September 29, 2013 at 1:04 PM
Game thread: Athletics 9, Mariners 0, FINAL
This season can’t end quickly enough for the Mariners. The best thing that can be said about today if you’re the Mariners is that at least they got through the morning without manager Eric Wedge essentially accusing his upper managers of being a pack of liars. Or truth misrepresenters. Or, whatever the passive aggressive folk like to call it.
Wedge is anything but passive aggressive and did all the talking he had to yesterday.
Today, the Mariners will try to avoid loss No. 91 in a season they began hoping for at least a .500 campaign. When you think of it, considering they got to play the Houston Astros 19 times, .500 wasn’t all that lofty a goal. As of today, the Astros have lost 110. They entered today with 51 wins, nine of those against the Mariners. So, nearly a fifth of their victories.
This season was a disaster, the Mariners upper leadership — from CEO Howard Lincoln to president Chuck Armstrong to GM Jack Zduriencik — will end the year looking exposed and weak and now they need to find a new manager to do their talking for them and convince people there is actually a plan in-place here worth following. Wedge will remain in Seattle for now, wanting to see how the job situation shakes out. But the Mariners will now be someody else’s problem. Soon, a new face will be brought on board to extoll the virtues of youth and play up how this rebuilding plan — about to enter Year No. 6 — is actually moving forward and not sliding backwards.
Today, the Mariners send Erasmo Ramirez to the mound. Ramirez has had some decent outings of late and is one of the pieces the Mariners will look at for their rotation next year. The rotation part is indeed looking up for this team, even if very little of substance was actually decided on the position player front this year. The Mariners will again have some young players they can slot in for next year. But beyond youth, there is very little else of certainty.
And that’s the sorry part of 2013, more or less a wasted year by a ballclub that has put its fans through too many of those while its ownership has more or less doubled or even tripled franchise value the past five years while putting losing clubs on the field that keep getting cheaper and cheaper.
Wedge is done shilling for the Mariners. And no matter what you thought of his in-game management skills, the Mariners are losing a valued front-man in selling this program to an ever-skeptical fanbase.