Fire Scott Servais
ex-parrot, Dept.



Check the "All" domain.  Dr. D accidentally filed his "Fatal Flaw?" piece under the All subdomain, so if you visit only the Baseball domain, you missed it.  Once there's a comment to an article, I can't reassign fer yer convenience.  Sorry.  

The gist was, opposing scouts and execs apparently think Jerry Dipoto shoulda known his 1-4 starters were too rissssky, Gollum, too risssssky.  This sounds dubious to Dr. D but is a fascinating systems-approach suggestion.



Yet again Monday we get a beat writer angularly telling us about the danger Servais is in.  Dutton is doing quite a remarkable job of "hinting" to the savvy M's consumer what's going on, without alarming the M's consumers who don't care so much what is going on.  Excellent finesse on Dutton's part.  First he relayed the enemy gloating that we ref'ed above; now he follows on with a caution against superficial agreement.

Read the article, if you please, and then take a second swig of this paragraph:


The latest example came Sunday when Kyle Seager got doubled off first base on a fly to left field, which killed a promising threat in what became a 4-2 loss to the Indians in the season’s final game at Safeco Field.


KYLE SEAGER didn't care enough to run the bases right.  Who?



What's fair isn't the point.  No, it isn't fair.  Scott Servais is world-class at managing baseball teams, one of the best 100 or so people there is at it.  There are probably more astronauts than there are baseball managers better at their jobs than Servais is.

And he seems such a LIKEABLE guy, doesn't he?  Dr. D trusts you don't need yet another self-effacing qualification that Scott Servais is better, richer, handsomer, and cooler than Jeff Clarke is.  In a Seattle Mariners chat we don't have unlimited time for, what is the most kind, compassionate thing to say here.  At the moment we're talking about what would be the most successful thing to say here.

Like Leo Durocher always sez.  Nice Guys Finish Last.  Sports is Life, babe.  As an enemy scout put it about fifteen years ago:  "You think Lou Piniella gives a rat's patootie whether his players like him?"


Dr. D had a senior manager one time who was very much like Servais:  very smart, completely likeable, a comprehensive skill set - by any algebraic formula you wanted to apply, it shoulda worked.  That's why he was there.  But!  It didn't work.  It just didn't work.  Like Kyle Seager's baserunning didn't work, the other day.

People did stupid stuff in his (my sr. mgr's) organization, in-fighting and cross-purposes proliferated, and they weren't QUITE scared enough of him to knock it off.  The org missed that one extra deadline and it brought in a senior manager - from Maryland! - with fangs down to his chin.  Everybody hated him.  Everybody started making deadlines.

Such execs tend not to wear well.  This particular senior manager got the org back on track, and then he was gone.  More than a year or two of it, and people would have cracked under the pressure.  In baseball it's a little different; an Earl Weaver or Lou Piniella or Bruce Bochy or Buck Showalter can hit a point of Critical Mass and his own success overrules the players' natural inclinations to run the asylum.


In pro sports you can't hire drill sergeants any more; what the hey, you can hardly make players stand in line for the National Anthem when your ticket sales are at stake.  But everything's relative, and the 2018 Mariners need somebody who doesn't care whether his players like him.

Seattle Sports Insider isn't a playa on Royal Brougham.  It merely gives you tomorrow's news today.  That being, a chat about who manages the Mariners next.  Tip o' the kelly to Billy Zoom who thought of it first.  He was right.





I'm on board. 

All managers make moves that we fans view as tactical and strategic mistakes (we never, ever know ALL the factors that lie behind those moves). But I can't begin to count all the times this year when I thought an obvious managerial mistake was made. By mid-season I was convinced that Servais was a big part of what's wrong with this team, so much so that I wondered whether the players might have felt like they were playing with one hand tied behind their back.

All season long the M's would hit a wall and crack as soon as they came face-to-face with the chance of being a good team. Were the incredible rash of injuries a problem? Sure. Were they decisive? Perhaps. No doubt every time (until September!) they looked like they were going to fall completely into the tank, they reboudned. But to me this team lacked something spiritual (if I may use this phrase in a mundane way). They were not prepared for success. This lack has to be laid at the feet of the manager.

Baserunning. Repeated, constant dumb stuff seemingly always at crucial times. Again, not prepared for success.

So yeah, fire Servais. Good guy, nice guy, friend of the GM, fall guy. But there ya have it, a-NOTH-er managerial search. If not, then a lack of success next year takes both Servais and DiPoto. Okay, maybe not. Servais is DiPoto's guy, and the M's front office tends to prefer to hang onto desperate hope when the people THEY CHOSE do not appear ready to seize the prize.


Servais needs to go. BUT, I don't think he will until he's following Dipoto out the door.

I think Dipoto will get another chance in 2018. Where I believe he went wrong the last two years, instead of going stars and scrubs, adding two impact players and filling in around them with scrubs, Dipoto spread the money around on expensive scrubs that took the roster spots of the low cost scrubs.

First it was out with Trumbo. Dipoto didn't like him. Then it was in with bums like Aoki, Miley, Cishek, Ianetta, Clevenger, Guti, Dae Ho, Adam Lind.

Didn't learn his lesson that year, so, 2017, he spreads the payroll around again on more guys who are not impact players, Gallardo, Ruiz, Smyly, Valencia, Zipchinski, Dyson.

People think Dyson worked out. I still think it was a disaster because he was our starting LF intentionally. It wasn't until Martin flunked out that Dyson moved to CF and began racking up that soft WAR that his numbers improved.

As far as I'm concerned, we have 3 open roster spots that they should spend over the league minimum on.

LF, 1B and SP1.

With over $30 million in payroll available, they should be playing at the top of the food chain for two of those roster spots. And if the third spot was filled by Ohtani, well, I wont complain.


bpj23. I have to say, I agree with all your criticisms. The M's will not fire DiPoto, but I think you accurately describe the problems to which his approach has led. A lot of activity, a lot of stop-loss, but when you compare what other teams have done to address needs, um, uh, there IS no comparison.

When the GM chose not to pay the price for a bona fide starting pitcher at the trade deadline (or BEFORE!), and chose instead to obtain filler with upside and club control for FUTURE years, what kind of message did that send to a team that was being asked to bust it's tail to make the playoffs THIS year? If the GM was willing to fumble away the playoff opportunity, why would we be surprised that the team did so as well?


And I've been saying this for months. Servais and the coaches are not ready for prime time.

And I'm not talking about 'managerial decisions' ("why did he run him there?"; "he should have brought the reliever in two batters earlier", etc.)  Hindsight is always 20/20.

But this is, unquestionably, the worst baserunning team I've seen--and I've been following teams closely for half a century.  Not that people are too slow.  But you don't get picked off due to negligence.  You don't run from second to third when the ground ball is hit in front of you.  This is Pony League stuff.  But it's happened over and over again.

And I continue to look for ONE pitcher who has improved under Stottlemyre. Paxton only got fixed by someone else in Tacoma.  Diaz was delivered as lights out option--and has clearly regressed.  Miranda has faltered.  Who is helping Felix reinvent himself into the new pitcher he needs to be?  Is Zipper the lights-out guy you thought he would be?  On the other hand, maybe Vincent.  Maybe.

And subjectively, it never seemed like the team had the spark.  Yes, the guys seemed to genuinely get along and support each other.  But that's different from finding a motivational trait--and it doesn't have to be Piniella's trait--that will move them forward.

In the end, it's not Servais' fault.  Remember, he never managed before.  He was picked for the same reason that McKay was assigned to run the minors: because they believe in some sort of kumbaya nonsense that's supposed to lift all boats higher.  How's that working out?

Now, I will repeat something I suggested at the outset of this administration: Lloyd McClendon would have gotten a LOT more out of this group than what they generated.

(Having said that, I will now assume the fetal position and prepare to be flamed.)

Even with the pitching injuries, we shoulda done better.  


"This is Pony League stuff"

I can't tell you how often this year I have exclaimed that even second-year Little Leaguers wouldn't blunder like the M's often do. It is truly baffling.

Also, "Servais and the coaches are not ready for prime time." Yes, yes, YES! I wasn't a big McClendon fan once he hit his second year and it became clear the team wasn't responding to him any more, but you rarely shook your head at him wondering what in the world he was thinking. AND. I agree that the coaching staff must clearly be part of the problem rather than part of the solution. One more thing. Will the M's ever get a good third base coach? I realize it's a difficult job on close plays, but you'd like to think you'd see fewer bonehead decisions. And Stottlemyre has demonstrated zero ability to develop pitchers at the major league level. Edgar is the lone bright spot on the coaching staff.

A rising tide lifts all boats. An ebbing tide grounds them all. I don't know how that applies, but it seemed like a good note to finish on. :)


Seattle Sports Outsider's picture

Bring in whoever can deliver Ohtani and Darvish.


Baserunning is the one that sticks out, but there are several more examples... over 10 OF throws to the wrong base, multiple throws from OF that not only miss the cut-off man but were so wild the throw hits a wall... the tags at bases by the infielders / catchers were awful... the positioning of players / catchers taking the throw so they can apply a tag were several times of out position... and then where did the "control the zone" philosophy go mid season. The M's would occasionally control the zone, but too often they would forget for a day+ intil Edgar or whomever get on their cases.

CONSISTENCY in general. The drive to be perfect in each and every game was not there... and the repercussions were nil.


If Lloyd had this team he would have brought it in to the wild card game.  I think Servais is too nice to call horse (manure) when he sees it.

Arne's picture

Going back to the start, how many M's managers have been effective drill sergeant types? It seems Piniella is the only one. Dick Williams, Wedge, McClendon: they didn't really work out.


I'm not criticizing Servais on the pure managerial decisions.  He certainly knows more than I do.

I AM criticizing him for allowing his team (and his coaches) to demonstrate such fundamentally unsound play.  Repeatedly.

Are they watching different games than I am?

The Other Billy Zoom's picture

I think DePoet has done an excellent job under the circumstances:  he inherited some of the prime property in the estate, but that was a few good pieces in the slum.

It is always better to buy the worst property in the best neighborhood, rather than vice versa, but he didn't have a choice.

He got the hand Zooredneck, and the Lincoln Log, and Harmstrong had abdicated the franchise for.

Of course he made mistakes, the biggest in letting his pitching staff go to the World Baseball Party ... which cost him two pitchers (or more).

His jump to re-sign Kuma after the Dodgers debacle can be groused now, but was a gold star at the time.

And his Pete Carroll style of "competition" and roster turnorver produced only a few roosters, and a bunch of hens, but fer instance, Gallardo was the best deal he could get at the time.

and so on

Other denizens have pretty well covered why Servais has found serious criteeks, or creeks, as Dutton seldom calls anyone out and he probably wouldn't have done that if he wasn't  retiring.

Critical thrashing from the local M's media = virtually non-existant.  They are like Servais, they don't want to offend anyone.

This is the prove-it  year for DePoet.  So get Ohtani and Darvish and let the game begin.

1B, LF I can wait and see.

I've traded Kyle to his brother's team.  His gold glove (and attitude) are covered with black mold. His spirit?  What spirit?

I do not believe DePoet will fire long-time bud Cerveza.  He will re-assign him within the organizations.

Only a week ago were the first croaks of spring from DePoets frog pond about his major league manager.

Find the last good third base coach for the M's?  Last century.  Since McLaren, none have seemed to merge the M's runner with the outfied arm. 

While Acta might work at lst, or as bench coach, Candally is worthless.

And, Daddy-O, Throttlemeyer is, indeed, a total joke.

Bogart seemed to work in his short stint managing the Texans, so maybe that is the choice jumping him from bench coach.

My longshot play here is someone who can facilitate Ohtani (and Darvish) signing on in Seattle ... but I have no idea who that is.

DePoet knows something has to change in terms of motivating these guys and it might take an electric bull prod wielder.

But make sure it is someone who can deliver 440 volts.

And I say no,no,no to even kind words about McClendon, who his existing team would not even interview for their managerial opening.  It takes more than obfuscation and stern looks to take this moribund franchise to the promised land.




So far it's been Melvin, McLaren, Wakamatsu and Servais, right? I know the Mariners haven't done well with their veteran manager hires after Lou either, but let's not roll a young team out there with an inexperienced manager again. If Seattle cashes it in and goes young, let them do it with a manager who has been to this rodeo before.

Not that the Mariners would do that sort of thing. I expect Servais and Dipoto to be here together, and to leave together.  The revolving door should be Seattle's alternate logo.


"The revolving door should be Seattle's alternate logo."

There's plenty of MLB Logo specialists populating the forums of season simulators. I'd LOVE to see a good one's rendering of such a Mariners' logo. Oh, and the stadium should have one of those wall murals in the concourses with the logo surrounded by graphics of the faces of every GM* and manager since Piniella left. 

This suggestion, G, has legs...and REAL possibilities!

* Note: At least DiPoto's visage would have hair. We had what, thirteen consecutive years with incompetent bald guys at the helm.


We'vet been dead in the WC water for several days:  Can anybody tell me why we are playing Alonzo or Danny V. At 1st base, instead of Vogs?  

Does that make sense at all?  I don't get it!

10 straight games of Vogelbach would have been sort of nice to see.  

The Other Billy Zoom's picture

...consult with Marshawn Lynch about some motivation classes in spring training.

This team ain't got no toughness.

Maybe set up a drill where they try to stop Beastmode from running over them.

Everyone else has, but the M's don't seem to remember it from day to day.

At least take away their pre-game menu choices after three consecutive loses, and give them garbanzo beans and rutabagas.


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