August 2015

The Logo catches a break
Posted by jemanji on 08/31/15
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. Dr. D wasn't even clear about what an "International Bonus Slot" was, much less that it is a fungible commodity that can be swapped for baseball players ... Baseball America says, . The main number that matters for a team is its total signing bonus pool, which it is free to spend however it wants, with penalties in place for going over. Major League Baseball arrives at the bonus pools by giving each team a $700,000 base along with four “slot values,” which are tiered from No. 1 ($3,300,900) through No. 120 ($137,600). . So the Cubs give the Mariners a draft pick, as it were.  We're not told... Read More
Dr. D isn't Bas Rutten; he just plays one on the interwebs
Posted by jemanji on 08/31/15
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ROBERT GRIFFIN III Very seldom that Dr. D slows down to rubberneck something gruesome on the side of the road.  But these QB kids who bowed in all four directions to the Subway Eat Fresh crowd, when they were yet rookies -- while Luck and Wilson were in the film room -- well, sometimes it's satisfying to see justice upheld. Maybe that's a bit much.  Of course, that's why you come to Seattle Sports Insider, to see rageous ideas stated outrageously.  As y'know, we live to serve . EDGAR OLMOS All in the world this guy has is:  a grin-inducing two plane hammer, an easy 94 MPH from the left side,... Read More
... is not you, Taijuan, at least not yet
Posted by jemanji on 08/31/15
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. ... the #1 is Clayton Kershaw.  Which he's been for a remarkable period of time.  Interestingly, Zach Greinke is a clear #2; I hadn't noticed that he's 14-3, 1.61, on top of his previous body of work, of course.  Dr. D knows jack about the National League, but he has heard that 1-2 starters are big in Dodger lore.  DaddyO can help us out here. SSI thoroughly enjoys the starting pitcher rankings at BJOL.  Bill worked hard to lay out both sides of the rectangle, the height of "how vicious has this guy been just now" across the width of "how sustainable has his goodness been and for how long... Read More
avalanche pending
Posted by jemanji on 08/29/15
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. Q.  What's the bottom line? A.  He's healthy, and he's learning.  He's already effective, and he's got Astronomical Units' worth of upside left to him. On March 31, 2015, we all thought the M's would win 95 games* if Nelson Cruz slugged .550.  But all of us, no matter how optimistic, thought it unlikely that Taijuan would string 26 consecutive starts and be going stronger at the end than at the beginning.  So, the bottom line is, the M's have a healthy young star-quality SP who is gathering momentum like a freight train. His arm is a bit more to the side and his shoulder looks less pinchy... Read More
A new day's breakk-innnn'... it's been so lonnnnggg since I felt this wayyy
Posted by jemanji on 08/29/15
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. I was shocked during the game last night.  Lloyd McClendon looked like a different man.  Miles happier and more relaxed.  The "about to retch or cry" facial expression was gone and in its place was content, relaxed assessment. Could have had something to do with it, that Mather called McClendon "fine" for next year --- > and that could be right.  Could be much more than just an admirable propping up of a beleaguered coach.  When Gillick came in, he inherited Piniella and had nothing to say about it.  The precedent is important because that situation, and this, both include Howard Lincoln... Read More
Posted by jemanji on 08/28/15
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. Q.  So Dr. D won't back off his opinion that Ketel Marte is good for 7 WAR per season? A.  Dr. D has said that --- > as non-prospects go, Ketel Marte turned out to be a whale of a tough 21-year-old out.  That's all he said.  Drive home safely. Slap me silly.  Ketel Marte is a point of interest, in a non-interesting August.  Nobody is selling Marte as an All-Star.  SSI has not wheeled out the Best Bet sticker.  What do I have to do, write it in blood?!  ... wait ... . Q.  Is it reasonable to cap Marte's ceiling at "backup"? A.  No, it is reasonable to install his floor there. At age 21,... Read More
It's really quite simple once you see it
Posted by jemanji on 08/28/15
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. OK, something really weird happened.  And by "weird" we mean, like, why did it take 5 days to get water to the SuperDome, or why would Hillary compare June Cleaver to Al-Qaeda, or even worse, why would Lloyd McClendon be manager today instead of The Edgar.  ... When something really weird happens, the tinfoil hats find it easy to state a Unified Theory of Everything.  The people got no help during Katrina because G.W. Bush doesn't like poor people.  Hillary compares June to Osama because she's a reptilian alien.  And Lloyd is still here because we're really into viewing that good old "just... Read More
We're not sure exactly where we went wrong, but ...
Posted by jemanji on 08/28/15
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. Two real-life anecdotes, and then some source material.  Then, the happy ending.  Relax your shoulders and jaw.  Baseball is for fun.  We insist :- ) ...... Roenis Elias wound up and fired the first pitch at 10:41 PM last night, DVR time.  Dr. D's shoulders and jaw clenched.  That can't be.  ... Elias wound up and threw again.  Same thing:  he both fell off toward third base, and didn't finish the pitch, and had the body language of a guy who had just fought with his wife for two hours.  About what happened to the money that was here the other day. Elias didn't fall off the mound like Bob... Read More
You Want Me To Spot You HOW MANY Games?
Posted by DaddyO on 08/28/15
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(this post was too big for shout, so I made it an article instead) *  *  * This morning I noticed perhaps the saddest statistic of this sad season for the M's. After all, one might convince oneself that the M's are better than what they've shown, that a big factor in their frustrations has been bad luck. BABIP, batted ball velocity, all sorts of stuff might be marshaled to do the convincing. And then you run into THIS simple fact. The Seattle Mariners are plus five to Pythagorean win expectancy. Let me say that again in case you missed it. Your Seattle Mariners are PLUS FIVE to Pythag. In... Read More
I'll Take It
Posted by DaddyO on 08/26/15
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As of about two weeks ago I dropped the habit of watching all or most all M's games. I mean, at all. By mid-July once it became clear that this team was not going to go on the tear-that-was-expected-for-three-months-but-never-materialized, I was already in the mode of doing something else while having the game on in case it got fun or interesting. Now I only tune in briefly and then only if there's literally nothing else to do. This phenomenon of utter and nearly complete disinterest is somewhat new for me and born of this year's evidence of the final failure of the Zduriencik regime, along... Read More
Fav One-Hit Wonders from my life, Vol. 2, 1965-69
Posted by DaddyO on 08/21/15
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This is the second installment of a series, you can find the first post here: http://seattlesportsinsider.com/blogs/will-one-ders-never-cease If you want to read about the intent and content of the series, they are explained in that initial post. The second half of the sixties, though fed by the seeds of the first half, we far, far different as these one-hit wonder songs will attest. This offering is much, much longer. By all means, let's proceed right to it. *  *  * 1965 The Boy From New York City, The Ad Libs Catchy. Cast Your Fate To The Wind, Sounds Orchestral The decade saw several... Read More
Fav One-Hit Wonders from my life, Vol. 1, 1960-64
Posted by DaddyO on 08/21/15
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The following non-sports guest post is offered purely for your entertainment. In the years 1960-64 I was between the ages of five and ten. I really didn't start regularly listening to music on my transistor radio until I was ten, but songs from these years were still played a lot as 1965 dawned, so my first-hand recollections of one-hit wonders start with these years. If you are old enough to have experienced and enjoyed this music, it may have some sentimental value. If you are not so old but have enough curiosity to venture into this time-travel-ish experience, welcome. If this is of no... Read More
Tomorrow is King Felix Day, y'know
Posted by jemanji on 08/20/15
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. Top image is from the Seattle Times.  The marketing department was able to begin planning on a Nellie Nest out there in the upper deck, but they left out a buncha stuff: .... 1.  Opportunity to squeeze an article out of a 7-2 loss while re-listening the classic One Hit Wonders on YouTube 2.  Of all the baseball teams extant, Mariners are easily the most geographically convenient 3.  Three words:  Nationals are .500 4.  "Honestly, Howard, we really just enjoy the nice evening air" 5.  M's are to baseball what SSI is to world journalism 6.  If you can pull a vast ocean of $30 suckers out of a... Read More
Dr. D's capacity for service knows no bounds
Posted by jemanji on 08/20/15
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. KETEL MARTE Dr. D is this close to picking a fight over Marte.  He'll hold off for just a bit longer. You've heard the phrase "see ball, hit ball."  It sounds stupid, until you compare it to "GUESS ball, hit ball."  We are here to tell you that Ketel Marte does the former.  His OBP is therefore at .377 and SSI confidently predicts that it will never, ever drop a point lower. More seriously, Marte has a "natural" shortstop arm -- and hands -- that Miller and Taylor can only dream of.  He zings the ball effortlessly, hitting the first baseman shoulder high.  Must we hear that EVERY Mariner "... Read More
the black area = guys getting scared before being threatened
Posted by jemanji on 08/19/15
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. Q.  What is "presentiment"? A.  You can define it lots of ways.  In the meta-study we're looking at here, it is "an unexplained anticipatory effect" in which human physiology predicts stimulus before they occur.  People have shown the ability respond to threats before the threats even exist. . Q.  This is documented, how? A.  Typically, scientists have used a protocol in which they show test subjects two kinds of images:  pleasant images, and unpleasant ones.  They monitored response such as pupil dilation, EEG activity, electrodermal activity, etc., in order to measure how fast people... Read More
Specials at the bar, Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 08/17/15
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. .... according to both BaseballProspectus and MLB.com.  They've both got it at 2.2%, one in fifty.  Dr. D continues to insist that any talented longshot has a better chance than that in real life.  Of course, Jobu has not exactly been sending us birthday cards at the half-year lately.   The M's are -8 under .500 and the last WC spot is actually sinking ... the Angels are +3, Balmer +4, Texas +2 and those are realistically the teams to beat.  Being 5-6 games behind the leaders in mid-August is not, objectively speaking, a situation in which you tip your King over and resign. James... Read More
Not too early to sign 'em up :- )
Posted by jemanji on 08/14/15
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. CHRIS TAYLOR Jason Churchill has a real sharp article rat cheer.  In it, he accuses Taylor of a "hitchy swing."  He's right. Batters who have an inside-out swing, you don't expect them to load too much, but ... it's not impossible.  And even if you can't see a hand bob up-and-down, that doesn't mean his muscles aren't imperceptibly moving that way, in an aiki "moving without motion" sense.  The irony is, this (if true, which it probably is) represents good news for Chris Taylor, since he would have lots of room to get crisper to the zone. As Jason also points out, Taylor in 2014 already... Read More
He was okay to pass the time, till Hisashi Iwakuma came along
Posted by jemanji on 08/13/15
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. Rembrandt, as far as Dr. D is aware, invented the device of "time transition" in still portraits.  The four Philistines above represent the four phases of their attack on Samson - threat, grapple, bind, and blind.  In related news, Hisashi Iwakuma re-invented the device of making Seattle baseball fun again.  In the Shout Box, we've got guys talking wistfully about the standings again.  Siii-iigg-ghhh-hhhh ... . Q.  Where were you when they shot JFK?  When Iwakuma did the impossible?  When Colin Kaepernick threw his 11th straight training camp interception and NinersNation nodded sagely that... Read More
Where's the KFC when you really need it
Posted by jemanji on 08/12/15
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. gnatto:  I can actually see them moving themselves all the way up to one spot out of the #Wild card. No chance they pass the Angels or Yankees in the #Wild card spot though. . :: broad smile ::  Hey, they're -6 out of the Wild Card in early/mid August.  MLB.com has their postseason chances at 3%.  As Duke Leto the Sandworm told his gentle Hwi, "How sweet these last few sips of humanity are." Why not enjoy the series in Boston?  What's the penalty for doing so? . DaddyO:  It was recognized back in June that August would be the M's best month to make hay. It will be a minor miracle for them... Read More
And spare the shock absorbers. Konspiracy Korners included
Posted by jemanji on 08/11/15
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. Herein resides a small Konspiracy Korner.  It's got little teeth in its mouth, too, so bring your spider-swatter and can of Raid.  Alternatively, scan down to where you see Nelson Cruz' name.  Either way, have a good one.  - Jeff ... At Hey Bill, the conversation took a turn for the (much) worse: ... All the players being younger than you is no big deal. When the MANAGERS are all younger than you are... Asked by: shthar Answered: 8/10/2015 Most of the players now are about the same age as my kids. So the next step for me is the players being younger than my kids. . . . ... Lloyd... Read More
Although Lloyd probably wouldn't go for a bat flip just yet
Posted by jemanji on 08/08/15
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. When we last left our hero -- our hero being Dr. Detecto, obviously -- he was exulting over Jesus Montero's promotion to the giddy heights of #5 in the batting order.  Behind 2 Seager, 3 Cruz and 4 Cano.  The only reason Montero wasn't hitting in Ruth or Gehrig's slot was because we have Ruth and Gehrig. (Nelson Cruz is going to become the only Mariner to hit 40 homers, except Junior (!), ARod (!), and Buhner-in-the-Kingdome.  Also, Cruz leads the AL in base hits, like Ichiro or something.  Also, Cruz' OPS+ is 176.  Also, Cruz' ability to trump Safeco makes him worth 2x double bonus pinball... Read More
Jn. 7:24, Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 08/08/15
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. Ketel Marte was given a force out at 2B on the most blatant phantom tag we have seen in years.   The Rangers, who of course believe in the spirit of the phantom tag and who of course use it themselves, were moved to protest.  The way Some NL Team was moved to protest against Carter Capps' "Red Rover, Red Rover Send Carter On Over" pitching motion. The umps held up the game, reviewed it, saw that Marte was a minimum of 3-4 feet away from any base in the stadium, and then sagely ruled Hamilton out.  So why did they review anything? Here's the deal.  You see Hamilton's leg?  That is a red card... Read More
Scott Bankhead lives on, baby
Posted by jemanji on 08/07/15
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. At Ax Bill, they sez . Hey Bill, Jose Rijo was the first player younger than me to play in the majors ,and Jamie Moyer was the last older than me. Do you know who you're two were ? Asked by: tbookas Answered: 8/7/2015 Oscar Gamble and Charlie Hough, I believe. ... The first 'significant' part-time Mariner younger than me was Edwin Nunez in 1983.  So from 1977-1982 I was a kid looking up at the men playing baseball in the Kingdome.  Then Nunez arrived, and it was downhill on a motor scooter.  On a whale of a lot of levels. The M's first two rookie stars were Alvin Davis and Mark... Read More
Up, up and awaaaaaay .... on the age curve, that is
Posted by jemanji on 08/06/15
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. Bill James just now wrote a fascinating article, with a good handful of takeaways for the longsuffering Seattle Mariner aficionado ... ...  Mike Trout has been The Best Young Player in Baseball for about four years now, a title that will pass away from him within the next year or so because, at some point, you’re no longer young.   In fact, Mike Trout has probably held the title of The Best Young Player in Baseball longer than anyone else has ever held it.   Joe DiMaggio didn’t hold it that long because, after three years, Ted Williams came along, and Williams was four years younger and... Read More
Posted by jemanji on 08/06/15
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. Who knows where Brad Miller ranks among the top 25 Young Players In Baseball, or whether he does.  BJOL doesn't post the stats.  But the Logo is sure doin' good by Mariner standards. He's now played exactly 300 games in the majors, and scored 5.5 WAR with them.  In other words, he has been a 3-WAR player in his first two years, and his arc is pointing up.  His batted-ball distance on fly balls is up 22 feet (!) from last year, as any Fangraphs uber-writer could tell you, but he's hitting in a certain amount of bad luck. Actually at the end of June, he was tracking #26 in the American League... Read More
And who should get the bus ticket up I-5 from Tacoma
Posted by moethedog on 08/06/15
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Man, could that image get any better, in relation to Rodney anyway?  The guy in teal getting his block knocked off!! Some numbers you probably know: 1. Since the end of April, Rodney has inherited 14 save situations; he has given up 0 runs only 4 times.  He pitched exactly 1 inning in the 1st 13 appearances and then just 1/3 last night.  So he's pitched 13 1/3 innings in save situations, beginning on May 1st.   2.  Uh....he's been terrible.  in 13.1 innings, he's given up 16 earned runs, 20 hits and 9 BB's.    That's an ERA of 10.3 and a WHIP of 2.16.  The horror!  The horror!  3.  He's had... Read More
We'll give up the comp pick and take door #3
Posted by jemanji on 08/03/15
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. Not exactly a Monty Haul windfall this year.  Others have characterized it as "replenishing the farm system."  In the big picture, I wonder whether it added even 10% to the farm talent.  But still. Fangraphs provided interesting summaries on each of the M's new prospects -- none of which, we don't think, were even in the top 10's for the organizations they came from.  But we'll follow on a bit. .... Ramon Flores, LF, Seattle Mariners Ackley Trade (NYY) Flores is 23, big league ready and has five fringy to average tools along with excellent plate discipline, so he’s a near lock to be a solid... Read More
M's offense #4 in baseball A.E. (anno Edgar)
Posted by jemanji on 08/03/15
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. On June 21st, the Edgar assumed his Mt. Rushmore position on the top step.  Gazing out at the field with a serene, optimistic chisel on his face.  Granting ten days for his vibe to osmose, the M's offense has been #3 in baseball if you go by WAR.  It's been #4 in baseball if you go by wRC+ (OPS+) or offensive WAR.  It's gone from "Casey Kotchman - Endy Chavez" to "2015 Blue Jays" if you go by watching the games and reality. Mike Zunino:  from .155/.226/.295 to a ten-game hitting streak and a .525 slugging percentage the last two weeks. Mark Trumbo:  from .139/.171/.190 his first month here... Read More