Tag:Howard Lincoln
Posted on: June 16, 2008 4:31 pm
Edited on: June 16, 2008 4:32 pm

Lost at sea while Sexson cashes in

They sacrificed hitting coach Jeff Pentland last week and then fired general manager Bill Bavasi on Monday.

Now, if the Seattle Mariners really want to show their players and fans they mean business, they'll pull the plug on the miserable Richie Sexson at first base, play someone who at least has a chance and swallow whole what's left of Sexson's $14 million this season.

The club's play this season has been humiliating from all angles. The 22-45 record is the majors' worst, they were swept by Washington (who had the majors' worst record only a few days ago) over the weekend, they've lost seven consecutive home games and trail the Los Angeles Angels in the AL West by 17 1/2 games.

Bavasi, Mariners' GM since November, 2003, has been a short leash ever since that bizarre day two Septembers ago when Mariners CEO Howard Lincoln extended the contracts of both Bavasi and then-manager Mike Hargrove's contract while publicly affirming that each was on Lincoln's "hot seat."

What kind of message was that?

If you didn't have complete faith in them, why extend them?

Make no mistake, that's part of the reason the Mariners are in the shape they're in. It took the hands of many to muck things up this badly, not just Bavasi. The hiring of Hargrove back in October, 2004, was uninspired as well.

In retrospect, the fact that that Mariners were surprisingly competitive last season may have been the worst thing that could have happened to them. All it did was delay the inevitable: That this is a roster that needs to be blown to smithereens.

Sexson (.212, nine homers, 23 RBI, 64 strikeouts in 193 at-bats) continues to gum up the works. Jose Vidro as a designated hitter is an argument to simply let the pitchers bat. Adrian Beltre (.227) is a miserable situational hitter. Hell, most of these guys are: Somehow, Seattle won two of three in Toronto last week while scoring all of six runs. Against the Nationals over the weekend, they got 10 in three games.

So Lee Elia, Pentland's replacement, didn't come with a magic wand. Big surprise. That meltdown day earlier this month on which president Chuck Armstrong delivered a pre-game blistering to manager John McLaren and his coaching staff while McLaren issued a post-game tirade and Bavasi took away post-game food and towels and forced the players to stand by their lockers and face the media didn't work, either. Really?

Bavasi's assistant, Lee Pelekoudas, will take over as GM on an interim basis, mainly because somebody must fill the spot. The moves with Pentland and Bavasi are only the beginning.

This is a club in dire need of a complete overhaul, from the executive offices to the clubhouse.

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