April 2015

"The Divine Proportion is always similar to itself." - Pacioli tweet, ca. 1498
Posted by jemanji on 04/30/15
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. Have you ever thought about how weird your hand would look,if it were 50% larger or 50% smaller?   You probably thought, 'Ah, I'm just used to it this way.'  Actually not!  The length of your hand, compared to the length of your forearm, gives us the Fibonacci Number, also known as the Golden Ratio. In this image: . . You can visualize this in either of two ways: A is your forearm and B is your hand to the tip of the fingers B is your forearm and A is your elbow-to-fingertips This creates a very pleasing sense of harmony and cooperation between A and B.  If B were any smaller it would be... Read More
Sometimes tough ain't good enough
Posted by jemanji on 04/30/15
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. Q.  What is the Exec Sum here? A.  Logan Morrison has been hitting lots of fly balls to center field. The conventional wisdom had been that LoMo had simply been unlucky.  And, yeah, he had 1 hit on 10 balls in play over 100 MPH.  Lot of well-stroked fly balls to center, in particular. But in the Apr. 29 Shout Box, Matty wrote us a dissertation on Morrison's balls in play.  Not that we want to /cosign on 12 straight shouts ;- ) -- that's what comments and articles are for -- but he was spot on.  Here is the scatterchart he rooted up on Fangraphs (clickable link for the image): . . Notice... Read More
Dr. D has never seen anything quite like J.A. Happ
Posted by jemanji on 04/28/15
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. So J.A. Happ is using a repertoire that would make a lot of AAA pitchers blush.  And despite this off-putting toolbox, he is getting Doug Fister results.  Here, let's lay a few stats under one another: SP GS IP H K BB HR K/9 BB/9 HR/9 ERA AL Average             7.5 3.1 0.93 4.03 Happ, 2H 2014 16 100 91 83 23 13 7.5 2.1 1.17 3.87 Happ, 2015 4 27.1 26 18 3 2 5.9 0.99 0.66 2.30 Fister, career 156           6.1 1.8 0.8 3.40                       . If you didn't know better, you'd say that Happ was morphing into a soft-toss artist a la Hisashi Iwakuma, Fister, Colon, Tim Hudson, and that crew... Read More
When will it ever turn around? Oh, like 8 games ago
Posted by jemanji on 04/28/15
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. Last Monday, April 20th, we got a frustrating start from Hisashi Iwakuma.  It wasn't terrible; WBC-san threw into the 6th inning with a lead.  He had 3 strikeouts and 0 walks on the day.  But the bullpen, and a couple taters, led to a 7-5 loss.  The M's dropped to 5-8 and would bottom out at 5-9 the next day.  Iwakuma hit the DL. Had you noticed that, since then, the M's have gotten 7 consecutive kewl starts?  Here, let's enjoy them in retro: . Apr 21, Taijuan Walker comes out driving the 96 MPH fastball deeeep and high.  The Astros start cheating at the plate, starting their bats as the... Read More
Lose the battle, win the war? Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 04/25/15
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. Try to capture the flavor of the James Paxton start tonight?   Hmmm ... it used to be popular to say stuff like "Dante Bichette is only the 6th player in history to have three straight seasons of 110 RBI and 8 outfield assists."  Nowadays you don't see it much.  But if you tried to do it with K-Pax tonight?  Maybe like "the 3rd Mariner pitcher since Hargrove to get KO'ed after 4 IP despite 7 K's and one hard-hit ball"? No.  Watching the game tonight was like --- > watching a Randy Johnson start from 1990.  GLS said "the game was hard to watch."  Just so!  EVERY at-bat was hard to watch... Read More
predictability is overrated, even for robots like Dr. D
Posted by jemanji on 04/25/15
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. ZEN Dept:  Dr. D sometimes scribbles notes on a yellow pad during the games   That's how much he cares about you     A single tear rolls down your cheek Nelson Cruz got the "perfect storm" on his 442-footer.  They talk about getting the bat head out in front?  Is 'cuz the bat is moving faster when it's farther along it's path.  So, this time Cruz' bat was the farthest out in front I've ever observed a bat be, and his lean and leverage were ridiculous, and he swung harder that time, and ... Jack Nicklaus talked about "when I'm going for a big one" he thinks about clearing his hips or yadda... Read More
… and we know everybody loves clickbait titles
Posted by jemanji on 04/23/15
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. Q.  First, the most important saber question of all:  how is he in the 'Chemistry' department? A.  Looks like Cliff Lee standin' still, don' he?  Gorgeous! repeatable motion ... not repeatable, repeating.  With repeating release point, 'ain't no thang' body language and all the trimmings.  He don't pitch as good as Cliff Lee did, but he thinks he does, and it's better to look good than to feel good. In the 4th inning on April 22, Happ rocked and fired a pitch to Jed Lowrie.  Who smoked it down the RF line.  As the ball left the bat, Happ turned his head ever-so-slowly to follow it.  You... Read More
Cheap at half the price, too
Posted by jemanji on 04/23/15
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. Carlos Quentin moves in front of Jesus Montero because --- > his last 145 OPS+ season was 2013.  Not 2009.  If you're okay with Rickee Weeks, much less Jason Bay and Corey Hart and those guys, you're okay with Carlos Quentin. Jack Z called it a "no-brainer" and said that baseball is always in flux.  Meaning:  you and I cannot project Carlos Quentin after 18 months off* and then 3 weeks in AAA, but Jack Z can.  Or maybe he can.  Kendrys Morales ... it's too soon after the pain. . Nelson Cruz hit a deep, low line drive to LF to knock in the first run.  From 275 feet away, it was hit so... Read More
Posted by Bat571 on 04/22/15
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Spec has now started his 2015 Spec66  at Future Mariners (part of the emerging DOV-Plus network of sites) with the first "Twenty-Six in the Mix", Dan Altavilla. Meanwhile, Tacoma Rain and Bat571 are introducing new or little-known players in the system (Player Intros). We will also be looking at players who have been prospects and have exhausted prospect status and/or have dropped off the prospect radar. Players like Jesus Montero, Chris Taylor, Stefan Romero, Roenis Elias, and Leon Landry will be periodically featured in a series called "Don't Forget About Me" or DFAM for short. We'll also... Read More
That's one scary knuckleballer
Posted by jemanji on 04/22/15
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... and he's checking the runners in the dugout, if you'll observe the background . It's always better to be down here wishing you were up there than up there wishing you were down here. - Ancient flying proverb, ca. 1200 BC (attributed to Icarus whose wings melted from the sun at 30,000 feet) . Funny how Seattle baseball responds to a little preseason love from ESPN.   Just f'r instance ... after a retarded (look up the word) spring training, James Paxton has 12 strikeouts, 3 walks and 3 homers in 15 innings with a 5.40 ERA in t-h-r-e-e starts.  You ask Matty, or Mac-ky, about him? and you... Read More
First place? It's in the bag
Posted by jemanji on 04/20/15
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. In reverse chrono order, the Shout Box sed: GLS: I wonder if Divish or Shannon Drayer could find out if that's something the Mariners track as well.3 hours 9 min ago SABR Matt: Leone is missing by like 18" per pitch, BTW3 hours 53 min ago SABR Matt: The Yankees track that stat, FWIW. They have interns watching the game footage and recording estimates of how far the catcher's glove moves between set-up and catch. The average SP in MLB misses the glove by roughly 11 inches per pitch...command artists like Hamels and Lee miss by 5-6 inches and I'd guess that, right now, Walker is missing by 14... Read More
If it's so simple, YOU try it Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 04/19/15
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. Gordon Gross: A bunt, a broken bat infield single/error, a multi-hopper that found a hole, and a chop off the mound. Paxton can't really do more. All the balls in play stretched end to end wouldn't reach the CF fence. And yet 2 runs are in. . Similarly, a man named Michael Gerardi was once contentedly burping his way out of a New Orleans restaurant when a robber decided to walk up and shoot him in the face.  But at least the wrong man was convicted for it.  With Paxton's five unearned runs, there was no suspect to be found.  Unless you count Willie, of course.  Personally I'll go with... Read More
Neftali makes dubious decision, sticks fingers in Kyle's mouth
Posted by jemanji on 04/19/15
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. DaddyO: Well at least we've climbed back to within striking distance. Talk about "a-NOTH-ers," We gat a-NOTH-er Cruz boomer. He's like a PAIR of Ohio class submarines. I thought he would be just one (they cap out apparently at 24 SLBM')s. But he's starting to look capable of up to 48. . You can't stop DaddyO, you can only hope to contain him.  The man has 8 bombs in his last 12 stops by the site. Without disagreeing a whit here, Nelson Cruz to me is what he's always been:  a .500 SLG number five hitter.  Who was denied credit for his ability because people outside Texas assumed that the... Read More
May the odds be ever in our favor, Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 04/19/15
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. MtGrizzly: It's odd to type...but great AB by Jackson there. . And the HR earlier was off a knee-high fastball, raising his count of long fly balls as a Mariner to about one.  Hey, if Action Jackson slashes --- > the league average this year, there will have been bigger surprises.  The Antikythera Mechanism, for instance.  The Helmet Catch.  Any Odell Beckham catch (in terms of the laws of physics).  But if Jackson plays well this year we're going to give the Big Red Machine a run for its money... . MtGrizzly: Putting Cano on to pitch to Cruz? . In sheerly abstract terms, that IBB... Read More
Only four more L's till (next) Felix Day
Posted by jemanji on 04/18/15
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. Felix Hernandez The Mariners came into their Saturday evening wishing to achieve a 4-7 record, thusly: 3-0 in Felix starts 1-7 in starts by the vaunted #2 - #5 rotation But going into the game, Felix had a grabby thigh, the push-off leg, and then he started the game off throwing the way Dr. D hates to see him throw: .   . It's now SEVERAL years back that the Angels and Rangers demonstrated the right way to beat Felix:  crouch down like Pete Rose, camera-zoom onto the knee level, and turn around fastballs and changes in that area. Bad Felix is a contradiction in terms, like a "ground pilot... Read More
Picking from a robust list of candidate fizzlers ...
Posted by jemanji on 04/18/15
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. Mariner Luck The Mariners won the "Hits" column by a score of 11-2.  They still very nearly lost the game.  That's the sign of a team playing in bad luck. You know another sign of a team playing in bad luck?  When they open the broadcast by reciting last night's three double plays and giving you "Timely Hitting" as the key to the game.  Don' sweat it.  Won't be long before the pregame shows are extolling our "timely hitting."  When they are, check the standings. . Mariner Execution The Mariners won the "Hits" column by a score of 11-2.  They still very nearly lost the game.  That's the sign... Read More
Posted by Bat571 on 04/17/15
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Future Mariners is up and running. Bat571 is doing daily Farm reports (a la Les Nessman?), Spec is starting a 2015 Spec 66, and Tacoma Rain will be doing player highlights, starting with the guys JackZ brought in to reinforce the 8-9-10 starters spots. So, take a run over to http://futurems.detect-o-vision.com and let us know what you want. A quick excerpt from yesterday's Daily Digest to (hopefully) whet your appetite: Joe DeCarlo Doubles His Season Total Bases in One Game Remember the 2012 Draft? Mike Zunino got picked 1st, with the 3rd overall pick. Edwin Diaz and Tyler Pikewere grabbed in... Read More
A few compasses to be found, perhaps even a black box
Posted by jemanji on 04/16/15
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. Problem A Dr. D was amazed during the game.  Every time Taijuan went for a low 88 MPH spikeball, he floated off a high 88 mph sailer: Exhibit A:  Taijuan fanned Rollins to start the game, worked Grandal to 1-1, and then threw an 89 spikeball that stayed up: Now, that one's quibbling a bit. On the camera it looked higher; F/X gives is as a little too high, but showed up on the camera as wayyy too high, and too centered.  Nevertheless 91 is way too firm for a change, it splits the plate, the pitch is well into the "mediocre spikeball" territiory, and it was a clean single.  ::shrug :: ...... Read More
Dr. D's epiphany at the chalkboard
Posted by jemanji on 04/14/15
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. Q.  The pennant is almost out of sight.  Quickly, Duncan, the strengths. A.  The things that have gone wrong have been as transient as an Alaskan Way panhandler, those being the lousy pitching of Paxton, Iwakuma and Taijuan.  The things that have gone right have considerably more traction, those being the 2015 versions of Ackley, Smith, Cruz, et al. Keep playing like this, let the rotation settle in to provide the electrical surge, and Dr. D's calculations show a clompfest through the AL West. But then, Frankenstein was never supposed to be a sedate bedtime story.  There could be a house... Read More
A part of your emerging DOV+ network of sites ...
Posted by Spectator on 04/14/15
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  The rollout of the DOV+ (DetectoVision Plus) network of sites is ongoing, and Ben continues to work on many technical issues, but we are able to post content. One of the sites will be Future Mariners (which will eventually, but not yet, have its own URL with that title), the new home of the Spec66. Once I get the new rankings up, Bat571 will be taking on more of the minor-league lifting, as I will be creating my own site called Major League Crunch.  We will also be looking for other volunteers who are interested in providing prospect coverage. [We're looking at you, Tacoma Rain, if you're... Read More
#143 vs #70. Vegas odds: +115
Posted by jemanji on 04/13/15
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. THWIP:  Bill James is now keeping an updated list of the Starting Pitcher rankings.  Brandon McCarthy is #70 'in the world,' David Huff is UNR, and Brett Anderson is #167. THWAP:  Of course, James Paxton is merely #143 by the nature of the beast, Hisashi Iwakuma is a lofty #31 (both leagues), and Taijuan Walker is UNR.  The real point is that the M's are lucky enough to miss the #1 and #9 pitchers 'in the world.' In this article, Bill explains what attracts him to the concept:  the fact that it creates storylines.  Hey!  You've got #1 vs #2 going on up there in Seattle!  Also, if the #143... Read More
Win Probability Added and WAR
Posted by jemanji on 04/13/15
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. If you're not familiar with Win Probability Added, here is a primer from Dave Studeman.  Excerpted: . ... the concept is simple. Let’s say our batter in the bottom of the ninth hits a single to put runners on first and third with no outs. This increases the Win Probability from 71% to 87%, for a gain of 16%. So, in a WPA system you credit the batter +.16 and debit the pitcher/fielder -.16. If you add up every positive and negative event from the beginning to the end of a game, you wind up with a total for the winning team of .5, and a total for the losing team of -.5. And the player with... Read More
"Nitrous? Yes, please." Not for YOU. For Dr. D.
Posted by jemanji on 04/12/15
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. The Golden Mainframes for this weekend: . Hanson Brothers Award And you thought the Angels series was the stuff of behind-the-portables rumble legend.  Next series along, we get back-to-back 10th-inning wins ... on the road.  That makes twice already in the last 30 years.  In 1984, Alvin Davis and Mark Langston were rookies and Gay-lerd Perry had only just retired.  (That's how he spelled his name for phonetic purposes, LrKrBoi29.) Dr. D is way, wayyyy too jaded to put up with sports that fall anywhere short of vicarious disembowelment.  The more vicious, lengthy and protracted the athletes... Read More
Your body is present. Is your mind? (Kershaw ain't.)
Posted by jemanji on 04/12/15
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. G sez, Gordon Gross:  If his closer was Mariano Rivera, that'd be one thing. Rodney has a "special set of skills" and those skills have proven worthless most of the time he has no pressure on him. He then creates pressure for himself but can't get out of it. Knowing your personnel is a pre-requisite for getting the most out of them. Rodney had already warmed up. He was ready. He doesn't have to come in until the game's on the line - IF IT COMES TO THAT. If it doesn't, then save the bullets. I dunno - I just don't like this tune. I didn't like it last year and that feeling remains even early... Read More
You've got to be kidding me
Posted by jemanji on 04/10/15
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. ca. 1975, Tom Scholz ran around to 47 different studio executives trying to sell his first Boston "demo tape" (which was, obviously of higher sound quality than typical released masters).  Of those 47 shot-callers, approximately 47 of them told him that More Than a Feeling and Long Time were unusable.  When #48 finally released the album on a lark, it sold 8 million copies -- and then the studio demanded a followup.  They figured six months; Scholz figured four years. He did give them Don't Look Back in a measly two years -- eons in studio time back then -- but resolved to be an "absolute... Read More
What's the worst that could happen, dept.
Posted by jemanji on 04/10/15
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. From Wiki: . In modern English usage, the informal term idiot proof or foolproof describes designs which cannot be misused either inherently, or by use of defensive design principles. The implication is that the design is usable even by someone of low intelligence who would not use it properly. The term fool proof originates in 1902.[1] The term idiot proof became popular in the 1970s.[2] It may have been invented as a stronger-sounding version of foolproof, as the force of foolproof had declined due to frequent usage. Perhaps for the same reason, 'foolproof' is now a formal term, whereas '... Read More
A dose of real life for yer?
Posted by jemanji on 04/10/15
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. What we knew now, that we didn't know then.  Well, what you know now that you didn't know then, of course.  The Mainframe is a little harder to wonk out than the rest of the world, he says modestly. . Felix is primed for another HOF season.  This will be the 10th consecutive year in which he makes 30+ starts and the 7th season in a row for him as the leading Cy Young candidate.  There are about 50 starters in baseball history who have thrown 4,000 innings give or take.  Greg Maddux ripped off 18 really star seasons in a row.  Not everybody gets hurt. . The M's aren't going to go 161-and-1... Read More
The Philosophical Essay
Posted by Spectator on 04/09/15
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Metaphorical sawdust and discarded pieces of metaphorical drywall may be strewn about, but Ben has opened the doors, and so there is now a post up at Major League Crunch, which is part of the emerging DOV+. http://spec.detect-o-vision.com/2015/04/09/tiger-bolt-and-yes-montero/
Angry Words, dept.
Posted by jemanji on 04/07/15
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. Top Dozen Tweets Seen During a Mind-Numbing 0-2 Loss at Old Trafford . 12.  If u sit thru a 2-for-26 BABIP and still go blog on baseball, you better get a life.  (To validate this opinion, read or comment) . 11.  In Europe, these scores and temps are played in front of 80-proof Short Stops.  Granted they've been at it longer . 10.  162-0 it was all a lie from the very start . 9.  That sick feeling u get when a girl was smiling at somebody behind u, that's how I feel when CJ Wilson schedules us . 8.  American Psychiatric Association's definition of neurotic optimism:  thinking you'll have... Read More
$75M ?! … Are you SURE you're FIRST STRING?
Posted by jemanji on 04/07/15
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. Dr. D had time this morning for a quick dip into the balmy Carribbean of post-victory blog seas.  He found many swimmers 300 yards from shore, getting tugged out by the rip tide into the ancient Rum-and-Tobacco shipping lines.  Well, if you have to go at age 28, you might as well do it with a bandana on your head and contraband below decks. The Angels are dead?  And they say that Dr. D is delusional.  Read it and weep, last year's b-ref.com offensive summary: Rationalize it all you want, Cupcake.  But the Seattle Mariners' catcher does not own a 122 OPS+. I suppose if we'd seen the 1927... Read More
Felix will need dinner reservations for 9
Posted by jemanji on 04/06/15
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. Before the game, Felix looked amp'ed up and ticked off.  He ain't 6-0, 1.45* on Opening Days by accident. Dr. D grabbed a fistful of popcorn, started crunching, and watched Kole Calhoun try to jump Felix from behind.  Felix wrist-flipped Calhoun onto the kitchen island, head hanging over the edge of course.  He delivered an 0-2 fastball to the forehead, cleanly producing dinner reservations for one. Mike Trout ran through the hall at Felix next, producing the kind of matchup that Strat-O-Matic puts on the back of their boxes: . An individual card for each offensive player.  Unbelievable... Read More
I thought this was a MATCH up
Posted by jemanji on 04/06/15
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. Table Setters Bottom of the first, M's down one run.  Jackson out.   Jered Weaver then starts slinging his slop to Seth Smith, who glares at all of it suspiciously as it sails by him.  The count is 3-2, the umpire is impressed, and we've got My Cousin Vinny in right field.  "He's got a spring in his pocket!  There's a mirror under the table!  He's palmed the card!"  I'm tellin yer!  he was The Great Doobmeister's worst nightmare! Doob, with a lead and nobody on, then said "prove it" and fired his best fastball knee-high.  Smith then fulfilled five years' worth of Taro's and Gordon's trade-... Read More
Claiming this planet in the name of, dept
Posted by Gordon Gross on 04/06/15
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"People ask me what I do in winter when there's no baseball. I'll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring." --Rogers Hornsby "I take Felix every Opening Day, and he makes me look pretty good."  -- Mike Blowers Winter's a long time.  So many days to think about the one game that separated you from the As, about the 2 games that separated you from the Royals and their World Series visit.  About this failed trade and that missed opportunity and this start and that at-bat.  And then people start making predictions as they look toward Spring, and the same people who... Read More
Posted by jemanji on 04/05/15
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. THWIP - McClendon didn't like having to swap out Alias Smith for AKA Leone.  From Shannon Drayer "As a manager you have a certain amount of loyalty to players, particularly when they pitched so well for you. It was just such a rough spring we had to make this move," he said. "I think the world of the young man, he just wasn't throwing very well. He's got to get some things straightened out. In good conscience I just couldn't take him north with me." . THWAP - After years of Hargrove-style entitlement, the M's are making real strides toward Beane Counting.   10-to-make-7 works if and only if... Read More
the Seattle version of Great Expectations
Posted by DaddyO on 04/04/15
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I have a friend in Houston, an Astros fan, who asked me what I though of the Mariners this year. What started as a brief reply morphed into a chance for me to crystallize my thoughts at some length regarding the team. I decided to share this with my SSI friends, for what it's worth, so without further ado, look over my shoulder as I tell a 'Stros fan about this year's Seattle Mariners.The 2015 Mariners have expectations this year well beyond anything they've seen since 2003. You're probably aware they are a trendy pick to win the AL West or possibly even go to the World Series. In my view... Read More
Actually, nobody told us you'd jam 6 words into a half-note
Posted by jemanji on 04/02/15
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. OKDan sez, . Was down in Peoria most of last week, and let me tell ya, the dog days of spring training are for real. You could tell all of the guys who knew they were on the team (i.e. 99% of them) were just ready to move on. Stay healthy and move on. I was having trouble dealing with the heat, while sitting in the stands with a cold one. I can't imaging the toll it takes out on the field day-in-day-out. So I chalk Felix's struggles up to that. For Paxton, it's interesting. I was at his second game and you're right, he couldn't find the strike zone at all. Yesterday was weird, he was going... Read More
Submit your list of what sent the M's into the wilderness!
Posted by Spectator on 04/02/15
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Let's think of this as a ritual burial of the past as we enter the New Era. I started this in the Shout Box when I noticed that Matt Tuiasosopo and Phillippe Aumont had been, respectively, released and outrighted to the minors on the same day. Which led the question of whether the trade of Adam Jones (and Chris Tillman) was the main misstep in the path into the wilderness of the 2000s and early 2010s. Critics of that deal certainly won the better end of the argument in retrospect, but it was hardly the only failing. So I made a menu. Mix and match or add your own! I've put each category in... Read More