Q. Would SSI have made this move?
A. I don't know.
Probably. It would depend on my assessment of Kanekoa Texeria's chances to blow another three division games for me, next week.
If I shared Don Wakamatsu's fear that, after four blown games, the rookie Texeira was now about to implode, I sure as shootin' would, yes.
Q. Is SSI a Sean White fan?
A. We're pretty sure that we were the first ones to call baloney on Sean White, back in about 1998 or so. He's not my kind of pitcher. We're well aware of his BaseballHQ meatballiness.
In spring training, we signed off on 22.5 of Capt Jack's 25 players, Kotchman and Snell and the "half" being White.
Q. Is it brainless to swap out a veteran reliever for a younger one that "does everything better"?
A. Against my better judgment, I've got to compare this one to sitting on stage, playing a last-round, 4-hour tournament chess game for five or ten grand.
It will often occur, in the heat of the fight, that 20-25 moves go according to script ... and then the chessmaster sitting across from you confidently plays a move that looks like he doesn't even know how the pieces move. A howler for sure.
When you don't understand what the other guy did, however, you'd better stop and take a breath. Looking at it the second time, you realize that you can be completely sure that he is seeing things that you are not.
If you react to his "howler" by assuming he's an idiot, and quickly slamming down a "refutation," you can also be completely sure that you're going to spend the next two hours suffering.
Chessplayers stall at a certain (rather low) level, until they accept the fact that men who disagree with them might be right. Baseball men, in their own context, will tell you, "this is a game that will humble you."
The harsh reality of on-field wins and losses -- like the losses suffered by a great GM like Jack Zduriencik -- teaches baseball men that the problems are complex. People who don't have to suit up and play 9 innings have the luxury of believing that they have the game solved.
I thought that we were past this point, the point at which we assumed that the GM of the Seattle Mariners doesn't know what xFIP is.
Zduriencik and Wakamatsu understand -- perfectly -- that Sean White's xFIP is high. The rational question to ask, is what they see that causes them to make this decision in spite of that.