Mariners Analysis

Monday, May 19, 2008

Veteran Entitlement

It sucks there's no game today, but in the meantime we can continue to debate the merits of Bavasi over the weekend. His decision to move Clement to AAA, insert Vidro back as the DH and sit Reed on the bench is a perfect example of how to drive fans crazy!

When your team has the worst record in the AL, you open your self up to criticism. We praised the team for recognizing the offense was in trouble when they jettisoned Wilkerson and brought up Clement and Wlad. We also feared they might make the mistake of judging rookies on ridiculous sample sizes.

Consider the last weeks line for Clement before he was sent down-
An OPS of .794 is not great, but clearly headed in the right direction. The OPS for Vidro in his last seven games?


So to summarize, the team decided that Clement was hitting better than Vidro for the past week, but needs time in AAA to get better. The same Jose Vidro who 3 weeks ago wasn't good enough to be the full time DH.

These moves are completely, utterly impossible to explain. Bavasi can't do it. Baker can't do it. McLaren can't do it.

The team started this season with the exact lineup they have now, only they have swapped Wlad in RF and put Reed on the bench. At best it's a tweak in the lineup that's based more on hopin', wishin' and prayin' than anything else.

While the team strokes their worry beads and hopes these band aids heal the gushing wounds, a larger issue remains.

Veteran entitlement.

As long as the team thinks it's fine to jerk kids around, play them out of position and sit on the bench while the vets are given leashes miles long, they will never compete on a regular basis. This team has no problem with Reed sitting on the bench, playing irregularly with a gun to AAA pointed to his head, but heaven forbid Ibanez would be moved to the DH position in the middle of the season!


The same 36 year old Ibanez who can't play the field and hit's lefties like your little sister has a different set of rules than rookies. If you started working in a place that behaved like this most of us would be out the door so fast McLaren would have to fill out his own damn TPS cover sheets. But instead, the team continues to judge rookies and play them under separate rules.

Baker can argue there is too much to lose to risk Ibanez playing DH.

I argue when you are in last place, what exactly are you risking?