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. lailaihei on August 10th, 2007 8:16 pm

    I agree completely.
    Can you imagine our playoff chances if we switched management with the Angels for the rest of the season?

  2. msb on August 10th, 2007 8:23 pm

    Dear John,

    I’m sorry, but I think that you and I need to stop seeing each other. I thought when you first walked through the door that here was someone who would know what to do, but I was wrong.

    I know this might comes as a bit of a surprise to you, what with me being a veteran fan who gives 110 percent and all, but I’m sorry – we need a change and I just don’t think we’re right for each other.

    Take care, and good luck. Somewhere else. Not here.


  3. Notor on August 10th, 2007 8:24 pm

    Worst manager in baseball, period. The Pirates? Nope, they’re glad they don’t have what we’re stuck with.

    Unbelievable, game critical situation and you leave Sexson in against a righty (batting a stellar .183 against those!) with Broussard and Jones on the bench.


  4. Panev on August 10th, 2007 8:25 pm

    John – Next time, pinch hit Broussard! Please.


  5. Paseman on August 10th, 2007 8:27 pm

    Sigh… I don’t even have it in me to go on a rant… That game was ours for the taking, but Richie and John once again conspired to destroy that…

  6. thefin190 on August 10th, 2007 8:28 pm

    John – Please stop putting faith in so many over the hill crappy veterans and start playing players with potential.

  7. Jeff Sullivan on August 10th, 2007 8:28 pm

    Take away those flaws and Mac’s done a spectacular job.

  8. Dave on August 10th, 2007 8:33 pm

    It’s great that he’s not in a position where understanding baseball strategy, picking which players to put in the line-up, or dealing with veteran egos actually matters. Because I don’t think he’d succeed if a major league team asked him to make those kinds of critical decisions.


  9. msb on August 10th, 2007 8:34 pm

    Dave, did anyone at the outing ask the GM about the policy of playing the veterans?

  10. msb on August 10th, 2007 8:37 pm

    Drayer just said she asked Mac ‘did you ever consider pinch-hitting Broussard in the 8th?’ and he said no– Richie is starting to get it going, he hit a ball hard off the wall …


  11. Greg08 on August 10th, 2007 8:38 pm

    “Adam Jones would have most likely played for Guillen on Friday, but Seattle’s everyday right fielder told McLaren he was ready to play.

    At that point, it was a no-brainer for the Mariners’ manager”


  12. msb on August 10th, 2007 8:42 pm

    ah, the reason the Sox won was Josh Fields.

    thanks Mac.

  13. Rusty on August 10th, 2007 8:42 pm

    Gotta watch out on using the phrase “no-brainer” immediately after managerial performances like that one.

  14. thefin190 on August 10th, 2007 8:46 pm

    I am still new on this site, to all the ussm vets out there…would mac’s decisions make grover look good as a manager?

  15. bill1410 on August 10th, 2007 8:46 pm

    Unbelievable. It’s so hard to keep watching while blatantly questioning a half dozen or more managerial decisions a night. The team’s players are somehow (despite being questionably talented at a number of spots) coming through night after night only to have management cut their legs out from under them by putting them in impossible situations (Washburn on fumes in the 7th, the strong bullpen watching from the bullpen with Washburn on fumes in the 7th, Richie batting in the 8th against a tough righthander while Broussard sits on the bench, Ibanez flailing around in left field like an old man in a rec league softball game, Jones and Broussard flailing around on the bench).

    I just don’t know how to react anymore. But thanks USSM for this place to vent at least.

  16. Notor on August 10th, 2007 8:48 pm

    Yes Grover was better, not by very much, but better he wasn’t a complete tool of his players egos.

  17. Paseman on August 10th, 2007 8:50 pm

    When will anyone in the mainstream question the Mariners moves? If these things were happening in Boston or New York there would be a nuclear meltdown on ESPN. No one on FSN, or any writers, no one anywhere will call out McLaren or the front office. Dave’s spot on KJR is the only time I’ve heard anything sensible concerning the Mariners and the only one to step up and say that things are being done wrong. Until someone mainstream jumps on the McLaren blows bandwagon we will be stuck watching Richie GIDP…

  18. msb on August 10th, 2007 8:51 pm


  19. NODO Dweller on August 10th, 2007 8:53 pm

    I’m starting to wonder if we’re all going about this completely the wrong way. The way to Mac’s confidence is a vet, and he seems very keen on keeping Ichiro happy. Maybe the open letters should be going to Ichiro. This would have the advantage of:

    1) Going to someone not in danger of losing their job to Jones/Broussard
    2) Someone Mac listens to
    3) Someone who seems to want to win the right way

    Just a thought…

  20. CaptainPoopy on August 10th, 2007 8:53 pm


    I’d still rather have McLaren over Hargrove, because Ichiro probably wouldn’t have re-signed if it weren’t for ole Johnny boy.

  21. Notor on August 10th, 2007 8:55 pm


    I always thought that was more Bavasi’s fault. Although I’m not saying Hargrove was good either, just slightly better then this complete putz. Besides, Hargrove was never in a playoff situation so he could afford to put up with their crap; we can’t.

  22. marinermiles on August 10th, 2007 8:55 pm


    You know, I just can’t help wondering if Ichiro still trusts McLaren (as a baseball guy) like he did after seeing all those pieces of crap that even casual fans could easily understand.

  23. StephenInSpokane on August 10th, 2007 8:56 pm

    Watching this game made me want to cry. That’s all I can say.

  24. Paseman on August 10th, 2007 9:00 pm

    I’m serious… Why will no one call out McLaren? If I were a sports writer I would be ripping him to shreds… check that I would just be reporting as he ripped his ownself to shreds with bonehead move after bonehead move… Someone in Seattle needs to grow a pair and quit toting the company line

  25. chbrody on August 10th, 2007 9:00 pm

    hmmm….this looks similar to the Hargrove bashing. Give the man some time. He’s gonna make some mistakes. Let him learn before prosecuting him.

  26. Dave in Palo Alto on August 10th, 2007 9:01 pm

    Dude’s had 20 years to find a clue.

  27. kenshabby on August 10th, 2007 9:02 pm

    Three words to describe McLaren’s managerial style: dogmatic, hackneyed, and ingratiating. Dogmatic: inflexible, predictable decision making and mindset. Hackneyed: worn-out rhetoric; stale, overused schemes. Ingratiating: stroking egos; trying to please a certain group to gain/maintain approval.

  28. fetish on August 10th, 2007 9:03 pm

    I mean, I hate to defend McLaren (although I love to dispute anything said by a USSM writer) but is there any manager – if followed day-to-day – that is satisfactory?

    I mean, alot of his moves don’t make a ton of sense (playing Sexson, not using Jones as a defensive sub; or really using any defensive subs since he became manager); sacrificing in front of Ichiro (“against the book”) or whatnot, but is he making sub-optimal moves at a higher rate than other managers? I realize that we are delving into meta-sabrmetrics here, but although one might be able to make the claim “McLaren cost us x number of wins” is kind of like saying “hitter x failed to hit a homerun y number of times”…

  29. Kunkoh on August 10th, 2007 9:03 pm

    The game & line up tonight were.. “blarg.” (every other word I could think of isn’t fit for the ears of women, children, and some men.) I think #19 may have the right idea, open letter to Ichiro.

  30. carcinogen on August 10th, 2007 9:05 pm

    My wife agrees…McClaren sucks.

  31. carcinogen on August 10th, 2007 9:05 pm


  32. Notor on August 10th, 2007 9:05 pm

    Yeah by the time he finds a clue we’ll be out of the race, if he ever does. 35 games isn’t enough? Guess we can write the season off as a loss then.

  33. chbrody on August 10th, 2007 9:05 pm

    One loss and everyone is frantic. They’re 3-1 on the the road trip so far. It didn’t help that Wash gave up 3 solos. Keep the ball in the park and they might have been alright.

  34. CaptainPoopy on August 10th, 2007 9:06 pm


    He’s been around long enough to learn from his mistakes. Sure, he’s a first-time manager, but the point is that he’s been around some of the better managers and should know that Ibanez in LF isn’t acceptable. And that Sexson batting in the 8th is a terrible move. Sexson wont be coming out of this slump anytime soon, and he should just realize that.

  35. lailaihei on August 10th, 2007 9:08 pm

    33: It isn’t one loss and everyone’s frantic. We’ve been frantic for a while, now. The past few games have been the result of excellent hitting and timing, not good management. We lost this game purely on management.

  36. CaptainPoopy on August 10th, 2007 9:08 pm


    This isn’t about one game. Look at the bigger picture.

  37. chbrody on August 10th, 2007 9:09 pm

    34-That’s the difference between being a good bench coach and a good manager. Bench coaches can give thoughts to the manager, but the manager has to act on them. Like I said in the game blog, McLaren has to learn the difference between being a friend of the players and being the manager

  38. Notor on August 10th, 2007 9:09 pm


    People aren’t frantic, of course we’re not out of the race yet. But if he manages a few more games like the one he did tonight, there is no way in hell we are going to go 30-20 in our last 50 games and secure our division. He is showing no signs of changing or acknowledging when he makes glaringly obvious mistakes that have cost us several games we should have won, and that does not bode well for the future of our season.

  39. chbrody on August 10th, 2007 9:11 pm

    Remember, the manager makes the call, as far as lineups, but the players must perform. Period! Richie probably shouldn’t be in there, as we all know.

  40. Rusty on August 10th, 2007 9:13 pm

    25. This close to the playoffs and it’s required that he hits the ground running. A few mistakes are fine but we cannot afford to have him learn on the job. If he can’t handle the heat we can always hire a Bobby Valentine who knows a thing or two about managing a team through a pennant race.

  41. CaptainPoopy on August 10th, 2007 9:13 pm


    We are the fifth team in a five team race for the playoffs. According to we have a 36.5% chance of making the playoffs. That’s not that great considering we have the Yanks on our ass (may have passed us tonight, dont remember the standings) and Detroit is a much better team than we are. We have a shot at getting to the playoffs with a competent manager, but those chances are, as Dave Neihaus says, “Going, going, gone!”

  42. chbrody on August 10th, 2007 9:13 pm

    CaptainPoopy-Look at the last three games, prior to tonight. Did you have a problem with how Mac managed?

  43. lailaihei on August 10th, 2007 9:13 pm

    39: I don’t know what you’re trying to say with that post. The manager has to put us in a position to win. Richie batting in the 8th with a chance to do some damage or end our chances is not putting us in a position to win.
    End of story.
    McLaren = bad manager

  44. Paseman on August 10th, 2007 9:16 pm

    A managers job is to teach the nessacary skills to the players, set up a game plan, and put his players in the best position to win. As far as I can tell, McLaren has exhibited none of those. Richie is not going to magically break from his (do we still call it a slump? When does it become plain ol sucking and not a slump?) whatever you wanna call it in a big spot with a game on the line. He has proven that ample times this season. Our offense looked so potent yesterday with AJ and Ben, and today the same old problems from the same old offense killed us.

  45. chbrody on August 10th, 2007 9:16 pm

    Captain- I don’t read into stats like that, as I’m not betting any money. Remember pre-season when the ‘experts’ said that the M’s would finish 3rd, at best?

  46. CaptainPoopy on August 10th, 2007 9:17 pm


    Yes. Raul played in the field too much, and he came out with Burke and Vidro playing up the middle on the same night. Bad combo. We got lucky that we faced a horrible O’s team, and not have to face Bedard.

  47. feingarden on August 10th, 2007 9:17 pm

    Dave, you’re right, no question, but I think that the bluntness of your initial post on this thread is born of raw frustration, and beneath your abilities as a blogger and baseball analyst. It strikes me as a post that wouldn’t have been made after a chance to cool off for a few hours, at least not in the same way. I love your insight into the game, but comments like this demean both you and the image of USSM, which remains an amazing blog on baseball in general and the M’s in particular. I’m just saying.

  48. Notor on August 10th, 2007 9:18 pm


    Yes, he did not do a good job managing those either. For once he put the correct lineup on the field yesterday, and we scored 13 runs with it. But he should not be pitching Horacio Ramirez anymore and he has stated that he plans to continue doing so. McLaren actually thought he did a “good job except for a few mistakes” while giving up 7 runs! You don’t win games when your pitcher gives up 7 runs typically; if we have to rely on scoring 8 every time HoRam is pitching we can chalk up every start of his as a loss, no need to put our gloves on.

    Horrible Orioles pitching does not excuse terrible Mariner’s management, period.

  49. JI on August 10th, 2007 9:18 pm

    John McLaren is an assclown.

  50. Dave on August 10th, 2007 9:18 pm

    prior to tonight. Did you have a problem with how Mac managed?

    Written before the game started, and can still be found on the front page of the blog.

    John McLaren hates us. And winning, apparently. Sexson at first, Ibanez in left, Jones and Broussard to the bench.

    If the M’s were an NBA official, we could convict them of throwing games with ease.

    You know, I think this might not have to do with the fact that the M’s lost tonights game, and more to do with the fact that we really do know more about baseball strategy than John McLaren does.

  51. CaptainPoopy on August 10th, 2007 9:18 pm

    I’m not talking about the “experts”, 45. If I were, I’d be saying that we’re mighty lucky that we aren’t third.

  52. chbrody on August 10th, 2007 9:21 pm

    lailaihei-who would you have batted, Broussard? And risk losing Richie’s confidence even more?

    It’s not like these players don’t know that they’re sucking right now, i.e. Richie, Lopez. Richie did have a few hits in Baltimore, plus he had done well against the Sox over the years.

  53. JI on August 10th, 2007 9:22 pm

    Is Derek still willing to manage if the FO ponies up a Wii?

  54. Paseman on August 10th, 2007 9:22 pm

    Any manager can manage in obscurity (does anyone really know how good of manager Bell is in KC, or who is managing in Pitt?) but in a playoff atmosphere like this, weaknesses are exposed for what they are. We can’t afford to lose games like these, as at the end of the season if we lose out by a game we can look back to instances like these where McLaren’s moves cost us a game. McLaren will not be able to make many more mistakes like this without it costing someone somewhere, as we are on the national radar now and he cannot hide in the NW

  55. Paseman on August 10th, 2007 9:23 pm

    52 – Richie lost his confidence LONG ago

  56. Notor on August 10th, 2007 9:23 pm

    Who gives a crap about Richie’s confidence? He hasn’t been good all year, even way back when before he knew he sucked and got himself all down about it because people keep trotting him out there every day to suck in front of 40,000 people.

  57. CaptainPoopy on August 10th, 2007 9:23 pm


    No one cares about a professional’s confidence. He should have been hitting better. No reason to risk the game with you team’s worst hitter, when a LHB is in the dugout.

  58. mpowercc on August 10th, 2007 9:23 pm

    McLaren’s quote from yesterday about HoRam is about as clear an indication as it gets as to how well he evaluates talent.

    “You know what? Take away a couple of pitches, and his outings have been pretty good”.

    Yeah, like take away a couple of mechanical shortcomings and my Honda could run at Indy. Blech.

  59. chbrody on August 10th, 2007 9:25 pm

    It’s just funny how M’s fans over-react to a loss. They are gonna happen! There is gonna be a tomorrow and they do have a good chance at winning. If they win 6 in a row, everyone will be talking about how great John-Mc is doing and how he’s putting a great line-up together. But the first loss that follows, everyone is on his ass.

  60. Notor on August 10th, 2007 9:25 pm

    Take away all the bad things about him and he’s really quite good! ;p

    That’s the best logic ever.

  61. chbrody on August 10th, 2007 9:27 pm

    Captain-Hindsight is 20/20, my friend. Broussard may have popped up (or pooped out, for a pun).

  62. CaptainPoopy on August 10th, 2007 9:27 pm

    Go take a cold shower chbrody. Maybe you’ll then lose the chubby over McLaren.

  63. Paseman on August 10th, 2007 9:27 pm

    59 – As someone above said, it is not the loss we are reacting to, it is the utter incompetence of John McLaren. It is one thing to watch your team go out and lose, but it is quite another to watch the manager throw away a game to “try and get Richie some confidence”

  64. Paseman on August 10th, 2007 9:28 pm

    61 – A pop out would have been much better then a double play

  65. brian_sun on August 10th, 2007 9:28 pm

    August 10, 2006 was the date that the M’s started the 11 game losing streak that essentially killed the 2006 season. I hope Mac remember that. Start winning tomorrow!

  66. lailaihei on August 10th, 2007 9:28 pm

    59: That’s just not true. The 3 games against the Os were due to us being a much better team. The managerial decisions my Mac have been terrible.
    And yes, Broussard would have been my choice for that AB in the 8th. And you know what? I wouldn’t have had Betancourt bunt so that they would inevitably walk Ichiro and put us in a situation where Vidro is only going to get a single RBI 1/3 times, and have a good chance of a GIDP. There were so many bad decisions this game that lead to a loss that had nothing to do with starting lineup. But if you want to go there…
    The game is still 3-3 if you have Ibanez DHing and Jones playing LF. That’s not counting what Jones’ batting contributions over Vidro could have been.

  67. CaptainPoopy on August 10th, 2007 9:28 pm

    Hindsight is 20/20 sure… but my “future vision” was 100% when I thought Sexson would screw up. Boy was I right.

  68. Dave on August 10th, 2007 9:29 pm

    So, here’s a suggestion – when someone actively decides to ignore the conversation and setup nothing but strawman arguments, just ignore him. CHBrody isn’t adding anything to the discussion, and he’s not worth anyone’s time. Just let him be.

  69. chbrody on August 10th, 2007 9:30 pm

    Alright, group….Name the top 3 blunders by Mclaren over the span that he taken over; calls/no calls, not subs.

    By the way, Captain…no chubby. I’m just sticking by the manager that we have. Remember, I was a Hargrove fan, when hardly anyone else was.

  70. lailaihei on August 10th, 2007 9:31 pm

    61: A pop-up is better than a GIDP.

  71. chbrody on August 10th, 2007 9:31 pm

    70-execution, not strategy

  72. CaptainPoopy on August 10th, 2007 9:31 pm

    Not playing AJ in every game he hasn’t played in since the call up. That right there is way more than 3.

  73. Pete on August 10th, 2007 9:33 pm

    DMZ, agree completely. That was the most frustrating game I’ve watched from a managerial standpoint in a really long time. Just ridiculous.

  74. chbrody on August 10th, 2007 9:33 pm

    Captain-and risking Raul’s hot streak? The group is -2 right there.

  75. CaptainPoopy on August 10th, 2007 9:35 pm

    Not saying you’d have to sit Raul to get AJ in the game.

  76. Paseman on August 10th, 2007 9:35 pm

    I just want to say that I’m glad I’m not the only one who lets his Friday night be ruined by an old man I’ll never meet and the baseball team he runs… Everytime I ask myself if seattle sports are worth all the pain they’ve caused, I think back to ’95 and griffey rounding third. Oh yah and theres also that magical little potion called a cold beer…

  77. lailaihei on August 10th, 2007 9:35 pm

    74: No, Raul DH against righties.

  78. marinermiles on August 10th, 2007 9:35 pm

    It doesn’t quite seem like it’s Excessive Penalty Week…

  79. Notor on August 10th, 2007 9:36 pm

    Why do you stick by the manager when he has given you absolutely no reason to do so, in fact quite the opposite.

    I hate to break it to you, he’s been fielding a .500 team since he took over. That’s not a winning team, that’s a breaking-even team, and it’s definitely not a playoff team.

  80. BerrJ on August 10th, 2007 9:38 pm

    #52–If you want to just spout the M’s front office/FSN party line you’d probably really prefer the PI Forum.

  81. chbrody on August 10th, 2007 9:39 pm

    Dave-I’m just defending myself. I’m more than happy to discuss another topic.

    Batista’s gotta keep the ball down tomorrow, unlike Wash. He’s done better with that the last 5 or 6 outings. If he’s successful, though, he’s gotta go atleast 6 or 7 innings, and start throwing strikes.

  82. gwangung on August 10th, 2007 9:41 pm

    lailaihei-who would you have batted, Broussard? And risk losing Richie’s confidence even more?

    That’s McLaren’s job…win games AND take care of players’ confidence. A good one does both at the same time (“Richie, you’re a good player, but even great ones have bad days, even bad years. Take a seat for a bit, while you get your groove back.”). Mediocre ones will trade one for another. Bad ones will lose both.

    I’m not sure what McLaren did hasn’t dug Richie further into a hole….

  83. chbrody on August 10th, 2007 9:42 pm

    I know that Lopez is stellar at 2nd, but is his bat slowing the M’s down? That would be a solution to lailai’s idea; put Turbo @ 2nd, Raul @ DH and AJ @ LF. Would that satisfy everyone?

  84. Dave on August 10th, 2007 9:43 pm

    You know, it’d be awesome if you’d just read a modicum of what had been written here before tonight. I’ve done two posts in the last 10 days on why Vidro at second base is a bad idea.

  85. gwangung on August 10th, 2007 9:44 pm

    I know that Lopez is stellar at 2nd, but is his bat slowing the M’s down? That would be a solution to lailai’s idea; put Turbo @ 2nd, Raul @ DH and AJ @ LF. Would that satisfy everyone?

    Probably not, because I think you would lose far too much on defense. Particularly with groundball heavy pitchers like Ho-Ram, Batista and Felix.

  86. CaptainPoopy on August 10th, 2007 9:45 pm

    I’d prefer Lopez at second, but that lineup is better than the crap we’ve been having out there (sans the last O’s game).

  87. Gomez on August 10th, 2007 9:45 pm

    Also, to add onto 82 and humor the point he was responding to, what if Richie, say, GIDPs? Wouldn’t that hurt his confidence as well? Both ways are a risk to do so, so may as well go with the strategically sound move and PH the guy that doesn’t suck right now.

  88. chbrody on August 10th, 2007 9:46 pm

    Yeah, Gwangung-”Richie, I know you’re making $13-14 million, we really don’t need you. Just wait until the playoffs and hopefully you’ll find you’re swing then.” That would work. Like McLaren said, Sexson can carry a team. Remember last year after the all-star break?

  89. brian_sun on August 10th, 2007 9:46 pm

    I am in Chicago, and it will be in the mid 90′s the next couple games here. The balls are going to fly out of here. But the M’s would be facing the Sox’s 4th and 5th starters. They still have a great shot winning this series.

    The key is don’t trail before the 9th. Bobby Jenks has been lights out and retired the last 38 hitters he faced. That’s one guy you don’t want to see out of the Sox bullpen. Other than that, the M’s should be fine.

    I would be worry if the M’s match last year’s 11 game losing streak which started on August 10 last year.

  90. Paseman on August 10th, 2007 9:46 pm

    When you have to play your highest paid player on the road only to keep him from gettin booed by the hometown fans, that should be an indication that theres a problem. Baseball is a game of chance, but I’ll bet that 90% of m’s fans predicted a GIDP from Richie in that situation. The fact that it happened isn’t a coincidence, and the fact that McLaren did nothing to prevent is even less shocking. I could probably convince an outsider that I’m psychic when I predict all of McLarens pain-stakingly predicable moves

  91. chbrody on August 10th, 2007 9:47 pm

    87-I’m with you, in that maybe Richie should be pitch hit for in certain situations. That would atleast soften the blow.

  92. lailaihei on August 10th, 2007 9:48 pm

    83: Lopez at 2nd is worth having Vidro out of the lineup except against lefties.
    88: He can carry a team. But not this year.

  93. gwangung on August 10th, 2007 9:48 pm

    Yeah, Gwangung-”Richie, I know you’re making $13-14 million, we really don’t need you. Just wait until the playoffs and hopefully you’ll find you’re swing then.” That would work.

    Well, is carrying Richie in the line up working now? Did it in the 8th inning?

    The point is, being the manager means you have to win and take care of people’s egos…with emphasis on the former. You certainly did NOT help Richie’s confidence by allowing him to fail YET AGAIN.

  94. Notor on August 10th, 2007 9:49 pm

    brody, please, have some idea of what you’re talking about before you post here. There are things you are trying to argue that simply aren’t matters of debate.

  95. CaptainPoopy on August 10th, 2007 9:49 pm


    Sexson can carry a team, but his time is up this year. How much more damage does McLaren do everyday running him out there when Broussard is rotting away on the bench? BB is by far the better hitter this season, and all he’s done is produce when called upon. It makes no sense to try to get Sexson out of his slump when he has let the M’s down time and time again this year.

  96. Notor on August 10th, 2007 9:52 pm

    ANYWAYS, Dave, what would you think about a Matt Morse callup to replace Lopez? Honestly could he be any worse than what we’ve got?

  97. Dave on August 10th, 2007 9:52 pm

    Morse can’t play second base.

  98. lailaihei on August 10th, 2007 9:53 pm

    Who’s Matt Morse? Whoever he is, I bet he can’t play second, and I think Lopez should just be given more ABs. He can be a decent 8th hole hitter and he’s quite a good defensive 2nd baseman.

  99. CaptainPoopy on August 10th, 2007 9:54 pm

    Dave, I asked this in the other thread but got no answer.

    How come you guys haven’t put up a site with ads and whatnot? You guys need to get paid for this. It’s frustrating that such a good site is costing you money, when you guys should be making money instead.

  100. Paseman on August 10th, 2007 9:55 pm

    MIKE Morse would be nice, but his defense would be the same as putting Virdo there so theres not much point

  101. lailaihei on August 10th, 2007 9:55 pm

    99: I think Dave should look into Google AdSense. Lots of money in that, really.

  102. gwangung on August 10th, 2007 9:57 pm

    Ah, that was quick. Jeff put up some figures in Washburn after 90 pitches.

    Yeah, you do want your starters to carry you deeper into games…but if they can’t, you simply can’t keep them out there and HOPE they do better.

    With the relatively weak rotation we have this year, that kind of wishful thinking is going to be fatal.

  103. Notor on August 10th, 2007 9:57 pm

    Sorry, Mike* Morse. Had a little brain fart there thinking about Matthew Morris.

  104. chbrody on August 10th, 2007 9:59 pm

    Group-I’ve put my cents in and obviously, they weren’t well received. I’ll be back tomorrow. I respect your thoughts, but if you’re wrong, at least admit them.

    Just remember, if you’re wrong, I’ll remember. Vice versa, if I am wrong, then I’ll be the first to admit.

    Go Batista, and Go M’s!!!!

  105. Paseman on August 10th, 2007 10:01 pm

    Dave, I know its early to be looking ahead to next year, but do you see the M’s makin many moves in the offseason? Obviously we might need to move Balentien if he doesn’t fit into next years plans (as has been stated previously), but do you see someone like Rohrbaugh contributing? Or will Bill most likely splash tons of money on more overpriced vets?

  106. Notor on August 10th, 2007 10:02 pm


    I predict he’ll offer Randy Johnson a 3 year $50 million contract.

    (Joking, but not 100% sure he wouldn’t)

  107. Dave on August 10th, 2007 10:03 pm

    Rohrbaugh is a fringe major leaguer, and if he has a career in the big leagues, it will probably be as a reliever. He’s not the answer to any question we should be asking.

    We’ll deal with the offseason when it gets here.

  108. jake squid on August 10th, 2007 10:04 pm

    11 quoted:
    At that point, it was a no-brainer for the Mariners’ manager.

    It seems that no-braining is a requirement for Mariners managers these days.

    For the love of the divine, can we please never mention Sexson’s height meaning better fielding? Ever again? It sticks thoughts of Dave Kingman in my head and I can really do without that.

    And finally, please follow Dave’s advice and ignore chbrody. We mostly lurking folks will silently thank you for it.

  109. gwangung on August 10th, 2007 10:05 pm

    Hmm….Managing people is tough. I do it in an area where I have relatively little leverage (not unlike a pro sports manager or coach). You want to keep your players useful contributors…but you do neither yourself nor the player nor the overall enterprise any favors by keeping them in a position where they are failing over and over and over again, hoping they can right themselves.
    Usually, I break the cycle and get them out of the situation so they aren’t flailing around, and so they can take another shot at it with a slightly different environment.

  110. Paseman on August 10th, 2007 10:08 pm

    Whoa watch out, if I was wrong Brody will remember. Thankfully I can sleep knowing that I will never be wrong saying a Richie rally killing GIDP should have been avoided…

  111. chbrody on August 10th, 2007 10:12 pm

    How long before HoRam gets s***can?

  112. chbrody on August 10th, 2007 10:12 pm

    Paseman, make sure and don’t cheer Richie in the playoffs.

  113. lailaihei on August 10th, 2007 10:14 pm

    112: There’s no way Richie will play in the playoffs.
    Either he keeps his every-day spot and we don’t make the playoffs.
    Or he gets optioned and we go to the playoffs.

  114. Paseman on August 10th, 2007 10:16 pm

    Tony La Russa brought up Rick Ankiel and batted him 2nd immediatly, facing Chris Young of all people. Why can’t McLaren take a page from his book and just let Adam play? and not in the 7th spot either, we have seen the havok he can cause and the higher he bats the better. Future 2 hole hitter seems perfect for his skillset

  115. CaptainPoopy on August 10th, 2007 10:16 pm


    You’re yelling for BoyRam to get canned, but not Sexson? I realize that BoyRam is probably worse than Sexson is for the team, but are you serious?

  116. chbrody on August 10th, 2007 10:17 pm

    113-the day he gets optioned is the day that I win the lottery. Richie will be with the team the whole way through. Even if that means ridin’ the pine.

  117. Dave on August 10th, 2007 10:18 pm

    Can we just stop arguing with brody and let him go to bed. Nothing productive comes from talking to a guy who isn’t listening.

  118. rsrobinson on August 10th, 2007 10:19 pm

    I sat in slack-jawed amazement in front of the TV when I saw Richie Sexson striding to the plate in that situation. It had never even occurred to me that McLaren wouldn’t use Broussard to pinch hit for Sexson. It was like watching a car crash you knew was about to happen but were powerless to stop.

    There’s no second guessing or 20/20 hindsight going on. Even if Sexson had hit the ball 500 feet it was nuts to allow him to hit in that situation.

  119. Paseman on August 10th, 2007 10:19 pm

    116 – in which case he wont be playin in the playoffs, in which case i wont have to worry about rooting for him not to mess up. what I can’t understand is how we can justify givin him $15.5 million to come to a place he WANTED to play in, when someone like Tejada gets around $12 mil. If not for Bartolo Colon’s outrageous contract Richies would be the worst in baseball. what do we do with him next year? Eat his contract, or stick with him?

  120. John in L.A. on August 10th, 2007 10:20 pm

    chbrody… I think there is a basic disconnect here because I don’t understand the “if we’re wrong” bit.

    You understand that people aren’t predicting… they are passing judgement on particular moves.

    It is 99% inarguable that Ben gave us a better chance to win than Richie there. If you want to argue the 1% be my guest, but it’s not a matter of being proven wrong or right.

    It was a bad move… and it was one of many bad moves. And it would have still been just as bad a move if Sexson had not hit into a double play.

  121. chbrody on August 10th, 2007 10:21 pm

    Poopy-Sexson is tied for the lead in HRs and 4th in RBI. So he’s crappy right now….he’ll pull out of it. HoRam finally won his first game on the road, only because the M’s scored a butt-load of runs. The guy is a homeless-man’s version of Jamie Moyer, circa 2005.

  122. gwangung on August 10th, 2007 10:22 pm

    Getting back to another point, I’m not sure McLaren has a good feel for the pitching staff…when to lift starters, when and WHO to use in a particular situation (he’s overworked Washburn, he may be overworking Felix, he’s continuing to trot out Ho-Ram)…

    For all the crap Grover got (and deservedly so), he did have a decent feel for the bullpen.

  123. chbrody on August 10th, 2007 10:22 pm

    I actually agree with some of what Chbrody is saying. You can’t pull off of Richie yet. He has done well in the past years and it’s only a matter of time before he will come out of his slump

  124. JLC on August 10th, 2007 10:26 pm

    122-Add to that, using JJ too much in the 8th, and his, uh, lack of imagination, in using Green and Sherrill.

  125. Dave on August 10th, 2007 10:27 pm

    Hey, look what I found, from the July 18th game thread.

    chbrody Says:

    Why is Broussard not the starting 1B? He’s clearly a better all-around hitter than Sexson and is just as solid at first. I think that Richie has moved in to the “Boone” years. It’s time to give him his walking papers.

    Since your entire involvement in this thread is simply that of a troll, you’ve been placed into the moderation queue.

  126. kenshabby on August 10th, 2007 10:27 pm

    chbrody, the obligatory troll – *sigh*.

    I would’ve loved to see Wells take over HoRam’s spot. Short of that, I’d like to see Baek get a few more starts once he’s off the DL. And instead of this ridiculous Parrish signing it’d be nice to see Rohrbaugh, if anyone, fill the vacant relief spot.

    Before I sign off for the night, let me just reiterate the three key McLaren managerial characteristics: dogmatic, hackneyed, and ingratiating.

  127. CaptainPoopy on August 10th, 2007 10:30 pm

    Good find, Dave.

    Also, it appears as though in 123, he tried to sign in as someone else and agree with himself.

  128. kenshabby on August 10th, 2007 10:31 pm

    127 – Haha, yes, unless he has a split personality. Which is entirely possible given the apparently addled state of his mind.

  129. Paseman on August 10th, 2007 10:31 pm

    Can anyone enlighten me as to this “over working” of Felix? He threw 91 pitches last game, and I can see pullin him there in that heat. but I think we need to start teaching kids how to throw more pitches, and how to throw when a little fatigued (which is different from throwin tired, which is when mechanics break down and injury likeliness increases). I know its a bygone era, but Nolan Ryan was throwing 200 pitch CG’s not all too long ago. Some very good writers have written that pitch counts may be counterproductive and hindering young pitchers. I think the pitch count should be thrown out the window

  130. CaptainPoopy on August 10th, 2007 10:32 pm


  131. rsrobinson on August 10th, 2007 10:32 pm

    I think chbrody forgot to sign in with his sock puppet before agreeing with himself.

  132. Dave on August 10th, 2007 10:32 pm

    Yep. I never should have given him as much rope as I did. I’m trying to give people who don’t agree with us an opportunity to express themselves eloquently. There are rational, normal people who can see things from another perspective. He’s not one of them, obviously.

  133. Corey on August 10th, 2007 10:33 pm

    125 and 127,

    A nice big laugh after reading both posts.

    Cheers fellas. And Dave this beer is in honor of Excessive Penalty Week. Huzzah moderation queue!

  134. C. Cheetah on August 10th, 2007 10:35 pm

    Has anyone heard anything about where the M’s stand with signing their 1st round draft choice? I’m starting to get worried….

  135. jake squid on August 10th, 2007 10:37 pm

    126: Yeah, the moves lately have been driving me mad.

    I really didn’t believe they had traded for Parrish, at first. It simply made no sense. Why is there no interest in Wells? Is it possible that he’s worse than Ramirez? I doubt it. I looked at today’s lineup and thought, “Is there no hope?”

    Mariners management is taking an overachieving, middling team and undercutting it at every opportunity. I sincerely believe that with a competent FO and a competent field manager that this team has a good chance at the post-season. However, the FO and manager now in place have convinced me that it isn’t going to happen if they can help it. The Mariners are being managed as if they were a sub-.500 team with no farm system, and that is a shame.

  136. John in L.A. on August 10th, 2007 10:40 pm

    123 is one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen on the internets.


    I actually was going to say earlier that his posts sounded suspiciously like a recently moderated poster.

    My god, how embarassing. “I actually agree with chbrody…” Hilarious.

    Too funny, man. Too funny. So shameful.

  137. Paseman on August 10th, 2007 10:46 pm

    If anything we can all thank Brody for giving us something to laugh at after that game tonight. That is the highest of unintentional comedy

  138. DAK on August 10th, 2007 11:14 pm

    To paraphrase Steven Colbert about another great Texan:

    You may not like the way John Mclaren manages, but you have to respect it. He manages with his gut, not his brain. Mclaren manages with his heart, not with stupid things like statistics, probabilities, and strategies.

    We have to respect this man who manages a ML baseball team with his gut and heart. Mclaren does not let his brain get in the way, and I for one, love him for that. I cannot wait to see what Mclaren’s gut and heart tell him to do for tomorrow’s game. John Mclaren is what being a true Texan is all about.

  139. JMHawkins on August 10th, 2007 11:20 pm

    I really wanted to like McLaren. I really, really did. But now I know why he was a bench coach. Lou would ask Mac what he thought they should do, and then do the opposite.

    Please Mac, get better quicker. I’ll take it all back if you start making better moves.

  140. Notor on August 10th, 2007 11:30 pm

    123- LOL

    Okay that lightened the mood sufficiently.

    I think McLaren would be good in a limited role…but he’s not much of a leader, and it’s taking it’s really showing. I think he’s been given enough of a grace period now for that to be a fair assessment of his abilities…

  141. Notor on August 10th, 2007 11:30 pm

    -”It’s taking” from that last post

  142. Mike Honcho on August 10th, 2007 11:33 pm

    Dave – I take it your “(expletive) John McLaren” comment was a calculated one, no?

  143. Draeger on August 10th, 2007 11:34 pm


    Still, it IS on the whole better to give people a chance rather than assume that they’re idiots from the get go, so I don’t think you were too off base giving him some rope. Not anyone’s fault that he hung himself..

    139: Me too. I was never sold on Hargrove, but I didn’t despise him. Mac I initially thought would almost certainly be a plus-upgrade.

    All of that goodwill has been evaporating because of the way he’s been handling his players. Look, some of his game calls have been ridiculous, but I’ll let alot of that go, because not everyone agrees on what the right move is during a ballgame — you can make an argument either way in alot of situations (although not too many from this last one..)

    But his lineup management has been so ass-backwards I don’t know what to make of it. It just.. I’m speechless. Time for another beer.

  144. nfreakct on August 10th, 2007 11:38 pm

    What’s incredibly frustrating is looking at the play-by-play log of the game and what Jeff’s posted at Lookout Landing Ibanez’s little hot streak as of late still comes at the great expense of his defense in left. It’s a sad statement when Ibanez can hit well and still at best contribute enough to offset his defensive liabilities. Yet this will be more than enough ammo for McLaren to run him out there everyday.

    I hate that the Mariners are a team that you just hope lucks into doing the right thing. The Mariners don’t give themselves chances, they just hope that things will happen to go their way.

  145. Grayfox on August 10th, 2007 11:40 pm

    Well, lets see what he has planned for tomorrow. I still have a bitter taste in my mouth about tonights game but im not goin to hark about it all night, time to worry about his decisions for tomorrow, if we lose again, and are able to substantialy prove that it was/is Mac’s fault with his decision makin skills to why we lost again, then ill be out for his head, but for now lets see what he has in store for us on another episode of “all my mariners”.

  146. Mike Honcho on August 10th, 2007 11:44 pm

    This organization needs a Billy Beane. Someone who would understand the dynamic behind run differential, for example, and understand how incredibly fortunate we are to be 13 games over and tied for the WC lead. Someone who can objectively analyze the roster, someone who understands the importance of OF defense, and someone who understands the benefit of putting the best nine on the field every day.

    Obviously, McLaren is too idiotic to do this. Bavasi, too, probably does not have a proper grasp.

    This has to stop. We can’t just let 113 games of good fortune go to waste.

  147. Notor on August 11th, 2007 12:17 am

    Dusty Baker is available :)

  148. Catherwood on August 11th, 2007 12:25 am

    As for Wells, 135, I’m thinking he’ll be in Chicago soon, but in a Cubs uniform.

    On the other hand, did any of you folks see his last couple of games for the Padres? He looked horrible — not just the pitching, but he, himself. You do see guys pitching well in their late 30′s and into the 40′s, but none of them look like Wells.

    For better or worse, I think we’re stuck with the starters we’ve got now, tempered by what we can bring up from the farms. It surely ain’t great, but look at the rotations for those teams we’re competing with — Angels (riddled with injuries), Yankees (what was I saying about old pitchers?), Tigers and Indians (okay, those two worry me some). Our starters aren’t great, but our bullpen IS great. If we hang around until September when the rosters swell, we can still get by.

  149. zugzwang on August 11th, 2007 12:30 am

    I know, it’s not the most opportune moment to try to defend the amount of playing time Sexson’s been getting, but here goes…

    Lots of folks here seem to think that it is “inarguable” that Broussard should displace Sexson, at least against righties. The basis for this opinion is either the numbers, or the way Richie looks up there, or both. I don’t watch much, so let’s put aside the way he looks and focus on the numbers. That’s the prevailing ethos here, isn’t it? The question then is, what do the numbers tell us about how Sexson or Broussard will perform over the next 200 or so PA’s that they’ll share at first base for the rest of the season.

    This season’s OPS clearly favors Broussard: .791 to .687. But those two numbers don’t prove anything by themselves. What is their predictive value? Broussard’s OPS this season is practically identical to his career OPS (.792). After a fast start, he has been declining steadily over the course of the year to return to his career average (monthly OPS: .818, .848, .776, .758, .733). He’s had a few years a bit above (2004 .858) and a few below (2005 .771). He’s never been huge, and he’s past the age where we might expect substantial improvement. Maybe he’d benefit from playing more, but he’s had that in the past and didn’t perform well enough to earn full time status. I’m thinking .792 is a pretty good predictor of what he’d do if given most of those 200 or so PAs.

    What about Sexson? Is .687 a fair prediction of what we would see out of him if he gets trotted out there for most of those opportunities at the plate? He’s had the worst consecutive four months of his career, but if we tack on the last two months of 2006, we get a full season’s performance at an .811 level. He’s a bit older than Broussard, and it’s possible his career parabola is in a seriously steep negative slope, or, it’s possible that he’s seriously underperforming and he’s likely to regress (er, progress) to the mean. How do we know which is which?

    I don’t know which story is true. I’d say right now that Richie presents more upside and more downside than Broussard. He could light it up again, and that’s not just idle wishful thinking. He’s proven that he steadily improves over the course of the year, and most of his monster months have been in August and September. 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.

    As for not pinch-hitting for him in the 8th? …different question, different answer.

  150. zugzwang on August 11th, 2007 12:34 am

    And what I’d do if I were the manager? Compromise and play them 50:50. Let Broussard get all the righties who are particularly tough on right hand batters, and let Sexson start against everyone else. Sexson’s career stats show him to be pretty indifferent to RHP vs. LHP

  151. 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.

  152. 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. :/

  153. 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.

  154. 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.

  155. 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.

  156. 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.

  157. 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.


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

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

    …wait…. wtf did I just say?

  159. 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?

  160. 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.

  161. 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.

  162. 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)

  163. 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.

  164. 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!

  165. 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.

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

    You are a physician of rhetoric.

    Strike “as we know” from 163.

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

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

  168. 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.

  169. 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.

  170. 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?

  171. 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.

  172. 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.

  173. 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.

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

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

  175. 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.

  176. 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.

  177. 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.

  178. 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.

  179. 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.

  180. 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.

  181. 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.

  182. 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…

  183. 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”)?

  184. 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…

  185. 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.

  186. 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.

  187. 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”.

  188. 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.

  189. 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.

  190. 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.

  191. 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.

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

    uuuuul playing superb defense….but you know what?


  193. 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.


  194. 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.

  195. 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.

  196. 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.

  197. 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.

  198. 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.

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