Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Hickey's Offseason Analysis

Good article in the P.I. today by John Hickey. He includes some very candid quotes from the G.M. that indicate just how badly fooled the organization was by the hyper-market that ensued following the infusion of the "Nationals" money to the other 29 clubs.

There are other interesting revelations in this piece, including the one-time dispensation granted by the F.O. to exceed budget limits to make a bid for Zito. Boras is quoted as saying that Bavasi "hit a home run" with his offer to Zito, and that he (Boras) expected Zito to sign with Seattle (at least until that other offer came along).

Spring Training can't start soon enough. Although I'm not so sure that I'll be quite as enthused once April rolls around.

Monday, January 29, 2007

And Jeff Weaver Makes Five

According to Larry Stone over at The Times, it's a done deal. I'm not sure that I like the price tag, but I like the idea of bringing Weaver in on a one year deal. And I like it a lot better than if it was John Thomson or Tomo Ohka. With the addition of Arthur Rhodes to the pen, I'm actually starting to get a little hopeful about 2007. 18 days until pitchers and catchers report!

Update: Geoff Baker with some analysis of the Weaver deal.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

The New Felix

According to Larry Stone, the new Felix Hernandez is an awesome sight to behold. The King weighed in at 226 on Tuesday, a full 20 pounds lighter than when he reported to ST in 2006. In a Winter that's been dominated by bad news, the latest revealations concerning Felix are a bright beacon of hope.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Does Ichiro! Want To Stay?

Seems to me that this is the question that must be asked by the Mariners. Larry Stone writes today in The Times that even if they have the money, Ichiro! may not be inclined to take it, given the poor performance of the team over the last three seasons. And after seeing the contracts that Vernon Wells and Gary Matthews signed this Winter, it will cost a boatload of money to get Ichiro! signed. I'm in agreement with Larry Stone here - the Mariners need to find out the answer to this question and then take the appropriate action.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Bucky In The News

Geoff Baker asks and answers the question "Whatever happened to Bucky?" over in the Times this morning. It's a good read, and makes the point that for all the people who realize their dream of playing Major League baseball, there are many more who get tantalizingly close but never achieve theirs.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Wednesday News

Larry Stone over at The Times provides some news from Marinerville today. In addition to avoiding arbitration with Broussard and Ramirez, the article discusses the $1M gap between the club and J.J. - which may mean that Putz will be the first Mariner player to go to arbitration since Smokey McReefer - uh, I mean Freddy Garcia. Stone also mentions that Greg Dobbs was claimed off waivers by the Phillies, and that the club may yet sign Brian Lawrence. And last but certainly not least, he mentions that Gookie Dawkins will be a NRI at Spring Training - yay!

Update: J.J. signs a 3 year deal - details here.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Larry Dierker On Managerial Strategy

I've been doing some baseball related reading lately, and came across some interesting insights in Larry Dierker's book This Ain't Brain Surgery. Among some of the items that I found to be very revealing:

  • Dierker says that "...my strategic philosophy often clashed with my instincts." He illustrates this point by talking about his reluctance to pinch hit for Brad Ausmus late in games because he didn't want to "appear to lack confidence in my players". Although he knew that statistically it would be the correct move to pinch hit for Ausmus, many times he did not in order to avoid giving the players the sense that he did not have complete confidence in their abilities.
  • Dierker also says that "sometimes the players played the game the way they thought they should play it instead of the way I wanted them to play it." Perhaps my naivete is showing, but this admission took me by surprise. It seemed like a fairly simple proposition - play the game the way I say or you don't have a job. Apparently that's too simplistic.

Dierker's remarks have certainly helped me put some of the odd managerial behaviors of one Mike Hargrove more sharply in focus. The similarities are striking - as I was reading these passages, I was thinking that this could very well be Grover telling the story. Your thoughts?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Not So Promising Start

Seeing John Thomson sign with the Blue Jays for $500K yesterday just made it abundantly clear that the good ship Mariner is adrift. I suppose that the 2007 version of the club might play well, but there are so many guys on the roster that could go "poof" at any moment that it will be a minor miracle if they do. So let's just say that I'm not feeling too confident right now. Perhaps the GM will pull a rabbit out of his hat - but the odds, at least in my opinion, are against it.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year

Evening Perambulations would like to wish all of you a very Happy New Year!