What's July 4 without a little fireworks?
Raul Ibanez and Richie Sexson supplied long-ball explosions for the Mariners, and Juan Rivera blew up twice for the Los Angeles Angels, 14-6 winners Tuesday.
But Carl Everett had the loudest pyrotechnics long after the Independence Day game was done.
The Seattle designated hitter entered manager Mike Hargrove's office after the game, and his temper exploded.
The source of Everett's anger was uncertain but it is thought to have been grounded in his reduced role. The switch-hitter does not start games against left-handers because he is hitting only .161 against them, and he might have been facing the prospect of more bench time.
Hargrove bore the brunt of the yelling. General manager Bill Bavasi, who had to deal with a clubhouse outburst by pitcher Eddie Guardado 10 days ago, was believed to be talking with Hargrove when Everett entered the room to speak his mind.
The gist of the player's complaint, overheard by media nearby: "Why am I the only player being messed with?"
Ervin Santana (9-3)
Julio Mateo (5-3)
Today: L.A. Angels at Seattle, 7:05 p.m., FSN/KOMO (1000 AM)
M's Jamie Moyer (5-7)
vs. Bartolo Colon (0-4)
After the half-hour meeting, which quieted down after several minutes, Hargrove noted that what is said in the manager's office is supposed to remain private.
Everett declined to comment.
It was not the first complaint expressed about the manager Tuesday.
First, most of the 30,853 fans at Safeco Field booed loudly when Hargrove left reliever Julio Mateo in during the seven-run sixth inning in which Los Angeles turned a 5-2 deficit into a 9-5 lead.
Afterward, Seattle starting pitcher Gil Meche booed, in a sense, Hargrove's decision to go to the bullpen in the sixth. Mateo came in after Meche had walked Chone Figgins and given up two singles, including Orlando Cabrera's RBI single through the left side.
"I was fine," Meche said. "I wasn't happy with it [decision], no. But I don't make the calls around here."
The pitcher's argument was that he had thrown only 87 pitches and still felt strong.
"If I missed on the Ball 4, it was only by an inch. The next guy hit a good pitch. The next hit a ground ball," Meche said. "I had a five-spot [five runs] to work with. No pitcher in that situation wants to come out of that game."
Hargrove said his decision was based on what he saw.
"Gil had started fine but was coming up with his pitches," the manager said. "Everything was up. Rivera hit the homer in the fifth off a pitch that was up, then the walk to Figgins. I felt it was time to get him out, but I know Gil felt he had pitches left in him."
Pitching coach Rafael Chaves said Meche had started to lean back too much in his delivery, which has a tendency to make pitches come in too high.
"When a pitcher does that, sometimes he can adjust," Chaves said. "But Gil wasn't able to make the adjustment this time."
Meche said no one spoke to him before the sixth inning.
"I had a three-run lead. There was nothing to say," he recalled. "Just go out there and pitch."
Of course, had the Seattle bullpen stepped up as it has much of this season, especially in June, Meche might have been aggravated, but he likely would have been a winner, too.
But the Angels tagged Mateo like they had stuck a string of firecrackers in his shoes. Double, intentional walk, sacrifice fly, double, intentional walk, single, sacrifice fly.
They kept at it. And when Maicer Izturis singled home the seventh and last run of the frame, the boos rained down. When Cabrera, who had singled earlier to reach base in a 61st straight game, popped up for the third out, the fans cheered and jeered.
Having lost three straight and four of five, it appears the Mariners may have thought that next week's All-Star break was this week.
For sure, there is no confusion over which month this is. It ain't June anymore.
But if anyone thought the July 4 dud was tough, check out the schedule ahead.
In July, Seattle plays 15 of 20 games against teams with winning records going into today. In August, 16 of 28 games are against winning teams; and in September, 22 of 29.
In all, 53 of 77 games left are against teams .500 or better today, and one of the losing teams is the Angels, who have waxed the Mariners the past two days.
Bob Finnigan: 206-464-8276 or firstname.lastname@example.org