Dog bites man, Armstrong feels team is great and you’re stupid
Club president Chuck Armstrong said before Wednesday’s game that there is more to the Mariners’ attendance troubles – seven of Seattle’s top poorest Safeco Field attendances have come this year – than the club’s 14-20 record.
”You expect some ebb and flow,” Armstrong said. ”The weather hasn’t been good. We haven’t played as well as we wanted. And this is the worst schedule ever.
…needless to say, I was on the internet within minutes, registering my disgust.
Really. Worst schedule ever. Worse than the time the team couldn’t play in the Kingdome and was on the road all year? Worse than last year, when they were trying to make up those missed games in absurd fashion? Substantially worse the Mariner schedules before unbalanced divisional play?
”I’m optimistic, but when you see 15,000 against a division rival, yes, you are disappointed.”
I’m optimistic, but when you see your team squander year after year of great revenues by having the wrong people spend that money on the wrong things, yes, I’m disappointed.
The most vocal portion of the Mariners’ fan base has long advocated changes at the top, specifically targeting general manager Bill Bavasi and, somewhat less often, manager John McLaren.
That’s only because McLaren hasn’t been around that long.
”There’s a fine line with patience,” he said. ”We already made moves (Clement and Balentien) to address the problems. Maybe those moves will come back to bite us. We don’t know.
“the problems” being.. two of them? I’m not sure how to read that. Does he really think that’s a complete solution to all the problems? I’m probably being too critical.
”But we made the moves in a considered manner with everybody involved. And I remember that last year at this time people were talking about making a move with Raul Ibanez. We stuck with him, and it paid off.
Who was advocating “a move” with Ibanez at this time last season? Seriously, I’m drawing a blank here. Was it me? I don’t think that was me.
If there was, though — shame on you, stupid people, talking about making a move with Ibanez, who was injured and concealing it and absolutely sucked. How dare you talk about making a move for such a selfless leader who gets injured and conceals it so that the team can’t figure out what’s wrong and stupidly keeps running him out there so his injured self looks terrible. How dare you! Don’t you know he’s injured?
Now, if you remember, at this time last year, there were people advocating that all kittens and puppies should suffer horrible, gruesome fates too terrifying to even detail here. But we persevered, and today those puppies and kittens are all living happy, fulfilling lives, letting doubles skip on past them in left field, and giving great post-game interviews.
People may ask “what do you expect Armstrong to say? He’s the president, after all.”
And I would respond here’s what I’d like Armstrong to say: “They’re right to be dissatisfied. We’ve tried to put together a contender this year, and we’ve gotten off to a bad start. I understand that it’s a mid-week night game, and it was cold, too. I appreciate the fans that did come out to see the team, and I’m sorry we put on such a poor showing.
“I still think the team is a lot stronger than we’ve shown so far, particularly with Bedard and Putz returning from injuries. I expect we’ll play much better from here on out and hopefully we’ll be able to make up the ground we’ve lost.”
And that’s probably not far off what Armstrong would like to say, but here — and you see this in Lincoln’s statements, too — what he actually says is steeped in the organization’s long-standing contempt for their customers, who here are irrationally concerned about the chances of a team with the worst record in the AL, a team they were assured was going to make a run at it.
I hate that. It does as much to turn me off as the losing, as irrational as that is at times, knowing that my ticket dollars support an organization that can’t even pretend to understand and sympathize with entirely reasonable fan sentiment.