Big League Stew - MLB

Don Wakamatsu wasn't the one who thought Chone Figgins(notes), Casey Kotchman(notes) and one more year of creaky old Ken Griffey would be an acceptable way to jump start a woeful offense.

Nor he was the one responsible for thinking always-injured Erik Bedard(notes) would be a reliable rotation option — let alone throw one pitch — or that the no-doubt next step for an overachieving 85-win team in 2009 would be winning an AL West division title in 2010.

Regardless, Wakamatsu was the manager of this year's disappointing Seattle Mariners — current record: 40-72! — and because he was the manager, he's being sent packing as the team's sacrificial lamb.

He'll be replaced by Tacoma AAA manager Daren Moore for the remainder of the season. 

Wakamatsu finishes his 1+ year tour of duty in Seattle with a 127-147 record. Before helping resurrect a 101-loss team from 2008, his arrival in town was greeted by an initial shower of hype that praised his bench presence and knowledge of the game. His good relationship with the man who hired him, GM Jack Zduriencik, was also touted.

However, that tie obviously went south at some point during this trying season. A recent confrontation with Figgins, the Griffey sleeping soap opera and an early exit from Milton Bradley probably didn't help his cause, either (though he wasn't deserving of too much blame in those three instances).

And so Wakamatsu will have to look elsewhere for a second chance, which he deserves and will likely get after being made the scapegoat for the failure of Zduriencik's Plan A.

Don't get me wrong. Wakamatsu can't be completely absolved of any blame in a season that looks like it'll collect 100 losses for the second time in three seasons. But he isn't the sole reason that the Mariners occupy their current spot near the bottom of the AL.   

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