Two years into a five-year, $64 million contract, Adrian Beltre has produced a .262 average, 44 home runs, and 176 RBIs. However, after the All Star break in 2006, Beltre slugged .552 with a whopping 18 home runs. Does this strong second half bode well for a turn-around in 2007, or will Mariners fans have to deal with 'A-Drain' once again? This blog intends to follow the 2007 season for Adrian Beltre, and the Seattle Mariners, and promises to hold no punches.

Giants/ A's blog wrap-ups, post Zito signing


All right, I have to admit it. I have some friends who are A's fans. I can't begrudge them their choice of teams to root for. (I just tease them mercilessly for it. No, wait. They do that to me...) But I also find it interesting the cross-bay rivalry between Oakland and San Francisco, as my exposure to A's fandom has shine light upon. I decided to take a look at the musings of San Francisco Giants blogs to see what the reactions were a day after their team signed Zito to the largest contract given to a pitcher in major league history. (And then I decided to look at some A's blogs to see if A's fans are distraught or if there is no love lost between the casual A's fan and Messr Zito..)

McCovey Chronicles is in shock, calling it the "Blurst of times."

Only Baseball Matters wants to believe, as he attempts to justify the Zito signing, despite pointing out that two weeks prior the following was written on the blog:
We're supposed to believe that Barry Zito will come here, to pitch with this kind of horseshit team behind him, with our waiver wire bullpen? Are these people out of their fucking minds?!?..... Who's to say Zito doesn't continue the decline that he seems to be on? Sure, he could get motivated and pull a Clemens, but how many times has that happened?
But over at Bleeding Black and Orange, they say they finally have something to "smile" about.

Their team got duped into signing what could very well be the worst contract in history, and they want to smile? Perhaps A's fans are on to something about the thick-headedness of Giants fans....

And how are A's fans responding to the cross-bay defection of Zito?

Athletics Nation is supposedly dealing with the five stages of grief, but ends of looking for someone to take his Zito jersey off his hands for cheap.

In four sentences, Elephants in Oakland sums up with "Zito is gone, but not forgotten" and "now its time to move forward with A's baseball."

But the best A's reaction might belong to Most Valuable Network, who said that he never thought the Giants would actually sign Zito, after crying wolf yet failing to sign Vladimir Guererro, Alfonso Soriano, and others. MVN also makes a case that Roy Oswalt and Johann Santana should fire their agents if they allowed a onctract such as Zito's pass through their fingers. And in the end, MVN states:
I think not having enough money to sign Zito may have prevented the A’s from making an expensive mistake, something that it also prevented the A’s from doing with Jason Giambi. Only time will tell, but I don’t anticipate the A’s looking back at this failure to sign a player with the same regret that they do with Tejada.
So there you have it.

In perhaps their biggest signing since 1993, the Giants pirated away the ace from the cross-town rivals. Yet their home-town fans are ambivalent about it, not sure if they got chicken salad or chicken shit. Meanwhile, the woebegone A's fans appear to be partaking in a collective shrug. Yet another piece of the one-time erstwhile "dynasty" has fallen away. I guess A's fans are used to it by now...

Zito and Boras got their overpaid contract!!!!!


And, luckily, it wasn't with the Mariners!

As every baseball fan knows, this morning it was announced that Barry Zito- with help from his agent, The Devil, I mean Keyzer Soze, I mean Scott Boras- signed a record 7-year, $126 million contract with his former cross-town rivals, the San Francisco Giants. His contract is the highest amount given to a pitcher, besting Mike Hampton's $121 million, 8-year deal with the Colorado Rockies in 2001. (And we all remember how well that deal worked out, don't we?)

How stupid is this deal? It's stupid in the fact that Zito was perhaps worth this money- in 2002, when he went 23-5 and won a Cy Young award. So the Giants are five years late and $126 million short. It's stupid that while Zito's curve-ball hasn't completely flattened, it's definitely lost the knee-buckling drop that had left batters befuddled- which the dwindling numbers of strike-outs can attest to (from 205 in 2001 to 151 last year). Its stupid that while Zito has a dramatic career split in opponents' average batting from the left or the right (.250 versus lefties, .228 versus righties) that split was reduced to all of three points in 2006 (.260 versus lefties, .257 versus righties). This erosion of one-sided dominance doesn't bode well for facing the young up-and-comers in the division that bat from the left side of the plate (Adrian Gonzalez, Andre Ethier, Stephen Drew) not to mention Todd Helton. It's stupid because AT&T Park has a park factor of 100, favoring batters, while Oakland Alameda Coliseum's park factor is 97, favoring pitchers. It's stupid because Jason Schmidt- a pitcher with superior make-up and career numbers- signed a three-year, $47 million to leave behind his status as the Giants' ace and fill his new role as the Dodgers' ace.

For comparison, this was Mike Hampton's last season before signing his mammoth contract:
15-10,3.14 ERA, 151 strikeouts in 218 innings, and led his club, the Mets, to the World Series
now Zito's?:
16-10, 3.83 ERA, 151 strikeouts in 221 innings, and led his club, the A's, to the League Championship Series, in which he allowed five earned runs in less than four innings in his only start.
Fittingly, lists Mike Hampton as Zito's closest similar pitcher at age 28. The next season, at age 29, Hampton saw his ERA increase by three-quarters of a run, from 5.41 to 6.15.

Boras's plan to garner a big contract for himself and his client was to highlight Zito's consistency. Zito has yet to miss a start over the past six years. And his won-loss records during the past four?:
Zito's been consistent, but consistently mediocre.
I doubt Zito to finish with double-digits in the win column for the Giants, and I'm sure he'll have an ERA north of 4.

To get an idea of just how ridiculous this signing is, consider that nearly 20 years ago, in 1987, as a 30-year old, Charlie Liebrandt went 16-11 for the Kansas City Royals. His won-loss record in the three prior seasons were 11-7, 17-9, and 14-11. Granted, Liebrandt didn't win a Cy Young Award during that span, but he did lead his team to a World Championship in 1985. Yet in that off-season, Liebrandt re-upped as a free agent with the Royals and got a raise of all of $400,000, jumping from $850,000 in 1987 to $1,250,000 in 1988. Why did Liebrandt miss his big pay-out?

The best news out of all this is that- contrary to the rumors I was reading in the local media- the Mariners were spared a boondoggle of a suckering by Boras. And with his vacancy, the Athletics are minus one guaranteed 34-start, 200-inning starting pitcher. The A's rotation now relies on the frayed ligaments of Rich Harden's shoulder (who could, if healthy, be a consistent contender for the Cy Young crown), the unrealized Danny Haren, the enigma that is Joe Blanton (4-0, 1.55 ERA versus the Mariners; 12-12, 5.40 ERA versus the rest of baseball), the alcoholic speed demon Esteban Loaiza, and a mix from Chad Gaudin, Joe Kennedy, Kirk Saarloos, and Brad Halsey to fill Barry's big shoes.

With the cross-bay defection of Zito, this all but guarantees a non-repeat of the division title for the A's, a team built around pitching and defense, and bodes very well for the Seattle Mariners!

What do other Mariners weblogs think?

Lookout Landing calls Zito's signing with the Giants a "bullet" dodged by the Mariners, while USS Mariner imagines the ludicrous conversation held in the Giant front office that resulted in such madness as the Zito signing.

McCarthy-Danks trade

0 comments;_ylt=Amz7wP5WDOF7KWCpflvsBQ8RvLYF?slug=ap-whitesox-rangerstrade&prov=ap&type=lgns

Well, it appears the Rangers are going to mortgage a bit of their pitching future in exchange for the White Sox's. Granted, McCarthy should've been a full-time starter by now, and the Garcia trade had supposedly opened the doors for his spot in the rotation. However, I guess that rotation spot will be for the Rangers, where he's slotted to be the #3 man behind Millwood and Padilla. I'm not sure if McCarthy has #3 stuff (might be best for a #4 or #5 presently) and simply by the fact that the Rangers were desperate enough to pluck him from the White Sox in hopes of shoring up their rotation attests to just how horrible their rotation is. It should be criminal for the Rangers to have a pitching rotation as they do. (Oh, and relying on Gagne's elbow to anchor the bullpen. Is Borat would say, that is NOT a good plan....)

As much upside as McCarthy had, Danks quite possibly has more. Part of the Rangers' vaunted 'DVD' trio with Thomas Diamond and Edison Volquez, last year in the minors the 21-year old lefty went 9-9 with a 4.24 ERA and 154 strikeouts in 140 innings. Danks is more than ready to fill a spot in a big-league rotation, and with the White Sox's solid staff, he can be eased in as the #5 man.

I'm not sure if the Rangers improve much with this trade or not. They only got one kid who's more major-league ready than the kid they gave up, who has more potential. The Mariners will face more of McCarthy in 2007, but considering they collected six hits and four walks off him in less than four innings last year, that may be a good thing.


Pineiro signs with Houston!


Well, not really. But maybe?

The Seattle P-I's "Go 2 Guy" Jim Moore:

Season's Greetings!

As I write this, it's four days until Christmas. There is a nip in the air, the stockings are hung by the chimney with care, and everything I asked for is wrapped and nestled under the tree to be opened and enjoyed for Christmas. Everything, that is, except a top-of-the-line starter for the Seattle Mariners.

Seriously, we let Adam Eaton- coming off a 65-inning season- slip off to the Phillies? Were the M's even in the running for Jason Schmidt? Grrrr....

Regardless, I'm kind of glad the Mariners stayed mostly pat this off-season. Otherwise they would've made more stupid moves like the Jose Vidro trade. (Seriously, is this who they traded Doyle for? And for what reason- to be Jose Lopez's back-up? Ridiculous! Sure, Vidro may have been an All-Star in the past, but simply because of that arcane rule that every team, including some lousy Montreal Expos teams, need to have a representative.) And with the signing of Jose Guillen- and absence of Snelling- there will be a gaping hole in right field next year rather than center. I guess Jeremy Reed will be getting another chance to prove he belongs in the majors.

I've heard grumblings from some disappointed Mariners fans that General Manager Bill Bavasi is hoping to put a weak team on the field, and make the AL West division easier for California teams (namely Bill's former team, the Angels) to win. I don't necessarily buy it. But I am more interested in whether Bavasi has connections with the new ownership in D.C., which could offer why he's so willing to take the Nationals' dreck off their hands and burden the Mariners' roster with them instead.

Ultimately, if you break it down position-by-position, the Mariners have the best offense in the division. Yeah, you might make a case for Teixeira over Sexson, and Vlad is obvious, but otherwise you'd want a Mariner plugging those holes. The only thing keeping the Mariners from the division title this year will be the fact that the pitching needs another year to mature (the Angels still have the best staff) which is why I was hoping the M's would land a front-line starter, an "ace", which would propel them up over the edge to be a winner rather than a competitor.

Horacio Ramriez is a serviceable enough starter, and can more than make up for the departed Gil Meche or Joel Pineiro as a #4 man in the rotation. Miguel Batista I'm not too familiar with, even given his days with the Blue Jays. Still, last year he averaged 6.24 innings per start, better than Meche's 5.84 IP/GS stat. Batista screams league-average, but at least he'll give the Mariners' bullpen a slight break. I see Batista playing the Jamie Moyer "elder statesman" role, but with a rotation of him, Washburn, Ramriez, and Felix- unless Felix magically shows that he's ready to be a 17-game winner, 220-inning starter at the age of 21- this rotation is about as league-average as you can get, and that poses a problem for the Mariners' chances to win the division.

The Mariners' secret weapon in 2007 which will help their chances to compete will be their bull-pen depth. Losing Rafael Soriano to the Braves in the trade for Ramirez will hurt, as Soriano will no doubt be a sterling set-up man in Atlanta. Still, his shoes can easily be filled from the mix of Mark Lowe, Ryan Feierabend, and Francisco Cruceta. And keep an eye out for "Ranger-killer" Cha Seung Baek, who I think has the ability to surprise as the #5 man.

Regardless of the lousy players picked up by the Mariners this off-season- Jose Guillen will be this year's Matt Lawton- I am optimistic by the team's chances this year. I believe dividends will be seen from the wild off-season of a couple years ago, and Beltre and Sexson will help lead a solid offensive team. Of course, all of that would be nullified if the team plays Vidro too much, even as a full-time DH. (Isn't that the position that Ben Broussard best fits?)

Anyways, Happy Holidays to everyone, and keep an eye peeled for more updates and discussion of all things Mariners. Less than two months remain before pitchers and catchers report, and the countdown has officially started!


  • true_slicky
  • yo adrian
  • Bricktroof
  • Last posts


    Seattle Mariners Weblogs

    Other Mariners Sites

    Baseball Links

    Other Cool Links to Check Out: