Tuesday, July 10, 2007

At the break....

Up until I was 17, my best and favorite subject in school was math. I owned math. It was never hard, it was fun, and it all made sense. But then came my senior year in high school. That's when I met AP Calculus. I had done well in math every year and assumed it would continue. In fact, I figured my major in college would have something to do with math. And for the first month or so of that class, things remained the same. I remember understanding limits really well and I'm pretty sure I got an A on the first test. But then things abruptly changed. We had to write a paper in math. The rest of the semester when something like C on that paper, and nothing above a D on anything else. My final grade for that semester was a D. For the first time in my life I had to drop a class because it was too hard for me. Sure, senioritis had something to do with it, but I was really just in over my head.

I'm hoping the second half of the 2007 baseball season isn't to the Seattle Mariners what AP Calculus was to me. They've had a great first half, and every time I think they've come back to reality, they've proved me wrong. Two and a half out in the West, and a game and half back in the Wild Card. I think they can stay in it, but I also thought I could handle AP Calculus.

Let's check in on what I said at the beginning of the season:

3 REASONS FOR HOPE

1. The King-Well, he's been amazing, injured, and inconsistent. But, thanks to the power of blogging, he has looked much better lately. The M's are going to need him to be an ace in the second half.

2.Infield Defense-
Did I really say that?

3.A pretty solid lineup
The M's third in the AL in batting average, sixth in OBP, eighth in runs scored, eigthe in SLG, tenth in HR, LAST in walks, and LAST in strikeouts. Hmmm. Looking at that, the M's offense hasn't been all that impressive.


3 REASONS YOU'LL BE COUNTING THE DAYS UNTIL FOOTBALL SEASON

1. The gruesome foursome. Eh, not bad I guess. Weaver was atrocious but has turned in around. Batista has his moments. But they still need another pitcher if they are going to stay in this.

2. Mike Hargrove and Bill Bavasi. Mike Hargrove quit. That was weird. Bill Bavasi-well Jose Vidro as "DH" hasn't really worked. The pitchers have been okay. But, I'll judge Bavasi based on what he does at the deadline.

3. Jose. I'm fine with Guillen and Lopez, but Vidro has to go.


So, now what? I don't think the Mariners are good enough as they are right now to keep up with Boston, Anaheim, Detroit, and Cleveland. So, some changes need to happen. I'd like to hear what the loyal 4 readers have to say about that.

Check out Dave Cameron's suggestions. They mkae some sense and can all be done without bringing anyone in from the outside.

7 comments:

  1. maaah8:58 AM

    i still want to hope they have it in them to make the play0ffs and succeed there also....but J.J. really blew up under pressure last night. let's hope he is back to his tough self when the tigers come to town. but you have to look at how young and untried that successful bullpen is, how unreliable the starters are, how spotty the hitters can be....there's always the mojo....but is the talent there?

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  2. Neddy Ballgame12:52 PM

    Does Dave Cameron believe he is God's gift to baseball analysis??...while his suggestions may make objective sense ,he doesn't live in the real world,does he?...I think JJJ is fine--actually seeing him kind of blow a save in a game that doesn't affect the M's(althoug I guess it did if they make it to the World Series they'd want home field advantage)gets it out of his system--Eddie will talk to him and all wil be OK...Ichiro --MVP and signed up again...all is going well in Seattle(who cares about Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis)..let's have a terrific second half

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  3. To answer your question neddy-yes he does.

    As far as JJ-keep in mind that Eric Gagne was rocked in the All-Star game a couple years back and had a perfect second half and won the Cy Young. JJ was fine until Brian Roberts booted that ground ball and I bet he would have gotten the next guy out. I'm not worried about him.

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  4. JJ looked very good against the Tigers last night. I think his All-Star game performance was a case of jitters, one of those "aberration" thingies.

    We got Ichiro under contract for five more years, so that's out of the way. The team looks like it's certainly in the position of "buyer" this season as the trading deadline gets closer.

    I agree, they can get more from the DH than what they are getting from Vidro. I don't think he has been as awful as some seem to think, but I would much rather see the M's call up Adam Jones and get him into some games. I think that while Jones would K more than Vidro, he would provide more pop in the lineup. I also think he's more valuable on the roster than Vidro because he can play in the field. I'd stick Jones in LF and put Raul at DH and see how it goes.

    Would Vidro be of much interest to anybody in a trade? Would Jeremy Reed have any trade value? Julio Mateo? Ben Broussard? Baek? Horacio Ramirez? Rob Johnson or Jeff Clement? Reitsma? ???? I would be inclined to keep Feierabend and one of the catchers we have in AAA. Any of the rest of those guys I mentioned, I think we wouldn't miss too much.

    It's hard to tell, with people coming off the DL here and there, what the team will think it's necessary to do.

    I agree, I like Lopez and I like what Guillen has done so far this season... he hasn't seemed like a headcase or been disruptive. He seems like he is very much into playing winning baseball, and he drives in runs. Besides Sexson's strikeouts, I think the weakest part of the lineup lately has been Betancourt. He isn't doing badly enough that we ought to get rid of him, though! I think other than maybe needing to replace Vidro, the everyday lineup situation is pretty decent.

    I'm not sure who there is out there that the Mariners would find useful in the starting pitching department. I would be inclined to try and pry Dontrelle Willis away from Florida. He hasn't been as good the last year or two as he was at first, but I still think he would represent a large improvement over Horacio Ramirez. Batista, Weaver, Washburn and Felix have all been pitching well recently, and if it looks like Weaver can continue as he has been since being on the DL, it seems like maybe one decent starting pitcher would put the M's in a better position to keep up their run.

    What do you see Bavasi doing by the end of this month?

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  5. Oops, didn't read Cameron's comments first! I agree with some of what he says. I also think that fans and players on the roster need to know that the front office is doing something to try and make the team better. While I think it would be ideal to mostly stand pat at the deadline re. trades, I don't know what kind of message standing pat sends... or does that really matter? I don't advocate making a trade for the sake of making a trade, like Woody Woodward used to seem to do, but if a good deal is available that would improve the rotation, I'm not sure why the FO wouldn't go for it. I don't like the idea of having to rely on Ramirez/Baek/Feierabend in the #5 slot for the rest of the year if we are seriously contending, and again, I just don't know how much we can count on Weaver to pitch at an at-least average level for the rest of the season. I think Felix looks like he is coming around, and Washburn has been outstanding his last few starts... if he can find consistency, it will be huge. Same with Batista... But it's that #5 slot and possibly the #4 that are bugging me.

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  6. There is definitely a hole (or two) in the rotation. There is no way the M's are going to contend or do anything in the postseason without adding another pitcher. Funny you should mention Dontrelle snave-there have been some rumors about him. I don;t think he is worth a top prospect but maybe a combination of some of the players you mentioned in your first post.

    All I know is there is a free previre of MLB Extra Innings here in State College and I am loving watching this M's-Tigers series.

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  7. Yes!!! And so far it sure has been worth watching, eh!

    I loved the way Felix gave us another quality start, and Batista again tonight! I was cursing Bavasi for signing Batista during the off-season, but it's looking like Miguel could end up winning 15-17 games and having an ERA under 4.00 for the year. I think Felix is on his way to 12-15 wins with an ERA under 4.00, and same with Washburn. Dunno about the rest of the rotation, but I'm thinking if they could get Willis in exchange for Reed and one of their AAA catchers it would be worth a shot. I'm thinking Dontrelle would be at least a .500 pitcher with an ERA in the 4.00 range at Safeco... That would give Seattle four starters who are slightly-better-than-average or better-than-average. Still not top-of-rotation guys yet, but with the bullpen the Mariners have shown us so far, a rotation of four #3-quality guys would be great. If Weaver can continue to pitch well, I look at is a bonus, but I think they still need one more decent guy for the rotation. Again, I shudder at the thought of Ramirez/Baek/Feierabend in the 5-hole for the rest of the season...

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