Mariners Analysis

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Media to blame for M's mess?

It's interesting to see Geoff Baker of the Times call out the team for not shaking things up. For not holding themselves accountable.

Shouldn't the local media do the same?

Let's step back to the offseason and try to put yourselves in Lincoln or Armstrong's shoes for a second. Did you hear any local media criticism of the Bedard deal? Did you hear any predictions for the team to struggle from the paper columnists? Any warning signs at all about the team scoring less runs last year than they gave up and how last season might have been a mirage?

We know there were plenty of credible sources who predicted this might be a long season for the Mariners. How this was a really risky move by Bavasi to count on this team. Consider what Bavasi was counting on-
  • Sexson coming back from a disastrous season.
  • Vidro coming back from a dreadful first half as a DH.
  • Ibanez to hit enough to replace his defensive deficiencies
  • Lopez coming back from a disastrous season
  • Wilkerson staying healthy
  • Wilkerson able to hit again after years of struggles
  • Yuni learning to walk and regain his defensive skills
  • Johjima not regressing as many catchers do in their thirties
  • Washburn would win again in Safeco
  • Oakland would be bad
  • Texas would be bad
  • The Angels would be impacted by injuries and not run away with the division
  • McLaren would learn on the job how to be a manager
I could go on. To say no one saw this coming is a stretch. Baker saw all of the above, and declared this team a contender who would win the division. He was wrong, just like Bavasi.

Would it have helped if he would have been more critical of the team during the offseason? Would it have helped if the local papers had listened to the critics and published their concerns to a wider audience? Would it have helped prevent Bavasi from speaking to reporters and getting a free pass when he said no analyst saw this collapse coming?

Of course we don't know. But we do know the same reporters who predicted a successful year just three months ago are now calling for changes. What exactly do they expect to see change? it sounds more like they want changes so they have something to write about.

The team cannot make any major trades in May. The list of teams who are open to making a move right now is very small- and Bavasi and his supporters traded off half the farm for our new "ace." The options are incredibly limited right now.

The team you see today is largely the team you are going to see for awhile. We all need to get used to it. And it would be nice if the media asked themselves if they are at all culpable for this mess by giving the team a free pass during the winter.