Booze, Baseball, and another "B"

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

He hate me....

It's a rare thing that two of my most disliked Mariners players of all time have positive articles, attacking fans for disliking them, published in one day. Let me rephrase that; I do not believe that it has ever happened that two of my most virulently-disliked players in baseball have had positive articles published about them, both of which attack fans, in the same day.

On a dislike scale, Pay-Rod goes all the way to "hate." More on that in a sec. Sexson does not rate as high as Pay-Rod, but man is he up there. Bobby Ayala is pretty high on that list, and Jose Mesa is too (both for sucking as a Mariner, and being on the Indians teams that killed us in the late 90s), but make no mistake, Sexson is way up there.

First off, Pay-Rod. Part of me thinks this is kind of like that "Backlash" video I posted a while ago. This is just a stunt to try to increase readership, and much like the vid, it's probably going to work because it's so outrageous. USS Mariner, a favorite blog of many Mariners fans, has a breakdown of why Seattle fans are wrong to dislike Pay-Rod, and tell us that everything we think happened didn't actually happen and it was all a myth and we are wrong to feel the way we do about Pay-Rod.

To me, this is sort of like the Griffey phenomenon which has happened here. I'm willing to admit, with Griffey, even I've bought into it a bit. They're both great players who straight up dicked the Mariners team and the Mariners' fans. Griffey demanded out, putting the team into a horrible negotiating position, from which we obtained a great CF (Mike Cameron), a very good SS (Antonio Perez) prospect, and a ok pitcher (Brett Tomko) and Jake Meyer. Had the trade gone the other way, there'd be much worse feelings. Things is, I'd take Cameron 10 times out of 10 for the time we had him chasing down everything hit to the outfield in the Safe (and hitting 4 HRs in a game, and just missing the 5th). With Pay-Rod he left because he's a money grubber who lied about wanting to win. USS Mariner disagrees with that, and that's fine but they're wrong. If I was so inclined to increase my readership, I could also put together a couple-page post detailing why Seattle fans are so right to hate Pay-Rod.

The guy said he wanted to go to a winner, so he signed with the worst team in his own division, a team that was 20 games behind the Mariners, the same Mariners who were primed to have the best season in modern baseball history.

Yes, the Rangers had success previous to Pay-Rod signing there, but they weren't a good team at the time, and allocating a quarter of a billion dollars to one guy isn't really going to give you room to improve any. On top of that, it seems that he was mostly motivated by money (and admittedly it's tough to knock him too much based simply on the money alone, since probably 95% of people out there would do the same thing), but there was also the personal stats padding that he got by playing in a ballpark that I could hit home runs out of. Remember when he used to steal bases and hit for average? Yeah, that changed when he decided he was going for HR records. Fine and good for him, but don't sugar coat it.

While it might be postulated that Pay-Rod didn't go for the money, he himself said:
''That's common sense. When you're looking at turning down over $150 million to go play somewhere else it's just obvious. I think anyone would have done the same thing I did.''

I will say in his defense, he's always been good about the boos he gets here (more on that topic further down), and that's classy on his part. I'm sure he hates it, but he doesn't make a big deal about it, because he knows what he did to us, and he knows that the team had 116 wins the next season because he left.

And have people forgot him goading Boeing into leaving Seattle to join him in Texas? A lot of people in this town were affected by that, and a lot more didn't appreciate that move, Boeing's nor Pay-Rod's.

Say what you will about the Hall of Famers who have come through Seattle, I would rather have good people who are committed to the team and the city, like Edgar Martinez and Ichiro, than assholes who lie through their teeth and want to get out as soon as they can when someone dangles a dollar bill in front of them or creates a baseball team where they have their vacation home.

As for Sexson, pretty priceless piece from the PI today. Turns out Sexson hates the people who were booing him, and doesn't really think that highly of Seattle fans anymore.

Of course the usual, "he from around here" crap gets brought up. I hate that people use that to influence who they like. My two favorite Mariners, Ichiro and Edgar Martinez, are not from around here, but that doesn't mean that I don't like them. If you play hard, and well, people like you. That's why people like WFB, and that's why I like Chris Snelling (and I'm still disappointed that we dropped him like a bad habit).

Sexson says that a hip injury was what caused his horrible performance last year. If he was hurt, why did it take the entire season of sucking for him to finally get benched, and then be pissy about it? In case you didn't know, when players suck (in many sports but especially in baseball) they have an "injury." HIPAA rules restrict what the public and the media can actually learn, so you can say people are hurt to give the manager an excuse to sit them or put them on the DL, and there's nothing to really refute that.

At least he acknowledges that his albatross contract is part of the reason he gets booed. FYI, dude, if you're paid like a superstar and you produce worse than a kid who just got called up from AA, then you're not pulling your weight and we're paying your salary, so we get to boo you. The Mariners have overpriced tickets, and Sexson (who had the largest contract on the team) is a big part of that. That's how it works.

He says that he was trying last year, but unfortunately I don't buy it. I attended and watched many M's games last year (the year he hit a whopping .205) and his face didn't show determination and his body language didn't communicate concern with his lack of performance. He'd go up to the plate, be his rally-killing-middle-of-the-lineup-automatic-out, and then go grab his glove. And he'd do it with each plate appearance.

I don't think that Sexson has been a complete bust the whole time he's been here. When he first showed up he was providing some needed power, but when you get to play a whole year as a starter, and you're allowed to do that and end up hitting .205, you're done. This is his contract year, and I hope he's gone. He complains that people will still dislike him if he does well this year, as they'll chalk it up to him playing for a new contract. Again, FYI dude, we don't like people who suck. If you want to play well so you can get another albatross contract, that's fine. But don't think that fans should hope you stay here. I hope he hits .335/50 HR /150 RBI this year, and signs with the Yankees in the offseason. Of course, that won't happen since he can't stand hearing from a crowd, so maybe he should consider Kansas City or Oakland, cities where they don't know that they actually have a professional baseball team. He'd fit in well there, since he admits that he doesn't play for the fans.

He goes on to say that the fans in all of the other cities he has played in appreciated him more than the Seattle fans.

...ok, cry me a river, Timberlake.

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