John McLaren

Dave · August 10, 2007 at 8:14 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

You suck at baseball strategy. And evaluating talent. And dealing with egos.

But other than that, you’re great.

To paraphrase someone, “My mom always told me if I didn’t have anything to say besides [Expletive] John McLaren, then don’t say anything at all. Is my mom great or what?”


198 Responses to “John McLaren”

  1. Notor on August 11th, 2007 12:55 am

    If Sexson is going to turn it around, he’s going to do it against lefties. He has always hit better against them, so if he’s going to come out of a slump he’s going to do it there, and there is no point playing him against righties until he is hitting consistently against lefties again. At least the damage is minimized if he continues to slump so long as he is in the platoon. And if he starts hitting well again in his half of the platoon, well hell he’ll just have played himself right out of the platoon. So far, he hasn’t shown he can competently bat to either dexterity.

  2. thefin190 on August 11th, 2007 1:06 am

    I don’t mean to brown nose or anything. But i seriously think Dave Cameron should think about inquiring to be GM or Manager for the M’s…He seems alot more knowledgable about the players in the organization and how to play them rather than Mclaren or Bavasi. Seriously. But of course, since the M’s had success this year, Bavasi will probably not be on the ‘hot seat’ like he was last winter. :/

  3. JLC on August 11th, 2007 1:07 am

    148-Let me add a couple of other numbers

    2007 BABIP BA/RISP
    Sexson .211 .208
    BB .342 .302
    (410 PA for Sexson and only 167 for BB)

    Sexson .306 .261
    BB .284 .191
    (663 PA for Sexson and only 177 for BB)

    With these two categories, Sexson is not only far worse than BB this year, but worse than his own numbers for last year, where BB is better than last year’s Sexson numbers.

    Also, I’m not sure why you’d tack on the last two months of last season’s OPS, since the year he had last year is demonstrably better than this year (and we’re a third of the way through August). That seems like way too much benefit of the doubt.

    These may not be predictive enough for you, but it’s hard for me at this point to find any reason to think Sexson can do us any significant good.

  4. John in L.A. on August 11th, 2007 1:11 am

    148 – Adding on the last couple months of last year seems a bit arbitrary to support your argument. It really just is a different way to state that you believe he gets hotter in August/September, which isn’t always the case. Sometimes his best month was May or July.

    And if was true than we should have benched him for the first 2/3’s of the season.

    Regardless, he has performed much worse this year, so not sure why we would assume that he would follow a pattern he has already deviated from.

  5. DKCecil on August 11th, 2007 1:14 am

    Unfortunately, you’re missing a key part of the argument by admitting that you don’t watch much. Just by a numbers standpoint, it doesn’t seem as bad as many of us make it out to be. Yet, watching him day after day gives you a true idea of what’s going on. His bat looks slow, he looks lost up at the plate, and he’s having a tougher time getting the ball in the air than he has in the last two years (even though the numbers are more in line with what he did in Milwaukee). It’s evident that he’s aging before our eyes, much like Raul has.

  6. IMFletcher on August 11th, 2007 1:32 am

    I have followed the site daily for two years and haven’t posted. I agree with the new policy and proudly submit my first post into the queue.

    On the Mariner’s post-game show, Valle was referring to all of the Ibanez injuries that he has played through this year. I guess he is now (or at least since AJ was called up) 100% healthy and performing to his talent level. He was having a joy-gasim fondly referring to him as a ‘gamer’ who toughed it all year through his injuries.

    Does anyone else have a problem with this logic? I am sure that every Mariner player has injuries. At what point should Ibanez go on the DL instead of having us watch his July performance (.184/.241/.262)? Has Sexson been “gaming” it since July 2nd when he had his thumb contusion (.189/.311/.300 since 7/2)?

    AJ should have been here for a month now. If Ibanez (or any Mariner for that matter) was injured, he has hurt this team far more than he can help it now.

  7. pgreyy on August 11th, 2007 2:52 am

    You can’t watch ESPN without seeing a promo for “The Bronx Is Burning” and Oliver Platt doing his George Steinbrenner, saying “I am not paying Reggie Jackson to sit on the bench.”

    That echoes in my head long after the promo has aired…only the pinstripes change to Mariner blues and the name “Reggie Jackson” begins to sound a lot like “Richie Sexson.”

    (Oddly, it still sounds like Oliver Platt though…)

    The other thing that keeps bouncing around in my head was one of the first times I saw Bryan Price head out to the mound to talk to a pitcher–in his first full season as M’s pitching coach. Bryan saw something that the pitcher was doing wrong…and, based on whatever Bryan saw, the pitcher managed to change what he was doing…and improve.

    That might be the only time I’ve EVER seen a coach do a damn thing to help…

    The best piece of coaching the current M’s have been given was, ironically, from Everyday Eddie, teaching J.J. Putz the pitch that would help him replace Eddie as the M’s closer.

    There was something wrong with Raul’s swing earlier in the year–possibly due to compensating for a leg injury…and now Blowers is attributing Raul’s resurgence to fixing that problem. Halle-freakin’-llujah.

    Can what’s wrong with Richie be fixed? Can someone help Lopez at earn his keep at the plate? Can Raffy actually offer any assistance to the M’s pitchers when they struggle, rather than just telling them to “calm down” after they’ve put themselves into a desperate situation?

    Just throwing Richie out there and “hoping he snaps out of it” isn’t a plan. It isn’t a solution. His big bat, if it worked, would be nice to have…but right now it isn’t working And how many errant Betancourt tosses can Richie corral into outs to make up for the outs he makes at the plate…the runs he leaves on the bases?

    I admit it–I’m an emotional fan. I want to love our guys…because they’re our guys. I freely admit to being an Ibanez fan–but I also feel the frustration of knowing that I’d be happier with Raul as our DH, as his fielding IS compromised…but not being truly willing to want to see Vidro sat while he’s getting hits (and I certainly don’t EVER want to see Vidro in the field.)

    Since few predicted that the M’s would do this well this year, we must EITHER be overachieving with our marginal talent (which is hard to stomach, since no one other than Putz is truly having a career year) OR our coaches are getting the most of what Bavasi’s given them (which is hard to believe because too many of our pieces have significant on-going flaws that don’t seem to be correctable.)

    We’re winning. I don’t know how we’re winning. I want to keep winning. I think Raul can help us win, I think Vidro can help us win, I think AJ can help us win, I think Ben can help us win…


    I don’t know…I simply don’t know.


  8. Jar on August 11th, 2007 6:15 am

    I kinda wish Hardgrove hadn’t left at this point…..

    …wait…. wtf did I just say?

  9. Oly Rainiers Fan on August 11th, 2007 7:10 am

    We’re totally overachieving. Why don’t we just admit that? If we weren’t overachieving why would there be such a mood shift after losses? The extreme mood shift happens because people don’t REALLY believe that this is a well-constructed, consistent enough team to make it to the playoffs, much less compete in them.

    The behavior exhibited here (and other Ms blogs, where people seem suicidal after each loss) all season has been irrational, like that of someone who has been living a lie and is slowly getting ‘found out’…more and more panicky with every loss.

    That said, I remember lots of threads over the years wherein we were told repeatedly that managers really don’t make much of a difference, costing or gaining us a game here or there. Where’d THAT viewpoint disappear to?

  10. davepaisley on August 11th, 2007 7:21 am

    The big hope for McLaren was that he would have learned Piniella’s knack for keeping a bench used and ready to play, not being afraid to rotate playing time.

    Grover was a frustrating manager to watch for 2.5 years because he was slow to think and slower to act. McLaren seems incapable of thinking even slowly. The term “no-brainer” as noted way above, is entirely appropriate.

    Comparing Grover and McLaren is like comparing a rusty 60’s Nissan with a rusty 60’s Ford.

    Our best hope now is that the team tanks, Bavasi gets fired and the new GM sweeps the entire coaching staff clean. It may not get any better, but it sure as hell can’t get any worse.

    I’m not sure I can take another couple of years of buying season to tickets to watch mismanagement like this before the current clowns in charge are booted out.

  11. Tek Jansen on August 11th, 2007 7:33 am

    To add to the discussion, I would not have ripped the move not to PH for Sexson had Mac simply been saving Broussard for Lopez’s spot. Sexson still has a chance to hit a three-run HR. The decision to PH for Lopez absolutely baffles me. Out of all the 13 position players, Lopez is the worst hitter. I do not know why he led off the 9th.

  12. strong silence on August 11th, 2007 8:42 am

    Broussard vs. RHP 288/340/453 (2007)
    Broussard vs. RHP 308/343/505 (2006)

    Sexson vs. RHP 187/288/384 (2007)
    Sexson vs. RHP 282/342/524 (2006)

  13. strong silence on August 11th, 2007 8:52 am

    I think McLaren can be better. BUT, all of you assume that the manager has more influence on the outcome than he actually has. So, just as McLaren’s lineups against Baltimore didn’t have that much of an influence (remember, Baltimore is a poor team), his decisions last night didn’t have much of an influence.

    But, the general point as I see it in this thread is that the manager should help the team be able to win. McLaren didn’t do his part in helping the M’s win. His part is a small part. As you know, the players on the field have more control over the outcome than a manager.

  14. DMZ on August 11th, 2007 9:05 am

    So we all assume the manager has more influence on the outcome than he does…

    But “as we know” the players on the field have more control over the outcome than a manager.

    I guess we’re all just crazy and waffle back and forth between an untenable position and one that agrees with you. Wheee!

  15. rsrobinson on August 11th, 2007 9:05 am

    So, running him out there day in and day out is not indefensible–unless someone has some peripheral stats that show there are no signs of life in his bat. I don’t know how to analyze those stats yet and wouldn’t mind a tutorial, if anybody is obliging enough to read through this whole post and respond.

    Where I disagree with some of the others here is that the numbers don’t always tell the story and you have to use your eyes to see what’s actually going on with players on the field because they aren’t just random dice tosses.

    In Richie’s case, though, the numbers aren’t just bad but he looks terrible at the plate as well. His bat is slow and he looks like he has no plan other than just guessing and hoping. He does walk more often than most other M’s (a low bar to clear) but that’s because pitchers know they don’t have to throw anything over the plate to get him out because he swings so frequently at bad pitches.

    I don’t see any reason to expect that Sexson is going to turn things around unless he can somehow regain his swing, his confidence, and at least a little bit of plate discipline.

  16. strong silence on August 11th, 2007 9:07 am

    You are a physician of rhetoric.

    Strike “as we know” from 163.

  17. strong silence on August 11th, 2007 9:08 am

    Fix that. Strike “As you know” from 163.

  18. forte40 on August 11th, 2007 9:17 am

    I prayed both when Sexson went up to bat. “Please, anything but a double play.” But Sexson has powers beyond any God to continue sucking through the season.

    McLaren: “Take away a couple pitches and he pitched a great game.” I swear I have heard that too many times, sure add thirty pounds of muscle and four inches and I can play in the NFL.

  19. rsrobinson on August 11th, 2007 9:38 am

    McLaren: “Take away a couple pitches and he pitched a great game.”

    Yeah, I read that quote today about HoRam’s crummy performance against the Orioles and wanted to puke. If a pitcher could take back a few bad pitches that get crushed they’d all be friggin’ Cy Young.

  20. davepaisley on August 11th, 2007 9:38 am

    First, managerial influence over the course of a season is small, presuming that the manager is a competent manager. The real debate here is whether McLaren (and indeed Grover) are or were competent major league managers. I’ll give Grover the Cleveland years, but his time in Baltimore and here are several years of management ineptitude that’s hard to excuse.

    The big mistake the franchise made was in handing the job to McLaren sight unseen. It would have been no surprise to name him interim manager until the end of the year and see what happened after that. So what if he was under contract for next year as bench coach. How much would that take them to buy out? A hundredth of what they’re paying Vidro I’ll bet.

    Now they’re stuck. Again, the only solution – clean sweep. Where’s Tava Smiley when you need her?

  21. zugzwang on August 11th, 2007 9:45 am

    Following up on Sexson v. Broussard…

    153 — does the sharp drop in BABIP say something about his bat speed, or about his luck? His career BABIP follows the same pattern as his OPS, going up during the season. His BABIP this time last year was around .250, then it shot through the roof the final two months to get him to over .300. It’s not clear to me that the drop from his 2006 totals to his current total is a decisive indicator that he is irredeemable.

    153, 154 — Is it really so arbitrary to add the last two months of last season to the equation? Cutting off all his pre-2007 stats is also fairly arbitrary. Probably the best way to go would be to weight his more recent performance more heavily, but the fact is, he has been an erratic performer his whole career. Very good things have happened with him, and very bad. He’s definitely worse than Broussard this year, but his past performance proves that of the two, he’s the one more likely to have a couple of months over 1.000 OPS (or under .700). Boom or bust. I don’t see how we can confidently predict his performance one way or the other. If you want predictability, go with Broussard and his likely narrower range of production (between .760 and .820 or so).

    165 — Didn’t he look terrible in early 2006 too? When he’s struggling, he’s an ugly batter.

  22. rsrobinson on August 11th, 2007 10:02 am

    177: Didn’t he look terrible in early 2006 too? When he’s struggling, he’s an ugly batter.

    True. I’m not discounting the possibility that Sexson still might be at least marginally productive for the last two months. But there’s no sign of it right now and until he starts hitting left-handed pitchers more consistently there’s no reason to let him hit in a crucial eighth inning situation against a right-handed reliever. A slow-footed, Mendoza-line hitting Richie Sexson was a double play waiting to happen and it surprised no one, except maybe Mac, when it did.

  23. westfried on August 11th, 2007 10:16 am

    Unfortunately, it is actually quite easy to “understand” McLaren – he is too busy being a fried to the players.

    Early on, McLaren stated that telling Ellison he was DFA was “the harderst thing” he’d (McLaren) had ever had to do – he was practically in tears about releasing a 25th-man 4th OF.

    He’s also made another comment or two that I can’t remember right now, but had the same idea – he’s too close to the players.

    I’m a new manager (at work), and I’m having a hard time “managing” coworkers who were friends first. (It’s much easier with the new guys I’ve hired, for whom I’ve been “manager” since day 1).

    Heck, I’ve got one guy who just isn’t getting the job done, and I don’t know what to do – I’ve been giving him easier, and less important tasks, but it’s still not working.

    Just the other day, I gave him a softball of a task – I figured I’d give him an easy chance for success. (Which, managerially, was a smart thing to do). Unfortunately, it took 3x as long as it should have, he got it wrong, and it blew up in my face (db jobs failed, customer impact, etc.).

    Ok, so now what do I do? Clearly, I need to sit him down, but he’s a friend… See how that sucks?

    Fortunately for me, I’m not managing Richie, Raul, Guillen (against righties), Vidro, etc. How do you tell a friend (say, Raul) that he just doesn’t have it any more? Easier to put off the new kid (Jones), rather than have the hard conversation with a buddy.

    As a bench coach, McLaren could be the plaerys’ buddy – he was their pal, even a confidante other than Hargrove. He was free to make strategy suggestions without worrying about egos, hurt feelings, etc. Now he’s the man, and he needs to toughen up. The buddy act is clouding his judgement, and hurting the team. He needs to find some guts and stand up. Because, until he does, he will continue to cripple the team.

  24. westfried on August 11th, 2007 10:17 am

    ack – “friend”. He’s too busy being a friend.

  25. davepaisley on August 11th, 2007 10:18 am

    Sexson’s OPS in previous first halves was at least .850. This year’s sub-.700 was unprecedented. The fact that he’s gone on 1.000+ OPS second halves made those first halves seem slow by comparison.

    This year was NOT a typical slow start, it was a godawful-fallen-off-a-cliff start. Anyone with half a brain on the team should have been able to see that and not pull the “he’ll come around any minute” self-delusion. That’s excusable in the casual fan, not team management.

  26. bigdad03 on August 11th, 2007 10:25 am

    I’m going to rip on Mac, too. His decisions on who to play where and when are terrible. What’s he thinking? Is he thinking?

    He’s the most stubborn, idiotic, nonsensical manager I can remember. Playing Ibanez in LF when he has a better defender riding the pine is ludicrous. No play highlighted Ibanez’s deficiencies better than the play when the ball hit off the base of the wall and skipped away from him allowing the go ahead run to score. How many of you think Jones could have caught that ball?

    And then what’s up with Mac letting Sexson, the teams leading rally killer, bat in the 8th with two on and nobody out? Is Mac INSANE?!!

    I literally swore out loud in the middle of a restaurant when he grounded into that double play!

    I’m so sick of Mac’s inability to manage a game properly and his insistence on playing the ‘vets’. He’s stupid for being so stubborn. Sexson must have compromising pics of Mac or something.

  27. Tek Jansen on August 11th, 2007 10:27 am

    I didn’t start reading this site until the 2004 season (good times!). When did previous commenters and posters sour on BoMel. I know that I didn’t turn on BoMel and Grover as quickly as I have on Mac, and that is saying something about his managing over the past month. At least it took a little while to figure out the Melvin and Hargrove were not up for the job.

  28. Tek Jansen on August 11th, 2007 10:29 am

    #176 — Then you don’t remember Maury Wills. As bad as Mac has been, he is still light years ahead of Wills.

  29. bigdad03 on August 11th, 2007 10:43 am

    178 – True. I didn’t begin to watch the M’s until 1981. Sorry.

    But I guess a lame manager’s decisions of a first year team who was miles from a pennant race wouldn’t raise the ire of fans anyway. What would it matter?

    Mac took over a team that was what? 13, 14, 15 games over .500? How many MORE games over .500 are they now? Without having the numbers in front of me, I’d say we lost a game or two.

    There is NO WAY Mac will lead this team to the promised land if he continues down the path he’s on. NO WAY. I’m bracing myself for the inevitable and my stomach is in knots. I hope I don’t have a stroke before the season is over.

  30. eric on August 11th, 2007 10:58 am

    Unless I missed it no one has commented on the bonehead decsion that had me screaming at the TV. Not PR Jones for Kenji when he was on 3rd. Lets see tie game, runner on 3rd with 1 out, maybe putting the fastest guy on the team in to run for one of the slowest guys might be a good idea? Sure enough close play at the plate, Kenji out.

  31. NBarnes on August 11th, 2007 11:03 am

    180: You might need Jones to pinch hit later; use Bloomquist. It’s one of the roles he’s actually good at.

  32. gwangung on August 11th, 2007 11:10 am

    Re 181

    Hm, yes. But same principle….And you do have a decent backup catcher on the roster…

  33. Karen on August 11th, 2007 11:41 am

    I didn’t have time to watch the game, or listen to more than the last inning of the game last night (traveling all over the northwest corner of Oregon)…

    But, after reading all the remarks this morning: howthehell can a grownup major league baseball manager NOT realize that the past few games played in Baltimore were an outlier for Richie and Raul?

    Or that both should be sitting on the bench for the remainder of the games going forward, only to be used sparingly (Richie), or offensively (Raul) only? And for gawdsake, get Adam Jones OFF the bench and in the field!

    It really makes you wonder what’s going to happen come September 1st when the rosters expand. Does Adam Jones get pushed farther down the bench so that Mike Morse and Jeremy Reed DO get a chance to play (both being more “veteran”)?

  34. Slippery Elmer on August 11th, 2007 11:42 am

    “McLaren: ‘Take away a couple pitches and he pitched a great game.'”

    Not to defend this idiotic statement, but perhaps this is where Mac was coming from: it was raining pretty hard there in the (third?) inning when Tejada hit the grand slam. I’ve never pitched in the rain, but is it conceivable that it was difficult for Ramirez to get the correct grip on the ball to make (for him) good pitches? Maybe Mac is saying the game should have been halted a couple batters before Tejada–instead of after the inning–and thus the pitches that both loaded the bases and were hit out would not have occurred in that situation. Take away those rain-addled pitches, and he probably wouldn’t have given up the slam.

    In any case, Hargrove sure as heck wouldn’t have allowed the game to continue in that downpour…

  35. JLC on August 11th, 2007 12:39 pm

    171-As a Mariner fan that needs something out of Sexson to see the team advance, I hope you’re right. However, I don’t see anything that gives me grounds for a rational belief that it’s going to happen.

  36. shortbus on August 11th, 2007 12:48 pm

    179: Keep those health insurance premiums up to date. The way this FO works, what you see is what you’ll get for the rest of this season. You may be looking at another one or two years of heartburn. As long as the manager doesn’t rock the boat by mouthing off about the FO to the media and the players like him he will stay. This whole organization maneuvers like the USS Nimitz with a stuck rudder. It makes me long for the Piniella days. He hated pitchers and rookies, but the players knew who was boss and accepted the fact that their playing time depended upon their performance on the field.

  37. Tom C on August 11th, 2007 2:08 pm

    I’m not sure I agree that a valid defense of Sexson can be made by tacking on the numbers of the last 2 months of 2006. I think he racked up the majority of those good numbers after the Mariners had basically fallen out of contention, when there was little pressure.

    This year the Mariners are in contention and Richie shows no signs of heating up and his terrible batting and Mac sticking him into the line-up are a big drag on the team’s playoff chances.
    One measure which shows he’s not performing when it counts (in addition to general impressions from just watching the games!) are his close and late numbers; .163 .268 .388, which are even worse than his total averages. By the way, I wish there were RISP numbers available for when the score was relatively close, not just “late”.

  38. DMZ on August 11th, 2007 2:20 pm

    There is no good evidence that “close and late” numbers, or any other like situational statistic, are indicative of any ability or skill by a player.

    If you’ve found some, please let everyone know, as you’ll have made a breakthrough in baseball research.

  39. Notor on August 11th, 2007 2:33 pm

    Hey look at tonight’s lineup, notice anything familiar?

    Ichiro cf
    Jose Vidro dh
    Jose Guillen rf
    Raul Ibanez lf
    Adrian Beltre 3b
    Richie Sexson 1b
    Kenji Johjima c
    Jose Lopez 2b
    Yuniesky Betancourt ss

    What a f*cking moron.

  40. drew 18 on August 11th, 2007 2:43 pm

    If it is the case that Mac’s close relationships with players are causing him to poorly manage (or not manage) games, why did the FO not see it before? Also according to Mariners media members and a couple ESPNers, wasn’t this a long time coming and deserved opportunity for Mac who was supposed to be very good and a lot like Lou? Granted its only been 30 some games but as we have all noticed and pointed out, he makes many costly mistakes. Very frustrating.

  41. marinermiles on August 11th, 2007 3:01 pm

    189: Sadly, it came as no surprise. I had a very bad feeling that once the team were on the road (i.e., no fan booing), McLaren would play Sexson way more often than he should “to get Richie going,” regardless of a LHP or RHP on the mound for the opponents.

    Makes me feel helpless.

  42. schmicky on August 11th, 2007 4:27 pm

    uuuuul playing superb defense….but you know what?


  43. schmicky on August 11th, 2007 4:29 pm

    Opps. It should have said Big Richie coming around or Rauuul playing superb Defense.

    I typ as well as J Mc manages I suppose.


  44. Ball4 on August 11th, 2007 5:14 pm

    Question? Is John Mc job just for the season or is he permanent? If it is…heaven help us.

  45. Ball4 on August 11th, 2007 5:15 pm

    Question? Is John Mc job just for the season or is he permanent? If it is…heaven help us.

  46. swass on August 13th, 2007 1:04 am

    This is my first post and I just want to say that I’ve read this blog for 3 years now and only now am I posting because I am so angry with the authors (whose work I have respected and appreciated) and the tone of this blog. I understand the frustration with Sexson, but let’s not forget that McLaren has already sat him a few games and there has been at least some marginal improvement out of him of late. As many around the blogosphere have pointed out the upside of Sexson if he can get it back is far better than a good Ben Broussard. Let’s not kid ourselves. Therefore, it’s not unreasonable for a manager to make the call to keep playing Sexson even if it’s not the popular choice. We also have no idea what the front office is telling McLaren, but given that Richie has another year on his contract, I’d imagine they want McLaren putting him out there every day to try and find his stroke.

    Additionally, there’s been much talk over McLaren’s comments regarding HoRam (take away a few pitches). Is being a good manager berading your player to the press? No, it’s not. We have no idea what’s going on behind close doors and we should not base our opinions of McLaren on stupid quotes such as these. Confidence building is important in baseball even if there’s not a stat that can show it.

    As for McLaren’s treatment of Adam Jones, I would like to point out that Alex Rodriguez was not the Mariner’s starting shortstop in 1995 in spite of a very similar situation, and I’m sure if this site was around back then they’d be calling for Lou’s head. Wouldn’t you say that Alex Rodriguez would have been an upgrade over Luis Sojo? I love Adam Jones and I am definitely excited for his future, but I can understand McLaren’s position on him in spite of wishing he would do otherwise. It might not be the right move to put him out there in the middle of a pennant race.

    Finally, I just want to point out that the Mariners are a percentage point ahead in the wild card race. Sure they’ve been frustrating at times, but I’m tired of reading about everything that’s going wrong.

    McLaren’s had barely a month to get situated, and everyone is already calling for his head. I’m sure there will be a point when McLaren will bench Sexson and play Jones in left everyday, but I can understand where McLaren comes from on these issues.

    I’m sure you all will attack me for this post, but I just want to say enjoy this ride. This team in spite of all its flaws is better than anything we’ve seen in 3 years yet we treat it like they’re the 1985 Mariners.

  47. DMZ on August 13th, 2007 8:38 am

    Hey, if you’ve read the blog for three years, I’m a little confused — I’ve posted recently, w/r/t Jones, that we shouldn’t read much into what managers say about their players, and for a long time I’ve been an advocate of guys like Bobby Cox for not taking players to task in public.

    I think there’s a distinction to be made here between that, though, and McLaren’s explanations of why he still thinks HoRam’s a good pitcher, which align with his use of HoRam.

    As for Adam Jones — I disagree, obviously, that we shouldn’t advocate, and forcefully, for a move that clearly helps the team. Alex’s relationship with Piniella, if you’ll remember, was fraught with controversy as Piniella would send Alex back down if he went 0-4 with three strikeouts, because he wasn’t making contact. Piniella liked his Sojo/Fermin guys in a pinch, and as a result Alex didn’t get regular playing time for too long.

    That’s all part of Lou’s admitted preference for vets, and part of the package you get from him. That doesn’t mean that it was the best move, or that we shouldn’t advocate for Jones now.

  48. swass on August 13th, 2007 11:35 am

    I think that what we’re seeing from McLaren is an unwillingness to shake things up. He’s taken a team he inherited in a tough situation and is rolling with it. I agree with everyone that that’s not putting the best team on the field.

    It seems though that when you look at all the Mariner blogs, not just this one, everyone is overreacting to McLaren’s decisions or lack of decision.

    With McLaren what we’re seeing is a philosophy. He likes to stick to his veterans regardless of the matchups. Lou played more of the matchups certainly, but everyone knows about his preference for sticking with veterans.

    I think McLaren’s biggest fault is that he’s been slow to react. In some cases, though, that may be a good thing. If Sexson had found his stroke McLaren would be called a genius at this point for not benching him (That may be over-reaching a bit). I guess my main point is that just because things don’t happen immediately does not mean they won’t happen. McLaren with his loyalty to the vets seems to want to give them every chance to improve. I can understand this position even if it’s not the popular one. We as fans like things to happen immediately. Yes Richie and HoRam have been horrible all year, but this has only been McLaren’s team for a month and a half. Let’s at least give him some time before we call for a new manager.

    Thanks for the response Derek. I really do enjoy reading all of your work, I just get frustrated some times.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.