One of you wrote in today, challenging part of my forecast for the coming season in saying there is no way the Mariners would bench an underperforming Richie Sexson. I disagree. In fact, it's a little remembered reality of last season that new manager John McLaren did actually bench Sexson beginning on Aug. 1, as you can read in the attached blog post from that night. More accurately, McLaren began platooning Sexson with Ben Broussard. The night before, in an 8-0 loss to the Angels, Sexson had been roundly booed by his own fans. The decision was made not to play him every day against right handed pitchers at Safeco Field and subject him to more abuse while he was trying to work some things out.
I agree with what Baker has to say here. Richie Sexson has gone from good, to good-ish, to bad, to I wish we never signed him, over his tenure with the Mariners. I know that there was a rumor out there that Sexson had been claimed on waivers, and everyone went in to a panis saying 'why didn't we get rid of him and his $14M salary?'. It's still undetermined on whether or not he had a claim put on him, but who would? I can't think of any team off of the top of my head that would've needed, or even wanted Sexson last summer. Back to the present. Baker goes on to say that the Mariners will put the former All-Star on the bench if he comes out sucking. That's a good sign. I think that Greg Nortan or Mike Morse could do as good of a job, if not better than what Sexson put out there for us to vomit in to last season.
I have projected Sexson to reclaim some of his lost power, but that's about it. It's a fair assumption to make seeing as he is in a contract year, but these days some team will throw $10M to Sexson because he could hit 30 homeruns three years ago. Heck, the Mariners gave Jeff Weaver $8M last winter.
The biggest problem that I think Sexson has, is his morale. He used to be 'big Richie', but after a season of below mediocrity, beeing booed by his own fans (I don't think that he pulled a Rafael Palmeiro), and sort of being benched, you have to wonder where this guy's head is going to be come Opening Day. His spring so far is on pace as to what he accomplished in 2007. Maybe a new manager will help. Or hitting in the fifth or six hole, crap I have to do my projected lineup, may help. Who knows. I didn't know about Jose Lopez, and I probably don't know about Richie Sexson either.