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Jerry Dipoto ‘embarrassed’ by Mariners’ 2nd half, says tough decisions await in offseason

GM Jerry Dipoto's Mariners fell out of the playoff race in the second half. (AP)

Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto shares the frustration fans have felt during the team’s disappointing second half of the season.

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On his weekly Jerry Dipoto Show on 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny, Dave and Moore, he spoke at length about what has held the team back after a strong first three months of 2018, took accountability for the slide and signaled how the team’s poor record since the end of June will impact their offseason.

“We were in a position to do special things and we had a group that was playing together in a way that was so energizing for everybody around the team, and we watched it methodically and painfully be pulled apart over the course of these last two months – and it’s gotten worse as we’ve gone,” Dipoto said. “That has to be part of our decision-making heading into ’19, and frankly those are some tough decisions. We’re at a bit of a crossroads in looking at where we are as a club and trying to determine how we get to a championship level, because we’ve taken two steps forward and then three steps back – and that’s on us.”

Particularly disappointing for Dipoto is how the offense stopped producing at about the same time the Oakland Athletics made a push in the standings. The Mariners had a commanding lead for the second American League Wild Card spot in late June over Oakland, but now trail the A’s by 9 ½ games in the playoff race.

“It’s not like we had to go out and play .700 ball to wind up in the postseason,” Dipoto said of the team’s second half. “We just needed to do some of the things we were doing and hold serve, and we didn’t do it. That’s on us. We should be embarrassed by it, and I am.

“… We have a group of players, frankly it’s close to half our lineup since the midpoint of the season who just stopped getting on base with any regularity. … We have had roughly half our lineup just effectively disappear for half a season, and it’s really hard to score runs when only half of your lineup is working. Understanding that you can’t put three or four hitters in a position where they have to churn night after night, and that’s what we’ve done – and sometimes it’s not even three or four.”

Dipoto added that another thing that was a strength earlier in the season for Seattle has become the opposite over the past two months.

“In times of struggle you find out a lot about character, how people will answer in times of adversity, and frankly that was one of the highlights of this team in the first half of the season and it’s been one of the lowlights in the second half of the season. We have not responded to that adversity in the same way. … When teams pull apart when they no longer bind together and they don’t fight through the adversity. I’m not telling you anything you’re not watching. You’re seeing it every day and we’re accountable for that and we have to figure out how to get back on track.”

Listen to the full interview with Dipoto in this podcast.