August 9: What you missed

Aug 9, 2010, 6:41 PM | Updated: Apr 4, 2011, 7:55 pm

The Mariners fired Don Wakamatsu today, and several people who cover the team joined “The Kevin Calabro Show” to share their perspective on the situation.

Greg Bell of the Associated Press said he thought upper management played a significant role in the decision.

“The timing of this whole think untimely comes down to Howard Lincoln and Chuck Armstrong trying to tell their fans they’re on this situation, they feel their pain and frustration and want someone to be held accountable,” Bell said. “I certainly think that this wasn’t just Jack Zdurinecik‘s decision. No matter how much he’ll say it was solely his call, it was not. I can logically believe it was from the very top.”

He also said he didn’t think it was fair for the team to blame Wakamatsu for the team’s struggles.

“This was wrong. Wakamatsu should not be fired after a startlingly good rookie manager season and then half a bad season with a flawed team,” Bell said. He’s got a roster that can’t hit and is the worst offense in the major leagues. I think it’s a knee jerk reaction from the top of the organization to appease fans.”

While many fans may want a high-profile name to manage the team next season, Bell said those people might be wary of taking over an organization that has had little success in recent years.

“They haven’t won since Lou Piniella left. Why is that? There’s a lot of people in baseball saying, how can this team spend $100 million dollars and not make the playoffs?” Bell said. “I think a Bobby Valentine type would be very leery of entering this situation.”

Click here to listen to our conversation with Greg Bell.

John McGrath of The News Tribune said he still think the Mariners will be able to attract top candidates.

“This is still a great job. This is Seattle, Washington. It’s a beautiful ballpark with a terrific fan base,” McGrath said. This is a job where you know, just get them to not make outs on the basepaths, and you’re going to be pretty popular to begin with.”

He said that whomever the Mariners decide to hire should be given more autonomy than Wakamatsu had.

“If you bring in somebody like Bobby Valentine, let him run the show from start to finish,” McGrath said. That means the lineup, that means the batting order, that means every single decision is the managers. … You’ve got to give the guy a chance to do it his way. I’m not sure if Don Wakamatsu had that chance.

McGrath added that the team’s inability to play fundamental baseball was part of the reason Wakamatsu was fired.

“One thing I will say in the Mariners defense here, is that they never got any better at doing the little things. Up until the end, they were still making mistakes on the base paths.”

Click here to listen to the full interview with John McGrath.

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