Tag Archives: Don Wakamatsu

Now What for Mariners?

Well, Daren Brown is 1-0 as Mariners skipper. Maybe he should quit while he’s ahead.

I’m sure Brown is an excellent choice to finish the season. He’s managed some of these guys at Tacoma and it makes sense. Unless, the M;s go 31-12 or something silly like that, I doubt he will be considered for the job long-term. So that begs the question – who?

I don’t like Bobby Valentine as an option. Yes, he’s had success but he’s 60 years old and I think this club needs someone who will be here longer than what Valentine may be able to offer. I’ve heard the name Joey Cora. He was a finalist when Wakamatsu got the gig and he would be a fan favorite. Willie Randolph is a good candidate because of his pedigree. Here are two guys I would have a lot of interest in…

1 – Ryne Sandberg is the odds-on favorite to replace Lou Piniella (ther’s some irony) in Chicago. In fact, Hall of Famer Ozzie Smith said in the USA Today today that the Cubs should hire him. Hes managed at all levels of the minor leagues and is the right kind of manager for a young club because he’s played at the highest level and that will breed credibility . He’s also a Spokane native.

2 – Don Mattingly – This guy was a tremendous player for the Yankees and has since worked with Joe Torre in New York and Los Angeles. Everything I hear is that Mattingly is going to be a tremendous manager and is being groomed to replace Torre eventually with the Dodgers. How about here in Seattle?

Both these guys (and I would toss in Randolph) have credibility as a player; something Wakamatsu didn’t. If you can’t come in as a big-name manager like Piniella did, you’ve got to have some stripes as a player to make it work in this situation.

Your turn – tell me some names you’d like to see. But please, don’t say Ken Griffey Jr. (he’d be horrible); Jay Buhner (no experience); or Edgar Martinez (ditto).Tell me who would work here and why…

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Breaking News: Don Wakamatsu Fired

Don Wakamatsu was fired today as Mariners manager – Read story from ESPN

Blows my mind. Last year, he was the shining star leading this team to 85 wins after a 100-loss season. Today, he’s the goat of the franchise. According to ESPN’s Rob Neyer, he lost control of the team. Really? I guess a 42-70 record will do that. He’s had public spats with Chone Figgins. He’s had clubhouse issues with people talking about Ken Griffey Jr. and “sleepgate.” Bottom line – he’s had a team that should be at least 20 wins better than it is. Still, I thought he would get another year. I’m shocked.

Pitching coach Rick Adair is also out. He was credited for getting Jarrod Washburn to pitch well last year. He also went from a savior to a goat, primarily because the bullpen went to pieces.

I know it’s about winning. Daren Brown from Tacoma will take over for the rest of the year. Don’t count on him being the replacement. Look for the M’s to do the same thing the Seahawks did after abruptly axing Jim Mora. They need to make a splash. They just saw Baltimore get Buck Showalter (who would have worked here). What other big names are out there? Looks like it will be an interesting off-season.

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved

Wak and Figgie – Go to Your Corners, Round 2

So now it’s come to this.

For those of you who haven’t heard, Chone Figgins was benched last night in the 5th inning by Manager Don Wakamatsu for not backing up the cut off man and allowing Mike Cameron to go to 3rd base on a double. Figgins became irate in the dugout and players needed to get involved to avoid any escalation. So much for all the clubhouse harmony from last year.

I saw the play. Figgins was at fault. Had he made an effort to back up Michael Saunders overthrow, Cameron would not have mafe a bee-line to third. However, Figgins probably feels singled out. Let’s face it, there are other guys on this team who continually make huge errors. Jose Lopez has been a disaster on the basepaths and on the field. Why has he not been benched.

This team is in complete disarray. Figgins and Milton Bradley are headed the way of other big free agents signings of th past, Carlos Silva and Jeff Cirillo. They are terrible and we are stuck with them or their salary for several year. We have three first baseman who can’t play other positions. Our pitchers continue to throw great games with no run support (except for Ryan Rowland-Smith who gets lit up every time he pitches).

This latest episode is indicative of losing. The “harmony” that Wakamatsu apparently brought last year looks like an aberration. Jack Zduriencik had better make some moves to turn this around. For now, I believe Wakamatsu is safe. He won’t survive another first half like this next year, though.

Now is the time to see who can play. I’d like to see them recall Matt Tuiasososopo and play him at third every day. He was a high draft choice; let’s see what ewe’ve got. Trade Lopez for whatever you can get. Continue to play Saunders every day in left. Play Justin Smoak at first every day. When Branyan returns, he’s your DH. Release Milton Bradley….the experiment is over. Stop sending Rowland-Smith out there just to spot the other team 6 runs. See what you’ve got down in Tacoma.

By the way, does it make you angry that we’ve been watching Adrian Beltre and Bil Hall beating us with their bats over the past 2 days? These guys were both on our team last year. I’d trade Hall at 2B and Beltre at 3B for Lopez and Figgins in a heart beat.

Well, at least I will say this – Wak and Figgie gave is something to talk about other than a 2-1 loss.

© 2010 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved