The End Of Yuniesky Betancourt
Ronny Cedeno played shortstop for the Mariners again last night. That’s four games in a row with a couple of off days thrown in. Add it all up, and Yuniesky Betancourt hasn’t been in the line-up in a week. And this time, it’s not an ultimatum with an opportunity attached – the Mariners are ready to pull the plug on the guy. LaRue’s got the good quotes:
Betancourt, who has had meetings with his manager and coaches all season, insists he’s doing nothing different now than ever.
“I’ve been doing the same routine for years,” Betancourt said. “I can’t control the lineup. I’m doing whatever I’ve done in the past.”
That, of course, may well be the issue. Betancourt has never been a hard worker, and the past four days have not served him well.
Since being out of the lineup, his teammates say, Betancourt has not taken a single ground ball.
And Monday, when 12 position players showed up for early batting practice, Betancourt was not among them.
“I was asleep on the plane when they announced that,” Betancourt said.
Clearly, this management group – from general manager Jack Zduriencik to Wakamatsu and his coaches – have had enough of half-assed workouts and a failure to adjust.
The simple truth is, Betancourt has minor league options left, and one plan is to send him down and tell him he won’t be back until he shows his work ethic has changed.
“You can’t play a guy who doesn’t work hard on a team where everyone else busts their ass,” one Mariner said. “I don’t know why this never happened before, but no one in this clubhouse has any doubts about why it’s happened now.”
Well, no one but Yuni.
We’ve all watched first hand as Yuni has regressed from an athletic young player into a complete waste of space and time. His lack of hard work is nothing new – even after an offseason where he trained with Raul Ibanez, he showed up to camp as the same rotund non-athlete that he was at the end of last year. He’s getting worse at every facet of the game, and at this point, he’s not a major league player.
We’ve all had enough, and so have the M’s. If Betancourt wants to actually put in a little bit of effort to live up to the abilities he was born with, great. But he needs to do that in Tacoma, and earn his way back to the major leagues by showing that he cares enough to make himself into a guy who deserves to be here. If that never happens, so be it – I’m perfectly happy never having to watch him play baseball again.