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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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May 24, 2008 1:03 PM

McLaren safe; Bavasi rips into players

Posted by Geoff Baker

1:01 p.m.: New York scored five more runs in the seventh inning off the bullpen to go ahead by eight runs. Richie Sexson then blasted a two-run homer in the eighth off Kyle Farnsworth after Jeremy Reed drew a 13-pitch walk. Remember folks, the Mariners have shown all week they are the league's most dangerous team when trailing by eight or more. I'm sure Mariano Rivera is getting nervous.

nyy0524 002.jpg

Now the news of the day...

The guesswork is over. John McLaren is staying put as manager. Mariners general manager Bill Bavasi stepped up moments ago, in a conference call with reporters, and blasted his team's players for a lack of clubhouse leadership and inability to police themselves.

Bavasi left no doubt that it's ''beyond frustrating'' for him at the moment. He described the team's clubhouse as "a group of individuals.''

"We're ending up with a man on second, or a man on third, or men on second and third with nobody out and they stay there. And then we may run into a period where we can't get out of the first three innings without giving up 20 runs.

"Unfortunately for us,'' he added, "we don't have on this club so far, that player, or players -- it takes more than one -- that has enough in his gut to take care of himself, with enough left over to take care of somebody else, and help somebody else do his job. We don't get a runner over, we don't get a runner in and as a group of individuals, the players tolerate it. And good teams just don't tolerate that.''

We've been trying to point this out to all of you, on this blog, for the past couple of weeks. There are things that teams do internally, to enforce a level of conduct on and off the field, from one player to another, that just is not being done by the Mariners. You need guys who can get into the faces of their teammates when they mess up on the field. When they make others come out and face the music for them in post-game interviews. When they see a level of pre-game preparation that is not being carried out. I mentioned Raul Ibanez taking extra BP yesterday after slumping for a couple of game. He's this team's best hitter. There are several other guys who could follow his lead on a regular basis. But if no one is making demands of them to do this, who's going to? The coaches can't, because of contractual things and such. Extra BP is extra BP. A late bus from a hotel is a late bus. There is no contractual obligation to be on the early bus. That's something players can police themselves, without the union getting involved.

"The best teams take care of stuff in the clubhouse,'' Bavasi said. "They make demands of each other and I'm not sure that's going on right now.''

Bavasi said McLaren has done his job and that there's only so much any manager can do in a clubhouse where no (or not enough) players are truly being held accountable by peers for their play.

"This is not a field managerial issue,'' he said. "John is doing a good job. Our performance is not related to his work. It's purely related to player performance and underperformance and underachievement. Nobody had the nerve to pick us less than second place in our division. We were picked anything from first to second to wild-card. You name it. The expectations were a heck of a lot higher than this, based on any analysts' evaluation of out players' individual track records and their age. Their ages are such that they're not all young guys that they're inexperienced. But they're not too old to believe that they would backslide. So, I think those expectations are realistic. They were and they are.''

He said he's in constant communication with other teams and on the lookout for deals. But it's early, he said, before the July 31 trade deadline and there aren't a lot of clubs looking to make deals.

"I don't know that that's something that we want to react to right now,'' he said. "If we had a magic bullet, we would fire it. I think we have to, from our point of view as a staff, in the office we have to keep looking for player personnel, deals, but like I said, we're going to be hard-pressed to find somebody better right now than what we have. We have to keep looking for those guys. It doesn't mean you stop looking.''

Bavasi said his front office always takes character issues into consideration when trading for, or signing a player. Or while they are developing.

"Every club pays close attention to the character of guys,'' he said. "But you never know what their character is truly like until they get into the heat of battle.''

McLaren and his staff have been identifying problems on a daily basis, he said, and trying to keep on guys to up their level of play. "But again, at the end of the day, the players have got to go out and do those things.''

Bavasi insisted he doesn't want his words to be construed as a "sole attack on the players'' who he still feels are working hard and trying to improve. But perhaps, he said, they have to be smarter in how they work and look after one another.

"I take it to heart in that it's my responsibility,'' he said. "The buck stops here. This is a club that we all had higher expectations on.''

And in the end, he is the guy who put this roster together. If it has character issues, the fault ultimately lies with Bavasi and not McLaren. Bavasi is in Seattle and isn't planning to speak to the players as a group. He and McLaren have discussed the situation and both feel it's McLaren's job -- as the guy in the clubhouse -- to relay any such messages.

But if Bavasi's tough talk is to carry an impact, or ultimately have meaning, he has to be prepared to make an example of a player or two if this type of on-field performance continues. You've all asked me this question and this is how I feel. I wrote yesterday that the organization had to step up and clarify McLaren's status. It has done so in timely fashion.

Now comes part two. Backing up words with action. Demanding accountability of others, namely the players, and then being accountable yourself. If the clubhouse lacks leadership and doesn't change on its own, go out and do something about it. That's the only way anyone, be they fans, the media, or the players in that clubhouse, will take an organization seriously.

12:01 p.m: Jose Lopez just cost his team two huge runs in the sixth inning, committing a two-out error on a routine grounder that should have ended the frame. Instead, Bobby Abreu his a two-run homer to make it 7-4 for New York. This is what Bill Bavasi is talking about below. About accountability. In a winning clubhouse, a guy like Carlos Silva, who was furious as the ball left the park, gets in Lopez's face after the game and tells him this kind of stuff can't keep happening. Lopez made a nice play a couple of innings earlier, diving to his left to save a run. He'd been 3-for-3 at the plate. But it's all out the window now.

11:54 a.m.: The New York Yankees have a 5-4 lead on Seattle as we enter the bottom of the sixth inning. New York went up 4-0 in the second on a three-run homer by Jason Giambi, then a Robinson Cano double and an RBI single by Melky Cabrera. But the M's tied it on a three-run homer by Jose Vidro -- of all people -- and an ensuing blast by Adrain Beltre.

New York regained the lead in the bottom of the inning on a Melky Cabrera single with the bases loaded.

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Posted by cesame

10:52 AM, May 24, 2008

It's your fault Bavasi. You're a bad GM. You deserve to lose your job.

"He said he's in constant communication with other teams and on the lookout for deals."

Oh God no. This is the real misery, not the current 4 game losing streak.

BAVASI LEAVE YOU FOOL. NO ONE WANTS YOU HERE.

You put together a team with no offense and defense. It's your fault and you should resign.

Posted by Good

10:52 AM, May 24, 2008

I'm glad Mac gets to stay. Someone (the players or Bavasi) needs to be held accountable though. I say everyone is available for the right price.

Posted by EdmondsGuy

10:52 AM, May 24, 2008

What do you expect a GM to say? While it is true to a large degree that the players "play the game", GMs and coaches have to share accountability for consistently losing and/or underperforming teams. The Ms are in last place in the AL (and share the worst record in MLB), and unket expectations has been a long-standing theme of the MS since Bavasi and McLaren have been at the helm.

Posted by Strasburg In 2009

10:54 AM, May 24, 2008

If only there was more leadership in the clubhouse! Leadership will magically give Raul some range in LF, give Silva, Washburn, and Batista actual out pitches, and make everything better!

God knows it's not like the Mariners lack talent due to poor roster construction. Not at all.

Posted by EricD

10:55 AM, May 24, 2008

I don't understand why Ibanez is not DHing this game with Vidro at 1st and Reed in Left. It is obviious that Ibanez does not have the wheels.

It is way past time to get rid of Sexson, Dave Kingman's cousin. The road to recovery starts there.

I agree with Bavasi. This team is so soft and no one leads. That is why they miss Guillen so much.

Posted by Bill

10:56 AM, May 24, 2008

And when the players aren't policing themselves isn't it the job of the higher-ups, ones with titles like "coach," "manager," "general manager," "president," and "CEO" to be leaders like they are paid to do? In this case it sounds like the guys actually in charge are unwilling to do that.


What a joke this team is. I'm so glad I didn't grow up watching this team. Call me a fair weather fan, but I'm a fan of good baseball and this is not good baseball so I'm not going to remain a fan of this team.

Posted by macdoubter

10:57 AM, May 24, 2008

Some of you, just like Bavasi, argue that a team's poor play has nothing to do with the manager. Fine. I don't agree. But please, should this or any other team do well, don't praise the manager. Neither you nor the manager can logically have it both ways.

That being said, FIRE MAC!

Posted by HR

10:59 AM, May 24, 2008

Wilkerson hit a dong today.

Posted by Al

11:01 AM, May 24, 2008

Sorry but can someone remind me who was the one who constructed the M's clubhouse and team? I mean in no way was it Bavasi right?

Posted by HR

11:02 AM, May 24, 2008

OMFG!!

Posted by EricD

11:04 AM, May 24, 2008

Vidro can still hit.

Last year, the M's had no quit. They would keep coming back late in the game.

Sexson is the one who needs to go. Once again, it starts there.

Posted by mike

11:05 AM, May 24, 2008

I think the umpire behind the plate yesterday and today are in someone's pocket. Check out FSN tracer, calling alot of balls outside the box strikes. Someone should check these guys out. Just like the NBA ref that cheated.

Posted by Strasburg In 2009

11:05 AM, May 24, 2008

Mussina, sucks so much he can't even get the Mariners out.

Posted by tommy boy

11:06 AM, May 24, 2008

Geoff, you've been talking about "accountability" and "enforcement" and such over the past few weeks - can you help us understand more of what that means? What are the specific things teams do in the clubhouse? I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around this.

Posted by Lenny Randle's Breath

11:07 AM, May 24, 2008

Yep , The players are not performing up to expectations so far. You've been alluding to a troubled clubhouse in past posts. I would hate to see McLaren lose his job based on their bad play.

I would like to know who you think he wants to move as it seems the whole team has been cruddy.

Geoff, has there ever been a time when a major league team changed their uniforms in the middle of the season? I think they need to change to their original uniforms or an updated version of those to balance this out since they are playing like past teams.Hehe.

GO MARINERS!!!

Posted by Yea!

11:07 AM, May 24, 2008

This is the best day ever!

Posted by Dignan

11:07 AM, May 24, 2008

I would not put too much stock into the FSN tracer that Blowers seems to be in love with. That thing has a tiny, tiny zone.

Posted by Brian

11:07 AM, May 24, 2008

I'm no Mariners fan but even I know that bavasi messed up. He had a team leader last year. His name was Jose Guillen. So why didn't Bavasi re-sign him? Last year at least the Mariners stuck around in the West until close to the end. This year they improved the starting pitching. Bavasi should be chewing himself out.

Posted by tommy boy

11:07 AM, May 24, 2008

BTW, am I the only one that things Bedard really gets the shaft from home plate umpires? I've never see such a quality starter get such bad calls.

Posted by tommy boy

11:09 AM, May 24, 2008

I hate Richie Sexson. There, I said it.

Posted by Strasburg In 2009

11:11 AM, May 24, 2008

Vidro, our DH with his two day "hot streak", now has a fearsome OPS of 0.645.

Anyone who thinks Vidro can still hit deserves the 2008 Mariners.

Posted by snorg troll

11:11 AM, May 24, 2008

Bavasi is right to a certain extent. His players do need to step up in the clubhouse, and they do need to start learning how to play.

But Bavasi's wrong in the sense that he's the one who put this team together, so ultimately he's the one responsible for how is team plays on the field, and how they act in the clubhouse.

If they don't step up and play, or if they don't have a good repor in the clubhouse it's ultimately Bavasi's fault since he's the one who put this team together.

Yes, the players share some responsibility too, but Bavasi needs to realise that he ultimately shares in some of the responsibility too.

Posted by Dickless

11:11 AM, May 24, 2008

Don't you just love how someone is on base and Richie Sexson strikes out.

Posted by mike

11:12 AM, May 24, 2008

thats how bad musina is, the cheating umpire is calling strikes that far outside the box and the mariners still have 4 runs. I can see missing a few calls but this is certainly cheating. Did you see how far outside the ump called that strike on sexson? Fuckin joke MLB umpires.

Posted by micmash

11:12 AM, May 24, 2008

Bavasi is right on some levels about clubhouse leadership etc. But when is he going to realize and be accountable himself for the mistakes he has made in building this team? If we need a clubhouse leader then he is the guy who should be going out to get that guy. How can he expect the players to be accountable if he isn't himself?

Posted by Ned

11:13 AM, May 24, 2008

Oh, how I long for the days of the kangaroo court.

Posted by Dignan

11:15 AM, May 24, 2008

LOL The ump doesn't suck, he's consistent. Any decent ML hitter who pays attention to the game understands how the ump is calling a game and adjusts properly. Is it the umps fault Richie struck out on a pitch 18 inches off the plate and nearly in the dirt??

Posted by John in Montana

11:16 AM, May 24, 2008

While I'm not a big fan of Bavasi's, he is somewhat right about this.
I've been in several major league locker rooms over the years as a reporter (including the Mariners' this spring in Peoria), and I've never seen a room so fragmented as the one I saw with guys in their own little pockets. Lots of teams have guys of different nationalities, but this was different. You could just tell that people were doing their own thing, and it seemed more than a little odd. For whatever reason there isn't a competitive fire that you need on good teams, and, quite frankly, there hasn't been one for several years.
For all his grousing, Bavasi is as much or more to blame. Some GMs seem to know how to build teams, and other just thow crap at the wall and hope it sticks.

Posted by Al

11:24 AM, May 24, 2008

Can someone please explain to me what exactly is Mel's Stottlemyre's job on this team and what was he suppose to do as a suppose legendary coach? Personally I didn't like his hiring.

Posted by scottM

11:25 AM, May 24, 2008

It's important here that Bavasi made some sort of stand. I read this as he and McLaren will sink or swim together. Changing Managers just to change managers isn't the answer.

I expect that by the trade deadline we will see a major trade or two. Sexson and Vidro are on the bubble and will be DFA'ed by then, if the performances don't trend upwards. Bavasi may be under the illusion that this team has what it takes to get back in the ALWest race, but the infection of under-performance has gotten into our starting pitchers. This team shows incredibly poor ability to come back once they get behind. Just now, the M's catch the Yankees at 4-4 and Sexson fails to deliver yet again.

If anything, Bavasi has sent a strong message to the players to perform or there will be consequences. With their guaranteed salaries, will they respond?...will they produce?

This game with the Yankees, down 4-5 midway, will speak volumes.

Posted by Martin

11:27 AM, May 24, 2008

If Bavasi gives Mac his approval then he must be a good manager.

that is sarcasm for those of you who are saying WTF

Posted by Capo

11:27 AM, May 24, 2008

Classic denial....Bill Bavidiot everyone, he's here all season! Try the Prime Rib, and don't forget to tip your server.

The most optimistic of expectations had the M's in the 84 win area, most at .500 or a little worse (I personally said 84-78).

I agree that there is a chemistry issue in the clubhouse, regardless of what USSM says.......but these are things you look at when you sign or develop talent, its not just the on field stuff, but things like character.

Bavidiot can give McLaren all the support he wants, but if he goes, so does Mac........hopefully before Vidro's option vests, and before he can sign Sexson, Vidro, Cairo, Washburn, and Batista to 3 yr extensions.

Posted by K-Swag

11:31 AM, May 24, 2008

Yeah I am pretty sure the manager is supposed to hold the players accountable?

I already wrote about the team be divided and not having the leadership a perfect example in this game.Vidro hits a 3 run homerun then they show a shot of the dugout and Raul,Vidro,Lopez,Yuni, and Felix are all sitting together.Then you have Kenji and Ichiro sitting on the other side of the bench next to Mclaren.They should be over with the rest of the guys joking talking about the Homerun and being a team.

And Bavasi who cares what you say cause you should be fired to.Why dont you worry about your own job instead of Mclarens.Cause both of them need to go.

Posted by John

11:31 AM, May 24, 2008

It's pretty clear the starters on this team aren't fooling anyone. Every innings is a serious struggle at this point. It's only a matter of time it seems before teams nail 9 or 10 runs on the board.
To me, this is where Seattle as an organization most glaringly seems to fall behind other teams. Other teams seem to adjust as the season goes along, while we just keep doing what we've always done.

Posted by Chris from Bothell

11:31 AM, May 24, 2008

Even when Mac orBavasi finally try to get tough, they come across as milquetoast. 'Don't want this to be a sole attack on the players", blah blah blah.

If the buck truly stopped with Bavasi, he'd be DFAing people left and right. The Ms are rolling in money. Contracts like Sexson, Vidro, Washburn, etc. are now a sunk cost.

Feh. 100 losses. Get used to it.

And I agree with cesame - Lord knows what horrors await us at the trading deadline, what slouching castoffs from other teams we're going to overpay / overtrade for.

Posted by cesame

11:33 AM, May 24, 2008

And I'm fine with McLaren's job being safe for the rest of the season. No point in hiring a new manager now that the season is over. Let it go until the off-season.

Bavasi however needs to go right now. He's a joke.

Posted by Jonathan

11:39 AM, May 24, 2008

Sexson now has 48 K's in 157 at bats. I wouldn't blame the umps - the guy just can't hit (see under .200)

That FSN tracker is pathetic by the way. Every umpire has his own strike zone as the poster above me commented. It's actually a pretty pointless graphic.

Posted by Martin

11:44 AM, May 24, 2008

Am I the only one who has heard the term manufacture a run. If Mac was in fact not an idiot would he have at least tried to get a run when the lead off hitter gets a double. Bunt Lopez to third anything to the right side would score the run with only one out. This isn't even the first time this has happened in this road trip. It's happened a dozen times or more during the season. This is a very simple strategy but never used with the M's. For a team that has trouble scoring sometimes smarter not harder is the best way to play

MacLaren's a great manager.

Posted by Miles

11:45 AM, May 24, 2008

Geoff,

Do you think Bavasi will be the GM next year? I really don't and if that's the case I fail to see a reason to keep him around any longer. If he's the wrong guy, then he's certainly not the guy we want making the important rebuilding decisions this year. I'd much rather see someone else in the current front office make the choice of who gets moved for prospects, etc. As long as Bavasi thinks he can save his job he's going to be making decisions clouded by that rather than thinking of what's best for the organization long term.

I know that you've said that GM moves don't happen in mid-season, but I'd respectfully point out that isn't always the case. Sure, if the M's plan on hiring a big name GM away from another team or if they want to see who becomes available after the season, then they will have to wait. But if they are interested in promoting another team's assitant, the precedent for doing that during the season already exists.

Now that this season is over, I don't have a problem with McLaren being kept around. He may or may not be the long term answer, but firing him now an letting someone else caretake the team the rest of the way doesn't accomplish anything.

Posted by whatanidiaot

11:47 AM, May 24, 2008

way to go bavasi. it's about time somebody stepped up and called these soft players out. to some extent he is right. there is only so much a manager can do when his team is down 13-2. i mean hit-and-runs don't quite have the same effect when you are down by 10. however if bavasi is going to throw everyone under the bus for not doing thier job, and not having a clubhouse leader he needs to look in the mirror. You can't as a player just "Become" a leader. it is natural. either you are a leader, or you aren't. we had a great one last year in jose guillen who openly said he wanted to come back and stay in seattle for a long time. We decided to let him go and replaced him with brad wilkerson who isn't even on our team anymore. We let our leading avg. hitter this year in greg norton go so we can keep cairo, who i'm sorry is no longer a major league level player. bavasi's plan with that one is "we want two pinch runners." first of all cairo isn't what i would consider as a "burner" and second, you can't pinch run if nobody gets on base. way to go bavasi, blame everyone else that's what leaders do. how can you call out the players for not being leaders when you yourself don't display the characteristics of a true leader. what an idiot.

Posted by scottM

11:50 AM, May 24, 2008

Jose Lopez made a great stop ranging to his left. Maybe Bavasi's tongue lashing woke him up. We'll see if this was a fluke for a guy who habitually has those same kind of grounders get by him.

Posted by John

11:55 AM, May 24, 2008

Hey, Bavasi. Don't know if you've noticed lately but our first baseman is hitting .195 and has struck out three times today. Wonder if having guys that just plain suck might have something to do with us being a bad team.
But what do I know. Just thought I'd throw it out there.

Posted by Whoops

12:00 PM, May 24, 2008

"Jose Lopez made a great stop ranging to his left. Maybe Bavasi's tongue lashing woke him up. We'll see if this was a fluke for a guy who habitually has those same kind of grounders get by him."

Posted by scottM

12:00 PM, May 24, 2008

Jose Lopez reverts to form. That was an UGLY error.

Posted by Karno11

12:01 PM, May 24, 2008

The M's have very good leadership in Ibanez. What the M's are missing is that emotional leader like Guillen...When we lost him, we lost toughness....Plus, right field would be anchored down with .290 BA, 25 HR, and 100 RBI.

Bavasi did you really think your Offense could proudce those kind of numbers with Wilkerson. And Balentien is still a young developing hitter that is still a little raw for the big leagues. You only got yourself to blame Bavasi!!

Posted by scottM

12:03 PM, May 24, 2008

7-4 Yanks. Two runs gift wrapped with a cute little bow by Jose Lopez.

Posted by 11Records

12:04 PM, May 24, 2008

So, Lopez has a 3 for 3 going, then makes a 2 out error that leads to 2 runs. Sounds about right.

Ladies and gentlemen, your 2008 Seattle Mariners.

Posted by NickBob

12:05 PM, May 24, 2008

Howard Lincoln, Feb 20:
"Three losing seasons in a row was very difficult for people in our organization to accept. ....But I am very happy with how we've turned things around."
And he sounds a little defiant toward public pressure now that Bavasi is succeeding.
"Any fool can fire a general manager," Lincoln said. "It's a very easy way out. It makes some of the fans feel good. But it's not how I look at it."
There was much speculation that they might pursue a more high-profile manager, but Lincoln said McLaren was the guy all along.
"I don't think there was very much of a discussion," Lincoln said of the decision. "Certainly, his performance warranted his remaining as the field manager. It's not to say he didn't make mistakes, but he's a hard worker, dedicated, loyal and a good baseball man. And he has put together an incredible coaching staff to complement his skills."

Posted by Sounders

12:06 PM, May 24, 2008

I said it before. Sure, the players are underperforming, but they've been 'set up' to do that. Bavasi's had five years. Three managers and lots of money. Enough. I knew they wouldn't do anything with Mac. They've built a house of cards with these 'been there done that' managers and coaches. If one of them goes, they all will, and the FO doesn't have enough cojones for that. So get used to it. It's gonna be perpetual mediocrity for years to come.

Posted by Martin

12:08 PM, May 24, 2008

That's awesome NIckBob

Posted by The Troll

12:13 PM, May 24, 2008

As President of baseball operations, what exactly does Armstrong do besides cash a check? Surely he is not a baseball man, anyone who could endorse Bavasi and McLaren ad this losing bunch cannot have a clue about baseball.

It seems that for there to be change it will have to come from the outside - perhaps if members of Lincoln's and Armstrong's circle would belittle them regarding this stinking team then there might be change. Bavasi could only pass the buck to the players if he felt secure and McLaren is again given a free pass. What does it take?

Given the unprecedented extension of Johjima's contract, the retention of the idiotic GM and imbecilic field manager, one wonders if someone else is pulling the stings behind the scenes for this club. Maybe this is a good reason for local ownership with someone vested in the interest in this team like Paul Allen who is so with the Seahawks and Blazers.

Or maybe the current Japanese ownership group wants to create a new future by disenchanting Seattle with its team so as to move the M's to Japan. Its like David Stern is in charge or something like that at work here.

Posted by ComeBackGuillen

12:17 PM, May 24, 2008

Thats right Karno11, I think the same thing. What this team lacks from last season is one Mr. Jose Guillen. I know freeing up his salary made the Silva signing etc. possible, but he really was the difference between the flat team we watched in '06, the much more cohesive and inspired group we saw much of last year, and the flat group again here in '08. The team began the year essentially the same, but minus JG, and I knew this kinda thing was coming.

Bavasi blew it, didn't want to give JG that 3rd year...

Posted by lonso

12:18 PM, May 24, 2008

what a bunch of clowns

Posted by MisterFCV

12:18 PM, May 24, 2008

Bavasi says "The buck stops here"

....after he just finishes ripping them....

Bavasi talks about accountability

Where's his accountability for assembling this horribly overpriced, sad-sack, mediocre, whiny and dispirited bad joke of a ballclub???

Posted by SeattleHalo

12:20 PM, May 24, 2008

Still stuck in a Seattle hospital... watching the M's blow another one to the pinstripes...

It's none of my business, but why is everyone talking trash about the owner and manager. Before the season, as I've said before, ya'll were proclaiming that this team would win the AL West. With the current roster. Ya'll said the pitching staff was second to none, and that the bats would be there. As far as I can tell from the last couple games I've watched, your players are to blame. They have no heart or intensity. They look like a bunch of losers. They show no consistency.... They are pro baseball players. They should act like it and show some fucking responsibility. I mean, who are you gonna unload? They all suck.

Posted by Jay Zalman

12:20 PM, May 24, 2008

You've gotta be kidding us Baker.

You are in a position to call Bavasi out. You could be honest to this fan base. You could actually help us help this team. All I (we) can do is post comments on your generally impotent, poorly thought through blog.

Congratulations. Look at the impact you had: "You've all asked me this question and this is how I feel. I wrote yesterday that the organization had to step up and clarify McLaren's status. It has done so in timely fashion." Yaaay! Since they respond so well to you, why don't you point out that Vidro is not a DH, not a #3 hitter, or an MLB player of any caliber? Why don't you point out to them that while character may be important, it is about 1% as important as ability? Why not point out to them that "Demanding accountability of others" is not what makes a baseball player good, rather skill?

You titled your post "MacLaren Safe; Bavasi Rips Into Players" then wrote "Bavasi insisted he doesn't want his words to be construed as a 'sole attack on the players.' I guess I'm sick of trying to post/comment about things the Mariners can do better. How about you do your job better?

The only time I ever show up here and read is when USSMariner points out another idiotic thing you've said.

Please use your position to help our time. Talk about accountability...

Posted by John

12:21 PM, May 24, 2008

I couldn't agree more, Sounders.
"Perpetual mediocrity" is a perfect example of this organization. Young stars on the rise? We trade them. Injured vets? Let's sign 'em up.
And the beat goes on.

Posted by John

12:23 PM, May 24, 2008

Oh yeah, the other one.
Great local prospect? We'll pass.

Posted by macdoubter

12:28 PM, May 24, 2008

People, you're just not making any sense re Mac.

Look, if he is not the problem, if firing him won't help things, if it's not his fault for the poor performance, if he's not to blame because he's not up there to bat or field or pitch, etc, etc, then answer me this: what the f@#* is his job? Are you saying his only responsibility is filling out a lineup card and subbing players during a game? Please. This blog has a lot of posts (other than Geoff's) that provide good stats,aughs and criticisms. But when it comes to the cries of support for the manager, they are without merit and just don't make sense. By taking away all the blame and responsibility for his position you destroy any real reason for his position. If so, why do have a manager then?

Posted by ken

12:28 PM, May 24, 2008

The race is on with the Padres for the #1 pick in the 2009 draft - aka Stephen Strasburg sweepstakes. Which team can win less than 50 games to grab the top prize? Strasburg is the pitcher at SD State who recently struck out 23 hitters in a game.

Will be watching the Storm in a few minutes just to see a team that has leaders who have heart, talent, chemistry, and all the intangibles and don't quit on each other when facing adversity.

Posted by Adam

12:29 PM, May 24, 2008

Aaand our run differential for the year now stands at -56.


This isn't a fluke, Mr. Bavasi. Your team sucks. It will not get much better. It will not win the division.


Start holding people accountable.

PS - Jose Vidro still sucks.

Posted by Mojo Risin

12:30 PM, May 24, 2008

"Arthur Rhodes has struggled mightily against the Yankees and in Yankee Stadium. Mel call the pen and get him up. Bill says I'm safe. Let's blow this thing wide open" says MacLaren through his pursed lips with his beady eyes gleaming. " That's the way I roll"

Another good move

Posted by MFanDubai

12:31 PM, May 24, 2008

Keep fighting M's!

For Pete's sake play like you have any cojones!

Stop breaking our hearts!

Posted by I've had it

12:31 PM, May 24, 2008

Of course it is not Mac's fault...he is the one that has to manager this disaster. Bavasi, it is your fault, you put a bunch of mediocre, heartless, quitters together and then expected to win with them. You traded our best minor league talent for heartless, excuse making pitchers (or pitchers that got cut). You signed an awful right fielder that got cut a month into the year. You signed a group of slow, lousy defenders that can't get to any balls hit more than a few feet away from them

Bavasi needs to be fired TODAY. Then let the new GM begin rebuilding.

Posted by macdoubter

12:34 PM, May 24, 2008

Excellent, mojo. LOL

Posted by cesame

12:35 PM, May 24, 2008

For you Geoff

"Nobody had the nerve to pick us less than second place in our division. We were picked anything from first to second to wild-card. You name it."

Oh Rly Bill?

From USSMariner

PECOTA projections: 76-86, third place, nowhere close to the playoffs.

ZIPS projections: 72-90, third place, nowhere close to the playoffs

CHONE projections: 83-79, nowhere close to the playoffs

Hardball Times projections: 79-83, third place, nowhere close to the playoffs.


Tell Bavasi he is wrong.

Posted by Adam

12:38 PM, May 24, 2008

Bavasi needs to be fired TODAY. Then let the new GM begin rebuilding.


Ownership will not allow a rebuilding.

Posted by macdoubter

12:38 PM, May 24, 2008

What? Bill lied to us? (Shock)

Yeah I heard that too. What a turd we have for a gm.

Posted by hcoguy

12:39 PM, May 24, 2008

The players are just not very good.

Posted by The Troll

12:41 PM, May 24, 2008

Macdoubter - You are absolutely right, I have been saying the same thing in different terms since early April. Again, if a manager has no impact on winning, then why do we even need a manager. McLaren is clueless. As someone noted earlier today when we were behind by only one run, why didn't McLaren use the manufacture a run strategy following a leadoff double? Because he is not a competent manager! Result was that Lopez died on second.

Mclaren's devotion to Sexson is another example of his failed managerial skill, Dickless is done, he can even hit his weight. But McLaren writes his name into the lineup everyday regardless. Why Bloomquist can hit for more average and thereby create more scoring opportunities than Sexson. Sexson is just a black hole in the lineup drawing this team in on itself and down into a gravitational sink beyond which there is no return. And McLaren just keeps believing - which is about the extent of his managerial skill.

Lucky charms, fetishes .... that Mac.

Posted by Adam

12:43 PM, May 24, 2008

-59 run differential.


Wheeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!

Posted by ChicoV

12:44 PM, May 24, 2008

Another day, another spanking, this is truly a team effort.

Posted by 11Records

12:44 PM, May 24, 2008

what's the modern era record of most games in a row giving up a minimum of 9 runs? Cause, like, Washburn is starting tomorrow. So - there's a real good chance the M's hit 6 games in a row of giving up 9 or more runs. Prior to going into Fenway, where anything can happen. And, with today's game, they're looking at having given up at least 54 runs in their last 5 outings. That's not all that impressive.

Posted by John

12:45 PM, May 24, 2008

OK, let's take some time out from griping. This is beating a dead horse - literally.

How far is this team from competing, and what needs to happen? And be realistic.

And don't mention getting rid of McClaren or Bavasi. Just assume you could make the moves, but keep them within reason and within the team's actual budget and who might actually sign this offseason.

Posted by I've had it

12:46 PM, May 24, 2008

"Ownership will not allow a rebuilding."

Adam,

Isn't that the truth, they would rather get blown out every day with the current dead weight than lose AND make some progression toward success in the future.

Why isn't Murrow preparing to become a starter? Why isn't Clement back up, if he needs time to learn Major League pitching then do it now.

Just brutal, yet I can't turn it off, it is like a drug, no matter how bad it gets, I still need it!

Posted by MFanDubai

12:48 PM, May 24, 2008

11-4 :( oh my goodness!

Looking at the bright side, the M's are actually slump busters. For the other team that is. Nothing like this year's Mariners to stop your slump. I bet the other MLB cellar dwellers are praying the M's would play against them now. Jack up their wins.

Sheesh!

Posted by tallahassee-mariner's fan

12:49 PM, May 24, 2008

Next 4 series:

Boston
Detroit
LAA
Boston

Its going to get UGLY. Any series we don't get outright sweeped has to be considered an epic victory at this point.

Posted by Adam

12:50 PM, May 24, 2008

Pretty arrogant post from Dave over at USSM:

But you donít get to rewrite history. We knew this team wasnít good, and we spent the entire offseason trying to tell you that. You ignored us at your own peril, and you built a terrible baseball team for $117 million. Thatís your fault...

This is ridiculous. Build a good baseball team, and you wonít have to talk about all this psycho babble crap that you guys invent to try to justify your horrible decisions. Learn more about baseball than a blogger who lives 2,500 miles from Safeco Field and covers the team as a freaking hobby. I shouldnít know more about how to build a baseball team than you, but I do, and thatís why you and your entire staff deserve to be fired.


Not sure when this all became about USSM...

Posted by Marinerjim

12:51 PM, May 24, 2008

Well Bavasi is the ding dong that put this team together why doesnt he take some responsiblity for the team playing so poorly!!!!!!

What an a$$clown!!!!!!

Posted by ChicoV

12:51 PM, May 24, 2008

No clutch hitting, errors, and a pitching staff that no matter who trots out to the mound, they WILL give up runs, starters, relievers, all of them.

Expansion team play without the benifit of expansion team payroll.

Posted by greyguy3

12:51 PM, May 24, 2008

" But if no one is making demands of them to do this, who's going to? The coaches can't, because of contractual things and such."

Huh? The coaches can't demand players take extra batting practice?! What sort of stupid system is that?

"We've been trying to point this out to all of you, on this blog, for the past couple of weeks. There are things that teams do internally, to enforce a level of conduct on and off the field, from one player to another, that just is not being done by the Mariners."

And yet this team is largely the same as it was last year, when we over-performed and won 88 games. Same catcher, same infield, 2 out of 3 of the same outfielders, and 3 out of 5 of the same starting pitchers. So who had a personality transplant during the off season?

Posted by MLG

12:52 PM, May 24, 2008

Gawd Geoff, stop with the "somebody's gotta get in somebody's face" mantra.

Silva getting in Jose's face won't make him a better defender. He is what he is.

Talent wins games, not yelling at players that make errors or stikeout. Get players that have talent and the wins will take care of themselves.

Posted by vandelay87

12:53 PM, May 24, 2008

I've been watching this team since '77 when I was eight years old, and I've never seen a run of ineptitude like this. Just when you think we've bottomed out, we find a new low. Let's have them wear their throwback unis from here on out because they are playing like that team from the late 70s. Unbelievable. At least that old team had some spunk to it and some characters and was fun to watch at times. This one is like drinking a bile milkshake.

Posted by Beer and Booing

12:53 PM, May 24, 2008

This is what I have never liked about baseball. What other business/sport lets the inmates run the assylum. While expecting a certain level of professionalism and treating men like men is fine, management holding no one accountable except in these vague, blanket staements like Bavasi just made is absurd.

PLAY BETTER, dammit!

What kind of management is that. Has anyone told Yuni how to take pitches? Does he have any understanding of situational baseball? I don't think so. Isn't somebody going to teach him?

Bavasi and Mac deserve each other. Bavasi's "victim" language is embarassing for someone with such a high profile management position. It would not be tolerated in any other business.

Posted by cantstopwatchingtrainwreck

12:54 PM, May 24, 2008

Hey, on a positive note, we were in it still in the 6th! LOL! I like McLaren as a person, nice guy but if Bavasi isn't going to fire him, why would he want to stay as manager, he should resign....save a little face and then when the M's keep sucking he can say....see, it wasn't my fault.

Posted by The Troll

12:55 PM, May 24, 2008

Given the coming competition, how about they lose the next thirteen games, do you still think McLaren's job is safe? Since Bavasi is tied to Mac's fate, how about his job after these coming loses? Will Armstrong give us another press conference with promises that everything is alright and not to worry?

Posted by greyguy3

12:57 PM, May 24, 2008

"Every club pays close attention to the character of guys,'' he said. "But you never know what their character is truly like until they get into the heat of battle.''

This is just more evidence that chemistry is a bunch of bunk. These guys are in "the heat of battle" in college, the minors, and throughout their major league careers. If players could actually use their character to make the team win, they would have their character scouted and GMs would be able to account for it. Essentially what he is admitting here is that "chemistry" must always be a post-hoc judgment, because it does not effect the world in a way that can be determined.

Things that don't effect the world in ways that can be determined either a) don't exist, or b) are too small to measure. It seems extremely likely to me that "chemistry" is an artifact of winning, not a cause of it.

Posted by John

1:02 PM, May 24, 2008

There you go again.
Another meaningless homer by Sexson. If anything it makes me hate the guy more.

Posted by bob

1:03 PM, May 24, 2008

Hell,

I guess we will see Richie Sexson in the frickin lineup tomorrow because he hits a meaningless home run in the 8th, but strikes out three frickin times early.

Wasting our time

Posted by ChicoV

1:03 PM, May 24, 2008

Another worthless HR by Sexson

Posted by The Troll

1:04 PM, May 24, 2008

Sexson homers in a meaningless eighth after striking out three times today. bet he is moved up in the lineup tomorrow, say fifth again.

Mac on Sexson: "He sure connected today, it looks like his bat is coming around and when it does we will be fine."

Posted by The Troll

1:05 PM, May 24, 2008

Sexson homers in a meaningless eighth after striking out three times today. bet he is moved up in the lineup tomorrow, say fifth again.

Mac on Sexson: "He sure connected today, it looks like his bat is coming around and when it does we will be fine."

Posted by NateDawgUS

1:07 PM, May 24, 2008

Geoff, Reed didn't draw a walk. He got a bloop hit to left after 13 pitches.

Posted by MFanDubai

1:09 PM, May 24, 2008

yay we scored 2 in the 8th! now we just need 7 runs to win the game! *smirk*

Posted by tommy boy

1:11 PM, May 24, 2008

If I were Jonny Mac I would do this:
1. Send Morrow to Tacoma to stretch out his arm
2. Bring up Feierbend
3. Put Batista on the DL
4. DFA Cairo and Bloomquist
5. Bring up Lahair and Clement
6. Permanent DH Ibanez and make Reed the everyday LF
7. Order several cases of beer from Papua New Guinea and dole them out during the game.

I've given up on finishing above 4th place in the AL West, but I admit that I would watch games with these guys, because you know they would be fired up to play.

Posted by K-Swag

1:11 PM, May 24, 2008

If the Mariners could get any pitching we would be winning.When you score 6 runs you should never lose.

Instead are pitchers go out and give up double digit runs.

Bedard looks like the Bedard before his one good year last year.Felix has been the teams best starter but still will go out and give up a big inning.Carlos Silva is doing just as bad as Wash and Batista.

Honestly the team as not been good all year its not like you can say they are in a slump they have been losing the whole year.The biggest highlight of the year as taking 2/3 from the Angles without there two best pitchers.This Team is Terrible.

Posted by The Troll

1:13 PM, May 24, 2008

Why waste RRS today so as to start Washbum tomorrow? It's like we don't care or something because you can guarantee another loss on Sunday. Washbum needs to switch places with RRS, at least them we might get a quality start.

And why burn Baek when Morrow can't even mop up a mess like this one. Morrow needs to go down anyway, so that he can develop another couple of pitches and become an effective starter. Something I fear may take some time, but he is wasted mop[ping up in messes like this one.

Posted by John

1:15 PM, May 24, 2008

Tomorrow is another double-digit game for the Yanks with Washburn pitching.

Posted by facelessclown

1:15 PM, May 24, 2008

J. Reed actually got a hit on the 13th pitch of that at bat. Give the poor dude some credit. Then of course Sexson followed it up with another one of his garbage time HR's.

Keep sinking M's. That's the only way to invoke change when mediocrity is accepted.

Posted by greyguy3

1:19 PM, May 24, 2008

If I were Jonny Mac I would do this:
1. Send Morrow to Tacoma to stretch out his arm
2. Bring up Feierbend
3. Put Batista on the DL
4. DFA Cairo and Bloomquist
5. Bring up Lahair and Clement
6. Permanent DH Ibanez and make Reed the everyday LF
7. Order several cases of beer from Papua New Guinea and dole them out during the game.

You're adding 3 players and removing 4, and you've got no backup for any infield position but first base. Better keep Bloomquist.

Posted by K-Swag

1:19 PM, May 24, 2008

Who are These Umpires they are giving us?

Posted by MelGibsonSr.

1:20 PM, May 24, 2008

What hell happened on that last at bat? I missed it.

Posted by a. climacus

1:21 PM, May 24, 2008

Listening to Bavasi talk about accountability and supposed predictions that don't exist is like listening to Hillary talk about how she can win the election. They're both out of their minds.

Posted by MelGibsonSr.

1:22 PM, May 24, 2008

Time for Geoffy to serve up the softball ?s....

To think of it, the Mariners and Geoff are about softball league.......

Posted by The Troll

1:22 PM, May 24, 2008

As for starting WashBUM tomorrow, the M's might as well forfeit and take a day off to see the town. Afterall they are as about as likely to win as a snowball's chance in ... Well you know what I mean. Just give it up using that bum.

Posted by tommy boy

1:22 PM, May 24, 2008

You're right, my math was off. But maybe that's the message Big Bill needs to send to get some "accountability" - when we rest Lopez we'll put a case of beer at second base.

Posted by MFanDubai

1:24 PM, May 24, 2008

And that concludes another @$$$whupping for this favorite whipping boys - the Mariners!

And it probably means that I have masochistic tendencies for listening to my beloved team get beaten black and blue.

Posted by The Troll

1:27 PM, May 24, 2008

Maybe we could file an anti-trust suit and bring back the Brewers as the Pilots? At least we might have major league baseball again in Seattle.

Posted by John

1:28 PM, May 24, 2008

Agreed.
It's time to start stretching Morrow like the Yankees are doing with Joba.
Realistically, Sexson isn't going anywhere and Ibanez is staying in left, which are two of the first moves I would make.

Posted by Weaver

1:29 PM, May 24, 2008

- The problem with this team is not a lack of cohesion.
- The problem with this team is not a lack of communication.
- The problem with this team is not a lack of accountability.
- The problem with this team is a lack of talent.

Talent wins games. Period.

The person responsible for assembling a $117 million team with very little talent is Bill Bavasi. For him to blame the clubhouse atmosphere for his inability to put a team together is disingenuous scapegoating. Please do not buy the fallacy that better "chemistry" is the answer.

Posted by michstandard

1:31 PM, May 24, 2008

Now that the season is truly over, I got two things to watch.

will ichiro hit above team's winnng percentage?

will ichiro produce more hits than Sexson's batting avg?

Posted by K-Swag

1:33 PM, May 24, 2008

Is it that hard to see why we are a bad team?Look at our players.

Washburn-2-6 6.99 ERA
Batista-3-6 6.47 ERA

Jose Vidro-.233 BA 3 HR 22 RBI
Kenji Johjima-.211 BA 2 HR 12 RBI
Richie Sexson-.201 BA 9 HR 21 RBI

Plus the bad defense.
Lopez makes mental error after mental error
Raul takes bad routes to the ball and is slow

Posted by a. climacus

1:34 PM, May 24, 2008

I still can't believe that ridiculous quote on predictions. Who talks about predictions two months into the season? They don't matter. If you're looking at predictions as an indicator of how good your baseball team is supposed to be then something is really wrong. And, clearly, it is.

Posted by Anchormix

1:38 PM, May 24, 2008

Anyone else wanna hear the Bavasi audio??? I know I do.

Posted by Rick Jones

1:39 PM, May 24, 2008

Geoff,

I've never been a big fan of Jose Lopez and think he is a below average second basemen. After his error today, what excuses can he be making?? I know his brother died last year and can only imagine his pain but he has no range and how many balls get by him??

Do we have anyone coming up who could fill his position or does he merit any trade possibilities??

Posted by cougar94

1:42 PM, May 24, 2008

I will try and make this sound like professional Bavasi bashing today instead of just name calling. I absolutely agree with Bill's evaluation of the clubhouse. The chemistry in the room clearly stinks to high heaven. The problem is Bavasi was the chemist.

Bavasi claiming no responcibility for the soup he created is the part that does not make sence. Cooks are responcible for what they put together why the heck not him.

I am one of the few people left here who feels that Mac can be a great manager for this ballclub but he needs chinks of this team replaced.

2 of the starting pitchers don't want to throw to Joh. Either the pitchers go or the catcher (but that can't be done you traded the future for one of the pitchers and signed the catcher to an extention.)

We here the players don't mix well. Get someone who will get them going (Luis Gonzalez now in Fla is one of those kind of guys, Eric Byrnes in AZ is another) When your morale guy is your closer and in the bullpen most of the night it doesn't bode well with the starters or position players.

Solid pieces put together that just don't mix, sounds like a guy who didn't know the character of his team.

The chemist is complaining about what he made. Not an indication of a good chemist.

Posted by Ebenezer

1:48 PM, May 24, 2008

cesame is right - the sabermetrics people were all saying the M's at best were a .500 club. Bavasi is way off base if he thinks this team has the talent to win the division. They should be closer to .500 than they are, although they seem so demoralized that I doubt they'll get there. But he doesn't care to take responsibility for his failings.

Bavasi will not change - he'd rather the M's lose and he get fired than adapt to modern ways of evaluating player talent. Of course, in his eleventh season as GM, he's never had a playoff team, even with healthy payrolls and playing in the four-team AL West. Yet he still is around. It's sad.

I doubt that Armstrong will get anyone more knowledgeable to replace Bavasi after he's fired. I think the M's are fearful of innovation, and would rather lose than find someone who's bright and knows what they're doing. I hope I'm wrong.

Posted by Frzrman

1:51 PM, May 24, 2008

Bavasi is only right on one count. He says the players are to blame and they are. They have no soul. They have no heart. They are a defeated bunch that have brought most of their misery on themselves. They are satisfied being losers. The pictures look for excuses not to pitch (Felix today for instance). I saw nothing that said he had been examined by a doctor, only that he said his leg ached and they didn't want to take chances.

But it's not only the players (and Ichiro is one of the players by the way). It's the manager. Mac is so far over his head he's drowning. And it's Bavasi. He puts no part of the blame on himself. None. Nada. He doesn't get it at all.

So where do we go from here? It's time to deconstruct this team from the top down. Blow them up. Send in a nuke, but start from scratch with new blood everywhere. Fire sale. All of them.

I'll be disappointed if there's more than 5,000 people in the stands when they come home. Ownership needs a strong message that this isn't acceptable. And Johnny Mac needs to quit crying in post game interviews. The tears just show him to be the inept loser he is.

/rant over/

Posted by Frzrman

1:53 PM, May 24, 2008

Sorry, I meant pitchers, not pictures. Just too damn angry to spell check right now.

Posted by BWare

1:56 PM, May 24, 2008

Geoff:

I'm going to make an admission...I'm an Angel fan who watches your blog on a regular. Initially, it was for the comedy of watching M's fans getting increasingly exasperated with the club's performance (or lack thereof).

It truly is funny...

That stated, it does get to a point where it's no longer funny, and I am at that point. As much as I would like to see the Angels beat up on everything in their path, I also like competitive baseball, where each team is pushing each other to the point where there is a wire-to-wire battle taking place.

The Mariners have clearly fallen off the boat in a huge way. The sad part about it is that it has the same look and feel of the Angels' self destructions in the late 90s under the Bavasi / Collins regime.

Reading Bavasi's comments really solidified my perceptions on what the core problems are. It begins and ends with leadership, and Bavasi has abdicated his fundamental leadership challenge - truly owning the problem.

He wants to blame the players for not demanding of each other and doing the little things that it takes to win. Sorry to say, the players reflect the prevailing team/organizational culture.

Truth be told, I can't point to a single player who is performing far removed from their performances past.

Sexon? He's been a Kingman clone since his days in Cleveland - that's what management paid the big bucks for.

Washburn? He's at best a middle-of-the-rotation starter with MOTR stuff, who had a couple of good years with the Angels where gave #2 type performances. Did you expect something different.

I can go on and on...Batista, Beltre, Ibanez, etc.

All said, the M's are an assemblage of above-average players who, with great leadership, will perform at or above expectations. Lacking leadership, you get what you're seeing today.

For example, this current Week of the Damned. There's is nobody on God's green earth that can tell me that a good pitching coach couldn't have stepped up and at least got one competitive pitching performance. True, pitchers do experience peaks and valleys, but what is happening now is that the mental stress of the prior pitching performance is piling up on the next pitcher, whose job has suddenly become avoiding the inevitable beatdown.

A good pitching coach would NEVER allow the next pitcher up to take on the weight of everyone else's failures. But the moment the coach says "Go give us a good performance" as opposed to "Go pitch your game", you see what happens.

Now is Bavasi wants to protect Mac, go right ahead. But if Bavasi says that the players aren't stepping up, then it can only be rooted in Mac allowing or enabling that culture to fester. Assuming that he can't demand the players to take extra BP, fielding and what not, Mac can definitely set the example by establishing and ensuring a cult of personality within the clubhouse where commitment and excellence is the norm, not the aberration.

Maybe he can live in the clubhouse. Go on a hunger strike. Ask everyone, everyday, what did they do today to improve theirselves. I'm sure if Lou Piniella were there, he'd have no problems with setting the example or enforcing a culture of excellence.

Bavasi and his coaching staff stand accountable for what is happening here and now, and changes for the better have to begin among that failed cabal.

Just my .02

Posted by James from Walla Walla

1:58 PM, May 24, 2008

Geoff,

BRING ON THE YOUTH MOVEMENT!!

I stated the above in a post 10-12 days ago. The Mariner's play continue to show it is truely needed.
I wanted Reed, Dickey, and others brought up at that time. I REPEAT AGAIN!

Move Batista and Washburn to the pen. Start Rowland-Smith, Morrow, or Dickey they could do no worse. Bring up Lahair, Clement & Jimerson, these guys deserve there chance. Release Cairo, Burke & Vidro. Put Ibanez at DH! And, BENCH SEXSON!!

I think we all are really tired of watching OVER paid, UNDER achieving, alledged All-Stars struggle beyond words. Well maybe one word PATHETIC!!

BOTTOM LINE:
If I am going to drive to Seattle for a game, which I have done twice so far this year. I now want to see are young prospects get there chances.
One out of town fans point of view.


Posted by SnohoCo

2:01 PM, May 24, 2008

Putting it ALL on the players just sucks! The plain and simple fact of sports is that your manager or coach is the guy who molds the different talents and personalities on a team - whether Little League, high school, college or pros. Any of us who played carsity or club sports have a favorite coach - a mentor, a leader, a person who made a team with a fat kid, a slow kid, a superstar and everyone in-between. Bavasi let Mac off the hook, and put his foot down that Mac's here to stay - then blasts the players. A new low even for a "low" personanlity like Bavasi. Unfortunately Bavsi is here to stay - the ownership will NEVER show him the door - there is some magical cachet about the Bavasi name that seems to have hypnotized the Mariners' owenership. Get over it, Bavasi is here to STAY and Mac can sit back with his feet up on his desk and will be protected by Bavasi.

Posted by Dan Mellen

3:30 PM, May 24, 2008

Oh my God, I hate you. I hate you so much. Everything you say is just painfully stupid. Leadership? Character? Accountability? Here's an idea: BETTER PLAYERS! The team doesn't suck because the guys don't care about winning. IT SUCKS BECAUSE THE GUYS AREN'T GOOD AT BASEBALL. I haven 't read the comments yet because I'm afraid to. Please tell me that nobody is stupid enough to believe any of this.
Geoff, are you really stupid enough to believe this or are you just in love with Bill Bavasi? Really, the love thing makes more sense to me. I mean, he is a handsome man. I could see how someone could fall in love with him. The Mariners on the other hand are an awful team. There is no reason to give them any credit.

Posted by greyguy3

3:50 PM, May 24, 2008

I don't get the hate for Sexson's useless home run. What did you want him to do? Stop trying? What sense would that have made?

It would be nice if players could save their home runs for a time that matters, but that's just not reality. When your staff gives up 10 friggin runs every day then most HRs are not going to matter.

Posted by Jawood

4:03 PM, May 24, 2008

Sexson get another meaningless HR which will keep him in the lineup for another week. He is so terrible!

Posted by EverettMsFan

4:21 PM, May 24, 2008

Dan Mellen - if you do not have a better way to deal with your anger, please do not come back to this post. Telling another human being "Oh my God, I hate you. I hate you so much. Everything you say is just painfully stupid" is something one would expect from a spoiled teenager. Let's rise above the anger, please.

This post is intended for intelligent conversation about our (pathetic) M's. Please understand, I am not questioning your intelligence; just your choice. We are all fired up about the current condition of our new AAA team in Seattle. Geoff is trying to take an objective viewpoint when he writes. He has spent years watching and writing about clubhouse issues and losing streaks for another MLB team. He has seen more of this than he probably cares to remember. His perspective is not tainted.

Mr. Bavasi - the club you put together is beginning to have a negative impact on the health and well-being of the greater Seattle area. Please act quickly!

Posted by notor

4:47 PM, May 24, 2008


I agree with Bavasi on one point, McLaren might have displayed some stunning incompetence as a manager but he's not the one making this team lose so tremendously. Right now he's way down the list of needs to address.

I like how Bavasi accepts none of the blame for this: He is the one who constructed this team. He is the one who traded away our future and our bullpen for an overrated, injury plagued Bedard. He is the one who yet again did not realize that these old players he's chose to stick with carry enormous potential for collapse. He's the one who signed an aging catcher to a 3 year contract effectively damning his best prospect's path to the majors. He's the one who hasn't recognized the freely available younger talent floating around without jobs. I could go on and on about the ineptitude he has displayed in his job performance that placed us in this situation. The blame for this team lies squarely on his shoulders.

This is 2004 all over again. In 2003 the Mariners were a good team, but the core of their roster was aging. Bill decided that, hey, since they were good in 2003 there's no chance at all they'd be bad in 2004 with pretty much the same roster, I mean what's 1 more year on the old legs? Maybe they'll be a little worse, but still good enough to get the job done.

Well unfortunately that's not how most players in baseball age. Generally it's not a slow decline, it's a stunning collapse, and as a GM you have to recognize that and account for it, not just sit on your hands and wait for them to turn it around. When they're done as a ball player, they're DONE, they're not coming back with more playing time, they need to be replaced. Bill threw away the 2004 season by not realizing this and now he's throwing away 2008 as well. If anyone deserves to lose their job right now, it's Bill.

Posted by Jim

5:51 PM, May 24, 2008

Come on Geoff, stick your neck out. Who are the players that Sliva and others think are slacking?

Posted by wag the dog

6:22 PM, May 24, 2008

The players deserve to be ripped for mediocre effort/performance, but when it comes to policing themselves, it seems that's something to be taken into account when building a roster. Which one of these players is suddenly going to change himself into a vocal leader who can demand a more professional performance from his peers? Could Bavasi not see he was building a team of individuals?

Ichiro? No, he seems content to rip the team with cryptic comments to the media? Adrien Beltre? He's never been outspoken and his defense has been plenty lazy of late. Richie Sexson? One of the most overpaid, underachieving guys on a squad full of guys who underperform? Yuni? Jose? Felix? They don't seem to have the maturity to discipline themselves let alone the rest of the team? How 'bout Mr. Good Cheer, Eric Bedard? I'm sure the team is eager to follow someone who doesn't seem to care much about the team.

No one should be surprised this team can't hit, but how could anyone have been expecting more leadership when there isn't a single guy in the clubhouse who has ever distinguished himself as such?

Raul Ibanez shows up for early BP and that's enough to make him the most professional guy in the clubhouse? Sad. Wouldn't a true leader accept the fact he's a defensive liability in Left Field, volunteer to move to DH where he could contribute his bat without handicapping an already shaky defense?

If Bavasi doesn't deserve to be fired for this particular roster, he deserves to get the boot for the cumulative effect of his master plan - signing mediocre, aging free agents to contracts that exceed their contributions and usually result in dismissal later rather than sooner. The best thing about Wilkerson is that they got rid of him before summer.

How many more washed up veterans have to float through the Seattle clubhouse before someone realizes the folly of the method? Minor leaguers might lose a lot, but I bet they'd at least play hard and be appreciative of the opportunity.

Aside from the fact these guys are earning a king's living playing a kid's game, they're also responsible to the fans who pay their salaries? Is there not some incentive to work hard when you know that families are shelling out $100 for a night of entertainment? I don't expect a win every time I go to a game, but I'd like to at least know the guys doing the playing care as much about the outcome of the game and the season as the people paying for the opportunity to watch the game.

Blow it up. The attitude of this team is contagious. No one is immune. If your name isn't JJ, Felix or Ichiro, you're expendable. Not necessarily a commodity. But expendable.

Posted by jro

7:00 PM, May 24, 2008

From http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/2008/writers/jon_heyman/05/24/managers.on.hotseat/index.html:

"Major League sources suggested to SI.com that McLaren may be the one in the most immediate jeopardy. According to someone who speaks regularly with Mariners people, McLaren possibly could soon be removed in coming days, perhaps as early as next week."

Geoff - I know you're reporting what Chuck Armstrong said, but this article was posted on the SI site at 7:30 pm (I assume eastern time). Any way you can get some insight into this? It totally conflicts with Armstrong's vote of confidence.

Posted by Thumbprint 27

7:29 PM, May 24, 2008

Bavasi hopefully can look in the mirror! That's where the problem is he releases decent players and keeps sorry ones. There is no reason why anyone batting .210 is still in the lin-up! Let's be accountable! Didn't he just release a very good hitter in Greg Norton and a decent pitcher in Baek and keep all this other stuff! Didn't Bavasi learn something from his dad? Buzzy Bavasi is a legend, Bill Bavasi is headed for the unemployment line!

Posted by Bender

7:42 PM, May 24, 2008

Clubhouse leadership? Give me a break. This isn't a leadership issue, this is an issue of a badly built team. We have horrific defense, bad starting pitching, a mediocre bullpen and a pathetic offense. We can maybe put 4 guys in our lineup who are good offensively, but the rest of the lineup is a black hole.

Our DH is laughable. We have no power. 3 of 5 of our starting pitchers are barely above replacement level and our defense is so awful that it's making all of our pitchers much much worse than they are.

Bavasi is partly at fault for building a bad team, the players are partly at fault for not really producing, the manager is partly at fault for not understanding modern baseball, but most of all the front office is at fault for valuing a fan friendly/family friendly atmosphere over a winning ballclub.

Posted by Full Count

10:18 PM, May 24, 2008

Mariner management still isn't off the hook, yeah, they can
say the clubhouse stinks, players need to fix it, but even adults need motivation.

How about management fixing it and at this point in the season make one or two very aggressive trades or waivers to show you mean businesses or if Bavasi had any honor he would resign and take the heat, it may even save his future career.

Posted by Jim

10:56 PM, May 24, 2008

Bottom line Bavasi picked Morrow over Lincecum
Bedard over Guillen and 5 prospects
And those are just 2 of his bonehead moves.
He's needed to go since he was named GM
he was fired in Anaheim for reason and he should
be fired here tomorrow.

Posted by rightwingrick

11:13 PM, May 24, 2008

OK, take some action. Sexson has not produced for 1 1/2 years now, and has had steadily declining numbers for four years. You don't keep a .200 hitter on the roster, much less in the #5 spot in the hitting order, for goodness sake.

And hey, if we can't HIT them over, BUNT them over. I don't care who you are on the team, McLaren should lay down the bunt sign.

And what happened to "we are going to run mor and force errors"?

And can someone tell me why Jarrod Washburn is still in the rotation? 6.something ERA, and constant location problems. Fierabend was tearing it up at AAA.

And how do you release a 27 year old pitcher when all your older starting pitchers are falling apart in front of your eyes. Goodness!

Posted by RIght_the_ship

10:07 AM, May 25, 2008

One of the things I do not understand is the inability of the left and right fielders to hit the cutoff man or to make an accurate throw to home plate. I have watched several times when Raul catches the ball on his left side and then cannot come within 10 feet of home plate. First of all, he should be catching the ball in the center of his body or to the right side of his body so that it does not take as long to transfer the ball to his right hand and make the throw. The other teams know he cannot throw accurately so they are scoring instead of holding at 3rd. He made one throw to home which was fielded 1/2 was up the first base line. Dave Sims' comment was "whoa, where did that come from?"

Posted by Travis

2:29 PM, May 26, 2008

Funny how Bavasi says "Nobody had the nerve to pick us less than second place in our division". Rob Neyer over at ESPN lists a whole slew of people (including himself) that picked the Mariners to finish third or fourth.

Last year, the M's were basically a .500 team that got lucky, probably in part due to a darn good bullpen that saved a lot of close games. Bavasi gave away our setup man, and our closer isn't having the season he did last year (how many closers maintain from year to year anyway). He's left us with big defensive holes in 2/3 of the outfield, and a big offensive hole over at first. He's likely sacrificed the career of a future star starting pitcher to try covering the mess he's made of the bullpen. This is, by all accounts, HIS team. He needs to go.

Posted by LJM

10:35 PM, May 26, 2008

FIRE!!!!!! BAVASI!!!!!!!!

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