M's fire hitting coach Cockrell, promote Powell
The Mariners announced Sunday that hitting coach Alan Cockrell has been dismissed.
Times staff reporter
The Mariners announced Sunday that hitting coach Alan Cockrell has been dismissed. He will be replaced by Alonzo Powell, who held the same position for Class AAA Tacoma.
Cockrell, 46, was in his second season with the Mariners, his fifth year as a major-league hitting coach. Seattle started the final game of this nine-game homestand last in the American League in average (.225), on-base percentage (.302), slugging (.315), runs (94) and home runs (10).
"It's tough," general manager Jack Zduriencik said. "These are difficult days when you like someone and you're very fond of a person like Alan, who's worked his tail off. You get to a point where you have to make a judgment call and that was made today."
Designated-hitter Mike Sweeney said the blame falls squarely on a Mariners lineup that has just two players hitting better than .300 and eight players hitting less than .220.
"It's brutal," Sweeney said. "Looking around this clubhouse, there's a ton of players that deserve to get fired before he did and I'm one of them. I know our offense hasn't had a heartbeat, but it's not due to Alan Cockrell. It's us, the players.
"We're the ones that deserve all the criticism, not him. I will be the first one to stand up and take a bullet for that guy, because he got here early. He worked his butt off. He put in more hours than anybody in this whole clubhouse. It's tough to see a guy like that go."
• Shortstop Jack Wilson is expected to return Tuesday.
Sam and Sara Lucchese create handmade pasta out of their kitchen-garage adjacent to their Ballard home. Here, they illustrate the final steps in making pappardelle pasta.