Things are getting ugly in the Pacific Northwest. In fact, I'd argue that, as wretched as the first 2-3 months of 2007 were for the Rangers, it wasn't as bad then for Texas as it is now for the M's.
They gave up significant young talent last offseason to acquire Erik Bedard, who is a free agent after 2009, because they were convinced they were in a position to win this year.
It is not a young team. The regulars and starting pitchers under the age of 29 are Jose Lopez, Yuniesky Betancourt, Wladimir Balentien (who recently replaced Brad Wilkerson in RF), and King Felix.
They are 13th in the A.L. in runs scored right now. They are 13th in the A.L. in runs allowed. They are 21-39 after 60 games, 15.5 games back.
The 2007 Rangers, after 60 games, were 21-39 and 16.5 games back.
(Incidentally, look who sponsors the 2008 M's B-R page).
How is management responding? Team president Chuck Armstrong torqued out at the coaching staff yesterday:
On Wednesday morning, about three hours before the game, Mariners president Chuck Armstrong could be heard from behind closed doors yelling loudly at McLaren and members of the coaching staff about the team's sorry state. He then stormed out of the clubhouse.
And after the game, manager John McLaren had this to say:
"We're playing our ass off every day and got nothing to show for it. I'm tired of (expletive) losing, I'm tired of getting my ass beat, and so are those guys. We've got to change this (expletive) around and get after it. And only we can do it.
"The fans are pissed off, and I'm pissed off, and the players are pissed off. And that's the way it is. There's no (expletive) easy way out of this. Can't feel sorry for ourself. Gotta (expletive) buckle it up and get after it.
"I'm tired of (expletive) losing (expletive) every night, and we bust our ass. It's got to be a total team (expletive) effort to turn this thing around, and that's it."
In a typical example of crap flowing downhill, the players were then ordered to take "public responsibility" for their lousy play, with a recent arrival calling out his teammates (again), and Ranger fans' favorite Mariner refusing to cooperate:
Bavasi ordered each of the 25 Mariners players to sit at his locker immediately after the game to take full responsibility publicly for having the worst record in the major leagues despite a $117 million payroll that is just below the richest in baseball.
"One thing in here is, I know everybody has to do their own job, but don't forget it's a team. A lot of people in here play for themselves," losing pitching Carlos Silva said after his sixth consecutive loss. "Like, 'If I get my two hits, it's OK. That's my day. I made my day.'
"It is happening here."
Slumping slugger Richie Sexson was conspicuously absent from his locker for the most of Bavasi's mandated postgame availability before breezing past his locker back into a private eating area and then boarding the bus that took the Mariners to their flight to Boston, an off day and then a weekend series.
What a fiasco out there. You have to feel badly for M's fans.