Dave Cameron at U.S.S. Mariner doesn’t pull any punches in his latest post. He writes:
They needed this April to not happen. Embarrassing is the only word I can use to describe this. The team is publicly stating that they think they can win while starting Endy Chavez,Raul Ibanez, Robert Andino, and Kelly Shoppach. They traded for Aaron Harang to save the pitching staff. This roster is embarrassing. This roster is probably going to get everyone fired. This roster should get everyone fired.
He’s right. This roster should get everyone fired. It was flawed from the get-go. There was a recent game where the M’s trailed Texas 1-0 in the seventh inning with two outs. They had the comically slow Jesus Montero on second base and not-s0-dangerous Brendan Ryan at the plate. Do you think a pinch-hitter might be in order? Or perhaps a pinch runner? Manager Eric Wedge didn’t make a move. Of course, I’m not sure if he had any options. This is a bad baseball team. Embarrassing is the only word to describe this team. It’s tough to love these Mariners. That was the headline on a column I wrote last week.
Like Cameron, I’m not much of a Wedge fan. He points out that there’s not really anybody on staff that would do things differently, so if the M’s do fire Wedge, they’re going to have to bring somebody in from the outside. I think that should be their first move.
And if Wedge is gone, then you’ve got to get rid of GM Jack Zduriencik, too. Do you wait until after the draft, which is six weeks away, or do you just pull the trigger now and clean house? That’s a tough call as Cameron explains during his post.
My 88-year-old father says they should swap the M’s roster with the Rainiers’ roster. That’s a bit drastic, but why not give shortstop Carlos Triunfel a shot? He looked pretty good during a September call-up a year ago and is hitting .321 right now. Nick Franklin, who has been flipping at shortstop and second with Triunfel, is hitting .325. Call ’em both up. Put Dustin Ackley in left field, which is where I felt he always belonged. Say goodbye to Jason Bay, Raul Ibanez and Robert Andino. I’d keep Raul as a DH/pinch hitter if you had a spot, but this team doesn’t have that luxury.
And let’s see what Danny Hultzen can do? He’s 3-1 with a 2.78 ERA (25 strikeouts, six walks). We’ve been teased so long about the so-called Big Three (Hultzen, Paxton and Walker). Give Hultzen a shot. He’s got to have better stuff than Harang and he seems like a mature player that could handle some adversity if things don’t go well at first.
And, of course, it’s time for new leadership on top, too. Don’t know if you can do it during the middle of a season, but wouldn’t it be nice if Howard Lincoln and Chuck Armstrong called a press conference to announce that they were stepping down from their positions and that they’re bringing in a new team president to run the show.