Man overboard

Through the cold fog of the Mariners’ soon-to-be-legendary Season of Doom, the first casualty has appeared: batting coach Jeff Pentland, who watched the Mariners achieve their current .248 batting average, second to last in the AL.

This, frankly, is a bit like the crew of the Titanic tossing one of the guys in the boiler room overboard. Sorry, captain: the ship is still sinking. The M’s are on pace to have 105 losses this season. If they achieve that dubious milestone, 2008 will surpass 1978 (104 losses) as the worst season in the Mariners’ mostly pain-filled history. Firing the batting coach isn’t going to magically give you new batters for the #2, #3 and #4 spots, and it’s not going to fix up any of the pitcher’s arms either.

Pentland is being replaced by Lee Elia, who Geoff Baker points out is 70 years old, semi-retired, and an obvious temporary baling-wire-and-duct-tape “fix”.

Honestly, this season is already a write-off, but I’d feel better if they’d start working on some longer term fixes. Such as: replace the guy actually responsible for hiring all these mediocre bats, Bill Bavasi. There are days I wonder if he’s secretly still being paid by the Angels. He’s emptied out our farm system, overpaid grievously for poor returns, and given us years of cellar-dweller baseball. How much longer are Chuck Armstrong (team president) and Howard Lincoln (CEO) going to put up with this?

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