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Thursday, April 15, 2004

Be careful what you wish for 

1-7

Headline: MARINER'S WORST START IN FRANCHISE HISTORY

Think that got Lincoln's attention? Well let's give the microphone to his identical twin, AKA Bill “I eat off of Howard’s left buttcheek” Bavasi:

"Everyone wants to get off to a good start and it's disappointing," he said prior to Wednesday's game. "I don't know these guys all that well, but am confident that no one is more disturbed by the record than the players. "None of us are going to panic, but we are going to be angry and real disturbed and look at things a lot more closely. We're not going to have panic set in, but we have to keep plugging away."

Translation: “I’m clueless, sides’ I ain’t doing shit until Howard barks at me.”

Bavasi, you tool. I guess we should have known that you didn’t know these guys that well! In fact, from what I’ve seen of your work so far it seems you don’t know THE MAJORITY of major-league baseball players all that well!!! You took McCracken over Colbrun????? What psuedo alter-universe are you living in, if I may ask???

NEWSFLASH BAVASI: M's CAN'T PLAY small ball anymore. They don't have the defense to do it.

You, Howard, and Melvin, ripped on Cameron for striking out too much with runners on base. The thing is without his phenomenal defense your no longer in the position to scratch runs in the first place. Ironic, eh? Did you know that not only is Cameron the best defensive player in the game, but he is also the most underrated offensive player as well? Oh wait, I forgot!! You “DON’T KNOW THESE GUYS ALL THAT WELL”!!! I apologize. Keep doing what you do, I could care less at this point. You WILL reap what you sow. All three of you stooges.

If the worst start in franchise history doesn’t get you clowns motivated, then I guess were just going to have to suck it up some more!!!!!

Let’s recap:

That’s 1-7!!!!!

I’m speechless. I’m absolutely baffled at how bad the M’s have performed. Sure the defense is still solid compared to an average major-league team, but that’s not the point. This is a team that LIVED on great defense. Pitchers can no longer attack hitters with confidence. The team can't play behind because it has NO power. The bullpen is weaker. Our manager is mentally impaired. Both catchers BLOW, and Wilson not only can’t hit, now he cant even throw ON TOP OF IT, making him suck at a level that I can’t even comprehend. Oh right, and I forgot to mention the bench, which is possibly the worst in major-league history!! HURAAAAY!!!

I knew they’d be worse this year, but 1 and 7???? It looks like I owe Joe Sheenan an apology! Oh, and what’s that, did I just hear the other manager from a REAL contender sympathize with us??? That makes two out of two now. Pathetic.

This team is struggling to climb out of their collective graves. The players are getting NO LOVE from the front office. Its a classic case of cause and effect: The Mariners are dying. Theres NO LIFE out there.

Its becoming painfully clear that its time for some change, and I for one, am all for it.

I’m not saying that I hope the Mariners keep losing. I’m just saying that, without a significant move (or twenty), the Mariners WILL keep losing.

I’m sorry Edgar, I really am… it wasn’t supposed to end like this…

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Sunday, April 11, 2004

M's RALLY!!!!! 

HAHAHAHAHAH WE FINALLY WIN!!!!!!!!


AGH, so torn... losses stir up Front Office.... force change.... but Its A WIN!!!!!

Winn made a nice defensive play!!!!

YEAHHHHHH!!!!!!


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Are you kidding me??? 

"That's happened to them a couple of times in this series,'' Oakland manager Ken Macha said. "Last night, Dan Wilson smoked the ball (with two on and no one out) and we got a double play out of it. Sometimes that happens”

How sad is this? The manager of our hated “rivals”, the A’s, is feeling sorry for us.

Well, I think its safe to say that we’ve established ourselves as a pathetic baseball team. Its time for Ichiro, Boone or Edgar to step up, and I don’t mean on the field. We need a hitter. THEY are the untouchables. THEY should let it be known.

We’re lining up for our sixth straight loss. But what the hell… I’m going to take a page from the Mariner Optimist and try to look at the positive.

Imagine Howard’s face after he picks up a copy of the Monday PI:

HEADLINE: M's WORST START IN FRANCHISE HISTORY

Imagine the shadow of failure that crosses his face as he realizes he has single-handedly destroyed the most promising sports franchise in Seattle history. "OH NO!! Yamauchi is gonna have my ass!!!!"

As much as these losses pain my soul, the thought of Howard sweating gives me a warm feeling in my stomach. I hope we lose every game in April, if that’s what it takes to change things in Seattle.

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Thursday, April 08, 2004

Time to VENT 

M's aren't winning 90 games. Don't kid yourselves.

We were a team built on pitching and defense. Now we have a contact hitting team with weak defense at two critical positions (Center and short). We can't hit with Anaheim and we can no longer pitch with Oakland without the sick defense defensive edge we used to have on the league. By losing Cameron AND Guillen the Front Office removed the final two blocks of the great 2001 team that will set the whole motherfukin' kingdom falling.

You can't really believe that this is a championship team. OPEN YOUR EYES!! The team is old and passive. Theres no energy. No spunk. There's no personality or talent to compensate for it beyond Ichiro, Boone, Edgar, Soriano and Garcia. Dare I say it is a team that is becoming BORING AS HELL to watch (gasp...)!!

The manager CAN'T manage his players, is not a leader by any definition of the word, and on top of that, makes numerous bumbling moves during the course of a baseball game that induce hardcore Mariner fans into non-stop head-slapping mode. Keep in mind that the team is relying on a 41 year old man to be its biggest run producer. Its also relying on a 35 year old second baseman to repeat one of the two greatest seasons of his career. Its relying on fluke seasons to repeat and bad seasons to rebound. It doesn't have a bench, or rather, would probably be better off without one. It has given a contract to an old corner outfielder with a decent stick and absolutely no defensive assets that no other team in baseball would be willing to take on, much less trade for. It has a front office that values personality over talent, sweeping generalizations over statistics, and 'experienced' veterans past their prime over players of the future. Its a team built around mysticism.

Eventually the Mariners are going to have to suck in order for Lincoln to get it in his egotistical head that he IS NOT god and realize that he doesn't hold some sort of magical potion leftover from the 2001 season.

Its time for some change and it might as well be this year.
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Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Its time Garcia 

Salvage the series!!!! WAKE US UP!!!!!

Mariners look sloppy out there.

Whats wrong with Ichiro? Ichiro looks like he's JUST taking pitches not SELECTING pitches to hit. If this was the new approach that they were working on they should just let Ichiro swing. But I'll give him a couple more games before making a big thread about it.

Cmon M's... Lets show some life out there!!!
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DOUBLE WAMMY 

I was discouraged by what little of the game I saw yesterday, and since I had some extra time this morning, I decided to search for some positives by rewatching the game via MLB.com.

GODDAMN those Angels have some thunder!!!! ARGH..Remind me never to rewatch a hopeless loss again. ALL of our weaknesses were FULLY exposed. It wasn't pretty.

The downgraded defense: It just looks worse after seeing the whole thing. Ibanez missed a double that I am absolutely sure that Winn would have caught, and also muffed a ball in the top of the eight causing a run to score. Winn doesn't get anywhere near the jumps that Cameron gets. Aurilia didn't get to a ball off Eckstein's bat in the first inning that Guillen would of (I saw that too ALTRSH1918), he missed an easy double play (also in the first inning), and couldn't catch Ichiro's assist.

Bob Melvin: He made a horrible call to run Wilson on Bloomquist's 0-2 count with two outs. He also clearly gave up the game too early after Glaus's blast that made it 5-1. Who came out of the bullpen after Julio Mateo? None other than Jarvis and Villone. BOTH were punished immediately, setting the game out of reach.

The catcher position and the bench: Its just our luck that in the bottom of the eigth we start an improbable rally that dies the second Wilson comes up to bat. Wilson is no longer a major-league player. THis Japanese blogger just saw him swing late on a breaking pitch!! I'm also seriously starting to doubt his perceived pitch calling ability.

Power: The double by Aurilia in the eighth was the hardest hit ball of the entire game.

Our overall Depth: Speizio gets injured and Willie Bloomquist is our best option at third?? What wrong with starting Justin Leone(minor league player of the year in 2003)? What are Jarvis and Villone doing on a team with great minor league pitching? How can a bench be so expensive, and not have one above-average hitter???

Of course all of these faults can be pointed to the Front Office. Get this: Bavasi doesn't think Minor League Stats mean anything when projecting a player's future performance. That probably explains the Guillen trade for a toolsy Santiago (who can't hit). When he was with the Dodger Organization he was completely oblivious of park factors and was puzzled when minor leaguers would put up bad stats at Dodger Stadium (maybe has something to do with his belief that minor league stats are useless). In an interview he seadwanted to build a team around speed and veteran leadership, and believes that there is something special about experience that can't be reflected in raw statistics. UGH... Is there no God????

I'm gonna try to keep my cool though, its still early and yes, anything can happen. I believe that management will do whatever it takes to keep us 'competitive' to keep the soccer moms in thier seats. Look for them to pull the trigger on a big bat before we fall out of contention.


7pm today: Its time for some redemption.

SHUT THESE BITCHES DOWN Joel!!!!!!!!!!!

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Tuesday, April 06, 2004

WOW 

HOLY SHIT the M's just got punished...

I know its only one game, but we looked completely overmatched out there..

What kills me is that I thought Moyer pitched well and he STILL got touched for eight runs!@!
Ibanez is every bit as bad defensively as advertised, and Winn was getting some funky jumps on the ball. Even Aurilia was shaky. I knew it was a concern during the offseason, but seeing is believing-this is a SIGNIFICANTLY worse defensive team than last year.

The Angels can MASH, the A's look significantly improved, and the M's seriously seem like a team that is destined for third place.

Of course this is only one game, and its entirely possible that I am, once again, overreacting. The mariners still have a long ways to go. If luck (and a big bat wouldn't hurt) graces them, they have a chance to steal the division. So enjoy the run while it lasts, cause under this Front Office, its not going to get any better.

GO M's!!!!! Win one for EDGAR!!!
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Sunday, April 04, 2004

Clutch this 

Clutch hitting doesn’t exist? I don’t buy it.

In my opinion Billy Beane was just as ill advised when he wrote off the postseason as a crapshoot as Gillick was when he dismissed Paul Depodesta as a GM candidate. I find a hard time believing that there aren’t players that rise to the occasion. Were the late nineties Yankees really just lucky in winning consecutive pennant titles? Mathematically, what are the chances of something like that happening?? They don’t seem high to me. Just because you don’t understand it, or can’t explain it, doesn’t mean its luck. I’m a firm believer that Clutch hitting DOES exist, which is why I was so happy when I discovered that Keith Woolner of Baseball Prospectus was taking a stab at the impossible.

The only problem I have with this analysis is that it aids sluggers with, well… high SLG percentages. The top clutch hitters on that list look eerily similar to the list of the OPS leaders in the Majors. A guy like Jim Thome could go 3-3 with a walk and 3HRs 7RBIs in a 10-2 win over the Brewers and it would drastically raise his “clutch” line, even though the Phillies could have probably won the game without them. Whereas if a guy like Ichiro (I know, I might as well make this site the official Ichiro Fan Club) went 1-5 but drove in two runs in the bottom of the ninth to win the game, his “clutch” line would GREATLY suffer for that effort. Which seems like a more clutch performance to you?

Its not only that though. There are multiple times in a game where as a baseball fan, you can FEEL the momentum of the game shift. It may be a great catch by Cameron that sets Piniero into “unhittable stud” mode, or a hard battled single from Edgar that sets a cruising pitcher off of his kilter. There are times in a baseball game where you feel that a trigger has been set off. To be able to calculate Clutch hitting, we need to be able to define that trigger.

But that shit is not going to be easy, and its certainly not as simple as calculating how well you hit in games that your team won. I mean, of course your sluggers are more likely to have performed well on those days- whereas in losses its more likely that they contributed less. That’s true for all baseball players, and is magnified more with guys that that have a high OPS. You can’t REALLY evaluate Clutch hitting until you figure out offensive synergy, which I hope some egghead out there can uncover someday.

Well that’s about it,

Peace and love!
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None of us are Perfect 

Don’t get me wrong, BP is great site for baseball analysis and I have a lot of respect for the hard work that they’ve put into that site, but I’m getting tired of this crap. According to Joe Sheenan the Mariners are the ninth best (or should I say sixth worst) team in the AL. Naturally we are behind behind the sabermetric darlings (the Toronto Blue Jays) and supposedly, and I quote, “There's a big dropoff between the #5 and #6 teams.” The teams that come in sixth through eigth? The Minnesota Twins, the Chicago White Sox, and the Baltimore “I hope we can repeat” Orioles. Cmon don’t openly hate on a respectable baseball site, a healthy Mariners team is better than 4-8 on that list. I seriously hope BP isn’t taking a Neyer-like ‘Holier than thou’ stance when dealing with organizations that openly reject statistical analysis. Sure the Mariners could be better if they made smart acquisitions in the offseason, but lets try to real and look at things with a wider perspective.
For a more fair assessment of the Mariners chances next year, check this great review done by Dan Werr.

OH YO!!!! Did you hear about this???? At 24 he hit .321/.421/.501, ABSOLUTELY DISGUSTING!!!! Sure he may be hurt by Safeco’s dimensions, but even so he is still a SICK player!!! THIS is the time to pull the trigger. No more excuses!!! When a player of his quality is available for THAT price you fucking jump on it without hesitation!!!! Of course this is the Seattle mariners, and our Front Office IS infested with whitey (who seem to be genetically programmed to fear the black man), but I am pretty confident that Lincoln is getting worried enough that his trigger-finger is starting to loosen up. Let’s hope that Lincoln’s admiration for Bradley’s abilities overrides any concerns he has about his personality. Besides, I think Bradley could learn a thing or two hanging around a class-act like Edgar Martinez.

Oh… by the way, I just remembered that I received an IM from a certain Chicago Cub blogger that I wasn’t around for. I apologize if I’ve accidentally deleted any emails or missed a few IMs (I promise you it was done unintentionally). Though I may not be as polite as my Japanese brethren, I still treat people with great respect (asides from the Mariner FO that is), and love listening to anything my fellow Mariner fan or Ichiro fanboy/girls have to say.

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Check it Out 

Here’s Robert Whiting, author of The Meaning of Ichiro, interviewing Ichiro. It’s pretty old, but its good shit nonetheless.

No, I don’t have anything to say. Just READ bitches, READ!!!

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Monday, March 29, 2004

Yes you can have too many Boones 

None of you should be surprised about the hard-on Lincoln has for Aaron Boone. He’s just so nice and so damn family friendly; and being Bret’s brother just makes him an absolute lock to start third next year. We WILL sign him to a 3-year $18million deal. The FO will advertise him as a threat for 30 homers, and with the retirement of Edgar and possibly Olerud, Aaron will bat fifth behind Brett. Then they’ll come up with a cute family slogan like “The Boom Boom Boone brothers” or “Boonie Bashers” or something of that sort.

Of course, like many Mariner signings of late, this signing would make absolutely NO SENSE from a baseball point of view. What we should do is go after Delgado or Sexton, and sign Aaron as a utility player. But sigh… common sense is beyond the Front Office. Its gonna happen friends. And there’s nothing you can do about it. You should of seen it coming the moment the Yankees signed him to a one-year deal.

First of all they will overpay, because they’ll put more emphasis on his 2003 stats in Cincinnati, rather than his stats since he became a Yankee. Its sucks that Aaron Boone got injured!! He could have put up mediocre numbers at Yankee stadium for the 2004 season, and maybe then the FO wouldn’t overrate his power. According to The Bill James Handbook the Great American Ballpark has a 111 average factor for RHB and a 144!!!!! homerun factor (remember that 100 is considered neutral) over the past two years. In comparison Safeco field is 95 for RHB average and 80 for RHB power. For those of you paying attention that means its nearly twice as hard to hit a homerun at Safeco!!

Overpaying an aging RH pull-hitter with a .267/.327/.453 line (with 400 AB’s in a drastic hitter’s park), should not be a priority for a “World Series Contending” team. At Safeco Aaron Boone would be Cameron without the high OBP. It could get ugly.

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Let me update myself 

It looks like Melvin is starting to lay off of the Buddha smoke.
You know what? As “safe” as Bob Melvin managed last year, he’s starting to tinker with things and take some chances. Combined that with his ability to take critism and admit mistakes, and he may end up being a pretty sharp manager in the future. Sure criticizing Davis and batting Ibanez fourth were mistakes, but at least he’s starting to hold his own.

I swear, Molitor is the best acquisition of the offseason. Does anybody remember the last time a batting coach was so involved with the players?? From the vibe of things, I’m getting the sense that he has really made a difference for guys like Ichiro and Olerud.

We feel your pain Bobby.
“I don't know if I'm impatient or what? But I do know I'm capable of pitching in the bigs right now and it's just so frustrating not being there. It's like trade me or play me, I don't want to end up rotting in the minors.”
Seriously. I’m not gonna waste energy ranting. It’s time to play them or trade them for some bats.

Speaking of trades, I’m completely down for a heavy dose of some Ken Griffey Jr!!!! That is if the Reds cover the deferred payments, we KEEP the lefty-mashing Winn as our fourth outfielder (turn him into our Super-Sub), and we don’t have to give up Nageotte, Blackey or Felix. Hell, if this was possible I’d be willing to give up four or five major-league ready pitchers. Don’t expect anything to happen though.

You know somethings wrong with the world when the cool level-headed Olympia Mariner starts losing it.

Oh and as for Ichiro, that’s 7 walks and counting…

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