The Stark Truth

Former Kitsap Sun sports editor Chuck Stark shares insight, laughter, news, views and analysis of Kitsap sports and beyond.
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Stark Truth: 5 Thoughts on the Marineros

June 4th, 2008 by cstark

The forecast is for cold, drizzle and more M’s losses.
Seattle showed some signs of getting out of its funk during the Boston series, but the Mariners have reverted to their old ways.
For those of you counting, they’re now 17 games under .500 and on a pace to lose 104 games.
I don’t pretend to have the answers, but here’s five thoughts on the Marineros:
1: Jose Lopez is one of the few players getting it done offensively, but he’s not getting it done on defense. Another ground ball got by him Tuesday night that led to an early run for the Angels. His mobility is a liability at that position. It’s time for position change. Why not turn Lopez into a first baseman (the M’s have no prospects at that position) and go with Miguel Cairo or Willie Bloomquist at second?
2: This relates to No. 1 because if you move Lopez to first, then what do you do with Richie Sexson. Sexson’s hitting .199 with 55 strikeouts in 161 at bats in 46 games. That’s the highest strikeout ratio of his career. He whiffed 100 times in 464 at bats a year ago when he hit a whopping .205. So, it’s a no brainer. You release him.
3: Is there a duo on a big-league team that flails at more bad pitches than Adrian Beltre and Yuniesy Betancourt? It must drive M’s hitting coach Jeff Pentland crazy, but they are two of the M’s best hitters. Imagine how good they would be if they showed more discipline at the plate and swung at pitches that were in the strike zone.
4: Call me a homer if you want, but South Kitsap grad Willie Bloomquist can be a catalyst with his all-out hustle. He had 13 at bats in May and hasn’t played in a game since May 23. What’s up with that Johnny Mac? He was the guy who said he was going to use everybody this season, giving regulars regular days off. I think a few guys in could use a day off. Who? Raul’s not exactly lighting it up. He’s currently in an ugly 5-for-52 funk and he got three of those hits on Sunday. Beltre hit .189 in May and admitted over the weekend that he stinks right now. Why’s Wlad Balentein still in a big-league uniform? His audition has lasted long enough. Even if Willie doesn’t hit, you know he’s going to be an improvement defensively over what you’re putting out there on the field.
5: It’s draft week, so I leave you with this thought. The M’s used the fifth pick in the first round of baseball’s 2006 amateur draft to take pitcher Brandon Morrow. They could have taken hometown product Tim Lincecum from the University of Washington, who went to the Giants with the 10th pick. Morrow’s flashed signs of brilliance lately coming out of the bullpen, hitting 100 mph on some of his deliveries. He’s posted a 1.04 ERA in 8 2/3 innings, striking out 15, walking five and allowing just seven hits. Lincecum, after going 7-5 as a starter in his rookie season, has become the ace of the Giants staff. The Issaquah native is 7-1 with a 2.23 ERA. He’s made 12 starts, pitching 77 2/3 innings with 78 strikeouts and 32 walks while allowing 65 hits. This is a tough call, but did the M’s make the pick? I’m not so sure.

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2 Responses to “Stark Truth: 5 Thoughts on the Marineros”

  1. good ol' george Says:

    How to fix the Mariners:
    1 – START WILLIE!
    2 – Dump Richie Sexson. Maybe Seattle, or the American League, isn’t right for him. I know as much as everyone wants to get rid of him, they’re equally afraid he’s going to find his home run stroke once he leaves. I’m willing to take that chance.
    3 – Turn Brandon Morrow into a starter, even if it means throwing him to the wolves. The Giants did that with Tim Lincecum, and now he’s their ace.
    4 – Speaking of wolves – START WILLIE!
    5 – Hire Edgar Martinez as batting coach. Wouldn’t hurt. Maybe he can find the faults in all their swings so they can start hitting .275 instead of .200.
    6 – No more talking about bringing back Ken Griffey, Jr.
    7 – Oh, did I mention…START WILLIE!

  2. Chuck Stark Says:

    George,
    Just as I approved your comment, you know who stole second base in the top of the 10th against the Blue Jays. Willie also had a hit and stolen base on Sunday.

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