Well, it’s December, and that means two things: winter meetings and WordPress putting digital snow on my blog page. Only one of these things enhances or may enhance the team’s ability to hit. It’s the snow!
Anyone’s dreams of getting Mike Napoli – mine included – have just been dashed by the Boston Red Sox. Boston gave him 3 years at $39 million. Yes, for any anti-Baker people, that is a Geoff Baker link; but he’s there and he has news, so sue me. I like the years but not the price tag. We may have dodged a bullet, though I like to think that Jack Zduriencik could have taken the dollar amount down a few, had the Mariners been actively pursuing him. It will be interesting to me to see how Napoli does in Boston, and I can hardly wait to deliver the news to my friend Eric, who is currently napping on our couch after a particularly fierce night of bowling at West Seattle Bowl. (Side note; Eric is an excellent bowler, and I almost beat him during our first game last night, but he came back in the 10th frame by three pins. Three pins! Oh, the humanity!)
Baker delivers another bit of news concerning the possibility of the Ms going after Pirates swatter Garrett Jones. Jones projects decently, and seems to have had a good 2012 in Pittsburgh. His OPS was .832 last year, and Bill James has him sliding back a bit to .769. What I know about Bill James can fit on the tip of a needle, but I generally accept that he knows what he’s doing. You can see the numbers for yourself, but I’d be lying if I said it didn’t bother me just a little that Jones is projected to have a .254 average next year. Don’t we already have a bunch of guys like that? The other thing that bothers me is what we would have to give up. I don’t know that I mind giving up on Justin Smoak, but I would indeed like to keep John Jaso and Hector Noesi. Noesi is projected to do a lot better in 2013; but what projections mean to other people I have no idea. I just know that if a guy who understands the numbers is saying that Noesi should be better next year, I’d rather he be better on our side. Dave at USSM doesn’t like the Jaso-for-Jones idea, either. When in doubt, I always always side with the numbers guys. There’s a reason Moneyball is a thing.
Finally, I really need to stop seeing the headlines about the Mariners new scoreboard on their website. I love that it’s being done, I get that they need to foster and grow excitement over the changes being made to the field, but I really just want to see some moves made to improve the product ON the field. I don’t need to see us losing in high definition. Don’t get me wrong, I will enjoy the board, and I am looking forward to seeing it on Opening Day; but please give me something else on the grass. I want the fact that I paid for another season to mean something this year.
So now I guess we wait and see what happens this week.