Game 58, Angels at Mariners
Santana v Washburn.
Is there any stranger move than Cairo’s ascent to starting first baseman so far this year?
Any team in baseball, any position.
– There’s no injury involved
– Only a couple months ago, the team (and particularly the manager) expected Sexson to have a big bounceback year… which, relatively, he was
– Sexson is paid vastly more than Cairo, when generally teams favor the huge contract
– As of May 23rd, Sexson was hitting .200/.277/.413 while Cairo was hitting .171/.250/.200
– The last time Cairo hit as well as Sexson hit when benched was 2004, when he hit .292/.346/.417 while with the Yankees
– And he’s only hit that or better three times in 13 seasons
– Cairo’s career line of .266/.314/.357 is worse than what Sexson was hitting when benched
– Cairo plays pretty crappy defense too, and if the team can’t recognize that Ibanez is horrible out there, why would they suddenly realize Sexson sucked and turn on him?
– If the team wanted additional scrap, baserunning, and defense, there’s an internal option already much-beloved they could have gone with
– And if the problem’s the PR of having Sexson booed, see above
– Cairo’s not a prospect, or on a long-term deal that makes him worth developing
– Benching Sexson likely lowers his trade value (or his “release value”)
I follow baseball reasonably closely (um, yeah) and I can’t think of another decision like this on any other roster this year. Every day this goes on I’m more convinced the losing has only made the people who run the Mariners crazier. Pretty soon they’re going to go hole up together and have the ball boys read them increasingly made-up game reports.
“General Riggleman reports an absolute shutout against the hated A’s, sir.”
“Excellent! I order a brace of champagne shipped to them by autogyro!”
Update: so it appears that they’ve put Sexson back in the lineup, because it’s a new series. I have the same question I have every time they make a move like this — what does that have to do with anything? If Cairo was the right choice the last n games because he made the team better, why is that not true now? What can possibly be driving these decisions?