With but a week left before the Seattle Mariners commence the 2008 campaign at Safeco Field (March 31), perhaps it's fair to ask whether spring-training stats and performances are accurate harbingers of the actual baseball season. Answer as of Saturday, March 22: Probably not, unless you hold your statistics sheets upside down. As of Saturday, the "best" American League team was perennial non-contender Tampa Bay, at 14-5. Last? The Boston Red Sox (7-11), who swept the World Series last October. Florida (16-8) shared the National League lead after finishing 2007 at 71-91, second worst in the Senior Circuit.
Closer to home, the M's nominal number-one starting pitcher, Erik Bedard, has helped opposing hitters to seven home runs during March outings that leave him with an earned-run average of 9.69. Meanwhile, teammate Mike Morse as of Saturday still hadn't been named to the team's opening-day roster. Yes, Morse had three more hits in the 9-13 M's 8-5 loss to opening-day opponent Texas. Yeah, the guy was hitting .542. But a few defensive gaffes had team field boss John McLaren unconvinced that Morse is the right fit for the fourth outfielder roster spot. The inference J-Mac asks fans to draw in the absence of statistical evidence: Bedard's failures and Morse's successes are both flukes. Nary a word has been heard about, at the very least, using Morse as designated hitter.
Uh, so just a thought or two: Is there another club in either league that might benefit from Mike Morse (26 for 48 through Saturday)? Would M's general manager Bill Bavasi be at all inclined, assuming team leaders have given up on Morse (he's out of options, thus can't be shipped to triple-A Tacoma), to maybe try to move the versatile 26-year-old? If so, maybe Bavasi could pick up a left-hander who has better upside potential than Bedard, the team's biggest downer amid the inverted logic of '08 spring numbers.