Tagged: Players

The Bill Swift All-Stars

I would like to introduce everyone to the Bill Swift All-Stars, a collective of baseball talent unwisely sent away to flourish with other clubs.  Before I even get started I don’t want to hear about what a pessimist I am; I’m a fan of history and I think that as Mariner’s fans we need to embrace our failures as well as our successes because we have plenty of both to talk about.  Now on to the squad.

In order to qualify for the Bill Swift All Stars a player needs to have been in the Seattle Mariner organization and performed with average to mediocre results only to be traded (free agents don’t count) and have increased success with their new club.  Since we have a history of questionable personnel moves the Bill Swift All-Stars has a few members. 

The namesake of the club is former Mariner pitcher Bill Swift.  Swifty pitched for the M’s from 1985 through 1991 winning 30 games, losing 40 and posting a 3.93 ERA; not good not bad pretty much shrug-worthy.  In 1992 Swift was one of the pieces in the blockbuster trade to bring 1989 NL MVP Kevin Mitchell and his power bat (which had been in decline since 89) to the Great Northwest.  After the trade Swift delivered a 39-19 records and a 2.57 ERA in 3 seasons for the Giants while Mitchell hit .286 and delivered only 9 homers and 69 RBI.  Nice average but not what the team thought it was trading for and to this day the Mitchell trade is treated as a laughing stock.    I guess it could be seen as vengeance from the baseball gods for the Jay Buhner/Ken Phelps trade in 1988. 

The roster of the Bill Swift All-Stars includes:

POS.

NAME

YEAR

TO

BEFORE

AFTER

RHP

Dave Burba (for OF Kevin Mitchell)

1992

SF

2-2, 4.09 ERA

15+ wins for CLE in 98, 99 and 00

RHP

Mike Jackson (for OF Kevin Mitchell)

1992

SF

22-25, 3.39 ERA

1.49 ERA for SF in 94, 1.55 ERA and 40 saves for CLE in 98, 39 saves for CLE in 99 (years where the bullpen cost the M’s world series aspirations)

RHP

Derrick Lowe (for RHP Heathcliff Slocumb)

1997

BOS

2-4, 6.96 ERA

21-8 for BOS in 02, 17-7 for BOS in 03. 

C

Jason Veritek (for RHP Heathcliff Slocumb)

1997

BOS

No appearance for Mariners

Hit .293 in 01, .296 in 04, .285 in 05, currently Red Sox captain

I know there are more than this on the squad, if anyone can clue me in (who did we give up to get Mulholland in 96? or Benes in 95? Who did we get when Estes was dealt? ) let me know. 

Current active candidates for the squad are Raph Soriano (to ATL for LHP Horatio Ramirez) Chris Snelling (to WSH for 2B/DH No-Legs Vidro) and Shin Soo-Choo (to CLE for 1B/DH/OF/wherever Ben Broussard). 

“34” reasons to watch

After 2 amazing starts and the jury still very much out on the rest of the starting rotation I am officially jumping on the Felix “34” Hernandez hype train.  I am one of the most subborn and critical people ever to populate the Puget Sound so it takes a lot to admit that I haven’t been this excited to see a guy pitch since I was a black shirt wearing angst-filled high school kid and the cat wearing number 51 was well over 6 feet tall.  I was a huge Randy Johnson fan back in the day so it goes without saying that I love to see great pitching.  If you haven’t bought into Felixmania yet just look at his numbers for the season thus far (stats from mariners.mlb.com, pic from espn.com):

Felix Hernandez

Player

TEAM 

W 

L 

ERA 

G 

GS 

CG 

SHO 

SV 

SVO 

IP 

H 

R 

ER 

HR 

HBP 

BB 

SO 

1.

F Hernandez

SEA

2

0

0.00

2

2

1

1

0

0

17.0

4

0

0

0

0

4

18

Yeah that really does say 17 innings of scoreless ball with only 4 hits and 18 K’s and zero earned runs, dude is just a pitching ninja. 

I am also glad that some important bats began to show some life to give “34” some support out there.  Kenji, J-Lo (Jose Lopez), Crazy Jose [Guillen], and Jose Vidro (nickname pending; considering “No-Legs”) had two hits each and are going to need to do that more regularly in order for this team to remain competitive throughout the summer though I will be a lot happier when all of those 100-level batting averages in the Mariner lineup start turning into 2’s and 3’s but it is still early I know. 

In other, not so cheerful Mariner Nation news I just read on the espn dot com that left handed specialist and glory-year Mariner veteran Arthur Rhodes may miss the season to have Tommy John surgery on his pitching elbow.  This is a drag because we are not exactly thick in the left handed relief pitching department, especially since we just traded Travis Blackley for outfield depth. 

If the weather holds the Bostonseries will wrap up today with Jared facing knuckleball god Tim Wakefield at 1 this afternoon, another at work game.