Friday, July 01, 2005


Another thought came to me as the Mariners were getting humiliated by the A’s. Sure we can throw everyone under the bus after this type of week, but one in specific I was wondering about. What happened to the brilliance of Bryan Price? His staff walks 9 guys yesterday. Pineiro and Meche have not developed or improved at all. Freddy Garcia leaves and is a stud again. None of the young guys that came to the team last year improved or settled down under the tutelage of Bryan Price. This guy was supposed to be the genius. I think he is probably a good pitching coach and the pitching staff has done a decent job this season considering what we anticipated, but all of the things that Price was being giving these oddles and oddles of credit for haven’t happened in 2 and half years. Moreover, the organization that he is charge of is destroying pitchers at an alarming rate compared to the amount they develop.


Steve said...

Thank you for bringing up Bryan Price's effectiveness. Perhaps its a familiarity breeds contempt thing. But there seems to be no upward movement of Meche, Pinero, and Franklin. And yet, after getting shellacked, all I read about is that they made a few bad pitches and it cost them. No one ever comes out and says "I stunk!". I think its time to look elsewhere, get some new energy and focus from another coach. Price has been great over the years, but I think the end is in sight.

Dawgfan1980 said...

I think the other area of concern doesn't fall on the shoulders of Brian Price, but on the shoulders of the minor league coaches. But, in the end, the scouting system should be at fault as well. By drafting high schoolers, and younger players, you are creating a massive risk/reward system.

For the MLB players, frankly, the staff just isn't that good. Meche and Pinerio were "potential" guys. Remember, not every starter is going to go to 20-10 with 250 IP and 220 K's. If you can get 30 wins two or three years down the road from those two on a consistant basis, then M's fans should be happy, and Brian Price should be lauded.

Look at the starting staff, pitcher by pitcher.

Moyer - A #2 to #3 pitcher for most MLB teams, probably the most consistant pitcher. The sad thing is that he faced Julio Franco in Franco's rookie season.

Pinerio - Solid #2 on potential, right now #3. Needs to work on consistancy, but in this day and age, where players play longer, patience needs to be the watch word for the fans with Joel Pinerio.

Meche - Hasn't really pitched enough to be anything more than a "potential" guy. Right now, still a project sort of player.

Sele - A project player, picked off the scrap heap. The fact that Price is getting any quality starts out of him is a credit to Price himself.

Franklin - Franklin is a battler, he is a solid #5 guy. He will go out there and be a bulldog. Has the mentality to be a playoff sort of pitcher, just doesn't have the talent.

Basically, with those five, you have two 2-3 starter types, two number fives, and a rookie. What more do you want from this starting staff?

The bullpen is more of the issue. Besides Guardado, you have nothing working down there. Villone is a decent lefty, but not a "dominate" one. Great bullpen players are hard to find. Shiggy had two carrer years when he came over to the M's, so more credit should be given to Brian Price.

In the end, I think you have to point to the lack of talent on the MLB roster, the minor league coaching staff, and the scouting and drafting philosphy of the M's before you can ask for Price's head.

Keep up the good work Locke!

JohnN said...

Ask yourself this, has Price ever won a pennant as a player? How about as a coach? Have these young pitchers performed well in Tacoma? Why is their performance so drastically different when they move up a level? Who is responsible for their transition? Who’s ultimately in charge of the bullpen coach? What is the common thread between all of these young pitchers when they move up to the majors? Are their mechanic issues correctable? Based upon Price’s experience as a player, do you think he has much to offer with regards to mental development? How much respect do the players have for Bryan Price? Why was Freddie Garcia always rolling his eyes every time Price spoke to him on the mound? Compare Bryan Price’s resume to Curt Young of the Oakland A’s. Do the words “polar opposite” painfully ring in your head?

With regards to recruiting...when Tommy Lasorda returned to LA in 2000 wearing Gold, do you think he envisioned Franklin as a solid #5 MLB starter? Or as a massive risk? In fact, Tommy told his front office I want this guy. Do not let Franklin go, unless you want to see another Mariner pitcher succeed else where in the league. Piniero – hold. Thornton – he’s going to be a good one. Putz – be patient. Nelly – you’re awesome! Please do not touch the pitching staff! Recruiting has not been the problem. Pat Gilick is not to blame (at least in this area). Bill Bavasi will be to blame if he does not make some tough decisions NOW.

I agree that we can’t place all of the blame on Bryan Price, but he most certainly is part of the problem. The other major contributing factor would be that Olivo + Borders < Wilson. Dan Wilson’s framing and pitch management is superior to what Olivo and Borders have to offer combined. Borders calls a great game, but he needs to frame more with his wrist, and less with his arms. If I can see his arm moving, then you know the ump can. And if Borders would learn to frame further up in the box on Nelly’s slider, then Nelly would get that called third strike. Especially, when the batter is frozen like a deer in the headlights. But can an old-dog learn an old-trick?

Where do the Mariner’s go from here? Guess what, I have great news! With regards to selecting a new head pitching coach, look no further than Jamie Moyer. Jamie, it’s time to hang up those cleats, end on a decent note, and take the reigns. I vow to subscribe to All-star Auto Glass for all of my I5 dings. I’m sure all of Seattle would subscribe, if you were to instruct these young pitchers. Jamie has so much more to offer than Bryan Price or any active pitching coach in MLB (cover your ears Mel). Ok, now that Bavasi has made that tough decision, we can finally focus on left field and catching.

Locke, you hit the nail on the head!