Monday, August 9, 2010

Mariners Scapegoat Fire Don Wakamatsu

The Seattle Mariners cleaned house today because, well, they're terrible. The M's at 42-70 have the second worst record in all of baseball to go with the third worst run differential (-125). Just like you or I would do, GM Jack Zduriencik, instead of falling on the sword himself, fired manager Don Wakamatsu and coaches Rick Adair, Ty Van Burkleo and Steve Hecht. Don't worry about Ty Van Burkleo though, I immediately hired him to be the bench coach for my Wiffle Ball team based solely on his awesome name. Zduriencik talked himself into the decision with this quote...
"I no longer have confidence that Don, Ty and Rick are the right long-term fit for our organization. New leadership is needed and it is needed now."
A mere six days ago Zduriencik gave Wakamatsu the dreaded vote of confidence. Four days ago Derwood predicted Wakamatsu had ten days left.

While the Mariners have certainly been disappointing over the past two seasons, it's hard to pin a lot of it on Wakamatsu. The one thing I'd take issue with was his Chone Figgins management. He moved Figgins from third where UZR had him solid (16.6) to second where UZR has him not so good (-6.9). Figgins isn't living up to his salary or anywhere close to it. And another position switch might not be enough to explain the dramatic drop in production from the plate (.358 wOBA in 2009 to .308 wOBA in 2010). But it's not Wakamatsu's fault Figgins completely fell of the offensive production map.

It also wasn't Wakamatsu's fault that Ken Griffey Jr was several years passed his expiration date when they signed him, Ken Griffey Jr fell asleep in the clubhouse during a game after not getting his required amount of Ensure, Milton Bradley, Jack Wilson broke his hand "falling in the bathroom", or that the M's are last in batting average, home runs and RBI. They're winning the reverse Triple Crown as a team.

What else could Zduriencik have done though? He needed to send a message to the fans that the organization wasn't asleep at the wheel while the players were just going through the motions for the remainder of the season. Which they are, shhh. Steve Stone listed some potential candidates for the job next season from the absurd (Dusty Baker, Tony LaRussa) to the possible (Joey Cora, Bryan Price, John Farrell). He also listed Derwood's prediction (Willie Randolph) and my prediction (Bobby Valentine) and my sentimental favorite (Wally Backman).


  1. Am I just stupid or am I the only person that doesnt understand what UZR and wOBA are supposed to be telling me?

  2. That might be my favorite comment ever.