Mariners Analysis

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Sexson won't last the week

The rumblings from the team seem to suggest Sexson will be cut loose shortly. I imagine our new GM is finding out the same thing Bavasi did- no one will touch his salary and they are going to have to out right release him. I expect the news to come out shortly... like in a matter of days if not hours that Sexson is out.

Meanwhile, speculation continues on who our next GM will be. Because the hiring won't take place until after the season, and likely after the WS, this is going to be a story that will get old quickly. No information from Lincoln and company will lead all of us to speculate and it won't be until the fall when we finally get answers.

Will Armstrong be open to younger voices? Does he even understand what the use of newer statistical methods to evaluate players has meant to the game? Does he realize Santana was traded for less than what Bedard pulled in and it has nothing to do with "make-up" or attitude? Can he accurately explain the differences between Bedard and Santana and why the trade market was different for both?

A good boss doesn't have to have detailed information about every operation in a company. But they do need a decent understanding of the business universe they compete in. We have no idea if Lincoln and Armstrong have kept up... we'll find out later this year.

There already are lines being drawn among Mariner fans, and I suspect they will look similar to the Bedard trade divisions we saw this spring. Those that wanted Bedard and his "ace" status will argue a pure stathead is not needed and will look for more conventional hires. Baker does a real questionable job over the GM search at his blog, and it reads much like his arguments for Bedard.

It's great to read Geoff's thoughts and I love his blog, but man he gets sidetracked by his Toronto days some times. Yes, no one is arguing hiring a guy who is proclaimed to be a "stat head" will guarantee success. Yes, J.P. Ricciardi has made mistakes. He works in a division where Boston and NY loom, and he was a first-time GM when he took the job. NO ONE is arguing a pure stats approach will guarantee success.

But I can guarantee you a "stat head" would have avoided Bavasi throwing $99 million at Zito. And he would have dealt with Sexson a lot sooner.

What the M's need is a strong system that leverages its advantages (Safeco field, revenue) and doesn't rely on a single savior who will magically make the team better.

Baker was told before the season the Rays were going to surprise some people. He was also told Oakland might not be as bad as he thinks, and Texas with Daniels at the helm is making strong progress. Baker disregarded this information before, and he appears to do it again when he dismisses the Rays recent success as simply the benefit of sucking for a long time. Call up the Pirates some time and ask if it really is that simple.

The team needs to learn from its mistakes. So do the fans who thought this team was only an ace away from competing this year. If we make mistakes, we need to admit and learn from them.

The search for GM will reveal who has learned what from this season.