with a bit of shtick on Monday's 9-9 tie.


(1) Robinson Cano believes that he's going to get better with age.  Times link here.  Cool quote excerpt, perhaps a bit ambitious, but the spirit is clear:  

“I don’t want to hit .280 with 23 home runs,” said Cano, citing his numbers from last season. “I want to be the best in the game. I want to be the best player.”

Cano's idea is that he understands the game better, and feels as young as ever.  Dr's Diagnosis:  it's obviously not unusual for a Hall of Famer to play well through age 37, and Cano's "only" 35.  Edgar Martinez was a somewhat similar hitter, and easily ripped enemy pitching to the tune of a 160 OPS+ through age 38.

Good read though, worth yer time.


(2) King 5 reports (as others do) that Felix is listed .... wait for it .... Day-to-Day.   HEH!   He's not day-to-day, we'll see how it goes and maybe he starts next time, but ... the doctor listing him that way is cool.

They were just talking on TV about .. Kershaw was it? ... who pitched well over 200 innings, plus the playoffs, and therefore started pitching ST in the middle.  They were hoping to have Felix jump through training hoops beginning in February, but his preference all along woulda been to go 3 starts in late March (2-3 IP, then 4 IP, then 5-6 IP).

Still, if Felix is delayed, okay.  It was going to be Paxton and a wolf pack anyway, wasn't it?  Like some of the Big Unit squads?


(3) Lookout Landing has a piece covering Monday's game, a 9-9 tie with the Cubs.  ... (I guess I missed the memo where LL's decorum was turned off and cussing turned up to 10?) ... in any case they've got a video of Dee Gordon's 3-run homer.

Not a lot of gather or load, but excellent acceleration of the bat from a short stroke.  Remember, this is a guy who used to play a lot of pepper (with a decelerated throughswing); now he's trying to hurt people and break things.

Another 95+ shot, and a 3-run homer for Dee.  Maybe his intention is to become A Big Thing.


Dr. D did not see the game; the M's televise only a few games this week.  WHY WHY WHY?  Please answer this.  Dr. D cannot imagine the reason.  Just give him one and he'll be fine.

But there's a box score, which was the way the 12-year-old Dr. D followed the Big Red Machine, so .... [wanly] ... Dan Altavilla had 1 perfect inning, 2 K's.   The 'pen really is stacked at this point, not Chapman-Betances stacked, but tough decisions stacked.  I don't see where Altavilla has a spot, especially if an SP out of options has to sit in the pen in March.

Andrew Romine is the probable backup infielder, if you hadn't heard.  Had a game late last year where he played 9 positions.  Dipoto likey.


(4) Cool depth charts here.  Includes options remaining, how acquired, power rankings within MLB, projections, etc.


(5) Mike Salk has a fun Good News, Bad News format over at My Northwest.  Hey, maybe format pitch sequencing and unpredicability is gonna catch on?  ;- )  But he makes a good point about the baserunning.  It was Cruz and Seager who were thrown out for a DP ---- > at home and 3B, the other day.  You got two guys on, nobody out, and your team captains turn the inning into a catastrophe?  

What do you have to DO to get your team captains to bear down once they're on base?  Minor suggestion:  a wire box with mild electric shock.  Just a few volts, bare feet. Getting your baserunners killed unnecessarily?  Consider the math.  This is a big deal.  Opening Day, just one moronic Baserunner Kill will be a great way to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory; baserunner kills turn scoreboard-change innings into zeroes, which makes a ballgame.


Dr D




Atta boy, Doc!

Gordon's open stance does make him more likely to hurt the ball, doesn't it.  Stop the LL video and drag it back to the start and you can see that as he strides at the plate/pitch, his hips and shoulders are both lined to the third base side of the pitcher (just a bit), he gets more stretch with the arms from there (stop and go the vid) and then (if you stop the video just right) he's actually got quite a bit of lag in the bat, hands to the plate, bat pointing at the catcher,  as the hips explode open.  

There's a moment there where he sort of looks like Cano.  

Dee Gordon had 31 XB hits last year.  Eeeessssssh!  That is changing this season.  Now I know, if he gets an IF single and then steals 2nd base, isn't that just like a double?  Well, it isn't.  That IF single doesn't do much for the guys on base ahead of him, and if one of them stops at 2B, well there goes Gordon's "equivalent of a double."

In his three healthy full seasons, Gordon has 1998 ABs and a total of 105 XB hits.  That's 1 per 19.2 ABs.  In comparison, Brendan Ryan, in his two full seasons with Seattle and the one with St. Louis just prior, had 1450 AB and 74 XB hits.  That's 1 per 19.6!  

Dee Gordon is the real baseball "Flash Gordon", not that imposter relief pitcher of memory,   and he should hit XBs more frequently, hopping on one leg, than B. Ryan.  So you heard it here first, Flash will set a personal record in that regard this season.  The Over/Under on Doubles is 35.  Lay your bets down.


the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.  Has a Mariner ring to it.  Gordon Lightfoot, anyone?  I think the D stands for drive anyway.  There's now a Flash Gordon in the NFL because nobody could think of anything else.  Doesn't stop the media from calling Devaris Flash.

Don't worry about base cloggers.  We have sluggers batting at the bottom of the order around here.  XBH all over the lineup.

On a related note, something we hadn't discussed is he's got post-PED effects possibly lingering. 


If you could read my mind as I travel the carefree highway of life, you would see as it got toward sundown when it's beautiful that sometimes I stop and visit rainy day people. But they don't mind if you come to call, especially when they are playing old Dan's records. 


Per Statcorner (all numbers on the 100=average scale)

Braves - 89

Marlins - 90

Mets - 98

Nationals - 87

Phillies - 131

Meanwhile in the AL West...

Angels - 94

Astros - 108

Athletics - 87

Mariners - 108

Rangers  - 105

An 18 point swing in home parks and a warmer, dryer schedule might fuel a power boost as well, and that doesn't inclue the fact that the Angels just lowered their right field wall 10' for you-know-who, so who knows, maybe Dee will explode with a career high 5 or even 6 homers?


Remember when Leonis Martin suddenly hit 19 homers? :)


He'd really be comparable (for a year anyway) to a Rock Raines style leadoff hitters, sans a few walks.  Raines would hit .300-320 with 35 doubles (.450 SLG) and 70 SB's.  The M's are due a pleasant surprise like that ... they were banking on it being Ohtani but maybe it's going to come out of this unlikely source :- )

Agreed of course on the swing notes.  No idea why Gordon is suddenly torquing his swing, but as long as he keeps squaring it up, 's OK with us!


Those extra outs were painful last year. Add that to a few other avoidable mistakes that cost a game here and there, and even with all the injuries the wild card spot wasn't out of reach. So yes, it was good to hear skipper Scott target baserunning as a needs to improve area.

I was watching the game last weekend when that ugly DP oozed out of the tube. Ugh.

Couldn't agree more, Doc. The vets need to step up and lead, apply the mental focus and toughness this team needs to get over the top, give all that youngster energy a way to get it done. And maybe the skipper needs to have a doghouse for those that cross the line, to show that there are consequences for lack of focus or discipline.


My only question is how you get the $20M guys to change anything they're doing.  The base stuff is nothing more than a question of bearing down.  Hope they decide to do so.

Good to meetcha Sayward!


do you think these major leaguers don't care about looking like imbeciles running the bases?

It's not enough for Servais to SAY it's got to be better--it's his job to MAKE it better.  That's what he gets paid for!

This is coaching malpractice...and should cause him and others their jobs if it continues.

Major league is not Pony league...


Cano noted that, even in the midst of a spectacular season, a batter is going to make about 350 outs. So when he pops up or goes down swinging, he doesn’t look at it as a failure so much as an inevitability.

Cano is famously casual on the basepaths, he's been there enough that I'm sure he knows 99% of the time if he's out leaving the batter's box, so I think he takes it easy when he thinks he's got a low quality chance on the basepaths, especially as he gets older and more injury prone and especially in spring training.  I expect something similar is true of Cruz and that Kyle is just bad at it.


Base running should be a basic skill. Hard to imagine how many of these guys hesitate or get caught in limbo.

Another issue this team had too often last year though was the ability to tag a runner out. Cano is great at this. He catches the ball, brings it down quickly to in front of the base, and then applies the tag to the closest body part. Too often Seager, Segura, Motter, Zunino, and random others just dropped the ball, or reached for an arm or leg, or just were too slow in applying the tag. This should be something they all learned before Pony League... and it obviously needs to be re-taught to this team.

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