A dumb comparison at 1B/DH
hmmmmm now what does my SLG have to be, to get in there


I asked G-Money if 'Bach's truncated followthough, and blurry-fast launch reminded him of AD.  ... and somehow, some way he found this drop-dead gorgeous vid of Mr. Mariner.

Cindy and I were sitting in the 3rd deck, a section all to ourselves, when Alvin Davis arrived and it was the same thing:  7 2B, 7 HR in the first 50 AB's against stunned AL pitchers and his mama had told him it is better to die at childbirth, boy, then to swing at a pitch outside the strike zone.

We were talking (on Slack) about Bach abandoning his sand-wedge for a 1-iron and .... the Lookout Landing theory about the HR derby doesn't seem so fanciful to Dr. D now.  'Bach obviously likes the feel of the HR now, as Alvin Davis did back in 1984.  BUT both hitters had the ability to short-smack the ball into the bleachers WITHOUT GETTING GREEDY about their swings.  Bach's first AB of the day was a 30.06 into the right field corner.

For those born too late to catch the reference, here are AD's stats.  He also was an OBP king for the six years he was a star, and his 147 OPS+ started scrolling from the jump, 116 RBI and a ROY.  That will happen when you can tell a ball from a strike.



The beat writers are having a jolly old time making fun of 'Bach's extra 30 pounds.  One day a guy will offer meekly, "Wow, he looked kinda fast going 1b to 3b" and the next day a fellow beat writer will scoff him into his place.

All I can say is, attend an NFL combine sometime and watch the OL's get off.  Some of those big kids have explosive first steps and Dan Vogelbach happens to be one of them; the fact is, Dan Vogelbach DOES run surprisingly well.

Slip in a personal boast here; by this time you know SSI ... when I was 22, I looked just like 'Bach physically and NOBODY could guard me 1-on-1.  I mean, maybe somebody from a 4-year college and I'm talking maybe.  My first step was just fine, think yew veddy much.  And now that you bring it up, it had to have been better for the surprise factor, right :- ) 

Like Steve Smith said, "Step up I'll lay it; step back I'll trey it" .... Show and Go.  ... been workin' for 50 years and in 50 years, it'll still be workin'.

At 28 it was different; I could no longer fly by a high school varsity player with an up fake and a first step.  The 23-year-old Prince Fielder was surprisingly quick too; a young-20's Bach is one thing, an old-20's Bach in technical terms is "Boomstick's successor."  Five years from now it will be different, but during Nelson Cruz' career, Dan Vogelbach should be viewed as an average-mediocre runner.  As Prince Fielder was, way back in the day.  (Check Prince's BsR stats on Fangraphs.)



So last warmup game before the planet-busting RHP Kluber, and the kid hits a rifle-shot single and titanic HR.  As Jerry Dipoto very well knows as a matter of fact and not of opinion, Dan Vogelbach can see a ball and strike out of Corey Kluber's hand FAR better than Ryon Healy can -- and better than Cano or Cruz can, since we're on the subject.  At bare minimum, 'Bach is more likely to finagle a walk out of Kluber than is Healy.  As Jerry Dipoto very well knows, that one extra walk could be the ballgame.

The Ms solution is of course simple and obvious.  A jobshare, both men 4 gms a week and Cruz off 1 game per week.  Hey, "the M's acquired Ryon Healy to play every day" but Ryon Healy is not Kyle Seager, sitting on a 7-year $100M contract.  He's had 1.5 decent years, last year with a 102 OPS+ at first base, and you may well be sitting on an Alvin Davis.  The quite obvious thing to do is to play them both.  See what shakes out by July.

Or perhaps Dipoto is too invested in peacocking that he pulled a fast one on the A's?  As you know, we mean it in a good way.


Dr D



I gotta say this about ole Hoss: on the Ponderosa, he definitely carried some weight...wait..what I mean is, in a gunfight, you couldn’t sell him short...wait...oh heck, let’s face it, when Hoss and Little Joe and Trapper John MD rode to the rescue, I couldn’t help but feel kinda bad  for Hoss’s horse. I mean, how did he draw the short, uh, straw, in the backlot before the shoot?

Was Hoss America’s first truly large film cowboy? A gentile giant, still, you didn’t want to get on his bad side. he was the big ole gentile enforcer that kept the ranch running in the wild and wooly west.

When it came to drawing the gun, Hoss was quick and lethal, and yes, a lot like Alvin Davis with a bat. I’m getting pumped.

And that pic...totally Dan Blocker playing his character. Like Vogs, maybe a slow learnin’ guy. But when he figgered out what was going on, you were in trouble.


oh, you mean Hollywood’s first FAT cowboy.  Ya.  :- )

last word from Servais:  “He’ll get a few starts early and we’ll hope he stays hot.”  

The very definition of 80’s Steinbrenner thinking - throw people in for two starts or 4 games and passively hope this guy or that SHOWS YOU (you don’t know!  How could you? You don’t have Pat or Lou) that he’s Mike Trout.  As opposed to scouting Vogelbach professionally, of course. My respect for Servais:  POOF


Again:  how could we expect Scott Servais to project Vogelbach’s results himself, without 8 ABs worth of continued HR’s?  What’s Servais’ $alary?

somebody MUST have Gillick on speed dial, pleeeeeeease


He came in mid April or early May, for a few games, and never relinquished the spot. I can’t recall exactly the situation, but they didn’t discuss him much in Spring Training. But boy, did he make an impact. He was the first Mariner that I was very truly excited about, and as a rookie, the first Mariner you paid to go watch (well, there was that Tommy Paciorek era). Of course, Mariner luck, AD gets hit in the eye on a hot smash to first.

As if the Mariners then and now just can’t come out and say something like “Yes, Pat Putnam is a solid vet who we paid good money for to be our first baseman, but this kid is our future. We’re playing him. Next question?”



will the M’s gain from Bach this year, EVEN IF he is no less than David Ortiz.

put Seager in there for a few games and hope he’s hot, or else flush him?

If Bach hits 300/400/600 this year, the M’s will deserve exactly NO credit for it.  They hung his season on a thread at the start and if he survives it, that’s their dumb luck.

Nick62970's picture

At this point it seems his grumpiness and disdain for Dan is going to get in the way of the team’s success. Would anyone put spite past Servais? Knowingly playing Healy, probably a worse player, than Vogelbach for whatever personal reasons he has?

Nick62970's picture

Maybe I’m overly irritated by this, or misreading Servais. But c’mon, don’t ice the kid the minute he goes cold and miss out on something potentially special bc you don’t want to be wrong about him. 


We were  wrong about Ortiz and what was the big deal about that? 


would Go with a Cruz or Snelling 2-3  years before anybody else wanted them up, because he could separate the talented ball players from the ones who lacked it. 

 True he FAVORED A certain type of player over others: the pitcher who would challenge.  But given the Emz long history of gutless nibblers, this was a sttength much more than a flaw.

Lou, Earl, Larussa, Torre, there have been lots of ecumenical mgrs. whose interest was WINNING A BALL GAME.

:- )


I don't think he likes Vogelbach...and I'm serious.  I thought that last year.  If you can't just say, "The kid is going to play a bunch!" then something is awry.

Hey Servais, we didn't trade Monty for a guy who will play twice a week, either.  

The guy has done everything he can do to establish that he can bash big league pitching, except actually do it.......because he hasn't been given a chance.

Give him the chance.  Sit back and smile.

BTW, Ichiro mostly looks terrible.


Maybe Dan is dating somebody's daughter?  Dipoto has to have seen this in Vogiliscious from the beginning, right?   He has to be able to explain it to Servais, I would think.  Dipoto deserves some credit for selecting him.  Unless he never saw it either.  Pulling one over on the current Cubs FO is more impressive to me than Oakland anyway. 


And Alvin Davis took what was his.  Phelps had to find other ways to get in there.  The Digger wasn't to bad his own self.

AD was my Dad's favorite player.  He didn't care that he wasn't supposed to have one of those as a press box occupier.  Here's to hoping Hoss makes and AD impact.


Saying you have no respect for Servais over this one blind spot? Really?

Look, I get where Scott is coming from. Healy doesn't bowl me over but he is talented and much easier on the eyes. And Vogelbach didn't just get unlucky in his brief looks from prior seasons...he looked hopelessly lost and uncoordinated. That he has come out this spring and looked like a new man is greatly to his credit, but, if Servais is slow to see and reward it, that will put him in the company of hundreds of other big league managers that got a bad first impression of a player and took a while to shake it off.

Criticize, for sure, but sheesh...it's not like Scoscia and Cox, and Torre and Billy Martin and Sparky Anderson and Lou Piniella his own gosh-danged self didn't have blind spots.

<end rant>


And you are free to consider it an uncharacteristic rant  if you want LOL.

 But this two starts and slap me silly, let’s just us see if he hits 3 XBH shtick, that is really dropping your pants as a talent evaluator.  That’s like saying, I don’t know a ball player from a xylophone.  what’s wrong with rock paper scissors to see if he stays?  Would you lose any respect if that were the process?

Nobody knows better than you Matt what 12 at bats are worth.  Check Haniger. Zuumball, Cano, whoever after 2 games.  Cannot STAND to hear a baseball man say, Well, let’s give him a week and see what happens.   You are supposed to KNOW What is going to happen, Pookie.


As a completely separate issue, the Mariners corporate philosophy is supposed to be about controlling the zone.  A 55-year old schlub like me  can see that the kid will LEAD the ball club in plate discipline stats - lead it #1, hands down. What is the hold up hypothetically. Homers not going to clear the fences by enough?


One point that I think has been missed in this conversation is how right handed the club is with Gamel out, Ichiro still recovering and then Healy in.

Especially to start this season - against 3 right handed pitchers - it seems OBVIOUS that this line up needs more lefties in it. 


Gotta assume Dipoto and Severis are on the same page or id be wishing that Dipoto would send Healy down to force Severises hand.

tjm's picture

Doc, this is indeed a very uncharacteristic rant. Not that I disagree. Kinda refreshing, actually. Let the dogs out.

This is a guy I give a full season to right now and not as a platoon. Can Healy play left field? If Yogi Berra and Elston Howard could - in the World Series no less -  Why not? If it's me, I start the season with Healy learning the OF in Tacoma. Or preserve Cruz's body and give Vogs some LH DH AB's. 

I blame DiPoto as much for the a priori insistence on an eight-man pen. That's somebody who fell in love with an idea and won't let real world events alter it.  Ask Donald Rumsfeld how that turns out. 

BTW: sounds like we had the same hoop game. Nobody could stay in front of me either. I would have eaten you alive, mister (spoken from the couch with a beer in hand).


And coming from a small town in WA there's no way I'm getting into the gym with a So Cal hotshot :- )


My bad.  And you woulda gotten torn up then.  (Spoken while prep'ing for my next medical procedure)

Rockies Jeff's picture

Good work Matt! Last season I think I mentioned that I had sat with Mr & Mrs Vogelbach here in Col Springs. Very nice people and a great time. Dan looks like Dad...and Hoss fits! Has to be a big frame to support a big heart. What people would never guess about Dan is that in High School in basketball he played.....Point Guard!

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