It’s time for - you guessed it - the MaiLLbag. As always, please do not take this as actual legal advice.
Sweezo: If you were a Mariner and the team was going to hire a band to follow you around all day, what kind of band would it be?
- Amanda: The Beatles. The real Beatles. I deserve the best.
- Luke: I want Lee Brice to follow me wherever I go. That’s some good music.
- Grant: The UW marching band, if only to maximize the attention I get for my birthday by having hundreds of people crowd around me at all times.
Corco: If you had to eat one current Seattle Mariner for dinner, which would it be? How would you cook him?
- Adam: The Moose. I’ve never had moose, but it’s probably good grilled like any other steak.
- Kate: I feel like Vogelbach would provide a nice ratio of muscle to delicious marbling.
Corco: If the Mariners called you tomorrow and said "We would like for you to be our starting shortstop and are willing to commit to that all season and will release Jean Segura if you give us the go-ahead, but will stick with him if you decline," would you take the job?
- SG: How much?
- Isabelle: No, because I adore him already and was primarily a pitcher/1B when I played. Now if the same was asked about Yovani Gallardo…
- Adam: No, because while playing baseball is fun, being hated by the entire PNW for causing the Mariners to miss the playoffs again would not be. However, if you also give me Segura’s $6.2 million it would be a little more tempting.
- Amanda: Theoretically, yes. It looks really fun to play shortstop. However, I’m pretty sure I’d run away screaming from a Major League ground ball hit toward me, so I’d decline.
Chris (from Bothell): Which current Mariner needs a hug the most, and which former Mariner should give them one?
- Zach M: James Paxton’s energy level seems to perpetually hover somewhere between “sleepy basset hound” and “returning to work Monday morning after a weekend-long Molson Ice-fueled bender.” Also he has sad eyes. It seems like he could use a matcha, or better yet, a hug courtesy of Chris (from Bothell) favorite, Munenori “human Pichu” Kawasaki.
- Kate: Yovani Gallardo. He looks so sad, all the time. I vote for Jesus Montero to hug him, and maybe hug his arm right onto the DL.
- Grant: After that 24-3 loss where he allowed eight runs in a third of an inning, probably Ryan Weber.
Pacific Northwest Vagabond: Which Mariner needs a swift kick in the ass and who should give it?
- ZS: Ben Gamel needs a kick from Scott Servais -- a kick off the roster.
- Grant: There will be moments this year where Mike Zunino needs that kick to stop swinging at awful pitches.
- KP: I feel like Valencia might be the guy who needs a ritual ass-kicking. Stop going 0-2 in counts, Danny.
FlannelBacon: The Everett Aquasox frog logo - Great baseball logo or Greatest baseball logo?
- Zach M: I humbly submit this decidedly stoned ear of corn from the Frontier League’s Normal CornBelters for board review.
- KP: The answer is clearly the Montgomery Biscuits’ logo Monty. Love the Sox, but hello he has a pat of butter for a tongue. Big Mo, however, the Biscuits’ secondary anteater logo, can go immediately to hell.
AndrewMcQ: What one tool of a player on the 40 man is going to end up surprising?
- SG: If that dinger was any indication, I think we’ll be surprised by the power that Motter has.
- KP: I think Vogelbach is a much more complete player than how he was sold. So far, the power hasn’t really had a chance to shine, but he seems to be able to put the ball to all fields, he shows excellent plate discipline, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised with his ability to play a decent first base. We’ve even seen him leg around the bases pretty well for a big dude.
Cliff Lee Is A Beast: Out of our 4th OF pile, who do you think will have the biggest impact this season and why?
- Isabelle: *directly triggered by the mention of 4th OF* GUILLERMO HEREDIA. He’s absolutely going to be the 4th OF, barring some sort of insider sabotage by Mel Stottlemyre Jr and his possible love child Ben Gamel. Given the fact that, prior to the 2016 season, Heredia had left behind his family/home country and not played baseball in a full year, he performed admirably in the second half of the season. What we’re seeing now in Spring Training looks a lot to me like a guy who has both reached his peak dev point (this will be his age 26 season), and settled into his new life in the states. We’re obviously not going to see the same kind of crazy stats during the regular season, but his increased ability to hit into the gaps, coupled with speed and defensive athleticism, bode well for the 2017 season.
Cliff Lee Is A Beast: Order the following predictions from most to least likely:
1. Haniger is worth 2.0 WAR
2. Segura has an ISO over .150
3. Valencia/Vogelbach combine for 3.0 WAR
4. Zunino has an OPS above .750
5. Felix Hernandez is our most valuable starting pitcher
- Adam: #1, #5, #2, #4, #3.
- Grant: #1, #2, #5, #3, #4
Chris (from Bothell): We all know what a 5-tool player is. What are tools numbered 6 through 10?
6. Ability to hold one’s liquor
7. Taste in walk-up music
8. Knowledge of the Harry Potter series
9. Ability to effectively scream at an umpire in an entertaining manner
10. Size of Dad Gut
GrizBronc: Question: What kind of bear is best?
- SG: Urlacher.
- ZS: Panda, clearly. Those little shits are adorable.
- Isabelle: Have y’all seen a sloth bear tongue?
- Adam: That’s debatable.
- Grant: Gummy.
Wyguy: My actual question (the one I went to the website to research) is about the Mariners’ kid zone. My kid is finally big enough to go inside. Am I going to regret this and spend all game hanging out with the Mariner Moose instead of watching King Felix?
- SG: It’s not like that cage that shows Disney movies you can just leave your kids in at Fred Meyer. You’ll be spending a lot of time there depending on how into it your kid is.
- KP: The one thing is it gets pretty busy and they impose a time limit so every kid gets a chance, so unless it’s an excessively slow day, you shouldn’t be shackled to it the whole time.
RyeBreadForever: How would you prefer the last two position-player spots shake out?
- SG: My preference is Motter and Heredia. It will probably shake out as O’Malley and Heredia. I’m concerned there’s not a proper LHB off the bench especially if Vogdor is starting. OH WELL.
GrassRockFish: Are Dan Vogelbach and Jarrod Dyson the most different players ever to potentially share a platoon partner?
- John: This is such a good question. I am not sure how to properly research it and this is not an answer, but I want this clever concept to be recognized.
- Grant: The only possible answer is Pat Venditte the lefty and Pat Venditte the righty.
the old wisdom: What is your writing process like? Of the LL (or perhaps other) pieces you’ve written, which ones are you most/least proud of?
- ZS: I pound my fists into the keyboard and naturally spew greatness.
- Isabelle: It’s entirely dependent on the type of piece- feature vs recap vs news blurb. The blurbs are the easiest- it’s essentially me trying to fit all the information I can into a somewhat concise piece, with a little bit of opinion at the end. For recaps I keep notes of the basic action on an inning by inning basis, with occasional asides to myself like, “Boog triple after freakishly grinning at bat- meant to intimidate or sign of impending madness?” or “Dan Vogelbach/Paul Bunyan- monster bat, ask Jose?”. The big trick with recaps, I’ve found, is to seize on some sort of central figure/moment/theme and use that to tell the story of the game, because otherwise it’s too easy to get sucked into a dry box score description. My features process is a little more drawn out, in that I have a terrible habit of researching far beyond what I need to, and subsequently getting sucked down a dozen different rabbit holes. I’m a somewhat excessively curious person, so if a peripheral person or event catches my eye I’ll always open up another window to investigate further (window, not tab, because more than 7-8 tabs is the sign of a sociopath). Sometimes those divergences are helpful though, and produce other vaguely intriguing content (see: Seattle Mariners coach and front office connections), other times it simply delays the production of content.
- Matt: If I get a good conceptual idea for a recap it usually comes around the seventh inning or so. I then spend the final innings thinking about how to weave the narrative, which moments lend themselves best for maximum effect, what to leave out, etc. Then I just start writing without thinking too hard about it, using Gameday/At Bat in place of any notes (which I do not take). This, unfortunately, only happens about 5% of the time. The rest of the time I stare at a blank page for approximately one hour after the last pitch, feel incompetent, drink three beers, and convince myself I’ll never write anything of any value ever again. After beer three I start to freak out because the recap is late, and then I just start writing, making it up as I go. As for least favorite, well, I’m not going to link to it because it’s that bad. I’m pretty proud of the final paragraph from this game though, and remain attached to my first ever experimental recap narrative which, I swear to god: I actually sat next to this guy once.
- Grant: I haven’t written much creative stuff in a while thanks to my job getting busy this time of year, but my process starts with some sort of idea - either someone to profile or a question to investigate. From there, I ignore what Isabelle said above (I currently have 12 tabs open on my computer) and just start pulling up links. I’ll research the player(s) in question, see if there have been other pieces on similar topics in the recent past, and start to formulate a general idea in my head. I don’t explicitly outline things very often, and my writing tends to be fairly one-shot without much editing after. Kids, don’t do this at home. I’ve also been helped and hindered by my experience as a college sports beat reporter. I can write clean copy in a jiffy, and I can blend sentences decently well, but I’m also used to writing fairly dry and standard recaps. It takes some practice and effort to write with a bit more of an LL-appropriate voice.
- John: Get very obsessed with a single topic, research it, find 15 other things that are also interesting to me, attempt to fit them into a cohesive narrative, sigh, hit publish.
- Kate: Being a writer of any stripe is about being a really good noticer. I find that I have to “fill the well” in some way before I can write anything, so I try to watch as many games as I can and keep notes on ideas that might grow into bigger pieces. I love writing recaps for exactly the reason other people have mentioned--it’s fun to think up a conceit or motif, and I enjoy the responsibility of being the game scribe and telling a story beyond the box score for people who weren’t able to watch. Even the sucky games can be kind of fun because it gives you more latitude to be creative, since people aren’t as focused on the final result.
Thehooplehead: What are your honest thoughts on Kyle's Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Every Other April? Do you think he’s just a slow starter? Coincidence (since it’s really kind of just 2 out of the last 3 years)? Experimenting? Fucking with us?
- KP: Maybe he just runs on Southern time? Seriously, though, I have no evidentiary backing for anything other than a gut feeling that Kyle is a player who lives in his head some and beats himself up for every little mistake--oh what’s that? We do have some evidence? So because at the beginning of the season one is still shaking off some rust and mistakes happen, I wonder if that could have a snowball effect before his performance levels out.
Corco: What is the dollar:minute ratio at which you would be willing to pay for an assigned seat on a plane? For instance, would you pay 10 dollars for a 100 minute long flight? If so you’re willing to pay .10/minute for said assigned seat (excluding time spent at gate before the cabin door is closed, time spent on the tarmac after landing – though I am curious as to how that would factor into your decision making process – like, if you’re flying into LaGuardia, are you more likely to pay for an assigned seat because you know you’re going to have to sit in it for 30 minutes after landing?).
- ZS: You know that if you fly with a real airline you get to pick your seat, right?
Corco: Do you consider life to be a series of transactions, a series of processes, or a series of outcomes? Or something else?
- ZS: Life is a series of processes that lead to outcomes. You constantly re-evaluate those processes if the outcomes are unpleasant.
Corco: If you were on a first blind date and your date started talking about rental car contract terms in painfully excessive detail, what would your response be? What other variables would you use to consider your response?
- Adam: I would tell her about the time my friends and I scraped a rental car against a fence in Hawaii effectively tearing off the whole side panel of the car. We superglued it back on, covered all the scratches with ChapStick and then threw dust all over the car and returned it without the company noticing.
ThreeMillionthFan: Who is going to take over the "professional hitter" role on Your 2017 Seattle Mariners? It sounds like a lot of folks are leaning towards Balenciaga.
- Isabelle: I have absolutely no idea who Balenciaga could refer to, but am tickled at this (perhaps unintentional) cross-section of baseball and high fashion. My money is on Givenchy.