San Shin
This is Jeff Shaw's blog about the Seattle Mariners and writing and politics and whatever else comes to mind.

"In Marines' Way," Sierra Magazine, July/August 2004.
"The Price is Wrong," In These Times, March 31, 2004.
"Out of Burma," Multinational Monitor, Jan-Feb 2004.
"Discover Lost Lake," Bellingham Herald, April 15, 2004.
"Peruse Canyon Lake Creek Forest," Bellingham Herald, April 1, 2004.
Older articles on politics, the outdoors, etc. Poems.

The USS Mariner
Mariner Musings
Seattle P-I
Leone For Third
Mariners Wheelhouse
Mariner Optimist
The Safest Blog
Mariner Rumblings and Grumblings
One Hundred Sixteen
Sports and Bremertonians
SoDo Oh No
Cracking the Safe
Nice Guys Finish Third
Trident Fever
At Least the Red Sox Have 1918
Mariner Minors
Sons of Buhner
Grand Salami
Dead Reckoning (an M's news blog)
Olympia Mariner
Dave's Mariners Blog
Just Another Mariners Blog
Mariner Talk

Sportsfilter (community sports 'blog)
Baseball Blogs
Baseball Prospectus
Baseball Reference

POLITICAL BLOGS Talking Points Memo
Poltical Animal
Daily Kos

Poynter (home)
50 writing tools
Reporter's Desktop

Copper Canyon Press
Academy of American Poets
Lannan Audio Archive
Atlantic Audio Anthology
Laurable poetry audio links
Slate poetry audio files
Missouri Review blog

In These Times
The Christian Science Monitor
Mother Jones
The Progressive
Z Magazine
The Japan Policy Research Institute
The Nation
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
Washington Post OnPolitics
Latest AP news
LA Times
New York Times
Congressional Record

Sean Meade

Contact me: jeffmshaw at hotmail period com

"Two U.S. Banks SWIFT To Skirt Burma Sanctions," The NewStandard, March 9, 2004.
"Certifiably Insane? Wood-labeling program less green than it appears," Grist Magazine, Feb. 23, 2004.
"Review of Chalmers Johnson's Sorrows of Empire," Seattle Weekly, Feb. 4, 2004.
"A Base Draws Ire, So U.S. Looks to Sea," Christian Science Monitor, Jan. 22, 2004.
"Quietly, Bush Administration Moves to Implement Patriot II," The NewStandard, Dec. 30, 2003.
"From Worst to First: Under Pressure, Boise Cascade Agrees to Stop Logging Old Growth Forests," Multinational Monitor, Nov. 2003.
"Bioprospecting: Corporations Profit from Indigenous Genes," In These Times, Nov. 26, 2003.
?Opportunity knocks: under cover of war, the Bush administration pushes for fast track,? IN THESE TIMES, Vol. 25, No. 26, Oct. 26, 2001.
?BC Considers Putting Treaty Process to a Vote,? NATIVE AMERICAS, Vol. 18, No. 2, Summer 2001.
?Granny B: British Columbia Green Party candidate Betty Krawczyk,? IN THESE TIMES, July 9, 2001.
??Free? no more: activist Jeffrey Luers,? IN THESE TIMES, August 6, 2001.
?What goes around: an interview with Chalmers Johnson,? IN THESE TIMES, October 29, 2001.

"Bring the Family to Connelly Creek Nature Area," Bellingham Herald, Feb. 19, 2004.
Trail Report: Shadow of the Sentinels, Bellingham Herald, Feb. 5, 2004.
"A Walk to Racehorse Falls," Bellingham Herald, Jan. 23, 2004.
"Railroad Trail Passes By Scudder Pond," Bellingham Herald, Dec. 25, 2003.
Fall Hikers View Migrating [Mountain Goat] Herds," Bellingham Herald, Nov. 5, 2003.
"Catch the Colors at Chain Lakes," Bellingham Herald, Oct. 30, 2003.
"Break a Sweat on Pine, Cedar Lakes Trail," Bellingham Herald, Oct. 11, 2003.
"Panoramic view; Trail's summit reveals Mounts Baker, Shuksan," Bellingham Herald, Sept 25, 2003.
"High divide; Trail features great views," Bellingham Herald, Sept 22, 2003.

"A word with writer Russell Banks," Bellingham Herald, Oct. 11, 2003.
"The Weakerthans Grow Strong," Z Magazine, Dec. 2003.

"Prayer at the Tomb of My Wife's Grandfather," Arbutus, Summer 2003.
"Memory," Arbutus, Summer 2003.

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Saturday, January 31, 2004
MBSBL Draft Update: When Sodo Oh No snatched Jim Edmonds right out from under me, I had to take my second San Francisco Giant in two rounds: pitcher Jason Schmidt. Edmonds was the highest-rated offensive player on my board, with an OPS north of 1.000, and there were a bunch of other bats I'd like to have rated slightly lower -- and all around the same level.

Schmidt I had rated basically even with Pedro. His WHIP was below 1.00 last year, which is awesome. This gives me a true No. 1 starter and a chance to get one of those other bats I like in another six picks. I feel pretty good about this one, even though I'm not a Giants fan.
posted by Jeff link 2:14 AM [edit]

Friday, January 30, 2004

Magglio Ordonez Watch: Since we missed out on Pudge, and Kansas City will likely wait before trading Carlos Beltran, my pipe-dream meter has been reset to "Mags." Hence, it's time to check in on what the White Sox are thinking. Besides, if there's a GM that even Bavasi can outwit, it's gotta be Ken Williams, doesn't it?

Case in point: Kenny can't even get his story straight on where the Sox stands with Magglio. In this morning's Chicago Tribune, Steve Rosenbloom reports that Mags won't sign an extension. ["Williams said the Sox have approached Magglio Ordonez about a contract extension, "but we were told he wanted to play his free-agent year out and find out his value on the open market.""]

Wait a second, though -- you might want to check the other side of Ken's mouth, the one that told Joe Cowley, staff writer for the Daily Southtown, that he "has attempted -- unsuccessfully -- to get in touch with both [Frank] Thomas and Ordonez this offseason." Cowley quotes Williams as saying: "I have not talked to Magglio, but we will talk," Williams said. "Magglio is a professional."

I suppose both of these statements could be true if they offered him an extension before the end of last year. But if you had Magglio Ordonez, wouldn't you keep in close touch with him to give yourself the best chance to re-sign him? For my money, that's a definite "yes" -- unless you don't plan on trying. Seems like Mags would be available for the right offer.

Like Kansas City, they might want to hold onto their big bopper to see if they can win the Central. But Phil Rogers of the Trib says that the Southsiders' desire for payroll flexibility might mean they trade Jose Valentin to the Yanks. If they're dumping salary, Bavasi's got to pursue Mags now.

Pat Gillick Watch: The LA Times reports that the Dodgers want to interview Gillick. That's not big news. But apparently I missed the biggest news of the past five years:

However, industry sources said the Dodgers planned to look into the availability of Pat Gillick, who is now basically unattached and living in Toronto after putting together championship teams with the Blue Jays, Baltimore Orioles and Seattle Mariners.

When did the Mariners win the World Series? Why did no one tell me? How did I miss the parade? I'm sure there are people in Baltimore as upset at I am about this.

Truly Incorrect Thinking Department: Bavasi told the Portland Tribune that "We really upgraded by trading the (Mike) Cameron bat for the (Raul) Ibanez bat." As I wrote on SpoFi, even if Ibanez is a better bat (which I don't believe), his advancing age, park effects, and the dramatic defensive drop-off clearly make Cammy a better player.

Truly Awful Writing Department: I'll let the Everett Herald's Larry Henry off the hook for rambling. I'll give him a break for suggesting that the M's don't need an offensive upgrade. I'll even cut him slack for repeating the absurd "Davis/Wilson drove in as many runs as Pudge, so they're just as good" fallacy.

Hey, I'm in a good mood, so I'll even forgive his calling Randy Winn "a heckuva player." But if you're boosting Winn (which is cool), you don't have to take a poke at Cammy (which is not).

Henry: "[Winn] hits. Runs. Fields. Thinks (which Mike Cameron, the man he replaces in center field, failed to do at times).

Okay, why poke a popular, classy player in the eye on his way out of town -- especially given that Cameron was roughly twice as important to the team's success? And Cameron "failed to think"? When? When he gave interviews to the Everett Herald? Also, I notice in his list of Winn's virtues, Henry doesn't say "throws." Probably an oversight.

Besides, I'd much rather have Cammy and his instincts running down deep flies than either Winn and his degree from Santa Clara or Quinton McCracken and his Duke double-major.

posted by Jeff link 9:50 AM [edit]

Thursday, January 29, 2004

O happy day! Not only did two of my snarky questions get answered on the Seattle Times chat, but I also got my first mention on USS Mariner. [Well, not the blog, but my question. Baby steps.]

Still, my joy is tinged with nausea because of one of the answers to said question. To wit:

Is this the worst bench in major league history? If Edgar gets injured, what abysmal hitter will replace him at DH? And seriously, will any Mariners bench players get a pinch hit all year? — Jeff, Bellingham

B. F.: No question, the bench is thin at this point. But the bench was supposed to be one of the strengths last year, and barely came into play. The most likely DH if Edgar gets hurt would be outfielder Quinton McCracken. Another option is use Scott Spiezio at DH, and have Willie Bloomquist play third base.


So if (when?) Edgar gets hurt, we'll replace Superman with Jimmy Olsen. A guy with an OBP over .400 gets replaced by a young guy with an OBP of .317 or an old guy with an OBP of (yikes!) .276.

That's grim.
posted by Jeff link 1:42 PM [edit]

The Mariners have signed their second Taiwanese player, Yung-Chi Chen, a middle infielder. He's only 20, and theoretically this comes from the M's international "black budget," so it seems all good. I'm glad the organization has such a commitment to international talent.

Can't find much on-line about Chen, so I don't know what kind of a prospect he is, really. I can tell you he hit .313 at the 2003 World Tournament in Rotterdam, his team won the National Baseball Congress World Series (where he was named the tourney's all-star shortstop), and that he is a "human being on the earth", but not this one.

There are a few random boxscores around the web from tournaments in Cuba, etc., but those don't tell you much. Still, signing a 20-year-old shortstop who has had success in world competitions doesn't seem like it can be a bad idea.

The other player from Taiwan in Seattle's system is Chao-Kuan Wu, a catcher who played rookie league ball last year.
posted by Jeff link 10:28 AM [edit]

I'm disappointed that Pudge Rodriguez is likely going to the Tigers, but if it was going to cost us four years, I think it was probably wise the Mariners backed off.

I was going to turn my attention to fruitless speculation about trading for Carlos Beltran or Magglio Ordonez, but Bavasi and his henchmen continue to suck all the joy out of even my pipe dreams. Now they're saying that they don't have enough money for a major offensive upgrade -- but they've got $1.5 million for The Great Ron Villone. I was going to rip the story where this appears, Bob Finnigan's latest lame attempt to explain why the Mariners can't actually spend more than a few million dollars to upgrade the offense, but David Cameron at USS Mariner did a better job of that than I could already.

So I'll just turn on my hollow mockery impulse. Remember the guy who said Pudge had decided to sign with the M's, Justin Spiro? Well, he's standing by his report, sorta, with gems like this:

"I stand by my report and will continue to do so until Pudge is at the podium to announce his signing."

Um, what? "I stand by my report until it is proven wrong. At that point, there was no report. Move along, nothing to see here."

Even better:

"If he signs with Seattle, I will report it. If he signs with Detroit, I will report that too. I have nothing to hide"

I love the "I will report it" bit -- but the "I have nothing to hide" is the best non sequitur I've seen since I had the onion on my belt -- which was the style at the time.

I think I'll trust the AP that we're not getting Pudge, but continue to turn to Spiro for my comedy needs.
posted by Jeff link 9:02 AM [edit]

Wednesday, January 28, 2004

MBSBL Draft Update: I made my first pick, Barry Bonds, taking him fourth in the first round. As the draft progresses, I'll post my selection and rationale here. Fair warning: I haven't done a Diamond Mind simulated league before, and I usually do AL-only fantasy leagues, so I'm a bit of a newbie.

So it may be my ignorance of this type of league, or I may just have gotten lucky, but I'll say this: if I had drawn the first pick, I would have taken Bonds. His on-base percentage -- and hence his OPS -- is just unreal. He's so far ahead of the field in Equivalent Average and Runs Above Replacement Player that it's scary. His 2003 EqA of .420 was FIFTY-EIGHT points higher than his nearest competitor, Albert Pujols.

Sure, he's an outfielder, and the position depth is pretty good there -- but I couldn't pass him up. We'll see how good the pick turns out.
posted by Jeff link 10:15 PM [edit]

The good news: The story I was working on is done, leaving much more time for blogging, getting my fantasy draft lists ready, and watching this video over and over. I don't follow college hoops very closely, but Nigel Dixon breaking the glass backboard is pretty impressive.

The bad news: it looks like I won't be headed to Okinawa in February, as I thought I would. I'm planning on posting about Okinawa soon, with lots of photos, just to torture myself.

One thing I planned to do there was check out spring training for Japanese baseball (yakyu). Sasaki is very popular in Okinawa, since he's always trained there. On that note, here's an article from the Daily Yomiuri about how Sasaki's potential return would impact the Yokohama BayStars, who seem to be the frontrunner to sign him.

More domestically, Greg Johns' new piece has some interesting stuff. The highlights:

* "is there any reason the Mariners couldn't do a little goodwill and invite Boone to rehab with them if the Yankees do cut him loose? Surely Boone would be bolstered by his brother's presence in Seattle. And then the M's would be in position to sign him for the following season to play third base, while Scott Spiezio slides back to first to replace the retiring John Olerud." I'd be against this, since Boone is dramatically overrated, would command too much money, and (as Steve at Mariners Wheelhouse has pointed out), next year's free agent class at third base is pretty sweet. Don't forget that Boone would be 32 as of opening day next year and coming off a major injury.

All these factors, of course -- and the "family connection" factor that plays so well with the marketing-conscious Mariners front office -- mean that two Boones is a real possibility for next year.

* Johns repeats the asinine argument that Pudge Rodriguez wouldn't be that much of an upgrade over Ben Davis and Dan Wilson -- but he gets points for pointing out that Wilson's defensive reputation is largely undeserved these days, and that the numbers suggest Davis is better behind the plate.

In other news, Gary Sheffield has offered to play third base for the Yanks to fill the hole Boone's basketball blunder left. Holy Dr. Strangeglove, Batman.
posted by Jeff link 1:35 PM [edit]

On a football note, here's a nice piece by Mike Wilbon on Rod "He Hate Me" Smart and SpoFi discussion of same.

I don't think I'd like a league where everyone wore nicknames on uniforms, though I do snicker when I think of Andy "Channel 17" Messersmith.
posted by Jeff link 10:00 AM [edit]

I took a break from a story I'm working on yesterday to blow off steam. What better pressure-release mechanism than asking ten snarky questions in a row to Larry Stone and Bob Finnigan? Here they are:

1. Why did Bavasi trade for Quinton McCracken, an old player who can't hit, is average to poor defensively, and makes a lot of money relative to what he does? Isn't Jamal Strong a better player at this point anyway? Why give away our only decent bench player for this guy?

2. Why did Bavasi give away Carlos Guillen for nothing? (OK, OK, we got Ramon Santiago and a non-prospect -- LESS than nothing.)

3. If we weren't going to save any money, why did Bavasi trade for Kevin Jarvis instead of just cutting Jeff Cirillo? Does anyone really think that Kevin Jarvis should be pitching in the major leagues?

4. Is this the worst bench in major league history? If Edgar gets injured, what abysmal hitter will replace him at DH? And seriously, will any Mariners bench players get a pinch hit all year?

5. Doesn't that Raul Ibanez contract look pretty awful given the deals signed by Carl Everett, Jose Cruz Jr., et. al.? And doesn't Bavasi look pretty silly for giving him that contract at a time when the M's had to forfeit draft picks to do so?

6. Does Chris Snelling have a chance to stick with the team out of spring training as a fifth outfielder? [Or will Bavasi try to trade for some player with "veteran leadership" who can't hit a baseball?]

7. Given that Scott Spiezio has never played a full season at third base (and has a brutal fielding percentage there), Rich Aurilia isn't as good defensively as Carlos Guillen, Raul Ibanez is dramatically worse than Mike Cameron, and Randy Winn can't throw, how much worse is our defense going to be this year?

8. Please throw us a bone and at least let us THINK that Bavasi is trying to trade for Carlos Beltran or Magglio Ordonez. Please?

9. If any starting position player gets hurt, isn't this team totally done given how bad the bench is? I mean, check out the starter and his likely replacement:

Edgar Martinez (Dave Hansen)
Bret Boone (Willie Bloomquist)
Ichiro (Quinton McCracken)

I'm too sick to continue. And please answer my question about whether this is the worst bench in major league history: I really want to know.

10. If this team finishes third, is there any chance we'll fire Bavasi next year?

I'm still working on that story today, under a fierce deadline. Luckily, I've got the beginning of the Mariners Blogosphere Simulated Baseball League draft to keep me occupied in between bouts of writing. I've got the fourth pick. I wonder if McCracken will be available?
posted by Jeff link 7:45 AM [edit]

Tuesday, January 27, 2004

For all of us salivating about the prospects of using the Sasaki money to go after Pudge Rodriguez, Carlos Beltran or Magglio Ordonez, there's a chilling quote in this story:

Bavasi's immediate concern was the impact of Sasaki's departure on the bullpen. "It's not the happy shopping trip you think it is," Bavasi said. "You've got to fill that hole."

He can't be serious, can he?

Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge Sasaki fan. Even on the wrong side of 35, he's a very good relief pitcher. But he's a right-handed relief pitcher, a commodity we've got in spades in the majors and minors alike, and he's an older player departing a team that needs to get younger. The bullpen shapes up like this so far:

Guardado L
Hasegawa R
Soriano R
Mateo R
The Token Second Lefty (Myers, Madritsch, Blackley?)

That's a pretty effective bullpen. Each of the top four was at least very good last year, and the fifth is going to get a job strictly for being a portsider, so that role is spoken for regardless of what Kaz did.

So assuming they carry six relievers, that leaves one slot to fill. I'm hoping Bavasi is just blowing smoke about going out looking, since it seems clear to me that Aaron Taylor (26, who has shown consistent excellence in the minors) should slide into this role nicely.

Additionally, since we've already paid through the nose for this year's bullpen (the Guardado and Shiggy contracts), it would seem like the balance of these funds should go to improve the offense.

Sadly, I don't think Our Oblong-Headed Friend is fronting. If we've seen anything about Bavasi's tendencies, it's that he loves veterans. This entire offseason, he didn't acquire any new major-league players under 31 years old besides the unforgivable Ramon Santiago. Given that Taylor struggled at times during last year's cup of coffee, I'd be surprised if he got a fair shake. Same goes for J.J. Putz or Aaron Looper, who also would also be low-cost, in-house options.

No, I think we're probably looking at two things: 1. The miserable Kevin Jarvis sticks with the team (I'd much rather we eat his contract and release him) in long relief and (shudder) spot starts, and 2. Bavasi probably looks for another veteran hurler to invite to spring training, further blocking the path to the majors for our minor league talent.

I hope I'm proven wrong. But that's sure what it looks like.
posted by Jeff link 9:24 PM [edit]

I'm good enough, I'm smart enough ... and gosh-darn it, I'll kick your ass. Al Franken takes out a LaRouchie heckler. Pretty hilarious, and via TPM.

In Mariner news, there's an on-line Q+A with Larry Stone and Bob Finnigan from the Seattle Times on Thursday at noon. You can send questions now. No fair asking Finnigan how the view is from inside the pocket of M's management.

posted by Jeff link 6:35 PM [edit]

Much obliged to Mike et. al. at Sodo Oh No for the first (I think) linkage to this site. Mike's letter to Beene at the TNT in response to his "catcher is a strength for the M's!" column is great.
posted by Jeff link 6:14 PM [edit]

Non-Mariner department: this is an interesting article by Yoichi Funabashi of the Asahi Shinbun about how Japan's outer islands might embody the problems facing the country over the coming years.
posted by Jeff link 10:31 AM [edit]

Monday, January 26, 2004

There are good arguments for why the Mariners shouldn't go after Pudge Rodriguez. But Darrin Beene of the TNT doesn't make any of them.

Basically, he says signing Pudge wouldn't justify the expense for two reasons: Pudge isn't that much better offensively than the Wilson/Davis tandem, and the defensive upgrade he'd represent isn't very important in today's game.

The first of these arguments is heartstoppingly asinine -- and both ignore a primary reason to go after Pudge: this team desperately needs Edgar insurance. When our beloved Ancient Mariner inevitably goes down for a month with a pulled hammy, who slides into the DH slot? Dave Hansen? Willie Bloomquist? Quinton Freakin McCracken? Bill Bavasi has managed to create what might be the worst bench in major league history. Adding another quality stick is an important hedge against that.

To make matters worse, he runs out a classic straw person argument: "Are six home runs worth $5 million? Last season, Mariners catchers Dan Wilson and Ben Davis had as many RBI, 85, as Rodriguez did.

Yeah. And you're comparing two players to one player, two players that managed to be dramatically less productive in 50 more combined at bats.

And yup, Pudge didn't hit very many home runs (16) last year. But he did hit more than 150% of the taters our two-headed collar machine did. He also hit more doubles and triples than both of them combined, which helps explain why Pudge's on-base percentage (.369) was much higher than Wilson's slugging percentage (.339), and damned close to Davis' (.382.) Ivan the Terrible's OPS (.843) was nearly 200 points higher than the devilish number posted by Davis (.666) -- and Davis was the best of our lousy bunch. 200 points isn't a gap, it's the Grand Canyon.

It looks much, much worse when you look at the new-school statistics. The Baseball Prospectus has a page cataloguing Equivalent Average, a stat which tracks offensive performance. .260 is league average. Check out these numbers for 2003:

Rodriguez: EQA, 0.293 RARP, 41.6
Davis: EQA, 0.264, RARP, 3.2
Wilson: EQA, 0.240, RARP, -1.8

So Davis is almost exactly league average, Wilson is below average - and Pudge is way, way above both of them.

Even more telling is the second set of numbers, Runs Above Replacement Player (RARP). Yup, Dan Wilson was actually worse than a replacement-level catcher last year.

The numbers estimate that a year of Pudge is worth about 40 more runs than what we have now. Think about THAT for a minute. We don't know when those runs are going to come -- but that's an awful lot of scoring. Is it unreasonable to think that those runs could be worth, say, five games? And is it unreasonable to think that five games could make the difference between playing in October and not?

Now, you can make a case that it's too risky to throw a lot of money at a 32-year-old catcher due to risk of injury or a quick decline. That's fair. But to say, as Beene does, that Pudge isn't worth the $5 million more he makes than Wilson + Davis is pretty hard to defend. [And even that is misleading, since you'd presumably trade one of the two and save a little of that salary, and Pudge would also take at-bats from a stiff like Hansen or McCracken.]

I think he's right that defense from the catcher position is overrated. But even when Beene's right, he throws in something wrong: he writes that "Wilson is solid behind the plate, and he is noted for his ability to call a game." That's great and everything, except that the team's ERA was better last year with Davis behind the plate. this is just another case of a guy's rep flying the face of available facts.

OK, signing Greg Maddux is a bad idea (though Beene points to Kevin Jarvis as a potential stop-gap measure if someone in the rotation goes down, which is forehead-slappingly stupid). But signing Pudge Rodriguez is a great idea for next year.

I'd feel comfortable offering him a two-year deal for sure, and probably a three-year deal -- but that's another post.
posted by Jeff link 9:52 PM [edit]

Aaron Boone has injured his ACL and might miss the baseball season. I wrote on Sportsfilter (a very cool community sports 'blog if you haven't visited) that this is a big hit for depth at third base in AL-only fantasy leagues, but not a major blow to the Yanks' offense.

In retrospect, that's overstating the case. It's true that Boone is largely overrated -- he's got a lifetime .780 OPS at a power position, and has historically been a hackcentric out machine -- but Enrique Wilson is only valuable in the sense that he might influence Manny Ramirez to sign with your team. Ditto Miguel Cairo.

Now, I don't think either of those two players is likely to start the year at third for the Evil Empire. Especially if the Pinstriped Peril can get his contract voided (since he was injured playing basketball, an activity that is apparently prohibited by his deal), they'll spare no expense in filling this hole. Never thought I'd say this, but it's a good thing the Mariners have Sand Frog's frontman under contract -- any serviceable cornerman still available in free agency would probably see his price shoot up. Good thing Pudge doesn't play third.

Since he doesn't, I'd expect to see the Yanks make some noise in the trade market. They've proven they're not afraid to spend money in free agency or take on big contracts. I don't think their lineup on April 1 will look like it does now.
posted by Jeff link 9:30 PM [edit]

There's nothing to the report that Pudge Rodriguez has decided to sign with the Mariners, writes Larry LaRue in the Tacoma News-Tribune. I don't think this comes as a shock to anyone, given that the report came from some guy named Justin Spiro of, whose qualifications appear to be that he's one of those "readers-write fantasy correspondents" for (which he calls, in George O'Leary fashion, "his ESPN column"). Also, in a hilarious follow-up to the initial "story," DSN has posted a grammatically-challenged news release quoting this Spiro guy standing by his story.

I don't mean to pick on Spiro: insiders file false reports, too. Who else is reminded of Jim Bowden's repeated gun-jumping babble regarding Miguel Tejada?

Believe me, I'll be thrilled if Pudge eventually signs with the M's. And I totally understand the impulse to scoop the competition with a big story. But I think a lot more effort -- in sports reporting and news reporting, whether in blogs or in papers -- should be put into being, you know, right.
posted by Jeff link 1:39 PM [edit]