Saturday, December 06, 2003
Baseball now. Here's Peter Gammons with his input on the whole Alex/Manny Texas/Boston trade talks and the owners getting in on it, etc. Wild weird stuff. Weird to think Nomar could leave Boston. ALLLLEEEEEX doesn't have the same ring as NO-MAHHHH!
Later in the Gammons article, we learn once again why someone should frigging buy the Tigers from Mike Ilitch or Ilitch should get his grubby hands off the dirty work. I just don't get it. He's thrown a ton of money at the Red Wings, he got the funding for Comerica Park, and then he just puts nothing but crap on the field, and nobody wants to watch crap.
This here is an article from the SF Chronicle about the Tejada situation.
Some quotes that caught my eye...
"...the Mariners' reported offer was smaller than Jermaine Dye's contract of three years and $32 million..."
Ouch. Now in hindsight, they probably thought he'd heal from the tibia fracture a little better (they got him on July 25th of 2001 in the KC-OAK-COL three-way deal, he got the ball off his tibia in the ALCS, then they signed him to the ridiculous contract), but was Jermaine Dye EVER worth over $10M per year? I know he was good a couple years ago, but I never thought he was THAT good.
"It can't sit well with A's fans that two possible suitors are division rivals (Angels and Mariners)."
I'd have to say the last time I felt this feeling (and it didn't come through anyway) was a mere four winters ago, when Gillick had just come aboard the Good Ship Mariner and the first big thing he had to deal with was unloading Ken Griffey Jr. The deal that almost went down (at least that's what I was led to believe) was Griffey to Anaheim for Jim Edmonds. Can you guess what I thought of every time Mike Cameron struck out in a key situation or swung at a pitch two feet out of the strike zone on a two-strike count? You're damn right I thought of Jim Edmonds being the power lefty bat that would come into the Safe and just put a ton of rainmakers into the first 5 rows of rightfield seats...Sure, if everything held up, the Mariners would have been facing Junior and Alex in the same division, but...the Mariners would have friggin had Jim Edmonds! And the offensive firepower he had (and still does) would have more than made up for the miniscule defensive difference between him and Cam. In the winter of 1999-2000, Jim Edmonds had won two Gold Gloves. He now has six Gold Gloves.
It's after 4:30 here, and I'm bored as hell. I'm running on passion and adreneline here, so bear with me.
Anyways, the News Tribune's Larry LaRue is reporting that Mike Cameron could sign a 4-year, 24 million dollar deal with Oakland. This outweighs the Mariners measily one-year, 4 million dollar deal, whatever you want to call that.
Cameron in the Black Hole would be interesting to say the least. The Oakland Coliseum (it ain't the Net guys) is a pitcher's park just like Safeco Field, ever since Mt. Davis was built in the outfield. Now, we've been hearing for a couple of years that if you get Cameron out of Seattle, that he will finally be able to break out. I don't see it.
Sure, he's a fine defensive center fielder, one of the best in the game. But the strikeouts to me are just way too much to handle. I'll take Miguel Tejada's production anyday over Cameron's. This will probably mean that the M's will have a Raul Ibanez/Randy Winn/Ichiro outfield. Or not. Stay tuned to the enormous list of players who could be non-tendered soon, such as J.D. Drew and Trot Nixon.
As for the Tribune's take on Tejada...
Seattle's offer of four or five years fell far short of the lifetime deal Tejada is looking for, but because no other team has granted his request for as many as 10 years on a contract, the two sides may get back together again next week.
"It's not the money, it's the length of contract," one executive said.
There's no way in hell that Tejada will get a 8-10 year deal, not in this market. I think this is just posturing on Tejada's part. The M's orginal offer was 3 years, 24-25 million with a option for a 4th year. Basically, that's a 4 year deal for Tejada. If I'm Seattle, add another year to that. 5 years, 35 million should get the job done for Tejada, if he's the same guy I think he is. I'd lose a ton of respect for him if he were to actually sign with Detroit.
The Orioles have been rumored to go after Tejada as well. But here's my take on the O's. Why would any free agent want to sign with the O's? All they would get is a nice paycheck and a spot in fourth place in the AL East. You think the O's will actually overtake the Yankees and Red Sox in that division? I don't think so. Believe me, Seattle is a much better situation than Baltimore. If Tejada signs with the M's, he wouldn't have to worry about having to beat out a team like New York or Boston. Oakland and Anaheim would be the M's main concern, and they aren't New York and Boston.
And finally, Everyday Eddie Guardado...
Guardado is currently considering an offer from Seattle. It remains to be seen whether he will sign to be a closer or a setup man. LaRue has said that Guardado could sign this weekend. Oakland is also in the hunt for Guardado, if Keith Foulke does sign with the Red Sox.
Here's a concept. Don't let Everyday Eddie go to Oakland. One up Billy Beane, and grab Guardado. He's not an average reliever, folks. The guy has saved 86 games the past two seasons, and is one of the best relievers in baseball. The Mariners could do much worse than Eddie Guardado.
That's all for now...time for me to get some sleep. Army/Navy is on at 3 pm Central Time. Oregon State/USC on at 3:30. What a weekend this should be.
FIRE UP THE MIGGY HOT STOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
NOW TO THE MARINERS...
John Hickey in the P-I tonight says that yes indeed, the Mariners focus for the first time in three years isn't going to Japan. It is going to proven Major League talent in the form of Miguel Tejada and Ed Guardado. This instead of overpaying for an unproven Kazuo Matsui. Just two years ago, the Mariners overpaid just for the right to negotiate with Ichiro. But make no mistake about it -- Ichiro was the Japanese Michael Jordan. Kazuo Matsui is not. And Miguel Tejada, as we know, is proven Major League talent -- proven enough for Pat Gillick to go to the Dominican Republic and visit La Casa de Tejada and let him know the Mariners want him.
And to luckily debunk Peter's (of Mariners Musings) skeptical (but astute, worthy, and inferentially correct) comments about the semantics of Bob Finnigan's material in the Times, Hickey's article says that Bavasi confirmed the offer to Tejada.
In the article we have a Bavasi quote...
"I don't know that that kind of market (for a seven-year deal) exists anymore," Seattle general manager Bill Bavasi said in confirming the offer to Tejada. "I know it doesn't in Seattle."
As much as I hate how the Mariners have been screwed a couple times with the no-deals-over-three-years philosophy of Gillick, if there is any way they can get Tejada to essentially play by Gillick's rule, then this is an absolute coup.
On to Guardado...the article quotes the St. Paul Pioneer-Press as saying Guardado finds Seattle "exciting." And yes, I've hunted that article down for you. Also, it is said that Rhodes will get arb if Guardado doesn't sign and that Shig will get it if Guardado does sign. What was interesting to me, though, is that in all the Guardado talk in the article, there was not one mention of Kazu Sasaki possibly going to Japan and moving his contract off the Mariners' books, and that...is mildly upsetting.
Arb deadline is at 9pm tomorrow...let's see what happens. I'm hoping for the best, but preparing for the worst, and that's the only way I know as a Seattle sports fan.
Friday, December 05, 2003
Bob Fontaine, Jr. has been hired as the Mariners vice president of scouting. He is a Bill Bavasi guy, as he was with the Angels as a scouting director from 1986 to 1999.
It looks like to me that Bavasi is trying to make the Mariners Anaheim North. I'm not that impressed so far. If he wants to bring a former Angel up to Seattle, why not Brad Fullmer? He would be an excellent addition to the Mariners bench. And he's left-handed.
And we have to look at the future, post-Edgar. Fullmer has DH written all over him. Sign him to a 2-year deal, and go from there. Did I mention that he's a .397 hitter at Safeco Field the last 3 seasons? That's for all the people who love those "Safeco Field hitting stats". But I didn't need to know that to know that Fullmer is a good hitter.
He's coming off a knee injury that sidelined him just before the All Star Break. But he should be healthy by spring training. I'd take a chance on Fullmer. I'd hate to see the Yankees get him. Don't be shocked by that statement. Now that Nick Johnson is gone, I can definitely see the Bronx Bombers making a run for Fullmer.
But as always, we'll see what happens.
FIRE UP THE MIGGY HOT STOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sports and B's was the 7th link down on the page.
The search item?
jim mora poo audio
And for the actual clip...here it is.
His latest output is over his reaction to the Red Sox signing Schilling, etc., and his coming to terms with Pedro, and even Nomar not being the players that they once were. He also says Manny wasn't the same player last year that he was in his Cleveland prime.
Jeremy threw me this link before he retired for the night, and it's to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune for a story (registration required) saying that four teams have made contract offers to Eddie Guardado. Since you probably don't want to register, I'll give you the Guardado-related part--
Four teams present offers to Twins' Guardado
La Velle E. Neal III, Star Tribune
Published December 5, 2003
The Twins' attempts to keep closer Eddie Guardado have gotten tougher, as he's received offers from four other teams, according to a source familiar with the negotiations.
Oakland, Seattle, Boston and the Chicago Cubs all have presented contracts proposals to Guardado, but not all for him to be a closer.
Kevin Kohler, Guardado's agent, said he expects to know by the end of the weekend where Guardado will pitch.
"Something is going to happen this weekend, and that's nice," Kohler said. "I can tell you that things are going as good as we hoped."
Teams must offer arbitration to their own free agents by Sunday night or they can't sign them until May 1, which has created frenzied negotiations across the league this week.
Twins General Manager Terry Ryan said Thursday the club remains very interested in keeping Guardado.
Guardado and Ryan, who did not speak to each other much during the season, talked on the phone this week.
"It went real good," said Guardado, who resented the lack of contact but still wants to remain a Twin. "I wanted to talk to him, just in case we didn't work something out and I go somewhere else, just so I could leave with a little respect. Hopefully, we can get something done here."
Well, we got some Miguel Tejada Mariner-related news...
The Seattle Times' Bob Finnigan is reporting that the Mariners have offered free agent shortstop Miguel Tejada a 3 year contract, worth somewhere between 24 and 25 million, with an option for a 4th year.
This is a start. I've usually been critical of the M's and their little three year contract b.s. But this may work out for the M's here.
With the way the market is, don't expect Tejada to get Alex Rodriguez-type money. The other teams that are reportedly interested in Tejada (Baltimore, Los Angeles, Anaheim, and Detroit) haven't offered him a contract yet, but will probably do so in a few days.
However, Anaheim could use their money on unofficial Krispy Kreme spokesperson Bartolo Colon. The Angels are considering giving Colon 12 million a season. That's just ridiculous. And yes, there is a Krispy Kreme in the Anaheim area. It's in Orange.
As I've said time and time again, Seattle is the best desination for Tejada. The M's are one big-time hitter away from being a playoff team. You can't say that for the other teams in the Tejada sweepstakes. Detroit ain't getting Tejada either. Why would he want to play in Comerica Park for a horrible baseball team? As for Baltimore, there's no way in hell the Orioles are going to the playoffs anytime soon, not with the Yankees and Red Sox in the same division. The Dodgers are in the same situation too, with the Giants in the NL West.
The Mariners seemingly have developed a preference list in which Tejada is ahead of Matsui, ostensibly because Tejada is a known quantity. The former MVP can provide some of the power the Mariners sorely lacked in 2003.
While they know Matsui is faster and a better defender, talents which translate to good play on either side of the Pacific Rim, they expect that whatever deficiencies Tejada displays on defense he will more than make up for in emotion.
It's good to know that the M's are in total agreeance with me. Emotion is a great thing to have on a professional sports team. Tejada definitely brings that. It's not a bad type of emotion either. He hates to lose. The M's clubhouse definitely could use a player full of personality such as Tejada's.
Sing it with me...Matsui: "Shinjo, Infield style, striking out to a lot of boo boo boos!"
Jeff Cirillo is due for a deal or simple deletion from the roster, a move that will give chief executive officer Howard Lincoln $16 million worth of heartburn. Failing all else, Seattle could make a goal of signing San Francisco free agent Rich Aurilia for either short or third base.
While Aurilia, who made $5.25 million last season at the end of a multi-year deal, has missed time the past two years — averaging 522 at-bats to Guillen's 432 the past two seasons — he is recognized as one of the game's team-leader types. Aurilia averaged 21 home runs the past five years, including a career-high 37 in 2001.
"The Mariners called early on," said Barry Axelrod, Aurilia's agent. "They said they could get back to us, depending on whether XYZ fell into place for them."
Axelrod said Seattle may have been one of the four or five teams that asked if his client would be willing to move positions, meaning third base.
This is interesting as well. Rich Aurilia is a good ballplayer. He's a winner, just like Tejada. The M's love guys like Aurilia. But he has never played third base in his career.
Now, if Tejada doesn't sign with Seattle, then maybe I would consider Aurilia to be the everyday shortstop. But let's hope we don't have to worry about that.
So there you go. Finally, some Tejada Mariner-related news. It's just the start of things to come.
FIRE UP THE MIGGY HOT STOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The last day to offer eligible free agents arbitration is Sunday, Dec. 7. The Mariners big free agents are Arthur Rhodes, Shigetoshi Hasegawa, and Mike Cameron. The M's have to either sign them, offer them salary arbitration, or tell them that they aren't offering salary arbitration.
As for Shiggy, Derek Zumsteg over at USS Mariner is saying that Shiggy has signed with the Yankees. If that's true, then that's a blow for the M's IMO. Sure, there are young guys that deserve an opportunity in Seattle. But at the same time, Hasegawa has been very valuable for the M's each of the past two seasons. I'd hate to see him pitch for the Evil Empire, but that's just me.
Cameron, on the other hand, has been offered 4 million for one year. The Mets reportedly have offered Cameron 3 years, 18 million. Interesting stuff, indeed. Call me nuts, but I'd have no problem seeing Cameron come back to the M's on a one year deal. An outfield of Ibanez/Cameron/Ichiro is MUCH BETTER than a Ibanez/Winn/Ichiro OF.
Tony Attanasio, the agent for Ichiro, said in an e-mail that he and the Mariners are continuing to talk to complete a deal with the three-time All-Star right fielder, who hit .312 last season.
Ichiro has made it clear he doesn't want to go to arbitration, and the sides are trying to work out a deal by Dec. 20, one that likely will elevate Ichiro into the upper echelon on baseball's salary charts, somewhere above $10 million. He made $3 million last season.
We've known this for a while that Ichiro will probably make over 10 million in 2004, which is just wrong on so many levels. Ichiro is not a 10 million dollar player. 7 million, yes. But should he be making more than Bret Boone? No. Make that a HELLLLLLLLLL NO.
If the M's give Ichiro a deal over 10 million, they better not use that as an excuse for not signing Miguel Tejada. But these are the Mariners we're talking about here. The same organization that gave Dan Wilson a 7 million dollar deal after his so-so 2002 season. That reminds me, give me Ben Davis and 120-130 starts in 2004, OK? Thanks a bunch, Milton.
Shiggy as a Yankee? Yikes. Cameron coming back? Why not? Ichiro a 10 million dollar player? Hell no.
And about Freddy Garcia. I think he'll still be traded. But at this point, who knows. I really don't know what will become of Garcia's future in Seattle.
FIRE UP THE MIGGY HOT STOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Thursday, December 04, 2003
Trevor Linden scored the only goal for the Canucks tonight, his 6th of the year to bring the Canucks to 3-1 at that point. I began listening when the game was 2-0, fell asleep while the 3rd goal was scored, then realized when it was 3-0 it was pretty much over.
The Flames are becoming less and less of the pushovers that they once were. They haven't made the playoffs in something like seven years. You'll have to forgive my inexactness -- I've gotten about six hours of combined sleep spread out over the past three nights...not what I'm used to.
The Minnesota Wild come to Vancouver on Saturday. There's a rivalry heating up between those two teams, though it's mostly spurred on by the Wild fans who are Bertuzzi haters.
Sources: Boston looking at A-Rod
Deal involving slugger Ramirez would face big monetary hurdles
11:18 PM CST on Thursday, December 4, 2003
By EVAN GRANT / The Dallas Morning News
ARLINGTON – Forget listening to trade offers for Alex Rodriguez. The Rangers are willing to act.
That is, if the Boston Red Sox come up with a financial incentive package that saves the Rangers considerable money.
According to sources with knowledge of the discussions, the Rangers would send Rodriguez to Boston for moody but productive slugging outfielder Manny Ramirez, under two conditions:
-- First, Boston would have to take the remaining seven years of Rodriguez's $252 million contract. About $180 million remains on the deal.
-- Second, the Red Sox would have to ante up a significant portion of Ramirez's average annual $20 million salary for the remaining five years of his contract.
"My position on all trades is that I'm not going to comment one way or another," Rangers general manager John Hart said Thursday evening.
Boston GM Theo Epstein could not be reached for comment Thursday afternoon.
Rangers management, however, has continually said it would be happy to have Rodriguez back and feels no obligation to actively seek a deal. Manager Buck Showalter expects Rodriguez to be part of the team when spring training convenes in March.
That's because the "significant" amount of money the Rangers need in return constitutes a huge hurdle.
For the savings to be significant enough for the Rangers, they aren't likely to accept less than $3 million to $4 million per year in return. For the Red Sox, it would be difficult, even under the best circumstances, to hand out any more than that. To date, major league sources have indicated the Red Sox are unwilling to give back any money.
The circumstances surrounding this situation, however, evolve daily. Rodriguez's unhappiness in Texas continues to get more and more public, even after he ended a six-week silent treatment of Rangers management. According to a major league source, Rodriguez has made it clear to acquaintances in Boston that he would like to join the Red Sox. According to a source close to Rodriguez, he desperately wants to leave the Rangers.
During a conversation at season's end, Rangers owner Tom Hicks asked Rodriguez if he was on board with the team's rebuilding plan or, if not, to submit a list of teams to which he'd accept a deal. Rodriguez, who has not publicly demanded a trade, did submit Boston and the New York Yankees.
Asked directly if Rodriguez told him during the conversation he'd prefer to be traded, Hicks declined to comment in a Wednesday phone conversation.
The other circumstance involved is Boston's ongoing battle of one-upmanship with its archrivals, the New York Yankees. Since Boston acquired pitcher Curt Schilling, the Yankees have gone on an acquisition spree, adding reliever Paul Quantrill, re-signing reliever Felix Heredia and, on Thursday, trading for Montreal starter Javier Vazquez. The Yankees are also deep into negotiations with free-agent outfielder Gary Sheffield.
Since acquiring Schilling, the Red Sox have focused on trying to sign reliever Keith Foulke but have not completed the deal. The Red Sox did, however, finalize their managerial situation Thursday, naming former Rangers bench coach Terry Francona. Francona was well-liked within the Rangers clubhouse.
Adding Rodriguez to that mix would potentially trump the Yankees' recent spate of moves. To get a deal done, however, requires a complicated set of dominoes falling.
This is what it would involve:
-- The Rangers would want to save at least $10 million per year to part with Rodriguez. They would save $5 million per year – and shorten the terms of the contract – simply by swapping Rodriguez for Ramirez straight up. The rest of the savings would come from Boston paying a portion of Ramirez's salary. By completing such a deal, the Rangers could save as much as $100 million on Rodriguez's contract.
-- If the Red Sox did that, it would mean they were essentially paying an average of $25 million to $30 million for Rodriguez for each of the next five years. They are paying Ramirez and shortstop Nomar Garciaparra a total of $31 million. Garciaparra can be a free agent after the 2004 season, and the Red Sox would have to look at either giving him a raise or finding another shortstop.
-- The Red Sox would have to deal Garciaparra, perhaps to Anaheim or Los Angeles. That could still leave them with a minimal savings if they replaced Ramirez and Garciaparra with Rodriguez. The Red Sox could trade Garciaparra to Anaheim for more relief help. Los Angeles is in the market for a shortstop.
For now, though, it remains a waiting game.
Only this time, it's the Rangers who are waiting, not other teams waiting to hear from Texas.
So what I have to give you right now is something I heard while listening to KJR's David Locke fill in the other day for Dave "Softy" Mahler.
He was talking about the big free-agent game and whatnot and what it would take for the Mariners to land a big name, namely Miguel Tejada.
Basically he likened it, like many have, to a domino effect. However, it'd be a sort of process-of-elimination domino effect, per se. He brought up some examples, i.e., Vlad Guerrero, Bartolo Colon, etc. He basically said that (if the Yankees don't come in and mess everything up) that anyone that spends money on a big free agent is more than likely to pull out of the market for other big free agents. Locke specifically brought up the scenario of the Angels getting Bartolo Colon. He said if that happened, then the pool of teams trying to sign the next biggest free agent out there would thin out by one team (and Tejada wouldn't go to the Angels...always good). The school of thought that I got out of all of this is that the longer Tejada is looking for a team, the better the Mariners' chances are as the number of teams trying to sign him whittles down.
It's really reaching, and it'd be ten times better if you heard Locke talk about it himself, but hey, I felt I had to bring y'all something. Knowing Locke, he'll probably have a column up in a few days about it anyway. Well, maybe not. I think he used his column space last time to ask who the hell the Sonics were as a basketball team, because they sure as hell aren't run-and-gun anymore.
Something could be imminent for Guardado, who told the Saint Paul Pioneer Press that the Mariners, Chicago Cubs and Boston Red Sox are pursuing him to be their closer.
"Seattle is more serious," Guardado said from his California home. "It's a West Coast team, and, you know, I live on the West Coast. It's pretty exciting for me."
Wow. This is very interesting, kids. And it is true, he's from the West Coast. He's from the Stockton area if I remember correctly.
Could this possibly mean that the M's may allow Kazuhiro Sasaki to go back to Japan? Hoo boy, if the M's could get rid of Kazu's 2004 8 million dollar albatross of a contract, then by all means, do it. Especially if the M's replace him with a stud closer like Guardado.
Guardado is durable. He's saved 86 games for the Twins the past two seasons. And what a coincidence, the Twins were in the playoffs the past two seasons. Lefties were .175 against Guardado in 2003, righties .219.
He's a flyball pitcher, and that works out very well in Safeco Field.
Oh my goodness, if the M's can land both Tejada and Guardado, and get rid of Sasaki's contract, then we really have something here.
FIRE UP THE MIGGY HOT STOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Wednesday, December 03, 2003
One day later than originally planned, the Mariners got the counter to their original offer to Shigetoshi Hasegawa through the reliever's agent, Gregg Clifton.
Although neither side wanted to address the contract parameters, sources said Hasegawa is seeking three years at about $9 million.
That nearly $3 million-per-year average is almost double the $1.75 million Hasegawa made last year, when he posted a 1.48 ERA and took over midseason as the team's closer when Kazuhiro Sasaki was injured.
The request is more than the Mariners had initially offered -- two years at a little less than $2.5 million per season, but not inordinately so.
"I wanted to get this to them Tuesday, but it didn't happen until the middle of the day today because I was having some trouble with my computer," Clifton said.
Assistant general manager Lee Pelekoudas is handling the negotiations.
The Mariners have until 9 p.m. Sunday to offer their free agents salary arbitration. If Hasegawa doesn't get a deal done by then, he will likely be offered arbitration. The same goes for left-handed reliever Arthur Rhodes (3-3, 4.17).
3 years, 9 million for one of the best relievers in the game of baseball? Yeah, I think I'll take him.
I'm not expecting Shigetoshi Hasegawa to duplicate his 2003 numbers again. That's just insane on my part. But I would hate to see him leave Seattle. He's been very solid in his two seasons as a Mariner.
Screw draft picks. This team has a better chance of winning in 2004 if Hasegawa is part of the fold. Plain and simple.
Get Shiggy with this!
FIRE UP THE MIGGY HOT STOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The Newark Star-Ledger is also reporting that the Mets are meeting with incumbent shortstop Jose Reyes, to tell him that he will be moved to second base when Matsui signs.
OH HAPPY DAY if this turns out to be true. Sure, the market will go up for Miguel Tejada. But the teams that will compete for Tejada's services are:
There is no reason why the Mariners can't sign Tejada. Give me one good reason. Out of these four teams, who has the best chance of getting to the postseason?
That's right, it's the Seattle Mariners.
The Mariners have never signed a high profile free agent in their history. No, Pete O'Brien doesn't count. And no, John Olerud and Bret Boone weren't high profile free agents when they were signed either.
It's high time for the Mariner brass to step up and give their fans a very generous Christmas present. Tejada WANTS to play in Seattle. He's familiar with Seattle, having played with the A's for his entire career up to this point. And if you're the Mariners, you don't want to let Tejada sign with the Angels. That would be just as bad if he had remained in Oakland. If the M's do sign Tejada, then maybe I'll just call Rule 5 by his real name.
As for the other big time free agent, Vladimir Guerrero, he's going to stay in Montreal, I'm afraid.
Why? Well, the Yankees and Expos are currently talking trade, with Montreal sending RHP Javier Vasquez to New York for DH Nick Johnson and OF Juan Rivera. Color me not suprised if Vlad does stay in Montreal. Major League Baseball wants Guerrero to stay with the Expos so when the team is finally sold and moved out of Canada, then the value will be higher. That's too bad for Guerrero. But hell, at least he won't be a Yankee in 2004, even if everybody else is.
But the big news tonight is Little Matsui possibly becoming the new Mr. Met. And again, it has to be said:
Kazuo Matsui, "Shinjo, Infield Style"...grounding out to a lot of boo boo boos!!!
On a personal note, I got about 2 hours of sleep last night and since I have a project due in my airphoto interpretation class tomorrow AND I have my final exam in structural geology, we're looking at another solid two hours of sleep...
Spiraling into the depths of delerium...
When last seen, infielder Rule 5 was spending more time in the Mariners dugout than on the field.
But to see him performing so well with the Lara Cardenales in the Venezuela Winter League makes you understand why the Mariners selected him in the Rule 5 draft nearly two years ago.
No, I don't understand this. But at least he's doing better than Willie Bloomquist as far as winter ball goes.
The switch-hitting infielder had a .349 batting average after his first 83 at-bats, the seventh-highest mark in the league.
"Rule 5 is having a good winter down there and hopefully that will continue and we'll see similar results next year," said Benny Looper, the Mariners vice president of player development.
Rule 5, who will be 25 years old on Feb. 15, appeared in 12 games for the Mariners last season, mostly as a pinch runner. He went 1-for-5 and stole two bases in limited duty during the final month of the season.
Most of Rule 5's season was spent at Double-A San Antonio (Texas League) where he batted .260 (91-for-350), with one home run, 40 RBIs and 25 stolen bases in 35 attempts.
And in 2004, he should be at Triple-A Tacoma. He should be nowhere near the Mariners big league roster.
The Mariners selected Rule 5 off the Pirates' roster prior to the 2002 season for the $50,000 Rule 5 draft price and he spent virtually the entire season as the 25th player on the roster. Then general manager Pat Gillick was unsuccessful working out a deal that would have enabled the Mariners to send Rule 5 to the minor leagues.
Instead, he played little, appearing in 62 games but getting just 23 at-bats.
Forget the Jeff Cirillo Bust-O-Rama. The Rule 5 acquisition was Pat Gillick's worst move as general manager of the Mariners. And if he was really the "second best general manager ever", he would have never picked up Rule 5. Since he did, he should have found a way to get rid of him. But he didn't.
Thanks to Rule 5, Lou Piniella's final season in Seattle was marred by the fact that he had to use a 24-man roster.
Rule 5 will report to Spring Training with the Mariners and battle for a backup spot on the roster.
"It's hard to say what our club will look like going into camp," Looper said. "We may put him in the outfield some. It all depends on the needs of the ballclub."
Hell, with the Mariners being who they are, I could see Rule 5 starting at shortstop Opening Day 2004. But thank god that won't happen, since Miguel Tejada will (should) be there for the M's.
The only way Rule 5 should be allowed into Safeco Field in 2004 is if the guy who plays Captain Plastic comes down with the flu and can't come to work for a game or two. Then call up Rule 5 from Tacoma to wear the Captain Plastic uniform.
Captain Plastic is trash.
And so is Rule 5.
FIRE UP THE MIGGY HOT STOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
But this has just come down in the past few minutes.
Bonzi Wells to the Grizzlies for Wesley Person and a No.1 pick.
By the way, since this is a good time for it, check out the Blazers Pledge To Fans, somewhat similar to the Safeco Field Code of Conduct.
Nice to see the Blazers FINALLY weeding out the bad seeds...
Boy, it's really nice to see a team that was in the World Series last season trying to improve itself. Yes, I have patience. But as a Seattle sports fan, I've been patient for how long now?
Now, if the M's can read my mind and fire up that Miggy Hot Stove, then I'll stop bitching.
HA! Like I'm going to stop bitching. Please. But I can say that my bitching about the M's brass will decrease a little bit if they sign Tejada...
Tonight, we have articles from both the Times and the P-I.
P-I first, and it's a shorty. Seems like it was just a day ago when we were told that only the Mariners had actually made an offer to Shig Hasegawa. This article says that Shig told a Tokyo paper that he'd received offers from "nearly 30 teams." Now this is either a complete about-face, or he's messin' with the media over there.
Now the Times article. It looks ahead to the offer/decline day (Sunday) for salary arbitration. It says that Shig is probably a lock for an arb offer, as is Rhodes. Cameron, however, may be the odd one out. The article also insinuates that Cam's agent may be asking for $6-7M/yr. HAHAAHAAA!! Isn't that only $1-2M less than Boone?? How the hell can anyone justify $7M a year for Cam??
All in all, I just can't wait for the winter meetings to start up. The Mariner updates at midnight are kicking up, so hopefully it's a little smoke before the fire.
Lastly, thanks for the props from Matt at JAMB and thanks to Steve for tipping me to further details and resources, namely involving the possible Kevin Brown deal.
Trudge forth, fellow bloggers.
Tuesday, December 02, 2003
6-6 UCLA has been selected to represent the Pac-10 over 6-6 Washington in the Silicon Valley Bowl Dec. 30 at San Jose's Spartan Stadium. It will be the Bruins against Fresno State.
The Huskies open up the 2004 season vs Fresno State, so that played a factor in the SVB's decision. Unfortunately, this was the real death knell for the Huskies:
Bruins 46, Huskies 16
I'm calling it already. Fresno State over UCLA. Book this.
All of a sudden, I've been hit by the sudden onslaught of the new 989 Sports commercial for "NCAA Final Four 2004" on PS2.
What really makes this commerical hysterical is that the music is a horribly done version of the 1984 classic "Almost Paradise", recorded by Loverboy's Mike Reno and Heart's Ann Wilson for the "Footloose" soundtrack. Yes, I said classic. And I had no idea until the other day that the man who wrote the song was none other than Eric Carmen, famous for the soft rock ballad "All By Myself".
Now, this really belongs in our music blog, Music and Bremertonians. But since there is sports involved here, tie always goes to Sports and Bremertonians.
Yes, I've sung "Almost Paradise" in a public setting, horribly I might add. But it was better than the 989 Sports version, I can tell you that.
Which reminds me...
I'm tired of seeing the Mariners in an "almost paradise" state of affairs. It's time to reach paradise. Sign Miguel Tejada and we have something here.
FIRE UP THE MIGGY HOT STOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Now for the brown-out portion of the post -- I just heard a rumor on the KJR sports update saying that a Jeff Weaver-for-Kevin Brown trade might be in the works. If that's true, then I have one thing to say...
Please keep that deathly slider out of the American League. Thank you.
So as much of a fan of Jerry Cantrell fan Jeremy is ("Chemical Tribe" is a Jerry Cantrell song), he is now using his real name. As much as I am attached to the handle of "wackomann," which was my very first online name I ever came up with about five years ago, I am now using my real name.
It was a matter of time. Enjoy your new stay at Sports and B's. Also, if Jeremy and I get tired of the color scheme (I know I've grown into the black background), it'll probably change, and I'll spend a night messing with everything and being anal about the color scheme, then going to Jeremy and seeing if he thinks it's cool.
From the Times, just a couple general baseball notes, a couple about signings that I just didn't know about that we hadn't covered yet on the blog. Namely, Luis Castillo staying with the Marlins for the next three years, the Yankees retaining Enrique Wilson, Chris Carpenter signs on for a year with the Cardinals, and Abe Nunez staying another year with the Pirates.
The Times article reminded me that Chris Carpenter hasn't pitched in the Majors since 2001. I suddenly remembered that Jon Lieber missed one year (one less than Carpenter) after joining the Yankees, and if he gets back to the form he had with the Cubs, then lookout. That guy was quite a workhorse for the Cubs, throwing at least 200 innings for three straight seasons and going 20-6 in 2001 before succumbing to injury during the 2002 season.
Monday, December 01, 2003
RHP Tom Gordon signed for 2 years, 7.25 million.
Boone was re-signed for his ALCS Game 7 home run that sent the Yankees into the World Series. And basically, just for that, he gets 5.75 million.
Hell, the guy already has this woman with him. What more does he deserve?
(That's October 1998 Playboy Playmate Laura Cover by the way. You'll have to find the really good pics yourself, guys!)
Gabe over at The Safe blog has already hit on this, so now I'll hit on it as well.
Ladies and gentlemen, I don't want any questions when it comes to signing a free agent shortstop, that being Kazuo Matsui or Miguel Tejada. The fact that the infield grass in America may be trouble for Matsui is a question mark. You don't get that with Tejada.
I have no worries about Tejada whatsoever. You know what you are getting with Tejada. Expect a batting average between .270 and .300, 30-35 home runs, and over 100 runs batted in. Who knows what Matsui could do in America?
Sure, the M's came out big in the Ichiro sweepstakes. But this is different. Matsui IMO isn't nearly as talented as Ichiro. To me, Matsui is "Shinjo, Infield Style".
Lately, there have been talks of Mike Cameron possibly signing with the A's. Hell, a Cameron-for-Tejada trade is fine by me. It isn't a trade, necessarily. But the fact that the M's would sign Tejada, who's been clutch for each of the past four seasons, as well as the fact that he's been an MVP, speaks volumes. Cameron is a great defensive center fielder, there is no denying this.
But in 2004, I'd love to see him strike out in the 8th inning with 2 runners on at Safeco Field as an Oakland Athletic.
We'll see what happens.
FIRE UP THE MIGGY HOT STOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
But not a NINE-PLAYER SWAP --
To MILW: Craig Counsell, Junior Spivey, Lyle Overbay, Chad Moeller, Jorge De La Rosa, Chris Capuano
To AZ: Richie Sexson, Shane Nance, PTBNL
What's kinda perplexing here is that even with this trade, the Brewers haven't gotten out of the payroll woods yet, so to speak. Through some weird twist of fate, Craig Counsell is due $3.15M next year. Ludicrous.
And yes, I'm hoping the Mariners snatch up Sir Sexson next winter. If they know any better, it will happen.
The article says at the bottom that AZ is also shopping Matt Mantei, but before you think about him as your possible Mariners closer, I must remind you that he made over $7M last year. Go cheaper.
That said, the article is about Theo Epstein and everything that fell into place around the Schilling deal. That and the ramifications of the impending 2004 season.
And it doesn't explicitly say that this next quote is from Epstein, I think it's pretty safe to assume that it is. It's also something you'd never hear out of the Mariner brass...Quoth the boy wonder --
"We all like Miguel Batista, but this is Curt Schilling. Eye on the prize."
Meanwhile, the Mariners' biggest move of the offseason is Raul Ibanez. I hate myself.
The article rats out Springs on two third-down plays, and if most of those untimely third-down conversions that take place against the Seahawks are because the opponents are going to wherever Springs is, that's reason enough to bench him right there. The other reason is simply put -- Ken Lucas is a better cornerback than Springs right now, who is still playing hurt, no matter what he says.
And big thanks to the Tribune for giving me an article to work with, which is something they haven't done in quite a while since Larry LaRue is nowhere to be found. You can rest assured I won't link to any Darrin Beene stories. He's not LaRue, and he loves the Mariner brass.
Now to the non-sports-relevant part...
Over the weekend, it was unveiled that Tiger Woods is engaged to a Swedish model by the name of Elin Nordegren, becoming the latest in a line of famous dudes marrying Swedish women, the last of whom I remember is Will Ferrell.
But as far as I'm concerned, even a Swedish model engaged to get hitched to Tiger Woods has nothing on someone I stumbled across a couple years ago. It's Highlander-ish, but there is only one princess in Sweden whose name is Madeleine.
You can thank me later.
Sunday, November 30, 2003
Some good time holiday classics to warm the hearts of our readers. If there was only a webpage full of Lou Piniella's classic quotes...
Though the Mariners don't have the exact payroll scheme as last year (Locke will take care of that later in this post), I have a feeling this article may be an old standby for the next three or four offseasons, or for as long as Howard Lincoln is at the helm for this team.
Now here's some jewels from the article, with some hopefully witty comments by me after the excerpts --
Did the Mariners, the No. 2 revenue team in all of baseball, really just go to the winter meetings without any room left in their budget?
It doesn't seem to make any sense. Isn't the world of baseball all about the haves and have-nots?
Somebody needs to remind the Mariners they are the haves. Maybe someone needs to explain to the Mariners how the haves play the game. The haves don't have trades blown away by the Rule 5 draft.
-- Let me tell you, I friggin HATED HATED HATED Pat Gillick's hard-on for Rule V players. Couch-surfing Luis Ugueto for the entire 2002 season basically meant that Lou Piniella had to manage that year with a 24-man roster. I firmly believe that team wins two more games with anyone else as that 25th man. Oh yeah, I think last winter was the last of many winters in which I wanted the Mariners to acquire Erubiel Durazo because he was a left-handed hitter off the bench with pop. Yes, the names change, but the crappy acquisitions and the unfilled needs stay the same.
-- [later edit: I never got started about Matt White, another Rule V hack]
The re-signing of their four free agents -- John Olerud, Dan Wilson, Jamie Moyer and Edgar Martinez -- is a wonderful story. The Mariners have done a superior job of connecting their franchise to the community in an era of professional sports disconnections. These four players are a major reason why. It shouldn't be overlooked that all of them wanted to return and made little effort to go to another club.
However, if it meant no money available for the winter meetings and the rest of the off-season, it may have been bad baseball.
Rolling the same team out next year with the addition of Randy Winn is not the answer. Everyone refers to last year's club as a 93-win team, but let me remind you they were just a notch above .500 for the second half of the season.
Playing .500 isn't going to get it done. This team needs to add pieces.
-- I've said it before, but here it comes again. If B-Town Dave is your Mariner GM in the offseason following the 2002 season, Dan Wilson walks. Why? He's an offensive black hole who can't hit for power worth a damn. That and (whatever Ben Davis' speed is notwithstanding) Dan is friggin slow, something you don't need in a lineup already having Edgar and Olerud. Oh yeah, if you cut Wilson before 2002 (or maybe even earlier), you don't miss out on any offense, and for 2002 you would have saved $4.5M. Anyway, I would have cut Wilson loose when his contract was up, and that right there would have gotten me $3.5M to mess around with, and Ben Davis would have been my starting C. One last thing about Davis...if Trot Nixon doesn't catch that ball at the wall in Fenway off Davis' bat, I think Mariner fans would have held on to their "playoff hopes" for at least more week. One last thing about Wilson...if anyone knows how to pull up AL league leader stats (2002 and 2003) for the good-ol' stat of GIDP, or even reverse rank stats of RISP w/2 outs (I have the feeling these stats would be damning for Wilson), let me know.
What doesn't add up is why they aren't acting like a major revenue team. Could they possibly have an off-season game plan that includes being a non-player at the winter meetings?
-- Looks once again like that's a "yes." I have a feeling Raul Ibanez is the last major move of the offseason. If this is the case, I've wondered a few times to myself whether I should even spend as much time as I do watching and putting forth my thoughts about Mariners games for the upcoming year. I've thought about it -- is it really going to be worth my time to spend my time watching and holding out hope for a team whose fate I already know before the first pitch is even thrown on Opening Day? A Tejada move or a Guerrero move to me is merely keeping up with the Joneses. The Red Sox swept the damn Mariners last year down the stretch and they caught fire and got the Wild Card. In the offseason since, the Mariners have tried to turn back the tide by signing Raul friggin Ibanez. The Red Sox traded for and signed Curt Schilling to an extension. Pedro. Schilling. I'll give Schilling a line of 19-6 for next year, and that's being conservative because he'll probably nail down a 21-5 or something crazy like that. Raul Ibanez...what do I expect from Raul Ibanez? How about .260 with 14 bombs and 70 RBI? Anyone like the sound of that? I think it's completely within the realm of possibility.
Oh yeah, I'll still follow the Mariners because dammit, I love the Mariners, even if their ownership is inept, and even if this team has no chance in hell of making the World Series (which they haven't since Bernie went yard off Rhodes in ALCS Game 4 back in 2001).
And you know what the sad thing is? They could keep the same team they have right now, and they could blast out of the gate with a 42-19 start like last year, and you know what? Everyone who lived and died with this team (or those who know better) for 2003 and/or 2002 isn't going to give a damn about the start. The brass will try to sell everyone on it, but no one's gonna give a crap thanks to the pathetically putrid second halves we've seen each of the past two years. The bottom frigging line here is to get to the playoffs and go from there. Remember, the damn Marlins beat the friggin GIANTS last year! Remember how good the Giants were? Teams can sneak up on other teams in the first round. Mathematically and figuratively, all a team needs in the first round to stumble are three bad games and that's it. And one thing that will always irk me about 2002 and 2003...THE ANGELS AND THE MARLINS WON THE WORLD SERIES!!! The Mariners made no moves at the deadline in either year and in 2001 they just friggin blew it (116...SO WHAT!!!!!!). If you told me after the 2000 season that the Yankees would not win the World Series for the next three years (the Mariners had just taken them to Game 6 of the ALCS), you damn well better believe I thought the Mariners better win at least one of those World Series.
Oh. My. Goodness.
That's a huge signing for the Yankees in my opinion. Original, I know.
Yes, Gary Sheffield is an ass. But who cares. But M's CEO Howard Lincoln does. Let me remind y'all of the infamous quote Mr. Lincoln said of Sheffield back in March 2001. This was when there were rumors of Ichiro being traded to the Dodgers for Sheffield:
"Why," said Lincoln, "would you want to trade a man whose highest ambition in life is to play for the Mariners at Safeco Field for a mean-spirited man who has trouble understanding contractual obligation?"
It was a good thing that the M's didn't trade Ichiro. He only won the AL MVP in 2001. But at the same time, you think of the old saying "what might have been?". Imagine if Sheffield's bat was in the M's lineup in 2001. Just imagine.
He is willing to spend money - he paid $13 million just for the rights to Ichiro - but won't give it to players who aren't excited about playing here or whose demands don't fit into the salary structure. He was willing to make an exception for Rodriguez, offering him $95 million for five years.
"The rumors about Sammy Sosa coming here or us trading for Sheffield were absurd," Lincoln said. "We're trying to do what makes sense and not fall into the trap of trying to do something just to juice ticket sales."
The Lincoln plan is simple. Move carefully. Don't throw the payroll out of whack. Think long-term. Keep Safeco Field filled with the hope that the Mariners will always be competitive.
"It's a risk," he said. "You plan on drawing 3 million fans. What if you don't? I'm confident we have a good team this year, that players like David Bell and Al Martin will step forward and have good seasons. But what if we have injuries?"
Hey, at least the guy is still consistent.
But in all seriousness, if the Mariners want to continue to bring 3 million fans to Safeco Field, they have to have a productive offseason. So far, Raul Ibanez does not equal a productive offseason. I'm going to keep harping on the fact that Miguel Tejada is a better fit for the Mariners than Kazuo Matsui. To me, K-Matsui is just Ichiro, infield style.
I don't care if every single Seattle Mariner player is a nice guy or not. That is no way to run a professional sports team. Maybe the soccer moms and the Queer As Folk dads do, as well as the 7th Heaven 16 year old daughters. But I don't.
I'm tired of seeing inferior cities like Phoenix and Miami celebrate championships. Why not Seattle? I'm not up in the Northwest right now, but it's still a huge part of me. I could live the rest of my life in Arkansas and it wouldn't feel like home to me as much as the Northwest does.
Unfortunately, I don't see the M's brass giving a damn about what I think. I'm already dreading the Baldwin-like signing of Pokey Reese. Sad, isn't it?
FIRE UP THE MIGGY HOT STOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!