Good morning to those of you who, like me, are heading into work today - and to those of you who have the day off, enjoy your extra sleep and I hate you.
Most importantly, however, thank you to all of our military veterans for your service.
Without further ado, the main event:
- The most substantive rumor of the day (if there is such a thing as a “substantive rumor,” of course) was this one from MLB Network’s Jon Morosi. The M’s have apparently expressed interest in lefty Brett Cecil to take over for recently departed southpaws Mike Montgomery and Vidal Nuño. The best fun fact about my man Brett? He throws lefty but does everything else with his right hand. Moral of the story: Pitchers are just so dang weird.
- Ryan Divish wrote a nice article detailing the advantages of the M’s starting pitching depth. It’s a bit hair-raising that Jeremy Hellickson is going to make something absurd (as Divish notes from talking to super-agent Scott Boras) - MLB Trade Rumors projects him for four years and $60 million. Yikes.
- This is from a few days ago, but here’s a list of a bunch of minor leaguers who elected free agency this offseason. Among the more notable names for the Mariners: Mayckol Guaipe, Dillon Moyer, Danny Hultzen, and Rob Brantly.
- Down on the farm, check out this article on our favorite muscle-laden outfielder, Tyler O’Neill, and his progress in the Arizona Fall League.
Yesterday was the sixth anniversary of our beloved Dave Niehaus’ passing, and the Mariners posted a nice tribute video to him. Below, my five favorite calls/pieces about Dave.
- #5 - This is a video of a bottle opener. But it’s worth your time. Promise. And if you don’t like that, here’s a more traditional version of this call.
- #4 - The Throw, aka the moment when Ichiro truly arrived on the Seattle sports scene. Listen to Dave’s voice suddenly creep up after what he assumed was a routine single - truly magical.
- #3 - A beautiful, moving piece from the inimitable Nathan Bishop: Dear Dave.
- #2 - Winning the ALDS on a walkoff squeeze bunt? You bet there’s going to be a great call.
- #1 - You knew it was coming.
Really, it’s hard for me to not post all the videos with his calls. Watch the whole thing below. Too good. We miss you, Dave. You’re a Mariners legend, and you always will be.
Around the League
- The Silver Slugger awards were announced yesterday, with a Seager but no Mariners among the winners. Hard to argue with Jose Altuve over Robinson Canó at second base, or with Josh Donaldson over Kyle Seager at third. But no, Mark Trumbo should not have won over Nelson Cruz. (And, yes, Mark Trumbo won.)
- This article on Japanese sensation Shohei Otani is fascinating for a couple reasons. One MLB GM is quoted as saying he’d be the best free agent starter on the market, but he’s also just 22 years old, which would make him among the youngest Japanese players in the big leagues were he to be posted. Also fascinating? He serves as his team’s designated hitter when not pitching - and one MLB GM is even quoted as saying that he would let Otani continue this were he to sign with that team!
- One-time Mariner and full-time knuckleballer R.A. Dickey signed a one-year, $8 million contract with the Atlanta Braves yesterday. The 42-year-old is the first free agent to switch teams this offseason.
- In the #NoPolitics section, Rob Manfred doesn’t think the results of the latest presidential election should have any bearing on MLB’s international plans.
- Here’s a Sporting News article about Harold Baines, the one-time best designated hitter in history. The most noteworthy part, however, is his quote on Edgar Martinez:
Asked whether he thought of Ortiz as a future Hall of Famer, Baines said, “I would think Edgar would hopefully get in before [Ortiz] does. Edgar’s had strong numbers. Not to take anything away from David, he has this great career. He’s played on a lot of world championships, his numbers speak for themselves. So he’s definitely a Hall of Famer in my book.”
Baines seems to be more bullish on Martinez’s Hall of Fame chances than his own.
“I never won a batting title or anything like that,” Baines said. “He’s won batting titles. That might be a plus. And he kind of broke all of my DH records, and then Big Papi broke all of his records.”
Baines rated Martinez as one of the best hitters he saw.
“He was just a smart hitter,” Baines said. “He used the whole field. Actually, he wasn’t a bad third baseman, either.”
Thanks, Harold. Let’s hope you’re right. And let this serve as a reminder to check out our #EdgarHOF series! Kate’s written some great pieces and they’re absolutely worth your while.
Grant’s Friday Special
Yesterday, legendary singer Leonard Cohen died at the age of 82. Now, I can’t claim to be anything close to a music aficionado (that honor would go to my brother), nor can I say that I’m all that familiar with most of Cohen’s music.
But there is one song of his that will bring me to tears. It’s haunting, enduring, and show-stoppingly beautiful. Below, “Hallelujah.”
But if you want something a bit more upbeat and inspiring, then look no further than “My Shot” from Hamilton - except this time, it’s featuring Busta Rhymes. Let’s hope the Mariners won’t throw away their shot this season.