Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Whoa Nellie and the Poulsbo Kid

In spite of all the negative posts on blogs around Marinerland, I would like to say that I'm totally stoked about the return of Aaron Sele and Jeff Nelson to the team. Sure, they're just minor league contracts with an NRI tag, but I wouldn't put it past both Sele and Nellie to actually pitch their way onto the 25-man roster in spring training.
Both men were big losses to the Mariners: Sele when the M's let him get away in free agency, and Nelson when the club traded him in anger over his criticism of the front office's inability to make at trade at the July 31st deadline... virtually throwing away a trade by trading Nellie for Armando Benitez, who basically never pitched for the Mariners afterwards.
Sele meant so much for the M's during the 2 seasons he pitched for them. Nelson, when he came back here for round 2, was not only a great setup man, but was also a great ambassador for the team. Nellie always made you feel the sheer joy he felt to be a Mariner again. Only a handful of M's have ever manifested that joy to be a Seattle Mariner: Jay Buhner, Dave Valle, Edgar Martinez, Brett Boone. Jeff Nelson let you know that he was The Once And Future Mariner.

These guys also are winners. Nelson has four World Series rings with the Yankees, Sele has one ring with the Angels. Plus, each is a warrior, and each has one of the nastiest pitches in baseball: Sele's unparalleled curveball, and Nelson's incomparable flat-breaking slider. Both men are club leaders, Sele more by example, Nelson by word and deed. The Mariners young pitchers need craft old studs like Aaron and Jeff to show them how to master the mental aspects of the game. Pitching isn't just about stuff, it's, as Yogi Berra would say,"Two-thirds-mental and the other half physical." Jeff Nelson has proven that relievers are not just cool headed, unflappable assassins of the mound. They can also be fire-breathing dragons a la Al Hrabosky and Goose Gossage. This trait is especially effective in the set-up role... crazies like Nasty Boys Norm Charlton and Rob Dibble setting up for closer Randy Myers, or the '97 Orioles 'Nasty Birds' Arthur Rhodes and Armando Benitez setting up... Randy Myers. Or Arthur Rhodes and Jeff Nelson setting up Kaz Sasaki for the 2002 M's.

So, I dream of a rotation that goes like this:

Jamie Moyer
Joel Pinero
Bobby Madritsch
Aaron Sele
Gil Meche

And a new bullpen that has lefties George Sherrill and Matt Thornton and righties Jeff Nelson and J.J. Putz setting up for Steady Eddie Guardado.

In the words of M's fan Napoleon Dynamite:


Blogger Dallas said...

Love your site. Hey have you seen this Mariners news site yet? http://sportspyder.com/teams/mlb/mariners/

March 29, 2005 at 12:32 AM  

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