I’m back covering a game, so that’s not a good thing. I think in the last 24 games I’ve covered, the Mariners have won two.
That’s kind of like Richie’s recent run of hitting. Maybe that’s why he is out of the line-up for the third straight game, which might be a good thing since the Mariners won the last two with him on the bench.
Manager John McLaren said he’s going with the hot hand, meaning that Miguel Cairo is playing first and not Sexson, who’s predicted AL Comeback Player of the Year campaign is still in the early stages.
“You know Richie, he wants to play and stuff,” McLaren said. “There’s not an easy answer for this. This is not a long-term thing. I’m just sticking with the hot hand. We know Richie wants to play, but it is what it is.”
Let’s look at their numbers….
Miguel Cairo: .186 (8-for-43) with a double.
Richie Sexson: .200 (31-for-155) with a six double, nine homers and 21 RBI
Wow, it’s gotten that bad.
We tried to press McLaren more about Richie, particularly about the quote he had in Jim Moore’s column today in the P-I
Asked if he still had faith in Sexson, McLaren said, “As long as he has faith in himself, I have faith in him. … It’s a battle, but he’s working hard. We wanted to give him space to get himself together. There’s not an easy answer to this.”
For a moment it looked like McLaren really wanted to kind of clear the air, but he stopped short and offered this.
“This is starting to take on a life of its own,” McLaren said. “It’s just a situation where we expect a lot out of our players. We’re just trying to get him going. But in the meantime, the team was struggling so bad and we won two games, and that’s why Miguel is back out there.”
I have no problem with the move for a few games, but if Sexson has really become that bad, then you know what it’s time to ship him out. I think we can all agree on that. As for a replacement, why not bring in Scott Hatteberg, who was just released by the Reds, or even call up Bryan LaHair and give him a chance to see what he can do. Could the production be any worse at this point? I think not.
Richie doesn’t seem to happy with the situation. He avoided the open area of the clubhouse completely. So much so that a few players even commented, “Where’s Richie? Has anybody seen Richie?” just loud enough for us all to hear. I didn’t see him take any ground balls. He stood most of BP in the outfield sun talking to teammates. It’s not exactly something you do when you ‘ve been benched for not producing. I got to the field early today and didn’t see him taking extra BP on the field, but he may have hit in the tunnels.
I’ll be honest, I don’t know what all he does pre-game, but I haven’t seen much from him. Maybe he has a legit excuse, but if he’s just pouting, it’s not exactly the best thing to do to play your way back into the lineup.
And this isn’t the first time this has happened, he did the same thing last season.
It’s one thing to not produce, but it’s something else to not produce and not give the extra effort to start producing. If Richie is doing it, then I’m wrong. But nothing I’ve seen in the last two weeks tells me that he is. I don’t know that I’d even wait for a trade offer. Just designate him for assignment and send a message to others that this won’t be tolerated.