Larry Stone took a look last night at the issue of Chone Figgins. My immediate reaction is that of course something needs to be done, and by “something” I mean “he has to go somewhere else now”. I don’t think many Mariners fans would disagree with me. But Figgins “sudden” collapse no longer looks very sudden if you look at his numbers. The perception that Figgins was an anti-Mariners powerhouse seems accurate, and it did always seem like he had our number every time we played the Angels. But Figgins numbers from 2009 were his best – aside from a strange inability to get the bat on change ups – and the slide from there is actually a lot more gradual than they might seem from our current vantage point. Part of me, the part that wants to squeeze every last chance out of a player, wants him to stick around for one more year to see what happens. Immediately, though? I think it might be in our best interest to chalk this one up to experience and part ways. It’s going to sting a little financially, but I think it would send a strong message to the fans that improvements are still being made. I realize that sending messages is not what a ball club is about, and that hosing Figgins’ contract is going to probably be a little more difficult than simply letting him go. But I still harbor a grudge against Figgins for what happened between him and Don Wakamatsu last year, so even though morbid curiosity wants to see what happens next year, practicality knows he needs to go.
I watched game 3 of the World Series last night, with a house full of people who weren’t technically paying much attention to the game, which meant that my attention was also divided. But I saw enough to know that the Cardinals beat up on the Rangers like they were going to follow it up by stealing their lunch money, and I saw the busted call that Jeff Sullivan talks about here. When stuff like this happens, it is always the tendency of fans to say that the one call affected the entire game, and if the call hadn’t been made, the outcome would have been different. And maybe it would have, I don’t know. Perhaps the score would only have been 7-13 instead of 7-16; would that have made everyone feel a little better about the ump totally botching that tag at first? The minute that the 4th inning started to unravel for Texas, I wondered if perhaps there was not a mental component to that particular situation, if the Cardinals hadn’t somehow managed to plant team-wide doubt into the minds of all the Rangers for that one massive inning. But these guys are professional ball players, and this sort of thing happens all the time. Like it happened in the 5th inning and then again in the 6th. And a little bit in the 7th.
The thing is, the Rangers weren’t out-hit by that much; they were just out-pitched by Kyle Lohse and friends, and they were out-defensed in general. The Rangers still hit like they always do; they just couldn’t manage to keep men on base, and the combination of Lance Lynn and Octavio Dotel combined to keep them from getting any further for the second half of the game. Was it mental? Or are the Cardinals simply a better team? Before this started, there were quite a few people – fans and journalists alike – picking Texas to win in 7. And maybe it will happen. There are few things more entertaining in sports than a fabulous upset, and Texas could yet pull it off, the next 4 games will tell. If St Louis pulls out another win at Arlington later today, I’ll be less likely inclined to believe that last night was merely a mental skip on Texas’ part.
I keep waiting for some Mariners news, but so far not much has been going on, unless you’re following Fall Ball, and I am not. I am only vaguely aware of Danny Hultzen’s recent entry into the world of professional baseball, and I need to do some follow-up reading on the condition of Casper Wells, as I might have a theory or two about his condition that I’d like to discuss. Outside of that, though, I am very pleased with this post from Dave at USSM. As far as I am concerned, that is super good, Mariners-related news. And I am eagerly awaiting that next blogger event. Here’s to my most positive thoughts on a further speedy recovery for Mr Cameron.