Sunday, September 29, 2013

Next Season

Well, the 2013 season rolls into the last day of the season today with the Mariners 19 games under .500 with their fourth straight losing season and eighth of the last ten seasons. And true to form, the first person to go is the manager.

This time though, it's the manager Eric Wedge who quit to refuse a one-year extension of his contract, telling the truth about the Mariners without giving names, that the problem isn't the players, which they lack better ones, but management, specifically the GM and President, for not putting a better team for him to manage.

This is good news to hear since the GM is up for this one-year extension and he's been the source of the failure of the team to put the best team on the field. You can't have four straight losing season with a different mix of players and managers and say it's all the fault of the players and manager.

The truth is it's the management, specifically the GM, who didn't want Eric Wedge to leave because he gives them a fallback to put the blame on next year the team fails with a losing season. When previous managers have gone on to manage winning teams, eg. Bob Melvin with the Oakland A's, and Eric Wedge has managed winning teams.

It's just not the Mariners. They're a good team with lots of good young talent, but they keep trading players who do better elsewhere and keep players who underperform. And their triple-A team, the Tacoma Rainiers, aren't much better for top level talent as many have been up and down with Seattle.

So, with the beginning of the off-season, we'll hear lots of stories about potential, lots of stories about young prospects, and some stories about bringing in proven older players who are past being more than ordinary.

Last year the Mariners finished second in defense, being first most of the year and only dropping because of the player expansion in September using less top level players. So they traded some of those players for power hitters who didn't perform at the career level. What happened?

Well the Mariners finished only slightly better in hitting, but still in the bottom 10, finished worse in pitching, again in the bottom 10, and finished mid-pack in defense. A plan that went wrong all season to finish 4th again in the American League West Division, not last only because of the addition of Houston to the division.

All this leaves the real question, will they fire the GM to find one who believes in the team more than enough to put a winning team together than just talking potential, prospects, and proven players who almost all fail?

And will they find a manager, like Melvin, Wedge, etal. who will get the players to win? We have 6 months to find out whether it's more of the same words or real change.

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