silva, move him even if you have to pay much of the sunk costs. We have much better pitching options available than this buffoon.

If Ibanez does not want to become a DH move him in a trade for low level prospects. Bring up Diaz and Balentien for the outfield and Hulett for the infield. Give Yuni some extended time off so as to evaluate Hulett at shortstop, maybe he even needs to go down so as to work on his approach to hitting.

When Kaz Sasaki found out he no longer had it, he did the honorable thing and retired to Japan - lesson for Johjima, let him go home to Japan even if his new extension is a sunk cost. It was a crazy signing anyway, pushed by the ownership, when we in fact had plenty of quality in house catching prospects. So Joh need not lose face, he can follow Kaz's dignified departure in retirement to Japan.

As I and others keep saying this season is over, it is meaningless and there is no need to win the remaining games given the reward for the number one draft right. Best dump the sunk costs, old veterans and move on, making way for the youth and next season.

Someone in the front office needs to understand the fact that this season is best served by showcasing young talent, evaluating it and preparing for next year. It really is the best way to keep fans interested and involved. Who wants to see another Vidro at bat? Cairo pinch run? Washburn start?
Batista start? Silva start? and Ibanez in the outfield? Such exhibits of futility are just not pretty to watch, it is much better to see and feel the energy of youth trying there best to make the transition to the bigs. Come on Lee, Chuck and Howie get a clue, give us some hope for next year.

Posted by M Dogg

1:47 PM, Aug 04, 2008

Ancient Mariner: Well said! The time to showcase talent and find out if these guys can play in the big leagues is NOW not September. Geoff or Larry, if you happen to see Chuck,Howard or Lee could you please ask them what they are waiting for???

Posted by BrianL

1:48 PM, Aug 04, 2008

Resin isn't Cheating - I'm not sure what the controversy is in saying that Dustin Pedroia is a better 2B than Jose Lopez. He's better in just about every metric (saber or traditional) possible.

Higher average
Higher OBP
Higher SLG
Higher OPS
More walks
Fewer strikeouts
More hits
More runs
Fewer errors
Higher RZR
Higher fielding percentage

Many people seem to think Pedroia has more range at 2B to boot.

Are you just disagreeing with Mike because he's of the "saber" persuasion that you seem to hate, loathe, and despise so irrationally? I bet if the talking heads on ESPN said it, you'd agree.

Posted by BrianL

1:54 PM, Aug 04, 2008

The Ancient Mariner - Actually Kazuhiro Sasaki went back to Japan not so much for losing all ability to pitch, but rather being caught engaging in an affair with a Japanese actress. Not a whole lot of "honor" involved there.

I'm really not making this up.

Posted by dirtybird

1:56 PM, Aug 04, 2008


Posted by Mike

1:56 PM, Aug 04, 2008

"That is your opinion Mike and a subjective one at that, but you have that right."

Well, I should have said "runs" rather than offensive success but no, that is not an opinion. OPS correlates to scoring runs more than does BA. So does slugging. Combined, even more so.

Batting average is not a bad statistic. It is pretty good at ascertaining the relative talent of hitters. So are almost all the baseball card stats. But it misses things and there are better ones. The Mayflower and a 747 will both get you across the Atlantic Ocean.

Resin, Lopez might well improve since he is only 24. At this point I'd still take Pedroia, who has a higher slugging pct by the way. I know. I know. Fenway.

And I don't understand this paragraph.

"506 plate appearances for Dustin versus 407 for Lopez. Yet, Pedroia beats Lopez by nearly 50 points in OPS. Another example on why OPS is not liked by many traditional fans or the scouting community. There really isn't a 50 point difference in talent between Pedroia and Lopez. In fact scouting will look at both hitters and project more power for Lopez in comp to Pedroia physically."

You don't give any evidence of why there isn't 50 pts of OPS difference between Lopez & Pedroia other than unnamed scouts don't think so. And Lopez has 477 PAs, not 407. But I don't see how that is relevant in either case.

Posted by ken

2:01 PM, Aug 04, 2008

Maybe one of the bloggers could set Joh up comlete with video cameras on the upcoming road trip. Getting Joh to decide playing regularly in Japan beats sitting on the bench here (or being RAD's personal catcher) would be a development that would send many M's fans dancing in the streets - not to mention giving the M's another $8m in salary savings for the next three seasons.

Posted by The Ancient Mariner

2:02 PM, Aug 04, 2008

No matter, Kaz had still lost it as an effective closer and reliever, he was never the same after "falling" on that suitcase. Professionally Joh is in the same state of losing his skills, particularly at the plate. So he needs to do the honorable think and retire to Japan. He is only blocking the development of our youth at catcher, and we have much better options available at this position. So Joh has no meaningful role left on this team - as ownership gave him the contract let them eat it as a sunk cost and get on with trying to put a winner on the field in Seattle.

Posted by qwerty

2:10 PM, Aug 04, 2008


Posted by meagain

2:26 PM, Aug 04, 2008

I've been watching M's pitchers grimace and shake off all three catchers for the last couple of weeks, when all three have played a few games. I'm not convinced that:

1) As of today, Johjima is an inferior defensive catcher to Clement.

2) That Clement's future has to be behind the plate.

3) That Johjima's hitting skills are diminished permanently. (Cirillo and Sexson, to name two, have made M's fans crazily pessimistic.) I think he overperformed the past couple of years, that he's underperforming this year--I won't attempt to psychoanalyze him, I'll leave that for the mindreaders that abound on this blog--and that he'll hit in the .270-.280 range if he is healthy next year.

Johjima was re-signed, I believe, because the wheels were in motion and the organization bet on him to return to form later this year. So far, no good. But we shouldn't all run around tearing our hair out because he may be back next year. He may still be the best M's candidate for catcher in 2009. Struggling M's pitchers aren't the first to try to blame their struggles on someone else.

Posted by dirtybird

2:38 PM, Aug 04, 2008

hey qwerty, caps means yelling right? THATS WHAT I WAS DOING MORON!

Posted by Mike

2:39 PM, Aug 04, 2008

oops---Sorry Resin, I should have read the paragraph before the one I questioned. I see what you are getting at. But 33 points of OBP is a pretty decent amount. We traditionally think that the difference between a .267 and .300 hitter is dramatic, why not OBP?

If you extrapolate their OBP difference to the entire season, Pedroia gets on about 23 more times. That's about 18 runs on average. Or as Crash Davis said about batting average 20 years ago.

"'Do you know what the difference between hitting .250 and .300 is? That's 25 hits...25 hits in 500 at bats is 50 points...ok. There's 6 months in a season. That's about 25 weeks, that means if you get just one extra flair a week, just one. A gork, you get a ground ball, you get a ground ball with eyes! You get a dying quail, just one more dying quail a week and you're in Yankee Stadium.'

Posted by qwerty

2:47 PM, Aug 04, 2008

hey qwerty, caps means yelling right? THATS WHAT I WAS DOING MORON!
Tee Hee! You're so clever! Let's see if anyone heard you!

Posted by scottM

3:25 PM, Aug 04, 2008

did somebody just yell something?


Posted by M Dogg

3:26 PM, Aug 04, 2008

Endless Jose Guillen posts in many languages...Profanity laced tirades....Arguments about keyboard etiquette....Ahhhh! to be a fan of the worst team in baseball.

Posted by Top pick in 09 draft

4:02 PM, Aug 04, 2008

I'd say the deterioration of the posts over the past few days is just an outgrowth of growing fan frustrations with the M's organization. Since the the fans have no direct input or even way of venting their dissatisfaction to this very closed and secretive organization, folks are beginning to turn on each other in these blogs. Even Geoff can't bring himself to update the blogs and has fled to the backwoods until he can regain sanity after too many games of seeing Vidro hit in the 4 hole.

Will be very interesting to see what happens over these final two months - I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the rumors of the team's sale to Chris Larson (who actually watches the games) are true and the inaction of the FO is because they know they're lame ducks.

Posted by The Front Office

4:11 PM, Aug 04, 2008

So, you finally figured out that Howie was infact Howard the Duck, but you'll never ever find out that I, Chuckie Armstrong am reall Mayor Gridlock in disguise. OOps, I let the cat out of the bag.

Posted by Troy206

4:24 PM, Aug 04, 2008

I had a couple questions for you Geoff, the first being what is the status of Josh Fields? Second, does Kenji's 3 year contract extension start next year (essentially tieing him to us for the rest of this year plus the next three seasons) or does the first year of the deal replace this years deal (essentially tieing him to us the rest of this year and the next two seasons)?

Posted by Walla Walla Girl

4:35 PM, Aug 04, 2008

You're right, Top pick in 09 draft. The bloggers are cranky. :)

Has the original Cranky posted lately? He was a man ahead of his time.

Posted by meagain

4:37 PM, Aug 04, 2008

I'm not Geoff, but I'll quote you this from the AP release in April this year:

Kenji Johjima and the Mariners agreed Friday to a $24 million, three-year contract extension through 2011. The recently struggling catcher, who turns 32 in June, would have been eligible for free agency after this season, which could have given top prospect Jeff Clement his chance in Seattle.

"Over two years ago we had no catching in this organization. Actually, we had seven guys catching here [in 2005]," Mariners general manager Bill Bavasi said Friday, discussing the stability Johjima has provided at the position.

"So we've gone from having none to probably having more catching than anyone in the major leagues."

Johjima signed a $16.5 million, three-year contract before the 2006 season to become the first Japanese catcher in the major leagues, after 11 seasons and seven Gold Glove awards with Fukuoka in Japan's Pacific League. The man with graying edges to his shortly cropped black hair has a $6.05 million base salary this season, including $850,000 in escalators he earned in previous seasons.

Johjima's new deal, which the team and agent Alan Nero had been quietly working on for two months, was somewhat of a surprise. The power-hitting Clement, the third overall draft choice in 2005, is still waiting at Triple-A Tacoma for a full-time role in the major leagues. Clement hit 20 home runs and had 80 RBIs last season at Triple-A, and entered Friday batting .375 with five home runs and 16 RBIs in 19 games this season.

The Mariners also have Rob Johnson, highly regarded for his defense, sharing the catching and designated hitter jobs with Clement at Tacoma.

Bavasi said Clement is likely to change positions now that Johjima will be around past 2008.

Posted by scottM

4:41 PM, Aug 04, 2008

from Top Pick: "the fans have no direct input or even way of venting their dissatisfaction to this very closed and secretive organization,


We want the top pick (Strasburg)
We want the dead weight gone (Vidro/Cairo)
We want Morrow to start (beginning now)
We want players with some fire and pop (like Guillén)
We want to know what we might have in the minors (in 8/08)
We want answers from the M's
We want action toward building a winner.

Posted by The Front Office

4:45 PM, Aug 04, 2008

Lee, get ScottM some rally fries and see if that quiets his demands.

Posted by M's Fan

4:49 PM, Aug 04, 2008

....Baker was last seen running into the woods, screaming "I'll get you el búfalo !!!!"

Posted by dirtybird

4:52 PM, Aug 04, 2008

Cranky? I am cranky! New born at home means no sleep. My awake time during the evening while baby is feeding i would just like to watch a nice baseball game. But No! Stupid M's choke on thier sunflower seeds time and time again. FO chokes on their ties time and time again!

And just when i see they have a rally going some but wipe named Vidro or Cairo who couldn't hit water if they fell out of the Northwestern's boat in the Aleutians, come up and GIDP!

The WE WANT list is great! Can you add we want world peace and we want to end world hunger to it as well. Because that list is just as far fetched as those two wants. I admire the effort but man, is it really worth it anymore. I feel like it's armageddon around here!

Posted by M Dogg

4:54 PM, Aug 04, 2008

"The Mariners also have Rob Johnson, highly regarded for his defense, sharing the catching and designated hitter jobs with Clement at Tacoma." Not to mention Adam Moore in AA West Tenn. Time to start showcasing these guys. There isn't room for all of them.

Posted by Top pick in 09 draft

4:56 PM, Aug 04, 2008

M's Fan: That was actually Silva wearing a fur coat who was being chased by Geoff into the woods. At $12m/year, Silva has several fur coats, all size XXXXXL.

Posted by meagain

5:07 PM, Aug 04, 2008

From what I've seen of Rob Johnson, only in spring training I must admit, he reminds me of Brad Ausmus. I like the kid.

Posted by duh

5:16 PM, Aug 04, 2008

Vidro is still playing because the M's are still showcasing him and hope he hits well enough to merit a trade somewhere before the Aug 31st deadline. If not, Vidro will be gone.

Posted by zing

5:20 PM, Aug 04, 2008

The Front Office

more like Mayor McCheese...

Posted by The Mariners FO.

6:18 PM, Aug 04, 2008

Hello Chuck, Howard here. Hey, get the pr dept hot on hypeing the ballpark and fan experience shtick. Many of those stupid hard core fans are starting to go away and no one is listening to them. Tell Lee to sit tight, we have almost won. They don’t call me smoking mirrors Lincoln for nothing.

Posted by Jonathan

9:35 PM, Aug 04, 2008

Solid post Mike and BrianL.

I guess we agree to disagree but I am a pretty big Lopez fan. He's come up big a couple times this season (Red Sox walk off hit) and I think he's only going to get better as a hitter.

His lack of walks kills his OPS but I've always felt I'd rather have a 300 (BA) 325 (OB) hitter up with a guy on 2nd then a 275 (BA) 350 (OB) hitter because the guy with the good batting average is more likely to give you the RBI single.

If first base is open a walk doesn't help you all that much.

Just thinking out loud, good discussion.

Posted by Big Ebu

10:28 PM, Aug 04, 2008


Thanks for the response. I agree that the FO needs to look at the possible “upgrades” for the OF and perform some sort of trade study like you outline in the post.

As for specific trade options for getting Guillen, I really doubt that KC would be willing to exchange what they consider a “bad” contract in Guillen (2yr/$24M) for an even worse contract in Silva (3yr/$36M). I suppose they might consider taking Washburn since he has only 1 year left but this doesn’t seem to be the KC FO style. I think it is more likely that they would try a salary dump similar to what Seattle and NYY were negotiating with Washburn except we play the role of NYY in this case. We’ll probably have to take all $24M in salary but it shouldn’t cost us any important prospect. Still, I’m not sure I would go this route unless the FO gets shut out on other option.

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