I'm trying to take advantage of paying for the wi-fi for my two flights so here are a few links to peruse as well.
Seattle PI columnist and ESPN 710 Jim Moore writes a column with this premise: Is Chone Figgins the most disliked Mariner of all time?
It's an interesting question. Obviously covering the team, you have your preferences of who you like and dislike to deal with. But it's different from a fan's perspective. I will say that judging from my emails, seeing facebook comments and also seeing the number of tweets, Figgins is not well liked by fans. It's one thing to underperform to an expensive contract, but the other issues - the pouting, the confrontation with Don Wakamatsu last year, the "dumb question" comments and other things seemed to have irritate M's fans more and more.
Moore does a good job of breaking down the candidates.
That being said, I didn't think it was possible for anyone to knock off Bobby Ayala or Scott Spiezio or Carlos Silva on the most disliked list.
What do you think?
Let's go from a guy that's disliked to a guy that's impossible not to like. I covered Jeff Clement for more than three seasons with the Mariners organization. You won't find a nicer guy in baseball. He's genuinely a good guy that you can't help but want to see succeed. Unfortunately, he hasn't. I thought for certain he was going to hit in 2008 and 2009, and he just couldn't get sustained success at the big league level. Yes, the injuries were an issue. But I think his confidence took a hit.
Anyway, Jon Paul Morosi of Foxsports.com caught up with Clement, who is rehabbing microfracture surgery on his knee.
“I don’t spend time thinking, what-if this? What-if that?” Clement said over the phone from Bradenton, Fla., where he’s locked into a rehab/cardio program seven days a week. “I’ve moved forward. Everything happened the way it did. I’m where I’m at today, looking ahead to the future.
Clement was part of the vaunted 2005 draft class that we've discussed on here. Not only does Morosi talk with Clement, but he talks with former GM Bill Bavasi, who had planned to take Troy Tulowitzki with the No.3 pick, but then changed his mind the night before the draft because he had his shortstop of the future - Yuniesky Betancourt.
“Catching being what it is, we gambled,” Bill Bavasi, then the Mariners’ general manager, recalled over the weekend. “Thought if we hit on a left-handed-hitting catcher with power, we’d really have something.”
We can look at the what-if's, but regardless of what Bavasi says, he did make decisions based on the idea that Yuni and Jose Lopez were locked in as their middle infield for the long term, giving them extensions and never holding them accountable making them compete for their jobs. And that was a horrible miscalculation.
TNT columnist John McGrath took in the game with me yesterday. And he wrote this column about bunting. And that the Mariners need to stop doing it so much and cherish the 27 outs they get in a game.
I saw something else Sunday. I saw a team that had so little confidence in its potential to put together a rally against a high-quality pitcher that it surrendered.
A bunt – especially a leadoff bunt attempted by a No. 3 hitter – is a kind of surrender, a public acknowledgement that a legitimate swing will translate into an unfavorable result.