Why no roster moves after the Mariners’ awful first half?

Jul 13, 2012, 4:03 PM | Updated: 4:21 pm
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By Jim Moore

OK, I don’t get it. Don’t get it at all.

For the better part of the last two weeks, Mariners manager Eric Wedge sounded like he wanted to jump off of a cliff or a bridge, whichever was most easily accessible.

He sounded like he couldn’t stand to watch his players in the batter’s box anymore. He told us that they should know how to hit because they proved it on that road trip when they went 5-4 and scored 21 runs in one game against the Rangers.

He said his players were either dumb or stupid if they didn’t remember what they were doing to be successful during that stretch.

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The M’s made no moves over the All-Star break even though Eric Wedge sounded like he was ready for changes. (AP)

He also gave us that Lou Piniella-like sound bite when he said that it’s like Groundhog Day with the Mariners — waking up every morning like Bill Murray did in the movie and having it be the same day all over again. Murray’s clock-radio woke him up with Sonny and Cher, and it would be a fitting touch if they played “I Got You Babe” at Safeco Field Friday if the Mariners lose 1-0 to the Rangers.

Point being, Wedge sounded so exasperated that I assumed he’d make at least one or two roster moves on Thursday. I would have been fine with three or four. But what happened? Nothing. No moves whatsoever.

I think he said something about hoping the time off will help his players. Maybe they’ll be able to relax a little bit and produce.

He also apparently saw signs of improvement in the Oakland series that ended the first half of the season. He liked it when Dustin Ackley singled to left field. Liked it when Justin Smoak hit a near-home run that went a few feet foul.

My response: are you kidding me? A single to the opposite field is now seen as a glimpse of hope for a player who was drafted No. 2 overall? And a foul ball is viewed as a good sign for a player who is hitting .203 and hasn’t had an actual home run for God knows how long?

One more thing: weren’t there more seagulls than hits for the Mariners in an extra-inning game last Sunday in Oakland?

You could justifiably argue that Jesus Montero, Ackley and Smoak will not benefit from being sent to Tacoma. They’ve played in Triple-A before, and what would it prove if they were able to hit Triple-A pitching now? Maybe they’d work out the kinks, maybe they wouldn’t.

And you could say that there aren’t any good replacement players for them anyway. You could try Alex Liddi again, or Luis Rodriguez again, and it sounds like Mike Carp isn’t ready to come back from his shoulder injury, plus he’s hitting .180-something and it’s not like anyone is clamoring for that kind of average on this team, that’s for sure.

But, skip, how about tossing us a bone? Anything. I’ll take a morsel, a scrap of a move. You talk about accountability, how about showing us some yourself?

If he had sent Ackley down and called Rodriguez up, I would have given him a sitting ovation — just for doing something. He would argue that he’s not going to make a move just to make a move, but I’d argue otherwise — do something, dammit!

If it’s not that, how about finally releasing Chone Figgins or moving Ichiro to eighth in the order?

Then there’s this curious move with the rotation this weekend. Kevin Millwood, Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma are pitching against the Rangers, and Jason Vargas is not.

Everyone knows that Vargas is much better at home than he is on the road, yet Wedge said he wants to give his lefty more rest because of his hefty workload in the first half of the year. But he’s scheduled to start Monday in Kansas City. Why not start him Sunday in Seattle instead. It’s just a 24-hour difference.

Vargas is mentioned in trade rumors, so if I’m Wedge, I want to showcase him in what could be a seven-inning, four-hit game at Safeco Field. I don’t want to risk another Home Run Derby in Kansas City.

Maybe Wedge’s patience will pay off with an improved performance this weekend. Certainly the warmer weather should help heat up the Mariners’ .195 average at home thus far.

But if they continue to struggle, expect significant moves to happen. Trades perhaps? Demotions perhaps?

Nah, I’m guessing Wedge will really be miffed and put his players on double-secret probation.

You can reach the Go 2 Guy at jimmoorethego2guy@yahoo.com and follow him on Twitter @cougsgo. Jim also writes for his website, www.jimmoorethego2guy.com, and every Monday in the Kitsap Sun. He co-hosts “The Golf Show with Jim Moore and Shon Crewe” on the podcast page of 710Sports.com and “The Kevin Calabro Show,” weekdays 3-6 p.m. on 710 ESPN Seattle.

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