Monday, August 9, 2010

Mariners Fire Wakamatsu

My Seattle Mariners winning the World Series prediction hasn't exactly worked wonders.

Today, the Mariners fired manager Don Wakamatsu and several members of his coaching staff. Daren Brown, who has spent the past four seasons at the helm of Triple A Tacoma, will manage the Mariners on an interim basis until season's end.

Wakamatsu was hired prior to the 2009 season. After losing 102 games in 2008, Wakamatsu guided the Mariners to a respectable 85-77 record. They were expected to improve this year with the acquisition of Cliff Lee, Milton Bradley, Brandon League and Chone Figgins via free agency. It prompted people like yours truly to predict they would go all the way.

But things never got going for the M's this year. Ken Griffey, Jr. abruptly retired mid-season, Bradley had a mental breakdown and Lee was dealt to Texas. The low point came when Wakamatsu got into a dugout brawl with Figgins. Whatever confidence Wakamatsu might have had with the team had disintegrated. The bottom line is that the Mariners had a 42-70 record and were 22 and a half games behind the Rangers in the AL West.

I don't know much about Brown aside from the fact he has managed various minor league affiliates in the Mariner organization since 2001. So obviously he knows most of the players who have come up through their minor league system and that are currently working their way up. He was also a minor league pitcher in the Toronto Blue Jays organization in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Brown did win his managerial debut this evening besting the Oakland Athletics 3-1.
But it is but the first step on a very long road back to respectability.

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