Hargrove wants team to compete, aware Rivera stinks

DMZ · February 23, 2007 at 9:54 am · Filed Under Mariners 

Good stuff from the PI blog (“Ramping up to compete with that Baker guy”)

Hargrove discusses the team’s progress in terms of baking a cake

”When you have a lot of young players like we had, it takes time. The old saying is that to bake a cake will take the time it takes. It’s reached the time here now that we are close to the end of this process.”

A mentally tough cake

”At the big league level, the big differentiator is mental toughness,” he said. ”Everybody here has some game. (The winner) is who stays at it more consistently. You want them to develop that mental toughness.”

Difference between the Yankees and Royals? Mental toughness.
Reason the Devil Rays finished 36 games out of their race? Mental toughness.

M’s need more from Rivera


“…The backup role isn’t easy to fill; but physically and mentally it’s probably a tougher proposition to back up than it is to play every day.

”I don’t know if Rene can do it. Last year, we didn’t get any offense out of him. We need to get more this year.


34 Responses to “Hargrove wants team to compete, aware Rivera stinks”

  1. Mr. Egaas on February 23rd, 2007 10:06 am

    I wonder how much mental toughness Hargrove has.

    “As a manager, I feel I need more mental toughness this year.”

  2. terry on February 23rd, 2007 10:09 am

    On the backup role issue, Hargrove is absolutely right…. I find it very hard to sit on my ass all weekend watching baseball….toughest thing to do in the world I say…. you couldn’t pay me $380K/yr to do that… it simply wouldn’t be worth it…

  3. dirk on February 23rd, 2007 10:16 am

    The George Bush of baseball continues to impress!

  4. Steve T on February 23rd, 2007 10:19 am

    So Rivera needs to bring more offense than not any. How true.

  5. Tek Jansen on February 23rd, 2007 10:33 am

    If Hargrove really wanted a different, and vastly improved, backup catcher, he would have one. It is apparent to me that when Grover really wants a specific type of player (Everett, Vidro) he is able to leverage upper management to get that player. I find it hard to believe that if Grover had make a really big stink about the backup catcher, the M’s would have accomodated him. But maybe I am wrong.

  6. Tek Jansen on February 23rd, 2007 10:34 am

    Oops, I meant to say “the M’s wouldn’t have accomodated him.”

  7. msb on February 23rd, 2007 10:54 am

    ”Ramping up to compete with that Baker guy”

    I think Larue is juuuuust edging out Corey Brock for those at the back of the pack …

  8. vj on February 23rd, 2007 11:13 am

    re 5: I haven’t seen anything that suggests it was Hargrove who wanted Vidro. Did I miss something? If not, I think there’s plenty to criticize him for so we needn’t criticize him for things he’s not to be blamed for.

  9. eponymous coward on February 23rd, 2007 11:25 am

    Hargrove on goals for 2006 :

    I found out some things about expectations early on in my playing career by talking to a man named Lou Tice, a clinical psychologist who ended up having a tremendous impact on my career. I went to his seminar on goal-setting and I remember him saying there’s no reason for anyone to know your goals because all you do when that happens is put unnecessary pressure on yourself and everyone around you. Do I have goals? Yes. Expectations? Yes. And they’re probably higher than most people in Seattle, externally. To make those public wouldn’t do any good for me or anyone in the city or in the organization.

    Hargrove on Rivera in 2006:

    This year, Rivera has been penciled in by manager Mike Hargrove as the backup to starter Kenji Johjima, who came over from Japan and was signed to a three-year, $16.5 million deal to solidify the catching situation.

    Hargrove said the team saw enough of Rivera as a receiver last year to give him the opportunity to develop and improve at the big-league level this season.

    “It’ll be good for him to be around Joh and [bench coach and former Major League catcher] Ron Hassey all year long,” Hargrove said.

    The comedy hits keep coming!

  10. Tek Jansen on February 23rd, 2007 11:43 am

    I don’t assert that Grover singled out Vidro, but he fits the mold of a guy that Grover wants. He is a veteran and seldom strikes out. In my opinion, Vidro’s inclusion on this year’s squad would not have come about had Grover said “Yes, a platoon of Broussard and Morse at DH would be just fine.”

  11. Joe on February 23rd, 2007 11:48 am

    So Heyman over at SI, in writing the required annual spring article about the Manny Soap Opera, says

    At Ramirez’s behest, the Red Sox talked about trading Ramirez to at least five teams this winter — the Rockies, Dodgers, Angels, Giants and Mariners — and a couple of those teams surely are keeping an eye on the latest craziness involving perhaps the greatest right-handed hitter in the game.

    So, maybe I missed it (I checked out for much of the offseason… well, and a good chunk of the latter part of the season, actually) but were the M’s really talking to the Sox about Manny? Was somebody actually following up on Dave’s wild plan?

    Now, I don’t think Manny would have or will come to Seattle, period, and actually I think it’s unlikely he’ll leave Boston for anywhere. We see this every year. But does anybody know what the Sox might have been asking for (beyond taking on the salary)? Just curious.

  12. Ralph Malph on February 23rd, 2007 12:00 pm

    Sure, Rivera stunk last year but he was out of shape. Not his fault, right?

  13. Spanky on February 23rd, 2007 12:10 pm

    Someone get ahold of Rivera and tell him if he wants a new $2 Million contract, he needs to develop either a bat or some “grittiness”.

    Please keep an eye on him to see if he’s consulting with Ichiro or with Willie and we’ll know which he’s seeking.

  14. msb on February 23rd, 2007 12:27 pm

    well, you know Willie is “an old-fashioned red-ass”

  15. msb on February 23rd, 2007 12:29 pm

    new from Baker:

    Talked to Mark Lowe after the team’s workout finished a few minutes ago and it seems the only hold-up now is doctors trying to figure out how best to treat the scar tissue in his elbow. The options are either for Lowe to have arthroscopic surgery of “go more aggressvie with my rehab.”

    If the surgery is done, Lowe would be sidelined at least two or three more weeks before he can start a throwing program. The pitcher is still predicting a June return to the field, though, and doing his best to remain optimistic. “It was good news,” he said of the fact is was only scar tissue found. “The only better news would have been that everything was perfect.” Lowe expects to hear by tomorrow what the plan is.

  16. Ralph Malph on February 23rd, 2007 12:34 pm

    How is “old fashioned red ass” a compliment?

  17. TheEmrys on February 23rd, 2007 12:34 pm

    Well, at least we can now pencil in that Grover can at least grasp the obvious. After a year.

  18. Ralph Malph on February 23rd, 2007 12:39 pm

    Never mind, definition 7 answers my question (complete with Lou Piniella reference).

  19. msb on February 23rd, 2007 12:44 pm

    How is “old fashioned red ass” a compliment?

    hmm. Must be one of those Manly things.

    I see that “Paul Lo Duca is known as “Captain Red Ass””, that “Hank Bauer once described DiMaggio as a “red-ass,” a man whose drive to win was all-consuming”, and that in Texas “one who is beyond being a bad ass, one who will do whatever it takes to get the job done and will shoot first and ask questions later.”

  20. msb on February 23rd, 2007 2:06 pm

    huh, did you know that Mark Lowe is still awaiting an MRI on his right shoulder? Gotta love that crack reporting on KJR.

  21. Spanky on February 23rd, 2007 2:44 pm


    “On the field, he’s a late-inning weapon,” manager Mike Hargrove said.

  22. Deanna on February 23rd, 2007 3:09 pm

    Oakland vs. Seattle: cake walk
    Joe Blanton: Cupcakes
    Hargrove’s view: winning is like baking a cake

    Yeah, it all sort of fits together, doesn’t it.

    Mmmm, cake.

  23. msb on February 23rd, 2007 3:25 pm

    I had some incredible whiskey cake last weekend.

  24. DMZ on February 23rd, 2007 3:26 pm


  25. mln on February 23rd, 2007 4:11 pm

    Hargrove would look good with a chef’s hat on.

  26. bongo on February 23rd, 2007 4:16 pm

    I think by “the end of the process” Grover is saying that at some point, saying “it’s in the oven” isn’t enough — you’ve got to actually deliver an edible, appealing cake.

    Problem is, Grover can’t cook. And the cake is “half baked”, and made with stale ingredients.

    So “the end of the process” will mean the end of Grover’s employment.

  27. dw on February 23rd, 2007 4:38 pm

    Will Leitch has got it in for Derek.

  28. carcinogen on February 23rd, 2007 5:36 pm

    Let me get the logic straight here: players excel at the big league level due to their advantage in the mental toughness department…being a backup is a mentally tougher job than being a starter…starters are starters because they are better at their jobs than back-ups (who are mentally tougher)

    I’m lost…Grover is waaaaay smarter than me.

  29. David J. Corcoran I on February 23rd, 2007 6:03 pm

    Yeah, by his logic, worse players should start. This does explain the Vidro trade.

  30. The Unknown Comic on February 23rd, 2007 6:45 pm

    Hargrove is turning into a fruitcake.

  31. msb on February 23rd, 2007 6:52 pm
  32. IdahoInvader on February 23rd, 2007 11:02 pm

    If Jamie Burke still has a pulse, why would we even consider a non-hitter like Rivera?

    If Rivera really does have any talent, shouldn’t they keep him busy developing it on an every day basis somewhere besides the parent club?

    What more does Rene need to do to prove he can’t hit after the debacle that was his 2006 batting average, on base and slugging percentages?

  33. MickeyZ on February 24th, 2007 7:02 am

    I don’t know if Rene can do it. Last year, we didn’t get any offense out of him. We need to get more this year.

    Geez, wouldn’t it be cool if you could predict future performance based on past performance? Then you WOULD know if Rene can do it!

  34. Gomez on February 25th, 2007 1:38 pm

    The Hargrove cooking quote inspired me to create a bunch of Chef Hargrove quotes, which I posted at Lookout Landing and will reiterate here:

    “I know it’s glazed and made out of pig, but it’s not a Honeybaked Ham.”

    “I sent Julio into the kitchen to toss the salad.”

    “I’ve got a good feeling about this dinner spread… but that could be gas.”

    (after the cooks burned dinner) “They have, for the most part, given us a chance to eat a good meal every night. As a whole, they’ve done their jobs.”

    “I’m not going to talk about the grease fire. Let’s talk about something we can control.”

    “I think every day Felix walks out and eats everything on the table and you think he shouldn’t be eating so much because he’s only 19 years old. He’s going to be cursed and blessed his entire life. There are going to be big expectations for him and, at the rate he’s eating, big expectations for his gut. He’s blessed in the fact that, even if he fails to meet expectations on the field, he’ll definitely be able to meet expectations at the post-game catering spread. It’s kind of a double-edged sword.”

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