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18 May 2007 @ 08:44 am
The beat writers are starting to bring up the ignominious play of our boy Richie Sexson. Well, writer. Good ol' Larry Larue from the incomparable Tacoma News Tribune - still the only Puget Sound area sports section that's worth any semblance of a damn - and yet, what I'm reading this morning doesn't inspire recollections of scathing editorials once bandied about past-struggling Mariners like Al Martin, Jeff Cirillo, Bobby Ayala, Russ Davis, or any number of our oft-elderly closers. In fact, they don't even come close to the pissing and the moaning about Adrian Beltre - signed the same week as Sexson - who's consistently put up a better average while striking out less and, I'll wager, has hit better with runners in scoring position. Bottom line, who does more well to help this team win?

If you break down the last ten games, Richie Sexson has managed to raise his batting average from .147 to .167 (peaking at .183 in there after an especially tenacious game). Of those ten games, he went hitless in six (though, two of those hitless games included walks). He's only struck out five times in that span, which is great for a fence-swinging Baby Huey, but he also only has 4 runs batted in, over a span of two of those games. To put it in perspective, even in his declining years, if you equated contract money to actual production on the field, Juan Gonzalez would be earning $30 million a year in comparison to Sexson.

But, let's look at the most important stat for a homer-hitting cleanup guy batting fourth in the lineup: Runners Left On Base. Those are potential runs out there to be batted in. Here are the last ten games, from most recent to least:

5/17 - LAA, loss, 5 LOB*
5/16 - LAA, loss, 4 LOB*
5/15 - LAA, win, 7 LOB*
5/13 - NYY, win, 2 LOB
5/12 - NYY, loss, 2 LOB
5/11 - NYY, win, 1 LOB
5/10 - Det, loss, 1 LOB
5/9 - Det, win, 0 LOB
5/8 - Det, loss, 1 LOB
5/7 - NYY, win, 1 LOB

* - Most LOB on Mariners

That's 24 left on base over the last ten games. I'd give you season totals, but for some reason ESPN doesn't keep track of that crap and I'm only lame enough to manually go back ten games. If you do the math, that's almost two and a half runners per game STRANDED.

Richmond Lockwood Sexson sucks, my friends. He's batting .167, 5 Home Runs, 20 Runs Batted In, 17 walks, 27 strike outs, .357 slugging percentage.

To put that slugging number in line, take a look at the Mariners backup catcher, Jamie Burke - guy was OUT of baseball last year! - is slugging .435.