M's Throw Cage Match
and Dr. D resigns (pennant race, not blog)

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Two things:

(1) Dr. D is utilizing the resignation rule.  LOL.  Sometimes you play a chess game very well, to the best of your ability ... and get smashed.  The feeling isn't pleasant.  But after you're done sulking, you have to stop the clock and shake hands.  If the guy across from you is halfway pleasant, unusual in tourney players, you're off to the skittles room to analyze the game and hope that the guy unfolds the secrets of the world to you.

Some how, some way, the rodent Orcs were able to find a way to win 97.8 games with who knows what, $5 or $6 million or whatever their payroll is these days.  

They're way over their Pythag, good for them, but they also have a 110 team OPS+ based on the fact that no regular (except their catcher) has an OPS+ below 100.  Beane lined up 8 different Civics and Scrubs with OPS+'s of 110, 120, and 130, and once in a while Beane does this.  Kudos to him.

It's the same story with their pitching.  Their ERA+ is 109, starting with a rotation of no-names that goes 126-115-114-104-103-97.  Reminds you of the days of Billy Martin coming in and teaching everyone the spitball.

....

Beane doesn't do this very often lately.  His last three teams lost 87, 93, and 94 games.  Before that he did have three playoff teams in a row from 2012-14, but going back again he had lousy teams from 2007-2011.  Nicely done considering the payroll, and he's not the one sitting on sports' longest playoff absence.

So, hold up your hand if you realized when the A's were 34-36, and -11.5 games back, that they were about to rip off a 53-21 streak (a 116-win pace, held for nearly three months).  But kudos to them.

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(2) As to the cage match:

SEATTLE -- Dee Gordon asked all media to clear out of the clubhouse during normally open hours prior to Tuesday's 5-3 loss to the Orioles at Safeco Field.

What followed was a skirmish between several Mariners players. Some players were fighting and yelling while others came to make peace in the hallway between the clubhouse and manager Scott Servais' office. The dogpile briefly pushed the recently closed doors ajar, where a handful of players could be seen -- some standing and some on the ground.

The cause of the incident is unclear.

Servais addressed the media following the incident.

"Things happen in a clubhouse," Servais said. "You're talking about 25 -- or now in this case, now 35 -- of the most competitive guys you're ever gonna be around, and you spend basically every waking moment together all the time."

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Dr. D's take on this is that ---- > very often a situation like this CAN indicate a cancer, and OCCASIONALLY it can indicate no more than what Servais said that it did.  Normally it indicates that a manager is losing control, but Dr. D will plump for the "no big deal" here.  

The reason for this is that Jerry Dipoto loves Scott Servais like a brother.  This puts the field manager firmly in charge whether the players like it or not.  This top-down authority straightens out flareups and players fall back in line.

Over 40 years or so we've observed that some locker rooms are tense and confrontational, and it simply doesn't matter.  Since the Bronx Zoo in the 1970's and the "North Dallas Forty" of the same decade, it's been shown that locker rooms far crazier than the Mariners' can win championships together, if the talent's there.

With a -52 run differential, the M's talent wasn't there.  But they've got a bullpen, a few starters, and several young position stars to build around.  We'll see what Dipoto has to say about things in a couple of weeks here.

BABVA,

Dr D

Blog: 

Comments

1

I've been thinking about Seager and the shift, how the second killed the first.  It led me to the SABR-data idea that pulling and elevating the ball is the way to unleash your offensive beast, the new MLB paradigm.

And then I fell on this too simple to be brilliant thought:  Of course pulling and elevating the ball results in the most potent offensive numbers, that is common sense.  Home Run Baker, back in the baseball Paleozoic, understood that.  But it is a little like saying swinging hard and crushing the golf ball results in the longest drives.  Well, duh.  But what it doesn't say is whether swinging hard everytime results in your overall best driving performance.

When you pull and elevate the ball it tends to fly out of the park, but when you TRY to pull and elevate every ball your overall performance may decline. Not everyball is going to be pulled/elevated easily.

Hitting into the shift further erodes performance because those balls that you do pull but don't elevate don't manage to get through.  Plus you have pitchers who more and more throw a selection of pitches to take advantage of the shift.

Sometimes new paradigms are built on fallacy. 

Willie Mays, Micky Mantle and Edgar Martinez pulled and elevated plenty of balls.  But would they have been better hitters by trying to do so more often (all the time)?

I'm not buying that.

Looking for a pitch to pull is different than trying to pull a pitch.

2
tjm's picture

If I recall Seager was not regarded as a natural power hitter when he came up. Here's John Sickels: ". . . when he was in college and in the minors, his reputation was as an all-field hitter with gap power, not a guy who would pull the ball for home runs. When I saw him in person he looked like a guy who was, well, an all-field hitter with gap power but not a guy who would hit many home runs." 

He had to develop the skill and once he did he made himself a minor star. Going to be hard to get him to change what worked. Speaking of hard to change. Saw this in a discussion with Gerrit Cole:

"Regardless of a starter’s repertoire — and everyone will tell you this — it boils down to fastball command. When you can throw strikes and establish all four quadrants of the zone… you have to get ahead of guys. You have to put pressure on hitters. You have to be able to establish the strike zone with your fastball, whether it’s a four-seamer a two-seamer, so that you can get swings and misses on breaking balls outside the zone.”

This is Felix's problem in a nutshell - no fastball command. When the velocity declined the command remained erratic. You can sit fastball against him and wait for a pitch you can wail on. You'll either get the pitch or get a walk. He's never going to pitch well with that two-seamer. I'd rather he go full Iwakuma and throw the four-seamer up.

3

Felix knows what he needs to do. We’ll see if he can do it. As of now, even if he has success, he can’t get through the lineup a third time.

5

Ted Williams was incredibly selective and a pure pull hitter.  But I am not sure "trying to pull and elevate" (which may necessitate starting early) is terribly conducive to being selective.

9

And why the heck are we playing Negron in LF?  Man, I hate that!  Ian Miller and Andrew Aplin are both in Tacoma, both LHB's with (reputedly) clear CF skills, maybe even + gloves there.

Any normal organization would give them a look see at the end of the season, rather than playing a 32-yr old utility guy who doesn't play SS anymore in LF.

11

...at least we're not Cubs fans, who have to put up with a guy like Cole Hamels and his mediocre 307 ERA+.

As a fan, I'm happy the M's didn't lose their minds going after a starting pitcher.  I'm sure we'll see the benefits of the payroll savings soon....

12

http://sports.mynorthwest.com/519163/jerry-dipoto-embarrassed-by-mariner...

Sometimes embarrassment is deserved. Sometimes staying the course because of overconfidence in one's plans becomes the problem instead of the solution.

Gosh I hate being right about this franchise.

Take a moment to read the optimism of this USA Today article as of the All Star Break. https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/mlb/2018/07/19/at-the-break-marine...

Jerry struck many as cocky when he first took over. Count me among the many. He seemed confident but also cocky. Just a couple of months ago it looked like he had reason to be. Just when he was looking messianic, it turns out Seattle is once again playing the role of the Washington Generals to the AL Globetrotters. And the embarrassment has to be felt to the Nth degree because not only did the Mariners fall from grace, but they did so as they watched the division doormats with paltry resources turn on the jets and whiz by them so fast and so far it made our collective heads spin. 

DiPoto's comment about being at a crossroads comes across to me as a cloaked acknowledgement that a full rebuild might be in order. Here we go again, guys. Another GM, another promise of turning this franchise around, another crossroads where it become apparent that things need to be blown up. Bavasi (6 years), Zduriencik (7 years), DiPoto (4 years and counting). All have one thing in common. The promise of a bright future followed by the reality of playoff-less baseball.

There's a chance we might make the playoffs next year. "So you're saying there's a CHANCE?!" Only in the movies, guys.

13

Am I supposed to feel bad for you? You're embarrassed, and oh, you share my frustration too! That makes it ok that your arrogant, pathetic royal highness thought he was smarter than baseball and figured he could build a team without a pitching staff and still win. All better...you share my pain.

Or not. I hope you feel embarrassed for a long time, Jerry. I hope you learned something. I hope your extension wasn't guaranteed, since you obviously have no idea what you're doing.

14

Have been here for almost 8 years.  I've watched a rebuild happen in front of me.  It doesn't take 17 years.  The M's problems have always been systemic.  Or bad luck.  Or both.  But the bad luck thing doesn't even begin to explain the lack of development of almost everybody they put their mits on.

Even if the M's lose 100, the odds are that their top-5 pick will never pan out.

This team frustrates me. And the sad part is that it is frustrating me to the point of indifference.

15

This blog is way too good for Mariners shtick.  

Here are some topics of discussion I'm thinking about posting up this winter.

1. The Trade War with China.  If this keeps up, Southeast Alaska is going to get hammered!

2. Fake news: What organizations provide the fakest or truest news?  

3. The Leif Insanity Index LII (My psychology assessment tool) rating system explained.

4. Terraforming.

5. The NY Times author from inside the White House.

6. Singlemindedness vs. Well Roundedness.

7. Seattle's drug problems.

8. Seattle's homelessness problems.

9. The energy costs of different types of travel and associated ethics.

10.  Ideas to bolster civic engagement in America. 

16

In the past, I could always think about a rebuild in the offseason, even if there was little to rebuild. But after this, I don’t care what they do or don’t do. Sign Cruz? Sure. Let him go? whatever. Trade Paxton? don’t care. Keep him? Don’t care. Fire DiPoto....why not. Keep him. Whatevs. You guys running your tax payer funded palace do what you want with your toys, because I’m bored watching you play with them.

17

Keep Sugar. I love watching him blow people away in the ninth, even if it’s only for 50 games.

19

My sentiments exactly.

Dipoto should be embarrassed. 

He wasted $30 million on free agents and trade acquisitions every year since we've been here.

From the time he started we needed a LF, 1B and SP. We still do. He's wasted the money on everything ELSE, even when we didn't need it. Like Dee Gordon, Zipchin, Nicasio..

20
SeetheZee's picture

Did anyone notice that the Orcs won their 90th game last night? With 14 games left on the season it looks like they're going to win 97 to 100.

At one point, I was thinking mid-90s for the Ms. Then after considerable Ms stumbling the optimistic side of me (the fan) calculated how they could get to 93 or 94. Yeah, no.

And it probably wouldn't have mattered. Stupid Orcs are having an Oruk-hai season.

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