This happened a couple days ago. I was in the midst of a travel day back to Seattle from San Francisco – where I blacked out for almost the entirety of the Husky/Stanford game – and so while I was generally aware of the announcement and corresponding press conference, I didn’t listen to it or watch it or even read about it.
I’m sure Scott Servais is a very smart, interesting man. I’m sure he said all the right things. I believe I saw a Tweet where he mentioned that the Mariners need to get on base more, and that it’s hard to hit home runs every night. That defense and pitching is the way the Seattle Mariners are going to win ballgames, given the vastness of Safeco Field and the thickness of its marine layer therein.
That all sounds about right.
Yes, the Mariners DO need to get on base more. They need guys who can take a walk every now and again. They need speedy guys to roam the outfield and take away extra base hits. They need doubles hitters, line-drive hitters, moreso than straight up homer guys. We’ve all been screaming these things at the tops of our lungs for as far back as I can remember. And, truly, we’ve been hearing these things from incoming managers and general managers since the damn stadium was opened. These are all obvious statements if you’ve watched even an inning of Seattle Mariners baseball in the last decade and a half. Steriods aren’t going to me mercifully allowed back into the game again, so we’re stuck with what we’ve got.
That’s why it’s pretty dumb to judge the hire of Scott Servais on his platitudes from an introductory press conference. If we set the bar as Better Than Jim Tomsula, then you could say Servais passed his introductory press conference with flying colors. But, I’m not going to judge the man on that, or on his history in the game. I don’t care that he’s never managed in the Big Leagues before. I don’t care about his good relationship with our new GM. I care about his plan for our 25-man roster next spring. I care about how he’s going to use his rotation and bullpen. I care about the lineups he’s going to throw out there (even though I probably shouldn’t). I care about him sticking to his guns and NOT making me watch an outfield defense littered with the likes of Nelson Cruz and Mark Trumbo.
And even then, so what? Managers don’t win you baseball games. Not really. It’s up to the players. It’s up to the GM to get the right players in here. And since neither of these people appear to be genies from a magic lamp, I’m afraid we’re still stuck with a majority of Jack Zduriencik players.
The Mariners made news this week. Now, let’s all forget about them again until the new year.