It didn't take Dick Williams long after becoming the Seattle manager last May 9 to decide that the prevailing and often frustrating tactic, "the three-run homer," wasn't working. "We'll try something else," he said. Like pitching. Last year, only Minnesota had a worse ERA than the Mariners' 4.65. So Williams saw to it that a sometime three-run homer hitter, Danny Tartabull, and a minor leaguer were traded to Kansas City for a promising pitcher, Scott Bankhead, outfielder Mike Kingery and pitcher Steve Shields. Then he traded reliever Matt Young to the Dodgers for lefty starter Dennis Powell.
Already, the Mariners are in trouble. Bankhead has a tender shoulder, and Powell is currently residing in Williams's doghouse. That leaves a rotation of three Mikes—Moore, Morgan and Trujillo—and a Mark—Langston. The bullpen won't be much of a help. The departed Young will be replaced by Edwin Nunez, the '85 closer with 16 saves who slipped to zip in '86.
Even if his pitching holds up, Williams must see to it that his hitters get the bat on the ball. In '86, Mariner hitters set an AL record with 1,148 strikeouts. The team whiff king was third baseman Jim Presley, with 172. But Presley also hit 27 homers and drove in 107 runs.
There was a sign above a doorway in the Mariners' clubhouse at Tempe, Ariz., this spring, which read 1987 WORLD CHAMPION SEATTLE MARINERS. It might as well have read ABANDON HOPE, ALL YE WHO ENTER HERE.
He's 0 for 20 vs. lefties when batting with no more than three runs separating teams.
Loves to face Dan Petry (.438, 7 for 16), but hates to face Jack Morris (.067, 1 for 15).
Career rate of one HR every 12.7 at bats vs. righties (Schmidt's rale is 14.5).
Last HR off a southpaw; Sept. 15, 1985, off Royals' Mike Jones.
Became only player ever to hit two extra-inning grand slams in the same season.
Mariners were a .343 team with Quinones starting, .433 with other starting shortstops.
Tied major league record for second basemen with 12 assists in game on Aug. 27.
Allowed 89 extra-base hits, 2nd highest total in the majors.
Averaged 7.16 innings per start, highest on Mariners staff.
Loves to face Eddie Murray (2 for 24), but hates to face Bo Jackson (5 for 6).
Loved to face Bruce Buchte (0 for 9), but hates to face Eddie Murray (4 for 6, 2 HRs).