Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Yawn: trade deadline passes. Rotation survives.

I share Jeter's excitement for the lack of trade deadline moves by the Mariners.  Of course, I think that's a good thing.
According to the clock on my computer, the MLB trade deadline is passed and the Mariners did nothing today. I know for many out there, this is a disappointment.  However, given what the M's had to deal-starting pitching and and top 50 MLB prospects-I'm relieved.  It's not that the M's are good, or that any facet of their of their game doesn't need improvement.  However, the prospects of sending Jason Vargas and Kevin Millwood to some other team's building project, getting some mid to high level prospects in return (but no blue-chippers) and consigning Mariners fans to another August and September in purgatory is just more than I can stomach.Those guys are worth way more to this year's version of the Mariners than anything they'd get in return.

I've waved good-bye to Brandon League and Steve Delabar.  League netted a couple of those mid-level prospects from the Dodgers.  I'd like to think this is a big deal, but it's not.   Neither outfielder Leon Landry or reliever Logan Bawcom are projected to be much.  Of course League hasn't been much either.  Delabar is a great story for Seattle, with him coming back to pitch after a serious injury, summoned to training camp from his substitute teaching gig.  Unfortunately, he's just not a very good pitcher right now.  Picking up Eric Thames from the Blue Jays was a good swap.  No,Thames isn't a transforming bat, but he's a guy they might platoon with Casper Wells.  We'll see.
Iwakuma's game on Monday night was a legit gem.  He set the rookie record for 13 strikeouts in a game.
Hat's off, and mumbled apologies to Hisashi Iwakuma.  He pitched a no-doubt-about-it gem last night.  It was great to see him go eight innings.  Better still to see him make the Blue Jays look foolish. He adds new legitimacy to the M's rotation IF this is not a once only kind of game.

Ha!  The M's won five straight. At home. In Safeco Field. Yes, I know all about it.  They've just played the Royals and Blue Jays, but screw it.  Five consecutive wins is more than they've pulled off all year.  No question the Royals are coming to define the term suckage and extending it over generations.  But they still hit pretty well, and they didn't do much of that until Sunday's game. I'm hoping this will continue.  The M's are beginning to show they can hit bad pitching at Safeco.  Just ask Ricky Romero.  They haven't shown they can do that against good pitching. See Ivan Nova.

Lorri and I attended the Mariners Hall of Fame game on Saturday.  It was a classy ceremony for Randy Johnson and Dan Wilson.  This is the second such game I've been to.  I saw Edgar Martinez inducted in 2007.  The M's do these things well.  Now if only they could develop a winning baseball team. The game was good too.  Tight and hard fought, but the Royals made a few too many mistakes.
It's great to see Oliver Perez reinvent himself as a lefty reliever.
Last but not least, I've had a chance to watch Oliver Perez pitch several times on television and in person Saturday.  It's great to see him do the hard work to resurrect a career that for all intents and purposes was dead, dead, dead.  I've always admired other teams that could bring in a lefty throwing high heat from a bajillion different arm angles.  It wasn't a freebie; Perez really struggled for a while in Tacoma.  But I'm glad he's able to help the M's pen.  Even if he kind of blew up on Sunday.

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