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

August 16, 2007 at 4:44 PM

Moving forward

Such interesting observations today. Had a chat on KJR today, alongside guest “expert” Bill Krueger, where we discussed Adam Jones, Horacio Ramirez and the like. This could be a very hot topic in the weeks to come because I have a feeling the season might very well be decided for the Mariners on the next road trip, the three-game series with the Angels at home after that, followed by the killer trip to Cleveland, Toronto, New York and Detroit. Survive that and the M’s could survive anything.
By the way, Kelvim Escobar and the Angels are up 2-0 on Toronto in the fifth. If Escobar wins this game, I still think he’s got a shot at the Cy Young. All those front-runners we hear about with a few more wins are nearly a full run worse in terms of ERA. I think Escobar (and Dan Haren) need to get at least 17 or 18 wins to have a shot, though. We’ll see. The Tigers are pounding the Yankees. What does it all mean? Well, the M’s would be all alone in the wild-card lead by a half-game if that score holds up. On Aug. 16 no less. Wow.
Some of you don’t agree with my takes and that’s OK. But to call my thinking “old school” as at least one of you did makes me laugh a little. Why is it old school to think that a guy hitting well in the majors right now trumps a guy who hit well earlier on in Class AAA? We call that “common sense” in my household (which is a household of one in Ballard, I might add, so anything said there is usually of common sense and there’s no one about to disagree with me). Why don’t i use a sample size of struggles from a month ago, or earlier in the season? Because those samples are irrelevent to what’s happening right now. If there were three months to go, I’d maybe feel differently. But there are only six weeks left, folks. Long-term projections are not as important as the projections for next week.
Some folks are twisting themselves into statistical knots trying to prove that Jose Vidro really isn’t hitting the ball hard right now. Go to the ballpark, watch him every day and then make the argument. Even his foul balls are being ripped. If the numbers tell you all of his hits are bloopers then the numbers are wrong. Ever wonder why Vidro isn’t hitting into the same number of double plays as in the first half? Because all the ground balls he was hitting to the second baseman are now line drives. Or they’re harder ground balls getting by the second baseman. All I know is, when a guy can put up a .980 OPS over a full month, with only six weeks left in the season, you don’t question it. You don’t try to argue it down with numbers. You don’t start looking for ways to replace him while those numbers are still being posted.
Would Adam Jones put up better numbers over a full year? Maybe. But let’s worry about that in 2008. It’s still 2007 and there’s a playoff berth at stake. Why would you go out of your way to come up with a reason to get Adam Jones into the lineup at the expense of two guys doing the job? Why not at least wait for the reason to present itself? There was a reason in July. Less of a reason by early August. Right now, there is no reason to play Jones every day.
First base is not so clear cut and nobody is saying Richie Sexson has automatically earned his daily job back. But that’s a hot hand the team has to ride if it wants to contend. Worry about replacing him when he slows back down. No team in baseball would quit on Sexson when he’s hitting the ball. This isn’t a Mariners thing any more. It was a couple of weeks ago. But when the sleeping giant awakes, no team would go looking for sleeping pills.
Here’s my audio response to “Blue Eyed Buddhist”. Calling me “old school”? Hey, Michael Lewis tried that a few years back when he couldn’t explain why there weren’t 10 chapters of his book devoted to the “Big Three”. I doubt you’re that out of ammo already.
But I don’t just want to single you out. Plenty of folks feel that Adam Jones has earned a major league spot by beating up on Class AAA pitchers. Here’s some more of my whiny voice on that.
But I did see plenty of stuff I liked today. I was wondering when someone was going to bring up Josh Towers.
So, go ahead and let loose. And hey, “Blue Eyes” I’m not picking on you. You’ve been a regular contributor here. I don’t want folks to be afraid to write in because I might “talk” to you with my trusty technology. Consider it a compliment that I thought about what you said enough to answer back on my day off. And remember. No “group think” allowed here.

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