Obligatory post-Christmas post

I do hope everyone had a good holiday this year. Mine was spent in Baker City, OR in ice and snow. Regrettably, I went for a walk on said ice and snow and managed to hyper-extend my left knee. Yes, it does hurt quite a bit, in fact. I plan on spending my day today trying to get around the house to clean it for our New Year’s Eve festivities and trying to stretch out whatever damage I did; I am of the belief that it happened when I was in the process of doing that sort of walk that one does when one is unsure of the slickness of a road covered in a fairly hefty layer of ice with a dusting of snow over the top.  I am positive recovery is a mere few days away.

Among the (actually, super-cool) gifts I received from my family this year was a rave green Sounders sweatshirt of the variety seen here, and a Mariners eco-safe hot/cold drink cannister. I adore the sweatshirt. Because I’m not normally keen on hoodies with pockets in the front (no, I’m not pregnant!), it isn’t something I likely would have bought myself – but I have discovered that the pocket is not as much of a concern as is the fact that I have an awesome Sounders sweatshirt. Score one for my brother. Tom got me a sort of best-of sportswriting book for the year 2008, and my mother got me a baseball haiku book (stocking-stuffer size), along with a book called Sixty Feet Six Inches, which was actually on my list and so far through part of the foreword is a good read. I won’t go through the rest of my stash, these are the most pertinent to the content of this blog. All in all, it was a good 4 days, though I discovered far too late that my parents do, in fact, have the MLB Network via their satellite provider. I watched a little bit of an old World Series game with Curt Schilling (perhaps the bloody sock incident? I was not able to watch long enough to tell) before we tried to go downtown to grab a few beers, but found out that even restaurants are closed in small towns during the Christmas weekend.

Now for some bullet points, just because I’m taking a break this morning before I start doing laundry:

  • I like this pitching rotation. I had a Twitterer point out that Doug Fister has an “FIP north of 5” when I mentioned to someone else that Doug Fister was “good to go”. I don’t know FIP from a hole in the ground (like I’ve mentioned before, in my world, it means something totally different), but if Fister is a good enough number five for USS Mariner, he’s a good enough number 5 for me. Maybe I haven’t seen enough (and if I haven’t seen enough, nobody else has, either) to make a true judgement, but I’m also certainly not going to hold someone’s rookie kind-of-maybe-fill-in-half-year against them, either. I will be quite happy to agree that Fister is not a serviceable #5 when either he’s not allowed to do it, or there is a trade that demonstrates that the good folks in our front office don’t think so, either – but until then, that is pretty much the rotation we have, and I’m alright with it; I don’t know the future, and you don’t either, no matter what numbers may say. As long as Doug Fister flies Seattle colors, he has my support. And if I can support -albeit not really like- Miguel Batista through this last year (and I did, regardless of what I might have said), then Fister is not really that much of a stretch.
  • This post is interesting, and I appreciate the work that Derek Zumsteg put into collecting the information (I also wish he would write more there, but what can you do?) and putting it in one place. If there are any anti-Milton Bradley Seattle fans out there (and oh, boy, do I know there are), that post alone should give you enough ammunition to dislike the trade we made for him. I still believe that the alternative – keeping Carlos Silva as an overpaid bullpen arm – would have been far worse for our playoff chances. You, of course, are welcome to believe whatever you want to. Whatever the case, Bradley’s presence in Seattle should make for a hell of an interesting 2010 – and that is a guarantee.
  • It seems that there is a little bit of unrest or discontent in the online fanbase recently. Maybe I’m just reading too much into it, but all the excitement from the Cliff Lee/Milton Bradley moves seems to have dissipated with the Brandon League issue. I ain’t goin’ out like dat. I’m still optimistic. The event at Benaroya is only a short while away, FanFest happens in a little over a month, and Spring Training games start in a little over two months. Baseball is coming back, my Mariners will be playing, the days will be getting longer, and the weather will be getting warmer soon. You can either spend your time over-analyzing everything (I thought girls were always the ones who did that?), or you can look up to the future, and a summer full of the best game ever played. I choose the latter bits, thank you very much.

Over my little jaunt to the (very cold) desert, I managed to finish that Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader on baseball. As a direct result, I now absolutely must, must, MUST find books on the House of David baseball team, and Rube Waddell, who, it was said, could have been right up there with Cy Young in the annals of history, were it not for his temperament and drinking habits. I am officially obsessed with both topics, and can hardly wait to find more information.

As always, still on FaceBook and Twitter. Come on and argue with me about Fister in 140 characters or less!

EDIT: While I was in the process of scratching this out, we apparently signed Chad Cordero and some guy named Josh Bard to minor league deals…

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10 Responses to Obligatory post-Christmas post

  1. Craig D-MarinersManiac says:

    FIP and xFIP are essentially a deeper ERA stat….they try to model how well the pitcher pitched independant of the defense and Team on the field.

    Basically….Think ERA, where the defense doesnt matter, the number reflects only the ERA of the Pitcher.

    As For Fister….
    I wouldnt mind Jack going after a High upside, but injury risk starter (good price to Talent Ratio) and Have Fister in AAA as the backup plan if that guys elbow or shoulder blows up. (like Bedard or Sheets but both of those have lots of teams interested) Basically “Preform and get paid Contracts”…but with only 6-10 million left in Payroll, I’d rather them spend it on a hitter/1B, because its unlikely they can get both for that price.

    The Offseason Moto of the 5th Starter should be.

    For Fifth, I’m Fine with Fister.

    I didnt like the League Trade (it still seems really lopsided)

    But

    Ryan Rowland-Smith Starts the Game…..and if Brandon League comes into the Game to get the Save in the 9th (because Aardsma needs a day off)

    Total Goggle Domination Mariners Win!!!!
    (I hope they have a RRS/League Specs Giveaway night)

  2. section331 says:

    Well, then, if someone has an FIP NORTH of 5, wouldn’t that be a positive? If it’s being used in conjunction with the +/- wins thing? Or is it?

    Dear Lord, I hate numbers. Math class is going to suck this term…

    I love the dual-glasses thing – do you think they intend to put League on the roster in that position, as an alternate closer type? He’s obviously not much more than a relief consideration – maybe they throw him in a non-emergency save situation? Yay? Nay? What do you think?

  3. Craig D-MarinersManiac says:

    FIP works like ERA…the lower the Better…
    Felix had 3.09
    Cliff Lee 3.12
    Like with Every Stat…no stat can give you a perfect judgement of talent.

    And with Fister only playing a 1/3 of a season, there is alot more variance with a small sample.

    5 is high, but most are projecting Fister in the 4.3 range, which is right in the +Average Range…and for the #5 starter….Just about any team would take that.
    The Mariners “might” try and upgrade one more Starting Pitcher….But I have a Feeling the #5 spot is gonna be a Free for all in Spring Training, With Fister being the front Runner. Whoever pitches the best between Fister,Vargas,French,Feierebend,Olsen, Nick Hill, and the 4 or 5 other Guys they invite to Spring Training as a Starter.

    I think the Mariners are in “win-Now” mode….
    Which for the Bullpen….Means Making sure ya ya have at least 4 Strong above average Guys you can count on.

    And I think with White’s shoulder problesms , and Kelly’s struggles after the Abdominal strain….they felt they wanted more insurance if one of them cant contribute like they did last year. If Both Come back Strong in 2010, It give the Mariners a Really Strong Bullpen.

    And That is what League is… He is basically Mark Lowe Junior, throws harder and walks a little less.
    (not the 2008 Lowe….2009 Lowe…Occationally needs to be put on Notice….but 90% of the time ya love him)

    I personally think that Jack is going with the Insurance of a Strong Bullpen …so if 1 or more are injured/struggle, they have plan B in place.
    It also gives them options at the trade deadline.

    Of course it could mean…that with alot of strong relivers…they could package them in a trade (more options to offer other teams)

    I dunno….I do know when the Radar gun hits 100 mph a couple times at Safeco with League, it will make peopel go “wow”.

  4. section331 says:

    100?! For realsies? Wow. I remember that time Morrow hit 100, you’d have thought Jesus Christ himself walked into SafeCo. haha! I’ll take a Mark Lowe Jr, sure.

    I think one of my main issues with stats (outside of the numbers thing) is that the only thing I have to go off of is other players’ stats; I’ll compare any fielder to Ichiro, basically, and I can get a fairly decent idea of how good a player he is – but I can’t just rattle all of this off the top of my head like some people can, and I have no idea what the median line is on some stats, so I have nowhere to draw a line at all. If there were a SABR for Dummies book, I’d buy it in an instant. I’d rather NOT talk numbers, but it certainly helps in some cases – though I mostly try not to get into arguments about such things. I mean, our guys are all on the same team, right, all working for the same end? Arguing about their numbers is just kind of silly to me.

    I like the idea of building a strong bullpen – is League then Jakubauskas’ replacement? Is that the intent here?

  5. Craig D-MarinersManiac says:

    As a Reliever, League is more than a Jak replacement….its a bit more dynamic than that.

    Reliever-Jak would usually come in for 2-3 innings once the Mariners got behind.
    League is gonna be used like White and Lowe…coming into games with a 1 or 2 run lead to protect it…or a very close game….or where the Starter got into a lot of trouble with Base-runners on and need to bail out the team and get a Key out with the game on the line.

    If White is Healthy and Kelly Pitches like he did in the Minors and before his injury…I have no idea how they are going to dole out innings and roles up….Alls I know is it will be Awesome….Instead of Having to Bring Batista in to games that are close, because some of the guys might not be available…..we’d have4 guys who can all get it done.

    Worst case is, White’s shoulder is a problem and Kelly stays average…then our bullpen is just average to above average.

    The Intent with League….Its either to set up another potential trade of Bullpen guys (I personally dont think it is)…or to give us a better bullpen and to hedge against if White and or Kelly dont have a good of season because of current injuries.

    My main problem with the SABR stats…its NOT the numbers and how to effectively use them…..its the stupid people who think the numbers can act like a perfect Crystal Ball. And use them just to Argue stupid stuff.

    The SABR numbers can give ya insite….but people try to use them in ways that they werent intended, and Or incomplete.

    Its like whomever told ya “But Fister had an FIP over 5 last year”….
    Thats like Saying “Ichiro is not awesome, because he only hit 6 HRs in 2007 and 2008”

    If ya only look at one thing, you make anything look different than it really is.

    A 5 FIP might indicate he might not be very good next year….but only if ya analyze the numbers with other numbers.

    Cliff Lee had a FIP of 5.48 in 2007 and then Won the Cy Young in 2008….so One SABR stat for one Year does mean much. Its how they all fit together.

    Sometimes I think, some people like Stats, because it gives them something they can argue about.

    And Fister has a Cool name….so to me he gets bonus points over other pitchers.

  6. section331 says:

    Fister does win the name prize, for sure. 🙂

    I respect the numbers people; it can’t be easy to learn and be able to properly use all that information. But I think there is still room in the game for simply watching it, and making up one’s mind that way. I mean, there was a point in time where Miguel Batista was a decent starting pitcher – I remember seeing it in 2007. Obviously he wasn’t stellar (good Lord, looking at FanGraphs, he was never very great! WHY did Bavasi think that was a good idea, again?), but he was better in 2007 than 08 or 09, and it doesn’t take numbers to be able to see that.

    And I think you’re right; people love to argue the numbers, but only maybe a handful of numbers that show one thing – and all that seems to do is make people angry at each other and the player, and that doesn’t seem terribly productive to me. haha!

    I think I was comfortable with the bullpen last year, but I’d prefer to be MORE comfortable, if that makes sense. If the bullpen was really the best part of the team last year, I’d like to see them boost that a bit, now that the team is a little better itself.

  7. Craig D-MarinersManiac says:

    I’m just glad we have a front office that knows the numbers better than any of the fans….and they also know how to evaluate a player by watching them too.

    The Season needs to start soon

  8. section331 says:

    Yeah, it really does. I’m tired of talking about it, would like to start watching it. Sometimes I wish I was a basketball fan, it’s on pretty much all the time. :/

    I was just wondering when Mariners Mondays are going to start on FSN….

  9. Craig D-MarinersManiac says:

    First Mariners monday is Jan 4 at 7:30

    June 19, 2009 Arizona @ Seattle

    Griffey 2-run 2-Out Pinch Hit HR game….
    and
    Yuniesky Ending Endy Chavez’s career

  10. section331 says:

    YES! After my first day of school – perfect. 😀
    Also, stupid Yuni. >:|

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