Mariners Analysis

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Let players play

Will Beltre play in the WBC? That seems to be the local story now that Griffey is settling in. The question really though is why is it even a story?

If you accept the Mariners are not going to be good this year (not my opinion but just play along) then Beltre is gone by mid year anyway. Going in to the last year of his contract, the team will trade him to get something in return when contract negotiations prove fruitless. If this happens, does anyone really care if he plays in the WBC or not? Hard to see how his value in really impacted significantly either way.

If the Mariners are better than expected and in the hunt say mid year, then you do back flips if you are the front office and just leave this scenario alone. No reason to over think anything here.

The only argument left is this silly idea that maybe the Mariners will be good, or maybe they won't. And it really depends on Beltre being a team player and fitting in with his teammates.

This is where the horse shit piles up fast.

We already know Beltre is more of the quiet leader type. He comes in, does his job and leaves the ballpark. He doesn't bark at Silva for being fat, and he doesn't get in Ichiro's face for being Japanese. He is what he is.

Why then does the Mariner FO want to make something more of this then necessary? He's not going to Brazil to play in a giant bathtub of drug needles. He's going to play in a tournament where acccess to doctors and trainers will be available 100% of the time. He's playing in a contract year... he's not going to risk injuring himself by playing baseball with a different jersey on his chest any more so then he would in a Mariner environment. He's playing a game.

Mariner management has made some questionable decisions the past few years. They traded for Bedard and gave half the farm system while doing so only to realize they can't stand the guy 20 seconds after he hit the Arizona desert. (its called homework people) They had one manager quit mid season, then hired an incompetent replacement who lasted less than a year on the job. They also signed the aging catcher to a ridiculous contract pissing off the rest of the team for the obvious favoritism.

The front office should be supportive, not doing forced "we're a team" drills. If you want to be the cool boss, you got to be cool yourself. Telling players they shouldn't play for their country sends the wrong message.

This is a dumb move trying to tell Beltre he shouldn't play for his country. The negatives far outweigh the positives. Jack needs to update his spreadsheet.