One Hundred Sixteen
Featuring Mariners-related rants, raves, and analysis.
Tuesday, March 30, 2004
Tired of the debate over which spring-training overachiever will have the honor of riding the pine this season? Take a load off and check out Slate's analysis of MLB uniform changes . Highlights include the possible emergence of do-rags as a fashion accessory and this gem on the Met's new neon-inspired logo: the design equivalent of signing Mo Vaughn instead of Vlad Guerrero.
If you're Jonesing for more Zumstag during his self-imposed drywall-and-Advil hiatus, check out his latest Prospectus article on taking it all too seriously. Funny.
And as long as you're at BP, check out the Prospectus Triple Play, which weighs in on the merits of Pat Borders vs. rumored-to-have-fallen-out-of-favor Ben Davis, concluding that Borders actually projects better, although his performance has been all over the place.
Friday, March 26, 2004
With the proliferation of all the new blogs, I don't read the Bremertonians as much as I used to. I just don't like fast-forwarding through all the hockey stuff. But sometimes they get it just right, and their sarcasm is top-notch. Check out what David wrote regarding tub-o-lard Frank Thomas tagging up on mechanically-challenged Randy Winn:
..opposing third-base coaches will have sore shoulders after series with the Mariners if their hitters know how to hit ground balls to centerfield.
Ooh, that hurts. And will continue to hurt all season.
Thursday, March 25, 2004
It was pretty lonely posting in favor of the Cirillo-for-scrubs trade a few months back; most others in the 'sphere emphasized that we were wasting several roster spots on nobodies, while I was hopeful that somebody somewhere might be willing to pick up some salary on Jarvis or others that they would not have been willing to do for Jeffy C. Many pointed out that this line of reasoning requires that Bavasi accomplish something that Padres' GM Kevin Towers couldn't. Since most of us think Bavasi has a hard time putting on matched socks, much less thinking ahead a few moves on the baseball chess board, this seemed like a tall order.
Yes, hope springs eternal, but today the P-I had this little tidbit:
Reports are [Brewers scout Vuckovich] might be scouting right-handed pitcher Kevin Jarvis for the Brewers. Milwaukee is short of starting pitching and Jarvis might be a fit there, particularly if the Brewers could get the Mariners to pick up part of the $4.5 million Jarvis is owed for the 2004 season.
The "if" is hilarious.
Jarvis has been truly awful this Spring, (13.03 ERA), and this potential move says more about the Brewers than it does about Bavasi's foresight. But even if the M's pick up, say, $3.5 million, this is still $1 million bucks that would have gone to Cirillo instead. So if the M's have, say, 20 owners, they could each get a new 330i convertible (including sales tax but not, alas, the $3500 performance package). And we do want our owners to look stylin' when they pull into the Safeco parking garage. But seriously, another million off the payroll will just add to fans' demands to open the wallet a bit and try to get back the payoffs before our best players are rounding the bases with walkers. If this happens, expect Finnegan to offer up reasons why this isn't real money either. "The M's had to buy Vuckovich $500,000 worth of hot dogs..." or something.
Thursday, March 18, 2004
Sorry it's been so long since I rapped at ya, but between a week of vacation and a week of no-internet non-stop travel for work, it's been a gruel. Rumors of the M's renewed interest in Jason Kendall are most welcome given Ben Davis' horrendous Spring. This really did seem to be a theoretical area where the M's could outperform expectations--if first-half Ben showed for the whole year. Melvin's public slamming of Davis' pitch-calling last week confirmed what the staff already knew--that Davis isn't considered a big thinker behind the plate.
The Pirates have already cut their payroll from the mid-$50MMs last year to about $35MM for '04. Here's a good summary of Kendall's 2003 season from a recent article:
Kendall had nine passed balls and committed 10 errors last year (seven throwing and three fielding) while throwing out 16 of the 67 baserunners attempting to steal against him (24 percent). Those are the statistics that get repeated most often -- not the .326 batting average that was the sixth best in the National League or the 145 games started behind the plate, a number that led the major leagues for the second consecutive year.
Given Cirillo's continued struggles, don't be surprised if San Diego tries to get in on some of this too. Kendall has a no-trade clause, but he is a California native who lives in Manhattan Beach and has said he would play in San Diego. There were rumors back in January of a Cirillo/Kendall/many others deal with the Padres.
As I and others have blogged before, Kendall's contract is one of the worst in sports, but if the Pirates pick up half or more, it's hard to imagine a bigger move the M's could make at this point. I'm keeping my fingers crossed, but there is probably no player in the past year who has been linked to more trade rumors than Kendall so some skepticism is of course the order of the day. Oh, and Kendall is considered a "good character guy", so don't be surprised if we throw in too many good prospects to get the deal done.
Did anyone notice that blog fave Q. McCracken had two dingers the other day? Assuming Melvin was there to see it, his place in the lineup has been cemented through 2004.
Monday, March 01, 2004
The AP floats up a substance-free little article on Spezio this morning, and regular readers of the puffed-up little sub-genre of journalism known Spring Training interviews will be pleased to hear that he's coming to town ready to play. There's more about music than baseball, although he mentions that he expects the transition to third to come easily since he played there throughout the minors and in 43 games last year.
Seattle manager Bob Melvin targeted him for his ability to perform in key situations. But clutch hitting doesn't exist, so this must be a misprint. Hey, where are AP's fact-checkers when stuff like this gets written?
Despite getting him for the wrong reasons, and perhaps overpaying, this will be a huge upgrade over Cirillo (a smaller one over Guillen) and the M's will be better for it. Although that's not exactly a rave, and although I'm in a foul mood because my scheduled business trip to Phoenix in a couple weeks was just bumped to April, demolishing my long-anticipated Spring training adventure, I'll take this an occasion to remove the "Not many raves lately" banner from the heading above. This will be a positive and therapeutic step towards (deep breath) putting the offseason behind me and just enjoying baseball again (exhale).