Spring ends well; 10 reasons to hate the M’s

Good vibes after the spring game. Doba sounded very positive, and Brink played well. The running game was stuffed, but it’s spring, again, so nothing to be too worried about.

My early feel? This feels like a 7-5 team. Better than last year, sure, they will be improved in some areas. But they will still blow some games, especially on the road, and especially if they struggle early with a new center and new starting RB’s.

The Auburn game means basically nothing in the big picture, other than to try and be healthy coming out of that game. I think it’s crazy to go down there, in that heat and humidity for the many reasons Doba has said in the past, but the paycheck is just too much to pass, not to mention the exposure of being on every TV in America that day. We’re going to get manhandled in that game, in a deer-in-headlights kind of way that makes you realize how far they are from actually contending on a national stage. Just hope and pray they can get off the mat and recover fast from that one and that it doesn’t, per Doba, take a full two weeks to get back to normal after playing in 90 degrees with 95% humidity!

Oh yeah, we’re getting new turf this year too. Turns out FieldTurf has an 8-year guarantee, and the product itself is a lot better today than it was when it was installed 6 years ago, so they are getting a new field. I thought our AD source mentioned new turf as part of the stadium renovation, but I’m not 100% there. The numbers and markings on the field are actually sewn in to the turf these days instead of painting to help prevent fading, so things will look quite sharp! Fingers crossed for CRIMSON ENDZONES!!! 🙂

Good read on why it’s so easy to dislike the M’s.

http://prospectinsider.wordpress.com/2006/04/15/ten-things-to-hate-about-the-seattle-mariners/

Some of that stuff is funny, but some is pretty, well, petty.

Boy, it’s amazing how negative M’s fans are online these days. Many sites and boards I read go out of their way to rip the starting pitching, even after shutting out the Sawx at the Fens on Saturday! It’s only happened like 4 other times in team history, so instead of ripping Jo-EL for throwing too much junk or why he doesn’t have his mid-90’s heat like he did pre-injuries, why not embrace the shutout? Talk about negative. It’s human nature really. Think about your life – I’b bet about 97% of everything in your life is just where it should be, 3% isn’t what you want. But what does human nature do?? Focus on the 3% that isn’t right! I know I do it all the time, and I wish I could be more opitmistic in such times, wish I could embrace the good instead of wring my hands over the small % of what could be better.

Anyway, to put this start in it’s proper place? They just played 5 teams in a row that won 90+ games last year, all to start the season, all against top-flight pitching, and they are basically .500 and 1/2 game out! It’ll be nice to see some Texas pitching this week, for sure.

The entire division is starting off inconsistent, top to bottom, but if you ask me, the division is right where the A’s want it. I look for an August run of terror where the M’s might even be in the race by the trade deadline, yet wake up 9/1 and be out by double-digits.

On Beltre – they are stuck, pure and simple. He has to get better in Seattle. No chance to trade him right now, period, because he’s a mess and nobody wants to pay $12+ million for a mess. I know they got rid of Cirillo, but that was a different deal (lower salary, and they are STILL paying for that this year, believe it or not!). Beltre is as confused at the plate as any class-A player would be. He’s behind fastballs, ahead of breaking pitches, afraid of everything, and yet overswinging. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a batter with so much MLB experience, who looked so inexperienced. That’s what happens when doctors run into cases they’ve never seen before. They take off the wrong ankle (I stole that quote from somewhere else btw).

I’d love to see the M’s say ok, Adrian, you don’t think about swinging at anything other than a fastball, period. If it’s not a fastball, you don’t swing, end of story. A slider in the dirt is a swing-and-a-miss, 100% of the time, and the league knows you are desperate. If the pitcher gets you to K looking on a slider low-and-away? Tip your hat and walk back to the dugout, but do NOT give in. And in your stage of your career, over 4,000 at-bats, if you CAN’T RECOGNIZE a slider vs. fastball?? Well, then take a seat.

That’s the rub. A guy who was that good, that young, doesn’t suddenly forget how to play. And especially doesn’t forget what a fastball vs. slider looks like. Remember that in 2004, Beltre hit .334/.388/.629 in 598 AB’s (48 homers, 32 doubles, 80 xbh vs 87 k). No player in MLB history ever had that success at that age and didn’t at least approach those numbers again. No hitter in baseball like Adrian Beltre, who posted a 160 OPS+ above replacement level as a young player, and then never amounted to anything again. I mean it’s never, ever happened, but for a major injury that ended a career. If he never comes back to star status, he’ll probably be a unique figure in major league history.

One Response to “Spring ends well; 10 reasons to hate the M’s”

  1. DuckHATER Says:

    Great post, as always…

    I think you’re probably on in regards to the 7-5…but I actually disagree regarding the Auburn game. Quite frankly, Sean, that is a game that we should compete in…for one, its early, which should level the field a bit…While its pure IDIOCY to say that the humidity won’t matter, it won’t for the first part of the game…

    Simply put, we have too many weapons on O to not show up in that game…and, if we can sustain drives, we can minimize the amount of time our d is on the field..

    With that in mind, we know that our DBs will be suspect, which means that we will blitz, blitz, blitz to not give opponents QBs enough a time to make reads…based on what I can tell, we should have enough depth to rotate guys in and out like crazy, which should also mitigate the heat.

    So, what does that all mean? I fully expect us to be in that game–if not ahead–at the 12 minute mark…if we get slammed after that, fine…but for us to go there and just get whacked with all of our experience, then I think we’re in for another losing season….

    I have 10-2, 7-5, and 4-8 as my possibilities….Auburn will say A LOT in how that all plays out….

    I also agree that the M’s will be in contention for something at the deadline and will fade after that..

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