A Paragraph With The Mariners – 12

The offense, as we all see it, has two major black holes. One could be expected by most teams, one is an absolute disgrace. Obviously, having a catcher – or a duo of catchers – who produce for you consistently with the bat is a luxury every team would love to have. But, the primary duties for a catcher start with their defense, and going hand-in-hand with that is their ability to call a game and handle a pitching staff. Offensive production is a distant fourth; you just hope they maintain something above the Mendoza Line. But, there’s really no excuse for your Designated Hitter position to be so lackluster. It’s tough, because I’ve been here defending Sweeney since spring training, hoping that he’d be able to keep up what promise he showed us at the end of last season, but it’s getting harder and harder to justify keeping both him AND Griffey, especially when Milton Bradley has shown that nagging injuries are going to keep him from playing the field every now and then. As it stands, our Bench consists of Eric Byrnes, Tuiasosopo, Adam Moore (catcher), and Sweeney (a pinch hitter/DH). So, when times like Wednesday come up, where Bradley is being sat for calf-issues and can’t even pinch hit, that puts either Tui or – more likely – Byrnes in the field. Leaving you with nothing but a backup catcher, a pinch hitter, and an emergency fielder the manager is reluctant to use in the event that someone hurts themselves. That’s no way to run a railroad; a team like this needs versatility if it’s going to succeed. In short, Sweeney is going to have to start producing (even if he only plays 1 out of every 10 days), or he’s going to have to suck it up and play a little first base to give Kotchman a break once in a while.

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