Friday, March 30, 2007

Rey Frickin' Ordonez

Its like they said, hey, we're going down in flames this year, lets see if we can make someone's head explode! I know, lets keep Ordonez!

Dude never could hit and every defensive metric on the planet suggests his defense is way overrated. He's one of those guys that looks super smooth, but in reality doesn't get to that many balls and makes a ton of errors.

The fact of the matter of course is that HarGroan's bench doesn't matter anyway. Once a week he can pinch run Bloomquist for Sexson or Ibanez or K-Joh and about as often, he'll pinch hit Broussard for one of the middle infielders. Now he can do both in the same game! Woot!

Divison title here we come!

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Saturday, March 24, 2007

This is going to end well

Look, I know the beat writers have to maintain a relationship with the team. They have to see these guys every day and get quotes and generally be nice.

But it kills me that after 3 or 4 stories to start the spring about how misunderstood Jose Guillen is and how he doesn't understand why the malcontent reputation follows him wherever he goes, that this story appears in the PI notebook.

My favorite quote from Guillen:

"Against these guys, I'm gonna tell you straightforward, the anger comes out of me," the Mariners right fielder said Friday. "I want to kill all those guys."

Yep. All he is is misunderstood.

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Early Predictions Confirm that Gravity is Still the Law

Yesterday over at the Replacement Level Yankees Blog, SG reported on his experiment running four different preseason projection systems (Diamond Mind, BP PECOTA, ZiPS, and Sean Smith's CHONE) through 1000-season trials in Diamond Mind to project the 2007 results.

As it turns out, not a one of these computer-generated systems give our Mariners a snowball's chance in hell of a .500 record, let alone Chuck Armstrong's pipe dream of a division title. Hey, at least we're better off than the team that's currently paying $55 million to Gil Meche.

I am having the hardest time caring at all about this Mariners team, and in large part I blame that on the roster construction that is simultaneously 1) so ridiculous that predicting even an 82-win season is wild-eyed optimism, and 2) so devoid of any apparent plan that I will have to learn something new and counterintuitive about baseball in the next year or two in order for this franchise to actually succeed at anything other than stealing cash from the wallets of fans.

This confirms the need for some gushing, openly optimistic writing here at Tatonka, and so in the days remaining before the losses start counting, we're going to unveil Tatonka's Favorite Mariners, the players we've loved over the last 20+ seasons. I'll introduce the project properly when we get going. Meanwhile, I'm not going to bother with the annual prediction of doom, because that's pretty much the consensus for this lousy team. (Oh, except for the folks over at D-O-V, but they seem to have lost their collective minds, running off toward a pay-for-blog model that screams Pollyanna. It's good stuff, but I for one remember the rapid destruction of the great M's blog that was when they decided to milk it for money. Alas.)

Thank goodness for the great players we've had the privilege of rooting for, and for fantasy baseball, in which we can pretend that Bill Bavasi would be punished for his ineffectiveness at...everything having to do with his job except PR. And being bald.

Coming soon...positive, happy, fan-biased memories of the greats.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

If Chuck Armstrong is Ephialtes, does that make Arte Moreno Xerxes?

I seem to lack motivation this week to post, despite the advent of actual baseball games, accompanied by all sorts of buzz in the blogosphere and regular press.

That trend will continue for a good week, as we Tatonkans (?) abandon our immersion in all things trident for a long weekend of shameless non-baseball sporting enjoyment. Fear not, faithful reader: as the blog goes dark, so will it shine again, imparting light into the horrid little corners of the Mariner organization until the cockroaches and lesser demons that hide there are driven away.

In the meantime, enjoy Spring Training, boxscores, inane player comments, inane sportswriters columns, pondering the meaning of BSG episode 16, warm weather and the smell of real grass, and life.

By the way...if you have seen (or are planning to see) 300 soon, I absolutely insist that you must first (or immediately, if you've already been to the theater) also rent the fantastic 1962 film The 300 Spartans, and note how little even Frank Miller has been able to improve on an already great story. The themes of the new film stand out even more sharply in this contrast.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Good Vibrations

We're busy once again at Tatonka, creating a huge project behind the scenes that we can only hint at for the moment. It's big. (You can tell that we're busy by the absolute lack of posting. Really.)

It's also a wild deviation from 90% of our blogging over the last several years; we intend to inject just a tiny little bit of Spring optimism into our fandom. Spring Training's just not doing it for me, and Tad seemed to give up the Hope Springs Eternal crap just about the day after pitchers and catchers reported.

Big, and optimistic.

Before you know it, we will have turned into genuinely nice guys. Like that nice Dan Wilson.

In the interim, I offer you a musicial intermission. Now, this is high-tech interweb stuff, so brace yourself. Ready? OK, start humming. What? Any old tune will do. How about the intermission music from Monty Python and the Holy Grail? No? What about...some nice Nine Inch Nails? Johnny Cash? Polka music? I've got it! "Seventy-six trombones led the big parade...."

See you soon

Saturday, March 03, 2007

The Fans Speak

Over at the PI today they have a poll asking you to pick what will be best about the Mariners this year, the hitting, the pitching or the defense.

The runaway winner?

The park. You can't beat a summer day at Safeco Field.

Yep. Over 50% of Mariner fans think the best thing about the local nine this year is going to be the ballpark. There's a ringing endorsment of Bavasi if I've ever heard one!