Why Wak Was Fired

Dave · August 9, 2010 at 1:43 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

As we go forward, people are going to do a lot of speculating about why Don Wakamatsu and his staff were replaced today. In reality, though, it boils down to two very simple things:

1. The team has played terrible baseball and have shown few signs of improvement as the year went on.

2. Ken Griffey Jr became unhappy with Wakamatsu and actively spread his discontent around the clubhouse.

You can talk about bullpen usage, line-ups, or whatever other things you personally didn’t like about Wak, but those things didn’t matter all that much. Every manager has his idiosyncrasies, and as we saw last year, the things that Wak did that might have annoyed you don’t prevent the Mariners from being a winning ballclub. They’re minor issues that had little impact on today’s decision.

The first issue is the big one, obviously. If the team was winning, things would be very different. The frustration that has surfaced has been magnified as the losses pile up, and what should be small problems have turned into big ones as people stew after another loss. However, the second issue is almost certainly the root of why Wak was dismissed.

Pretty much anyone that has access to how the players feel about their former manager will report that it’s not good, and it hasn’t been good since May. When Wak made the (correct) decision that Ken Griffey Jr just shouldn’t play anymore, it caused some serious friction between the guys on the field and the coaching staff. The guys loved Junior, and they’re not rational about his abilities to help the team win. They just saw an icon in the game being shoved out the door. Griffey did absolutely nothing to discourage these feelings, offering no support for Wak or acknowledging the fact that he was no longer cut out to play Major League Baseball. Even after he took his meager bat and went home, he helped fuel the belief that it was Wakamatsu that was to blame for the entire situation.

At that point, most of the club turned on their manager. There was nothing Wak could do to get them back on his side. He was now the guy responsible for running Griffey out of Seattle. And he should have never been put in that position.

Plain and simple – the front office screwed up when they brought Griffey back for 2010. Everyone involved with that decision made a mistake, and they perpetuated that mistake by not having a plan in place to remove Griffey from the roster once it was clear that he could no longer function as a Major League player and would not be happy with a reduced role, as he had publicly claimed. The Mariners were more than willing to make up injuries for Mike Sweeney and Ryan Rowland-Smith when they wanted to get those guys off the roster – they should have been willing to do the same with Griffey at the end of April.

Instead, the organization left it up to Wak to play the bad guy, and the situation poisoned his relationship with the rest of the guys on the team. It devolved into a point where the relationships probably couldn’t be saved, and because the Mariners can’t get rid of the entire roster, Wak is the one to leave.

I’m pretty confident that he’ll get another gig, and be a pretty successful major league manager once he gets that second chance. More likely than not, his next team won’t stick him with a broken down former star who will become disgruntled once he stops getting his name penciled into the line-up. That will help.

Comments

153 Responses to “Why Wak Was Fired”

  1. Typical Idiot Fan on August 9th, 2010 1:52 pm

    Dave, I generally agree with most of your points which are well reasoned and logical, but I have to wonder if you’re not oversimplifying things just a tad. It’s awfully easy to blame this all on Griffey and losing, but I feel like we don’t know all the facts. Did Wak and Z really get along? Michael Kay doesn’t think so, but I’m not sure we’re ever going to know everything.

  2. joe simpson can hit on August 9th, 2010 1:55 pm

    I see a shitstorm of Griffey love on the horizon …

  3. regnaD kciN on August 9th, 2010 1:55 pm

    In light of this, feel like revising your “Judge the performance, not the character” comment from earlier this month about the players not trying to get their manager fired?

  4. Dave on August 9th, 2010 1:55 pm

    Kenny Williams and Ozzie Guillen hate each other. Neither has been fired because the team wins and because Frank Thomas didn’t throw Ozzie under the bus.

  5. indakind on August 9th, 2010 1:56 pm

    Dave – I really admire your writing both here and elsewhere but it seems you had your fan goggles on when ranking the Mariners #6 in your Fangraphs organizational rankings. I know that the jury is still out on the front office (1 overachieving year, 1 underachieving year) but this is quite a mess that now needs to be cleaned up.

  6. Dave on August 9th, 2010 1:58 pm

    Does this look like a thread about the organizational rankings? Get over it.

  7. Jeff Nye on August 9th, 2010 2:00 pm

    Oh, man, now you’ve done it.

    I agree that there’s probably a non-small portion of the blame of this that should be laid at Griffey’s doorstep; I don’t know how much, but I trust that you know that better than I do.

  8. samregens on August 9th, 2010 2:01 pm

    I have lost a lot of respect for Z.

    I could tell this move was coming from Z’s “handling” of the Figgins’ dugout exhibition.
    Z handed this garbage of a roster to Wak and he really backstabbed him on not just the Griffey issue but Figgins and many other roster moves which were mandated by the FO but when things went to crap it seemed they tried to make it seem like it was all Wak’s calls.

    Among such crap happening I admire Wak’s character, his steadiness, stoicness and for being such a standup guy.
    The whiny players who sulked at Griffey’s departure will only realise later in what a standup player’s manager they had (and wasted) in Wak.

    In contrast, I can’t escape the strong impression of Z happily taking credit when things go right and skulking around in the background, hanging his manager up to dry for crap moves that he himself made.

  9. dw on August 9th, 2010 2:05 pm

    I don’t think you can lay all the blame at Griffey’s feet. This team wasn’t hitting, and when they did the bullpen couldn’t hold the lead.

    Griffey might have been the spark, or the powerkeg, but there was a busted gas line already.

    If 2009 was a false spring, then why did this team play so well? I still can’t figure that out. This is essentially the same team. The only real differences are Branyan’s 30 HR season and the bullpen not imploding.

  10. charliebrown on August 9th, 2010 2:06 pm

    Griffey wasn’t the problem. The lack of a plan to deal with an aging superstar that can no longer perform is the real issue.

    The biggest issue I see is that it doesn’t seem to me like anyone in the front office asked the question “What do we do if Griffey can’t play anymore?” before they signed him. It’s almost as if no one thought it was even possible that Griffey was done as a player.

    For a front office that has done pretty well so far it was a terrible mistake that put Wak in an impossible position. Force a legend out or keep a player that makes the team worse.

  11. rcc on August 9th, 2010 2:08 pm

    This seems like such odd timing for firing the manager & the coaches. The M’s would get less flak and perhaps a bounce in fan approval by doing it in the off season. Did something happen this past weekend to force the hand of the front office?

  12. Typical Idiot Fan on August 9th, 2010 2:09 pm

    Kenny Williams and Ozzie Guillen hate each other. Neither has been fired because the team wins and because Frank Thomas didn’t throw Ozzie under the bus.

    Ozzie Guillen has also become a fan favorite manager thanks to his mouth. It’s not as easy to get rid of him, winning or no winning.

  13. scott19 on August 9th, 2010 2:09 pm

    Well, maybe they couldn’t dump the whole roster, but half the roster might’ve been sufficient.

    Kind of like what the Royals just did recently.

  14. IllinoisMsFan on August 9th, 2010 2:09 pm

    So what’s the manager’s job anyway? If his line-ups suck, we say it doesn’t matter because line-up don’t make that big of a difference. If his pitching moves suck, we say it doesn’t matter. If all his players hit like little old ladies, we say it’s bad luck and not his fault. If he can’t get along with his players, we say chemistry doesn’t matter. If he can’t get along with his both, that shouldn’t matter. If all of these things don’t matter then who cares if Wak got fired or not?

  15. Celadus on August 9th, 2010 2:10 pm

    samregens:

    I would be surprised if Z were the moving force behind the decision to sign Griffey for another year.

    I’m not disagreeing that the Griffey situation was mishandled, obviously–the guy shouldn’t have been on the team in the first place. Also, it seems evident, at least in retrospect, that when Griffey isn’t happy, the last person he will blame it on is himself.

    Thus, egoist at end of career on a bad team playing horribly himself and supported by teammates for whom he can do no wrong = potential deathtrap for general manager and manager.

    As far as Lincoln/Armstrong being blamed for anything, we might be well advised to give a close reading to the Pope’s doctrine of infallability.

  16. Xteve X on August 9th, 2010 2:10 pm

    I think Dave’s point is right on the money because the ill-fated decision to bring Griffey back fits in with other moves Lincoln & Armstrong have presided over that emphasize the feel-good “lovable losers” experience over putting the absolute best product on the field.

    I can’t help but think cynically that the front office wanted to do an extended Griffey farewell tour to exploit the 95 nostalgia yet one more time. The fact that Griffey was clearly near the end didn’t register or if it did they had no compunction about throwing Wak under the bus to do the dirty work. And that’s a shame.

    Note: If you think that bringing back Jr was the best move they could have done, I can’t help you.

  17. erikec on August 9th, 2010 2:11 pm

    Jack Z built a ship with a huge, gaping hole in the bottom of it and blamed Wak for sinking it. Unbelievable.

  18. Snuffy on August 9th, 2010 2:13 pm

    “Plain and simple – the front office screwed up when they brought Griffey back for 2010. Everyone involved with that decision made a mistake, and they perpetuated that mistake by not having a plan in place to remove Griffey from the roster once it was clear that he could no longer function as a Major League player and would not be happy with a reduced role, as he had publicly claimed.”

    Well put. Griffey left the first time under a very dark cloud re: the trade to Cinn. I would never have brought him back and I don’t forgive his actions. He was a great player but too often a petulant child. I’m glad he’s gone. If he was responsible is some measure for taking Wak down I wouldn’t be surprised. To bad we missed the boat with Buck S. in Balt.

  19. Chmong on August 9th, 2010 2:13 pm

    Dave, I don’t have any insight or info to contradict what you have stated are the reasons for the firing, but am curious what is the basis for your claim that that Griffy was to blame for the firing. Do you have contacts within the team that have told you this?

    I will add that this seems like a panic move by mgmt. Maybe Wak is not the right guy, but why not wait until after the season when you can evaluate the entire team. Also, what is the point of firing the entire staff, particularly the pitching coach?

  20. Swungonandbelted on August 9th, 2010 2:18 pm

    Wow, that statement sounded like it was written by How-Chuck and read by Jack Z with a gun to his head…

  21. SODOMOJO360 on August 9th, 2010 2:18 pm

    If the Griffey situation was the whole reason for the other players not respecting their coach when Griff was not helping the team, then the coach being fired is a huge scapegoat for Jack Z. Jack put’s the players on the field and Wak has to do what he can with them. If Wak wasn’t able to motivate his players that’s one thing but to blame it all on the Griffey situation is a bit much.

  22. Rick Banjo on August 9th, 2010 2:19 pm

    #1 is fairly empirical.

    #2 is something I’d like like to see further substantiated, even if it links to articles elsewhere. I’m not defending Griffey per se, but I’m not certain I understand this line of thinking from what I’ve read.

    Simply signing Griff this year seems like the big wasp in the jar…

  23. jsscull on August 9th, 2010 2:19 pm

    The blame belongs to the upper management.
    Can’t rebuild and win at the same time without big bucks!
    Time to really rebuild. Dump Lopez, Ja Wilson, Bradley and others. Play the kids, see who fits and please no more over the hill vets and journeyman players.

  24. dlukas on August 9th, 2010 2:20 pm

    I do not find it plausible that the FO fired Rick Adair because Griffey wasn’t happy with Wak. With a .375 winning pct, if it wasn’t Griffey it would have been another issue. The clubhouse was fractured because you have 25 guys who are supposed to be the best in the world at playing baseball, and instead they are embarrassing themselves, their organization, and their city. I think the FO just felt they needed a change and firing the manager is the safest and most commonly accepted thing to do, whether it works or not.

  25. rgg1955 on August 9th, 2010 2:23 pm

    This mickey mouse organization has regressed to 1978. Since Piniella left, we’ve had Melvin, Hargrove, McLaren and now Wak, with a toxic dose of Bavasi and now Zdurencik thrown in. The single consistent through this death march has is Howard Lincoln (and Armstrong, to a lesser degree.) Lincoln has been quick to point out more than once that this is a business, first and foremost, but he has never been held accountable for the mediorre product he’s tried to sell to the public. I expect this to continue because Mr. Yamauchi, for all he’s done for Seattle simply by buying the team and keeping it here, is an absentee landlord who has apparently given Lincoln the keys to the bus. All of Lincoln’s hires have been mediocre cast-offs and Z falls right in line. If he fired Wakamatsu because of locker room politics, his anger is misplaced since he built the locker room and he had the sole power to keep Griffey out of the locker room in the first place. If Z fired Wak because management forced his hand, he’s a gutless shill who doesn’t deserve his job.
    Wakamatsu was the best of the bunch, a man with character and a plan. Unfortunately, management never gave him anything to work with. Firing him is like letting an inferno develop and then shooting the kid with the garden hose you gave him to try to put it out.
    How do you sell season tickets to a fan, a considerable investment, for the next 2 years of return to square 1? Again.

  26. Paul B on August 9th, 2010 2:24 pm

    I’d guess Adair was fired because he was close to Wak. Perhaps he was asked to stay and decided not to, or perhaps he was just considered to be too close to Wak.

  27. codybond31 on August 9th, 2010 2:24 pm

    [duplicate from other thread]

  28. Nick on August 9th, 2010 2:28 pm

    . . . At that point, most of the club turned on their manager. There was nothing Wak could do to get them back on his side.

    . . .the situation poisoned his relationship with the rest of the guys on the team. It devolved into a point where the relationships probably couldn’t be saved . . .

    Interesting. Why would Wak need to get the players back on his side? Why would it matter if the relationships couldn’t be saved?

    You’re not suggesting that clubhouse chemistry is important, are you?

  29. smb on August 9th, 2010 2:29 pm

    Totally disgusted in this franchise and 90% of its fanbase. If Z gets fired next, I am done with this team until HoChuck is GONE. Maybe that never happens, and maybe I never watch another Mariners game in person.

    One or two years into a major, MAJOR rebuilding scheme (couldn’t have started from much lower into the toilet) and people want to throw out the GM, the one person in the entire FO in a position of power that actually has a sense of how to evaluate talent, and start over? Right, let’s see if we can bring Gillick back. We just need to replicate 1995 over and over, right? I am ashamed to be a Mariners fan today.

  30. bermanator on August 9th, 2010 2:30 pm

    At that point, most of the club turned on their manager. There was nothing Wak could do to get them back on his side.

    Nothing? Really??

    I find that hard to believe.

    Difficult, sure. But if the team had caught fire and started winning games after that, I bet the problems would have been papered over. And while the talent isn’t performing, in most of your gameday threads you point out that the lineup Wak was trotting out wasn’t the optimum one for ensuring success.

    Griffey didn’t help him, but Wak also didn’t help himself.

  31. SoulofaCitizen on August 9th, 2010 2:30 pm

    Do we have any reliable information whether Griffey was resigned at the initiative of the front office or of Zduriencik? Or both? I’ve wondered since the deal was signed whose initiative it was, since the potential problems with it were all pretty evident at the time.

  32. ivan on August 9th, 2010 2:30 pm

    Everybody thinks they know what went on in the clubhouse, but of course nobody knows. Not Dave, not Michael Kay (who the hell is Michael Kay anyway?), not the gomers on talk radio, and certainly not me.

    I’m sorry Wak and the coaches were fired, and I wish they hadn’t been. But I have one question.

    If Dave is wrong about Griffey being the cause of all this, then why did Griffey clear out without a word instead of having a going-away party with his buddies, and leaving with his patented smile, so that everyone might feel good about it?

    I’m not a mind reader, so I can’t say. But I have seen this happen in other workplaces. When somebody wants to leave bad feelings behind, that’s one sure way to do it.

  33. matthew on August 9th, 2010 2:31 pm

    Nick Danger wrote:

    In light of this, feel like revising your “Judge the performance, not the character” comment from earlier this month about the players not trying to get their manager fired?

    Are you insinuating that professional baseball players intentionally play bad in order to get their manager fired? This isn’t the movie “Major League.” Players care too much about their legacies and paychecks to do such things.

    Face facts. Dave is right. Neither Junior or Sweeney should have been brought back on the 25 man roster. Good guys in the clubhouse? Sure. Make them an honorary coaches and get Armstrong and Lincoln to loosen the purse strings (before the season is already over) just a little more so we can actually have a DH that produces RBIs.

    My concern now is who they will bring in to manage this team. There will probably be a big push to talk Lou into coming over for one more season. Hopefully the Mariners have learned the lesson that bringing back heroes from the past isn’t always what’s best for the club.

    This season is over. The offense will be better next year with the addition of Ackley at 2nd, an improved Smoak at 1st, Branyon (or hopefully someone that’s less of an injury risk) at DH. My only concerns at this point offensively is SS and catcher. Jack Wilson is fine when he’s on the field, but the team is not when he’s not sacked with an injury. Adam Moore shows occasional signs of being a great catcher, and then he’s injured.

    I believe 2011 was the season Z had been moving toward all along. It’s unfortunate that things turned out this way for Wak. I liked him most of the time.

  34. SODOMOJO360 on August 9th, 2010 2:31 pm

    M’s have a new coach every other year. There is no stability . Wak did a good job in 2009 with the talent he had. This year at least 7 players have not performed to their career averages so the coach get’s blamed? That’s weak. He can only do so much with the talent he is given.

  35. dusto on August 9th, 2010 2:31 pm

    “I’m pretty confident that he’ll get another gig, and be a pretty successful major league manager once he gets that second chance.”

    Unless its the Dodgers. (see: Anderson, Garret)

  36. tubbabubba22 on August 9th, 2010 2:32 pm

    Point #2 is a complete joke. I just think it is totally unfair to assume that is what happened at all.

    My question is, why Rick Adair? Is there something else going on besides he wasn’t a good pitching coach? Our starting pitching has been great since he has been here and on top of that there are a lot of no namers that have developed under Rick. Did he have to get fired because Wak got fired??

  37. msfanmike on August 9th, 2010 2:32 pm

    Totally disgusted in this franchise and 90% of its fanbase

    That’s a lot of people to throw under the bus at one time. Your arms must be tired.

    I am ashamed to be a Mariners fan today.

    You will be missed.

  38. z24lax on August 9th, 2010 2:36 pm

    I heard that Ken Griffey Junior also caused the oil spill, hurrican katrina, and forced Lebron to sign with the heat. God, I can’t believe this garbage is coming up again.

  39. kenshabby on August 9th, 2010 2:43 pm

    Bringing back both Griffey and Sweeney was an egregious mistake that contributed to this morass, and Wak could only do so much with that. A shame.

    As for Wak’s next managerial venture, hopefully he won’t consistently put the worst hitter(s) on the team in the clean-up spot.

  40. charliebrown on August 9th, 2010 2:47 pm

    On July 28, Chone Figgins hit a home run and then flashed a “2 and a “4″ with his fingers in the dugout as a salute to Griffey. He had told Griffey before he left that if he hit a home run he was going to do it.

    You know what would help this team more than tributes to Ken Griffey Jr? Players who are embarassed that it took almost two months to hit that homerun.

    Junior left the team June 1st. Maybe if Figgins was more concerned with how awful he’s been at the plate than with how Griffey was treated then the M’s wouldn’t be so bad this year.

  41. davepaisley on August 9th, 2010 2:49 pm

    You know what did him in? The frickin’ “belief system” crap. It was a joke last year, and he basically became a laughing stock this year, Griffey or not.

    The players on the team at the start of the season had the historical talent to compete, yet he got career worst performances out of all of them. You can call some of that bad luck, but the likelihood is his often bizarre managing decisions led to a lot of it.

  42. z24lax on August 9th, 2010 2:49 pm

    @kenshabby

    Rumor has it that it was Griffey’s idea to hit Lopez cleanup

  43. Jim_H on August 9th, 2010 2:51 pm

    #1 is obvious. #2, not so much.

    First of all, Griffey just wanted to continue playing baseball, and I’m sure in his mind, he felt like he could continue to contribute. The decision to allow him to do so was not his. It was Z’s, and the ownerships. Blame them, not Griffey.

    As far as him spreading discontent in the clubhouse, I’d like to see something substantiating this? Or is this just conjecture on your part? I’m sure most, if not all of the other players looked up to Griffey, and some as a hero, and most, if not all would probably throw themselves in front of a bus to defend him. He was their leader, and a Hall of Famer, one the greatest players in history. I’m sure every player in that clubhouse was supportive of him, and believed just as he did that he would eventually turn it around. All that said, the decision to put him on the roster was not his. Ultimately, it was his bosses.

    Blame #2 on Senior Management, not Junior Griffey.

  44. bermanator on August 9th, 2010 3:00 pm

    Absent Griffey’s presence on the team and manager-poisoning antics, do you think that Figgins and Wak handle that dugout incident differently?

  45. Diehard on August 9th, 2010 3:02 pm

    I agree with you Dave, The front office screwed the pooch by bringing griffey back and that coupled with Milton Bradley melting down/not producing early in the year did Wak in. Wak didn’t handle it well which was his fault and it snowballed from there. I really like Wak as a manager and the front office hasn’t made many good moves this year and I think this also was a bad move. Winning organizations have stability and this team has had no stability since Lou left. Wak wasn’t perfect but he was still learning as a manager. This move sucks and well it’s another new low this year. And I’m sure taking the Rainiers manager away in their playoff run isn’t going to help them either.

  46. sstadnicki on August 9th, 2010 3:03 pm

    I have to admit that I’ve been getting more and more disenfranchised with Wak as the season goes on. It seemed clear that he was trying to make do with the talent he had, but at the same time it seemed to manifest itself in ways that were actively detrimental to both the team winning games and to the players righting the ship. The 7th inning yesterday was the last straw for me – runners at 1st and 2nd and no outs has an ‘inherent’ expectancy of more than a run and a half (although those tables are getting drastically out of date – does anyone have a modern version?). If it’s the 9th inning and you’re tied/down, then playing for 1 makes more sense, but having both Bard and Langerhans try and sacrifice feels from the outside like it’s projecting an incompetency onto the hitters – they can’t be expected to actually hit, so they’re not given opportunity to. It’s understandable if you really don’t trust their ability to put the ball in play in those circumstances, but it feels counterproductive to me to not give them the opportunity to try in what’s got to be at best a moderate-leverage situation. It’s the example that’s freshest in my mind, but it seems like Wak has been making a lot of these decisions lately, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that’s a contributing factor.

  47. msb on August 9th, 2010 3:04 pm

    … why did Griffey clear out without a word instead of having a going-away party with his buddies, and leaving with his patented smile, so that everyone might feel good about it?

    March 12, 2010, from Jon Heyman:

    “[Griffey's] hot topic on this day, while watching Nomar Garciaparra call an end to his career on MLB Network, was how he won’t call a press conference when he retires. “I’ll send a fax,” he said.”

  48. DC on August 9th, 2010 3:09 pm

    Thanks Howie and Chuckles! You have pushed the Mariners to the point of becoming irrelevant. Great Job!

  49. mrb on August 9th, 2010 3:22 pm

    My estimation, from watching almost zero games and only looking at the box score to see how low the team can sink, is that Z came to the conclusion that Wak was a replacement-level manager – not any better or worse than whomever might replace him. With the season effectively over and basically nothing at stake, why not give Darren Brown the big-league shot he (possibly) always wanted? And why not clear the boards for a guy Z thinks will improve the team?

  50. refusetolose on August 9th, 2010 3:24 pm

    Dave-

    I will always come to Griffeys defense, and will always do my best to save his name from slander. He is my favorite player, I’m 20 years old, I grew up with him, so I’m the kind of guy you hate and don’t respect. Let’s get that out of the way early before you simply reply with “another griffey lover refusing to see the light.”

    In 2009:

    Junior ranked 3rd in HRs with 19…
    He led the team with 63 walks…
    He was 4th in RBIs, with a meager 57 I’ll give you..

    He did this in 117 games..In 111 games, Adrian Beltre had 44 RBIs, and Ichiro only had 46 in 146.

    So yes, although even last year, Griff didn’t look great, he was still among the best we had in each major category, while not playing in a good number of games.

    I would say adequate performace overall but good for the team, so bringing him back was not the “mistake of the century.”

    Because he was 39 had an awful 2 months of baseball, you helped run him out of town. Because they are younger you will give Grady Sizemores (211,271,289) and Carlos Lee’s terrible first 100 ABs a free pass I’m sure…

    And you hate Jr, he must not have sent back your card as a kid.

    Casey Kotchman has started 19 games in the 3 hole this season…He’s hitting .171 when he starts there. He’s hitting .202 when he bats 7th, where he has started 29 times..and a respectable .278 when he hits 6th..But Wak put him in bad spots.

    He bats Michael Saunders 9th, which you have said you can’t stand. He plays Rob Johnson, which you say you can’t stand, he has hit Lopez 4th or 5th in 86 games this season, which you hate.

    Jr. didn’t do all that, Wak did. Jr. is not the reason why Aardsma’s HR Rate has skyrocketed in a year, and Junior doesn’t bring Shawn White in in critical spots. And finally, the team was 35-20 in 1 run games last year, they simply had some better luck last year. Jr. isn’t the reason they lose those games now.

    Find a new scapegoat.

  51. Munsrat on August 9th, 2010 3:24 pm

    It’s been a painful year for me coming to terms with my confirmation bias on Griffey. I didn’t have the imagination to see how badly things could turn out with his coming back one more year.

    All that being said, your point 2 is a serious allegation. I hope that your sources and information are accurate on this and your confirmation bias isn’t affecting your interpretation of events.

  52. The Ancient Mariner on August 9th, 2010 3:25 pm

    Not happy about this. Wak didn’t deserve this; I don’t like seeing Adair go at all; and “fire the manager” is usually a sign that things are coming apart.

    That said, the “#6org” idiots need to remember that Dave didn’t make that decision . . .

  53. Brantid on August 9th, 2010 3:25 pm

    Ok, I’ve been reading for a long time, but this sad occasion calls for the first post.

    I wish this hadn’t happened. Overall, I have a good impression of Wak and the coaching staff. But I have to agree with point #1 with an emphasis on no improvement by the players. Do I blame the players? Sure I do. But if coaches aren’t getting any improvement whether it is for a good reason or because the coaches have “lost” the players, it doesn’t matter. A coach’s primary function is to get the most out of the players and that clearly was not happening here. Honestly, I am having trouble coming up with a secondary function for a coach (post game interviews? I am struggling here).

    As for point #2 and Griffey, honestly, it is just why point #1 is happening. That and probably 15 other reasons.

  54. arichner on August 9th, 2010 3:25 pm

    Get over it. We didnt lose Felix or Ichiro (yet). We simply lost our MANAGER who seemed like a nice guy but a so-so manager. I don’t mind seeing him gone at all. I liked Adair tho but if Jack wants to bring an entirely new staff then go for it. I love Jack even though the team has this awful record. I like what they’re doing in the minors too so he gets points for that IMO. Drayton Moore sill can’t get the Royals to win but he and his team have built a TERRIFIC farm system and that’s what I’m hoping Jack can keep doing with the Mariners and hopefully get the MLB team on the right track as well.

  55. GLS on August 9th, 2010 3:29 pm

    This was inevitable. What’s surprising is that it happened now vs. in the postseason. All I can think of that makes sense is that the clubhouse atmosphere had become so divisive that Z felt like he couldn’t wait that long to clear the decks – basically he didn’t want the players carrying the current season into the offseason with them.

  56. charliebrown on August 9th, 2010 3:33 pm

    refusetolose – Ok.let me explain things a different way that doesn’t bash Griffey but still explains what Dave is basically saying.

    Let’s go with your theory that bringing Griffey back wasn’t a huge mistake. There was still a huge mistake made, however, and you made the same one in your post that the front office did when they decided to bring him back.

    Namely, you didn’t think about the situation the team would be in when a legendary player couldn’t play anymore. Once the team realized he couldn’t play anymore, they had two choices.

    1. Run a legend out of town and deal with a huge backlash from fans.

    2. Continue playing someone who significantly hurts the team, causing the team to lose more games than they should, resulting in backlash from fans.

    No one considered this as a possibility before they signed him, just as you didn’t acknowledge the possibility in your post that Griffey was no longer a major league caliber player. This put Wak in the position of having to choose between option 1 and option 2 above.

    It’s not Griffey’s fault he stunk, and it’s not his fault that the team didn’t have a plan in place.

    But his presence on this team was the reason this all happened.

  57. daddydriz on August 9th, 2010 3:34 pm

    Point #2 is pure speculation. Unless Dave was in the clubhouse, he doesn’t know what happened. Here is my speculation, borrowing from the blog post:

    When Wak made the (correct) decision that Ken Griffey Jr just shouldn’t play anymore, and refused to speak with him for two weeks, treating him like a rookie about to be cut it caused some serious friction between the guys on the field and the coaching staff. The guys loved Junior, and they’re not rational about his abilities to help the team win they didn’t appreciate a player of Junior’s caliber and demeanor being disrespected. They just saw an icon in the game being shoved out the door unceremoniously.

  58. Adam S on August 9th, 2010 3:35 pm

    Not sure I believe the whole Griffey theory, but what does a manager have to do to deserve to be fired? A Lee Elia rant? Refer to all the bloggers as nerds living in their mother’s basements.

    As you implied, his use of the roster — lineups, batting order, bullpen selections — was poor and though I agree that didn’t matter much in this decision. In terms of managing by “The Book”, was is about a 2 on a 1-10 scale.

    He didn’t show any ability to motivate players or get them out of their season-long funks. I don’t know if his players liked him. It sure seems like some of them didn’t respect him or at least had a lot of discontent with him (Dave’s words).

    Exactly who was it that wrote Griffey’s name in the 5 spot 3 out of four days for nearly two months before demoting him to 25th man? And who did so without managing/mitigating the reaction in the club house by Griffey and others? Who’s given Jose Lopez a free pass as the #4/#5 hitter all year despite being the worst hitter on the team?

    If the guy isn’t that good between the white lines and he doesn’t have much a clubhouse presence, what value does he have?

    I’m pretty confident that he’ll get another gig, and be a pretty successful major league manager once he gets that second chance.
    I agree on the first part, not sure on the second part. He won’t be sabotaged like he was this year, but his decision making leaves a lot to offer and that’s going to lessen the chance that his team is happy and wins.

  59. brjohnso on August 9th, 2010 3:39 pm

    I think the point is missed here. The Mariners are performing terribly, and frankly nobody in the organization seems to care. I listen to Wak after the game and he shows no emotion at all. From the way he talks I get the feeling its like “oh well”. He acts like someone that just wants to muddle along and not upset anyone. You don’t have to be Billy Martin, but you do have to be willing to piss someone off sometimes. If you don’t people will think you just don’t care. And frankly his managerial moves show the same thing.

    If there was a Griffey issue, Wak could have dealt with it. He gets press time after every game, but he never explained what he was doing. He never called Griffey out. Dealing with aging superstars is not an uncommon thing in baseball. Some day there could be an Ichiro issue, he’s not getting any younger. You may as well get someone now that isn’t afraid to stand up to these oversize personalities. It will show both in their personnel management, their game calls, and ultimately in the W/L numbers.

  60. refusetolose on August 9th, 2010 3:39 pm

    charliebrown–i respect your post and do acknowledge that the team didn’t plan for a ‘what if’ Jr. stinks this year situation.

    I am a fan, I admit that, I play college baseball and I know that guys have rough years and rough slumps and things like that, and that coaches and people don’t always expect it. So I tend to not say that a guy “sucks” very often.

    But still, when he ranks in the top half in most offensive categories, you can’t say he’s not major league caliber in my opinion. And Dave just enjoys sullying his name.

    I’m also a journalism major, and as many people have said, you better have some quotable sources Cameron to back up the claim.

  61. Carson on August 9th, 2010 3:42 pm

    This is a blog, not a newspaper.

  62. DC on August 9th, 2010 3:47 pm

    Stop defending Griffey people. This guy was a great player and fun to watch, but he is and always will be a spoiled brat. That is the reality of the situation. He held this team hostage when he wanted to get traded to Cincy, and he handled the fact that he was done as a player just as bad.

  63. Chris_From_Bothell on August 9th, 2010 3:47 pm

    Dave, you have built most of your arguments and reputation around solid data and facts… you’re among the first to (correctly) wait until all the reliable info comes in before judging a club move… and you’ve dismissed the effect of clubhouse chemistry at every turn.

    So, this post based on nothing but rumor and conjecture about possible clubhouse soap operas is rather odd.

  64. refusetolose on August 9th, 2010 3:49 pm

    As we go forward, people are going to do a lot of speculating about why Don Wakamatsu and his staff were replaced today. In reality, though, it boils down to two very simple things

    It’s still journalism…Had he said “this is my blog and it’s my personal opinion that this is why Wak was fired..then fine.

    When its being portrayed as simple, and factual, then yeah, the forum doesn’t matter, it’s being portrayed as the truth.

  65. Nate on August 9th, 2010 3:50 pm

    I, Personally put a lot of the blame for this on Griffey. I loved him as a player, his is the only jersey I’ve ever purchased etc. etc. But even *I* could see that he was done last year (before last year, actually). I lost a lot of respect for him when he came back this year, played horribly, and acted all offended when he didn’t get more playing time. Guys, there’s a reason Edgar isn’t on the team right now, his career is over.

    Griffey’s should have been over in Oct 2009.

    Watching him pout and complain for the *second time* in seattle is a hard pill for this fan to swallow.

  66. SODOMOJO360 on August 9th, 2010 3:54 pm

    Dave-
    I will always come to Griffeys defense, and will always do my best to save his name from slander. He is my favorite player, I’m 20 years old, I grew up with him, so I’m the kind of guy you hate and don’t respect. Let’s get that out of the way early before you simply reply with “another griffey lover refusing to see the light.”
    In 2009:
    Junior ranked 3rd in HRs with 19…
    He led the team with 63 walks…
    He was 4th in RBIs, with a meager 57 I’ll give you..
    He did this in 117 games..In 111 games, Adrian Beltre had 44 RBIs, and Ichiro only had 46 in 146.
    So yes, although even last year, Griff didn’t look great, he was still among the best we had in each major category, while not playing in a good number of games.
    I would say adequate performace overall but good for the team, so bringing him back was not the “mistake of the century.”
    Because he was 39 had an awful 2 months of baseball, you helped run him out of town. Because they are younger you will give Grady Sizemores (211,271,289) and Carlos Lee’s terrible first 100 ABs a free pass I’m sure…
    And you hate Jr, he must not have sent back your card as a kid.
    Casey Kotchman has started 19 games in the 3 hole this season…He’s hitting .171 when he starts there. He’s hitting .202 when he bats 7th, where he has started 29 times..and a respectable .278 when he hits 6th..But Wak put him in bad spots.
    He bats Michael Saunders 9th, which you have said you can’t stand. He plays Rob Johnson, which you say you can’t stand, he has hit Lopez 4th or 5th in 86 games this season, which you hate.
    Jr. didn’t do all that, Wak did. Jr. is not the reason why Aardsma’s HR Rate has skyrocketed in a year, and Junior doesn’t bring Shawn White in in critical spots. And finally, the team was 35-20 in 1 run games last year, they simply had some better luck last year. Jr. isn’t the reason they lose those games now.
    Find a new scapegoat.

    Very nicely put young man.

  67. qwerty on August 9th, 2010 3:55 pm

    Griffey wasn’t the problem. The lack of a plan to deal with an aging superstar that can no longer perform is the real issue

    I still say, it’s now time to get max return for Ichiro. The 2011 target needs to be moved back to 2012 to contend.

  68. Milendriel on August 9th, 2010 3:57 pm

    Chris,

    Dave has dismissed the effects of clubhouse chemistry on winning baseball games, not keeping a manager employed.

  69. Teej on August 9th, 2010 3:58 pm

    Or you can just not believe him. Take it for what it’s worth. If you don’t think Dave has trustworthy sources, then don’t believe him. But naming sources isn’t always the best idea.

  70. beadyeyes123 on August 9th, 2010 4:00 pm

    Dave, you have built most of your arguments and reputation around solid data and facts… you’re among the first to (correctly) wait until all the reliable info comes in before judging a club move… and you’ve dismissed the effect of clubhouse chemistry at every turn.

    So, this post based on nothing but rumor and conjecture about possible clubhouse soap operas is rather odd.

    With all due respect I don’t see many of the player issues we saw in 2008. Even Milton Bradley has been a saint and one would assume he’d have lost it when Jr left.

    I can see a situation where Wak lost some of his players due to his perceived treatment of Junior but I don’t see anybody throwing people against walls or anonymous comments slamming certain players (Ichiro!) for lack of effort.

  71. Dennisss on August 9th, 2010 4:02 pm

    Wow, a “trade Ichiro” comment. Gotta admire that sort of persistence!

  72. beadyeyes123 on August 9th, 2010 4:03 pm

    Find a new scapegoat.

    Well, my love for Junior goes very deep. I love him even though I feel slighted by his attitude this year.

    Wak deserves some of the blame as does the FO. Griffey gets it in equal doses. Regardless of how Wak treated him, he QUIT. Walked out the door, didn’t talk to anybody and drove home.

    Sorry dude, defend it, spin it, whatever but Junior could have been a man and said goodbye to us fans and the team instead of leaving in a huff like a child does when he doesn’t get his way.

  73. beadyeyes123 on August 9th, 2010 4:05 pm

    Wow, a “trade Ichiro” comment. Gotta admire that sort of persistence!

    And get what for him? We’d get something decent but I think there would be a big fan revolt if we did that. Trading Ichiro is like trading Edgar, it won’t jibe with fans.

  74. argh on August 9th, 2010 4:05 pm

    The one thing that’s a constant in the Mariners’ miserable performance and management over the last half dozen years is the ownership. We’ve changed players, managers and coaches, but the men that pull the strings and count the beans linger on.

    If in fact management put Wak in the position of throwing Jr. over the side all by himself and left him there to twist in the wind (to power mix my metaphors), it seems plausible they did so for reasons relating to the bottom line: trying to maintain the Griffey franchise in Seattle and hoping to maybe even bring him back in some kind of show case position in the not too distant future to provide further distraction for a fan base rapidly going comatose over bad baseball. “See, Jr.? We love you…it was just that SOB Wakamatsu, but he’s gone now, okay? So let’s talk about the tv spots.”

    Speculation? Sure it is, but we have a pretty good idea how these people think and what they value.

  75. beadyeyes123 on August 9th, 2010 4:08 pm

    Absent Griffey’s presence on the team and manager-poisoning antics, do you think that Figgins and Wak handle that dugout incident differently?

    Who’s to say they hadn’t fixed the problem? Neither you or me or anybody else knows if they patched things up as best they could.

  76. spankystout on August 9th, 2010 4:08 pm

    While I don’t agree with cleaning out the coaches before the terrible players who make their coaches look bad. Wak has made many bad decisions (my opinion) with the lineup, bullpen, etc….And if he lost the ear of his players it may have been time for him to be let go.

  77. beadyeyes123 on August 9th, 2010 4:13 pm

    Dave – I really admire your writing both here and elsewhere but it seems you had your fan goggles on when ranking the Mariners #6 in your Fangraphs organizational rankings. I know that the jury is still out on the front office (1 overachieving year, 1 underachieving year) but this is quite a mess that now needs to be cleaned up.

    What mess? Z has pretty much restocked the minors with exciting young players. Look at Dave’s post about the relievers that could be ready to come up soon. Look at the growth of guys like Mangini, Halman, Ackley, Pineda and a bunch more.

    Seems to me that no matter what, Z could flip a Mangini and something else for a part we need next year. I still think Z is going to make us proud M’s fans down the line.

    It sucks that things are this bad, but the GM is still cleaning up the bare cupboards that Bavasi left us. It all starts and ends with our prospects. Look at teams like the Twins and Rays. They have tons of solid young talent and can trade anything at the drop of a hat because they have depth at all levels of their minors.

  78. dchappelle on August 9th, 2010 4:19 pm

    Zduriencik seems lost. Hope a promising start as a GM doesn’t get cut too short.

  79. Karmasartre on August 9th, 2010 4:22 pm

    The timing sure takes the spotlight off Morrow.

  80. Shanfan on August 9th, 2010 4:23 pm

    A New Day, A New Way.

    Then the next day, same old shit.

  81. DC on August 9th, 2010 4:29 pm

    Argh-

    Well Put!!!

  82. currcoug on August 9th, 2010 4:32 pm

    Dave overstates the Junior as a cancer thing, although Junior bears the responsibility for acting like a sophomoric, petulant child.

    Dave properly blames the front office, but he should go further and demand the firing of Lincoln and Armstrong.

  83. Utis on August 9th, 2010 4:34 pm

    Putting all the blame on Griffey isn’t fair or accurate. This was a team effort. There is plenty of blame to go around. Griffey had an unrealistic view of his ability to contribute. Ownership was blind in its pursuit of a storybook ending. Griffey’s teammates vastly underperformed. Jack Z brought in many of the underperforming players. Wak was unable to manage or motivate the underperfoming players. The fact that Jack Z and Wak cut off all communication with Griffey at the end hint at a relationship gone out of control. Wak, Z, ownership, and Griffey should have met during the off season and developed a contingency plan. Failing to plan is planning to fail. So far Griffey and Wak have taken the fall. I wonder how much rope Z has.

  84. eponymous coward on August 9th, 2010 4:37 pm

    Dave properly blames the front office, but he should go further and demand the firing of Lincoln and Armstrong.

    Owners generally don’t fire themselves. (For all intents and purposes, Lincoln’s ownership.)

  85. DC on August 9th, 2010 4:39 pm

    Lincoln has a very, very small stake in the team. He can be removed rather easily.

  86. beadyeyes123 on August 9th, 2010 4:46 pm

    But isn’t Lincoln Yamauchi’s son in law? And if I am not wrong he is chairman of Nintendo America which got all of Yamauchi’s shares right?

  87. Hobo on August 9th, 2010 4:48 pm

    So I’m curious if Jose Castro will get the reigns of the Rainiers for now or if Tim Laker will get promoted right away. Think *anything* could get Dan Rohn to leave the 51s to come back here?!?

  88. beadyeyes123 on August 9th, 2010 4:48 pm

    I wonder how much rope Z has.

    How much rope did Bavasi get? Z will be around for a few years. It’s easier for an organization to fire a manager and coaches than it is to fire a GM every few years.

  89. diderot on August 9th, 2010 4:49 pm

    Dave overstates the Junior as a cancer thing.

    I think it’s important to realize this isn’t just Dave…and it isn’t just the M’s clubhouse.

    Several years ago Dmitri Young and Pokey Reese were willing to go on the record talking about the divisive nature of Griffey in the Reds locker room. He rubs some people the wrong way, and always has.

    You can’t fool all of the people all of the time. For every Art Thiel willing to shill for him, Griffey’s got a Jeff Brantley who suffered the classy ‘throat slash’ gesture for having the nerve to speak the truth.

    The meme of this comment thread is that the clubhouse problem was that all the players quit on Wak because they didn’t like how he handled the Griffey situation. But as has been stated, none of us was there. We don’t know the facts. So my wild guess is that the clubhouse issue did stem from Griffey…but only because part of the team backed him…and part disliked the way he quit on them–leaving Wak stuck in the middle of an impossible situation.

  90. Todd Hunter on August 9th, 2010 4:53 pm

    I still say, it’s now time to get max return for Ichiro. The 2011 target needs to be moved back to 2012 to contend.

    Ichiro is a 10/5 player at the conclusion of this season. He will have a full no trade clause. He will not go anywhere.

  91. Johnny Slick on August 9th, 2010 4:56 pm

    I’m not generally a fan of fire-the-manager fixes but I don’t see how the M’s had any other option. The entire team is underperforming. When it’s one guy, you’ve got to blame the one guy, but really, you can count the players who are playing to expectations (at least position players) on one hand right now. Maybe these issues aren’t precisely Wak’s fault but he is the focus of them and for that reason, sadly, he’s got to go.

  92. diderot on August 9th, 2010 5:00 pm

    But isn’t Lincoln Yamauchi’s son in law? And if I am not wrong he is chairman of Nintendo America which got all of Yamauchi’s shares right?

    No, he is not a son in law.

    No, he is not employed by Nintendo.

  93. jimbob on August 9th, 2010 5:00 pm

    Wak was just naive and stupid. Lou ALWAYS played his veterans until everyone from veterans down to the ballgirls on the team agreed that a player was washed up. Bobby Ayala was an extreme example. Maybe that’s why the Mariners attract so many washed up players. Occasionally it works out when the juice is flowing.

    It’s difficult to find an example of a manager who was a marginal major league player who was successful with a marginal group of players. Wak’s luck was bound to run out and he lacked Pinella’s and Guillen’s credibility as a player. I was a big Figgins fan until he played the “star” card against Wak and now I hate his guts.

  94. henryv on August 9th, 2010 5:11 pm

    Every part of this is stupid.

    Wak did a poor job, generally, from what is measurable.

    Griffey and Figgins (and Sweeney) all acted like petulent children.

    Jack Z. put together a team that had holes, and then virtually every player on the team underperformed.

    And all those defending Griffey apparently have the worst case of selective amnesia in the history of medical science.

    There isn’t a single person of the baseball management or coaches or players that isn’t at least partially to blame.

    However, as is tradition, the coach takes the axe, because you can’t fire all the players.

    Personally, I blame Geoff Baker and Skip Bayless.

    (There, now I’ve pissed off everyone.)

  95. littlesongs on August 9th, 2010 5:20 pm

    If I recall correctly, Griffey was the main guy who bought into the “belief system” in 2009. It worked because younger players followed his lead. Sweeney reinforced that positive direction and they kept the team motivated. There was unity of purpose.

    Griffey went from a crippled cheerleader on the bench, to dozing through the ballgame in the clubhouse, to a distant memory. Sweeney was a Rainier when Figgins was wiggin. Fresh from Cleveland, Branyan became the de facto peacekeeper and spokesperson.

    It is possible that Wak never really had control of the clubhouse. He may have been the kind of boss that is likable, but always seems to lack any fresh constructive insight. The business still succeeds for a time because the old hands know what to do and share it with the new hires.

    I hate to put it this way, but the veterans were like a wooby or a security blanket for Wakamatsu. Once Mike Sweeney put on a Phillies hat, summer camp was all over.

  96. qwerty on August 9th, 2010 5:23 pm

    Wow, a “trade Ichiro” comment. Gotta admire that sort of persistence!

    And get what for him? We’d get something decent but I think there would be a big fan revolt if we did that. Trading Ichiro is like trading Edgar, it won’t jibe with fans.
    ***
    Don’t know. I’m just saying it’s now time to find out. If we don’t like the results, keep him. If we can get some major pieces to add to our project, I say we do it. This year set us back in our quest for contending. Just sayin….

    It’s also the Anti CHoward philosophy. If they insist on something, consider doing the opposite…

  97. GarForever on August 9th, 2010 5:31 pm

    Kenny Williams and Ozzie Guillen hate each other. Neither has been fired because the team wins and because Frank Thomas didn’t throw Ozzie under the bus.

    Dave, you know I have tremendous respect for this site and your analysis and opinions about the M’s and the game in general, but as someone who lives in the Chicago media market, I have to challenge this assertion as an oversimplification at best. The relationship is much more complex (and involves owner Jerry Reinsdorf and his arguably over-developed sense of loyalty) than this comment would suggest. The situations are not equivalent.

  98. certaindoom on August 9th, 2010 5:37 pm

    I am so furious at these position players. Other than Ichiro and to some extent Gutierrez, not one of them has hit worth a damn or done the things they are paid to do, yet they had a hand in getting not one but three coaches fired, including the pitching coach, who by all accounts did his job.

    This organization is ridiculous, who would want to manage here, when

    – Disaster cast-offs like Bradley are happily embraced despite their capacity for underachievement

    – Guys who question the manager are rewarded

    – Success on the field for the pitchers results in the pitching coach being fired because of some whiny hitters.

    It just goes on and on. Figgins, what the hell was his problem. We got this whole song and dance last winter with his parents up on the podium about what a great throwback he was, what a great team player he was. Bull Sh*t . Whats he done but hit .230 and loaf on ground balls, then throw punches at his manager. Then his manager is the one that gets fired!

    I am furious at this team, I cannot stand the thought of them wearing the Mariners uniform, and at no point do I plan to attend a game til most of these losers is shipped out. I don’t care if I have to watch AAA ball for 10 years afterwards. I hate Figgins, I hate Bradley, I have every useless .210 hitting malcontent on this roster which pretty much means all of them.

    I hope Ichiro gets a good deal out of town, he’s earned it. Deserves to put his style, grace, attitude and skills on display for an organization that respects winning. Clearly thats not Seattle, or idiots like Bradley and Figgins would never even be here to begin with.

  99. certaindoom on August 9th, 2010 5:41 pm

    One last thing. While I respect the stat head contingent, I was at your love fest with Z. last spring downtown at Benaroya Hall. Watched as you all applauded Z for making this miracle swap to get Bradley, watched as you cheered acquiring Figgins, and got to hear how you loved the Brandon League for Brandon Morrow swap.

    I just wonder in the full light of day whether any of you has anything to say for yourselves, whether you could possibly be rethinking your positions just a little bit. This board is full of stathead hubris, quite possibly some of it earned. But you all are having as bad a year as our FO. Does anyone want to step up and take ownership, or do you all just think “limited sample bias” and move on?

  100. jsa on August 9th, 2010 6:09 pm

    2. Ken Griffey Jr became unhappy with Wakamatsu and actively spread his discontent around the clubhouse.

    I could have sworn we a post recently that assured us this stuff never happens.

  101. groundzero55 on August 9th, 2010 6:10 pm

    Bringing back both Griffey and Sweeney was an egregious mistake that contributed to this morass, and Wak could only do so much with that. A shame

    What did Sweeney do so wrong, other than get hurt? He came extremely cheaply, and was hitting well before he went down.

    As for Wak’s next managerial venture, hopefully he won’t consistently put the worst hitter(s) on the team in the clean-up spot.

    For most of the year, we had one good hitter. And you don’t bat the leadoff guy cleanup. Your suggestion?

    You can call some of that bad luck, but the likelihood is his often bizarre managing decisions led to a lot of it.

    Because his weird managing decisions made the bullpen suck and all the players forget how to run the bases. I don’t think his managing decisions had much of an effect other than pissing off some of the fans.

  102. gwangung on August 9th, 2010 6:11 pm

    One last thing. While I respect the stat head contingent, I was at your love fest with Z. last spring downtown at Benaroya Hall. Watched as you all applauded Z for making this miracle swap to get Bradley, watched as you cheered acquiring Figgins, and got to hear how you loved the Brandon League for Brandon Morrow swap.
    I just wonder in the full light of day whether any of you has anything to say for yourselves, whether you could possibly be rethinking your positions just a little bit. This board is full of stathead hubris, quite possibly some of it earned. But you all are having as bad a year as our FO. Does anyone want to step up and take ownership, or do you all just think “limited sample bias” and move on?

    Results based analysis is exceedingly stupid.

    And I’m owning that.

    (EDIT: You do know that what you deride as statheads are people who are playing the percentages, right?)

  103. Paul B on August 9th, 2010 6:13 pm

    I just wonder in the full light of day whether any of you has anything to say for yourselves, whether you could possibly be rethinking your positions just a little bit. This board is full of stathead hubris, quite possibly some of it earned

    Rethink what?

    That statistics are useful? No, still think that they are useful.

    That it is better to make decisions using good data than to make decisions without good data? Nope, still believe that too.

  104. jjenson on August 9th, 2010 6:47 pm

    I find it funny for a site that is all about statistics and logical rational thought to blame anything on 1 player contaminating a clubhouse.

    I think before that claim should be made against any player you should have a way to substantiate a claim such as this. I mean you use Frank Thomas in a comment there were many reports that guys was a huge jerk but it didn’t stop them from winning when they wanted him gone.

    The fact is the Mariners were under performing all year and when that happens the manager almost always gets canned. To say Griffey was the reason this happened without anything other than personal opinion is a joke and obviously shows how you are just as susceptible to claims with no basis as the next person.

    Griffey sucked it up and didn’t deserve to be on a major league team this year that is for sure. The team sucks this year and that is why Wak got fired. I can name 50 coaches that the same thing happened to that had no icon relegated to a cheerleader stance that got fired the same way Wak did.

    I usually like this site but man this was a bad opinion stated as fact this time around.

  105. eponymous coward on August 9th, 2010 6:56 pm

    got to hear how you loved the Brandon League for Brandon Morrow swap

    Oh, hey, look, except you’re wrong.

  106. groundzero55 on August 9th, 2010 7:08 pm

    I don’t think anybody was thrilled about that trade. At best it was more like “maybe they know something I don’t.” I was personally disappointed, but then again, I wanted Morrow to be a starter from the beginning.

  107. Xteve X on August 9th, 2010 7:20 pm

    hey refusetolose … curious to hear your excuse, uh, I mean opinion on Griffey pouting his way out of town without saying goodbye to any of his teammates. What great leadership and class that showed.

    He was great in his first stint here but it’s awful hard to play baseball or any other sport for that matter with a giant fork sticking out of one’s back. Facts suck.

  108. oldschool on August 9th, 2010 7:22 pm

    [ethnic generalizations, off-topic]

  109. DC on August 9th, 2010 7:30 pm

    The problem is with the idiots at the top that keep hiring and firing. Plain and simple.

  110. MrZDevotee on August 9th, 2010 7:52 pm

    The only thing I don’t buy into is that Griffey has never had a problem making it perfectly known if he felt insulted… He was never one to walk away from feeling sleighted.

    And yet, the only thing we hear about his supposed temper tantrum, about being treated with disrespect by Wak, is merely rumor and speculation.

    Including an official statement from both Z and Griff’s agent that when the time is right, Griffey will return to the Mariners in some as yet undetermined role.

    I just don’t see Wak making the move of sitting Griffey without some sort of, if even brief, discussion. Yet people make it sound like they never spoke, sat at opposite ends of the dugout, and he just stopped showing up on the lineup cards.

    If Griffey has the power being insinuated in point #2, and can influence management, wouldn’t Wak have been the one who “retired” back in May, and Griffey would still be DH’ing on a regular basis?

    Instead, Griffey was told (my speculation now): “the season isn’t going as planned, so we’re gonna shift gears a little bit, and we’re seeing a reduced role for you as we move forward…” Which I imagine led Griffey to the conclusion that if I’m not gonna be playing on a regular basis, I’d rather be home… Heck, I’d rather somebody else have my roster spot. AND THEN! Being the proud guy that he is, he decided to just disappear into the night (day? empty seats?) without comment. He didn’t have it in him to stand in front of a bunch of press and say to the world “I’m washed up. I don’t know what I was thinking coming back this year… Sorry everybody.” (That’s definitely NOT Griffey, in my eyes.)

    Long story short, in my opinion (or should that read “the simple truth is…”) Griffey was fine with retiring. Had nothing to do with Wak. (I know I’ve heard Buhner say he’s talked to Griffey since he retired and he never mentioned anything about Wak.)

  111. diderot on August 9th, 2010 7:58 pm

    If you don’t see one of those scenarios, fire the coach, and then fire the general manager.

    Here’s where your analogy loses a little steam. In major league baseball, teams take turns picking top prospects. In college football, winning can be self-perpetuating as a good program can offer every prospect better visibility and a better chance to cash in with the NFL.

    The two situations aren’t remotely similar.

  112. bongo on August 9th, 2010 8:00 pm

    I don’t get it.

    Just last week, Dr Z said that “Don Wakamatsu is the manager of the Seattle Mariners.” Since then, what has changed? Sweeney was traded. Bradley, Kelley, Wilson went on the DL. While all of this might make the club worse, why should this affect the decision to keep Wak?

    In terms of blaming this on Griffey, given that many of Griffey’s biggest fans aren’t on the club any more, how could this be an explanation for firing Wak now? Figgins seems like the biggest potential holdout, but why fire Wak to satisfy him?

    I’m thinking that there could be another reason here, such as the desire for a major lineup revamp along with the September callups. Wak may have balked or maybe Dr. Z thought Darren Brown was the best person to manage the “Tacoma Mariners” that will be on the field come September.

  113. thowe1 on August 9th, 2010 8:20 pm

    I hate to say it as 3k other people have – plain and simple, Wak didn’t produce when a team as hyped as the “Small Ball” divisional threat at the beginning of the year (Figgins in the 5 pager with SI anyone? Feel the GLOVE?!?!?). Factor in the Griffey debacle, the Sweeney stupidity, and lack of performance and you have a firing. That’s it. Let’s move on, and try to understand where this organization is going in the future. We need something, and while I HATE people being thrown under the bus, Wak has some serious tire marks from Jack on this one.

  114. certaindoom on August 9th, 2010 8:49 pm

    The “vote of confidence leading to being fired” explained:

    If you have to ask whether your manager’s on the hot seat, that means he is. Of course the GM says he isn’t. But if you have to ask “is he your still your manager” then the answer most probably is “no, he isn’t going to be very much longer.”

    Thats always been my take on it. On the other hand, has anyone done some analysis of every time a reporter/blogger’s asked someone about a manager remaining on the job, and done a control group study?

    Should get right on that.

  115. Hammy57 on August 9th, 2010 9:17 pm

    Wow. I will no longer be visiting this site anymore. I thought Dave was better than this.

  116. Milendriel on August 9th, 2010 9:46 pm

    Um, what?

    You won’t be missed.

  117. currcoug on August 9th, 2010 10:10 pm

    You know, I would not be surprised to see Wak and Junior bury the hatchet (no, not in each other’s heads).

  118. Dennisss on August 9th, 2010 10:13 pm

    I think it’s funny that people characterize “Don Wakamatsu is our manager” as a vote of confidence. No, it’s a statement of fact, one we already knew. It’s a way to pretend to answer the question without outright lying or tipping your hand.

  119. dw on August 9th, 2010 10:42 pm

    [off-topic]

  120. flashbeak on August 9th, 2010 10:50 pm

    Wow. I will no longer be visiting this site anymore. I thought Dave was better than this.

    Good.

    Junior ranked 3rd in HRs with 19…
    He led the team with 63 walks…
    He was 4th in RBIs, with a meager 57 I’ll give you..

    He did this in 117 games..In 111 games, Adrian Beltre had 44 RBIs, and Ichiro only had 46 in 146.

    RBI’s? Oh goodness.

  121. Breadbaker on August 9th, 2010 11:01 pm

    It’s overkill, but comparing Griffey’s and Ichiro’s 2009 RBI is an indication of idiocy. Ichiro led off, and then came up after Rob Johnson and whatever poor excuse for a shortstop we had in the lineup. Griffey came up after Ichiro. Ichiro was on base just a few more times than the guys who batted eighth and ninth.

  122. oldschool on August 9th, 2010 11:05 pm

    [off-topic]

  123. eponymous coward on August 9th, 2010 11:18 pm

    My feeling is, there are two reasons to keep a coach: you just won a championship, or you just had a great season where a championship-caliber club is clearly under construction.

    Right, which is why Joe Torre won championships as a Brave and as a Cardi-oh, wait.

  124. dw on August 9th, 2010 11:48 pm

    [off-topic]

  125. bhdollman on August 10th, 2010 12:14 am

    All this blaming Griffey stuff is a bunch of BS. Dave where does your dislike from Griffey stem from? You bash him on this site repeatedly. Isn’t one of the jobs as a manager to communicate with your players? So you would think if Wak is such a great manager that they would have spoken multiple times in a two week span. Granted Griffey struggled this season but the firing of Wak is not his fault. Its more on the front office (Z) and Wak for losing control of the clubhouse.

  126. Westside guy on August 10th, 2010 12:17 am

    People who think Dave pulled this out of his [hat] should read some of what’s been written by the various Mariners beat writers today. Bottom line – it’s not just Dave’s opinion.

    Apparently Griffey initially blamed Wak for “nap gate” (as in he thought Wak was LaRue’s source, not the anonymous young players) – and spread that to several other players.

  127. mln on August 10th, 2010 1:54 am

    More on the Griffey saga and its possible impact on Wakamatsu’s firing.

  128. JMHawkins on August 10th, 2010 2:02 am

    But still, when [Griffey] ranks in the top half in most offensive categories, you can’t say he’s not major league caliber in my opinion.

    When he ranks in the top half on an offensively incompetent team, you certainly can say he is done. He’s been a replacement level player for five years now. For 8 of the last 10 years he was a below average player. Age an injuries took away his ability. Mike Carp was a step up last year. Griffey was great in his prime, but that was a long, long time ago.

    Drayer knows the M’s clubhouse as well as any reporter, and she’s extremely guarded about sensitive issues. She’s dropped enough hints that Junior blamed Wak for benching him and caused a lot of bad feelings in the clubhouse. Dave’s on solid ground saying the Griffey deal was part of the equation. I’m not sure I agree with him it was the reason, but it contributed. Ultimately the team just sucked, and when everybody underperforms, the manager has to go.

    I’m not a Wak fan, he wore me out with his belief system. I don’t know if he could have handled Griffey better – sure sounds like he might have, but who know why they didn’t talk for weeks afterwards. Could have been Junior giving Wak the cold shoulder.

    It is possible that Wak never really had control of the clubhouse. He may have been the kind of boss that is likable, but always seems to lack any fresh constructive insight.

    I suspect this is correct. It was probably Griffey and Sweeney who ran the clubhouse. Certainly Wak showed no real ability to deal with underperforming players, continuing to stick struggling guys into the same slots night after night. Figgins was a jerk the way he reacted to getting dropped in the lineup and being benched, but I can have a little sympathy for him when he’s watched Lopez meander through the entire season without losing his job or his lineup slot.

    Bottom line, the M’s are playing for the future and I don’t think Wak was going to be part of it. Like someone said, he was basically a replacement-level manager, and seemed to have – perhaps unavoidably – pissed off a sizable fraction of the clubhouse.

  129. badperson_ny on August 10th, 2010 5:57 am

    I just thought he got fired because this is what happens when teams lose like this…Griffey flap or no.

    That flap with Figgins seemed to be a visible sign that things were going off the rails

  130. smb on August 10th, 2010 7:17 am

    I couldn’t be more excited for the end of the Chone Figgins era in Seattle. I will throw a party that day. I have had enough of sniveling, bitchy, overpaid and underperforming slap hitters that take their own poor performance out on the manager in public.

  131. samregens on August 10th, 2010 7:26 am

    My trust in Z is so low that I’m even suspecting now that the particular timing of this firing (just after a rare series win), the particular day, might have been motivated to take attention away from Morrow and yet another of Z’s moves which seems to have been misfired pretty badly.

    And another thing I can’t help feeling is that while Griffey and his buddies (Figgins, Kotchman, Lopez, and Milton) are at fault, part of the mess that was the 2010 season has it’s root in a reporter (Larue) stirring up trouble with the Napgate thing in the first place.

    It has been reported that Griffey told his buddies that he suspected that Wak was the source for Napgate (wrong) which I imagine contributed to poisoning the clubhouse and undermining Wak.

    Another terrible season was 2008 where we had Baker stirring up trouble with his “so many players hate Ichiro you’d be surprised” schtick. And blaring that a player wanted to physically hurt Ichiro (I mean such locker room talk, did it really merit literal printing and making it seem that things had really gone so unimaginally far to the dregs?). This did no good to the team nor Ichiro (thank god for 2009 at least).

    The Mariners have enough problems as it with their poor performance. I’m thinking they should also beware in the future of reporters stirring up trouble and hopefully preventing such things or circumventing it.
    Even although you might say it’s their job to report things, I can’t help feeling there’s the possibility that these particular reporters might be “creating” bad news by exacerbating problems sometimes.
    And this is to further detriment to the team and more agony for us fans having to be subject to this shit.

  132. Willmore2000 on August 10th, 2010 8:06 am

    Congrats, got a link from HuffPo, world domination is not too far off.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sports/

  133. smb on August 10th, 2010 9:35 am

    I’m glad at least Dave has the courage to point out that Griffey’s spoiled, self-centered brand of grand entitlement is the type of malignant clubhouse cancer that results in a decent manager getting the axe. I have little doubt that Griffey started the bow wave that ended with Wak’s firing, and I only wish he would have taken that weak-sauce slap hitter Chone with him, since Choneyboy has such a spectacular mancrush on him. I would like to go to one of these games with 7k people at the stadium, get close to the batter’s box when Chone’s at bat and yell, ‘HEY CHONE, HOW DOES GRIFFEY’S **** TASTE?!”

  134. DMZ on August 10th, 2010 10:10 am

    I would like it a lot more if you wouldn’t.

    Or if, in general, you’d refrain from making jokes like that at all.

  135. Rick Banjo on August 10th, 2010 10:35 am

    Thanks for the links explaining Griffey’s impact. That helps explain things a bit.

    It may not be a horrible idea going forward to bring in a strong, stable personality to manage this team, set some rules, and stick to them. If discipline doesn’t start from day one, even professionals can slack, ie- Lopez (egregious), Figgins, Bradley, blah, blah, blah.

    This team needs a harder nose; Lopez is a perfect example. Go back to basics. Play your ass off for a change or get your DFA card out of your locker. I’m tired of hearing all this accountability crap and not seeing a lot of the on-field problems go away or at least be brought to bear. Figgins has been a bit better lately, but the first half would have tempted me to send his ass down for a reality check, if even for only a week. Respectful players know that if you make the show, you have to maintain your level of play, retire, or expect the bushes to come calling again.

  136. diderot on August 10th, 2010 11:56 am
  137. tchase on August 10th, 2010 12:06 pm

    Isn’t it time to name Ken Griffey Jr manager? What a way to excite a disappointed fan base!

  138. nmirra on August 10th, 2010 12:15 pm

    I think Rick Banjo is right. Not enough is being said about the importance of stability in the dugout. Mike Scioscia is a great manager, but you have to wonder if Figgins would have snapped at him the way he snapped at Wak. One big difference, in my mind, is that Scioscia’s track record is longer than that of the current roster. Managerial firings are the status quo in the game, but the Mariners’ growing pattern of turnover makes me nervous. It gives the impression that the players run the dugout, and it would (despite Z’s comments to the contrary) make Seattle a harder sell as a destination for a valuable managerial candidate.

    Give a manager the time to take ownership of the dugout, and that is when you find out his merits. 1.5 seasons isn’t long enough.

  139. RichardZisk on August 10th, 2010 12:33 pm

    Bottom line: Wak had lost that clubhouse. Don’t have to look much further than Figgins flashing a “two, four” with his fingers after his home run off Buerhle. May as well have been flipping Wak the bird.

    Wak’s clearly not to blame, but if he can’t get this group of “professionals” to giggle when he tickles, better find someone that can.

  140. refusetolose on August 10th, 2010 12:36 pm

    Wak’s not perfect. I’d probably argue that he’s had as bad of a start to the 2010 season as some of the underperformers in the line-up, and he’s made mistakes that he needs to learn from

    That was Cameron’s post from JUNE the 9th…The Mariners are 20-33 since that day. They were They were 23-37 before that day.

    They were 13 games under before Dave said Wak was having a terrible season, they are 14 games under after he said Wak had a terrible season.

    Don’t tell me Wak was any better of a manager and the team tanked it any more after Jr. left. They stunk before hand, with the players they have on the roster, and the managerial decisions made.

    Wak may be a nice guy, and maybe the teams performance is not all his fault, but you cannot say that Jr. had a great affect on Waks performance, the team is the exact same as it was before he left.

  141. charliebrown on August 10th, 2010 1:11 pm

    Are you honestly trying to use the team’s record as a way to measure Wak’s performance?

    Win/loss record is a terrible way to judge a manager’s performance. If you think otherwise then no one can help you.

  142. certaindoom on August 10th, 2010 1:42 pm

    I would like to go to one of these games with 7k people at the stadium, get close to the batter’s box when Chone’s at bat and yell, ‘HEY CHONE, HOW DOES GRIFFEY’S **** TASTE?!”

    They’d probably throw you out, for being not family friendly. This is Seattle after all.

    I would go one better, I’d like to unfurl a big banner out in left field, in view of the home clubhouse: “I Hate This Team, It Wasn’t Wak’s Fault”

    And they’d probably throw me out too.

  143. JMHawkins on August 10th, 2010 1:56 pm

    Oddly enough, over on the left (scroll up), there’s a link to something DMZ wrote nearly six years ago:

    Evaluating Managers

    The first paragraph:

    I rank a manager’s jobs in importance to remaining employed as:
    - Keep his team happy and motivated or, barring that, motivated
    - Deal with the press
    - Pick the players for each day’s lineup
    - Manage the pitching staff
    - In-game tactics
    - Team strategy
    - Prepare his team for each series and each game
    - Arrange the day’s lineup

    Clearly Wak failed at #1. Whether he had any real opportunity to succeed at it, I don’t know. Losing certainly creates a lot of bad chemistry (please note the direction of the causality arrow there).

    Buster Olney is apparently reporting that a bunch of folks in the Baseball Ops department want out. I’m not sure which people these are, how long they’ve been with the M’s, or what’s driving them out, but I don’t automatically take it as a horrible thing and a sign that Zduriencik is a bad GM.

    Clearly something has been wrong in the M’s Baseball Ops for a long time – a decade really. The M’s system has failed pretty spectacularly at producing talent – even when you account for bad drafts. Too many guys with potential just fizzled. Jose Lopez is the closest thing to an every-day position player the M’s system has produced since A-Rod. 600 HRs and Jose Lopez is all they have to show for it.

    Whatever was going on, it wasn’t working. If the folks who want out now have been around a while, my speculation is that Zduriencik is instituting a little accountability and they don’t like it.

  144. certaindoom on August 10th, 2010 2:02 pm

    Baseball ops has also generated Felix Hernandez, Adam Jones, Shin Soo-Choo, Brandon Morrow.. of those we get only Hernandez in an M’s uniform, the rest squandered with bad handling and bad trades.

    Add busts to the list like Jeff Clement, who went from cant-miss superstar catching prospect to washed up DH/1B with no footwork in the span of about 100 big league at bats.

  145. Westside guy on August 10th, 2010 2:32 pm

    Jose Lopez is the closest thing to an every-day position player the M’s system has produced since A-Rod.

    Next year I expect we’ll be able to replace “Lopez” in that sentence with “Ackley”.

  146. Jay R. on August 10th, 2010 2:33 pm

    Just hope this opens some eyes regarding Griffey. He was the best player* I have ever seen, but he is an entitled, petulant, grudge-holding dick, and always has been.

    *Randy Johnson may have been the best, but he only played once every 5 days.

    Wak was handed a godawful roster, and didn’t do anything with it. He certainly isn’t manager of the year, but (insert name of your favorite manager of all time here) couldn’t have done a lot better. When you have to even consider batting has-beens like Kotchman, Sweeney, Griffey and Lopez in the middle of your lineup, you are doomed from the start.

  147. gwangung on August 10th, 2010 3:09 pm

    Baseball ops has also generated Felix Hernandez, Adam Jones, Shin Soo-Choo, Brandon Morrow.. of those we get only Hernandez in an M’s uniform, the rest squandered with bad handling and bad trades.

    Which is also baseball ops, right?

    So, basically Lopez and Felix, then….

    Still not a good list

  148. ibedavey on August 10th, 2010 3:20 pm

    Any new manager is going to have to deal with the same bag of worms that Wak had to. The result will be the same. Batters who can’t hit and don’t score runs will just get the next manager fired, just like Wak, in order to protect the head office decision makers jobs. The Mariner clubhouse must really be a joy to be in. NOT!! The only think going for the Mariners is to insure that Ichiro gets his 200 hits and the scorekeeper is making that happen. Highlight of games is a fan catching a foul ball and wondering which poster will win the rally fries.

  149. RealRhino on August 10th, 2010 3:50 pm

    I don’t know if #2 is true or not, but it wouldn’t surprise me. We knew enough of Griffey’s temperament from his initial departure. I know a person who has had some dealings with him personally, and given what they told me, “petulant” would be the word that best describes him. That was the overarching theme of their comments.

    I said when he was a Red that it was a relationship that had run its course and was best left where it ended, and nothing has changed my opinion.

  150. JMHawkins on August 10th, 2010 4:13 pm

    Baseball ops has also generated Felix Hernandez, Adam Jones, Shin Soo-Choo, Brandon Morrow.. of those we get only Hernandez in an M’s uniform, the rest squandered with bad handling and bad trades.

    That’s pretty much my point. Choo is the perfect example, struggling here and then becoming a star elsewhere (currently he’s #10 on the MLB WAR list for 2010 OFs).

    Even Felix is less than we’d hoped for, less than he probably could be. For cryin’ out loud, a blogger had to send them a letter pointing out how much he was overusing the fastball. Baseball Operations? Ha.

  151. tranebc on August 10th, 2010 4:27 pm

    Wow…tough poll question for M’s fans on the ESPN.com homepage today.

    What’s a tougher coaching job at the moment?
    - Seattle Mariners hitting coach
    - Tiger Woods’ swing coach
    Poll Results

  152. ninjasintheoutfield on August 10th, 2010 6:34 pm

    What an F’ing joke. I’m beyond frustrated with the incompetence of this organization.

    I’m 25 years old, and the emotional investment that I’ve made in this team over the coarse of my life is more than I care to admit. Today however, I’m struggling to find a reason to care….
    The Mariners business model and its corresponding acceptance of outright mediocrity truly offends the 10 year old mariner fan in me.
    I WOULD RATHER RESURRECT THE KINGDOME THAN WATCH ANOTHER SECOND OF THIS EXASPERATING MEDIOCRE BASEBALL in the family friendly atmosphere that Safeco Field has become known for. Here’s an idea… how about a baseball stadium thats known for… I don’t know… WINNING BASEBALL?! What a farce…
    I hate you Seattle Mariners.

  153. cnote on August 10th, 2010 9:04 pm

    I’ve been a long-time reader and typically anything I have to say has already been put out there. In this case, where’s all the talk about who’d be a good fit to replace Wak? Sure Brown is taking over, but he’ll have to have a pretty stellar second half with this mediocre team to stick around. Everyone in this blogosphere can see the M’z still have most of the right pieces so who’s gonna make the pieces fit?

    I remember Cora was interviewed the same time as Wak. A little nostalgic but that won’t end well; I’m not sure learning under Ozzie is a bonus at this point.

    I’ve seen some people toss the idea out there that we need a veteran, but who’s out there that would want this job? Lou ain’t coming back…

    What about a guy like Pete Mackanin–current bench coach for the Phils? Like Z, he was a scout (for the Reds), and when Narron was fired they saw enough in him to put him in interim (managed Griffey, too, just gonna throw that out there). He took the worst team in baseball at that point in the year (31-51) and produced an above .500 record the rest of the year (41-39). Sounds like a turnaround we could use…

    They signed Dusty Baker instead so he went back to scouting, this time for the Yankees–not a bad gig. The last two years he’s been the bench coach for the Phillies and we all know what those years have produced under Charlie (two World Series appearances in case anyone’s wondering). From what I know he’s got a pretty good relationship with everyone (bench coach for the last two All-Star games too–those are good people to know), and he’s supposedly a friend of Z’s. Sounds like a good fit. Thoughts? Anyone else know anything?

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.