Seattle Mariners Add Authority Figures

Jose almost-Moreno - Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno

Just about every single player who makes it to the major leagues spent some time in the minor leagues, first. The John Olerud cases are the exception. By and large, time in the minor leagues is considered essential -- little thought is even ever given to the idea of a player bypassing them completely. Players just need to go to the minors, and their placement in there is assumed, it's taken for granted. Young players who join organizations aren't ready. They develop in the minors to become ready. Once ready, they're promoted to the highest level, or to the National League.

But development in the minors doesn't just happen automatically. Players don't develop just because they're involved in something named the minor leagues. There need to be authority figures, instructors, people giving them advice and keeping them in line, or else it's just directionless young player chaos. Players need to be separated and organized into teams, and teams need to have coaching staffs. Probably. I guess technically the other way hasn't been tried. This might be a possible market inefficiency. But the Mariners are not going to try to exploit this particular possible market inefficiency, because on Thursday it was announced that the Mariners have added some new authoritative bodies. This is news that you are reading about, mostly because I had to read about it, and because there's shit else going on. I wonder if the Mariners will re-sign Oliver Perez! I do not wonder that enough to write about it.

Chris Woodward has been named the Mariners' minor-league infield coordinator. Woodward is a former player, and a former Mariner in seasons far more recent than it seems. Woodward has spent a lot of time on a lot of infields, but he's never actually coached before, so I guess the Mariners forgot to ask that question in the interview. My brother's going to school right now to be a teacher, and while he'll become a pretty good one, he sure as shit wasn't ready to be a good one at first. Turns out there are techniques, or at least they tell you there are techniques to convince you to pay their tuition. Something you might not have known about Woodward is that he was selected in the 54th round in 1994, and he's the only infielder selected in the 54th round to have ever made the majors. Something else you might not have known about Woodward is like everything else about his career and personality. Also selected in the 54th round in 1994: shortstop Mo Bruce, who has either the most or the least manly name of all time.

Brant Brown has been named the Mariners' minor-league outfield and baserunning coordinator. Previously he worked in the Rangers' system as a minor-league hitting coach. He spent two years in single-A, then three years in double-A, then one year in triple-A. Given pattern recognition, Brown might've figured he was on his way to the major leagues. Instead, surprise! Mariners! It's kind of an unusual hire.

Mariners: You have an extensive resume.
Mariners: We would like to bring you on as a coach.
Mariners: You are very experienced at coaching.
Mariners: We just want you to coach something completely different from what you've been coaching for six years.

On the one hand, this can be taken as the Mariners giving Brown a compliment. On the other hand, the Mariners are slapping him right in the face. One should note that the Mariners' new minor-league baserunning coordinator was successful on 15 of 29 major-league base-stealing attempts, and on 47 of 94 affiliated minor-league base-stealing attempts. He was successful on 16 of 21 attempts in 2003 with independent Schaumburg. So Brown can teach these guys how to steal successfully in the indy leagues, where many of them are probably eventually going to end up.

Alvin Davis has been given a promotion from part-time roving minor-league instructor to full-time roving minor-league instructor. You might remember Alvin Davis for being a good Mariner when there were otherwise pretty much only terrible Mariners. For his job, Davis will show up at places unexpectedly and dispense a few sentences of advice that might or might not run contrary to instruction the players have already been given by the team's permanent coaching staff. The players will be confused, and by the time they think to ask questions, Davis will have already left, riding his camel into the sunset. A roving minor-league instructor is basically a minor-league instructor who's afraid of commitment. Men. Am I right, ladies?

And Jose Moreno has been promoted to Latin American field coordinator. In that role, Moreno will coordinate Latin American fields. It's a quiet and lonely job, but the Mariners still refer to it as a promotion from managing rookie-league Pulaski, which tells you something about how the Mariners view rookie-league Pulaski. "That manager's done a good job. Let's reward him by sending him to a field in Latin America." Pulaski became a Mariners affiliate in 2008 following a full year of suspended operations, and it's clear the Mariners don't really love them the way they love their own children. And who could? They're related only legally.

This has been time that none of us will get back. Think about that. Seriously think about that. Get busy living, or get busy dying. This is how we've chosen to busily live. There's a lesson here, but I'm not going to spoon-feed you. I've already practically spoon-fed you death.

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