Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Seattle Goes Guido

Seattle promoted 3rd baseman Alex Liddi, a fairly not-descript prospect in the Mariners organization. The news itself would not be a big deal, unless you are a die-hard Mariners fan with way too much time on their hands.  However, Liddi is somewhat of a pioneer.

Liddi, who is 23, is believed to be the first Italian born major leaguer in the last 50 years. He is also the first graduate of MLB's European Academy to crack a big league roster. With the offense woes that the Mariners have, he might actually have a shot of sticking around.

In doing some research, Liddi was rated as the #6 prospect in Seattle's system, according to www.minorleagueball.com. He has a large 6'4, 220 lb frame, with some good power. He socked 30 HR's at AAA Tacoma, and if his glove comes around, he could be a fixture in the Pacific Northwest.

It is also pretty cool to see a true Italian in the majors. We have seen guys like Mike Piazza, and Francisco Cervilli play in the bigs, guys of Italian descent, but not actually European. Liddi has a chance to put European baseball on the map, and untap markets baseball has not seen success in. As someone who is of Italian descent, Liddi has already become a guy I will watch closely.

An Odd Move: Jags Cut Garrard

In a surprising move, the Jacksonville parted ways with starting QB David Garrard earlier today. Garrard has been the full-time starter in Jacksonville since 2007, when he lead the Jags to a postseason win. The writing on the walls came when the Jags traded up to grab Blaine Gabbart, but journeyman Luke McCown will be the starter Week 1 vs. the Titans.

On the surface, the move appears to be strictly financial. Garrard is due $8 million, the new starter McCown makes $1 million. Sure, no one is going to mistake Garrard for Aaron Rodgers, but he is a better than average quarterback in the NFL. He would be an upgrade at QB for at least half the teams in the NFL.

Jags coach Jack Del Rio played down the move, telling reporters that we "went with the best player at the position." Truth be told, can anyone really say Luke McCown is a better QB that Garrard at this point?

He is coming off a year where he put up a QB rating of 90.5, 13th in all of the NFL. The AFC South also looks winnable, with Peyton Manning ailing. The Jaguars telling their fans that Luke McCown gives Jacksonville the best chance to win is insane. Quite frankly, the Jaguars ownership decided to pinch pennies, instead of fielding the best team possible.