What To Do With Grover
Posted by Jason A. Churchill on August 20, 2006
The “Grover Be Gone” Plan
By Jason A. Churchill
Every soul in the city, and the surrounding suburbs, knows how I feel about the managing skills of one Mike Hargrove. He should have been canned last winter, almost was, and never should have been allowed to manage past May of this season.
As frustrating as it is to watch him criminally mis-manage the bullpen, stick to his stubborn, traditional style of managing and lead the hometown nine into the toilet, guess what?
If I were calling the shots, I would not fire Mike Hargrove today. Or tomorrow. Not even next week.
But I would fire him befire the season is over… barely.
Check out my “Fire Grover” Plan.
I ran this by a few of the other prominent bloggers, and it grabbed a chuckle, but a little refinement was in order. So here we go…
October 1 is the final day of the season, and the M’s take on the Texas Rangers. By that point, Seattle could be as far as 18 or 20 games back, at least at their current rate of futility – thank you Mike.
So the Rangers are up by three or four runs, naturally, and it’s probably 4-0, considering the offensive struggles of the M’s lately, but that’s somewhat irrelevant here.
The M’s go 1-2-3 versus Kevin Millwood in the fifth inning, making it an official game, and instead of the defensive lineup running out onto the field, the grounds crew drags an oak podium out between the mound and the plate. They quickly hook up a shiny micorophone and out walks three suits – Howard Lincoln, Chuck Armstrong and Bill Bavasi.
The crowd is attentive, yet stunned at the sight of a mid-game announcement.
“Ladies and gentleman, Seattle Mariners fans,” says Howard Lincoln into the mic. “Here to make an announcement is the VP of Baseball Operations and team General Manager, Bill Bavasi.”
Bavasi steps up and starts in on how tough the season has been and while the club made strides, there were certain pieces that didn’t fit as well as he had hoped. Three minutes of that and Bavasi continues with the following.
“At this time we would like to announce that Mike Hargrove has been relieved of his duties as manager of the Seattle Mariners, and is asked to surrender his uniform and locker room keys to the clubhouse manager immediately. The Emerald City’s Finest will escort Mr. Hargrove out of Safeco Field and to the city limits, where he will be cited for conduct unbecoming of a baseball manager, and banned from the city for life.”
Bavasi is grinning from ear to ear as he makes this announcement, mostly because he wanted to fire Grover 10 months prior, and was not very high on him when he was hired in the first place.
“We thank Mike for his time here, though we expected much, much more out of a veteran big-league manager. In the end, he and I did not see eye-to-eye on how to rebuild a franchise, thus the change we are making today. The reason for the ceremonious firing is a reflection of how ceremoniously he took the M’s down with him. That’s inexcusable.
“We continue to promise the fans of the ballclub that we will do whatever it takes to put a winner on the field each and every season, and that has to start immediately. Thank you for your continued support and we will see you all again next April, for what we certainly plan to be a successful campaign for the Seattle Mariners.
“Oh, and by the way, Yuniesky Betancourt has been named the interim manager for the remainder of the season. We think YuBet can get the job done for the final four frames today.”
Hargrove is never seen again anywhere in baseball.