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Thunderstorms in Marinerville
Posted by Jason Thornbury at 6/5/2008 12:59:00 AM
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So the Mariners are imploding big time -- 18 games under .500 after getting swept by the Angels on Wednesday -- and the gnashing of teeth is in full force all around Marinerville. Before Wednesday's game, the team president ripped into the coaching staff and after the game, manager John McLaren ripped into the team with a healthy portion of F-bombs. Meanwhile, the man who constructed this Triple-A roster, GM Bill Bavasi, said, "They may not know how to play the game well ... But they are playing hard. They are trying hard."

They are trying hard? I'm trying not to laugh. This isn't art class at the local junior college -- no points for effort, thanks. I wonder if Bavasi even realizes he just admitted he has no eye for evaluating talent. If these players don't know how to play the game well, why are they on your roster? Or did they only start sucking once they put on a Mariners jersey, which then indicts the manager and coaches?

Who thought this team was anywhere close to being good? It's truly baffling that so many folks -- the organization, media, fans -- thought this team could contend. True, I didn't think they'd be on pace for 104 losses, but I also thought it was pretty clear that this team had no shot at the playoffs.

At least three players -- Miguel Cairo, Richie Sexson, Jose Vidro -- belong nowhere near a major league roster. Calling starting pitchers three through five unreliable is highly charitable. The bench is probably the league's worst. The defense has been predictably awful. The offense is immune from drawing walks and has no power. And it took your manager two months before he started calling the team out publicly. Oh, and your third baseman is playing with a torn ligament in his wrist that your medical people failed to diagnose properly.

This really shouldn't be all that shocking.


I agree with most of what you say except "defense has been predictably awful". It has been bad, but not "predictably" they are strong up the middle and have a great third baseman, and since Wilkerson left the outfield corners are acceptable. Bavasi is the root of the problem. Him and a conservative ownership group.
Posted by Brazos at 6/5/2008 7:04:00 AM
Yeah, we'll have to disagree on that one. The M's aren't strong up the middle. Jose Lopez is not good at second base, and while Betancourt makes a sensational play now and then, he also is too often prone to mental lapses like throwing the ball into the seats. Wilkerson's departure marginally improved right field, but left field is still in shambles with Raul No-Range Ibanez. Beltre is good, but he's playing with an injury that has limited him at third. And Richie Sexson just plain stinks at first. That's not a good fielding team by any stretch, and practically the only ones who thought the M's would be good defensively were McLaren and Bavasi. The defensive shortcomings take on more significance considering that three starters are put-the-ball-in-play pitchers.
Posted by Jason Thornbury at 6/5/2008 10:24:00 AM
they are certainly not strong up the middle. posted an evaluation of betancourt's defense recently (on my mobile or I'd link) that was pretty eye opening. Ibanez is about the same as manny these days in the field IMHO.
Posted by amnesiak at 6/5/2008 11:55:00 AM
The mess is all Bavasi's fault. EVERY SINGLE MAJOR MOVE he's made has not panned out (except signing Ichiro): Beltre, Sexson, Washburn, Horacio Ramirez, Silva, Johjima (to an extent, though defense has been good)... how many does it take to get him the axe?
Posted by bscwik at 6/5/2008 2:56:00 PM
Even McClaren's tirade was one of the lamest that I've heard. He didn't really rip anyone, he just said that they need to play harder and sprinkled in a bunch of f-bombs to make it sound harsher.
Posted by herbilk at 6/5/2008 3:10:00 PM
I would argue that signing Ichiro (just like Johjima) was a straight-from-the-owner thing and Bavasi had nothing to do with it.

And Ho-Ram may be the second (or third, depending on how Bedard ends up working out) worst move that the M's have ever made. Any M's fan knows the worst.
Posted by amnesiak at 6/5/2008 4:00:00 PM
That one was bad, but I can think of at least two (Bedard notwithstanding) that are worse.
Posted by olson at 6/5/2008 9:20:00 PM
Herb, good point. He didn't rip anyone at all. He can't even pull off a competent tirade.
Posted by Jason Thornbury at 6/5/2008 11:33:00 PM
He was a Guillen wannabe to say the least...
Posted by kevinccp at 6/6/2008 5:09:00 PM
the beltre signing wasn't all that awful; he's been playing through injury this year, but otherwise has provided good defense and very underrated offense. but, yeah, everything bavasi has done has turned to crap. at least sabean saved him from signing zito. now if bedard can return to last year's form for a few starts, maybe he can salvage that trade by flipping bedard to restock the damage he did to the system trying to win this year.
Posted by claskowski at 6/9/2008 10:31:00 AM

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