Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Goodbye, Wilson Valdez

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Goodbye, Wilson Valdez.

I was in Walla Walla when Valdez was picked up. I loaded USSM on my cell phone and saw "Wilson Valdez" and the first couple sentences of the post, informing me that he was on the team. I recall wondering what this scrubly merry-go-round was all about, as Abraham Nunez had just been claimed off waivers, and then even he was DFA'd for Wilson Valdez. I had no idea who he was or what he was here for. I didn't even realize he was a SS until Opening Day, when they announced his existence in the lineup. I was stunned to see #12 Wilson Valdez run out on the field. I immediately picked him to be the hero of Opening Day, and even put a little money on it. He wasn't. In my household, he became affectionately loved and adored for his Juan Valdez-like singles nabbing, his hustle, his ability to bunt. Basically, we liked him for all the things we were supposed to like Willie Bloomquist for. We affectionately called him "Juan Valdez The Coffee Man." Jeremy called him Exxon. He will be missed around McCall, Idaho. That's for sure.

Get Your Pitchforks Out...

Okay, no, I'm not talking about getting the pitchforks and torches out and storming Howard's Safeco Field office (though it's tempting). This time I'm referring to getting the pitchfork out to do something you normally non-violently do with it -- turn over dirt in the garden to help get weeds out and stuff. Of course, you can also use a pitchfork in a manure pit...

Looks like the moves have begun. Olivo's down in Tacoma, which probably won't help him long-term, but that's certainly subject for debate. USS Mariner and Lookout Landing are reporting that Morse is on his way up to Seattle, too. That will require a roster move (40 man?), and obviously Valdez' days are numbered. With the Aardsma+Williams for Hawkins trade, it's now open season on the trade market. I agree that we could get some value for Guardado and perhaps some other guys.

Since at least half of us M's bloggers are self-proclaimed armchair GMs (and most of the other half are still in the closet), there are at least three opinions on this blog, if not more (but only three have access to the "edit" button) on what the M's should do to help this team both in the short and long terms.

PositivePaul's moves:

1) DFA either Dobbs or Hansen. Lefty-batting corner infield pinch hitters who can't hit are a luxury. We don't need both of them.
2) Use the above 40-man and 25-man spot for Ryan Christianson. Since Leone is on the shelf, and Christianson can actually play catcher (however poorly), we need a right-handed bat with some power on the bench -- an emergency catcher that has some catching experience. Keep Rivera around to spell Borders, but add Christianson to the roster because he can actually hit. He might be an interesting platoon option at DH until Leone and Bucky are healthy enough to play.
3) Move Beltre out of the 3-hole. Now. Not sure if I want Ibanez, Reed, or Boone there. Obviously having three lefties in a row (Ichiro, Winn, Ibanez/Reed) would be a problem, but something's got to be done to jolt Beltre into hitting. Getting him out of the 3-hole might do it.
4) Trade. I don't care who, for whom precisely I don't really know either. Here's what we need:
  • Reliable, young starting pitcher
  • Shortstop who can hit and field decently for the next 3-4 years (until Cabrera/Jones/Tui/Morse/etc. decide who can actually play)
  • Long-term catching solution. The team has obviously (in spite of Bavasi's comments) given up on Olivo. Sending him back to Tacoma (in my opinion, of course) is a bad thing, and will only hurt his confidence even more.
  • Power hitting outfielder. Winn and Reed are very much redundant (though I'd take Reed 12 days a week). Ichiro is Ichiro and will always be Ichiro.
So, Corco, feel free to punch that "edit" button and add your list of moves. I imagine yours will be much more thorough and detailed. I haven't had a ton of time to really be into baseball a whole lot, and I imagine that Citizen K hasn't either. Being away from a computer (other than my PDA phone, of course) for four days didn't help, too. If either of you are out there today, feel

David J. Corcoran's moves:
For the Rest of this Season

Players to Leave

  • Jeff Nelson (Designated for Assignment with the purpose of granting him his unconditional release)
  • Greg Dobbs (Optioned to AAA Tacoma)
  • Jamal Strong (Sent Outright to AAA Tacoma)
  • Rene Rivera (Optioned to AA San Antonio)
  • Matt Thornton (DFA'd, sent outright to AAA Tacoma)*
  • Willie Bloomquist (Traded to Arizona for a box of saltine crackers/Optioned to AAA Tacoma)**
  • Bret Boone (Try to trade him, if not, DFA'd for the purpose of granting him his unconditional release)***
  • Ron Villone (Designated for Assignment for the purpose of granting him his unconditional release)
  • Scott Spiezio (Designated for Assignment for the purpose of granting him his unconditional release)
New Faces
  • SS Mike Morse Recalled (happened today, didn't like it at first, now I don't see any harm)
  • Acquire C Danny Ardoin from COL for PTBNL/Cash
  • Claimed OF Ryan Ludwick off waivers from Cleveland
  • Recall George Sherrill*
  • Recall Justin Leone**
  • Recall Jose Lopez
  • Recall Jorge Campillo
*Once Sherrill is healthy. **Once Leone is healthy ***Once Lopez is Healthy
We don't need multiple sucky lefties. I'd rather have righties that can get guys out than lefties that can't. So Sherrill will suffice as the only non-closer lefty. This may be a bit over exaggerated as a youth movement. This may not work. But in terms of stopgap measures, this should work. Ludwick is an effective player, Leone, Sherrill, and Campillo can also contribute. Morse will be given the oppurtunity to win the starting SS job in '06. If not, we make a run at Furcal in the offseason. DFA'ing all of these players also opens spots for the glut of men that will come off the 60DL pretty soon. Meche would move into the bullpen. He has lights out stuff and seems as if he would be an effective righty setup guy. Overpriced, yes, and probably not much better than Putz. But I'd give it a shot. If Pineiro ends up on the DL, Baek is recalled to start. Felix does NOT come up until July 15th at the earliest. Danny Ardoin becomes a decent stopgap catcher until Olivo comes back or until we acquire a better catcher. I am not giving up on Olivo yet. However, it may be time to start to think of him as the "backup catcher of the future" instead of the "catcher of the future." I agree with PositivePaul's list of things to acquire, and I also agree with moving Beltre out of the three hole. My father also brought up an interesting point last night when he suggested hitting Winn third, so it becomes more likely that there are people on base when Sexson is up. I like this thought. I'd be running this lineup out right now:

RF Ichiro
CF Reed
LF Winn
1B Sexson
DH Ibanez/Ludwick
3B Beltre
2B Lopez
SS Morse
C Borders/Ardoin

Ibanez and Ludwick would platoon, and both would get ample playing time.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Holy Guacamole!

In a trade that Billy Beane would have called a F******-A trade, LaTroy Hawkins has been shipped to the Giants for David Aardsma and Jerome Williams.

One wonders what would have happened had we offered Eddie Guardado for the same package. Williams could have plugged right into the rotation, Aardsma could've gone to AAA and Sherrill could've come up. But I am not second-guessing anything. I'm just shocked that Brian Sabean would do something like that.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

I've GOT to Learn my Lesson!

It's probably just mere coincidence, but it sure feels like I'm jinxing George Sherrill. Just when he starts to get back on track in Tacoma, after an unjustifiable quick callup and instantaneous demotion, I change the tune of this blog to "Free George Sherrill!" All goes well for a day or two, and then -- wham. He blows his first save, and a muscle in his body for good measure. The Tacoma News Tribune is reporting he'll hang out on the DL for a couple weeks with a strained muscle in his side.

Maybe I should start really rooting for Aaron Sele or Matt Thornton. Or, not, though, because they're still with the M's, and although their suckiness should lead to their demise, I'm a fan of the short-term, too, and want the M's to win as much as possible. Maybe I need to find another guy to cheer for on another team.

Free Raffey Palmeiro!

Tuesday, May 24, 2005


George Sherrill's line since being bounced back down to T-Town:


What more could you want from a guy? My favorite is the 8:1 K/BB ratio, accompanied with a 18.00 K/9.

Keep up the good work, George! I hear Oakland is in need of a closer. Several other teams, too.

Free George Sherrill!!!
(And, no, you can't have 'im for free)

Sunday, May 22, 2005

The Press Box Suite

For all you watchers of today's game, here's a brief quiz:

1. How many seats are available?
2. What did Ron Fairly put on Niehaus's plate?
3. Where is the Press Box Suite as you face the stadium from center field?
4. Why is it so much better to watch a game there than in the press box?
5. Which of the following is NOT included in a Press Box Suite Package:
A. Field Tour
B. Press Box Suite
C. Free Niehaus and Rizzs Talk Time
D. Free Food
6. What is the phone number to call to order the Press Box Suite?
7. The Press Box Suite is like watching the game from your _______ Room.
8. Niehaus said "Press Box Suite":
A. 10 times
B. 22 times
C. 34 times
D. None of the above
9. The fan of the game had:
A. A pepsi
B. A beer
in his hand?
10. What was the girl's name that was interviewed?

Email in your answers. Contest closes May 30 2005. Winner recieves a David J Corcoran autographed baseball (for real). If more than one person has correct answers, name will be inserted into a random drawing.

UPDATE 5:40 PM: CONTEST CLOSES MAY 30 2005, NOT JUNE. Due to unexpected popularity, there is no reason to keep this going for a month. A week will suffice.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Little Unit Update

Ryan Anderson had his contract purchased by Milwaukee from the Surprise Fightin' Falcons of the Golden Baseball League. He was assigned to Single-A Brevard County. His fastball has been clocked at 93-94 MPH, potentially meaning that maybe the Mariners gave up on him too soon. I am not going to second guess the decision to release him, as it was definitely time to move on, and I am happy to see the Little Unit throwing again. I assumed he was selling insurance somewhere by now. Keep an eye on him. If he makes it to the bigs, this could be one of the biggest feel-good stories of the decade.

I motion the blogosphere splits the cost of the movie rights on this story now.

I've edited this post 4 times. How I love the edit button.

Friday, May 20, 2005

Another Day, Another Blog...

In my 4th (!) attempt at blogging, I have decided not to fly solo. I've joined up with this excellent duo of PositivePaul and Munchausen, and someone named Citizen K (?). This will be easier for me as I won't feel pressured to post every day, rather, I will post only as ideas come to mind. I have really liked what this blog has had to offer in the past; it's usually quite interesting. I hope to help continue this excellent tradition. It is great to have a place to express my thoughts, pressure free. I promise to show my best work on this site, and I certainly thank PositivePaul for this oppurtunity. Now, if USSM would be so kind as to add a link, that'd be greatly appreciated by all of us, I am sure.

Needless to say that I want George Sherrill back in the bigs, no matter what the cost. I hear the Cubs are looking for a closer. The Braves need some relief help. I say give him to them, if they'll put him in the majors. Sherrill has nothing more to contribute at the AAA level. He's been dominant. He is ready to help a major league team and the Seattle Mariners should not be so selfish as to hold on to this young man you clearly deserves a chance to become a bullpen fixture. One's "Tacoma Shuttle" (guy who comes up, serves some mopup duty for a week and goes back down) rider role should be littered with AAAA pitchers, such as Damian Moss, not actual pitchers that can contribute, such as Mr. Sherrill.

Also, slightly off topic- I was at a store today, and I got change back from my $20. 17 dollars in change. Now. One of the $1 dollar bills was a 1957 Silver Certificate. These things are selling for $20 on ebay. How I got lucky enough to run into one is beyond me, but today must be my lucky day.

I have edited this post 7 times. How I love having an "edit" button.

Ah, but I have an editing button, too :-) I won't fight you over it, though -- PositivePaul

It's either that or this'd be about 6-7 different posts. --DJC

And don't forget the "In 6-7 word increments" part ;-)

Monday, May 16, 2005

Free George Sherrill!!!

This has gone too far. The way this team has given George Sherrill the shaft, in spite of his solid performance and consistent pitching, has completely caused me to blow a fuse. Sending him back down to Tacoma is not going to help this team. I can feel Munchausen's voice in the back of my head whispering "Those emotions aren't real. There are more important things to be upset about than the baseball ideology!" But still, I know I'm outraged.

I'd change the blog name to "FreeGeorgeSherrill" (a la "LeoneForThird") , but I don't have the time to do it, nor the time to create a whole new blog. I will have time to change the tag line, and to establish this blog as the unofficial campaign to Free George Sherrill! As much as I hate to lose him, George Sherrill has shown himself to be a very valuable asset, and would be a strong piece in a trade. And I don't mean "Free George Sherrill (with purchase of a large fries and a Coke)" in that sort of way. I mean, set him free from the clutches of the M's mis-management!

So, Bill, either trade him for something valuable, or keep him on the Seattle team where he can help you.

Enough is enough!

Free George Sherrill!!!

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Welcome Back...

It's fitting, and not just mere coincidence, that my post tonight coincides with the return of George Sherrill to his rightful home with the M's. What's really shocking, though, is that it (at least briefly) comes at Joel Piniero's expense. I'm still baffled by the M's fixation with Thornton (amongst others, too, of course). But if Thornton and Sherrill have to sit next to each other in the bullpen, I suppose I'm OK with that.

Okay, so I "typed" (in Palm graffitti) the above paragraph last night around 1:00 a.m. and had a lot more ready to post. Unfortunately, Blogger had me log in again, and it didn't save my draft. I tried hitting my "back" arrow a couple of times, and that's all I was able to copy/paste into Blogger and save as a draft before my PDA phone threw a "Fatal Exception" screen and forced me to reset. Uggh. I don't know what I hate worse -- Blogger or Palm OS.

Anyway, now back to the meaningful content. I'll try to regurgitate what my brain was churning out rather than attempting to sleep at the wee hours of this morning.

So they're sending Joel down to work with Chaves for a few games. He won't be starting, evidently, but that seems a bit strange. I'm very concerned, actually -- is his injury cropping back up again? That's all we need is to lose another starting pitcher! For one thing, the team feels like they need to separate Moyer and Sele, especially so they don't face the same team in a series. That's probably a good thing. However, it appears that out of a true need for starting pitching, we're converting Mateo into a starter. I'm not so sure that's a good decision. He doesn't appear to me to have the stuff to fool batters more than once or twice in a game. If he makes it through one quality start, I'd be very surprised. Don't get me wrong, I do believe he's a very solid pitcher. I just believe that he's in the best role he could possibly be, and that he's actually much more valuable to the team in that long righty relief role. Especially when we have Sele, Franklin and Moyer as 3/5ths of our starting rotation.

I'm still quite baffled by the decision to keep Campillo in Tacoma. Don't get me wrong -- I'm very excited that Sherrill is up here, and I'm not going to complain about that in the least bit. What I am going to complain about, though, is Aaron Sele still being on this roster. Of course, they could've just replaced Piniero with Campillo, and left Sele in the rotation (instead of the Mateo experiment). But that doesn't solve their desire to have Sele and Moyer's starts be spread further apart. Especially since Campillo is really a cross between the two pitchers (though much more like the Moyer of a few years back than Sele). So, I can see them taking their chances with Mateo in the rotation. I'm just not so sure that subtracting a reliable long reliever is the best approach. It's really going to hurt this team, I suspect.

One other thing that was eaten by the technical difficulties I was having at 1 a.m. this morning was a discussion of my interest in baseball. Thanks to Munchausen's ideology paper (and several subsequent e-mail discussions off the record), my eyes have been opened at how much baseball was controlling my life, in an unhealthy way. My interest in baseball since then has obviously waned. I'm much more able to make the decision not to watch a game than I was last year. Of course, it also helps that the M's are very tough to watch right now (I say this in spite of having taken two of three from Boston this weekend). Even though I've been able to decapitate dandelions several times instead of watching games recently, I'm still a huge fan of the game, and likely always will be. Munchausen has gone much more cold turkey than I have, hence the absence of a recent post from him.

With that stated, I haven't totally made up my mind what will happen with this blog. It's obvious from the comments in the last thread that there is support for my writing to continue. I really appreciate the encouragement! I'm considering a few options, but unlike Corco, though, I won't completely kill this blog without saying a final farewell ;-) I will most certainly keep you all posted.

Monday, May 09, 2005

So, Chicken Little, About that Sky...

Considering the tough schedule we're faced with in May, I'm not surprised it took us over a week to finally get a victory. I'm also not surprised that it came on the shoulders of our two big free agent bats. This team's offense lives and dies on the shoulders of Beltre and Sexson. Ichiro and Randy Reed (or Jeremy Winn, if you prefer) will be on base their fair share of the time. The 8th and 9th hitters (Wilson Wilson (before the torn ACL), Willy Olivo, Wiki Bloomquist, Miguel Valdez, Wilson Olivo, Wilson Gonzalez, or whatever combo you want to throw out there) will not.

Sure, Wiki had a great offensive game in his M's debut (hard to believe that he's been with the team this long, but hasn't played in an MLB game, but it's true), but how long will that last. Not long, according to the PECOTA predictions. Of course, it appears that Mike Hargrove has picked up on that "Bloomquist hit .400 in his first month" feeling, as he appears ready to start Wiki all week. Were I Miguel Olivo, I'd really be afraid.

I finally made it to Cheney this season. At least I've gotten a head start on it this year -- I didn't make it to a game until July last season. If time permits (which it hasn't lately), I'll add more on this game later. Unfortunately, work is actually piling up again, and blogging time both here and at home is limited. That's probably a good thing, as this is much less important than work and family. I'm discovering this slowly, and the absence of a recent post from the much more interesting writer Munchausen, confirms that he's discovered this fully and completely. Kudos to him.

Which actually gets me to another point. I'm at a crossroads. I'm really having to decide whether or not I want to keep feeding this animal. The financial burden is obviously quite low, but the emotional and time committment is proving to be quite expensive. I know there are a few people who check to see if we've written anything interesting here -- perhaps a slightly different perspective from the other 999,999 M's blogs in existence. However, I'm really debating whether or not to continue this adventure.

I'll let you decide.

Monday, May 02, 2005

One Month Down

And we have survived. It's been a .500 year, so far, and were it not for a bench that has more lumber than the players that sit on it, we'd probably be a few games over. I still don't understand Hargrove's decision to keep 7 guys in the 'pen, when we desparately need a bat on the bench.

Still, the bullpen and the defense have to be the stars of the start of this team so far. The hitting (outside, of course, of Ichiro) actually has been worse than it was last season. However, Reed, Ibanez and Winn all are starting to find their strokes. Sexson and Beltre, while they haven't blown anyone away, still have been relatively productive. When the switch is turned on for those guys, watch out!

My report card:

Offense: C-
Bench: F
Starting Pitching: B-
Bullpen: B+
Defense: B+

Average grade: C (just barely below it). Consistent with the .500 record for April. It should stay the same or slightly improve in May. It could certainly be worse -- and we're only 2 games out of first place. **Added May 3rd: It is worse. We've started May off 0-2, and with the next several games against Anaheim, Boston, and New York, I retract my statement for May -- I doubt things will actually improve in May. We'll be fortunate to be .500 in May.

The offense will come around, and the bullpen will probably have its issues. All and all, I expect this team to slightly improve, and be around a C+/B- team.