Mariners Analysis

Monday, September 18, 2006

Hargrove status unknown

If you read the papers and listen to national writers, the general feeling is Hargrove will be back next year. However general feeling is not much to go on, and other people closer to the team are convinced he (Hargrove) has already been told he will not be coming back.

This is such a hot topic for faithful fans, as many feel the team will not be able to make as much progress next year if Mike is managing the team. It would be a huge letdown for many, and I have to admit I would think much less of Bavasi if he watched this season play out and still defends the work of Hargrove.

The lineups, the Everett fiasco, Bloomquist, sacrifices, bullpen usage... if Bavasi hasn't noticed, we are really in big trouble. While things like player approaches at the plate, pitching strategies, rookie usage ect... are hard to pin completely at Mike's feet, there is plenty of evidence to show Hargrove cost this team wins this year. If the Twins and Marlins can compete for the playoffs, it's hard to see why this current team had to be eliminated so early in the year.

We won't know the status of Hargrove for a few more weeks, and until then everything is just rumor and speculation.

I hope Hargrove is fired, and won't really be excited for next year until it happens. Let's hope Larry Stone and the others are just plain wrong re: his status.


AL West

Remember when earlier in the year "experts" were claiming the AL West would be won with only 84-86 wins? Well as usual, the A's are going to easily win over 90 games. In fact, there are only 3 teams in the AL with better records, and not by much. For all the talk about the easy West, it has proven to be a reasonably balanced division. The idea the West will be won by a team barely over .500 was just plain wrong.

It also reinforces the fact a team needs to plan on winning 90-something games a year to be taken seriously. Making moves at mid-season to try and get to 86-88 wins won't get you in the playoffs very often.

This team has some critical decisions to make this winter if they want to get even close to making the transition to playoff-caliber team next year. For all the talk about our youth, the reality is they are still in last place, and will go into next season with more question marks about the starting rotation than any season in recent memory.

Limited funds, many holes.

Bavasi has to have a plan, and he has to be aggressive implementing it.

I'm pretty sure he knows already what he's going to do with Hargrove. Now we just for the news...