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Daily coverage of the Mariners during the season and all year long.

June 15, 2007 at 12:26 PM

Bad team gets worse

One good thing about cheering for the Mariners these days is that most of you don’t have to cheer for the Houston Astros. Although, of course, they did go to the World Series two seasons ago. Yes, it really wasn’t all that long ago the Astros were a good team. Now, they are a very bad team that just got worse. Bad enough the Astros have dropped 20 of 27. But they just lost arguably their top defensive player to a broken leg.
Bad as this 2005 finalist has become, the local baseball columnist doesn’t think manager Phil Garner deserves to lose his job. The same columnist, though, offers no love for Seattle’s own Mike Hargrove in this piece from a few days back.
“Should he be fired? Absolutely not,” he writes of Garner. “He’s a competent big league manager. He’s not Bobby Cox, but he’s not Mike Hargrove, either.”
Anyway, I guess the point of that whole exercise is to show that beauty is still in the eye of the beholder and that hot seats do tend to cool and then heat up again. What happens to Hargrove if, say, the Mariners take two of three here to go eight games above .500, but then see the bullpen crash and burn by the all-star break? What happens if, with all this trade talk I’m seeing on the site, the team falls eight back of the Angels? And five back of the Tigers, Indians or A’s by then? Are they buyers or sellers? Are they buyers in a wild-card race with three or four teams in front of them?
What happens to Hargrove if they become sellers? After all, he is extended for next season already (yes, that deal we talked about last month was actually done). Should the Mariners just keep him on board for one more year? With a .500 record? How many wins would it take? 82? 85? 90?
If a guy like Phil Garner, team dropping like a piano off the Chase building (that’s here in downtown Houston), can keep his job, should Hargrove? Just curious about your take given the team’s more recent success. Has that success frozen the hot seat over, or just cooled it down a little? Remember, if you say stuff now, you have to stick with it later on. Well, actually, you don’t have to do anything. I just thought I’d say it.
Anyway, there’s a thunderstorm going on here. Good thing the Astros play indoors. Hey, I saw “Kyle” from the blog down at Wrigley Field yesterday. It was good to meet one of the site’s more frequent contributors. Nice to see fans travelling such a long way to cheer on their team. If any of you are here in Houston, drop me a line.
NOTE ON HARGROVE EXTENSION: Someone asked about it in the previous post. We wrote back in April that the rumor was that Hargrove had quietly been given an extra year on his contract, but that it would not preclude the team from firing him. Why would the team do this? Well, it’s since been explained to me by an insider, who confirmed the extension, that since bench coach John McLaren got a two-year deal, it would be awkward to have his “boss” go into the season with only one year left. Sounds right to me.
NOTE ON POSTING: One more thing. A lot of you have had problems posting on the site this past month and written in to ask whether you did something wrong. If this happens, chances are you haven’t done anything at all. Our system was not designed to handle the sheer volume of people contributing to it and clicking in to read the posts daily. We are getting new equipment, but for now, if this happens, let me know and we’ll get you reinstated (unless you’ve actually been up to something no good and that’s why you were banned. We know the difference on this end).



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