RUNDOWN: Raul Ibanez
History's most improbable age-41 season?


Change o' pace, tryin' ta keep you on your toes here.  Grab a second cuppa.  

Rundown play:  the throw to one side of the runner, a throw back the other side, and then a quick scramble by Dr. D trying to find safety.


PICKOFF THROW TO 1B:  Rauuuuul is now #6 in the American League (!!) in home runs.  That's with 220 trips to the plate compared to Longoria's and Cabrera's 330-350.

His SLG, .524, would be #7 in the American League if he qualified -- which he doesn't.  He has the same RBI, 42, as does Jose Bautista.


PANIC FLIP BACK TO THE SS:  With a .280 OBP, there isn't really any .500 slugger you can remotely comp him to -- everybody else is .330 to .350 at least.

Well ...Adam Dunn.  :- )  So right now you're talking about a Dunn / Reynolds type -- in a good year.

More bad news:  no way in the world this dude is part of the M's next pennantwinner, so what is he even doing here?


SCRAMBLE BACK, DIVE INTO 1B SAFELY:  Angie wanted to know, what are you doing at 41 that you didn't do before?  Rauuuul's instinctive reaction was telling -- Dr. D can sit and bogue on unrehearsed answers.

My swing is different now, he sez, and I just try to do what I can do.

This is precisely what Gordon said, a couple of weeks ago.  Rauuuul is playing a Gorman Thomas game up there, guessing pitches, trying to hit them out when he gets them.  (Go look up Stormin' Gorman's baseball card.  One of your alltime great .199 hitters.)


There were a few 41-year-old players who were better, such as Ted Williams.  Is Raul's season the most improbable 40+ season in the history of baseball?

On this specific call, give Jack Zduriencik megaprops.  You can call Jason Bay a Joy of Painting happy accident, but on Rauuul he bet almost $3 million quid.  Capt Jack slammed down big money, and he hit the green 00.  Give it up for him.

Raul is still hitting left hand pitchers (?!) and one of his home runs today was golfed off his ankles (!?).  He looks as quick as ever.  In his Gorman Thomas incarnation, with his value as a bench coach ... is it a given that he'd be a lousy #25 benchie next season? Like Mike Sweeney type player/coaching?





Hey Doc, not to thread-jack, but can you check and see if my thread on Ryan ("Leather Schmeather") is lost in the ether-world? If so I can re-post. If you find it and if it is worthy of postinig, could you bring it up, please?


Thomas is a neat comparison to this Raul. I used to really like him and the rest of the Wallbangers. And I had forgottent that Thomas was a Mariner. .215-.330-.450 in '85.
As to Raul, I was at the front of the poo-pooing line. I will admit he has been fun to watch, however. But I think I would just as soon seen those PA's go to somebody that might have actually helped us next year, a Thames perhaps. I say that and then admit that I can't really judge how much Raul's long-toothed wisdom helps guys like Franklin, Seager and Zunino. It didn't have much impact on you have to be careful about spreading that kind of credit around.
I've already advocated for a player/manager role for Raul. Sans a real Mariners run, Z isn't re-upping with Wedge for next year. I would have no problem, if the lineup was flexable, to seeing Raul in a player/manager role.
I can't believe he would be any worse than Wedge in lineup and PH decisions (I'm not criticizing Wedge, here...just pointing out that somebody with Raul's experience ought to do that fairly well). He should be able to handle a locker-room, too. Pitchers? Don't know.
If Raul was only a rent-a-bat and he's gone after this one, then I still don't think it was a great decision to bring him in.....but it has been a fun one to watch.
Kudo's, in that regard, to Z.
Kudo's all around to Raul. Makes a grey-beard proud, doesn't it.

blissedj's picture

Great memory you brought back of a game my Dad took me to when Gorman hit 3 HR! Believe it was bat night as well. What a game :) He was one of those players that always looked so much older than he really was . Same with Ken Phelps. Couple of TTO guys there for sure.
As for Raul I don't know why you wouldn't bring back you best hitting outfielder. We need at least 3 of 'em at all times for next year and without him back our total for 2014 as it stands now is 0 unless Saunders picks it back up. Beats the heck out of watching even one more game with Endy Chavez. It's not like Ibanez is blocking any hotshot OF prospects either, plenty of room for Romero if he can cut the K's down just a bit more over the second half. If Morse is around I'd like him at 1B to give him every chance possible to stay healthy.


I wonder if he's up there doing the Kirk Gibson "I don't have many swings left so I better make each one count" strategy. Truly amazing effort in the post PED era.


Does he not remind you of Joe Girardi?!  :- )  Looks like him, too.
There wasn't much time between Girardi's retirement as a player, and his appointment as a manager at the ML level.  If nothing else, it would be smile-inducing...
What do you like about the idea of Ibanez as M's manager, Mo'?

blissedj's picture

And would not be surprised if Ibanez fell off a cliff next week. My concern is I look around and wonder where are we going to get anyone as good who wants to play in Seattle? Feels like we're in quite a pickle here. Maybe Z has some tricks up his sleeve? I really don't know. All the good young hitters get extended by their clubs. Options appear extremely limited.


But the reason the Ms wanted him at catcher was his leadership skills, and I have heard him say that working on catching helped him understand pitching. So, maybe, without the time trying to be a catcher he wouldn't have developed into the hitter and leader he is. Interesting conundrum.


For instance, even had Edgar come up sooner we don't know that his counting stats would have been higher. He might not have been quite as good overall, may have been injured sooner or never gotten the same injury due to something else he learned. If Edgar plays 3b far longer are his numbers better or worse? There's no way to be certain, but based on what he said it seems to me he became the hitter we saw partially because he was DH. Paraphrasing, but he felt he had to work even harder on hitting once he became DH since that was the only way for him to affect the game.
Just like the leadership question except that with leadership you can...more reasonably "guess" a bit based on what others say. Just no way to be certain of the differences in either case though.

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