Wednesday, October 04, 2006

On Hargrove

First off: Sorry for the lack of posts to the site in the last 3 weeks. I have been fighting what turned out to be a ruptured disc in my lower back and had surgery on Monday to correct the problem. Two days post surgery, I feel better than I have in a month. Yay modern medicine.

Thanks to my sister-in-law's laptop (thanks again Jackie!) poised precariously on my stomach, I am back to blogging. And where better to jump back in, then the absolutely ludicrous decision to retain Hargrove.

It would be hard to top Jason's excellent piece (and especially his title!) so I would like to focus on just one part of the infamous letter to the season ticket holders:

Mike is uniquely equipped to lead a young team. His experience in developing and dealing with young players is one of the reasons we hired him in the first place.

Hargrove is not uniquely equipped to lead a young team. He gets this reputation because his Cleveland teams broke in a number of good young players. But, to be clear, by his first full season in 1992, Lofton, Belle and Nagy are stars already, with Sandy Alomar an established regular, if not quite an All-Star. In 1994 he gives more at-bats to 33 year old Junior Ortiz than Alomar. Ortiz hit 221/267/273 in 249 at-bats. All Alomar did was hit 270/318/395. Great job breaking in the youngster, there.

Also, Grover gave Alvaro Espinoza 263 at-bats to put up a 678 OPS. He could not find a spot in the lineup for Jim Thome (OPS 859 in limited playing time). Even the next year he still found 231 at-bats for Espinoza, though he at least got Thome 321.

Also in 1994 he gave Jack Morris 23 starts (it was a strike year) at a 5.60 ERA but Albie Lopez only 4 starts at a 4.24 ERA.

Even this year we saw him play Carl Everett at the expense of anyone else younger or better on the roster. He gave up on Adam Jones after 10 games. He had trouble finding playing time for Sexson as a young player in Cleveland and Brian Giles. He often prefers veterans over young players and his preference for "set lineups" keeps young players from getting into the lineup.

He did give immediate playing time to Bartolo Colon and Manny Ramirez when they came up, but these are MVP/Cy Young type talents. It would have been pretty hard to deny them, although he certainly did with Thome.

He had great talent in Cleveland and won there, though he was fired for not winning more. He was 275-372 with young talent in Baltimore and he is 147-177 here in Seattle. If you see a guy in there "uniquely qualified" to do anything other than play with his grandkids I think its time to have your prescription checked.


At 4:43 PM, Blogger Jason said...

Welcome back, Tad!!!

Grover sucks. (I believe that the M's could market themselves using that slogan in '07....)

At 4:29 PM, Blogger Tad said...

The 2007 Seattle Mariners: Grover sucks, but hopefully we won't!


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