Simmer The Monkey
In Chinese astrology, 2004 was the Year of the Monkey. This was supposed to signify unpredictable, tumultuous changes.
I have this theory that, with apologies to my 2006 canine friends, the Year of the Monkey never actually ended.
Mike Hargrove doesn’t strike me as the star-signs type, but you might ask him again after the All-Star break. The Sporting News’ Ken Rosenthal has a list of managers on the hot seat, and Hargrove falls smack in the middle of it. Rosenthal’s rationale:
Mike Hargrove, Mariners. G.M. Bill Bavasi is far more likely to be in trouble after presiding over back-to-back 90-loss seasons; Hargrove is in the second year of a three-year deal. Still, Hargrove had philosophical differences last season with Ichiro Suzuki, the Mariners’ best player. Ichiro, signed through 2007, might not agree to an extension if Hargrove stays.
Rosenthal lists Hargrove’s status is “simmering,” perhaps like a nice potato leek soup. This seems to mix the “hot seat” metaphor, since most heated recliners don’t have a simmer setting. Dave’s take on the manager’s fate, as you may recall, was more aggressive — he’s forecasting a Hargrove ouster by mid-May.
The underlying point is the same. The Mariners have to win, win now, and win impressively, or there’s going to be upheaval. Blame it on the monkey if you want, but the team can’t fire a symbolic primate.