It Ain't Over Till It's Grover.

My question about this whole thing is, with his right arm in a sling, how is John McLaren supposed to motion for a right-handed reliever in the bullpen while he's walking out to the mound?

The Mariners, fresh from an 8-game home winning streak, have announced their 12th manager in team history. He probably won't be as good as Lou Pinella or as bad as Bo-Mel, but John McLaren can run this team about as capably as anybody in the bigs not named Jim Leyland.

I don't know what to say about this. I'm not the biggest Hargrove fan in the world, but I don't hate the guy either. He strikes me as a standard manager who was fighting for his career this season until he came to the decision that it wasn't worth fighting for anymore. In that sense, it's probably better he leaves; it's just too bad he lost the passion or whatever.

I want a manager who's gonna take risks, push this offense while it's still hitting as well as it is. I want him to be able to fire this team up during slumps and make the smart moves late in the game. I want guys stealing bases, hit-and-runs, squeeze plays, sacrifices. I think McLaren can be the guy for that.

But - aside from the natural pressure any manager's gonna face - I don't think he has that little extra yearning required since he's just the Interim Guy. If he gets canned at the end of the year, what has he lost? He went into this season as the #2 man, never really expecting to ascend. But, for all intents and purposes, he's the #1 guy until the end of the season no matter what. The last thing you need for your manager of a team on shakey foundations is job security.

All I know is, we'll see what the team's made of after the All Star Game when the season ramps up for the final run. I wouldn't think this kind of move would greatly affect the players we've got; they seem to be pretty professional. However, if the Mariners end up crash-landing off the coast of South America sometime in August, I think we can be safe to point at July 1, 2007 as the beginning of the end