Q. Supposing that Russell Martin IS what you expect Mike Zunino WILL BE. Why then spend so much for Martin?
A. It's worth re-running a BJOL answer here. Take this one as coming from a Red Sox VP:
Hey Bill, are you surprised that a lot of sports teams keep using the load-up-on-aging-free-agents strategy, even though it seems to fail miserably and expensively most of the time? I mean, adding some veteran pieces around a young or prime-age core is one thing, but counting on oldsters to carry the bulk of the load just seems to be an idea with failure built right into it. When you add in the greater cost of signing veteran players, it seems like a doubly bad idea. Any thoughts?
Asked by: OwenH
Well, yes, but. ...organizations that have resources tend to look to proven solutions. "Poor" organizations are willing to gamble on younger players, and become comfortable gambling on improvement from young players. Wealthy organizations tend innately to look for "proven" players.
Mike Zunino, at the moment, is looking like an EXTREMELY high-percentage play. (How good does he have to hit, anyway? Not very.) But the spinal surgeon who is actually holding the scalpel in his hand must have a different gut feeling about whether it's okay to cut the red wire or the blue one...
Q. How long has Jack Zduriencik been GM of the Mariners?
A. Four years.
Q. How long was Bill Bavasi GM of the Mariners?
A. Four and one-half years.
Q. Are there any advantages, for the Mariner fan, in a Brain Trust that is getting shrill about winning Right. This. Second.?
A. I feel like I've waited long enough, don't you?
Actually there is a sense in which that attitude is not shrill. Matt. 6:34 says, "Do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
A lot of the world's great postal players in chess like to include "Sacred Writings" on their postcards. They'll make a weird opening move and write, tongue-in-cheek, "Better is the end of a thing than the beginning thereof" and their opponent will shoot back "A fool and his pawns are soon parted."
Matt. 6:34 was never intended to be applied to life indiscriminately, and on SSI of course we relay it as a proverb, an illustration of an idea that is employed throughout Fortune 500. Depending on context.
Matt. 6:34 carries the idea, put every ounce of muscle fiber into today's game; you don't even know whether that will be enough. Tomorrow you'll be surprised to find that resources show up as you need them.
When Dr. D started a public speaking schedule, back in the 1980's, he had a decision like this ... hmmmm, I've got four good jokes. Should I save two for next week? You get it?
He decided, I'll use all four this week. This became one of the foundation ideas of his life, and the next week there have usually shown up four more jokes. Or with blogging. Don't worry about "reserving" ideas for the next column. Let it all hang out this time, and then do that next time too.
Of course, you can't trade Paxton, Hultzen and Taijuan for Mark Buehrle. You have to be aware of BOTH principles:
- Look before you leap
- He who hesitates is lost
Baseball fans are ALWAYS aware of the need to keep your prospects. Sometimes they overlook the fact that you have to hit this season with all the gusto you got.
The 1977-2012 Mariners have been the poster boys for "keeping their powder dry" for two seasons on. How's that worked out for them?
Q. But what do you do with Mike Zunino?
A. Keep him in the minors for two years, and phase him in year three, I guess. As Sandy has pointed out, there's no tragedy in keeping a HITTER in the minors an extra year. You even get a better (older) six years that way.
Q. Have the M's made an internal decision that they have GOT to get Jaso and Montero out of there?
A. That's what it looks like, but (1) was Felix ineffective teaming with Jaso? and (2) if that were your evaluation, then what would be wrong with Olivo for one more year?
A lot of things appear -- on the surface -- inconsistent here. I'm sure there's an explanation.
Q. Would Dr. D sign Russell Martin?
A. No, he'd go with John Jaso, Jesus Montero and a Josh Bard type in AAA .... pending a great Mike Zunino spring, in which case the ballclub goes to Zunino now.
But Dr. D doesn't have anything on the line here. Take heart, amigos: if the Mariners have decided that they've had enough of losing, there are certain benefits associated to that.