Crushed Optimists

We are twin brothers who grew up in Central Washington. This blog is devoted to the life of Seattle sports fans, as well as various other topics that we will espouse for your enjoyment. We could be called another OFFICIAL SEATTLE SEAHAWKS site, but we'll take our uneducated crack at the Mariners, Sonics, and Huskies as well. A Seattle Sports Blog? Must be the land... of crushed optimism!

Monday, July 03, 2006

Do the M's Have the Best Chance in the West?

Surprisingly, the Mariners had their best run in three years while I was on vacation and then recovering from surgery, so I wasn't able to watch much of their best work. Instead, I got better in time to watch the Rockies series this past weekend, which reminded me why it sometimes hurts like a bugger to be a Seattle sports fan.

I also spent some time perusing various Mariners blogs, actually reading the comment threads as numerous people gushed about the chances of the M's to win the West. USSMariner even wrote an extended post about how the M's shouldn't even worry about the A's, who just aren't looking that impressive this year, not living up to everyone's expectations (including myself).

After Saturday? Everyone was talking about how we were the best team in the West.

After Sunday? Everyone was talking about how we had no chance to win the West.

The truth? Probably somewhere in between.

Reasons the M's could WIN!!:

1. Ichiro!
Posting an OBP of .412, slashing extra-base hits all over the place and generally making our offense fly. The energy seems back in his game, the spark that was missing last year. And when he's on, creating havoc...... well, our offense actually scores runs.

2. JJ Putz!
The guy has basically been phenomenal, and it's a crying shame that he is not on the All-Star team, but Ozzie Guillen decided that calling people fags wasn't the only way that he's a prick, putting fatty-fat-fatty Bobby Jenks on instead. That splitter is unhittable, and his K/BB rate is just (think up new word to describe excellent.... how about zerkinocious?).

3. Jamie Moyer
Sure, we wasted ANOTHER good start by him on Friday, but he is putting up quality start after quality start. He is truly amazing, solidifying his place as perhaps the best Mariner pitcher of all time (though King Felix should displace him in that category before too long).

4. King Felix
Returning to phenom form by walking fewer people and giving up fewer homeruns. Still, I can't help but watch Francisco Liriano perform on MY fantasy team and wonder why we all think that Felix is going to be the best pitcher ever.

5. Raul Ibanez
Left-handed sock. We wanted it this offseason, and we got it. In house. Ibanez has been awesome, even providing an outstanding defensive play to help win the game on Saturday. I'm still not sold on that contract extension, but I'm definitely more sold than I was in April.

Reasons the M's could LOSE!!:

1. Jeremy Reed
Even him being injured could hurt us by putting Willie Bloomquist in center field. But, wow, he has been a tremendous disappointment, as his performance at the plate has, if anything, gotten WORSE the past two years. Can Ichiro finally be persuaded to play center field? The season might depend on it.

2. Eddie Guardado
Helped blow ANOTHER game yesterday. Basically, Eddie comes in, other teams score. That's the way of things. I'm pretty sure we could bring up.... well.... anyone, and they would perform better than Eddie.

3. Joel Pineiro
Do I have to write anything here? Pineiro has been terrible. Simply TERRIBLE. Again, dump him and bring up ANYBODY. PLEASE.

4. Richie Sexson
Supposed to carry your offense, instead.... an OBP of .297 (ouch!) with 87 K's (ouch!). He has a lower slugging percentage than Ichiro. And Johjima. And Lopez. And Ibanez. Fantastic!

5. Mike Hargrove
I'm sure that everyone else has written everything that could be said here, including several swear words that are made just for this occasion. Suffice it to say that the list of people who could manage this team with more intelligence includes....

-- Spongebob Squarepants
-- William Shatner
-- Kevin Federline
-- Lex Luthor
-- My dog
-- My dog's stool
-- George W. Bush
-- Kofi Annan
-- Napolean
-- Joe Don Baker
-- Jar Jar Binx
-- Wesley Crusher

Bottom line: Until Hargrove is ex-manager, I'm not that confident about our chances. In fact, I don't think the Mariners should be considered the favorite at this point to win the AL West.

My pick? I'll tell you, if you promise not to laugh.

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

They are 4 games out of 1st right now, by the way, with this pitching rotation: Colon, Lackey, Escobar, Jered Weaver, and Santana. That is three power pitchers, one young super-stud, and a semi-dependable #5 starter. Better than our rotation, by the way.

They have K-Rod to close, with a pretty good bullpen (though not the dominant staff of past years).

And they have brought up some young position players to provide them with actual energy (like Napoli, Morales, et. al.), complementing Vlad and Orlando Cabrera. Yes, their offense is not as good as ours (at least as good as ours SHOULD be), but it should be good enough to win with that pitching rotation.

Sorry, everyone. I still am not a true believer in the M's. I will continue to watch them. I will continue to enjoy the excitement. But, no, I don't believe they are a playoff team right now. I see too many potential question marks in the lineup, in the rotation (can we continue to depend on Gil Meche), and our manager just uber-sucks.

However, I will be extremely happy to be proven wrong. Even use real stats if you must.

posted by colin_hesse @ 11:20 AM  4 comments


At 1:25 PM, Blogger Mariner Optimist said...

Y'all are frightening me. The Angels are the team that are scaring me as well.

I'm blogging again, so feel free to go to to see my plea for a new manager.

Keep up the great work, guys!

At 6:21 PM, Blogger nach said...

The only explanation for the M's radtastic month of June that I can think of is--my return to the USA.

You didn't mention Meche pitching like a major leaguer instead of a cross-eyed pup. Plus, the collective upsurge in Jojima and Beltran had been fun to watch.

Until Jacaob and Brady stop taking bets on Sexon's at-bats (weak fly out vs. strike out) we're not going anywhere.

Still, the AL west is very underwhelming and we're way closer to the top than I ever thought we'd be.

At 10:40 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We got Beltran!?

At 7:44 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good post. I agree about the Angels - watch them get even better should they bring up Kendrick for good.

JJ should be an all-star but Jenks has been quite good this year. He's not undeserving though Putz has been as good anyone.



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