Sunday, July 25, 2004

Sunday funnies

While perusing the Sunday papers this morning, I ran across the following tidbit in the Akron-Beacon Journal:

ANY MINUTE? -- An American League source believes that Kansas City first baseman/DH Mark Sweeney is on the verge of being traded to the Mariners for Gil Meche and one or two minor-leaguers.
What are some of the facts that we already know:

1)  Sweeney is owed (at least) $11 M per season for 2005, 2006 and 2007.
2)  Sweeney will be 32 years old next year.
3)  Sweeney has a history of back problems limiting him to 126 games in 2002 and 108 games in 2003.  He has already missed 10 games this year.
4)  Sweeney's back problems limits his ability to play 1B full time making him a 1B/DH when/if healthy.
5)  Sweeney is unhappy in the DH role.
6)  After posting OPS numbers of 916 and 980 in 2001 and 2002 he has declined to an 858 OPS each of the last two years.

If this is even being considered, what can Bavesi be thinking?  Acquring another over-priced declining player on the wrong side of 30 is the last thing we should be thinking about.  Add another one of these players to the list of Spiezio, Ibanez,  Cirillo, Aurilia.  The front office simply isn't learning from their mistakes. 

Also, why does this deal take several minor leaguers to complete?  Baird would love to get out of Sweeney's contract! 

What's the next rumor?  Giambi to the Mariners for Gil Meche?  Maybe Meche to the Indians for Vizquel?  How about Meche to the Mets for Mo Vaughn?

New paper -  The LA Times (you need a subscription, but it's free)

After Scott Spiezio rejected the Angels' offer of a bench job, the Seattle Mariners signed him as a starting infielder, for three years and $9 million. Although Spiezio entered Friday's game hitting .211, Seattle General Manager Bill Bavasi would not say he made a poor investment."You can't say that yet. It's a three-year deal," Bavasi said.Bavasi said Spiezio would be Seattle's first baseman next season. In this last-place season, the Mariners have cut shortstop Rich Aurilia and first baseman John Olerud, and second baseman Bret Boone and designated hitter Edgar Martinez were hitting below .250 before Friday's game. "We've had failures in other spots that were supposed to be more productive," Bavasi said. "He was brought here to be an everyday player, not to carry the club. Guys like him and [Raul] Ibanez have been trying to carry the club when they're not supposed to."

Let's read between the lines a little here:

1)  Spiezio is not a very good player, because he has taken it upon himself to carry the club when others around him who have supposed to have carried the club such as Boone, Edgar, Olerud, Aurilia have failed.

2)  Spiezio will be 32 next year and has a lifetime OPS of 750.  This is our idea of the numbers we are looking for from our first baseman of the future.  Let's forget about the fact that a 750 OPS from our first baseman would rank just above John Olerud.  This is our idea of a sound three year investment.

or possibly:

3)  Here we have a solid corner infielder who has failed this year because he has tried to do too much.  The Angels could use a 3B for the stretch run and Speizio is practically a folk hero (how can these things be only $20) in Anaheim.  Let's throw a bone to the LA Times and see if we can't unload a bad contract for say....Ramon Ortiz?  Nah...too good to be true.



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