The mailbag returns after a sojourn to Cooperstown, N.Y., and the 2019 Hall of Fame induction ceremony. If you listen closely, Mariano Rivera might still be discussing his year by year accomplishments from a speech that never seemed to end.
Meanwhile, Edgar Martinez was ultra-prepared, just as the mailbag. But unlike the mailbag, Martinez was succinct and to the point in his speech. The mailbag this week will try not to ramble on, but when you are performing at a Hall-of-Fame level, then what can you do.
As always, these are real questions submitted by the hopeful Hall-of-Famers who are my Twitter followers.
It seems unlikely Ryon Healy will play again this season after suffering a setback in his recovery while rehabbing in Arizona. The diagnosis of Healy having spinal stenosis – a narrowing of the spaces in the spinal column — is scary and career-threatening with life-lasting implications. It ended the careers of Don Mattingly and David Wright prematurely.
If you look at the Mariners’ depth chart with Daniel Vogelbach entrenched on the roster and Evan White’s promotion to the big leagues looming within the next year, Healy, even if healthy, might not be part of the Mariners’ plans.
Healy enters arbitration eligibility next season and won’t be very expensive given the time missed this season, but he’s also a candidate to be non-tendered by the Mariners because of his condition and the emergence of Vogelbach and the path of White. If Healy can get back to full strength, he would be a decent option to have on the 40-man roster until White is ready.
But the Mariners could also move on and find a first-base placeholder while White gets polished at Class AAA Tacoma to start next season.
Mitch Haniger will be back playing in a few weeks. There is a desire for players to finish the season on the field and not on the injured list. Haniger hates not playing so he’s going to want to try and salvage a lost season with a strong finish. And if the Mariners harbor any thoughts of trading him this offseason, that would be highly beneficial.
His condition isn’t as dire as Healy, who is dealing with an issue that really can’t be fixed.
Even one month of strong play can have lasting benefits for Haniger for next season. If he’s healthy and cleared to play, he should play.
You could look at the Mariners’ top prospect list and mark all those guys as unlikely to be traded. General manager Jerry Dipoto, however, has often said that nobody is unavailable, which is the proper mindset.
But I assume you are talking about the big-league roster. Given money owed and contract commitments and performance, left-hander Yusei Kikuchi won’t be traded. He’s struggled to adapt this season. And that’s not a complete indictment on him as a player or what he will be. But given a contract that’s basically guaranteed for the next three years and the struggles, he’s not going anywhere.
Mitch Haniger won’t be traded because of his injury. He was once the most coveted Mariners’ player. But his strikeout-filled start and his testicular injury have dropped his value to the point where moving him would be counterproductive.
Also trading Daniel Vogelbach seems unlikely given his production this season, his contract and his perceived flaws in terms of defense and positional flexibility.
According to one opposing scout, Jarred Kelenic is the best position-playing prospect in the Mariners’ organization since Alex Rodriguez. Another says he’s the best since Adam Jones. So no pressure there. But let’s be clear, the Mariners haven’t had this level of player prospect in a very long time.
So why would you trade him?
The Mariners obviously are on overload in terms of gushing and promoting prospects. It’s smart because it takes a focus away from a season that will have 95 defeats. But people outside the organization also are raving about Kelenic and several other Seattle prospects.
There’s a belief Kelenic is so advanced in his preparation, approach and baseball maturity that he could make his MLB debut by the end of next season. When you have a prospect with this level of potential, you don’t trade them.
Well, unless you are Bill Bavasi.
Commissioner Rob Manfred said the baseball isn’t juiced, Renee. And you should definitely believe him because, well, he said so. He said there has been no attempt to make it more homer friendly to draw fans to the game.
“Baseball has done nothing, given no direction for an alteration in the baseball,” Manfred told reporters at the All-Star Game. “The flaw in logic is that baseball wants more home runs. If you sat in owners meetings and listen to people on how the game is played, that is not a sentiment among the owners for whom I work.”
MLB has had the ball tested by scientists but hasn’t revealed the results. Manfred did admit the drag on the ball has been somehow reduced, so some progress is being made. He knows pitcher are less than pleased with the situation and have made their complaints known … often.
“Pitchers have raised issues, particularly about the tackiness and seams on the baseball, and we do believe those could be issues,” Manfred said.
But what will he do about it? And does he want do that?
The ball makes the game longer. But so do the players and the strategy. But MLB should start with fixing the ball first instead of worrying about mound visits and pitcher limits.
From the outside, it’s a bit curious considering he’s played pretty well with Class AAA Tacoma. He’s a plus defender and base runner. The hitting will always be a question. This year he has a .272/.344/.447 slash line with 26 doubles, four triples, nine homers, 48 RBI and 25 stolen bases. How much do the juiced MLB baseballs being used in the Pacific Coast League factor into it?
The Mariners and most of baseball has always viewed Miller as a fourth outfielder at best because of his defense and speed. There are concerns he doesn’t maximize his athleticism to optimal circumstances and his willingness to adjust to what the organization expects. He’s basically been relegated to an organizational player. The Mariners just promoted Ryan Court over Miller. He was a player inherited from the previous regime and that sometimes lowers you in the pecking order.
At this point, it seems unlikely he’ll be called up.
Miller will be a minor-league free agent after this season. He won’t be back with the organization so there is no real reason for the Mariners to promote him.
I don’t know if it matters what I think in this situation. Sheffield and the Mariners say they believe he’s figured himself out with a demotion to Class AA Arkansas. In eight starts with the Travelers, he has posted a 4-2 record with a 1.69 ERA. In 53 1/3 innings, he’s struck out 56 batters with just 10 walks. By comparison, he was 2-6 with a 6.87 ERA in 12 starts and one relief appearance with Class AAA Tacoma, including 48 strikeouts and 41 walks.
Sheffield is going to re-join the Mariners in the next few weeks. He shouldn’t return to the Class AAA level before getting called. With use of the MLB baseball in the Pacific Coast League this season, it’s become a launching pad that is detrimental to the psyche and approach of pitchers.
Mallex Smith, LF
J.P. Crawford, SS
Mitch Haniger, RF
Daniel Vogelbach, 1B
Domingo Santana, DH
Kyle Seager, 3B
Omar Narvaez, C
Jake Fraley, CF
Dee Gordon, 2B
The Mariners will try to trade Dee Gordon this offseason, but I’m not certain it will be simple given his money owed and the climate around baseball. Teams often will try different plans at second base to start a season and then adjust. The Brewers did it with Mike Moustakas and Travis Shaw.
There is a strong chance the Mariners trade Domingo Santana this offseason if he continues to produce at a high level. His true value to the Mariners might be more as a trade chip than an everyday player next season and with free agency looming after 2021.
You might as well just hire a full-service house cleaner at this point. That sun and humidity was exhausting and the rain was biblical. The fans who endured the induction ceremony should be commended for their commitment. It’s not exactly an ideal set-up. Your next two trips should be wherever she wants to go.
Also thanks for taking the pics of me and my dad. You could’ve made me look somewhat skinnier, but they were appreciated.
You’ll be disappointed in me. I wasn’t able to do much exploring in terms of eating and drinking. We stayed in Utica and commuted an hour each way, which is a much more affordable option on induction weekend.
The area on Main Street has plenty of bars and restaurants that are overwhelmed by the hoards of fans in attendance. Those places like Mel’s at 22, Toscana and the Doubleday Café are good, but not life-changing. I can tell you that if you leave the Main Street area and go just to the edge of town, there are a couple of quality places to grab a beer or a glass of wine and some food. New York Pizzeria, Bocca Osteria and Upstate Bar and Grill are good options.
Joe Maddon doesn’t want any part of Clint Hurdle, who chews gum throughout the game in a fashion similar to Austin Adams and Pete Carroll. Hurdle was a multiple-sport standout as a kid and had a scholarship to play quarterback at the University of Miami. You know the high-school movies where the mean jock beats up the nerdy kid. That’s what would happen. Hurdle would pummel Maddon. But as in those movies, Maddon would get the girl and the popularity in the end with his team in the playoffs.
Here’s my statement – “Appetite for Destruction” by Guns-N-Roses is one of the single greatest albums ever released. It certainly doesn’t fall into the classification of heavy metal that you are talking about. But I don’t get much heavier than Metallica, Drowning Pool and Rage Against the Machine on a lifting playlist.
Most people would recommend that I find ways to lower my rage and anger.
Back to Appetite for Destruction, I can’t think of a more important album to people of a certain age. Obviously, Pearl Jam’s Ten and Nirvana’s Nevermind had a similar moment.
But that G-N-R album was life-changing. I can still listen to it all the way through. Also “Nightrain” is the best song on the album. Don’t argue with me otherwise because you’d be wrong.
Well, it seems that based on the franchise’s website that the colors will be red, black and white, which is a solid color scheme. The Mariners have Northwest Green, the Sounders have rave green and the Seahawks have the color rush neon green shirts that should be burned and forgotten. And nobody should ever wear green and gold in this area other than the Sonics.
As for the name, I preferred the Totems. Perhaps they should just call the team the “Councilmen” in honor of the group that managed get someone else to pay to renovate a building they won’t own.
I pretty much stick to sports games on my PS4. NBA2K and MLB the Show. But if EA Sports were to come out with a new version of NCAA Football, I would not leave my house for a month. And bathing during that time would be hit or miss. Man, I miss that game. I hope you’re happy Ed O’Bannon.
I don’t think my story was near anything that Toby Ziegler and Sam Seaborn wrote during the time in the Bartlet administration, though we never really got to hear anything they wrote. But because Aaron Sorkin created the characters and I consider him a brilliant writer, then let’s just say I’m not playing at the big-league level of Sam and Toby just yet. I’d take being a call-up. Sorkin and director Thomas Schlamme stopped doing the show after season four. And there were differences. But I will admit that I do love the election story line in the last two seasons.
Two Cathedrals – Season 2’s finale featured the death of Jed Barlet’s secretary Dolores Landingham, the effect of his disclosure of multiple sclerosis and flashbacks to his time in prep school. The rant in the National Cathedral and the use of “Brothers in Arms” by Dire Straits made this episode.
In the Shadow of Two Gunmen – The two-part beginning to Season 2 offers back stories to how the key characters made their way into the Bartlet administration as Josh Lyman clings to life. It provides so much back story to the characters that make you like them even more.
In Excelsis Deo – Episode 10 in Season 1 features a human moment from Toby Ziegler when a homeless man is found dead wearing a coat he donated to Goodwill.
Noel – For someone who doesn’t like Christmas, I like the Christmas episodes. Josh Lyman spends the day discussing his issues with PTSD after being shot and the relationship between Toby Ziegler and his father, who worked for Murder Inc.
Pilot – The pacing of the show and the appearance of Jed Bartlet at the very end was perfect, though what Josh Lyman says on television to a Republican counterpart that almost got him fired wouldn’t even be noticed in today’s political climate.
Well, if we discuss your life choices, it will allow me to feel better about mine.