With their loss to the Angels on June 2nd, the Seattle Mariners sit with a record of 21-37—a huge 13.5 games behind those same Halos.
Somebody needs to take responsibility for the complete and utter failure of this team, and that man is manager, John McLaren.
This is a team that had just started to turn the corner when McLaren took over for Mike Hargrove midway through the 2007 season. They played well for a while, then the wheels completely fell off, and the team failed to make the playoffs.
Since the last month of the 2007 season through today, the Mariners have been the worst team in the majors, playing around .350 ball.
The job of a manager is to motivate his team and position his players so they have the best chance to succeed. Looking at the Mariners' record of late, it is apparent that John McLaren is failing at the most basic of managerial duties.
Now, one might argue that McLaren's hands are tied. If the front office, namely GM Bill Bavasi, does not provide him with good players, even the best manager in the world could not lead them to victory.
While this is a valid argument in principle, it does not apply to the 2008 Mariners. This team has talent.
Last year this team won 88 games, traded for arguably the best pitcher in the American League, and only lost one contributer from the year before (Jose Guillen). Yet, this team is still on pace to lose over 100 games.
Even if you argue that the 2007 team was lucky, and that their win total was an aberration—meaning that the so called "collapse" at the end of last year was more of a regression to the mean instead of a true collapse—then you are arguing that the Mariners have one of the least, if not the least, talented rosters in the majors.
There is absolutely no way that the 2008 Mariners have the least talented roster in the game. In fact, I would argue that they do not even have the least talented roster in their division.
On paper, they should blow both the Oakland A's and the Texas Rangers out of the water.
At the end of the day, you need to know when to cut your losses. At this point, keeping John McLaren at the helm of the ship is a mistake—a mistake that needs to be taken care of immediately.
The 2008 season is already a lost cause, but that is no excuse for Bavasi to sit and not try to improve this team.