The Seattle Mariners dropped the third game of this four game series tonight by a score of 12-3 and find themselves 10 games back in the AL West after being mauled by the first place Texas Rangers. Ryan Smith lost his right to having two last names with his performance tonight and will probably get heaped into the bullpen or perhaps over the side of the good ship Mariners. Brandon League got slammed around the deck as well by the Rangers and the whole team is starting to look like F-troop. If I never have to see Vladimir Guerrero hitting another line drive off his shoe-strings, or their pitching coach Mike Maddux going out to talk to his pitchers even when leading by 7 runs, I will be a happy man.
Going down to Texas everyone kind of knew this was going to be a make or break series for the struggling Mariners, and all the finger-pointing and hand wringing in the world won’t put Humpty-Dumpty back together again. We now are faced with a long summer, or perhaps maybe it will just keep raining all year in solidarity with our washed up Seafarers.
I should have known when I saw first hand down at spring training this year the way the veterans were disrespecting Don Wakamatsu that we were heading for trouble this year. Here are a couple of examples: One day I was watching the veterans taking BP and Wak asked some of them to play catch while they were waiting to hit. In this instance it was Sweeney, Jack Wilson, Griffey and Figgins,and a few others. The veterans just kept doing their usual shucking and jiving ritual while they ignored the skipper. So then Wak trying to lead by example grabbed a glove and started playing catch with one of the younger players, and I overheard Mike Sweeney say “Its overrated” meaning staying active and playing catch, instead of hovering around the cage while all the rookies were busting their butts is overrated. It struck me as odd and disrespectful and more importantly that Wak did not have respect of the veterans.
In addition I saw Ken Griffey barely going through the motions during sprints and drills always being the instigator and trying to always get some of the guys to go along with him. I remember thinking what was Ted Williams or Ty Cobb like during their final spring training and knew in my heart that guys like that would have worked just as hard as the rookies to set an example.
You may be wondering why I’m saying this now after all the times I came to the defense of both Griffey and Sweeney on this Blog when everyone else in town was calling for them to go. Well to be honest I was hoping it was no big deal and we were going to kick butt this year, and some things are best left alone. So there it is, as an ex-player and long time fan who has reverence for the great game of Baseball, I knew in my gut that this team was lacking in discipline and leadership from the gate. And now my worst nightmare has come true……