By Michael Grey
That is the word that has come to encapsulate the emotions of Mariners fans as yet another year nears the half-pole with their team firmly out of contention. You expect fans to be frustrated. Heck, you can’t fault them for being outright disgusted, even angry.
But that frustration to this point has not shown itself in the faces of management – until Wednesday.
The Mariners rank near the bottom of MLB in several key offensive categories.
|SLG:||24th (.380)||OPS:||26th (.680)|
“I’m tired of even talking about approach or mechanics. You have got to hit. We can break it down 10 times then break it down 10 times again and we have been doing that here for two and a half years.”
Those were the words of Eric Wedge after he watched another opposing team score clutch runs in the ninth inning when it needed to, leaving the Mariners unable to respond. It’s not terribly tough to read the frustration in his comments, or to recognize the inevitable truth that they forecast.
The Mariners’ best everyday hitter right now is Nick Franklin, who’s hitting a very respectable .278, though only through 28 starts. The best-hitting team in MLB is the Detroit Tigers, who are hitting .273 as a team. This is not to say the Mariners have to be the best-hitting team in baseball, but they have to better than 27th in batting average, 26th in runs and 25th in on-base percentage if they expect to win games.
And Wedge knows it.
He also knows that ultimately if this team doesn’t come around soon that he will no longer be the man explaining another ninth-inning collapse regardless of whether or not he’s truly to blame.
Major League Baseball is a bottom-line business and sooner or later changes get made when you don’t win. Is it the roster? Is it rushing prospects? The bad trades of the past four years? Injuries? Bad coaching? Phase of the moon?
Wedge knows it won’t matter why if the Mariners’ performances don’t improve, and soon.
So Eric Wedge may well be the most frustrated Mariner in all of Seattle. He knows it won’t matter what the perception or the reality of the problem is, and his postgame comments on Wednesday made that very clear.