Thursday, February 28, 2008

G Blows For Batista

Couldn't resist posting this. Photo courtesy of our friends a the Seattle Times. Batista needs a new about Little Saxy?

Shawn Green, Calling it a Career

Yeah, this has nothing to do with the M's, but it feels kind of weird for Shawn Green to be retiring (and he's two months younger than me for crying out loud).

From a baseball fan and a fantasy baseball perspective, I've always had kind of a love/hate relationship with him. Here's a skinny white kid who can hit 49 home runs, drive in 125 runs, and swipe two dozen bags. He had a stretch with Toronto and the Dodgers that was just silly. I could run the official numbers, but I'd bet his OPS between '98 and '02 was about .930. He hit better than 40 home runs three times, drove in 100 or more runs four times, stole 20 or more bases four times, and scored over 100 runs four times. That's just insane production over five years.

And then in 2003, it was pretty much over. He's always been able to get on base (hey, maybe he could guest coach for the M's this spring and teach them how to do that), but his tremendous power would only come in little fits and his wheels all but disappeared. He became human, and that's when I started referring to him as Sham Green.

But I really do have to say it seems weird for the guy to retire. Maybe it's because we're the same age. Maybe it's because he's one of the better outfielders of my generation. Maybe it's because I've always been impressed he took off Yom Kippur during a pennant race.

Whatever the case, in his prime, he was among the elite and was tremendously entertaining to watch hit. He finishes with a career .283/.355/.484 line including 328 HR's, 1070 RBI, and 162 stolen bases. Not too shabby.

Nice career, Shawn. Have fun at home with your kids. And your $100 million dollars.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Couldn't Happen to a Nicer Ex-Mariner

...who disparaged the organization and the town after he left disgraced by his .064 batting average.

Okay, I really don't wish this on anyone, but I guess I just don't really feel sorry for him. I mean, you're a millionaire (with a really stupid red patch of chin hair and a crappy, crappy-ass band). Call a freaking cab!

Who can watch this video without laughing out loud when Spiezio walks up to the microphone like Mr. Tough Guy? What an ego-maniac. His wife might be hot, but at least he's a horrible musician and almost as bad on the diamond.

Friday, February 8, 2008

George Sherrill... closer?

Well, now that the deal is officially, finally, mercifully, completed for Erik Bedard, let's turn our attention to an interesting development regarding George Sherrill's arrival in Baltimore.

First off, I really like Sherrill. He always seemed like a down-to-earth kind of guy, he was media friendly, he was humble, and I just love the story of the M's plucking him out of the independent league and letting him develop into one of, if not the best, setup men in the game.

But in the last few days, it has surfaced that Sherrill may be handed the closers job in Baltimore, which has to be exciting for the big guy. I've also spotted fantasy news sources touting the potential for 30-35 saves, low ERA and WHIP, good strikeouts, etc. That he'll be "a steal on draft day" - that kind of typical fantasy baseball blather.

Will George Sherrill make a good major league closer? I don't know. Let's look at his career numbers:

128 IP, 95 H, 60 BB, 138 K's, 3.65 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, .208 BAA. Damn!

But then there are the splits:

vs. Lefties 76 IP, 43 H, 19 BB, 98 K's, .81 WHIP, .167 BAA
vs. Righties 52 IP, 52 H, 41 BB, 40K's, 1.79 WHIP, .261 BAA

Hmm... and mind you, in his role - the righties were probably coming off the bench in late-game situations to face Sherrill. These are the Mike Napoli's not Vlad Guerrero's. He is practically unhittable by lefties, but he is pretty miserable against righties.

In closing situations, he may very well face a steady diet of right handed hitters too.

While I hope I'm wrong, I just don't see Sherrill being real successful as closer there. If Baltimore were smart, they'd let him be a lefty specialist, post his typical ridiculously dominant stats and then peddle him to the Yankees, Mets, RedSox, or some other contender at the deadline for two more shining prospects.

Or just watch - the O's will trade him back to the M's for Brandon Morrow.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

McLaren Speaks

The Log caught an interview on KJR this morning with John Lowell McLaren. He sounded upbeated about 2008. In fact he sounded a lot like Mike Hargrove did last year at this time. Nobody believed Grover back then, but much of what he said came true. A few gems from the McLaren interview:
  • Brandon Morrow: McClaren is in-step with Norm Charlton in feeling that Morrow was forced into throwing nearly all fastballs last year due to his role in the bullpen. He expects Morrow to compete for a rotation slot this year. He added that Morrow has the opportunity to be a #2 starter in the future. On the surface that is great, except that everyone knows Morrow won't have a shot at a rotation slot unless someone else gets hurt. The Silva signing handcuffs the M's unless they want him to be the highest paid middle RP in baseball. Don't get me wrong, it was great to hear him talk about Morrow in the rotation. Someone will get hurt at some point this year, and Washburn is gone after 2008. But for now he is the best setup man on the staff. It is clear Bavasi did not have a cohesive plan going into the offseason. Everyone knew Bedard and Santana were on the block. Don't blow $44 million on a #4 starter when you already had one (Morrow) and what you need now is a setup man.
  • Richie Sexson: The KJR host lured McLaren into guaranteeing that Sexson will win the comeback player of the year award. Whether he wanted to guarantee it or not, it is clear that a .265/40/110 year is desperately needed from Richie this year.
  • Felix Hernandez: McClaren spoke about his high expectations for Felix. He is looking for lower pitch counts early and for The Prince (You likey? Let's all agree that King is a bit premature.) to go deeper into games.

Monday, February 4, 2008

What Brian Roberts and Carrie-Anne Moss have in common

What could those two possibly have in common? Turns out not much. But in my world, I have far-fetched fantasies about both. One has to do with baseball, and the other has more to do with showing up at my doorstep with that Matrix leather body suit on. I'll allow you to figure out who is who.

But seriously - there are ridiculous rumors out there about B.R. being part of some M's deal involving Bedard. I know the rumors are completely wild and wholly unsubstantiated, but why can't we at least dream, nay - PRAY - that somehow all the holdup with this Bedard deal is because:

Brian Roberts will soon be a Mariner

Yes, I recognize that's just pure fantasy. But what a team that would be...

This deal has gone from Jones, Sherrill, and Tillman only to those three plus another top prospect to it's current incarnation of a five player deal for Bedard. As such, it has certainly raised some "M's getting fleeced" eyebrows, especially in context of the package for Santana (yes, I know all the arguments about cost and years of control, blah, blah, blah). So what stops the M's from tossing in a guy like Yung Chi Chen (or hell, give them Lopez) to net Bedard and Roberts?

Well, the answer is probably "reality". But this is a blog, it's not the New York Times. So allow a fellow to dream...

Would I rather have B.R. at second or Carrie-Anne Moss on my doorstep in The Matrix leather body suit with those bedroom eyes, pouty lips, and milky white skin? I can't really say.

But I'm pretty convinced I won't have the choice. Reality freaking sucks.