Mariners Insider

Lightning, thunder – and a shortstop who doesn’t get it

Post by Larry Larue / The News Tribune on June 9, 2009 at 2:45 pm with No Comments »
June 9, 2009 2:45 pm

The infield at Camden Yards is covered and the sky is angry – lightning and thunder directly overhead took out Seattle’s batting practice.

The game is still expected to be played, but a delay is possible.

And now, more on and from Yuniesky Betancourt.

What manager Don Wakamatsu said is that he’s rewarding the hard work of Ronny Cedeno, who has ‘busted his butt’ even when not playing, Wakamatsu said.

What must Betancourt do to get back in the lineup?

“He has to show he’s prepared to play,” Wakamatsu said.

Betancourt, who has had meetings with his manager and coaches all season, insists he’s doing nothing different now than ever.

“I’ve been doing the same routine for years,” Betancourt said. “I can’t control the lineup. I’m doing whatever I’ve done in the past.”

That, of course, may well be the issue. Betancourt has never been a hard worker, and the past four days have not served him well.

Since being out of the lineup, his teammates say, Betancourt has not taken a single ground ball.

And Monday, when 12 position players showed up for early batting practice, Betancourt was not among them.

“I was asleep on the plane when they announced that,” Betancourt said.

Clearly, this management group – from general manager Jack Zduriencik to Wakamatsu and his coaches – have had enough of half-assed workouts and a failure to adjust.

The simple truth is, Betancourt has minor league options left, and one plan is to send him down and tell him he won’t be back until he shows his work ethic has changed.

“You can’t play a guy who doesn’t work hard on a team where everyone else busts their ass,” one Mariner said. “I don’t know why this never happened before, but no one in this clubhouse has any doubts about why it’s happened now.”

Well, no one but Yuni.

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