So it took a little while longer than I guessed, but on the heels of Ian Snell's latest televised assault on all of our well-beings, he's at last been designated for assignment. Designating Snell for assignment gives the ten days to plan his official release party, sure to feature a pinata, suckers, and foods that melt.
I imagine someone will end up taking a chance on Snell's arm, given that he's only 29, but the M's aren't getting anything of value in return. You can close the book on that whole adventure, meaning we traded a bunch of young and younger filler for 110.2 innings of unwatchable misery and a broken-down shortstop who's leaving games in the minors because he's tired. It's a deal that made some sense at the time, but looking back, it certainly doesn't shine as the front office's best decision.
110.2 innings, 63 strikeouts, 64 walks. I think the most interesting thing we can take away from the Ian Snell Experience isn't that changes of scenery don't always work; it's that Snell went from a place where he was depressed to a place where he was much happier, and he still sucked. The big reason he held appeal a year ago was that he very clearly didn't want to be a part of theanymore, and was pitching like it. But the M's gave him a fresh start, and he failed. Implying (but not proving) that his mental condition wasn't the big problem. His big problem, it seems, is that he can't throw strikes, ever, and it turns out that can actually be a much more difficult problem to solve.
So, he's gone, which will if nothing else make the rest of these games easier on us. Coming up to take his place, at least for a little while, is 36 year old righty Brian Sweeney, who you might remember as having made his big league debut with the Mariners back in 2003. The journeyman has been through a lot, as journeymen are wont to do, and Sweeney even spent 2007-2009 in Japan before coming back to sign with the Rainiers and post some shockingly good numbers. He's got 32 strikeouts to go with eight walks, and his swinging strike rate is north of 13%.
Sweeney doesn't matter, and he's almost certainly gone as soon as Doug Fister is better again. But if you think of this less from the Mariners' perspective and more from Sweeney's, he's climbing back to the bigs long after everyone else wrote him off, and for at least a few days, he once again gets to wear a Major League uniform and earn a Major League paycheck. Not all Hollywood endings involve slaying the dragon. Sometimes it's enough to hold a sword.