BY Art Thiel 06:05PM 01/26/2012

Thiel: Good news is M's saved $214M on DH

Ichiro is back but won’t lead off, Figgins is back, everywhere but nowhere, and the young guys are one year older. Oh, and Jesus came to the Mariners. Amen, or ahem?

Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik issued another plea for patience to Mariners fans for 2012. / Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest

While it seems as if the Mariners did next to nothing this off-season to fix a team that lost 95 games, that’s not the way to look at it.

They saved $214 million by not signing free agent Prince Fielder.

When is the last time you saved $214 million?

That sort of rationalization is how one keeps a chin up when coming to work each day as a Mariners employee. Comparing for comfort purposes the franchise to a goofier one began when Alex Rodriguez was given in 2000 $252 million by the Texas Rangers. Wouldn’t be prudent, the Mariners said then. They were right.

But the counter-argument is that this isn’t the Cub Scouts, it’s major league baseball, where imprudence, foolishness and recklessness are coins of the realm.

The Detroit Tigers carried on the tradition this week when they won the Fielder sweepstakes by paying a sum over nine years that even the most cynical Mariners follower would have agreed was stupid.

In a way, it lets the Mariners off the hook. A good club certainly made itself better in the short term — as long as no batted ball comes near chunky new third baseman Miguel Cabrera, supplanted from first base by Fielder’s arrival — but burdened itself financially the way the Rangers did with Rodriguez, eventually going into bankruptcy (that wasn’t all the contract’s fault, but we can’t blame the recession for everything).

The Tigers won’t go bankrupt – the owner made his fortune with Lil Caesar’s pizza, food that will outlast cockroaches and nuclear winter — but they will eventually be sorry.

The Mariners, meanwhile, won’t go bankrupt — at least, not as long as God keeps making bobbleheads. They will do what they have been doing: Keep building the foundation, climbing the ladder, knowing the challenge, recognizing how hard it is to win a major league baseball game . . .

OK, I’ll stop. You’ve heard this before from the Mariners.

Except they said it again Thursday at the annual pre-spring training luncheon. But as media types began nodding off at the sound of the annual lullaby, general manager Jack Zduriencik caused a few eyelids to flutter.

“You can’t ignore what Texas and Anaheim did,” he said. “They were ahead of us already.”

There it is, friends — a blurt of honesty, even if it were already obvious to the lowest invertebrates. Even the boss acknowledges it’s a two-team race with Oakland for third in the American League West. The Rangers and Angels have lapped the field even before the first dugout expectoration of tobacco juice.

The Mariners were never a serious player for Fielder. Although Zduriencik, slyly, offered unasked the news that Fielder’s agent, Scott Boras, sent him a thank-you via text. For what exactly? A sandwich at the winter meetings?

If the Mariners added anything to the fire built around Fielder, it was kindling, not logs. The franchise had no serious intention of surrendering its most replaceable asset, cash, to fix the team. The owners instead approved giving up their most valuable treasure, young pitching, for someone else’s treasure, young hitting.

That’s not how a race is won. It is a way to stay afloat, although they’ve already swallowed a lot of salt water.

Instead, the Mariners in 2012 are moving around some familiar staples. Manager Eric Wedge said he’s “leaning in the direction” of moving Ichiro down the lineup from his traditional position at leadoff, where he started 1,720 of his 1,733 major league games. Wedge said he plans to use Chone Figgins at second base, shortstop, third base and outfield, despite the fact that in the last two years he has not shown the ability to do so well, nor hit.

What Wedge is forced to do with two aging, untradable, fading veterans who, at a combined $27 million, occupy more than a quarter of the payroll, is to hide them in plain sight.

Without saying so, I think that’s what Zduriencik meant when he offered another bit of candor, in an almost pleading tone: “I don’t have a magic wand . . .there’s no easy, quick way to fix what ails this franchise.”

After winning 95 games, the Tigers really don’t need fixing. They just want to win. They upgraded a position whose occupant finished fifth in the American League Most Valuable Player voting after hitting .344/.448/.586 with 30 home runs and 105 RBI. Cabrera’s batting average and on base percentage were good enough to lead the American League in 2011. In 2010, he led the league in RBI with 126.

It’s what the Angels did in signing Albert Pujols to a $240 million deal. It’s what the Rangers, two-time AL champions, did in spending $100 million to acquire Japanese pitcher Yu Darvish.

It’s what the Mariners did with Montero, except it cost them stud young pitcher Michael Pineda.

Given the state of its young pitching, the franchise will work through the loss of Pineda. But enormous pressure has just been laid upon the young shoulders of Montero, by none other than Wedge himself.

“I’ll stick my neck out a little bit — this is the year we take a significant step forward offensively,” said Wedge, chin out. “That’s how much faith I have in our kids and our foundation.”

Good for Wedge to be bold. Bad for Wedge if he’s wrong.

Absent a productive veteran bat, Wedge is counting on a lot of young guys — the Mariners played 18 rookies last year, surprising even Zduriencik — having breakthroughs at once. The foundation will suddenly have to become the living room, kitchen and bath, despite have older furnishings (Ichiro, Figgins) that no longer fit.

Not impossible, but it is asking a lot. Better to have had in the off-season some other veterans — the owners, now in their 20th year of franchise stewardship — step up.

Instead, for 2012 ownership has won another Cub Scout badge for saving money in an industry that spends like the Pentagon.

The principle is sound. It makes no difference to the irrational, who pay most of the bills.


YourThoughts

  • Bert

    It has not always been so. If memory serves, back in’98 (or thereabouts) this same ownership offered both Griffey and A-Rod huge long-term deals – 10 years at $12 million per year, am I right? Neither one bit.
    Would Fielder put the M’s in contention? I have serious doubts, at least in the short term, and given his girth, there may be no long-term. Should they have signed him just to demonstrate that they are serious (Whatever that means)? Serious about what?
    In any case, just a couple weeks ago you were making the case that no big-time hitter would ever sign to play at Safeco – in which case your complaints about ownership not doing enough seem rather dubious.

    • Artthiel

      Ownership did not want to pay him, and Fielder did not want to be here anyway. That’s why they desperately wanted Montero. 

  • Bert

    It has not always been so. If memory serves, back in’98 (or thereabouts) this same ownership offered both Griffey and A-Rod huge long-term deals – 10 years at $12 million per year, am I right? Neither one bit.
    Would Fielder put the M’s in contention? I have serious doubts, at least in the short term, and given his girth, there may be no long-term. Should they have signed him just to demonstrate that they are serious (Whatever that means)? Serious about what?
    In any case, just a couple weeks ago you were making the case that no big-time hitter would ever sign to play at Safeco – in which case your complaints about ownership not doing enough seem rather dubious.

    • Artthiel

      Ownership did not want to pay him, and Fielder did not want to be here anyway. That’s why they desperately wanted Montero. 

  • mr bailey

    Not only did the M’s save millions, They helped me to save hundreds of dollars. Money I won’t spend going to their games. Professional sports are entertainment. I have not been entertained at an M’s game for several years. I quit going.

    • Artthiel

      Fans need to exercise the wallet option. Biggest weapon.

  • mr bailey

    Not only did the M’s save millions, They helped me to save hundreds of dollars. Money I won’t spend going to their games. Professional sports are entertainment. I have not been entertained at an M’s game for several years. I quit going.

    • Artthiel

      Fans need to exercise the wallet option. Biggest weapon.

  • Super Charge

    Bert, like a lot of fans you miss the point.  It’s not even directly about Fielder, it’s about the philosophy of the Mariners. Okay, so we didn’t sign Fielder, but why not some of the earlier hitting available this season?  Fielder was an intentional distraction, on that worked out well for the Mariners.  A lot of fans are expressing relief at not signing Fielder and missing that we should have picked up another bat or two.
    And so what if we are building with youth?  What happens when that youth gets good and more expensive?  We end up trading them or not re-signing them.  Thus you continue the merry-go-round of building for the future.  If we’re lucky, enough of the young talent hits all at once and gets us to the playoffs for a year, maybe two, where we’re shown the door by teams that not only have young talent, but supplement it with offseason signings.  And that of course all bets on the big assumption that our youth is good.  Some certainly are, but enough to build a credible offense?  That’s a mighty big wager. 
    We’re supposed to believe in that wager, and that with signs of improvement the Mariners will add pieces to complete a contender.  Given the past decade color me dubious.  “Bare minimum” appears to be the team policy, which is to say do the bare minimum to be “competitive”, as in playing 500 ball.  Plenty of fans look to be happy with that, I mean, that’s “improvement”.  The rest of us, who want to win World Series are left jaded, knowing that the peak for a team like that is to have a few short playoff appearances before the window is shut yet again. 

    • Bert

      Supercharge, I never said anything about other potential signings. This article was about Fielder. And Art’s earlier posts concerning free agent hitters’ lack of interest in Safeco should apply to all those second tier sluggers, too. I’m not crazy about the way the team has been run – but you can’t say, on the one hand, hitters won’t sign with the Ms, while on the other hand, complain that the team doesn’t sign hitters. If you believe the park is that much of a disincentive, then that needs to be changed. Then we can talk about the cheapskate owners.

      • Jordan

        It wasn’t Art, it was Steve Rudman who wrote the article about Safeco being a deterrent.  And the risk of changing the field is they may have built their team based around how it currently is.  You would surely make a lot of star pitchers upset if you told them it is now a hitters’ park.

        • Bert

          You’re right about Art and Steve… Should have gone back and checked.
          As for altering the field – you could aim for a neutral park. But you don’t always know what you’re gonna get. The Kingdome had such short fences with the expectation that it would play like the Astrodome; and the original Ms roster was built with that kind of team in mind. And while I’m guessing Safeco was meant to be more of a
          pitcher’s park than the ‘dome, I’ll bet nobody expected it to be a graveyard for right-handed power hitters.
          So if the park stays the same, you gotta learn to live with it. The experience with Beltre and Figgins has made me a lot less eager to sign a big name hitter. (I leave Sexton out because I was never convinced that was a good pickup.)

          • Artthiel

            Learn to live with it. Yes, Burt. Steve was right however — even though lefties numbers will fractionally be better at safeco, it’s not enough to overcome other issues, such as Seattle’s distance from the rest of baseball as well as the players homes. 

        • Artthiel

          Exactly. And while changing dimensions could help some, they can’t change the cool weather through July 4, which retards the flight of the ball significantly.

          • Anonymous

            Art, I find myself agreeing with most of what you’ve been saying in this piece and thread.  I’m afraid…very afraid…

            The truth is, Safeco Field is a pitcher’s park, where cheap home runs go to die (on the warning track).  I’m glad to see the M’s didn’t cave in and spend $200 million on Fielder because although he’s a very good hitter, he’s not the kind of player that’ll make the Mariners successful.

            I look at the teams Whitey Herzog used to put on the field in KC and St. Louis, and that’s what will win in Seattle: Pitching, defense, line-drive hitters and speed-speed-speed.  Homers are great, but that cool marine air coming in off Elliott Bay will always limit power hitters here. 

            I’m a lot more enthused about watching the M’s this year (and believe me, after 2010, I was bashing them badly) because they have finally committed to the kids and started jettisoning the deadwood.  Building from within around your own young ballplayers requires patience, which a lot of us are running out of, but the rewards can be great if the youngsters pan out.

            The future is NOT now…you still have to wait for it.  But with the commitment to guys like Ackley, Seager, Liddi, Hultzen, Walker and now Montero, I’m willing to wait for them to grow up than sit through another band-aid season with retreads.

            See you in April.

      • Artthiel

        The Mariners won’t change the park, so they have to keep investing in pitching and defense, which can work. But they need two home-grown sluggers with six years until free agency. That’s why Montero is so large in their futures.

    • Artthiel

      Super, as I pointed out, the payoff with young guys is supposed to be that they bring you close to a championship with contracts under club control. But if you keep trading them in their primes, the team treads water at best.

  • Super Charge

    Bert, like a lot of fans you miss the point.  It’s not even directly about Fielder, it’s about the philosophy of the Mariners. Okay, so we didn’t sign Fielder, but why not some of the earlier hitting available this season?  Fielder was an intentional distraction, on that worked out well for the Mariners.  A lot of fans are expressing relief at not signing Fielder and missing that we should have picked up another bat or two.
    And so what if we are building with youth?  What happens when that youth gets good and more expensive?  We end up trading them or not re-signing them.  Thus you continue the merry-go-round of building for the future.  If we’re lucky, enough of the young talent hits all at once and gets us to the playoffs for a year, maybe two, where we’re shown the door by teams that not only have young talent, but supplement it with offseason signings.  And that of course all bets on the big assumption that our youth is good.  Some certainly are, but enough to build a credible offense?  That’s a mighty big wager. 
    We’re supposed to believe in that wager, and that with signs of improvement the Mariners will add pieces to complete a contender.  Given the past decade color me dubious.  “Bare minimum” appears to be the team policy, which is to say do the bare minimum to be “competitive”, as in playing 500 ball.  Plenty of fans look to be happy with that, I mean, that’s “improvement”.  The rest of us, who want to win World Series are left jaded, knowing that the peak for a team like that is to have a few short playoff appearances before the window is shut yet again. 

    • Bert

      Supercharge, I never said anything about other potential signings. This article was about Fielder. And Art’s earlier posts concerning free agent hitters’ lack of interest in Safeco should apply to all those second tier sluggers, too. I’m not crazy about the way the team has been run – but you can’t say, on the one hand, hitters won’t sign with the Ms, while on the other hand, complain that the team doesn’t sign hitters. If you believe the park is that much of a disincentive, then that needs to be changed. Then we can talk about the cheapskate owners.

      • Jordan

        It wasn’t Art, it was Steve Rudman who wrote the article about Safeco being a deterrent.  And the risk of changing the field is they may have built their team based around how it currently is.  You would surely make a lot of star pitchers upset if you told them it is now a hitters’ park.

        • Bert

          You’re right about Art and Steve… Should have gone back and checked.
          As for altering the field – you could aim for a neutral park. But you don’t always know what you’re gonna get. The Kingdome had such short fences with the expectation that it would play like the Astrodome; and the original Ms roster was built with that kind of team in mind. And while I’m guessing Safeco was meant to be more of a
          pitcher’s park than the ‘dome, I’ll bet nobody expected it to be a graveyard for right-handed power hitters.
          So if the park stays the same, you gotta learn to live with it. The experience with Beltre and Figgins has made me a lot less eager to sign a big name hitter. (I leave Sexton out because I was never convinced that was a good pickup.)

          • Artthiel

            Learn to live with it. Yes, Burt. Steve was right however — even though lefties numbers will fractionally be better at safeco, it’s not enough to overcome other issues, such as Seattle’s distance from the rest of baseball as well as the players homes. 

        • Artthiel

          Exactly. And while changing dimensions could help some, they can’t change the cool weather through July 4, which retards the flight of the ball significantly.

          • RadioGuy

            Art, I find myself agreeing with most of what you’ve been saying in this piece and thread.  I’m afraid…very afraid…

            The truth is, Safeco Field is a pitcher’s park, where cheap home runs go to die (on the warning track).  I’m glad to see the M’s didn’t cave in and spend $200 million on Fielder because although he’s a very good hitter, he’s not the kind of player that’ll make the Mariners successful.

            I look at the teams Whitey Herzog used to put on the field in KC and St. Louis, and that’s what will win in Seattle: Pitching, defense, line-drive hitters and speed-speed-speed.  Homers are great, but that cool marine air coming in off Elliott Bay will always limit power hitters here. 

            I’m a lot more enthused about watching the M’s this year (and believe me, after 2010, I was bashing them badly) because they have finally committed to the kids and started jettisoning the deadwood.  Building from within around your own young ballplayers requires patience, which a lot of us are running out of, but the rewards can be great if the youngsters pan out.

            The future is NOT now…you still have to wait for it.  But with the commitment to guys like Ackley, Seager, Liddi, Hultzen, Walker and now Montero, I’m willing to wait for them to grow up than sit through another band-aid season with retreads.

            See you in April.

      • Artthiel

        The Mariners won’t change the park, so they have to keep investing in pitching and defense, which can work. But they need two home-grown sluggers with six years until free agency. That’s why Montero is so large in their futures.

    • Artthiel

      Super, as I pointed out, the payoff with young guys is supposed to be that they bring you close to a championship with contracts under club control. But if you keep trading them in their primes, the team treads water at best.

  • Matt712

    You will eat your garlic fries and like it. The next closest MLB team is over a thousand miles away. And while you might be free to root for anyone in the league, you’ll have to tighten your sphincter at your cable bill even more to see ‘em on a regular basis. Know where I’m going yet? It’s all about TV contracts folks. That is where the dough comes from. And that dough is only going to keep rising. You know why? Ever try ‘Tevo’ a game to watch it later? Yeah, me neither. …Don’t expect the M’s to do anything extraordinary, money-wise, until 2015 when they opt out of their current TV contract. In the mean time, head down to the ballpark on a breezy NW evening, watch some nice kids boot some balls around and whiff at some others, have a beer or two to go with those fries, and maybe even take home your very own Bobblehead. C’mon… Ya know ya wanna.

    • Artthiel

      Good points, Matt. But did you think about the possibility of consumer backlash against higher cable fees for sports might just put an end to ever increasing TV revs? It may be that the Rangers and Angels TV deals caught the last train that’s leaving the station. Think of it a bit like the housing bubble — everyone thought that the increase in value of housing was virtually infinite.

  • Matt712

    You will eat your garlic fries and like it. The next closest MLB team is over a thousand miles away. And while you might be free to root for anyone in the league, you’ll have to tighten your sphincter at your cable bill even more to see ‘em on a regular basis. Know where I’m going yet? It’s all about TV contracts folks. That is where the dough comes from. And that dough is only going to keep rising. You know why? Ever try ‘Tevo’ a game to watch it later? Yeah, me neither. …Don’t expect the M’s to do anything extraordinary, money-wise, until 2015 when they opt out of their current TV contract. In the mean time, head down to the ballpark on a breezy NW evening, watch some nice kids boot some balls around and whiff at some others, have a beer or two to go with those fries, and maybe even take home your very own Bobblehead. C’mon… Ya know ya wanna.

    • Artthiel

      Good points, Matt. But did you think about the possibility of consumer backlash against higher cable fees for sports might just put an end to ever increasing TV revs? It may be that the Rangers and Angels TV deals caught the last train that’s leaving the station. Think of it a bit like the housing bubble — everyone thought that the increase in value of housing was virtually infinite.

  • Anonymous

    These salaries is why I watch the games on TV, if at all. I don’t begrudge the players, but talk about a system out of whack!
    Also, until Armstrong and Lincoln are gone, the 2 common threads in the Mariner Mess, I won’t be attending any games.

    • Artthiel

      Last year’s attendance figures suggest you are part of a growing crowd outside the building.

  • 1coolguy

    These salaries is why I watch the games on TV, if at all. I don’t begrudge the players, but talk about a system out of whack!
    Also, until Armstrong and Lincoln are gone, the 2 common threads in the Mariner Mess, I won’t be attending any games.

    • Artthiel

      Last year’s attendance figures suggest you are part of a growing crowd outside the building.

  • One174

    When a guy like Figgins consistently hits .200 why not let him rot on the bench? I suppose someone with real baseball knowledge will just shake his head at my ignorance and give me some baseball wisdom to explain why, but I just don’t get it. So what if he has a big salary? So what if they can’t get rid of him? Why play him game after game when some kid is waiting in the wings? Why send a guy up to the plate with a bat in his hands when they KNOW he is not going to hit? It is a model that would not work in any other business.

    • Bert

      You are mistaken. You confuse ‘winning’ with economic success. Let me just remind you that George Argyros ran a profitable team while losing 95 to100 games per year.

      • Artthiel

        True enough about Argyros. Now that the bloom is fully off Safeco as the sole reason to attend, the revenue slump mandates success, just when success has reached a higher level in the AL West. Mariners are counting on all kids delivering at once in 2012. Tall order.

      • Artthiel

        True enough about Argyros. Now that the bloom is fully off Safeco as the sole reason to attend, the revenue slump mandates success, just when success has reached a higher level in the AL West. Mariners are counting on all kids delivering at once in 2012. Tall order.

    • Artthiel

      They have to play him some early to see if he has value to the Mariners or another club. If he can’t play, they probably will cut him, because a MLB season requires some production from all 25 roster spots. 

  • One174

    When a guy like Figgins consistently hits .200 why not let him rot on the bench? I suppose someone with real baseball knowledge will just shake his head at my ignorance and give me some baseball wisdom to explain why, but I just don’t get it. So what if he has a big salary? So what if they can’t get rid of him? Why play him game after game when some kid is waiting in the wings? Why send a guy up to the plate with a bat in his hands when they KNOW he is not going to hit? It is a model that would not work in any other business.

    • Bert

      You are mistaken. You confuse ‘winning’ with economic success. Let me just remind you that George Argyros ran a profitable team while losing 95 to100 games per year.

      • Artthiel

        True enough about Argyros. Now that the bloom is fully off Safeco as the sole reason to attend, the revenue slump mandates success, just when success has reached a higher level in the AL West. Mariners are counting on all kids delivering at once in 2012. Tall order.

      • Artthiel

        True enough about Argyros. Now that the bloom is fully off Safeco as the sole reason to attend, the revenue slump mandates success, just when success has reached a higher level in the AL West. Mariners are counting on all kids delivering at once in 2012. Tall order.

    • Artthiel

      They have to play him some early to see if he has value to the Mariners or another club. If he can’t play, they probably will cut him, because a MLB season requires some production from all 25 roster spots. 

  • Herb Huseland

    Well, I saved the ame 214 Million by not signing Fielder. Fielder remines me of a great hitter that once played for the Mariners. At the last gasp, he got so fat he could whip the bat  around at warp speed like he used to. Fileder, if he puts on another 20 or so pounds will be the whale in the Detriot dugout. Plu, Fielder was never Junior.

    • Artthiel

      Quick responses, Herb: Yes, responsibility for the Mariners big decisions rests with CEO Howard Lincoln, who takes orders from Hiroshi Yamauchi, who doesn’t much understand American baseball. Zdurencik is often playing poker with a pair of treys.
      Regarding Penn State, the powers that were created a hush campaign to protect the brand, not kids.
      Regarding Fielder, he is an unusual, but great, athlete, and his career-peak time will be shorter than most stars. Dad Cecil was done at 32. 

  • Herb Huseland

    Well, I saved the ame 214 Million by not signing Fielder. Fielder remines me of a great hitter that once played for the Mariners. At the last gasp, he got so fat he could whip the bat  around at warp speed like he used to. Fileder, if he puts on another 20 or so pounds will be the whale in the Detriot dugout. Plu, Fielder was never Junior.

    • Artthiel

      Quick responses, Herb: Yes, responsibility for the Mariners big decisions rests with CEO Howard Lincoln, who takes orders from Hiroshi Yamauchi, who doesn’t much understand American baseball. Zdurencik is often playing poker with a pair of treys.
      Regarding Penn State, the powers that were created a hush campaign to protect the brand, not kids.
      Regarding Fielder, he is an unusual, but great, athlete, and his career-peak time will be shorter than most stars. Dad Cecil was done at 32. 

  • Herb Huseland

    Re a subject that has been over worked, in the speech that the Nike president, gave at a service for Joe Paterno, he revealed that the information that was passed to Joe Pa reached the athletic director, the president of the University,AND the campus police. I(f you consider that the campus police had both the powers of arrest and was much larger that the small town the schol resided in, it would appear that the blame remains at the top. 

  • Herb Huseland

    Re a subject that has been over worked, in the speech that the Nike president, gave at a service for Joe Paterno, he revealed that the information that was passed to Joe Pa reached the athletic director, the president of the University,AND the campus police. I(f you consider that the campus police had both the powers of arrest and was much larger that the small town the schol resided in, it would appear that the blame remains at the top. 

  • Herb Huseland

    Why, with Boeing, Microsoft and probably a few other billionaires in Seattle can’t we find enough money to buy the NBA team that is broke and the league is running. That could lso apply to the cash limited ownership in Japan of the mariners. I don’t blame the president of the team. It’s the Japanese owner that sets the budget. 

  • Herb Huseland

    Why, with Boeing, Microsoft and probably a few other billionaires in Seattle can’t we find enough money to buy the NBA team that is broke and the league is running. That could lso apply to the cash limited ownership in Japan of the mariners. I don’t blame the president of the team. It’s the Japanese owner that sets the budget. 

  • Jim

    Good luck to you guys, I truly hope it’s your year and you get 25-30 HRs out of Montero, and Ichiro gets back to 200+ hits. I will watch with interest from afar. I moved to DC in April last year, so I missed the 2011 season, though I did see a game on TV, with Pineda pitching, in a Gaithersburg MD brewpub with Roots sports on—that was some cognitive dissonance, for sure. Time for me to to get behind the other loser (i.e, winner) in the Princely sum sweepstakes, the Nats. Pitchers and catchers reporting in…

  • Jim

    Good luck to you guys, I truly hope it’s your year and you get 25-30 HRs out of Montero, and Ichiro gets back to 200+ hits. I will watch with interest from afar. I moved to DC in April last year, so I missed the 2011 season, though I did see a game on TV, with Pineda pitching, in a Gaithersburg MD brewpub with Roots sports on—that was some cognitive dissonance, for sure. Time for me to to get behind the other loser (i.e, winner) in the Princely sum sweepstakes, the Nats. Pitchers and catchers reporting in…

  • Matt712

    It would be a growth-stunting, short-sighted mistake for Seattle, a young team on the rise, to go after Manning (or anyone else) in the twilight his career. It just doesn’t seem like it would be a good chemical match nor the direction Schneider and Carrol are going. If the Seahawks are serious about long-term, dynasty type success, they hsould go after a younger talent that will grow with the guys around him. Both Flynn and Tevaris Jackson fit that bill, but Flynn gets the nod because in all of Jackson’s starts he has not measured up to Flynn’s mere two.   …Having said that, it would be dangerous for Seattle to see Manning go to Arizona and throw to Larry Fitzgerald… as spectacular as it would be to watch.

  • jafabian

    The Hawks are THIS far away from being a succesful playoff team.  Manning could get the team over that hump but he isn’t getting any younger.  When the Chiefs signed Nick…I mean Joe Montana they spiraled when he left after a couple years.  Flynn would be a nice long term investment and GB has been good to us before on the QB front.  Flynn could back up Tavaris for a season or two and Tavaris had a decent season. 

    I agree that Manning going to the Cardinals would be disasterous for the Seahawks.  It’s not like the NFC is a powerhouse division.  He’d make all the QB’s in the division look like Division II players.

  • RadioGuy

    Being a Packers fan, I like Matt Flynn for obvious reasons, but I think I’d like to see more than two starts in four years out of a guy before throwing millions of dollars at him.  I’ve mentioned my reservations about Peyton Manning in other posts, so I’ll leave those issues be.

    I’d like to throw out another name, a free agent quarterback who had has terrific success at the collegiate level and a fair amount of success as a pro, a guy whose physical skills are as unquestionable as the concerns about his maturity level: Vince Young.  Since we’re dealing with multiple “ifs” while discussing Flynn or Manning, let’s look at VY from that same perspective.  “If” Vince Young (who would not cost a huge amount after the year he had in Philly) came to Seattle in the right frame of mind under a coach who has witnessed up close what breathtaking talent he brings to the table, signing him could be the steal of the year…”if” he doesn’t cut it, cut him.

    There are other decent free agent QBs out there, including Kyle Orton, and it would be a huge roll of the dice with Young.  Unlike Flynn, he’s had enough NFL experience to prove he’s capable of starting and winning at this level.  Unlike Manning, there are no large questions about his physical health…the guy’s a flat-out stud.  The question is whether it’s in him to give a sustained, high-level effort over the course of a season without the sidebar issues that have continually gotten in the way.

    Depending on how much it would cost to sign him to a one-year deal (let’s face it, he doesn’t have a lot of leverage), Vince Young is intriguing.  The risk wouldn’t be as high as Flynn or Manning, but the rewards could be considerable…”if”…