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Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.

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March 18, 2008 2:17 PM

Sexson must produce quickly

Posted by Geoff Baker

One of you wrote in today, challenging part of my forecast for the coming season in saying there is no way the Mariners would bench an underperforming Richie Sexson. I disagree. In fact, it's a little remembered reality of last season that new manager John McLaren did actually bench Sexson beginning on Aug. 1, as you can read in the attached blog post from that night. More accurately, McLaren began platooning Sexson with Ben Broussard. The night before, in an 8-0 loss to the Angels, Sexson had been roundly booed by his own fans. The decision was made not to play him every day against right handed pitchers at Safeco Field and subject him to more abuse while he was trying to work some things out.

So, to say McLaren would not have the guts to sit a veteran isn't entirely accurate. He's already done it.

Sexson on Aug. 1 was benched in favor of Broussard against right handed pitcher Jered Weaver (though he did replace Broussard after the latter's first three at-bats -- since Weaver was knocked from the game and replaced by lefty Darren Oliver -- and notched three at-bats of his own from the seventh inning onward of a wild 8-7 affair decided in the 12th).

After an off-day, Sexson went hitless against Red Sox lefty Jon Lester, then sat out two more games against right handed starters.

After that came a road trip to Baltimore where McLaren figured Sexson might be able to get back on-track without his own fans booing his every move. He put him in for one game and Sexson got two hits, earning himself a start the next day, when he went a so-so 1-for-4 against Jeremy Guthrie.

The next day, with another righty on the mound, Broussard was back in the lineup.

Now, some will say that after this point, the platoon should have stuck. It didn't. Sexson was given the chance to play all three games in Chicago against the White Sox and went 5-for-13 with a double and a home run. Sexson had a five-game hit streak. At that point, the platoon was effectively over, however shortlived it was. The next night, at Safeco Field, Sexson hit a double and then the winning home run in the ninth to beat the Twins.

Hindsight tells us that was the high point of Sexson's season. At the time, the M's were hoping, praying that his power stroke was back.

It wasn't. For whatever reason you want to believe. You can buy the injured hamstring as a reason (and he was hurt, he wasn't icing up and getting bandaged every day for show) or simply conclude Sexson had reverted to poor form in a poor season. By September, he was back on the bench for medical reasons and was effectively done for the year. By then, it was too late, though, as a late-August slide had already begun to ruin any serious playoff hopes.

Two things are different this year, though. For one, this is McLaren's team. He is not taking over from another manager mid-season. He has no political and clubhouse minefields to navigate. He can tell players right from the get-go what is expected and dish out the consequences if he doesn't get it. McLaren, as I noted, already relegated Sexson to the bench on a minimal basis last August. No reason he can't go full-throttle this time around if need be. In fact, I'd expect him to.

The second point is that Sexson is in the final year of his contract. If he does not produce early, the team will not be doing itself any favors by continuing to let him play. A sub-.200 batting average, sub-.300 on-base percentage and sub-.400 slugging percentage come mid-May? Time for Plan B. Last year, let's not forget, humiliating Sexson in public would not have put him in the best frame of mind to come back and help this team win in 2008. However right or wrong you think that is, it's a reality of the human condition.

No such excuses anymore. Sexson is a sunk cost. That $14 million he'll earn this year is already spent and won't impact next season one bit.

And yes, I do expect the team to treat Sexson differently than last year if he struggles so poorly this time around. I don't expect him to, but if he does, there is no excuse. There are players who can be moved around, prospects who can be called up from Class AAA.

One of the reasons teams love to be underdogs is that it lowers expectation levels. Drops the bar a bit when it comes to criticism. Not this time. As I wrote this morning, the M's should be the AL West favorites. That said, if their first baseman is hitting .176 with a .657 OPS as Sexson was on last May 15, and the team chooses to stay the course?

Time to rake them over the coals. With "favorite'' status comes the responsibility to play and act like one. Players and management alike. The time for excuses is done.

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Posted by markus

3:09 PM, Mar 18, 2008

That platoon with Sexson/Broussard lasted like two days, and then without a big change in performance Sexson was back in everyday. He will get every chance in the world to 'turn it around' so that he won't get moved from the middle of the lineup even if he kills rally after rally.

Posted by Nat

3:23 PM, Mar 18, 2008

Geoff: Glad to hear you state your case with Sexson, and we'll see if you're right. But it's Lopez I'm wondering about. What's up with him - is iit just a lack of confidence this spring? He HAS played better, we know that.

Posted by OlyOle

3:31 PM, Mar 18, 2008

I think it will also largely depend on the standings. If the M's are winning, they'll let Sexy ride for a while. How long did they let Cirillo suck in 2002 as long as they were winning games?

If they're losing games and start falling behind in the standings early, I could see them pulling the plug on him.

Posted by Covingtonhawk

3:44 PM, Mar 18, 2008

Geoff -

I see this spring that management is toying with Yunie in the 2 hole. Stats wise, it seems he is doing well. If he sticks there, is it more probable that Vidro drops down, or they go in a different direction?

I can see Raul in that DH hole with either Morse or Reed in LF. That is improved offense and defense all in one swell foop.

Go M's!!!

Posted by Chris from Bothell

3:55 PM, Mar 18, 2008

It should have taken until August to bench him. Even with McLaren needing to adjust ot his sudden new role last year. And Raul and Vidro got a much longer leash than they should have, even with their eventual second half contributions.

Posted by gk91

4:22 PM, Mar 18, 2008

So Baker predicts that Big Sex
If he stinks will be given some heck
I just don't agree
but let's wait and see
if McLaren waits til the season's a wreck

Posted by Nat

4:32 PM, Mar 18, 2008

Geoff and others from the previous post, it seems to me you underestimate the Angels even with their 1-2 pitchers out for six weeks. Same with the A's whose young pitching may not be so well-known or as consistent but if Harden should happen to stay healthy and they keep Blanton, they have a young lineup that has some punch - you can't count out the middle of the lineup with Sweeney who’s healthy and hitting well, and Cust. Yes, overall they're mostly a young team, but they bring energy to the game.

Which isn't to say that the M's won't be contenders- we do, after all, have these guys who’ve been through the wars! But I agree with Adam that everything will have to break just right. And Geoff, while I appreciate your confidence in the M‘s, I say let’s not count chickens before they're hatched. I'm cautiously optimistic or just plain realistic like Adam- and to the idiot who told him to go elsewhere to blog- your rah-rah-rah ‘tude sounds like high school pep rally bs. Grow up, there’s room for everybody’s POV.

Posted by ag

4:38 PM, Mar 18, 2008

I agree with Geoff that Richie will be on a lot shorter leash this year than last. Only, as I wrote on the last post, I think he'll get released rather the team allowing a disgruntled vet to ride the bench. I think the releasings by Bavasi of Boone and Olerud show the teams willngness to do just that. I hope he is able to rebound from last year and have a great season, but if by the end of May or mid June it is still more of the same, I think he'll be gone.

Posted by whlbox

5:14 PM, Mar 18, 2008

I havent seen anyone comment on the possibility of Lopez not making the team. They have several candidates to play 2nd and getting Vidro out of the dh spot everyday would open up playing time for Morse in the of, at least to start the season. Lopez hasnt really done anything since the first half of '06 and he's gotta have options left as he was kinda rushed up thru the system. Am I alone here?

Posted by Chip

5:38 PM, Mar 18, 2008

To whlbox, the problem that drove Vidro out of Washington was the fact that his knees were bad, and they realized he wasn't an everyday second baseman anymore--which made him appealing to AL clubs looking for DH help. It's more likely Morse (who started as a SS) could be moved to 2B, and Vidro would only play the field as an everyday 1B (which I believe he did last year during NL trips) or occasional 2B here or there. Bloomquist can help, too, but it's been said here before that he shouldn't be relied on for long stretches at a time.

Peter Gammons brought up, once again, the idea that Barry Bonds would help the team as our DH--but he conceded that it is more likely that at some point this season Jeff Clement claims that role, meaning Vidro will need a place to play--most likely first base. I think that if they keep Clement on the roster--which they've said is unlikely--it'll speak volumes to how little time Sexson has to prove himself.

That being said I think Richie realizes how important the start of this year is. Watching the game on TV on Sunday, you could see how much he's adjusted his batting stance (he's now much more crouched, and puts a lot more weight on the back leg--he also ended up getting three hits that game with that stance), which is pretty unusual for a veteran of his years. It's good to see he's taking this to heart.

Posted by E Day

6:06 PM, Mar 18, 2008

OK, but Geoff, why didn't they keep Broussard, or some other reasonable replacement handy in case this happened? Either they expected yet again that the stroke might mysteriously reappear, or they knew it might not and did nothing to prepare for that possibility. (They traded Broussard because they didn't think he'd get PT here, right?)

Right now, who plays for Sexson if he's benched? (And if he's hitting .176/.657 this May 15, then anything but a total benching would be unacceptable.) Cairo? Bloomquist? Morse really seems like the only option, but even though he might outperform Sexson, Morse seems more valuable off the bench. And you'd have a Richie-sized hole where a capable utility player should be--especially dangerous if the M's carry an extra reliever.

The Sexson issue heightens the confusion with the Mariners roster: with potentially underperforming players to spell, in addition to a possibly wasted spot on that extra arm, how are Cairo and Bloomquist not redundant? Reed and Morse both seem more valuable than Cairo. You need a Cairo or a Bloomquist, but having two is a waste, especially on this team.

Just like the management of the Iraqi war and occupation, strategy is totally absent from the Mariners' roster management and player acquisitions.

Posted by John

6:22 PM, Mar 18, 2008

If Sexson struggles, I agree that more than likely Vidro would move to first and someone like Clement would be given a shot at DH, although I think management is determined to give Clement a full season at catcher, because they want him ready on defense in the coming year.

Posted by Chip

6:26 PM, Mar 18, 2008

E Day, you're right, Broussard was traded because they had enough faith in Sexson to realisitically say that Broussard wouldn't be their starter this season. Also, Broussard had indicated in a couple of interviews that he was upset riding the bench, and I imagine they didn't want a small clubhouse matter to get out of hand this year.

I still think Vidro is next in line for the first base job should Sexson not produce. Again, Bavasi's said Clement won't play 1B, and he's got too good of a bat to keep him out of the lineup for long.

You're also right that Bloomquist and Cairo are essentially the same guy. McLaren even said that when he looks at them he sees a mirror image, so (especially with Cairo signing a minor-league deal) I'd imagine only one of them makes it, leaving room for Morse (utility and emergency first baseman) and Balentien (fourth outfielder) as the final bench guys. Let's not forget Brad Wilkerson also started as a first baseman, and especially if Balentien proves he's ready this year, Wlad will take over in RF, and Wilkerson can move to first base. The bottom line is there are a lot of options out there aside from Bloomquist or Cairo.

Posted by John

6:26 PM, Mar 18, 2008

Personally, I would prefer to have Morse be the DH or play first. I think he deserves a shot at starting after this spring, plus the way he's handled himself after getting jerked around the past couple of years.

You know, I honestly will be surprised if Sexon plays well this year. For one thing, I just think his swing has slowed down too much, but he is under so much pressure, I can't imagine him producing that much. It just seems to be overwhelming to him.

Posted by jujay

6:33 PM, Mar 18, 2008

Chip- Cairo signed a major league, not a minor league, deal; thus, we will likely see both him and bloomie

Posted by Chip

6:37 PM, Mar 18, 2008

You know, I agree that Clement should get a full season as C, but look at what we did with Jones--calling him up for some pine time and a spot start here and there. I'd personally like to see a lineup with Morse, Ichiro, and Balentien in the OF, and Clement as the DH. Obviously that leaves guys like Wilkerson and, possibly more importantly, Ibanez in flux. But to be honest, I think the youth, speed, and power Morse, Balentien, and Clement offer can compensate for them (especially if Balentien is platooned with Brad, and Ibanez eventually gets moved back to first).

Posted by Charles

7:29 PM, Mar 18, 2008

Posted by faithful

7:38 PM, Mar 18, 2008

Excellent posts!! Seems many of us recognize that the position players and bench seem to have been put together with virtually no real foresight. Signing of Cairo and Wilkerson, along with presence of Sexson suggests the most producive performers won't be on the field.

Posted by MtGrizzly

7:38 PM, Mar 18, 2008

If it goes down, they should take the opportunity to get Ibanez out of RF. Put him into a 1B platoon with Morse and bring up Wlad to play right.

Posted by Batter Up!!!

7:55 PM, Mar 18, 2008

"Players and management alike. The time for excuses is done." Well said Geoff! How can any contender have a 1st baseman batting .205??? I wish Sexson well & hope he has recovered. If he cannot show us by Mayday.......... and then there is 2nd base......

Posted by Dignan

9:23 PM, Mar 18, 2008

It truly is hard to imagine Sexson have another solid season in the AL. I think he might have a fighting chance in the NL though, which I was desperately hoping we could have moved him to an NL team in the offseason. Moving that contract would have almost erased any bad moves Bavasi made in the past. LOL

Posted by Adam

10:09 PM, Mar 18, 2008

To Mike from the previous thread - thanks for backing me up. Note to all "true fans": one can be a fan of a team and speak negatively about that team. It's actually refreshing. I recommend it.


Sexson must produce, because the options are pretty limited. Vidro at 1B is a joke. Clement has never played there, and given the team hasn't decided whether he can catch or not, there is no point in putting him at 1B.

I would advocate that Bavasi go get Nick Johnson from the Nationals, but I'm pretty sure the team has decided to live or die by Richie.

So here's to Sexson putting off his inevitable decline for 2008.


I'm SO optimistic!!!

Posted by Adam

10:12 PM, Mar 18, 2008

Oh, and there is still time for my dream scenario:

Bonds for DH
Washburn and Michael Saunders to WASH for Nick Johnson
Richie Sexson for Scraps
Raul to Cleveland for Aaron Laffey
Vidro to bench
Sign Kenny Lofton to play LF until Wlad is ready.


Pipe dream, I know...

Posted by JamesTillett

11:03 PM, Mar 18, 2008

Sexson is treated another big money first baseman with similar stats the last 3 years. That man Carlos Delgado. But who care Sexson blast of in a free agent year and Jeff Clement makes a smooth transition next year to first base, Or Balentine in left Ibanez at first if Sexsons released.

Posted by George

1:21 AM, Mar 19, 2008

Tillet,
What?

Posted by tallahassee-mariner's fan

5:52 AM, Mar 19, 2008

Did I really just read a reference to the Iraq War? Isn't there an unspoken code on this blog?

And I agree with some of the posters: mid-May is too late, Sexson has till May 1.

Posted by bikeman

6:46 AM, Mar 19, 2008

Adam,

Ibanez for Laffey is still a bad idea. Did you see Laffey's ST stats? Cleveland has the mediocre platoon of Delucci/Michaels in LF. Let's not get fleeced by another Perez-type deal by the Tribe.

Besides it might be the difference between the Tribe and the Mariners making the AL Wild Card.

Posted by jeffd

6:46 AM, Mar 19, 2008

After last season's debacle, I don't think that even McClaren realistically expects Richie to anchor the lineup. But he needs to hit at least .250 with some homerun power to stay in the lineup on a regular basis. Let's hope he gets off to a decent season start.

Posted by Adam

7:16 AM, Mar 19, 2008

bikeman - have you seen Bedard's ST stats?

Posted by byebyesexson

7:43 AM, Mar 19, 2008

"Time for Plan B." What is plan B? Whatever it is, I am ready for it. The sooner the better.

I think Morse is a natural at first and Bloomy can do a good job there too. Bloomy would hit 290 if given an every day job.

Go Sexson.
Go M's!

Posted by Merrill

7:45 AM, Mar 19, 2008

Chip pointed out that Wilkerson used to be a first baseman. Ibanez and Morse can also play that position. I think with Morse, Reed, and Balentien, there are plenty of corner OF/1B options.

I also think my head will explode if Baek gets picked up by the Angels and kicks arse. Blame the Weaver signing/vet bias for that one. Yeah, I know he got hurt last year, and Geoff pointed out in his interview with some other blog-dude that possibly the M's think he's excessively fragile.

Maybe that's the case--or maybe he just needs consistency.

Adam, I agree with both ziasudra and Mike from the last thread. Despite your protestations, you have yet to show me that you've included Bedard and Silva in your thinking. And you bring a lot to this blog. Good point about ST stats; I thought that was a silly comment, bikeman, nothing personal, man. I know nothing about Laffey, so I'm stayin' out of that one....

Posted by Merrill

7:52 AM, Mar 19, 2008

Hey, Geoff, since I doubt the tech guys read this, could you please tell them that it's foolish and silly to have a confirmation page and then have to reload the comments thread.

And to have to load the blog link twice to get to the thread we want. We should simply be given a link menu when we move the cursor over the general blog link, and then be able to click on the thread we wish to read.

Earn your massive salaries, dudes, by thinking of it from a user's standpoint.

Please!

Posted by Merrill

7:58 AM, Mar 19, 2008

And George, please give Mr. Tillett a break. Don't be lazy; if you read his post carefully, you can figure out what he means. There are numerous possible reasons he may not be able to say exactly what he means. None of them require snide commentary.

Not to lecture or anything...

Posted by Jujay

8:37 AM, Mar 19, 2008

Baltimore named Sherrill as their closer...should be interesting to watch him in that role

Posted by scrapiron

8:56 AM, Mar 19, 2008

Bavasi told all the other GMs in the winter meetings that Sexson was on the block. When he got no offers, he was forced to trade Broussard. Broussard was very upset with his lack of playing time and wanted to go somewhere to get more at bats.

Posted by scrapiron

9:04 AM, Mar 19, 2008

Sexson must produce quickly? He has never produced quickly in his career, so how is that going to change? In the last three years, he's only hit .206 in April.

Last 3 years stats (AVG/OBP/SLG):
Pre-All Star Break .227/.316/.445
Post-All Star Break .275/.366/.548

So the strategy should be to platoon him in the first half, and if he shows signs of life let him hit full time in the second half.

Let's assume last year's second half collapse was an anomoly and related to his injuries. But a healthy Sexson has never hit in the first half and that's where the adjustments should be made.

Posted by scottM

9:05 AM, Mar 19, 2008

Hey, Adam, FWIW, I was the one backing you up just before Mike's post (when only occasionally would the blog tell us who things were posted by). That doesn't mean I agree with you on many points, just that, at least you back up your critiques and positions with rational thoughts. Mostly, that is:

As for acquiring Bonds: Let It Go. Makes great sense in theory, but not when looking at the mega-media circus that WILL follow Bonds when his perjury trial hits. The M's aren't going to take on that distraction this season.

I've made the point many times that the M's don't have a bias towards Vets as much as they do toward playing the guys they are paying.

This means that we WILL see Vidro, Ibanez and Sexson in '08 and all this talk of benching any of them won't happen unless they seriously tank. I mostly agree with GEOFF that there won't be the patience level for Sexson that there was in '07. I do think there will be more patience than he intimates. By the All-Star Break we will likely know Richie's fate as weak trade-bait or starting 1st baseman for the M's.

All in all, this means that the potential to upgrade this team offensively or in the outfield corners won't happen until '09. The single best likelihood for this to occur will be WHEN Griffey replaces Vidro at the DH. I can't see that NOT happening next year. Junior wants it, and it will sell tickets here. Sexson will also likely be gone in '09, too, even if he puts up serviceable numbers in '08. Except for the potential of Sexson (PLUS) as part of a trade deadline swap for Griffey, I think that all this talk about fixing these issues in '08 is just wasted breath.

Lofton won't happen. Why do we need another lite bat outfielder with Morse, Reed, Jimerson, and Balentien ready in the wings?

Washburn and Ibanez aren't going anywhere either in '08.

I agree with Nat's post that Jose Lopez may be the single biggest question mark on this team right now.

Oh, that, and the burning question all Mariners fans have. Will Adam bring his "I LOVE BEDARD" placard to Safeco Field this season.

Posted by Merrill

9:07 AM, Mar 19, 2008

Interesting, scrappy... and your info (first part, anyway) comes from... ?

Posted by scrapiron

9:14 AM, Mar 19, 2008

Merrill: Sexson numbers courtesy of Stats, Inc.

Posted by scrapiron

9:23 AM, Mar 19, 2008

Sorry, Merrill, I just realized your question was on my "he's never hit in April" comment. I actually should stand slightly corrected. Once, in April of 2003 he hit .305, but that year he then hit .204 in May.

Richie Sexson April numbers in his career (AVG):
1999 .237
2000 .215
2001 .241
2002 .229
2003 .305 (.204 in May)
2004 .241
2005 .253
2006 .213
2007 .145

Posted by Charles

9:31 AM, Mar 19, 2008

I think this Silva signing is going to come back and bite us. Did you guys see what kind of money Kyle Lohse got? Silva and Lohse were placed in the same tier and were expected to command about the same amount of money. 1 year for 4.25 million and 48 million over 4 years are very different numbers.

Posted by azmsfan

9:34 AM, Mar 19, 2008

I think Sexson will have solid year. I believe he had hamstring problems last year and anyone whos ever played baseball knows thats a big part of your swing. I still think we need a dh with some pop though in case of Sexson struggeling.

Posted by Adam

9:36 AM, Mar 19, 2008

Merrill - I was referring to the fact that about a month ago I accounted for Bedard and Silva in my personal projections for 2008. My post yesterday re: Lackey and Escobar just adds to those previous projections. If I recall, you and I had a pretty in-depth discussion about projecting Bedard and Silva.

If I recall, I projected that even with Bedard and Silva, the M's were still eight or ten games back of the Angels. Even if missing Lackey and Escobar costs the team 6 wins, we still fall short (granted, two games isn't much).

But any projection I make has already accounted for Bedard and Silva.

ScottM - I am fully aware that the same Mariner execs who brought on accused wife-beater Carl Everett and who looked the other way when Bret Boone was using roids (yes, I believe that, and no, I don't have proof) will adamantly refuse to bring on Bonds. Never mind that he's perfect for this team, and would make us the favorites in the AL West, even if Lackey and Escobar were healthy.

Re: favoring highly-paid players vs. vets - I would agree with that statement but for Rich Aurilia, Scott Spezio, Carl Everett, Rick White, etc, as well as the team's own public statements re: roster construction. Mac and Bavasi both LOVE veterans who have "been through the wars."

I'd rather have Lofton than Morse, Reed, or Jimerson. And Wlad, until Wlad is ready to hit in the bigs.


And for the record - Bedard is awesome. There's no question. I've never said anything bad about him. The only time I've ever come close to saying anything bad about him is to point out that he's never gone 200 innings and he's an injury risk. Which is all true. But yes, I do love Bedard.

I just love Adam Jones for six years more...

Posted by Get Griffey

9:58 AM, Mar 19, 2008

Charles- We are defiantly over paying Silva, but my question is how ells were we going to get him, or anyone?

We offered Korada (spelling?) an extra year and more money but he still would not come.

Almost every free agent who sees us coming either runs and hides or jacks their price up.
I think some of that has to do with the travel times to away games and the lake of public knowledge by the big east coast market about the players who get sent off and then forgotten on the West Coast.

So hypothetically speaking, if the same player were to sign with us and with another team the Mariners would have to pay that player more then what he got from the other team, even thow we are getting the same player.

This does not mean that that player is not overpaid, it just means that it is much harder to avoid overpaying when you are the M’s.

Posted by Donovan

10:00 AM, Mar 19, 2008

Wow, everybody's so rational today. Must be the equinox or something. Starting this weekend, our days are LONGER! than everybody to the south. Well, when it isn't completely overcast they are anyway.

I always consider any well-reasoned view about the M's chances this year, positive or negative, and I really respect posters who consistently back up their opinions with good baseball analysis - Adam being a prime example (though I suspect that he, like Oregongal, is a closet optimist). I learn a lot on this blog, even from the posts I don't agree with.

One truism that gets repeated like a mantra here that I don't get is the assertion that the M's are systematically, pathologically loyal to veterans. I think that characterization is an artifact of the Adam Jones debate that raged here last season (and it was not nearly the front burner issue for most M's fans that it was here). Take that one player out of the argument, and I don't see the evidence for this trend that some claim.

The M's futility since 2001 has hardly been due to their failure to promote MiL talent. For most of that time, there was no ML-ready talent in the farm system. Guys who did come up for mid-season trials did very little or got hurt. Morse has actually always hit well in his limited ML time. The problem for him was finding a spot on the field. He was a SS after all, and that was one position that was well and truly blocked once Yuni arrived. What rookie (other than AJ) deserved more time than they got over the last 5 years? Justin Leone? Bucky Jacobsen? Maybe I missed something. I know a lot of serious M's fans who don't follow this blog, and they find plenty to criticize about the team (like most serious fans), but I never hear that they don't give rookies a fair shake anywhere else. As someone else mentioned, Bavasi is better known for unceremoniously cutting beloved veterans loose or trading them away for nothing. Think David Bell for Jeff Cirillo (though that was at Lou's request). I think bloggers here invented this conspiracy theory last season.

With regard to Sexson in 07, I won't repeat Geoff's summary of the facts, but there were obvious reasons for Grover (not Mac, Grover) to stick with Sexson so long:
a) In 2006, he had a terrible first half and a very solid second half. It was not unreasonable to expect that precedent to repeat.
b) The M's other nominal power bats were also slumping and Sexson had the best history (and by extension probability) of getting on a hot streak.
c) The "hot seat" did not encourage roster experimentation.
d) Ben Broussard is a lousy defensive player. He was never a candidate for everyday 1B.

If you can make a good argument that the M's have a long history of letting ML-ready rookies rot on the vine in favor of under-producing veterans prior to 2007, I'd love to hear it. If all you want to do is bash the FO because it releases some frustration, I guess I understand that, but it makes for pretty boring reading.

Posted by Get Griffey

10:22 AM, Mar 19, 2008

To Adam: I didn’t see scottM say anything about high paying guys he said the guys they are being paid.
I took this to mean anyone the sign they tend to be unwilling to dump, not necessarily just the guys they pay a ton.

Also I don’t get why everyone kills Mac from being in a bad position and saying the only good thing he could about bad pitchers the FO got for him. Because the only thing nice he could have said was “I like that they have a lot of experience and are veteran pitchers” (not really a Mac quote just giving an example). If that is the only thing nice you can think up about someone on your team and someone asks you what’s good about them you tell them.

Most manager would say something like that rather then something like “their old, I can’t believe we have them and there's nothing good to say about them so I won’t try” If you were a player which would you want your boss to use?

Keep up the high quality of debate and have fun:)

Posted by Tacoma Rain

10:26 AM, Mar 19, 2008

Donovan,
How far do you want us to go back...
How about the year the M's cut Ibanez and Scot Posednik way back when - is that too long ago or not long enough?

Posted by Cranky J

11:30 AM, Mar 19, 2008

For the love of Neihaus, can we please curb the swath of negativity on this site at least until they play a game that counts in the standings? As opening day approaches it seems like this site is increasingly filled w/ nay-sayers who are all too eager to admonish anyone that thinks the M's might actually contend and I, for one, find it both tired and counter-productive to write off a season before it even begins, especially considering the moves (Bedard, Silva in) and breaks (Lackey, Escobar out) that have already taken place.

Isn't this the one time of year where everyone's glass should be half-full?

Isn't this the one time of year when everyone should be pulling for guys like Sexon (or Vidro or Lopez or Ibanez) instead of tearing them down?

I'm not naive enough to believe that this year's team is on the fast track to the World Series, and was just as frustrated, if not moreso, than anyone w/ the team's Sept. swoon last year, but given the relative malaise that has accompanied the past few years at the ballpark I would think that more "fans" -- and I use the term loosely -- would be genuinely excited to see what lies in store for this season. Instead it seems the exact opposite is true.

Maybe it's just the inevitable Seattle cynicism rising to the top a few months earlier than usual. Maybe it's an attempt to pre-emptively alay hopes and enthusiasm by setting the bar low and expecting the worst. Maybe it's the weather. Whatever it is I can't help but be reminded of Randy Quaid's fair weather fan character in 'Major League II', only this time around I hope all the Johnny Come Latelys and last minute bandwagon riders aren't welcomed back w/ open arms if/when the team starts winning.

Posted by Donovan

11:33 AM, Mar 19, 2008

Tacoma - Are you serious?

Ibanez got a serious look from 1996 to 2000. In his last year here prior to the trade (2000), Raul hit .229 in 140 at bats. He was on the DL some too. You think the M's should have played him more?

Podsednik didn't get much of a chance here, it is true. He had a total of 26 ML at bats with the M's (hitting under .200) before being traded in 2003. I don't think anybody realistically projected him to be a ML starter (and now he's not again).

Both these guys did very well soon after being traded, but neither was ready for prime time prior. Fault assessment of potential and patience there if you want, but that's a different issue. You can't say those guys should have played more when they were here. The posts I keep reading here suggest that we have guys in the minors who are better than the starters, but they are blocked because management values experience over talent. That's just nuts.

Posted by Hard For Bedard

1:19 AM, Mar 25, 2008

test post

Posted by Doug

4:34 PM, Apr 03, 2008

Has Richie been to an eye specialist for a check of his depth perception? He sometimes swings at low outside pitches and misses them by eight inches.

Posted by Dustin

4:27 PM, Apr 04, 2008

We've given Sexson long enough. He's hitting sub .100 from the plate in over 4 games and it's more of the same. Let's give him 2 more weeks, but after that bring in Morse...he was on fire during Spring Training hitting over .500 with over 30 hits. What will it take for the Mariners to demote Sexson to AA or AAA ball? I shudder to think.

Posted by william

8:30 AM, Jun 28, 2008

has richie sexson ever started at anyother postion besides first base???

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