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Monday, May 24, 2010
M's Wakamatsu not managing to win?

Yeah, it's easy to kick a team when it's down. But John McGrath's got his reasons for kicking the Mariners ...

McGrath's on this because Don Wakakatsu let Rob Johnson bat against Luke Gregerson Sunday afternoon in the bottom of the seventh inning, even though

There are things we don't. Hypothetically, maybe Gregerson is a ground-ball pitcher who pounds the lower-right quadrant of the strike zone, and Johnson just happens to thrive against ground-ball pitchers who pound the lower-right quadrant of the strike zone.

Of course none of that's true. My point is that even if it was true, you still can't let Johnson bat in that spot. Luke Gregerson has, in his career, held right-handed batters to a .156 batting average. Johnson, in his career, has batted .217 against right-handed pitchers (granted, he's been even worse against lefties).

Simply put, this was about as obvious a case of managerial malpractice as you'll ever see, within a single game (I mean, aside from making a sore-armed, high-paid pitcher throw 132 pitches or something), and I'm perfectly comfortable with castigating the manager who's responsible.

I'm willing to cut Wakamatsu a tiny bit of slack for burying Saunders on the bench, though. I have to think he's under some pressure from above to play both Griffey and Milton Bradley regularly, and if those two guys are playing, Saunders is sitting. Simple as that.

There's managerial malpractice, and general managerial malpractice. And the Mariners' roster has been, for nearly two months now, an excellent example of the latter.