SEATTLE -- The Mariners are off to a slow start this season for various reasons, but club president Chuck Armstrong says manager John McLaren isn't one of them. "I think he's doing fine," Armstrong said Wednesday night prior to the Mariners' game against the Rangers. "I like our staff. I like the manager. It's been said that there are two things that every male in North America can do better than any other male. One is charcoal a steak, and the other is manage a baseball team. "I think Mac is doing a fine job. He's got a good staff and they've given him good support. He's provided good leadership."
The Mariners were expected to battle the Angels for American League West supremacy this season, and that still could happen. But the seas have been anything but smooth sailing so far. "We've had some good times and seen some good play," Armstrong said. "Opening Day was a special day, and I've seen some excellent play. But to be where we are with the schedule we started with, I'm disappointed. We're all disappointed. "We have a good team here and we should be playing better than we are. Sometimes these things happen. "Patience in baseball, I think, is often a virtue," Armstrong said. "But it is a fine line. We've already made moves this year to address what we think were some of the problems. Maybe that'll come back to bite us, but we think we made them in a considerate manner." Several roster moves have been made, most notably the promotions of catcher/designated hitter Jeff Clement and right fielder Wladimir Balentien from Triple-A Tacoma, but there does not appear to be other changes on the horizon. McLaren, meanwhile, keeps searching for the right combination to get his team on track. "We have tried different things," he said. "We've tried the build-me-up approach, the challenge approach, the down-and-dirty approach. Like I said, it's not like we're not trying or putting out the effort, because we are. It's just not happening yet. "One night we will get some hitting and not get the pitching, another night get the pitching and not field the ball. We're not playing consistent baseball. What disappoints everybody is we had a good Spring Training. We went through our drills doing well and caught the ball well. "We haven't done that the first quarter of the season."
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.