Tag Archives: Lloyd McClendon

Seattle Mariners – What’s Going On With You Guys?

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I’m not entirely sure what’s going on with these guys…But I strongly believe that they need to be scared.

Anyone remember the classic scene from Bull Durham where the manager is lamenting to Crash that he’s tried everything he can think of to motivate the players?  Crash’s simple resolution is to “scare em.”

Next scene, the manager throws some bats into the showers and starts screaming what a bunch of “lollygaggers” the players are.

Here is a clip for those who want a good laugh:  Bull Durham – Lollygagger Scene

Now I don’t expect to have Lloyd McClendon to throw this kind of fit…but something has got to be done to get this team motivated.

I doubt benching Robinson Cano or Kyle Seager is going to do any good.  But I would like to see how Cano would react to say dropping to number nine in the line-up.  After all, he’s hitting like he belongs in the nine hole right now.

Some good things I have seen over this lousy home stand is the starting pitching has been outstanding.  Over the past 7 days, opposing teams have batted .255 against the pitching of J.A Happ, Taijuan Walker, Roenias Elias and Felix Hernandez.  Take out Hernandez’s .333 and hitters are going at a .229 pace.  I do believe that any major league team would take that in a heartbeat.

However, the relief pitching, the strength of last year, has just been abysmal.  Over the same seven game stretch, opposing teams have hit .272 with an on base percentage of .395.  Along with 11 walks and 10 extra base hits, that’s not what you expect from last year’s best bullpen in the majors.

I don’t have any faith in Fernando Rodney…in fact, I wasn’t to happy when the Mariners acquired him.  He has some good stuff but is unreliable.  I think we have all had enough of the “Rodney Experience” for a while.

McClendon should give Carson Smith a shot at closing.  He has an ERA of 1.13, has struck out 25 and walked only 5.  In comparison, Rodney’s ERA is 6.94, has struck out 20 with 12 base on balls.  McClendon has been reluctant to give the ball to Smith but just how many times does he give Rodney a chance?  I admire loyalty to a player but what about loyalty to the team and more important, to the fans?

We were hopeful at the end of last year when the Mariners missed getting into the playoffs by 1 game.  We were lifted even higher when Jack Z. went out and got Nelson Cruz to give some much some much needed power to the line-up.

No one expected to see Cano hitting only .243 right now.  And that’s only the tip of the iceberg.  He’s has several notable base running gaffe’s, the last one against the Yankees, getting picked off at first after driving in a run.

I don’t see a need to panic just yet…but I do see a need to shake things up a bit.  As a team, they are hitting just .212 for the season with runners in scoring position.  They have struck out 212 times.  And it only gets worse with 2 out with runners in scoring position.  .212 along with 60 strike outs.

And it was typical in the game against Tampa Bay last night.  Down 1-0 in the ninth inning, Austin Jackson hits a leadoff triple….and stays there while Brad Miller struck out, Mike Zunino hits a shallow foul ball to right and Dustin Ackley flew out to left to end the game.

Pitiful…With Jackson on third and no outs, the Mariners could not get him in, not even with a productive count.

So what can be done?  With the exception of Cruz, change the line-up.  Drop Cano down in the line-up, get Seager in the 3 slot, let Miller lead off and put Ackley on the bench.

It may not produce wins but it could get these guys going.

Beer Thinker Prediction – Seattle Mariners Win 93 Games

Seattle Baseball

On Monday, the Seattle Mariners open their 2015 season against the Los Angles Angels of Anaheim.  It’s really the first time in many years that I am officially excited to see how this team does.

Last year, with expectations low, a new manager and one very high-profile free agent signing of Robinson Cano, many predictions were the Mariners would finish no better than .500 with yet another season of no playoff hopes.

Manager Lloyd McClendon, newly hired from the Detroit Tigers staff, had other thoughts.  I’m pretty sure he endeared himself to Mariner fans when he stood up for Robinson Cano when a Yankee official commented on Cano’s hustle.  “What’s he doing talking about my player?” has to go down as the best response to the uncalled criticism.  It was almost Piniella-esque!

With the guidance of McClendon and the leadership of Cano, the Mariners came within one win of getting into the playoffs.  Felix Hernandez had a record setting year and Kyle Seager proved himself to be one of the best all-around third baseman in the league with some great defense and clutch hitting.

You have to think the Mariners are going to do better this year.   They finally have an official big-bopper in the #4 spot in Nelson Cruz and the line-up is pretty much set.  I have concerns over the lead-off spot as well as getting offense from the shortstop position.  Defensively, the Mariners are going to be one of the better defensive teams in the majors.

I was listening to the Danny, Dave and Moore show on ESPN’s 710 Sports in Seattle on the way home from work.  They were doing a segment on bold predictions for the Mariners.  It got me to thinking just how many games the Mariners will win this year.

Jim Moore’s prediction is they will win 100 games this year.  Personally I think that’s a bit far-fetched but you got to admire Moore’s spunk.

Mariners went 87-75 last season and were in the playoff hunt until the last day of the season.  With the pitching they have and a much more dependable lineup, I think the Mariners will go 93-69.

As for other predictions, such as the number of home runs Cruz will hit or if Felix will win 20 games, I don’t really want to go there.

What I want to see is that the Mariners play good, solid baseball, score more runs than the other team and get into the playoffs.

If Nelson Cruz hits only 20 home runs but gets 120 RBI’s, I’m fine with that.  In fact, if Cruz, Cano, Seager and Mike Zunino all get 20 home runs each and drive in at least 80 runs each, I’d be more than happy with that production.  And it’s not out of the realm of possibilities that could occur.

I believe this team is going to be special this year.  With 3 bona-fide superstars in Cano, Cruz and Felix along with some superstars in the making such as Seager, Zunino, Taijuan Walker and James Paxton, the Mariners have few weak spots.  Add to that players in supporting roles in Dustin Ackley, Austin Jackson and Danny Farquhar only makes them a solid and deeply talented team.

They still need to play the games and with McClendon, he won’t allow them to get to full of themselves nor let them wallow when things aren’t going well.

93-69 has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?

Go Mariners!