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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 25, 2008 11:43 PM

Hitting woes and ze-ros

Posted by Geoff Baker

Not much to say about this game. Miguel Batista was pitching hurt and throwing all over the map the first inning-plus, putting his team in a hole it never climbed out of. The M's go on to lose, 4-3, to an Oakland A's team it probably should have beaten and now sit four games back in the AL West. The weekend is not lost, but taking the next two games just became pretty important for Seattle. If the M's don't win at least one game this weekend, this early season is going to get old in a hurry.

Oakland did not get a hit after Emil Brown's leadoff double in the third. The A's managed just one baserunner the final six innings of play, that on a ninth-inning walk. When the deficit is only 4-1 after three, a good team has to overcome that when it gets relief of that type. To be honest, these Oakland hitters don't impress me at all. Weren't much different from what we saw last week, other than jumping all over an injured Batista.

It's like we said about Seattle's hitters ganging up on Adam Loewen last night, then reverting to form. How did the M's look tonight? Not much better, huh? Not making the most of gifts they are given, like letting Andrew Brown off-the-hook after he'd loaded the bases on two walks after an error in the eighth, or registering just two sacrifice flies after loading the bases with none out in the sixth. They are simply not getting it done. They are trying, but not executing.

That Jose Lopez bunt attempt in the ninth? Didn't look good the way things ended up, with a foul ball into the first baseman's glove. Ichiro -- the team's best baserunner -- gets a leadoff walk and can't advance past first base until there are already two outs in the inning? There were some questions being asked after this one.

Mariners manager John McLaren said Lopez, riding a four-hit night, had been told to only bunt if A's closer Huston Street used a slide-step, which would have quickened his delivery to the plate and lessened Ichiro's chance of getting a good jump.

That forced Lopez to make a split-second decision as the ball was being pitched. Not easy for any hitter, let alone one as young as Lopez. Especially against a successful closer like Street, who will come up and in on hitters squaring up to bunt.

Ichiro said the bunt call was the right one. The thought of stealing a base had entered his mind once he reached first. But he said it wasn't an automatic decision with Lopez up.

"It's hard to think like that,'' Ichiro said through an interpreter. "Maybe there was a chance to steal. Or maybe later on the chance to steal will arrive. Personally, I thought the bunt was the obvious call to make in that situation.''

Didn't work.

That Betancourt swing with the bases loaded and one out against Brown in the eighth? Let's just say the pitch from Brown would have only been a strike if the plate was four feet wide and Betancourt four feet tall. The result was a 6-4-3 double-play and more lost hope.

"He swung at a bad pitch and that's been our Achilles heel for a long time,'' McLaren said afterwards. "Runners at third base and less than two out, we have to do a better job.''

What else is there to say? This team has just five runs scored over its last 15 innings. Not good enough. The offense went AWOL when it mattered last night and it still was tonight.

Yeah, Cha Seung Baek threw a great six innings. But the time for moral victories is quickly running out on the M's. They need some real ones. It isn't so much that they are four back in the AL West race. It's that they are four back against two teams -- the A's and Angels. Catching one is already a challenge. Let two clubs get too far ahead and it's asking for trouble.

Word on Batista? He felt his groin twinge against the third batter of the night, Mark Ellis. That was right before he yielded the single to Frank Thomas. The rest of the inning was a disaster and when Batista walked Kurt Suzuki to start the second inning, he summoned the dugout and called it a night. He'll be re-evaluated tomorrow and we'll see about his next start.

"He felt like if he kept going on, he could really pull something,'' McLaren said.

If this keeps going on, some of you might as well. Three losses in a row at home, five out of seven overall. This month is not one for the team scrapbook. More like the scrap heap. See you all tomorrow.

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Posted by pained soul

10:31 PM, Apr 25, 2008

Something absolutely needs to change quickly for this team, or they will find themselves mired in the basement of the AL West. I can't believe I actually had a glimmer of hope for this season! Who are these guys, and what are they doing disguised as baseball players?!?
Geoff, I know you take a LOT of flak for being as even-handed as you are (and many of us appreciate it, trust me!) but what do you think can be done? I'm no expert, but I can't help but think that shaking up this lineup with Clement and Wlad couldn't hurt. Thoughts?

Posted by cesame

10:33 PM, Apr 25, 2008

Telling your #2 hitter that is 4-4 to lay a bunt down is stupid baseball. McLaren is a clueless idiot.

I loved the PH Wilkerson, when of course, there was a RHP on the mound. CHECK WILKERSON'S SPLITS MORON. WOW.

I can manage this team better on my couch.

Posted by Spokanefan

10:33 PM, Apr 25, 2008

How much longer do we have to wait until the FO does something about this? We are in desperate need of offensive help, so our wonderful GM goes out and....resigns our .190ish hitting catcher. Nice work Bill!!! Let's just resign our entire 5-8 spots to long term deals while we are at it! Oh and maybe you can find out if Bobby Ayala is available. He would be a great add don't you think???

Posted by Fett42

10:33 PM, Apr 25, 2008

Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds. Barry Bonds.

Posted by BrianL

10:34 PM, Apr 25, 2008

You were warned about this offense, but everyone wrote it off. Pitching is enough to win ballgames, right? Right?

Posted by ethan

10:35 PM, Apr 25, 2008

you all need to get it through your thick skulls that this Mariners corporation is run like the Bush administration...LOTS of hubris and no accountability.
this is a lost cause.

Posted by CBK

10:35 PM, Apr 25, 2008

Take the bat away from a 4-4 Lopez so you can advance Ichiro??? Are you kidding me?? WOW.

Posted by calim

10:36 PM, Apr 25, 2008

Not much to say? There's plenty to say about Idiot Squinty McClaren. Why would you bunt? What do you mean, don't even ask? Because squinty will just say, well, hey it didn't work out that time. That's not what matters. Having a 4-for-4 hitter bunt with your best base-stealer on first isn't the right call in the first place. Shoot, it isn't the right call if he's 0-for-4. It's just stupidity. I don't know how much more I can take.
And yes, Geoff, we know it's a long season. But every game counts. And Squinty McIdiot is throwing them away. When was the last time he actually made the RIGHT move in a late-inning situation?

Posted by ams

10:36 PM, Apr 25, 2008

That bunt by Lopez in the 9th was the stupidest move yet by McLaren. Didn't he say he wanted Ichiro to steal 80 bases this year? What a joke. How is he gonna steal ANY bases when you keep sacrificing or hit-and-running him over. Have some balls and send him, jeez. And sacrificing with the one guy in the lineup who's hitting 4-4, what can you say, stroke of genius right there.

I wouldn't even focus on the fact that Lopez couldn't execute the bunt. It should never have been called for with your best runner on 1st. McLaren needs to go.

Posted by Samuel L. Jackson

10:36 PM, Apr 25, 2008

This is the worst run organization in baseball from top to bottom. With the money they have spent it is just pathetic. McLaren manages a game like he has no clue, Wilkerson pinch hitting instead of Norton, Lopez bunting when your best base stealer is on and then NEVER bunting when there are two on and none out! The Jhojima extension baffles me, you have talent in AAA wasting away while McLaren runs out the same tired lineup every freakin night. Our combo of DH, 1st base, and RF is bar far the worst in baseball... but it's still too early for any rash decisions, right?

Posted by Mark P

10:37 PM, Apr 25, 2008

This is beyond a joke. I never thought I'd be a fan of a team that had Willie Bloomquist as its right fielder.

Posted by Ross

10:37 PM, Apr 25, 2008

As long as Seattle fans still show up and support this mess it will never change. What do they care. The Mariners make millions each year and have produced jack in 30+ years of existence. But when they bring in 3 million fans through the gates a year, what do they care about fielding a winner.

This blog just makes excuses for them. Maybe if the author was born and raised in Seattle...and had been going to watch a loser for 30+ years, and get nothing in return, there might be more of an understanding of why so many people get so upset. I feel like we will be hearing in July on this blog... "it's still early, sorry to see so many jumping ship so soon, get a grip people, it's to early to bail out now."

I despise Bonds. But would he help us win? Yes. So go get him. But because he doesn't drive a mini van and he's a little abrasive, we want nothing to do with him. That's the Seattle mindset.

Posted by lassidawg

10:37 PM, Apr 25, 2008

I am not one usually to complain, but this offensive team is pathetic. When this team falls behind the game is over. It is ridiculus that you even attepmt a sacrifice with suposedly your best base stealer on first. What happened to the idea of a hit and run. The way the M's offense is going Ichiro on second and one out won't get it done. The only way this team can score is with a sacrafice fly. I am not ready to throw in the towel, but the gentleman that put this offensive team together better start to be questioned. this team has nothing on offense to offer, and yet therre is a ton of money in the line up. Someday they willl figure out that a power hittin left handed bat is what this team needs. How long do we have to wait to see Clement. After the sigining of Kenji today there is no reason to keep him in Tacoma to be the catcher of the future. Clement can't do worse than Vidro as DH.

Posted by M's Fan

10:38 PM, Apr 25, 2008

A .178 batter hitting for a .182 batter. Something is wrong with this picture. Wake up and get some players that can hit on this roster!! (Hint: Look about 30 mi. to the South!)

Posted by Al

10:39 PM, Apr 25, 2008

Yeah Mclaren knows what he's doing, having Lopez bunt when he's 4 for 4 on the night while Ichiro's on first with no outs.

I'm guessing if Vidro was up instead of Lopez, Mclaren would have told him to swing away.

Posted by genesisfan

10:40 PM, Apr 25, 2008

Yni's double play in the 8th was the killer. As he was standing in the batter's box...closer to third base than home plate...I wondered if he always stood that far away. Sure enough, he could then get nothing on an outside pitch. He never stands close like Kenji, but he could barely reach to cover the plate, let alone make solid contact. on anything close to outside. A dribbler resulted, predictably. Whose job is it to fiigure that out?

Posted by Yogi Berra

10:42 PM, Apr 25, 2008

Its getting late early...

Posted by lassidawg

10:42 PM, Apr 25, 2008

Just remember this was the easy part of the schedule to help us get off to a good start. I will torure myself and watch every night, but I will hate myself for it after the fact. Please don't sign Bonds, get Clement up here tomorrow.

Posted by j-dub

10:47 PM, Apr 25, 2008

What part of this offensive debacle is Jeff Pentland's responsibility?

Posted by sjazzdude

10:51 PM, Apr 25, 2008

I can't believe Mac pinch hitted Wilkerson for Bloomquist. Bloomquist can strike out w/out Wilkerson's help. It's nice to see Lopez have a nice night. However I was disgruntled with Beltre's performance tonight. What was he, 0-5?? There was a couple of times he was up with a runner at third and he couldn't bring in the run. We could have won this game. We have too many underachievers on this team. We need to get rid of Sexson, Johjima, Vidro and Wilkerson.

We have players down at Tacoma that will probably produce better than what we currently have. Something needs to be done for them to try to get out of their offensive funk.

Baek threw great tonight. I think he's made a bid for the rotation. I'd like to see both Dickey and Baek in the rotation. It certainly would be an upgrade.

I can't help but wonder if this team is being micromanaged by Bavasi. If that's the case, then no wonder Hargrove left in the middle of last season. If so, then Bavasi is setting Mac up for failure. Bavasi needs to be fired.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

10:51 PM, Apr 25, 2008

If I had a baseball in the stands I would have hit Brendan Weitzman in the mouth for making a mockery of "Take me out to the ball game."

When McLaren gave Lopez the bunt sign, it also made a mockery of the game.

Posted by Pete

10:52 PM, Apr 25, 2008

The team needs to make a roster decision tonight or tomorrow as they are activating Bedard. Here's a happy pipe dream my inner-kid came up with:

Baek pitched great tonight; the Reds are tearing down their team. Bavasi offers up Baek, Wilkerson, and a Feierabend up for Griffey, and Jocketty says "eh, what the heck, sure!" Simultaneously, we demote Vidro to the bench, and promote Clement to the bigs.

Tomorrow night's line-up:

P Bedard

CF Ichiro
2B Lopez
LF Ibanez
3B Beltre
RF Griffey
1B Sexson
DH Clement
C Johjima
SS Betancourt

My inner kid can dream, can't he?

Posted by Seattle Sports Blog

10:52 PM, Apr 25, 2008

This team is absolutely one gives a damn about this team and it shows in the attitude on and off the field. Softy McLaren has got to go. He reminds me a lot of another listless manager, Bob Weiss. Old guys with no fire, only to play .500 ball, not knowing how to REALLY manage a team. Know who does? The guy that Pat Gillick personally hired to replace Lou.....Bob Melvin. Smart move again Bavasi. FIRE BAVASI, FIRE ARMSTRONG, FIRE LINCOLN, and get a manager with a fricking backbone

Posted by sierra117

10:52 PM, Apr 25, 2008

I'm trying to remind myself that the Ms started off slowly last year and ended up making a run for the wild card (even though they sunk at the end of the year)...and honestly being four games out at this point isn't even a big deal. It's just the way these last few games have been played. They look like they're playing dead. Yesterday the starter was OK but the bullpen screwed it up..offense was decent. Today, the offense sucked, Batista was obviously out of whack, and low and behold the bullpen did a great job. I dunno if you can pin anything on just one part of the just doesn't feel like a team at all. Sometimes part of the team will do OK in a game and the other part will do terribly. They just don't seem to be meshing. This was the same thing with last year IMO. When they went on that terrible losing streak it just seemed to me that they lacked cohesion. Mac needs to get these guys's just too bad they don't have a player that is a leader type anymore. At least last year they had Guillen.

This roster has talent. They just need to start playing as a team before it's too late.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

10:54 PM, Apr 25, 2008

I heard the A's were going to announce a Mclaren bobblehead night after Mac helped them win the first two game here in Seattle.

Posted by Aaron

10:54 PM, Apr 25, 2008

For the love of god!!! Can we please dump wilkerson, call up Clement and focus on getting some decent batters in this pathetic line up...I can't think of any reason why we shoudnt get Griffey back after #600. And lofton just sitting at home with nothing to do...still don't want Bonds...but that will never change!

Posted by NB

10:56 PM, Apr 25, 2008

Whatever. We need more starting pitching. Pitching wins championships. Pitching is the hardest thing in the game to find.

Posted by lassidawg

10:58 PM, Apr 25, 2008

I think I'll spend most of my evening in the play area with my kid tomorrow when I see the same old crap battin gline up annouced for tomorrow. How much longer until we ive one of the young kids an shot. This team is becoming boring to watch offensively and that is bad for business. They will start to take notice when they start drawing less than the 16K that they supposedly drew against Baltimore

Posted by purplereign

10:59 PM, Apr 25, 2008

we are officially the chicago cubs of the american league. Pay beane whatever it takes to bring him over from oakland. year in and year he does more with one of the lowest payrolls in baseball. imagine what he could do with a 100 million plus payroll the mariners are wasting year after year

Posted by

10:59 PM, Apr 25, 2008

"If I had a baseball in the stands I would have hit Brendan Weitzman in the mouth for making a mockery of "Take me out to the ball game."

Well Logie, he posts regularly at LL, so maybe you should tell him yourself.

Posted by sjazzdude

10:59 PM, Apr 25, 2008

Oh, that's right, we're stuck with Johjima for another three years. Great going Bavasi. We have a a catcher that will probably ready next year, and can double as DH, and we're stuck paying millions to a catcher who's batting has become a futile attempt.

Posted by helpFelix

11:04 PM, Apr 25, 2008

So much for the Mariner's "easier" April schedule...than the Angels and A's!!!

We're 4 games back, and the pathetic Rangers are on our tail!


1. Bring up Clement! Considering Johjima's extension, there is NO NEED to keep Clement's bat in AAA.

2. Trade Burke for Griffey to man RF, and add his power LHB to the middle of our Lineup. This would be HUGE PR. Also, Cincy has been begging any MLB for a decent Catcher, and they are desperate...Burke would fill a needed hole for them.

3. Upon the Griffey trade IMMEDIATELY release Wilkerson!

I can't take anymore of this! Him and Sexson in clutch situations whiffing. Tonight Wilkerson was called in to PH for Willie with bases loaded and 2 outs...WHAT HAPPENS? Whiff AGAIN!!! Cut the Son of a Twit!!!

Posted by sjazzdude

11:06 PM, Apr 25, 2008

As much as Billy Beane has the knack to pick great prospects, Bavasi has the knack of picking up all of the lemons of the league. On top of that, Bavasi has that rare gift of giving up the better players for practically nothing. He's a true negotiator.

Posted by Publicbulldog

11:07 PM, Apr 25, 2008

The manager blames the hitter in the 8th.I blame the manager for not squeeze bunting. I think the manager lost this game not the hitter.

Posted by Nay Laren

11:11 PM, Apr 25, 2008

Generally speaking I have consider McLaren to be a major problem for this club because he seldom has a working game strategy and more than not fails to make tactical insertions of his bench players. However, in this game, Mac seems to have tried to implement both a strategy and inserted bench players in a tactical attempt to score runs. Still his strategy failed for lack of a tactical answer in the first inning for Batista. By this assessment, I am concluding that a four run deficit is insurmountable for this team. So with Batista falling behind by three runs from the start, there was virtually nothing McLaren could do to win this game.

Does this mean that McLaren is off the hook for mismanaging this game? I think not because it was clear from the start that Batista was not himself, yet McLaren stuck with him through the first so as to fall three runs down. Unlike many critics here, I have championed Baek and I do believe that in his performance tonight he sustained my faith in him. The problem is not that he gave the one run, as he pitched very well in long relief, but they he is slow to warm up. It seems that McLaren could not go to him initially out of the gate when Batista problems surfaced. So McLaren was late getting Baek up and throwing. In part this is due to the fact he did not want to immediately give up on Batista, but this team is offensively challenged and you cannot afford to get three runs down with this hitting lineup. Since Baek takes a while to get ready, it seems that McLaren ought to initially go to a short reliever such as Corcoran while Baek loosens up. In this way, he might have avoided failing three runs down in the first. Clearly Batista was not himself tonight and he needed to be pulled almost immediately when he walked the first two hitters. But I am sure McLaren wanted to stay with the veteran and he could not get Baek up too early because of his long relief role. It would seem to me therefore the failure in managing this game came in the first inning by staying too long with the injured Batista. Perhaps McLaren might be more flexible in similar situations in the future by using a short reliever before going directly to his long man.

With this team's anemic offense, every run scored against them become a major hurdle to overcome in any kind of comeback. For this reason, it seems that McLaren needs to be quick in using the hook to replace sub par pitching performances wether they be brought on by injury or other factors. Still I applaud McLaren for trying to use his bench strategically during the eight inning in an attempt to manufacture some runs. It was one of the first signs of managing that I have seem from him. Perhaps he is getting the message that we have all been crying out about in these posts. Lets hope that he and Bavasi will reading the suggestions to improve the offense with Clement and Balentien.

Posted by Corey Miller

11:13 PM, Apr 25, 2008

Cesame...two points I thought about as well. I mean I know the small ball tactic is great and all...move the runner over. But look at it this way:

Ichiro is the fastest guy on the team period. He scores on a double to right field from first.

Lopez is up with no outs and is 4 for 4 coming in.

Why bunt? Give the kid a shot right? If you have the in it to win it instinct yes. If you have the play it safe for extra innings then you do what Mac did. This team needs a win as bad as any.

And the PH for Wilkerson??? Did he just send up a guy with a sub .200 average to PH? Didnt we bring Norton up? And what does he tell Cairo everyday? "Hey kid stay loose you might pinch run tonight."

Geoff Im not sure if its the front office that needs a shake up or what but something needs to be done to attach the proverbial jumper cables to the battery and jump start this team.

I am reminded of...oh I forget the year...01 I think it was. Lou came out and got tossed in that massive fight with the umps. He made it an us against them mentality for that team.

Anyone else remember that? The team was on a tear. I think it might have been before the 16 straight run of the table.

Posted by Bring up Clement

11:14 PM, Apr 25, 2008

Like i have said a million times, bring up Clement and Reed/Wladdy and dump Vidro and Wilkerson. It might not fix everything (Sexson and Johjima), but atleast we will put some youth into the lineup that will be a huge boost from the two of the terds dragging us down

Posted by Nay Laren

11:28 PM, Apr 25, 2008

It seems to me Bring Up, you have the sentiments of this post as a call for youth is constantly made. Why are Bavasi and McLaren so intransigent in resisting this move? The signing of a sub par performing catcher makes little sense in lieu of your first round draft pick two years ago who is generally tearing the cover off the ball in AAA, what message is being sent in this action? If Clement is not the catcher of the future, then what is his role to be? Certainly it appears that he is not going to get a chance to catch anytime soon, so why not let him DH as this team needs some offensive infusion. Bringing up Wlad and Clement would seem to be a no brainer but perhaps that is exactly what we have with the M's FO and field manager.

Posted by mailman

11:37 PM, Apr 25, 2008

Hey Bentancourt, try taking a pitch at your feet after the pitcher just walked two guys. It's kind of hard to hit a sac fly when the pitch is in the ground. Another example of poor baseball knowledge and no coaching.

Posted by Librocrat

11:38 PM, Apr 25, 2008

To mirror what others have said -

Pitching is not the only thing that wins ball games. Pitching is not even more important than hitting. The Mariners improved in one area, and got one year older and weaker in both of the others. I don't think this year is coming as a surprise to anyone that was paying attention.

Also, now that McLaren has had tthat "time" he needed to be ready to manage correctly, he is just as bad as he was when we first said he was terrible. Again, not a surprise.

This is not throwing in the towel by any means. From day 1, most of the people here that were paying attention knew that the towel was already thrown in... We were just hoping we'd get lucky and the wind would blow it back.

Posted by scrapiron

11:41 PM, Apr 25, 2008

The A's need a fourth outfielder, they sign Rajai Davis. Good defense, great speed. The Mariners need a fourth outfielder and they have a Davis clone in Charlton Jimerson. But who is their fourth outfielder? Willie Bloomquist.

The A's aren't getting enough hitting from their DH, they sign Frank Thomas, and he gets an RBI in his first game. The Mariners aren't getting enough hitting from their DH, they stick with Jose Vidro while the leading hitter in the PCL is just down the freeway.

Tomorrow they make a move to activate Bedard. They'll probably send down Corcoran. Take that opportunity to also call up Jimerson (until Balentien is healthy) and call up Clement. Send Cairo and Burke to Tacoma.

Posted by Chris from Bothell

11:56 PM, Apr 25, 2008

" If the M's don't win at least one game this weekend, this early season is going to get old in a hurry."

Going to?

Free Clement.

Posted by Corey Miller

12:52 AM, Apr 26, 2008

Is it too late to trade in the whole team for some bobbleheads, a years worth of garlic fries and a one way ticket for Johnny Mac to Romania? I hear they want to start baseball there and what a perfect way for Mac to get in on the ground floor....LMAO

Posted by DH Schmginsky

1:02 AM, Apr 26, 2008

ichiro cf
lopez 2b
ibanez lf
beltre 3b
vidro dh
suckson 1b
whifferson/bloomquist rf
johjima c
betancourt ss
cough cough vomit gag puke choke

ichiro cf
lopez 2b
ibanez 1b
bonds dh
griffey rf
beltre 3b
clement c
balentien lf
betancourt ss

Posted by corndog

1:09 AM, Apr 26, 2008

Why do I get the feeling it's going to be a Loooooooooooooooooooong season?

Posted by bavasi is garbage

1:25 AM, Apr 26, 2008

Hitters 4-9: 1-17 from the plate

Bavasi has made some of the worst decisions in the history of M's management. This guy deserves to be HUNG OUT and DRIED in the papers. I can't believe you haven't written an article about how our GM has shipwrecked a team with a 117 million dollar payroll.

His dad is buzz, therefore give him a job because of baseball nepotism. Bavasi is truly garbage.

Posted by Mariner Fan

1:26 AM, Apr 26, 2008

Our weak positions appear to be at RF/DH/1B. I looked at the other A.L. teams and combined the stats of the players who have played those positions the most. See how we compare

Anaheim .281 11 41 .811
Baltimore .267 10 36 .821 Boston .280 9 55 .814
Chicago .254 11 43 .828
Cleveland .268 5 30 .726
Detroit .251 11 36 .786
KC .281 2 20 .708
Minnesota .267 10 41 .778
New York .276 12 37 .867
Oakland .238 3 32 .695
Seattle .191 7 38 .573
Tampa Bay .244 13 36 .836
Texas .250 9 43 .749
Toronto .301 6 24 .817

Oakland and KC seem to be the weakest but Oakland has helped this with the signing of Thomas. Our HR and RBI are not that bad but our AVG and OPS are so bad it lends to a lack of rallies and extended innings. Get rid of Vidro and Wilkerson and Sexson needs to add at least 30 points to his AVG. to justify his HR and RBI total.

Posted by macdoubter

1:29 AM, Apr 26, 2008

A lot of really good posts tonight.

Ross-you nailed it, correct indeed. Geoff's lack of experiencing the innefectiveness of this organization is really something to be lived and for those of us who have followed the M's for quite a while, the saying "be patient, it's early" just is totally misguided and completely inappropriate. We know too well how late it already has been. Geoff is a newcomer to our tired old circus and thus he is incapable of truly appreciating our frustration.

Hey Nay, re your question of what message is being sent by the signing of Joh? ...perhaps it actually may speed up Clement being called up now that Joh's job is secure and the team can better justify using Clement in another position, such as DH or 1B, and thus leading to a replacement at one of those positions. In other words, "listen Richie, Clement needs to be on the team, he's hitting the ball real well, but he can't play catcher because we already have our everyday catcher who's signed for the next few years, so ..."

Who knows.

Posted by Aaron

2:17 AM, Apr 26, 2008


Posted by Cliff Diver X

3:04 AM, Apr 26, 2008

When the M's were down by 4 runs aginst the Angels earlier this year, I think it was in the 4th or 5th inning...John McClaren set an example to the team (which was endorsed by Geoff Baker) the example tha was set, was to quit. That was the game that McClaren left in O'Flaherty to get rocked. Maybe the team just figures that when they are down why bother?! I mean the manager figured they can't comeback, Geoff Baker figured they can't comeback....F it....see that is why bagging a game against the Angels so early in the year has repucussions. This team that we watch now has no life, it has no self esteem it has no leadership, it is lost. I can understand the quitting mentality from Canuck Baker, that is what Canada does. But McClaren shouted "I QUIT" loud and clear and now the repucusionas are resounding throughout the Puget Sound. This Mariner team has NO soul...they have the life and fight of a Lake Washington perch....changes need to happen

Posted by SICK56

3:09 AM, Apr 26, 2008


Posted by joe

5:38 AM, Apr 26, 2008

Much props to you Geoff, for telling it like it is.
It is appreciated. Thank you.

Posted by Chuck

7:06 AM, Apr 26, 2008

I am sooooo glad I didn't renew my season tickets after 15 years. I just wish more people would have. That is the only way this front office will start believing that its customers are not satisfied with the leaders and players the Ms are getting. As long as they keep getting buts in the seats they will allow Boooovasi to resign a fading catcher to a 3-year extension with a #1 draft pick who has not only proven he can hit in the highest minors but in the majors as well. Remember when Jo first was brought onto the team. He wasn't sent to the minors for catching deficiencies that he had. He had other problems like communicating with pitchers (language). But they spent so much money on him they let him learn on the move. Why not do the same with Clement. First, passing on Linnicum who was right in our front yard and then draft a starter #1 and make him a one inning reliever. Unloading a .300 hitter and 99 RBI guy and replacing him with Wilkerson? The list goes on.
Then theres cry baby Mac that shows he not only can't have a fire lit under him, but doesn't know how to light a fire under anyone else. A bench coach is a father/mother figure to the players and that was Mac's game. Now he has to act like a leader and tell those million dollar babies to either do their jobs or head for the pines. He has to lead by example and pull players (pitchers as well) when they falter. The longer he continues to "show confidence in them" and makes excuses for them we will continue to lose. And the poor in game tactical moves continue as well...

Posted by Bill

7:09 AM, Apr 26, 2008

Dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb.

Is Ichiro afraid to steal a base when he represents the tying run in the 9th? Is Mac not giving him the green light in any situation? What is going on???

The M's record in close games is pathetic and a direct result of Mac's ineptitude. Well-managed teams win close games more often than not. That's why teams pay big money for high quality coaching. Only Mac could be blessed with one of the top rotations, if not the top, in baseball and still manage to give away close games.

How come they kept the hitting coach from last season and replaced everyone else? It's not like they were a scary good offensive club last season.

Posted by Bill

7:24 AM, Apr 26, 2008

Is Bavasi even watching the same game???

"Don't overplay that," Bavasi said. "This guy (Clement) is a catcher and he's going to catch well. But if Kenji's bat is still tearing it up and this guy's bat forces him into the lineup, then we'll have to call some sort of audible and we have to look at another position. It might be him, it might be Kenji, it might be both."

What exactly is he referring to when he says Kenji's bat is tearing it up?

Dumb dumb dumb dumb dumb.

Posted by BlahBlahBlah

7:28 AM, Apr 26, 2008

I know that one fan wont matter, but it has to start somewhere. I am officilly done watching a team that starts 4 or 5 sub-.200 hitters. It is pathetic. And then they extend Johjima. You all mark my words......Bavasi WILL send Clement elsewhere in another crappy trade. Clement will never be an everyday player for Seattle.
I will still follow the M's, cuz I am a fan, but I will not spend $100 a night at the Safe, and I will not watch them on TV until a couple of things happen.
-Jose Vidro is not the DH
-Willie Bloomquist is not a starter
-McLaren (or Bavasi) is not in charge of the team.

Shoot, I would be happy with 2 of 3 of those.

I also beleive that as some point the hitting coach should be addressed. THe M's have TWO guys hitting over .300. TWO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by lwl

7:30 AM, Apr 26, 2008

Todo list

Saturday AM
Cut Wilkerson, Cairo, Vidro
Call up Clement, Reed, Balentien

Saturday PM
look to trade (if possible) Sexson & Washburn

Griffey would be nice & move Raul to 1B
Dickey could be pitcher replacement

Sunday after morning coffee (just dreaming)
Fire Bavassi, Mac,
Install the Charlton as interim manager

Posted by Ross

7:32 AM, Apr 26, 2008

People have to understand something. I honestly don't believe that Major League Players give a crap whether they win or not. Think about it. If you are getting paid a guaranteed contract to show up at the ball field. Eat catered food, lounge in the clubhouse, take a little BP, spit and chew, sit around during the game, when opposing players end up on the base paths you yak it up, talk and laugh. I bet I would care less about winning to, what's the motivation.

Posted by usesomelogic

7:45 AM, Apr 26, 2008

Went to the game last night and couldn't help but imagine several times last night what a ifference it would b with Bonds or Griffey inteh 5 spot instead of Vidro......what a difference it would make. When Vidro come up you just kind of know at the best it's a single or double.....

Posted by Jcasey

7:58 AM, Apr 26, 2008

When it comes down to it every guy in this starting lineup is capable. They are pressing offensively. They are not relaxed. It looks like they aren't having fun out there.

Seattle Mariners hitters, I would like to make a plea to you.. relax and stop trying so hard. Having fun will breed confidence. The stats and naysayers?..Stats are fun but it's the intangibles that win games. Not stats.

Truth is, with as much as there is at stake, at the end of the day it's just a game. Just a game played on a field with a ball and some dirt and grass. That's all it is. It will be here tomorrow and it'll be here the next day.

Mariners players..You have what it takes to win. There are no bad players on this team. There should be an change in attitude though. Attitude is what is holding you guys back. Not your stats.

Posted by RainierDawgFan

8:03 AM, Apr 26, 2008

Not that it matters a whole lot, but Tim Lincecum is 4-0 with a 1.23 era on a horrible SF team. Too bad he was too small for the Mariners to draft a local guy. We couldn't use a 3rd Ace or anything, what with our annemic offense.

Posted by AZ Nick

8:13 AM, Apr 26, 2008

Jojhima gets an he hitting .200....I bet Wilkerson, Batista, Richie (I bet I can K 300 times this season) Sexson, Washburn and Vidro are next...How about Danny Meyer, Heathcliff Slocum and Bobby Ayala; I think they are available and would be "a better fit than Thomas"....Did Bavasi suffer permanent brain damage in his youth...Buzzy's baby boy has got to go....

Posted by Faceplant

8:15 AM, Apr 26, 2008

"We need to get rid of Sexson, Johjima, Vidro and Wilkerson."

Man, people really need to lay off of Johjima. It's not like we are talking about someone who is coming off a year of suckitude. The guy put up a .755 OPS last year as an extreme RH pull hitter in safeco field. Combine that with his much improved defense and that is an immensely valuable player. There is no reason to think he fell of the cliff literally overnight. Give the guy a break.

Posted by Troy

8:17 AM, Apr 26, 2008

Do we really stink this horribly? I continue to watch in disbelief as our hitters repeatedly fail in the clutch. How many runners have we stranded at third this year? We have to lead the league. Yuni swinging at that horrible pitch in the eighth inning was unforgivable (especially with the pitcher struggling to find the strike zone). Those things cost teams games. Failing to get down a bunt in the ninth in a one-run game is equally inexcusable (No, I don't care that he was 4-4, that doesn't earn him a pass for not executing in the clutch). Sure, Mac could have had the hot Lopez swing away there, but how well did that strategy work the night before?? Oh, I remember, our fastest player (and BEST BUNTER!!!!) hit into a deflating double-play after Yuni had lead the inning off with a single, and that was that. Argue all you like...the SMART play on both nights was to bunt the runner over from first. We need a smarter manager (why Whifferson instead of Norton last night in that situation?!?!), and some better hitters in our starting line-up (Vidro - PH, Clement - DH, Wilkerson - CUT, Cairo - CUT, Wlad - RF).

Oh, and I wanted to announce that replacing our starting pitchers from last year in the role of gushing wound - OUR RELIEF PITCHERS!! (Baek's performance tonight notwithstanding, and Putz, of course)

4 GB in April is hardly insurmountable, but the team as currently constructed?...ZERO shot at contending. Early or no, it's time for immediate changes.

Posted by Seth Cotner

8:19 AM, Apr 26, 2008

McLaren looks like a rookie out there. Unfortunately, we dont have time for rookie managerial mistakes. The team is on the ropes, they have to either fight their way out or get knocked down. Last year after the Texas game they were on the ropes, and got knocked out (ie fell completely apart).

I know, one data point is not a trend, however two does. If McLaren allows a team with this level of talent to fall into a tailspin again similar to last year, this is a good indicator to me that he can not manage at a major league level... he reminds me of a phone rep being promoted to vice president and then acting like he has 20 years of experience... he has bit off more than he can chew and now the team is choking.

Posted by Faceplant

8:31 AM, Apr 26, 2008

"2. Trade Burke for Griffey to man RF, and add his power LHB to the middle of our Lineup. This would be HUGE PR. Also, Cincy has been begging any MLB for a decent Catcher, and they are desperate...Burke would fill a needed hole for them."

This isn't fantasy baseball. Players like Burke are floating around everywhere. The Reds are not going to give up a player of value in order to acquire a player they could get for free.

Posted by Faceplant

8:40 AM, Apr 26, 2008

"Is Ichiro afraid to steal a base when he represents the tying run in the 9th? Is Mac not giving him the green light in any situation? What is going on???"

Uh, he did steal second after there were two outs. Kinda hard to steal when the first hitter bunts the first pitch, and the second hitter pops out on the second pitch.

Posted by macdoubter

8:53 AM, Apr 26, 2008 doesn't matter what we think. Its about Nintendo making money. Its about catering to the growing Japanese fan base rooting-and paying-for players from that country. Its about Ichiro's personal endorsement of Mac. Nothing else trumps these priorities, with Bavasi acting as the button pusher. Unfortunately that's the reality and explanation for a lot of what's happening.

Posted by Billy Beane

8:58 AM, Apr 26, 2008

Thanks Bill. You had me going, but I knew I can count on you, year in, year out. Without GMs like you, I can't be a genius. Give my best to your FO. Keep up the good work.

Posted by Chris from Bothell

9:06 AM, Apr 26, 2008

macdoubter: Hey, Steve Ballmer was throwing around moderately sick money to keep a lame basketball team around... perhaps he could be to NW baseball like Paul Allen was to football... buy the team from Nintendo and install a local leadership that wants to do more than just turn a profit on Japanese ad revenue, overpriced beer and sushi, and tickets that cost more than a yearly hi-def cable subscription. :)

Still contemplating that "Congrats on 600 Junior! Come home soon" banner for right field...

Free Clement!

Posted by Stevo in Oregon

9:12 AM, Apr 26, 2008

Thanks for the wonderful reporting and hard work as usual Geoff.

One correction: In your M's Notes section in this morning's paper you wrote that Wilkerson walked as a pinch-hitter in the 8th. Yes, he did walk in the 8th, but he actually came up as a pinch-hitter a couple of innings before that with two runners on, and, of course, struck out.

Lopez's thing I learned when I saw the 60 Minutes special a few weeks ago on the Sabermetrics guy (hired by the Red Sox - two World Series - subliminal message) is that the sacrifice bunt, historically, isn't worth while. It's easy to criticize it now that it didn't work out, but I can honestly say I was hoping they wouldn't do it the second that Jose stepped in the box. You were talking about a guy with a 4 for 4 night. Lopez really is not that great of bunter anyway. Sure, he's gotten it down on occasion, but his fundamentals aren't great. Last night he really dropped the barrel of the bat. The only result you can get out of that is a pop up. Maybe part of that execution is because he had to wait until the last second to decide if he was going to bunt or not (slide step from Street). That is ridiculous to tell a hitter that. It makes their job much, much tougher.

Yuni's AB in the 8th. Here you have a guy struggling with his command and he swings at the first or second pitch (don't remember) that's at his ankles? I still can't believe it. He gave that AB, and the game away doing that. When the bases are loaded against a guy struggling to find the zone, a hitter's approach is very easy. Look for the ball in your zone and your zone only. If it's there, make him pay. If not, take it. What a horrible AB and what a horrible offense. I can barely stand to watch it anymore.

Geoff, how many bases clearing doubles do we have this year? It seems like we're just happy with a sac fly now so they don't get booed for striking out. I don't know. This is very frustrating.

Posted by Choska

9:19 AM, Apr 26, 2008

Did you guys see that catch from Reed Johnson on SportsCenter?

Do you guys see how little ground Willie covers?

Reed, Clement, and Balentin are rotting in AAA.

Nothing will change until Bavasi and Chuck Armstrong are gone. The owners of the Ms seem to be content with the way things are.

What's odd about that is that none of them run their businesses with this much tolerance of failure. If someone working for Microsoft, Nintendo, or one of our local wireless companies had Bavasi's record they would have been fired years ago.

Posted by Petejuliomcmahon

9:31 AM, Apr 26, 2008

I thought Batista said he found something that would keep him pitching for the next 5 years??? Whats that... getting pulled after the 2nd inning?? Yah your arm will last for another decade if you do that.

Mclaren, What are you thinking? I thought you said Ichiro can steel 80 bases?? through April he only has 5. Steal Ichiro to second. Hit away with the guy who is 4-4, and if he fails he can most likely move Ichiro to 3rd. Then Ibanez or Sexon can maybe sac fly him in. A lot of "IF'S" there I know... but Mac.. where is your 30 some years of Baseball Knowlege... Mac Said he was deciding to steal or bunt based on Huston Streets delivery and set up... Come on.. let your players play, Ichiro can steel regardless of the Angle of Streets Set.

Lopez... You bunt like a 5 year old! You Dropped the barrel of the bat!! Maybe we need to Refresh... Ben the knees and keep the handle of the bat below the barrel!! Wow... I know you were 4-4 but thats the very basics that we all learned even before little league!!

Now for some real Logic and Reasoning..
Vidro ... Out... Clement .... In. Clement and Johjima need to both be in the lineup... they can switch every few days from catcher to DH. They will stay fresh that way, and both remain in the lineup.

I gotta say.. the Bedard trade has been a bust so far... but this is only 4 weeks into the season. I hope he does great things for the Mariners. It just stings so bad when our bullpen cant throw a strike and the guy we traded away, George Sherrill cant blow a save! 5 already against the M's... Wow Bavasi.. I know you needed Bedard bad.. I get it, but man that hurts to see our former guy dominating his former team. Maybe we traded the wrong guy. And Adam Jones with that 2 out double the other night to extend the O's lead. Ouch... Bedard better be worth it.

Mike Morse his 492 in spring yet cant earn the starting job over brad wilkerson who cant even get over the mendoza line... Morse is out for the year... but maybe something to think about next year Mac. Same with RA dickey. When a guy Earns his way into the starting lineup by hitting better than anyone in the history of the ball club.... START HIM! I know you got suckered into buying a well below average player in wilkerson, and you want your money on the field... but the best players need to be in the game. Not the richest.

We've been hurt so far this year and that hasn't helped. Putz really hurt us by being out, Bedard has missed some starts, Silva just got hurt but hopefully he wont miss a start. Batisa leaves last night in the second due to injury, Mike Morse is out for the year. But I gotta say... I don't think anything has hurt us more than the late inning decisions by John Mclaren. He's new to this I know... 54-54 aint bad.. but it Aint good... We're underachieving and we need a change quick or this could get real ugly down the road.
Bavasi... Why didn't we get the Big Hurt to heal our dead offense... Lets get Bonds. We need a bat, a power bat, the big hit.. the Free Pass late in the game, anything. Its about W's and we're blowing them left and right. You bought yourself some time with 88 wins last years... but things need to pan out for you or you might be right back on the hot seat.

ok.... im done venting for now.. I'll be back for more though.

Posted by Thomas

9:36 AM, Apr 26, 2008

I'm surprised Bavasi is still the GM. Have they not looked at his track record? I don't even want to list the failed FA signings. Sure he's gotten lucky with some, but wouldn't you expect a guy to be at 50-50 in terms of success ratio especially when he's in control of a $115M+ payroll.

They won't make any changes if any at all till after this series. Instead of making immediate changes, McLaren will keep running out the same mediocre EXPERIENCED veterans! Don't be surprised if the move they make is signing another bunch of over the hill, mediocre group of veterans from the scrap heap!

Posted by eastcoast

9:49 AM, Apr 26, 2008

I am a former pepsi jr mariner, and lifeling M's fan - and I am angry.

Watching this team is like reading an economics book late at night while snuggled up in a warm bed. I even (foolishly) bought the MBL extra innings package so I could watch all the games. I was excited, this was going to be the yr. But this team is going nowhere fast! But I WILL enjoy baseball this yr. I'll just watch young talented teams like the D-backs, Rays and Indians instead. Hell, even the Angels are more fun to watch. You know why, because they actually give their young players a chance, and they have a plan.

This organization has hit rock bottom. Bill Bavasi makes moves only for here and now (and why shouldn't he, he is on a one yr contract), Mac makes questionable moves just about every night that probably has other managers scratching their heads. The players look lackadaisacal, and play without heart or emotion.

We have a player in Wilkerson who doesn't even belong on a major league roster. We have two in Vidro and Sexson that wouldn't start for other teams, or would be the Frank Thomas rent a player for 400,000. We constantly make moves that block the progress of our young stars. So Bavasi, Joh's deal won't block the development of Clement? BULLSH*T!!!! You know why I can be angry and question the teams moves? Because I have cared about this team a lot longer than you!!! The offense on this team stinks.. and changes need to be made before this team loses more than just a few games. Lets add youth and speed to the lineup. I don't really care if Yuni hits 4th, at least you know he can hit in the clutch!

So now that I've said my peace, I WILL watch and enjoy baseball - which means I won't be watching the M's. What is the definition of insanity again?? Doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different result.

Posted by Walla Walla Girl

9:50 AM, Apr 26, 2008

Back at you, lwl of 7:30 a.m.
The mood I'm in right now, I with you on that to do list.

Chris from Bothell, 9:06 am: Great banner idea!

Lost of good posts here today, as usual. I wish Betancourt had taken four or more pitches to see if the guy could throw strikes. I suspect if he'd just stood there he would have walked in a run.

Go M's.

Posted by scrapiron

9:52 AM, Apr 26, 2008

McLaren has the right-field platoon backwards!

As a team, the Mariners are hitting .311 vs. LH pitching, second in the American League. Against RH pitching, they are hitting .232, worst in the American League.

In ST McLaren said he wanted his fourth outfielder to be right-handed to platoon with Wilkerson. That ruled out Reed and they went with Morse.

But historically, Wilkerson has hit left handed pitching better. This season he's only had one at bat against a left handed pitcher, while struggling to a .178 avg against right handers. He should be hitting against left handers in the platoon. Over the last 3 years, Wilkerson has hit .264 vs. LHers, but only .228 vs. RHers. So I suggest they play Wilkerson against LH pitching, and platoon a true left handed hitter that can hit RH pitching in right field.

Jeremy Reed is your left handed hitting outfielder that truly hits right handed pitching. Reed is hitting .365 vs. right handed pitching at Tacoma.

If you need further offensive help against right handers, (Vidro is hitting .154 vs. RH this year, worst among Mariner regulars) then Jeff Clement is your answer. Clement is hitting .370 vs. RH with 5 Home Runs.

So you want to improve the offense, improve the hitting against right handed pitching. The answers are south of you.

Posted by Walla Walla Girl

9:59 AM, Apr 26, 2008

scrapiron, let's do that today. Right now.
I don't want to be bummed again when viewing tonight's lineup.
Mac, are you listening?

Posted by Petejuliomcmahon

10:08 AM, Apr 26, 2008

We need offensive help... How about this line??

C 20 68 16 25 6 0 5 17

46 1 12 0 0 .494 .676 .368 1.171

Hmm... Clement anyone??

Posted by AzMsfan

10:20 AM, Apr 26, 2008

I agree with most post about dumping Weekerson and Vidro, but if you look at the pace Richie is on is around 30hrs and 110 plus rbis. We need to call up Clement for sure let him dh and get some catching experiance. I think we should also get Balentine up here at least these guys will play hard because its thier chance at the big leagues.

As far as Mac and Bavasi get rid of them they have no clue whatsoever. The hitting coach needs to take some blame as well.

The other thing why are the announcers always saying its early when the weather warms up so will the Ms, we played 24 games already its time to step up and not make excuses.

Posted by Stevo in Oregon

10:22 AM, Apr 26, 2008

Great posts guys! Excellent analysis, as usual, Scarpiron. And wow, the Pepsi Jr. Mariners. That sure brings back memories East Coast.

I've been down on Reed for quite some time, but given our current right field situation, I agree with you Scrapiron. That whole hitting against righty thing is a BIG deal.

Let's do this now. Get Reed and Clement up here. If you bring Reed up, you could even have him play Center again and move Ichiro back to right if you wanted to.

BTW, Cairo was getting 'great secondary leads' last night! I guess that's worth the 25th roster spot.

P.S. - I don't like poking fun at people, but I've wondered......why doesn't Mac just shave off that little frontage of hair on the middle front if his head? It's like a little island and looks awkward.

Posted by Stevo in Oregon

10:45 AM, Apr 26, 2008

Yeah, other than Morse, they didn't hit that well in the warm AZ weather in Spring Training did they? Oh, they were shaking off the rust.

Posted by MAC

10:46 AM, Apr 26, 2008

when will mariner management decide they have had enough of Richie Sexton? in the last 4 games he has struck out 5 times with min. in scoring position. Enough is enough. Fans are tired of paying for losers.

Posted by usesomelogic

11:11 AM, Apr 26, 2008

Richie Sexson is not the problem on this team, yeah he needs to get his average up a little but for the most part he's doing his job as a power hitter. This team needs a LH power bat.

What's funny is that when I see Lopez bunt I can't help but think about the "sights and sounds" of Spring Training that Geoff put on this blog. Lopez was working on his bunting and couldn't do it....

Posted by Nat

11:24 AM, Apr 26, 2008

Choska, I agree with your comment on the Mariners - as an organization, if it was truly run as a profitable business certain players not playing well, and managers, i.e., BB and McLaren, would be fired. It baffles me that they are not held accountable when the game is being mismanaged so blatantly.

I like Chris's idea for Steve Ballmer and friends to get involved in buying the team from Mr. Nintendo and his friends, and to exercise some local control. How can we make that scenario happen...

Another poster mentioned the intransigence of the M's management and I wholeheartedly agree. Last year when the Free Adam Jones society was in full steam, Bavasi sat on his hands for months. I finally decided he reacted that way in direct response to the outcry of fans. Why? An attitude of: "No one is going to dictate to me what to do with my club!" When it was too late to make a difference, AJ was brought up, but Mac would not start him regularly so as not to offend the vets.

How does that (non-) move fare for Clement and or Balentien? Probably the same :) Reed may come up. What a shake up that would be, huh? LOL.

Finally, stevo in oregon- yeah, I have to say Mac's hair bugs me too. Jeez, just wear your hat, Mac!

Posted by Nat

11:35 AM, Apr 26, 2008

Oh, and then there's this: "Brillliant Street Move to walk Ichiro and take the bat out of a guy’s hands who had 4 straight hits. LOL.." Quoting a blogger on the AN blog - capturing the tenor of what all Mariner fans thought as well!

Posted by david

11:37 AM, Apr 26, 2008

bavasi has created the worst team in the majors. Are you ready to admit they arent serious world series contenders yet geoff? I have yet to witness a worse ball team.

Posted by Stevo in Oregon

11:48 AM, Apr 26, 2008


WIth all due respect, Geoff was never quoted as saying the Mariners are serious World Series contenders. He picked them to win the A.L. West. That's it.

Geoff is doing his job and doing it very well. This is a toop-notch blog and he has afforded us die-hard baseball and Mariners fans to do something we could have only dreamed of as kids.

Geoff likes to be challenged, but in a respectful way and only when we actually challenge what he actually said.

Geoff is being a little more patient than we are, but I'm sure if this crap is still going on past May 15th, Geoff will become a little more aggressive in his critique. He has criticized and analyzed problem areas quite a bit to this point, he's just not calling for the changes that us fans are calling for......YET.

He will.

Posted by coachjim

12:03 PM, Apr 26, 2008

I agree with Geoff. MacLaren needs to do what Grover did last year. Put Bettoncourt on the bench until he tell him he is ready to listen to the coaches. If not, send him to Tacoma until he learns. Sexon looked as if he was reading from the book, Now he is back to last years habits which suck. If I hear Mac say one more time "He is a Vet and needs to get going". What Geoff didn't say was Bettoncourt swung at Ball five.
Bavasi needs to have a sit down with the manager and tell him not to put a player in hiting under 200.
Bautista knew he was hurt and didn't sat anything. The loss is his. Could we have won the game, NO !!! Not until thiose VETS start doing what it takes to win. Until then we are the same or worse than last year.
Morese on the DL means Reed benefites. He should be in left today. Clement hasn't done anythingyet in the Bigs. But his potential makes the hard decision easy, sorry Vidro.
The Lopez bunt. 4 for 4, ride him. Mac needs to be asked in the post press conf. When are you gonna sit the non producers.

Posted by Ms#4

12:14 PM, Apr 26, 2008

ya, betancart has cost the team a few games with his piss poor defense, inability to draw a walk, inability to hit, inability to bunt. He is basically a useless player. I dont see why we dont have bloomquist sub for him while h goes to tacoma or is shippe off for a bullpen pitcvher we need o so badly

Posted by Fin

12:20 PM, Apr 26, 2008

Baker is just trying to do his job, so I wouldn't blame him for anything. I feel bad he has to cover such a mismanaged team. I don't get it though. Every other team, even the hated Yankees and Red Sox, know to call up talent from their farm systems when they have veterans who are struggling. The mariners on the other hand, keep letting their worn down veterans play until it is way too late to fix the damage.

I am hoping Geoff can do a write up, or possibly ask the Mariners management why don't they make these moves. So he can truly give a voice to disgruntled fans. I have to say I am going to go out on a limb and agree to everyone else's roster moves. Even Geoff has to think why the FO isn't getting it down. Its just frustrating watching this team, its like arguing with a child. This organization has no wits and obviously you aren't going to win no matter what because they make stupid decisions regardless of how the fans feel.

Cut Wilkerson and Cairo, and keep Vidro on the bench so he can't get his optioned renewed. I wish that they could've traded Kenji to the Reds for Griffey, but now that is ruined thanks to the three year extension. Kenji and Clement can split catching duties while Clement plays DH or 1B otherwise. Call up Wlad or Reed to play RF. We are now stuck with Ibanez in LF thanks to the Johjima contract extension, or else we could've had him be DH while having Reed or Lofton in left with Balentien in right.

Posted by Lance

12:57 PM, Apr 26, 2008

Wouldn't Yuniesky's three-for-four look better in another part of the order?

And, why isn't Wilkerson being DLed if he's got a bad hammy with Reed being recalled? Jeremy is
tearing up the PCL almost as much as Clement is. Brad's worthless right now (and will that ever really change?).

Posted by Karl

1:17 PM, Apr 26, 2008

From watching the first few weeks, it's obvious McLaren did not have these guys ready coming out of the gates. I'm amazed. What were they doing all spring training? Yes, it's Mac's first shot, but his job was made as easy as you can get it, with but maybe two positions to be decided. A rare luxury. Yet, we see a bullpen that can't find the strike zone and a lineup that can't find it either, swinging at anything except balls down the middle. (see Beltre and Sexon) Somebody, please! Tell Betencort to stop swinging at bad pitches! Especially ones over his head. And I'd like to see the stats on bringing runners in from third base with less than two out... I'd swear the M's are near the bottom of the league. That is inexcusable and infuriating with the kind of talent this team has. Clutch hitting with the game on the line... gut check time. Where are our heroes? Mac, step up and kick some butt, or step out.

Posted by dc

1:40 PM, Apr 26, 2008

For years now the Mariners have refused to use their minor league system as a source for position players. They've routinely used it for about 60% of our pitching needs but WILL NOT bring up youngsters from the minors to assume a position from a worn out, washed up veteran.

I mean come on......look at the history of players we've traded away or lost because they 'weren't ready' for the majors. Guys like Varitek et al.

The M's will not eat salary (i.e., dump Sexon or Vidro) and will not put their fate into the hands of a call up. About the only time they ever have was when they brought up Bucky Jacobsen, and by then it was too late.

In the last few years, the only call up they ever truly handed the ball to was Jeremy Reed. Once he got hurt they shelved him in favor of old veterans. Geez, not even Betancourt was a true developed minor leaguer. He was an established player from Cuba who fell into their lap.

The more I think about it, the only position player they've developed in their minor leagues and brought them up has been Lopez. The only starting pitcher has been Felix. Everybody else is traded away for 'established veterans'.

I was at the game last night and it was infuriating to see all these Oakland Athletic call ups beat us. I hardly recognized these guys....but they can play.

I just don't know what it will take for the M's to pull the trigger and bring up a kid. I guess the success of the Rockies and the Red Sox doesn't attract them too much.

Posted by petejuliomcmahon

1:42 PM, Apr 26, 2008

Mclaren is all talk. He can't back it up. He said Ichiro would steal 80 bases, he said Sexson would be the come back player of the year and he said the anything short of the playoffs would be considered a major dissapointment. How about getting over .500, and beating the Orioles for once.... then you can talk MAC!!!!

Ive been a M's fan since I came out of the womb in 82'. This reminds me of the early 90's Mariner teams coached by Lefevbre where we were picked to challenge the Blue Jays for the American League... AHAHAHAHAHAHa... I believed it then too.. just like I believed it this year.

Don't get me wrong... I think this team is very capable of making a playoff run... but something has to change in Macs managing style... or the front office ... such as... put the best players on the field!!!! Wilkerson. Vidro... Bring up Balentin Clement and Reed. man.... oh man please please please Mariners!!!! Don't make this another looooooooooooooong season.

Posted by Dan Mellen

2:17 PM, Apr 26, 2008

Even if they only said to bunt if he was slide stepping, it was a ridiculous call. Ichiro's a great basestealer. Getting a man to second with no outs is way better than getting one there with one out. If he couldn't get a good jump, then Lopez should've advanced him the old fashioned way: by getting a hit. People act like taking a swing is a big risk and a bunt isn't, but look what happened. A bunt's a risk too. And so is giving away outs. John McLaren continues to only do awful things to this team. He, Bill Bavasi, and Geoff Baker are the true axis of evil. Do something about these assholes, W.

Posted by Ross in Summerland

2:19 PM, Apr 26, 2008

What the smug, self-satisfied politburo-class Mariners management has assembled is an all-international group of nice-guy "professionals" who can't speak english worth a dime and can't wait to hack low and away to get back to the dugout to pat each other on their (twinging) back and cash their multi-million dollar mariner-money sports welfare checks.
These bums, who take the term baseball "Club" very seriously, are more concerned with giving the other team's middle of the rotation starters a Cy Young outing than providing a minimum level of study and concentration The body language says it all- compare the attitude of the max-effort, over-achieving Baltimore Players to this ugly, flailing pile of overpaid, low-intelligence factor, toolsy professional losers.

Posted by SICK56

2:19 PM, Apr 26, 2008


Posted by Corey Miller

2:23 PM, Apr 26, 2008

Yes Dan just what we need...George W. coming in and taking over the Mariner's organization similar to Iraq. He will rush through the door pens blazing behind an army of lawyers. He mows down the front office in 2 weeks then sends half the lawyers home. Then after three years we are losing more than we are winning, platooning with one year rent a player free agents and sending guys back and forth from Tacoma without a real exit strategy.

Posted by Karl

2:44 PM, Apr 26, 2008

The decision to bunt was NOT the problem last night. Many managers would have made the same call. The problem was failure to execute... and when it comes to bunting, that's the manager's fault. Bunt pop ups by your #1 and #2 hitters in one game means they aren't prepared to play. Mac? If your players can't bunt, it's your fault. I CAN BUNT, for Pete's sake!!

One more thing, Mac. You knew the problems on this team from the beginning, with situation hitting and swinging at everything. You had plenty of time to work on it. Nothing has changed on those two counts. No clutch hitting, and no patience at the plate. What the hell have you been doing with your time and opportunity!? You only had ONE big decision this year... right field. Enough said.

Bring this team around, or you should be gone, Mac.

Posted by Corey Miller

2:51 PM, Apr 26, 2008

So Karl what you are saying is that given a 90+ MPH fastball and split second decision making you are more prepared than the average major leaguer? Man why are you blogging when you could get a job with a team....

Bottom Line...The coach can only make the call. The player executes. They are all professional baseball players with a job to do and jose just didnt do it last night...end of story.

Posted by Choska

2:57 PM, Apr 26, 2008

This is from today's Baseball Prospectus - easily worth the subscription fee.

"Tim Lincecum is 4-0, 1.23 despite getting virtually no support from his offense or his defense. He’s the closest thing to a one-man team in MLB—his combined pitching and hitting VORP is 15.3, and the rest of the Giants have combined for 10.7. He is, like Carlton was in 1972, a superior talent on a team not remotely worthy of him. I half expect that they slip little pieces of paper into the game programs at AT&T Park now—"The role of Barry Bonds will be played by Tim Lincecum."

The right-hander is rapidly reaching that Pedro Martinez level where any game he pitches is the game to watch that night, with the potential for 15 strikeouts, a no-hitter, or one of those shutout/two-homer combinations that puts the "one-man team" issue into sharp relief."

Bavasi MUST be fired. He has proven - time and time again - that he simply cannot evaluate talent.

Mr. Lincoln, for the good of your franchise, you MUST fire Bavasi before he does to the Mariners what Wally Walker did to the Sonics.

Posted by steve

3:06 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Geoff - Did the Japanese owners alter the catching plans by making Bavasi re-sign Jojima? This was ludicrous!

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