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September 2012 - Ketel One Vodka Major Championship Challenge Trip to Pebble Beach
Mitch spoke to the great Mets pitcher about playing in Seattle, drug problems and rehab. Doc: A Memoir is out now.
Jack Zduriencik brought Michael Morse in to the fold to bolster the lineup, but Morse isn't the centerpiece of the M's rebuild.
By Miles Liatos Sports Radio KJR
Geoff Baker joined Mitch today and said Jack Zduriencik should wrap up his rebuilding plan soon. Zduriencik recently told Softy that the front office needs seven years (or two more) to complete the rebuilding.
Baker couldn’t see through the Jack Z goggles on this day.
“Right now this team’s having trouble getting close to contention in any one year,” Baker said. “For me that’s not good enough. If you’re going to ask for seven years as a general manager, you have to be able to point to at least one .500 season since 2009, and they can’t do that right now.”
The two-year window would be a dangerous proposition. The idea the team could be successful in two years assumes the farm system prospects will bloom as legitimate major-leaguers. However, there’s no guarantee those players will rise. Baker said there’s possibly a better chance those players will flop as opposed to flourish.
With no budding young superstars, the Mariners are forced to overuse their veterans. Baker said despite playing through injury, Michael Morse can barely run the bases. A recent Morse fly ball bounced over the fence for a ground-rule double, lucky because Morse wouldn’t have made it to second base, Baker said. Morse is dealing with a sore quad muscle.
But it’s obvious the Mariners didn’t plan to overwork Morse and other veterans to turn around the franchise.
“Let’s face it, when they brought in a bunch of veterans to help this team, it was under the assumption that this young core we’ve seen trying to be built up for four-plus years was actually going to start to play like every-day major-leaguers, and it just hasn’t happened,” Baker said.
But it better start happening, or Zduriencik's time in Seattle will be up.
DJ Peterson reacts after being drafted to the Mariners Thursday. (Video framegrab/MLB Network)
By Miles Liatos Sports Radio KJR
There’s a lot of buzz surrounding DJ Peterson, even though some of that buzz might be perpetuated by Peterson himself. The New Mexico third-baseman was drafted with the 12th overall pick in the MLB Amateur draft yesterday.
Peterson did not lack confidence in declaring his expectations on the Mitch show today.
“I want to be up (at the major-league level) in about 12 months,” Peterson said. “I know (Catcher) Mike Zunino is knocking on the front door, and I want to be up as fast as him if not quicker.”
Peterson was top-five in batting average (.408), home runs (18), runs batted in (72) slugging percentage (.807) and on-base percentage (.520) in 55 Division I games this season. He stands 6’1” and 205 pounds.
Larry Stone also joined the show today and had a different perspective about when the 21-year old would reach the majors. He said if Peterson plays well, he could be in the high minors by next year. Then, performance will dictate whether Peterson could make it to the majors in 2015 or ’16.
Like any prospect, Peterson will have to hone his game before he reaches the major leagues. Some have said the high altitude in New Mexico inflated his numbers. Peterson refuted those claims, however, taking a shot at his SEC counterparts.
“I would love to see an SEC guy come over and do what I did at New Mexico,” Peterson said. “If people want to say the altitude inflated my numbers or whatever, come hit at my park where the gaps are 405 (feet) to left center and right center. I’m pretty sure we’ve got the biggest park in the nation.”
Peterson should be able to contribute well as a hitter in the major-leagues, but he’s also a great player to have in an organization. New Mexico head baseball coach Ray Birmingham said as much as he joined the show today as well, and was asked what kind of player Peterson is.
“You dial up a guy with an easy swing, and a ball going a lot farther than the rest of the people in the country,” he said. “He’ll be a fan favorite, and will be glad to hang out with the fans after the game.”
Miles Liatos Sports Radio KJR
The old adage is “Why change what works?”
But for defensive coordinator Dan Quinn and the Seahawks, the question may become “Why not change what works?”
The Seahawks have been showing more looks of man-press defense at OTAs, Hugh Millen said as he joined Mitch this morning.
The Seahawks primarily played zone defense last year, but some key offseason additions could allow the Seahawks defense to put even more trust in their secondary. Antoine Winfield brings last year’s third-highest defensive passer rating, and Walter Thurmond appears primed to finally have a healthy season. This can allow the team to play man-press coverage while “dialing up” blitzes, Millen said.
The case of Marcus Trufant left the Seahawks vulnerable at the nickel corner position. He had a defensive passer rating of 90-plus, Millen said. This statistic forced the Seahawks to play more zone to prevent the big play from the slot receiver.
Millen said he was “struck by the fact that the fans are going to love this scheme.”
But the Seahawks must feel comfortable with their cornerbacks to play this scheme well. By playing man-press, the Seahawks could leave their defensive backfield vulnerable if blitzes don’t get to the quarterback.
But it appears, at least for now, the coaching staff is comfortable with the new scheme.
“At this juncture, they feel like they can really dial up the blitzes,” Millen said.
Why change what works? Because this scary defense could get even scarier.