I’ve been stewing over Miguel Olivo’s performance in last night’s game for a little while. It’s probably not very healthy to stew, especially when it’s about something I have absolutely no control over, and therefore no way to fix the thing that has me stewing other than to just stop stewing.
Brendan Ryan was benched yesterday because of his throwing error in the first inning of Monday night’s game. Eric Wedge told reporters it was a matter of “accountability”. Presumably, on Eric Wedge’s team if you eff up, you sit.
And yet there’s Miguel Olivo, every day in the starting lineup. There’s Miguel Olivo, flailing wildly at pitches in the dirt. There’s Miguel Olivo, refusing to take a first pitch, refusing to show any semblance of intelligent thought in the batter’s box. There’s Miguel Olivo, until I’m so tired of seeing the basics of baseball mocked of by a player who serves absolutely no purpose to this team I could cry.
Here I am, questioning Eric Wedge’s managerial decisions. Why pick on Ryan when Olivo commits much worse offenses all the freaking time? Is it because Ryan has the brains and the brawn to do better? Is Wedge trying to push him to be a better player? Is Wedge ignoring Olivo because he knows this is the best he’s going to get out of him?
I don’t know the answer to any of that and it’s incredibly frustrating. It certainly seems like Wedge has his favorites and blithely looks past their shortcomings. Carlos Peguero, for example. I love Peguero more than any other Mariner fan and I’m happy to see him play even though he’s got a flaw here and there to work out. But my enamoration is harmless because I’m a fan, not the manager of a team that needs an objective evaluation of players.
Miguel Olivo is just not a good player. He occasionally hits a home run. That’s it as far as his value goes. Dave Cameron explained exactly why he’s bad so there’s no need for me to repeat it here. If his approach to hitting is to swing as often as possible and occasionally make contact, his approach to defense is to fling his glove around and occasionally catch something.
On a team being built around doing things right, Olivo is bad mojo. The presence of Jesus Montero and John Jaso clearly eliminates him as a placeholder until other options are available.
He needs to play much less.
He needs to be held accountable.