Linkables and Debatables
With the threatened defection of a beloved Denizen?!



This saber piece rat cheer is worth half a cup of your morning java, loaded as it is with 'zone charts, .gifs, and nervy analysis.  They like Gamer's ability to adjust-vs-adjust and his ability to deliever 2 WAR per season as a part timer.  Weren't we just talking about great bench players?  By "bench" we include platoon guys, of course, John Loewenstein types and the like.  You can't pay everybody $13M a year.

But a Denizen like Moe Dawg might point to Gamer's excellent platoon split (.737 career vs LHP, as opposed to .715 vs RHP) and think more in terms of several years of cheap 2-3 WAR performance.  Your take?

What continues to resonate with Dr. D, is the M's own confidence in Gamel.



They point out Motter's terrible BABIP luck, terrible performance on line drives even, and double down with intersecting saber facts.

It seems to Dr. D that such a simple adjustment calling on Motter's part ought to give him a nice advantage last year.  He pulled several (7) important taters into the LF bleachers, whereupon SP's became very, verrrrrrry predictable about throwing the ball 4" outside.  We assume that Motter's inability to exploit this was what led Zoom to toss Motter into the "lunkhead" bin.

But, consciously or not, if pitchers are going to be THAT predictable you're going to start using it against them.  Or not.

Taylor Motter:  lively hope for the engaged M's fan?



Read this one between the lines and you can see that Dipoto, in an ideal world, would like to sign a bona fide major league rotation piece.  Sounds to us like Dipoto is emotionally quite ready to use Miranda-Moore-Gonzales-Povse as his #5, but ... he knows that pitchers get hurt.

The market hasn't un-jammed ANYwhere.  Whether by free agency or by trade.  Odds of a Mike Leake or better arriving by Februrary?  We'll gingerly slot it at 40%, which is not nuthin'.



Daddy O sez,

An interesting short article in the Dallas Morning News. Interesting what a sudden high probability of moving to San Antonio in a couple of weeks will do to your online reading habits.  (Say it ain't so! - Dr D)

The article is about GM Jon Daniels' take on the Texas Rangers' approach to the competitiveness of the team in the grand scheme of things. His approach of building a team in such a way that there is a chance of success, of it being enough to aspire to playing for a playoff spot at the end of the season, sounds a lot like the Seattle Mariners' historic approach, and the current approach of Jerry DiPoto. I guess the Rangers are just better at executing it.

Daniels says:

"Playing for a playoff spot late in the year and go from there. I'm not Al Davis or George Steinbrenner, I'm not sitting here saying it's all or nothing - do we want to win a World Series? Absolutely. Will we be the team picked to win? No. 

"I get it.

"But you can improve over the course of the season. You can improve over the course of spring training. Things change. It's not a static situation. (Cf. Beane's idea "play 2 months to see what you got, 2 months trying to get what you need, and 2 months with your right ballclub.  - Dr. D)  And so when I say I expect we're going to be a contending team, that's what I mean. I think that we're going to put ourselves into position - whether that's January, February, March, into the season - where we continually get better, where our players on the field get better, where our roster gets better via additions both internal and external. 

Dr. D sees this as a vampirically soul-sucking attitude, and also a fraud towards the fans you talk PENNANT with, but that's not the point.  The point is, a GM who truly believes this slop is a GM who most definitely says, Thanks Scott but No Thanks.

In no other sport is this industry consensus, that's it's 100% hunky-dory to provide fans a nice night under the stars and a competitive team with no shot at or even desire to win the Super Bowl.  But if it's becoming the MLB consensus, then that FA market swing is going to jell as much more than a nice dream.







"Say it ain't so"

We'll find out for sure one way or the other this week. Our son-in-law, in whose house my wife and I rent a Mother-In-Law suite, had his final interview Monday via phone with the regional director of a data center services company considering him for a position in San Antonio. Late last week we thought he might be the only remaining candidate and the phone interview was a formality, but we found out yesterday he is one of a final two or three. Will know by end of week.

If he's hired, we would caravan to San Antonio within two weeks from then. Talk about sudden!

275 miles south of Dallas, 200 miles southwest of Houston, 150 miles north of the Mexican border. Apparently in Texas if you don't live in Houston you're a Cowboys fan. But hey, we could finally watch M's games on MLBtv.


It's now official. San Antonio or bust before spring training even starts. Do I root for the M's or the Astros? Let's see, I could root for a team that hasn't sniffed the playoffs since 2001, or a team that won the World Series last year. Or I could bet on the longer term and root for the Rangers. 

Complicating my decision is the fact that I can finally watch M's games on MLBtv. What a screwball system.


On all the excitement and on all the positives that will go with such a move.  I bet it really helps rejuvenate you late in life.

The Astros are a no-brainer.  However, to "earn" your team jersey and not be a bandwagoner you must become more Astros-literate than the 50th-percentile Astros fan.  So get crackin'.

Cross-town rivalry will do a lot for SSI in 2018.  Don't be afraid to rub it in after a big weekend 'cause you know what's coming after a Zeus start!


Personally, I'd root for the team that Almost became the Sonics.  Heh, even the Sonics have seen the playoffs more recently.  Those same Spurs ousted them in the 1st round of 02, and 2nd round in 2005.

Nah, I hate the NBA now.  I'd be comfortable somewhat rooting for the Astros because in my heart they're an NL team, not a division rival.  I'd always root for the Mariners as well though.  The park in Houston would get to experience me at some point for sure.  Couldn't ever be a Rangers fan.  But I grew up just outside Seattle.


Remember back in 2012 when I briefly attempted to take an active interest in both the Nationals and Pirates? Because those were interesting franchises that were 'fun to watch'?

I simply couldn't. There was no joy in it. I had no connection to either franchise.

If the Mariners pummel my heart badly enough to make me lose interest in their club, I will be gone from baseball, possibly forever. There is no way on this Earth that I'd ever be able to root for any other team and mean it, ESPECIALLY not rival clubs I naturally/competitively despise. Me a Red Sox/Yankees/Astros/Rangers/Angels/Athletics/Indians fan? Fat frickin' chance. I'd rather run naked through Times Square on New Year's Eve.

Do what you think is right...we'll still be happy for you if life treats you well...but don't expect any sympathy from me when the Mariners sweep whatever team you decide to betray us with.


Trust me, Matt. The VERY BEST chance you have to root for a Mariners World Champion is for me to switch allegiance. I'm convinced that if and when I do, THAT will be the year the M's will fulfill their dream. But actually, I did not say I was going to switch, I said I had a decision to make. In favor of staying an M's fan is the crazy fact that only after moving will I be able to watch M's games on TV. That is a major inducement for me to continue to see if Jerry DiPoto and the Servais's can roll out the chart-topping hit in 2018. 


Sports are the piece of my life where I'm allowed to be tribal and competitive so that I don't get tribal about more important things...caveman Matt, at your service. :)


Sheesh Daddy O! if you thought  it was your fandom that was cursing the Mariners all of these years, you should have dones something proactive, like root for their enemies.  Its only right.  The 'Stros could use a curse or two.  The Brady Aiken fiasco and the hacking of Mission Control never seemed to materialize into a good on field curse;  The sort that blights a baseball team for 71 years.  

Maybe having the curse of Daddy O lifted will get the Mariners over that three game hump and into October baseball.  Also, blighting those Nassstros with Daddy O's fealty doesn't hurt our chances.

Do it for the boys.


The long-running curses of the Red Sox and Cubs got nuttin' on ME! Or is it the good luck charm?!

Because of my health (or lack thereof) I often have to take naps in bed at halftime of games I've been watching. Sometimes they last 30 minutes and I'm back watching five minutes into the third quarter, sometimes I wake up as much as two hours later. I can't tell you how many times over the past several years that I go to bed absolutely sure the Hawks, having played TERRIBLY in the first half, only to wake and find out that I missed an amazing comeback win. In the college FB playoffs this year the same think happened several times in the biggest games.

But in the end over full seasons my fandom of the Mariners has truly proven to be a curse. So who knows how I'll feel come April, May, or June. Shake up the 8-ball and ask it a Yes/No question. Your guess is as good as mine!

Arne's picture

Best wishes on life in San Antonio. I don't know your habits, but it would be hard for me to stay up until about midnight watching the M's play on the coast.


It's Friday, Jan 26th about 3am. I'm sitting in the lobby of a Puyallup area hotel because I couldn't sleep. 

In a few hours we'll be heading down I-5 bound for San Antonio. Can't believe it's really happening. We've lived in the Seattle area since 1995, and in the state of Washington since 1988.

Since I've got nothing better to do right now, I figured I'd give a shout out to my friends at SSI. I'm sure I'll follow the M's closely and watch a lot of their games on MLBtv.


A battle between Miranda-Moore-Gonzales-Povse seems reasonable.  Dipoto is talking more about going to a 6 man rotation here and there throughout the season.  Guaranteeing 2 of the above at times doesn't make sense to me just yet.  And if there's just 1 injury among the 4 before the 4 in question at a time where they play 15 straight you're guaranteeing 3 of them spots.  If last year happened again, of course we'd be looking at further names 5th and 6th deep.

If Leake =/+ is at 40% I think Miranda+ better be the other 60%.  Not enough depth. 


Right at the beginning, something I was planning on commenting on today.  It's been 20 days since a roster move (19 days 17 hours per Divish at time of recording).  I had been waiting to see if it would hit 20.  Dipoto has done 3 podcasts I know of since the last one was announced so maybe he's still alive, but I'm wondering.  Got to be the longest drought since he got here. 


I suppose that it is sort of baseball normal to look at a young LHB/COF, without boomiing power, as a "platoon" guy. For example,  Brett Gardner got 50 starts vs. RHP and just 13 vs. LHP in his first "full" year of '09.  But he hit lefties and proved to be too valuable to platoon.  I sort of suspect that is what the M's see in Gamel.

Take a look at this:  If you take away his terrible-no good-ugly August (.161-.215-.218/BABIP of .173) then Gamel's seasonal line looks like this:  .299-.344-.448.  No kidding.  If you take away Robbie Cano's worst month (July/.210-.279-.350/.214) his season line improves to .294-.350-.465. 

Minus their worst months, you have .299-.344-.448 vs. .294-.350-.465.  That is .792 OPS vs. .815, the difference being all in homers.  OK, I know Gamel had a pretty amazing BABIP early in the season but Cano's .315 Sept/Oct. BA was fueled by a .383 BABIP.  Players get hot because balls land on the grass not in the leather.

So until he doesn't, let's just assume that Gamel can hit. He did in '15 and '16 at AAA and he did last year, minus one atrocious month, in the bigs.

Platoon him?  I can live with that.  But the evidence suggests he's a player.  BTW, one thing I really liked last year was his ability to adjust.  Early in the season he struggled with chasing strike three uup and out of the zone.  he adjusted.  then pitchers simple grooved strike one, because he so frequently just took a pass on the first pitch.  He adjusted.  late in the year he showed the abiliity to drop the head of the bat on the inside stuff and drive it from the park.  The guy fixed his issues and will likely continue to.  He can play.

Go team.

Edit:  Well I will be danged:  I finished this note THEN I figured I had better go read the LL article that Doc referenced above.  My goodness.  Great minds must think alike.  Either that or LL is as loony as me.  We even used nearly the same terrible-no good line.  And we both focused on his August-horribilus.  I wish I had read their article before doing this note.  I could have saved myself the time and the B-R research by just saying, "Ditto!" 


excellent comment ;-)  I LOVE reading 'cloned' thoughts when they both arose independently of each other.  Lends all kinds of credibility to the line of thinking, to my mind.

Plus it's always nice to read a fellow denizen's opinion first.

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