Slim and getting slimmer
Still have your 8-sided D & D dice?

Down and dirty this moring:

46 and 46 and not particularly riding a rocket.

Fangraphs has our Safeco homies with a 5% chance of winning the AL West and a 7.4% shot at getting a Wild Card slot.  Somehow they combine the two and say we have a 12.5% chance at making the playoffs. 

If you still have your 1980's vintage 8-sided D & D dice around, pick a number and roll it once:  There you go, that's exactly a 12.5% chance that you have of picking the right one.

And to tell you the truth, I find Fangraphs a bit optimistic.  I can actually buy the 5% shot at winning the division. Well, make it 2.5%:  Let's say that 88 games wins the division.  Texas (55-38) would have to go 33-36 the rest of the way.  That could happen.  Houston (50-42) would have to go 38-32 the rest of the way.  That easily could happen.  We would have to go 42-28 the rest of the way.  Ugh....I'm not seeing that happen very often.  Or at all.  But let's give it a 1 in 20 shot. Give us a 5% shot at getting to 88 and a 50% shot that neither the Rangers or Astros do....and Voila!! get to 2.5% in my math-addled mind.

Somehow that all seems plausable, in an alternate universe sort of way.

But to get to the Wild Card game we have to catch and pass 4 of the 5 teams ahead of us who aren't already leading a division:  Boston (51-39), Toronto (52-42), Detroit (48-44), Kansas City (46-45) AND Houston.

I don't llike the 7+% chance that Fangraphs gives us of doing that.  Not at all.  Nope.  And that doesn't even factor in either New York or Chicago getting hot, as each is just 1/2 game behind us.

So basically, we would have to finish 1st or 2nd in an 8 horse race to get that WC slot....and we've spotted some of those horses a furlong already.

Were we Seattle Slew that would make sense.  But right now we're Seattle Slug or Seattle Sloth or Seattle Flu:  Pick one of them or come up with one of your own...but however you look at it, I'm not seeing us get to the playoffs even at a 1 in 20 success rate.  And I wish I wasn't saying that.  Oh, I suppose you could get me to lay $20 down with the $400 payoff of a nice fly rod coming my way.  I might do that just to be sporting.  But at Fangraph's odds, I only get $160 back. 

I'll sit that one out.

Remember in Animal House when Flounder's car, the one he borrowed from his big brother, got totalled in the escape from the Dexter Lake Club (a real place, btw)?  Bluto hands him a six-pack and says, "My advice to you is to start drinking heavily."  That was good advice then.

My advice to you SSI denizens is to assume we have next to zero chance of getting into the playoffs and just enjoy (as much as possible) the ride.

As you know, I'm normally at Hall-Full type of guy.  And that doesn't mean that I'm half-full of it....although that might not be too far from being wrong.  But normally I'm pretty optimistic about my Mariners.

I'm not really pessimistic here, I'm just trying to be pretty realistic.

I don't care what the Rolling Stones said; time is not on our side.  In 10 days, DiPoto has to make some kind of a decision about trade bait and keepers.  Ianetta, Lind, Smith and Cishek are all natural trade bait; all have some value. We have 8 games between now and the 28th.  If we don't go 6-2 then I'm selling them all.  Well, I would keep Cishek, perhaps. He's ours for next year already.

Call up, Zunino, Kivlehand, Romero, Heredia.  Give them a full 60 games, play them nearly all the time.  We might miss Smith, but not the other guys, really. So it isn't really throwing in the towel.  BTW, Smith's defense is getting worse.  Chasing a ball down in the corner the other night he looked like Dae-Ho.  

I would demote Robertson and give a utility shot to Zach Shank, too.  

If we were going to extend Smith or Lind we would have been talking about it already.  So let's get something for them (if we can) before they head elsewhere.

Of course, your mileage may vary.  We have about 10 days to right the ship and increase our chances.  If that isn't happening then Lind and Smith are assets that we lose anyway, if we don't trade them.  

28-18 up to May 25th:  18-28 since.  Didn't Dickens write spmething about that?

Go team,




Nice job Moe. Unfortunately, I am right there with you... but really hoping for 6-2 or better.

I wish I could write something that was optimistic that could get the SSI readers filled with hope for this last run... but I'm not that good.


Great writeup, Moe.  You're right even though I of course don't like it.  I'm taking my daughters to their first live game today and didn't want to hear that right now.   Not complaining, just explaining.   So I'll look at whether they could go 42-28 (.600) the rest of the way.

From Apr. 13 through June 2nd they went 29-16 (.644).  June 1st is when Felix went on the DL.  There's been plenty of talk that when they lost their ace it deflated team psyche.  What that says about the effectiveness of the mental approach Servais & co. are supposed to be introducing isn't good.  However,  if that did affect their play,  Felix coming out Wednesday with any semblance of a Felix-like game might bring this team back to some semblance of the 104 win pace they played 45 games of early this year.  I can hold onto that for another week or so anyway.

July 31st will be too late for any acquisition though.  Expecting the bullpen to play over their head again for a long stretch would be a mistake.  If the psyches need boosted, bringing in a Chapman or similar could help with more than just pitching in late innings.

It's getting away but I'm not ready to say it's gone. 


One thing to bear in mind is strength of schedule. The M's racked up a lot of wins when the SoS was pretty weak. They just dropped a series vs the Astros. Now, prior to the Aug 1 deadline they have the White Sox in Seattle, followed by the Blue Jays, Pirates and Cubs on the road. The M's won't be favored to take any of those series and I'm not sure how well they will have to do in those 11 games in order to make DiPoto believe they are a contender. 7-4? 8-3? 


Going into the 9th we found seats along 1b.  Down 2H to 11H going to the bottom, expectations should have been low but it was still pretty packed.  The last few minutes, chanting Dae Ho and then watching Lind end it were ridiculously fun.  Maybe it's a start.



Good stuff!  Don't tell you daughter about my note, please.  

Oh, we could go could happen.  But I've realized that the chances are so slim and the time window so small that we have basically 10 days to evaluate and act, one way or another.  

I could see us going 5-3, being a bit more optimistic with Felix back and then deciding to buy rather than sell. But even if you get a bullpen arm like Chapman, just how much would his innings improve your chances.  Assuming Fangraphs is right and we've a 1 in 8 shot, does a Chapman get it to 1 in 6?  1 in 4?  It is hard to imagine that any relief pitcher, over 70 games, doubles your chances.  And you have to have the Yankees agree to get out of the hunt just to get him.  How much are would we be willing to trade to get 35 innings and increase your chances from 1 in 8 to 1 in 6.  If you get Reddick, the best OF who seems to be available (a longshot the Orcs would ship him this way), does his glove improve your chances, because his bat isn't an improvement over Smith/Guti?

I think Smith's bat could return you something in the relief pitcher area. That would help.  B-R has Smith at +1.5 WAR with his bat and -1.4 WAR with his glove/range/arm...or lack of. Would we really miss him that much?

Anyway, I desperately wish us to be in the play-off hunt in Sept.  But I'm not convinced that swapping out Lind, Smith or Ianetta (or any two of them) really reduces our shot.  And if that is the case, then keeping the same two likely doesn't really increase our shot, either.  Not over 70 games.

Alas....I wish this all weren't so and if we sit with the guys we've got I won't kick.  I'm pretty sure something will happen.   I would offer Ianetta to Cleveland right now and dangle Smith to every team in the playoff hunt.  


benihana's picture

.. is $7m. He's a bargain and a piece that I would hang on to for next year. LF is where we need to upgrade, Smith/Guit in right is just fine.

Could Ianetta and Mike Montgomery fetch Tyler Naquin? Toss in a prospect?


- Ben.


Felix then Walker.  Bring up Heredia and Zunino for improved defense and run prevention.   So long as some of them bring that missing luck.

None of that precludes moving Smith, Lind, Aoki or Ianetta.


"Didn't Dickens write something about that?"

Truly 28-18 was the best of times, and the subsequent 18--28 the worst.

And it is we M's fans who again might be facing a season where we climb the fateful stairs of execution for another season.

But for now, we can still hope the Wishhiker's scenario plays out. Happy day before the day before Felix day!

Things could be worse. We could be George Will.

The Other Billy Zoom's picture

That's what you quantifiers are measuring with your sadistics.

I'm more of a qualifyer and pick "Magic Slim".

It was Little Jimmy Dickens (who stood 4'11") who wrote the country classic  "Hey Good Lookin". 

One week after he heard the song, Hank Williams recorded it and said "That song's too good for you, and I need a hit".

And, so, that came to pass ... isn't that the Dickens?

Bah and humbug, there is only a one letter difference between "pretty realistic" and "petty realistic".

Reality is relative, sports fans, and longshots burrow into the living American Dream.

While I prefer cynicism to optimism,  don't be shocked if some magic mist starts rising from the dust in south Pioneer Square once again.

Remember, hardly anyone expected the magic in the numbers they saw here in April.

Could be that wasn't a joke or a mirage.

I'll bet you an ale, straight up, Moe ... that they get a wild card. 

Just last  week in a thread I said I would jump at 10 - 1 if it was offered in Nevada.

Maybe if they read the thoughts of you regulars I will get that price.

I hope so.


M's Watcher's picture

JeDi seems set on making the team better, which seems like buying and selling when the opportunity presents to improve the roster.  That goes for this season as well as the future.  Swapping Zunino for Ianetta could be a wash, or a downgrade depending on whether we get the improved Zunino or last year's version.  However, keeping Ianetta and demoting Sucre is a huge improvement.  Getting something of value for Lind, Smith, Cishek, and Aoki all makes sense. but maybe not if the player in return is only a rental.  A rental only helps for making a pennant run this year, which may already be lost, and does nothing for our future.  Heredia and O'Neill may be better LF options than players available in trade at the deadline, and JeDi probably already knows this.


Dipoto had challenges coming in...

--not a fully formed team, but one with a few stable, high quality assets

--consequently, he was not given the option of a 'rebuild' plan

His response was to trade away 'the last guy's' young assets (a common approach) to fil in the empty spots.

Didn't work.

However, what he can't explain is a dismal defense (even with Marte and Marin upgrades)...and the worst baserumming in baseball.  These are things that purportedly are coachable.

So why aren't the players being better coached?

The snap answer is that he put all his eggs in the mental approach/control the zone basket.  We now see the results.

It's very hard for me to see how we've gone anywhere but backwards with every single coach we've brought in (Edgar obviously a holdover), as well as the manager.

In the end, the players need to play better.  But they aren't.  

So whatever we would reap in deadline trades (marginal, to be sure), would need to be better developed.  

Are McKay and company doing that?  Are the won/loss reocrds in the minors a positive indication?

What we've seen coming up so far to the big club is not encouraging.

I miss Lloyd.


I don't miss Lloyd, but to this pedestrian commenter everything else in your article is insightful and, so far as I can tell, spot on.

I have to say that our manager is a rookie. Hopefully he will learn from his mistakes.

It is truly troubling to me how the M's have over multiple consecutive seasons turned into a team characterized by bad baserunning...and bad is hardly a strong enough adjective to describe it.

This season we have added frequent bad fielding to that handicap.

The team has some thump in the order, but it's handicaps, which also include stretches of truly bad pitching, are a like an engine governor, capping M's output at .500 baseball.

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