I’m back after a prolonged hiatus on the blog. Where was I? Well for a good portion of the time I was covering football – college, professional and recruiting. There are stretches in the baseball offseason where I do that – out of need and by choice. We just don’t have as large of staff as we used to, and well, I like covering the other sports too. It’s kind of a nice reprieve and it at times makes me appreciate covering baseball that much more.
Besides Larry was doing a pretty solid job with the scouting reports and such.
And this last week, I made my first trip to Hawaii with my family to celebrate my dad’s retirement. It was amazing. And I’m now searching for ways to go back.
But thanks to the magic of data plans for phones and free Wi-Fi, I was able to still peruse the baseball news.
A few quick notes …
I think I've mentioned this before. But I changed my Twitter handle to @RyanDivish. And yes, Larry has joined Twitter too. I have yet to see flying swine and it didn’t snow in Hawaii, but he's on there tweeting. But you can follow him at @LarryLaRue.
I will also be doing some of the scouting reports this week. We have the annual pre-spring training media gathering on Thursday morning, so expect some blog posts from that as we get to talk with Jack Zduriencik, Eric Wedge, trainer Rick Griffin, and I think Felix Hernandez
And now some random thoughts, since I never lack for opinions on most things, particularly the Mariners and baseball …
The signings of Jody Gerut and Nate Robertson were less than inspiring to some. These guys weren’t brought in to be difference makers. These are non-roster invitees. They are minimal risk, low investment guys.
Robertson does have some upside. When he has his command, he can be very effective. Will you see him give up some 450 foot homers to right-hander when he leaves a fastball up in the zone? Oh yes. But if he can find his command from a few years back, he can be a decent pitcher in Safeco, get some ground balls, keep the team in the game. Remember the Mariners rotation is far from a finished product.
You have Felix Hernandez. Then there is everyone else. Jason Vargas and Doug Fister had better than expected seasons last year. Then you have Michael Pineda – who is 22 years old and hasn’t thrown a big league pitch and will be on a strict innings limit. Then you have guys like Luke French and David Pauley. Robertson might be effective in the back of the rotation. You need to have guys like him for depth in the organization.
Wow, just looking at these names for the rotation isn’t exactly inspiring.
Gerut could spend a lot of time in Tacoma. He might have some value. But really he’s like Ryan Langerhans, but not as good defensively. Basically, he’s just added insurance and depth in case Michael Saunders falters.
Milton Bradley was arrested and booked on suspicion of making criminal threats. He posted bail of $50,000. Look, I believe a person is innocent till proven guilty when it comes to crimes. We don’t have all the details. So I’m not going analyze what he did or didn’t do.
But in the court of public opinion, Bradley is already guilty. Right or wrong, his past outbursts and problems make him seem guilty in the eyes of many fans.
I didn’t think it was good for him to come back this season. I think it’s even worse now.
You have to let him go, even it means eating the salary. Maybe a fresh start for everyone involved would be the best. To be fair, the times I’ve dealt with Milton he’s been forthright, interesting and even charming. But this is something the Mariners probably would be wise to walk away from.
The Angels’ trade for Vernon Wells? Well, I just don’t get it. You know I didn’t completely get “Hamlet” or “The Sound and Fury” the first time I read them. But when I went back and really read them again, they made a little more sense. I’ve looked at the parameters for this trade numerous times, read people’s analysis and to quote Josh Baskin from the movie “Big”: “I still don’t get it.”
It seems like desperation and the money they’ve taken on seems crippling. Look at the Mariners and how bad they were hamstrung this season by contracts.
But I don’t look at the Angels success based on this trade. Wells might help them. If they are going to be a decent team in this division, Kendry Morales will have to be the player he was before this happened. …