Error message

  • Notice: Trying to get property 'data' of non-object in _dmemcache_get_pieces() (line 330 of /var/www/html/klat/sites/all/modules/memcache/dmemcache.inc).
  • Notice: Trying to get property 'data' of non-object in _dmemcache_get_pieces() (line 330 of /var/www/html/klat/sites/all/modules/memcache/dmemcache.inc).

February 2015

Lookin good Billy Ray! Feelin good, Louis...
Posted by Gordon Gross on 02/28/15
Posted to blog

This is a couple days later that I wanted to post it, but luckily Doc is back and killing it.  And televised games start next week!  Baseball is back, folks - and very few people are as happy about that as Danny Hultzen.  Being able to throw again without pain must be a wonderful relief.   How's he going about his business?  There's a little video and an article over here:     The Mariners have set no expectations on Hultzen, knowing he's still got a long way to go after throwing just 35 innings over the last two injury-plagued years. Hultzen is taking the same long-range view. For now he's... Read More
Horton leads workout on USS San Diego
Posted by jemanji on 02/28/15
Posted to blog

. OKDan pointed out this YouTube which connects Dr. Elliott with P90X2.  I'm Tony Horton's biggest fan - here's a primer on the P90X / core strength topic. ......... BeachBody, which manufactures P90X, Insanity, Body Beast, etc., is an oily parent company that borders on multi-level marketing.  BeachBody itself, I got no use for. Tony Horton can't be happy about his association with them, but ... . I think he believes that it is a loud microphone from which he can attempt to influence people towards the right ideas. Most people have a tendency to assume "one home DVD exercise program is as... Read More
Nothin' footballish about this honcho
Posted by jemanji on 02/28/15
Posted to blog

. Super-poster, Friend-of-POTUS, and All-Round Great Guy OKDan sez, okdan: Shannon Drayer has some cool video up of Patrick Kivlehan, Jordy Lara, and D.J. Peterson taking BP down in Peoria. Just BP of course, but my initial reactions are: Kivlehan looks athletic but a little jumpy at the plate. Lara looks like he could be a beast, big kid. DJ looks patient and cool as a cucumber, like a 10 year vet in the box. Check it out here: http://mynorthwest.com/374/2718894/Video-Mariners-prospects-hit-against-... . Normally we wouldn't mosh too much off of a few hacks in the cage, but hey.  That's what... Read More
"ML-Ready," dept.
Posted by jemanji on 02/28/15
Posted to blog

. Lots of noise about Morrison being entrenched.  But!, it says here, the leash can't be real long.  A month's worth of .189 hitting from LoMo and we've got a different convo.  The M's have promoted blue-chippers who had considerably fewer than D.J.'s 700-800 minors hacks. For most people, "Major League Ready" means you have ripped it up in AAA.  That'll do for me too.  But Jack Zduriencik is confident in his own scouting eye, and if he thinks Kyle Seager or Mike Zunino are capable of "learning in the big leagues," then they're in there.  I think that's cool.  Quiet, hardcore self-confidence... Read More
Step lightly, dude
Posted by jemanji on 02/26/15
Posted to blog

. Q.  Yowch.  Don'cha think that's a little harsh. A.  Mickey will be retaining $2,300,000 for his services this year.  These services will be comprised of rehab exercises.  I'll take $2M for six months' worth of yoga, if you'd like to pay me for it. Saunders is tall, good-looking, filthy rich and a celebrity.  Oh by the way, in terms of his medical sitch, personally I would swap him in a heartbeat.  We're not talking Shakespearean tragedy here.  The guy's got a knee.  His life ain't over. . Q.  Are some guys injury-prone?  What's the "evidence"? A.  This "where is the JAMA article" shtick... Read More
I dunno what Paxton Marinera is, but I like it
Posted by jemanji on 02/26/15
Posted to blog

. Two fun articles at FanGraphs, one on the rotation and one on the bullpen.  The titles are even fun:  "King Felix and the Paxton Marinera" versus "Seattle Mariners:  Best Bullpen in Baseball." In the comments to the rotation piece, the readers argue about whether the Nationals' rotation is better than the M's.  This is a little bit like hearing an argument about whether Spec66 or Bill James is the weightier author:  the fact that the discussion is occurring tells you everything you need to know. The commenters also argue, snidely, about J.A. Happ.  Apparently that Saunders-Happ trade will... Read More
Hey, there's a lot to be said for lowering the pressure ...
Posted by jemanji on 02/25/15
Posted to blog

... whether it be giving up part of your website to a handful of crack baseball analysts better than you, or giving up your toughest 150 left-field AB's to a jobshare pardner, or just stashing your best young starter in Tacoma.  - D. . McClendon sez that Weeks is primarily the left fielder vs LH.  No offense to Dustin Ackley, y'unnerstan'.  But if you can poach 20-25 HR and 100 RBI out of a Frankenstein out there, "now you got something." And so the Way Draft opening day roster jells for us.  The mockup to beat would now appear to be: Pos Star / Scrub Remark C Zunino   1B LoMo   2B Robinson... Read More
… and boogie witchoo
Posted by jemanji on 02/25/15
Posted to blog

. I/O:  Spec posts his 2012 prospects board.  Archaeologists demand to see the documentation proving that it was not written after-the-fact. CRUNCH:  Everybody used to ax Chuck Knox, "So.  How do you like the fact that everybody has you finishing third?"  Chuck would look into the camera like Dirty Harry watching somebody eat a hot dog with triple ketchup.  ... "Nobody ever goes and checks those predictions later." So the 2012 Spec66 Update is an upper-deck shot, just for the fact that Jim bares his chest to the machine guns and publishes it, three years on.  But!  Dr. D also notices that all... Read More
The Trash Factor Part I
Posted by mojician on 02/24/15
Posted to blog

Jeff Samardzija has swagger.  His Unitesque mullet, long sharp teeth, and large snout coupled with a vicious disposition have earned Samardzija the nickname “Shark”.  ESPN quoted Shark as stating that he could get some guys out without throwing a pitch.   He just sharks em’ and he knows they are going to get out before they do.   Shark’s vision of dominating certain opponents is bloodthirsty but small minded and near sighted.  That is, shark like.   (Sharks have everything going for them except ambition.)  To be a truly great baseball player, you don’t set your sights on dominating certain... Read More
Where are they now?
Posted by Spectator on 02/24/15
Posted to blog

  I mostly did this for my own cross-checking purposes, but I'll go ahead and throw it out there. I did a "Where are they now?" for the first Spec66 from 2012 (after the 2011 season). The "consensus" ranking comes from a blog called "Steal of Home" (find it here), which does a nice job of compiling them.  Jesus Montero was the consensus No. 1, and I didn't rank him, which is why there's no "1" in that column. I put guys who ended up as busts in red, but there are really surprisingly few. And it's pretty cool that three of the starting nine (Logan Morrison, Austin Jackson and Seth Smith) were... Read More
The wheels come off of Dr. D's pre-March assumptions
Posted by jemanji on 02/22/15
Posted to blog

. Rewind a month or so?  the vibe says Chris Taylor at the pole position for startin' shortstop.   Then again, the vibe says lots.  The vibe definitely had Willie "$3 Million" Bloomquist as the backup shortstop.  You didn't need the vibe to figure the rest:  Brad Miller needed to hit .419 in March to make the traveling squad. Siiiiighhhhh. . Present Day.  Camp opens, Willie still has the $3 large guaranteeeeed ... but the shot-callers sound an awful lot like "If Brad Miller feels solid with the glove, he's in there."  And why not.  There's a real shortage of $507,500 players who rack you up... Read More
GET ON WITH IT, Dept.
Posted by jemanji on 02/22/15
Posted to blog

. Ryan Divish thinks that the new "time" rules will be given their due attention in March, and then will die on the vine once the season starts.  A reasonable assumption.   Is it true?  Dunno, but the powers-that-be are serious about deflating the dead time. ....... It's not that we want to be at the ballpark 15 minutes less, so that we can go home and scrub the toilet.  The thing is, we fans are sitting there ready for action, and then the players stand there and .... do not act.  It's like the NBA.  You get psyched up for a smackdown, and you build up for two hours, and your juices are... Read More
Psych up with Dr. D's blessing
Posted by jemanji on 02/21/15
Posted to blog

. Q.  How big a deal, that the guy just won Biggest Loser and the lifetime free veggie sub card? A.  Not.  Most those Biggest Loser amigos wind up Biggest Winners shortly after the lights flick off.  Like maybe 20% of them have actually changed. On Jan. 31, Dr. D expressed his skepticism of the Fat Farm Trip, as such: ... Zduriencik can't get Jesus Montero to have a vision, the will to win.  And McClendon can't, and the personal trainer can't, and of course you and I can't. Alcoholics Anonymous counselors will tell you that the turnaround comes after a person hits bottom.  See Hamilton, Josh... Read More
Dr. Dilaudid isn't in right now
Posted by jemanji on 02/20/15
Posted to blog

. If you'd like to call his offish for an appointment.  :: eyes as anime spirals :: .......... Where there was a "Condor" Saunders, there is now a "Jay" Happ.  There will be many "Miss" Happs before the Condor investment is written off.  So, M's fans' fates are sealed.  They will be rooting for a 2015 Derek Holland wannabe, and that's that. There are worse things than Derek Holland, such as the 2014 Taijuan Walker, for example.  In 2011-13, Holland rode a 93-94 fastball and a 7.5 k / 3.0 bb / 1.2 attack dog mentality to minor stardom in the American League.   (Cheat sheet:  that's what Happ... Read More
Cheating at the Little League World Series? Duh!
Posted by Spectator on 02/19/15
Posted to blog

  I love sports. "The human drama of athletic competition." I love buzzer-beaters, Hail Marys, two-outs-in-the-bottom-of-the-9th, overtime, it-all-comes-down-to-this.  I love standings, stats, rankings, brackets, playoff scenarios, tiebreakers, box scores, the bubble, the improbable run to the title. All of it. And I hate "youth sports."  Hate, hate, hate, hate, hate. Anything before high school varsity is kids games ... not sports.  And I hate the notion that we can somehow move all of the trappings and consequences down to the level of children, and even bring TV along for the ride. I hate... Read More
Now the whole spreadsheet for pitchers
Posted by Spectator on 02/18/15

Here is the whole spreadsheet for 2014 minor-league pitching. Recapping the explanations: Need a minimum of 100 batters faced to be listed. Those with between 100 and 150 BF are in green. Those who are on "MLB Track" (on track to reach AAA by age-23 or younger) are in red, unless they have fewer than 150 BF, in which case they are bolded green. Those who have been traded or left the organization are in blue. Those more than three years above MLB Track age-level or older than age 26 are in gray. I didn't come up with a better way, so those who qualify as "starters" (majority of appearances as... Read More
Lists with everyone eligible
Posted by Spectator on 02/18/15
Posted to blog

We covered the hitters, so now let's take a look at the pitchers. We'll start with the lists of all eligible prospects. I require at least 100 batters faced (plate appearances against -- same thing), but those with fewer than 150 I put in green type since there's not much data. I also separate out those who are on "MLB Track" (essentially, on track to reach AAA by age-23).  I use this to separate out the prospects whose stats come from facing the very best of their age-peers or older players. It is not determinative, it's just another useful way of looking at things.  It probably means less... Read More
Limited to starters
Posted by Spectator on 02/18/15
Posted to blog

  It's not always easy to characterize who's getting used as a starter in the minors.  Sometimes guys will start games just to ensure they are getting regular work, but aren't really being stretched out. So we just set fairly arbitrary rules: A majority of appearances have to be games started; and An average of at least 15 batters faced per appearance. Of course, some guys will end up as starters who are not being used that way in the minors, but this at least gives a pretty good idea of which guys are viewed as being able to start, and go deep into, games. Names in red are on "MLB Track" (... Read More
The whole spreadsheet!
Posted by Spectator on 02/11/15
Posted to blog

You may need your reading glasses, since I had to shrink this down somewhat to make it fit. Color code: red is guys who are on or ahead of "MLB Track" (essentially AAA by age 23).  So they have a better chance of long-term success. Green is guys with fewer than 150 but more than 100 plate appearances.  Someone who would be red (on "MLB Track") except for being green (fewer than 150 PAs) is bolded green.  Those with fewer than 100 PAs are not listed at all. Gray is guys who are three or more years older for their level than "MLB Track." Blue is guys who are no longer with the Mariners (or, in... Read More
Alaska Sports Insider Edition
Posted by mojician on 02/11/15
Posted to blog

Prologue: Doc instructed me to have something up on the site while he is spending a week getting a component separation technique.  I'm not sure what he is really doing this week, as I did a component separation technique on my Samsung phone, and it took less than five minutes.  The secret is the itty bitty screwdriver.  Whatever, he needs a break.   This article on crypto-zoology has been collecting dust on my laptop for almost three years.  I sent it to Field and Stream, they sent it back and then I forgot about it.  Now, its time to crack this old bottle of wierdness and see how it aged,... Read More
Including all hitters
Posted by Spectator on 02/10/15
Posted to blog

Continuing with minor-league offensive leaderboards. The first batch was limited to players on what I call "MLB Track": Rookie ball/short season by age 19 Low-A by age 20 High-A by age 21 AA by age 22 AAA by age 23 This group has all of the hitters, regardless of age-relative-to-level.  But those more than two years older than "MLB Track" level are indicated with a "(+3)" or the like. Prospects on the "MLB Track" are in red or (if they had a limited number of appearances) in bolded green. Other prospects are in black or (if they had a limited number of appearances) in regular green. Hitters... Read More
Round 1: those on "MLB Track"
Posted by Spectator on 02/09/15
Posted to blog

There will be a new Spec66, which will be better planned than last year, as a part of DOV2.  But here are some "leaderboards" for the categories that I watch. This first group is limited to players on what I call "MLB Track" (they are in red or green): Rookie ball/short season by age 19 Low-A by age 20 High-A by age 21 AA by age 22 AAA by age 23 The great majority to players who go on to MLB success (particularly hitters) hit those marks. That doesn't mean other players can't make it -- including, for example, four of our crowd favorites: Dario Pizzano/Jabari Henry/Jordy Lara/Dan Paolini --... Read More
Michelangelo vs. Some Guy Named Mike
Posted by Spectator on 02/08/15
Posted to blog

  Jeff asked for some pinch-hitting this week, and so I thought I'd throw out a couple of new things together with something that I never got around to publishing last spring ... all along the same theme. *** Clearly, the difference between a Michelangelo and a mediocrity is in the margins -- in the fractions of inches. The whole "lump-of-marble-to-something-relatively-humanoid" trick may not be that easy, but it's a lot easier than the "make-it-a-masterpiece" part. We can posit that every pro team and major college program gets access to the marble or the clay or the blank canvas. But who... Read More
or is it "Staves"? There's been a Zum-Bro' sighting
Posted by jemanji on 02/06/15
Posted to blog

. SABRMatt is thinking about writing Avengers: the Battle of Seattle.  Here's a peek at the white boards pre-production: ... The story takes place in the fictional "pennant chase" town of Seattle and centers on mysterious old hallway janitor Lloyd McClendon (Sidney Poiter).  He had "married down" to his welfare girlfriend Piratette, but in a bizarre plot twist, she dumps him in the conviction that she deserves better.  She is then immediately run over by a sanitation truck.   Her decision to leave Poitier is never explained in the movie, and this Meet Joe Black "Bug-On-Windshield Death" jump... Read More
M's bullpen hits the Ichiroll stand
Posted by jemanji on 02/06/15
Posted to blog

. Word is that the Mariners are competing with two other teams to bring back Jase.  If they sign him, you know that he is on the 25-man roster April 1.  We baseball fans are then left with either (1) Carson Smith / aka / Brandon Maurer in the minors, or else (2) an 8-man pitching staff with one first baseman glove in the clubhouse and D.J. Peterson rotting away in AAA long past his promotion date. If you tier the 2014 relievers by Leveraged Opportunity, you get: RH Rodney, LH Furbush = used in very tight situations RH Yoervis = used in averaged "pressure" situations RH Leone, LH Beimel, RH... Read More
Pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall.
Posted by mojician on 02/06/15
Posted to blog
1 Comments

In case you haven't heard, Rob Mansfred, the new Commissioner of Baseball, is thinking up ways to make the game more profitable.  His idea is to speed up the game with pitch clocks, and to outlaw defensive shifts which has lowered run scoring.  This sort of talk should leads to sneers of derision by real baseball people.  I wish Lloyd McClendon would go kick some dirt on Rob Mansfred for us. Here's why: Consider the Forbes MLB gold chart by year: If a person were just going by inflation, any $2 Billion you had in 1995 would be worth $3.06 Billion in $2013.  Baseball teams are worth roughly 2... Read More
Explain it to Dr. D in one-syllable words
Posted by jemanji on 02/05/15
Posted to blog
22 Comments

Originally posted Jan. 7, 2014. .... Sickels is mass kewl.  I believe everything he says, that isn't countered by G-Money.  That's point A. ;- ) Here's the discussion thread at Minor League Ball. ..... As far as the comments at his site ... A quick once-over brings only one question, and it is plenty 'nuff:  what in the world is going on in peoples' heads, with respect to Danny Hultzen?  Do people believe that there are 300-400 prospects more valuable than him? More like 30.  Personally, I would NOT give you Danny Hultzen in exchange for D.J. Peterson.  And let me check that statement in a... Read More
Any resemblance to David Ortiz and Joe Beimel is strictly coincidental
Posted by jemanji on 02/05/15
Posted to blog

. SABRMatt sez he likes pitching changes, a lot of them, in fact: ... I like the wheels turning, the managers matching up guys, the variety in pitching styles you get...and the fact that this style of play requires teams to get good at specializing and finding advantages and depth. To fill out an entire 25 man roster. To choose which they want more, the 8th reliever or the third benchie. I do NOT like the commercials, though. Give the pitchers coming out of the bullpen a 1 minute clock...they can either (a) run to the mound like an athlete and then have a few seconds for a couple quick warm... Read More
Posted by jemanji on 02/05/15

. Dr. D in a desperate attempt to save the Shout Box.  ;- )   Or any vestiges of info-tainment it has left.  Everybody please be surgically cool in the presentation of your ideas and ABSOLUTELY CIVIL in your studious determination to --- > avoid casting aspersions on others' judgment.  If this stuff happens while he is AFK on Feb. 8-15, he's going to walk in and start swingin'. Or crying, or laughing hysterically, or at least rolling his eyes and starting a comments thread. Thanks amigos! .... GLS: Is it the third world poor you're concerned about? What to do about third world... Read More
Baserunner kills, dept.
Posted by jemanji on 02/04/15
Posted to blog

. Dr. D has some doubt that "hose" reads "arm" in Urban Dictionary.  So here is today's Retro Moment.  Hose Manning was the quarterback in Dan Jenkin's Semi-Tough novel.  We're more confident that the reader more quickly connects the term "noodle" with Johnny Damon, Dustin Ackley and PEYTON Manning. Bill James Online is still a piddling $3 a month, or about one-twentieth of what Spec, Matty, Ben and I plan to charge for our Minor League Crop Circles shtick.  Is there anything in baseball, other than Jeff Sullivan, that is remotely as fun to read as Hey Bill?  Well, maybe Dr. D making a fool... Read More
One Zen idea that gives you, Gentle Reader, a "broken" life advantage
Posted by jemanji on 02/04/15
Posted to blog

. "Broken" like a trading card game has a card that is so "over powered" it wrecks the game.  Blastoise in the original Pokemon TCG spun energy in a way no other card did.  A broken maneuver.  Players who figured out the right combo of cards always won.  The game became useless. Robert A. Heinlein always obsessed over man's evolution from Homo Sapiens to Homo Superioris.  This one concept alone, the life concept of the Golden Goose, does it for you.  A "broken" life strategy.  You're welcome.  As y'know, we live to serve. . Moshing off Bill James Online is, of course, an "over powered" move... Read More
The sky bears watching. For one homestand, anyway :- )
Posted by jemanji on 02/04/15
Posted to blog

. Also there is interesting Frozen Tundra discussion as to the best team ever to finish second.   In 1942, the St. Louis Cardinals and the Brooklyn Dodgers both won the pennant by 20 games.  The Dodgers happened to finish second -- with a 104-50 record.   The Dodgers had an interesting symmetry to them, "The Perfect Team," one which had ABOVE average players at EVERY position.  James, who would know, finds it unlikely that any team in history would see this dream actualized, since only 1 in 8,000 teams might figure to do it (by chance draw, if you were drafting Strat-O-Matic randomly).  But... Read More
It ain't like we live in Cleveland, kiddies
Posted by jemanji on 02/02/15
Posted to blog

. How can you expect your heroes to bounce back, if you don't? :: winning Bill Murray smile :: . Drew Brees "Scars Can Be Beautiful, Too" Dept. 25 years from now, the pain of Super Bowl 49 will be clear in your mind.  You know how the rigged Steelers game still touches a raw nerve?  That is the way with this game.  You'll never forget it. But, in pain and in joy, you feel alive. You aren't bored and you aren't lethargic.  You're stimulated and animated.  Better to have loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.  :- )  That proverb is correct. . Russell Wilson "Fortune Favors the Bold"... Read More
Tom Brady a worthy heir to the Founding Fathers
Posted by jemanji on 02/02/15
Posted to blog

. SumoDave sez, . Hey Doc, As a Pats fan, I'm excited. I'm not here to gloat, because I know what it feels like to lose a Super Bowl in the heart-wrenching, soul-gutting fashion Hawks fans just did. I thought last night was to be a third such occurrence. I even muttered, "it's not fair" to myself when that juggling catch was made. If not for the worst play call in football history, you'd be celebrating instead of me. But I do have to ask… given that the old-timer Brady threw perfectly inflated balls to the tune of 328 yards and 4 TD's (including 2 into the violent, gnashing steel teeth of... Read More
I got yer 5 tool player right here, b'wana
Posted by jemanji on 02/02/15
Posted to blog

. At the trade deadline, the Mariners traded Nick Franklin for Austin Jackson.  We all shook the fog out of our heads, and wondered how you nab a 3-4 win player for a young benchie who had lost his luster. SSI maintained that we constantly undersell the value of trade chips like Nick Franklin, Chris Taylor, Brad Miller, Roenis Elias, and their ilk.  And GM's aren't immune to the lure of "sexy" UPside -- Nick Franklin is more likely to pull a 3-win player than Chris Taylor is.  Still, it was 6 years of Franklin vs. 2 of Austin Jackson, so, shrug. Just don't forget that, next time you're... Read More