10. The Baltimore Orioles Decided to Overpay for Miguel Tejada
After the M's maxed out their offer to the former MVP at five years and 55 million, Baltimore chose to pay Tejada as if he were the best shortstop in baseball. Which he is.
9. Management Made the Mistake of Listening to the Fans Complaints about Mike Cameron's Strikeouts…
Strikeouts are as overrated as the Yankees farm system and Cameron's Gold Glove defense, speed and 25 home run pop was sorely missed from day one.
8. GM Bill Bavasi's Signing of Scott Speizio to be the Starting Third Baseman
Even if Spieizo would have hit .270 with 15 home runs, his defense ranks under the average at the hot corner and the team clearly needed big time power at the position.
7. The Core Roster Aged 10 Years in One Winter
Instead of fading slowly as they aged from 40 to 41, and 34 to 35, Edgar Martinez, Bret Boone and John Olerud aged into their 50's as hitters. If all three would have simply hit very close to what they had in 2003, the start of the season would have been very different.
6. Howard Lincoln Allowed Pat Gillick to Wait One Year Too Long To Reload
This team should have started a re-loading process after 2002. Instead of an 80 win rebuild season, the club endures a possible 100 loss campaign.
5. Howard Lincoln Allowed Gillick to Get the Ball Rolling on Trading Carlos Guillen
I don't think Bill Bavasi would have been so adamant on dealing Guillen if he was in charge from the get-go. Officially Bavasi trade Guillen for two career reserve infielders but Guillen was as good as gone before Bavasi came aboard.
4. Bob Melvin Was the Manager
Melvin is simply not equipped as a manager to aid in a team's rise from the dead. His lack of experience is the biggest reason. He is loyal to a fault. Way too loyal and it will cost him his job.
3. The American League Figured Out How to Play and Beat the Mariners
This really started to happen in late 2002 and in the second half of 2003. When the core of your club gets as stale as the Mariners' middle of the order did, opponents' game plan is much easier to scheme out. Seattle became easy to pitch to because the talent never changed. The same strategies year in and year out make for an easy time for opposing pitchers and pitching coaches.
2. The Pitching Staff Gave up Too Many Runs
Terrible starts for Jamie Moyer, Gil Meche, Ryan Franklin and Joel Pineiro make it awfully tough for a team to win many games and avoid falling 10 games behind after the first month of play. It wasn't a total lack of decent pitching, but the pitchers that were being counted on did not come through-Except for Freddy Garcia of course. The bullpen was in shambles as soon as it was clear that Mateo and Hasegawa weren't the same and that Soriano had an elbow problem.
1. The Offense Didn't Score Enough Runs
This is no surprise in general but I don't even think the detractors saw this coming. Not this bad anyways. Can't blame Melvin for this one-there just isn't enough talent in the lineup.
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