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Daily coverage of the Mariners during the season and all year long.

July 30, 2007 at 4:50 PM

Series at the summit

The M’s prepare to go into tonight’s AL West showdown with the Los Angeles Angels minus Chris Reitsma, who just got placed on the disabled list for the third time in two months. Hardly a surprise there, as we mentioned in the earlier post. Reitsma just hasn’t looked right.
No, I am not sitting in the “Blethen Box” tonight, but that was a nice guess by some of you. I am seated several rows back of the plate and a little off to the first base side, with tickets I compensate the M’s for by making a contribution to their charity. Very excited about getting a chance to see this game from the stands instead of the pressbox for a change. Yes, the fact that Kelvim Escobar is pitching tonight does have me excited. Ditto for Miguel Batista. I like the symmetry of seeing the guy the Blue Jays let go as a free agent after 2003 taking on the Mariners pitcher who the Jays signed three years ago to fill Escobar’s vacancy in the starting rotation.
Anyway, I’m glad I held off on ripping into Reitsma because it was clear from seeing him pitch that something was very wrong. No jokes, please. I’m being serious.
And I am glad to see that the M’s did not wind up with Octavio Dotel, who I think allows too many baserunners to be an effective eighth-inning reliever. Al Reyes is the real deal. And call me old-fashioned, but I like the idea of having one go-to guy in the eighth, a situational lefty, and a go-to guy in the ninth. This whole combo thing is a big mish-mash. Yes, giving up a prospect is a steep price to pay. But that’s the market.
I guess it boils down to this: Do any of you think the M’s are going to feature a starting nine with three rookies in the lineup next year? If you do, then we are at loggerheads. I believe it to be very difficult for any team with playoff aspirations to try to break in a third of its lineup as rookies. And if I believe that, then one of either Wlad Balentien, Jeff Clement or Adam Jones becomes expendable. And since we know the Mariners are talking to Jose Guillen about an extension, I’d have to think Balentien is the odd man out. Not that I’d cry at dealing Clement either. As I said, there won’t be room for all of these guys. Sure, if the M’s can get away with giving up less than by all means do it. I just don’t see that happening. Though I do think Julio Mateo would be a cost-effective option for the D-Rays. Perhaps the morals issue is getting in the way, what with all of the Elijah Dukes mess that team is still dealing with.
I sort of make that point right here when answering some quesitons put to me by “Matt” and “Faceplant”.
And this right here,
is for “eastcoast” who doesn’t understand how acquiring Al Reyes is going to help make the rotation any better — or help it in a playoff series. Hmm, well, let’s not jump the gun on a playoff series yet. But I’ll explain my thinking on how it can help the team make the playoffs.
It can really go a long way towards the post-season by winning tonight. Lose it and the road gets that much tougher.

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