I am going to put this next story in the “We had to blame someone, so let’s blame someone who has nothing to do with why we are struggling” category.

The Seattle Mariners fired hitting coach Alan Cockrell yesterday. Alonzo Powell was promoted from Triple-A Tacoma to replace Cockrell. Here is the reason for the firing according to GM Jack Zduriencik.

“Sometimes just the same message from a different messenger sometimes carries some weight, but it’s certainly apparent we’re not doing what we should be doing offensively,” Zduriencik said. “Certainly guys can look within and they should. Every single player here should evaluate themselves and ask, ‘What am I doing? Where are my contributions at?’ I know the effort is there. There’s no question about that. It’s just a matter of the production.

“So maybe there’s a little key here the new guy can unlock.”

I am sorry Jack, but there is no key to unlock here. You have neglected your offense for the past two season and now this is the bed you have made.

Here is how these situations usually work in sports:

– Team enters the season with unrealistic expectations.

– Team thinking they better than they really are gets off to an extremely slow start. In this case, the Mariners are in last place in the AL West with a 12-19 record

– Management wants to “send a message” so they fire an “underneath” coach, who has very little to do with why the team is struggling.

– If team continues to struggle, management will then fire the head coach or manager during the season and replace him with a lame-duck interim manager.

– At the end of the year, the team fires the entire staff and replaces them with a new staff.

I really see this scenario playing out for the Mariners this year. This lineup is just terrible and I really don’t see how it could get any better unless they make a major trade.

I was watching the Mariners – Angels game on Friday when Jered Weaver was pitching a no-hitter and I laughed when I saw due up for the Mariners were Casey Kotchman- Franklin Gutierrez – Ken Griffey Jr.

What’s so funny about this you ask? These are the Mariners 3-4-5 hitters. Kotchman wouldn’t be a No. 3 hitter on the Mariners’ Triple A team.

Regardless of who the hitting coach is for the Mariners, I don’t see them turning this offense around. There are no impact bats in the middle of the lineup and there are too many guys who are automatic outs.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

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