Grover or Grady

Dave · October 19, 2004 at 6:30 am · Filed Under Mariners 

According to Finnigan, the two leading candidates for the manager spot are Mike Hargrove and Grady Little, who will be in Seattle tomorrow for final interviews.

Really, I’m just happy that Bowa, Baylor, and Collins didn’t make the cut. If I had to choose between Little and Hargrove, I’d probably go with Grover. Being part of the Indians organization for the past year cannot have been bad for him, as its pretty well known that I consider them to be the best run front office in baseball. I still don’t think we can say with any kind of certainty which one would be a better choice, but I’ll throw my weak support towards Mike Hargrove.


68 Responses to “Grover or Grady”

  1. tede on October 19th, 2004 8:04 pm


    Was it Piniella’s fault that Mike Mussina outpitched Randy Johnson twice (and quite dramatically in Game 1) in the ’97 ALDS and Jaime Moyer got hurt in Game 2? Even if Randy Johnson had won Game 4, the M’s starter for Game 5 was going to be Ken Cloude. The ’97 Orioles were an even better copy of the ’97 M’s – better starting pitching depth, better bullpen and with their own set of power hitters.

    Garcia’s last start in 2001 was on Wednesday October 3. Game 1 of the 2001 ALDS which he started was on Tuesday October 9. He only had 18 wins and no shot at 20 wins.

    Piniella defeated Jim Leyland, Tony LaRussa, Buck Showalter, Jerry Manuel, and Charley Manuel in the playoffs and lost to Mike Hargrove, Davey Johnson, and Joe Torre. The four playoff series losses were to teams with flat out better starting pitching and bullpens. Having to rely upon Chris Bosio, Tim Belcher, John Halama, Paul Abbott, Aaron Sele (and potentially Ken Cloude had the ’97 ALDS went 5 games) to start and win playoff series is a major handicap. Also Randy Johnson lost his last three playoff starts for the M’s, two of them by a large margin.

  2. The Ancient Mariner on October 19th, 2004 9:08 pm

    Hmm, need to remember to double-check other people’s memory, too, I guess; which, since I don’t have game logs to hand, I can’t really do. But then, let’s check yours:

    2001 M’s rotation vs. 2001 Yanks rotation

    Freddy García: 238.7 IP, 3.05 ERA, 69 BB, 16 HR, 163 K
    Mike Mussina: 228.7 IP, 3.15 ERA, 42 BB, 20 HR, 214 K

    Jamie Moyer: 209.7 IP, 3.43 ERA, 44 BB, 24 HR, 119 K
    Roger Clemens: 220.3 IP, 3.51 ERA, 72 BB, 19 HR, 213 K

    Aaron Sele: 215.0 IP, 3.60 ERA, 51 BB, 25 HR, 114 K
    Andy Pettite: 200.7 IP, 3.99 ERA, 41 BB, 14 HR, 164 K

    Paul Abbott: 163.0 IP, 4.25 ERA, 87 BB, 21 HR, 118 K
    Orlando Hernandez: 94.7 IP, 4.85 ERA, 42 BB, 19 HR, 77 K

    Obviously our rotation was more fielder-dependent, but we had better fielders; taken together, I’d say these two rotations were pretty much equivalent.

    Kazuhiro Sasaki: 66.7 IP, 3.24 ERA, 11 BB, 6 HR, 62 K
    Mariano Rivera: 80.7 IP, 2.34 ERA, 12 BB, 5 HR, 83 K

    That one, I’ll grant you; but it’s not as if Sasaki was a weak link . . .

    Arthur Rhodes: 68.0 IP, 1.72 ERA, 12 BB, 5 HR, 83 K
    Mike Stanton: 80.3 IP, 2.58 ERA, 29 BB, 4 HR, 78 K

    Jeff Nelson: 65.3 IP, 2.76 ERA, 44 BB, 3 HR, 88 K
    Ramiro Mendoza: 100.7 IP, 3.75 ERA, 23 BB, 9 HR, 70 K

    Norm Charlton: 47.7 IP, 3.02 ERA, 11 BB, 4 HR, 48 K
    Randy Choate: 48.3 IP, 3.35 ERA, 27 BB, 0 HR, 35 K

    Ryan Franklin: 78.3 IP, 3.56 ERA, 24 BB, 13 HR, 60 K
    Jay Witasick: 40.3 IP, 4.69 ERA, 18 BB, 5 HR, 53 K

    . . . and in the rest of the bullpen, taken all in all, I’d say Seattle had the edge. Even if you give the edge to the Yanks, it’s slight; you certainly can’t say that they were a team with “flat out better starting pitching and bullpen” than the M’s.

  3. tede on October 19th, 2004 10:06 pm

    Ancient, this is easy.

    I’d take the 2001 or even the 2004 versions of Mussina over Garcia, Clemons over Moyer, Petitte over Sele (0-6 in the post-season with 5 of the losses against NY), and El Duque over Abbott.

    The actual matchups were Game 1 & 5 Sele vs Petitte, Game 2 Garcia vs Mussina, Game 3 Moyer vs El Duque, and Game 4 Abbott vs. Clemons. With those matchups, it’s no wonder the Yanks won. I’ll give credit for Paul Abbott for pitching the game of his life in Game 4 (like Bosio did in Game 5 in ’95 ALCS). But you can’t rely upon a guy (Sele) who got lit up in the ALDS by a score of 17-2 to come through with two games in the ALCS. To reach the World Series, the M’s would have either had to sweep Cleveland to get their pitching rotation oriented properly or have faced the A’s instead where the M’s had clear advantages in pitching depth.

    As for the bullpen, you got one guy who can go two innings (Rivera) vs a guy who feasted on pitching easy 1 inning saves with 3 runs leads. Like 2004, if Jay Witasick (or Felix Heredia this year) ever enters a game, that means the Yankees have lost.

  4. Jeff on October 19th, 2004 10:57 pm

    m’s won’t hire someone who doesn’t have major league managing experience. See Bob Melvin for reason why.

  5. James T on October 19th, 2004 11:05 pm

    Dave. No, I don’t know exactly what was going on in the Red Sox clubhouse that Grady Little may or may not have contributed to in a positive way. What I do know is that after he was let go, two writers for one of the local papers (the Worcester Telegram) debunked the notion that Grady was somehow the architect of the team’s chemistry. They described him as a doormat, a non-entity, a cipher in that clubhouse. The players did whatever they wanted and he wrote names in on the lineup card.

    Don’t get me wrong. There’s something to be said for that approach, to a degree. But it’s an approach that works much better in a hitter’s park, with a veteran team, when you happen to have a 960 run offense. When you play in a pitchers’ park where more moves have to be made and your team is young and needs a bit more guidance, it might be the wrong way to go.

  6. tede on October 20th, 2004 1:09 am

    According to Finnigan, it’s Hargrove. He also theorizes that Bryan Price is out also. (btw, who were Grover’s pitching coaches in Cleveland & Baltimore?)

    I dunno. The juggernaut he melded in ’95 (Finnigan’s words) was one of the dumbest teams I’ve seen play.

    It will be curious to see how much he is paid. Howard counts managerial money against the M’s “salary cap”. Might be another reason for them not to spend money.

  7. eponymous coward on October 20th, 2004 1:09 am

    It’s Hargrove, according to Pocket Lint.

  8. tede on October 20th, 2004 1:30 am

    Year League Team G W L WP Finish
    1991 AL East Clevelnd 85 32 53 .376 7
    1992 AL East Clevelnd 162 76 86 .469 5
    1993 AL East Clevelnd 162 76 86 .469 6
    1994 AL Cent Clevelnd 113 66 47 .584 2
    1995 AL Cent Clevelnd 144 100 44 .694 AL 1
    1996 AL Cent Clevelnd 161 99 62 .615 1
    1997 AL Cent Clevelnd 161 86 75 .534 AL 1
    1998 AL Cent Clevelnd 162 89 73 .549 1
    1999 AL Cent Clevelnd 162 97 65 .599 1

    2000 AL East Baltmore 162 74 88 .457 4
    2001 AL East Baltmore 162 63 98 .391 4
    2002 AL East Baltmore 162 67 95 .414 4
    2003 AL East Baltmore 163 71 91 .438 4
    Baltmore 649 275 372 .425
    Clevelnd 1312 721 591 .550
    TOTAL 1961 996 963 .508

  9. Bela Txadux on October 20th, 2004 2:13 am

    On thread topic, Mike Hargrove seems to me: a) the best of the names mentioned as potential or actual interviews for manager’s job with the Ms, and b) by a good margin the individual who most nearly fits the matrix on a probable managerial hire I posited a couple of weeks ago when BoMel -> the scene. Hargrove is somewhat of a ‘name,’ and hence a marketable commodity. He has playoff experience. He has experience in a rebuilding environment. He was well respected as a player. He was well respected as a hitting coach (if memory serves). He has been well respected by his players in both of his previous tenures as a manager. He was never given a complete pitching staff to work with by either the Indians or the Orioles FOs. If the comment above that he handled the bullpen well in Baltimore is accurate (I have no opinion since very little observation), that is a major plus. He’s level-headed, not a hunch player or a mind game guy. He is _unlikely_ to screw up in any major way. I don’t see him as a brilliant manager on past history, but I also see him as the kind of person with the most potential to _have learned SOMETHING_ from his earlier experiences. If he had a weakness, it seemed to me that he was a bit too passive in making moves, both with the lineup and in game, but that is thinking back to his days when Cleaveland was a force and you simply wrote names on the lineup card and let them play for the most part; this kind of weakness (if in fact my observation there is accurate) is also the kind one can most overcome with experience and the stimulus to self-improvement which comes with having been fired twice basically for other people’s mistakes (i.e. the inability of the FOs to complete the talent acquisition cycle). I’m not saying that I’m an advocate for Hargrove getting the hire, but he’s a _sound_ choice by any measure.

    I have no great store of observation on Little, but having said that his negatives seem so numerous, major, and well-documented that I can’t even really see why any team would be interviewing him at this juncture. He never had control of his clubhouse (not that that would have been easy). He had an oft cited aversion to statistical approaches. He played hunches instead like some folks play horses—and came out on the tail-end of the game altogether too often by the report of many, many to deserve employment as a ML manager. He was tacticaly a failure, leaving him a major weakness to overcome. He was flagrantly _unself-critical_ about all of this, which doesn’t support the view at all that he would have learned something from what he might have done less than well to this point. Personally, I think he has a far better chance of failing spectacularly on his next hire (oh, I do believe that someone willl hire him: there’s always a greater fool out there somewhere) than of succeeding AT ANY TIME at the ML level, and I would rather that he do so or prove himself better than that on someone else’s team and time. Let him do some coaching or go back and do some minor league managing as far as I’m concerned. Dave, I suspect that your defense of Little as the Man Who Can Change is simply contrarian for the fun of it. : )

  10. brain on October 20th, 2004 2:16 am

    hargrove it is.

  11. tede on October 20th, 2004 3:22 am

    Smells like Mark Wiley as pitching coach as well. He got a three year deal with Grover in 2001. He was the pitching coach for Hargrove at Cleveland (’95-’98) bracketed by Phil Regan (’94 & ’99). He was fired mid-season this year by the O’s.

  12. ChrisK on October 20th, 2004 5:58 am

    Let’s not forget the roster that John Hart built for Hargrove. Check out this staggering lineup from 1996:

    Jim Thome
    Albert Belle
    Manny Ramirez
    Kenny Lofton
    Julio Franco
    Carlos Baerga
    Eddie Murray
    Omar Vizquel
    Sandy Alomar, Jr.

    Brian Giles
    Jeromy Burnitz
    Jeff Kent

    Most of those players were homegrown talent, supplemented by aging stars like Murray and Franco. Now Hart is trying to do the same thing in Texas by building around Teixeira, Young, Blaylock, Nix et al. Look at that list of young players. And now think about our ‘young’ players. Let’s hope Bavasi can come within shouting distance of acquiring such a stable of positional talent.

  13. Zzyzx on October 20th, 2004 6:32 am

    Well the Seattle Times is saying it’s Hargrove.

  14. Econ guy on October 20th, 2004 7:30 am


  15. mariner in iraq on October 20th, 2004 8:52 am

    According to the seattle times this discussion is over. It has yet to be announced but apparently Mike Hargrove is our man and good thing to.

  16. James T on October 20th, 2004 8:54 am

    ESPN is now reporting that Hargrove is your new manager. Good for you Mariners fans. You dodged the Grady Little bullet.

  17. Bela Txadux on October 20th, 2004 8:10 pm

    Comment to ChrisK on John Hart:

    Neither in Cleveland nor in Texas has Hart _ever_ constructed an effective rotation, and his bullpens have usually been good-arm guys with subpar results. Yes, he has always assessed hitters well. Pitching wins in post-season, though. As I mentioned, Hargrove had the _liability_ of having a Hart-built pitching staff. He should have more to work with here in Seattle than he ever has had as a manager if Bavasi makes an elementary sorting of sheep-and-goats.

  18. Riley on October 22nd, 2004 2:45 pm

    In all of the Hargrove excitement of the past few days, and believe me I’m glad we hired him as opposed to Little or any of the million ex-Angels, I can’t help but remain firm in thinking the wrong manager is being replaced. It seems that the M’s shortcomings were upper management’s fault, not the field manager’s. For Pete’s sake show Bavasi the door.