I didn’t know this, but watching the game — did Randy Winn change his name to Goodtrythereby Winn in the off-season? It still shows up the old way in the batting box, but whenever they say it it’s the other way.
Bob Melvin Watch
Some people think that expressions of confidence are the goodbye kiss of baseball management, but it really only tells you that the ownership is aware enough of discontent that they have to address it. They’d rather not.
You’ll know Melvin’s going to get fired when you start to read stories about how he’s lost the clubhouse, which will percolate a while, followed by local loyal ownership-and-front-office sources (they have their choice here in Seattle) start to mention that maybe Melvin’s not the guy to keep the team competitive.
Team Watch (6-13)
Many people, from readers to TV personalities, liked to mention that the Mariners weren’t off to that bad a start, that the 2001 A’s were just as bad and had gone on to win 102 games that year (2nd in the AL West to the Mariner juggernaut). This is still true: the A’s were 6-13 on 4/22/2001. They’d also been smacked about badly by the Mariner team on their way to 116 wins — the M’s went 5-1 in the first month against that A’s team. The A’s sucked it up for the rest of the month, leaving April 8-17, and then started to reel of the wins for the rest of the year. So there’s hope. Another team’s done it before.
But almost every other team that had finished over .500 after such a slow start: the 1991 Brewers, 93 Royals, 95 Reds, 03 Diamondbacks, started turning their ship around at this point.
1993 Royals and 2003 Diamondbacks were at 7-12
1995 (division winning) Reds were 10-9 and the 1991 Brewers were at 10-9 (and Bosio picked up his 3rd win)
Historically, a start this bad indicates a team that is bad, with few counter-examples. And those counter-examples are starting to walk away from the team.
I got up early this morning to log some serious miles on the bike, planning to miss as little of the game as possible. On my way back, I stopped at Marymoor to snack and drink some water. The baseball diamonds were filled with women’s fast-pitch softball (for instance, the “Seattle Spice” (I’m guessing the 12u/14u/16u is age-and-under), so I watched. I’m a sucker for baseball in any form.
So I was watching these two games, and they sang. The team hitting would sing from the dugout, like uh.. like cheers, only not stupid (“We’ve got spirit, yes we do…” none of that). There was a “get a hit” song, a “the pitcher sucks” song I heard after a wild pitch, a “good hit” song, it was totally cool. I sat next to my bike and watched fastpitch softball with a stupid grin on my face. It’s the most fun I’ve had watching baseball this year.
After a while, I climbed up Bel-Red back into town and by the time I got the game on, Melvin had thrown in the towel, and I watched Kevin Jarvis give up home run after home run to destroy the team’s chances of even possibly coming back. It was the saddest thing I’ve seen all year: swept by Texas, wishing that Melvin had fought harder to keep the game even remotely in hand when he had the chance, because the way they’re getting blown out even three-runs down seems like a moral victory.
But I’m still smiling.