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

August 9, 2007 at 12:29 PM

M’s trade for LHP John Parrish

This just was announced moments ago: The Mariners acquired left-handed pitcher John Parrish from the Orioles for minor league outfielder Sebastien Boucher and a player to be named. To make room on the roster, Mark Lowe was optioned to Tacoma.
Parrish just has to walk down the hall to the Mariners’ clubhouse at Camden Yards. He has appeared in 45 games this season, going 2-2 with a 5.40 ERA. He becomes the fourth lefty in the bullpen, along with George Sherrill, Eric O’Flaherty, and Ryan Rowland-Smith. I’m not sure of the thinking behind this trade, but we’ll find out soon enough. Parrish is 30, is in his sixth major-league season, and missed the entire 2006 season and much of 2005 after Tommy John surgery.
Back to my regularly scheduled blog entry, which I was about to post when the trade was announced:
It rained pretty hard today, but it’s stopped now, and word is that it’s going to clear up, and they’ll get the game in. The last thing the Mariners need is the prospect of another makeup game on the road, with one more Cleveland trip still looming. I spent an enjoyable afternoon at the Babe Ruth Museum near Camden Yards. I’d recommend a visit if you’re in Baltimore.
Fantastic debate on the blog on Adam Jones/Raul Ibanez. I commend everyone for staying (mostly) civil and putting forward cogent arguments. It’s issues like this that make baseball (and this blog) so great. You can make great cases either way, which shows why this is such a tricky matter for John McLaren.
Feel free to keep debating, but I like Vogel’s proposed topic, boiled down to this: Do the Mariners have a better chance at making the playoffs via the wild card, or winning the division?
I’d have to say they have a better chance overtaking the Angels, because –barring an Oakland comeback I don’t see in the offing this year –it’s always easier dealing with one team than multiple teams. In the wild-card race, they have to worry about the Tigers, who won the pennant last year; the Yankees, who are the Yankees; the Indians, who have plenty of weapons; the Twins, who have Johan Santana; and maybe an upstart surging club like Toronto, Oakland or even the White Sox. It’s like fighting the hydra.
I planned to go into more detail, but the clubhouse beckons. I’ll let you folks make your cases.
One other thing: I got harshly reprimanded in an e-mail from a reader for saying the Mariners moved ahead in the wild-card race by a percentage point over the Tigers, .559 to .558. He said they are actually 1/10th of a percentage point ahead, and I was poisoning the minds of impressionable kids with my incorrect math.
A couple of points. One, there’s a reason I became a sportswriter, and it wasn’t my stellar arithmetic skills. Two, my defense would be that it’s acceptable baseball lingo to refer to the difference between a .559 and .558 winning percentage, or a .333 batting average and a .332 batting average, as a percentage point, even if it’s not technically correct. And three — I call upon the collective wisdom of the Geoff Baker blog readers to educate me here — wouldn’t the difference between .559 and .558 really be 1/1,000th of a percentage point, and not 1/10th? I’m prepared to be proven stupid on this. Again. (I actually got a higher score on the SAT in math than verbal, but most of it has slipped my mind).
Update: Yes, e-mailer was right. The percentage is 55.9 percent, which is 1/10th of a percent from 55.8. I stand corrected.
It reminds me of the e-mails we get periodically at the Seattle Times when we write that a team is eight games under .500 when they have a 32-40 record, to pick a random example. These folks say, with righteous indignation, that since 72 games have been played, .500 would be 36-36. So the team is really just four games under .500. This really became an issue in 2001 when the Mariners were nearing a record for most games over .500. I bet I got 20 e-mails making the case I just made.
Logically, they might have a point, but again, I resort to established baseball wisdom: 32-40 is eight games under .500, and that’s the way it’s going to stay.



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