Monday, May 17, 2004

Renewed Optimism 

Okay - the tough part of the season is over, and we came through it in the most pathetic fashion one can imagine. 13 and freakin 24. Shutout 4 times. Bullpen blew 5 games. Amazingly 5-1 in extra inning games. Only four hitters with slugging percentage over .400 (Ibanez, Spiezio, Boone, Wilson). The M's are miserable, our fans are miserable, and I am miserable.

However, I for one am NOT ready to throw in the towel on this season. It is too early to trade Garcia for prospects (but it is never to early to trade him straight up for Carlos Beltran). Please don't ever trade Freddy for Damon and Kim. Don't we have enough singles hitting outfielders and enigmatic relievers on one team?

Over the next month, we face a mishmash of teams that we can beat, with 3 games each against Baltimore, Boston, Chicago, Cleveland, Detroit, Houston, Milwaukee, Montreal, Pittsburgh, Toronto. I think that we could win 20 of 30 against this competition and be back at .500 heading into playing 7 of 10 against the Rangers to end June.

Why the optimism? Well, its my job, for one. But in losing 5 of 6 on this last road trip, we managed to outhit our opponent in EVERY game, usually by a wide margin. And before you fire off the "you're an idiot emails and comments," I understand that we are hitting singles where our opponents are getting homers. But we are also getting some ridiculously bad luck. And that has to turn.

Can we find a way to improve on the offense provided by Randy Winn, John Olerud and Rich Aurilia? The team needs a shakeup. Lets be adventurous! Give Jose Lopez a taste of the bigs and send Aurilia to the bench for two weeks. A callup for Bucky Jacobsen who is hitting .306/.405/.583 in Tacoma. Bring in Hiram Bocachica and his .500 slugging percentage and 9-10 stolen bases. Move Ichiro to centerfield already! Bring up Wiki Gonzalez for Pat Borders. Trade Freddy and a prospect for Beltran! Bring in George Sherrill and say goodbye to Mike Myers. Bring up Bobby Madritsch and send Gil Meche to a setup role. This team has decent options that we should be exploring. Ramon Santiago was the WORST possible choice to bring up.

Before we trade anyone for prospects, we should see what our own prospects are capable of! If we are still ten games below .500 entering July, then its time to sell. The buyers will still be there.

Even if its too late to get this team into the playoffs, its NOT too late to turn around the malaise around this team. What better way to keep tickets selling than to get the Bucky Backers and Boca Chiquitas going strong!

A day off today, and 30 days to win 20 games starts tomorrow.

Today's picks:
White Sox(Diaz) +120 over Indians (Lee)
Phillies(Wolf) -155 over Rockies (Cook)

Money to date: $-504 (picking dog/favorite = +867/-1371, 26-31, 19-20) - Meche costs me $100, but upsets by Mets and Expos gain me $335

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