This is their year baby! Last year they put up the regular season win mark, but now the pressure is off somewhat. They added a good bat with Cirillo and another possible good cheap pickup with Sierra. They also got a vetran 5th man in Baldwin, PLUS added more bullpen depth with Hasagawa. Factor in the return of Edgar, Ichiro, Cameron, and Boone. Plus a man who still hasn't reached his potential in Freddy Garcia. The *crafty* vetrans Moyer and Abbott. Plus the bullpen and you have yourself the 2002 World Champion your Seattle Mariners!
The pitching staff is pretty scary, but i don't know about the lineup, if you think Boone and Cameron are going to do as well as last year then you're kidding yourself, Ichiro might be good again but Edgar and Olerud are just another year older. With the new schedule how it is and the Mariners playing more games against the West than anyone else they should have a pretty easy schedule. Really no one who can challenge in the Central either, but they'll lose to the Yankees, again.
HA! HA! HA! You got Baldwin now in Seattle?! Oooooh boy will you enjoy him. Just let us here in Chicago know if he does the "8-2 start follwed by 3-14 finish" or "2-11 start followed by 5-2 finish" this year. As a Sox fan, James Baldwin took more years off my life than any Sox player since Ivan Calderon. I was so happy when they traded him I wouldn't have cared if all we got was a bag of scuffed batting practice balls.
The Mariners will not win the West this year. Jamie Moyer is 53 and will breakdown eventually. Paul Abbott? AHAHHHAHHAHAHHHAHAAAAHHAA...he was a FLUKE, nothing more. James Baldwin is garbage, the Jack Armstrong of the 21st century. Bret Boone will never have a season like that again. Edgar is due to breakdown as well.
Oakland still has the Big 3 plus another year's experience. Sure they lost Giambi but Beane is the smartest GM in baseball and if he's in love with Pena so am I. They upgraded from Izzy to Billy Koch and losing Damon isn't that big bc he did shit for them anyway. Plus Justice always has a monster first year with any new team and their farm team is stacked.
The real sleeper team is the Angels. Their pitching is really good now with Sele and Appier on top of their kids. If Salmon and Ernstad bounce back and Glaus continues to kick ass they can do some damage. Remember they were in the wild card hunt with virtualy nothing till the beginning of September.
Originally posted by spf2119HA! HA! HA! You got Baldwin now in Seattle?! Oooooh boy will you enjoy him. Just let us here in Chicago know if he does the "8-2 start follwed by 3-14 finish" or "2-11 start followed by 5-2 finish" this year. As a Sox fan, James Baldwin took more years off my life than any Sox player since Ivan Calderon. I was so happy when they traded him I wouldn't have cared if all we got was a bag of scuffed batting practice balls.
spf2119 is right as usual. The talk on JB was always, well he had a great 2nd half last year, so maybe he'll be good this year. Never quite worked out that way. My favorite was when the Sox would come back from a 3 run deficit or something to tie it up, and JB would go out and give up a leadoff homer the next inning. Always killed me. Seattle, you can have him.
-The Big Kat "It's not that I'm lazy, it's that I just don't care." -Peter Gibbons, Office Space
You guys are forgetting something here Baldwin, Moyer and Abbott only have to go 6 or 7 innings because Seattle has the deepest bullpen in all of baseball.
As for the offense, well there are definetly some question marks. Boone won't match those numbers he put up last year, but Cirillo is a huge upgrade over David Bell. There is no reason that Cameron won't match the numbers of last year. Edgar and Olerud are a year older, but still don't show signs of falling off the map. If Seirra can have another good year he will easily outproduce the left field postion last year and if he doesn't the M's aren't on the hook for much. I would have liked one more big bat, but the M's play in a pitcher's park and Lou likes to play National League or small baseball, and the M's are built exactly for that.
It's kind of tough to get too excited yet after losing to the Yankees last year. The M's addressed some of their playoff weaknesses in letting Sele go and adding Sierra and Cirillo to boost the offense, but the Yankees are much better as well so we'll all be holiding our breath once the ALCS rolls around. It's all about the playoffs this year.
RE: James Baldwin -- He pitched Game 3 of the ALDS against Seattle in 2000 and only gave up one run. That makes him a better postseason pitcher already than Sele. Good move for M's.
RE: Paul Abbott -- He *is* an average pitcher who got great run support to end up 17-4 last year. If he goes .500 the M's only win 109 games last year, so big deal what Abbott does. I think he'll start until arounnd the All-Star beeak and then they will put Joel Piniero in the rotation. The seem paranoid about Piniero building up too many innings to have him start all year.
JayJay is right, he did pull a clutch performance in that game. Which is the thing about Baldwin which will drive you nuts. He will have days where he looks like he could duel Pedro or Roger and take them down. But then he will string together 5 straight games where it looks like he'd be better putting the ball in his ass and farting it towards home plate. Oh well...soon enough you too shall feel the pain of Baldwin. Though with the Mariners luck at getting Sox castoffs he'll probably win 20 this year, just like All-Star Mike Cameron picked up his game.
No, I didn't forget, cfgb... I just didn't pay attention. My last real memories of baseball were watching the Twins/Braves World series (Kirby Puckett is my Hero!) and the Braves/Jays then there was the strike (94?) and then the kid who caught the ball and made it a home run. Baseball was just never fun to me. However, this last series has made me reconsider, and I'm looking forward to catching a few games and actually trying to enjoy it again.
-Jaguar For those of you who keep track, I've lived in four states: Arizona, Wyoming, Minnesota, and North Carolina. So I root for teams from all four of those states (I root for Colorado teams because Wyoming has no professional sports teams).
On the surface, it looks like a straight money dump for the Astros. Tim Purpura (Astros Assistant GM) was on Baseball Prospectus Chat the other day and he alluded to the fact that he thought Wagner was not worth what they were paying him.