Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 11/18/14
Tight leash with fans/management

You have heard it on the sports talk radio programs, seen it on the evening news, and even read about it when you log on to nwsportsbeat.com to get your daily Seattle Mariners fix.

The M’s are in trouble. Management is taking the “we don’t have money for this club approach,” and the front office just spent an offseason teasing fans on a BIG signing, while doing the exact opposite, in trading away one of the best young arms in baseball.

The fans are sick of mediocrity.

Hell it’s not even mediocrity, it’s downright awful baseball that gets put on the field year after year.

The Mariners have one aging super star, a couple of might have beens, and a fist full of upswing that will probably be dealt before their careers ever get to blossom in Seattle.

Instead of firing the manager every other year, us fans need to forge a coup d’ etat, and get rid of the ownership.

But until that happens, here is my list of five things that Eric Wedge can do to help turn around this struggling franchise.

1: Keep the intensity up throughout the entire season

Last year, up till right around the all-star break, Wedge had the M’s players believing in themselves. They went out day after day, and over achieved. Then it all fell apart.

Sure there were injuries, and Justin Smoak had a lot on his plate with the passing of a family member, but stuff like this happens to every team, every year.

Wedge needs to find that spot in the clubhouse that he had at the beginning of last year, bottle it, and give injections of it to each member of the team before each game. The fans pay money to see the team win, and it used to be that the Mariners won a lot, but those days are a fading memory.

2: Move Chone Figgins to lead off

As I have mentioned before, the lead off spot should go to Chone Figgins this season. He can draw walks, bunt for a hit, hopefully get his average back up, and when on the bases, become a nuisance to the opposing defense with his speed.

He has been a disappointment since his arrival, but with the lead off spot all to himself, he can, and will see better pitches and a tabula rasa, so to speak, to reenergize his career.

3: Don’t rush Montero

A lot of the time, management wants to rush a young phenom into a full time playing spot, mostly for the fans. But with three other fully capable catchers coming into spring training, Jesus Montero isn’t a must just yet.

He has been a disappointment since his arrival, but bat him leadoff and watch out!

If it were up to me, I’d have him on the 25 man roster for sure, but mainly used as a pinch hitter, some DH roles, and catch once or twice a week.

It’s too early for him to be in the starting lineup for 140 plus games just yet.

4: Find the fountain of youth for Kevin Millwood

Kevin Millwood was an excellent pitcher in his younger days, but like a lot of MLB pitchers, his shelf life has been depleted severley. He can still throw, and can still get the nod every fifth day, but it’s been his consistency that has been a problem.

Maybe playing in pitcher friendly Safeco Field will help him get back on track. He is nearing his swan song season though.

5: Figure out the Seager, Ackley, Carp connection

For some reason, these three players Kyle Seager, Dustin Ackley, and Mike Carp, are at positions that would be best filled by one of the other two players.

Wedge has Carp in left, where Ackley is by far the better left fielder. Ackley at second, where Seager is the better of the two. And Seager as a possible  backup third baseman, or backup short stop.

If I were the manager, which there is probably a reason I’m not, Ackley would be the every day left fielder, Seager would move to second, and Carp would platoon at first with Smoak, and DH with Montero.

That way his power is still in the lineup every day.

So here you go Mr. Wedge, take this to heart.

After all, it is us fans that pay your paycheck!


© Clinton Bell for North West Sports Beat, 2012. | Permalink | No comment |

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Post tags: 2012, 2012 Seattle Mariners, Baseball Predictions, Chone Figgins, Dustin Ackley, Eric Wedge, Jesus Montero, Justin Smoak, Kevin Millwood, Kyle Seager, M's, Mariners blog, Mariners Predictions, Mike Carp, nwsportsbeat, Seattle Mariners, Seattle Mariners Blog, Seattle Mariners blogs, Seattle Mariners Prediction

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