and what a job we did, surviving winter Mordor


What a pity.  Our zero-gravity Think Tanking is about to be interrupted by actual grass, earth, and leather.  Just when Dr. D was beginning to enjoy the long talks with himself down into a turning spiral tunnel.

Starting either next week or today, we'll have about six weeks to react to every day's Big Reveal.  Today's is that James Paxton is at basketball weight.  In general terms, "being in great shape" is absolutely the quintessential Spring Training noise -- Dr. D thinks that he and Lonnie and Moe Dawg first hear this one as it pertained to LeRoy Stanton, right after he knocked in 90 runs for the expansion Mariners and right before he knocked in 24 runs for the 1978 Mariners.

Scroll down on Dutton's Twitter feed and you get a glorious shot of a 59-MPH Paxton heater.


Aiki-Doc cares little about weight loss going in to Spring Training, and even less so for pitchers.  Earl Weaver argued, half-laughing, that Boog Powell (THE Boog Powell) played a lot better when he was happy.  And by "happy" he meant "laying waste to the Sizzler train after every game."  

In Paxton's case specifically, Aiki-Doc sees nothing in his weight transfer to suggest that a lighter or heavier weight should impact.  That's one guy's opinion.


However, it DID come out of camp that the Mariners were working with K-Pax to plant his lead foot earlier ... er, to stay back on his front hip rotation and release, rather.  On this point, Dr. D could not agree more.  The ball of the foot should be anchored, and your weight's path be nicely tracked in, before the final attempt to manipulate the ball takes place.  Before you attempt to take another's balance, grasshopper, you had best first secure your own.

The Twitter video has K-Pax staying back nice and late.  Giving us the moral right, and imperative, to See How It Goes.


While we're cooling our heels, here is a K-Pax video from May 2015.  A pedestrian win over the Blue Jays with his grade B- stuff.  Plenty of lightning but not much command.

#1 = 96 MPH steered uncertainly down the middle.  RH atter goes, "Okay, so you threw it over the plate, that one's yours"

#2 = 95 out-and-over, RH batter is way late

#3 = stukka dive bomb curve, garbage RH swing

#4 = Randy Johnson-style Mr. Snappy onto a LH

#5 = 97 MPH out and over to Juan Encarnacion; the HR/F ratio goes Paxton's way on this one

#6 = Mushy cutter-slurve does, however, get far enough in, to RH batter

#7 = 95 FB angling down-in produces one of those many, many, many, MANY two hop grounders

#8 = 96 MPH steered cautiously right down the middle, lined 4' high the other way, happens to hit Cano's mitt

Takeaway:  Paxton continues to echo the 1990 Randy Johnson Experience.  The dude seems to Never. get racked up; it's a question of does he work himself into problems, or is he pitching ahead that day.

He ain't there yet.  But the embryonic Paxton has 30 starts in the bigs at a 3.12 ERA.  Would sure be interesting to see what the full-blown version would do.


Dr D




In college, I worked summers as a garbageman. One of the grosser parts of my job was dealing with meat, usually rotting fish, that had fermented in the hot sun and had maggots wallowing in it.  At that time, we had hydraulic tippers and cans on wheels, so you didn't have to hold the can when it reached the tipping point, and possibly splashed you with maggot juice mixed with restaurant grease and whatever else you had collected that day.  You just worked the controls at arms length, and surveyed the damage once things had settled down in the hopper.  Sometimes, however, I had to deal with cans of maggots that didn't have the hardware to connect to the hydraulic tippers.  On one occasion, we had to pick a can with no lid that was full of rotting deer hides putrefacted for a month in 200 pounds of rain water.  This can also didn't have the necessary hardware to connect to the hydraulic tipper.  The owner of this can was our bosses boss, so we wanted to be sure and do a good job. 

As we struggled to lift a 200 lb can, some of this rainwater splashed on my garbage partner, and I thought he was going to die of chain gagging before he poured a gallon or so of raw bleach on himself. 

True story.

That is the filthiest thing I can think of, unless we are talking about Hepatitis C or some other unclean thing. 

The 2016 Mariners starting rotation is filthier than that.  I'm talking about a rotation so nasty, that you might not trade it to the Dodgers or Mets even steven.  I can't ever remember a Mariners team with this good of starting pitching. Felix Kuma Miley Walker Paxton and Karns is a group so toxic that that the Mariners grounds crew will have trouble keeping the Safeco infield grass green. 

More than 60 years ago, J.R.R. Tolkein foresaw the 2016 Mariners home opening series on April 8, 9, and 10th and wrote about it in one of his books:

"The Orcs reeled and screamed and cast aside both sword and spear.  Like a black smoke driven by a mounting wind they fled.  Wailing, they passed under the waiting shadow of the trees, and from that shadow, none ever came again." 

Be afraid, be very afraid. 

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