And I was not in a position to write about it, but wow did everything go nuts.
Obviously, I am beyond excited about the Felix Hernandez extension. The fact that he chose to stay here rather than go to another city that could have offered him more money is wonderful, and shows what I believe to be a clear devotion to the city of Seattle and its fans. Sure, the money definitely helps; but other teams could have offered more if he’d wanted it, and they would likely be able to give him the playoffs that he so richly deserves a lot easier than maybe we can. It is clear that Felix likes it here; and since he puts the El Rey in our mopey Seattle spring, we are all quite happy to have him. For my part, even though I was not witness to his earlier years in Everett or Tacoma, I am pleased to be able to witness (and continue to witness, most importantly!) his rise to prominence. He will be the first Mariner I have seen who will likely be here for all or most of his career. It’s a pretty cool thing to see. I look forward to many many more King’s Court and if at all possible, another Supreme Court. And if you haven’t been to the King’s Court yet, you really need to go. It’s wonderful. Felix is wonderful. Everybody’s hugging!
Joe Saunders was also brought into the fold yesterday, and though I occasionally get Saunders’ and John Lackey’s faces mixed up in my head, when I remember that they are different people, I realize that I like both of them. I am sure this will garner some sideways looks from other fans, but I don’t care. Lackey won me over during the playoffs a few years ago, and Saunders I just have latched onto for some reason; probably because of his general success against us when he was with the Angels. He will be helping out as a lefty in a Jason Vargas-y sort of way this season, and while it looks like his best years are a ways behind him in Anaheim, he still had a 2.5 WAR year last year split between two teams, so I am pleased to have him in Mariners blues and grays. In case nobody has noticed, WAR is my recent favorite stat; but I think that is mainly because it is relatively easy to understand based on the number alone. I’ll have all this down by the time I’m 80, which should be around the time that calculus clicks, too. Numbers and I don’t really speak much, but we go out for a drink every now and then. It’s awkward, but necessary.
The Kelly Shoppach signing was also more or less solidified yesterday, and as a result, Shawn Kelley was DFA’d. I panicked a bit, but so far so good. If Kelley can ride out his assignment, perhaps he will wind up back in Tacoma. I can think of at least one other bullpen arm I would rather see DFA’d (and at least two starters, ahem), but Zduriencik knows best, I guess. Shoppach will do the veteran thing, like Miguel Olivo, but unlike Olivo, Shoppach’s offensive numbers are much more acceptable. I haven’t delved into defensive metrics really (plus, our main issue is offense anyway, so I have the tendency to concentrate more on that), but if passed balls are a metric, I’d like to think that we’ll see less of those. I have no qualms about this situation. We needed an improvement, and Shoppach represents just that. I do hope to see Kelley back in Seattle soon, but I have to believe he’ll get picked up. He’s a good arm, and any other team would be crazy not to go after him. My hope that he sticks around is purely selfish, and based out of the fear that one of the other members of the bullpen will cause us to need proven backup. Matthew says that there might be some clubhouse issue with Kelley forcing the Mariners’ hand, but I don’t know so much about that. Kelley seems like a good guy, and it is easy to see him yukking it up in the pen with the rest of the group. For whatever reason, the Ms would rather keep this guy on the roster than Kelley. Go ahead. Click the link. I wish I could see all of your faces when you do.
I just put yet another down payment on my season tickets. So close. Christmas pretty much destroyed me financially, and now one of the cats needs to have dental work done. Before you laugh, know that it is very important to cats and dogs overall health to have their little teeth clean; all sorts of awful things can happen to their hearts and mouths, it’s not pretty. So I am having to save up money for that (believe I love my little woogums), while trying to get my tickets paid off and make sure that I have two tickets to Opening Day because it’s imperative that I go to Opening Day. Imperative, I tell you! I don’t know that I can wait two more months. I might have to start stalking Safeco Field.
Anyway, I’ve run up against my lunch hour, so I gotta bail. Only a few more days until pitchers and catchers report and we can get this season started. Oh, and the Marlins just signed Chone Figgins to a minor league contract, so…y’know…that’s fun.