Once upon a time the Mariners were so bad, they weren’t even eligible to be the laughingstock of baseball. Terrible season followed terrible season to the point that no one seemed to care (they are, afterall, the team that begat the Mendoza Line). That all changed about 15 years ago with a uniform update and the hiring of Lou Piniella. Since that time they have won an unlikely AL West Division title, won more games than any team in history, and seen a fair share of fabulous pitchers and awe inducing power hitters.
Since that time, they have also failed to reach the World Series, choked numerous times in the playoffs, and played a good number of mediocre seasons. This year they seemingly had pitching, hitting, and defense enough to have a respectable season, if not a division winning season.
After Sunday, the Mariners have dug their way firmly into MLB’s basement. The closest team has 3 1/2 games on them. They were swept by the Nationals, the worst team in the National League.
I really like John McLaren. I admire his baseball knowledge and his dedication to the organization. Bill Bavasi possesses a tremendous amount of baseball heritage. I don’t think either are bad at their jobs and I don’t think either bears the burden for this terrible season.
But in baseball, even when you do things right they don’t always go your way. The season so far has felt like a fly ball to the warning track. It’s looked so good, but it isn’t enough. I think I speak for most fans when I say heads need to roll. Regardless of blame (and that ultimately falls on the players), I want to see firings and shakeups and I want to see them soon. The first sacrificial lamb was hitting coach Jeff Pentland. The Mariner announced earlier today that Bill Bavasi has been fired. I wouldn’t be surprised if McLaren is the next to face the chopping block.
I don’t know if the season can be saved. But it has got to stop being this bad.