Yesterday the Seattle Mariner front office garnered similar fan enthusiasm for their latest choice to manage the team, as one might find at an exciting university lecture on wave particle duality and how that relates to quantum physics.
Lots of snoring, cat-calling, muttering, outright grumbling amidst the masses, scattered with skeptical “who the crap is that??!?
That’s right Seattle sports fans! Your stellar ownership group has once again opted to rebuff your wants for proven winner Bobby Valentine and his four decades of baseball success, in favor of Cleveland’s cast-off manager and far more dubious Eric Wedge.
Yet another in a series of brilliant public relation moves by your pals Chuck Armstrong and Howard Lincoln!
Considering how lousy this team has performed, you would think that if Seattle fans wanted Snookie Polizzi and her Jersey Shore cast to manage the team, Mariner management would have obliged! Given that this ownership team has gone through four managers and two 101 loss seasons during the past three seasons. How much are fans supposed to tolerate?
Seven managers since Lou Pinella quit abruptly, with some pundits suggesting this ownership team is difficult to work with and a tad arrogant. From the fan’s perspective, darts thrown at a phone book could hardly do any worse than what we’ve just seen from our past several managers.
So the “Wedgie” choice is not likely to motivate fan excitement nor higher ticket sales and camping overnight for best seats. Not until management demonstrates that they know more about these decisions than your average garbage man or beer delivery person.
Seattle fans wanted a man like Bobby Valentine, with a strong personality and a willingness to fight for what he needed. Fans specifically made clear that they were tired of “yes men” managing the team. And the larger question is how many more wins will Eric Wedge deliver over what Bobby Valentine would have? Few believe there would be more wins under Wedge, so why not give the fans what they wanted?
Today, after the announcement, fans were apathetic and irate, assuming more of the same.
How do I know this?
Well, other than the scathing fan remarks from talk shows and comment sections in local newspapers, Thursday I did my own poll research using roughly the same scientific methods that those polling the Patty Murray/Dino Rossi senatorial race are using.
We just put a question up and let anyone who wanted to, respond, happy to accept multiple votes from the same party.
And with this scientific method, my research indicates that roughly 92.4 percent of Seattle fans insisted on Bobby Valentine managing this team. Over all the other choices. Numbers that Saddam Hussein would be jealous of.
Now the Mariners, being the Mariners, of course did not listen to the fans. They felt it wiser to go with the mostly unknown former Cleveland Indians manager. And perhaps this is indeed the better choice from a baseball perspective, but Seattle fans are very skeptical.
And this in spite of well-known sports talk hosts and newspaper columnists in Seattle, using the better part of the past few days trying to convince us that this was indeed the best choice available.
Similar arguments, ironically, to those presented at the hiring’s of Del Crandel, Chuck Cottier, Bill Plummer, and Jim Rigglemen.
Predictably they’re having about as much luck convincing us as McCain & Palin did with the wisdom of the Bush economic policies in 2008. So pardon me if my enthusiasm wanes, but I, like most Seattle baseball fans, am wondering why the Seattle Mariners fired Don Wakamatsu three months ago if a manager with the same skill set is what this team allegedly needs?
The Mariners claim they want a leader who works well with young players. Exactly the skills former-manager Don Wakamatsu was gifted at.
Interim manager Darren Brown had no better luck managing this team with it’s impotent offense, than Wak did.
Clearly it was never a manager issue. It was a player decision and talent issue.
So the challenge for those running the Seattle Mariners this offseason will be in convincing skeptical and likely former-season ticket holders, why they should feel any more optimistic over the 2011 version of the Seattle Mariners than what we just saw with the 2010 version.
And at this point, many of us remain unconvinced that these latest moves made any difference whatsoever!
If anything, there is more egg on the faces of those running the organization and less fan confidence.