Monday, November 15, 2004

A hit in his first at-bat

A Welcome to Mariner Morsels, another M's blog. I'd recommend reading their first entry, posting an email exchange with Bob Finnigan. Some observations about the exchange:
  • Finnigan generally doesn't expect anything much different from the M's front office, even though this is the first complete offseason for the new GM. He implies that CEO Howard Lincoln is the main instigator of organizational philosophy.
  • Finnigan breaks down the "$10-12 Million to resign veterans" figure he published. Meche-$3M, Wilson 2.5, Villone 2, Cabrera 1, Olivo .75. He says his figures are based partly on his estimates and partly on what he hears from the organization, so we don't know if the suggestion that Dan Wilson is worth $2.5M is his lunacy or the M's. The Villone and Cabrera figures are also worrisome, but not as surprising.

What boggles my mind--assuming Finnigan is somewhat accurately representing Lincoln--is how a business shark like Lincoln would stand for overpaying mediocre veterans. If he's so wrapped up in the bottom line, wouldn't he expect frugality? Furthermore, we've seen the M's offer raises to young players who don't even qualify for arbitration. Wouldn't a cut-throat business model eschew that kind of charity?

Finnigan would probably be a lot more credible in his reporting if he either 1) refused to publish figures without independant coroboration or 2) continually prefaced his assertions with, "The Mariners front office says..." or "According to Lincoln, ..."

If you're reading this blog--and I hope you read more than just mine--you are fortunate not to have to rely solely Finnigan repeating the lines the front office gives him. There are some great web resources run by fans who pay attention and care about baseball. For instance, if you're curious about the M's payroll, check out the comprehensive reports on Dugout Dollars.

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