A worthy salute to the spirit of the man we will miss, while beautifully honoring his wish that we would carry on. Bra-vo, and thank you.
This weekend is a bittersweet one for Mariners fandom. Within our little community, of course, we mourn the loss of Jeff / Dr. Detecto - an irreplaceable friend and inspiration to us all. I cannot possibly do his memory justice in this post, but my hope is that he will be honored by its publication. On the baseball side of things, Saturday's matchup will be the projected return of erstwhile rotation king Felix Hernandez, whose decidedly sub-royal results in recent years have been the subject of his every start. Only this time around, the writing is firmly upon the wall - an offseason split looming, its necessity acknowledged by all. As the former ace seeks to rehabilitate his Hall of Fame trajectory (or even just his chances to start in 2020!) and the hometown nine their Major League talent base, the two will now do so apart for the first time. For a time, we can see the King and Court reunited at SafTarget Field (change is life), and remember former glories. But a few starts from now, those memories will fade - joining our treasured recollections of the glory days with others who have gone before. We wish Felix the best, but he is no longer our future.
That, however, is a thing also on display during this weekend's most ill-thought-out seasonal promotion: Toronto Blue Jay baseball. Joining infield fixture J.P. Crawford comes the first wave of minor league reinforcements - the first-fruits (second-fruits?) of GM Jerry DiPoto's endless mad tinkering with his real-life fantasy squad. Outfielder Jake Fraley may be destined to fill the fourth OF role for a future contending Mariners team, yet the limitations of his upside are as of yet not proven, and he has as good a chance as any of our MiLB outfields to stick in the starting nine. Tonight's starting pitcher makes his return to Seattle, but - fresh from his mental rehabilitation in AA - will make his first actual start, instead of following Yusei Kikuchi's one-inning 'off night' performance. Jitters managed and hopefully less feeling the need to prove his worth, Justus Sheffield should show the seeds of the future for the middle of Seattle's rotation.
September will provide an even larger window into the future's potential, as other intriguing callups will no doubt be made. Justin Dunn in particular is a pitcher whose talent I look forward to seeing; his upside perhaps now surpassing Sheffield despite some uncertainty regarding his eventual role. He will undoubtedly be joined by other deserving teammates, who have earned their first chance to make an impression upon Seattle fans in the glare of the Big Show. But for now, the arrival of Fraley and Sheffield - along with the return of the Once and Future King - provide a sense of anticipation and intrigue for the weekend's games which have been desperately needed in this rebuilding season. Watching them, as well as a resurgent Seager and emerging mainstays (Vogelbach and our catching tandem among them), should greatly up the entertainment value as the 2019 season winds to a close.
A playoff run is not likely in the cards for 2020... but seeing the shape of our next competitive team is a realistic goal, and that revelation starts with tonight's matchup. Jeff's with us in spirit... in the tamber of our conversation, the enjoyment of the game, and the sweet, sweet sound of that CRACK when bat meets ball, the crowd rises in anticipation, and another white sphere sails high into the warm, early evening air. Will the park hold it? Will it fly away? Only time will tell, but its journey is one well worth watching. I encourage each of us to pull up a chair, pour a glass of your favorite drink (or his), and turn on the game... and enjoy a first peek at the good things which lie ahead for us all.
As he always said (albeit I paraphrase in awful fashion), if we each toss a little something into the pot, the stew turns out quite nicely.
Tell you what...it sure is gratifying to watch Seager‘s resurgence over the past month. And I am having an absolute blast watching Murphy.
I have my questions regarding his long-term viability. But I do wonder if he would be a more-than-adequate bridge to our top MiLB talent... especially considering his defense ON TOP OF the currently more-than-servicable bat. And if so, man... what could we get for Omar? You'd want to strike at the opportune moment, but there's an opportunity here for a last-minute influx of a sparkly piece of talent well-timed to augment the arrival of the rest of the Top-100 Prospects crowd.
Goes without saying that you could also just keep both of these guys, and have THEM be the ones augmented. But still, I daydream...
On trading Narvaez, Murphy or both. I think whichever one got the better return for early '20's impact would decide it for me. Planning for the future, Raleigh having a rare true talent of switch hitting where he's a solid hitter on both sides makes it not matter as much which hand the other Backstop hits with. I'd rather have Murphy's defense and cartwheels but Omar's handedness. I believe in Omar's bat more, Tom's defense more.
I hadn't had much time to digest and collect thoughts until today.
You were right, it was an interesting weekend. Felix and Justus both pitched pretty well, but Sheffield still missed by a foot with a lot of pitches. And Felix has now plunked both generations of Vlad's. It was enough from Felix to make me actually wonder about his future beyond this year for the first time in awhile. Depending how September goes, maybe a 1 year deal would be worthwhile. Hopefully Dunn is up this September although maybe him and Gilbert don't make the jump until '20.
I still can't decide whether Mallex is a fit past next July. His baserunning quality is approaching best ever in the franchise. Only one to ever steal 2nd/3rd/Home consecutively for Seattle. I love watching him and Dee together and now Fraley going before them.
For now at least I'm seeing Fraley as the CF. He is at least kinda 5 tool, just not quite the 1-1 pick kinda. He can help in every aspect of the game as long as he knows some bullpenners. Anybody at all? I'm not in a hurry for him to dominate the league, but 4th OF seems more like the backup plan for him. Mallex looks more like 4th OF or bust to me.
The helium spreading around in the minors the last couple years is starting to raise voices along with talent. 4 of the AA Travelers were drafted in 2018. Sure, Kelenic was drafted #6 overall by NY but Gilbert, Raleigh and Gerber were drafted later and later by Seattle. Namely #14, in the 3rd rnd and the 6th. The overall Travelers roster this year includes 17 or 18 of the top 30, and Fraley is only 1 of the 5 2019 Amulni in Seattle now. I refer to it now as probably the best farm team in Mariners History. I expect in just a few short years it could be unquestionably the best. Although it's West Virginia that both Jarred and Julio played for.
This next Spring Training should be loaded with young talent. Good year to get out there if you can.
...the 4th OF bit came from someone else's analysis; I'm definately hopeful he'll surpass that! And yeah... I don't see Mallex as part of the next big M's powerhouse, at least not as a starter. Bummer, that...
Anyone else ridiculously excited to see Evan White?!
Most people focus hard on offensive numbers without much concern for defense. I'll never forget May. The last time the M's were in the playoffs they had studly defense at 1b who could hit. In fact, 2 way players everywhere, kind of like the Travelers. I'm figuring the Rainiers roster of '20 looks a lot like the Travelers roster of '19, which is to say I don't expect most of them to be up for good until 2021. That fits the stated plan and allows for a couple lower stress championship runs as a group before the stated window.
Dipoto is slated to do color on the Root broadcast of Arkansas' playoff opener on the 4th at 5 PM. I expect it to be worth watching. That lineup with White, Kelenic, Raleigh, Lewis hitting #2-5 backing Gilbert, Dunn, Newsome and Sanchez with possibly the best farm bullpen in M's history. Dipoto's insights alone should make it fun. I'm excited.
He looks like he could be a version of post-dominant Pedro. Very serviceable. Would like very much to keep him around, but if he has a chance to play for a contender next season, I say go for it.
The Dipoto regime has never been heavily invested into the King; they never were around for his best (at least, not from the home side of the dugout, so to speak). I don't doubt that the Mariners would bring Felix back at the right cost, or Felix come back once he had re-established value and the club was looking for a #3/4 to round out a playoff run roster. But we're at least a year away from that possibility. If Felix pitches like a rotation-average regular elsewhere, and there's an increased level of confidence by all that he's turned a necessary corner... I wouldn't be surprised to see a reunion down the road. But next year, I'm convinced we'll be giving top prospects a chance to build experience and see what they can become for 2020.
Clowney to the Seahawks for a bag of footballs. COOL!
1. Mingo, who was gonna be cut anyway. (A deflated football)
2. Martin, a promising young player that likely will prove valuable but was stuck behind linebackers who are better now. (An inflated football)
3. A third round pick which we can recoup if Clowney walks after one season. (A scuffed up football)
When I saw the headline, I was actually worried. When I saw the cost, I couldn’t believe it. What a deal!
I hope to stay in touch with many of you guys, so sad to hear about Jeffs passing. He was by far my all time favorite Mariners writer. There is a free forum for Mariners fans if any of you feel like chatting about the Mariners.
Hope to talk with you guys more
But not impressed by much of the emotional commenting over there. It's seeming like Twitter without a character limit.
Case in point;
To be fair, the more active commenters are mostly better though. There's discourse and it seems mostly cordial without the name-calling common on twitter
...would be to build up this community, rather than merge into another site. If possible.
Any ideas, beyond what I've shared above? I can't provide the content to keep us moving forward, not solo and from Mexico. Back to a chat board? Any article writers willing to chip in on a regular basis, on a more 'comment on current news' kind of format like we've had here?
But nobody seems to want to post often. It's been mostly quiet for awhile. Could pick back up after the first truly white-flag season in team history comes to a close.
When thinking about the idea of creating a post, I've noticed that my comments don't seem to invite much conversation for whatever reasons. I know my ideas aren't always popular and I've certainly said some crazy and stupid things from time to time. My only guest post here was a flop. In hindsight, trying to find some magical link that made Zduriencik's hitter selections make sense wasn't bound to go well. I've never had another post idea, generally finding my thoughts in responding to other ideas and comments.
Hey Wish and King C., thank you so much for trying to keep the site going. Posting can be hit and miss. Sometimes Doc would post a 7 part series with no comments. The only thing guaranteed to draw lots of discussion is divided political topics.
I think it is impossible to keep the site going. People have a shtick intake of at least a weekly post to keep refreshing the page. If posting falls below that, they will eventually change their checking habits and the site is over.
Only Doc can keep up with a once a week schedule for Mariners shtick. To our eternal embarassment, Doc on his literal deathbed was a more consistent poster than we are. I think he published two or three things every week when he was healthy. That's 100+posts per year. Most of us run out of ideas after post no. 3. There is no one on the site with that type of mental stamina and dedication.
Second, I have been out of love with the Klat site itself since it changed the shoutbox and tried to post blogs on other Seattle sports. This limited new viewership as it hid Doc's work and real commenting behind 3 or 4 fake blog posts that were half a recycled game commentary. It also made a catchy URL overly long. After all this was scrapped, nobody changed things back to the way they were before. The end result is a strange site with a bunch of broken widgets. Also, SSI doesn't work in other countries. I went to Costa Rica in March and couldn't get my shtick, because Klat doesn't work there. King Corran says Mexico is the same way.
For these reasons, I think that a merger into an established site is appropriate. I would love to keep tabs on you folks as I think you have been a great bunch of friends over the years. The Mariners don't really interest me anymore, however, and I was only here for Doc and your shtick and community. Hope for the best, and continue to fight the good fight.
...I'm not a fan of the Klat site either. I've been hoping there was a way we could merge back into D-O-V (unless there was something less than ideal about that site; I seem to recall we came here to monetize for Doc's sake).
A site swap would address our international issues. Much as I appreciate Klat, they haven't fixed that... and without Doc, we would be reasonable to prioritize community cohesion over waiting them out further.
If I had access, I'd get into a rotation of (say) five people, each posting once a month and maybe from a different angle. I'm up in that case for trying to keep the community tied together here. BUT - iff that's just not going to happen - I'm game for shifting somewhere en masse, so long as most of us are willing to follow. We've done that before, with MarinerCentral and Sportspot.
I'm going to miss Doc's voice in my life. I'd prefer to continue hearing from the rest of you - from GMoney and Matt to mojician, wishhiker, and everyone else. =)
I've been meaning to get a new thread up. Just have been wired. Will promise to get one going.
I don't know how we do it, but I hope we can stick together.
I put up a new post on Kyle Lewis, not showing up on Baseball, but under all. Do you know how to move it?
A.) try editing your post, see if you can do it there?
B.) Just repost it, this time starting from the Baseball section when you create a new post. (If you do this, maybe edit the original in All with a link to the updated Baseball version. And don't worry about my comment there, I'll move it if you repost!)