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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 11, 2008 10:16 AM

Silva's complaints

Posted by Geoff Baker

"I don't care if we are 40 games behind, we should have played better than this,'' Silva said. "For me, every game is important. For me, if we are where we are right now, we should take it one game at a time and play one day at a time. Thinking 'We've got to win this game'. And when the day is over 'We've got to win the next one.' ''

-- Carlos Silva after Friday's game

"It was a total team letdown, starting with myself right on down...We all had a real direct hand in that loss."

--Jim Riggleman after Saturday's game

"It's something that's biting us way too often.''

-- Riggleman before Sunday's game on team's lack of execution

"Today we took a step backwards. We played a real bad ballgame."

-- Riggleman after Sunday's game

Ah, aren't Monday mornings grand? For some of you who haven't figured it out, it was Larry Stone writing yesterday. I haven't been "on'' since Carlos Silva came forward to speak on Friday night. But have followed the highly-predictable aftermath of his comments with great interest. To me, it seems the biggest crime Silva committed was being a day or two ahead of his manager in his public observations. Oh yeah, and the fact that he's packing on some extra pounds. Other than that, Silva didn't voice anything that anyone following this team -- more importantly, actually watching it play -- hadn't already wondered. The hair-splitting I've seen over his "padding stats" comments is just that. Hair-splitting. Silva's message was a simple one. It's one the Mariners have been accused of since way back in April. Not bringing their "A game" day-in, day-out. They haven't. So, what's the problem?

This was a team expected to contend for the post-season. Or, for those of you who "predicted" that the offense would falter, at least a team expected to play around .500 ball. It has done neither. Why are so many so quick to let it off the hook? Silva isn't. Nor should he be. This team, the way it has played all year long, is an absolute disgrace. It is perhaps the worst team in baseball. And the reason is that so many players, individually and collectively, have failed to meet either their career or computer-projected norms. So, what's wrong with Silva noticing?

Remember "White Line Fever"? The line Bill Bavasi used to describe players who couldn't get the job done once they crossed the lines of the playing field? As Bavasi noted, there's a difference between playing hard and playing smart. You can play hard, but if you keep repeating the same mistakes over and over again, it becomes an issue of needing to play smarter. To focus on making the right plays in certain situations. On executing when the situation arises. Are the Mariners focused on playing the game right? On bringing their "A game" each and every night? I don't know how anyone watching the games can make that argument. This team has been one of baseball's worst when it comes to getting the runner home from third base with fewer than two out. Also one of the game's worst when it comes to allowing harmless looking grounders to "sneak through" the infield. At failing to make routine plays, like throwing the ball to first base after a tough snag of a grounder. Or covering the bag on a steal attempt. Or hitting the cutoff man so runners don't move up an extra base.

There have been far too many physical and mental lapses all year long. Silva is just fed up. Was he the right guy to be voicing complaints? Well, in theory, no. A guy with a 4-13 record and an ERA up near 6.00 should not have to be the one coming forward. There is a risk his message will be lost amongst the howling masses looking for any reason to discredit the substance of what he is saying. Unfortunately...acutally, fortunately for the people who need defending, when you get into journalism, it's your job to look past things like that, or issues like a pitcher's weight, or fan popularity, and get into the substance of what a guy actually says. So, Silva might have a bad record. Might not look the way some of you feel a pitcher's body ought to look. Nor be as popular as Ichiro, or Raul Ibanez, or Adrian Beltre. But that doesn't invalidate what he has to say.

When you look at it, there weren't many other potential spokesmen for the starting pitchers who could have come forward.

Felix Hernandez was standing right next to Silva, smiling as he spoke. Would the message have carried more weight had Hernandez spoken up instead of Silva? Probably, at least with some of you in the blogosphere. Though I'm not sure what difference there would be between that and Hernandez standing there as he did with Silva mentioning him directly, and then not countering anything the pitcher was saying. After all, Hernandez could have stayed in the backroom, playing ping-pong with Erik Bedard as he had the night before. Instead, he came out right when Silva did. Listened to every word he said from two feet away, as if knowing in advance what his pal was going to say. Look, I can't write the script for some of you. You have to read between the lines.

And no, Hernandez could not have spoken up. He's only 22. As well as he's pitched at times this year and as high as the ceiling is on him he's still accomplished very little in this game and only been around a short time. The way major league clubhouses work, it would not have gone over well had he opened his mouth. He would have been perceived as a snot-nosed kid acting like he was better than everyone else because he's been on a pretty good run of late.

To those of you who don't think this is fair, you may even be right. But it doesn't matter what you think when it comes to the inner-workings of the Mariners clubhouse. Anymore than it matters what I think of the food they serve in the Microsoft cafeteria. It's not your call to make. Things are done the way they are done in the majors and have always been done in the majors. And 22-year-olds, whether they are named Felix Hernandez or not, are expected to keep their mouths closed. If not, it brings them more trouble than it's worth. So, complain about it if you want. Think it dumb. But it doesn't matter. I'm just trying to tell you how things work. Hernandez could not have spoken up. That's a non-starter as an argument.

Outside of Hernandez, who else in the rotation? Jarrod Washburn perhaps. But let's fact it: he's spent the past month thinking he might get traded any day now. How bad would that look if he stands up, says something, then gets dealt? Would look like a guy acting tough without having to stick around and take the heat. Or, like a guy putting a few good months together and thinking it made him a clubhouse spokesman. I mean, some of you can't stand the thought of Washburn. Nicknamed him "The Bus" (as in "throws guys under one") because he spoke of some of the issues he had early on with Kenji Johjima -- a guy who is now the team's de facto third-string catcher BTW. Would I have advised Washburn to speak out? Heck no. And I'm not even in the PR business.

So, who then? Bedard? Please. Well, he'd have to actually pitch first. Right now, no.

R.A. Dickey? A guy whose career was done before being ressurected this season? Look, he's simply trying to hang on to a big-league job and glad to be here. Maybe next season, once he's put in some time. But not now.

Miguel Batista? He's already made some comments this year about players not toughing it out, or going on the DL too easily. Didn't go over very well with the team or most of you. And if Silva doesn't have the credibility to speak out, then Batista, not even in the rotation any more, certainly doesn't.

Which leaves Silva. A guy, who, unlike every other pitcher we've mentioned besides Hernandez, will almost certainly be here beyond 2009. Silva knew his record would be brought up when he spoke. That he was leaving himself open to criticism. That he'll have to face the music on this team for years to come. But he spoke up anyway. And in my book, that takes guts. More guts than I've seen from a lot of folks on the field this season.

Let's look at the context. Some of you think this team has upped its game of late and is playing better ball. But from what? Considering how low it had sunk, raising the bar wasn't exactly a challenge. And no, I don't think it was playing all that great in the weeks leading up to Silva's outburst. I don't think it brought its "A" game to any of the four Tampa Bay contests. Felix Hernandez brought his "A" game to the opener -- not his best stuff but his best mental focus -- and that's the only thing that kept it close. If not for that Wladimir Balentien double in the eighth, Hernandez probably takes a 1-0 loss in that game. As it is, he had to settle for a no-decision despite eight innings of one-run ball. Jarrod Washburn threw a "quality start" prior to that and took the loss to Minnesota. Then Silva allows four earned runs over six-plus innings (not Cy Young stuff but hardly a terrible result) and again fails to win because of poor offense and defense.

The common denominator in each of those outings? One serious mistake cost the pitcher a win each time. For Hernandez, it was a wild-pitch that brought home Tampa Bay's only run. For Washburn, a three-run triple by Denard Span. In Silva's case, a single he allowed after Yuniesky Betancourt's throwing error cost him two runs. If not for Betancourt, Silva probably gets a quality start and goes seven innings doing it.

But the point is, starting pitchers should not have to go out there worried about making even one bad pitch. They should not fear that an offense that fails to execute and a defense that flubs routine plays will potentially cost them each and every game. You might not care about wins. Those who employ statistical analysis might not either. But pitchers do. Believe me, they say all the right things. But do you honestly think Hernandez is thrilled with being a seven-win pitcher? Or that Washburn is content knowing he'll have yet another single-digit season in victories. Or that Silva doesn't toss and turn at night knowing he's got only one win since April?

Let's look at some excerpts of Silva's season. The guy has had nine -- count 'em, nine -- outings this year where he's gone at least six innings and allowed four earned runs or fewer without picking up the win. That's just ridiculous. Split that on even a 4-5 basis and he'd be leading this staff in wins. So, if anyone has a right to be upset about things, it's him. His ERA has been ruined by a half-dozen abbreviated outings, the most damaging being a 2/3 of an inning rout at the hands of Detroit. He'll never get that ERA down because of it and it's his fault. But he's hung in there and tried to make something of this season. Brought his "A game" each time, even if the results did not come about.

Riggleman was praising Silva's work ethic on Friday night, moments before the pitcher's outburst. Riggleman was saying the team needs more players with Silva's approach and he was bang-on. That did not change after Silva spoke.

So, why is Riggleman disappointed with Silva?

Well, like most big-league teams, the Mariners want their dirty laundry aired in-house. Want fans to keep thinking this is one happy ship steering merrily along and looking positively towards the future. Nobody likes to hear accusations from a player that teammates are merely going through the motions. Makes fans wonder why they are paying full price for tickets. Makes them wonder whether the manager, in this case, Riggleman, is as in-control of his team as he appears to be. So, there is a wall -- or code -- of silence that goes up. But every once in a while, somebody knocks it down.

Good on Riggleman for not blasting Jose Lopez in public yesterday. Especially after he'd claimed that Silva should have kept things in-house. But no, it doesn't change the substance of what Silva said. If Silva was so off-the-mark, one has to wonder why Riggleman was so quick to bench Lopez, one of the team's better producing players this season. If the team really was bringing its "A game" night in, night out, that team should be able to overlook one dropped ball.

But of course, this wasn't a one-time thing. And it's not just Lopez and Betancourt either. You can go up and down that lineup and see guys who did not start producing until mid-May, once the team was already out of it. Guys who, right now, are missing balls they should be getting to. Who are still not producing what is expected of them.

Riggleman, as I've mentioned before, is in a tough spot. Like John McLaren before him, he's been charged with getting the most out of players who've had trouble challenging themselves to do better all year. What Silva said makes Riggleman look bad. Made it look like he's running a rudderless ship. And Riggleman handled it the only way he could, for now. But it doesn't mean Silva was wrong. You don't have to like the messanger, his weight, or his won-lost record and ERA. But what he said has been so obvious to those watching this team day in, day out, that the reaction was almost like: "It's about time.''

And it's not like he named anybody. The folks who haven't been bringing it night after night know who they are and will get his message. And it isn't just Betancourt, or Lopez. But he didn't single anyone in particular out, so I'm not sure what's driving the hysterical responses I've seen in the blogosphere. From the outrage generated, you'd think this was a team headed towards 95 wins rather than 65. Have we suspended reality? Are we so protective of mediocre, or underachieving players in Seattle that we have to safeguard them even when nobody singles them out by name? I find it rather comical, to be honest.

Yeah, I'd rather Beltre said it. Or Ibanez. The fact that a 4-13 Silva had to say it is a huge indication of what's wrong with this team. It doesn't challenge itself. It's spent the entire year playing like a collection of individuals who can't win when it matters. Silva was trying to openly challenge his team to not go to sleep the final seven weeks of the season.

If that hurts, then it should. You're all fans and no fan wants to hear that about their team. But being in denial about what's gone on this year won't change the reality. These tensions between pitchers and position players -- and pitchers and pitchers and position players and position players -- have been going on all season. This isn't a situation where you plug in one guy's stats in place of another's and everything's miraculously going to be OK.

When a team underperforms its projected numbers as badly as this one's has, there are all kinds of issues going on that a calculator alone won't fix. It goes beyond a March prediciton that the offense would do poorly. This entire team has performed miserably and the reasons why are as varied as they are complex. It's Riggleman's job to try to make you not think about it the rest of the way. The Mariners will then have the winter to figure those problems out and try to make this a team that performs when it has to. They didn't need Silva to remind them of it. But they also know his words were pretty much the truth. And the truth hurts. It really does.

ADDITIONAL COMMENTS (12:46 p.m.): For Brett Miller, in the comments thread, how am I "enabling" Silva? He said what he did in front of me and a bunch of other reporters. We didn't coach him. These are his feelings, spoken by a guy, who, unlike you, is a part of the team. You might think you know more than he does about the inner workings of the Mariners, but you don't. That's a fact. Admit I'm wrong? About what? About reporting on what Silva said and saying that -- having followed this team up-close all season -- I agree with him? How is that wrong? Better yet, how would you be in a position to know?

The fact that you, or other fans, some of whom run blogs, have a problem with what he said really isn't my concern. Do you want me to tell you this season has been about "poor talent" as opposed to underachievement? That "poor talent" won 88 games last year. So, unless you're prepared to admit that the 2007 M's should have won only 65 games, this year's team is an underachiever.

You're still stuck in the "I was right" and "you were wrong" mode. That's for kids. Those of us paid to figure out what's wrong with this team and actually talk to people who are a part of it -- both on and off the record -- have moved on and been trying for months to tell you that this whole season's failures run deeper than a non-producing first baseman or right fielder. It's a collective inability to rise to the occasion when it matters.

As far as this blog, we're pretty happy with the reader response and how we've raised the level of debate over the past two years. If some blogs think they have the answer, or know more about the Mariners than we do, they can state their case. It's a free country. Anyone can throw their opinion up on the internet. That's what makes this country great. If you want to cling to the notion that this is all about numbers and pre-season projections, you can do so. You can come on here and make the claim and your comment will get posted.

But please. Just know this one thing: Silva's comments may have surprised some folks in the blogosphere. But they were not much of a surprise to me, or plenty of others who have been around this team for any length of time. If that offends you for some reason, or you resent me trying to share that information (as opposed to concealing it from the public because it might hurt the team), then I can't help you. This isn't about coming up with a theory and sticking to it in spite of all evidence to the contrary. It's about opening your mind, watching the games and listening to people who have greater insight into a situation than you do.

That's what I've tried to do. It's what most of my media colleagues have tried to do here all season. We're not still hung-up on who predicted what in March. We've moved on. We're tackling the big stuff now. It's not part of a mass conspiracy against you or blogs. It's about trying to tell you stuff you may or may not already know.

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Posted by BrianL

10:25 AM, Aug 11, 2008

Threatening to throw your teammates into a wall does not make you a good leader.

Posted by RagArm

10:38 AM, Aug 11, 2008

I declare this day blast Mariners with limerick day:

I think that this team is a ruse
Since this season does not amuse
Just do me a favor
tell me what's with that playor?
his blood is like 25 percent booze!

Posted by scrapiron

10:40 AM, Aug 11, 2008

I like how Silva is chastised for speaking to the media about the problems with the M's. Simply put, Silva spoke out to the media because he didn't see the manager dealing with the issues. It's not a coincidence that right after those comments were made Riggleman dealt with the lack of focus he saw from Lopez by benching him.

Posted by Jonathan

10:41 AM, Aug 11, 2008

"Hell, on that play Yuni didn't even move to back up the throw. He stood there at SS the entire time."

From yesterdays thread, only one infielder is supposed to cover second base. If they both move to cover the bag it leaves too big of a hole in your infield. That's why the hit and run is succesfull sometimes, the 2B will go to cover first and the ball will be hit in the spot he vacated.

Posted by RagArm

10:43 AM, Aug 11, 2008

Geoff, this is the best blog posting ever and it echos many of my thoughts, concerns, and feelings. This goes so deep and ownership's sitting on its hands thousands of miles away is not helping.

That's why I'm going to poke fun at this laughable organization.

Posted by DB

10:43 AM, Aug 11, 2008

someone had to speak up, but it absolutely should NOT be Silva...he should be one of the guys hiding in the corner, too embarrassed to speak.

his BA against is .322- that is just astounding. he is giving up almost 1.5 hits per inning.
he has lost some tough games and had some hard no-decisions, but he also got thumped against Texas on 7/29 and got a no decision; that would have been his 14th loss of this season.

where is Ibanez? where is Ichiro (please don't give me the "he doesn't like to speak English" crap...), where is Riggleman to do this before Silva feels like opening his mouth for something besides a Big Mac for once?

Silva is not pointing out a problem- Silva is knee deep in there as part of the problem.
and the real problem is adding yet another marginal pitcher with no out pitch to a staff that already had 2 of them on board in Batista and Wash, and has a 5th pitcher who is as soft as a roll of Charmin.

the only surprising thing right now is that the team has not lost more games than they actually have this season.

Posted by MarinerMan6

10:44 AM, Aug 11, 2008

Silva doesn't lose games because lack of effort from his teammates. He loses games because he is one of the worst pitchers in baseball. He has a 6.12 tRA, a 1.51 WHIP, 13 losses, gives up a line drive % of 22.2%--absolutely awful, GB% 44.2 for a supposed "sinker ball" pitcher and he strikes out less than 4 people per game. The guy is bad all around. If he wants to help the team he would declare his contract null and void and ask for his unconditonal release.

Posted by Ziasudra

10:48 AM, Aug 11, 2008

Geoff - that was quite a treatise. I tend to be brief - I would merely summarize: "Truth is true, regardless of who says it first."
Good reading. . . .

Posted by bandwagonjumper

10:48 AM, Aug 11, 2008

Brian, It depends on the personality you're trying to lead. Some you have to threaten to get them in line, some you show by example. What makes a good leader is knowing what each person's motivation is that gets the desired performance out of them. Sometimes you have to throw a person into a wall to get them to listen.

Posted by ethan

10:48 AM, Aug 11, 2008

i remember being a kid (80's)...and looking at the back of random baseball cards and thinking .."THIS GUY HAS A 4.23 ERA! BOY HE SUCKS!!!" ...4-13, 5.93 lolol

Posted by downonstrikes

10:48 AM, Aug 11, 2008

Silva has a right to speak up and try to do something for this team. Yes, he does have a Babe Ruth body, and yes, he has pitched some poor games. I still defend him because he was giving 110% earlier this season and was one of the first to speak up confronting the teams problems. He has had dismal starts for a number of reasons, as you noted, Geoff, but they do get affected by the team culture, demeanor, performance, and lineup.

The M's management is ultimately responsible for the poor team play this year and our scapegoat Carlos is unfortunately getting the heat.

Posted by DB

10:52 AM, Aug 11, 2008

the guy isn't a scapegoat...that would assume that he does not deserve blame.

he is horrible, and yet he makes this sound like he is the only one out there "trying"...if he is actually trying, then I am more embarrassed by his performance than I would be if he were to admit that he is just coasting this season.

Posted by BrianL

10:53 AM, Aug 11, 2008

bandwagonjumper -

This isn't motivation. This isn't leading. This is a Carl Everett-esque clubhouse distraction.

Posted by Bill

10:54 AM, Aug 11, 2008

I didn't really get a chance to see any of the games this weekend but it sounds like the team has lost the bounce it got from having Riggleman inserted as manager and has returned to its McLaren funk.

I don't blame Silva at all for saying what he said, though. As a member of the team he has every right to call out his teammates for not performing. Nor is it his fault that he was offered a huge contract to come and pitch for this bad excuse for a baseball team. Same thing with Washburn. If they weren't so overpaid I doubt many fans would be so upset with them, but it's not their fault this team drastically overpays them for their services.

Posted by Jonathan

10:55 AM, Aug 11, 2008

"i remember being a kid (80's)...and looking at the back of random baseball cards and thinking .."THIS GUY HAS A 4.23 ERA! BOY HE SUCKS!!!" ...4-13, 5.93 lolol"

LMAO dude me too (except in the 90's. If the ERa was over 4.00 I thought the guy was terrible.

Posted by NB

10:56 AM, Aug 11, 2008

"Hernandez could not have spoken up. He's only 22. As well as he's pitched at times this year and as high as the ceiling is on him he's still accomplished very little in this game and only been around a short time."

What the hell has Carlos Silva ever accomplished in this game?

This is among the worst entries I've seen on this blog and re-enforces many classic problems with old school baseball thought and old school main stream journalism.
I can't believe that you're willing to enable this crap just so that you can get quotes while you tear Bedard a new one for being hurt and not living up to the team's ridiculous, outlandish expectations when it bowed to the media (ahem) and fan's demands and traded the farm for him.

Go ahead, take shots at Ichiro. Take shots at Beltre. Take shots at Bedard. Stump for Silva. Stump for Vidro. Stump for Octavio Dotel. If the ridiculousness of such actions aren't clear then there's nothing more to say.

The only thing more predictable that the "aftermath" of Silva's comments are you coming to his defense.

Posted by RagArm

10:58 AM, Aug 11, 2008

Bill, I'm glad you mentioned Washburn:

A friend of mine -- Washburn by name
Is a pitcher with erratic aim.
He wants you to know
(So I'll say here I go)
That you, friend, have just Lost The Game.

Posted by RagArm

11:02 AM, Aug 11, 2008

Time for Yuni, Lopez, and Batista to sit and stare at a AA wall. All three.

And because Ownership is ultimately to blame for giving the fans a disasterous season:

There once was a man with a dream:
build a ballpark with a bobblehead theme.
"It filled us with glee
'till Riggle benched three,"
explained one of his fans with a scream.

Posted by NB

11:02 AM, Aug 11, 2008

Apologies for the typos and tortured English of my rant. Typing in the heat of passion is a poor choice.

Posted by Novice

11:04 AM, Aug 11, 2008

The only good thing about Willie getting hurt, is that now he can spend more time using his veteran leadership to help this team. It sad to see bad things like this happen to such talented guys. Knowing Willie though he is one of the faster healers of injury in the game. heres hoping we see him on the field again this season.

Posted by Chris from Bothell

11:05 AM, Aug 11, 2008

Geoff - I'm curious why were you going down the starting pitchers one by one as candidates for this public calling-out, but not the senior position players.

You gave reasoning for each of the pitchers why they don't have the record or experience to say anything.

Why shouldn't Beltre talk about it? Why not Raul? Why not Ichiro?

As for your arguments about why Silva could or should:

Silva is just fed up. Was he the right guy to be voicing complaints? Well, in theory, no. A guy with a 4-13 record and an ERA up near 6.00 should not have to be the one coming forward. There is a risk his message will be lost amongst the howling masses looking for any reason to discredit the substance of what he is saying.

We're not trying to discredit the substance of what he's saying. We agree with him. We're disputing his authority to say it. His message isn't lost. It's possible to shoot the messenger AND listen to the message.

Are we so protective of mediocre, or underachieving players in Seattle that we have to safeguard them even when nobody singles them out by name?

No. That's a straw man, Geoff. It's that Silva should have named names, precisely NOT to safeguard players. If he's going to air dirty laundry, air it. Really shake it around. Or else keep his mouth shut. A halfway vague measure, in mid-August, from an underperforming player, impresses no one.

Silva was trying to openly challenge his team to not go to sleep the final seven weeks of the season.

If that hurts, then it should. You're all fans and no fan wants to hear that about their team. But being in denial about what's gone on this year won't change the reality.

Um, who here in this blog's comments section is in denial about where this team is at and why? :)

Posted by Adam

11:06 AM, Aug 11, 2008

Wait, Geoff - You want to tout 9 outings where he pitched past the sixth innings, but then insinuate that his numbers are skewed by 6 really crappy innings? Come on.

Silva is one of the last players on this team with the right to stand up before the press (not the team, but the press, mind you) and criticize the performance of other players. He's been really bad, and he should shut up and keep quiet until he can show he's a useful part.

Posted by Adam

11:07 AM, Aug 11, 2008

Excuse me - 6 crappy "outings" - not "innings".

Posted by AC

11:08 AM, Aug 11, 2008

Here's what i don't get, and maybe it takes a "baseball insider" to point out what should be obvious....
How is a player trying to "pad his stats" being selfish? Isn't getting a home run or a hit or an RBI a good thing?

Frankly, I think every Mariner fan would stand up and cheer if Silva cared about his own stats, starting with Wins or ERA.

And please. If you're going to give him 4 phantom wins for playing in front of a terrible offense, do it with the rest of the staff and all of a sudden your leader in Wins is now back at the bottom where he belongs.

Posted by Novice

11:11 AM, Aug 11, 2008

Willie could of easily came foward and made Silva-like comments. His professionalism surely kept him from calling out any of his teammates though. He makes the tough situations look easy.

Posted by scottM

11:12 AM, Aug 11, 2008

We assail Bedard for a bed attitude, especially with the media. Everyone's looking to Beltre, Ichiro, Ibañez to step forward as leaders, then let we them off the hook because they lead by example, only.

Just when the youngbloods seemed to be infusing the M's with fresh blood, Silva––in the wake of his loss––comes unravelled while talking to GEOFF. With his subpar record, which for the record is a result MOSTLY of Silva's own doing as a pitcher, he isn't the right guy to fill the vocal leadership void left by that 2007-M's- player-who-shall-remain-unnamed-yet-who-has-his-own-Society.

The point is that Silva's outburst is symptomatic of how bad the situation is with the M's. Prior to Silva's outburst and recent play, I believed that this team, with two or three changes, could compete in 2009. After Silva's outburst, I am rethinking that take. Without knowing who the M's might bring in or trade out, right now, I see the best prospects for true leadership must begin to come from those youngbloods on this team who will survive the offseason––Clement, Felix, LaHair, Reed, Balentien, RRS, Morrow, Green, Lowe, Corchoran.

I don't see the glue and leadership coming from Ichiro, Ibanez, Beltre, Yuni, Lopez. They've shown that they can't lead. In fact, I am now thinking that both Yuni and Lopez should be shopped for GOOD players coming back. That may be the only thing that wakes up those two guys. Yuni and Lopez have loads of talent, but too often play with loads in their pants.

Silva's words may ring true, but since he hasn't EARNED the right to say them, his outburst points out how bad the chemistry and accountability really is with this team. (And I use the word "team" loosely).

If Riggleman can get the M's to play .500 ball the rest of the way, I will be truly impressed. However, I'm sensing that we're about to see the whole thing unravel....again.

Posted by Seadog

11:16 AM, Aug 11, 2008

I think the fans are running out of scapegoats:

Bloomquist - probably out for the season
Sexson - gone
Vidro - gone
Batista - out of the rotation
Ramirez - gone
Bedard - on the DL
Morse - on the DL
Bavasi - gone
McLaren - gone
etc. etc.

So, the bad results are what is left on the field. Doesn't matter what went before, Geoff, Silva & Riggleman all have made good points - this team is performing way below career averages. Plus Lopez & Betancourt are REGRESSING, not progressing - they now have several years of major league experience so the "young" label really doesn't apply anymore - they should get benched for bad fielding & poor concentration. This is the professional leagues, they get paid the big bucks, they should play like they are in the majors.

Posted by ghph

11:17 AM, Aug 11, 2008

Great blog post by Geoff.

After Jose Guillen suggested in that media interview that Beltre could be the clubhouse policeman, the fact that Silva spoke up sort of puts Beltre in a bad-light, since he sort of got put on the spot. I wonder whether the pitcher/position player rift is beyond repair, and if the team now definitely has to get blown up over the winter.

Posted by Adam

11:17 AM, Aug 11, 2008

Yeah, I'd rather Beltre said it. Or Ibanez. The fact that a 4-13 Silva had to say it is a huge indication of what's wrong with this team.

I will agree with this point, and add that something should have been said/done months ago, not in mid-August.

This is why I'm all for a complete rebuild. There just isn't a good clubhouse mix, and I'm going to break with by saber-brethren and say that's a huge reason to tear this thing down.

Good-bye to Ibanez (gimme the two comp picks - I hope one of the top 14 teams signs him)
Trade Beltre (I've got a feeling 2009 would be his last year in Seattle)
Trade Ichiro (not wanting to build my team around an aging OF)
Trade Bedard (no chance in hell he signs an extension; let's hope he can pitch again in 2008)
Trade Putz (if he can rebuild his worth in the last 6 weeks)

This team is a complete mess, and a massive overhaul is in order. I don't buy the arguments of USSM and LL that, with a good GM, we can contend next year. Texas and Oakland should be better, LAA should be the same juggernaut, and I don't see a team with maybe three above-average players (Ichiro, Beltre, Felix) winning the West.

Get ready for 2010.

Posted by Lance

11:22 AM, Aug 11, 2008

Maybe there's a connection between harmless looking grounders sneaking through the infield along with tough snags accompanied by wild throws to first base and a peeved starter known as a ground ball pitcher having a 4-13 record and an ERA over six.

Ya think?

Posted by BrianL

11:26 AM, Aug 11, 2008

Lance - Well, that would be true if Silva was still a groundball pitcher.

Based on his ever rising LD% and FB%, I'd say Silva is much more of a line-drive/flyball pitcher now. You know. Kind of like Jarrod Washburn.

Posted by Stop the Pain

11:38 AM, Aug 11, 2008

Forget who said what, that is not the problem with this team. The problem is the FO hiring passive players willing to pick up a very nice check (often embarrassingly so) and maintain a laissez faire approach to baseball. This is a team built without leaders, is this an accident, I think not.
The only thing this FO cares about is is keeping enough dumbed down people filling the seats, who aren't overly concerned about the final score. Our society has subtly trained us to accept that winning is not everything. It does not matter if it is on the baseball field or elsewhere. Why else would corporations give huge bonuses to ceo's that lose money.Just keep the population drones passing the money to them, and they smile.
This is not really about who said what, this is just a reflection of what we have become, politically correct drones.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

11:39 AM, Aug 11, 2008

Remember "White Line Fever"? The line Bill Bavasi used to describe players who couldn't get the job done once they crossed the lines of the playing field?

This was Bavasi's lame excuse for the normal growing pains teams endure when they allow MLB playing time to prospects. It was also an excuse for his failed free agent signings and lack of evaluating players.

Re: Siva's comments

It doesn't matter who said it. If a player does not address the team first or specific players, and goes to the media to vent his frustrations. That is the wrong way of trying to show leadership. Geoff, is overlooking this important point as he wonders out loud what if Ibanez or Beltre made the comments.

For example, if Silva had words already in a team meeting with individuals, then decides to talk about it to the media. He is showing leadership by representing the club.

The problem is like Washburn, he blamed the team for his failures, and did not address the club prior to making the comments. This is the old "throwing your teammates under the bus" scenario. It is not a hard concept unless you are trying to fan the flames here What Silva said was wrong. This is old news now on Monday morning.

And it's not just Lopez and Betancourt either.

Better late than never. Reed, Ibanez, Beltre, Ichiro, Johjima have made plenty of running mistake errors, defensive miscues, bad reads, poor situational hitting, and other mistakes this year that may not show up as errors on the stat sheet.

If not for Betancourt, Silva probably gets a quality start and goes seven innings doing it.

True. However, it doesn't explain Silva's 23 other starts where he has compiled nearly a 6 ERA in 136 innings pitched. He's a #5 starter, and not a very good one at that especially for his price tag. We are paying the price for Bavasi mistakes.

Riggleman, as I've mentioned before, is in a tough spot. Like John McLaren before him, he's been charged with getting the most out of players who've had trouble challenging themselves to do better all year.

Look, it's been a pattern since Lou Piniella left Seattle. Bob Melvin, Hargrove, McLaren, Riggleman. The answer is the team needs an aggressive manager.

I rarely ever ever ever saw Ichiro make the base running mistakes he makes now since Lou left. Coaching has to be part of the problem. This team needs a hard nosed manager in the mold of Charlie Manuel, Lou Piniella, Ozzie Guillen, that will motivate and energize veterans, and teach young players to play the game right.

That being said, I have never seen any of the aforementioned coaches bench a player after an inning making an error. Never. Those coaches may have used the media to blast them, I have seen the classic Piniela-Dibble fight in a locker room, I have seen Charlie Manuel bench star players for being late to the ball park. But never seen them bench a player for an error especially after hitting a home run.

Posted by Henry

11:40 AM, Aug 11, 2008

Just a little side note, Dunn's been traded to the D'backs.

Also a rumor that the ChiSox might have put in a claim for Washburn or are trying to trade for him.

Let's see the overhaul begin with Washburn. Trade Beltre in the offseason, move Clement to 1B w/ Lahair and see if Moore or Johnson can catch. Their better defensive catchers anyway. Give the young guys in the OF a chance for the rest of the season. Take a flyer out to see if anyone is willing to offer up good value on Yuni or Lopez.

Posted by Lockerfan

11:41 AM, Aug 11, 2008

Geoff, why wasnt clement benched for his errors? This makes no sense, his were much more sloppy and inane and he isnt hitting (and cant?) a lick in the majors.

Why jose and not others such as yuni and clement? Seriously.

Posted by reboskar

11:45 AM, Aug 11, 2008

Again with this leadership crapola. This team lacks talent, not leadership. You can't continually trade down your talent base and then expect "leadership" and "effort" to raise the dead.

Posted by ricofoy

11:46 AM, Aug 11, 2008

Now that someone has brought up Sexson here's what Big Dick was up to yesterday.
"In the third inning there was a pickoff play on when Pettite threw to Sexson, who was on the infield grass. Sexson never saw the ball coming until it hit him. " LMAO
Come back ya big lug, we miss you! NOT!
Big Dick was also pinch-hit for in the 8th by the illustrious Wilson Betemit. Could you imagine the fuss he would have made if that had happened here.

Posted by Gregie

11:46 AM, Aug 11, 2008

Did u really just bring up "wins" as something relevant to performance for Silva? Please, like if he had 8-9 wins we'd ignore his ERA.. stopit, u should know better than to act like wins is a relevant stat for pitchersg

Posted by Full Count

11:52 AM, Aug 11, 2008

Go Silva, next time kick the crap out somebody. Riggleman is a chicken sh**, what does he have to lose, it's not like he going to be managing here next year or anywhere.

Call these lazy punks out and make an example of the mental midgets, lets get some clubhouse action it has to be better than the game, come on lets get ready to rumble!

Posted by GOB

12:02 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Will people please stop showing up to these home games. I have turned off the M's for good this season - I cannot watch anymore, and for petesake I sure have tried.

Thank god for football.

Posted by Adam

12:02 PM, Aug 11, 2008

I read that the ChiSox might be willing to use Josh Fields as trade bait to get a pitcher.

Fields isn't great, but if we could get him for Washburn, it'd put us in a good spot to deal Beltre in the offseason.

Posted by SeattleDad

12:03 PM, Aug 11, 2008

I'm 53, dad to two sons, one about Jose Lopez' age. So, I'm sitting this young man down, and talking to him now as if he was my son. "Son, look, you are a very good, not just good, VERY good, all-star potential player. You play so well most of the time, then you go out and do some of the most mind-boggling things I've ever seen for a young man playing a game! You think they are going to play you again if you keep leaving your brain at home? Do you think the fans will stand behind you, your fellow teammates, if you keep leaving your A game somewhere else? I love you, the fans really do love you, now...PULL YOUR FREAKING HEAD OUT OF YOUR A_ _ AND STOP ACTING LIKE A 5 YEAR OLD! You play like that, commit these STUPID mental errors, and your Manager has every right to put your butt on the bench."

There...I feel much better. I love this kid, but i just pull my hair out trying to figure out why the mental side of his game is so weak? I also thought Jim did the right thing, and I compliment the way he handled it. Now, if young Jose would learn to grow up and take the constructive criticism instead of acting like a child, he will learn, and he will overcome those mental mistakes. God knows he has the talent. So, Jose...go get em! :)

Posted by RagArm

12:05 PM, Aug 11, 2008

For Kenji whose name seems to be left out in these discussions and whose bad contract has really been one of the team and fan demoralizers:

There once was a man from Japan
whose hitting wouldn't please a fan.
When asked why this was,
he answered, "Because
I always strike out if I can.

Posted by casetines

12:06 PM, Aug 11, 2008


I like how you throw quotation marks around "predicted" when referring to other people saying before the year that the Mariners offense would struggle as if to downplay their "predictions"

Im just curious, when you "predict" something before the year and get it right, do you "predict" it or do you just plain predict it?

You got the Mariners winning the west wrong so was that a "prediction"?

Posted by absolutelyworthlessvidro

12:07 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Krispy Kreme Silva has had an awful season and deserves most of the blame for his awful record. What Silva has to realize is that he is on a team with a terrible offense. They got away with their wild swinging at the plate for most of last season, when they helped Ramirez compile a much undeserved 8-7 record with an awful 7.16 ERA. That was last season. Either start pitching better, or stick another donut in your face and just shut Silva.

Posted by Jed MC

12:09 PM, Aug 11, 2008

What if all the people Silva is complaining about not trying hard enough just aren't that good? They could be trying 110%, but are just mediocre MLB quality players. I could give a million percent, but I still would never be good enough to start on most high school teams.

Posted by JP

12:14 PM, Aug 11, 2008

BrianL "Threatening to throw your teammates into a wall does not make you a good leader."

Maybe he should request a sit in and a hug it out session. Leading by example makes a good leader, speaking out and showing fire is the sign of a good leader. Sitting in a locker listening to your MP3 player knowing you just cost your team the W is not the sign of a good leader.

For someone who claims to be the traveling secretary of the "Jose Guillen Society" we all figured you would be for those comments by Silva. Guess someone should go back and read their own posts and remember how they were jumping up and down asking for someone to show fire and that someone should be Guillen. How quickly we forget our own comments.

Posted by BrianL

12:18 PM, Aug 11, 2008

JP - I'm not a member of the Jose Guillen Society. I'd rather go for Juan Rivera, similar production for a fraction of the cost.

Posted by scrapiron

12:19 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Adam - I'm all for rebuilding, but not as drastically as you suggest.

Good-bye to Ibanez (gimme the two comp picks - I hope one of the top 14 teams signs him)
scrap: They should have traded him at the deadline. I don't know if he'll be that high in demand this off season. I'm starting to like the idea of him being our DH the next couple of years if he'll play for less than $10 mil per

Trade Beltre (I've got a feeling 2009 would be his last year in Seattle)
scrap: Not sure about this one. Beltre with a healthy thumb in a walk year could put up a monster season similar to what he did in LA. You could let him do that for half a season and get a huge return at the trade deadline. Besides, who plays third base? The cupboard is bare.

Trade Ichiro (not wanting to build my team around an aging OF)
scrap: This makes a lot of sense for a rebuilding franchise, but looking around the ballpark yesterday all I saw was Ichiro jerseys. He's a cash cow for Seattle and improves attendance. From a business standpoint this would hurt the bottom line.

Trade Bedard (no chance in hell he signs an extension; let's hope he can pitch again in 2008)
scrap: No argument here, but like Beltre I'd rather trade him at the deadline after he's strung together a few good starts.

Trade Putz (if he can rebuild his worth in the last 6 weeks)
scrap: I thought you were in favor of making Morrow a starter? If you trade Putz, who is your closer? If Josh Fields was already mowing down MLB hitters I'd be for this move. Not now.

Posted by PayClayBennett

12:28 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Funny DOS - very funny. Veronica sounds like a sweetie.

Anyway - Riggleman sucks and just because this team took out most of the garbage doesn't mean there isn't plenty that needs to go to the curb. The Kids they have aren't Grady Sizemore, Jacoby Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, Jay Bruce, Edinson Volquez or David Murphy. Balentien, Clement, Morrow, LaHair and even Adam Jones when he was here - these guys may grow into solid players, but they're not the Griffey/Arod immediate impact types. Clement really struggled behind the plate yesterday - even after Dickey was gone. He needs some work for certain. I'd still rather watch them lose with all of these kids instead of shelling out millions to scrap heaps and still losing.

It's going to be awhile before this team gets back to competitive and I certainly hope Riggleman doesn't wiggle his way into a perm job. We had the best manager in baseball for years, so it's hard to see him still managing and winning while the M's toil in excessive losses.

Oh, and Lopez did not know why he had been lifted? Seriously? That lazy POS is part of the problem with this team. He needs to go too - dude is the worst 2B in the AL and not due to his talent. Due to his laziness and lack of intensity. That toss from Clement was money, dude was out and Jose looked like he'd lost his crack pipe and was trying to remember where....

Glad Silva spoke out, since very little of the $48M he'll get from the M's will actually go toward Wins, at least some of it can go toward clubhouse management since obviously the money they're paying Rigglemen doesn't buy them that.

Can't believe Washington and San Diego actually have worse records...

Posted by Man From Nantucket

12:31 PM, Aug 11, 2008


Let's look at this in a slightly different context. I am a software engineer by trade. Suppose the software produced is of poor quality. Suppose then that I tell all our customers that the software engineers are bringing their A-game but the testers and implementers are not working hard enough, are not focused, and I should slam them against a wall. Would you call me a good leader?

Publicly singling out one member or group within the team as the problem is poor leadership and will only cause rifts and in-fighting. These are matters that should always be handled behind closed doors. If Silva needed to vent, he should have done so only to the manager privately.

Posted by DOUG

12:32 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Silva is an out of shape terrible pitcher who is draining us of 48 million dollars. He is a major part of the problem, not the solution Geoff. You make me sick.

Posted by BrettJMiller

12:39 PM, Aug 11, 2008

You're just enabling all this crap Geoff, and are rapidly losing my respect with your inflexibility. You cannot admit when you're wrong, and even if you do, you blame it on outside circumstances.

At least you're not Bob Finnigan. But Christ, your star is fading. What happened?

Posted by Top pick in 09 draft

12:40 PM, Aug 11, 2008

This is shaping up as a very critical week for the M's and for Riggleman/Lee P. If the M's get swept by the red-hot Angels, I think it is likely the team will pack it in completely. Lee P has until Friday to get Josh Fields signed and the window of opportunity is here to trade Washburn to free up $10m for 2009. I think it's pretty much fish or cut bait time for several of the major FO players and coaches.

Posted by Sack Inspector

12:43 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Geoff--" This team is logwater"

interesting assesment Geoff, but probably true

Posted by dfb

12:53 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Sounds really great in the blog Geoff, but are you asking the same tough questions of Riggleman? So far I haven't seen as tough of questions in real life as you write in the blog. Like,
"But no, it doesn't change the substance of what Silva said. If Silva was so off-the-mark, one has to wonder why Riggleman was so quick to bench Lopez, one of the team's better producing players this season. If the team really was bringing its "A game" night in, night out, that team should be able to overlook one dropped ball."
if you want to hold them accountable then you need to ask the same questions of them you do on the blog.

Posted by headliner

12:57 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Great post. I agree with everything you wrote. Kudo's to Silva and Felix. Too bad Riggleman waited to react, instead of acting before this happened. But, he's not exactly a winning manager, so why expect him to turn a bunch of overpaid, underachievers, into winners.

Posted by scottM

12:57 PM, Aug 11, 2008

From JP about BrianL: "For someone who claims to be the traveling secretary of the "Jose Guillen Society" we all figured you would be for those comments by Silva."

JP. Are you JP Patches?

In 2007 with the M's, José Guillen batted .290 with 99 RBIs, an OPS+ of 116 and 23 home runs. He has a rocket arm and ok range. Nobody ever said he hadn't earned the right to speak up. Carlos Silva is not José Guillén.

Please don't give BrianL credit for belonging to the esteemed JOSÉ GUILLÉN SOCIETY. Our Sergeant-In-Arms just resigned but we've never had a Traveling Secretary. Unless BrianL is secretly Lee Pelekoudas, former Traveling Secretary of the team that's going South fast, then you owe the Society an apology, or we might hire a special chief to choke you.


Posted by RagArm

1:01 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Back to the dog of the week, Mr. Lopez. Yep, most have it right that he appears lazy and is just going through the motions. Remember how excitied we were not many years ago when he was called up and then Yuniesky showed up to give us the infielders of the future? I do. It was exciting, but...
Here it is:

As night quickly fades into dawn
Where has all my precious game gone?
I ended the day
Just bobbling away
I blame it on the Mariner lawn.

Posted by drake

1:03 PM, Aug 11, 2008

I wondered when this post was going to come, followed by the inevitable cringe. So predictable... defending the player who gives you a juicy quote. Throwing your teammates under the bus is not leadership... talk about being selfish.

I find it odd that you leave out Riggleman's retort entirely in the equation. He was right for it, and perhaps it's the "talk to your teammates first" part that you don't like, as it doesn't give you the exclusive you're looking for. For Riggleman's part, today he starts with himself, and as far as I'm concerned, unless you're without fault, you start with yourself before calling out teammates, something you don't see 'Chief' doing whatsoever, at best making it an 'us vs them' (starting pitchers vs vaguely referenced position players). If that isn't divisive to a clubhouse, I don't know what is.

So again, Geoff, why are we ignoring what Riggleman said about Silva's comments and instead taking his comments today and using them out of context? Is it because Tom covered it, or because it refutes the 'Silva is a good leader' premise.

Posted by Mousse

1:07 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Geoff, seriously - you need to stop allowing your disagreement with USSM or other Ms fansites to affect your posts. There has been an increasing number of passive aggressive shots at people who disagree with your opinion, and your credibility as a sports analyst is really suffering as a result. Make your points without the petty bickering and you'll get less grief for it.

Posted by Swung On And Belted

1:10 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Good job with the limericks, RagArm.

casetines, loved your 12:06 post.

Silva has the right attitude, but the wrong record. There is nothing wrong with what he said. If players take issue with it because he lacks the record to back it up, then they are letting pride give them an excuse to be in denial. Nothing good can come from that. Each player, including Silva, should take a humble, honest look at themself. Only then can they start to find the answers.

Riggleman was toeing the company line, and saying the right PC thing at the right time is expected of him in this organization. Airing dirty laundry in public is frowned upon here, remember Jeff Nelson? But the thing is, when you do that, it insults the fans intelligence. Fan morale is important too, so trying to decieve them with political type spin and smoke and mirrors is counter-productive. This organization has been doing that for so long that most fans have learned to distrust them. The players needed to hear what Silva said, and so did the fans. We need to know that someone cares. We need to know that someone is calling out their teammates for lazy, lackluster play, because we sure as Hell don't hear about from FSN, the FO, the manager and coaches, or the announcers.

Posted by PCRet

1:15 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Excellent post as always.

We need more such writers in Seattle to blow up this sorry team and team management.

Posted by Idahofan

1:18 PM, Aug 11, 2008

There has been an increasing number of passive aggressive shots at people who disagree with your opinion, and your credibility as a sports analyst is really suffering as a result

I could not disagree more. Why should Geoff not respond to the general blogosphere who cover the Mariners? He is not taking shots at any of them - I would rather say that they are taking unnecessary shots at Geoff.

Posted by scottM

1:20 PM, Aug 11, 2008

The problem with the M's: "a collective inability to rise to the occasion when it matters."

...and just when I was beginning to wonder if anyone else believed in the value of clutch play––collective clutch play at that!!!

Posted by Balentienforcer

1:21 PM, Aug 11, 2008

ScottM: - I am sitll available on a per case basis for the esteemed JOSE GUILLEN SOCIETY. A little shakedown may be in order!!

As for this team - I keep thinking about Ichiro's tree root rant of a year or two ago.

Is Ichiro now thinking:

"It seems that the tree has forked in many places, with sections that have grown proportionately larger than the rest of the tree, and makes too much noise in the wind. Another fork has it's beautiful but imperfect branches that have grown so far out that they no longer interact with the rest of the tree. Another fork is young and budding with brilliant leaves, but is wanting for food, as the roots are withering in apathy from the dead braches that lay upon them.

Read into it what you will.

Go Wladdy!

Posted by Davis

1:23 PM, Aug 11, 2008

lol @ geoff baker defending some one (who is one of the worst players in baseball) to the death because he gave him a good juicy quote to put in his article.

GEOFF, silva is a MAJOR reason why the mariners suck this year and will continue to suck. I dont care if he is a "leader" he is hurting the team by being on it. No amount of "leadership" he provides will make the team better. His awesome veteran grit and "leadership" means the offense has to score 6+ runs to even have a chance every day he takes the mound.

Sorry Geoff, Silva is a big part of the problem not the solution as you think.

Posted by scottM

1:27 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Thx, Balentiénforcer.

Nice post, great Ichiroast, and we'll keep you posted.


Posted by Ben

1:29 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Ibanez was robbed this week:

Byrd had a lot of hits - but he didn't drive in nearly as many runs as Ibanez.

Also - Dunn to Arizona? Will that lift them the same way Manny lifted the Dodgers? I don't think so - Manny is way more dangerous than Dunn.

Posted by Tek Jansen

1:32 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Geoff, the problem with Silva's comment, as Riggleman pointed out, is that he called a player or players selfish. This means that he believes that some on his team are actively and intentionally hurting the team to help themselves. That is wrong. The team is full of bad players who lack talent. Yuni is a bad SS, just like Silva is a bad pitcher. Silva isn't selfish because he pumps 91 mph straight fastballs down the middle of plate. He is just bad, like many on the roster. Yet he is trying to explain away his lack of talent and the lack of talent by others by attributing it to effort and desire.

Plus, he talks about himself in the third person. That is a benchable offense, and not excusable under any circumstance.

Posted by trucker007

1:41 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Seattle mgmt destroyed this team giving big bucks to the wrong people, and long term contracts to people that don't have the pride to be at there best every game

Posted by M's Fan in CO Exile

1:41 PM, Aug 11, 2008

"So, unless you're prepared to admit that the 2007 M's should have won only 65 games, this year's team is an underachiever."

As exciting as it was, the 2007 M's overachieved and then regressed in a fantastic fashion to miss the playoffs. Neither the stretch of great play nor the losing streak represented the true talent level of the team, but, make no mistake, they were not a team built to contend last year either.

"Those of us paid to figure out what's wrong with this team and actually talk to people who are a part of it -- both on and off the record -- have moved on and been trying for months to tell you that this whole season's failures run deeper than a non-producing first baseman or right fielder. It's a collective inability to rise to the occasion when it matters. "

Geoff, I am not sure what you mean that you are "paid to find out what's wrong with the team." I don't view that as any more of your job description than mine. And, while I value any insight into the inner workings of the team, I can't say you've provided any evidence that the team's failures this year have more to do with spirit and heart than talent level. This team is simply bad. It is the most plausible explanation, and the performance levels of a number of problem areas were predictable and predicted. The only one that I can think of that was not is Johjima, and I'm not convinced he won't improve.

The issues that run deepest, and contriubte most to the losses are related to roster construction - 1, a pitching staff designed around an emerging star, an injury-prone "non-ace," and, until recently, 3 #5 starters who are paid more than they are worth (especially Silva and Washburn), and whose salaries and spots hamstring the organization; 2. no producing first basement; 3. no producing DH; 4. a middle infield who might be given too much of a chance to get going; 4. a LF who can't field; 5. a bench that was not designed to fill the gaps; 6. a turnstile outfield spot; etc. It doesn't matter how SIlva and Washburn feel about the efforts of others when they are 2 large parts of the problem, AND the team is not built to succeed.

I don't know how any of your off-record conversations (and certainly none of the on-record conversations have) can shed any greater light on the problems than watching the games and looking at the objective measures. The way people feel about things is helpful for a more complete picture of the team, but the performance is what it is. Unless half the team is hitting the bottle before the games, the informaiton is not likely to prove that people are phoning in their performances.

Your interviews and the press whining do tell us something. Guys like Washburn and Silva are being petty and not focusing on themselves as the part of the problem. You don't hear Yuni calling out either of those guys when they get shelled - and it happens despite them giving it their all!. It only tells these 2 guys need to be more professional than taking shots like little crybabies in the press. I understand it makes for a good story, but it does not contribute one bit to better play.

Posted by BrianL

1:45 PM, Aug 11, 2008

The minute Silva threatened to throw his teammates into a wall, his entire rant was invalidated, Geoff.

To a certain extent, you are enabling this kind of behavior. By writing up an article like this and failing to chastise Silva for that threat (regardless of how likely it is to happen) while lauding him for speaking to the media about the team's supposed lazy play, you sent a message that leveling threats against your teammates is acceptable and a perfect practice.

If anything, that kind of behavior warrants a suspension by the team. In no way does that deserve any sort of defense, let alone praise. If I had said something along those lines at the office, chances are I would be fired on the spot. There's nothing praiseworthy about Carlos' rant.

Furthermore, your entire post seems to suggest that poor results = lack of effort. I'm not so sure that's true. I'd argue that poor results are caused by lack of talent. However, that just doesn't seem to fit into this "defend clubhouse leader Carlos Silva" mentality.

Posted by M's Fan in CO Exile

1:47 PM, Aug 11, 2008

"Your interviews and the press whining do tell us something."

By "press whining" I mean players whining to the press, not the press themselves whining.

Posted by RagArm

1:50 PM, Aug 11, 2008

For poor Geoff who posted a great thread and is being BBQed just one of RRS's ribs on the barbie:

I wonder who reads these submissions
And decides which would make good additions
To a list so diverse
With some better, some worse
And some that defy definition

Posted by M's Fan

1:51 PM, Aug 11, 2008

"I read that the ChiSox might be willing to use Josh Fields as trade bait to get a pitcher."
How cool would that be to have 2 Josh Fields on the roster? At least we would lead the league in that category...

Posted by Geoff's Assistant

1:54 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Attention--- Thread DW657.18

External closures, ram deportation.

---> all posting may resume

Posted by Oly Mike

1:56 PM, Aug 11, 2008

have been watching the Seahawks and the Olympics because this team is to ugly to watch. But I have checked this blog frequently to see what is happening. Guess what? It is the same thing that has been happening since about the end of April. This team is not any better. Still on a pace to lose well over 100 games. As I have tried to point out! What is wrong with this team cannot be exlained in traditional or normal terms. Something of a parnomal nature is going on. Did anyone notice that immediately after Sexson and Vidro were released the team played nuch better?. But the good vibes of their recent release is wearing off and the Mariners are sinking back into the "Pit". They are sinking back into the "Pit" because they have not exocised all of the Demons yet. Johjima, Wasburn, Silva and Batista for example are still here dragging the rest of the team down. I personally see no improvement in the Mariners until these final four demons are also exorcised.

Posted by G

1:56 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Very well. Now go get me some coffee!

Posted by Novice

1:59 PM, Aug 11, 2008

if the M's all of sudden completely fall apart, it will goto show just how devestating the Bloomquist injury is. The guy single handedly tried to hold this
team together and did a great job of it. His void may be too big to replace though. who steps up in his absence???

Posted by Alaskan

2:04 PM, Aug 11, 2008


1. You said that Riggleman and Silva basically said the same thing. I would say that there was a very important distinction, which Riggleman pointed out in his remarks about Silva: Riggleman accepted some of the blame himself. Silva, on the other hand, accepted no blame. In the quotes I read from this blog, he made no allowance for the fact that he could do better. I can't imagine anyone responding well to his remarks, so what's the effect? More division in the clubhouse.

2. I certainly hope Silva talked to the players themselves, and gave them some time to fix their lack of effort, before complaining about them out publicly. If people are skipping fielding practice, I can see that Silva has a point. But as Riggleman pointed out, if Silva is basing his comments on game results, he needs a little more evidence before spreading blame away from himself.

3. I wonder if Riggleman's veiled suggestion that Silva shut up is based on his wanting to defend the "Mariners" at large to the public, or more on his wanting to handle Silva's issues in a constructive manner. I guess I have some faith in the latter.

4. "When a team underperforms its projected numbers as badly as this one's has, there are all kinds of issues going on that a calculator alone won't fix."
No doubt. But comments like these seem a little... "for kids", to use your expression. Perhaps I'm misunderstanding, but it sounds as if you're poking fun at the stathead crowd. I think it's beneath someone of your position.

Posted by Eburg T

2:06 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Wow, Brett and Geoff!

We've got bad chemistry on this blog and it's affecting our collective performance. Who is our "Chief" who will call out Brett and Geoff and tell them to knock it off? Who among you is man enough?

I'll play the Felix role, and nod sagely as you lambast people. I'm willing to take that hit for the team. Tacit approval is more my style.

We have to right this ship! Er, blog!

Posted by downonstrikes

2:06 PM, Aug 11, 2008

I told you, RagArm that nobody is reading your stupid limmeriks. This team is in crisis and you are trying to make lite. What is wrong with you.

It is time you start blamming Geoff for not liking this team and reporting on a glimmer of fire in the clubhouse. It is time you bash Silva for being odd shaped.

Stop writing poems they don't amuse unless they are like this one that really does say a lot about the Mariner players:

There was a young player from Munich
Whose tool hung down past his tunic,
And their chops girls would lick,
When they thought of his prick,
But alas! he was only a eunuch.

Posted by Sounders

2:09 PM, Aug 11, 2008

"the failures run deeper"

Right on Geoff.

That's code for you guys, Howie and Chuckie

Bag Out!!! Do It Now!!!

Posted by Donovan

2:11 PM, Aug 11, 2008

I'm really amazed how many people seem to fervently believe in a Hollywood/comic book version of leadership when it comes to sports teams. Competitive spirit and self esteem is something you either have or you don't, once you get to the highest level. No threat, coercion, rant, or motivational speech will give it to you, if you lack it. Maybe such devices work with college kids or post-adolescent 20 yr. old pro rookies, but that's it. Only the mediocre seek their motivation from others, and there is no place for mediocrity on a championship team. The fact that we are having this discussion tells you all you need to know about this team. Collectively, they just aren't that good, and nothing anybody could possibly say will make them winners.

That said, it would be inhuman to expect these guys to have much passion at this stage. Every game since May has been completely meaningless, and all the players know it. You have a few guys (Raul, Ichiro, Beltre) who have generally played well and have always played hard and focused. They are not the problem on this team, and it is really stupid to say they are. You want to blame their inability to magically transmogrify their inferior teammates into great players? Now that's scapegoating. The notion of the charismatic leader who inspires his ordinary comrades to greatness is a complete and utter myth. A guy who lacks the drive/discipline/integrity to play consistently all out will be dead weight on any team, no matter who he plays with. Now put a bunch of guys together who have that competitive fire, even if their ability levels are vastly different, and they will inspire each other (bidirectional, not unidirectional inspiration) to push their potential to the limit, but they have to bring that drive to the table. They can't get it there.

Why does Ichiro display such open passion on the AST and on his national team, but not at Safeco? It's the difference between being surrounded by players with greatness and/or intensity in their makeup and being surrounded by mediocrity/apathy. Ichiro can't make Yuni a disciplined, driven player. Neither can Raul. Frankly, I doubt anybody can. That's something you are supposed to get before you get to the majors.

Wriggleman's unenviable job is to try and convince the fans that the team is worth watching for another 7 weeks, while evaluating talent or showcasing it for trade. I think he's doing as good a job as could be expected. Geoff's job isn't much easier. He's trying to stimulate dialog between fans over games that mean absolutely nothing at all. He's doing a great job. We're all still here, aren't we? The only job that really matters though is building a team for next season that is less of a joke. Unfortunately, the guy primarily responsible for that one hasn't been hired yet, so all our debates and rants and discussions here are mostly just wanking.

Posted by ken

2:13 PM, Aug 11, 2008

The way that Rob Johnson & Adam Moore have been performing at AAA & AA merits promotions for both - if Rob Johnson performs better than Clement defensively and at the plate, he should move into the #1 role for next season; Adam Moore deserves a Sept. callup and perhaps a few spot starts. Clement than can be either trade bait or a possible DH/1B option. My guess is that Joh, seeing that he is the 4th option as catcher, will request that his contract be sold to a Japanese team. This will leave Silva as the only remaining bad contract that extends beyond 2009 and not hamstring our new GM (not caretaker Lee) with multiple years with several bad contracts.

Posted by BrianL

2:22 PM, Aug 11, 2008

ken - I'm glad you've discovered the magic secret to determining whether or not a young player is successful or not with less than one year worth of games played. I hope the FO hires you this off-season.

Posted by Lisping Liberal

2:26 PM, Aug 11, 2008

"The minute Silva threatened to throw his teammates into a wall, his entire rant was invalidated, Geoff."

I agree. Thisssth should not be tolerated in a divertthhhse, tolerant sthhsothhiety. Every Mariner on the active rosthhhher should pressth charges immediately.

Posted by RagArm

2:31 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Last one in honor of Carlos Silva whom I actually think is one of the bright spots on this brain dead team. DownonStrikes I don't care if you like these or not, at least I have a hobby that doesn't frustrate me and make me mad, sad, and broke.

There was a fat person called Silva
Who just couldn't stop eating breada
With a plate fully loaded
His belly exploded
And now the poor pitcher is deada

Posted by BrettJMiller

2:32 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Well Geoff, I hope you're glad you wrote that. Because trust me, I am. I too can play the "who can write a longer rant" game, but my personal attacks are less hidden; I'm not so passive aggressive. Anyway, here we go.

I have no idea what goes on inside the Mariners organization and to be an analyst that does not matter one bit. Good, you get to talk to fat pieces of trash like Carlos Silva. I'm glad for you. Wrong about what you ask? Well there's a lot of things you've been wrong about but let's just start with off-season acquisition Carlos Silva, why don't we? Early on you waxed poetic about his ability to go 7 innings deep into games. His ERA was low to start the year, built on unsustainable results.

Oh wait! I just said results! You seem to love results. So let's take a look at Carlos Silva's results this year. As we all know he's running a 5.93 ERA, 4-13 record, blah blah blah. But how has he amassed these results? I'll tell you one thing, yes Yuniesky Betancourt may suck at defense, as does Raul, and to a lesser extent Jose Lopez. But they're not to blame for Silva's terrible results. Let's take a look at what Silva is responsible for this year...

tRA: 5.57
tRA+: 85 (league tRA is 4.72)
Ground balls: 44.7% (League Average: )
Line drives: 22.7% (League Average: )
HR allowed: 17 (last year he allowed 20, guess he's passing that--after moving to a pitcher's park)
Swinging Strikes: 4.8%, (down from 5.3% last year.)
Balls thrown: 35.3% (up from last year's 34.6%)

So what we can conclude is his defense is costing him about a half a run per game. However, he's giving up a career high amount of line drives while getting less ground balls than he's ever gotten in his career. Also, he is giving up more home runs (outside the defense's control) than last year. His stuff is worse as he's missing less bats. His primary skills--strike zone command and putting the ball on the ground--have both gotten worse. He's throwing more balls and getting less ground balls.

Yuni cost him a quality start. But he is the reason why he's terrible this year. His bad results are backed up by a bad process.

How are you enabling Silva? It's obvious that he is one of your favorites. When he says stupid nonsense like that you don't have to report it or make yourself look like a fool by agreeing with it.

If Carl Everett did this, he'd be a cancer. Silva is not infallible. It is not the place of the worst pitcher on the team to call out his position players for not trying hard enough. He is trying his hardest and he's still not getting the results he wants. Has he considered that maybe, just maybe, the other players are also trying their hardest but are also suffering bad results because they--like him--are just not talented enough for their "best" to be good enough to win in the major leagues?

By getting buddy buddy with guys like Silva and singing their praises for doing things like this, you are enabling this sort of activity in the clubhouse. Which means in a way, you're a big contributor to this messy, cancerous clubhouse. Congratulations for egging on all the dissent and bitterness that is already floating around.

You're not to blame for the players not being talented enough, and I really think clubhouse chemistry, while it is important, is overrated, but you are to blame for helping create cliques here. Way to go. Maybe you should stop calling it like you see it and reporting the "truth" because what you say is your interpretation of the truth. As you've seen, many others see it differently.

The 2007 M's should've only won 77 or so games. Then they replaced a good hitting, below average defense right fielder with a bad hitting, bad defense right fielder. Raul got worse on defense. Richie Sexson was still terrible. Jose Vidro was terrible. Kenji Johjima is terrible. Carlos Silva is terrible. Miguel Batista is terrible. A 77ish win team, true talent level, saw old players regress, new acquisitions got hurt or sucked, and Miguel Batista was called a warrior for pitching hurt while Bedard was called a wuss for going on the DL.

Funny, Batista has been terrible because he's pitching hurt. Bedard has pitched when healthy and been fairly good. Pitching hurt helps no one. So Bedard may be a wuss and not want to talk to you, but I wouldn't want to talk to you either if everyone in the media was calling me a wuss. He knows his body, and Bedard is smart enough to know 130 innings of him pitching well is better than 160 innings of him pitching like crap because he's hurt.

If you want to call me childish, just do it. Don't say "that's for kids". If you want to say something, say it. Regardless, it's not right and wrong strictly from a baseball perspective. It's right and wrong from a human standpoint. I don't see your psychology degree. Yes, you spend plenty of time talking to the players. That doesn't mean you know what's in their head. It's wrong to make judgment calls about what these people think and feel inside. It's wrong to insinuate Lopez and Betancourt aren't trying their hardest, along with anyone else. It's all well and good if Silva thinks that, but that doesn't make it true. You're a great reporter, but your analysis and arm chair GMing is awful.

After all, if you were the GM, we would've lost Adam Jones for Dontrelle Willis (single A), Wladimir Balentien for Al Reyes (recently DFA'd from a contender), Jeff Clement for Octavio Dotel (got injured), signed Barry Zito (worst pitcher in the NL), and the list goes on. This team would be in debt and in last place if your moves were made.

Yes it is a free country. You can post what you want. That doesn't mean that stuff like this isn't garbage. If Silva gets a warning track fly out, he's gutty and wanted it more and has heart. If it goes out, he can't make pitches and is a bad pitcher. But it's ok in your book that he's a bad pitcher, because he doesn't make excuses like saying the people around him weren't trying hard enough to help him win...OH! OH OH WAIT. He DID say his teammates were the reason they lost. Not his disgustingly bad pitching. He's out of shape and can't pitch and can't say "Hey I just threw a crappy game." Instead, he says "I won't make excuses but some people don't try hard enough and just want to finish strong and get their numbers."

So let's read between the lines here. He won't make excuses for himself, but it's other people's fault for not trying hard enough? Seems like an excuse to me. Also, if they finished strong and got their numbers, the team would win more games. He shouldn't be mad at the team for trying their hardest to perform well. But because they're trying hard to get a hit instead of lay down a sacrifice bunt, they're bad people and bad, selfish players. Let's not even get into how ineffective bunting generally is, but still dismiss Silva's comment as stupid nonsense. And it's your fault the world sees this crap. And by agreeing with it, you create dissent between teammates, and you allow him to come back to you with more team bashing crap. People listen to you Geoff. Don't make them believe this stuff has substance and that Silva's anything more than a fat, arrogant jerk. He's no more a part of the team than you are. He's got his check, and when he loses he can't accept that he's just a terrible, overweight, overpaid pitcher. He's an individual who just happens to wear the same uniform as 24 other guys when he says things like this.

I'm glad you flash your credentials in my face. It proves they'll give them out to just about anyone these days. I should see if I can get one. Maybe my friend's little sister should ask for one too. I think our odds are pretty good.

I'm not surprised Silva said what he said. He, like you, is a petty, petty individual who cannot accept responsibility. Take a page from everyone's book and when you don't know what you're talking about, ask questions before telling everyone your backwards thoughts. You have no evidence to back up your opinions.

I'm glad you think you have a greater insight to this game than I do. You've been around it longer. You get great quotes. You're a great reporter. But oh my god you are so bad at analysis. I mean wow. You're closer to the game. But you do not know as much about it as you think. Neither of us know it that well. Your insights are forced controversiality. But whatever, you get paid regardless so you don't have to work hard or take pride in your job. I know I wouldn't if I was delivering stories this "hack-y" to the public. Maybe you should've stayed in Toronto.

Never backing down, like with Silva's comments here is absolutely silly, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that what you said is silly. By the way, why are you bringing up pre-season predictions? I'm talking about you being wrong throughout the year, with ever blog post I cringe a little bit, this was just the final straw. Seriously, how did you get this job?

And I do already know Silva is a terrible pitcher and terrible person. Thanks for driving home that his fecal excrement doesn't stink to you.

Pocket lint.

I'm done with this, so feel free to write another attack but after this I will no longer give you the satisfaction of reading one of my responses. You have fallen. It's all about defending your ego now. Not about what the facts are. You have an agenda. You're a sports writer, it's not your job to have an agenda.

By the way, very professional to insult a reader. This is the internet, what do you expect to gain by arguing with me? All I expect from this is personal satisfaction of telling it to you how it is. Is that how it was for you? Maybe you should've e-mailed me instead of putting it in the public eye. Well, you made the first step, so I made the last.

Enjoy the benefits of your job, pocket lint.

Posted by Mousse

2:32 PM, Aug 11, 2008

"The fact that you, or other fans, some of whom run blogs, have a problem with what he said really isn't my concern. Do you want me to tell you this season has been about "poor talent" as opposed to underachievement? That "poor talent" won 88 games last year. So, unless you're prepared to admit that the 2007 M's should have won only 65 games, this year's team is an underachiever."

Geoff, this is a silly, straw man argument. No reasonable person should dispute the reality that the Mariners should not have won 88 games last year. The 2007 Mariners scored 794 runs, but gave up 813 runs. Does anyone honestly believe that the Ms won 88 games last year because they played to their talent potential? No, they won 88 games because they got extremely lucky. While I don't dispute that some players have underperformed this year, you simply cannot ignore the fact that a lack of talent is the much more obvious cause of the team's poor showing. This is primarily a roster construction problem, not a player effort problem.

Posted by ken

2:34 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Bozos Brian L & WSU3 (two losers separated at birth): In this lost season, you need to give the young players in the minors a chance to progress. Clement may make it eventually however progress is very slow and I think Johnson in particular deserves a look-see - not just as a Sept filler. Burke would obviously be the odd man out.

Posted by Katal

2:34 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Re: Geoff Baker's reply to Brett Miller:

You are correct in your point that you never coached Silva to say what he did. He said them to you and you used your platform as a reporter to bring it to the public's attention. Silva correctly figured that you have been happy to report about problems in the clubhouse before, and that you would again. That there is the rub. You were all too happy to report about how heroic he was for throwing a tantrum, rather than looking at the incident through any other lens.

You could have approached Silva's fit differently. You might explain how it was immature. How it was unbecoming for a professional. How the man who is arguably our worst starting pitcher, and who is not in the best of shape, has no room to complain about his teammates' efforts, however lackadaisical Yuniesky might be.

A number of people have raised these points very well, and instead of taking them into consideration, you chose to react in the same manner as a child. "I'm a member of the press, and you're not. You're not even part of the team! The fact that you have a problem isn't my concern!" I expect better from you, Mr. Baker.

Also, please - do not say things like, "We're not still hung-up on who predicted what in March", as if your not bringing up your preseason predictions for the team is a sign of maturity. Heaven knows how often you like to bring up the "let Jones play" debate of last summer, to show off how you were right. The fact is that a number of people (cough, bloggers) managed to look at the numbers and determine that the Mariners got lucky in 2007, and that their luck would likely run out this season. You refused to, and as it turns out, they were right and you were not. You're a good beat writer, but you're not in the same league of analysis as certain bloggers are. Deal with it.

I enjoy your articles in the Seattle Times, and I often enjoy your blog. But you're wrong on this one.

Posted by ancient mariner

2:36 PM, Aug 11, 2008

The Mariners have no team leadership and no team chemistry. They are in danger of imploding for the rest of the season. 100 losses for a $100M team....a stellar accomplishment for Conehead Bavasi.

Posted by BrettJMiller

2:36 PM, Aug 11, 2008

I realized I forgot something:

League average GB%: 44
League average LD%: 19

Ok now I'm done, but I couldn't be done without all the facts.

Posted by Chris from Bothell

2:37 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Silva's comments may have surprised some folks in the blogosphere. But they were not much of a surprise to me, or plenty of others who have been around this team for any length of time. If that offends you for some reason, or you resent me trying to share that information (as opposed to concealing it from the public because it might hurt the team), then I can't help you.


Who's surprised? Who wanted this hidden?

Again: It is possible to listen to and agree with the message, while being boggled at the messenger. Silva doesn't have the stats to back up a vocal leadership role. That's the only confusion here.

Geoff, I'm sorry, the number of straw men in your columns lately has made the blog positively flammable. Either you're not understanding or not listening to a fair portion of comments here. Or you're understanding them, but choosing to pick the most subjective or most artificial arguments that you think generate the most blog traffic.

BrianL, scrapiron, Donovan, Merrill, Adam, Resin - have fun. I've had enough.

Posted by Capo

2:38 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Geoff, I'm torn here......

I won't say this team underachieved, I''ll argue that 2007 team overachieved. A lot of the talent was the same from 2005- and 2006, and this years performance is more in line with those teams than the 2007 team.

I have to say that I think the M's are very poorly run, from the top on down.....and while I am not a big fan of chemistry, I do agree with Silva in principle.......Good teams do not let this stuff happen, good team pull together and fight through adversity.....this has long been an issue I've had with the M's.....they are a team built around vanilla personalities and "good guys"......not guys who are hungry.

While I think some people don't want to think for themselves, or use rationality with this situation.
I think part of the big argument here is that players performance is not based on desire, or "wanting it" it is based on skill....didn't we see this a couple of months ago when you mentioned some players who were struggling not showing up for early BP, or fielding practice? Doesn't it make sense that if you are struggling, you want to put in the extra time to figure out whats wrong and improve your performance? I mean, seriously people, athletes have a lot of God given talent.....but even the best athletes struggle, and need to tune their on field performance....Tiger Woods anyone?

What I'm trying to say is that there is a lot more to the game then talent, and to make something a "sustainable skill" (To use a term some stat heads love), you have to practice, you have to make adjustments to the adjustments people make to you.....or nothing is sustainable.

Jose Silva is a terrible pitcher, I don't think many people will argue that, Jose Silva should shut his mouth and think about what he needs to do to make the M's better (eating less would be a good start.......but what he said does have validity.....even if he should not have said it.

Posted by scottM

2:47 PM, Aug 11, 2008

If the M's played with the same level of passion as the back and forth between Geoff and Brett, we wouldn't be having today's blog discussion.

Posted by Balentienforcer

2:48 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Thanks everyone, now my eyes hurt and my head is throbbing.

I haven't read this much since before the advent of blowhard blog comments.

New topic please Geoff? Please!?!?

Posted by putzy

2:52 PM, Aug 11, 2008

So what if Silva says something ? The team has been dogging it all year. There are too many clicks on this team. You have to break up the clicks and the prima donna's particularly the one in RF. Until you do the above, they will continue to play bad. They have no chemistry. The middle infielders are a bunch of whinners. The soul of the defense is right up the middle. If you don't have it, you suck !

Posted by downonstrikes

2:53 PM, Aug 11, 2008

This sums up my feelings about the whole baseball thing, especially the Mariners overpaid, underproducing millionaire lazy bums who whould give the money back to the fans. My last limmerik too RagArm. I'm tired of reading these long-winded comments:

Striking it rich, MLB, there's no doubt
That it's time fans exerted some clout.
While you millionaires bicker
Over who got rich quicker;
One more strike and we're calling you out.

Posted by doug

2:55 PM, Aug 11, 2008

So the fact that ichiro is a prima donna means that Batista, washburn, silva have pitched like garbage? that Yuni, Johjima, Sexson and vidro hit like crap? If he was more friendly they all of a sudden would perform way better?

Right. Think about that for a minute. does that make any sense?

Posted by putzy

3:03 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Think about it that he makes 19 large and he dogs it. The rest of the players see that. They bust their tail and some slap hitter dogs it all the time. All Ichiro cares about is 200 hits, that's it. Wow, he stole a base last night when they were down by 8 runs...way to Ichiro, Beltre, Betancourt and Lopez and any other cry babies I did not mention. Send Johhima packing...let's get some guys who have heart...get some ball players in here...

Posted by DoesntCompute

3:04 PM, Aug 11, 2008

This is the first time I've commented on this blog and it is the last time I will read it. You are a pretty good reporter but your analysis is weak. You have interesting things to say about the M's and that has kept me reading this long. Unfortunately, you seem to go into these little fits where you feel you must attack and put down anyone who disagrees with you. The amount of snark and arrogance present in your posts lately are very sad to read.

It is fine that you have your opinion about what is happening with the M's and because of your access to the team, I respect that opinion but the fact that you cannot acknowledge that others may have viable opinions as well speaks poorly of you. It is a lack of professionalism and I will no longer support it by reading what you write.

Posted by InExile

3:05 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Dogs it by hitting .300+ every year... OK then.

Posted by bomberboy

3:08 PM, Aug 11, 2008

To everyone who kind of understands baseball and cares about the M's: Of course Silva is correct. This IS the situation. If we look simply at the numbers and the players on the team there is absolutely no logic to why this team is performing so incredibly HORRIBLE. And by the way, if you look at the numbers you will find that on a by game basis the pitching overall has been effective enough to produce a .500 type season. Even Bedard who apparently nobody likes except me, gave up almost 50% of his earend runs in two starts. In 11 of his starts his ERA was just over 2.10 and of course he got no runs support. Felix got three starts in April where he pitched 22 innings, surrendered TWO earned runs and go no decisions. This team did not and does not make plays. And I agree that Lopez and Yuni in particular even when they make the routine play appear to NOT be locked in, lots of flip throws. And this is NOT just about how they are performing today. This lack of effort results in an ongoing lack of improvement. Both these guys are entering their prime, but they are treading water, not getting better. How can we expect the team to get better with the same parts?

If the team is OK with all of us now, then OK. But for those of us who expect better, expect change. Change in attitude, change in effort and yes, change in personnel.

Posted by downonstrikes

3:09 PM, Aug 11, 2008

I support you Geoff. Keep on doing what you're doing. Blog writing opens you up to the critics, but you are a class journalist.

Posted by doug

3:10 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Ah, so they have absolutly no pride or self respect as professional athletes? Their performance is tied directly to how another guy on their team plays?

Glad to know that the entire team (as decided by you) is of such low character and lack any sort of pride. Glad to know that the only reason this team isnt a world serieis championship team (as decided by putzy) is because the entire team decides to play really shitty because of that damn slant eye. I mean, if he was playing hard than all of a sudden silva, wash and batista would decide not to be talentless pitchers. Yuni, Joh, Vidro, Sexon would just decide not to be horrible batters.

Damn, so all it takes to win is a team full of nice guys who like each other and get along? shit, why don't they just put a bunch of nice guys off the street together and watch the chemistry and friendliness propel them to victory!

Posted by headliner

3:15 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Good work Geoff. I enjoy the inside stuff the rest of us are not privy to. I happen to agree with you. I assume some of the ranters are fairly immature, at least they sound so. Some are so bad they're actually funny.

Posted by Ricco

3:17 PM, Aug 11, 2008

The only thing valid an otherwise awful blog post today was:

"Silva is just fed up."

Though, I'm not sure Geoff meant it the way i took it.

Posted by Ricco

3:19 PM, Aug 11, 2008

headliner - Yes, everyone who disagrees with you and Geoff is an immature ranter.

Way to lead by example and resort to name calling, though. That is, afterall, very mature.

Posted by Utis

3:19 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Silva was wrong in his analysis. It is understandable he is frustrated but the "little things" isn't the biggest factor in the team's lost season. As has been pointed out before, the team overachieved last year. This year the defense has been lacking (bad to below average defense at left field, second base, short and first). There have been key injuries (Putz, Bedard, Batista hasn't looked right). Some hotters haven't produced (Joh, Vidro, Sexson). The star players (Ichiro, Beltre, Felix)have not had the career years needed to compensate for the other failures. As Riggleman said, I haven't seen a lack of effort or profesionalism from the team. What I have seen are lack of talent, injuries, and bad luck. Add in a bit of bad coaching (I am tired of seeing the team flail away at balls out of the strike zone, don't they have a take sign?) and you have a recipe for their current state. No amount of "manholes" is going to make up for that.

Posted by nobody

3:20 PM, Aug 11, 2008

How come so many people on this blog seem to be able to dish it out but can't take it?

There seems to be a lot here who are of the opinion that Silva was dead wrong to criticize his teammates publicly because of his poor record and lousy ERA. As if this means that their play didn't need criticizing.

I would say that the players who play everyday are a lot more responsible for this disaster of a season than a pitcher who only plays in one of every five games.

Have you considered the possibility that in this long season players like Silva have already talked to their teammates privately and that this hasn't worked and in the frustration of losing because of silly mental lapses have decided that public criticism may be the only way to inspire their teammates to focus?

There was much critcism on this blog earlier this season about Geoff NOT reporting stories of the going's on in the clubhouse and having to read about them in the national media or small local papers and now everybody's pissed that he reported a story.

I've often wondered who are the 30,000 fans going to the Safe for every game. Surely they can't be the disillusioned fans from this blog? But now after reading these comments about how no one is in a position to question whether or not players are trying hard enough, I see that these must be some of the same fans out there night after night cheering every play, even the bad ones, because they are trying.

From the first day of this blog until now, bloggers have criticized something or other every day in this public forum. When an unliked, fat player with a bad record and ERA like Silva criticizes (states the obvious) his teammates publicly, you jump all over him. Your argument being that he sucks and therefore is in no position to criticize. So how much less are any of you bloggers in a position to criticize any players, after all none of you even made it to the big leagues, your opinion should hold no weight at all?

If you're saying that everybody on the team, including the media, has a responsibility to make sure what happens in the clubhouse stays in the clubhouse then your the type of fan the FO covets.

Posted by Geoff's Assistant

3:21 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Can we please cut Geoffcoat some slack??? I've worked with the guy for awhile now, and never has he used it against me.

Posted by headliner

3:21 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Guess that makes me a member of the KGB. Keep Geoff Baker Society.

Posted by Geoff's Assistant

3:23 PM, Aug 11, 2008

me too. KGB's unite!

Posted by putzy

3:25 PM, Aug 11, 2008

I didn't say be nice. I say come out of the training room once in a while and man up. do your job. take pitches, move the runner over, build the pitch count. no swing at the first one that comes, ground out and trot back to the dugout...way to go.

sexson and vidro are gone by the way.

Posted by moving target

3:27 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Allright...I'll say it. This whole fiasco has it's roots deeply embedded in RACE...

from the Mariners clubhouse on to and throughout this blog there is quite a cultural gap...generation gaps too...
we got white dudes trippin on latins....latins trippin on white dudes....We got good ol boy white dudes runnin the show that are so far out there that they can't understand anyone young, white, black latin....

the thing is no oner can undertstand each other's shoes...cuz no one has fel what each other has felt been where each other has been...too far removed from each other's lifestyle upbringing....

and the stupids ones are the ones who act like they know all the answers....especially on this blog...I picture a bunch of white dudes huddled in their cubicles , gathered around the water cooler, hiding in a darkended room spewing their feeble attemots at knowledge and whether anyone will admit it or not half the fools are racist pregidous and flat out bigots....

this blog is full of a-hole know it all that really don't know jack sht and yeah I'm one of em'

now I expect the rest to rip this post cuz that's all they really got to look forward to in life...

Posted by JamesY

3:32 PM, Aug 11, 2008

That was a very interesting follow up post. Your points are all well taken, but I’m still not convinced.
I’m still not sure why Carlos Silvia (28) is okay to speak out versus Felix. I completely understand that Felix (22) has to stay in his place. But consider he’s been with the team since 2005. Silva has been a Mariner for less then a season. True, he’s a 6+ year veteran. But I think the fact he’s the one speaking out (and I still feel he doesn’t have the “results-respect” to do so effectively) is, as you wrote, “a huge indication of what's wrong with this team." For one, he (and Jose Guillen before him) are rookies to the fan-base. I don’t know if leadership can be statistically measured, but I know from playing sports and life in general that it counts for some intangible. If the Mariners have to get a ‘leader’ off the free agent market, then there’s something wrong. It should have been Beltre or Ibanez.
But while Silvia is filling a glaring void (which does need to be filled), he has to understand that waving his arms and threatening to throw someone against a wall, while in my mind a entertaining visual, doesn’t play well to the fan-base. And leadership in sports, I think, includes inspiring your fans by your actions and words. His actions don’t inspire, and his words didn’t either.
My point is, and as always I’m interested your thoughts, even if Silvia was statically great this season I’m not sure the reaction would’ve been different. Maybe people would call him a snob, like your suggestion for Felix. What it does show, and you alluded to this, is that for the Ms to be good again, they have a lot of holes on the roster to fill, and not all of them are on the field.

Posted by Henry

3:57 PM, Aug 11, 2008

I know everyone hates him, but can people do a better job of spelling Sexson's name correctly. For goodness sakes, I've seen it written as Sexon so many times in these blogs. Makes it hard to take your comments seriously.


Posted by Mister B

4:04 PM, Aug 11, 2008

This team is such a disaster this season that not only does it frequently make the wrong kind of outs at the wrong time, the wrong people seem to be making the wrong kind of rants at the wrong time.

I'm sure almost all of us have seen "Bull Durham" and the scene where Crash tells the manager (played by Trey Wilson) it's time to go off on them and scare them a little. So he does that (even though, as a new player, but a veteran, he was supposed to be perceived by the viewer as the right person to know when to do this and how to go about doing it -- which to me sounds like Silva)

If the players have what it takes, they respond. If they don't, they don't.

Sexson charges the mound, the team plays better for maybe a day.

McLaren has his classic YouTube postgame rant and I don't recall any lasting positive effects from it.

Many of us could tell back in May that most of the players on this team were already playing like they wanted the season to be over.

The problem is, there's no players strike in sight (and yes, I realize this is the 14th anniversary of the day from which many people said baseball would never recover) and the season won't end until late September.

However, that also reminds about the theory that the main reason that the 1995 Mariners did so well late in the season was because the 1994 team had gone through so much adversity after those tiles fell in the Kingdome and they were forced to end their season on the road.

Maybe this year's team will be able to recover from this season's adversity, but it will probably take a lot more roster/front office changes and more rebuilding before they can contend again.

Time to play every kid in AA and AAA who isn't already here (except Ibanez, Felix, Beltre, J.J. and Ichiro) because a lot of us are tired of looking at the rest of them.

Oh, and I think Bloomquist might be the next Scott Podsednik if/when he moves on to the NL -- and it would be amusing if/when that happens and a lot of local fans start complaining about the next great ex-Mariner to get away.

Geoff, you need to relax about the folks on this blog that disagree with you.

Brian Miller, whether you're done here or not, you should know by now that stats never tell the whole story -- so it doesn't matter whether or not you think you have all of them.

For whatever reason, the chemistry on this team sucks beyond rational belief and no one really knows when that will improve -- even if they win the rest of their games this season.

Posted by tugboatcritic

4:19 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Geoff, probobly not the best judgement to respond to some clown taking pot shots in your blog. Who is BrettJmiller? Absolutely nobody. What will he be in ten years? A nobody. So why respond?

I know that both USSM and LL have spent the better part of a day taking personal swipes at you. I know that the authors' there love to wax on poetic about not assuming the intentions of others. I know that they routinely contradict this edict when speaking of you. I know that USSM loves to preface a "Baker Bashing" by stating how they really like you.

If I were you, I wouldn't trust anyone from either site to do anything less than harm to your career. The love to get their little panties in a bunch because you took a shot back at one of there little sheep. Do they even acknowledge the cheap shot taken by this idiot to instigate your response? Nope, they will just say you need a thicker skin. Its no win dealing with them. They allow scores of idiots to post all sorts of flaming crap so long as they quote "tRA" at the beginning of their post.

Ignore them. When someone besides their group of lackeys determines them to be the end-all of baseball knowledge, I'm sure you will be the first to be told.

Posted by NB

4:25 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Hooray now we're lumping everyone into categories so we don't have to worry about refuting the substance of their argument! This is so much easier than actually thinking!

BrettJMiller reads Lookoutlanding or USSM? Then he's just like all of those other idiots!

Hooray for two dimensional thinking and mindless huffing and puffing.

Hooray for the internet!

Posted by Sounders

4:35 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Right on moving target

Hooray for Beer

Hooray for not knowing anything

Posted by Downonstrikes

4:41 PM, Aug 11, 2008

RagArm's fault:

Quoth the coroner's jury in Renton,
"The verdict is rectal congestion."
They found a baseball
Following a clubhouse brawl,
Halfway up the Silva's intestine.

Posted by InExile

4:45 PM, Aug 11, 2008

It's sort of sad to see peopel insult what they don't understand.

It's not USSMs or LLs fault that you can't do basic math.

Posted by InExile

4:46 PM, Aug 11, 2008


At least I can correct my mistakes.

Posted by DinosaursDieOut_ThatsWhatTheyDo

5:03 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Hey Geoff,
I know you like to revel in the "exclusive" access that your paying gig gets you, and I want to tell you to make sure to enjoy it while it lasts. Cause it's gonna end. For three reasons:

1) Newspapers are dying. They keep getting smaller and smaller and keep cutting staff. The fact that you get special access to athletes at this point in your career simply means that you're one of the last people hanging onto the life raft. But, I'll give you credit, you are probably smart enough to realize at least this point.

2) The reason they're dying is the web. Newspapers use to be part of a limited media presence (TV, radio, papers) that was the only way for people to get daily news. That whole monopoly is over. And what the ending of that monopoly has done is expose people like you and Bob Finnigan as hacks that rely on tired aphorisms and repetitive and uncritical analysis to do their jobs.

3) The explosion of the web has allowed true experts, people who actively sought to challenge every logical truth, people who test every hypothesis they present against actual facts, people like Nate Silver and Dave Cameron, to blow your tired hackneyed reporting out of the water. Hide behind your argument that we can't look at the past and have to look to the future all you want. But the reality is that if the M's had followed your advice last season and during the preseason they would be even worse than they are now, and that is exposed every day for people who want to learn the truth.

In summation: Your vaunted status which allows you to talk down to people will end soon and then you'll just be another out of work newspaper hack. And you know what's funny, the people who can really write and really analyze, like Larry Stone and Art Thiel, two writers who are actually willing to move beyond the insular world of the clubhouse (and the ego boost it provides to a hack like you) so that they can look at the bigger picture, will get picked up by new media when the newspapers die. You won't.

And that's the really sad thing is that people like you continue to fight the tide. There have been baseball beat writers for decades and for decades the best of them have tried to truly analyze the game. But there have been plenty who just rely on the old school baseball logic that's fed to them (like the belief that B. Bavasi somehow deserves another job in the game after totally destroying a whole major league franchise simply because of how long he's been in the game - if you can't spot that as flawed logic than there's no help for you) and they are just simply being exposed for the dinosaurs that they are.

Have fun being a part of a dying breed Geoff.

Posted by Exposing the Hypocites!

5:22 PM, Aug 11, 2008

" your argument that we can't look at the past and have to look to the future " - STRAWMAN!

"people like Nate Silver and Dave Cameron blow your tired hackneyed reporting out of the water." - AD HOMINEM ATTACK!

Posted by Glenn in Tokyo

5:23 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Perhaps Silva is reflecting all the brain waves that fans are sending out at Safeco...... Management did a great job of sending out the people that are now stars on other teams while keeping around Sexson and Vidro as rebuilding projects. Lastest news from Philly as reported in your paper....
Dobbs broke a Phillies record with his major-league-leading 21st pinch-hit in the Phillies' 6-3 victory over Pittsburgh.
The former Mariner improved to 21 for 51 (.412) as a pinch-hitter this season with a game-tying RBI double.
Nothing more needs to be said..

Posted by Sounders

5:27 PM, Aug 11, 2008


Just because you're the quickest geek with your Blackberry doesn't mean you're the smartest geek.

Just because a country has the biggest and most bombs doesn't mean that it is the strongest. (around the time newspapers die out that same community/country will have a population of overweight wimps: Check the Harvard study re" by 2015 75% of the US population will be obese.

I pray that day won't come, when newspapers are no more,and everyone is fat, staring into little screens, playing banal video games. Until then,watch out. Some dinosaur might bite your head off

Posted by Balentienforcer

5:27 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Wow.....seems like a new society here...


Glad I'm not a member, nor do I want to be.

S'allright Geoff....the unemployed are just jealous of you.


Posted by RagArm

5:28 PM, Aug 11, 2008

dinosaurs die out,

I quit getting the Spokane Spokesman-Review because it was a pathetic rag so I know what your saying. But now, instead of being informed I have time to read this blog and write limericks. It's really pathetic. I may start taking the rag again.

Posted by tomas

5:29 PM, Aug 11, 2008

I would much rather have eric out there pitching injured like miguel batista and carlos silva did this year. Yeah, they pithced freaking terribly while injured and actually hurt the team by not going on the DL...BUT THEY ARE TOUGH WARRIORS WHO FIGHT THROUGH DA PAIN!!!!11!!

Posted by Ben

5:35 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Re: Geoff's additional comments:

Right on brother....I'm surprised how people can speak as if they know what exactly is going on in the M's clubhouse sometimes....when they really don't know (I.E. Reader blogs and such)....

Truth be told....99% of the people who read this blog would be running the team worse than it is running right now.

Lets not kid one here really knows exactly what is going on. Geoff is as close as we can all get to the M's without actually working there.

Posted by Exposing the Hypocrites!

5:36 PM, Aug 11, 2008


The Cowles Gang is worse than the Mariners FO. Don't go back to the Spokesman unless you are going to substitute it for toilet paper. Besides you've already figured out how to read the Seattle Times online for free. Might as well take advantage of it while you can. The last thing you should do though is give your hard-earned money to another corrupt regime like the Mariners or Spokesman, they've both taken enough taxpayer money don't you think?

Posted by RagArm

5:43 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Since someone defended that worthless Eric Bedard earlier. A few words from Issac Asimov. Even he doesn't like the dude.

There was an old fellow named Eric,
Whose breath made those near him choleric.
He produced a hiatus,
In crowds, with his flatus.
He's a one-man disease, atmospheric.
--- Isaac Asimov

Posted by Bill

5:49 PM, Aug 11, 2008

I don't know which is more frustrating, the M's or my fantasy team. Now Carlos Lee and Longoria are on the DL. Big Papi was out for a month and is having an off year, Pujols was on the DL for a bit, Beckett and Kazmir aren't having great years, and several other quality players have already been cut because of injury (you hear me Furcal?). I was so excited about my team when it was drafted but this season is sinking faster than the USS Mariner in April and May of '08.

Posted by RagArm

5:51 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Exposing the Hypocrites!,

How right you are. I'm sticking with this lifestyle and NO Cowles family propaganda. What was I thinking? I enjoy the Seattle Times online and came here because the Spokane Spokesman-Review makes you register for even the most net-published news articles.

Thanks for nudging me back into reality. Well, my world of fantasy.

Posted by Sad Panda

6:07 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Wow it really is true. People were saying that you, Geoff, will show favoritism to guys who give you quotes, no matter who they are (or how bad they are). And reading above, you tried to justify Silvia's airing of comments. It's just disappointing from a journalist. It seems that you are becoming a tool of the players that will talk to you. In a way it seems you are letting them manipulate you. That's too bad. So two questions for you: 1) How do you know the team just isn't bad? 2) How do you know Silvia is giving 100% (without mental lapses, etc.)?
On the other hand, I really appreciate that you have such a blog because it is updated so quickly but I think I'll just try to read your factual parts only from now on.

Posted by AKMarinersFan

6:11 PM, Aug 11, 2008

I am going out on a limb here and predict that this will be Geoff's last year at the Seattle Times.

Back to Toronto?

Posted by The Massengill Society

6:11 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Today's mainstage fencing match yielded no blood, but many quick thrusts and long-winded parries.

Geoff Baker's 2751 word thrust was responded to with a quick 47 word parry by Brett J Miller. Must have nicked GB good in the old pride, when the reigning Blogmaster came back with another 557 word thrust intended to stifle the upstart.

But, little did Geoff know that the "J" in Brett J Miller stands for "Joust". A new blogger record was established with Miller's 1794 word parrying post.

"Douché!" says The Massengill Society. What vinegar soaked vitriol might we expect next. And what are we hearing these days from the Big Chief who instigated the duel? And who shall hoist himself next on his own petard?

---- The Massengill Society ----

Posted by -j.

6:13 PM, Aug 11, 2008

BrettJMiller's retort to your 'strong-arm' comments and Katal's insight are some really well thought out arguments against you Geoff. Really tough to rebut in my view.

I have to say that I agree with both guys. First off, I think you bit off more that you could chew in choosing to pick on BrettJMiller's comments. Your attempt to "show him who's boss" came off very arrogant and condescending. Turns out the guy wasn't a troll and actually did have a strong, logic based view. Imagine that. Big 'oops' there.

Kudos to you two posters (BrettJMiller and Katal). I enjoyed your comments more than the "Silva for mayor" tripe posted in this writeup.

This blog has me conflicted. I thoroughly enjoy Geoff's access that he passes along to readers. His spring training coverage was second to none. But the more I read pieces like this, it gets me scratching my head more often than not. I can honestly say I have agreed with Geoff once, maybe twice ...ever. I just can't stand the 'cherry-picking' method to writing an article.

Consistently choosing to only recognize facts and stats that back your particular argument while ignoring those that poke holes in the same line of thinking just doesn't cut it. That happens far too often around here.

Again, I would ask that guys like Katal, Adam and BrettJMiller post more often. Its a nice relief from the trollish and ignorant comments that litter this board. And know Geoff, if you aren't on the ball... there are indeed guys out there that are smart enough to call you on it.

Posted by Balentienforcer

6:17 PM, Aug 11, 2008

......."And who shall hoist himself next on his own petard?".........

Too funny

Posted by JP

6:28 PM, Aug 11, 2008

ScottM- I appologize my mistake. I do think though that BrianL would make a very good traveling secretary for your society. He seems to be very good with numbers and making stuff up.

Posted by scottM

6:36 PM, Aug 11, 2008

No problem, JP. And if you are part of the Patches line of JPs, then TJGS will consider you for membership, too. We have an opening on our entertainment committee.

Posted by Rick B.

6:40 PM, Aug 11, 2008


Thanks for your commentary.

The one thing I would not worry about is contrary comments in a blog. Any fool with a keyboard can post them, and they're worth what you pay for them.

Posted by tugboatcritic

6:55 PM, Aug 11, 2008

And what Baker did was to respond to a smart-assed, mean spirited condescending bunch of drivel whose main thrust was to assume Bakers' intentions by reporting what he saw. How you all read every negative thing possible into what he states is beyond me. Geoff seems so obviously to playing devil's advocate at times yet a lot of local bloggers dissect every word hoping to find some evil (read: opinion or analysis contrary to USSM or LL) to rail on about.

-j-, Do you think that BrettJMiller is allowed to address the authors of USSM or LL in the way that he did that caused Geoff's reaction? He would get shot at the door, and you know it. I found nothing in his response to be particularly ground-breaking, mostly just a re-hash of opinions from 2 blogs for the last 6 months. Big deal.

Geoff gives a lot of personal access and I enjoy reading it. The amount of personal attacks directed him by those who claim to be above it is amazing. And NB, if you agree that the no-holds-barred way of vilainizing Geoff religiously with cowardly attacks on other sites, then you are precisely the idiot that I was referring to.

Who is BrettJMiller? A nobody. (edit: wait, he's a nobody that authors a blog that nobody reads, with no new content, that nobody reads. And what he has written is hack, and boring... Jealous of the attention, Brett?)

Posted by meagain

7:03 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Ragarm's a guy I don't know
Who ragged on a catcher named Joh
Took his cue from Geoff Baker
Another mischief maker
They should reap the baloney they sow.

Johjima has less than one strikeout per ten at bats, Ragsy; if you're going to plague us with doggerel, at least have some basis in fact.

Right up there with "defacto third string catcher." Which means Burke will paly more innings than Johjima between now and season's end. If you're gonna throw horse crap on the stove, at least have the good grace not to overcook it.

Posted by Get in Shape!

7:14 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Before Silva pops off to the media why doesn't he get in shape and try and live up to his contract.

Wow, he tries hard every 5th day. The rest of the time though he's not working hard enough. Don't call out others unless you have are pulling your weight, pun intended.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

7:16 PM, Aug 11, 2008

I know you like to revel in the "exclusive" access that your paying gig gets you, and I want to tell you to make sure to enjoy it while it lasts.

The jealousy is so thick in this post you could cut it with a knife. I can only make an educated guess this is a typical USSM/Lookout Landing spy trolling on this blog.

These saberheads are sheople that obey the rules of their cult leaders. They have entitlement issues and since Geoff doesn't follow their leader, they attempt to stone him.

These are the same radicals who feel emboldened to respond to any criticism or any opinion that strays away from the USSM/Lookout Landing point-of-view. They are like geek hall monitors patrolling the blog all day ready to defend their leaders.

First off, I think you bit off more that you could chew in choosing to pick on BrettJMiller's comments. Your attempt to "show him who's boss" came off very arrogant and condescending.

-J- if you want arrogant and condescending go read or if you want with juvenile ignorant one liners go read Lookout Landing.

Posted by BrianL

7:22 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Resin isn't Cheating - And with that, this god awful blog entry comes full circle.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

7:29 PM, Aug 11, 2008

The only stats that matter are Wins, Saves and Batting Average. Not that sabergeek crap

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

7:32 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating
7:29 PM, Aug 11, 2008

That was not me. I will not be posting the rest of the night. Ignore the Adam/BrianL/Brett Miller troll posting as me.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

7:34 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Faceplant is my GOD

Posted by headliner

7:34 PM, Aug 11, 2008


Posted by BrianL

7:46 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Resin isn't Cheating - If you really believe it's one of us masquerading as you, take it up with the admins. I assure you it isn't me.

Posted by RagArm

7:46 PM, Aug 11, 2008


Though cleverly writ it may be
Your post offended just me
your verse I will censor
you'll have no defendor
your limerick no-one will see

I can't be a world class poet and a Johjima expert too. So defend the man if you will but know that he has contributed much to the situation this team is in right now.

Posted by Balentienforcer

7:52 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Now, you all know, Geoff is in his backyard with his touque on, grilling some of Canadias finest bacon, swilling Labatts, just plotting the next "big post" for the off day Thursday!

Gotta luv ya Geoff

Posted by Exposing the Hypocrites!

7:56 PM, Aug 11, 2008

LL and USSM are like the foreign government leaders who come here to the US and get a good college education, and then go back to their own country and rule it with an iron fist, suppressing any and all dissenting viewpoints, and then have the nerve to call the US evil. They have total control over everything that's posted on their sites, but come here and berate Geoff and anyone who disagrees with them, while not allowing this same courtesy on their blogs. Hypocrites! Guys like BrianL constantly on all 3 blogs all day everyday, running back and forth from USSM to LL to make sure nobody misses anything posted here that they disagree with, so they all can take turns making fun of it. And if you engage them and try to reason with them, here, of course, because it's not allowed on their blogs, they hide behind strawmen if they can't refute your argument. Every mistake is dissected in the smallest detail and continually brought up by those who either refuse to admit or are all too quick to forget their own mistakes. They put all faith in new numbers and say that skeptics are dinosaurs or ignorant, even though the creators of these new stats will admit that they are works-in-progress, and anything but absolute. They don't understand the actual meaning of a strawman and both misapply and misuse this all too often. They say that others are arrogant and closed-minded, but refuse to take a long, hard look in the mirror themselves. They just can't get past the fact that Carlos Silva is fat, or Bill Bavasi is bald, or Raul is slow...Go over there and try to reason with them, and they tear into you like vicious wolves, all wanting a piece of the kill, but when that happens to one of them here, then it's reported and Geoff and the Times are chastised for not moderating better. And don't dare ever say anything negative about their leaders, who have risen to God-like status, but boy do they love to hate on Geoff. It's become more of a favorite pasttime of theirs than baseball, which is what this is supposed to be all about.

Posted by Scanman

8:04 PM, Aug 11, 2008

For anyone who still cares, Morrow’s stats tonight, 2.2 innings, 5 hits, 3 earned runs,2w, 2k.

Posted by Davis

8:06 PM, Aug 11, 2008

repeat after me kiddos, Morrow is not a starter. He is a closer. There is more value as a closer than all but an Ace pitcher as closers have a hand in 30-60 wins not 10.

Posted by BrianL

8:10 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Davis - Closers are useless if you don't have a starter to bridge a majority of that gap.

Posted by -j.

8:10 PM, Aug 11, 2008

"-j-, Do you think that BrettJMiller is allowed to address the authors of USSM or LL in the way that he did that caused Geoff's reaction? He would get shot at the door, and you know it."
"..Geoff gives a lot of personal access and I enjoy reading it."

Who said anything about USSM or LL? I was commenting on this blog and this situation. BTW, all BrettJMiller did was say he was losing respect for Geoff and the comeback was Geoff sneaking underhanded jabs at him in the main article addendum. I think a person has the right to jab back and, in my opinion, BrettJMiller stance made a lot more sense.

I already said I appreciated Geoff's insight into the inner circle of the Mariners. That is THE reason I come here pretty much every day. He has access that none of us have. That is one trump card he has in the Mariner blogoshere.

Its just when he takes an illogical stance (and defends it to the death) that gets me clicking the red X on the top right corner of the screen or skimming through the comment section to see a poster call him out for it.

Posted by BIP

8:11 PM, Aug 11, 2008

"The jealousy is so thick in this post you could cut it with a knife. I can only make an educated guess this is a typical USSM/Lookout Landing spy trolling on this blog."

Perhaps I sense some jealously of a couple reputable blogs where people who love baseball and the Mariners gather to have discussions founded on logic, reason, and a pursuit of knowledge? I also think it's funny how, according to you, it's IMPOSSIBLE to disagree with Geoff's hacky drivel without hailing from USSM/LL.

"These saberheads are sheople that obey the rules of their cult leaders. They have entitlement issues and since Geoff doesn't follow their leader, they attempt to stone him."

You're right. Respecting what people like Derek Zumsteg--who has contributed to published baseball books and written special articles for ESPN--have to say makes one a closed-minded sheep, while sycophantically lauding a journalist who stands up for a fat asshole with a 6 ERA who threatens to assault his teammates makes you an enlightened free thinker. I mean, how ridiculous to enjoy the writing of those who tirelessly work for free to advance our knowledge of baseball, as opposed to the paid journalist who has a vested self-interest in turning simple stories like "The Mariners lack talent" into more interesting ones like "The Mariners have a fractious clubhouse and lack the will to win and I'm the only person who can deliver this inside information to you because stats don't tell the whole story. Look at what a leader Carlos Silva is!" even though all the evidence is against him and he offers none in his own support.

"These are the same radicals who feel emboldened to respond to any criticism or any opinion that strays away from the USSM/Lookout Landing point-of-view. They are like geek hall monitors patrolling the blog all day ready to defend their leaders."

Yeah, USSM/LL are so aggressive. I mean, they even make addendums to their blog entries to arrogantly/condescendingly respond to single commenters while simultaneously taking veiled potshots at other blog sites that disagree with them. Oh no wait, that was Geoff Baker. My bad, I got confused for a moment. I'm glad you feel so emboldened to respond to criticism that strays from Geoff Baker's point of view. How noble of you.

Since you seem to be such a fan of the BS psychobabble that journalists like Geoff enjoy perpetuating, here's a little more for you: stop projecting your own provincial, self-righteous fandom onto those of us who are merely seeking to learn all we can about baseball and have the courage to call out others on their trite, unorignal, and flat-out wrong arguments.

Posted by Seadog

8:15 PM, Aug 11, 2008

"we're pretty happy with the reader response and how we've raised the level of debate over the past two years"

Who is the "we" here?

Those of you that see a conspiracy of USS Mariner bloggers are off-base - today is one of the few that I agreed with Geoff, and actually one of the few days this season that I read his blog. It was a mistake, I thought Larry Stone was writing it. If it was Geoff, I would have stayed away.

Geoff does like to be the bully boy on his blog, and if raising the level of debate means trolling the posts on his blog to correct spelling errors (even when he makes them, and he is a PROFESSIONAL writer, as he never fails to remind you, the reader), statistical errors (he can be a seam head with the best of those over at the USS Mariner when in the mood to put down a poster on his own blog), and will whine he has no inside info on the clubhouse but then turn around and tell you that he knows all about goings on in the clubhouse and DEAR READER YOU DO NOT. Does this scream DIVA? You bet it does.

Massengill Society - Baker needs treatment for PMS, only thing is he doesn't suffer from it monthly, but daily.

Posted by -j

8:16 PM, Aug 11, 2008

"repeat after me kiddos, Morrow is not a starter. He is a closer. There is more value as a closer than all but an Ace pitcher as closers have a hand in 30-60 wins not 10."

...Now repeat after me. NO ONE is a closer unless he proves he CAN"T start. 90% of the best closers in history were starters first but had issues with it. Then they were moved to the bullpen and found success.

Morrow has NEVER had the chance to start. Give him that before pigeon-holing the guy.

All I can say to the closers>starters comment is... "Huh?"

Posted by Trufan

8:18 PM, Aug 11, 2008


Just keep writing your blog and posting your articles. When you are dealing with fans, you are in a lose/lose situation. So many of us fans think we are always correct. The writers, the front office, the players, they are never correct. How is it that a fan, who probably never got as high as High School ball knows better than the professionals, who get paid to do these jobs and have spent most of their lives in baseball?

Fans are fickle. Fans always have the hindsight of 20/20. Sure, from time to time, they get it right. Often times we are just talking out of our behinds. We all like to think we know more than the pros do.

How do so many fans know what is going on in the locker room when many of them have neverstepped foot inside of one? How do so many fans think they know what a player is thinking or feeling when they've never even spoken to one? They don't, but they wish they had the opportunities.

Much of the fan base is jealous and envious. They wish they could be following baseball and getting paid to do so. They wish they could talk with and interview the players, coaches, and front office execs. It would be a sweet job, and one I would not mind having, but truth be told, I'd rather follow football for a career.

Geoff, just keep doing what you do. Do not let these trolls get to you. You write the blog beause you get paid to do so, and I feel you have a love for baseball, even though you get paid to follow it. I'm certain many of these fans love baseball as much as, if not more than most of us, but get a life. Stop trolling and posting so many nagatives. This is a lost season. Move on with your lives. Get out and enjoy the weather. It's football season for God's sake!!!

The Sonics are gone! The M's are dead last. The Seahawks are just now beginning!!! It's a season to watch and enjoy! It's Holmgren's final season. I don't think you'll see anyone playing out the string to get to the off season. It's Now Time! or whatever their slogan is this year!

Wait Till Next Year M's. Go Hawks!!!

Posted by BrianL

8:25 PM, Aug 11, 2008

At first, this blog entry was a debate over whether Carlos Silva was out of line when he went on a rant and threatened to throw his teammates into a wall.

Then Geoff posted his addendum that took swipes at the sabermetric community in an attempt to show up one, ONE, commenter.

From there it descended into another God forsaken blog war. Do people not realize that both sides of the equation want nothing less than Mariner success? Why must this petty bickering happen? Why must you fuel this pointless fire?

Geoff, if you don't want the dissenting opinion just say so in this blog's masthead and we'll leave. All I will say is that it was pretty callous and arrogant of you to have posted that addendum. You don't see the USSM or LL doing that to commenter they disagree with. Heck, Larry Stone and Art Thiel wouldn't have done that. I know you're better than this, I've read a great deal of fine work from you.

So, once again we've been reduced to a childish flame war of futility and stupidity.

If you (Geoff, not the commenters) don't want the dissenting opinions and viewpoints, just let us know explicitly. I know you've made me feel rather unwelcome over the last few months. If that was intentional, just get it over with and tell us to leave.

Posted by Geoff

8:36 PM, Aug 11, 2008

BrianL, Go home to the sinking USSMariner and buy them a new server.

Posted by Geoff Fan

8:40 PM, Aug 11, 2008

BrianL, why not do all posters here a favor and go back to rooting for the Tampa Bay rays along with all your buddies at LL.

Calling yourself a Mariner fan defending one of your LL legion on here is laughable.

Posted by BrianL

8:45 PM, Aug 11, 2008

So now I take it that commenting at LL or USSM and being a Mariners fan is now mutually exclusive?

This is the pointless blog war and bickering I'm talking about.

Posted by Dave from the coast

8:49 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Don't shoot the messenger, please
For reporting just what he sees
The M's have no luck
As a team, they suck
When they take the field, they freeze.

I guess what I'm trying to say here is that one person, in this case Geoff, serves in a representative capacity by pointing out his interpretation of what Silva said. I'm trying to figure out where Geoff erred in typing his post, and he DIDN'T ERR at all. What Silva said has pretty much been said by just about every poster in here all season long. All Geoff, or anyone who serves in his capacity can do, is give the rest of us, who comment on things whether we know anything about them or not, a point of Origination. All Silva did was verbalize what's been felt by fans, players, and Others in Broadcast Journalism. Geoff's not the criminal here. Gosh, ESPN, who probably has never heard of Geoff, has come down on the M's just as harshly, if not more. Look at the stats. Watch the team. Notice the mistakes on the field. WATCH THE FRICKIN' GAME! Don't we all, REALLY, feel the same way Silva does? Maybe he's not exactly the type of player those words should come from, but they're out there, they've been said, they can't be taken back. Riggy knows that, and the rest of the M's know that. So, debate the strengths/weaknesses/possibilities/detractions ad nauseum if you must, but if the M's had been having a great year, I'm sure Geoff would be a Hallowed Individual Who Walks On Water. Only no one would notice, because the whole human race is conditioned to be negative...and the posters in here find it waaaay too much fun to shoot the messenger. I hate it when blog threads like this degenerate into personal attacks. Grow up, people.

Posted by Terry

9:02 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Wow, this blog is unreadable.

Is this really what the Seattle Times wants to offer it's readership?

Jeepers, i'm not really inclined to pick up a paper after mulling through these posts....

Posted by manny

9:04 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Before you blame on john M. and now you blame of riggleman. What a lame. I think you guy should consider sell the team and possible move to Alaska.

Posted by The Mariners FO.

9:41 PM, Aug 11, 2008

BrianL, ever hear of Dennis Eckersely? Much more valuable as a closer than he ever was as a starter.

Posted by wag the dog

9:42 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Great post, Geoff.

It'll be interesting to see what happens this week. I think there are several other players in line for a benching due to lack of effort and lack of mental focus. Since Riggleman can't bench everyone at once, maybe one per game will do. My money is on Betancourt as the next guy to earn the mid-game hook. He rarely makes it through a game without a mental miscue so I'm sure he'll give Riggleman the opportunity.

As far as Silva "earning the right" to speak, there's really no one on this team who has earned it. At least not someone who is willing to take the bull by the horns and say what so many are thinking. Yes, it would have been easier to take from a guy like Ibanez, but he wasn't going to say it. Silva may be a slob and a terrible, overpaid disaster of a pitcher, but I think he really took this one for the team. As the saying goes, "if there's an elephant in the room introduce it." So there ya go. Meet the elephant. Now the most productive move would be to figure out what to do about it rather than bitching about who made the introduction.

As miserable as this season is, it may be the best thing that could happen to this team. The FO has had it's head in the sand for several years, able to put a positive spin on consistently mediocre results. No more. We're past mediocre now. There's no way to deny the team needs an overhaul, mental and physical. If this disaster of a season is what it takes to get the Mariners to embrace a new philosophy when it comes to roster building, then I'm just glad there is something that was able to get the team off the dime.

Posted by Adam

10:07 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Good heavens - this is quite possibly the worst blog entry since Geoff's been here.

In the first place, I don't blame Geoff one bit for responding to BrettJMiller's ridiculous 12:39 pm post. Even if you disagree with Geoff (which I do), you should appreciate the fact he's willing to take time to share his feelings on the matter.

Why? Because Geoff has something none of us do - access to this team on a daily basis. So to get his point of view on the matter from a truly unique perspective is educational, if not necessarily agreeable.

I really don't get BrettJMiller's "enabling" crap. If he means Geoff's commentary about the Silva situation, and the fact that he supports Silva's language, then all BrettJMiller has to do is find another blog to read.

So the hell what if Geoff agrees with Silva? If you disagree, like I do, then tell Geoff you disagree and tell him where he's wrong. I've done that a ton over the past year and a half, and I hope that I've never insulted Geoff. I know he enjoys a good debate.

But to call him an enabler? That's an attack on his professional integrity, and he shouldn't have to stand for it. I wouldn't.

Frankly, while I see some folks have taken issue with Geoff's rebuttal (see the comments section at the appropriate thread on LL), I find it refreshing that Geoff is willing to let it all hang out.

So a plea to the idiots who have made this blog entry the worst in the history of the blog - if you aren't intelligent enough to engage Geoff in debate without taking cheap shots at him, just leave.

This comments on this blog have pretty much been garbage for the past two months, and if we just got rid of the mindless riff-raff that have been so vocal today, I'm positive the level of debate would return to where it once was.

As for Silva - Geoff, I think you are all wrong. I agree teams need a guy to light a fire under them and call out their lack of effort, but the way that Silva did it, and the fact it was Silva who did it, was completely off-base.

While SIlva is not as bad as his 5.93 ERA suggests (his FIP is "only" 4.50, while his xFIP is 4.59), he's been a colossal failure for the Mariners. He's only averaging 5 2/3 innings per start, his LD% is at a high 22.2%, and his GB% is only 44.2%. And did I mention he's on the hook for about $40 million over the next three years?

This isn't all his fault - any other GM in baseball other than Bavasi would have known not to give Silva that kind of money. Any other GM would also have known not to put a crappy defense behind a pitcher who doesn't miss bats.

But that doesn't excuse the fact that Silva's performance has been pretty awful, and he's definitely underachieved. Now, I've never been inside the Mariner clubhouse, and I won't pretend that I can catch little nuances of a player's effort merely by watching him on TV, but I find something inherently wrong with the idea that an underachieving, overpaid, and overweight pitcher gets to criticize the effort of his teammates to the press.

Maybe Yuni or Ichiro or Lopez or Beltre is dogging it. Maybe they are only trying to get their numbers (which, by the way, isn't necessarily a bad thing). But the way Silva called them out is bush-league. Pure bush.

At least Riggleman called him on it.

Posted by Adam

10:10 PM, Aug 11, 2008

BrianL, ever hear of Dennis Eckersely? Much more valuable as a closer than he ever was as a starter.

Do you honestly think that proves a closer is more valuable than a good starter?

It's real simple, folks - a good starter gets over 600 outs in a season.

The closer might get 200 outs.

Do you want to use your top arm to get 200 outs or 600?

Posted by dpseadvr

10:27 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Mr. Baker, I don't care what Mr. Silva has to say about his team mates in this manner, and I don't care for your reporting it like it is news. The fact that so many people are so riled up over this situation to the point of responding so passionately is the wrong response. To properly point out the egregious error you have made in posing Mr. Silva and his comments on his team mates as 'news', your post should have been greeted with thunderous... silence.
I do not care for your style of 'reporting' sir, Mr. Silva's personal feelings for his team mates, if he is or desires to be a leader, are best served in private. As for your reporting, use your access to places that I don't understand and can't comprehend, and ask some real questions. Some hard questions. About ownership direction, planned hirings, a team philosophy, why this team has failed to develop a core of young players such as the Tampa Bay Rays have. If I do not have the access sir, and am ignorant of the goings on behind closed doors, it is your job as a man of the Press Core sir, to enlighten me sir, not belittle me for my lack of a press pass.
I forced myself to read your entire submission, Mr. Baker, and all of the following replies. Your column was recommended to me, and out of respect for that person I read it and several others. All I can say is that I will notify your editor as quickly as possible that I feel you are not qualified to utilize your press credentials to their maximum benefit, perhaps Shannon Drayer would be better suited.

Posted by David

10:28 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Finally someone calls out the "kids" that need to be right at all costs...., I dont get'd think they get paid for it or something.....

Posted by meagain

10:30 PM, Aug 11, 2008

No need to further refute ragarm, who has successfully refuted himself. As to those who resort to insults, profanity, and sexist language, likewise.

I'll just leave with this aphorism for Geoff:

No man is exempt from saying silly things; the mischief is to say them diliberately.

Posted by Aaron

10:31 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Losers from other blogs calling out Geoff at the Seattle Times? Sheesh....Just ignore those morons! They're probably 15 year olds!

Posted by The Mariners FO.

10:32 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Say what you want to with your stats about starters vs closers, but if a starter cant’t finish a complete game, well then you’d better have a great closer to get the win. Since starters very seldom have complete games any more, one exist because of the other.

Posted by tomas

10:37 PM, Aug 11, 2008

the 200 all preserve a WIN buckaroo

Posted by Adam

10:38 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Since BrettJMiller is off at LL bragging about "out-essaying" Geoff, I think it's fair to go through some of the gems in his 2:32 pm post:

By getting buddy buddy with guys like Silva and singing their praises for doing things like this, you are enabling this sort of activity in the clubhouse. Which means in a way, you're a big contributor to this messy, cancerous clubhouse. Congratulations for egging on all the dissent and bitterness that is already floating around.

Wait a minute - did BrettJMiller just blame Geoff for some of the clubhouse problems? Really?

You're not to blame for the players not being talented enough, and I really think clubhouse chemistry, while it is important, is overrated, but you are to blame for helping create cliques here. Way to go.

I'd LOVE to go ask Ichiro or Lopez if: (1) they read Geoff's blog, and (2) if they, after reading Geoff's blog, say to themselves, "You know, that Baker guy has a point. I think there are cliques in the clubhouse. That really makes me mad. I'm sticking with the other Japanese (Latin) players!"

Yeah, that's the ticket...

Yes, you spend plenty of time talking to the players. That doesn't mean you know what's in their head. It's wrong to make judgment calls about what these people think and feel inside. It's wrong to insinuate Lopez and Betancourt aren't trying their hardest, along with anyone else.

No, but I'm pretty sure Geoff's got a better idea about what's in their head than any random blogger does.

After all, if you were the GM, we would've lost Adam Jones for Dontrelle Willis (single A), Wladimir Balentien for Al Reyes (recently DFA'd from a contender), Jeff Clement for Octavio Dotel (got injured), signed Barry Zito (worst pitcher in the NL), and the list goes on. This team would be in debt and in last place if your moves were made.

Ummm - isn't this what they call a red herring?

And it's your fault the world sees this crap. And by agreeing with it, you create dissent between teammates, and you allow him to come back to you with more team bashing crap. People listen to you Geoff. Don't make them believe this stuff has substance and that Silva's anything more than a fat, arrogant jerk

Wait - isn't it Geoff's job to report? Isn't that what you want him to do - report? He did his job by reporting what Silva said - he'd quickly lose his job if he didn't let the world see this crap. Not sure what your point is.

And as for Geoff's analysis - do you honestly think it carries any weight with the team? Do you really think Silva's going to seek out Geoff because of a particular blog entry? Yeah. Right. Silva didn't tell this to Geoff in a dark corner by themselves. Silva said it for all to hear.

And finally, you honestly believe Geoff's the reason for the problems in teh clubhouse, don't you?

But oh my god you are so bad at analysis. I mean wow. You're closer to the game. But you do not know as much about it as you think. Neither of us know it that well. Your insights are forced controversiality. But whatever, you get paid regardless so you don't have to work hard or take pride in your job.

So, would you rather Geoff just stop blogging? Is that it? Because Geoff does keep his "reporter" and "analyst" hats separate. I've got a simple solution for you: read Geoff's game recaps, but don't clink on the link that takes you to "Mariners blog." See, that way, you don't have to read the content of the Mariner blog. And since that's the only place you'll find Geoff's analysis, that means you don't have to read Geoff's analysis ever again. Isn't that simple? Yay!!

I'm done with this, so feel free to write another attack but after this I will no longer give you the satisfaction of reading one of my responses.

Aaaaaaand the blog just got THAT much better....

Well, you made the first step, so I made the last.

And my dad can beat up your dad!!

Enjoy the benefits of your job, pocket lint.

Not sure if this is jealousy or stupidity...

Posted by BlueMick

10:46 PM, Aug 11, 2008

the fat man is right. I'll deal with my team being awful for awhile if it means they're raising gamers in the minors.

Posted by tugboatcritic

10:56 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Adam, unfortunately he did, read the off topic post. He is good a hiding his little potshots. I, much to my regret, got a little pissed at this crap today and looked around a bit at the site. I know that the main Post contained the widely respected Goose handiwork, Brian was I guess a little shy about his same quote.
I won't make the mistake of lumping the 2 of you together, again. I get frustrated at all of the potshots taken at Geoff at other locations while insisting that he be ultra-respectful of these guys when they show up. I don't really agree with Geoff on this issue, and think that Silva ought to put up, or shut up. But what has taken place in the interim, started by the opinion makers and carried over here, has changed the situation from an interesting scenario, to a childish attack on a guy's character. We don't agree on much, Adam, but I think that on this one, there is some common ground.

Posted by davis

10:58 PM, Aug 11, 2008

saber stats are a fictious entity created by dorks who cant play the game but are good at spreadsheets and math. Billy beane has yet to win a title and every year a team that doesnt follow ur dumb policies dominates em

Posted by tugboatcritic

11:03 PM, Aug 11, 2008

NB- that's right, I have been calling some folks out, doesn't bother me to hear it. When y'all start attacking the character of the author , someone who is probobly constricted from saying just what he really means, I'll be your huckleberry. Nothing I've said today is untrue and you folks live up to my "ramblings" , so whats the problem?

Posted by headliner

11:12 PM, Aug 11, 2008

dpseadvr ....deep sea diver, sir, do you have the bends? sir?

Posted by BIP

11:23 PM, Aug 11, 2008

Davis-- Um, you realize the Red Sox rely heavily on sabermetric analysis, don't you?

On an unrelated note, I forgot who won the World Series last year, do you think you could help me?

Posted by NB

11:41 PM, Aug 11, 2008

The problem is that using the phrase "you folks" indicates a willingness to just lump everybody that disagrees with this post into the same category. I could be blood enemies with Adam, Brett, and everyone else for all you know.

Quit making assumptions and try dealing with people on an individual level. I haven't called anyone any names today. I have no problem with the level of discourse. Geoff doesn't need you to defend him anymore than Dave Cameron needs me.

Like I said your comments are narrow minded, shallow and betray an unwillingness to engage in an actual discussion.

Posted by Norwester

1:43 AM, Aug 12, 2008

As simply as I can state it:

Silva only voiced his concerns after pitching a crappy game and posting another loss. The last time he lodged these same complaints, it was exactly the same situation.

Meanwhile, Silva never voiced his concerns to his manager. And, apparently, he never voiced his concerns to the unnamed players whom he claims are the main culprits.

If your genuine concern is your team's success, rather than your own win-loss record and public embarrassment, and you're really interested in changing the attitude of your teammates, who would you approach first?

Your manager; the guy charged with running the ship?

Your teammates, in the privacy of the clubhouse, where they might be disposed to listen and could actually respond and discuss your concerns with you?

Or would you first broach the topic to the press, when you were being asked for comments after another dismal failure on the mound?

Before Bavasi ever said a word to the press about the team's shabby play, he brought his concerns to McClaren. And Armstrong reportedly read the riot act to the coaches at the top of his lungs, but behind closed doors. That's what the doors are there for--privacy.

The sports press, including writers for this paper, have discussed the dysfunctional, underperforming Mariners for months. So why are these writers now acting like this is news, as if Silva were breaking some new ground and saying something that hasn't been discussed repeatedly and at length?

Maybe because a big blowhard used a lot of colorful, dramatic language, including threats of violence, in the course of throwing a public temper tantrum. Gee, isn't that...what's the word?...sensational?

Perhaps it makes for a flashy headline and some galvanizing copy; but does this guy's blame game really deserve to be dignified and validated?

Am I the only one who sees a glaring contradiction in talking about accountability while trying to dodge it--and talking about team spirit while voicing gripes about your teammates to reporters instead of to those teammates, face-to-face and in private?

I'm doubtful that the forceful manner in which Silva expressed himself issued from a passion for the team's success. I'm inclined to believe the emotion was more likely generated by his embarrassment at his own failure and the reporters' discomfiting insistence that he talk about it while the sting of defeat was still fresh and smarting.

Posted by vlindwall

1:45 AM, Aug 12, 2008


Posted by Exposing the Hypocrites!

2:15 AM, Aug 12, 2008

Just to make it absolutely clear, so everyone understands exactly what transpired:

10:28 AM - After reading Geoff's blog today, BrianL takes a cheap shot at him and says F.U. to him in an off topic blog that he wrote over at LL.

12:46 PM - Geoff responds to commenter Geoff Miller, and "other fans, some of whom run blogs". You can bet that Geoff had seen BrianL's infamous comment, and was defending himself, while maintaining the decency not to mention BrianL specifically by name and personally embarrass him over here. This decision, while honorable, proved to be costly, as it set off a chain reaction of shots at Geoff's integrity over at USSM and LL.

8:25 PM - BrianL responds in classic fashion. Still thinking his infamous comment was "hidden", and unaware that he'd been caught, he chastises Geoff for his 12:46 PM addendum criticizing other blogs and bloggers because of one guy (Brett Miller), and tries to make it appear to the bloggers here that he is taking the high road and is above all of the pettiness of inciting a blog war and fanning the flames. Which is exactly what he had already done, thus exposing himself as a hypocrite.

Posted by PackBob

4:44 AM, Aug 12, 2008

Pitchers make bonehead pitches, just like position players make bonehead plays, just not as obvious. I'm not so ready to let the pitching staff off the hook for the bad season, as Silva seems to be, and as Geoff appears to accept. If Silva had continued to pitch as he did the first 6 games, he would be the team leader in wins. He has had a lot of mediocre starts in addition to the debacles.

Are the A games not there intentionally, or are the players not showing their A games because they have not learned how to bring their A game every game? It's not like, oh, I get it now, I'll bring my A game from now on. It's a skill with a learning curve.

It's a little silly, as if A effort is the same as A game. Trying really, really hard doesn't equate to the best performance, sometimes has the opposite effect. I respect Carlos for trying as hard as he can, but it doesn't change the results.

In retrospect, this was a team probably built on too many ifs. If Sexon got his stroke back, if JJ pitched lights out again, if Wilkerson could replace Guillen, if Vidro hit a few more doubles, if Ichiro stole 80 bases....and none of the ifs worked out.

Posted by Terry

4:49 AM, Aug 12, 2008

Even if it could be argued that Silva's comments were both correct and in need of being said, it's inarguable that he needed to say them publicly (not only didn't he need to say them publicly but he had no business saying them publican).

Silva is no leader, that's for certain.

Nonetheless were Silva's words correct? I think they demand to be critically evaluated before being accepted at face value.

How does an 88 win team play so poorly the next season? Well barring injuries etc, an 88 win team that dramatically over performed it's pythag would be expected to have a much poorer record the following season. Mix in age-related decline, poor defense, negative roster additions and some injuries, and it's no real great mystery.

Chemistry/clutch, well that's like putting an air freshener in the living room to combat the stench from the dead animal in the crawl space.....

Posted by Mr. X

7:29 AM, Aug 12, 2008

I don't think it's a suprise to anyone that someone would post comments from here on other websites, and debate them in a cowardly manner. I caught a couple of people doing that with my posts. The main reason is that they aren't confident enough in their flawed opinions to debate here. They have to go somewhere else with their fellow bootlickers and lickspittles for that ego boost, so they can come back here and argue another day.

It's disgusting, cowardly, and not very manly. I'm betting that 100% of them are from the "tolerance and diversity" crowd (which is neither), which makes it even more hilarious.

Posted by Ragarm

7:35 AM, Aug 12, 2008

Mr. X,

I hope Ginger doesn't put you on the hit list for you chauvenistic comment. I'm already on it and that was just for referring to Bedard as a sissy girl or something.

Posted by ragarm

7:59 AM, Aug 12, 2008

good morning Meagain,

It must be wonderful to be so knowledgable and eloquent. I'm sorry I'm lacking and that my words refute myself.

What I have observed in this blog over the past few months is that a small group of pompous people with multiple handles take pride in flaming the host and any other poster who writes anything contrary to their view.

I wrote stupid limericks as a way of saying this whole world of petty blogging is very small in the scheme of things. People who didn't enjoy them can skip those posts and go to the next, just like I will now skip anything you write.

You were probably Ginger, Amanda, and every other female poster on this blog. What do we know about you, other than you try to bully and intimidate others? You write intelligently, but I must say I prefer Doug and WSUx3 vulgar posts more than I do yours and they speak the truth much more honestly.

Continue to post whatever you want, but that not change the real issue here:

The Mariners suck from top to bottom!

Posted by Alaskan

8:51 AM, Aug 12, 2008

Sorry, Mr. X

I'm sure you're referring to me, because a long while back I quoted you over at USSM. I was so shocked by your comment (I've forgotten the topic now), I just had to tell people who would see it like I did - comical. Regardless of my reasoning, it was a very rude thing to do, and I sincerely apologize. Opening you up to other people's derision, with no opportunity to defend yourself, was totally inappropriate. I promise I won't do it again, to anyone.

I would disagree with your comment on one point, however: I didn't quote you at USSM because I was afraid to debate it. I thought it was pointless to debate, because clearly you and I think nothing alike about baseball. Rather, I took your comments to a place where I knew that people think more like I do (that statistics have an important place in understanding performance), and find your comments as absurd as I did. Anyway, that's not an excuse - I was out of line. Sorry again.

Posted by Toxteth O'Grady

8:57 AM, Aug 12, 2008

Mr. X says:

"It's disgusting, cowardly, and not very manly."

This is rich, coming from a person who can't even be bothered to post under his own name.

Posted by BWare

9:12 AM, Aug 12, 2008


Hope this comment finds you in better spirits than BrettJMiller's.

As a casual reader of this blog, I have clearly missed much of the context that drove you to respond to Brett in the way that you did. If you took most people to task for their opinions in the way you woodsheded Brett, I'd say par for the course. However, it is obvious that Brett did something rather "special" to you to warrant such a "special" response.

If I were reading the blog for the first time, I'd think that this is some sort of shock talk radio blog, where you pick out a commenter at random and rip at them. Given that my casual observations have gleaned little evidence of this, I'd have to say that, at some level, Brett's criticism rang personal to you to some degree.

At the very least, it caused you to extend the bounds of your professional mandate by juxtaposing the professional and the personal.

Truth be told, I enjoy reading this blog and, as perverted as this may sound, Geoff vs Brett stokes the readership -- something that the Grand Poobahs of the Seattle Times happily invite, and surely something that you make them aware of when the moment warrants.

You have every right to express your point of view and call out commenters as you see fit. I just wish that you be a bit more vigilant at keeping it professional.

Posted by ChicoV

10:23 AM, Aug 12, 2008

Great post Geoff. The best of the year.

Posted by deepthroat

10:43 AM, Aug 12, 2008

Nice surgery Adam.

Miller you are an ignorant inept hitman!!!! I know you are reading this 'cause your big head won't let you turn away.

Posted by Lucifer

2:22 PM, Aug 12, 2008

Why should anyone take seriously anything that Carlos Silva might say? Silva - el buffalo - is himself an overpaid, underachieving loser who at best is a sunk cost on this team. He has not earned the right to criticize anything, until he gets his act together he should keep his mouth shut.

Suggesting he might throw teammates against a wall is not only stupid but uncalled for and wholly inappropriate. He has no business making such threats and he ought to be suspended for several games for doing so.

Silva is a major example of the problem not a solution, he should be offered on the waiver wire to the Yankess or any other contender seeking pitching, but he is such a loser, I doubt anyone would want him. In reality the M's would be better off and justified in designating him for assignment and considering his contract a sunk cost.

And by the way, quoting Bavasi - white line fever - is worse than given credit to Silva as a leader. In all the stupid signings he made, Bonehead Bill proved he was no baseball man. A groundskeeper who exceeded his grasp, Bavasi does not deserve credit for anything he might have said or thought, if he can if fact think. Bill Bavasi is the Homer Simpson of Bavasi, so quoting him is like asking Homer advice - stupid, stupid, stupid.

Write something when you have the intelligence to offer wisdom, not this stupid drivel.

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