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Wednesday, January 19, 2005

Is Sele Returning? 

The Seattle Times is reporting that Aaron Sele is contemplating a one-year offer to return to Seattle. He most likely won't be guaranteed a roster spot, but would seem to have a good shot at making the club due to the Mariner's perceived lack of starting pitching.

Sele was one of baseball's most overpaid players last year ($8.6 mil for a 5.05 ERA and 132 innings) and has seen his numbers decline steadily since leaving Seattle in 2001. Still, as a non-roster envitee, he would be very low-risk for the Mariners. It might even be possible (though unlikely) for him to regain some of his old form. In addition, he'd be a good story for the fans in spring training (think: Norm Charlton). And it's great to see the club giving a former Coug another shot.

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Thursday, January 13, 2005

Bucky Lives in the 'Qualmie! 

Blaine Newnham: Jacobsen Ready After Knee Surgery

Bucky Jacobsen seems to have the optimism cranked all the way to eleven during his interview with the Times' Blaine Newnham. In the same paragraph that asserts the need for Bucky to stay humble this season if he wants to be successful, Newnham has Bucky claiming that he could easily "hit 35-40 home runs this season as he says he can." I hope he gets the chance and is right. $300,000 makes for a pretty cheap slugger these days.

The best part of the article is at thew very end, though:
He and (wife) Jennifer recently bought a home at Snoqualmie Ridge.
I'm a bit torn. Yeah, one of the zanier Mariners characters in recent memory has moved to my hometown. But it was the Ridge, so it might as well have been Mukilteo as close as the Ridge is to my parents' house. At least he's in the 98065.

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Monday, January 10, 2005

Minor Site Update 

With apologies to Jeff, Trent, David, and Jeremy, whose respective web logs, Leone For Third and Sports and Bremertonians, changed URLs quite some time ago, I have finally updated my links on the right sidebar to the new URLs. I guess because it's the first day of a new semester I must have some kind of renewed sense of responsibility, or maybe dilligence, or maybe even some awesome synonym of responsibility that I've never even heard of.

EDIT, 1:19 PM:

In addition, I've added the following a few new Mariners links
some of which are long overdue. Please visit them all. New opinions and perspectives are what makes the blog world kick ass.

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Some years, there's just no baseball player on the market worthy of becoming one of the highest-paid guys in the league. Obviously, this was such a year. If any free agent was worth breaking the bank over, it was a certain 25 year-old third baseman coming off an unquestionably MVP-caliber season. Carlos Beltran hit .267 with 38 homers, and it was arguably the best season he's ever had.

Sure, he probably could have made the Cubs a better team, but $17 million better? No chance. Our center fielder may make us crazy when he starts flailing in earnest, but he's actually pretty good, and he's almost $17 million cheaper than Beltran. The more I think about it, the more difficult it is for me to believe that I even cared whether the Cubs got Beltran or not. I actually think that both Corey Patterson and Jason Dubois have a reasonably good chance, in the coming year or two, of performing at a level equal to (oh...) about 85% of what one could fairly expect from Beltran. Hell, maybe better! I don't know.

This has been a frustrating off-season to be a Cubs fan, because I kind of knew all allong that nothing was going to happen. Re-signing Nomar was huge, of course, and I was very happy to see Hendry make Todd Walker the starting second baseman, but other than that, there just wasn't much to do. We could use some relief help, but so far nobody acceptable has become available (Though I hear the Sox are trying to unload Byung Hyun Kim, who I think would be a great fit!).

But even that doesn't really matter. If The Proodbranux is healthy, the Cubs will be as good as anybody, including the Yankees.

I'm sick of this offseason.

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Sunday, January 09, 2005

Beltran to Mets, At Least For Now 

At least that's what Newsday says.

The first thought I have when the notion "Carlos Beltran" pops into my head is that I can't think of another player that people have described as a bona fide superstar, five-tool type who had at the time exactly one thirty-homer season under his belt. Seven years, $119 million. With the Pedro Martinez deal, the Mets have made one very high risk major deal (Martinez) and now add this huge contract to their books for the next seven years. I glad the Mariners decided not to get involved with Beltran. The Sexson and Beltre deals are looking pretty good right about now.

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Friday, January 07, 2005

Sutter Yourself, But My Vote Goes To Goose 

Bruce Sutter received more Hall of Fame votes this time around than Goose Gossage did. Talk to anyone who was a baseball fan in the 1970s and early 1980s (like my dad, for example), and they will say that that very idea is ridiculous. The main case for Sutter that I've seen is that Sutter "invented," "developed," or "created" the split-finger fastball and thus deserves a spot in Cooperstown as an innovator.

Here are the "Sutter Split Finger" defenses I found, with just a quick search:

Phil Pepe
Buster Olney
Tracy Ringolsby
Craig Muder
Jayson Stark

And that's only what I found before my limited Bruce Sutter patience ran too thin to continue.

Long-time readers (and by "long-time" I mean "for little over a year") might remember my December 27 and 29, 2003 posts regarding the origin and development of the forkball and split-finger fastball. It turns out that both Elroy Face and Sandy Koufax were mowing down hitters in the 1960s with the pitch. Yeah, Sutter tweaked the forkball a bit and gave it a new name, but to use Sutter's Baseball Pioneer status as a key argument in his HOF candidacy, one must also hold Elroy Face in the same regard. Face even held the career saves record for a while, with 188.

Face is obviously out, and Sutter should be too. Gossage is in on the "Has your father told you multiple stories about this guy?" criteria.

If the BBWAA isn't careful, there's a good chance that by, say, 2025, the Baseball Hall of Fame will be better described as the Baseball Hall of Quite a Bit Better than Average. Who wants to take their kids to see that?

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Paper Fortune Teller Update 

How did I do?

Using the spreads, money lines, and over/unders quoted in my post and placing $5 bets as dictated by the fortune teller, I would have lost $15.56. Darn. Interesting to note, though, is that if Virginia Tech had managed to defeat Auburn, with a money line of +210, the teller could have come out with a virtual push (-$0.06, actually).

I promise to write about baseball soon. Seriously.

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Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Stupid Bavasi Quote of the Day! 

On signing the oft-injured but always crappy Pokey Reece to be the M's starting Shortstop: "We are rolling the dice a little bit." He went on to explain that he was talking about novelty-dice with six blank faces.

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