Wednesday, July 14, 2004

Dan "the Man"

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/baseball/181899_msmidseason13.html

Shane O'Neill writes in Tuesday's PI about Dan Wilson:

* The best catcher to never win a gold glove
* Wilson continues to be a major assett behind the plate
* He still blocks balls in the dirt and tracks foul pops as well as any receiver in the game
* He's hit the ball with authority from left-center to right field and gotten some big hits.

Shane O'Neill writes about Miguel Olivo

* He doesn't have Wilson's experience or feel for working with pitchers or calling games.

* If Olivo continues to develop and learns from the heady Wilson, he can be a fixture behind the plate for several years.

My thoughts:

* The reason Dan Wilson has never won a gold glove is because he is not respected outside of Seattle. There is a reason for that. He is not all that good. This city has love affairs for certain athletes which clouds its vision on the value of that athlete to the team. Dan Wison is a $3.5 million dollars anchor on this team.

* There is an allusion that Dan Wilson calls a great ball game. Where is the evidence for this? Historically, Seattle pitchers have pitched no better with Wilson in the game than any other catcher. Also, you don't generally hear about free agent pitchers lining up to sign with the Mariners in the offseason knowing that the "do-nothing-wrong" catcher is instantly going to shave 1/2 a run off their ERA.

* After getting off to a fairly good start in April, Dan Wilson is ranked 18th in OPS
for catchers with at least 70ABs. 18th! There are only 14 teams. He slugged .250 in June and .278 so far this month. He hits the ball with authority?

* Olivo may be young and have less years than the "heady" Dan Wilson, but there is nothing proving that he is not already a better defensive player and pitch selector than his "protege". We do know that Olivo threw out 36% of basestealers against him last year which is something Dan Wilson has only come close to matching once in the last six years.

* To suggest that Olivo needs Wilson to "develop" and "learn from" in order to become a fixture behind home plate for the M's might be the most absurd statement of the bunch. Olivo will either develop on his own or he won't. To waste $3.5 million dollars and a roster spot on a mentor for Olivo as opposed to picking up a decent back up catcher is insane.

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