Thursday, October 12, 2006

Heat up the Stove

Wow. When the last post is about good feelings engendered by the Ben Broussard trade, clearly things have fallen off. So, let me try to get some discussion going with a little M's news round-up.
(There was some theme music playing in my head when I typed "news round-up." I think that it might have sounded something like the intro music for Weekend Update on Saturday Night Live. Further, but related, aside: Did anyone watch 30 Rock? I didn't, but I wanted to. What are our thoughts on Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip? I think it's really warming-up, but I wish they had just put Sports Night back on the air, instead of trying to re-do it.)

Breaking news today: The P-I reports that the M's have cut Jesse Foppert. It would have been nice if he had panned out, but it doesn't seem like he is going to live up to the pre-injury hype. I like the little dig in the article about Randy Winn. I still can't understand why everyone was so keen on letting him go.

Yesterday, Art Theil reminded us that the M's need to build from within, rather than spending money on overpriced, homophobic-dinosaur-hating veterans who missed the entire previous season with injury. (Okay, Richie wasn't really a bad signing, but his deal is still symbolic of knee-jerk, throw-money-at-the-problem thinking.) He points out, correctly, that even though we like to think that the Yankees buy championships, when they were winning it was with home-grown talent and shrewd spending. Now that they have really tried to break the bank, they haven't won a World Series for six years. And, speaking of the devils - John Hickey explains to us how cost-effective it would be to bring back A-Rod. I don't think this article was even a joke.

The biggest news for M's fans has to be that the Seibu Lions have decided to "post" World Baseball Classic MVP pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka. John Hickey wonders whether the M's can/will hang with the big spenders when it comes time to place a bid. I hope so. The previous link only had Daisuke's stats through 2005, but this season he was possibly even more dominating. Over the last four years he has struck out 768 batters, while only walking 188, over 741 innings. That's a 4-to-1 K/BB ratio and 9.32 Ks/9 IP. He has given up 602 hits, for a WHIP of 1.06, and has an ERA of 2.51. To put all of that in perspective, Johan Santana's numbers over the same period look like: 4.75-to-1 K/BB ratio, 9.70 Ks/9 IP, 0.99 WHIP, 2.81 ERA. So, Santana is still the best pitcher on the planet, but Daisuke compares pretty favorably. (Note: The Pacific League season is shorter than MLB's, so Santana's absolute numbers are significantly higher, that's why I used the ratios. And, 2003, the first season in the analysis, wasn't a full season as a starter for Santana.)

So, how about Daisuke Matsuzaka as the first discussion of the off-season. Mike, Trav - let's see some new posts in reply; loyal readers - let's see some discussion in the comments. What do you think of him? How far should the M's go to get him on the mound in Seattle next season?