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Friday, October 29, 2004

Dear Santa Claus
Here is my winter free agent wish list (in roughly the order I want them):
Carlos Beltran
Adrian Beltre
JD Drew
Matt Clement
Troy "the lip" Glauss
Carlos Delgado
Edgar Renteria (even though his name sounds like a bad disease)
Nomah
Brad Radke
Magglio Ordonez
Carl Pavano
Orlando Cabrera
Richie Sexson
Glendon Rusch (Seattle native!)
Richard Hidalgo
A big lump of coal
Pedro Martinez
Jaret Wright
Jermaine "eat shit and" Dye
Kevin Millwood
Jason Varitek
Derek Lowe
Brad Fullmer
Jose Lima
Elmer Dessens
Juan Gonzalez
Hepatitis C
Jeromy Burnitz
Cristian Guzman
Jeff Kent
Paul Byrd
Liver cancer
Neifi Perez
Dan Wilson

I'll be satisfied with one of the first two, and two of the next 10. I need a new TV, too, please.

Apparently due to "a limited payroll and the club's commitment to young players," the Colorado Rockies declined their option on Jeromy Burnitz. Personally, I would have a commitment to players who can straight-up mash. Burnitz is probably thrilled that the Rockies declined his option, because, after hitting .283/.356/.559 with 37 HRs, he might be able to fetch more on the free-agent market than the $3 million he was owed. Sure, those numbers are Coors-inflated, as Burnitz hit just .244/.327/.448 on the road, but, I think the short porch in RF at Safeco could counteract the lower altitude. He's certainly not the outfielder we need, but I'd love to see the M's sign Burnitz and stick him at 1B. Burnitz played for Hargrove in 1995 and 1995, but I'm not holding my breath...

Thursday, October 28, 2004

All hail the Boston Red Sox! World Champions for the first time since Woodrow Wilson’s presidency! This is big! Red Sox Nation is ecstatic!

Some thoughts:


Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Three random things...
1) I'm (sort of) rooting for the Cardinals for the next two games because I really want to see the Sox win it in Boston.
2) Rene Lachemann is now the bench coach for the Oakland A's
3) My last post was getting messed up, so check this out...Bavasi Sports LLC

Monday, October 25, 2004

To prove to people that I'm not completely crazy, I've been working on a master plan for the 2005 Mariners that I will post sometime this week. This plan isn't going to be what I think the M's will do, it's what I would do if I were the general manager. I'm trying not to get too crazy with it and stay within realistic parameters. I've been looking at payroll information and sticking to a $95 million budget.
Here are some things that I've been thinking about while working on this plan...
1) The first thing on the list for my plan would be to trade Randy Winn. With the emergence of Jeremy Reed and the hopeful signing of a free-agent outfielder, Winn must go. Sure, he has a weak arm and not a lot of power, but he's a switch hitter, has good speed, posts a good average and a decent on-base percentage, so, his good qualities outweigh the bad and for all we criticize him, he does have some value. Looking at Winn's VORP, Winn is probably more valuable than we give him credit for. His VORP of 33.2 ranked him 4th for AL centerfielders. He ranked 9th in MLB for centerfielders. Now, I believe Winn's problem is that his defense isn't quite good enough for centerfield and he doesn't have the power that you expect from a corner outfielder. Strictly going by VORP, however, Winn ranked 28th in the majors for all outfielders. I have heard a lot of people talk about Winn going to the Phillies, but with Burrell, Abreu and Marlon Byrd, I don't think there's room. Here are some teams that I think could use (and afford) Randy Winn...

Marlins: Assuming that Lowell is gone, Miguel Cabrera will move back to his natural position - third base. That leaves the Fish with Juan Encarnacion and Juan Pierre in the outfield...meaning they'll be Juan short.
Astros: I don't think Beltran will return to Houston and Biggio has said that he would like to move back to second base. This leaves Lance Berkman as the only regular outfielder in Houston. Houston can make up for Winn's lack of power by signing Troy Glaus - who would thrive with that short porch in left field.
Diamondbacks: Danny Bautista and Quinten McCracken are free agents, leaving Arizona with three outfielders you wouldn't recognize if they were standing next to you...Doug DeVore, Josh Kroeger and Luis Terrero.

There are a few other teams that could probably use Winn, but those were the main three that I thought of. Who can we get in return? That's another question...

And a quick, off-topic question before I go to class...When will we find out who we get for Rich Aurilia?
Stay tuned for my 2005 master plan!


Sunday, October 24, 2004

Here are the 2004 statistics (and career numbers) of two shortstops that will be free agents this off-season:

Player A: .287/.327/.401 (career: .289/.346/.400)
Player B: .291/.353/.388 (career: .275/.341/.358)

Three-year averages for fielding metrics also show that they are similar...

Player A: 4.28 Range Factor / .861 Zone Rating
Player B: 4.72 Range Factor / .858 Zone Rating

As you can see, their numbers are very similar. The main difference with these two players is age. Player A is Edgar Renteria and Player B is Omar Vizquel. Renteria is 28-years-old and will probably command about $8 million on the free-agent market. Now, I know that we all pissed and moaned about almost getting Omar last year, but the circumstances were vastly different at the time. Instead of trading a very under-appreciated player entering his prime and taking on $6 million, Omar should be available for $1 - 2 million.

Vizquel was the first person I thought of when I heard that we signed Hargrove. That said, at the right price (and those are the key words!), I wouldn't mind seeing the two reunited. The M's have a hole at shortstop, but there are much better ways for them to spend their money than to overpay for someone like Nomar or Renteria (especially with Lopez, Asdrubel Cabrera and hopefully Justin Upton waiting in the wings). Plus, I really think this deal just makes sense. Here's why...

* The Indians said they want to re-sign Vizquel, but they also have Jhonny Peralta (who just hit .324/.441/.425 at AAA) ready to step in. If Omar re-signed, it would probably be as a reserve, and don't you think he'd rather start?
* I like Jose Lopez, but he could really use another year at AAA. Eight walks and 31 strikeouts is horrible and another year down in Tacoma can only help.
* Omar lives in Issaquah and played for Hargrove for six seasons.

Go ahead...call me crazy (and I can't say that I'd blame you...the only moves I've suggested so far are to sign Omar Vizquel and trade for Adam Melhuse or sign Gregg Zaun). Maybe I'm just trying to justify this move because I really think it will happen.

Thursday, October 21, 2004

Dad -
Baseball-Reference is an awesome Web site. Between that and Retrosheet, you can find the answer to about any baseball question you have - given that you have the time needed.
Anyway, here is the answer to your question...
Last year was the only other year in which both the ALCS and the NLCS lasted 7 games.
Through 1968, there were only two divisions and therefore there weren't any playoffs, just the World Series at the end of the season.
From 1969 to 1984, playoff series were best-of-five.
1972 (Oak v. Det & Cin v. Pit) and 1973 (Oak v. Bal & NYM v. Cin) saw both series go the distance.

And speaking of bad trades...The World Series could be a bitter reminder of another one of the worst of the modern era. In 1990, the Red Sox traded a 22-year-old Jeff Bagwell to Houston for 22 innings of 37-year-old journeyman, Larry Andersen. Ouch...

“Start spreadin’ the news…”

If the Yankees want to watch the World Series, they’ll have to buy tickets! This is clearly the beginning of a new era for the Red Sox, and frankly it’s long overdue. That curse business was getting awfully old!

Speaking of curses, watching Derek Lowe pitch masterfully to Jason Varitek in Game 7 of the ALCS, reminds me of a curse of our own. That has to be the worst trade of the modern era!

Oh my! What a postseason this has turned out to be! I was wondering last night, how often have the ALCS and NLCS both gone 7 games in the same year? Does anyone know where to find this information? Regardless of the outcome tonight, it promises to be a tremendous World Series! Hopefully seven exciting games! Go Red Sox! Clearly, you are the team of destiny!

Who-hoo! Thank you, Red Sox! Now, every time some boob in a Yankees cap gets up to cheer at the home park, we can turn around with confidence and give the universal sign for choke. Or just laugh and laugh.

Lots of funny stuff in the game tonight. Where to start?

1) $45 million worth of pitchers (this is not an exaggeration - look it up) give up 10 runs.
2) A-rod in the post game press conference kvetching like a Scooby-Doo villian. "And I'd have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for those meddling umpires..."
3) Derek Jeter.
4) The last hope of the Yankees is a v.2003 Mariners discard hitting for a v.2004 Mariners discard. Sierra and Olerud? What, is it 1993?
5) Jason Giambi sitting on the bench, watching Tony the Tiger look for a hit.
6) Mark Bellhorn, who looks like he walked in straight off a 1973 Topps baseball card.
7) Derek Lowe, David Ortiz, and Jason Varitek leading their team into the series. Somewhere, Woody Woodward, Heathcliff Slocumb, and Luis Polonia eat Cheetos and smile.

What four days ago looked like a bummer of a baseball season has turned into another in a good run of classic postseasons. I hope the series turns out half this good.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

I've said to friends that it wouldn't be the end of the world if the Mariners re-signed Dan Wilson - with the caveat that it is a one-year deal for $1 million or less. He's pretty good defensively, but swings the bat like the majority of his fan-base (soccer moms). That said, I don't think we should re-sign Wilson simply because he's been here so long and it's the expected action. Good teams are constantly searching for ways to improve, not sticking with the status-quo. Here is what I propose: Because Olivo does pretty well against lefties (.306/.339/.578 over the past 3 seasons), I think we should sign a catcher who mashes righties and platoon them. Aside from Jason Varitek, there aren't many righty-mashing catchers on the free-agent market. Gregg Zaun did pretty well against righties this season (.268/.380/.409), but it appears to be an aberration because his 3-year splits against righties aren't as encouraging (.234/.325/.363). Although I would sign Zaun before I would sign Dan Wilson, what I think the Mariners should do is trade for Adam Melhuse of the Oakland A's. Melhuse (or "That little blue-haired kid" - as Jon likes to call him!) would be a great platoon partner for Olivo. Over the past 3-seasons, Melhuse, a switch hitter, has hit .277/.332/.500 against righties. Now, I'm not sure what it would take to get Melhuse, but if we could, a Melhuse-Olivo platoon would basically give us the offensive production of Ivan Rodriguez (.306/.347/.490 for his career) for 1/10th of the price. This isn't going to happen - but it's something to think about when the Mariners give Wilson a 2-year, $5 million contract.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Miscellaneous Rants:

Please let Scooter be retired immediately and never allowed to return to network baseball broadcasts! Who is this targeted toward? I’m fairly certain that most children watching have a more mature and well-developed idea of what constitutes a curveball, changeup, etc. Lose it, already!

The Diamond Cam is entirely self-serving, and deserves the same fate. I have to stand with Jorge Posada on this one. In case you missed it, he covered one with dirt, then when FOX uncovered it (and left a hole), he broke the camera and covered it with dirt again. His argument was that anything in his area that could interfere with the path of a bunted ball was his business and I completely agree! The images from the Diamond Cam are essentially fluff, or more specifically FOX touting their technical expertise and mastery of the game (ha!). They add nothing to the broadcast, and might, in fact, interfere with the game!

As a postscript, I must add that neither LCS is going quite as I predicted. Oh yeah, I forgot: “You can’t script October!”

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Jim Street did a "mailbag" article yesterday on the M's site and every answer he gave made me laugh - sometimes out of disgust. So, I decided to breakdown the article, question-by-question.
(The original questions are in
bold, his answers are normal and my responses are in italic.)
Grab a cold one - this might take a while...

Mariners mailbag: Offseason update

Beat writer Jim Street answers a variety of questions

By Jim Street / MLB.com

The offseason is underway, and the Mariners face some tough decisions before reporting to Spring Training in Peoria, Ariz., next February.

Mariners fans from east to west, north to south and even overseas have questions about the team, and we're here to answer as many of them as we can. Please e-mail your questions, and include your name and the city in which you live.

Q: I was impressed with the play of Jolbert Cabrera this past season. He played fairly well in any of the positions that Bob Melvin penciled him in to. I have mixed feelings about a guy like Jolbert. You want him on your roster because of his versatility, but the Mariners seem to have been doing that over the last few seasons in lieu of acquiring more offensive-minded talent. We've got some guys that can play many positions, but none are really significant power threats. What can be done about that? -- John C., North Bend, WA

A: As you say, Jolbert Cabrera did a fine job playing practically every position on the field last season, and every team needs someone like that. Willie Bloomquist is another. Neither is a home run threat, but if they were, they would be playing every day in one position and not being moved around so much. The key to putting together a 25-man roster is having regular players with some power mixed with guys like Cabrera and Bloomquist who can fill in and contribute in other ways.

No Jim, no team needs players like Cabrera and Bloomquist. The fact that they can sort of play many different positions is trumped by the fact that they’re shitty hitters. No team needs a player who hits .270/.312/.384, compiling a whopping 6.9 VORP over 391 plate appearances. What’s worse is that 34 of Cabrera’s 391 plate appearances came in the #3 spot in the order – that’s just pathetic. Players like Cabrera can be had for the major league minimum ($300,000), so spending $1 million is simply a waste. And don’t even get me started on Bloomquist…I’d love to hear the “other ways” in which Bloomquist contributed (Shagging balls during BP? Carrying luggage? Keeping Boone’s seat warm? Making sure BoMel’s candy drawer was well-stocked?)

Q: Coming off a tough season as a Mariners fan, I was wondering what kind of changes you think the Mariners will make during the offseason. Also, who do you think the Mariners will get as their new manager? Thanks.

A: The game plan going into the offseason is to improve the middle of the lineup, and add at least one, perhaps two, player(s) with home run potential. Potential free agents Troy Glaus (Angels) and Carlos Delgado (Blue Jays) are expected to get considerable interest from the Mariners. As for the new manager, it's just a guess, but look for someone who has Major League managerial experience and has worked with general manager Bill Bavasi in the past.

I like how Jim doesn’t even mention the top two free agents…

As for his managerial candidates, here is a list of guys who have “Major League managerial experience and (have) worked with general manager Bill Bavasi in the past.

Buck Rodgers, Marcel Lachemann, Joe Maddon, Terry Collins, Davey Johnson, Rene Lachemann, Jim Riggleman, Larry Bowa, Ken Macha and Jim Tracy.

Hmm…not too promising, is it?

Q: Do you think Justin Leone will come back to play in the 2005 season? -- Russell V.

A: Unless he's traded, Leone figures to be one of the third base candidates in Spring Training. He showed that he can hit the ball a long way, hitting several second-deck home runs at Safeco Field, but he struck out too many times. He will be spending several weeks in Lara, Venezuela this winter honing his hitting skills.

The leader board for strikeouts is filled with guys like Adam Dunn, Jim Edmonds, Jeff Bagwell, David Ortiz, Hank Blalock, Brad Wilkerson, Miguel Cabrera and Jim Thome. Strikeouts aren’t the problem. It’s a problem when you strikeout and don’t walk, like Leone did in his brief stint in the bigs. Although Leone was looking at 4.1 pitches per plate appearance (which would have put him near the top of the list if he had enough plate appearances), he was swinging at bad pitches, because he compiled 32 strikeouts and only 9 walks in 115 plate appearances. Luckily, these numbers are drawn from a pretty small sample size and Leone’s minor league totals are more promising. In about 2494 minor league plate appearances, Leone had 343 walks and 598 strikeouts (.57) – which would rank him right alongside guys like Mark Teixeira, Milton Bradley and Edgar Martinez, if he put up those ratios as a Mariner. His minor league BB/PA numbers were also solid (.137), which is what guys like Gary Sheffield and Jeff Bagwell do at the major league level.

So, don’t be so down on strikeouts. They’re not always a bad thing. If the Mariners realized this, maybe my favorite player, Mike Cameron, would still be around!

Q: I'm a little removed from the Seattle media so I'm not able to keep up with Mariners news quite as well as I'd like. Is there any talk of bringing in a legitimate No. 1 starter and a middle-of-the-order bat? Also, who are the frontrunners for the managerial job, and are they looking for somebody with a little more "fire" than BoMel? Thanks. -- Brad B., Anthem, AZ

A: There is some talk about bringing in a "legitimate" No. 1 starter, but the team must first address the fact it finished last in runs scored and RBIs this past season. You would be surprised how much better pitchers can be with some run support. Just ask Kenny Rogers of the Rangers. His ERA was about the same as Mariners right-hander Ryan Franklin (4.76 to 4.90), and Rogers had an 18-9 record compared to Franklin's 4-16 record. The scuttlebutt is that Bavasi is looking for an experienced manager with great communication skills with players and coaches.

Pitchers aren’t better or worse depending on run support, they can just have better records and trick the flat earth society into believing that they’re better than they are. Why so many people value won-loss records for pitchers just boggles my mind. Study DIPS. Learn it. Live it. Love it. But, in the meantime, here’s a fun experiment…

Pitcher A: 215.2 IP, 4.84 K/9, 2.55 BB/9, 19 HR allowed, 14-9 record

Pitcher B: 212.1 IP, 4.62 K/9, 2.97 BB/9, 20 HR allowed 11-14 record

Pitcher C: 200.1 IP, 4.67 K/9, 2.74 BB/9, 33 HR allowed 4-16 record

Pitcher D: 188.2 IP, 4.91 K/9, 2.10 BB/9, 8 HR allowed 12-6 record

If you didn’t already figure it out – Ryan Franklin is “Pitcher C.” The other three are Jake Westbrook, Tom Glavine and Tim Hudson (in that order). Obviously the number that stands out is Franklin’s HR allowed, but it's not surprising. Although all four pitchers have very similar rate stats, Franklin is a pretty extreme flyball pitcher, while Hudson, Westbrook and Glavine have three of the highest groundball-to-flyball ratios in the game. I think turning Franklin into a sinkerballer would be a very interesting experiment. It certainly can’t hurt!

Q: Do you think the size of Safeco Field has anything to do with top hitters not wanting to come to play in Seattle because their career numbers will suffer? Maybe we should think about moving the outfield walls in a little bit. Then we could attract some of the top hitters. Was this one of the reasons why Griffey and/or A-Rod left? -- Erik H., York, PA

A: The cool dampness in April, May, June and September has more to do with hitters shying away from Safeco Field than the dimensions. It can be downright cold early in the season, and the ball doesn't travel nearly as well as it does in the hotter months of July and August. Bringing in the fences would help a little, but that wouldn't make it a warmer place to play. And, yes, that is one reason Ken Griffey Jr. and Alex Rodriguez wanted to play elsewhere.

Oh, so it’s the cold weather, huh? Yeah – that’s why so many free agents turn down Boston and New York, right? Where does he come up with this shit? Here are some average temperatures in April and May, according to City Rating:

Seattle: 50° in April, 56° in May

Boston: 48° in April, 58° in May

New York: 52° in April, 62° in May

Detroit: 47° in April, 58° in May

Baltimore: 53° in April, 63° in May

Remember, Baltimore and Detroit landed two of the top free agents last season. Apparently Miguel Tejada (who actually did want to come to Seattle!) and Ivan Rodriguez weren’t scared away by those “downright cold” cities.

And, while we’re on the topic of moving the fences in…

I’ve said this before, but I believe it's worth repeating: It's not the stadium - it's the players! Seriously, it's not the architect's fault that Dan Wilson doesn't hit home runs or that Willie Bloomquist can barely get the ball out of the infield.

I compiled a lot of data regarding home runs hit at Safeco Field. There were 178 home runs hit at the Safe this season, 71 by the Mariners and 107 by the visiting teams. Although the M’s were the team that was out-homered the most severely at their home field, 178 dingers at Safeco ranks 15th (smack dab in the middle) on the list of total home runs hit at each stadium.

So, no, the fences should not be moved in. That’d be like petitioning your city to build tunnels because your Subaru Justy and its in-line 3-banger can’t make it up the hills. Problems should not be “solved” by adjusting the ballpark – when, clearly, it’s the roster that’s the issue.

Q: What will happen to veterans like Jamie Moyer and Bret Boone, and what do you think of the young guns such as Jose Lopez, Jeremy Reed, Bucky Jacobsen, etc? What do you think they will plan to do this offseason for free agents? I have been waiting for a big trade or signing for a while now. -- Sean S., Conyers, GA

A: Moyer and Boone are signed through the 2005 season, so unless they are traded, they will return for at least one more year. Lopez, Reed and Jacobsen all figure in the roster plans for next season, but exactly how they fit in depends on whether Bavasi can land some productive hitters with run-producing capabilities. You have to wait a little longer for some action, as Major League Baseball has an embargo against making trades (or announcing them) during the playoffs. And players don't become free agents until after the World Series.

Yawn…next?

Q: Even though he is still just 18 years old, Felix Hernandez continues to dominate Class A and Double-A hitters as he establishes himself as the best pitching prospect in the game. Is there any chance that the Mariners will give Hernandez a call to the Majors before September, and whatever happened to Ryan Anderson? -- Stephen L, Anchorage, AK

A: The fact Hernandez is only 18 years old has a lot to do with how the Mariners are bringing him along in the minor leagues. If he stays healthy, Hernandez could be the next great pitcher in the American League, but his body is still maturing and the last thing management wants to do is rush him to the big leagues. There always is a chance of him being promoted in September, but that depends on how he does next summer. Anderson, by the way, is still recuperating in Arizona.

Yeah, they’re really taking it slow with King Felix; that’s why he was the youngest player in AA – 7 years younger than the average AA player and only one of 18 guys who couldn’t buy their own PBR.

Q: My only complaint, other than lack of a winning season, is that we are unable to get all the Mariner games, as we do not get the Seattle station KSTW here in Ketchikan, Alaska. Why aren't all the games shown on FSN? -- Carolyn W.

A: The main reason is that the Mariners have an existing contract with KSTW to televise a certain amount of games on that station.

Carolyn – you didn’t miss much!

Q: As a displaced Mariners fan, I don't get much of a chance to get to Safeco to watch the M's play ball. My biggest concern for next year is the replacement of Melvin. I was optimistic at first, but my optimism dwindled throughout the year. He did a great job his first season, but this last one was nothing to be particularly proud of. What is going on there? I would like to see the Mariners pick up next year and make the AL West the best division in baseball. -- Kevin T., Athens, GA

A: Bob Melvin did the same job last season as he did in 2003, but the players did not produce the same way, and therefore 2004 was a poor season. As you know, Melvin was dismissed and the search is on for his replacement.

Nothing really to critique here – although the only real question asked was ‘What is going on there?’ I guess Jim’s “mailbag” was pretty light…or he evaded the real questions (did you notice that there were basically three questions asking the same thing?) and threw in shit like this.

Q: Now that the Mariners fired Bob Melvin (though difficult, it was the correct action to take), what type of manager do you think they will be looking at? The fact that the manager doesn't play doesn't mean that they can make this team win. It all depends on what it looks like in April. I hope they don't go for someone who has been recycled over and over again. They need a leader, one who thoroughly knows the game but also has the instincts and knows when to use them. Maybe Lou Piniella was a bit too fiery for this management group, but make no mistake, he had the qualities in what the Mariners need in a new manager. But that is only part of it, they first need to put a team together than can compete and win. The manger can push the buttons, but the players need to execute. -- Terry M.

A: The last part of your email hits the nail on the head. Unless a manager has good players, he won't win, and that is plain and simple. Joe Torre didn't have the talent to win until becoming the Yankees manager. Dick Williams once told me that the best manager in the game is only worth four to five wins a year.

Another pretty good answer – but that won’t stop me from cringing if they hire Joe “keep-alives Maddon or Larry Bowa.

Q: Why didn't the Mariners keep John Olerud? I don't understand why we get rid of the best first baseman. His bat will come around, like all hitters do. I think that was a bad thing to do to John, a former (Washington State) Cougar who wanted to come back to Seattle to stay. Thank you. -- Jerry G.

A: The same thing would have happened even if Olerud had been a former (University of Washington) Husky. He simply wasn't producing (22 RBIs in 166 at-bats), and the team was so far out of the pennant race that management had to find out if younger players in the system could fit into future plans. No one wanted to see John Olerud leave, but even he said he understood the decision.

It’s true that Olerud was released because he wasn’t producing. However, when Olerud was released, there was a guy on the M’s who only had 31 RBI in 375 at-bats! How come they didn’t release him for “not producing”? Because that player was Ichiro and this just goes to show that RBI does not accurately represent production, as so many would love for you to believe. Olerud was hitting like a weak second baseman for more than $7 million. Sure, a lot of people liked him, but the fact that he’s local can’t make up for that kind of underachievement.


Friday, October 08, 2004

October baseball! I really do live for this! Wouldn’t you pay nearly anything to be a part of these playoffs?
(Quiet please; I’m trying to prompt the Mariners…)
The games so far have had a lot of everything to offer baseball fans. There have already been two games go into extra innings, though unfortunately the “dark side” won both. During the first of these, I would say I was on the edge of my seat, except I couldn’t even sit down! Hopefully, the Twins can shake off that horribly disappointing loss and regroup for a major rally back in Minnesota!
Conor and I made a friendly preseason wager, though it now seems eons ago. Conor predicted the Red Sox over the Astros in the World Series. I predicted the Angels over the Astros. In retrospect, it seems odd we both picked Houston (to lose). I’m still alive, though just barely. From today’s perspective, I now believe the World Series will be between the Red Sox and Cardinals, but I refuse to make any predictions other than a wonderful series! There are sufficient curses in place already. Talk about power versus power!

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Today was a great day to be a Mariner fan as one of the worst managers in club history, Bob Melvin, was shown the door. Also getting the ax along with the rest of the coaches (save pitching coach Bryan Price) was third base coach Dave Myers.

While there's some hope for 2005 and beyond the unfortunate thing is that Bill Bavasi is still general manager. To exemplify what a complete and utter idiot this fellow is here's a Bavasi's quote from the press conference on Monday announcing Melvin's firing:

We knew we had some holes," Bavasi said. "And we felt that to be competitive in our division there would have to be some fallback by the other teams and we had to get fortunate. We did show some age real quick on the field."

WHAT THE HELL? Bavasi basically admits that he knew that the club he constructed last winter wasn't good enough to compete and that the club would have to get lucky in order to compete in the AL West. This has to be one of the stupidest comments ever to come out of the mouth of a so-called "baseball executive". Bavasi had the money last winter to put together a competitive team, heck he even got an $8 million windfall in January when Kaz Sasaki decided to go back to Japan, but he didn't spend it, not on Pudge Rodriguez, not on Greg Maddux -- only $1 million of the Sasaki money was spent -- on signing lefthander Ron Villone (who actually probably got $2 million for reaching incentives based on starting X number of games).

This is the team we purchased season tickets for, a team that would have to have other teams suffer a bunch of injuries and poor seasons to compete? Is this Bavasi's idea of a joke? While it's great that the organization recognized that Melvin had to go, it's truly unbelievable that this is the clown running the franchise. He presided over one of the worst falloffs in baseball history yet he gets a mulligan because it was his first year. A team with a payroll over $90 million should not have to hope for other teams to stumble in order to contend.

In the press conference Bavasi alluded to his own potential firing (after next season) saying that if he didn't make the right managerial choice (and the team sucked in '05), next year there'd be a press conference and Tim Hevly (Mariners Director of Baseball Information) would be standing there instead of him...


Saturday, October 02, 2004

A Grand Salami tip of the cap to Ichiro Suzuki, your new all-time single season hit king. He now has 19 more hits in a season than any other guy who played since Hoover was president. Bitch all you want about his lack of power or ability to take a walk - that's a hell of a feat. I'm glad I could be there to see it.

A hearty Grand Salami raspberry to the new crackdown on selling tickets outside the ballpark. The guy I bought my tickets from (three tickets, $50+ less than face) got a $200 ticket for selling them as I walked away. Scalping tickets, meaning selling them for more than they cost, is a crime. Selling tickets for less than they cost is a gift. A quick thought experiment: if I buy a ticket for a friend, and meet him/her at the game, am I a criminal when he/she pays me back?

The last few times I've been up to games, I've noticed that the ticket guys seemed scarce and furtive. I had also heard that season ticket holders were getting revoked if caught selling them outside. This is the first I've heard about non-scalping tickets. If it is true that people really are getting busted for selling less than face on the street, it is time we fans get involved. Because that would be BS.

It is funny to hear the announcers excited about not losing 100 games. This is sort of like Peggy Noonan from the Bush campaign being excited because her man failed to wet himself on stage. "Well, Kerry is a born debater. I think that the fact that the president was able to not get reduced to tears has to be seen as a big victory on his part..." Losing 99 games, as well as not being able to conjugate a simple verb, is no cause for self-congratulatory blather.

Tomorrow is Edgar day - drop everything and go to the game. Buy a ticket on the street.

I heard today that an 800-foot stretch of Atlantic St. that runs right by Safeco Field is being re-named "Edgar Martinez Drive." To really get the full effect, the city should also lower the speed limit to 5 MPH.

Pat Gillick has expressed interest in the GM job that opened up for the D.C team. Here's a quote from the article:

"I'm still working for Seattle, but I am always interested in a challenge." -Pat Gillick

That made me laugh out loud. Apparently helping Seattle rebound from their worst season since 1983 isn't a challange.

In other news...with the win Friday, Seattle escaped losing 100 games and cemented the third pick in the June draft (and we can't lose this one no matter what crappy free agent we sign over market-value!)



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