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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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August 9, 2008 4:33 PM

Riggleman "very disappointed" with Silva's comments

Posted by Tom Wyrwich

Jim Riggleman didn't hold back today discussing Carlos Silva's comments after Friday night's loss. Beginning, "I'm very disappointed," the manager spoke at length the postgame tirade. Here's the transcript of what he had to say:

"I'm very disappointed. A couple things I read there really didn't make any sense. And certainly the writers never would have gotten anything wrong. I'm sure you guys got it just right, but it's just very strange to me.

"When I hear someone say something about selfish play, I always just say, You know what, I challenge anybody to go in there and look at the tape of every game from March 31 to the present time and show me an example of somebody being selfish, and I'd stand corrected if you could point it out. But if you're saying somebody's selfish, I've got to hear some specifics.

"More importantly, he shouldn't say it to the writers. He should say it to me, he should say it to teammates he's directing it at. The one thing he was talking about, not using ground balls to move the runner, we've done a great job of that. But again, anytime you're not successful at doing that, it's the intent that you have to question. And I know the intention has always been to do that, but sometimes you don't get the result. I know guys have always tried to do that, and sometimes you're not successful doing it. You don't intend to give up base hits and walks, but you give them up.

"It's just the wrong way to send a message. You don't do that in the paper; you do that internally.

"I admire him more for doing it when he's 4-13, to tell you the truth. If you're 13-4 and you're saying stuff, it's kind of like, 'I'm going good so I can say anything I want.' At least he's speaking his mind when he's struggling, so I admire him for that, but again, whether it's when you're struggling or when you're going good, you just don't do it publicly.

"The stuff that was said, to me (it) was so convoluted that I don't know who he's directing it at, I really don't. If he had spoke to me, I would know who he was directing it at, because I would say, What are you talking about. But until you give a specific example...

"I'm gonna talk to him and a couple other guys. And he's used the phrase, 'the starting pitchers,' like 'we as the starting pitchers, we're focused, but some other people aren't or something.' That's ridiculous.

"One of the things that happens is there's a lot of cliches in the game, and every team that I've ever seen that struggled, people will say they don't do the fundamentals, they don't bunt runners, they're not hitting behind the runner to move runners over, they don't do this, they don't do that. You hear enough of that, and you look at the numbers, and you find out you're right there where everybody else in baseball is in sacrifice bunts, advancing runners, and the fundamentals of the game.

"It's almost like these blanket statements are made, and the perceptions are because you're losing, you're doing these things wrong. What it really comes to is we, like most teams, we take care of the little things. It's big things. We're not hitting good enough and we're not pitching good enough. If somebody wants to hide behind, 'Oh, we made a baserunner mistake or we didn't move a runner over,' ... and use the word selfish, you can try to act like, 'That's the problem right there. That will make up those 30 games.' But, you know, you've got to hit better and you've got to pitch better.

"When you've got something to say, don't use the newspaper to say it."

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Posted by Sounders

4:45 PM, Aug 09, 2008

Disappointed? Biggo Dealo

I know Stottlemeier is some kind of big shot, and recovering from something, and he lives in Issiquah, but why can't we get a decent pitching coach?

Why can't we get someone like St. Louis has, someone that can make Joel Piniero look good?

Bryan Price wasn't bad. Where'd he go?

Veteran grit in the coaches hasn't looked so great either. Best coaching staff ever??????? Yuni is still flailing, the hitters and pitchers don't look like they have a plan, etc etc etc ad nauseum

Posted by Sounders

4:50 PM, Aug 09, 2008

If they want to improve attendance they should have Howie and Chuckie Dunk Tank Night.

Oh, what am I saying? Attendance is great. It's like Cirque de Soleil only more fun for kids.

Silva is going to The Jets for Farve straight up

Posted by Thomas

4:55 PM, Aug 09, 2008

Riggleman for 2009 - I love him.

Posted by Esteban

4:56 PM, Aug 09, 2008

Jesus H. Christ!

I never, ever thought Id hear such lucid statements made within the Ms clubhouse! Ive got to read this again:

It's big things. We're not hitting good enough and we're not pitching good enough. If somebody wants to hide behind, 'Oh, we made a baserunner mistake or we didn't move a runner over,' ... and use the word selfish, you can try to act like, 'That's the problem right there. That will make up those 30 games.' But, you know, you've got to hit better and you've got to pitch better.

Jim Riggleman is gets it!

Posted by CheapSeats

4:58 PM, Aug 09, 2008

I can hear the apology coming...

Well, yaknow, I was upset, we have sucked, ya know, all year long. But, yeah, I a pro athlete, ya know, and I millions of mistakes, I mean, ya know money. I just want to throw it at the wall.

This entire organization is a joke!

Posted by Esteban

4:58 PM, Aug 09, 2008

Jesus H. Christ!

I never, ever thought Id hear such lucid statements made within the Ms clubhouse! Ive got to read this again:

It's big things. We're not hitting good enough and we're not pitching good enough. If somebody wants to hide behind, 'Oh, we made a baserunner mistake or we didn't move a runner over,' ... and use the word selfish, you can try to act like, 'That's the problem right there. That will make up those 30 games.' But, you know, you've got to hit better and you've got to pitch better.

Jim Riggleman gets it!

Posted by FukodomeFan

5:02 PM, Aug 09, 2008

Jim Riggleman just gained huge points with me.. Basically told Silva he's full of you know what

That was awesome

Posted by Chris from Bothell

5:07 PM, Aug 09, 2008

Diplomatic, stern, occasionally blunt, a touch of sarcasm. Nice.

There should be a full search for a solid manager this offseason, but we could do worse than Riggleman, if we're stuck with him next year.

Posted by Corey Miller

5:07 PM, Aug 09, 2008

I am very impressed with Riggleman thus far. I has my vote for 2009.

Posted by mmsfan

5:24 PM, Aug 09, 2008

Two things.
First; Riggleman does get it. He has been doing a great job with the kids when he's been given the opportunity to use them. i.e. he's not handcuffed by management. I do wish he would use Willie more instead of Cairo, but that's all.
Second: You can't be a serious fan of the game and not see that Ichiro is a selfish player. I can give examples. Runner on 2nd no one out and he tries to drive the ball down the left field line. A left-handed batter not trying to pull the ball to right field because he wants a shot at a hit more than he wants to move the runner over.

Posted by Nordawg

5:46 PM, Aug 09, 2008

Agreed that Riggleman is right on. I have no problem with the team's effort; we just need better players -- or we need the ones we have to play better (as some of them have in the past).

Sounders, to claim that Mel Stottlemyre is not a "decent" pitching coach is simply ignorant. He's one of the all-time great pitching coaches and we are lucky to have him.

Posted by Chip1010

5:58 PM, Aug 09, 2008

Riggleman's quote about baseball cliches is fantastic. Moving a runner over doesn't matter when you're losing by 7 runs because your team can't hit or play defense and only one of your starting pitchers is above average and healthy.

If this team wants to get better, it needs to get better players and stop crippling itself with awful trades and long-term contracts for high-priced veterans who are no better than the guys we have in Tacoma. Use the savings to get players who are actually good. Subtle tweaks and "lighting a fire" "sound fundamentals" aren't going to help the Mariners. They're simply not that good at baseball.

At least we have Felix.

Posted by headliner

6:02 PM, Aug 09, 2008

Pretty much everything riggleman said was a load of crap. This team doesn't do the little things well. We'd still have Sexson and Vidro if the fans hadn't booed long and loud until he had to do something. He is not a great manager, never has been.

Posted by question for Riggleman

6:03 PM, Aug 09, 2008

Mr Riggleman:

"When you've got something to say, don't use the newspaper to say it."

Didn't you just use the press to deliver a message to Silva.

Hmm--seems like you can't have it both ways.

Just a thought.

Posted by la verdad

6:18 PM, Aug 09, 2008

Tal vez la Tintos estara interesado en el jefe de bfalo y Batista. Por favor, Bill, para bien viejos tiempos!

Posted by BrianL

6:52 PM, Aug 09, 2008

mmsfan - You're kidding, yes?

If the pitch is outside, you hit it the other way, regardless of whether or not you're a left-handed hitter or right-handed hitter. It's that whole "go with the pitch" concept.

I imagine you have no real proof that Ichiro is selfish. Your "proof" most likely boils down to:

A) Ichiro uses a translator
B) Ichiro has his own conditioning routine.

Posted by downonstrikes

7:13 PM, Aug 09, 2008

Yeah Wiggleworm, we wouldn't want the truth to be known, would we? Jerk!

Posted by Chip1010

7:25 PM, Aug 09, 2008

Ichiro just hit a selfish home run. What a jerk.

Posted by wag the dog

7:52 PM, Aug 09, 2008

More action off the field than on it. Well done, Mariners. Well done.

Posted by Ichi-GO

7:57 PM, Aug 09, 2008

Examples of Ichiro being selfish:
1.) stays in his own hotel while team is on the road.
2.) bunts for basehits with runner on 2nd with two outs rather than try to drive him in (still love thinking about Pinella's and Hargrove's reactions to those "lapses")
3.) not aggressive on the basepaths for a guy blessed with speed.
4.) not willing to take walks consistently.
5.) not willing to actively lead the younger players when they are called up
6.) hides behind a translator when it is obviously unnecessary at this point.

This team will be in trouble as long as Ichiro is the highest paid player and "leader" of the team...flatline, aloof, and indifferent describes both Ichiro and the overall personality of the team right now...you think that's an accident??

Trade him now before he becomes a .280 slap hitter who refuses to take a walk with a HUGE, untradeable contract until he is 40.

Posted by BrianL

8:22 PM, Aug 09, 2008

Ichi-GO - You know who else has their own hotel on road trips?

Carlos Silva.

"2.) bunts for basehits with runner on 2nd with two outs rather than try to drive him in (still love thinking about Pinella's and Hargrove's reactions to those "lapses")"

Please provide the number of times he's done that this season. I guarantee it's no where near as many as you think it is.

"3.) not aggressive on the basepaths for a guy blessed with speed."

Leads the teams in steals despite having a bad hamstring since early July.

"4.) not willing to take walks consistently."

Currently has 43 walks, behind only Raul Ibanez (45) and Adrian Beltre (44).

"5.) not willing to actively lead the younger players when they are called up "

You know who else doesn't lead the younger players? Raul Ibanez. John Olerud was never a vocal leader either.

"6.) hides behind a translator when it is obviously unnecessary at this point."

Hey look, it's reason 1A on the common "Ichiro is selfish" list. That's a cheap cop-out excuse and you know it.

I speak both Japanese and English, and let me tell you, it is an extremely hard language to translate to on the fly. When you're dealing with the media, the last thing you want to do is miss some sort of cultural nuance when speaking that can be taken way out of context.

Try again.

Posted by Resin isn't Cheating

8:25 PM, Aug 09, 2008

Ichigo- if he does indeed stay at his own hotel this will back up the reasons why I read teammates resent Ichiro. I am curious if he takes his own private jet and flies separate from his teammates. It's too bad Geoff doesn't investigate Ichiro like he did with Julio Mateo and his criminal past, LOL!

In the end we can argue about how selfish Ichiro really is until we are blue in the face. The reality remains he is here until his career ends.

Posted by Chip1010

8:36 PM, Aug 09, 2008

Getting caught stealing is extremely detrimental to scoring runs. Ichiro is as aggressive as he needs to be. If he steals 60 bags but gets caught 30 times, he's hurting the team badly. Ichiro knows better than we do when he can steal a base.

Posted by Sounders

9:38 PM, Aug 09, 2008

Nordawg:

Of course there's no way to really tell, but why do I feel that the M's pitchers could do much better than they are? Silva's no great pitcher, but why was he so much better in Minnesota. Why does Campillo go to Cleveland and rip it up when he stunk here? Piniero in St Louis etc etc etc.

I just don't think Mel's got it anymore, that's all. I think he came to the M's cuz he got bored with gardening in Issiquah

Posted by shortbus

1:25 AM, Aug 10, 2008

RIggleman is a cut above the last two managers this team has had, and he shows it with comments like these. He's still doing some kind of weird things with the lineup (Balentien in CF?) but it's pretty clear the organization wants to find out what its youngsters can do and is probably forcing Riggleman's hand.

Maybe he can get Betancourt and Lopez to play some good defense before the end of the season.

Posted by Kyle Johnson

10:34 AM, Aug 10, 2008

Big Chief is getting angry.

Posted by Full Count

11:03 AM, Aug 10, 2008

Let em go, we could use a good clubhouse fight maybe straighten up these mental midget baseball pansies.

Posted by Ichi-GO

12:32 PM, Aug 10, 2008

BrianL,

1.) So...because Silva has his own hotel on roadtrips (I've never seen that reported by the way), it's OK for Ichiro? In truth it's completely unacceptable for management to allow that situation in either case, and indicates the level of team commitment for a player that would ask for that type of exception.

2.) If he has done it once in his career it is one time too many for what is supposedly one of the best hitters in the major leagues. Once could be a lapse, that it is repeated each season with different managers speaks to selfishness and an inability to listen and be coached.

3.) Great, he leads the Mariners in steals so you claim he is aggressive. He should lead the Mariners in steals and be in the top three EVERY year for the major leagues. Look over his career numbers regarding steals...not very impressive overall. He will often not run in the clutch, whereas others in the league, Bloomquist for example, will pinch run late in a game when everyone knows he is stealing and will still often be successful.

4.) His walk numbers may be up this year, but how many of those have been intentional. Again, his career numbers for walks are extremely low. He has the talent to foul off bad pitches...and does so frequently...in order to selfishly go for more basehits. It's all about gathering hits for Ichiro at the overall expense of the team.

5.) Olerud was not counted on, or paid, to be a vocal leader. That was a time when the clubhouse was loaded with leadership (McLemore, Rhodes, Boone, Wilson, etc.) Ichiro is the highest paid player on the team, the face of this organization, and is therefore required to be more accountable to his teammates than someone like Ibanez.

6.) Ichiro has now been here eight years. There are countless Latin players who no longer hide behind translators. There are other Asian players who do not feel the need to do that. Ichiro, himself is willing to speak to the media (very rarely) in English when he wants to use the newspapers to his advantage. When he doesn't want to talk (most of the time) he typically won't or he hides behind the translator.

7.) I forgot in my earlier post to mention how clean Ichiro's uniform always is in the outfield...I love that he doesn't feel the need to ever dive and give complete effort in the field for risk of injury. Yet another indicator of overall selfishness that ends up hurting and infecting the overall morale of a team that has to watch balls bounce that could have been caught over 162 games. You can almost sense players thinking, "If he's not going to try why should I?"

Posted by Howard Cosell

5:09 PM, Aug 10, 2008

Rigglehead is on Crack - he has clearly demonstrated whether by making bad moves or no moves during a game that he has no business being a coach or manager.

Not getting runners in from 3rd with less than 2 outs is NOT TOLERABLE - this guy is a charlatan as a coach.

Players should be fined and/or benched for not getting runners in with less than 2 outs - Simple rule and what do they have to loose? More games ?

You would see that stop in a heartbeat.

Posted by Jack

12:13 AM, Aug 11, 2008

I'm laughing HARD at Ichi-GO's little hissyfit there. What a whiny, racist little bitch. You feel better now, buddy? You want your pacifier? Need your bottle? He must be teething, awwww.

Posted by Agree with Ichi-GO

8:58 AM, Aug 11, 2008

Jack,

What exactly was racist about Ichi-GO's comments? Seems that he praised black, Latin and Asian players in his post...just not Ichiro.

Better learn how to read again.

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