We’re talking about a fifth outfielder. You realize this, right? Top three: Michael Morse, Franklin Gutierrez, Michael Saunders. Those are your starting outfielders. Raul Ibanez is number four. He was brought in here to come off the bench, pinch hit, occasionally start in left field and at first base. Raul Ibanez isn’t going anywhere. He’s locked in.
Which just leaves Casper Wells vs. Jason Bay. Two right-handed bats, neither of which is impressing the shit out of me right now. Whoever makes this team, if all goes according to plan, will play LESS than Raul Ibanez. Please think about that the next time you get all worked up over this debate.
It’s all so stupid, I can’t fucking stand it anymore. Everyone’s big fear is Seattle chooses to keep Jason Bay and trade Casper Wells for pretty much nothing or give him away for exactly nothing. In turn, Jason Bay will continue to stink like he has the past three seasons, and Casper Wells will be someone else’s productive fringe starter/4th outfielder for many years to come.
You know what I think? I don’t think it even fucking matters. Yes, Jason Bay will be kept on this team. Yes, Casper Wells with either be released or traded for a Single-A prospect who will likely turn out to be nothing (thus leaving our big “get” for Doug Fister as Charlie Furbush, a decent left handed bullpen guy who will never be a closer). Yes, Jason Bay will stink in 2013 and likely won’t ever play again in the Major Leagues. But, also YES, Casper Wells will continue to stink and won’t ever be a bona fide Major Leaguer!
Does Casper Wells have more value to a team than Jason Bay? Of course he does. No one wants to watch Jason Bay play in the field; he’s a God damn trainwreck. Over time, going forward, Casper Wells will be the more valuable player. But that’s not saying much, is it? What’s better than stepping in a big pile of warm, steaming dogshit? I’d say stepping in a less-big pile of warm, steaming dogshit. That’s Casper Wells. A less-big pile of warm, steaming dogshit.
If Casper Wells is never going to hit consistently, then what’s the point? You can handle having a defensive short stop like Brendan Ryan because he’s the best in the game. And because – theoretically – he’s your only black hole in the lineup. You can’t handle a black hole in Casper Wells because he’s very FAR from the best defensive outfielder in the game. And, in fact, he plays a position where you are expected to produce offensively. If he’s no better at the plate than Brendan Ryan, then you can’t justify playing him regularly. If he’s only going to be your fifth outfielder, then WHO THE FUCK CARES?
GOD, SHUT UP ALREADY ABOUT CASPER FUCKING WELLS! It’s time to move on with our lives. It’s time to focus on more important things. Instead of bitching and moaning about every perceived slight against the sabermetric community being laid down by Eric Wedge and Jackie Z, how about we focus our efforts on – oh, I don’t know – a guy who is going to play more than once every two weeks?!
I’ll close with the numbers. I know no one wants to talk about the numbers because they’re Spring Training numbers, but fuck it, that’s the way it goes. These two guys have faced just about the same competition over the course of this Spring Training. With their careers in the balance, this is what has transpired:
- Bay – 15 games, 47 at bats, 15 hits, 6 extra-base hits, 6 walks, 16 strikeouts, for a .949 OPS
- Wells – 15 games, 51 at bats, 10 hits, 6 extra-base hits, 3 walks, 19 strikeouts, for a .670 OPS
Jason Bay has five more hits, 3 more walks, and 3 fewer strikeouts. What does it mean? Absolutely nothing. But, the team has to go by something to make its decision. Yes, you can look at the last couple seasons and completely throw away these Spring numbers, but what does that get you? Why even bring in Jason Bay at all if the only thing you’re going to look at is his prior numbers? Is it completely impossible for a guy like Jason Bay to turn it around and be a productive member of the Major Leagues again, even if it’s only for one season? Of course not. It happens all the time. For all the times we try to use numbers to make sense of the game of baseball, for all the times we think we have everything figured out, in the end nothing makes any sense. Sometimes, shit just happens. Crazy, impossible shit. Outliers are out there, waiting to make a mockery of your stats and your groupthink.
Whether they’re worthless or not, the numbers tell me Jason Bay is winning this race with his play. Casper Wells had just as good of a shot to win this fifth outfield job and he’s failing. This was his chance and he’s blowing it. That’s a fact. Now, that’s just what the numbers say. There’s also the Eye Test. And for that, I have no fucking clue. I’m going to have to leave that up to the Seattle Mariners. They’ve been watching Jason Bay every day for a month. They’ve been watching Casper Wells for a helluva lot longer. If Jason Bay is winning after a month’s worth of meaningless games, then it has to be due to the Eye Test and nothing more. If that’s the case, then your bitching is futile. At the heart of the matter is the fact that these baseball guys making these baseball decisions are scouts first and numbers guys second. That’s just the way it is. Maybe in 50 years things will be different. But, right now, this is what we’ve got. If you don’t like it, go suck Billy Beane’s dick. Go suck the dick of a soon-to-be 51 year old man who still goes by the name “Billy”.
Then, when this is all over and Jason Bay is the 25th man on this Seattle Mariners roster, write a post about how you believe this is a mistake. But, please, for the love of all that is holy, don’t make me sit here and read dozens upon dozens of blog posts (on every single Mariners-related site, until the end of time) about how terrible this move is … especially when it hasn’t even fucking happened yet! God dammit anyway!