The Declarer (Floyd McWilliams' Blog)

Saturday, August 20, 2005

At the opening of the 2004 season the Seattle Mariners stating infield consisted of:

  • Scott Spiezio, signed in the offseason to play third after Anaheim cut him loose
  • Rich Aurelia, signed in the offseason to play short after San Francisco cut him loose (it's a big warning sign when Brian Sabean declines to give an aging player money)
  • Brett Boone at second, an aging All-Star
  • John Olerud at first, also an aging All-Star

None of these four did well last year. Aurelia and Olerud were cut loose in 2004; Spiezio was replaced by Adrian Beltre in the offseason. Boone was traded to Minnesota for nothing a couple of months ago, and washed out there too. Now Spiezio, after posting an astonishing 0.064 batting average (i.e., 3 for 47) as a part-time DH, has been designated for assignment.

Thus the entire starting infield has been jettisoned in less than two seasons. It's not like the Mariners were some hapless club stuck with poor performers because they couldn't afford better. The M's are a borderline big-market club capable of drawing 4 million fans and paying $90 million in salary.



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