FIRE JOE MORGAN: Jim Riggleman Has Superhero-Level Powers Of Self-Deception


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Wednesday, July 23, 2008


Jim Riggleman Has Superhero-Level Powers Of Self-Deception

And Jesse Baumgartner of must be his sidekick. Take a look at these mind-bendingly denial-ridden snippets from a piece Baumgartner wrote about Seattle's abysmal DH situation:

Different approach at DH

SEATTLE -- Most American League teams use the designated hitter position to stick a little more pop in their lineup. David Ortiz of the visiting Boston Red Sox would be a prime example.

Most American League teams try to play someone who can hit in the position of Designated Hitter, a job whose description reads "Someone who can hit." It's taken approximately four billion years for life to evolve from some sort of self-replicating ribozyme into a creature, man, whose brain is able to complete the difficult task of assigning a good hitter to DH.

But that's not the way the Seattle Mariners approach that part of their team.

What if...

What if we played a bad hitter at DH? An execrably, eye-gougingly, fingernail-scrapingly awful hitter?

Would that help us win games?

"I'm just kind of using it just to try to have some contact in that spot, and maybe be able to move some runners and hit and run and that kind of stuff, get some at-bats for some guys," interim manager Jim Riggleman said.

Yeah, that's it. We don't want a home run hitter, or a doubles hitter, or a hitter at all. Give me a lamp at DH. Or an Eames chair. Is an Eames chair available? No? Then get Jose Vidro.

By the way, Mariners fans, your manager just said: The purpose of the DH is to "get some at-bats for some guys." Yes, the DH's at-bats don't officially count, do they? Riggleman's not sure. He has to check the rulebook.

"It's not a classic DH spot

-- the kind where the guy hits well --

where we're looking for our DH to give us 25 to 30 home runs and 100 RBIs, that's just not what we are. So I'm fine with it the way it is."

Now, on the one hand, I know he's the manager (interim manager at that), not the GM, so he kind of has to say things like this to put a good face on things, but on the other hand, what in the bloody flying fuck are you talking about? Would it be crazy for him to say, "Hey, sure, we're hoping to get a little more production out of that spot." Or even more sensibly: "We think Jose's going to hit a little better from here on out." Would that absolutely ruin Jose Vidro's confidence to the point that Vidro can no longer successfully OPS .584, as he's doing right now?

You heard me: Jose Vidro is OPSing .584. He's a few at bats short of qualifying for the OPS leaders minimum, but after a cursory look I'm pretty sure that would be the worst figure in the American League.

He's your DESIGNATED. H. I. T. T. E. R.

While the team sometimes puts an extra catcher in the lineup at DH,

That is such sad beginning to a sentence.

Jose Vidro has been the mainstay for much of the season -- Tuesday' s start was his 61st this year at the position.

Vidro is about as far away from Ortiz as you can get. He has just five homers this season and is hitting .223 with a .267 OBP and 41 RBIs.

Additional note to the Mariners: Jose Vidro has an EqA of .218 and a WARP3 of -0.5. He is one of the worst hitters in baseball. His numbers are embarrassing even for, like, a historically-great-fielding catcher. He does not field for your team.

But you knew that, right? I mean, there's no way this is a surprise to you or anything --

"I'm astonished to tell you the truth when I look up and I see Vidro's average is what it is,

I know you're a professional baseball manager and everything, but dude, seriously, Riggleman, have you ever even seen a game this year? Members of the uncontacted Yanaigua tribe of Bolivia know that Jose Vidro has a sub-.600 OPS, and you don't seem to have a clue. He plays on your team, bro-bro.

because I feel like every time he goes up there I'm very confident that he's going to give us a good at-bat," Riggleman said.

Things that belie Riggleman's confidence: EVERY SINGLE OTHER AT BAT JOSE VIDRO HAS HAD THIS YEAR.

"And for the at-bats that he has, he's knocked in quite a few runs ... he's been fairly effective in the way we want to use him.

There, my friends, is the standard if you want to be the designated hitter for the Seattle Mariners professional major league baseball club: in order to be considered "fairly effective," you merely have to be the worst hitter in your league. That is all.

Send your résumés to:

"I Want To Be The Mariners' DH"
c/o Jim Riggleman
.266 OBP Lane
Ridiculously Low Slugging Percentageburg, WA 98134

And for now, while many teams would prefer some additional pop in the lineup, the Mariners are content to stay with their different breed of designated hitter.

Can a baseball franchise be declared clinically insane? I believe, if organizations were to be treated as human beings, one of the legal criteria for a franchise to be officially designated "insane" would be

1. Franchise claims to be content with a .584 OPS player as their DH.

"It's not a classic DH situation, but I feel good every time he walks up to the plate," Riggleman said.

"It's not the classic DH situation where you expect a professional baseball player to at least put together a major league-quality at bat, but what do I know about baseball? I'm a millet farmer from sub-Saharan Africa," Riggleman said while farming millet. "I feel good every time he walks up to the plate, primarily because here, in America, I have clean water and food with enough niacin in it to stave off pellagra. Plus, very little chance of getting sleeping sickness."

"The numbers may say otherwise, but I think he's going to give us good at-bats."

Jose Vidro has been way better than a .584 OPS hitter in the past, so I hope for the Mariners' and Riggleman's sake he's right. On the other hand, Vidro's 34 and he batted .189 in the month of June. .189!

Maybe there isn't anyone in the entire Mariners organization who can hit better than that, or maybe Jim Riggleman is in such profound denial he's forgotten what the rules of baseball even are anymore.

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posted by Junior  # 4:51 PM
Jose Vidro base hit one minute after this was posted.
Yes. YES. 45 minutes post-post, Vidro rocks a Clay Buchholz fastball into the stands to tie the game.

The FJM Reverse Jinx is unSTOPpable.
I have five consecutive emails in my inbox with the subject:

Best FJM Jinxes Ever:

1. Ripping apart that stupid Eli Manning article where everyone was claiming it was a good trade for the Giants, and then Eli winning the Super Bowl with the worst pass I have ever seen.

2. Ripping on Scott Podsednik all year and then having him win that postseason game with a walk-off HR.

Wrong things Mariners announcers have said, 7/23:

Re: Kevin Youkilis
"Seems like he hits .300 every year."

Youkilis has never, in four previous seasons, hit .300.

Re: Dustin Pedroia
"Pedroia's a good runner."

Pedroia is one of the slowest men on the Red Sox, including the lumbering Jason Varitek and the dirigible-sized David Ortiz.
...and Pedroia gets thrown out by approximately 20,000 nautical miles.
The Mariners' Announcers' Reverse Jinx lives!

3-4, 1 HR, 1 R, 2 RBI.

Will win the game if he crosses home plate here.
Just great baserunning by Vidro to go first to third there. Guy's the total package.
And of course, bottom of the 12th, down by 3 runs, bases loaded, 2 outs...





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