Angels 6 .....

Devo Swag - for all your meltdown needs.  Coming to an M's team store near you


=== Blake Beavan ===

Dr. D throughly admired his moxie and his command.  And he caught Prince Albert with a couple of early-count changeups.  Tonight he threw the ball well, by his standards.  He executed pitches just about as well as he can execute them.

Watching batters with 53 OPS+'s pop the ball up, and watching Albert Pujols whack the ball out of the park, a sudden thought occurred.  I wonder if Blake Beavan's unusually good at catching rabbits, and unusually susceptible to being trampled by elephants.

The "here it is, hit it" 91 fastball on 2-1 leads to batted-ball outs against AAA players and against Alberto Callaspo.  Has anybody ever checked Beavan against dangerous hitters?

It's a thought.  At BJOL there has been a discussion about historical "bully" pitchers -- Don Drysdale actually did pitch unusually well against weak teams, with no pressure on, and tended to wilt against good teams, with pressure on.  I think he was 0-13 or something against Juan Marichal.

Beavan doesn't have a bully personality; he's a courageous man.  I wonder (w-o-n-d-e-r) if his "show me" attitude stands up to the scrutiny of, say, a Yankee lineup or, say, 100 starts in the majors.

One strikeout tonight.


=== Tom Wilhelmsen ===

Did the heavy lifting for League on Friday.  He rocked Mike Trout's world with a [12-6 Curve, 98-MPH] fastball left and right.  

This forced his plan through:  there were two out, nobody on for Prince Albert.  Capt. Insano battled gamely through to a harmless walk.  He then retired Kendrys Morales easily on an 0-1 topped groundout.

Nobody noticed that Wilhelmsen had done exactly the same thing for League in League's "save" against Texas.  Wilhelmsen fought the heart of the Texas order hammer and tongs, saving the game in the 8th inning ... then League the Titled Magic Closer crept in to face the #7, #8, and #9 hitters there.  The first batter crushed a fastball right at an outfielder, though League did retire the #8 and #9 hitters routinely with the PSI gauge down to exactly zero.

Naturally, the TV crew proclaimed League "BACK!" after that sham outing in Texas.  Dr. D looked on forlornly.  He knew better.


=== Brandon League ===

SSI has consistently argued that the intersection of (A) League's telegraphed pitches and (B) League's wildness gives a recipe for --- > guaranteed pain and anguish.

I'm glad to re-visit that periodically.  Things change.  Maybe this diagnosis is no longer in order?  Let's visit it again tonight.  What actually happened out there?   :: ticks list off on his fingers ::


1) League came in, to face the bottom of the Angels' lineup, with the body language of a man facing an amputation.  Without whiskey.

2) League's first pitch was a telegraphed fastball, of course, and Mark Trumbo (who averages 38 walks and 161 strikeouts per season) leisurely whacked it into center for a clean single.

3) League, fighting his command all the way, walked Alberto Callaspo.  Alberto Callaspo has a 63 OPS+.

4) League made a fielding error.  Because you couldn't have pulled a needle out of his lips with a tractor.

5) League's first pitch to Erick Aybar ... OPS+ 53 ... was a telegraphed fastball whacked into center field for the game winner.


Hm.  I'm going to go with "Yep."


After the game, Wedge says he has no choice.  League's the closer.  There's nobody else down there.

Hesitation will make your worst nightmares Come. True.  Dr D cheerfully invites anybody to explain to him, in one-syllable words so he can understand it, how a "rissssky, Gollum, rissssky" April promotion of Steven Pryor and Carter Capps could have







Wedge may indeed not have a lot of choices. League is their only real mid-season trade chip of worth, so he may have orders to get him right. He may well have had orders to give Figgins that shot as well. Reading between the lines on his comments about this week's Figgins-Wells fiasco, he likely didn't have a choice there either.
He did choose to PH Ryan instead of Ackley in the 9th, so he's not blameless but there are factors at play in his decisions outside that day's game - whether we like it or not.


That's what I say to Wedge.
Gollum? How about Wedge saying (of League), "He's my precious, my precious!!!"
I said a bad word and turned the TV off after Kendrick torched off.
And after the walk to Callaspo, but before the throw into LF (nicely handled by Baggins, right?) I said, aloud, "Man, can't maybe Iwakuma close?" I may have used a colorful set of adjectives and adverbs.
Which was after I said "What the hell did he take Wilhelmsen out for?"
He has no other options, except to close League? What you say? He also had no other options (until injury saved us) except to catch Olivo. He had no other option except to roll Figgins out there for four weeks.
C'mon! Phhhhhhhhhttttttt at that line of reasoning.


Sorry Griz,
League is batting-practice fodder right now. I can't see how you just roll him out there, most likely to get smashed up in the 9th, just to possible enhance his possible trade value for some nebulous-possible trade at some hazy future point.
Wedge's job is to win THIS game. Not opening day next year.
You're right about the Ryan PH, pretty weird. But of all the choices Wedge had (leave Wilhelmsen, go with Furbish, Delabar, Kelley, Iwakuma or Luetge---who hasn't given up a run this year), which one would you have thought was a worse choice than League, when the inning began.
If Z is insisting that we fuel the fire with League when the situation arises, then Z needs to defend that publically, and not let his manager swing.
Wedge almost can't use League at home for a while now. He's going to be booed, and deservedly so, as soon as he leaves the bullpen.
He'll be tight as a drum, if he isn't already.
League must command the bottom of the zone with his first pitch. He can't throw his splitter for a strike so he's throwing first pitch fastballs to almost everyone.
Trumbo, Kendrick and Izturis all went after the first pitch. He threw an intentional ball to Calhoun and Trout took a ball. Aybar bunted. Only Callaspo looked at a 1st pitch strike.
And so it goes every time he takes the mound.
He's meat until he can throw a bender for a 1st pitch strike. Proving that point with the game on the line is pretty bad strategy.
Capps? What else does he have to prove? Ditto for Pryor? The only thing that makes sense if you keep them down much longer is that they don't come up until mid-May NEXT year.
And Doc has argued for Walker now much more efficiently than I can. That's not really a bullpen issue, so I'll drop it.
But last night, Wedge had any number of choices. Saying otherwise insults us guys.
If we get a "Wedge is my guy!" public statement from Z, take it as a sign that the All-Star break remains a good over-under date.


And he may be starting to do it to the Mariners too. When your closer blows 3 saves in his last 5 chances to single-handedly drop you into the cellar, it hurts. It's not like his other saves have been rock-solid either.
He's already walked more guys this year than he did all of last year. If he's wild, he's useless, because he certainly doesn't strike guys out.
I understand that League's formerly-shiny ERA (aka before this week) makes it hard to take Wilhelmsen's mid-4s ERA and promote him over Brandon. But they've both given up the same percentage of runs now, and Wilhelmsen has far and away the better stuff, certainly at the moment.
We can't keep doing this with League. I understand we want him as a trade chip in July but we're trying to win games now. Right? It's not luck or chance that's causing Brandon to be hit around, it's that he cannot execute his pitches and is being legitimately beaten as the inferior pitcher.
Stephen Pryor has given up as many runs ON THE YEAR as League did last night.
Carter Capps hasn't been scored on in May, and has a 14K/0 BB line for the month.
Something's gotta give.

benihana's picture


Larry LaRue ‏@LarryLaRue
Plan is to get him back closing. After that, depends upon market. RT@aaront5: @LarryLaRue is the plan to still eventually try to trade him?

Larry LaRue ‏@LarryLaRue
#Mariners say League is out as closer for now, and will close by committee for awhile. Read more:

Larry LaRue ‏@LarryLaRue
#Mariners pull closer Brandon League back, will have other pitchers work the 9th inning for now. League has blown 4 of 13 save opps

We all seem to get rather angry at Wedge, who ends up making the moves we wanted him to make anyway.  The clubhouse, like other fortune 500 type places, requires a certain ettiquite be followed.  Put simply: rookies need to play their way into a roll and veterans need to play themselves out.  But what have we seen this year?  Ichiro was dropped from the leadoff spot, Figgins was relegated to utility duty, Olivio's gone from playing everyday to sharing his roll with Jaso and Montero, and now, League's played himself out of the closer roll. 
Keep calm, carry on, and let's win some ball games.
- Ben.


That was exactly the vibe I got from his quotes last night ... that this call is made above his pay grade.  
At BJOL there's been some discussion of the Papelbon situation in Boston - a situation to which James is close, of course - and we were told that Papelbon wouldn't have been removed as closer no matter WHAT.
"We're not going to make a decision the same day of the ballgame" is straight out of the Chuck Knox playbook, too.
The org wants to win worse than we do, but the "make 'em earn it" mantra has shot them in the foot on Capps and Pryor.  IMHO.


My guess is that a demotion from closer wouldn't actually hurt League's trade value that much.
It says here that with Gil Meche, there were about 15 teams that realized if he changed his pitch mix and tweaked his mechanics, they'd have a big sleeper.
I think in this case there are about 25 teams that realize that Brandon League is a pitch-selection change away from being a big time closer.  Probably they have his mechanics spied out, too.
The guy throws 97, has a Sasaki split and he's five days away from being a star.  I tell ya, that's how teams will see him.  I'm tellin' ya :- )


Happens all the time ... we rant and rave about Figgy and a week later, the MLB(TM) code allows them to pull the trigger on the obvious...
Don' sweat it Ben... they know that our role is to pound our spoons and that their role is to turn the ship according to the star charts... this is a baseball chat, not an audit filing...


The same rational that assumes there will be a market for Figgins just as soon as he has a 2 'fer 3 game, so we keep him and not Wells.

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Chat: 8/26/15 5:44pm
Interests: Baseball Film Money Music News Men (212133)
DeflateHATE, by SABR Matt

Boy how I wish D'quell Jackson never intercepted Tom Brady in the AFC championship game. After dropping back in coverage he was able to jump a Tom Brady pass and intercept the ball for the Colts. Not much else happened positively from there for Indy, as the team lost 45-7...Show more.

DeflateHATE, by SABR Matt

Boy how I wish D'quell Jackson never intercepted Tom Brady in the AFC championship game. After dropping back in coverage he was able to jump a Tom Brady pass and intercept the ball for the Colts. Not much else happened positively from there for Indy, as the team lost 45-7 that day, but because that interception deflategate was born. This left me, and all NFL fans, the burden of the past 6 months hearing about psi levels in football. You see, that interception Jackson made left him wondering why the ball felt so different. He then alerted officials who rechecked the footballs to find the had been under inflated. Knowing that they checked their levels early, an internal investigation then followed. Jokes on social media were abundant, and everyone was talking about Tom Brady and the Patriots part in this all.  To date, not much has been ironed out. The case is still being settled in court through mediation. Brady is claiming innocence to all after the Patriots initially quickly accepted the 4 game penalty decided upon. The NFL seems upset that Brady never turned over his phone to go through text messages. Clearly the only one that would benefit from the under inflated balls is Brady, and while looking into facts it was easy to hate him for being the man responsible for what has been the most annoying NFL offseason to date.  As if Brady and the Pats are not hated enough, this just added fuel to an already blazing fire. For 100 seconds security footage showed an equipment assistant take the already checked game balls into a bathroom. This same assistant was the man Brady woukd soon be calling and texting back and forth after the story went out. Soon other information woukd come out including text about cash, shoes, and autographs. Clearly Brady was bribing the man to deflate these balls for his personal gain, yet we are still trudging through the court system as he tries to use his fame and fortune to exonerate himself entirely.  With the knowledge of Robert Kraft's strong relationship with Roger Goodell, and all the money the Pats must generate for the NFL it is hard to believe the NFL has gone so hard. Seems more than anything that they have no choice. I do worry it was more of a front though and something far more sinister is happening. I can not imagine Brady getting away with this, and maybe he should. How much can the pressure change the outcomes of games anyway?  Either way it's cheating though, Pete Rose has the most hits in MLB history and merely bet on games keeping him out of the hall. Brady is cheating too, and who knows for how long, but I don't see him missing out on the H.OF. Hopefully this will come to a conclusion sooner than later, but for now I remain deflated about the subject.Image via Flickr / Jeff_Golden- See more at: http://seattlesports...

...Show less
    Shouts update every 10 seconds.       
2015-08-28 12:02

If we hire O'Dowd...I quit.

2015-08-28 11:47

That was me on that last post

2015-08-28 11:47

I'm with you GLS! I hate that tendency in the M's. We treat #Men like little boys: And Tacoma is their room so they are sent there without their supper. Heck, we could have sent him down when we had #Wellington. I know teams send guys down all the time, but this seems like a spanking, not rehabilitation. Montero, Elias now Zunino. Man, we can call up Hicks in 3 days, anyway. Zunino has been bad, with the bat. But he's a pretty good receiver, etc. 11 days of hitting AAA pitching is going to do exactly what for him? If #Kingston made that call it is a bold move.

2015-08-28 11:23

Yep, the minor leagues are pretty much over. It's just to show we're annoyed with him. We've moved his cubicle to the basement so he can play his #Music there at a reasonable volume between 10 and 11 am.

2015-08-28 11:17

What exactly is the point of sending Zunino down? Isn't the AAA season basically done?

Reply - anonymous - 8/28/15 11:45am
Could indicated more dissonance between Jack and Lloyd. Lloyd wanted Zunnino down, Jack said "No way. We boys with last names that start with Z gotta look out for one another." Jack is removed, then moments later Lloyd's will goes through. What's The Committee care? Might as well throw Lloyd a bone. No need to split hairs over a .170 hitting catcher. Plus they were already in a get rid of last names starting with Z kind of mood. --wuf
2015-08-28 11:05

The Mariners Way: Open GM job. Insert generic experienced GM. One of the usual suspects. Close job. Move on.

2015-08-28 11:00

Oh GOD. "...the Mariners have started reaching out to potential GM candidates, including former Rockies GM Dan O’Dowd. Kenny Williams of the White Sox and Kevin Towers..." O'Dowd would just...yeah, I can't watch that. PLEASE no.

2015-08-28 10:58

An "Experienced GM" huh. Well, Jim Bowden is available, and he seems PERFECT for the Mariners front office. Why not?

2015-08-28 10:45

Right. Can't have someone that would rock the boat. Wouldn't be prudent.

2015-08-28 10:43

Per Mather on ESPN710 radio, Howard #Lincoln will be VERY involved in the decision making on hiring a new GM. Par for the course in the process. This leads me to expect par for the course in the result.

2015-08-28 10:37

I have one, nonnegotiable item on my GM wish list. The guy has to have...HAIR!!!

2015-08-28 10:35

Sigh. Tacoma has eleven games left this season. Not really enough time for him to work on anything. I guess that Edgar pixie dust didn't stick.

2015-08-28 10:29

Things happening fast!

2015-08-28 10:29

@shannondrayer: Mariners have send Zunino down and called up Hicks.

2015-08-28 10:17

If I was The Mariners Committee, I would be asking myself what it means that we failed to add Nelson Cruz before the 2014 season when he would have been the difference between a game out and the playoffs, and that AFTER the franchise failed to make that move they got him a year too late. This scenario is emblematic of the failures of this franchise. It speaks VOLUMES!

2015-08-28 10:15

If I was The Mariners Committee, I would be looking REAL HARD at using the occasion to clip #Lincoln's wings or even get him to retire. I would use the occasion of a power vacuum to lure someone who otherwise might not come because of how the job is perceived as reporting to a man who just doesn't "get it."

2015-08-28 10:11

Re: Mather and "experienced GM," that is good so far as it goes. There are plenty of experienced GM's who are mediocre GM's. What we need is experience plus a track record of success. After what #Lincoln has put the franchise through since 2001, I would say this hire is more important than a $240 million dollar player contract. Find the right guy, and go after him with ALL YOU'VE GOT. Give him THE POWER TO DO THE JOB. They probably already whiffed on the best guy.

2015-08-28 10:00

@GregJohnsMLB: Mather expects to hire an experienced GM: “We’re not going to take three years to learn on the job."

2015-08-28 09:30

He knows the score. There is little point in replacing Lloyd at this point in the season - it's not like Jewett is an upgrade. The new GM will want to bring in his own guys and he has to know that.

2015-08-28 09:22

Agreed, moe, that McClendon should not put much stock in this vote of confidence from Mather. He knows the score.

2015-08-28 09:15

Nats have lost Span in CF, likely for the year, and Taylor suffered a knee injury last night: Matt den Dekker (?) is their likely CF'er. I'm pretty sure we should be able to figure out an #Austin #Jackson trade!

2015-08-28 09:06

Big #News with Jack Z gone. Jeff #Kingston steps up, and Lloyd gets a vote of confidence for now, from Kevin Mather. Wish Doc were around.

2015-08-28 09:02

It was time. 7 years is a long while. I think he made several poor managerial decisions, keeping Figgins over Wak being the worst of the bunch. Injuries heurt him some, as did the failure of Ackley to progress. But the buck must stop somewhere and Z's desk is, ultimately, that spot. I wish him good luck. Clearly Lloyd is a short timer. He won't be here in '17, and even Sept. is questionable.

2015-08-28 09:00

YAY! Move one needed doing. The more important move now is move two, hiring the organization's head honcho of #Baseball matters. The consideration equally as important as that is just how much say that #Baseball man will have in the organization. Nobody worth their salt is going to come in to simply be a stooge to #Lincoln's (and Mather's) act.

2015-08-28 08:52

Oh no. It begins. Why no McLendon ousting to pair with it?

2015-08-28 08:44

Just as I suspected.. Rodney was the first casualty... down goes Jack.. the fans rejoice.. NEXT

2015-08-27 22:49

What's with that shout about video game talk? Not that I'm opposed necessarily, but there's no shortage of places on the internet to talk about video games. Is this something that KLAT is pushing to build out their community?

2015-08-27 18:16

Hopefully Rodney is just the start actually....more sacrifices need made..I can think of a couple others that need cleaned out

2015-08-27 18:10

Perhaps Rodney instead of bringing actual curse of the goat...will be a sacrificial lamb for both teams. Rodney equals end of both curses.. not sure, but glad it's iver

2015-08-27 16:54

Mariners trade Fernando Rodney to Cubs for cash and the Curse of the Billygoat.... so now we have a reason for the losing in the future.

Reply - Browns8625 - 8/27/15 6:14pm
2015-08-27 11:05

No, I don't think .650 with defense is the floor. It is not established that Marte is more than an average-solid defensive SS, nor that he can/will hit .650. I believe it is entirely possible that he could settle in as a .260/.300/.320 player who is merely average on defense.

2015-08-27 10:03

Regarding the Marte discussion: Grizz, I use Aybar and Andrus as the "floor" because they both OPS around .650 this year. Aybar's OPS+ lifetime is 93. Andrus is at .656 this season and has a lifetime OPS+ of 83. If Marte gives us that with good defense (and I think his speed is there with Elvis's), I think we'll all be somewhat disappointed. I think we all pretty much figure Marte will at the least meet those productive levels. We're arguing whether he can go beyond that. Heck, .650 with good defense - that's kinda what we got from Ackley

2015-08-27 09:26


2015-08-27 09:20

Ugh. Just looked for the first time at the overall MLB standings by winning percentage. In the AL we are "ahead of" (=behind) only #Oakland and #Boston. BUT. There are six, count 'em, SIX really bad teams in the NL, with winning percentages lower than #Boston.I'm not up on draft matters like most around here, but that puts us somewhere around ninth in the draft order if the season finished today.
Not to worry, though. I guess it probably doesn't matter much, since whoever we draft usually ends up busting anyway.

Reply - Browns8625 - 8/27/15 6:23pm
Right..maybe it's better off we don't get a high one. Just throw a few guys on a board and toss a dart, or hell..maybe hire a up and Comer that's making good baseball decisions
2015-08-27 09:14

What ever happened to that new D-O-V site? It's sounding pretty good right about now...

2015-08-27 09:09

I guess we're all one big family now! Oh boy, a whole new group of people for TakingNotes and I to annoy with video game talk.

Reply - Browns8625 - 8/27/15 6:24pm
Oh boy .
2015-08-27 08:57

Well welcome to all those whose shouts intended for some community other than this one are ending up here! We are a mostly genial and friendly bunch, but we are used to debunking things that, um, SHOUT for debunking.

2015-08-27 08:51

Well, I guess good morning, everyone!

2015-08-27 08:44

Composing of any real value is hard, demanding, often frustrating work. But when it all comes together, the sense of having created something wonderful is beyond description.

2015-08-27 08:42

Too bad our shout box has become a random dumping ground.

Reply - Browns8625 - 8/27/15 6:26pm
Yes, what is happening today
2015-08-27 08:41

Too bad composing isn't the way to riches! That would be fun.

2015-08-27 08:39

I keep getting warnings about shouts being to long but it appears to me they show up anyway.

Also, if there is a hard character limit to shouts, perhaps it would be helpful if we could be presented with a character count as we type. Just a suggestion.

Reply - Browns8625 - 8/27/15 6:26pm
I agree.. more than twitter though lol
2015-08-27 08:37

Composing is like any other artistic endeavor. A very few make a lot. More make much less than a lot. Some make a ilttle. And most who try never make anything to speak of. Few make a living.
Still, there are many excellent online resources if someone wants to take their shot. I recommend first getting grounded with a community like Virtual Instrument Control, a forum frequented by working and aspiring composers mostly oriented around #Film #Music, where the #Money is. Lots to learn, but personally rewarding if you have superior talent and the determination to persevere. Should you through perseverance get the right opportunity, who knows, maybe you will be one of the fortunate few.

2015-08-27 08:16

So, composing is an instant method to Make enormous cash online when you can create.

2015-08-27 08:16

So, composing is an instant method to Make enormous cash online when you can create.

2015-08-27 06:08

@all how do I get to the normal shout wall

2015-08-27 06:08

@all how do I get to the normal shout wall

Reply - Browns8625 - 8/27/15 6:28pm
Guess you should have taken that left turn in Albacurky...or however you spell that :)
2015-08-26 19:05

Copying over my recent shout from the column that was moved over minutes after I made it:

I think we need to go through a full spring training and first half of next season before we anoint Edgar as The Hitting Coach Who Saved The Mariners' Offense. Things look more promising now than they did earlier in the season, but #Baseball can be a deceiving game when it comes to short term effects versus long term effects. There is NO QUESTION Edgar was a generational hitting talent and he probably has few peers when it comes to knowing about hitting. So my caution is not a knock on Our Beloved Edgar. It is a caution born of long experience following #Baseball.

It is not common for a player to hit like Edgar hit. It is not common for a hitting coach to have a huge, long-term effect on the offensive performance of a team, even if in the short term players swear by that coach's effect on them. Let's give it some time to see if the one uncommon thing and the other uncommon thing correlate. If this was such a cut and dried thing teams would pay as much for such hitting coaches than they would for the very best players.

Reply - Browns8625 - 8/26/15 8:50pm
Does he seem to be getting the key to the city already by most? I agree you need to atleast get a full year under your belt...just didn't know there was a lot of Edgar credit going around...or atleast on a more national level.
2015-08-26 17:44

Starting a conversation...