Brad Miller - Ya Had Me at Hello
Yer killin' me Pepper. The moment. Enjoy the moment?


We don't say that the below two plays have bestowed Gold Glove status on the kid.  What they do, is get across the personality that mesmerized Dr. D within the first five seconds of Miller's appearance on his Root TV screen.  You go amig-O.

In the first inning of Miller's first game, Hisashi Iwakuma threw a shuuto to a lefty batter, who rolled the ball routinely to our new shortstop.  Watch the video if you didn't see it live.  

Let's talk attitude on the field of sports competition.  Miller's was a little bit Ken Griffey Jr., and a little bit Billy Martin.  Like what, y'say.  Like this ... as Miller steps up to address the first tee, he has his right hand on his gun holster and his nose in the dirt about five minutes early:

Actually that picture doesn't quite get it across; the resolution isn't that good ... Miller is low, leaning into the ball, radar-locked with a type of magnetic feel.


Second image, Miller coils even more, serpent-like, with limbs at very "springy" snap position.  Walk loose and jangly, Satchel, and don' look back, somethin' might be gainin' on yer.  Bear in mind that, classically, you're supposed to take the ball with two hands and organize your feet equidistant around the ball.  

Miller's one-handing the ball -- throwing arm "chambered" early -- in a sort of Rabbit Martinez, John Henry Lloyd style, and I'm blinkin' lovin' it.


Next frame, Miller trails the rear hand in even more jangly fasion.  There was another Negro League shortstop whose nickname was "Shovel"; I forget which one, now ... they say he scooped up a handful of infield dirt with every pick.  Tell me this pic doesn't make you smile.


Next frame, the hands are held low, shin-high and with a sinister feel, as Miller kinda shuffles his feet ... ready to WHHIIPPPYSNAP the throw over with lethal intent.  He is SAVORING the moment:


Finally we get an image of an NFL quarterback.  Miller next tore the glove off Kendrys Morales at 1B with a 90+ MPH thunderbolt, and ran six steps across the diamond after unleashing.  I guess he hated to see the ball go.

That was Brad Miller, "captured" by the intimidation of his first "hot lights" triple decker stadium.


Dr D




Actually the nickname was 'El Cuchara" (which does mean shovel), which he picked up while playing in Cuba because on the lousy infields there in the 1900s and 1910s he would often end up with more than the ball in his glove, He was a contemporary of Honus Wagner.
The Cuban league of the time, like other "minor leagues", was independent; but unlike the Pacific Coast League and other stateside leagues, it was integrated.


I love the look in his eye after the bullet to Morales: "Take that!" he says. "I belong right here!"
You can see why he might boot the odd two hopper, the one hand style, and all. But I'm not coaching the attitude out of him. I'm letting the Sinatra (Frank, not Matt) show in this kid. And those Ozzies and Ripkens one-handed more than a fair amount of balls, too. Just sayin'........
Taylor, in the minors, just became trade bait.

GLS's picture

I hope he and Franklin and Zunino don't break our hearts. But, one of the reasons I'm not clamoring for a Stanton trade is because it's easy to see all of these guys turning into average to plus major league regulars - kind of like Seager already has. A lineup of Kyle Seager - types with no holes and a good pitching staff wins a lot of games. Now, there may not be a "difference maker" in that lineup, but there will be a lot of athleticism and eventually consistency and I would rather have that than one guy surrounded by a bunch of replacement level fodder.
A couple of moves I would be looking at this offseason are to 1) upgrade the outfield and 2) look for an upgrade at 1B. The outfield upgrade could very well mean a deal for Stanton, but it doesn't need to. Ideally, we would find 2 players - one of whom was a true center fielder that could push Ackley to left. The other player needs to be an average to plus corner outfielder of some kind. Neither guy needs to be a superstar but they do need to be consistent, everyday players that are solid with the glove and the bat. In this scenario, Saunders likely becomes a 4th outfielder.
At 1B, it's slim pickings out there so maybe Smoak gets another year. But, I wonder if he'll show enough this season that he could be part of a pretty attractive package for - someone - I'm not sure who quite yet. I don't think we should trade all of our good prospects away, but it is nice that the cupboards aren't bare like they used to be.


1.  Unique in Mariner history, probably
2.  What Billy Beane seems to have every season, including this season (check it out; Jaso and Barton are benchies)
I don't believe for a second that the Mariners could ever achieve 9 Kyle Seagers, but if they could, all "Straw That Stirs" bets are off.  Agreed.  
:- )


Comp o' the round ... did Blue Eyes golf?  If he did, he'd have had some long green down on every long green...


But thanks amigo ...  Maybe my fave baseball nickname ever, "Shovel" for a dirt-dog shortstop... and here Miller is, serving it up on the first TV broadcast play ever.  Of such stuff legends are made ...


" 'Gwoin to Kansas City...." and see Buck O'Neil's Negro League Museum - big displays on Lloyd, Oscar Charleston, et al, plus stuff on the leagues the black players played in before the exodus north in the twenties made the Negro Leagues viable. A lesson in history that will stay with you. That Buck is not in the Hall of Fame is a travesty (and don't get me started on Marvin Miller). He deserves it on the museum alone.
Another thing you'll learn from the 'Pop' Lloyd display - Babe Ruth said he was the best ball player he'd ever seen.


In Spec's new thread I opined on a Taylor-Miller-Franklin-Seager IF, in the mold of Herzog's Cardinal teams. 35 doubles from 4 IF positions and Seager adds his 20 taters makes for very decent production.
Garvey moved from 3B to 1B, remember (although that was partially glove motivated....but a lot of that was The Penguin).
If Taylor is a MLB type with speed and and gapper pop (and that appears so), it would make for speed/defense/plenty of boom.
Worked for the White Rat.


... my Q there amigo would be, what, Seager goes to 1B?  He's such a good defensive third sacker now... he's not going to play Hernandez-type defense at 1B is he?  Or is he...

GLS's picture

I suppose there aren't nine of them, but we already have these guys:
1) Seager
2) Franklin
3) Miller
4) Zunino
5) Ackley
I'm not saying these guys are Seager clones, but they are "of a type". It's unlikely any of them will be superstars, but plus major league regulars - yeah I can see that.


That's the model George Karl likes to execute in the NBA when he doesn't have a stud to build around. Get six or seven above average guys with length that can run and gun and let them loose. It's a killer strategy for the regular season but once he gets into a post season series, where star power is magnified, it falls short. Hmmm...

GLS's picture

In the NBA it's all about the stars and you can make an argument that the best player in the NBA wins the championship most years.


Originally I has said that Taylor would be trade bait, but if he's another Miller, then you have an interesting situation. You can't get a boomer for Taylor why not keep him.
A Taylor-Miller-Franklin-Seager IF would be incredibly flexable (simply add a back-up 1B) and pretty good. I can't imagine that Seager wouldn't be a terrific 1B in double time, probably a spring training.
I'm not advocating, mind you, as we haven't even seen Taylor in AAA.....but just suggesting an interesting availability.
He's the type of guy that Z seems to get right.'S'&sectionType=career&statType=1&season=2013&level='ALL'


78. Chris Taylor, ss, Virginia
Taylor was a multiposition backup for Virginia as a freshman but won the starting shortstop job as a sophomore when Stephen Bruno went down with a hamstring injury. He kept it by showing excellent athletic ability and a potent, timely bat. He had the game-winning hit in the bottom of the ninth in the 2011 super regional victory against UC Irvine. Taylor has plus speed, turning in 4.0-second times to first base, as well as good hands and a solid-average arm. He may profile better at second base as a pro, and some scouts have compared him to Giants 2011 first-rounder Joe Panik. —John Manuel (Jan. 2012)
Virginia SO SS Chris Taylor | .320/.397/.426 – 25 BB/39 K – 10/14 SB – 256
As an unheralded – though still heralded enough to land at UVA — high school recruit, Chris Taylor has had to work his way up the depth chart over time. He now finds himself firmly entrenched as the Cavaliers starting shortstop and leadoff hitter. His athleticism, defensive versatility, and plus arm are what really set him apart from the field at this point in his development.

UVAfan's picture

It seems like Safeco is "Taylor-Made" for just such an infield. Get a bunch of groundball pitchers and let the defense work. Who needs the big bombers when Safeco turns most fly balls into outs? We need an offense of guys that can hit the gaps.


He looks like a player, and you hate to trade these guys before you know what you really have.
Gabriel Noriega seems to be establishing himself as a potentially decent utility guy. He and Triunfel are the shortstops we should be marketing for trade.

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