Break up the MarinersBy Anton at June 9th, 2009.
Usually, a title such as the one above suggests the team identified in it is an absolute juggernaut who will be difficult to stop. In this case, take it literally, as in, “Please, let’s be reasonable and break this team up, Mr. Zduriencik.” Now that management, the city and our beloved sports columnists (note: the sarcasm is dripping from my fingers) have realized this team will finish with another 80-90 losses, let’s get started and remake this team in the image of its GM.
The first completely logical and totally reasonable move the Mariners should make (reason and logic? The Mariners?) is trading second baseman Jose “run, run! Honestly, that’s all you have?” Lopez. He has done little to endear himself to fans or management during his run here. He showcases questionable defense, far too many bad AB’s and a generally cavalier attitude – whether that attitude is real or imaginary is, really, beyond the point.
Ultimately though, Lopez holds a lot of value because he has an uncanny knack for knocking in runs which, as Mariners fans know all too well, is the way to win baseball games. He’s hitting only about .230 right now (historically, expect that to rise) but, miraculously, leading the team in RBI. Russell Branyan, hitting comfortably over .300 accompanied by 12 bombs can’t touch him in the RBI department – don’t ask me how this is happening. In other words, Lopez would be a very attractive pick up for a team headed to the post-season.
Now, people are probably screaming, “We traded away Adam Jones (not to mention George Sherrill) and look at him now? He’s a major leaguer on his way to stardom (or superstardom). Why would we trade away another young talent?” Remember, this is no longer Bill Bavasi’s team – it’s Mr. Zduriencik’s.
He traded away J.J. Putz in the off-season like it was nothing. Did that move generate belief that the Mariners were going places this year? He signed Junior for PR purposes and it’s paying off in spades (something this writer was screaming for). He’s a good baseball man and knows this team, currently assembled, will never make noise in the post-season. Clearly, the best way to change that is to cast-off our most tradable assets – right now, that’s Jose Lopez. We have others but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.