It appears that the Mariners have settled on their man and his name is Don Wakamatsu, former bench coach of the Oakland Athletics.
First off, how amazing of a name is Wakamatsu...say it ten times fast...I dare you. I love this choice already!
But for all the talk of how great the Seattle job is, Wakamatsu has his work cut out for him. The Mariners are coming off a 100 loss season, but perhaps most importantly, they lack building blocks for the future. Sure they have Ichiro, Jeff Clement, Brandon Morrow, and Felix Hernandez; but outside of those three, it's pretty barren.
Wladimir Balentien is been a good prospect, but has never proven it on the major league level. Jose Lopez is coming off a career season, but can the guy take a walk? Is he even aware of on base percentage? I think not.
And wow is there alot of waste on this team. Carlos Silva, Kenji Johjima, Miguel Batista, and Jarrod Washburn are all being paid much more than they deserve and are simply taking up roster spaces at this point. Oh yeah, Silva and Johjima are each signed for another three years. Nice moves, Bill Bavasi.
And how about Erik Bedard? How will the new manager handle this diva if he is still around? Or will the Mariners non tender Bedard after he underwent shoulder surgery over the summer? Hmmm, so many questions and so few answers when it comes to the "Mariners ace." Nice trade, Bill Bavasi.
So I don't care how much money the Mariner's owners are willing to put into the team or how great the fan base is, because the reality of this situation is that Wakamatsu is inheriting a mess. This is a team with no direction that lacks the talent needed to compete. Unfortunately for Mariners fans, I think this will get worse before it gets better. The best thing the Mariners could do is to trade JJ Putz, Adrian Beltre, and Jose Lopez and start all over from scratch. At least the Mariners will then have a direction. Yay for rebuilding!
Hopefully Wakamatsu packed a lot of Peptobismol for those painful losses and extra Asprin for all those Erik Bedard related headaches in the near future.