It's Now Or Never: Richie Sexson Has Got to Leave Seattle

Connor WildeyCorrespondent IJune 4, 2008

Richie Sexson hasn't always been a bust for the Mariners.

But as the last two years have shown, it has been overdue for him to be designated for assignment. In his first full season in Seattle, Sexson batted .263 had a .541 slugging percentage with 39 home runs and 121 RBI.

The next season in 2006, Sexson put up similar numbers consisting of a .264 batting average, .504 slugging percentage with 34 home runs and 107 RBI.

That Sexson is the one M's fans, coaches, players, and media have hoped would return to full potential. 

In 2007, Sexson stunk it up. Defensively he was great, but at the plate he might as well have went up there with his pants down. That's how embarrassing he made himself look at the plate.

He managed just 89 hits in 121 games with 21 homer runs, a .205 batting average, and 100 strikeouts to 51 walks (almost two strikeouts to every walk).   

With the decline of Sexson, Mariners fans hoped that this season he would be the Sexson of old rather then the Sexson of late. After a long off season where Sexson supposedly worked his tail off, Sexson came in to the 2008 season with a huge monkey on his back.

Batting .205 through the course of a whole season is unacceptable, especially when you're getting paid 15.5 million a year and are the starting first baseman and cleanup hitter. 

Sexson showed some promise early this season, but that promise continues to fade into oblivion. If Mariners fans thought he was bad last season, they should think about these stats: as of June 4, Sexson is batting .202 with nine home runs, 21 RBI, a measly .405 slugging percentage, and has 55 strikeouts to 18 walks.

If Sexson continues this pace, he will end up with about 190 strikeouts by the end of the season. 

As the worst first baseman in the American League, Sexson shouldn't be this deadweight holding back the Mariners from reaching their potential. There are players in AA ball that could contribute to this team more then Sexson and there is no reason to keep him around.

However, with McLaren and Bavasi still believing "Big Richie" can turn his season around, I am not sure if he'll go anywhere this season. This would be an easy thing to do had Bavasi not released Greg Norton, who is contributing to the Braves' power offense. 

For the Mariners to start winning again, they need a first baseman that can provide them with a better average, not one who lets pressure affect him and someone who doesn't create a gaping hole in the lineup.

Let's go Bavasi, everyone knows it's time for Sexson to go.