Michael Morse as Swing Virtuoso
aiki-Doc taking office visits

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HERE IS THE ESPN VIDEO, a 2:05 clip in which Michael Morse explains the dynamics of his hitting motion.

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I was in a terrible slump in the late 1970's.  The harder I tried, the worse I got.  Finally I was walking the course one day and a fellow pro, seeing the look on my face, asked me "Johnny, do you LIKE golf?"  After that I never had a bad slump again.  - Johnny Miller, ancient SI interview, reproduced from memory 

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BSR linked us up to the ESPN vid  ... we ought to embed that puppy in the sidebar.  A picture's worth 1,000 words.  :: wait ::  OK, it's embedded.  Go check out the 2-minute video; you'll come back excited for the 2013 season.

Amigos scheduled an 9:45 a.m. appointment for Morse's swing.  Dr's R/X:  take a two-year contract extension and call him in the morning.  All this and brains, too, eh Michael.

Morse's comments in boldface, with our cornball kibitz following on that:

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"The perfect swing for me is ..." It's not an offhand phrase that he tosses out there one time.  The interview is saturated with Morse's search for better and better swing dynamics.

His enthusiasm, his love for his craft, is contagious.  Remember Bruce Lee?  "This is not about winning.  It's about perfection."

In aikido this is the mu-shin, the "no-mind," where you are not distracted by GREED FOR SUCCESS.  Consider that phrase, GREED FOR SUCCESS, for a few minutes today.  

With mu-shin, with TRUE focus on the perfect process, you are in flow.  You are focused on slightly better and better execution, and you gain a state-of-mind that transcends the enemy and the danger.

Compare a basketball shooter who has the hop in his step, the flick and followthru in his fingertips, who is seeing the swish of the net go cleaner and cleaner, who is enjoying the purity of the basketball's rotation, and whose opponents sort of vanish into transluscence around him.

Schwarzenegger said that, doing dumbbell curls, he became mesmerized by the visual of a ridiculously huge bicep, overpowering the dumbbell, getting larger and larger ... "Every rep, every set, is one step closer to your goal.  Even if a bomb went off next to you, you would not notice it."

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"It starts with my base ... it's like COILING like a SNAKE."  There is a reason that shao lin monks compare kung fu movements to animals'.  An animal, obviously, has a very pure and sincere motion as it attacks.  

There is a reason that Jesus compared very complex thought processes to very simple analogues - His parables were always grounded in everyday things like the flowers of the meadow, the grape on the vine, the door into a barn, the wind blowing through the field.  There is something about the "everyday item" parable that is unsurpassable when it comes to absorbing difficult information.

Morse isn't musing as he describes the snake, isn't grasping for a metaphor.  The snake coil is a mantra for him, a dynamic visual that he reproduces, AB after AB, without effort.  In fact he rehearses this coil before AB's.

We're not saying that Morse has spiralled off into his own MLB hitting universe.  We're saying that he is evidently in the Ted Williams, Ichiro, Wade Boggs category of player, the one who enjoys the beauty and virtuosity of hitting for its own sake.

Morse's obvious joy in the game is a major competitive advantage for him.  Happy-happy joy-joy thoughts are helpful because --- > they promote the visualization of home runs, rather than of strikeouts.  It's helpful for a batter to not be thinking about striking out during an AB.

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"I call it my samurai cobra snake."  Watch the video and you will see all of Morse's appendages contract in to one particular place on his body ... the CG.  The hara.  The one point.  His movements are then organized correctly, and derive their power from the right spot.

Notice, for example, that Morse's hands in "the cobra" are near his CG, like where you have them when you're opening a jar of pickles.

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"My front leg is real light on the ground, and my hands give me a nice whip feeling."  These are wispy, effortless characterizations that carry a HATHA YOGA flavor.  Google Jennifer Kostel Yoga and you'll hear her talking like this.  It goes to the question of body control, of being better-than-average at moving your own body parts.

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"The biggest thing I wanna feel is ... my body ... like a DOOR HINGE. ... I want everything to just ROTATE."  Bee-yoo-tee-ful.  The thing here is that it captures a very difficult movement --- > in a very decisive and convincing parable.

Words on paper are fine.  But some mantras WORK and some don't.

The hinge on a fire door is not flexible about the way it's going to move - it does not move one way in the morning, and another way in the evening.  Its direction of movement is a given, and other things are welcome to coexist with the hinge after they have accepted the nature of the hinge.

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"My hands are freed up ... :: clears biceps over pecs several times :: ... I feel like I can go inside and get a ball... I can go right over the middle ... if it's outside, I'm right there." - Reminds of Bruce Lee's loose-as-a-goose ready state just before an exchange of blows occurred..

Obviously, other MLB hitters understand swing dynamics, also.  However, other MLB power hitters do not have Mike Morse's results:

Morse is considerably better than other ML cleanup hitters, when it comes to strike zone coverage.

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"My ENERGY generates from my legs, goes through my core, gets to my upper body" - there's a reason that in aikido, we speak in terms of energy.  It promotes the mental "capture" of long, dynamic lines of interplay, captures the idea of acceleration, and gives a 3-D perception of the acction.

A beginner might speak in terms of blocking a punch at the 6-inch mark in front of his face.  A black belt might think in terms of a 3-foot-long lightning bolt, with a vector and a launch moment, and it's easier to avoid a long, moving line than it is to avoid a suddenly-appearing dot.

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Top hand rotation and "Topspin" swing - look at the positions of Morse's palm in the below screen captures:

Morse has a miniscule 6% infield popup rate for his career.  Further, that 6% is with respect to his fly balls -- and his fly ball rate is ITSELF much lower than average.  Here's the dreaded Ibanez/Sexson "topspin" hitter, a guy with a high grounder rate and yet a high HR rate.

You want to know why Morse has a sensational .344 BABIP for his career?  Part of it is that he pops up like twice a year.  :- )  Another part is that he hits the ball a little harder than, say, Brendan Ryan does.  Another part of it is that grounders, whizzing through the infield with topspin, "accelerate" with respect to grounders that don't have as much topspin.  In the same sense that Stephen Pryor's fastball rises, Mike Morse's grounders accelerate.

Morse is a career .295 hitter, despite 120+ strikeouts a year and an 0.25 EYE.  Despite the fact that Morse is one of the strongest players in baseball, you can afford to think of him as a .300 hitter -- he gets on top of the ball, he uses the whole field, and he whistles the ball through the fielders.

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Kendrys Morales is similar - a guy who would be a good hitter (HIT tool) even if he didn't have power.  Despite their sizes, Morse and Morales are two of the best hitters among power guys in the majors.  

Even for the Angels, even last year, when Morales was in the lineup he usually hit #4 for them.  In 2009 and 2010, he most often hit #5.

Morse last year split time between the #4 and #5 slots; in 2011 he usually hit #4 for the Nationals.  Zduriencik has added two guys who have been hitting cleanup --- > for contenders.  

Mike Morse and Kendrys Morales are not superstars, not by a long shot, but they are the first legitimate difference-making bats we've had in Seattle since the guys playing for the 116-win club.*   With the exception of Richie Sexson for a year or two, they're the first thumpers in Seattle since the 2001-03 Edgar era.  

I sure wish people would reflect on these guys' roles as offense fixers, guys who disrupt enemy pitching, rather than trying to cleverly school-essay them as 2-WAR mediocrities.  These two guys can flat out hit, and it's been awhile, gentlemen.

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Comments

2

... especially useful on the first tee, no?  :- )
You've got one part of your mind on a 300-yard howitzer high and deep down the middle, and another part of your mind on your co-workers watching, who've never seen you play, and you want REAL bad to hit a glory shot, and this is the only time you'll get to play this month ... that's just about the perfect state of mind, wouldn't you say?

3
ghost's picture

...Morse is not a greedy hitter (nor is Morales)...and those two guys are stealing Smoak's job. Think maybe Smoak will learn to stop grinding the bat into sawdust and swinging from his heels at every pitch?

5

Rauuuul's lifetime OPS+ is 112, Morse's 126 ... 
I know what you're saying, that Raul had a 3-year period for us there where he was a 120-125 guy, went over 100 RBI three years straight.  Then slugged .552 for Philly's World Series team.  If we're talking about Raul's little peak from 2006-09, that's not a bad comp, but some probably remember his 110-OPS type years.
I wonder, if people are expecting the .275/.350/.460 type Raul-level bat, if Morse isn't going to re-frame the debate pretty quick on them.  :- )

6

Right, I mean the .290/.350/.500 Raul in the Safe, who comes back to Seattle after being tossed aside, is derided for terrible, awful, no-good, very-bad defense and yet is the ROCK in the lineup, dislikes DHing and knows his swing and his strong points better than anyone and just keeps producing.
Dying for a guy like that. Maybe he and KMo can be two guys like that. And Morse might slug .550 instead of .500, which would be... impressive to see.
~G

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MikeB20634's picture

There is the glass half full version and you never know whats going to happen. Who'd thunk the M 's would've be flirting with the WC or win 75 games in 2012. The big picture is clearer if you have a foundation to build on save Jaso and Vargas.
It's not impossible to fill the holes.
BTW Dr. D. always admired you're work I remember you off Sportspot and MarinerCentral .

9

... mostly just had a bunch of young no-name pitchers come through.
We are conditioned to think, "Well, it's not reasonable to hope for five different guys to come through."  It isn't what you'd PREFER to do, to hope for Paxton and Hultzen to be twin ROY's. But that doesn't mean you should cast the thought out of your mind.
............
Thanks for sayin' Mike.  :- )

10

That attitude is IMPORTANT.  And it's contagious.
Enjoying the game, vs. grinding it out, makes a big difference in the results on the field.  If Michael Morse infects a few guys with his "Let's Play Two!" attitude, that alone will be worth the price of admission.  Then he really would deserve a paycheck for good seasons other players were having.
............
Felix, by the way, doesn't get enough credit for this.  Richly deserving of a franchise contract.
 

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MikeB20634's picture

Good point. When we look at the 2012 A's they were initially built with bundle wire and duct tape. They were projected to be 3rd or 4th in the division. Rewind... To 2011 the A's mirrored the Mariners 2012 W-L record just saying They were also shuttling players between AAA and OAK.

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MikeB20634's picture

I also know that through much experience being a fan we could expect the worse scenario. Exicted to see prospects? Sure but you expect the young starters to improve through natural progression and PA's. Time will tell.

13
ghost's picture

So let's see...if we made no further changes our 25 man roster would likely be:
Rotation:
King Felix
Hisashi Iwakuma
Erasmo Ramirez
Blake Beavan
James Paxton / Danny Hultzen
Bullpen:
Tom Wilhelmson
Stephen Pryor
Charlie Furbush
Carter Capps
Oliver Perez
Josh Kinney / Shawn Kelley
Lucas Luetge (WOW that's a good bullpen)
Catchers:
Jesus Montero
Jesus Sucre (this needs fixing)
Infielders
Mike Morse
Kendrys Morales
Dustin Ackley
Brendan Ryan
Kyle Seager
Robert Andino
Alex Liddi / Vinny Catricala / Justin Smoak
Outfielders:
Raul Ibanez
Jason Bay
Franklin Gutierrez
Michael Saunders
You do have the option of going with Casper Wells or Mike Carp as a fifth outfielder in the circumstance where either man is crushing the ball in ST and you consider it OK to gamble with Robert Andino backing up everywhere except first base on the IF and 1B being triple-covered by Morse/Morales/Ibanez
We have tow obvious needs to be filled via FA
BC - we need something more established to keep the pressure off of Montero. My vote goes to the recently DFA'd George Kottaras at basically nothing (the As are paying him...he is under contract).
And you need to do everything in your power to (a) force Hultzen/Paxton to earn his spot in the rotation and (b) never let Lake Beavan see the light of day unless in the case of injury or placeholder status while minor leaguers get better prepared.
So go drop the dime to sign Shaun Marcum and be done with it.
Call that your offseason and I say it's not too bad.

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CMB's picture

Kottaras CS% 15%
Montero CS% 17%
League Average CS% 25%
Would teams be running wild on us with those two?

15

Zduriencik had evidently decided that the "stoploss" was a problem.  They might have gotten into the year, with Jaso and Montero, and found out the catching was ruining the season.
Assuming Baker is right, which I would! assume, they're not going to replace Jaso with a bat-first catcher.  No way no how.

16

I'd like to see Porcello instead of Marcum or any other of the free agents. If we could get him for Wilhelmsen (they have a rookie slated to close), Wells (they want a RH hitter as another outfielder and Wells' name has come up as a possible re-acquire), and Triunfel (they want a backup IF who fields better than Peralta), I'd MUCH prefer that. They may be asking for Franklin, though, and then I understand why it's not done yet.
If that went through, then I'd also like to see Wells' replacement be a better fielder than Bay or Morse, but still have some offensive upside - another Saunders, if you will. If Stanton isn't available until mid-season, but we want to keep most of our prospects for that possibility, how about seeing what Philly might want for Domonic Brown, since he's apparently fallen out of favor (I think he's a PRIME candidate for a change of scenery). Their bullpen is still a bit weak, with Adams not ready to start the season, and they need backups around the infield, and they want some RH power. I wonder if a package of, say, 1) Kelley, 2) Mitchell, Moran or Luetge, and 3) Liddi might be enough for Brown and maybe something else.
Finally, we need that backup catcher. While Shoppach looks like the best of the FAs, and Kottaras might be cheapest in trade, I'd rather see if Carp, or Noesi, or Beaven might bring back a young defensive catcher, along the lines of Bryan Anderson (ex-StL, now on the CWS) or Dan Butler of Boston. Anderson bats LH, so he'd be preferable in the long-term, but Boston has apparently expressed interest in Carp, so maybe Butler is the best (if we don't want to just sign Olivo and get it over with). Butler was good enough at AAA to earn a shot and has about a 33% CS rate and very low PB rate, so he might be a good complement to Montero.
If we clear the guys out of options, or that are redundant, for our remaining needs, I'd say it's better than not too bad (but I'm still mystified how Raul fits except as 2nd hitting coach).

18
ghost's picture

Can I get an EEEEEWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW from the congregation??
I proposed Marcum because he actually misses bats and has a normal BABIP. Porcello is horrid. PASS

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Chat: 7/28/15 12:52am
Interests: Book Men News Money (201257)
    Shouts update every 10 seconds.       
2015-07-31 11:45

With the departures of Ackley and Lowe for prospects it is clear that the M's have given up on this season. Rightly so. But I sure hope some controls are in place to prevent Jack from making moves that are more than minor without serious review. His regime is surely doomed, and if so, one would think it wise to put any significant moves into the hands of a future GM.

2015-07-31 11:19

Brentz and Rasmussen the other two

2015-07-31 11:03

Wells should be in full-season ball next year at age 20. We'll see how he does. Looks like we're in the mode now of throwing stuff against the wall and seeing what sticks.

2015-07-31 10:57

Nick Wells and two other prospects coming our way. Wells has a big arm and a lot of potential but is very raw.

2015-07-31 10:50

Be interesting too see the return for Lowe. Good, cheap relief ace with no future commitments is valuable for a team in go-for-it mode.

2015-07-31 10:33

One of my shouts disappeared from last night. This is the second time I've noticed this in the last week. It wasn't important, I was just responding to gnatto about the errors showing at the top of the page.

2015-07-31 10:31

Oh man, say it ain't so, my man Mark Lowe to the Jays?

2015-07-31 10:17

Marte on the 40-Man. Not so O'Malley and Rivero, I think.

2015-07-31 09:52

I don't think Z gets a shot either. They have enough to win now but they aren't. Ackley is not a draft failure; he's a development failure. In isolation you can't really blame either on Z. But in total, his development has to count in the ledger.

2015-07-31 09:22

Padna speaks the truth, just like it's true that most all of us thought Jack had a great offseason and this team was poised to make a serious playoff run. My point was not that Jack's picks/moves were all inexplicable. Though a couple were, most were not. They just turned out badly. Most of them. In a bottom line business it does no good after you fail to point to all the reason why you shouldn't have failed. You failed. Jack failed. He doesn't deserve another seven years to prove that the first seven were affected by "shoulda worked but didn't work" considerations. My point was that Ackley is the epitome of that failure. It doesn't matter whether we or anyone else other than Jack liked the Ackley pick, or this past offseason, or whatever. We were not the GM. He was. He had a mission. He failed. In this sense, Ackley was Jack's fault. If Ackley had succeeded it would have been to his credit. You can't evaluate a GM based on what should have happened if all went according to plan. You have to go by what actually happened.

Question: Does ANYONE here think Jack gets another shot at a GM job? I didn't think so.

2015-07-31 09:06

Actually the M's have several roster moves they need to make: Montero replaces Ackley on the MLB roster: But with Taylor, Flores AND Ramirez going to Tacoma then we have to move a guy up to replace Taylor (O'Malley, for my #Money) and then open up two more Tacoma slots. Big doings....but it looks like the two new guys are already listed on the 40-Man.

And I don't think the M's broke Ackley by moving him. He came up at 2nd base with us and was a hit (no pun intended) as a rookie. Somewhere the spring after his rookie season Ackley either broke or RHP's figures him out. Then he broke, not being able to adjust. As a rookie his BABIP was .339, it fell to .265 the next year and now sits (Career) at .283. He hit .290 vs. RHP as a rookie and .215 as a sophomore. In '14 he hit .259 vR, but he never came close to his initial performance. I don't know, but I suspect the M's really wanted him to be Wade Boggs and wear out LF whereas his natural tendency was to cream it to the RF gap. I can't find spray charts from '11, his one great season....wish I could. Do they exist? But after that season he crashed vs. RHP. I suspect they approached him differently and he adjusted poorly.

2015-07-31 08:43

Padna speaks the truth, but the remaining question is... Did the Mariners break Ackley by moving him to second base?

2015-07-31 07:59

Any word on who replaces Taylor. With Cano D-t-D and with Ackley gone, then I'm doubling my bet on either Rivero or O'Malley. I keep reminding everyone that O'Malley is a player. He switch hits, has started at 6 positions and is hitting .376-.424-.518 vL. Last year is was .340-.398-.489 vL. Heck, he's likely a better hitter than LoMo is right now! Earl Weaver and Billy Beane would love a 6 position switchie guy who busts lefties. Rivero has no 2B starts this year. Marte does have 14, however. Gimme O'Malley.

2015-07-31 07:19

The Russell WIlson angst is over. Predictable.

2015-07-31 06:55

Potential Mariners GM candidates: Troy Polamalu (an interesting possibility with great potential). Howie Mandel (definitely not). Oscar Gamble (hey, he's only a year older than Zduriencik). LL Cool J (personable, smart, dedicated, but lacking a certain intangible something). Samson (pre-Delilah-- he may be long dead, but if anyone can pull down the rotted house of Mariners baseball, he can). James Carville (powerful connections and energetic, but to borrow a term from Buzzie Bavasi, he's missing some "essentials."

2015-07-31 06:34

Yes, gnatto, I'm getting the same lo...o...o...ng error list in a pink-hued box.

2015-07-31 00:51

So trade Kuma and then resign him. No prob.

2015-07-31 00:24

Anyone else getting this repeated error at the top of the page after logging in?

Notice: Undefined index: map in field_ui_admin_menu_map() (line 86 of /home/klat/public_html/sites/all/

2015-07-31 00:21

Per Shannon Drayer, the Mariners are looking into whether Happ is tipping his pitches

2015-07-30 23:22

Domingo Santana, who just went from the Astros to the Brewers, looks kind of interesting. Definitely not a sure thing, but if he can adjust to major league pitching the Brewers could have something.

2015-07-30 22:05

I'm fine with the Ackley trade... but now with Flores, the Mariners now have 5 left handed or switch hitting speedy CFers with no power in our top 30 prospects per MLB.com

2015-07-30 22:03

Note that the quote I just posted from MLBTR says that "Mariners ownership" wants to keep Iwakuma. Look, I'm not opposed to re-signing the player, but let's call it like it is: in this organization there are different rules for Japanese players. Remember the Jojima extension?

2015-07-30 21:59

Taylor report on Shannon's twitter

2015-07-30 21:59

Despite a record that is well below the .500 mark, the Mariners aren’t planning to make right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma available, tweets Yahoo’s Jeff Passan. While other teams have apparently inquired, they’ve been informed that Mariners ownership prefers to keep him.

2015-07-30 21:55

http://www.halosheav... ---- is interesting and funny on the 2009 draft up to selection #25.

2015-07-30 21:17

Just 4 games in CF for Marte. I'm going to be surprised if he gets called up. More likely O'Malley or Rivero. But I'm not seeing the Taylor demotion report. Where was that Tac?

2015-07-30 21:06

Marte was tried in CF...so...maybe they think they can play him around a bit?

2015-07-30 20:33

Taylor sent down to Tacoma again. Marte coming up???
I wonder how healthy Taylor's wrist actually is

2015-07-30 20:26

Don't believe that anyone thought Trout was worth the 2nd pick. Northern kid, HSer, questionable competition level. Even the Angels had a battle internally because I believe Eddie Bane was pushing for Trout at #25 and others in the Angels org didn't think he was worth that high a pick. Bane reportedly threw down the chips that he'd quit if they passed on Trout and got his way. Reportedly, IF they had passed, the Ms would have taken him at #27 and hoped Nick Franklin lasted until #33. TomMac knew what he was, but the Angels had the earlier pick.

IF the Ms had not signed Fields just before the draft, they would have had Ackley, Trout, and Franklin, plus the #33 pick (would they have taken Baron then?). There were staffers who reportedly argued against the Fields signing, but whether they specifically thought that Trout would be available at #21 and not at #27 is a reach.

2015-07-30 20:05

Looks like the M's have recalled Montero. Bat, the stated theory was that some M's scouts wanted him with the #2 pick. As I said, I had not read that before.....and had no reason to believe it.

2015-07-30 19:47

Gotta be alder or doug fir, not pine, at Safeco.

2015-07-30 19:46

Steve Baron (who was taken at #33 in that 2009 draft) is hitting .295 at Tacoma since his call-up. Meanwhile, John Hicks has snapped out of his funk and is hitting ~.330 in July, including 2 hits so far tonight. Are they smelling the sweet alder of an MLB BU job?

2015-07-30 19:23

That's got to be BS, Moe. The only chance the Ms had to get Trout (other than taking him 2nd overall) is if they had not signed Bavasi's last pick Josh Fields, in which case they would have had the 21st pick. Trout went 25th and the Ms took Nick Franklin with #27. The Ms knew about Trout, but he went before they could get him. No overruling there.

In 2007 (under Bavasi), however, it is said that several Ms staffers wanted Giancarlo Stanton in the 2nd round. The Ms took Danny Almonte, and Stanton went to the Marlins with the very next pick.

2015-07-30 19:12

Reading one site today, somebody suggested that Z overruled his Scouts who were pushing for drafting Trout. I had not heard that before. I'm not sure I'm buying it. Anybody ever hear that?

2015-07-30 18:27

They've busted on some first round picks for sure. Ackley is not Z's fault though. He was pretty much a consensus best bet. An awful lot of GMs in that position would have also "failed".

2015-07-30 18:10

Test shout

2015-07-30 17:57

Montero not in the lineup in #El_Paso tonight. He's either on a flight or traded. Have the TV guys said anything?

2015-07-30 17:44

M's offense revives, M's pitching collapses. Seth Smith gives them a 2-0 first inning lead, and when Happ is done in the first inning we're down 5-2.

2015-07-30 17:00

Nah, The Yankees won't shave Ackley until the off season. They are too afraid of what kind of nasty ringworm fungus they might find underneath all of that beard.

2015-07-30 16:44

Ramirez has yet to run a WHIP in MiLB less than 1.2. I don't care about his 95 mile an hour heater...he most gets hit. I would ratehr we had Gamel, who MIGHT be some kind of a CF'er. Watch Ackley hit when he shaves. How can Montero be a "questionable" call up? He should be at 1B tonight, regardless of who is throwing.

2015-07-30 16:30

Hard to argue with Ackley trade. Changes beginning now. Look for things to pick up in next month or so. Also after anon showing those busts....begs to wonder how Mr GM has lasted as long as he had..brutal

2015-07-30 16:20

Hard to believe they still have that policy.. and yes.. he us not beard -worthy

2015-07-30 15:51

It's not that I don't like beards at all, it's just that on Ackley it looked TERRIBLE! If he had maintained a close-cropped beard it probably would have looked okay. Some guys CAN wear lumberjack beards and it just fits. Ackley ain't one of them.

2015-07-30 15:49

Hah Hah Hah! Just saw a note that with the Yankees' "no facial hair" policy Ackley will have to lose his beard. That makes the trade worth it by itself!

2015-07-30 15:42

JC Ramirez is not 40-man; Jose Ramirez and Ramon Flores were added, which gives 41 for now, with apparently more moves to come.

2015-07-30 15:22

Does either JC Ramirez or Jose A Ramirez ever get added to 40 man guys? more spaghetti please....

2015-07-30 15:12

Before this year I didn't feel too badly about out first rounders. Zunino would obviously learn to hit in a year or two, Ackley had shown glimmers, #Jackson and Morgan had talent and if DJ wasn't exactly Kris Bryant he still looked like a plus major leaguer. I dunno if it's our minor league coaches this year, the players, or what - but the farm is as devoid of joy as the big-league club. Somebody perform an exorcism on the entire system before it's too late. Maybe trading Ackley will send that mojo #New_York's way.

2015-07-30 15:08

Blown 1st round picks: Ackley (el busto), Franklin (traded for the corpse of #Jackson, doin' not much), Baron (never making the bigs), Hultzen (double busto - at least Ackley has gotten to the bigs). Zunino might be a bust as an offensive player. Alex #Jackson has struggled MIGHTILY this year with batting eye and power both, and Gareth Morgan ($2 mil signing bonus makes him a 1st rounder in my #Book) is never gonna make it out of the low minors if his batting eye stays where it is. Did I mention DJ Peterson has an OPS in the .600s and #Austin Wilson (another over-slot, high-bonus dude) can't stay on the field and couldn't even hit in the Cal League this season? It's uuuugly... ~G

2015-07-30 15:07

The Brewers have needs at 1B, 3B, MIF backup, LHSP, and might need a new CF. If you're talking future there, Morrison, D.J., Marte, Happ/Elias/Paxton/Hultzen/Yarbrough and Jones have gotta be of some interest - and D.J. and Marte would give it some prospect shine. Really wondering if that kinda move is percolating. Gomez was going to the Mets for the equivalent of Paxton and Ackley or Taylor. Lucroy would probably be even pricier. But with Seager at 3B, and Miller/Taylor/Marte/Smith/#Jackson and others in the SS depth, maybe Marte and D.J. would make sense as chips.

2015-07-30 14:54

Happ, Morrison, #Jackson, Marte, D.J., Elias, Morban, Jones, and others should hold their breath until Carlos Gomez is traded elsewhere or the deadline passes. Word that Montero "may or may not" be called up makes it sound like JackZ has another iron in the fire. If he could get Gomez AND Lucroy for even most of the guys listed I might be a little less down about the season

2015-07-30 14:37

Of course all GM's make mistakes, and any single mistake can be overcome, but the now-official bust of Dustin Ackley (as a Mariner) as the first of Zduriencik's prized high draft picks epitomizes, symbolizes, and signals the failure of Jack's regime.

2015-07-30 14:20

My guess is that Montero will now get called up to be the primary DH, and we'll be seeing much more of Trumbo the Dumbo in the OF

2015-07-30 14:18

Made no sense to put any more #Money into Ackley either. Getting anything of substance for him now is a good deal...regardless of how he performs from here.

2015-07-30 13:51

Ackley now traded to the Yankees for Ramon Flores and Jose Ramirez. That's a better return than the other one being discussed...Ramirez is an interesting relief pitcher with some upside (lord knows we need to find some relievers) and Flores might be of some use as a cheap, controllable Endy Chavez clone.

2015-07-30 13:43

Ackley's now a sunk cost. A trade for anything is no big thing. He wasn't going to make it here. It matters not what he does now in pinstripes. Though it will emotionally....

2015-07-30 13:17

Yeah, I don't blame him for not trading Ackley for two minor league org fillers. The opportunity cost of those org fillers is the AB's they take from the existing minor leaguers. I would rather those AB's go to the guys the M's already have. I would be looking for some other org's version of Ackley - busted top prospect. Odds are he remains broken but some small percentage of the 'change of scenery' scenarios work out. Go for the upside.

2015-07-30 13:05

Agreed, Matt. Ackley may not be worth a premium piece, but he's worth more than the Yanks wanted to give.

Jack has painted himself into a corner. If he sells off "his" guys on the cheap, he only underscores his own failures. If he doesn't and just keeps this train wreck of a team rollin' down the track, he completely loses any credibility and the fans for the rest of the season.

If I'm top brass, I've already put the leash on Jack re: transactions. Marching orders: ANY significant transactions are subject to top brass review. Otherwise you could have a GM under the gun making panic moves.

2015-07-30 12:24

I would not have taken Flores and Gamel...they are totally useless. I don't blame Z for that one.

2015-07-30 12:05

And Pineda on the DL today for the Yankees. They will be sniffing about 'Kuma.

2015-07-30 12:03

More on the Yankees discussions. BTW, if Jack Z. turned down such an offer for Ackley (or wanted more)....assuming this is accurate...that's enough reason for me to get rid of Jack. The Yankees recently reached out to the Mariners to express interest in Dustin Ackley, reports Mark Feinsand of the #New_York Daily #News (Twitter link). The two sides discussed a scenario in which outfielders Ramon Flores and Ben Gamel would’ve gone to the Mariners, but #Seattle GM Jack Zduriencik wanted more for Ackley, and talks have since cooled, per Feinsand. Ackley, the former No. 2 overall pick in the draft, is again struggling this season and has batted a mere .215/.270/.366. Many have speculated that Zduriencik is loath to undertake in any type of #Sale, as his job security could be tied to the Mariners’ finish this season. Nonetheless, it’s a bit surprising to hear him holding out for any sort of return on Ackley, though Flores and Gamel admittedly aren’t all that well-regarded. Flores ranked 27th on MLB.com’s midseason edition of the Yankees’ Top 30 prospects, while Gamel didn’t place.

2015-07-30 09:08

Meant to include that trade talks evidently fell through. But let's roll Montero out there nearly everyday for a while. Watching him demolish more AAA pitching isn't what we need. Let's see if he's got his MLB chops back. Morrison now at .123-.208-.262 for his last 28 days. Whooop-eeeee!

2015-07-30 07:57

SI reporting that the M's and Yankees had trade talks involving several players. Hmmmmmm? 'Kuma, I bet. Yanks also need 2B help as Drew is not good. Would they look at Ackley? Why not just give Refsnyder the fulltime gig? They could also use a 1B/DH bench typ bat. Montero....??? With his handful of hits last night (w/a 2B and HR), the kid is .465-.530-.775 over the last 28 days. Trade Ackley, DL LoMo, do something....but get Montero into our everyday lineup. Deej had two knocks in his Tacoma debut, btw.

2015-07-30 07:46

Indubitably.

2015-07-30 07:08

Imagine a future MLB park where the strike zone data is displayed on the jumbotron right next to the batter's picture and stats in real time, and where a sign is placed behind the plate and in two other spots on the outfield walls, and on the ribbon banners between the upper and lower decks on each side of the field that flashes red for strikes and green for balls the instant the pitch crosses the plate. Won't at bats be more fun to watch in that context?

2015-07-30 07:05

In short...it's only a matter of time. This is the best #News I've heard in my 25 years of watching baseball. I mean that.

2015-07-30 07:04

If the #Cali league is actually doing this and sticks with it for any length of time, two things will happen almost immediately:

1) The minor league statistics of batters and pitchers w/r/t plate discipline will get considerably more reliable (MLB teams will like this) because minor league umpires are known to be incompetent on a level far exceeding our MLB blue...and the MLB blue is pretty bad.

2) Minor league players who come from this league will begin demanding the automated strike zone in higher leagues as they advance. The players association will realize that the computerized zone is way better for their clients, and they will pressure MLB to adopt it.

2015-07-30 06:45

gnatto, yeah, bring it on.

2015-07-30 05:00

wowzers...couple of blockbusters last night...Hamels to the Rangers for six guys and Olivera to the Braves, prospects to the Marlins and Latos/Morse/Wood/Relievers to the Dodgers.

2015-07-30 00:17
2015-07-29 19:42

Also as for playing for draft pick.. start that up now.. Let us all face it.. no matter how close we may be to a spot, we are nowhere close. Not at all...Lloyd is not going to make it to the end of the year..,or should not.. start to shake up things sooner rather than later.

2015-07-29 19:39

Baseball team making me sick.. on to football chat yet..? football team not in total danger.. but after "passing" up anither ring.. off season has been filled with some negativity.. 2 d backs coming off injury..other 2 about to holdout. Star qb in middle of contract talk.. atleast they locked up Beastmode..but that got dicey. Hard to keep a champ together these days in the NFL or any league

2015-07-29 17:14

DJ going to Tacoma must mean Montero coming up to create room... so say hello to the DL Mr. LoMo

2015-07-29 16:19

When do we start playing for the high draft pick? Anyone worth hoping for?

2015-07-29 16:00

Good thing you aren't on twitter, DaddyO!!! People would be protesting at your house. I myself appreciate a good joke. I always thought the Confucius jokes were mocking the bad TV portrayal of the Chinese, so it's some deft comedy to turn it on the good ship mariner, which is a bad portrayal of a baseball team.

2015-07-29 15:31

Confucious say, man with egg on face not smile. Me say, How Li not smiling. Jack Z not smiling. Lloyd Mac not smiling. Confucious also say, sometime not sufficient wipe egg off face, face must be replaced. Confucious very wise man. (No offense intended; before PC correctness of the current era, when DaddyO was a kid, Confucious jokes were common, not to mock Confucious, but to use his reputed wisdom to, oh I guess, to mock someone else. Did I just admit to mocking Mariners' franchise leadership?)

2015-07-29 15:20

D-backs in process of completing the sweep. Clearly now the Mariners are dead #Men walking. Some SERIOUS shakeup in the offing, either soon or in the offseason. I find it difficult to imagine top brass doing nothing at all until the end of the season. This team has become a talented embarrass#Ment.

2015-07-29 14:44

Yeah. Where will his PT come from?

2015-07-29 14:34

Seems like an odd promotion. DJ has hardly been tearin' it up at #Jackson.

2015-07-29 11:33

Well that's something.

2015-07-29 10:05

@CurtoWorld: D.J. Peterson is joining the Rainiers today. Zach Shank sent to AA-#Jackson.

2015-07-29 08:00

Let's make room for Montero, huh? With his 3-4 last night (w/a 2B and ANOTHER 3B) he's .449-.519-.725 over his last 28 days, including the #Seattle stint. Morrison? .125-.222-.266 w/ a .104 BABIP. Trade #Jackson or DL Morrison (Hangnail?) or demote Ackley to #Everett, but do something! Heck, even trade Montero for something...at least that would be doing something. Well, don't trade him, really...but "C'mon #Dover! Move your bloomin' arse!" (for you My Fair Lady aficionados). And if we don't know now that 'Kuma will extend, then let's swap him out for something useful, too. Then resign him after the year.

2015-07-29 07:24

Mariners reacquire J.C. Ramirez. Remember him?

2015-07-28 23:06

Matt/Tacoma: I think the only team that gets away with weird platoons these days are the A's, and it's mostly because they have a super-fungible lineup with pronounced strengths/flaws. Like Matt said, it takes a fine touch and also the fact that a skill isn't linear and down to the resulting stats. If you played by the math #Book, you might miss out on a Walker-type power pitcher having a bad day, or the simple occurrence that a high FB pitcher might actually miss their intended target.

2015-07-28 22:57

So the Royals essentially go out and get Cueto, an awesome starter, and the best IF/OF backup in the league with Zobrist. Talk about taking things seriously!

2015-07-28 20:42

My anger management counselor says 70% of communication is body language. Ackley looks stressed/desperate.

2015-07-28 19:12

If we lose, It's your fault, browns

2015-07-28 18:23

Excited to see Iwakuna again as he continues to look good after getting back into the starting rotation. Hopefully I do not jinx him. Should be able to get a W tonight though

2015-07-28 15:35

Note to admins...I can't load the site from my android using chrome. Some sort of weird database error

Reply - admin - 7/28/15 5:55pm
Works for me now. Please try it again. Glitches happen...
2015-07-28 13:35

Matt... as much as the match ups for batters vs pitchers, I was wondering how much the umpire's strike zone comes into play in the decision... for instance Zunino can't hit the high fastball, but young umpire Davidson won't call a high strike on the fastball, so Zunino has a better chance to actually get on base then.

2015-07-28 12:55
note to admins - something within the facebook plugin or something media6degrees.com - is forcing a reload of pages - which deletes in progress comments. Kind of annoying...
2015-07-28 12:48

Royals sure going for it

2015-07-28 11:43

Plus sabr and tacoma.., the other team is constantly adjusting too. You should always field your best 9, and with the good teams...those 9 do not change too often. Maybe some lineup changes..,but not overall in and out of games

2015-07-28 10:55

Tacoma...that would be absolutely correct if players were strat-o-matic cards. If you manage a team too heavily on match-ups, however, players tend to take that as a lack of confidence in them by you, the manager. E.g. if you find out that Zunino can't hit high fastballs anymore (he can't), and you bench him every time he has to fact a power pitcher with a high fastball affection, you're telling him "I don't believe you'll ever hit a high fastball".

2015-07-28 00:52

Matt - dumb question time... but first my assumptions.
1. teams track their own players strengths and weaknesses when batting
2. teams track and know what each opposing pitcher is good at - meaning tracking where each pitch is thrown effectively in a zone, like most pitchers have trouble throwing off speed stuff inside
3. each umpire is know to have a normal strike zone that they adhere to most of the time

Thus, if a manager is doing his job, he should be using these pieces of information to help pick which players should be playing each day... Correct???
Does anyone think Lloyd this?

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