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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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April 2, 2008 8:55 AM

Ease away from the ledge

Posted by Geoff Baker

Yes, that was a tough one last night. But it was only loss No. 1 of the 2008 season. Truth is, the Mariners didn't much deserve to win it, whether or not J.J. Putz was on his game. He clearly wasn't. You can't leave 15 men on base and expect a victory. The only reason Seattle was still in it was the Texas Rangers booting the ball around. You saw the value of Ichiro in that eighth inning, the stuff that doesn't show up on the stats sheets. His speed from home to first base is what caused second baseman Ian Kinsler to hurry too much and bobble what would have been a potential double-play grounder by any other hitter. Not for Ichiro. No way he gets doubled-up on that ball.

But the turning point of the game, for me, was not the Josh Hamilton homer off Putz. It was the Richie Sexson at-bat in the eighth with one out and the bases loaded in what was still a 3-3 game.

Sexson did a good job of working the count full -- especially after a borderline strike two call that both Sexson and I thought was too far inside. No matter, since, with the count full, the payoff pitch from Joaquin Benoit was clearly going to be ball four the minute it left his hand. Unfortunately, an over-eager Sexson could not resist swinging at a pitch that had nothing going for it from start to finish. Instead of a 4-3 game, M's leading with the bases still loaded and only one out, there were now two outs in the inning. Yes, the M's did take the lead on an ensuing wild pitch, but that second out changed the complexion of the game. Walking Adrian Beltre to load the bases with two out to get to Brad Wilkerson is not the same as having him come up with one out and the sacks juiced. Wilkerson swung at a bad pitch and popped out.

But as I said, the Sexson at-bat -- and he clearly knew it judging by his disgusted reaction -- should have been a walk and a run instread of an out. We don't know whether Benoit would have uncorked the wild-pitch subsequently, had Sexson walked, but I'd say there was a better chance of getting two or more runs home with one out in the inning than two. Better chance of Putz working with a 6-3 lead instead of 4-3.

The USS Mariner has a nice graphic showing the Sexson strikeout as well as its take on what should happen with him.

I'm not sure I would have brought Mike Morse in to pinch-hit in that situation, not with two out. Wilkerson, as many of you have noted already, does hit lefties better than righties (which makes the Morse platoon rather interesting). He was still hitless for the season and, quite frankly, due for one at that stage. If I'm playing a hunch, the hunch is that Wilkerson is going to break through. I think there's a better chance of that happening than a non pinch-hitter like Morse coming off the bench cold -- we're talking really cold in this weather -- and trying to hit off a veteran like Eddie Guardado.

Sure, Morse could have continued his hot surge and notched the key hit. But it's not a clear-cut decision for me.

Besides, McLaren had already burned most of his bench other than Miguel Cairo at that stage. It wouldn't hurt to have Morse available for extra-innings. And I don't know if it's wise to be yanking Wilkerson in only the second game of the year.

That's the point of this post, I suppose. To point at the calendar and remind you all of that. As Larry Stone wrote last night, the buzzards are already circling for Richie Sexson. Truth be told, I've liked Sexson's approach at the plate and the way he has worked counts so far. I liked the way he worked counts in spring training as well. If he doesn't swing at that terrible Benoit pitch, it's a whole different conversation we're having about a 2-0 team. Instead, it's a 1-1 team.

Yes, Sexson has to produce and it doesn't matter whether or not he's good with the media. The fact that he stood up and answered questions last night is to be commended, since not everyone in that clubhouse is as accountable afterwards. But the bottom line is, Sexson is not being paid $14 million to strike out in key situations. And I think he feels that pressure. For me, he's pressing too hard in front of the home fans again, heard the boos early, and wanted to make up for it all in one swing.

Is that making excuses for a player? No, it isn't. But as I said on KJR 950 yesterday morning, you don't judge a player on the first game of the season. And not on the second one either. I know it's tough, but we're not about to send Putz packing either, right? Of course, Sexson had a miserable 2007 season as well and that's why I believe he's on a shorter leash this year. But it's not a two-game leash. You're going to have to wait at least until May. At least until the cold weather isn't turning hands numb. At least until Sexson has a chance to get out on the road a few times, away from booing home fans, and sort himself out. I'm not criticizing the fans' right to boo whoever they want. But I do think it's having an impact on Sexson and I'm stating that fact. Interpret it and pass out blame any way you want.

If this same stuff is happening into May, the team has to take a step back and seriously consider some things. But we're a long way from that after only two games. What I see is an anxious hitter working the count well and then missing the hittable pitches he's getting. He just missed a home run in that at-bat on a ball fouled straight back. It's cold and it's early. Maybe it's actually late for Sexson, who knows? But we won't know for certain for a little while so just climb back off the ledge and contemplate this 1-1 start to the season. If the M's win tonight, they'll have accomplished what they had to in taking the series. That's the important thing at stake here.

Yes, I'm a little worried about the offense I've seen so far, with zero home runs and scant few extra-base hits. That can't continue on a regular basis or it's going to be a long season.

On the positive side, Felix Hernandez was every bit the bulldog Erik Bedard was on opening day. Not much else to say. He caught some breaks on that terrible home plate slide by Hank Blalock (who otherwise would have been safe on the Hernandez throw), while that bunt throw to nab Ben Broussard at second looked to be a generous call. But you make your own luck in this game sometimes. Hernandez battled through some mid-game adversity and got out of jams -- twice. I want to see more of that from him. But it was a great start to his season. If Hernandez delivers seven innings per night and allows only one earned run, he will be a Cy Young Award candidate. Fought off the cold well, too.

So far, everything is going according to plan for the M's on the starting pitching front. And that's the big key to the season. The bullpen needs to straighten out a bit, but I think it will. The offense? It needs to get going. We've said all winter that Sexson will be an offensive key. He has to be and he'll have the rest of this month and part of next to figure things out. After that, if Sexson and the team are still struggling to produce runs, that problem will have to be addressed.

But not on April 2. Not on a team that would be 2-0 if Putz had been Putz last night. Use this first series to evaluate, form some opinions, and then see how things go on the road. Getting all worked up about every pitch, every at-bat and every inning at this stage of a season isn't going to help. You won't make it past June if that happens.

But I will agree, leaving 15 men on base was tough to watch. It can't continue indefinitely. Not this year.



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Posted by Al Hudgens

9:09 AM, Apr 02, 2008

My only comment is...Why does the manager have Sexson batting 3rd? If you want to give him a chance to return to form, let him bat 7th or 8th until he earns his way back to 3rd spot! A manager is there to manage.....so manage already!

Posted by prettykoolchick

9:13 AM, Apr 02, 2008

Dude Sexson bats Fourth

Posted by jujay

9:14 AM, Apr 02, 2008

he's batting fourth, but it still applies, get beltre higher in the lineup

Posted by Bill

9:15 AM, Apr 02, 2008

Was that Kinsler that tried to bunt and Felix's pitch hit him on the hand? I wonder if that affected his grip on the ball. Felix sure was exciting to watch last night.

Wilkerson gets a pass in my book because of that ball he hit deep to center. The CF made an amazing catch. Most OF's don't even get to that ball. Sexson...I think every M's fan wanted him to get a hit when he was up with the bases loaded. I couldn't believe he swung at ball 4, though. He wasn't great in the field either. Hopefully he gets things worked out or it's going to be ugly for Richie.

Posted by thatgirl

9:17 AM, Apr 02, 2008

I hope McLaren has the managerial toughness to not get too attached to veteran starters (Vidro, Sexon, Wilkerson). I want to see McLaren over the season make some really aggressive moves from the dugout - even if they end up being the wrong moves - at crucial points in the game to get the win. Subbing Morse for Wilkerson would've been a good start. I also agree with Al Hudgens - make a player earn their spot in the lineup. Lopez had to earn his spot batting second during spring training.

Good reminder Geoff that it's too early to get all 'poopy'. I'm trying to calm down after a disapointing loss. Great pitching. Poor offense.

Posted by tallahassee-mariner's fan

9:18 AM, Apr 02, 2008

Geoff is right. We've all been obsessing over the M's for months, imagining the beginning of the season, just chomping at the bit to see some action. Now its finally come, and we can't help but get obsessive over every pitch, every at bat, every game. The loss last night stings-- to come so close, for Hernandez to pitch so well, then to lose it in the ninth. But remember, there's still 160 more games, lots more losses to stomach, but even more wins ahead. Just got to stay cool.

Regarding Sexson, it sure is hard throwing good money after bad right? I think we'd all like to cut him now, but fear deep down on some level that he'd get picked up by the Royals or some random team and hit 40 home runs. As a former success, he should be given 1-1.5 months-- just in case we're wrong about his career being over.

Posted by Nat

9:26 AM, Apr 02, 2008

Clarence: it is the roster that it is. For now, anyway. So PH Morse.

Posted by wilbur

9:26 AM, Apr 02, 2008

Just a comment to vent...I just could not believe my eyes when I saw Sexson swing at that ball with the bases loaded. What is in his head?

Posted by khardy

9:27 AM, Apr 02, 2008

No need to get worked up over the offensive performance yet. I remember the year the when the Yankees won 114 they got off to a horrible offensive start, lost a bunch of games, and then went on a historic tear.

Geoff - I was a little worried to see JJ consistantly throwing in the 92-95 mph range, is this something we should be concerned about? Of course I'm only going off the FSN telecast...

Posted by duce duce

9:36 AM, Apr 02, 2008

Richie Sexson is one of the worse clutch hitters in history. Even if he does hit 40 homeruns they will all be when we are down 9-2 or up 11-3. Never when it matters. He is a complete waiste of money and space.

Posted by Jed MC

9:37 AM, Apr 02, 2008

Geoff, why do you say that Sexson is one of the few accountable players in the clubhouse? Is it because he talked to the media? There is a big difference between talking to the media after having a rough night and actually being accountable for having a bad game.

Just curious why you said that - I've really enjoyed your blog, especially your Spring Training updates.

Posted by JW

9:41 AM, Apr 02, 2008

Geoff-
Any comments about the way Mac managed the lineup between the bottom of the 8th & top of the 9th? It seems to me that he should have left both Jimerson & Willie in the game (putting Jimerson in RF and inserting Burke in Wilkerson's spot in the lineup). That would have allowed Jimerson (or PH Morse) to come up in the second spot in the bottom of the 9th against the lefty (you had to know Washington would go to Wilson in a tie or save situation).

If you've got to learn something from a blown JJ save, basic lineup management like this, to me, would be a good lesson for the manager.

Posted by khardy

9:46 AM, Apr 02, 2008

Jed - How else do you expect him to be held accountable? And who are we to hold him accountable? We aren't his teammates or coaches.

He admitted he made a mistake after taking a bad swing in a big at bat. You gotta respect a guy for doing that.

Posted by Seattle Sports Blog

9:47 AM, Apr 02, 2008

good point by duce duce. Looking even at Sexson's 2007 HR's, a lot of them came in September, when we were pretty much done. In August? The guy basically disappeared. I'd hate to see how this guy would do in the post season, when clutch really matters. I've said this for the last 5 years, it's too bad Seattle didn't try harder to get Guererro vs. Richie: Richie Rich is a waste of space.

Posted by scrapiron

9:52 AM, Apr 02, 2008

I understand that McLaren is trying to give a vote of confidence to Sexson by batting him cleanup right out of the gate. I don't know that it would have hurt Sexson that much to bat him say, sixth, and let him earn the cleanup spot. He didn't have a great spring and is a notoriously slow starter, not hitting in April. He may have a comeback season, but still will hit poorly the first month. Get him out of the key cleanup spot.

All hitters struggle at pitch recognition and speed recognition, I'll give Sexson a pass on that. But pitch location is something that all MLB hitters should have. Last night I saw a pitch a foot outside and he had an alligator arm swing. That tells me that he interpreted the pitch to be inside and the pitch was way outside. When you can't keep your eye on the ball and tell where it's going it's time to put you down in the lineup or sit on the bench and take some more BP.

I think Sexson will have a good year, just not a good April, and batting him cleanup until he earns the spot is going to hurt the team. The best thing you can do for a veteran is put them in a position to succeed.

Posted by Rod

9:54 AM, Apr 02, 2008

I posted this on the previous thread, but wanted to bump it to the current posts.

Here's what I don't understand. We hear all the time that Sexson and Wilkerson are going to strike out "X" amount of times, and that's just the way it is. The trade off is that they're going to drive in a bunch of runs, so we've got to just accept what they bring to the table. Well, why is that acceptable? Why don't we just put the best possible team on the field at all times? I would argue that if Morse were to play first base, he would hit for a much higher average than Sexson, and he'd play better defense than Sexson. He'd strike out less than half as often, and while he might not have as many RBI's, he'd account for more runs over the course of the year by doing a whole bunch of other things right. Things like not hitting into a double play with the bases juiced, or moving the runner to third by hitting the ball to the right side of the field, or maybe stealing a few bases to get into scoring position, or maybe NOT STRIKING OUT BY SWINGING AT BALL FOUR!!! I'm sorry, but I just don't see Richie hitting above .220 this year and hitting more than 25 dongs. He stunk it up last year, and why should I believe he's going to turn it around? His bat is slower and he's a year older. I believe that Morse could be a legit .280 hitter with 15 to 20 HR's if given the chance to play every day.

On the same subject, what's so special about Wilkerson that would put him in Right Field over Balentien or even Reed for that matter? What can he do that those two can't? Ok, so Reed won't hit as many HR's, but so what? He'll play better defense and hit for a higher average and again, strike out half as much. Same with Balentien, although I'd argue he could hit as many or more HR's than Wilkerson. So why is WIlkerson even on this team??? One more point, then I'm off my soap box. If production in the lineup is what we want, why do we have a guy sitting down in AAA that has the potential to hit 30 HR's and drive in over 100 RBI's, and our current DH is fat and slow, and won't hit more than 10 HR's over an entire year? Why couldn't Jeff Clement come up and be our DH right now and give Kenji a break from his catching duties every 4 or 5 days? I know we have a good back-up catcher on the roster now, but if we really want some true pop in our lineup, we have to look no further than the stud sitting down in Tacoma.

I guess my frustration is this. The writing is on the wall. Richie has shown through a full season and through this Spring that he's not the player he once was. Wilkerson reminds me of another Spiezio. He's slow, strikes out a lot, and doesn't play good defense. Why should we struggle through a whole month or two of killed rally's and brutal individual performances when we have some very good options that would improve this team immediately? I realize it's only the second game of the season, but mark my word, this is not going to change. I really hope I'm wrong on that, but I've seen too much of this to believe otherwise.

Posted by K-Man

9:59 AM, Apr 02, 2008

Man, you guys are brutal. Geoff spends 13 paragraphs talking about how to "back off from the ledge" and how Sexson is feeling the boobirds, and you guys start right in on Sexson again!

Booing Sexson in game two? What does that accomplish?

Posted by sunk cost -- Sexson

10:13 AM, Apr 02, 2008

I COULD totally believe it when Richie failed to bring in a single run last night with the bases loaded and only one out. In fact, I turned to my wife and said,"If we were winning 11-2 or losing 11-2, I bet you he'd hit a grand slam. But since it counts, here comes the strikeout." Well... the rest is history. This guy's head isn't right at the plate in crunch time. He is a $14+ million disaster when the game is on the line. And I think it's only going to get worse. (See last year's spiral into the abyss for a reminder.)

Anyway, I wonder if we just need to think seriously about eating the money and putting a capable first baseman out there. He is a huge liability at this point. When he comes to the plate, I go to the fridge, wait for the frustrated moan, and then come back into the room. He's that brutal to watch up at the plate. Hell, I could probably strike him out in cruch time the dude is so twisted in his head! Just throw 6 pitches out of the strike zone and let him do the work for me!

Seriously though. I think he gets 3 - 4 weeks to get his head squared away or he's gone. I place the blame for last night's loss 100% on Sexson. Sure, Putz gave up the homer. But if Richie had brought in even one single stinkin' run, then we probably win or at least get the thing to extra innings.

As for the don't get on Richie sentiment. Dude, the guy is pulling down over $1 million per month to play a friggin' game! If any of us performed at his level in our jobs, we'd be in a bread line. Well, I think this city has actually gone easy on him. His pay to production ratio is probably the worst in Mariner history!

Posted by Ben

10:16 AM, Apr 02, 2008

This doesn't really have to do with being on the ledge - but i do think that Beltre should be batting 3rd, Ibanez 4th and then Sexson. I think Beltre is a good 3 hitter. As a result, perhaps some pressure would be taken off Sexson - but that is not why i would make the move. It's purely about Beltre.

Now let's see Silva go out there and give up no more than 1 run. Hopefully the infield is on its toes tonight.

Posted by Adam

10:22 AM, Apr 02, 2008

Just for the record, we've seen two YEARS of this from Sexson, not two GAMES. Just so we are all clear.

Thanks also go to McLaren for ordering Lopez to bunt (makes me nostalgic for Hargrove...). That effectively took the bat out of Ibanez's hands and put the onus on one of the worst hitters in baseball.

It's incredible how McLaren's undying love for his veterans is so detrimental to the team. Of course, those veterans love him for it.


Barry Bonds for DH. NOW.

Posted by BrianL

10:24 AM, Apr 02, 2008

Richie may be working the counts well right now, but that is only masking the serious problem Richie is facing:

His bat-speed has vanished.

It's the same thing that happened to Boone in 2004. Once the speedy swing is gone, a player can't square up on even the fattest pitches coming down Broadway. I'm holding out hope that Richie can somehow regain form, but there aren't a whole lot of players who can successfully reinvent their careers after facing a steep decline in the speed of their

Posted by dfb

10:25 AM, Apr 02, 2008

I agree with moving Sexson down, and Wilkerson too. Wilkerson didn't have a good year last year and while the hope is he will return to previous numbers it doesn't make sense to put them in places where they don't produce. While I understand the reasoning behind Betancourt at 9th he is hitting too well to keep there, for any reason.
One other thing. The M's did hit the ball last night, but did it with two outs and no one on base too much of the time. They have got to do a better job of getting lead-off batters on. I have to say they obviously have addressed some issues, such as working counts and walks, but the Rangers had the same weather as the M's to deal with and hit the ball much better at key times. Really the only reason the M's had the lead was because of the Rangers inept defense.

Posted by djayli

10:26 AM, Apr 02, 2008

yunieski should bat fourth. clutchest hitter on the team

Posted by onlooker

10:26 AM, Apr 02, 2008

What I wouldn't have given to see McLaren send Betancourt and Ichiro with two fast runners on and no one out. I know AL types hate the double steal but I came from an NL culture where I've seen it work time and again. Most importantly, Texas was feeling the pressure; Young had screwed up again and Mac's been serving notice to the whole league about how much more aggressive we're gonna be on the basepaths!

Sure, might not have worked out but it probably wouldn't have resulted much differently than bunting them over. And the upside? Laird sails the throw into left or center? Oh, it would have been beautiful....

It's not a slap at Mac. He's just not that radical. But I think he may need to become more radical before this season is through....

Posted by Mint Husky

10:28 AM, Apr 02, 2008

I caught a great break and fell asleep on the couch during the commercials between 7 and 8 so I missed the end of the game. Good thing too, because I'm sure if I hadn't thrown the remote through the TV at the Sexson swinging strike, I would have when JJ blew the save.

But I don't want to talk about them. I want to say I thought Felix's performance was average and left something to be desired. Yeah, 1 ER in 7 IP isn't bad, but it wasn't about that. He had guys knocking on the door several times but got out of it thanks to some superb luck. *Yawn*

Posted by AKMarinersFan

10:30 AM, Apr 02, 2008

The only question that I have is why does Sexson's performance surprise anyone? He is magically going to be come a good hitter. His swing has little room for error and as his bat speed has diminished so has any value he once had.

Similar thoughts could be applied to Vidro and Wilkerson.

But the only one to really blame is Bavasi. For giving up a very large part of the future to bring in a pitcher that can't help the worse offensive team in the league.

Posted by nuin

10:34 AM, Apr 02, 2008

Just renew Sexson contract. We can wait forever. Patience is a virtue.

Posted by jro

10:35 AM, Apr 02, 2008

Totally agree with you Geoff. For all of Richie's hard work, how on earth does he dive after that pitch? I know he's eager to right this ship and get it going, but jeez he's just an easy out. He's regressed so much that I'm not sure he can come out of this without being shipped to the N.L. Coupled with his fielding, he's certainly playing the albatross part right now.

I agree with most of the other posters -- with his current approach, batting him cleanup is a strategical mistake right now.

Posted by neilmber

10:39 AM, Apr 02, 2008

As undisciplined and unproductive as Sexson's final swing was, the error was McLaren's for taking the bat out of Ibanez's hands--at the cost of an out--and putting it in to Sexon's instead. Mixing metaphors, the sacrifice was successful but the patient died.

Also, showing confidence in Sexson would only be worth the cost if there were a reasonable expectation of Sexson swinging at anything thrown this side of Tacoma. If he keeps swinging at things that far south, send him there.

Posted by joe

10:41 AM, Apr 02, 2008

17 basrunners last night, 12 hits, and 5 walks
We only scored 4 runs.
That is bad.
.
O'flaherty, who's job is to get out lefthanders, got RIPPED by every lefthander he faced. It looked like Hamilton and Blalock were just sitting on that fluffy slider. Blowers even mentioned, right before one hit "he sure is throwing alot of sliders" I don't understand that pitch selection.
.
It was awesome to see Felix look like a King, next time let's get him the DUB!

Posted by PRchef

10:41 AM, Apr 02, 2008

Onlooker

I agree with your last post except the part of Mac not being that radical. I mean, how else do you explain Vidro going for a steal??? : )

Posted by Dawkins

10:44 AM, Apr 02, 2008

Very minor point Geoff, but the run was "unearned"

Posted by joe

10:45 AM, Apr 02, 2008

what's up with the fans in the seats right behind home plate?? They always leave early. I was watching the game last night with a friend from Boston, he said "that would never happen in Boston, the other Sox fans would take their tickets away if they left early like that."
.
It does look like crap on TV, here we are, the first two games of the year, both GREAT games, and every white knuckle, late inning pitch, you have to see these rows of empty seats behind home plate.
.
To those LAME fans behind home plate, that leave early I say BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
.
give me your tickets

Posted by tallahassee-mariner's fan

10:54 AM, Apr 02, 2008

so here's a question:

when mgmt finally gets sick of sexson sometime next month, is he tradable in any significant sense? maybe a young prospect? or is his huge salary going to be an impediment to getting rid of him (will we have to eat most of the 14 mill, or all of it???)

Posted by cesame

10:54 AM, Apr 02, 2008

I'm not going to be patient with this team as I have been in years past.

The M's have traded a large portion of their future to win this year and maybe next year if they're lucky. They've signed Silva for 48 mil dollars. I want to see results. I don't want to see the M's continue to make the same mistakes they made last year, like batting Richie 4th and him not coming through time after time again. Screw giving him time to figure it out. I heard that all of last year.

And the offense so far is still the same as last year. Singles and practically nothing else. Leaving runners on base. The extra walks have been nice, but all that does is lead to more runners left on base.

This team will prove to be the same team as 07 team and not make the playoffs. Save the only 2 games into the season thing. This team is practically the same as last years. I know what to expect. They'll go on hot streaks, and then they'll go on cold streaks. Mark of a .500 team.

Posted by Chris from Bothell

10:57 AM, Apr 02, 2008

Please ask McLaren why he has Sexson batting cleanup. Why not let him build his confidence by swapping Beltre and Sexson? Or if one needed to keep a specific LRLR order, have it go Beltre-Wilkerson-Sexson?

Posted by Chris from Bothell

11:00 AM, Apr 02, 2008

And Felix was FUN to watch last night. He was entertaining (if a smidge lucky) with his defense, he was animated when successful, bearing down otherwise, and every time he stepped off the mound he looked like he was having a good time. That play with Joh was pretty cool too - the way Joh hopped up with the ball was funny.

Posted by Paul

11:02 AM, Apr 02, 2008

If we're going to discuss poor decisions in hindsight, how about not letting a dominant Felix out to pitch the 8th inning? His pitch count was still only 97, and Bedard was given a 5th inning when his pitch count was exactly the same - 97. Felix had obviously been more efficient with his pitches to that point than Bedard had been, so he would've been a better candidate to give one more inning to by any logic. Instead, O'Flaherty who had just pitched the day before, was brought out unnecessarily. He gave up two runs, and the M's lost because of it.

If you're going to use the argument that "it's early in the year, so Felix wasn't ready to throw over 100 pitches", then why wasn't Bedard held to the same standard? Felix threw more innnings than Bedard last year. And if you're going to use the "it's early" argument, maybe it ought to be applied to the bullpen as well, and both O'Flaherty and Putz, for that matter, probably aren't ready to throw back-to-back in clutch situations with the expectation of great success.

Posted by Batter Up!!!

11:10 AM, Apr 02, 2008

Game 2, game 20 or game 162......These are the Texas Rangers & we should be blowing these guys away! We are throwing 3 of the top starters in the game at them and we have to scramble to win the series. We should have swept this series easily and went on the road to continue the winning streak against the O's & TB and returned home to face the Angels undefeated. That would be making a statement. Instead we are still making excuses for them..........it's only game 2, it's cold out, Ritchie needs more time to count his 15 mil, on and on......... Time for excuses and rationalizing poor performances are over. Wins are far too hard to get to not take advantage of guys like the Ranger's who are trying to hand them to you. When September rolls around and we are scrambling for a win to get even with the Angels remember that last night we took what should have been a win and put it in the loss column. It's a long season and they all count, game 2 or game 162.

Play Morse, Sit Sexson!

Go M's!

Posted by Chris from Bothell

11:12 AM, Apr 02, 2008

Oh, and Geoff - Sexson supposedly took extra at-bats in spring training. And stunk it up all last year. So while the realistic leash extends to May, I totally understand people booing him for more of the same right now. "It's only April 2" doesn't wash.

The schedule almost looks like it was deliberate on the Ms part (even though I *think* MLB scheduling is done by some independent entity). Only 3 days in town is more than enough time to remind people of last year, and the road trip will be very necessary.

And actually, come to think of it, M's play the Angels right when they get back from that road trip. So I'd like to think the leash isn't even as long as May... if Sexson chokes against our one real opponent in our divison, people will be howling for his head by the end of that series...

Posted by dawgs4ever

11:15 AM, Apr 02, 2008

Every Richie Sexson at-bat is a waste one. You can't have a guy in the lineup that is an automatic out. Any decent hitter lays off that ball 4 and walks in a run. The dude is horrible. I realize the M's were hoping he might have a rare strong start so we could shop him for talent, but it's just not going to happen. Bite the bullet. Ship him to AAA ball. If he goes on a hot streak and finds his swing, then bring him back up. But he almost cost us Monday's game, and he cost us last night's game.

Posted by thatgirl

11:38 AM, Apr 02, 2008

If Sexson were in the Boston, New York or Philadelphia markets he'd be booed like there was no tomorrow. Seattle fans are easy on the guy compared hard core baseball fans on the east coast. Like other's have stated he gets 'paid to play a game - suck it up Richie.

I'm on the PH Morse bandwagon.

Posted by Sarah

11:49 AM, Apr 02, 2008

t is interesting how the press gives Mac a pass on the managing blunder where he set up the bottom of the ninth batting order. Why is it that he has a weak hitting catcher that he cannot pinch hit for batting second in the inning? By substituting with Jimmerson and putting the catcher in Wilkerson's slot he could have used Morse to pinch hit. But no Burke is forced to hit when he is hopelessly overmatched by the Texas closer.

Sexson batting 4th? Ok if you want to stand by your guy. But this insures a walk to Raul in any clutch situation. Texas has to be excited with the opportunity to walk Raul to face Mr. Rally Killer. But yet the press gives Mac a pass on these blunders.

Posted by Full Count

11:49 AM, Apr 02, 2008

What has Richie done different than the past? It's all the same, still swinging at crap and he can't put the ball in play in clutch situations. The strike out king, has lost he skills to be an everyday player, that is obvious. This team cannot depend on him at all, 2 games into it is relevant to judge, he had all spring to get ready and it was awful.
If our pitching is supposed to keep us in the division race we will need to score a run in close games and Richie lack of reliability is an issue for those players who are. Morse, Vidro, Cairo and Wilkerson are no replacement, we need a professional hitter not a freakin role player and what makes you think Morse is ready for a team that believe it's future is now. Morse's inexperience is not ready for prime time, he is a role player and not a starter.

Posted by K-Man

12:02 PM, Apr 02, 2008

"If Sexson were in the Boston, New York or Philadelphia markets he'd be booed like there was no tomorrow." (snip)

..And apparently most of you agree that there really IS no tomorrow!

Seriously, folks. Back away from the ledge. It's okay. Nobody died. Deep breaths...

Posted by Chris from Bothell

12:07 PM, Apr 02, 2008

Adam -

Actually, McLaren was crazy like a fox to have Lopez bunt... because he knew they'd walk Raul... because it gives Mac a chance to see, in just game 2 of the season, how Richie performs under pressure. The cleanup hitter should absolutely be able to do something in that situation, otherwise you shouldn't bat him cleanup. So very, very early on, Mac gets to evaluate whether Richie is getting it together, and whether he can bat him cleanup for long. So Mac was actually being very crafty. Wheels within wheels.

...

I can dream, can't I?

Oh, and Eeyore (AKFM) -

"But the only one to really blame is Bavasi. For giving up a very large part of the future to bring in a pitcher that can't help the worse offensive team in the league."

Remind me, which 1st baseman and which DH went to Baltimore in the Bedard trade? 'Cause then we'd know who we gave up that should have taken Richie and Vidro's place.

I know some upstart CF/RFer went to the Os, can't remember his name off the top of my head... in 1 game this year he's been 0-3 with a strikeout, definitely an offensive upgrade over Wilkerson's 2 walks and 2 strikeouts in 2 games... geez, why can't I remember his name? Aw, man, this is gonna bug me all day...

Posted by oregongal

12:09 PM, Apr 02, 2008

I also had dreams of a double steal with Yuni and Ichiro last night. Maybe it will come.

As for Sexson, I said before I thought his year would depend on whether he could reverse history and have a good start. This is exactly why. He doesn't respond well to boos, which will result in him putting more pressure on himself and batting badly, etc., etc. I didn't see his hit last night, but his SO was not impressive.

For all our sakes, I hope Baltimore is an antidote. Small park, if he can pop one out, he'll feel better, fans will feel better. Different feedback loop. I'm all for giving him a month. But waiting until the All-Star break, if he's still struggling, would be a big mistake. We just don't have another bat to replace him.

Last note--FSN needs to update their Felix picture (the one where the player is alone in front of the Mariner background). He's not the same round-faced kid they show.

Posted by pbk13

12:12 PM, Apr 02, 2008

Hey, give Sexson a break everyone. It's really hard to hit a baseball, especially when you've got a fork stuck in your back. Oh yeah, there really is a fork stuck in his back. Because he is so done.

Posted by Beady Eye Guy

12:18 PM, Apr 02, 2008

Sarah,

Having Burke bat was not the problem. He's actually a good contact hitter. If you had pinch hit for Burke and we went into extra innings, we'd be using Willie at Catcher.

Yes, I was perplexed why Mac didn't keep Jimerson out there but what can we do? The main problem is having Lopez bunting (forget that he's one of the worst bunters I've ever seen) so we can watch Raul get walked so the Rangers can face our black hole of a 4th hitter.

When can we get it through Mac's head that Lopez cannot bunt. He is being misused when he's a decent contact hitter and better off swinging.

Posted by wabubba

12:18 PM, Apr 02, 2008

The only question is, when will McLaren and Bavasi have the courage to permanently replace Sexson at 1B with Morse?

Not only would his bat be better, fielding on the right side of the infield would be much improved. Morse is a former SS and has much better range than Sexson. Though a bit shorter than Sexson, Morse is still well over 6' (6'4"?) and provides an ample target for his teammates.

McLaren is SO reluctant to go with young players even when it is clear that the situation could not get much worse by doing so. The sad part is that Morse is being set up for failure...he'll sit for 2-5 days in row, occasionally pinch hit against top relievers, and as a result be mediocre (thereby giving McLaren more justification to continue to play Sexson).

Time for the Ms to eat a huge contract, cut their losses, and move on.

Posted by ro ro

12:25 PM, Apr 02, 2008

my take on the first two games is that we have an exciting team to get out and see and im looking forward to seeing silva and batista in roles that should provide them an opportunity to contribute in a huge way.
what i also saw is that 30 to 40 percent of the seattle fans are, for lack of better words, uninterested morons. they come to the game for the beer and the stupid sexy singles and they boo at the wrong time and leave when we're down only two in the 8th inning. i personally enjoy when there are two strikes on the batter with felix pitching with two on and two outs and it takes a flashing sign to let everyone know something interesting is happening and they should make noise. if the signs and music werent there (if it were wrigley or l.a. or some place else with real baseball fans) people would simply be snacking on garlic fries and waiting like trained chimps til the few people that are paying attention start cheering. im trying to be some elitist fan that thinks im sweet but i do sadly find my personal enjoyment to be much greater when there is no one at the stadium.

Posted by Beady Eye Guy

12:25 PM, Apr 02, 2008

I am of the belief that if Mac had:

1) Let Lopez swing and hit for contact we'd be okay.
2) Ibanez would most likely still be walked which would be fine.
3) Pinch hit Morse for Richie. Morse is a contact hitter so I believe that Benoit wouldn't get away with the kinds of pitches he was daring Richie to swing at.

He also should have kept Jimerson in to play RF. Wilkerson's stats say he can hit lefties, so I do not have a problem with him batting there but not keeping Jimerson in to play the OF is a bad move.

Posted by Beady Eye Guy

12:28 PM, Apr 02, 2008

One more question for Mac. You do know that you have TWO lefties to choose from right? Why bring EOF out two nights in a row when RRS could be used?

Why oh why is EOF being asked to throw so many sliders when his FB isn't that bad? I don't know if Joh is calling for these pitches or Mel, but somebody ought to let the kid mix up his pitches. When LH hitters are hitting your Loogie, there are definite problems with the pitch selection.

Posted by Jed MC

12:34 PM, Apr 02, 2008

khardy, I expect Sexson's managment to hold him accountable for his actions, just like at any other job or for any other player. It doesn't matter what he does say or doesn't say to anyone in the press. His actions on the field are what counts and his boss needs to deal with it accordingly.

I was just curious why Geoff said this: "The fact that he stood up and answered questions last night is to be commended, since not everyone in that clubhouse is as accountable afterwards." Maybe I'm being pedantic about the use of the word "accountable" or misunderstood what Geoff meant.

I appreciate Geoff's work and Sexson's willingness to talk to the media after he had a terrible game, but I don't think answering questions in the clubhouse makes Sexson more accountable for his poor performance than anyone else.

Posted by markus

12:37 PM, Apr 02, 2008

How was Vidro's steal a steal? The ball was there before he was even in the frame. He should have been out by 10ft.

I kind of feel for Sexson, the guy is obviously pressing and trying to get it going. At the same time, hitting him cleanup is not the right way to help ease him into the season. Since when does the lineup have to be fixed and written in stone? They should be fluid, putting guys in situations to be successful and putting the hot guys in run producing situations. Richie isn't a cleanup hitter right now.

I know it early, but I'm already afraid that the problems from last year are still there, but that some of the solutions from last year (Sherrill, Guillen) are gone. Please prove me wrong. Oh for the love, please prove me wrong.

Oh, and finally, Cairo is still a waste on this team

Posted by markus

12:38 PM, Apr 02, 2008

Anyone else notice that the Ranger's pitchers were obviously more comfortable pitching to Sexson than they were to Beltre? Mostly fastballs to Sexson, but they worked Beltre. That worries me just a little.

Posted by Thomas

12:39 PM, Apr 02, 2008

Sexson isn't the problem and I wouldn't say that the turning point in the game was Sexson's AB in the 8th inning. The problem with this team is the same probelm last season, being unable to score early in games.

I do agree that Sexson should not be hitting clean-up. He should be batting 5th or 6th until he gets his confidence back. Batting him clean-up only puts more pressure on him to perform.

The Wilkerson signing was idiotic when you have Balentien. Ibanez should also be the DH with someone else in LF that has more speed. The makeup of this team is just all wrong.

Also, I'm not on the ledge. You should be able to beat a team like Texas without them trying to hand you a win by playing sloppy defense.

Posted by Sexsons' Mom

12:45 PM, Apr 02, 2008

I think Richie is just pressing a little. If he was to get a contract extension with a raise, he might feel a bit more appreciated and be able to get a hit once in a while. Also that Brad guy in right field looks like a player, I would think he should be batting 3rd in the order.

Posted by NB

1:25 PM, Apr 02, 2008

I don't get why we boo Richie. What good does it do? The blame lies with the organization that should have traded high after the '06 season and found another solution at first. Or, I don't know, acquire Josh Hamilton for a pittance, stick him in left, slide Raul to first, punt either Richie or Vidro (or both). Man would Wlad being ready solve a LOT of problems for this offense. Of course he'd need to play over a vet.

Whatever. Good first couple of games. Probably the way a lot of games are going to go this year. Go Felix. Go Erik. Don't suck everyone else.

Posted by tallahassee-mariner's fan

1:42 PM, Apr 02, 2008

I couldn't imagine an even un-ready vlad not being able to hit .205 or better, plus maybe making contact in clutch situations rather than just strike out. what would be so bad about bringing him up early? (maybe someone can educate me here)

here's hoping silva can earn his 48 million tonight.

Posted by tyler

1:53 PM, Apr 02, 2008

This is entertainment and I get plenty of entertainment booing players, raising the pressure, and I dont feel sorry for them, and if they can't take it too bad, cuz boo birds are part of the game.

Posted by Bill

1:57 PM, Apr 02, 2008

I realize its only game 2 but they're not going to win many games when they leave that many people on base, and when the part of the lineup that should be most responsible for batting in runs fails to do their job.

As much as I can't stand him, the M's should at least consider Barry Bonds. Maybe the northwest air will calm down Bonds like it did Jose Guillen.

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/news?slug=bondssuretoplayinbutwher&prov=tsn&type=lgns

Posted by Get Griffey

2:03 PM, Apr 02, 2008

Too the poster who was complaining about the home plate seats being empty-

The reason is that it was cold yesterday, but they weren’t leaving early, they were going down to watch the game out of the wind to watch the game in the comfy arm chares on the TVs, rather than in the cold seats.

Posted by Donovan

2:04 PM, Apr 02, 2008

What Richie needs is a little direct transfusion from Erik (I just pitch my game, no matter what anybody thinks) Bedard. He was trying to undo all of last season with that one at bat last night. The thing is we didn't need him to hit a grand slam. We just needed him to take the walk Benoit was offering him. Trying to be a hero usually turns out badly. Richie admitted as much afterwards (thus Geoff's comments about him being accountable).

People should have understood that when Richie was brought back to start that he was going to get a full month to get on track. You can't give an ultimatum on Day 1. You may not like him being there at all, but nobody should be surprised that he will get some time to gel. The question is - how much? I really hope that becomes a moot point.

Geoff - like some other posters, I'm a little confused about the Wilkerson-Morse platoon. It was so unexpected that I didn't really consider it until now. Does Mac really mean a lefty-righty platoon in the conventional sense, or does he just mean they will split time? With lefty Jennings going tonight, does that mean Morse will be starting? A few posters have mentioned Wilkerson's reverse splits, but Morse's numbers are much better against lefties, and thus conventional. Over the last three seasons (05-07), the R/L BA splits for these two are (ML games only for Morse): Morse (.281/.333) Wilkerson (.228/.264). Morse has fewer than 300 ABs in that time, while Wilk has 1200. OK, Morse has killed lefties in his relatively few (120) at bats against them, with an .858 OPS, so I get that part, but aren't you really rendering Wilk offensively worthless by only using him against righties? Brad's OBP and OPS against righties are .323 and .749 over the same period (vs. .351 and .780 against lefties). That OPS is a lot better than Morse vs. righties (.698!), but, geez! I sure hope Brad didn't have any hitting stat incentives in his contract.

I'm looking forward to seeing Silva tonight. He's a much bigger question mark than Erik or Felix, and thus more critical to assess.

Posted by Adam

2:07 PM, Apr 02, 2008

Barry Bonds is so tailor-made for this team it isn't even funny.

This team was horrible last year when it came to power and walks. Any LH DH types on the market that fit the bill????

Release/trade Sexson
Call up Wlad, put him in LF
Move Ibanez to 1B
Sign Bonds, make him DH
Move Vidro to bench.
Release Cairo
Cut/Trade Morse (he isn't that good at the plate, he's slow, and can't play OF at all; Jimerson is better)
Bring Norton up


Granted, Ibanez won't be a revelation at 1B, but any difference between him and Sexson defensively (if there is any) will be made up for in spades by putting Wlad in LF over Ibanez. Plus, Wlad instantly improves the offense over Sexson. With Norton and Vidro on the bench, it becomes much more user-friendly.

Posted by lorlor

2:19 PM, Apr 02, 2008

I agree with most of you on here. He is back to the same old habits that was killing his swing last year. He has a tendency to lift his left foot and instead of planting it in front of or outside his right foot, he keeps planting his foot towards the plate causing him to lean forward towards home base and decrease his bat coverage area. I don't know if his bat speed has decreased, but his old habits and his mental inability to get past this is killing him inside. I feel for the guy, but when you are not technically sound at the plate you aren't going to hit the ball like you used to. Maybe he was able to get away with this earlier in his career but thats not going to work anymore. As for pulling him? I would definitely not put him at 4th anymore because he has left 7 batters on base already and its only the 2nd game. He should be batting 6th or 7th with Vidro moving up in the order. It will be interesting to see what Mclearn does tonight. If he doesn't switch the lineup and the Ms lose or win another tight one, but leave a bunch of men in scoring position, he might be the front runner for early retirement.

Posted by Bum Knee McGee

2:22 PM, Apr 02, 2008

There are some huge holes in the middle of this lineup. If it remains as is, there are going to be tons on runners LOB. This lineup is not capable of driving them in from the traditional RBI spots. Sexson should be given into May to get his ass in gear, but not at the cleanup spot. There are currently two consistent .300+ hitters in the lineup, Ichiro and Vidro. There are 4 more in the .280+ range, Ibanez, Betancourt, Johjima, and Beltre. Although the makeup of this lineup is far from ideal, they could better maximize their potential with better positioning. Get the strikeout brothers as far away from the heart of the order as possible. Do something like
Ichiro
Betancourt
Vidro
Beltre
Ibanez
Johjima
Wilkerson/Morse
Sexson
Lopez
Sure there are going to be some GIDP's and not much power in the middle, but maybe with enough hits, they just might score some runs. Bottom line, it would definately cut down on strikeouts in key situations, or at least push them back until after we've scored a run or two ( hopefully ).

Posted by STEVE

2:39 PM, Apr 02, 2008

I am happy with Richie so far this year. His strike out on opening day came on a full count that he fouled off a couple of pitches. Yes he did go down, but he worked the count. So far every strike out I can at least see he is taking some pitches. (as well as the rest of the team.) It is great to see some dicipline at the plate!

Posted by joe

2:44 PM, Apr 02, 2008

These numbers would look great in our line-up
.
.320 BA, 13 homers 74 rbis, .378 OBP, .491 SLG (.869 OBPS)
.
they belong to Dimitri Young, a switch hitter, great clubhouse guy and an adequate firstbaseman.
.
Oh yeah, yes MAC, he has been through the battles...

Posted by Stranded_Mariner

2:45 PM, Apr 02, 2008

I hardly think Sexson is one of "the worst clutch hitters of all time." A career with 14 grand slams is hardly a lack of clutch hitting.

Posted by here we go again

3:07 PM, Apr 02, 2008

I have no personal beef with Richie, as he seems like a decent dude. But he's sucking down $14 of payroll and batting 4th in the order. Seriously, with that kind of paycheck, we should be getting 40+ HR, 100+ RBI, .290 or higher avg, and some insane slugging %. He should be a guy the other team pitches AROUND not a guy they pitch around to get to! It's a joke.

Anyway, unless he gets his head right within a week or two, i think the M's should send him down to AAA to figure out whatever it is that's got him so messed up. He's a liability. I can't stand watching the guy at the plate any more. When he comes up to the plate I just know he's going to fail. I'm sure he's got that same belief, and that's why he couldn't hit a ball off a tee with runners in scoring position! Pathetic.

Posted by oregongal

3:10 PM, Apr 02, 2008

I wouldn't advocate it anyway, but is it even possible to send Sexson to AAA? Isn't there a rule that a player with seniority can veto it?

Posted by Gordie

3:12 PM, Apr 02, 2008

So who's the closer while Putz is on the DL?

Posted by NO BARRY BONDS!

3:12 PM, Apr 02, 2008

Barry Bonds exemplifies everything that is wrong with pro sports today --

Horrible attitude
Terrible towards the fans
Money above all else
Cheater
Do anything -- as long as it's good for HIM (cheat on his wife, taxes, lie before a grand jury, etc.)
Arrogant
No class (how many HR's did he stand there and watch -- no class -- jog the bases, punk)

Dude, I would stop watching the M's entirely if they brought this scumbag of a human being anywhere near Safeco Field.

I don't care if he would help this team win or not. There is a line of decency not to cross. Bonds has crossed that line over and over again. For the M's to bring him on board would tell me they are willing to sell their soul's to the devil in the hope it might win a few more games.

Barry Bonds = bad mojo. He's a terrible clubhouse cancer and a horrible human being. Please stop any talk of bringing him to Seattle!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Andrew

3:12 PM, Apr 02, 2008

950 KRJ is reporting that J.J. might be hurt. Geoff, you know anything about this?

Posted by oregongal

3:17 PM, Apr 02, 2008

http://mariners.mlb.com/news/press_releases/press_release.jsp?ymd=20080402&content_id=2483835&vkey=pr_sea&fext=.jsp&c_id=sea

team press release

SEATTLE -- Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Bill Bavasi announced today that the Mariners have placed right-handed pitcher J.J. Putz on the 15-day disabled list. Seattle has selected right-handed pitcher Roy Corcoran from AAA Tacoma to take his spot on the roster.

Putz felt discomfort on a pitch to Michael Young in the 9th inning last night and was sore after the game. The Mariners had a precautionary MRI exam done today. It revealed that Putz has mild costochondritis on his right side. Costochondritis is inflammation where cartilage attaches to a rib.

Posted by Mint Husky

3:18 PM, Apr 02, 2008

Stranded Mariner -

Go back and find out how many of those 14 Grand Salamis were with the score within 2. I'm betting not many.

Posted by Mint Husky

3:23 PM, Apr 02, 2008

Roy Corcoran? Oh great. Get well soon Putzy.

Posted by dr

3:25 PM, Apr 02, 2008

Unfortunately for Sexson, he used up his chits with regard to fans giving him more time to "warm up." That card's been played. Now, he needs to get it going this month, not early June.

Beltre is arguably the best hitter in the middle of the order, but opposing pitchers are pitching around him. With Sexson on one side and Wilkerson on the other, Beltre is seriously limited. A re-ordering of the order is in order.

Mac, BB and the rest of the FO bet their respective farms that the Ms' offense would click IF Sexson, Vidro and Wilkerson had career years. If even one part of that trio fails, this offense will be no better than last year's group.....which had Guillen in the mix. Even if Wilkerson starts hitting HRs, remember, his BA last year was, like, .234 and the year before that, something like .220+. In short, this guy will come up with lots of opportunities to knock runners in, but his BA tells you he'll whiff way more often than he'll wham.

I'd have to say there really aren't any surprises with what we're seeing from this offense - even after only 2 games.

Posted by BMS

3:32 PM, Apr 02, 2008

Let's not forget that the Detroit Tigers claimed Sexson off waivers last August, but the Mariners pulled him back. Someone was willing to take on all 14 million, and we stupidly said "no thanks." There's no way to trade him or get rid of him now.

Posted by Rod

3:37 PM, Apr 02, 2008

J.J. hurt! That's terrible news! I'd think that Lowe would become the closer while J.J. heals, if he's healthy enough that is. He certainly has the stuff to be a closer.

Posted by griz

3:45 PM, Apr 02, 2008

I understand the stigma against Bonds, but as a fan who wants to see this team win it doesn't make sense to not consider him. I mean, how perfect is the situation? He's a lefty, would do well with the short porch in RF, and instantly adds some legitimacy to our lineup which can seemingly only strike out or hit singles.

At least offer him an incentive laden contract. If he proves to be a distraction, cut him and move on. If he calms down a bit and performs decently, then we have a greatly improved offense.

When there is an upgrade still out there as good as Bonds, you need to take advantage before a team like the Tigers adds him to their already potent lineup. With the amount of talent we gave up for Bedard, it's obvious that we're playing for now. So why are we trotting a lineup out there with Vidro as our DH?

Posted by mironos

4:48 PM, Apr 02, 2008

Ok, I agree bending Sexson after 2 games would be extremely premature. But equating Putz and Sexson is ridiculous. Putz has now performed poorly (leaving out the fact that it turns out he was injured) in ONE game in a row. This is Richie's 164th. His allowance for starting slow got used up halfway through last season.

"Cold weather turning his hands numb," "a chance to get ...away from booing fans," "sort himself out", "anxious hitter working the count well", "just missed a home run", "it's cold and it's early" In my book, those are ALL excuses. This is a grown man we're talking about, not a 7 year old -- a career as a professional baseball player REQUIRES the ability to play through booing. It REQUIRES the ability to play in less than ideal conditions. It REQUIRES results, not "almost results." Every single one of the things you listed is an excuse.

Sexson could have it SO MUCH HARDER than he does, getting paid $15 mil to bat .203. Fans booing is really mild, for how poorly he's played over an extended period of time. I'm confused as to why the local media has continued to be so easy on this guy. I think it's wrong to crucify a player, but come on. Unless the temperature at Safeco jumps 15 degrees every time Ichiro goes to the plate, I don't want to hear any more about how cold it is.

Posted by Idaho Invader

4:57 PM, Apr 02, 2008

To the dude who'd quit watching our M's because they'd sign the perfect player for our line up:

So bascially you hate Bonds more than you love the M's. We don't need no stinkin' 130 walks and 35 hr's...naaaah. We want Vidro's 55 walks and 5 hr's.

You could always cut Bonds if his "locker room stuff" proved to be too hard to handle.

Gimmeabreak

Posted by griz

5:31 PM, Apr 02, 2008

^^
Exactly. If only Lincoln and Bavasi could somehow realize that a lot of Mariners fans would actually support the signing of Bonds. I have a feeling that even those who would initially disapprove of the deal would not be complaining come September and October.

Posted by pathetic

10:26 PM, Apr 03, 2008

It really bums me out to see guys actually say they'd sign Bonds to this team because it might produce a few more wins. News flash, he could really suck too.
But what's most important, what is the line where you say a guy's such a bad human being, you wouldn't sign him?
Seriously, if Satan could hit .320 with power, would you put him in our 4 hole? Just how much of a lying, cheating creep does a fellow have to be before you'd say, "Now THAT is too much to accept on this team. We're better than that."
Unreal. Some things are more important than possibly winning an extra game or two. How about having a team that we're proud to cheer for? I guess that counts for nothing. Hey, who cares if they've done more to damage the game than possibly any other individual in history!? If they can hit a baseball, we want 'em.
Pathetic.

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