May 22, 2012
My Kingdome for a Morse
You look for things to write about the Mariners. You watch some games, flip through stats pages, maybe think about clever puns for Justin Smoak. Because probably that hasn't been done to death.
You ponder how Smoak has done since coming over from Texas for Cliff Lee in July 2010. Smoak was supposed to provide power, but he has five homers and isn't hitting or getting on base. Still, that is more homers than Albert Pujols, and he is hitting more and getting on base more often. Also, Smoak is seven years younger and a tad less expensive.
Not that this makes you feel better, but it's something. And also, the Pujols thing has been done to death so it isn't any better than Smoak puns.
Maybe you notice that Smoak's top comp at Baseball-Reference through age 24 is another former Cardinals first baseman, Steve Bilko. You've never heard of this player, but now you're thinking of Sgt. Bilko—not the one with Steve Martin and Dan Aykroyd, but the original with Phil Silvers. You hope that Smoak turns out better than Bilko, who hit .251/.334/.412 with 21 homers for St. Louis in 1953 and then hit .221/.298/.434 with 24 homers for five teams from 1954 to 1960 before re-emerging with the Angels for two seasons and then retiring.
This is your hope, although better than Phil Silvers might be more realistic. Better at baseball, anyway, not at comedy... Then again, it's good to have a backup plan.
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