Mariners Insider Blog

Wakamatsu: It's about accountability, not blame

In a perfect world, Don Wakamatsu wouldn't be asked to explain Thursday a comment that was hardly vague when he made it a night earlier.

This isn't a perfect world.

So when Wakamatsu said this of his pitcher losing a game on a changeup – "That's his third-best pitch, so it was a little questionable" – the response among some fans and the media was immediate.

Was the new Seattle Mariners manager criticizing Carlos Silva or catcher Kenji Johjima or both?

"It's not about blame, it's about accountability," Wakamatsu said. "We're trying to move this team forward. Kenji called it. Carlos could have shaken him off. And I could have called the pitch from the bench.

"The key is to get us all on the same page. Carlos is a sinker-slider guy who occasionally throws a changeup. I'd much rather throw my best pitch where I want it – even if the hitter is sitting on it – than my third best pitch, which I may not have great control of."

All of this came up because Silva gave up a pair of two-run home runs in his loss, and both came on changeups.

"You have to remember, we haven't had all that much time with Kenji because of the World Baseball Classic," Wakamatsu said. "We've had him with us – what? – two weeks?

"After a bad year, you can try to be too creative. Carlos can throw that sinking fastball 80 times in a row and be effective, that's the Silva I saw when he pitched here and was successful. He made hitters pound the ball into the ground, and we saw some of that last night."

Wakamatsu talked after the game to both his catcher and starting pitcher.

"Carlos understood immediately," Wakamatsu said. "With Joh, it's a process of getting to know him, him getting to know me, both of us being on the same page. Missing all of spring training, we haven't had the chance to do that yet.

"The bottom line: that wasn't acceptable. We've got to get better, and that's a process. I include myself in that."