There are many reasons not to pursue Miltie, but that ain't one of them.
I know I just blogged about not taking quotes from team officials seriously. I really hope this is a case of Bavasi being politic, so as not to show up Winn or Ibanez -- because if he really thinks Bradley shouldn't start over Raul "I can't run" Ibanez or Randy "I can't throw" Winn, we're in real trouble here.
More Chemical McCarthyism: Jack McDowell stopped just short of saying "Mark Prior is on steroids," but still managed to get the smear out there on Sporting News Radio. Prior shot back immediately, denying the charges.
I've writtenbefore about why these wild accusations are bad for the game and unfair to players. A guy has one good year and he's on steroids? A guy is slow to heal and he's on steroids?
This has gone too far already.
posted by Jefflink 11:44 AM 
More on Canyon Lake Creek: I already blogged my hiking article on Canyon Lake Creek Community Forest, but they only ran one photo with the article, and I had some pics in the camera phone that I thought might be of interest, so here goes.
One of the main draws to this area is the wide array of giant fossils:
Enormous tropical plants are preserved in rocks the size of small people. You can hardly miss them -- several are right on the trail.
Besides the stirring mountain lake itself, there are numerous creeks to cross, conveying glacial flow to the watershed below. It's a bit early in the season yet, so you'll need snowshoes after a few miles. If you've got them, you can get up into some wonderful old growth. If not, walk up as far as you can with your faithful dog:
Russell The Hound doesn't look so white compared to the snowdrifts.
You also get a nice view of surrounding mountains once you ascend a bit. I had to take a shot of this avalanche chute:
If you're looking for a nice hike that gets you up into the snow, check this place out.
posted by Jefflink 10:18 AM 
Last gasp of media criticism, probably: I don't want this blog to be only "post an article, deconstruct said article." I honestly have too much respect for my journalistic brothers and sisters for that. Besides, it gets old.
How, though, can I ignore that:
* No local beat writer called the M's to see if they had interest in Milton Bradley; at least, no one produced a local story about it, though the TNT did run the AP story. This despite the fact that the Cleveland Plain Dealer is reporting Seattle is interested.
* John "As in Wreck" Levesque wrote a column about how team chemistry will put the Mariners over the top this year. Except he didn't. That's how it starts, and then it meanders like the river Styx, bisecting cities and laying siege to farms, undercutting its own point a few times along the way. ("Chemistry will put them over the top ... unless it doesn't! And they still need a bat! But you should be optimistic!")
As a baseball columnist, Levesque makes a great TV critic.
That's my outburst. And from there, I say goodbye to this style of blogging for a while. The season's about to begin, the sun is shining, and I'd rather create than destroy.
So let me wash the bad taste out of my mouth with a couple of compliments:
Mike, I don't think you're a reactionary. And I'm not just saying that so you won't have me killed after the revolution. The P-I blog is great.
Update: after reading David Andriesen's latest notebook all the way to the very bottom, I see that "it is not known" if the Mariners are after Bradley. I feel better now. Really.
posted by Jefflink 6:32 AM 
In that first link, Ken Rosenthal lists virtually every team in baseball and catalogues their interest or lack thereof. To wit:
The White Sox could use him as an upgrade over Aaron Rowand in center, and the Mets, Giants, Expos, Rangers and Royals are also among the teams that logically could have interest. But the Tigers, Padres and Cardinals aren't interested. The Red Sox and Yankees can never be ruled out when a talented player becomes available, but both teams probably lack the prospects necessary to complete a deal.
One team seems conspicuously absent.
David Cameron notes that the M's inquired about Milt's availability last summer. There's been one major change in the organization since then, of course.
If the team doesn't ask about him this time, I think we can isolate the reason, and it rhymes with "Will from Lacey."
posted by Jefflink 7:54 PM 
Time to play the game: I've been following this Milton Bradley blowup with interest, and couldn't agree with USSMariner and Sodo Oh No more. Bradley's 25, inexpensive, can mash and is a legitimate (excellent) defensive center fielder. It's perfect.
Latest word: Mark Shapiro has discussed a deal with eight teams, and "four or five are legitimate and serious." It seems they're intent on meeting this Sunday night deadline.
Hopefully, your Seattle Mariners are in the mix.
More Jeff-promotion: New hiking article, about Canyon Lake Creek Community Forest near Bellingham.
If Spiezio lands on the disabled list, Willie Bloomquist is the likely candidate to replace him at third.
Keep in mind also that Spiezio is relatively young and healthy as the Mariners go. This is just a warning light that heralds major trouble ahead if one of our more brittle players, like Edgar, goes down -- he'd be replaced by the Bloomquistian Quinton McCracken.
A couple of other nits I'd like to pick from this answer ...
Quinton McCracken is a good defensive outfielder who can play any of the three spots, something the Mariners haven't had for a while.
No one really thinks Quinton McCracken is a good defensive outfielder. He can play any of the three outfield spots like I can sing "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" -- technically it's possible, but it'd be ugly. And the Mariners had a guy named Jose Cruz Jr. not too long ago who meets those qualifications, and they could have had him again this year for less money than they paid Raul Ibanez.
Dave Hansen is one of the game's best pinch-hitters.
But there's no one there for him to pinch-hit for. Any Mariner starter is either a) lefthanded like Hansen, or b) so much better than Hansen that you wouldn't make the switch, or c) both.
If a tough lefty comes in, is Hansen going to hit for Ichiro, Olerud or even Ibanez? Certainly not. If a tough righty comes in, is he going to hit for Boone, Edgar or Aurilia? Nope.
Winn and Spiezio are switch-hitters, and since Spiezio (like Hansen) struggles against lefties, the only player I can honestly think of that Hansen could hit for is Dan Wilson.
The P-I this morning covers Bill Bavasi and the sabermetric/blogosphere response to him. Dave Andriessen's piece, which David Cameron has already done a good job deconstructing, is positively brutal.
I was a little more disappointed, though, in the normally reliable Art Thiel. Art says Bavasi takes a "balanced approach," since "most of the recent A's stars -- Tim Hudson, Barry Zito, Mark Mulder, Jason Giambi, Miguel Tejada, Eric Chavez -- were acquired before Beane's arrival, using traditional methods."
Which is the opposite of true. That is to say, it's false.
As Rob Neyer wrote last week, Beane had more than a small role in acquiring the Big Three.
Beane was the A's assistant general manager in 1997, when Hudson was drafted, and he was general manager in 1998 and 1999 when Mulder and Zito were drafted. Are Beane's detractors living in some bizarre alternate baseball universe where GM's aren't held accountable -- or in this case, credited -- for who's drafted? Are GM's not to be held accountable for employing the pitching coaches who nurture the young pitchers? Are GM's not to be held accountable for establishing workload limits for the young pitchers?
Thiel, who I admire a lot, is usually much more careful than this with the facts. I left him a voicemail about this, so we'll see if there's a correction.
And so it begins: Is there really any better way to start the season than a Yankees loss?
Some people complain about the season opening in Japan. I'm with Gabe: it's great for the game, a gesture of goodwill toward a country that loves baseball, and a step toward the World Cup -- which MSNBC reports could be a year away.
Another one down: Seattle released Eric Owens today. And I breathed a sigh of relief. Although frankly, I don't have strong feelings either way on Bloomquist, Santiago or Bocachica as the 25th man, either.
Birthday presents: For all you Japanese baseball fans out there, YakyuShop has really cool stuff. Me, I want one of those Orix Blue Wave home jerseys.
Speaking of Yakyu, I'm looking for a place to watch (hopefully free) live webcasts of Japanese games. Mainichi offers a pay package similar to MLB, but I'd like the free trial ... so if anyone knows of anyplace to see webcasts, drop me a line. Thanks.
posted by Jefflink 12:09 PM 
Monday, March 29, 2004
The teal nightmare continues: Getting people to agree about whether Ken Griffey Jr. is Seattle-bound is like getting Condoleezza Rice to tell the truth about something. It's nearly impossible, and if it happens, it's usually just a coincidence.
Case in point: The Baltimore Sun's Peter Schmuck (no offense) says that Mariner scouts around Reds camp mean a trade's a' brewin'. Plus, his trick knee is acting up. Not so, says Art Thiel, who claims Howard Lincoln's risk aversion is contrary to his desert island desire.
What about The Kid himself? Well, now he's expecting to go to the Braves, writes Jayson Stark. (It's in the sidebar.) Stark quotes a Braves official as saying "no way," and doesn't even drop the obvious waredrobe clash dealbreaker.
Jarvis watch: Apparently, the Giants are interested in bringing in Kevin Jarvis, who has managed to shave his ERA number to a gargantuan 9.22.
The idea is to replace Jason Schmidt, who will almost surely start the year on the disabled list, and add depth to their starting pitching.
If anyone from the Giants organization is reading this, I think this is a truly fantastic idea. You should go for it even if the Mariners won't pick up any of his salary.
posted by Jefflink 12:24 PM