The talk in M's blogland recently concerns the relative worth of Mike Hargrove. Is he so blinkered by his love of vague, ineffable 'grit' and the slightly more understandable 'veteran-ness.' The Larry LaRue article that occasioned this discussion mentions that Hargrove (or LaRue) thinks that Willie Bloomquest has the inside track at the 2b job over the player that basically 100% of M's blogs prefer: Jose Lopez. This discussion takes place against a backdrop of a larger debate: how much better are the 2006 M's compared to last year's model.
So what I'd like to do is propose a series of checks or tests that I think bring the differences in approach (we'll call them 'Good' and 'Bad') into high relief. Here's the first in what I hope is a series.
1: George Sherrill gets more than 50 IP.
You knew this was coming, didn't you? Seriously, it's no longer enough that Sherrill break camp with the team. I know, I know, he'll have more good competition for the loogy role and others (Gonzales, Jake Woods, Thornton, etc.), but after all he's done in the PCL, and after making it clear that he can both handle pressure AND get K's in the major leagues, I'm simply not satisfied with having Sherrill on the team. So the first milepost has to be that Sherrill is used in a more appropriate role. Think of the great bullpen lefties recently - guys like Mike Stanton of the last Yankees dynasty, or M's killer Paul Assenmacher for the Indians (he pisses me off even now, over a decade later. I want Sherrill to sow that sort of visceral animosity among Angels/Indians/A's fans), or Arthur Rhodes for the M's. These guys routinely piled up 60 IP, often 70 or more. I like Jake Woods. Have him take the Sherrill role of LOOGY/PCL dominator.