Saturday, December 13, 2003


Mike Cameron is a New York Met.

I like the guy, but not enough to keep him around Seattle.

But he can look at this way: He'll be Public Enemy #2 behind Kazuo Matsui next July when the Mets are 20 games back of the Phillies in the NL East.

Jim Bowden is a bad man, this is true. But believe me, he wouldn't stoop THIS low to piss off the Mariners brass and fans. If Tejada is not a Mariner by Monday, I'm going to be shocked. I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't come to Seattle, but I would still be shocked.

Screw draft picks. Get this deal done, pronto.

FIRE UP THE MIGGY HOT STOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Scott Miller of CBS SportsLine is reporting that Mike Cameron has signed what is "believed to be" a 3-yr, $21M deal with the New York Mets.

This of course raises the following question --

If YOU were GM of the Mariners, would YOU have outbid the Mets and shelled out an average of more than $7M/yr to keep Mike Cameron?

I love his defense, but for that price, my answer is an easy and outright " no."

And yeah, imagine the head games that Cam will be playing with himself in NY when he has a 1-for-28 stretch with 10 K's and the media just jumps all over him. As fans, we got to see him smile, wear the off-centered cap, hit the bomb off Jeff Fassero in the 19th inning a few years ago, etc etc.

Happy trails, Mike Cameron.

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Jim Bowden.

Remember he had some bad blood toward the Mariners and their brass after getting what turned out to be the raw end of the Griffey deal. Now in this case, he wouldn't really be out to screw the Mariner brass, but in essence he could be trying to mess with the minds of Mariner fans across the land.

Well, I hope another source comes out with the news, that's all. Bowden and/or his remnants/minions/cronies jobbed the Mariners before on the Aaron Boone deal, and he probably has at other times too, that other people know of but that I've forgotten.

Hair-brained? Probably. But my conspiracy theory section of my brain decided to work today, and this is what you got. I hope it somehow enriched your day.

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From Rotoworld

Miguel Tejada - SS - Oakland Athletics Dec 13

Miguel Tejada has reportedly told his agent to get a deal done with the Mariners.
Former Reds GM Jim Bowden reported on ESPNews that Tejada has picked Seattle over Baltimore and Detroit.

This is no joke. I heard this myself.

I hate Jim Bowden, but I have to admit, he's done a good job as an ESPN analyst so far. He did call the J.D. Drew deal 2 hours before it was officially announced, so cross your fingers.

Let's put it this way, I have nothing else to look forward to here in Arkansas right at this moment, so this Tejada deal BETTER HAPPEN.

But at the same time, I can definitely foresee a Griffey/Randy Johnson 1997 situation, when Griffey was named MVP and the M's announced that they would not re-sign Johnson.

Imagine, the M's sign Tejada to a 5-year deal this weekend AND they acquire Quinton McCracken, the worst ballplayer since Lenny Webster.

Yep, typical Seattle!!!

As always, stay tuned.....

FIRE UP THE MIGGY HOT STOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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J.D. Drew to the Braves for Jason Marquis and Ray King.


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Not me, but Larry Stone is in New Orleans...read all about it

With team president Chuck Armstrong and team attorney Bart Waldman on hand as indication of the seriousness of their pursuit, the Mariners have plans to meet here with Tejada's agents, Fern Cuza and Diego Bentz, perhaps as soon as today. The duo also represents another top free agent, Vladimir Guerrero.

Mariners general manager Bill Bavasi said he doesn't have "a good feel yet" for how extensive the market is for Tejada's services.

"I don't hear a whole lot," he said. "Maybe I'm not hanging in the right corners."

Tejada's fate could wind up being linked, at least indirectly, to the resolution of the Alex Rodriguez trade saga. The Texas Rangers and Boston Red Sox continued talking yesterday about the complicated deal that would send A-Rod and his mega-contract to Boston for Manny Ramirez and his slightly less-mega-contract.

The ripple effect of that deal, if completed, would be to send Red Sox shortstop Nomar Garciaparra to a likely destination in Southern California, with either the Dodgers, who are said to covet him dearly, or the Anaheim Angels, whose new owner, Arte Moreno, has suddenly become a major mover and shaker.

The latest buzz in the lobby of the Marriott Hotel was that even if the A-Rod deal collapses (and many executives were predicting that because of Boston's reluctance to pay part of Ramirez's salary, and A-Rod's reluctance to restructure his $252 million deal), Boston might still trade Garciaparra.

The reasoning is that the Red Sox have so alienated Garciaparra in last week's war of words involving his agent, Arn Tellem, and Boston owner John Henry, that they would have no choice but to deal him.

I'm going to call it right now. It may be after 2 a.m. Central time, but I'm calling this right now:

Miguel Tejada to the Mariners
Nomar Garciaparra to the Angels (for Jarrod Washburn)
Rich Aurilia to the Red Sox (he is a Brooklyn native, and IMO fits the Red Sox team very well)
Alex Rodriguez stays in Texas

There's also mention of the Greg Colbrunn-Quinton McCracken POS rumor in the Times story. But I don't feel the need to rehash my thoughts on that.

McCracken sucks, that's all there is to it.

Again, stay tuned....

FIRE UP THE MIGGY HOT STOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Friday, December 12, 2003


Colbrunn back to Arizona for a P.O.S.?

The Mariners, who are looking for a fourth outfielder, will talk this weekend with the Arizona Diamondbacks, who are trying to trade one.

The Diamondbacks approached the Mariners Friday at baseball's annual winter meetings. Arizona wants to talk to talk about reacquiring first baseman Greg Colbrunn.

The Diamondbacks are willing to part with switch-hitting outfielder Quinton McCracken.

"They want to talk about that," Mariners general manager Bill Bavasi said. "And we're willing to talk about anything."

Both players are coming off tough seasons. Colbrunn suffered a right oblique injury in June that sidelined him. As he prepared to come back, he came down hard on his right wrist while scrambling for a ball.

He wound up with a respectable .276 batting average with three homers, but had only 58 at-bats, about 200 fewer than the Mariners envisioned when they signed him as a free agent in January.

McCracken was a .309 hitter for the Diamondbacks in 2002, Seattle manager Bob Melvin's final year as a coach there.

Last season, McCracken fell to .227, getting phased out of playing time as his average fell. He got about 150 fewer at-bats in 2003.

But he is a good defensive player who can play any outfield position. The Mariners are looking for someone with that ability to play behind Raul Ibanez (left field), Randy Winn (center) and Ichiro Suzuki (right).

QUINTON McCRACKEN???????????????????????????????????????????????????

God I hope this is just another bullcrap Winter Meetings rumor. Yeah, let's just trade the only USEFUL RIGHT HANDED BAT ON THE MARINER BENCH FOR A PIECE OF CRAP. LOVELY!!!

Crap, crap, crap. That's what the Mariners bench is, even with Colbrunn. Just think of it WITHOUT Colbrunn. But then again, it's not like Blow-Mel used him anyway when he was healthy.

As for the Miggy Hot Stove watch...

And the Mariners waited -- waited for Fern Cuza and Diego Bentz, agents for shortstop Miguel Tejada, the free agent the M's most covet.

"When any club is interested in a free agent, it's good to know what the player's intentions are," Bavasi said. "At this point, we don't feel we know what his intentions are."

Tejada appears to want both money and years. Money the Mariners have, although they're not going to go crazy throwing it at the 2002 American League MVP. The organizational philosophy is not to present contracts much beyond three years, but that might be subject to alteration in Tejada's case if the deal is right.

Detroit says it will overpay and perhaps offer an extra year if they can lure Tejada north. The Orioles, after looking at their finances, seem to think they are a distant third in the running for Tejada behind Seattle and Detroit.

The hot rumor was that Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, furious at the blistering he's taking in the New York media for letting left-handed starter Andy Pettitte slip away, might make a move on Tejada in addition to going after Dodgers starter Kevin Brown and free-agent outfielder Vladimir Guerrero.

Don't worry, Tejada is not going to Detroit. And he isn't going to the Bronx either. The Yankees are just putting that out there to try to drive Tejada's price up.

To the Mariners brass: For the umpteenth time, GIVE TEJADA 5 YEARS!!!!!!! Do I need to explain myself again???

The Mariners want Tejada, but they aren't ready to walk the plank if they don't land him with Plan A.

"We've got a few options, Plan B, C, D," Bavasi said. "We haven't decided exactly the best road. There are a lot of options. There are a lot of ways to go."

There is no alternative. None whatsoever.

Plan B is Rich Aurilia, who's a nice player, but not the impact player I'm looking for. Plan C is Omar Vizquel, only because he lives in the Seattle area and is a former Mariner. Plan D is everything else, which ranges from the inevitable signing of Pokey Reese to sticking all-local piece of crap Willie Bloomquist at shortstop.

Believe me, I'm confident that the Mariners will sign Tejada. But at the same time, I have my doubts. The Orioles did make an offer to Tejada Friday evening, 3 years, 27 million. I know the M's can top that. I don't want to hear any of this bullcrap "we tried" nonsense if the M's don't sign Tejada.

If the M's brass is as smart as they think they are, signing Miguel Tejada would pretty much guarantee sellout crowds at Safeco Field. Pokey Reese or Quinton McCracken wouldn't.

Stay tuned...

FIRE UP THE MIGGY HOT STOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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A weekend flash would be nice as well, but I digress...


Hopefully by Tuesday morning, when I take my history final, Miguel Tejada is a Seattle Mariner. There is no alternative as far as I'm concerned. No Little O, no Rich Aurilia, and certainly no Deivi Cruz.

It's all about Tejada. The Miggy Hot Stove has been firing up all offseason long. And it isn't because he's going to sign with the weak ass Detroit Tigers. All the $5 Little Caesar's Pizza deals can't save the Tigers. The Tigers suck so hard that they should just fill their holes by hiring the 3 Home Improvement kids, although the younger one was really screwed up the last time I heard about him.

OK, enough rambling about overrated television shows and bashing the hell out of "Hockeytown". Hockeytown my ass, by the way.

Bill Bavasi can get his drink on later, not on Bourbon Street....

After he signs Miguel Tejada.

FIRE UP THE MIGGY HOT STOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Time for another spin on RotoWorld...

Brewer GM Doug Melvin says no teams have been asking about Geoff Jenkins. Looks like he probably won't leave the Brew-has until around the deadline.

The Twins want to plug the Guardado void with Ugueth Urbina. Wait'll you see the move the Marlins are trying to make to plug the U-Boat void.

If the Manny/Alex deal doesn't get done, Nomar Garciaparra may still get traded due to the bad blood between him and management.

Astros GM Drayton McLane is trying to woo Roger Clemens out of retirement to pitch alongside newly-acquired Andy Pettitte. Good luck with that.

I'll say it. Every dollar the Tigers spend on free agents this offseason is stupid money. Unfortunately, some of that money may go to Reggie Sanders -- they made him an offer.

From the Kansas City Star (registration req)...
The Royals were never close, as rumored last week, to signing Raul Mondesi, who batted .272 last season with 24 homers and 71 RBIs while splitting time with the Yankees and Diamondbacks.

But Mondesi, 32, is on [GM Allard] Baird's list. So is Juan Gonzalez, 34, who batted .294 with 24 homers and 70 RBIs at Texas before suffering a season-ending calf injury in July.

Both are also above-average defensive players with strong arms — an increasingly key consideration after the club's decision to push back the fences by 10 feet at Kauffman Stadium.

The problem is Mondesi made $12 million last season; Gonzalez made $10 million.

The Yankees succeed in surprising nobody as they are close to signing Kenny Lofton to lead off and play CF, have Bernie Williams DH, and have Jason Giambi play 1B full-time.

JD Drew is rumored in a to-LA-for-Jeff Weaver deal and in a to-Bronx-for-Jon Lieber deal.

From the LA Times (registration required)...
Although the Dodgers could now move Weaver for a right-handed hitter, club sources said that getting Garciaparra from the Red Sox is [GM Dan] Evans' top priority.

It is thought that the Red Sox will trade Garciaparra only if they acquire shortstop Alex Rodriguez from the Texas Rangers in a high-finance deal for outfielder Manny Ramirez, but two baseball officials said here that the Red Sox's handling of the scenario has so disrupted the relationship with Garciaparra that they may decide to trade him even if a deal for Rodriguez falls through. In that case, the officials said, the Red Sox may choose to pursue free-agent shortstop Miguel Tejada.

It appears, however, that the Red Sox are moving closer to acquiring Rodriguez, last season's most valuable player in the American League.


There was widespread speculation at the winter meetings about a possible three-way trade in which the Dodgers would have sent Weaver to the Chicago White Sox for first baseman Frank Thomas, but White Sox General Manager Ken Williams rejected the proposal.

And last but not least, the Florida Marlins are on the prowl for a closer...
Their primary target is hard-throwing Armando Benitez, who split a difficult 2003 season among three different teams.

That's it, kids. Have a nice day!! Okay, have a nice couple of hours until my inevitable next post.

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Who the hell's idea was it to make the Tacoma News Tribune a registration-required site, as of today?

[Update: logged onto Tribnet.com just short of 11:30am from a different computer, and there's no registration prompt. Either they pulled back on it or someone else on this computer registered, which I doubt. They stole my email address for no reason!!]

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Three articles from the Times tonight...

First off, Finnigan tells us nothing really new, other than that the Mariners could conceivably bump Tejada's offer to four years with an option or five years. That and since Anaheim and LA are somewhat involved in the Nomar thing and Tejada expects a contract by the weekend, Tejada could fall into the Mariners' lap, barring anything stupid by Baltimore and Detroit.

To bring some legitimacy to the Times, Larry Stone cranked out two articles in Friday's Times. One is on the winter meetings, and the other is on how Bill Bavasi is using Pat Gillick a bunch (Gillvasi, as termed in certain areas of the blogosphere).

One thing I love about the Gillvasi article...
Far from heading home to Canada to retire, Gillick, 66, hopes to remain active and involved with the Mariners.

Does everyone still remember how Pat Gillick basically retired for a day last July 31st when he was in Canada moving with his wife so conveniently on deadline day?

An interesting thing from the winter meetings article is the statement that one GM says the Alex/Manny deal is holding up five to ten agents. Intriguing. I'm hoping those dominoes fall and I'm hoping they fall in the Mariners' favor, of course.

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Thursday, December 11, 2003


Usually I've been waiting until midnight to read the new P-I articles, but the ones for Friday have come in before 11pm the night before. Both are John Hickey's doing.

First off is that Randy Winn apparently likes the moves the Mariners are making. Not too much to work with in this article except for contractual details and a little blip at the end saying Dave Niehaus is one of the top 10 finalists for the Ford C. Frick Award from the Hall of Fame. Go Dave!

Second off is the more important article about the Tejada sweepstakes. Hickey takes three teams out of contention for Tejada -- the Angels (they overpaid Colon), the A's (the money they're spending is going to Foulke), and the Dodgers (slow transfer of power in the ownership ranks). I tell ya, if Hickey is right and the Dodgers will be late in the sweepstakes, that eliminates a big competitor for the Mariners. The one big team not taken out by Hickey, though -- Baltimore, who will surely offer more than the Mariners. The Detroit part of the article is weird too, though, saying that Tejada's reps asked Detroit for some stupid money in the neighborhood of $12-15M/yr. Either that's just posturing, or going nuts, or saying Tejada better be damn well compensated for having to play in Detroit...I don't know what the hell that means. I'm just hoping that Tejada's agents really hate Peter Angelos as much as I think they do.

Times and Tribune articles to come...along with me studying for my 8am final.

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Boy, they better be....

P-I Mariner beat writer John Hickey is in New Orleans this weekend for the Winter Meetings. Since Hickey wants to hit Bourbon Street tonight, he was able to get his stories onto the P-I web site by 10:30 Pacific time. But then again, Hickey is probably sleeping as we speak right now. Who knows though....

(Yes, the "John Hickey Beads" search is coming, I can just feel it)

Anyways, the headline reads "M's Ready For Tejada Sweepstakes".

The Mariners want to dress up the left side of their infield.

That, according to general manager Bill Bavasi, is the top priority for Seattle at a four-day gabfest known as the winter meetings.

The meetings start Friday, and by the time they wind up, Bavasi and Co. may have a pretty good idea what their roster will look like in 2004.

The Mariners want to alter the left side of the infield by adding Miguel Tejada, the Oakland Athletics shortstop who was the American League Most Valuable Player two years ago.

They want to alter the left side of the infield by subtracting Jeff Cirillo, who never blossomed as a hitter in two seasons in Seattle.

Last time I checked, Carlos Guillen is not a former A.L. MVP. So for all of you rose-colored glasses people, Tejada is a MAJOR IMPROVEMENT over DUIllen.

The Anaheim Angels were going to contend for Tejada's services. But after doling out $51 million over four years to starter Bartolo Colon this week, the Angels say they can't afford Tejada.

The Dodgers were in the mix, too. But the team's owner, Fox Corp., is in the middle of trying to sell the club and isn't looking to add a huge contract. Frank McCourt, the prospective buyer, might be a player for Tejada's services, but he can't do anything until he takes control. That won't be until the end of this month, and probably not until sometime early next year.

The A's want Tejada back, but don't have any money to spend. What cash the A's have on hand they want to use to bring back closer Keith Foulke. While the A's have offered Tejada salary arbitration and are prepared to pay big money in arbitration if Tejada decides to stay, Oakland insiders say it's crazy to think Tejada won't take a multiyear deal somewhere else.

I can't see the Angels getting Tejada because they did sign Krispy Kreme spokesperson Fat Ass Bartolo Colon. And little David Eckstein fits in with that Anaheim scene, with all the little teacups, short and stout I hate Eckstein. The guy needs a beanball into his chest big time.

As for the Dodgers, I didn't really think about their upcoming sale. Granted, it is Los Angeles. There is a ton of media attention in the City of Angels. But would you sign with a ballclub with no owner? Say what you will about the Mariners ownership, but it is stable, to a point.
And the Dodgers need 3 Miguel Tejadas just to make their lineup look halfway decent.

And finally, the A's. Forget about it.

This is not to say that there aren't other contenders for Tejada's services. He hit .278 with 27 homers and 106 RBIs -- an off year by his standards -- in 2003, and plays a decent shortstop. In 2002, Tejada averaged .308, had 34 homers and drove in 131 runs. He's an asset any team would love to have.

The Mariners would. There is a contract offer from Seattle, reportedly for three years at about $25 million, sitting on Tejada's desk.

Baltimore would, too. Orioles officials said Wednesday they would offer more than the Mariners.

So too, would the Tigers, with Detroit owner Mike Illich saying the club was willing to overpay to get Tejada. The Tigers have already made a move to shore up the infield by bringing in Fernando Vina to play second base, so Detroit is serious about getting into free agency.

On the other hand, sources say that when Tejada's representatives asked the Tigers for huge money this week, the Tigers said "No thanks." No one was saying exactly how huge the request was, but $12 million-15 million a year might be a good guess.

Again, let me go over the reasons why Baltimore and Detroit should not even be considered on Tejada's radar:

Baltimore: Horrible owner (Peter Angelos); Destined to finish in 3rd-4th place behind the Yankees, Red Sox, and possibly Blue Jays; It's BALTIMORE for crying out loud.

Detroit: Horrible owner (Mike Illitch); team lost 119 games in 2003 (if they signed Tejada, then they will lose only 100 games, big friggin deal); It's DETROIT!

As for why Tejada should come to Seattle, provided that the Mariners give him a fair offer, not the original 3-year, 24-25 million dollar slap job:

Good ownership (say what you will, but they have done some good things); Solid ballclub (will win 90-100 games, could be a playoff team w/ Tejada); AL West familiarity (Oakland rival of Seattle's); There is no better place to live than the Northwest (it rains, but it rains everywhere); Great fanbase (some bandwagon fans, but hell, 45,000 every night in Safeco is better than 35K); IT'S NOT BALTIMORE OR DETROIT!!!

The rumor mill says the Tejada camp is extremely interested in a long-term contract, seven or eight years. However, deals like that don't come around much any more. Alex Rodriguez's 10-year deal with the Rangers pretty much killed off the notion teams would find longer is better.

After three consecutive last-place finishes with Rodriguez as the shortstop, Texas must rebuild. The Rangers are desperate to unload the contract. They wouldn't have a prayer of doing that, except they are willing to take on another long-term deal, that of Boston outfielder Manny Ramirez, just to get out from Rodriguez's $252 million package.

Tejada may find a seven- or eight-year deal may not be out there. It certainly won't be with the Mariners, who are unlikely to go beyond five years.

Baltimore and Detroit, two long-time losers looking to upgrade, may be willing to go for more years if that will lure Tejada.

Otherwise, the Mariners, with a major league-best 393 wins the past four seasons, are regarded as mild favorites in the race to lure Tejada.

The race begins in earnest Friday.

OK, this is where I can agree with the Mariners brass. They would be stupid to give any player a 8-9-10 year deal. That will not happen in today's market.

However, a 5-year deal is VERY REASONABLE. The M's should offer Tejada a 5-year, 40-45 million dollar deal and that should get it done. It's not like we're talking about Damian Easley here. IT'S FRIGGIN MIGUEL TEJADA!!!

As for the Randy Winn-Ryan Franklin signings....

Winn gets $3.5 million in 2004, then $3.75 million in 2005. The 2006 option year contract calls for a salary of $5 million. If the Mariners decline to pick up the option, Winn can take the option himself and a $3.75 million deal. He also has $125,000 incentives in 2005 and 2006 for making 650 plate appearances

Franklin's contract calls for a $200,000 signing bonus, a $1.7 million salary in 2004 and $2.4 million in 2005

Surprisingly, I can't complain about these deals at all. Good job, M's brass.

As manager Bob Melvin said Thursday, "Now we know who our three (starting) outfielders are."

A backup is needed, and the Mariners will be looking for one at the winter meetings.

At this point, if the Mariner outfield in 2004 is indeed Raul Ibanez/Randy Winn/Ichiro, and the M's sign Tejada, then that's fine. Not great, but hell, Tejada coming to Seattle would soothe a lot of aches and pains I've had as a M's fan over the years.

As for the 4th outfielder...how about Reggie Sanders? He's right handed, and has played well over the past couple of season with Arizona, San Francisco, and Pittsburgh. Blow-Mel loves his former Arizona Diamondbacks. Hell, Sanders would be the best D-Back he'd bring into the Mariners organization. Jose Cruz, Jr. is an option as well. But we'll see what happens.

Nothing is for certain.

Except the Safeco Field DJ playing crappy songs...

FIRE UP THE MIGGY HOT STOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Well, this overtime game isn't so bad. The Canucks were forced to call up Alex Auld from the Manitoba Moose to play net because Dan Cloutier is injured and Johan Hedberg is sore. Auld didn't do too bad, allowing only a Rob Blake goal on which Daniel Sedin was blown past by Blake.

Though the two teams began and ended the night with the same amount of points in the standings, Colorado holds the tiebreaker.

Only Vancouver goal scored tonight was by Ed Jovanovski, his 6th of the year.

David Aebischer was peppered all night by the Canucks and was easily the reason why the Avalanche didn't lose this game. The Canucks were screwed when a Brad May goal was disallowed when Aebischer did an acting job in the first period when he had actually pushed Mike Keane in the crease. End result: Keane to the penalty box. Not fair.

The radio guys also noted that the officials seemed to be a step behind in the game the entire night. They also said the Canucks had a great third period and got the crowd up and that they were the better team tonight.

Tonight's game was the 56th straight sellout for the Canucks at the Garage.

Seven visiting teams in a row have scored the first goal in their respective games at the Garage.

This was the 9th time in 13 games that the Canucks had played overtime.

Next game: Carolina at Vancouver on Sunday.

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Ladies and gentlemen, give it up for the newest Mariner blogger, Jeff from LeoneForThird.

Oh, and Dan Plesac retired. For a team who's allegedly been chasing after a second lefty for the last 4392758623495 years, we sure do let quite a few of them get away.

Jeff, welcome to the Mariner Blognation. I know you're going to definitely bring it with golden quotes like that...

FIRE UP THE MIGGY HOT STOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Indians to sign Vlad, M's to acquire Little O?

First, the Vladimir Guerrerro part...
Just one day before the start of baseball's winter meetings in New Orleans, the CIR (cir.blogspot.com) has learned that Mark Shapiro and the Cleveland Indians are poised to drop one of the biggest bombshells in recent winter meetings history as the Indians are close to an agreement with Expos superstar outfielder Vladimir Guerrero on a multi-year contract.

Unusual circumstances have brought Guerrero and the Tribe together as a soft free-agent market and big market teams filling their needs (or soon to fill them) through trade left a rapidly shrinking market for the 27-year old who hit .330/.426/.586/1.012 with 25 homeruns while plagued by back problems last season.

Then, the M's bringing Omar Vizquel back to town...
It's expected that Omar Vizquel will be traded to the Seattle Mariners and that deal could be announced as soon as tomorrow. The Mariners are expected to absorb all of Vizquel's 2004 salary now that they have been informed by Miguel Tejada's camp that the three-year, $24 million offer they made for the former AL MVP is short on both money and years.

I first read about this earlier this afternoon while lurking around ESPN's message boards. Then U.S.S. Mariner and Steve's Mariner Blog commented on it. So now, it's my turn to do just that.

I have to believe that this is absolutely false news. I think this "blog" may just want to gain some extra hits to their counter. But then again, we are Seattle sports fans, and believe me, we expect nothing, but hope for everything.

If Omar Vizquel does step foot in Seattle as a Mariner again, then there is going to be some heads rolling. Little O was a great fielding shortstop at one time. But now, he's the Eddie Vedder of baseball players. Once great, now just old and overrated.

WHAT HAVE WE DONE TO DESERVE THIS????? (Again, I don't think this news is true. But if it is......hooooooooooooooo boy.)

FIRE UP THE MIGGY HOT STOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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One more thing...Billy Beane apparently is trying to lock up Keith Foulke. If this is so, does that mean he's totally done a 180 on his thing for just keeping closers for one year? I thought Foulke was just gonna be another closer down the line for Beane, i.e., Billy Taylor, Jason Isringhausen, Billy Koch, etc.

By the way, I'm a fan of his, but man, it was pretty sad to see Billy Koch flame out the way he did last year. Really sad.

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A Mariner fan by the name of Johnny has started a blog called Trident Fever. And yes, the USS Mariner is managing to out some of these blogs through the referrer logs, which are very fun to look at. I think the most disturbing referral we've gotten here lately is for someone searching Google.ca (Canada) for naked pictures of Canucks center Brendan Morrison. Not good times. And no, we don't have any such material on this site.

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AP/CBS Sportsline link

I'm praying that Miguel Tejada signs with the M's.

But it could very well be the Orioles, Tigers, Dodgers, or Angels.

What a weekend this is going to be. That's not even including the history final I have to study for. It's on Tuesday, in case you're wondering.

Stay tuned....

FIRE UP THE MIGGY HOT STOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Since I was caught up in Jeff Weaver Mania, I neglected to mention the real fallout of all this mess:

The real possibility of the Mariners not signing Miguel Tejada.

And believe me, I won't be shocked one bit if they don't sign him. These ARE the Seattle Mariners, boys and girls. These ARE the same guys who don't believe in "superstars". These ARE the same guys who signed Dan Wilson to an obscene 2-year, 7 million dollar deal. And these ARE the same guys that think that the Seattle fans would rather be entertained by a boy band (B2K) than a postseason baseball team.

Hopefully, my worryness will go away sometime next week. But I don't know if it will. As I have done all offseason, I have feared the possibility of Pokey Reese becoming the Mariners' everyday shortstop.

Amazing that I have to think like that about a team that's in the Top 5 in revenue and has the best ballpark in all of baseball. Unreal, huh?

BTW, say hey to the newest addition to the Mariner Blognation, Curlew Blog. Michael, the main guy there, has already linked our page from his new blog. For that, we salute you, Michael. And don't sweat it Michael, your views will be welcomed by all M's fans on the net. Grammar don't mean a thing, we aren't English teachers!

FIRE UP THE MIGGY HOT STOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Jon Heyman of NY Newsday is reporting the Dodgers and Yanks have pulled the trigger on the Weaver-for-Brown deal, with two prospects (whatever's left of them in the Yankee organization) going LA's way.

This of course frees up money which unfortunately could be used to go after Miguel Tejada, but I'm hoping they unload it on Vlad instead.

[Update 2:24pm: the Yankees even sent $3M the Dodgers' way to pick up some of Weaver's salary. Yikes.]

I am very very VERY afraid Miguel Tejada will not be a Seattle Mariner. But I can't say it surprises me. I'm a Seattle sports fan, for God's sake. I hope for the best, but am prepared for the worst. I expect nothing, but hope for everything.

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Jeff Weaver is out of the Bronx Zoo.

I'm a big Weaver fan, have been since his days in Detroit Rock City. As a matter of fact, David and I were charter members of the "Jeff Weaver Fan Club", established in Kitsap County. Sadly, the Mariners didn't give a s#@% about that, and let Weaver go to New York, where he rotted away for a year and a half.

I'm calling it right now: Weaver will be a 17 game winner for the Dodgers in 2004. He's still young and talented. Getting out of the Bronx is the best thing for the guy.

Welcome back to the Major Leagues, Jeff. We've missed you since June 2002.

FIRE UP THE MIGGY HOT STOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Kinda switching gears here, but Bill Simmons has a quality article on how the Portland TrailBlazers should be given their own reality TV show.

The article also runs over some of the great Blazer quotes, like the Rasheed CTC quote, the Bonzi blackout quote, and the reason why Ruben Patterson didn't retaliate after Zach Randolph suckerpunched him and broke his eyesocket.

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I think that my reaction to Bob Finnigan's possibility-for-Vlad article can best be described in the words of the great Wayne Campbell...

Yeah...and monkeys might fly out of my butt!

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Here's a Baltimore Sun article that kinda ticked me off...I'll throw some quotes...

Yesterday, a high-ranking Orioles official said they will definitely top [the Mariners' 3-yr, $24-25M offer], though he declined to say what the number of years or dollar amount will be.

The same club official also shot down the possibility of the Orioles trading for disgruntled Boston Red Sox shortstop Nomar Garciaparra.

Beyond realizing they would have to overpay for Garciaparra to trade for him within their division, the Orioles simply like Tejada more, the source said.

There was an article that I think Gabriel at the Safe Blog linked the other day -- it was an ESPN article on players taking "stupid money," which of course includes Alex taking money from Texas and as of yesterday, Fernando Vina taking money from Detroit. Tejada taking money from Baltimore would be stupid money. To Vlad and Tejada: good luck winning in Baltimore with that very questionable pitching staff.

Later in the article...
Guerrero, 27, may be the jewel of this free-agent class, but the Orioles understand there could be drawbacks to making him their primary franchise player.

Guerrero's English skills are limited, so it would be tough for him to attach himself to the fan base, though there is no doubt his contributions would be welcome on the field.

Oh man, how can this even enter one's mind if they have a chance to sign Vlad frigging Guerrero? Do I care if he pops 40+ bombs, drives in 130 runs, but can't speak English? Hell no. And if the Orioles are stupid enough to let this get in the way of signing him (because he isn't the media darling that Tejada is more of), then they're out of their minds.

even later...
Another potential suitor for Tejada and Guerrero, the Anaheim Angels, appeared to drop out of the running on Wednesday, when they signed pitcher Bartolo Colon to a four-year deal. Angels owner Bill Stoneman told the Los Angeles Times that Tejada and Guerrero were "probably not" options.

Well, as I suspected, the Angels should be out of the Tejada running thanks to their gross overpayment of Bartolo Colon. Also, RotoWorld reports that there is no weight clause in Colon's contract with the Angels.

Just listening to KJR right now, and Softy is darkly speculating about the Tejada situation; he paints a scenario which I hope doesn't happen. The process is something that would be ignited by the Pettitte contract signed in Houston today. This would tick off Steinbrenner. Steinbrenner would deal Jeff Weaver for Kevin Brown. In a straight-up deal, the Dodgers would clear like $7M in salary. That reeks of "about to sign key free agent." In Softy's words, if a Weaver-for-Brown deal is announced, the Mariners' bidding for Tejada could take a big hit.

And that, my friends, would really really REALLY suck. I haven't been this juiced up as a Mariner fan in a long time thanks to this possibility of the Mariners actually stepping up and getting a key top-notch free agent, and I'll be freakin' irate if they don't get him. Even with a Tejada, some have speculated this is still merely a high-80s-winning team. Imagine what those people would feel like if they don't land Tejada??

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Don't worry, it's only this guy

This guy is Lee Seung-Yeop. He has signed a two-year deal with the Chiba Lotte Marines. The Marines will be managed by Bobby Valentine in 2004.

Good deal. Now we don't have to worry about this assclown taking up 1st base in 2005, when we hope that Richie Sexson becomes a Mariner.

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Just a tidbit from the NY Times (registration very required) here...hilariously, RotoWorld referred to the Mets GM as Dan Duquette instead of the correct Jim. It sure perked up my eyebrow as I'm sure it perked the brow of every Red Sox fan reading it. Anyway, it's Cameron-related.

The Mets still need a center fielder, a starting pitcher and a closer. Though the Mets have offered center fielder Mike Cameron a three-year contract for about $18 million, [Jim] Duquette said in a radio interview that he was unwilling to match a four-year offer Cameron had from another team, believed to be Oakland.

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Here's Bob Finnigan blowing some more smoke up our bums, this time in the form of a possible Vlad Guerrero signing.

Finnigan goes through a scenario in which the Mariners could possibly clear money for Guerrero if the Tejada thing falls through, but the whole scenario goes to crap assuming Hickey's article (Randy Winn signed) is true.

Basically Finnigan is blowing smoke, and I only learned a couple things from the article -- (1) Vlad and Tejada share the same agent, (2) their agent is no friend of Peter Angelos, and (3) Gillick also visited Vlad Guerrero when he went to the Dominican. Number 2 there is good for the Mariners if it possibly eliminates another suitor for Tejada.

As for Vlad...you don't sign Ibanez, and you sure as hell don't re-sign Winn if you're even thinking about making an offer to Vlad.

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Wednesday, December 10, 2003


What do you know, the P-I link is early

Ryan Franklin and Randy Winn have been re-signed for the 2004 season. Congrats to Franklin, because well, I like the guy.

As for Randy Winn.....

Contract details won't be known until Wednesday afternoon, but if it is anything over 3.5 million, I'm gonna puke. He's not worth it.

So for now, I leave with this...


But YESSSS! on Franklin.

Time to do some more studying...not so cool.

FIRE UP THE MIGGY HOT STOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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John Hickey of the P-I is reporting that the Mariners have re-signed Ryan Franklin (okay, I saw that coming) and RANDY WINN.

Huh?? If he's making anywhere close to the $5M that he was rumored to possibly get through arb, I'll be sitting in the eye of Hurricane Vomit here at my place, and that's not good for a studio apartment.

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In somewhat of a strive for conciseness, I have decreased the amount of posts that will appear on the front page of Sports and B's every day. What you used to see was a week's worth of material, and of course I notice that most of the other blogs in our esteemed Mariner blogosphere probably aren't showing that much...or at least you don't have to scroll down quite that far to get to the bottom of the page on other blogs. With us...well, you had seven days and you had Jeremy and I posting like crazy. I just figure this will make it a little more concise, that's all.

Like it? Don't like it? Please comment...Jeremy and I are dying to know how to make this blog a great thing to read and a great thing to be able to move around on or look at...great everything, dammit.

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One of these days the Canucks will find a way to win a game in regulation; it hasn't happened in quite while.

I know I'm late with this, but with this team, it's better late than never to give them their due props.

All four goals were scored by Markus Naslund (coming off a one-game sit-out for a groin injury) last night, who now has 36 points (15 goals/21 assists) to lead the NHL after the games on December 9th.

Great for Naslund, great for the top line.

But the disturbing stat, as I said is...
The Canucks have one regulation victory -- and four in overtime -- in the last 13 games, and haven't won a 60-minute game at General Motors Place since Nov. 8.

Sometime soon that has got to change. The Penguins are the worst damn team in the NHL and the Canucks needed more than 60 minutes to beat them. It's somewhat of a sobering thought.

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With a little assistance from RotoWorld, I bring you the following news...

The Astros are close to signing Andy Pettitte. Apparently he's already passed the physical. The deal is probably in the range of 3 yrs and $30M.

The Baltimore Orioles have apparently inquired about Nomar Garciaparra (short zip-code-and-age semi-registration required -- no big whoop). Again, whichever team Nomar goes to will not end up spending money on Miguel Tejada. But if that team is Baltimore, then the Angels (though I thought they had spent more than enough money on Bartolo Colon) may still have money to play with. I don't how how much money Arte Moreno has stored away, but I'm hopnig it's not much more than what's been spent. At least he doesn't have Brad Fullmer anymore, but then again, the Mariners don't have Fullmer either. But if that Fullmer money is part of the stash that's going Tejada's way, then that's cool.

Oriole management is a little restless because they haven't been able to meet face-to-face with Vlad Guerrero yet.

The Tigers are in the Miguel Batista sweepstakes. Here's to hoping they lose out to a certain local team in the Miguel Tejada sweepstakes.

Here's the Twin City perspective on Ed Guardado coming to Seattle. Apparently the reactive move is for the Twins to inquire about Ugueth Urbina.

Here's the Atlanta J-C blabbing about John Thomson coming to town. Also in the article is speculation about the Braves going after Jose Guillen to help patch up the Gary Sheffield void.

Again, the ATL J-C, this time talking about the Greg Maddux mess. I think he's going to SD, but that's just me.

The Cards are apparently trying to get Rob Alomar to replace Fernando Vina, which really isn't a big pair of shoes to fill at 2B.

Alex, Scott Boras, and the Players union are talking to see if Alex can restructure his contract and have it jive, or something like that.

So now we see the Marlins' progression of thought. Cut loose Ivan Rodriguez, then go after Javy Lopez, whose agent is named Chuck Berry. A different Chuck Berry was the reason why countless people, including Ted Nugent, picked up a guitar for the first time. And to free money, they'll cut Juan Encarnacion loose. Note: I'm looking at those URLs and they look the same, but point to a different story. If so, you shouldn't have to maneuver around the site too much to get the stories.

San Diego probably won't get Kenny Lofton. Next on their list -- Mike Cameron.

And no link here, but a truly comical move -- Rockies signed third baseman Vinny Castilla, who had been with the Braves, to a one-year, $2.1 million contract with a mutual option for 2005. How old is this guy? Like 75 or something? Anyway, he probably just wants to pad his stats one last time. Unfortunately, that probably means there isn't a spot in Denver for Jeff Cirillo...

And there's the surf around the RotoWorld-supplied links today. I didn't bring much material, but I'm just lazy right now. Sue me.

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It figures!

Brad Fullmer has signed a one year deal with the Texas Rangers. He will replace Rafael Palmeiro. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

However, the Detroit Tigers prove once again WHY they are the Tigers!

Former Cardinals 2B Fernando Vina has signed with the Tigers for 2 years, 6 million

Yeah, if I'm Miguel Tejada, I'd REALLY want to sign with the Tigers.

But man, Fullmer is going to be a bitch to face in that Rangers lineup...DAMMMMMIT!

FIRE UP THE MIGGY HOT STOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Seattle P-I

Seattle Times
Seattle Times---Larry Stone's view on Eddie

Hey hey hey! Well, we're a little late with this than usual, but sue us. We both have finals to study for. School > Everything else in early-mid December.

But anyways...

The Seattle Times' Larry Stone had a great column on the newest Mariner, Eddie Guardado. Stone is without a shadow of a doubt the best baseball writer in the Northwest. It's too bad that he doesn't get more attention throughout the country, because he's definitely better than Jayson Stark and Pedro Gomez.

Guardado's real nickname, of course, is "Every Day Eddie," bestowed by a Minneapolis columnist in tribute to his indefatigable workload as a setup man before ascending to the Twins' closing job in 2002.

It's a moniker he savors, though he was reluctant to hand out the "Every Day Eddie" T-shirts a fan sent him, for fear teammates would think his ego was expanding.

"It's always neat when you have a nickname in professional sports," he said. "I enjoy it. So you don't have to stop calling me that."

He may be reluctant, but I'm expecting some type of Guardado shirt to be sold at Safeco Field as well as outside the ballpark at Sports Warehouse and other stands. I'd buy a Guardado shirt, no doubt about it. And hopefully I'll be able to buy a Tejada shirt as well.

I'm already betting 20 fake dollars that the Safeco DJ will play Dave Matthews Band's "Everyday" as Guardado's entrance music. But as good as DMB's "Everyday" is, I'd go for Sly and the Family Stone's "Everyday People". But unfortunately, the M's are image conscious, so they may decide to avoid Sly and his past problems. Too bad. We are talking about the same team that INTRODUCED the damn "Who Let The Dogs Out?" piece of crap song. We'll just leave it at that.

Trust me, Eddie. Dan Wilson has his own t-shirt as well. I think Willie Bloomsuck may have his own as well. So you're entitled to one as well. You've done more than both Wilson and Bloomsuck combined and more. And believe me, "Everyday Eddie" is a great nickname.

May 25, 2003 Twins at Mariners ESPN Sunday Night Baseball
The Mariners got a telling dose of Guardado last May when he came in to protect a 3-1 lead at Safeco Field. After Bret Boone hit a double, he engaged Edgar Martinez in an epic 14-pitch battle.

"Finally, on the 14th pitch, I said, 'Here you go, Edgar.' I didn't tell him that, but I was talking to myself — 'Here it is. Hit it.' "

Martinez blasted the ball to the warning track in right field, where Dustin Mohr made a leaping, game-saving catch.

"My heart was beating," Guardado laughed. "When he hit it, I thought it was gone. Those are exciting times. But I'm glad I'm on their side now."

That was undisputedly one of my favorite moments of the 2003 season, even though Edgar made the final out of the ballgame. Guardado showed me something that night. I had been a Guardado fan before that ballgame. But after May 25, there was no doubt in my mind that he was a guy I'd love to see in Seattle.

And guess what? He's a Mariner now.

Before leaving the Twins' organization, his home for all 14 years of his career since Minnesota made him a 21st-round draft pick out of San Joaquin Delta JC in 1990, Guardado consulted with Paul Molitor.

Molitor — a former Twins teammate and newly hired Mariners hitting coach — put on a subtle but powerful sales pitch.

"Molly was with Milwaukee for 15 years, and he had to make the same decision I had to make," Guardado said. "He basically told me, 'Do what's best for your family.' He also told me Seattle was a great place to play. He said I was going to be happy. He said, 'Come on — I need you there.' "

The hardest part of the decision, Guardado said, was leaving behind the Twins' organization.

"Believe me, it was a tough decision," he said. "My heart will be in Minnesota, but it's time to close that book and open a new one."

Boy, that decision to bring on Paul Molitor as hitting coach has worked out already, hasn't it? And we're not even in Spring Training yet.

Minnesota is a nice place. I've never been there, but it's nice. The fan support is great. Homer hankies are great as well. Hopefully the Twins can get a new ballpark because the fans there deserve it. Believe me, having to watch ballgames in the Kingdome sucked ass for years. I'd hate to see the fans there have to watch ballgames in the Metrodome until the end of time.

Yesterday, Guardado gushed over his new digs ("I walked into the clubhouse and said, 'You've got to be kidding.' It's huge. So this is a clubhouse."). He raved over the passion and civility of Mariners fans. He met with new teammates Dan Wilson and Jamie Moyer.

Yes Eddie, "this" is a clubhouse. I've been fortunate enough to spend time in the Mariner clubhouse myself, and it is HUGE. And the passion and civility of M's fans is good as well. Well, the passion part among the M's blognation is great. The civility? Well, you'll find out about that after the signing of Miguel Tejada, whether it's in Seattle or another city.

Again, welcome to Seattle Eddie!!!

To add to the great Eddies, how about Eddie Money and Eddy Grant? Hopefully Eddie Guardado is "Eddie Money" and gives us two tickets to paradise, i.e. The World Series. If that happens, Seattle will be "Electric Avenue".

FIRE UP THE MIGGY HOT STOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Tuesday, December 09, 2003

IT'S 13 NOW?? 

So...I'm asking myself whether this Eddie deal is worth $14M or $13M.

The structuring of the deal turned out a lot weirder than I thought. I'm wondering who gets to pull the trigger on the options after every offseason -- the brass or Eddie? I don't know.

But anyway, if they shaved an extra million off the deal, then that's always good for spending it on other players and hopefully not PADDING THE BOTTOM LINE which I wouldn't put past this ownership.

Other great Eddies: Eddie the Iron Maiden mascot, and Eddie Van Halen.

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More informational ESPN AP link

Associated Press
SEATTLE -- Eddie Guardado and the Seattle Mariners agreed Tuesday to a contract that guarantees the closer $13 million over three years.

The deal is for 2004 and includes both player and team options for 2005 and 2006. If he earns performance bonuses included in the contract, he would make $17 million over the three seasons.

Guardado, who had 41 saves in 45 chances for Minnesota last season, became the first player to agree to a deal among the 25 offered arbitration Sunday by their former clubs.

Guardado, 33, had been with the Twins since 1993. He joins a bullpen that includes Kazuhiro Sasaki, who started 2003 as Seattle's closer, and Shigetoshi Hasegawa, who finished the season as closer.

Following the departure of Arthur Rhodes, Guardado becomes the top left-hander in the Seattle bullpen.

"Eddie will be a great fit for our bullpen," Mariners manager Bob Melvin said. "He's a guy who has proven he can get both left-handers and right-handers out at the end of a game and, typically, setup guys get bigger outs than closers."

Everyday Eddie's 2003 splits
vs RH: .219
vs LH: .175

3-year splits (2001-2003)
vs RH: .211
vs LH: .195

Welcome to Seattle, Eddie!

FIRE UP THE MIGGY HOT STOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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ESPN AP link

Just off the wire....

Associated Press
SEATTLE -- Free-agent reliever Eddie Guardado and the Seattle Mariners agreed to a one-year contract Tuesday that includes options for two additional years, The Associated Press reports.

Guardado, the Twins closer and an All-Star in 2003, had 41 saves last season. The 33-year-old left-hander pitched 11 seasons for Minnesota, compiling a 36-47 record, 4.50 ERA and 116 saves.

We don't know the terms of the contract yet, that will come in a few hours. But this is very interesting to say the least. Could it be that the M's wanted to be able to have more money set away for Miguel Tejada for 2004? Remember, after the 2004 season, the M's are rid of John Olerud and Kazuhiro Sasaki's contracts.

But I'll say that this is a great deal for the Mariners. Guardado is one of the best relievers in baseball. And he's not going to Oakland, like I originally thought earlier in the offseason.

Thank god that I'm able to admit that I can be wrong once in a while.

FIRE UP THE MIGGY HOT STOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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HELL YEAH!!!!!!!!!!!!

Everyday Eddie Guardado will be a Seattle Mariner.

Did I just type that?

3 years, 14 million. Sure, it may be a little more money than I thought he would be paid. But here's something to think about here. Guardado is coming to Seattle as a "setup man". However, Kazuhiro Sasaki's health is a question mark. Assuming that Sasaki is still with the Mariners in 2004, he would still be the closer. But I have a feeling that the M's signed Guardado not because they think that Sasaki will go back to Japan, but because of Sasaki's health.

I have no problem whatsoever with a bullpen that will feature Guardado and Shigetoshi Hasegawa. How can you complain about that? And it could possibly have Rafael Soriano as well, if he does not land in the starting rotation.

I'm happy about Guardado coming a Mariner not only because I like the guy, but he won't be pitching for Oakland or Boston. The M's, you could say, one upped the A's and Red Sox. I'm very encouraged by that.

Finally, about draft picks. I have a problem with the M's giving up a draft for all-world hack Raul Ibanez. But for Guardado? At least Everday Eddie is good, therefore I have no problem with giving up a pick to the Twins for him.

Now let's see if the M's can land Miguel Tejada......stay tuned!

FIRE UP THE MIGGY HOT STOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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It's only happened in the last couple weeks, but there's certain times where I try to log onto some of these Blogger/Blogspot sites and I get the "Blogspot Internal Server Error" page and it ticks me off because the damn thing encompasses all of the Blogspot sphere. It really ticks me off, and it the problem never gets rectified right away. This does tick other people off, right??

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John Hickey of the P-I has come across the wire reporting that Eddie Guardado is within days of signing a deal with the Mariners for 3 years and $14M. I'm glad to at least know and know quickly that there was some sort of legitimate contingency plan present when Rhodes wasn't offered arbitration.

Finnigan at the Times puts out an article tonight about the thought of not having Randy Winn in CF (that's a good thought) and hunting for someone else. As I suspected yesterday after he wasn't offered arbitration, Gold Glover Jose Cruz Jr is on the list of prospective CFs.

I'd love to do a more definitive post right now, but my final lab for this GIS class is due tomorrow...and I need to hunker down and stuff.

The Tribune article will come soon though.

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Monday, December 08, 2003


More "Ask The Mariners" questions that are stupid as hell

Q: It's great to have a place to ask questions, and vent. Thanks. I was just reading your column. It seems that people can't get past the "let's get a star" routine. Haven't the Mariners proven they can win without a star? Why do people get so hung up on that? Let's get some more players with the work ethic of Edgar and Jamie (who are stars, by the way) and we can't lose. We need to find that special player who can get us to the next step. He doesn't have to be a star. Who is he? I don't know. But I know he's out there. Maybe this is the year that management will find him. Thanks to the Mariners for many years of exciting baseball. This is from a fan who has been there from the beginning. And also now resides (26 years) in the Bay Area and continues to carry the Mariner Banner. I know 2004 will be a great year! -- Debbie T., San Carlos, Calif.

To answer Debbie T.'s question, it is every fan's right to expect the best out of their team. Have the M's proven that they can win without a star, Debbie asks? Yes and no. Yes, they did go to the playoffs in 2000 without Ken Griffey, Jr. and Randy Johnson, and in 2001 without Alex Rodriguez. But what happened in both of those years?

Lost to the Yankees in 6 games in the ALCS
Lost to the Yankees in 5 games in the ALCS

To me, that's considered falling short. I don't consider just getting to the playoffs "winning". Winning is what the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Anaheim Angels, and the Florida Marlins have done the last 3 seasons, winning the World Series.

You need a superstar-type player to win a championship. I'd feel a lot better about the M's chances in 2004 if Miguel Tejada is starting at shortstop April 6, 2004 in Safeco Field in the home whites.

Tejada is a superstar. But when the term "superstar" is thrown around, it doesn't always mean that the player is a primadonna or a stuck up jerk. Superstars are players that produce big time numbers. Especially when it counts. Bret Boone is a star. But he's no superstar.

Jim Street says that name players don't always work. True. But at the same time, you have to take risks. Signing Tejada would be a risk. But it is no more of a risk than signing all-world hack Raul Ibanez to an obscene 3-year contract.

To win a championship, you have to take risks. One thing's for sure:

The Pollyanna approach the M's have used the last 4 years has been good, but not good enough. "Not good enough" sums up the Mariners in a nutshell.

And one more thing, fans should expect the Mariners to put the best possible team together. I mean, aren't the people of Washington paying for or have paid for Safeco Field? There's nothing wrong with demanding success.

FIRE UP THE MIGGY HOT STOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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This is a quick one to jog the memories of Seahawk fans across the land...

"Pass interference. Number 24, defense. The penalty will be enforced from the spot of the foul. First down."

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I was just about to post that Colon link when Jeremy beat me to the punch, but that's jolly because then I don't have to think of much material.

Like Jeremy said, if Colon signs with the Angels, that leaves only the Dodgers as legitimate competition for Tejada, and even still, most articles I've been saying have placed the Mariners and Angels as bidders in the Tejada sweepstakes. Of course, this is unless Arte Moreno goes nuts as REALLY opens up his pocketbook or something. Or if Tejada is stupid and goes to Detroit. And with the Dodgers, if they land Nomar as is rumored, then they're not gonna go after Tejada. So that leaves only the Mariners, assuming the A's really have no chance, like we are led to believe. You never know, he might think about it for a while, and then take the A's to arb, try to have a better year with the A's next year, and get more money and years on next year's market. I'M HOPING AND PRAYING HE DOESN'T DO THAT.

Tibits catching my eye from RotoWorld involve the Devil Rays having Carl Everett, Jose Cruz Jr, and Juan Gonzalez on their list. Another RotoWorld thing on Colon...I didn't think the Angels were going to shop Washburn or Ramon Ortiz after they got Colon. That's borderline dumb, if you ask me. The phrase "robbing Peter to pay Paul" comes to mind, even though Colon is better than either of Wash and Ortiz (Pedro Lite...remember, I think he even changed his number from 36 to 45).

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Fat ass Bartolo Colon could be an Anaheim Angel soon.

4 years, 48 million. Wow. How do I count the ways of how stupid this deal would be?

As I've said here in the past, there are a few Krispy Kremes in the Anaheim area. No word on whether the new Angels owner will offer Colon a minority ownership in a Krispy Kreme franchise or not, however.

But here's why this deal is AWESOME for the Mariners' sake...

MIGUEL TEJADA COULD BE A MARINER BECAUSE OF THIS DEAL. The Angels, along with the Mariners, are in contention for Tejada. If the Angels do sign Colon, which is likely, then that's money that could have been used for Tejada.

Colon is a decent pitcher. But 12 million a year??? Come on.

Come on, come on. Come on! Come on, come on, come on....COME ON!!!

No word on Eddie Guardado however...yet.

FIRE UP THE MIGGY HOT STOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Just my initial thoughts about the Mariner schedule...

Yeah, that's a brutal road stretch the Mariners have at the end of September.

It's a shame Junior will not come back to the park he helped build.

Lastly, it was really odd to me when I saw the season was opening on April 6th. Why so late?? And the season ends on October 3rd? Why so late?? Was there a problem with starting a few days earlier like last year and ending in September? Is the scheduling committee trying to find some way to make sure Game 7 of the World Series ends up on Halloween?

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Opening Day April 6 vs Anaheim

Finally, the Mariners have released their 2004 schedule.

Earlier in the offseason, I had posted the Reds 2004 schedule because they were scheduled to play the M's at Safeco Field June 11-13. It would have been Ken Griffey, Jr.'s homecoming. But it is not to be. The Indians asked MLB if they could have another series with the Reds, their cross-state rival. MLB granted it, and the Expos have replaced the Reds on the schedule.

The Seattle Mariners today announced their 2004 regular season schedule, which begins on Opening Day, Tuesday, April 6 at home against the Anaheim Angels. Special game time for the opener is 2:05 p.m.

In addition to the opening three-game series against the Angels, the April home schedule includes a seven-game homestand against the Mariners ' other division rivals. The Texas Rangers (April 16-18) and Oakland Athletics (April 19-22) will be in action at Safeco Field.

The defending American League champion New York Yankees will make two weekend appearances in Seattle (May 7-9 and August 13-15).

In interleague play, the Mariners and the AL West teams have been matched up primarily with the National League Central Division. The Houston Astros (June 7-9) will make their first-ever visit to Safeco Field (June 7-9). The other National League opponents coming to town will be the Montreal Expos (June 11-13) and the San Diego Padres (June 25-27). The Mariners interleague road schedule will take them to Milwaukee (June 15-17), Pittsburgh (June 18-20) and St. Louis (July 2-4).

The Mariners will be home on two major summer holidays, facing the Toronto Blue Jays on Memorial Day (May 31) and the Cleveland Indians on Labor Day (September 6).

The start time of home night games will be 7:05 p.m., with Sundays at 1:05 p.m. Midweek afternoon games will begin at 1:35. (Start times may be revised in mid-December, including changes to accommodate national television.)

Other Key Notes on the 2004 M's schedule:

Longest Homestand: Sept. 6-19 (2 vs Indians, 4 vs Red Sox, 4 vs Angels, 3 vs A's)
Longest Road Trip: July 26-Aug. 8 (3 at A's, 4 at Angels, 2 vs Orioles, 4 vs Devil Rays)
This is why the Mariners need a decent bench in 2004, not the Rule 5/Bloomsuck/Gipson etc. crap they've had in recent years.

19 games against the A's, 20 vs the Angels, 19 vs the Rangers
(June 22-24 at Texas...I could be going down to Arlington for that series, stay tuned)

Looking at this schedule, the first thing that caught my eye was September. Good grief.
Sept. 20-22 at Anaheim
Sept. 24-26 at Texas
Sept. 27-30 at Oakland
The M's come back to Seattle to face the Rangers the final 3 games of the regular season October 1-3.

So there you go, the 2004 Mariners schedule.


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Here's the blogosphere gauge of last night's salary arbitration-related ruckus...

One Hundred Sixteen: No action since the 3rd.

JAMB: Matt thinks Shiggy was lucky last year, and therefore doesn't like the signing. He hates that Cameron has been cut loose for striking out too much. He also makes a parallel that's sure to draw a ton of emails -- Cameron v Buhner = black v white. Yes, racial. Frankly, I think Jay had a ton more power than Cameron, and I think that more than made up for his speed difference with Cameron and Buhner definitely had the better arm.

Mariner Bullpen: Rick weighs the offense and defense between 2003 and 2004, and what it may look like, whether it's better or worse, etc. He then posts something from the Bullpen newsgroup suggesting Reggie Sanders and Matt Stairs as additions. But you can forget about Stairs because (last post) he's close to signing with Kansas City.

Mariners Musings: Peter hasn't posted since Finnigan's Tejada "offer, I think" article. He'll be on it soon enough, I'm sure.

Steve's Mariners, etc.: Steve wants to find spoons, I'm guessing those are to gag himself/ourselves with.

Ahoy the SS Mariner: Paul rails the Mets for moving stud Jose Reyes to 2B and pleads for the Mariners to get Tejada or Reyes. He is also irate due to Borders getting offered arb and not Cameron.

Safest Blog: Gabriel makes the connection between the Borders arb offer and Garcia, who probably is going to get arb...it's the only way Borders getting arb remotely makes sense.

USS Mariner: David Cameron has the best quote of the night, citing his "[inability] to rationally comment" on the Borders arb offer as a reason to end his post. Jason MB feels deceived about Borders, and also is disappointed because he thought Rhodes would be available for a discount based on last year's debacle.

Dave's M's Blog: Dave's been off since the Ibanez signing.

And that, my friends, is your Mariners post-arb blogosphere update.

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The Kansas City Star has some Matt Stairs and Benito Santiago material at this registration-required link.

The Royals have been close to a deal with Stairs, 35, for several days but held off signing to avoid surrendering a draft pick. He batted .292 last season with 20 homers and 57 RBIs at Pittsburgh.

Stairs is an 11-year veteran who provides the Royals with a left-handed bat off the bench. He also can play left field and first base.

The Royals are also trying to nail down a deal with veteran catcher Benito Santiago, 38, over the next few days. The A's and Braves are also believed to be interested in Santiago, who batted .279 last season for the Giants with 11 homers and 56 RBIs in 108 games.

What have your Seattle Mariners done lately to add some punch to the bench? Don't think too hard about it...

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Yep, I'm doing my last lab for the ol' Intro to GIS class here at Central, but what have I been more busy with the last three hours? Arb day.

Now, here comes articles from Dave Andriesen of the P-I, who was gone for a while (LaRue was gone for a while, so was Andriesen), and Bob Finnigan of the Times. Tribune article will probably come at 2:30am PT if the trends hold up like they have over the last week. Yes, I have GIS class to thank along with my horrible attention span for keeping me up at that hour of the night.

First, the Andriesen article...it says that the Mariners "surprisingly" offered arb to Pat Borders, so at least there is some dissent there (will be compared to Finnigan later).

"I don't feel great about [cutting Cameron loose]," Bavasi said. "This guy filled some pretty big shoes in 2001.

Cameron had some bigger shoes to fill in 2000...BECAUSE 2000 WAS THE FIRST YEAR AFTER GRIFFEY LEFT. Okay, so it's probably an honest mistake on Bavasi's part, but come on.

Cameron's departure makes Randy Winn the Mariners' center fielder, though that could change.

Okay...one of the things that I wish I could singlehandedly change about this offseason is how everyone thinks Randy Winn will be a sufficient centerfielder for this team. NO. He's a ZOO. I've said this many times. I posted one of the comments to a reader by the name of Sally in this post. I know Ichiro has the best arm, but you need someone to hit those gaps and run those doubles down, and his speed is better than Winn's. Of course, the perfect plan of attack for all of this would have been to (1) not have Edgar invite Raul Ibanez to his party in PR, (2) sign Vlad Guerrero (not offered arb today), and (3) sign Jose Cruz Jr (ALSO not offered arb today). They could have waited until today and they could have had a chance at this because they wouldn't have stupidly blown money on Ibanez. AND they'd satisfy the people who don't like the Mariners losing draft picks upon signing FAs, though the Mariners haven't been able to sign two of their last four #1 picks anyway, making those two picks moot. So the outfield scenario I had there was Cruz/Ichiro/Guerrero. Ichiro covers the gaps in CF and Guerrero still has the quality arm in RF. Cruz and Ichiro are Gold Glovers. Cruz would return with a Gold Glove in tow to the very place where people questioned his defense before he left in the trade to Toronto.

[EDIT 2:50am -- Further reading indicates John Mayberry Jr was the first Mariner first-round draft pick not to sign since 1989 when Scott Burrell chose UConn basketball instead of Mariners minor-league hijinks. My point, though...draft picks don't always sign, and needless to say, they aren't immediately proven and they don't always pan out.]

Rhodes was the only left-hander in the Seattle bullpen last season, and his loss could mean the Mariners are more intent on signing lefty Minnesota closer Eddie Guardado.

It damn well better mean one of two things -- either they're making a big pitch to Eddie G, or they're gonna give Madritsch and other minor-league cohorts a shot. What I don't want them to do is bring in B-level journeyman hacks to be lefty relievers. Jeremy names Terry Mulholland as a journeyman hack. I will try to name someone who is like a left-handed Jason Grimsley, just someone who sucks. Hmm... Allen Watson comes to mind... Maybe Matt White gets his second cup of coffee with the Mariners. Maybe bring Paul Assenmacher (though he did have his days...my mom called him "Paul Ass" in those days) out of retirement?

Bavasi also confirmed publicly for the first time yesterday that the Mariners were bidding on Oakland free agent shortstop Miguel Tejada, though he stopped short of saying Seattle had made a formal offer.

"We're obviously interested, without a doubt," he said. "But I think that one might work a little slowly."

By "slowly," I'm pretty sure Bavasi means that he's waiting for the other teams in the running to sign other people...for the field to dwindle down. Namely, as David Locke of KJR pointed out, Bavasi could be waiting for Anaheim to overpay $12M/yr for Bartolo Colon so they don't have money left to sign Tejada. If the Manny/Alex deal goes through and Nomar goes to LA, the Dodgers won't have moolah or even an open position to be spending on or giving to Tejada, because they'd have a shortstop. Hypothetically, he'd fall into the Mariners' lap because no one else would have money left to spend on him other than maybe Detroit, and if Migg hasn't learned from Juan Gonzalez' tenure in Detroit, then he's dumb. But we know hypotheses never work when trying to analyze Mariner management.

Now for the Finnigan article...
Given Derek Zumsteg's incessant and justified grilling of Finnigan at the USS Mariner, it makes all of us perk our ears up to these Finnigan articles.

The great contributions to this article are the Cameron quotes.
It's weird what happened. It's crazy this feeling I'm left with ... It's like your dad tells you to get the hell out of the house. 'We still love you, son ... but you can't come back.'

I wanted to be back. I tried hard to get back ... In the end, it was kind of crazy, really different than I expected, but I hold no hard feelings, only good thoughts for Seattle and the fans and my teammates. ... I mean my ex-teammates.

I'm not gonna miss the strikeouts, but I'm gonna miss that smile, that speed (that was never fully utilized even when he WAS on base...that goes for both Bob AND Lou) and that off-centered cap.

They did offer arbitration to catcher Pat Borders, whom Bavasi says the "club has a special relationship with."

I'll probably just stop right here and let Zumsteg take care of this too. Okay, maybe not. Derek has a point...and Steve concurs with it, too, about the discrepancy in payroll numbers. They believe Finnigan spreads the lies and carries the Mariner flag rather than the journalistic flag so he can be on the good side of the Mariner brass. What did I put the Borders quote up there for, though? Everyone who owns half a brain knows that the reaction to only Borders being offered arb has to be at least a LITTLE BIT puzzling or something, especially when arb WASN'T offered to Cam or Rhodes. Andriesen didn't exactly go out on a limb in his quote by saying Borders was "surprisingly" offered arb, but at least he hinted at a puzzlingness better than a set of quote marks by Finnigan can.

And that brings me to one thing, which I believe (correct me if I'm wrong) is December 20th, when the free agents are offered contracts, arb, or a pinkslip. Borders got his arb offer. Garcia is up on the 20th, as is Winn, who as Steve noted, could fetch $5M (WHY, OH WHY??!!).

THE TRIBUNE HAS UPDATED earlier than 2:30am...amazing. It's 1:12 right now.
This one's got LaRue's name on it.

And unfortunately, nothing at least hinting that Borders getting arb was somewhat surprising. One-for-three for the Seattle-area Mariner beat writers.

The freshest material from this article, which is mostly about the Shig contract, is...

If the season began today, Bavasi said, Randy Winn would be Seattle's center fielder. It doesn't, and Bavasi will pursue other outfielders at baseball's winter meetings later this week.

Can Winn do the job?

"I think we expect from Randy what you all expected from Mike when he followed Ken Griffey Jr. into Seattle," Bavasi said. "He's a good center fielder who only played the position last year a handful of times coming over from left field. That's tough to do."

I like the turnaround after saying Randy Winn would be the starting CF and then bluntly reminding everyone that the season doesn't begin tomorrow. And thank God for that, because I don't want Randy Winn setting foot in CF this year unless he's backing up Ichiro or a reasonable on-the-market CF (Jose Cruz wasn't offered arb), who should be playing CF. And there's NO WAY IN HELL I would expect from Winn what I saw from Cam and Junior. Winn's can't even touch those guys. Why? Speed's not quite there (though still somewhat fast) and as I keep saying here at Sports and B's, WINN HAS NO ARM. If any opposing team has a hitter gap one and there's a runner on first, you might as well call the ball dead and have that runner come around to score so no one gets hurt. The hitter would then be awarded second base.

That's it for now. I gotta power in some quick work here so I can justify my existence in the lab here this late. See y'all later...

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Sunday, December 07, 2003


Borders only M's FA offered arbitration

Catcher Pat Borders was Seattle's only free agent who was offered arbitration.

"We offered him arbitration because the club has a special relationship with this guy," Mariners GM Bill Bavasi said.

No Benitez. No Mabry. No McLemore. No Sanchez.

Arthur Rhodes and Mike Cameron were not offered arby either.

But Pat Borders was.

"We offered him arbitration because the club has a special relationship with the guy"


The "special relationship" was when he was Freddy Garcia's warden officer out on the field. Other than that, he's useless for the Mariners organization.

And while I didn't think the M's would offer Rhodes and Cameron arbitration in the first place, the M's offering PAT FREAKING BORDERS arbitration is a slap in the face to those two players. Two players who have played a key part for the Mariners the past four seasons.

Pat Borders won the 1992 World Series MVP. So what. That was nice, back in 1992. SCOTT BROSIUS won a World Series MVP award and nobody thinks he's special enough to get offered arbitration.

Now, the Borders situation is one thing, but the Ibanez/Winn OF combo...

General manager Bill Bavasi said Randy Winn, who played in left field last season, will move to center. Raul Ibanez, a free agent who joined the Mariners last month, will play in left.

That's a pretty bold statement by Bavasi. I hope he has Miguel Tejada signed, sealed, delivered, because believe me, you're not going to get a whole lot of offense from Ibanez and Winn. And with this news, Ichiro will stay in right field.

David and I want Tejada so bad I'm willing to do some major heavy duty things to get the deal done. That's how bad we want this team to win.

But just watch, the Mariners will sign Jeff Reboulet.

Why? He fits the Mariners bill of veteran guys who drink milk as a recreational beverage.

And one more thing on Tejada...

He was offered arbitration by the A's. So that means that the A's will get a draft pick for him from the team that signs him. Oh holy hell, if the Mariners don't sign Tejada ALL BECAUSE OF A DRAFT PICK..............well, YOU BETTER DAMN WELL BELIEVE THAT THERE'S GOING TO BE HELL TO PAY. Sports aren't that serious, mind you. BUT THIS IS FRIGGIN MIGUEL TEJADA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kids, there's more to life in baseball than 93 wins and no playoffs.

There's the month of October.

A month where I've had to watch OTHER TEAMS play the great game of baseball.

THIS IS A HUGE OFFSEASON FOR THE MARINERS. HUGE!!! If they don't have a productive offseason, then that is crapping on every fan and taxpayer that comes to and is currently paying for Safeco Field.

I'm fired up. Come on Mariners brass, don't let me down.

FIRE UP THE MIGGY HOT STOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Rotoworld stuff again...

In addition to Wells and Pettitte, the Yanks offered arb to Gabe White and John Flaherty.

The Marlins declined arb to Todd Hollandsworth and Rick Helling.

The Twins offered arb to Ed Guardado, which I knew. But they re-signed Shannon Stewart to 3yrs, $18M.

More coming, I'm sure...

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I haven't thanked everyone out there in cyberspace and blogspace who contributed (according to BlogStats) to over 4100 hits for Sports and B's for the month of November. Thank you all. And in all likelihood, we're likely to smash that mark because we're at 1674 hits for almost seven days' worth of December as I'm typing this. If the pace keeps up, multiply that by a little more than four and we get somewhere in the mid-6000s.

Who'd have thunk that some po-dunk B-towners could do this??

And if you think there's a discrepancy between the BlogStats and the web counter under the links on this page, that's because there is. The web counter doesn't count repeat hits in succession from the same IP address, but BlogStats does. The problem is, I don't know what date I installed the freakin' counter on this site.

Anyway, here's to more arb news...

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As Jeremy has shown me, RotoWorld is pretty golden for quick updates, as they've gotten two more things up on the site in the past 5 minutes.

Red Sox re-sign David McCarty.

Dodgers offer arb to Wilson Alvarez and Paul Quantrill.

Yankees re-sign Ruben Sierra to be the bat off the bench for 1yr, $1M.

Surely there's more to come over the next few days, unless I'm just hopped up on anticipation.

Also, Pettitte and Wells were offered arb.

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Quick SportsLine article on the A's offering arb to Tejada, Rincon, and Foulke.

Another SportsLine article on Ivan Rodriguez' last day as a Florida Marlin.

And the Giants add Michael Tucker and keep JT Snow.


And ESPN's amalgam of arb-related stuff up to about 9:12pm on Sunday night.

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The Canucks tied the Wild 1-1 last night, so I have to give them their due, though it's not proper right now because it's finals week here at Central.

I'd also like to thank the Seahawks for WASTING THREE HOURS OF MY LIFE TODAY. Thanks a whole BUNCH, guys!! I don't even want to see that team make the playoffs now, because they'll just get blown out in the first round just like they did that first year when Holmgren was coach. They got blown out by a Dolphins team that was at the very end of the Marino era and was starting Jay frigging Fiedler instead. The Hawks got blown out in Miami and then that Miami team turned around and got their asses handed to them by Jacksonville in the second round.

Oh yeah, about the game, there were about two points when I knew the game was over today. One was when the score went to 13-0 Vikings. The other was when Culpepper threw the first deep ball to Moss. If I were Mike Tice today, I would have thrown a deep ball on every down. And on every 4th down, I'd ask the punter to fumble it, pick it up, and then run for the first down -- yes, THAT HAPPENED TODAY.

But yeah, I don't want this team to make the playoffs to save itself the embarrassment of playing a playoff game on the road. The way they looked, it seemed like the Seahawks never even left the team hotel today. When people joke sometimes, they say "oh, the team didn't play today. They showed up, but they didn't play." Today, the Hawks just stayed at the hotel. Hell, the score might have even been closer if the Seahawks never got off the plane at MSP.

Anyway, I don't want this team to make the playoffs in the same way that the Sonics team a couple years ago shouldn't have made the playoffs (I heard people say they should have been the 9th seed though they were actually the 7th), and in the same way that I wanted the 2003 (and maybe 2002) Mariners to tank it after the deadline and give a huge middle finger to management.

Arb deadline has come and gone...news should be forthcoming...

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Okay, I had a post a while ago about how badly I hate Ted Lilly because I just do. Today, news comes about for another player that I hate a whole bunch...

This from RotoWorld.com --
Royals re-signed RHP Jason Grimsley to a one-year, $1 million contract.
- Grimsley was awful last year, posting a 5.16 ERA and allowing half the runners he inherited to score. He can't even blame Kauffman Stadium for his performance, as he gets about as many grounders as any pitcher in the majors (3.68:1 GB:FB ratio in 2003). The Royals should have let him go.

I'm glad there's damning statistical proof against Grimsley, because I maintain that the world is a sane place when no team with Jason Grimsley gets anywhere meaningful. And if they do, it's in spite of him. I hate the guy. He's crap.

Arb deadline in 25 minutes!!!

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The Mariners have re-signed Shigetoshi Hasegawa to a 2-year deal, worth 6.3 million.

The 35-year-old right-hander gets a $500,000 signing bonus and salaries of $2.5 million next season and $2,975,000 in 2005. Seattle has a $3.1 million option for 2006 that could become guaranteed under certain conditions. There is a $325,000 buyout.

To me, that's a very fair deal. He's been a very valuable part of the Mariner bullpen the last two years. Now we shall see if the M's offer arbitration to Arthur Rhodes and Mike Cameron.

GET SHIGGY WITH IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
FIRE UP THE MIGGY HOT STOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Well, after finding out that USC will NOT play in the Sugar Bowl, I am.

But anyways, this is a Mariner-related post, fear not.

All offseason long, we've entertained the possibilities of the 2004 Mariner outfield. Any combination with Vladimir Guerrero would have ruled. But then reality set in. When Raul Ibanez was signed for his obscene contract, then we had to include the hack into the M's outfield.

So then the possibilities were Ibanez/Mike Cameron/Ichiro or Ibanez/Randy Winn/Ichiro. Obviously the first one is not happening, because I think Cameron is good as gone. Whether he's going to Oakland or to Flushing, NY remains to be seen. But he's gone.

As for Randy Winn, he's eligible for arbitration. I don't want to hear about him having a "great" second half in 2003. Boo fricking hoo. David's right, the guy is a ZOO in center field. I don't want Winn in center field next year. Furthermore, I don't Winn to be the reason why the M's can't sign Miguel Tejada. More on that later.

It is the Hot Stove League, and we all like to spew our thoughts on what our teams should look like for the upcoming season. Well, here's my 2004 Mariner outfield:

Chris Snelling
Raul Ibanez

That's right, Chris Snelling.

The M's are going to have give him a chance one of these years. He has been injury prone, but if healthy, he can be a solid player. In 2003, he split time between Double-A San Antonio and Triple-A Tacoma. Combining his stints in SA and TAC, he hit .316 in 65 games, hit 6 home runs, and drove in 35 runs. He was coming off of a knee injury suffered in early June 2002, when Dave Myers made Snelling overrun 3rd base in Oakland, ending his season. Snelling was hurt again during the final month of the season in Tacoma with a torn meniscus.

Come Spring Training in Peoria, Snelling is going to get an opportunity to earn a spot on the 25-man roster. I have no doubt that he can do that. If he does leave Peoria with the big club, then why not let him start in left field? It's obvious that the M's are not going to sign a free agent outfielder. And in due time, he will make people forget about the overrated player known as Randy Winn.

Is Winn worth 5 mil in arbitration, like Steve commented in David's last post? I don't think so. Is it worth it to give Snelling a chance to earn the starting LF spot in Spring Training?

That would be a yes.

As for Tejada...

I'm sick and tired of all the bashing of Tejada from some of the M's fans. Why bash the guy? Oh, because Carlos Guillen is the second coming of Ozzie Smith and they just can't get rid of him? Come on now.

Folks, I just want to see this team win. Not just win the A.L. West. Not just win the American League pennant. But I want to see this team win the World Series. I could care less about profit margins. Only suits care about those things. The players and fans care about winning.

Give me a Snelling/Ichiro/Ibanez outfield and Tejada at short, and I'll be very happy.

FIRE UP THE MIGGY HOT STOVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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