Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Book on Richie Sexson Sad, Sad Tale

A new autobiography is being written by Mariners first baseman Richie Sexson and it's for pitchers only. Whether it turns out to be truth, fiction or slander is yet to be determined, because only Sexson will be able to tell the ending.

But essentially, the point of the new book on the 33-year-old, 6-foot-8, slugger is that he no longer can get around on an inside fastball -- an assertion that proven true might explain his .205 batting average last year.

Though ESPN baseball commentator Buck Martinez and others have predicted a comeback for Sexson, one thing is certain: he will see a steady diet of fastballs until he demonstrates he can hit them the way he used to.

Though Sexson notched his first hit of the season in his most recent outing, he also struck out three times in that game, once on just three pitches from Texas Rangers right-hander Vicente Padilla.

Though Padilla is not especially known as a hard thrower, in that particular at-bat he simply reached back to throw a 97 mph fastball over the plate, all but screwing Sexson into the ground and he flailed at it helplessly.

The Mariners waited all last season for him to come around, but to no avail. It will be interesting to see how long the team will wait this year before running out of patience. A costly but simple solution would involve Raul Ibanez taking over at first base, giving Wladimir Balentien a shot to play the outfield on a regular basis.