Carl ?#@!ing Everett

Ever since Albert Belle retired, there is no baseball player I hate more than Carl Everett. What is there to like about a man who is surly off the field and has a terrible temper on it? Everett is the biggest jerk in baseball today. However, with Everett having been signed by the Mariners, I may just be forced to root for him. The marriage of love and hate in my baseball world has left me torn. Should I, and the multitude of fans who also despise Carl Everett, actually be fans of this cantankerous player?

The Mariners certainly think so. One of their off-season goals was to acquire a bat with some power, preferably left-handed, who could play the outfield. Carl Everett seems to be a perfect fit as he perennially hits over 20 home runs, can bat from either side of the plate, and has extensive experience playing the outfield. Furthermore, Mike Hargove welcomes the "intensity" that Carl Everett will bring to the team, as he believes that Everett will stir up what has been a moribund clubhouse for several years. According to the Mariners, Carl Everett is a perfect fit.

The Mariners are completely wrong, as much as it hurts for me to say it. Carl Everett not only is an imperfect fit, he does not fit in at all. To start with, the "intensity" that Mike Hargrove referred to is one of Everett's worst qualities, not his best as the Mariners want to lead people to believe. He gets way to intense and the resulting tirades alienate him from his teammates. Then, with the clubhouse falling apart thanks to his own actions, he gets angry and blames everyone for not unifying as a team. Everett's antics will certainly stir up the clubhouse, but they will stir it up way too much. Just ask the Astros, Red Sox, and Rangers, who all dumped Carl Everett because he was such a burden to deal with.

However, just for argument's sake, I will say that Carl Everett is the best thing ever to happen to the Mariners' clubhouse. What makes this signing truly horrid is that he does not improve the team as a baseball player. Mike Morse was a likely candidate to have the role that Carl Everett will now fill. So, let's compare Carl Everett's 2005 statistics with Mike Morse's:

Carl Everett
Mike Morse
BA
.251
.278
OBP
.311
.349
SLG
.435
.370
OPS
.746
.719

Based on last year's numbers, Carl Everett is barely an upgrade over Mike Morse. However, Everett's production is bound to plummet this year for two reasons. First, he has been steadily declining for several years, which is not surprising considering he is 34 years old. More importantly though, Everett played his home games at U.S. Cellular Field last year, a home-run-hitting paradise. Needless to say, Safeco Field is far more pitcher friendly. As for Morse, his numbers were compiled in Safeco and he is just starting his career, so his numbers in theory should improve. In addition, the Mariners have two other prospects, Chris Snelling and Shin-Soo Choo, who have both been better hitters than Morse throughout their minor league careers. Both of them are also left-handed hitters and outfielders, the exact type of player the Mariners were looking for in the free agent market. In fact, Shin-Soo Choo has the chance to be a gold-glover because his defense is so impressive. Any of those three prospects may be better players than Carl Everett right now and they obviously have way more upside than him at this point too.

So, in conclusion, Carl Everett is a clubhouse cancer who is a worse, yet more expensive, player than three prospects the Mariners already have. Everett looks like the next Rich Aurilia, or worse, the next Scott Spiezio and if he is it may cost Bill Bavasi his job. Whoever pushed for Carl Everett to be signed should be fired because nothing good will come out of this move. It is terrible, simply terrible.