JIM MOORE

Moore: Why Mariners’ Scott Servais should be safe from hot seat this year

Aug 4, 2020, 2:00 PM
Mariners Scott Servais...
Scott Servais is in his fifth season as the manager of the Seattle Mariners. (Getty)
(Getty)

If you look around the internet, the Mariners’ Scott Servais is listed as the odds-on favorite to be the first manager fired this season.

He’s listed at 8-1 followed by Baltimore’s Brandon Hyde, the Dodgers’ Dave Roberts and Rick Renteria of the White Sox, all at 9-1.

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That caught me surprise. Whatever you think about Servais as a manager, do you really think he could be fired this season. And if he is, do you really think he’d be the first one to go?

His team will no doubt go about 20-40 this year, but will that be his fault? Of course not. The Mariners are trying to compete at the major-league level with several Triple-A players and so-called Four-A players who aren’t quite good enough to be full-time big leaguers.

Name the best manager ever. Whoever it is, do you think he could coax a winning record out of this bunch this year? Again, of course not.

Servais, 53, is in his fifth year as the Mariners’ manager, getting the job in 2016 even though he had never managed a team at any level before.

I’ve never watched the Mariners and thought, “Man, Servais is a terrible manager, they need to replace him.” But I’ve heard rumblings from others who think he mishandles his pitching staff, especially the bullpen.

I haven’t seen any of that, but then again, I’m not up on the advanced stats and metrics that would no doubt support the case of the Servais detractors.

There have been occasions when I’ve disagreed with his decisions such as two of them over the weekend. But it’s always with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight.

I don’t think Tim Lopes should have bunted with two strikes and a runner at second with no outs in the 10th inning with the Mariners trailing 3-2. Lopes is a good hitter who could have put the ball in play and moved the runner to third or even driven him in with a base hit. The thing is, if Lopes had put down a beautiful bunt, I would have applauded Servais for having the guts to let him bunt with two strikes.

In Sunday’s 3-2 loss to the A’s, I would have brought in a right-hander to face Ramón Laureano. But Servais summoned lefty Anthony Misiewicz, who served up the game-losing three-run homer to Laureano. If Misiewicz had struck out Laureano, I would have applauded Servais for going with the oddball move of a left-hander in that situation.

So again, I don’t get why Servais would be the favorite to be fired first, if at all. Do you?

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Moore: Why Mariners’ Scott Servais should be safe from hot seat this year