Thursday, August 16, 2007

An homage to good baseball, bad baseball decisions and Tatonka reporting

If you're a regular reader of this blog (and to all five, I salute you!), you'll notice that virtually every post is tinged with a mixture of wonderment and disgust. The former at the M's astonishing August appearance in a pennant race, the latter at the overt and covert blunderings management has perpetrated on the team this entire season.

To that end, I thought I'd capture some of the opinions posted already this season as evidence of these diametrically-opposed attitudes, preluded by the post titles. It's a montage of sentiments, with the authors acknowledged accordingly:

Rey Frickin' Ordonez: Tad posted on this backup-shortstop non-roster tryout when he was on the verge of making the big club after a good spring. Never mind that he was 36, had a career .246 BA, no speed and had been out of baseball for two years at the time. Thankfully, that never happened. Perhaps I should be applauding Bavasi and company for dodging an injury-riddled, no hit, no speed (but good glove) bullet, but that would amount to damning with faint praise.

"Real" baseball today: Jason waxed philosophically about Jeff Weaver, Bill Bavasi and the inter-twined cluelessness of this pair of thick-headed baseball dunderheads.

Our long regional nightmare is over! Tad's post again, this time after a six-game losing streak had just ended, with management heads intact - for now. However, he did laud Hargrove's use of the bullpen in that game. Not every move management (Bavasi, Lincoln, Hargrove) made was questionable this year. Just most of them.

M's cut bait, kinda: Tad talks about the placement of Jeff Weaver on the DL despite anything obvious as to what his "injury" was. Apparently general suckitude is a medical condition.

When will the hurting stop? In an excellent (albeit long) dissertation, Jason points out the laughable notion that Weaver and Batista were "among the top six starters the Mariners targeted this October" (per Bavasi). Though we all agreed that $17M combined for those two hacks bordered on lunacy, I must admit that they have been - remarkably - two of our most consistent starters over the past two months. Regardless, even a blind squirrel can find a nut once in a while. Bavasi, most assuredly, is a blind squirrel. He'll be known forever in Mariner lore as the biggest dumpster-diver in GM history.

We're saved! The forgettable Jason Davis acquisition is discussed by Jason, who points out that the Mariners have cornered the market on Jasons.

First versus. last: a microcosm: I analyze the flawed components of team Seattle in a single game versus the superior inter-league Padres.

How to Build a Winning Franchise: Part 1, Milwaukee Brewers: A long, long, long post by (who else) Jason comparing the successful rebuilding of the Milwaukee Brewers as opposed to the poorly-constructed, George-Jetson-on-the-treadmill Mariners. Bill, stop this crazy thing!

Giddy? Up: Jason captures the dichotomy mentioned earlier perfectly with his excitement over the team making a move up the standings despite, " ... even if the slumping Sexson fails to recover; even if Rauuuuul can't defeat age or his mystery shoulder injury; even if our DH is Jose Vidro rather than a real MLB starter; and even if we keep throwing awful starters at least 60% of the time--even if all these things continue to be true--then this club looks like it should achieve a .500 record?! Or better???!"

Well, that really sucked: Tad lays out the inept lineup Grover trotted out on a Sunday, to wit:

CF Ichiro
3B Lopez
2B Vidro
LF Ibanez
1B Sexson
RF Broussard
Ca Johjima
SS Betancourt

The no-power, no-defense, no-speed lineup. Station-to-station, baby!

Ok, this is getting serious: 12 games over .500, 3.5 games out of first, and yet Jones languishes in Tacoma, Vidro's fat ass patrols second base and the starting pitching still blows chunks after spots 1-3. Tad's on a roll.

Stop standing still! Written at the trade deadline by Tad. The post title says it all.

The essential problem with the M's as an organization: The Times' Geoff Baker and Tad nail it with respect to management philosophy in this post (and the supporting Times piece). The M's guarantee AB's for slumping and fading veterans while promising youngsters get little or no time to develop. The cycle perpetuates itself as a result. This is the basic problem with the "rebuilding on the fly" strategy.

How to fix the pitching staff: to Morrow! I rant about my favorite topic of recent weeks: sending Morrow down to stretch himself into a starter, then bring him back up in mid-August to bolster the back end of the staff. Naturally, we instead continue to hand the ball to Ho-Ram.

No stupid trades... no stupid tades ...
Addition by nothing

Heartfelt exhortations by Jason and I to Bavaisi, sandwiched around the trade deadline - one not to make ANY moves at the deadline lest he mortgage the future for nothing, the other lauding the team for indeed NOT mortgaging the future for a typically-lame Mariners' deadline deal.

Bavasi still doesn't get it: Despite the desperate need for an offensive sparkplug, the M's kept Jones in the dungeon far too long. Bavasi said, in paraphrase, that young kids can't be counted on in a playoff run. Chris Duncan, Bobby Jenks and F-Rod bely that bit of Bavasi blather, courtesy of this Tad post.

Yay, Richie Sexon! Boo, John McLaren! Heroics on the field, yet managerial stupidity in bringing in the recently-acquired 7th man of a 7-man bullpen with the game on the line - with nearly (and predictably) disastrous results. Tad shrieks, "Boo!"

Cleaning up Bavasi's mistakes: A Jason post discussing who is worse, the terrible Horacio Ramirez or the washed-up 44-going-on-99 David Wells. Ouch.

It's been a great season so far, on the field and here in the Tatonka section of the bleachers. You know where that is - just behind the right field foul pole.


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