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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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June 16, 2008 11:12 PM

M's lose again; Clement called up

Posted by Geoff Baker

bavasi0616 050.jpg

Ichiro, above, strikes out to end this game.

The Lee Pelekoudas era is looking much like the Bill Bavasi era to start off. Seattle goes down to a 6-1 defeat at the hands of the Florida Marlins. That's just 17 runs scored in seven games under new hitting coach Lee Elia. Maybe one of you wants to give it a try?

The team is getting tired of waiting. Jeff Clement has been recalled from Class AAA Tacoma and will be in uniform tomorrow night. And he's not going to sit on the bench.

"We want him to play and we do want him to catch a little bit,'' Mariners manager John McLaren said after his team's fourth straight loss overall and eighth in a row at home. "We need some pop in our offense, so we're going to work him in.''

Wladimir Balentien gets the ticket back to Tacoma. McLaren compared his situation to Clement's previous demotion in mid-May. He says Balentien has some things to work on and will likely be back with the club before the season ends.

So, this center field mystery grows and grows. Jeremy Reed will likely get a shot at it, as will Willie Bloomquist -- at least part time. And Raul Ibanez looks to be staying in left foe now unless the M's make a move to acquire another outfielder.

Ichiro said the M's approached him about the switch.

"They approached me about it and they said 'Let's do this for the future','' he said. "They didn't say any specifice examples. Just kind of overall looking into the future.''

Doesn't tell you much, does it? Neither did Carlos Silva. He vanished from the clubhouse once the media entered and didn't emerge from a back room until about 40 minutes after the final pitch. Only the AP and two broadcast outlets were left. Frankly, I don't care much about what a guy winless in 11 games had to say after getting tossed for mouthing off to an umpire. Yes, umpire Bill Welke was thin-skinned and too quick-triggered for my liking. But in the end, Silva let his team down. A lot of M's have done that lately. No matter what Silva's ultimate explanation was.

Anyhow, this thing is getting uglier and uglier. The M's twice had a runner on third with less than two out tonight, when the game was still winnable, and came up empty.

The M's haven't lost that many at home since dropping eight straight at the Kingdome in 1996. Bavasi leaving won't fix this. The problems are still there. This is a team and clubhouse with a losing culture. No other way to put it. Too many guys who can't win. Who can barely score runs any more.

Pelekoudas and company have some long weeks ahead.

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