66-52

The neat thing about weekday afternoon games and MLB.tv is that once I know the final score I can choose whether or not I want to watch the archived footage when I get home from work. I guess I have a few extra free hours tonight.

Biggest Contribution: Raul Ibanez, +10.7%
Biggest Suckfest: Adrian Beltre, -14.3%
Most Important At Bat: Ibanez funk blast, +19.3%
Most Important Pitch: Bunt + Washburn error, -19.8%
Total Contribution by Pitcher(s): -9.3%
Total Contribution by Position Players: -40.7%
Total Contribution by Opposition: 0.0%

(What is this chart?)

I don't want to talk about John McLaren anymore. You guys already know what I think about today's lineup and defense, hit-and-runs, Jose Lopez hitting for himself against Pat Neshek with Broussard and Vidro on the bench, Jarrod Washburn starting the 8th with 91 pitches and staying in to throw the ball away, and the IBB/bullpen management later in the inning. I don't need to go into detail about these things because I wouldn't say anything you don't already know. I just want to make sure you know that what I said last week after the loss in Chicago wasn't frustrated overreaction - John McLaren really might be the worst in-game manager I've ever seen. Apparently he's a terrific guy, but once you put him in a dugout he has absolutely no idea what he's doing. Remember that next time you get mad at a decision he makes. The Mariners are quite happy to run with a tactical idiot, all in the name team chemistry. You tell me how much that "positive attitude" is helping.

Of course, just like last Friday, you can't pin this one solely on McLaren. If the hitters could've had a better sense of timing instead of going 0-5 with RISP (and 2-12 with men on), and if Washburn fields that bunt properly instead of throwing the ball away, God only knows how this thing ends up. Certainly not 6-1. There were a lot of different factors that contributed to this loss today, but McLaren was definitely one of them. A shrewd GM is able to protect his team from a bad manager by idiot-proofing the roster. A shrewd manager is able to make up for a bad GM by maximizing the production he gets from his 25 players. We have neither. Never stop counting your blessings that, after 118 games, the Mariners are where they are. No matter where the M's end up, this season has been completely improbable.

Reggie Willits and Khalil Greene are white. Howie Kendrick and Tommy Watkins are black. What a world.

Off-day tomorrow, to be followed by a Jose Contreras Mariner audition on Friday. You know how people get really excited around trade deadline time? Take that excitement, then take away any chance of your team ending up with someone good. That's what we'll be feeling like in 48 hours. What a rush.

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