The Mariners fired manager Don Wakamatsu, pitching coach Rick Adair, bench coach Ty Van Burkleo and perfomance coach Steve Hecht today. While the timing was unexpected, the move was not. After a season of losses and clubhouse issues, general consensus had the 2011 Mariners with a new manager. Daren Brown, who has coached the Tacoma Rainiers to a probable playoff season, will take over the Mariners, with various organizational coaches filling the other vacated spots. I would imagine Brown will be a candidate to stay on next year, but I would say he’s a longshot at this point.
In short, I’m in favor of the move while also disappointed to see Wakamatsu go. Much like the hitting coach firing earlier in the year, this is a move where the fired parties were not necessarily in the wrong, at least from an outsider’s view. It’s impossible to know exactly what rifts and issues existed between Wakamatsu and both Zduriencik and the players, but it became clear after the Figgins incident that some kind of move would need to be made. I like Wakamatsu and the persona he brought. I appreciated his even-keeled nature and apparent professionalism, respect and dignity. Those are all good qualities. Unfortunately, they weren’t winning him many games and apparently didn’t hold much traction with all of the players anymore.
In my mind at least, it doesn’t seem uncommon for a team to rebuild with one manager, who takes his lumps and is eventually fired. Hopefully, the young team then responds to a new manager and start winning. Hopefully that will be the case here. More than anything, however, this team needs to continue to compile more talent. They won’t win enough games to matter with this current roster, no matter who’s in charge in the dugout.