Perhaps Raul Ibanez said it best, when he admitted that they knew something like a firing was coming. When you're playing this badly, somebody loses their job eventually. This time it was Jeff Pentland. So the shock to most of the players was pretty minimal.
"This is not Jeff Pentland's fault," Ibanez said. "It's our fault, it's the players. It's a tough thing when you know if you would have done more you could have helped save his job."
It's true Pentland was the same guy that helped coach the Mariners to the third highest batting average in the American League last season. This season the team has floundered with one of the worst batting averages in the league.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
"Every hitter has to hold themselves accountable and I know I hold myself accountable about him losing his job," Ibanez said.
Manager Bill Bavasi met with the media and said that the decision to make the change came about "recently" but that having Elia already around as a special assistant didn't make the process any easier or quicker.
"We had other options in mind as well," Bavasi said.
Bavasi's reasoning for making the change was pretty simple.
"It's all about results," he said. "We felt this group has underperformed for a long period of time."
So what can the change result in?
"We hope to hit," he said. "That is the bottom line. Getting beyond the bottom line, a lot of good work done by Jeff can be done by Lee using different voice and a different approach."
Elia's voice is definitely a little different than the quiet and reserved Pentland.
"I think my personality is a little different," Elia said.
While many people are quick to remember his famous postgame rant as manager of the Chicago Cubs, Elia isn't that guy, but he's still a tough baseball man.
"There's two scenarios, if you love your children there's are going to be times say things to them that might seem a little aggressive because you love them," Elia said. "And the other one, there is nobody in the world I love more than my wife and four or five days out of every month I really can't stand her. I think those are the kind of things they have to understand about me."
Elia put it simply when addressing the problems of the Mariners hitters.
"Sometimes that plate looks real big to these guys," Elia said. "We need to mentally take the bigness of the plate and lock into one area. If you lock into one area, you let those other ones go."
It's something that Pentland preached to little avail. Elia's basic message is the same, but his approach to achieving that message and his methods to get there could be different.
"Sometimes you make an omelet in a baggy and put in boiling water and it comes out just as juicy as if it was fried," he said.