Booze, Baseball, and another "B"

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Lincecum is the new....

Tim Lincecum, the UW baseball superstar who set a Pac-10 record for strikeouts, but was NOT drafted by the hometown Mariners when they had the opportunity, just signed a deal for $650,000 with the Giants. This is right after winning the Cy Young award. If you don't know what that is, it's the award given to the best pitcher in their respective league. To put this in perspective, the Mariners are paying Carlos Silva, one of the worst pitchers in baseball last year, $12m this year. That's $12,000,000.00. Twelve with six zeroes behind it, plus the two after the decimal point.

The Mariners drafted Brandon Morrow instead of Lincecum. I can't come up with a comparable screw up. I wanted to title the post, "Lincecum is the new Omar" but I don't think that even comes close to correctly being analogous. Maybe the Titans drafting Kevin Dyson instead of Randy Moss during the 1998 NFL Draft comes close.

Look, Morrow is good. But you know what he isn't? Cy Young good. He's also not a UW alumni. While I'm sure the Seahawks' management could talk your ear off about how it's not a good idea to draft someone just because they're a local talent, I don't think they could say "that guy was the best when he was in college, and it's a good thing you passed on him in the draft." Morrow did not set a Pac-10 record for strikeouts, Lincecum did.

I know perfectly well why they didn't draft Lincecum; it's because of concerns over his throwing motion and his long-term viability in the league. So if you were to have asked me before the 2006 MLB draft, "would you rather have a home-grown guy who throws hard, and gets outs, but might not last 20 years with your team, or would you rather take a dude who played against said home-grown talent, wasn't as good, but may last a bit longer." I would have taken the homegrown guy. On top of that, the home team could have made the homegrown guy the first ever baseball player from the UW taken in the first round of the draft, but didn't take that honor upon themselves, they passed it onto someone else. I don't know if it was Hargrove, Bavasi, or Fontaine (or for that matter, Armstrong or Lincoln) who didn't want us to take Lincecum, but whoever it was made a big mistake. For that matter, I would have taken Andrew Miller before Morrow, but not before Lincecum. Maybe if I had blogged about that back then, the Mariners' front office could have read it and known the correct course of action to take. So maybe in a roundabout way this is all my fault.

Do you know how many Mariners have won the Cy Young award? Just one, Randy Johnson. His closest company in that regard is Roger Clemens, if that tells you anything about what I think of that. To have had a local kid, who dominated for the local University, come to the local team and dominate Major League Baseball then win the Cy Young would have been awesome, and would have been something to motivate fans to attend games, instead of having to do PR stunts like signing Griffey. On top of that, we'd arguably have the best top 3 in baseball (Felix, Lincecum, Bedard), and one of the best top 3s baseball has seen in a long time.

But no, we don't have that. We do have about $270k extra dollars, the difference in the amount we are paying Morrow over what we could be paying Lincecum. We also have the indignation of managing to lose 101 games last year.

Maybe Lincecum is waiting for his free agency period so he can sign here, assuming our management at the time is smart enough to make the deal (which will cost substantially more than it would have had we drafted him and had him here now). We can only hope.

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  • Problem is, even if the Mariner's had signed Lincecum, he may or may not have won the Cy Young, and would have bolted as soon as he became a free agent anyway.

    Just like every other superstar the M's have had.

    By Blogger Elwood, at 3/02/2009 9:00 AM  

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