Mariners Musings

Musings about, um... well, the Seattle Mariners as well as a love affair with this game baseball. By Peter J. White

Saturday, August 02, 2003

You broke my heart. You broke my heart.

"It ain't the way I wanted it! I can handle things! I'm smart! Not like everybody says... like dumb... I'm smart and I want respect!"
--Fredo Corleone, The Godfather: Part II

The time for second chances is over, Freddy. The time for "it will pass" rhetoric is over, Front Office. Thirteen months of "What's Wrong with Freddy?" is about 12 months too long. At this point, Garcia is doing more to hurt the club than any potential he might have once had to help it. He's a liability the Mariners can no longer afford in the starting rotation with 53 games left. The Mariners are already walking a fine line with their October hopes in the balance. There's no more time for the Mariners to let Freddy continually just play around on the mound and "figure it out."

Freddy, you're nothing to me now. You're not a brother, you're not a friend. I don't want to know you or what you do. I don't want to see you at the ballgame, I don't want you near the stadium. When you pitch, I want to know a day in advance, so I won't be there to have to watch. You understand?

Two turns of phrase I wish to see eradicated from the baseball vernacular:

"What's Wrong with Freddy?" That one was actually old last September. Yet it's the P-I's headline for yesterday's game. You really want to know? I'll call it Lima Disease, after another promising Houston head case. At age 26, Jose Lima looked like a Cy Young candidate, 21-10, 3.59 ERA. At age 27, Lima's ERA skyrocketed to 6.65. His walk rate doubled from 1.61 to 3.12 every 9 innings, and he went from giving up a homer once every 8 innings to once every 4 innings. This is Garcia's age 27 season. Deja vu?

"Stand Pat" In its use both as description of your favorite teams' response to the trading deadline and as a moniker for Seattle GM Pat Gillick. I'm as disappointed as anyone by the inactivity, but can we as baseball fans and writers please show a little bit of creativity in describing the phenomenon? Are there no other options available in the baseball vocabulary? Please, no more references to the GM as "Stand Pat" Gillick. Like most nicknames (certainly not all), there was a time it was clever and witty. Now it's just old and cliche.

Okay (breathe), ranting over...

Oh wait, did I mention that was Rey Sanchez batting in the 2-hole? [Peter silently drops his head and shakes it sadly.]

And lost in the Garcia rants today was Aaron Taylor's worst outing of the year: 4 runs on 5 hits and 3 walks in 2 innings. He's lucky the game had been lost in the first inning.

Far on the flip side, Julio Mateo continued his hot streak. Mateo posted a 1.50 ERA in 6 innings in June. Then in July his ERA was 1.93 in 18 innings without a single walk and 17 strikeouts. Last night he pitched 5.1 innings, allowing just a Carlos Lee home run and striking out 8.

I'm tempted to bang the drum for the "Free Rafael Soriano!" campaign, but that whole "Free [insert phenom pitcher buried in the bullpen of your favorite team]" has been done before.
|| Peter @ 8/02/2003

Friday, August 01, 2003


Today is August 1, 2003. The Mariners have just swept the Tigers at home. The Mariners boast a record of 66-42. They sit 4 games over Oakland in the AL West. The same team takes the field that did the day before.

On August 1, 2002, the Mariners had just swept the Detroit Tigers at home. The Mariners boasted a record of 66-42. They sat 5 games over Oakland and 2 games over Anaheim in the AL West. The same team took the field that had the day before. On September 29, the Mariners found themselves 10 games buried in third place. No playoffs. The only October baseball they saw was from their own couchs, just like me.

On August 1, 2000, the Mariners boasted a record of 61-44. They sat 3 games over Oakland and 5 games over Anaheim in the AL West. They had just picked up Al Martin in exchange for John Mabry and Tom Davey. On October 1, the Mariners fell to 1/2 game in second place, garnering the wild card entry to October baseball. Martin hit for a .643 OPS in 134 AB down the stretch.

[Mabry is a little bit like Bob, isn't he? --

"He's not gone! He's never gone!"
"Is this some radical new therapy?"
"You see!"

Only Mabry's not funny to watch over and over.]

But I digress... Nevertheless, the storm clouds of pessimism are boiling in the recesses of my baseball consciousness. Sending Fabulous Freddy "Hit Me" Garcia to the hill against the hottest offense in baseball does nothing for my anxiety attacks.

Hey, I'll take a series sweep everyday of the week. But this was the Tigers, what did you expect? Anything less than outscoring Detroit 28-8 and out hitting them 34-20 would have been reason enough to start pondering a little white flag. It feels very nice to clobber a team the M's should clobber in their sleep (unlike the San Diego series).

So coming off his 126-pitch complete game, Jo-El walks 6 in the first four innings. Hmm... any correlation? Don't know. But Pineiro has often struggled in the early innings this year. Jo-El went 5.1 innings with 116 pitches (53% for strikes), holding the Tigers scoreless on 4 hits and 6 walks while striking out 6. What a sec. That's the wrong game. Check this out:

April 25 vs. Detroit - 5.1 IP, 116 pitches (53% for strikes), 0 runs, 4 hits, 6 walks, 6 K.
July 31 vs. Detroit - 7 IP, 114 pitches (58% for strikes), 0 runs, 2 hits, 6 walks, 6 K.

That's 12 walks in 12+ innings to the team ranked 27th in the majors in walks. Those similarities are just eery. He did get 5 more outs on 2 fewer pitches, but was far from overwhelming in efficiency against the worst offense not in LA. But he does now have a string of 16 scoreless innings going. Looks like his next start should fall against the anemic Indians. So watch out. His 3.03 ERA now ranks 4th in the AL (behind Loiaza, Pedro and Hudson). And I don't want to hear smack about his cozy pitcher's park. His ERA in Seattle is 2.96 with an opponents' batting average of .221 with 5 homers. Everywhere else, his ERA is 3.10 and opponents are hitting .225 with 4 homers. A negligible difference.

And as good as Jo-El was this month (1.44 ERA in 6 starts, 1.08 WHIP, 17 BB, 28 K, .536 opOPS), a day's jaunt down I-5 would bring you to Timmy Hudson, who for the month of July posted an ERA of 1.35 in 6 starts with a 0.84 WHIP, 11 BB, 35 K and a .479 opOPS. Holy schniekies. It's a shame the A's could only win him 3 of those starts. That'll cost him Cy Young votes.

Now here come the White Sox, for three months the underachievers of the American League, fresh off a sweep of their rival Royals to bring them a game back of first place in the Central. They're 11-2 since the break.

For the first half of the season, the Sox scored 4.18 runs a game. As a team they hit .245/.319/.408. They allowed 4.33 runs per game. Far from October quality baseball. Since the break, however, the Pale Hose have dispatched of the kryptonite that held them down and are scoring 7.57 runs per game. They're hitting .321/.383/.586! They're still giving up 4.35 runs per game, so the pitching isn't doing anything new. Most notably, those responsible for the offensive onslaught are Magglio Ordonez (.895 OPS the 1st half/1.389 the 2nd), Paul Konerko (.586/1.068), Tony Graffanino (.748/1.299) and Carlos Lee (.756, 14 homers/1.106, 8 homers). The only hitter of the starting nine whose game has "slipped" is The Big Hurt, from .952 to .883. And in the bizarro stat department, Roberto Alomar has 17 hits, 7 walks and 0 extra base hits the second half, giving him an Alomar-in-his-prime .429 OBP, but 98-pound-weakling SLG of .354 that matches his batting average.

The M's most generous home run pitchers? Franklin 26, Freddy 21, Meche 20. And they are the threesome taking the mound this weekend against the sluggin' Sox. The good Lord be with 'em. Tonight the Mariners see Bartolo Colon, who hasn't been quite as dominant as advertised. He was pretty hittable in July (.269 BAA) but he walked just 6 with 26 strikeouts in 32 innings. Tomorrow the M's face Matt Ginter who has pitched just an inning this year and making his first major league start. Looks like a rightie fella that can't handle lefties. Maybe Olerud and Winn can stay hot. Sunday afternoon is Mark Buerhle. Buerhle had an awful May that skews his season numbers. He's been an above average pitcher since, but opponents hit .288 off of him last month. But because he allowed just 2 home runs and 5 walks over 42 innings, his ERA was 3.19 for July. At least the M's won't see Cy Young candidate Estaban Loiaza. It's a shame that Moyer's and Pineiro's starts fell on the Detroit and Cleveland series. Somehow I think that asking the M's to take 2 of 3 is a lot.

Those storm clouds of pessimism are rolling.

But before I forget, I was quick to point out when Nelson and Rhodes have failed these past months. Well, last night, they combined for 2 innings, 1 hit, 6 K. It's the Tigers, but they've got to start somewhere.
|| Peter @ 8/01/2003

Thursday, July 31, 2003

Salami and Rye

Randy Winn appears to be on a steady diet of nothing but Wheaties. He clobbered yet another pair of homers. Hearing Dave Niehaus' call on the first-inning grand slam, you'd think ol' Dave was going to spontaneously combust leaving poor Ron Fairly nothing but a small green globule in the broadcaster's seat. Winn drove in 6. It could have been 11, as he stranded five including runners in scoring position to end the 6th and 8th innings, but that's just being picky.

He's gone hitless in just three games this month and had 10 multi-hit games, including five of the last six. After a disastrous month of June where he "hit" .202/.224/.255 (.479 OPS) 5 XBH, 3 BB in 94 AB, Marinerland was up in arms for a replacement left fielder. Brian Giles. J.D. Drew. Rondell White. Am I missing anyone? Any other rumor mill names I forgot? And in the 30 days leading up to the much anticipated trade deadline, Randy Winn has certainly remembered to bring the bat to work with him: .347/.400/.564 and 6 home runs. Before the break, he boasted a .679 OPS and 2 homers and 32 RBI in 339 AB. Thus far through 56 at bats in the second half, he's posting an OPS nearly twice that of the first half at 1.114 with 6 homers and 14 RBI. And I see he's just hit an RBI double in the 2nd inning today. The man is flat on fire. J.D. who?

Times' Bob Sherwin seems to be concerned with Jamie Moyer's pitch count these last two starts with Jamie throwing 100 pitches by the 6th inning, but I don't see what the big deal is. Yeah, he threw 106 pitches in 6 innings yesterday and 101 in 5 innings on Friday. How exactly is this unusual for Jamie? Check out for yourself. July 5: 111 pitches, 6.2 innings. June 25: 90 pitches, 5 innings. May 23: 107 pitches, 5 innings. May 17: 114 pitches, 6.2 innings. May 6: 102 pitches, 5 innings. April 30: 107 pitches, 6 innings. April 24: 103 pitches, 6 innings. April 13: 108 pitches, 5 innings. April 2: 102 pitches, 4.1 innings.

So to recap, that's now 10 of 22 starts he's reached 100 pitches before closing out the 7th inning and one start reaching 90 before recording an out in the 6th. Jamie just throws a lot of pitches, period. He's not going to throw any 100-pitch complete games, no sir. The highest Melvin and Price have let Jamie go was 118 pitches against free-swinging Tampa Bay on July 11. That was an 8-inning outing. And the only other time he's closed out the 8th inning was June 19 against the also trigger happy Angels. That was 108 pitches.

So no, the unique problem with Jamie isn't the pitches, it's the runs. And I'm not talking about Montezuma's Revenge. He's allowed 15 earned runs and 29 hits in his last 24.1 IP. His ERA has gone from 3.23 in May to 2.16 in June to 5.23 in July. Opponents hit .228 off Jamie in May, just .189 in June, but now .311 in July.

Today was a rough day at work. I don't know if there's a more distracting day of the year. I'll have to plan on asking for July 31 off next year to save myself the stress. It's pathetic, really. I was all wrapped up in the hype that when you get down to it is just mostly (mostly) media smoke and mirrors. So Rey Sanchez is it, huh. That's Pat's answer to rejuvenate the lineup, clubhouse and my morale. Oh, lord. Hey, but at least George muscled his way in and stole away Aaron Boone. Ha ha! Sucker! According to Bob Finnigan over at the Times:

"We were even willing to overpay," a Seattle source said. "Someone apparently was willing to overpay more."

Shame on you for being willing, Seattle source. Here's what the Cincinnati Enquirer had to say:

The Mariners reportedly are offering top pitching prospects such as Clint Nageotte, Rett Johnson and left-hander Travis Blackley.

Thank you, George. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Now if there's any truth at all to the rumor that would have sent Boone to Seattle, Freddy to Boston and Casey Fossum and on-base machine Kevin Youkilis (his on-base streak is up to 62 games) to Cincinnati, and that it was the Reds that killed that deal, what were they thinking?

Obviously I would rather see Aaron Boone at third instead of Willie Bloomquist, but not for the asking price of Nageotte/Johnson/Blackley or even, really, Freddy. The Reds knew they had a market and milked it for everything they could get. Watching the Yankees wither to 2nd place is going to bring me such a smug sense of satisfaction. Boone just has that overrated shimmy and shine thanks to a couple of late-inning heroics in the season, a la Miguel Tejada 2002. His numbers aren't that hot, especially away from Cincinnati (.249/.311/.408). I'm not sorry at all he's not coming to Seattle. Nothing personal, Bret.

In all the unconfirmed hubaloo about Boone to the Yankees this morning, I got to thinking, "What about Ventura?" Well, we can forget that now, but here's where that train of thought led me. I've always been a big fan of Robin Ventura. Growing up in Oklahoma Cowboy and Sooner baseball was much bigger than the Drillers and 89er's (now Redhawks). Robin Ventura's the biggest major leaguer to ever don the orange and black (that I can think of off the top of my head). He had a 58-game hitting streak (then the NCAA record) and played in the Olympics in those impressionable days of my baseball card collecting youth. I even got his autograph before he debuted with Chicago. In the early 90s, the fam took a vacation to Chicago and we stopped by New Comiskey for a ballgame, and with 2 outs in the bottom of the ninth Ventura hit a walkoff grand slam off of Goose Gossage. Greatest live thrill of my brief baseball watching life. So maybe I'm a little partial to Ventura. He's not quite what he used to be with the bat, but he's certainly no Jeff Cirillo. He's not even close to Wee Willie. And according to the Win Shares system, Ventura's the best 3B in the league, nearly twice the value of Cirillo. And would you believe that for his career Ventura has hit .385/.515/.715 with a pair of homers in his career at Safeco? That's just 26 at bats, for whatever it's worth. Oh well. I'll get over it.

Though, the Dodgers have one helluva an infield now.

Now, onward and upward to the Promised Land of October baseball!
|| Peter @ 7/31/2003

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Are we still in Kansas?

Let's see if I can type this today without clicking any wrong buttons and flushing it all away. The trade winds are a' blowin' like a Midwestern tornado in March. And everybody in the AL West is getting in on the action. Let's welcome Rey Sanchez to the Mariners. Jose Guillen gets to wear Oakland green tomorrow in a move where Beane & DePodesta have to know something the rest of us don't. Guillen is in the middle of an out-of-the-blue Mora-esque career year with no plate discipline and seems just the sort that Oakland would be shopping. That is, unless they plan on flipping him to some unwitting team by midnight tomorrow. Hmm... Gary Glover for Scott Schoeneweis? Middle relief isn't exactly a hole for Anaheim, so go figure on that one. And Texas... well, they said good bye to Doug Glanville: Addition by subtraction.

Rey Sanchez? I'm elated that we'll no longer have to watch McLemore look lost at short. And an infield of Olerud-Boone-Sanchez-Cirillo would be hands down the best defense in baseball, an impenetrable groundball forcefield. That would also be the slick-fielding-est, can't-hit-our-combined-weight-on-the-moon left side. If Sanchez bats second, as Mac did filling in for Carlos, I just may go into convulsions. Please, Pat, tell me there's more. The ghost of Jose Offerman still haunts me.
|| Peter @ 7/30/2003

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

Blogger ate my prolific post. Rey Sanchez. Ranger series. Tiger series. Randy Winn post-break. Raffy Palmeiro goes deep at Safeco for the 514th time. The Curse of Jeff Nelson. Bedtime. Ugh.
|| Peter @ 7/29/2003

Lewis Banter

In probably my favorite Michael Lewis interview to date, he and Alex Belth of Bronx Banter discuss the writing process, bashing Joe Morgan, what's wrong with Eric Chavez, what's right with Tim Hudson, Moneyball: The Movie, Moneyball: The Sequel, Moneyball: The Action Figures and Moneyball: The Lunchbox. Alright, so I made up those last two.

Between Bronx Banter and Edward Cossette's Bambino's Curse, I was shamelessly hooked into the Sox/Yankees series over the weekend. There are plenty of cranky, cold, stat-head blogs out there, but for the sheer prose of fandom, I'm hard pressed to find better baseball writing anywhere. Belth's play-by-play, of Saturday's game particularly, had me on the edge of my seat the day after.

Sunday's game was easily the most exciting game I've watched all season. And I've decided Jon Miller is my favorite for TV play-by-play. I wasn't looking forward to listening to Rick Sutcliffe, but he wasn't as obnoxious as I've heard him before, and he certainly didn't make me miss Joe Morgan. My quip of Sutcliffe's was his description of Alfonso Soriano's strike zone as "dugout to dugout." Cosette's equal parts inevitable dread and relentless hope remind me of my own M's.

I think deep down I just really want to see George Steinbrenner in tears, and not tears of joy.

Tomorrow, I'll get back to the Mariners coverage. I promise.
|| Peter @ 7/29/2003

Pythagorean Rankings: Week 17

(last week's rank in parentheses, followed by Runs Scored and Against)

1. Seattle (1) 520-398 Ace watch: Freddy Garcia--May ERA 7.22, June 2.05, July 9.45. Joel Pineiro--May 3.73, June 3.28, July 1.72. Trey Wingo last night spouts that Edgar's in a slump since being beaned in the All-Star game. Yes Trey, he's got a .766 OPS since the break, 6 BB, 4 SO and just 1 RBI. But going into the break, Edgar had struck out in 6 consecutive games, 10 times in 24 AB, then twice in the All-Star game, and once in the next game. Now how often has that happened in Edgar's career?

2. Boston (5) 644-531 Pedro has not lost a start since May 9. In the 10 subsequent starts, the Red Sox have lost 4 of them, by either 1 or 2 runs. In July, Byung-Hyun Kim has 6 saves in 7 chances with a 1.15 ERA and 19 K in 15.2 IP.

3. (tie) Philadelphia (2) 500-414 In a lineup of swingers, Placido Polanco has 32 BB to 28 SO and is hitting .297/.364/.456.

(tie) NY Yankees (3) 553-458 Ruben Sierra. Karim Garcia. Dan Miceli. Armando Benitez. Jesse Orosco. Somewhere Theo Epstein is smiling to himself. The Yanks are just 11-10 in July.

5. Atlanta (4) 594-498 Why are they still 7 wins over their projection? Well, they are 13-13 in one-run games and 21-14 in games when the difference is 5 or more runs. On the Braves pace watch, Smoltz can have 58 saves, Russ Ortiz 22 wins, Marcus Giles 55 doubles and Javy Lopez 44 homers.

6. (tie) San Francisco (7) 504-425 Since the break, the Giants are 11-1 (against Colorado, Arizona and San Diego, no less). The pitching staff has an ERA of 2.00, striking out more than 7 a game. Jim Brower hasn't allowed a run in two starts. The offense is out-scoring opponents 58-25. Rich Aurillia has 10 RBI and Barry's OPS is 1.599.

(tie) Oakland (11) 480-405 Will it ever stop? Rich Harden 1-0, 1.29 ERA, 1.00 WHIP in first two major league starts. Joe Blanton is the next A's ace in development. He's just been promoted to AA Midland after striking out 144 in 133 innings with a 2.57 ERA at A-ball Kane County. If I were Ted Lilliy (6-8, 4.99 ERA), I'd be worried.

8. Houston (6) 516-441 The M's really should consider Ron Villone. He's posting a 2.19 ERA, 1.22 WHIP in 4 starts this month. Before last night's disaster, Jeriome Robertson had won 6 consecutive starts.

9. St. Louis (10) 590-531 Freddy for Drew? I don't know, but the Cards are desperate as their rotation is now Williams, Tomko, Fassero, Haren and Stephenson. As I said a couple of weeks ago, Bo Hart (.178/.245/.200 since the break) is the Willie Bloomquist of the Cards.

10. Arizona (9) 480-437 Even with Johnson and Schilling, the D-Backs lost 6 in a row to the Padres and Giants, then outscored the Dodgers 3-2 in a total of 3 games. They can kiss the West pennant goodbye as they are 11 games back of the Giants, but they are just 1.5 games behind the Phillies for the wild card still.

11. Toronto (12) 607-554 Doc Hallady 4-0, 2.15 ERA in July with just 3 walks to 27 strikeouts and opponents hitting just .207.

12. Anaheim (8) 494-453 One reason for the falling Angels is Jarrod Washburn. After a 3.15 ERA last year, allowing a home run every 10.8 innings in 2002, this year his ERA is 4.92 and he's giving up a homer every 5 innings. David Eckstein's OBP has dropped from .363 in 2002 to .327 this year.

13. Florida (15) 508-477 The weakest link in Florida's starting 8 is Juan Pierre and his .723 OPS, but only because he can't hit for power. His OBP is a very respectable .362, and he has 50 stolen bases in 61 attempts, an 82% success rate. The NL wild card just might be the most exciting race of the summer.

14. Los Angeles (12) 362-342 The Dodgers were 2-1 in 1-0 games this week. Shawn Green is on a pace for 17 home runs and 78 RBI, which will be his lowest marks since earning a full-time job in '98. Not exactly what the Dodgers are paying him $15 mil for. On the bright side, he is on a pace for 56 doubles. Then there's Hideo Nomo, who despite ranking 2nd in the NL in walks (71), he's still 6th in the league in WHIP (1.13) because he leads the league in BAA, an astounding .199.

15. Chicago Sox (19) 467-452 The Sox are 9-2 since the break, and it's no coincidence that Magglio Ordonez is hitting .489/.531/.756 with 13 RBI in that stretch. Carlos Lee and Frank Thomas have also contributed with 5 homers each. That has come against the Tigers, Indians, Jays and Rays, though, so a steady diet of Royals, Mariners, A's and Angels for the next month will be the true test for the Sox' playoff hopes.

16. Colorado (20) 586-576 Chin-Hui Tsao allowed 3 runs (2 homers) on 8 hits and a walk with 5 strikeouts in his 6.1-inning debut. If he can stay in the rotation and avoid getting psyched out by Coors, along with Chacon, Jennings and Oliver, who all have ERAs under 5, this may be the best Rockies rotation ever. Not that they have much competition.

17. Kansas City (14) 531-525 The Royals are currently 4 games over the Sox with an easier schedule over the next month: White Sox, Devil Rays, Yankees and Twins. Jose Lima has made 8 starts now and is 7-0 with a 2.17 ERA and 1.05 WHIP. So Lima Time is back, but for how long?

18. Baltimore (18) 516-511 Is the real Melvin Mora back? He's hitting a mortal .244/.306/.372 this month. Meanwhile Sidney Ponson sits high on the AL leader boards for wins, winning percentage, complete games and innings, all over-celebrated counting stats, and if I were heading the O's I'd be much more interested in dealing Ponson than re-signing him.

19. Chicago Cubs (17) 470-467 It's make-or-break time for the Cubbies, and taking 2 of 3 from Houston over the weekend was a good start. They now start a stretch against the Giants, D-Backs, Padres, Dodgers, Astros and Cardinals. Kenny Lofton (.492 OPS) and Aramis Ramirez (.526) aren't making good first impressions.

20. Montreal (16) 475-478 Vlad is back, hitting .389/.478/.556 in 18 at bats since his return. Javier Vazquez has a 2.17 ERA and 30 K in 29 innings this month. (He got toasted by Marcus Giles and the Braves tonight, though.)

21. (tie) Minnesota (21) 487-519 As a Twin, Shannon Stewart is hitting .419/.479/.558 with 9 runs scored. Torii Hunter gets the attention with his .322 OBP and WebGems, but the offense is all about Corey Koskie before he hit the DL. He was batting .298/.390/495 with 14 home runs.

(tie) Pittsburgh (22) 465-496 There's just something about Pittsburgh: As a Cubbie, Jose Hernandez hit .188/.222/.348 in 69 AB. In 21 AB so far as a Pirate, he's hitting .381/.417/.667. By Friday morning we'll know the fate of Brian Giles, Jason Kendall and the Pirates organization. And have I mentioned they have three starters (Suppan/Wells/D'Amico) with ERAs now under 3.75?

23. Cleveland (23) 449-511 Jody Gerut leads AL rookies (including Godzilla and T-Rex) with .837 OPS, but not in nickname. He has 13 home runs (Detroit's Eric Munson leads with 15). That's 3 more than Godzilla in 160 fewer at bats.

24. Cincinnati (27) 500-610 With Junior gone, it's the Jose Guillen Show. He ranks 3rd in the NL in BA (.341), 4th in SLG (.637) and 5th in OPS. He's on a pace for 36 homers and 98 RBI, but just 26 walks.

25. Milwaukee (24) 466-570 Richie Sexson is on pace for 45 home runs and 125 RBI, which would match is career highs in 2001. What are the odds Pat Gillick would make a move for Geoff Jenkins? He's an Olympia native, left-handed power hitter making Jeff Cirillo money ($5+ mil). Gillick does like the veteran locals.

26. NY Mets (25) 436-541 Shortstop Jose Reyes is hitting .272/.280/.371 so far with 3 walks and 17 strikeouts in 151 at bats. In 1995, another 19-year-old phenom shortstop debuted with a line of .232/.264/.408 with 6 walks and 42 strikeouts in 142 at bats. His name was Alex Rodriguez.

27. Texas (26) 523-663 Fast-forward 8 years and A-Rod is clubbing .333/.330/.548 with 4 RBI and 10 runs scored since the break. Meanwhile, John Thomson has recorded half the Rangers wins since the break despite a 5.59 ERA.

28. San Diego (27) 432-550 Adam Eaton is 3-0 this month with a 1.33 ERA in 5 starts. On the flip side, Jake Peavy is 0-3 with an 8.86 ERA in 4 starts.

29. Tampa Bay (29) 449-576 Rocco Baldelli is recovering from his tepid .719 OPS (.255 AVG) June with a .775 July. His OPS is .979 since the break with half as many home runs already in the second half (3) as he had the first half (6). And yet another ex-Mariner thriving in new threads: Antonio Perez is hitting .309/.385/.441 for Lou.

30. Detroit (30) 341-536 Mike Maroth and Jeremy Bonderman are a combined 9-29, and we haven't even started August yet. Bonderman's strikeouts are dropping: 26 May, 21 June, 14 July. Maroth's walks and home runs allowed are both up from 6 BB and 3 HR in June to 10 BB and 7 HR in July. And those are far better reasons for demotion than the losses.

Kansas City Royals at New York Yankees
Boston Red Sox at Seattle Mariners
Houston Astros at Atlanta Braves
Philadelphia Phillies at San Francisco Giants

AL - Manny Ramirez (Boston) 24 AB, 8 R, 13 H, 4 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 1 SB, 6 BB, .542/.633/1.083, 1.717 OPS
NL - Javy Lopez (Atlanta) 22 AB, 7 R, 10 H, 1 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 10 RBI 2 BB, .455/.500/1.136, 1.636 OPS

AL - Tim Hudson (Oakland) 2-0, 16.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 14 K, 0.56 ERA
NL - Josh Beckett (Florida) 2-0, 13.0 IP, 14 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 16 K, 0.69 ERA

AL - Mark Teixeira (Texas) 26 AB, 3 H, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 4 BB, .115/.226/.154, .380 OPS
NL - Jose Cruz (San Francisco) 24 AB, 2 R, 1 H, 1 RBI, 2 CS, 2 BB, .042/.115/.042, .157 OPS

AL - Jarrod Washburn (Anaheim) 0-1, 3.1 IP, 9 H, 10 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 27.00 ERA
NL - Hector Almonte (Montreal) 0-0, 2.2 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 0 K, 20.25 ERA
|| Peter @ 7/29/2003