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bsrOne other tidbit, Mather says it's not primarily Safeco that turns off players from coming to Seattle, it's the excessive travel. And says he's been pressing the new commish heavily for some improvement on this front, but it'll likely take a year or two to see anything happen.20 min 46 sec ago
bsrMather also reveals (in so many words) that Z would have been gone if this year hadn't gone well, though they were hoping not to have to cut him loose. He also talks quite candidly about how unprepared he was for the baseball ops side of the President job, how Chuck Armstrong never told him anything about it. A little disheartening given the missed LaRussa opportunity but on the flip side, it comes across that he is far more hands off with the GM. Which I would say is better on balance than having a meddlesome prez like Chuck who thinks he knows baseball.22 min 45 sec ago
bsrWorth listening to the entire Mather interview, but basically the key quote was: "We need to be 85 to 95 wins every year...we need to be competitive year-in, year-out". That is very clearly the M's org philosophy at this point. For better or worse. Reminds me a lot of the famous Pete Carroll philosophy, "Win (8-12 Games a Year) Forever"...sorry, so hard not to be cynical about these bland Mariner rallying cries. But I do appreciate their emphasis on not having a long losing drought again. That clearly seems to have been a scarring experience for ownership and management.28 min 6 sec ago
MtGrizzlyI think it's funny that the ownership committee is shooting for 93 wins before the off season even starts. 93 should secure a wild card, so I guess that is what they are aiming for.1 hour 58 min ago
DaddyOIt is just like the Mariners to amplify just how much agony they endure at any expenditure increase, and how grateful what they wish was a sycophantic fan base should be.5 hours 31 min ago
MtGrizzlyFrom mlbtr: "The Mariners, Mather explained, overshot their allotted player personnel budget by nearly $16MM in 2014. However, ownership had no complaints after seeing the team’s strong performance. Rather than asking how the $16MM would be recouped, they instead asked Mather how the team was going to get six more wins in 2015."21 hours 11 min ago
mojicianBe sure to tune into the shoutbox if you ever want to hear tomorrow's news today. :)1 day 2 hours ago
mojicianI'd like the record to reflect that I called a Giants World Series win on the night of the NL Wild Card game and right before the World Series started. My foresight is not quite 20-20, so I predicted a series win in five games. I want bragging rights and a bracket of some kind.1 day 2 hours ago
MtGrizzlyTo be fair, it's not as if Smoak had any success with his 'old' batting mechanics.1 day 12 hours ago
moethedogModern coaches would probably try to fix M. Ott or S. Oh!2 days 1 hour ago
moethedogChanging a hitter's stroke is more tricky than we wish to admit. There is a lot of investment by a player that has to be discarded, some can't do it. Many struggle because the stroke they have is their natural one, and the right one given their particular set of physical skills, make-up, vision, etc. Just telling a player to "go the other way" and assuming that fixes him is problematic, as is much "teaching" in that regard. PGA Tour-level players regularly "lose it" as they try to make mechanical fixes, some never get it back. What we think is purely mechanical is often bio-mechanical, meaning that a persons body optimally functions is a certain way. "Fixing" that may not be a fix. You older guys will remember Keith "Silk" Wilkes, the former UCLA and NBA player. He had a completely weird jump shot stroke that you would teach to nobody...but it worked.2 days 1 hour ago
moethedog"Fixing" it would have been disastrous. I think both Smoak and Ackley have been "fixed" to death. leaving them alone would have been a much better option. Some guys can be changed for the better. Some can't. Leave those guys alone. Hitting coaches (like swing coaches) are paid to coach, so they do. But I think in the majority of cases they would be better (at the MLB level) if they just said, "Swing a lighter bat" or "stand closer to the plate" or "take a day off" a lot more than they do. Not every problem can be "mechanically" fixed.2 days 1 hour ago
DaddyOI hope Smoak figures how to carve out a productive MLB career for himself. Meanwhile, he remains just one of a number of M's can't-miss hitting prospects who so far have sputtered and missed. A team can only pitch so well. Meanwhile they have to score some runs. Of course that sentiment is preaching to the choir.2 days 2 hours ago
SABR MattMcClendon's impulse to get Smoak to hit the opposite way and get on top of the ball was, (assuming this analysis is correct) the right thing to instruct. Smoak wanted to be a power hitter though. A power hitter's brain with a contact hitter's actual power because his swing was greedy and mechanically flawed.2 days 3 hours ago
SABR MattJust had an interesting discussion with a hitting instructor who used to intern with the Yankees the year I was there about Smoak. He thinks the Mariners fouled up Smoak's swing mechanics. He sees in Smoak's vids, a guy who starts the bat head too low in the zone and whose swing is too wristy, meaning when he wants to hit for power (gets a cookie pitch), he is going to have to swing up at the ball and the barrell will be at both an upper-cutting and a hinged (pullside) angle. If he squares it up with that funky contact plane, the ball will be a very high fly ball (subject to warning track outs)...and if he gets funny contact, he will ground out to the pull side. Hey...remind me again...what were Smoak's main out types? When he looked at scouting vids of early Smoak...he didn't start the bat head too low and his swing was way less wristy.2 days 3 hours ago
Bat571I suspect the Ms let Blake walk, though. If he's smart, he'll run to the D'backs and sign for whatever to get a chance to work with Dave Duncan. He's the classic Duncan project - big RH that doesn't overpower people and needs to learn how to pitch.2 days 20 hours ago
Bat571Griz - I think Blake Beavan is still in the org. He was outrighted to Tacoma in August, and can become a free agent if not put back on the 40-man by a date that's pretty soon or signed to a new minor league deal, but the Ms still have a shred of the return left.2 days 21 hours ago
DaddyOThis has nothing to do with current conversations, but I sure like Joe Panik. Not just his stats, but the way he plays the game. This guy is going to be a fixture for a LONG time.2 days 23 hours ago
misterjonezLove to see the decision made on Smoak. The M's seriously need to re-evaluate their offensive development program, but when it's time to cut bait it's time to cut bait. LoMo looks like a better bet, and neither one projects as a world beater. Here's hoping Smoak can turn into Adam Lind in Toronto; I wish him well.2 days 23 hours ago
moethedogSo here's the Lind attraction: Career vR he is .293-.349-.510! (Career vL he's .212-.257-.331) In a platoon situation at 1B or DH, he would be a terrific (and relatively cheap ($) add. Is Montero the vL bat to go with him? What is the cost of trading for Lind? But if you want to bring 115 starts of vR mashing, Lind is a guy to consider.3 days 35 min ago