But then, sitting here on our plane, I thought about it from a different perspective. Forget all the conspiracy theories about Hargrove being pushed out of his job to get John McLaren in there. Forget any talk about a power struggle, or of management having wanted to make this change much earlier and now becoming timid that it may never get another chance if the team keeps winning.
Let's all assume that Hargrove is telling the truth. That he really did first tell GM Bill Bavasi about these thoughts a few weeks back. That would have dated to right around the time the team left on its previous road trip. Seattle had just blown a lead and lost at home to Baltimore, then won a couple of games in San Diego. It was another four-city road swing, the kind that sucks the life out of you. I described it amply a couple of weeks back when seeking a reason for why the M's had dropped the last five games of the trip. Hargrove could very well have been feeling burned out at that point. Don't forget, the team was still slipping well behind the Angels (making up four games so quickly is extremely rare) and was a good distance behind in the wild-card race. All of that has changed in a hurry, with Seattle doing the unexpected of sweeping the Boston Red Sox and taking two games out of two from the Toronto Blue Jays to start this current series. There was very little to foreshadow this a couple of weeks ago.