Saturday, December 18, 2004
Et tu, Brian?
It's time now. It's probably past time. But it's definitely time. This is the last post at Mariners Wheelhouse.
I’ve been delaying the inevitable. I've known that I can't put the time in that I've done in the past. But when I read Brian’s comments at Redbird Nation, I knew it was the end. Brian's situation is virtually identical with mine, but he expresses it much more eloquently than I could. So I'll just add, "Me, too!" and hang my cleats on the hook next to Brian's.
Immediately below this post is my farewell to Edgar. I've been mentally composing the Edgar farewell periodically since August. I wanted to at least get those thoughts out before bowing out.
It's agonizing cutting back on blogging at times such as this. My frustrations in November of 2003 were what led me to start blogging. Fortunately, there are still quite a few Mariners bloggers who haven't recognized the need to have another life. So most of what I might want to say is already being said by someone else.
I suspect the muse may still visit occasionally. So, rather than try to keep Mariners Wheelhouse active for the occasional post, Jeff Sullivan has agreed to put my stuff up at the probably soon to be renamed Leone for Third blog. (Note to Jeff: Since you seem to prefer advocacy-type blog names, how about "DFA Bloomquist!". I also understand that "Mariners Wheelhouse" might soon be available.) You may also see me hanging out in the comments areas of various blogs and the occasional message board.
I will keep the content of Mariners Wheelhouse posted so it will be accessible for reference. After today, though, there probably won’t be any new content here.
Until then it had always been six
I got out of the car and looked around as my eyes adjusted from the tinted car interior to the bright outside sunlight. I saw what I was looking for - five chairs set up on the grass, about 50 feet away. Then I looked further to the horizons. It was a fine early September day in western Minnesota. It was actually cool for the week after Labor Day, and a bit breezy, but the sun was shining brightly amid a few broken clouds. The nearby fields and trees had the dark green hue of late summer on the northern prairies, when the foliage is still robust but autumn is just starting to gain.
A row of trees a couple of miles away marked the near shore of a lake. I thought to myself, “Fifty years ago today he might have been fishing on that lake.” When he was in his 30’s, this was the type of late summer day on which he might have headed out in the evening to fish for a couple of hours after work. Just as the trees in late summer work harder to store a bit more energy ahead of the coming winter, so Dad tried to get in a bit more fishing before he stowed his pole and tackle box for the winter. It was a rhythm he probably learned from trees; he loved them, too.
Mom got out of the car and grabbed my right arm with her left hand. She clasped my hand, and then buried her head in my shoulder. My older brother came around on her right side. My two sisters came alongside us, and the five of us walked together to the five chairs, following the pallbearers and the minister.
Five chairs. Until then it had always been six.
I only half-listened to the graveside service. Instead I continued sorting through events of the last several months. I was glad we were saying our goodbyes, and that the end had come as it did.
Dad really left us a few years earlier. Dementia had been carving away pieces of his soul for five or more years, leaving him less than a shadow’s shadow of what he had been. Then dementia claimed that remnant as well. We all missed him, but none of us wanted him back as he was at the end. So it was time to go; actually, it was a good time to go.
I also thought about the funeral. Dad loved hymns and sacred songs, so we included his favorites in the funeral service. The five of us had looked through a couple of hymnals from his personal library page by page, as we shared memories triggered by the songs. We remembered, and he was with us again. Though Dad’s body was finished, he remained with us yet.
So, as I sat in front of the grave, I felt peaceful. I realized this was a time of joy for Dad’s life, not of sadness at his passing. This was a time to recognize the richness and grace he gifted me. This was a time to appreciate his love and his life.
Tears do burnish our joys; I squint at my monitor even as I type these words because something keeps getting in my eyes. I am glad for the treasures he gave us while he was alive. I am glad that he was not snatched from us prematurely. And I am glad that the agonizing denouement ended gracefully
These memories returned when Edgar announced his retirement during last season. Mariners fandom was filled with sorrow and regrets that Edgar’s time was coming to a close.
But I thought back to that sunny day in western Minnesota in September 1998. I considered the wonderful memories and joys Edgar gave us. I enjoyed the special bonds that developed between Edgar and Mariners fans. I was glad that he was leaving when it was time to leave, that he wasn’t yanked from us too early, and that we will be spared watching a shadow Edgar wearing #11.
It was good times, Gar. Thanks for the memories, and with those memories you will always be a Mariner – Mr. Mariner.
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
Friday, November 05, 2004
Is this a great country, or what??
The fired manager of a 99-loss team gets hired to turn things around for a 111-loss team. Only in the good old U.S. of A.!
Could a D'Backs trade for Willie Bloomquist now be in the works?
Dodgers also interested in Radke
Dodgers Have an Interest in Radke
Thanks to Rob at 6-4-2 blog for the link to this LA Times article.
Added note: I forgot that that LA Times requires soul-sucking registration. Thanks to Grant's note for mentioning that. The gist of the article is simply that DePodesta has apparently contacted Radke's agent. Also, although the Angels are also looking for starting pitching, they have not yet contacted Radke's agent.
Thursday, November 04, 2004
The Dodgers: 120 Years of Dodger Baseball, an Excerpt for Years 1967-1976
Over at Dodger Thoughts, Jon Weisman posted an excerpt from The Dodgers: 120 Years of Dodger Baseball by Glenn Stout and Richard A. Johnson. Jon's excerpt is the entire Chapter 14, covering the years 1967-1976.
It's an interesting read, with intriguing parallels between the Dodgers of the late 1960's and the current Mariners situation. And for both teams, the manager was named Bavasi. If you believe that one of Bill Bavasi's assets is growing up in the Bavasi household, then you should be interested to see how Bavasi pere did (or didn't) deal with the aging, punchless. PR-conscious Dodgers teams post-Koufax.
Here's an excerpt of Jon's excerpt:
And that was it. The Dodgers – the LA Dodgers - the team that had used pitching, speed and defense to win three world championships - were finished, just like that. The farm system, apart from pitching prospects, was barren. The Dodgers had been blind to their weaknesses, convinced they could always win with pitching, that hitting didn’t matter. They stocked up on arms and let the offense take care of itself. But when they traded Wills they lost any chance they had to remain respectable.
Bavasi was finished making deals. The Dodgers didn’t even try to add a veteran starter to replace Koufax. Bob Miller started on Opening Day and lost to the Reds, 6-1. It wasn’t long before the press began referring to the pitcher as “Bomb” Miller. Rookie Bill Singer soon took over for him in the rotation.
The Dodgers still had pitching, but even according to their low standards they couldn’t hit, scoring nearly 100 runs less than in 1966, averaging barely three runs a game. In Don Drysdale’s sixteen losses, the Dodgers scored a total of fifteen runs. Gene Michael hit .202 and couldn’t field either. Bailey hit .227. Lou Johnson broke his leg.
Wills hit .302 for Pittsburgh. Only the Astros and Mets kept the Dodgers out of last place. They finished 73-89. More significantly attendance at Dodger Stadium dropped by a million fans, down to only1.6 million, less than the pennant-winning Cardinals and Red Sox, the first time since moving from Brooklyn that the Dodgers hadn’t led the majors in that category.
Some experiment. And it didn’t not appear as if 1968 would bring any improvement. It was obvious the Dodgers missed Wills and needed offense, so in the offseason Bavasi made a trade he thought would make up for it, sending Roseboro, Ron Perranoski and Bob Miller to the Twins for Zoilo Versalles and Mudcat Grant.
It would have been an interesting trade two years earlier. Now it was simply a swap of fading veterans.
It soon became clear why Bavasi had never made many trades – he didn’t know how. He dealt for names, not talent. Lou Johnson was sent to the Cubs for Paul Popovich, an infielder with no pop whatsoever. He bought former slugger Rocky Colavito from the White Sox and sent Hunt to the Giants for catcher Tom Haller.
All it did was a shuffle the deck – badly. Versalles was terrible and hit .196, Colavito was almost as bad. Haller helped, but Popovich was dismal.
I updated links in the right sidebar. I removed cobweblogs, and added a few active blogs that I should have added before.
Dodgers Likely to Whiff on Resigning Beltre
Adrain Beltre is one of the free agents the Mariners are likely to pursue. At various fans sites I've seen comments questioning whether the Mariners will be able to compete with the Dodgers for Beltre, the premise being that the Dodger's are a big market team that can easily resign him. While the Dodgers are a team that operates in a big market, the Dodgers' capitalization is a financial house of cards that looks more like a penny mining stock listed on the Vancouver Stock Exchange than the finances of a Major League Baseball team.
McCourt borrowed $225 million of of the $430 million purchase price for the team. At least $145 million of that is due in two years. These loans are backed by personal assets that are the basis of McCourt's non-baseball business interests. Until these loans are taken care of, the Dodgers are a team with small market finances. The Dodgers are more likely to pursue Glaus than Beltre.
The late and greatly lamented Doug Pappas posted a summary of McCourt's purchase at his Business of Baseball weblog (which I used as the source for this post). Doug also provided this link to a pdf file that is a memo from Selig's office describing details of the McCourt's purchase.
Bucky Jacobsen note
From today's Kitsap Sun:
It got so bad this year that he could barely push off his back leg when he swung the bat. An exam revealed the cartilage damage and he had surgery on Sept. 16.If Bucky's knee was limiting him during his callup last season, it will be interesting to see what he can do this season.
After six weeks on crutches, doctors cleared Jacobsen on Monday to put all his weight on his right leg and continue building strength in it.
"I'm not at full speed, but I'm at ahead of schedule," he said. "The best part is that it feels good."
And when Jacobsen feels good, he figures he will play good.
"If I impressed them with a bum knee," he said, "then I can't wait until next year."
According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the Mariners have expressed strong interest in Brad Radke. The PP also indicates that a deal for Radke is likely to be at least two years and $15 million, or $8.5 million per year if the second year is not backloaded.
A contract such as that would use up most of the $13 million that Seattle Times writer Bob Finnigan claims the Mariners have available for free agents. With Finnigan's assumptions, Radke would be the key Mariners move this seaon if the Mariners signed him. How does that grab you??
Personally, I can't see the Mariners being that limited this offseason. Mariners ownership has publicly said they are going to fund player acquitions this year with reserves accumulated from previous years. Finnigan's story most likely is simply ownership setting a low threshold for them to use when they tell us how they dug into their own pockets to try to rebuild the team.
Monday, November 01, 2004
Mariners decline option on Guardado
As expected, the Mariners declined their $6 million option on Eddie Guardado for next year. Guardado is now free to sign with another team if he wishes, or he can exercise his option to the return the Mariners for $4 million, his salary last year.
If there is another team out there willing to pay more than $4 million for Guardado, they can probably pick him up. Given the Yankees bullpen weakness this year, might Steinbrenner make a preemptive offer?
Keep Your Thinking Caps On, Please
Grazing through all of the sites speculating about Mariner moves this off-season, I have two principal reactions:
- Many fans are focusing too heavily on the free agent market. The Mariners have money to spend, and money is at least as valuable in trades as in the free agent market.
I expect that the Mariners will make a strong and early push for the free agents they most want. If the Mariners are not successful with their primary free agent targets, I expect they will next move to the trade market instead of going after the free agents in which they have less interest.
I encourage readers to also think about players on other teams that might fill the Mariners needs, especially where the Mariners can parlay their ability to assume salary. And if you want to think rationally about trades, be sure to include in the trade players that it will hurt to lose. For another team to trade a front-line player, they must also get back decent value, as well as shedding salary. Remember that the other team still needs to sell tickets, and to do so it still needs to sell hope to its fans.
- Where there are fans discussing trades, we are seeing the usual abundance of postings where fans seem to think that other teams will trade their jewels for our junk. If a Mariners player is marginally productive or is overpaid, every other team in baseball will likely view him the same way. That means the only players other teams are willing to offer in return would be similar marginal and overpaid players.
And when a team packages those marginally productive or overpaid players with other players of value (such as prospects) tbe team gets less in return.
This means that:
- Bret Boone has negative trade value unless the Mariners are willing to assume salary
- As long as Gil Meche qualifies for arbitration, he has no trade value.
- Bret Boone has negative trade value unless the Mariners are willing to assume salary
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
State of the Blog
A note for those faithful few readers still visiting the Wheelhouse after this long hiatus.
Due to pressing personal issues, I've needed to discontinue blogging almost entirely. This situation will likely continue for at least several more months.
If I do get some time, there are comments I would like to make about what I expect from Bavasi and the Mariners this offseason, some reactions to posts by other bloggers, thoughts on Edgar's retirement, and a review of the Mariners double play efficiency this year. (DPs are a critical part of team defense that is totally overlooked in defensive efficiency rating, and were critical to the Mariners success last year.)
Thursday, September 30, 2004
133 Pitches? At what Price?
Last night Bobby Madritsch threw 133 pages in a game that is meaningless to the Mariners in the standings. As David Cameron notes at USS Mariner,
Madritsch is averaging 110.4 pitches per start, 4th highest total in the majors. Only Jason Schmidt, Livan Hernandez, and Carlos Zambrano are averaging more P/GS than Mads.Madritsch had reconstructive shoulder surgery about four years ago, when he was in the Cincinatti organization. While we don't have rankings of teams for number of injuries to pitchers, the information in this article suggests that in recent years Cincinnati has been at least as bad as the Mariners in protecting pitchers.
Madritsch’s 138 pitch effort last night (ed note; it was actually 133 pitches) was the 3rd highest single game pitch count of the season. Livan Hernandez threw 144 once and Jason Schmidt threw 143. No other pitcher in baseball has been pushed as long as Mads was last night.
His last 5 starts, he’s thrown 126, 122, 119, 66, and 138 pitches. Last night’s outing was not an isolated incident. He’s been worked very hard since coming up.
If you want a guy to be an effective starter for your team for the nest several years, I think it's questionable to send him out to throw 138 pitches in a game that doesn't mean a thing to you in the standings. I think it's a bad decision when this follows on a series of other starts in which the pitcher has consistently been worked almost as hard. When said pitcher also has reconstructive shoulder surgery in his past, I think it's lunacy.
The last two seasons the Mariners have put similar heavy workloads on Meche and Piñeiro as well as Madritsch. Clearly, the Mariners current philosophy for developing young pitchers involves taking the best and giving them intense workloads.
I've not opined before on Bryan Price - I've cut him slack because he protected pitchers from Piniella's tendencies to overwork pitchers. The Mariners pitching staff responded almost immediately when Price replaced Williams. But that pattern seems to have changed. I don't know if Price has changed, or if he has been overruled. But I don't think it's good, and I don't think it bodes well for young pitching.
As long as this approach reigns on Royal Brougham, we should hope that the Mariners are willing and able to make intelligent trades with talent such as Felix Herandez. Because I think there's too great a chance of him being the next Ryan Anderson as soon as he progresses to higher levels.
Tuesday, September 28, 2004
The Wraiths Are Ready to Ride Out of New York
So the Dark Lord of Mordor called his minions, the terrible ringwraiths, a collection of nine once noble All-Stars turned awful by greed and hatred.Go to Batgirl for the rest of Lord of the Rings: Part One
Monday, September 20, 2004
A Closer's Mind or a Closed Mind?
Time demands are still forcing me to cut down on blogging, but this simply cannot pass without mention.
According to this item from Ken Rosenthal, Bavasi thinks it would be a good idea to make Madritsch a closer because of his mentality. Here's the full item from Rosenthal's column, including Rosenthal's quote of Bavasi:
"Whitey (Herzog) always said to build a staff from the back -- start with a closer so you can play your 27 outs vs. their 24. Bobby seems to have the mental makeup to close."This is just preposeterous. With this logic, the Twins should not have moved Santana out of the bullpen. In fact, every intimidating starting pitcher - Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Roger Clemens - is being wasted as a starter and should be used out of the bullpen so they can "shorten the game".
When you have a pitcher who keeps the other team from scoring, the most important thing you can do is get as many quality innings from him as you can. It just doesn't make sense to take innings away from a pitcher who shuts down other teams.
Folks, I really do want to be optimistic about the Mariners Front Office. I really want to believe that the team is ready to update its decision-making and analysis. But comments such as this tell us not to expect any significant changes from Royal Brougham for next year.
The Mariners Front Office sees this year as an aberration - they believe their general operating approach is sound and simply needs to be updated, not overhauled. Certainly, the Mariners will be more aggressive about signing free agents this winter, and they will herald this as a huge change in philosophy. But it's really just tweak. But the Mariners' analysis of what free agents to pursue and how to construct the roster will still largely be built on their same premises as this year.
If you believe this season shows fatal flaws in the team's operating philosophy, I don't think you can be very optmistic about the future. But if you believe the team's approach is basically sound, then there is ample reason to be optimistic. Then you look at someone such as Bavasi and say he might be just what the team needs - an outside person to make needed minor corrections.
For myself, I'm inclined to the more pessimistic viewpoint. That's because I don't think the Mariners really recognize the profound changes in decision making that are being wrought in other organizatins.
Friday, September 17, 2004
Some High Cheese to go With That Whine?
From the Daily Southtown (Tinley Park, Illinois) last Wednesday after the Twins beat the White Sox 10-2 and went up 11-1/2 games on the Sox with 18 to play.
Yes, the American League Central Division title has all but been conceded to Minnesota for a third consecutive season, as a 10-2 Twins victory the Metrodome just about put the final nail in the Sox coffin.And how many World Series banners has this group of White Sox players brought to Comiskey (excuse me, U$$ellular)? How may times times has this core group of Twins players gone to playoffs in the last several years? I thought so.
However, several Sox players said it hurts less knowing that while the Twins are going to the postseason for a third straight season, they also expect their rivals to have a short stay once the playoffs begin.
"I think they keep forgetting that we lost our two best players this year," one Sox player said. "We have Magglio (Ordonez) and Frank (Thomas), we're looking at a different story here.
"That's fine, let them do their talking and clapping and antics on the basepaths. Minnesota has two World Series banners, but not one came from this group of players. They forget that. I'll be glad to sit back and watch them go one and done (in the playoffs). Our season ends Oct. 3 or whatever it is. So they'll get an extra week in before they're done."
Oh, well, ... I also see the Sox player made those comments anonymously. What a pity. Don't you think high cheese would have gone well with that whine?
Perhaps of interest to Mariners fans was the peformance of ex-Mariner Freddy Garcia.
Freddy Garcia pitched like, well ..., Freddy Garcia. Freddy had a no-hitter through five innings (2 BB, 1 HBP). Then he didn't get a couple of calls in the top of the sixth, got upset, and completely lost it. He faced 7 batters in the top of the sixth with the following results, as recorded at ESPN.com:
- MINNESOTA 6TH
-A Ojeda walked.
-H Blanco walked, A Ojeda to second.
-S Stewart sacrificed to pitcher, A Ojeda to third, H Blanco to second.
-J Jones singled to left, A Ojeda scored, H Blanco to third.
-T Hunter doubled to left, H Blanco scored, J Jones to third.
-J Morneau intentionally walked.
-L Ford singled to left center, J Jones and T Hunter scored, J Morneau to second.
-N Cotts relieved F Garcia.
After the game, Freddy had this to say about his performance:
"I made a couple pitches and didn't get a call, but I've got to forget about it," Garcia said.Upon reading that I had one of those good old deja moo moments - that's when someone says something and you know you've heard that BS before.
Monday, September 13, 2004
Batgirl Droppings - Stoppable Forces and Immovable Objects
Batgirl gives us a Legovision lesson that when a stoppable force (Terry Tiffee) encounters an immovable object (Pudge Rodriguez), life is better if you are the immovable object rather than the stoppable force.
Tiffee has a separated shoulder, and is out three to six weeks according to the AP game recap. Since this little encounter will bring up bad memories for Tiffee, Batgirl nees to ensure that the Twins clubhouse remains a deletrium-free zone.
Saturday, September 11, 2004
Can a vacuum cleaner not suck?
If it didn't suck, would it not then suck? And if it did suck, would that not mean it didn't suck?
Can We Count Out Kida?
I had mixed emotions watching Masao Kida pitching last night. I never like to see the Mariners get pummeled. But since Kida was picked up, I've had a nagging fear that the Mariners are considering him as a possible addition to next year's bullpen. Veteran experience, and all of that.
Seeing Kida get lit up gave me more hope that Kida will be nothing but end of season roster filler. I hate to say it, but if a few more horrific outings are needed to ensure that outcome, so be it.
Thursday, September 09, 2004
Check out the third picture from the top in this real estate ad.
Who's Really Striking Out Here?
Peter over at Mariner Musings has a nice post today on Bucky Jacobsen's strikeout rates, with some interesting comparisons with some "valued" Mariners who strike out nearly as often but with far less offensive production.
It's another brush stroke in the emerging picture that shows this season has not caused the Mariners Front Office to recalibrate much of their thinking.
All the cunning of a dairy cow
We get a double whammy today from Mariners Notebook in the P-I, by Andriessen and Hickey:
The Mariners already have had left fielder Raul Ibanez working out at first base. The plan was to work him in some at first base in the next week or so, but the timetable might be moved up without Jacobsen available.Well, isn't that cute? That comment about it being hard to go after Beltran because of existing contracts sure reeks of Mariners mumbo-jumbo. So here we are with a month to go in the 2004 season, and the Mariners office is already prepping us with reasons why they won't be able to sign big free agents this winter. This time it's not because the team doesn't have money, and it's not because players don't want to come here. It's because the Mariners are already committed to the players they have, so there just isn't room to add a free agent.
Ibanez, who has caught and played third base in the past, has played left and right field for Seattle this year. But seeing him at first base now will help Seattle management settle on what the Mariners will want to do in the offseason.
Right fielder Ichiro Suzuki, center fielder Randy Winn and Ibanez are all locked into contracts for at least two more seasons. That would make it hard for the Mariners to go after a big-name free agent outfielder like Houston's Carlos Beltran.
But if Ibanez can play first, or even serve as the designated hitter -- Martinez is retiring at the end of the year -- that opens up Seattle's options.
Needless to say, the notion that the Mariners can't go after Beltran (or other free agent outfielders) because of existing contract committments is totally absurd; the very mention of such idiocy illustrates the depth of the problems in the Front Office.
If the Mariners were absolutely serious about fielding the best team they possibly could, they would approach every transaction asking, "Will this make us a better team?" If the answer is "yes", than team management would find a way to make it happen. They wouldn't wring their hands and say, "oh, we can't upgrade that position because we've already got guys under contract at that position. And we like the guys we've got so there's no reason to change personnel."
Billy Beane and the Oakland A's have been the Mariners principal competition in the AL West for the last five or so years. There's a reason why the A's are more successful than the Mariners. It's because Billy Beane and the A's are more committed to winning than are the Mariners. Because they are more committed to winning, they don't let things like contracts with existing players prevent them from making moves to improve the team.
Now for the second whammy. The Mariners apparently think the solution to this dilemma is installing Ibañez at first base to open up a spot in the outfield. Wouldn't you think it's worth asking whether Ibañez would actually be an asset to the team at first base?
Well, we at Mariners Wheelhouse are glad you asked the question, and we've got some answers. For 2004, a league average 1B has a line of .278 (BA)/.363 (OBP)/ and .479 (SLG). Ibañez's line for 2004: .277/.335/.448, which is pretty close to Ibañez's career line of .278/.334/.461, most of which was compiled in the hitter friendly confines of Kaufmann Stadium.
And does Ibañez make up for this with his glove? (Ok, you can stop chuckling now - that was rhetorical.) Ultimate Zone Rating is one of the best measures of overall defensive performance, as it compares defensive players on the percentage of plays they make on balls hit in their area of the field. UZR credits Ibañez with a negative 24 runs defensively per 162 games. How bad is that? Among players with more than 50 games at first base between 2000 and 2003, the first baseman closest to Ibañez in defense is Mo Vaughan, at negative 25 runs per 162 games. And the only one worse than Mo Vaughan is Adam Dunn (34 runs per 162 games). Think of that - after this year of horrid defense, the Mariners plans for upgrading include putting the equivalent of Mo Vaughan's glove at first base. [added note: the UZR data for Ibañez are for his play at first base.]
So we have the Mariners solution to the dilemma, they'll put a guy at first base woth league average production, and who blows defensively. Who blows big!! Who could easily be the worst defensive first baseman in the league. And that is how they will make the team better.
Again, folks, teams that are committed to winning simply wouldn't consider that an acceptable strategy. If the Mariners were truly serious about winning, they would be looking for ways to make both the outfield and first base into significant assets.
Creative thinking is clearly a precious and rare commodity down on Royal Brougham. I suggest the Mariners stop wasting it devising excuses why they can't make major improvement to the team and instead use it to figure out how to make the team as good as it can possibly be.
Wednesday, September 08, 2004
Putting Your Best Team Forward
Despite the callups from roster expansion, Melvin announced that they wouldn't play much, because,
We owe it to the league and ourselves to put our best team on the field against teams fighting for the postseason.Isn't that interesting? Makes me wonder what else is going on Melvin's mind these days. For two years now we've watched Melvin not put his best team on the field. What's suddenly different in September of 2004?
After the Marinners rolled over and allowed the rest of the AL to build pennant hopes on Mariner implosions, shouldn't we ask if Melvin hasn't already done enough for the rest of the league? Hasn't the last half of this season been dedicated to evaluating new players and building for the future? Following Melvin's logic, didn't the Mariners owe it to the rest of the league back in July and August to field the best team they could instead of doing wholesale callups from the minor leagues?
At the same time, if I were a fan of Boston or other teams in the AL West, I would be greatly encouraged by Melvin's comments. Because I think Melvin is saying that Willie Bloomquist and his thunderstick will be in the lineup regularly.