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While it is understandable that Mariner fans from coast to coast were rummaging through their garages searching for pitch forks, spades and large blunt objects ready to march on Safeco Field last night, it's a little too early to begin forming a lynch mob. Yes, Matt Thornton is a quintessential example of everything that is wrong with the current structure of the Mariners roster outside of the starting nine and a few serviceable arms. But there are other elements to this equation.

The Mariners decided to make a jarvisian* move, opting to keep Thornton over the much more dependable and reliable George Sherrill. I can understand that because Thornton is out of options, the team wasn't comfortable with letting him walk (he's left-handed for God's sake, he must be valuable!). In fact, I can understand keeping him as the 11th or 12th man to eat up innings when the game is a lost cause. But allowing him to come into a game with the bases loaded and a 2 run lead against the best pitcher in baseball boggles the mind.

While it was Thornton who coughed up a few more singles and the two run blast by Jacque Jones, it isn't entirely his fault. Hargrove made the decision to go with Thornton who pitched to the best of his ability. We cannot place full responsibility on Thornton for doing what comes naturally when he takes the mound. At least last night will hopefully serve as a painful wake-up call that he needs to stay in the pen in critical situations and be on the first bus out of town once Pineiro is ready.

It's too early to start that march on Safeco. But leave the pitch forks and spades by the front door; we might need them sooner or later.

*Jarvisian (jar-veh-shen)

  1. To make an utterly stupid or confusing roster decision.
  2. To struggle throwing strikes and when it does occur, getting tattooed. The pitcher had a jarvisian performance.
  3. To make an ridiculous or incompetent decision. The man jarvisianly transferred all of his savings into WorldCom.