Angels 3, M's 2
Solution seems simple enough. Let them eat cake


Sunday afternoon, some left hand sidearm b'wana was throwing bullets for the Angels.  Lloyd, properly, set the Mariners up to punish said lefty by deploying Franklin Gutierrez and Nelson Cruz to counter.  

In some inning or other -- if you tell me you care, you can have the keys to the taco stand -- Guti and Cruz launched a pair of consecutive heat-seeking missiles, sandwiched around a $25M walk.  Felix was ahead in the game 1-0, AND runners at the corners, 1 out.  Croissant and marmalade.  mmmmmmm Felix and a lead.  No way to botch this one.

But something was going to happen, something wonderful:  Kyle Seager smoked a left-vs-left sac fly to right field ... and Robinson Cano, forgetting approximately 20 years' worth and 9,000 sac flies worth of Yankee Baseball, played the fly ball halfway up the line.  You know, just in case ... 

... um ...

Usually Dr. D would tell you kiddies to take out a #2 pencil.  Fill in the blank as to why Robinson Cano would play a 1-out SF by taking a "secondary lead" halfway up the 3B line.  However, as blanks go, Dr. D is drawing a lot of them lately.  He does know that if Lloyd McClendon doesn't get his players focused, somebody is going to get brained by a random infield toss into the dugout.  We doubt that Rick Griffin possesses Dr. Grumpy's field surgical skills.


Random thought:  has a person like Edgar Martinez ever been deployed as hitting coach, 10 days before he took over as manager?  Just hypothetically, would you secure Joe DiMaggio's consent to be hitting coach by saying something like, "Knowing what we know now, we're considering a 3-mile-deep powerflush of the guy ahead of you in line?  It isn't like he's ever won anyway."  It wouldn't have to be THAT specific verbiage.  Just something to that EFFECT.

:: shrug ::

Would give you a Buffalo nickel to name some guy who was brought in as bench coach, hitting coach, or Dubble Bubble restocker shortly before being installed as manager.  Didn't George Steinbrenner and Charles O. Finley used to do stuff like that?


There's not much Dr. D knows for sure.  But he does know that this feeblemind farrrrrr exceeded Austin Jackson's throw the other day.  He knows that the Notorious Robinson Cano Non-Tagup directly threw away the game, set and match.  And he knows that blunders like this are closely associated with pessimistic mindsets, cakeouts, folds, quits, and other such Yankeeisms.  In chess terms Vladimir Kramnik would up his pre-match SSRI dosage.  In baseball terms the cliche is "They look like they're expecting to lose out there."  In "the knockout game" Cano would have whuffed the sucker punch and KO'ed himself.  The 3B coach would have mouthed the same profanity on TV.


After Montgomery's gem the other day, Dustin Ackley came on the radio and said that after Montgomery escaped the bases-loaded first "the feeling in the dugout changed."  Exact words.  Yeah, we get it.  The feeling was that maybe you could win today?  Because you got a good bounce early, it was Game On?  Wait here.  I'm going to go towel off the inspiration.


It probably seems that Dr. D is irritated with Austin Jackson airmails and Robinson Cano "secondary leads" off 3B.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  What Dr. D is truly irritated with, is Russell Wilson's bright smile that he'll wind up where the Almighty wants him.  Because, from a spiritual perspective, the last injustice the Almighty could suffer next would be that Russell's portion be held to $80 million bucks rather than $110 million.

One word, bro'.  Thankfulness.  It's more than just a Twitter hashtag.  This life lesson applies to myself first:  there has been a human being or two who got less, and deserved more.


Random pollyanna sports truths:

1.  This is the same Mariner offense as last year, except that Seth Smith vs Michael Saunders, and Nelson Cruz instead of a .099 DH.  Their "Refuse To Produce" motto is pretty much just bad attitude and bad luck.  Hey, and we got 9-to-make-5 here.  If we're out of brioche, why can't we just serve the croissant?

2.  Taijuan is improving visibly; first he got the idea on high, hard Strike Ones, and now the changeup and "snake tongue" changeup cutter are coalescing. Twin 89 MPH changeups, one for either black.  Change curve in the hole.  You can sense the storm clouds looming on the horizon.  Paxton's got a finger and Taijuan is exploiting the time to advance his career.

3.  If Arsenal lands Arturo Vidal we're going with bright red on the SSI banner.

4.  Seven enjoyable SP's?  The last specific team we remember like that was the 1970's Dodgers.  Well, can tell you this:  Mike Montgomery's next two starts are going to be interesting.

4a.  It's one thing to value Mike Zunino's defense.  But the Mariners are making him out to be Jim Torborg add a sci-fi implant.  Theoretically, CERA doesn't even exist, you know.  Sense of proportion, guys.

5.  What would Pat do?  Pat Gillick woulda had his entire lineup full of 32-year-old Seth Smiths.   He wouldn't have been rolling five rookie-hitter dice out of the same cup.  As a Nobel scientist once said, I dunno if that's possible.  I just know it's true.  

We kid.  A little bit.  You could win with Evan Longoria and talented prospects.  Just maybe not if Longoria was taking secondary leads off third base.

Let them eat cake,

Dr D




Something interesting going on this year that the Mariner coaching staff might want to look into - teams are finding ways to score runs with a runner on third and one out. The key apparently is to not be a moron on third base. And all this time we kinda figured it had to do with hitting the ball hard deep into an outfield gap. Nope...non-moronic baserunning is still the key here. 

Here's the thing. When Cano failed at something I taught my little Northwest Christian Sports League players to do (you know, the league in which everyone is a winner in Jesus and to prove that we all get a trophy at the end of the season). Lloyd needed to pull rank as manager and boss and ride Felix. (Now, full disclosure here in fairness to Robby: I have to admit that I was allowed to put a dad on the third baseline to kinda enforce the lesson... oh, say we have a highly paid professional doing the same thing? Nevermind.). Anyway, Lloyd should have walked over to Felix and said, "Felix, my position players are morons, my base coaches are worse than useless, and until someone fires my backside here, you are our only hope. Go out there and pitch the 7th for us. We need to start winning here. Its almost July and we are a mile under .500. We kinda were hoping Cano would carry the team a bit by now,'s up to you, big guy. (i.e., "Save my job")." 


Really? Felix is cramping up in the sixth and you would send him back to the mound for a seventh inning? 


I have to admit I was a little let down by Wilson playing hardball with the team.  However, we don't know what he wants to do with all that extra money.  Maybe he wants part of his legacy to be a large foundation or generous charitable giving.  It seems grotesque to us but he only has one or two chances to get paid his market value.  The salary cap will go up.  No doubt it makes it harder to put out a complete team though.

OTOH, he's been underestimated and undervalued pre-NFL and maybe even up till now.  Maybe he feels he wants to be fairly valued?  Cam Newton is making more this year than RW will over his entire rookie contract. 

GLS's picture

What does that mean exactly? At what point does the "extra" come in? The NFL makes more money than all of the other sports leagues, though this may change if more MLB teams maximize their RSNs. But still, it's indisputable that the NFL is a money machine. And yet, players take more physical punishment, have shorter careers, AND only a portion of their contracts are guaranteed. Compared to other sports, NFL teams have a pretty sweet deal. 


By "extra money" I mean (eg) 100 million dollars vs 80 million dollars.  IOW a very good contract (but slightly team friendly contract) vs "best player in the NFL" contract.  That "extra money" represents what RW could get if he were to play hardball and that definitely effects the team's ability to pay other players, who may also be deserving, and effects team competitiveness.  I mean, 80 million is a lot of money, right?  And it's not like Paul Allen will just pocket the difference... the Hawks are going to be bumped up against the cap for the forseeable future.  

We're going to lose a lot of good players b/c of RW getting a max dollars contract.

I think a lot of people were hoping RW would take a team friendly deal b/c he's a "team first guy, etc), but it looks like that's not the case.  Initially I was disappointed by this, but we really don't know what RW is goign to do with that extra money.  He seems like a good guy and maybe he wants to be a generous benefactor.  Maybe he figures that the "extra money" can be put to better use in a foundation than staying with the NFL, or team, or with other players.  Who knows.  Hopefully it's not just about greed, because that would be disappointing.

Lots of top flight QBs are on team friendly deals (but most of them are already extremely wealthy).  The Hawks have a lot of players on relatively team friendly deals too.


I would not pay Russel Wilson top five QB money. I like him but he's more a product of the system and the players around him than any of the other top flight QB's in the league. Brady and Rogers, for instance, have each had almost complete rebuilds done around them during their tenure yet their teams have remained dangerous and even stayed in contention while it's happened. I don't see Wilson being the kind of guy that can put a team on his back for seasons on end like that, while the rest of the roster jell. 

To me, Wilson is the guy that pushes a team into that upper echelon of NFL teams. He is not the guy that puts a team there by his mere presence on the team. 


The problem is that even "barely competent" QBs are a very valuable commodity, and RW is definitely more than that.  Gotta pay the going rate unless the player decides to sign a team friendly contract.

Without a decent QB (and they get paid a lot too) it's hard to win in todays NFL.  You could go get a probowl OL I guess but that's expensive too.  I'll take DangeRus... more exciting and entertaining by far!

OTOH, I saw on FG today that the main sticking point is guaranteed money, and I can't fault Russ for wanting high guarantees.

GLS's picture

Keep in mind that he's going to get paid one way or the other and most likely by the Hawks. If they don't sign him to a long-term deal, they can franchise him next year, at which point they'll be paying in the range of $25 mil/year. Of course, they could trade him, but that's not likely to happen. Also, every year they fail to sign him to a long term deal, the salary numbers for top quarterbacks will go up.

M's Watcher's picture

In total, it should be cheaper for the 'Hawks to franchise him for a few years than to sign him for the top contract.  They would lose the flexibility of throwing much of the signing bonus into 2015, and probably hurt the friendly relationship.  Russ should go back to feeling blessed to be paid a lot of money to play the game, and he and the team make a deal that benefits both.


I think the only guy I've respected over million dollar contracts is Hiroki Kuroda.

Until his first Dodgers contract the man wouldn't take anything longer than 1 season contracts in Japan, and he continued that after that first contract.

He's been quoted in the past that he doesn't want more than that out of respect to the team and his own abilities. 

Sorry DangeRuss, but that's sorta more awesome.

GLS's picture

Really? Even with the vastly higher risk of injury in the NFL, you'd still hold a guy to that standard?


But, if a player is gonna downplay the money, they aren't convincing anyone by holding out and waxing poetry either.

Wilson's act is probably genuine, but the cynic in me wouldn't be surprised by an A-Rod style betrayal either.

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