This baseball season is dragging. We cannot get out of our own way. Most games, if they only went 5 innings, we would be unstoppable. However, last time I checked, there are at least 9 innings per game. It is also a guarantee that when we load the bases, no one will score, regardless of how many outs.
Are there any bright spots? Not really. We have a couple of “4 or 5” starters that are leading our team in ERA. David Pauley is 0-2 but with only a 2.40 ERA. Jason Vargas is 6-4 in 18 appearances with a ERA of 2.97. A bit on more on Vargas, he had one horrible game against Detroit on July 3rd (4.1 IP and 6 ER). If you remove that one game, his ERA is lowered to 2.75 which would put him second in the AL behind….Cliff Lee. Keeping that bad game in there, he is 7th in AL with Felix at #5 with a 2.88 ERA and Doug Fister 17th with a 3.56 ERA. However, the combined record of these 3 “top 20” pitchers is 16-16. Way to provide run support! If Felix and/or Vargas had any run support in the 28 games, they would have to be in the conversation for Cy Young.
Do we need to spend more money to bring in more talent? Here is how the playoff years compare to the Jack Z years:
|Year||Payroll||Rank for Year|
Not much difference in terms of our overall ranking. Obviously the game has change a bit over the last 15 years as the lowest salary in 2019 is the Pittsburgh Pirates with a salary of 34,943,000. Almost an exact match for what would have been the 11th highest paid team in 1995. But no, I do not think we need to spend more. We need to be smarter shoppers, which is an element that makes Jack Z so appealing.
As most of you know, I had high hopes for this year. Sure, we were missing a big bat, but other teams around the league have had success with small ball. As obvious as this prediction may seem, Don Wak will be gone at season’s end. I am sure there will be a campaign to bring Lou back, which I will not support.
Team leadership and cohesiveness seem to be large holes within this organization. Jack Z is allowed at least 4 perhaps as much as 6 years to work on this team before his job is in jeopardy. We need a strong leader in the clubhouse as well as on the field. Before long Ichiro is going to ask to be traded and the one piece that fans actually do go the Safeco Field to see, will be missing.