Richie Sexson Must Be Benched!.

Until the recently-completed 3-games-won of a 4-game series against Oakland, the Seattle Mariners were on some kind of schnide. A day or two after the All Star Game, we were within 1 game of both Anaheim and Cleveland for the AL West and Wildcard respectively. Thanks to 2 losses in Toronto, that 1 loss to Oakland, and a 4-game sweep sandwiched in Arlington, we're now 4 games behind Anaheim and I don't even want to look at how much we've slipped in the Wildcard.

The bottom line is, when Anaheim was losing at almost the same pace as us, we could've been gaining some ground and even holding the AL-West summit for a spell.

At the time, I kept flashing on last year, where we lost something like 15 games in a row in the month of August, thereby sealing our fate as a sub-.500 baseball club. The last 4-5 weeks were a formality. But, it's hard to really get down on the recent 7-game slide. Those four losses in Texas were by a total of 1 run apiece (with one being J.J.'s first blown save of the season, a blotch we can hardly hold against him since the game-losing 2-run home run was a line drive off the foul pole), and one of those Toronto losses was by a score of 1-0 when a bloop single drove in the only run of the game.

Our starting pitching is bad, but it's not as bad as everybody's making it out to be. It's just the kind of starting pitching - with our amazing bullpen - that can hold down an offense for 5 or 6 innings in the playoffs and give our plucky hitters a chance to get something going.

Our batting lineup - Richie Sexson aside - isn't intimidated by any lead, nor will it simply roll over and die if a bonafide Ace is hurling on the mound. They might keep us down for 7 or 8 innings, but watch out in that 9th.

And finally, you know what? I'm getting sick and tired of writing this, but it needs to be said: Richie Sexson is a waste of fucking space that needs to have his worthless ass riding the fucking pine for the remainder of the season. John McGrath is right, this is no longer a slump that he's "Eventually going to climb out of." This is prolonged futility that needs to be dealt with accordingly.

In the 2001 season, when the Mariners won 116 regular season games, an important component to our winning was Mark McLemore. People forget this now, but he started the season on the bench, in much the same role Ben Broussard is playing now. Only, you know, McLemore could play damn near any position on the field. Anyway, I can't remember who the stiff (or stiffs) was, but every time McLemore filled in for him, he showed with his production at the plate that he needed to be an everyday player. And, by the end of the season, he was in the lineup. Every Day.

Well, Ben Broussard may only be batting .287 with 6 home runs in 136 at bats, but he's shown that he's leagues better than Richie Sexson this year. We need no further proof than last night. The Mariners started off hot, then fell behind 10-7. Richie Sexson was thrown out of the ballgame for arguing, Broussard came in and the following inning hit a game-tying 2-run home run. And he added another RBI hit the following inning to seal the deal.

Would we have come back and won with Richie Sexson at the plate, striking out with a runner in scoring position?