I probably could’ve written a book about this topic but I tried to keep it short because I didn’t want to punch my computer. The Seattle Mariners were no-hit again last night and it just tells a sad story about the Mariners offense.
The Seattle Mariners just can’t seem to get runners on base and when you can’t do that, you can’t win ball games. It is quite shocking to see the Mariners in third place in the AL West barely scratching at the .500 line based on how cold the bats have been in 2021. So, I am going to share my quick analysis on who to blame for the offensive struggles.
Is it the Seattle Mariners coaching staff?
Instead of teasing you and saving my answer for last, I am going to give it to you first. I honestly don’t know who to blame for the Mariners offense. I feel like I am swayed to one side more than others, but it isn’t clear-cut in my mind. Let me explain…
First off, analyzing the coaching staff as a fan is one of the hardest things to do, and it is filled with bias. Oftentimes these opinions are so absurd and come from non-baseball players. I recently saw some people pointing the finger at Mariners hitting coach Tim Laker, which I don’t completely disagree with but that’s such an easy person to pick.
It’s almost like the Capital One commercials where Taylor Swift picks a cardigan in a closet full of cardigans. Of course, the hitting coach is at the helm of leading an offense, but are they really?
When I spoke to Ryan Rowland-Smith on the Fresh out of College Podcast, he said good pitching coaches are the ones that bond well with the players. It isn’t so much about the technical skills because most big leaguers already know what they are doing and don’t need to be told to close their front side, change their arm angle, etc.
I would imagine it is the same for a hitting coach in the MLB. I don’t think Tim Laker is telling the players to chase pitches out of the zone and take fastballs right down the middle. However, he may be taking the wrong approach on how to attack opponents but we won’t ever know in the end.
That being said, I don’t think it’s a fair problem to point at the person on top without analyzing the rest. Are you going to blame your boss for a drop in sales? Or should you take a step back and think about your work, your co-workers and determine if someone else other than the person at the top is the problem.
I thought the firing of Chili Davis is a pretty good example of “fire the person on top” thinking no matter what. Some of the Mets players were shocked to hear that Davis was fired from his hitting coach position. The Mets were struggling offensively and when you have a tough fanbase who have high expectations, I think the ownership felt too much pressure and had to do something,
So, the easy way to get out of the pressure was to put the blame on Chili Davis. Is it working? Not really. Many Mets hitters are still struggling but it was the easy way out for the Mets organization and I don’t think the Mariners want to go down the same road.
Is it the Seattle Mariners players?
The Seattle Mariners don’t have a player hitting above .275 and only one current player hitting above .250. This is a problem and I think the blame mostly has to come down on the players because no matter how good or bad a hitting coach may be, it’s on the players to perform. At the end of the day, a hitting coach isn’t the one swinging the bat.
There are clearly key players from 2020 that are struggling right now so you have to wonder whether those breakout players had a fluke season, or they are just having a very slow start to the season. I could see a bit of both depending on the player.
On another level, the Seattle Mariners have been dealing with a lot of injuries as a whole. I think Ty France’s lingering wrist injury had an impact on his big slump and Evan White has been in and out of the lineup.
Although this part of my section is short, I think this is the biggest culprit for the Seattle Mariners performances and we just have to hope it gets better.
Is it the Seattle Mariners ownership?
I mean what a roller coaster of a ride it has been prior to the start of the season… I do think the ownership and the Kevin Mather situation has taken a toll on the Mariners offense this year but were we all expecting to make the World Series this year?
I am not an advocate for Kevin Mather by any means but I come back to this perspective often… the Mariners weren’t going to be good this year. Maybe average at best. That being said, of course, it’s easy to rant on Twitter saying “we should’ve signed Kolten Wong,” “we should’ve signed a free-agent,” etc.
But where does that get us? I didn’t know Kolten Wong was an MVP caliber player. I didn’t know one more veteran free-agent starting pitcher would lead us to the top of the AL West. Do you see where I am going with this?
I obviously hate losing and want the best for the Mariners, but we can’t just blame the top for everything. I truly think the Seattle Mariners coaching staff had hope in this group of players and sometimes things don’t work out, but they at least tried to give them a chance.
2021 was going to be a pilot season and if you didn’t see it that way from the start, you should take a step back and recalculate. The season is still early and the Mariners are still in a decent spot despite the offensive struggles.
Are the Seattle Mariners a part of a bigger conspiracy theory?
At this point, I was just getting tired and getting delirious before getting ready to go to bed, but it’s funny to think about. Maybe the Mariners are a part of a conspiracy theory?
What if the Mariners bought the code breaker algorithm from the ‘stros and they broke the algorithm upon the point of sale to ruin our season. To make matters worse, the Astros created a no refund policy so the Seattle Mariners are stuck with a system that tells them the wrong pitch.
Or another fun conspiracy is that the Seattle Mariners are starting to tank for the next MLB draft. Maybe the Mariners scouting staff sat down and said we need to get a top draft pick next season.
Please don’t take these random conspiracy theories seriously, it is completely a joke. I repeat it is a joke.
Summary: The Seattle Mariners offense has been crap and things need to change, but it’s on the players.