BEN GAMEL and LOOKOUT LANDING
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.
LOOKOUT LANDING and TAYLOR MOTTER
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?
SHANNON DRAYER and JERRY DIPOTO
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'.
TEXAS' TAKE ON THE (fa) TARGETS
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.
"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.