Monday, May 10, 2010

Sinking Seamen

The Mariners have finally been able to slap a band aid over the gaping wound that is their team. Yesterday, the announcement was made that Alan Cockrell would be removed from his position as hitting coach. Cockrell gained this position during the management fire sale that occurred after the Mariner's disastrous 2008 season, where they became the first major league baseball team with a payroll of over $100 million to reach over 100 losses. Cockrell will be replaced by Alonzo Powell, current hitting coach of the Tacoma Rainiers. This is a wise move on the part of Mariners management; booting out someone with one season in the majors, with 2 hits in 8 at bats (.250), for someone with twice as many seasons, 16 times more hits in 19 times more plate appearances (or 2 seasons, 32 hits in 152 at bats, or a batting average of .211, for the mathematically impaired). Clearly, Powell is the better choice.

But will Powell have any hope of making a difference? What does Powell have to work with? Chone Figgins is batting a whopping .185, Jose Lopez has turned out to be another disappointment at .222, Kotchman is ripping .194. Prima dona Bradley is currently restricted from play until he gets is massive ego under control. Even the geriatric veteran Griffey is hitting .208. Maybe Cockrell just didn't know how to communicate his year of batting experience to these guys. Surely he offered a fresh perspective on hitting to someone like Griffey (22 seasons, 2779 hits in 9777 at bats, or an average of .284). Maybe Powell's approach with these seasoned veterans will not be quite so radical. Maybe he can better relate to Bradley, as he too began his career as an Expo. Perhaps he alone - with his deep understanding of the game, years of experience, and accumulated accomplishments - holds the key to the Mariners success.

For a franchise who has never seen a World Series, and only 4 postseason playoffs, Powell had better have the Midas touch, otherwise it will be his head on the chopping block in a couple of months. Maybe then they'll ask Mike Sweeny (currently batting .176) to be the hitting coach. Wait, no, probably not...he is a 4 time All Star, with 16 seasons, a lifetime batting average of .297, and 1508 hits in 5071 at bats. He's clearly not qualified.

General Fiasco - Sinking Ships


Burton said...

I know there will be people out there who will site Powell's 27 years in baseball, including four with the Mariners as a minor league hitting coach, 5 seasons with the Reds organization, and six years in Japan where he becamed America's first player in Japan to hold three consecutive batting titles. But come on, if the guy was truly qualified to teach hitting (something that I believe is pointless either can or cannot hit a ball), he would have a bit more credibility if he actually had more than two seasons in the majors. Besides, it is not as if he will make much difference anyway. The Mariners have always sucked.

GM-Carson said...

The Mariners offense does suck. I don't play in the Majors, so I can't really speak from experience, but I find it hard to believe the hitting coach has much of an impact.

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