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Hot Stone League

Larry Stone gives his take on a wide array of baseball issues and weighs in about the Mariners, too.

February 25, 2009 at 1:22 PM

Hot links

Here’s some stories that caught my eye today:

  • Geoff Baker has the bad news about Ryan Feierabend, who will be undergoing elbow surgery. That’s a tough blow for a guy who just a few years ago seemed to be on the fast-track to the Mariners’ rotation.

    (Here’s an update from Geoff — near the bottom — in which the Mariners clarified that no decision has yet been made on whether Feierabend will have surgery, although it appears likely. The decision will come after Feierabend is examined in Los Angeles by Dr. Lewis Yocum on March 3.

  • Sean Green — remember him? — had to leave his outing against the Orioles today with a cut on the middle fingernail of his pitching hand.

    I had a chance to talk to Green when I was in Mets’ camp. J.J. Putz’s comments about the dysfunctional Mariners dominated my time, but Green had some interesting things to say, too. He was surprised to be included in the deal that sent sent himself, Putz and Jeremy Reed to the Mets.

    “I was pretty shocked, but that’s how trades work, I guess,” he said. “You don’t hear about them. It’s all done behind closed doors.”

    Green believes that fatigue may have contributed to his dramatic second-half decline last year with Seattle. And reading between the lines — and not too far between — you get the distinct impression he felt a little over-used. Green appeared in 48 games in the first half and had a 2.72 ERA. After the All-Star break, he appeared in 24 games and had an 8.65 ERA.

    “Looking back, yeah, that (fatigue) might have played some role. I took the ball a lot in first half. I don’t shy away from taking the ball. But it was a little bit weird. We were 30 games out and I was leading the league in appearances. But when you’re in that situation, everyone losing their jobs, everyone is trying to win every game, so being how many games under doesn’t really matter.”

    Green added that he never told anyone he couldn’t take the ball. ” No, I’m not really built that way. If I feel good, I’m able to throw. That was an immensely draining season, losing that many. It’s tough. Overall, it was a good year. I think ERA was the only thing pretty much bad about my numbers. Physically, I was good. That was the biggest thing for me. As long as I stay healthy.”

    Now let’s hope he stays healthy for the Mets. This is an ominous start, but it doesn’t sound serious to me.

  • Here’s a nice look at Tim Lincecum in ESPN Magazine by Tim Keown, a great writer who was on the Giants’ beat for several years when I was covering the team for the San Francisco Examiner and he was covering for the San Francisco Chronicle.

    Of all the players in baseball today, I don’t think anyone fascinates me more than Lincecum. He reminds me of Ichiro when he burst upon the scene in 2001 — so iconoclastic, and so riveting, that you can’t take your eyes off them. On the list of players I’d pay to see, Lincecum might be No. 1 right now. No offense to Brandon Morrow, who by most standards has been a great draft pick by the Mariners, but as long as Lincecum keeps excelling, it’s virtually impossible to think of him without lamenting that he could, and should, be pitching for the Mariners.

  • It’s a couple of days old now, but Dave Cameron of USS Mariner does a brilliant analytical piece on Ken Griffey’s defensive value to the Mariners. Hint: It’s not high.

  • Phillies’ pitcher Scott Eyre says he’s down to his last $13, and can’t pay his bills. Eyre is working on a $2 million contract, but got caught up in the Stanford Financial Gruop alleged fraud scheme, and has had his assets frozen. You have to wonder how many ballplayers are hurting because of this. Johnny Damon and Xavier Nady of the Yankees have already said their finances have been affected, as well as Mike Pelfrey of the Mets.

  • Hope this link works, but John Perrotto of Baseball Prospectus reports that the Nationals are seriously considering firing their general manager, Jim Bowden, who is being investigated as part of the bonus-skimming scandal involving Dominican prospects, and replacing him with Blue Jays assistant GM Tony LaCava. You might recall that LaCava was one of four finalists for the Mariners’ GM job that went to Jack Zduriencik, along with Kim Ng of the Dodgers and Jerry DiPoto of the Diamondbacks.

    Jim Bowden is the guy who traded for Ken Griffey Jr. while GM of the Reds, holding up the deal when he refused to include Pokey Reese. That was a shrewd move.

  • Sportswriting legend Murray Chass, who has operated his own website since leaving the New York Times last year, is fighting mad over the ceasing of publication of the Red and Green books, long-time reference manuals.

    I’ve got to say, I used to use those publications frequently in the old days, but now that so much information is available on-line, I don’t think I’ve touched mine for several years. I understand Murray’s indignation, because these books have been part of the MLB fabric for years, but I think I’m Exhibit A for baseball’s decision to stop publishing these books.

  • Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel checks in with our old friend, Mike Cameron, on his near-trade to the Yankees.

  • Tom Verducci of goes in search of a player whose accomplishments have been diminished because others were using steroids and leaving their statistics in the dust. He comes up with Carlos Delgado as his prime victim.

    It’s a good premise, well-executed, but the problem with writing stories like this is you have to take it on faith that Delgado himself was clean. Delgado forcefully makes that claim, and I have no reason whatsoever to doubt him, but these days you can’t be totally confident of anyone’s purity, no matter how convincingly they make that claim. And that’s the great shame of the steroids era. (Let me reiterate; I’m not accusing Delgado of anything. Just lamenting our collective skepticism).

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