Simmer The Monkey

Jeff · April 6, 2006 at 6:58 am · Filed Under Mariners 

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.


60 Responses to “Simmer The Monkey”

  1. Jim Thomsen on April 6th, 2006 3:00 pm

    Odds and ends … here’s some minor leaguers the Mariners have flushed out of their system, according to Baseball America:

    Released Cs Jose Yepez, Anthony Sanguinetti, Jason Radwan and Andy Dominique, OFs Carlos Arroyo, Sam Bradford, William Hogan, Michael Nesbit and Jaime Bubela, 2B Fernando Vina, RHPs Brian Stitt, James Mault, Nibaldo Acosta, Dave Burba, Don Clement, Michael Bumstead, Eric Carter and Stephen Grasley and LHPs Chris Key, Donny Langdon and Jared Thomas. Placed RHP Greg Wear on voluntarily retired list. Returned Rule 5 selection LHP Luis Gonzalez to Dodgers. Traded LHP Luke Lockwood to Phillies.

  2. joser on April 6th, 2006 3:11 pm

    I predict the #59 “rookie” wear will eventually be more valuable than the #34 stuff. I may go down to the team store and see what I can pick up. Aside from being able to show you were in before the bandwagon jumpers, there’s a very limited quantity of it. If Felix has the kind of career we think and hope he will have, there’s going to be tons of #34 stuff around but the real #59 stuff will be rare.

  3. Evan on April 6th, 2006 3:40 pm

    50 – the ball is harder in dry air. It should be easier for GIl to impart rotation when it’s a bit damp.

  4. eponymous coward on April 6th, 2006 3:42 pm

    No good reason for this to be done.

    You mean other than the reasons mentioned in the thread- his velocity was down, his attitude at being sent to the minors was poor, and they didn’t want to do a hose job on a player (Snelling) who HASN’T been an attitude problem, but might have one if he got told one more time “Sorry, no baseball for you until June, please stay in Peoria until then”?

    As for Bubela…well, he still got 19 ABs in the majors. He gets those forever.

  5. Ralph Malph on April 6th, 2006 3:43 pm

    Not sure what dry air has to do with it. Lower air density will decrease movement, so higher altitude and warmer temps will decrease movement. But since dry air is more dense than wet air, wouldn’t a breaking ball move less in wet air?

  6. Ralph Malph on April 6th, 2006 3:44 pm

    Oops, rest of my post got munched. I don’t think altitude is significant in Arizona. Peoria is a little over 1100 feet above sea level. Minneapolis is at 800, Kansas City about 750, Chicago and Cleveland about the same. The difference is insignificant.

  7. Ralph Malph on April 6th, 2006 3:44 pm

    Dry air might make a bigger difference, not because of the density but because dry air means dry hands and a dry ball, which might make it harder to get spin on the ball.

  8. David J. Corcoran on April 6th, 2006 7:52 pm

    I’m sad about some of that flushing. No more Bubela? 🙁 Bumstead? Key? Wow…Key is gone. Even Jared Thomas. I get all sentimental about this kind of minor league dumping. 🙁

  9. Matthew Carruth on April 6th, 2006 11:51 pm

    54. Those aren’t good reasons. It was not a Snelling or Carvajal decision. You could have DFAed Cortez. You could have kept Harris down in Tacoma where he belongs. It was a dumb move and unfortunately just another instance of the Ms acting based on attitude rather than ability.

    God forbid a young 21 year old doesnt want to go to the minors when he was a marginally effective major league reliever last year and he sees people with less skill getting the job he’s worked his whole life for.

    It’s just stupid.

  10. PhilM on April 7th, 2006 12:01 am

    #55: As I understand it, the water vapour in wet air generates more friction, so wet air = more friction = more turbulence = more break (thanks, Mr. Bernoulli!).

    Of course, it’s been almost 10 years since my last physics class (which was only a 100-level college course, to boot) so I’m sure there’s someone else here who can give a more authoritive explanation.

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