Frustration for Mariners Grows As McClendon Loses It

McClendon, Mariners Meltdown

It was bound to happen sooner or later.  Seattle Mariners‘ skipper, Lloyd McClendon, lost it earlier this week and went on his first Lou Piniella-esk rampage of the 2015 season.

And who could blame him?  My only question is why did it take this long?

I’m not just talking about the check swing by A-Rod or even the one before by Brett Gardner.  I’m talking about the Mariners as a whole team because outside of a couple of guys on the roster, the M’s are dugout full of underachievers this year.

Felix, pitching well or otherwise, plays with passion.

Felix, pitching well or otherwise, plays with passion.

The few bright spots on this roster belong to Felix Hernandez, Nelson Cruz, and Kyle Seager.  The rest of them?  Just line them up in a row full of guys who aren’t cutting it and worse, don’t even appear to have any fire left in them.

Dustin Ackley continues to flounder at the plate.  He’s hitting just .190 on the season.  Every time he makes an out he has the same blank look on his face.  The same can be said for guys like Brad Miller, Austin Jackson, Logan Morrison, and the rest of them.

At least Mike Zunino got worked up enough the other night to get Lloyd going.  Zunino hasn’t been hitting either but I liked his passion the other night and you need that from your catcher.

Where is the fire, the frustration and the competiveness of the rest of these guys?

I’m not saying the M’s need to lose their composure and act like a bunch of raging idiots but you have to play with some emotion.  Take a look at Felix the next time he pitches.  When he gets a big out in a key situation he’s fired up.  When he misses with a pitch, he gets fired up.

The Mariners just don’t have that fire in their eyes.

Can Cano fire up himself and the M's?  (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Can Cano fire up himself and the M’s? (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

How much of this falls on Robinson Cano, the M’s $250 million man?  Even Cano looks passionless out there.  He’s batting .244 on the year with just two homers and 17 RBIs.  That’s not even close to the level production the M’s need out of their #3 hitter nor is it indicative of a guy that has an eight figure contract.

One thing I questioned when Cano signed with the M’s two years ago was his ability to be the leader in the clubhouse.  Prior to joining the Mariners Cano had guys like Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada in his locker room that took the role as the leaders.  Could it be for all his greatness as an athlete that he lacks the ability to be a leader on the team?

My original thought was that Cano could be that leader for the M’s.  I’m starting to question that opinion now.  Cano is struggling on two fronts, his own struggles at the plate and his ability to rally and fire up his teammates.

Can he and the Mariners turn it around?  The obvious answer to that question is yes, they can, but someone is going to have to fire these guys up because right now they look like a bunch of dead fish out there.

The Mariners did pull off another trade this week too to help bolster things.  It might help, it might not.  We’ll have to wait and see on that.

For now, it’s up to Cano to stoke the fire.  McClendon has their backs.  He’s done everything he can as a manager to light the M’s fire. 

It’s time for Cano to lead by example and start hitting the way he has for the past 11 seasons because without him, the M’s won’t turn the 2015 season into their first playoff appearance in over a decade.

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About Brian Scott

Husband, Philosopher, Animal Rights Advocate, and Author Brian is a Spokane native and Gonzaga University grad. Seahawks, Mariners, GU Hoops and Cougar football are the teams that drive his passion for sports. You can catch him on twitter too! Connect with Brian today!
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