I hate it when my team signs bad baseball players. That’s essentially every argument every baseball fan has belabored since the dawn of time. If your team makes you mad, it’s probably because they brought in bad players, which in turn made the team bad, which in turn ruined your summer. Bad baseball players come in all shapes and sizes. Some of them are highly regarded and flame out. Some of them come to your organization with a number of question marks, leaving a percentage of fans saying, “I told you so,” when they’re proven to be terrible. And some of them come with more red flags than a Communist Pride Parade.
I’ve never liked Jeremy Bonderman: The Baseball Player (I don’t know Jeremy Bonderman: The Human Being; he very well could be a helluva guy). I never liked Jeremy Bonderman even when he was supposedly GOOD. The guy was supposed to be blazingly awesome, but never really panned out. His very best year still only saw him a little over 200 innings and a hair over 200 strikeouts, with an ERA that still managed to be over 4. I know ERA isn’t the greatest indicator of overall pitching talent, but give me a break! If I was a Tigers fan, he would’ve been my least-favorite player: a guy who was supposed to be awesome, but always ALWAYS underachieved.
Bonderman was constantly rumored to be on the Mariners’ radar, which made me cringe to no end. When he finally destroyed his arm, I thought I was safe. I thought we were ALL safe. But, I was wrong. Because the Mariners are the team that leaves no stone unturned. And not in the good way that the Seahawks leave no stone unturned when making chicken salad out of chicken shit prospects and guys who have been out of the league for multiple years. In the bad way, where the Mariners will try out ANYONE, because they’re desperate, and not good enough to gently shove those losers aside when it comes time to cement your 40-man roster. Jeremy Bonderman had no business being on a Major League roster this year. He had every business trying to make his comeback. He also had every business to stay in Triple-A all season. But, something would have to be very, VERY wrong with a baseball team to require his services in a starting capacity.
So, of course he made 7 starts with the Mariners. Of course three of those starts were the God damn Devil. Of course even his supposedly “good” starts still saw him do next-to-nothing well. He struck out 16 batters in 7 starts. He generated more fly balls than ground balls in all but two starts. He went beyond 6 innings pitched just once.
Yet, because he’s a veteran who was proven to be somewhat reliable in his career (even if it was reliably shitty, according to me), and because he had an out-clause that would force the team to either cut him or give him a spot in the Major League roster, Bonderman was given a chance. Not for nothing, but it’s not like the Mariners had anyone any better at the time. Let’s face it, our young pitching prospects have been huge disappointments and/or not ready for the Big Leagues. SO MANY THINGS had to happen for Bonderman to become a Seattle Mariner and pitch in seven games. He came out of the gate sucking dick, then promptly put up three consecutive “quality starts” with the fourth not too shabby either (from a results standpoint).
You know what’s worse than bad players who put up good numbers for a temporary period of time, thereby delaying their DFA which should so rightfully be coming? Because I don’t know a fucking thing that’s worse than that. Now, I would never begrudge a guy who managed to turn things around, magically got better, and legitimately helped this ballclub win games. But, when he’s just lucky? When he’s putting up 0’s even though he’s giving up a bunch of hits and walks and not striking anybody out? That spells doom in my book. Not only did we have to put up with his boring-ass starts, but we had to put up with MORE of his boring-ass starts than we should’ve because he was good for a couple weeks.
Luckily, the Mariners have some other guys who they feel confident in. Luckily, Erasmo Ramirez is back from injury and likely going right into our rotation this Thursday. Luckily, the Mariners have enough weapons to rid themselves of dead weight. And, “luckily”, the Mariners are terrible enough to want to give every young kid a chance to see what they’ve got.
Now, if there’s only something we can do with Aaron Harang.