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Sick and Tired Dept.

Posted by Jason A. Churchill on June 11, 2006

I'm so sick and tired of hearing so many uninformed opinions about how Bill Bavasi's moves as general manager have been so terrible.

Simply put, it's just not true.

Granted, Bavasi has yet to pull off a blockbuster trade that heavily favors the Mariners and his free agent signings have been anywhere from bad to solid, leaving out the spectacular.

But the opportunity for such a fantastic no-brainer deal has not been at his doorstep, either.

Randy Winn carried as little value as a quality player possibly can that it was a fleecing to get a serviceable, cheap backup catcher and a high-risk, medium reward minor league starting pitcher.

The second-best known offer the M's received was worse than the Corey Patterson-to-Baltimore deal in which the Cubs received two mid-level prospects in return – and Winn was not worth the $6 million option for 2006, especially when Snelling and Choo are near-ready farmhands.

Freddy Garcia is the example most will mention when defending their opinion as an anti-Bavasi club member.

"All they got was a fourth outfielder, a reserve infielder and that's it," said one complaining fanatic.

But let's not forget the parameters of that trade:

1) Garcia was not returning to Seattle after 2004. He just wasn't. Part of that is the fault of the previous front office, shared by the remaining team president and CEO. None of those previous arbitration negotiations had a single thing to do with what Bavasi wanted to do with Garcia, and those who were making those decisions blew Garcia off as an outcast, leaving the pitcher with no desire to come back.

And even if Bavasi would have had his say, he'd have been overruled by you-know-who. He was not going to be allowed to hang on to Garcia, try and re-sign him for 9-10 million per season and risk getting nothing for him in the end.

2) Bavasi was praised for the deal by anyone with any credibility in the game whatsoever. Peter Gammons' comments on ESPN's Baseball Tonight reflected the thoughts of "many scouts" who believed that "Reed is a potential 10-year starter in the big leagues and his bat projects to be very steady, if not somewhat exciting."

Gammons went on to say that "everyone I have talked to thinks Seattle did very well in this deal."

3) Miguel Olivo was a big part of the deal also, maybe the biggest. But what many don't know is that his off-field issues prevented him from focusing on baseball and therefore he appeared to be completely lost in every aspect – hitting, catching, decision-making, base running, you name it.

The trade looks bad on paper right now, because Garcia is a 200-inning workhorse. But honestly, he hasn't been very good for the White Sox.

He is being paid $9 million per season, (8/8/10) over three years and has layed the league-average egg for half of the contract already.

Garcia's park-adjusted numbers have been very much unimpressive for a so-called frontline arm. In 2+ years, Garcia has posted a very ordinary 4.18* ERA. Yes, he tossed 200 innings in his first full year in Chicago and is on pace to do so again, but he's been as unspectacular as another $9 million pitcher we all know, that some of us don't love too much — Jarrod Washburn.

Washburn's adjusted ERA over the same time-frame is 4.01.

For all the World Series fame Garcia and company have and deserve, Freddy is a No. 3/4 starter and Bavasi should NOT be ridiculed for trading him to the White Sox for Reed, Olivo and Mike Morse.

Not only was the deal pretty darned good at the time, but it's too early to say Reed, already an established defensive center fielder, is not a major league hitter . Even considering the no-gain of Olivo and the seemingly very-little-gain of Morse to the system, the trade still looks okay.

If Reed pans out to be a starter at all and holds his own at the plate, the trade was a success, since we already established here that Garcia was not coming back and Bavasi had to trade him… teams knew this.

Weigh it out — $9 million per season for a slightly above league-average starting pitcher or a starting center fielder? I'll take both. Reed AND Washburn. And don't forget, Reed has a better than average chance to be more than just a starter. He's only 25 and flashed the ability to hit .300. If only Hargrove had a clue.

Another thing that many seem to freak out about is when players leave the M's and go on to success elsewhere.

How is this Bill Bavasi's fault? At all!?

Winn simply had a very hot streak hitting in front of Bonds and Alou… notice how he's come right back down to planet Earth this year hitting .274/.347/.436 with three steals. His numbers as a Seattle Mariner: .285/.341/.422 with 22 steals.

Miquel Olivo did the same thing. Three-week hot streak followed by very typical Olivo numbers. He's finally hitting his stride in Florida now that he's away from the non-baseball issues that killed his focus over the past two years.

He's still below average defensively at everything except throwing and he's still putting up nearly the exact same IsoP and K/BB rates he was in Seattle.

Sometimes people forget that Safeco Field is among the toughest three parks in baseball in which to hit, particularly for righthanders and specifically in the power areas.

It can downright deplete a hitter's confidence, and has done so with some accomplished hitters like Richie Sexson.

Joe Borchard is all Mike Hargrove's fault. He should have been given more of an opportunity to show what he could do. He's not the end-call, be-all, but he is hitting for power in Florida and could have done the same in Seattle.

He's hitting just .236 but he does have five home runs and solid 22-13 K ratio. That's a solid fourth outfielder if I ever saw one. Bavasi was handcuffed; Hargrove wanted to play Willie Bloomquist in center as a platoon partner to the lefthanded hitting Reed.

But again, not a big loss, as was the case with Olivo.

The fact does remain — Bavasi has yet to make a trade that resulted in a somewhat major impact on the 25-man roster. Reed still may, and the majority believe he will, but to defend Bavasi's standpoint, he hasn't been in a situation to make such an impact outside the Garcia deal, and that one is debatable considering the contract status of Garcia and the wait-and-see necessities surrounding Reed.

His free-agent additions are better than some believe.

Sexson was a must, though I have heard that the club could have had Delgado but the upper management wanted the local tie over the lefty-righty advantage, even though the contracts were nearly identical.

Adrian Beltre was a good sign, and though he has zero chance to be what he was in 2004, he still has a shot to be a deserving starting third baseman in the AL. The money was never going to match the performance and Bavasi deserves some criticism for the dearth of the contract, but there is more to a free-agent acquisition than the stats he puts up and the money he makes.

The M's had to take a risk on some bats. Bavasi somehow convinced the ownership to spend beyind their self-imposed limitations on player contracts and now Seattle is seen as a viable option for big names.

As far as that goes, it simply does not matter that Beltre has been terrible. The effect still remains a positive.

Signing Carl Everett and Washburn were not what anyone would call "great additions."

But Washburn has been solid, as solid as Garcia in Chicago, and Everett seems to have worn off on some of the other personalities in the clubhouse. The recent winning ways may very well be partly owed to the veteran presence of Everett and the much-maligned Eddie Guardado.

Not to mention that Everett hasn't been that bad at the plate (.266/.342/.445 adjusted) and has two walk-off bombs in his first 65 games in an M's uniform. Everett is making just $3.4 million and his option vests at 500 plate appearances – something the club with either avoid, or absorb heading into 2007. His contract will not prevent the club from adding more talent this winter, no matter the position.

Great additions? No, I'm not trying to pass them off as great signings. Maybe "good" isn't even the word. "Positive" might fit best here, and Bavasi and Hargrove both deserve credit for that.

Bavasi isn't going to lose his job this winter, unless the M's play .400 ball the rest of the way and show a lot of "give up" in the process. Hargorve is earning his keep, though he's unlikely to return unless the club makes an improbable run into the postseason.

But my point here is, there is more to the moves this club has made than meets the eye and generalizing transactions as good, bad or terrible without assessing all of the information that is available is very irresponsible and can certainly be categorized as idiotic.

Bavasi has not made any stupid trades, and while we all, myself included, preferred Kevin Millwood over Washburn, it's looking like the right move now. The M's had more information than anyone else at the time and rightfully passed on the righthander due to the fifth year in the contract, the extra $2 million per season more than Washburn that Boras wanted for Millwood, and some very reliable health information the club received.

Not to mention that Washburn has outpitched Millwood (4.14 ERA to 4.20, both adjusted for ballparks.)

Sure, signing Scott Spiezio was a failed experiment and a bad decision on Bavasi's part. But that's the only terrible signing he's made and he's among the 25 GM's in baseball that don't have as much control as the Billy Beane's and John Schuerholz's of the world.

Bavasi is going to be allowed to keep his job for another year, and rightfully so. He's got this club headed in the right direction and if Armstrong and Lincoln left him alone, we'd all see the "plan."

His bosses wanted a quick fix and Bavasi did all he could to combine that with his own way of getting a team back to competitive play. Before Bavasi arrived, the club had no future at catcher. Now they have Rob Johnson, Jeff Clement and Kenji Johjima – a very solid free-agent signing.

There was no long-term answer in center field, and now they sport Reed and the converted Adam Jones – a decision Frank Mattox and Pat Gillick probably wouldn't have made.

Remember how bad the 2004 and 2005 team's were? Ninety-nine and ninety-three losses later, we're complaining about a team paced for far less than 90 losses and have the compass pointed at the top of the division, rather than fourth-place in a four-team division.

Grading Bavasi's tenure is tough, but an objective curve probably lands in the area of satisfactory, but incomplete. But the team is slowly developing some cohesive play on the field and the chemistry may lead them to .500 in 2006.

You can thank Bavasi's bosses that it's three years too late to be seeing year one of the rebuilding process.

Grades –
Trading: C

Free Agents: C

Scouting (Draft, Int'l): B+
Player Development: B-

Overall: C

The objective of this rant is to express my frustration over the knee-jerk reactions, the hater-style shredding of Bill Bavasi, and most of all the uninformed analysis being thrown around all over the internet. Much of which is masking the ever-present ignorant opinion.

I'm tired of it. Sick and tired.

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147 Responses to “Sick and Tired Dept.”

  1. dixarone said

    All I have to say is, “Hear hear”.

    ‘Bout time somebody stood on the podium and told it like it really is. Hargrove still grates at me (and I liked him heading into the season), but Bavasi deserves little of the general criticism that gets leveled at him.

  2. I just got a phone call about this suubject today and I had one sentence in reply…

    “GMs should be greaded on a curve, but with ALL of the information.”

  3. J said

    Thanks Jason. I’ve been trying to make some of these points before, but never all at once, and my comments don’t have quite as much weight behind them in terms of contacts as yours do.

    Given the circumstances, Bavasi has made the right move a lot of the time, but it hasn’t worked out for him too well just yet and he’s still paying off the debts of the last administration, and some of its carry-overs.

  4. Certainly, J.

    I read a piece by ESPNInsider’s Keith Law today about the draft that rings as true as anything when describing what Bavasi had to take on when he came here.

    “Although there’s an undeniable temptation for teams in that condition to swing for the fences on high-risk/high-ceiling prospects, this is slightly more sensible than planning for your retirement by heading to the casino. Sure, you might hit on a big prospect here or there, but even if you do, one or two star players isn’t enough to turn around a major-league organization … and if you don’t hit on any star players, you can easily end up with a 110-loss club, like the Tigers of 2003 or the Royals of this year. Both organizations drafted poorly over a number of years and that, combined with other miscues by upper management, created a perfect storm of circumstances that led to the disastrous seasons in question.”

    Law is a former Blue Jays scout that resigned just weeks ago to take the gig at ESPN.com.

    He’s fantastic.

  5. slim said

    The other point to mention on the Garcia trade is that Freddy had somehow been kept and re-signed, the M’s would’ve had $9 million less to spend after 2004 and instead of Adrian Beltre we might’ve been stuck with something truly uninspiring like Jose Valentin, Greg Dobbs, or Justin Leone.

    I can’t think of anything Bavasi’s done that makes him deserve geting fired.

  6. ne thing to commend Bavasi on… when he makes a mistake, he doesn’t sit on it for years. (spiezio)… he goes and gets a better player.

  7. Mariners Revolution said

    1.Bavasi has not made any stupid trades

    Carlos Guillen for Ramon Santiago and Juan Gonzalez wasn’t stupid?

    How about Randy Winn for Jesse Foppert and Yorvit Torrealba?

    How about Miguel Olivo to the Padres for Miguel Ojeda and Nathaneal Mateo?

    Those are awful trades that we got garbage for. And I for one objected at the time. Not in hindsight. Foppert is a bust, and had numerous flaws prior to his arrival to Tacoma. Jesse had known problems like Blistering, bad mechanics, pinched-nerves. How many trips has he made to the D.L. now in his career?

    Bavasi has led 4 consecutive 90-loss ball clubs counting his last Angels team.

    From 1994 to 1999 as a GM, Bavasi made the following moves of veteran over prospects. It supports my claim that he is a terrible GM and doesn’t learn from his mistakes. Bavasi is intrumental in blame of the past 192 losses, and he will completely undermine Fontaine and all his hard work if Bill stays. Bavasi loves veteran players over prospects. It took 2 90-loss seasons for Bill to finally allow young players a chance to start.

    In 1994, Bavasi signed veteran Bo Jackson who played his final career season and only managed 46 games. In 1995, he signed veteran Tony Phillips to play 3rd Base for $4.3 million to block a prospect. In 1996, Bavasi signed veteran 33 year-old second basemen Randy Velarde to block a young Damion Easley. He then traded Easley to Detroit for Pitcher Greg Gohr who ended his career that year. That winter Bill then signed veteran 31-year-old Dave Hollins for $1.9 million, to block 21 year-old Troy Glaus at Third base. In 1997 he signed 41 year-old Eddie Murray to DH, he managed to play 46 games and give them 3 homeruns. That same year he signed 38 year-old Rickey Henderson as a free-agent. He platooned veteran Orlando Palmeiro with a young and ready Garrett Anderson in left for two years. Took at bats from Darin Erstad over veteran Cecil Fielder who was signed as yet another old veteran bat that year. Bavasi traded in 1998 for a nobody veteran catcher named Matt Walbeck, to be his #1 catcher over 23 year-old Benjie Molina. His 1999 farewell signing of $7.1 million Mo Vaughn was the final nail in the coffin.

    Without Bob Engle, not Fontaine, this franchise would be destroyed beyond repair. It was Engle that has provided us with Team MVP Jose Lopez, and King Felix, and yes your future “Mariner Icon” Yuniesky Betancourt. Bavasi gets zero credit for landing Johjima, we can thank Johjima for his one team free agency mission. It’s fairly early to annoint Fontaine’s drafts as providing us a future core to the team. While I believe Fontaine is among the best of Scouting Directors in the majors, Bavasi is among the worst of all GM’s. His career losing record and history of ill-fated moves with two franchises refutes any talk that Bill is even satisfactory.

    2. Joe Borchard is hitting .236/.340/.404 as a Marlin. Not much gap power for Joe as evident in his zero doubles as a Marlin so far. He’s got 4 hits period against left handed pitching.

    3. If Reed was a “10 year potential starter”, why did Kenny Williams trade Reed? Why not Joe Borchard and Brian Anderson? Williams appeared to favor the latter two over Jeremy. I recall that Olivo was indeed the center-piece of the trade. Olvio had 2 poor seasons prior to being traded for Freddy Garcia. There was absolutle risk in that trade that Miguel would not pan-out. And at 26 years-old, Olivo was a bit old for being labeled a grade A prospect that other may argue. I read the scouting report on Jeremy Reed in Baseball America, and it wasn’t that glowing. There’s a reason Reed was traded, it’s because they didn’t value him as high as “everyone” else did. Turning 25 in June, he’s going to need to hit left-handed pitching next year to be considered even a league average MLB starter.

  8. DIQ said

    Mariners Revolution,

    Didn’t you use to post on the PI blog a couple of years ago?

    Anyways,great piece Jason. Fans need to stop looking for a scapegoat. If there’s anyone to blame it’s upper management. All the talk of not re-building made me sick. I find it funny how Chuckie and Howard tried to gain sympathy from the fans’ saying they were taking huge losses financially to avoid a long re-build.

    Well guess what. We’re going down that road anyway, as we speak, and they’re responsible for delay in the process.

    Here’s to farm system and the future of the orginization.

  9. Carlos Guillen for Ramon Santiago and Juan Gonzalez wasn’t stupid?

    This is a perfect example of someone not having the necessary information to form a worthy opinion.

    That trade was in the works long before Bavasi was even interviewed, and he had very little to do with the decision to deal Guillen in the first place. The upper management and previous regime had already decided that it was best for Freddy Garcia if his party buddy wasn't around to distract him.

    How about Randy Winn for Jesse Foppert and Yorvit Torrealba?

    No, it wasn't. Just because things didn't work out, or haven't worked out doesn't mean a trade was a bad decision. The M's weren't going to keep Winn and Pay him 6 million anyways. For a player the club had no further use for, they took a shot at Foppert. It's failing, so what?

    Doesn't make it stupid.

    How about Miguel Olivo to the Padres for Miguel Ojeda and Nathaneal Mateo?

    Are you kidding? Olivo was worth less than you at that point.

    It's not Bavasi's fault that Olivo had family issues and couldn't hit or catch.

    Bavasi has led 4 consecutive 90-loss ball clubs counting his last Angels team.

    This is a statement that deserves ripping. That is absurd.

    Yeah, ignore the fact that a good number of the players on the Angels' 2002 World Series team were drafted, signed and developed by Bavasi's front office…

    … and then blame 2004 on Bavasi, when the 2003 team was already falling apart, averaging more than 31 years of age. That's great thinking, whoever you are – hiding behind a blog name.

    As for the rest of your jargon?

    First of all, I am not grading Bavasi's 94-99 years, because they do NOT matter one single bit. Do you care what Jamie Moyer did 7 to 12 years ago? You shouldn't.

    And to ignore the ownership stranglehold is just irresponsible. Either that or you just don't know any better. In both cases, it's a sad thing.

    Re: No. 2 — Why are you talking about Borchard? Bavasi went with Grover's preference and let him go in favor of Bloomquist and Lawton as the 4th outfielder, when clearly, Borchard was a better choice. He's at least as good as Willie defensively in center and though he's hitting 50-60 points lower, look at the damage differential.

    I simply brought JB up so someone else wouldn't try and claim Bavasi made a mistake by letting him go.

    Re: No. 3 — Why did Williams deal Reed? Because that's the guy that Seattle wanted and Chicago valued Anderson more than Reed. They TRIED to pass Borchard off in the deal instead, but Bavasi preferred Reed.

    Olivo had two POOR seasons prior to the trade? He had one bad season in 2003 and was slugging .496 at the time of the trade.

    Let's see… a young catcher showing all kinds of signs of developing consistently but Bavasi is supposed to stare at the 2003 season instead?

    And at 26 years-old, Olivo was a bit old for being labeled a grade A prospect that other may argue.

    Nobody said he was Grade A. Not the M's, not me, not anyone I read. But he was an up-and-coming backstop with a ton of tools and a very good offensive first half of 2004.

    But that shows your intelligence on the matter. Catchers often develop late. Being 26 at catcher is like being 23 at another position. It's pretty much right on. That's why those that develop into big-leaguers at 22, 23 or even younger like Mauer, are blue-chippers on their way to 10 all-star games.

    There’s a reason Reed was traded, it’s because they didn’t value him as high as “everyone” else did.

    Stop talking out of your ass, dude. This is absurd, all these claims by you.

    Here's a quote by Bob Fontaine on Reed… and remember, Fontaine was the Sox player development director before coming to Seattle as Scouting Director.

    "We always liked what Reed had to offer. He can swing the bat and can probably handle center field, at least for the first handful of seasons he's in the big leagues. I know how Kenny (Williams) felt about him and Doug (Laumann) and Duane (Schaffer) shared those feelings. They just had a surplus and got the arm they wanted."

    Brian Anderson was just a better long-term center field prospect and that's why Williams ultimately included Reed in the deal.

    The M's tried for Crede, Olivo and Reed, Williams countered with Borchard and Olivo – this according to Bavasi on KOMO radio the day of the trade.

    BTW, if you are going to give the Sox so much credit for knowing that Anderson was better than Reed, stop ignoring the fact that Mr. Anderson is hitting .163 with 43 strikeouts in 120 ABs this season, after .176 with 12 Ks in 34 ABs last year.

    Seems either way ya look at it, the Sox were wrong and the M's missed out.

    Overall, you continue to miss the point and I won't waste my time trying to explain it you, Mr. Revolution.

    By the way, ya know what other lefty stick struggles mightily against left-handed pitching?

    Let's see…

    Grady Sizemore – .217 with whiffs in nearly 25% of his ABs.
    Garret Anderson – .233 with Ks in 30% of his ABs.
    Jim Thome – .250 avg, .388 SLG with strikeouts in 24 of 80 ABs.
    Raul Ibanez – .238 with 14 Ks in 80 Abs.

    All four are plus bats, but they don't hit lefties very well at all. The key to Reed isn't to hit versus lefties, it's to BAT versus lefties and hit versus right-handers. he has to hit well against RHPs to hold starter value.

    Reed is slugging .441 versus RHP.

    And he might be able to develop versus LHP if he was allowed to face them.

    Class is over.

    Oh, and, how am I supposed to take someone seriously that ranks Wladimir Balentien, Bryan LaHair and Marshall Hubbard ahead of Jeff Clement and Adam Jones on their prospect rankings list? There's always interpretation in prospect rankings, but that is the most insane list I have ever seen… and I've seen a ton.

    Now you're dismissed. 

  10. johnb said

    On Bavasi, I think he needs to stay on, he hasn’t done anything spectacular yet, but it isn’t from not trying. I think most fans tend to overvalue the players we are trying to dump. If they had a lot of value we wouldn’t be trying to dump them. We are all still waiting for the next Blowers for Buhner trade, or Bragg for Moyer. Sometimes that happens, but most often you are just trading a question mark for a question mark.

    The problem with the club isn’t Bavasi, it is the fact that they tried to get more mileage out of the contending club then was left in the tank. Most of the seeds were sewn for this disaster long before he arrived.

  11. willmore2000 said

    To all the australian lurkers here:

    Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi.

    First World Cup goal. And tough luck on the first goal. That was a foul.
    I’m rooting for the Aussies this year, primarily because Guus is going to coach my team, Russia, next.

    Good Luck against Brazil and Croatia.

  12. willmore2000 said

    And they score again !!! Wow.

    Sorry for the off-topic, but it’s pretty exciting.

  13. Scruffy Lefty said

    Thanks Jason for that

    My biggest fear is that if they do end up firing Bavasi is that we end up with someone worse. I mean how do we know that will get someone better for all we know is we will end up with another Pat Gillick.

    Plus Mr.Revolution your kind of contradicting yourself when you say that Bavasi likes to block prospects. I think your forgot that we traded Boone and ate his salary so Lopez could play second. Plus the main reason we traded Randy Winn is because we all finally thought that Snelling was ready to play everyday.

    My thoughts on Hargrove though are I still don’t like the guy and still think he hinders this team (he is to much like my HS coach) If Reed never pans out I will blame it on Hargrove for ruining his development. Because by the time Hargrove might be gone it might be to late for Reed at least in this organazation because of Adam Jones.

  14. 2quarters said

    Wait, wait, wait…

    Someone doesn’t have Jeff Clement or Adam Jones as the number one prospect in the Mariners system?

    Let alone has THOSE GUYS ranked ahead of them?

    Wow…

    WOW

  15. Edman said

    If you care at ALL about future Mariner teams, then be happy Bavasi is in Seattle. Wheither he’s the GM when the M’s are a great team…..he will have been it’s architect.

    Revolutionist sounds like the PI board’s Logan. King of the dectractors and God to the pessimists. If it’s you, Logan….your well masked steaming crap piles won’t play here…..too many can see through your crafted words, that make your ramblings seem genuine.

    Back to the subject at hand…….Bavasi has the WORSE job in baseball……to turn around a team that was basically left to age, without a plan to backfill. Lou and company had no room for kids……thus, the team that gets old together….sucks together. By the time it’s recognized….it’s too late.

    Bavasi, however….INSISTS that at EVERY YEAR there is at lease ONE kid from the minors. Not accepting that it’s OK to keep going with the same old guys. He recognizes that you need a farm system……and have to be willing to use it.

    Bavasi may be gone in a couple of years…..and the guy who takes his job, will get credited with his work.

    BTW…..Bob Engle is great at what he does……keep him there. Because he’s a good scout, doesn’t mean he’d be a good GM. The jobs are totally different.

  16. MatthewCarruth said

    I would have given Bavasi a higher mark on trades. Nearly every trade he’s been responsible for I thought was quite good at the time.

  17. jp17 said

    LOL

    Love the dismissal of Mariners Revulsion aka Logan.

    Spot on Jason.

    I don’t see how one can ignore the state that Gillick leaves a franchise in and blame it all on the next GM.

    It’s like blaming the failures of a past president on the current one because their initiatives are still in place.

    The fact is that Bavasi has opened up the purses like Gillick hasn’t. It has not yet paid off, but at the time the team was desperate as a direct result of an aging team and barren farm system.

    Bavasi has said all along that his belief is that a team needs a strong foundation on which to build on. That foundation is a farm system. There are more than one team in a farm system in which to stock and cannot be done overnight, in a year, or in two years. It’s a long process to get this organization to the point in which the minors can provide multiple replacements for years to come like the Angels for example. Gillick relied on outside help which looked good at the time, but history repeats itself and that is not a sustainable approach to continued success.

    Now we see a pretty good core of players and are pretty strong up the middle. Power still seems to be lacking throughout the system unless you look to supplant the current K king.

    Once again good stuff, it needed to be said.

  18. Jerry said

    Nice comments RE Logan/Revolution. He is the ultimate reactionary conspiracy theorist. I wouldn’t waste time replying to him.

    Although that prospect list is funny.

    While I don’t think that Bavasi is the antichrist like some, I am still not sure about him. A lot of it is due to the difficulty of prying apart Bavasi’s moves versus the things that come from above. For some reason, I think that Bavasi doesn’t have as much autonomy as a lot of other GMs.

    On the other hand, while Bavasi isn’t aweful, I don’t think that he is excellent either. He is just average. While a lot of him moves have been solid (especially his vet for prospects moves at the last two trade deadlines), overall I am underwhelmed.

    I would like to see the M’s bring in a brilliant GM. Bavasi is good, but I am not seeing brilliance.

    The really great GMs will make moves that everyone hates, initially, then come away looking awesome a year or two later. The really great GMs can take a rebuild and speed it up significantly. Right now, we are 2 1/2 years into the rebuild, and the M’s are only marginally better than they were in 2004. The roster is younger, but I don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel yet.

    Looking at what Mark Shapiro and Chris Antonetti did in Cleveland, what Josh Byrnes has done recently in Arizona, and what Billy Beane does every year. Those guys are brilliant.

    I would like to see the M’s radically reorganize their front office. Maybe move Bavasi to CEO or team president, hire a guy like Antonetti as the GM, and let the baseball guys decide what happens with the roster.

    The problem that I see with the M’s is that they care way too much about what casual fans think. They don’t seem to realize that fans will lose interest if the team loses, and that is what is happening now. And they don’t realize that, although fans may be pissed off when the club has a fire sale to rebuild, they forget about those things quickly when the club starts winning again.

    Again, I am not a Bavasi hater. He seems like a good guy, and he is a huge improvement over Gillick. But what is going on right now isn’t working.

    Although everyone is excited because the club is doing alright over the past two weeks, keep in mind that this little streak has come against absolutely brutal teams (KC, Minn, and LAA). The M’s are still a few games under .500, and are on pace for another bad season. While the AL west is up for grabs, it is not because the M’s are a legit contender.

    I think Grover sucks, and can’t wait for him to go. But that will have a minor effect on the Ws and Ls. Perhaps bringing in a guy with a new perspective, like Antonetti, would help get this ship back on course.

  19. Scruffy Lefty said

    Jerry

    I am not going to disagree with you that we could find a better GM.

    But I have absolutley no confindence in Lincoln and Armstrong to hire the better GM. I see them going out and getting a guy that was a lot like gillick.

    But moving Bavasi to CEO or President and getting someone like ANtonetti would be amazing

  20. MikeL said

    Well said Jason. And I hope you’re right about Hargrove. Reed and Borchard’s development have been retarded by Hargrove’s man crush on Wille B (who I like a lot as a bench player, defensive replacement, pinch runner).

    Complain all you want about Washburn-but who else did you want him to sign?

    Really the offseason that killed Bavasi was his first one. Miguel Tejada should be a Mariner right now, but the M’s were coming off another 90-win season and weren’t in the desperation mode that they were in 2004. Instead of getting Tejada (and potentially Vlad) in 2003, the M’s get Sexson and Beltre in 2004.

    I don’t think Bavasi is a “great” GM, but I’m not ready to give him the boot.

  21. Jim Edmonds Fan said

    Nearly spot on. Although I think you are terribly undervaluing Garcia. He has struggled this year but was one of the 30 best pitchers in baseball the last two years. that would make him a #2/#3 on a good staff and a #1 on Texas or Seattle.

  22. Deanna said

    I agree with your post in general. Bavasi’s a good guy. And I never liked Freddy that much anyway, being as I moved here in late 2002 and one of the first times I saw him pitch was in 2003 when he gave up 10 runs to the Yankees in the third inning of my birthday game. Grumble.

    Well, okay, I’m kidding. Kind of.

    Anyway, what I’m really curious about is — what were Miguel Olivo’s off-field issues? I have no idea if I just missed some articles at the time or what, but I always did wonder what was up with him, and all I remember reading was that he didn’t deal too well with being traded at the time, or something.

  23. MtGrizzly said

    Churchill’s response to Revolution: Best smackdown of the season! I haven’t seen anything dissected like that since the frog in high school biology class.

    Curious about JAC’s response to Jerry’s idea of Bavasi as a CEO/team president type. I think that his skill set might be ideal for that role.

  24. Ben said

    Jason,

    Great write up as well as a great comeback to revolution.

    One question, you mentioned Olivo’s “off the field issues” in this write up & I think I’ve seen you mention it in previous write ups as well. I was unaware of his off field issues, so if it’s possible could you please elaborate on what they were?

    Thanks.

  25. jp17 said

    Yeah, I had never heard of Olivo’s off the field issues before today either.

    Not that one needs to elaborate, everyone has issues, but it may explain why he just always looked lost.

    Good luck to him.

  26. eknpdx said

    Jason, is it possible for you to do Q&A with an exec from any team’s baseball operations office, or maybe a summary of former M’s execs?

    I think a lot of readers would be surprised as to how difficult it is to make decisions, form consensus, deal with other GM’s, and identify other factors that impact team construction.

    I know it’s not prospect-directly related, but it appears that only a few bloggers, writers, and reporters out there have insight or experience with such matters.

  27. savannah said

    Show me where Freddy Garcia said trade me or else. I’m not buying it. The Bavasi trade has been a bust. Reed has been a bust.

    If the Guillen trade was already in the works, why didn’t Bavasi use his new authority to rescue Guillen?

    Bavasi had the opportunity to trade everyday Eddie last year. Instead he overpaid to keep him. He could have traded Reed during the off season to Boston.
    Now the M’s would be lucky to get any value for Eddie and Reed.

    I see no trade creativity in Bavasi. Has Bavasi ever arranged a three way trade to fill a needed hole?

    I admit, working under Lincoln and Armstrong is a handicap but Bavasi has had nearly three years and a budget to improve the M’s.

    The results speak for themselves.

  28. Re: Bavasi/Team Pres.

    I have said all along that Bavasi would make a sensational administrator because he’s a good communicator, good with the media and he’s been in the shoes of the GM, so he’d certainly work well with the personnell dept.

    Show me where Freddy Garcia said trade me or else. I’m not buying it. The Bavasi trade has been a bust. Reed has been a bust.

    He didn’t. But the upper management pissed him off so royally in arbitration talks for two years in a row that he was not going to return, there was ZERO chance of him re-signing after 2004.

    If the Guillen trade was already in the works, why didn’t Bavasi use his new authority to rescue Guillen?

    Because GMs don’t have authority over the Team President and CEO. Not in any organization.

    Bavasi had the opportunity to trade everyday Eddie last year. Instead he overpaid to keep him. He could have traded Reed during the off season to Boston.
    Now the M’s would be lucky to get any value for Eddie and Reed.

    The best offer for Eddie was worse than the trade return for Villone (Bazardo and Flannery) and it included the M’s sending cash. Eddie’s salary isn’t crippling the roster whatsoever. He’s blocking nobody and his presence does not prevent the club from doing something to improve the team.

    Reed’s low value is as much due to Grover playing Willie too much as anything else.

    The results speak for themselves.

    No, they don’t, that’s the point. This isn’t one man making moves for the team. It’s one man working under a lot of restrictions and just because money isn’t one of them doesn’t mean he’s had a fair shake and should be canned.

    Many moves are mandated by Armstrong and Lincoln. See: Ibanez extension, Guillen trade and Morrow selection in the draft.

  29. Re: Olivo’s off field stuff

    I don’t know the whole story but he had major distractions off the field with his family that barely allowed him to show up on time let alone focus on baseball.

  30. eponymous coward said

    A C is not a passing grade for a GM who’s gotten almost 300 million dollars to play with the last 3 years, in my book. The AL West grades on a curve, what with Beane, Stoneman and Daniels all being here.

    Anyone who thinks paying 85-90 million in salary for 90 loss teams is “satisfactory”…ummm, no. Yeah, there were problems going in. Welcome to the real world, where plans rarely survive contact with it.

    Bavasi hasn’t demonstrated any particular skill in being a GM in the time he’s been one- he’s 0-for-7, going on 0-for-8, for division championships in a 4 team division, with a lifetime record of his teams being below .500. Jim Bowden has more division championships. While your argument about Jamie Moyer has some merit, the point is that Bavasi has NO record of success he can really point to as a GM. If I was to argue that even though Jamie Moyer had multiple bad years in a row, he was really a good pitcher, wouldn’t it be incumbent on me to demonstrate WHY?

    And I’m as sick of people citing the 2002 Angels as proof of Bavasi’s genius as other people are of hearing how Bavasi is the Worst. GM. EVAR. (which he’s not… I just don’t think he’s a SUPERIOR GM, but one of the muddling middle, and as such relatively easily replacable). My three main reasons for that are:

    – So what you’re saying is we can fire Bavasi now and win a title 3 years later, because he already made his impact on the angels before he was fired? Because that’s in essence the argument you’re making.

    – So Bill Stoneman was basically an empty suit for 2002? I think not.

    – The 2000, 2001 and 2003 Angels were all below .500. If you average in 2002, you get an average record of 82-80. This doesn’t scream “dynasty” to me. If you’re going to make the argument that the talent Bill Bavasi acquired was teh awesome, one year where you get lucky and run the table in the playoffs, after a number of years of being bad, which is immediately followed by a bad year, is not a very compelling case to make. Wouldn’t you expect a GM who’s built a superior team to have said superior team have winning teams year after year? Like, say, I don’t know, Oakland, St. Louis or Boston? Consider that if we’re going to rank teams by Series titles, the Florida Marlins are the second-best team of the last 10 years, after the Yankees. Anyone want to emulate THEIR strategies?

    I don’t disagree that Bavasi has helped the farm system, brought in a scouting director that doesn’t suck, and done some good things. The problem is that that isn’t all a GM is supposed to do- and the M’s are in a position where at the end of the year they can look once again for a superior candidate. I think Bavasi is a C student. We should be looking for an A student to go along with the A revenue stream (that’s rapidly turning into a B/C revenue stream as the team attendance shrivels up and dies on the vine).

  31. EknPdx…

    That is a great idea… let me look into that and see what I can come up with.

    BTW… Jerry rocks. Whoever you are, rock on.

  32. Coward misses the points — another one.

    I’ll tackle this later when I get to the ballpark.

    Hang in coward…

  33. jp17 said

    Savs the Revolutions biggest supporter has spoken.

    Next time save the breath.

    I’m sure the list of GMs who haven’t had a three way deal is larger than those who have.

  34. DIQ said

    Great job on the air again Jason.

    If our top 3 sign this week, it would be great.

    I really like the idea of drafting projectable arms willing to sign quickly and get to playing some baseball. If they pay Nobles 5th round slot money(150-300,000?) he will be the steal of their draft selections. Honestly don’t see any other team picking him up in later rounds and prying him away from UW other than Seattle.

    Which levels do you see Tillman and Butler starting in, if there’s no room in the rotation, will they make some or just put them in relief?

  35. Andrew said

    Coward/Jerry,

    I think the biggest problem is that even if you brought in a superior GM, he’s never going to be great because of the power structure of the Mariners front office. Armstrong/Lincoln have way too much power. I can’t really point to any move he’s made that was unequivocally bad that was really his sole decision. The Guillen trade was awful, but it was mandated from above. The Garcia trade, while it hasn’t worked out as well as we would have liked was GREAT at the time. You couldn’t have asked for a better set of prospects for a player that Coward/Jerry,

    I think the biggest problem is that even if you brought in a superior GM, he’s never going to be great because of the power structure of the Mariners front office. Armstrong/Lincoln have way too much power. I can’t really point to any move he’s made that was unequivocally bad that was really his sole decision. The Guillen trade was awful, but it was mandated from above. The Garcia trade, while it hasn’t worked out as well as we would have liked was GREAT at the time. You couldn’t have asked for a better set of prospects for a player that wasn’t coming back. The Spiezio and Aurilla signings were bad, but Bavasi was willing to jettison them as soon as it was obvious it wasn’t working. The Sexson and Beltre signing look bad now, but most people thought Beltre was a good gamble and Bavasi preferred Delgado to Sexson (again the Lincoln/Armstrong factor).

    What good moves would a superior GM have made exactly? Bavasi’s trades are all solid prospects for worthless spare parts, I don’t think anyone could have gotten more for who’s he dealt. He’s done well at building the farm system and pushing prospects. He cleared space for younger players. I can’t see any move that a better GM would have made that he didn’t. Who exactly was he supposed to sign for the rotation? Javier Vasquez? Jered Weaver? Kevin Millwood? Those were the names that people threw out in the offseason, and who our rivals picked up. Washburn has out performed them all. People wanted AJ Burnett. How’s that looking for Toronto now? I thought Jacque Jones would have been a good fit, but I understand Bavasi’s logic that a multi year deal for him is silly when you have Ibanez/Reed/Ichiro!/Jones/Choo/Snelling all here for the foreseeable future. Again, maybe you sign Jacque Jones move Ibanez to DH, and let him go when his contract is up, but Lincoln/Armstrong mandated an Ibanez extension.

    So again I ask, what could he have done differently? What difference makers could he have signed? How exactly are things his fault? Ideally I’d like Chris Antonetti as a GM. However, Lincoln/Armstrong have publicly stated that they don’t want to follow the break it completely up and start from scratch strategy. So even a great GM isn’t going to make a lot of difference. Unless of course someone convinces Lincoln to fire Armstrong, replace him with Bavasi, let Bavasi keep the scouting organization in place, and hire a new GM. And on top of that Lincoln makes no baseball decisions. Do you see that happening?

  36. Edman said

    My biggest gripe about all the negative crap concerning Morrow, is that those the most upset, know little to nothing about either Morrow or Miller, yet somehow conclude we’d be better off with a much bigger signing risk, in Miller.

    I admit, I don’t know enough about either, or even Lincecum to be able to KNOW who the best pick is. But, I do know that most of us come here, and to BA, BP, etc…..and read all the accolades. But, as I’m sure Jason will tell you, there are things that scouts look for, that don’t get much play.

    Personally, from what little I know, Morrow has two things going for him that give me reason to be excited. First, he’s got the build to be dominate. His arm lacks nothing compared to either. But, the biggest thing I see, is that he’s developing….where as Lincecum and Miller are pretty close to their peaks.

    He’s very similar to Putz, both physically and developmentally. Morrow will probably take a couple of years to refine his game…..but, when he does, he may very well be better than Miller AND Lincecum.

    Tillman, IMHO, is the one to watch. Because he’s a high schooler, it will probably take three years before he tastes the bigs…….but, from what I’ve read, he’s got all the ability of any pitcher in this draft…..just not the refinement.

    All in all, we all only know what we’re told. I doubt anyone here has actually done the actual scouting to know. As it is, 25% or all first rounders ever see the ML (or was quoted to me somewhere). It’s so hard to judge kids who haven’t completed development.

    Oh, BTW….in a side note, recently signed Adam Moore got some mention in an interview with Bob Fontaine. Bob described him as being, in their estimation, as good a power hitter as anyone in the draft. Considering this year’s draft class, that’s not saying a whole lot. But, Bob hinted that he might be headed for first base.

  37. DIQ said

    Good input Edman. I will follow Morrow closely til the day he gets called up to the bigs. He’s really grown on me.

    Interesting on Moore, if he can continue to play at backstop that makes him or Johnson expendable, possible trade pieces to land a big bat or a frontline starter.

    Can’t go wrong with a power hitting college prospect though.

    A week later, and it seems the M’s came out better than we thought in the draft, and guys chosen are signing quickly or close in negotiations.

    Very well I say.

  38. Jerry said

    Andrew,

    Regarding what could have been done differently, it wasn`t so much the players that were added or passed up so much as the overall approach.

    Hindsight is always 20/20, but I think that one of the biggest mistakes the organization has made is in not recognizing that the club had become old and was declining early enough. When the club started to faulter, which really happened back in 2003, they tried to patch the holes with mediocre veterans and stop-gaps. This is about the time Bavasi came aboard.

    In hindsight, it would have been much more productive to blow up the roster at that point, trading veterans for prospects, restocking the farm system, and doing a full-on rebuild. Alternatively, they could have tried to get young without absolutely tearing apart the roster, but this can be a tough thing to do.

    Additionally, I would have liked to have seen a more of a stars and scrubs approach to roster construction, although Bavasi has been pretty good in this regard.

    Also, I wouldn’t mind seeing some more frequent and bold trades. Bavasi has done alright in selling off players at the trade deadline, but those trades are pretty easy to make. The more difficult ones are off-season trades and multi-team trades. In this respect, I think that Bavasi et al are pretty conservative. This is where GMs like Shapiro, Beane, Epstein, Daniels, and other younger GMs are way ahead. Those trades take a lot of creativity and a lot of balls. I am just not seeing that from the M’s.

    The no-brainers are one thing. Coming up with truly creative trades is an art form. The M’s seem to have relied too much on throwing money around, and this can really come back to bite you if done incorrectly.

    Like I said, I don’t hate Bavasi. He has done alright. And we will likely never know how much space Lincoln is giving him to operate. I think that we all agree that that man has to go for any real significant success to be made.

    But if the M’s add a guy like Antonetti, I can’t see how it could be bad. He would bring the right approach to the M’s, and I doubt the organization would hire a guy like that if they were going to just force him to run the club like Gillick did.

    We’ll see what happens. I think it is a near certainty that Bavasi will get at least until the end of this season. The book is still open on him. Lets see what he does as we get closer to the trade deadline. I have a feeling that the A’s are going to run away with the division, so we might be sellers again. But this will become a lot more clear in the next few weeks.

    Bavasi is in the hot seat. I think that the season is sorta at a turning point right now, and the club could either tank or be pretty interesting. Regardless of what direction the club goes in, these next 6 weeks or so will determine if Bill is with the M’s or not in 2007.

  39. Goose said

    He could have traded Reed during the off season to Boston.

    Yeah for Bronson Arroyo. Which still would of been a bad trade. Arroyo wouldn’t of done near as good with the M’s as he’s doing with Cinncinati. The NL is an infieor league and he’s taking advantage of that. Not to mention he’s being backed up by a good offense.

    It’s also not fair to call Reed a bust yet. He’s only 24 and the fact that dumbass is platooning him has to be he’s been effective. He should be given the chance to play everyday for at least a year before being called a bust.

  40. Goose said

    Yeah the Mariners have a chance to gain some good ground here with the momentum they got going. But we face Oakland next and have been their bitches for the whole season.So this next series is critical. We have to win it if we are going to prove we can hang with these guys.

    The next 5 series after that are against NL teams(Giants,Dodgers,Padres,D-Backs,Rockies), which we have done well against in the past, 2004-2005 Mariners included. Then we have another 3 game set against Anahiem, who we have owned and a 3 game set against Detroit leading into the break.

    If they are going to do anything this year, they need to strike now.

  41. Deanna said

    #35 Andrew — Gosh, I *wish* we could have gotten Jered Weaver. But he wasn’t exactly signable 🙂

  42. Andrew said

    Deanna,

    damnit, I always make that mistake… it doesn’t help that they look exactly the same! Why must parents insist on naming all their kids with names that start with the same letter?

  43. I don’t understand why a three-way deal makes a GM smart or creative?

    There bad three-way deals, there are good three-way deals. The idea isn’t to get creative… it’s to get as much value as possible, no matter how many teams are involved.

    And part of VALUE is taking a risk on a non-sure thing…

  44. warner28 said

    41

    We did not have the opportunity to draft Weaver so signability did not matter.

  45. Beady Eyes said

    LOL to Mariner Revolution…

    Reed was AAA player of the year. To me THAT was a coup to get him. He still projects very well if Hargrove would let him iron out his problems with Lefties.

    As for Borchard? How is letting him go Bavasi’s fault? The trade with the Sox was low risk and gave us a failed prospect in a trade for a guy (thornton) who was USELESS to us. Problem with Borchard was Grover’s fascination with Willie playing CF. I blame the failure to keep Borchard squarely on Grover.

    The trade for Winn? Sure, Foppert has been an abysmal failure, SO WHAT? Did you want to pay Randy 6 mil? I am quite sure if we had, you’d bitch about that.

    Argh…know it alls annoy me.

  46. jp17 said

    re 43

    It doesn’t. Its a cop-out excuse for those who really can’t formulate a real arguement based on the facts at hand.

    A poor, stupid, excuse at that.

  47. Jerry said

    Jason,

    I agree.

    My point was that creative GMs will look at what is available on the trade market, what the team needs, and what the team can sacrifice to get it.

    Sometimes, there is another team whose needs are similar. However, this often isn’t the case.

    Guys like Billy Beane will then look at what everyone else might need, and try to bring another club into it. Obviously, adding another club makes it that much harder to get everyone to agree.

    But some GMs are really really good at these types of moves. Most of them tend to be younger, new-school GMs, like Beane, Epstien, Depodesta, etc.

    I am a dork, and tend to think of interesting trade ideas when I should be doing other things (like, now for instance). The moves that Bavasi has made are pretty conservative, and not once have I gone “wow, I would have never thought of that”.

    Besides being a great way to help a club get better, trades are fun. I like the trade deadline more than opening day. It would be cool if the M’s were one of those ultra-bold clubs that always seem to pull off the awesome move.

  48. MatthewCarruth said

    Why do the people who claim we should get a better GM believe that a better GM will come here? It seems that most of the hotshot GMs demand completely autonomy before taking a job, the exact sort of autonomy that he/she will not get in Seattle until something changes in the Team President/CEO status.

    And for EC, why do you dismiss the idea of team performance lagging behind a GMs tenure? No, Bavasi wasn’t solely responsible for the 2002 Angels, but he wasn’t solely repsonsible for their 99-00 seasons and he’s completely unresponsible for the 04-05 Ms.

  49. Beady Eyes said

    Bill Stoneman is proof that if you don’t pull the trigger out of love for some unproven player, you will lose (cough 2006 cough – swept out of the playoffs last year cough).

    Sorry, Stoneman got credit for Bavasi’s work. He has an OWNER who allowed them to make a big splash (guerrero) but then defers to him so much as to PASS on Manny Ramirez?!?!?! That’s almost like us skipping Delgado for Sexson or not giving Tejada those extra years.

    Yep, EC, Bavasi is so bad, yet Stoneman is so much better? The Angels BENEFITTED from packed stadiums and a deep pocket owner, YET, the A’s always seem to do more with less. Why is that?

    This concludes why the Angels are overrated and have benefitted from weak divisional foes (Rangers, M’s) and an organization that always seems to find itself in the second half (A’s).

    The next person who tells me that the Angels are so great needs to really analyze this a little deeper. They aren’t that great. They way overspend (Carrasco, S.Finley, Byrd), make mistakes (letting Glaus go without making sure that McPherson was ready, passing on Manny) and having too many crushes on minor league players. They have a good scouting dept and an abundance of quality young talent. Why not use some of that to supplement the ML team so the REAL talent rises up through development instead of being rushed. THIS is what the Royals and teams of their ilk do, not a team that claims to be a major market organization!

    Oh well, rant off.

  50. Andrew said

    They take more than creativity and balls. They take assets that others want. Realistically, the Mariners don’t really have the chips to pull off that kind of deal. Moyer has some value, but he’s not getting traded unless he asks for it. Ibanez has some value, but management isn’t going to let him go. Do you really think Bavasi could get anything for Meche or Pineiro? Beltre is basically untradeable for any value. The only way Bavasi can pull off a big time trade would be to include pieces from the farm system, and until recently, we didn’t have any. Reed had some value, but Hargrove is working hard to destroy that, and honestly I think he has more value to the Mariners than they could get for him. Beane has made some great trades, but it’s a lot easier when you are trading Mark Mulder and Tim Hudson. Epstein has had great prospects to trade, yet he still overpaid for Coco Crisp. The one thing all the guys you named have in common though is that they had assets others wanted, and management was willing to listen to what they had to say.

    If Bavasi has made one error, I think it would have been not dumping Guardado at the last trade deadline. However, I don’t think we would have got anything of great interest for him. It will be interesting to see what kind of moves Bavasi makes during this season and next off-season. We finally have enough depth so that we might be able to include a prospect to get some value back. If a team has some sort of injury Everett might have some value and Guardado might be useful to some team in contention as a LOOGY (assuming we pick up most of both their salaries). You could see Cabrerra or Choo included in a trade like that to maybe bring back something good. Maybe the Mets starting pitching staff continues to have arms fall off and they ask about Meche or Pineiro. Of course, this all assumes the Mariners are sellers and not buyers, because Bavasi is still going to need to get management to sign off on those trades.

  51. Andrew said

    okay, my formatting just sucked.

  52. Andrew said

    My kingdom for a preview button!

  53. eponymous coward said

    So again I ask, what could he have done differently? What difference makers could he have signed? How exactly are things his fault? Ideally I’d like Chris Antonetti as a GM. However, Lincoln/Armstrong have publicly stated that they don’t want to follow the break it completely up and start from scratch strategy. So even a great GM isn’t going to make a lot of difference. Unless of course someone convinces Lincoln to fire Armstrong, replace him with Bavasi, let Bavasi keep the scouting organization in place, and hire a new GM. And on top of that Lincoln makes no baseball decisions. Do you see that happening?

    OK, so your basic argument is that Bavasi not being a top-tier GM is irrelevant, because Armstrong and Lincoln will screw whoever’s in the job over.

    So how is it Armstrong as team President from 1993 on didn’t screw up Woodward and Gillick’s ability to win division championships and produce good teams? I might point out that a number of those teams with Chuck Armstrong as President beat out teams with Bill Bavasi as General Manager.

    I also doubt that upper management is going to be unwilling to look at things from soup to nuts. When you go from 3.5 million attendance (2001-2002) to 2.1 million (projections for 2006), even if you’re a beancounter, you sure as hell are going to notice a lot less beans.

    As for missing the point- I gather the point is “Hey, Bill Bavasi hasn’t been that bad, and he’s done some things right”. OK. But in a division with 3 other GMs who are good (or in Daniels’ case, interesting), “not that bad” isn’t going to cut it. I won’t be surprised to see us muddle around .500 (75-85 wins) if Bavasi stays…much like the Angels did for 10 years during and after Bavasi’s hiring, and if that’s OK, and you’re willing to hope we luck into a 2002 Angels/1997 or 2003 Marlins kind of wild-card+hot playoffs year…hey, I suppose it’s a strategy.

    Me, I want a top-tier GM. I have no evidence Bavasi is one. I see no reason to retain him, because mediocre GMs who come from the Good Old Boys Club of baseball (and a second-generation baseball exec with zero division championships in 8 tries in a four team division defines that, even if he does talk to bloggers and is a nice guy) aren’t that hard to find.

  54. Sakata said

    Posted by DIQ
    Interesting on Moore, if he can continue to play at backstop that makes him or Johnson expendable, possible trade pieces to land a big bat or a frontline starter.

    There’s been prominent talk within the organization that the plan’s to move him from Catcher. It’s most likely going to be to 1B, as that’s the place most all-hit, no-catch Catchers are moved to (e.g.: Paul Konerko, Carlos Delgado, Mike Jacobs, etc.). Others are moved to the OF (LF, typically), such as Josh Willingham is doing right now.

    The reasons the M’s drafted Moore was his bat, not position, pretty much

  55. eponymous coward said

    Yep, EC, Bavasi is so bad, yet Stoneman is so much better?

    Stoneman’s big FA sign for Angels: Vlad
    Bavasi’s: Mo Vaughn

    Advantage: um, do we even need to go there?

    And oh, yeah: Stoneman actually managed to FLIP Vaughn for something modestly useful (Kevin Appier). Watch and see if that ever happens with Sexson or Beltre.

    All I’m saying is there’s really no objective evidence that Bavasi’s a master at his craft (which is making teams that go to the playoffs)… and you really have to stretch pretty ridiculously to come up with any (like giving him credit for stuff that happened 3 years after he left, and ignoring what happened 1, 2, and 4 years after he left, as well as ignoring his tendency for being a GM of some pretty awful teams during his career). You don’t have to make those sorts of contortions with other GMs- you can point to things like division championships and rings they got WHILE THEY WERE DOING THE JOB.

    Given that…why should he come back?

  56. And oh, yeah: Stoneman actually managed to FLIP Vaughn for something modestly useful (Kevin Appier). Watch and see if that ever happens with Sexson or Beltre.

    This is a ridiculous statement… now you’re predicting the future?

    C’mon, man.

  57. Andrew said

    So how is it Armstrong as team President from 1993 on didn’t screw up Woodward and Gillick’s ability to win division championships and produce good teams? I might point out that a number of those teams with Chuck Armstrong as President beat out teams with Bill Bavasi as General Manager.

    Because Armstrong had no problem letting Gillick loosing draft picks by signing mid tier free agents and by trading away what little of a farm system we had. We also at that time had some pieces people wanted. Gillick was able to turn Griffey and Johnson into prospects. Unfortunately unless you want to spend like the Yankees, Mets, Red Sox this is an unsustainable formula for winning. Look at every team Gillick has run, they all are horrible after he leaves. Using Gillick’s success versus Bavasi’s is an invalid arguement. You are praising the way Gillick ran the team, yet bashing Bavasi for having to deal with the fall out caused by Gillick.

    Stoneman’s big FA sign for Angels: Vlad
    Bavasi’s: Mo Vaughn

    You are assuming that Bavasi still thinks the Mo Vaughn signing was a good one and has not learned since then. Sure he made a mistake and he admits it. But you really can’t use what he did in Anaheim as evidence that he’s done a bad job in Seattle. We’re arguing over whether or not he’d done a good job as the Mariners GM. And Stoneman hasn’t been perfect. Can you say Steve Finely?

    And oh, yeah: Stoneman actually managed to FLIP Vaughn for something modestly useful (Kevin Appier). Watch and see if that ever happens with Sexson or Beltre.

    Like Bavasi did with Ron Villone and Randy Winn? I’m sure if Bavasi wanted to, he could eat much of the Beltre/Sexson contracts and trade them for starting pitching of Appier circa 2002 quality. Are you ready to make that move now though? Do you really think that helps the team win?

  58. There is also no doubt that Gillick was a better GM than Bavasi. Personally, I’m not even saying Bavasi is GOOD. Just that he shouldn’t be run out of town right now and he shouldn’t be blamed at face value for the moves made.

  59. Beady Eyes said

    EC: Hmmm, you can’t beat me completely on Bavasi/Vaughn. Why? Didn’t DISNEY own that team? Disney makes Armstrong/Lincoln look like big spenders.

    Stoneman is one of these GMs that overprizes his free agents when he can improve his team for years to come. Yes, kids are a great thing, but prizing them over somebody like Manny to protect Vlad in the order???? Priceless…

    Sorry, we all saw Vlad’s marvelous crash and burn in the playoffs last year. I have a feeling he is another overhyped, overpaid regular season contributor (mmmm, A-Rod would be next).

    I love Vlad, but seeing him put the numbers up during the season and then crash makes me wonder if he’s truly worth all that money!

    So what if Stoneman signed Vlad. Moreno overpaid for him, NOT Stoneman. MORENO claimed credit for that one.

  60. Beady Eyes said

    And I might add, Vlad’s contract combined with the failures of Finley, Byrd and a few other overpriced vets made Moreno and Stoneman think long and hard on trading for Manny.

    Is Manny worth up to 5 prospects? Sure if your system keeps producing talent. Could the M’s have done a deal like that? Maybe, but it would have hurt us more because the kids the Sox would have gotten could come back to haunt us much like the Slocumb/Varitek, Lowe trade did.

    Hard to quantify there, but I do believe that if I am the division champs, I make that trade as long as I retain my best prospect (Wood).

  61. I agree on the Manny thing, but Boston asked for Ervin Santana and Casey Kotchman and refused to pick up any of Manny’s salary, which actually goes up 1.0 mil per year if he’s dealt.

    I wouldn’t have done that either.

    Their system is not deep in pitching and dealing Santana would not have been wise. He’s a keeper.

  62. Seth said

    I don’t like Bavasi, but it’s not like he’s the worst GM ever.

    More or less I’m frustrated that the team went from World Series contender to constantly lossing 90 a year.

    Now I know that Bavasi didn’t cause all of that, but he also hasn’t made great decisions to reverse the trend.

    I know, I know. It’s not like Bavasi is out on the field. And I know that Bavasi takes too much heat for his trades (which by the way I still support, I never liked Garcia, Winn, ect.).

    But you can’t totally give Bavasi a pass. He has made some TERRIBLE signings. Sure at the time they didn’t look bad, heck I supported them AT THE TIME. However, you can’t judge a signing AT THE TIME. The Beltre and Spiezio signings rank up there with the Lowe-Varitek trade as all-time Mariner mistakes (okay, I might’ve just overexagerated a bit). I understand Jason’s point about the signings, but disagree. Sure Beltre was a risk, but it was a failure, period. I don’t care what the intention was, only the result.

    I would just perfer to see the front office change direction. It’s just my opinion and I understand where all the Bavasi-defenders are coming from. I just think you’re wrong.

  63. ShimHimToDetroit said

    Re: Releasing Sears

    I was always a bigger fan of JC Penney’s anyway.

  64. DIQ said

    Criticize Bavasi all you guys want, bottom line is the before the Richie Sexson Adrian Beltre signings, the Mariners were afraid of taking risks and committing to long-term contracts for free agents. At the time everyone was praising both signings.

    Both signings came a couple years late, and haven’t really paid dividends or reached expectations. But it hasn’t even been 2 years, these guys haven’t even reached half of their contract lengths.

    Sure they should be producing more, but when they do pick it up consistently, as they have as of late, we are a threat offensively and can contend for the division.

    The question I have is, if make a playoff run, and it is very possible. Will the front office make an addition at the deadline, and who do they plan on dealing away from the farm?

  65. WAB said

    Too true DIQ. Just imagine if Beltre hit .270 with 30 bombs last year…he’d be hailed as a genuis for taking the risk!

  66. It’s STILL a good risk. Sure, if they could go back, they’d avoid the contract, but Im sure the Yankees might feel the same about Randy Johnson and the Jays may feel the same about Burnett.

    At least Beltre plays everyday and has a chance to help the club.

  67. DIQ said

    JAC,

    When’s Cruceta’s next start at home? Really wanna check out his next start. Will you be attending?

  68. He pitches game one of the doubleheader on Wendesday, game time 6pm.

  69. Mariners Revolution said

    Jason Churchill,

    Worthy opinion? Climb down your throne for a second. Most of us analyzing the M’s in the blogosphere have been wrong many times. You also have been wrong, I have been wrong, it’s okay to be wrong it’s part of the game.

    However, I have read and seen you make fun of DR. Detecto for their analysis of players, and many others that differ from your view. It’s rather sad how you treat your peers. You have a very closed mind on Bavasi. I keep scratching my head, on how you put the majority of the blame on Bavasi’s failed trades and signings on Howard Lincoln and Chuck Armstrong, and Pat Gillick.

    We all know that Armstrong wanted Guillen gone, but it was a bad trade and Bavasi was employed as GM during the trade. You want absurd, look at your own statement that Bavasi hasn’t made any stupid trades. All GM’s have made at least a handful of stupid trades during a long career.

    Your assesment on Foppert and Torrealba for Winn is just stubborness to accept that Winn alone was more valuable than an old bust prospect and a career back-up catcher. I never stated I wanted the M’s to pay him $6 million the following year, I just wanted to get good value in exchange. We didn’t get it.

    Olivo was not worth less than Miguel Ojeda. Your comparing one National League starting catcher to basically a career minor leaguer is hilarious.

    [i]First of all, I am not grading Bavasi’s 94-99 years, because they do NOT matter one single bit.[/i]

    That is pretty much self-explanatory. You would have a point if Bavasi had been the M’s GM for 5 years already with a succesfull track record. He doesn’t. He’s been in charge for two full seasons of misery. You say we should ignore how a GM handled himself with other clubs. That only contradicts your GM ranking list that you yourself took into account trades and deals a GM made in the past. When a Corporate Manager for a Fortune 500 company applies for a similar position with a competitor, his resume should be ignored? Let’s stop being ridiculous here. I saw a pattern of bad trades, expensive failed free-agent signings, and a blatant love for veteran players. Bavasi repeated the same philosophy here in Seattle.

    Bavasi is not responsible for the Angels 2002 World Series, 12 years after he left his post as Farm Director. Stephen C. Smith of FutureAngels.com, already debunked your myth that Bavasi was the architect of that championship. Bill Stoneman and Bob Fontaine get the majority of the credit. Bavasi was the Farm Director from 1883 to 1990 in Anaheim. Although I believe Bavasi made a better Farm Director than GM, that’s not enough for me to mail Bavasi a 2002 WS ring, Jason.

    I guess you probably think Jonathan Mayo is not worthy also, since he also had rated Wladimir as the top #1 prospect in the minors after the 2005 season. Wladimir had a decline season in AA this year so far, I posted my prospect list on December 6, 2005. Based on their career stats up to 2005, I rated Wlad #1. That’s why Mayo and myself rated the 21 year-old at the top. Not everyone has to follow the same “Churchill system” of rating prospects. You laugh at Wlad, I laugh at your Asdrubal Cabrera analysis. Sorry but Betancourt’s job will be safe for the next century. It’s easy for you to laugh at Hubbard and LaHair but they were legit prospects after the 2005 season having solid seasons that year. I will not rank prospects based on reputation. Before the 2006 season Clement had 34 games played under his belt in his minor league career.

    [i]Olivo had two POOR seasons prior to the trade? He had one bad season in 2003 and was slugging .496 at the time of the trade.[/i]

    In Miguel’s first 120 games between 2002 and 2003, Olivo was awful. It should have been weighed somewhat against his last 46 games in 2004, prior to splashing down in Seattle. I never stated it was a stupid trade, in fact I liked the trade. Nevertheless, it was a trade with high risk that ended badly that Bavasi must be accountable for. You on the other hand want a gambling man taking monumental risks in free agency with immunity to criticism. It just doesn’t work that way in the real world. GM’s get fired for a reason, Owners don’t share your philosophy. I question Bavasi ignoring the negative rap about Olivo’s raw catching mechanics, and maturity. And I guess you condoned Bill trading for a steroid-cheater. Bavasi admitted knowing the steroid issues surrounding Morse prior to the trade. I lost a lot of respect for Gillick after he signed Franklin.

    [i]Let’s see… a young catcher showing all kinds of signs of developing consistently but Bavasi is supposed to stare at the 2003 season instead?[/i]

    Olivo was not consistent in the big leagues prior to his trade to Seattle, as I pointed out early.

    [i]But that shows your intelligence on the matter. Catchers often develop late. Being 26 at catcher is like being 23 at another position. It’s pretty much right on. That’s why those that develop into big-leaguers at 22, 23 or even younger like Mauer, are blue-chippers on their way to 10 all-star games.[/i]

    Don’t flatter yourself on the old “catchers develop late” song and dance. I have heard it before, it’s just not always true. Mike Piazza, Joe Mauer, Ivan Rodriguez, all were doing fine in their early 20’s. If given the chance to play earlier most other catchers that weren’t called up until 25 would have done fine. Mauer is a sign of modern thinking, that catchers can survive the show in their early 20’s.

    [i]By the way, ya know what other lefty stick struggles mightily against left-handed pitching?

    Let’s see…

    Grady Sizemore – .217 with whiffs in nearly 25% of his ABs.
    Garret Anderson – .233 with Ks in 30% of his ABs.
    Jim Thome – .250 avg, .388 SLG with strikeouts in 24 of 80 ABs.
    Raul Ibanez – .238 with 14 Ks in 80 Abs.
    [/i]

    You have succumbed to Bavasi’s madness, by comparing Jeremy Reed a player that has little power with Jim Thome, Anderson, and Sizemore. Clearly you are the one talking out of “yours”, that you so eloquently accused me of doing. Hitters that don’t hit for power or average can’t get away with being useless against lefties. Also, if you knew the M’s like you should Raul has done fairly well against lefties the past 2 years. This season yes he has struggled versus southpaws. In 2005 he hit .275/.346/.423 vs. lefties in 189 at bats. In 2004 he hit .295/.342/.438 vs. lefties in 146 at bats.

  70. willmore2000 said

    [quote] Bavasi was the Farm Director from 1883 to 1990 in Anaheim[/quote]

    In the words of Gabriel Iglesias, Daaaaamn.

  71. Mariners Revolution said

    Just a typo fella, don’t get too excited.

  72. willmore2000 said

    Also, to actualy reply to that. Jason’s point was about Bill being the GM up until 1999. And as a GM, Bill surrounds himself with quality people, like Bob Fontaine which is just as good as drafting the prospects yourself. The job of a good GM is to construct a good front office, as much as a good 25-man roster.

  73. Andrew said

    I know I shouldn’t feed the trolls… but I can’t help it.

    We all know that Armstrong wanted Guillen gone, but it was a bad trade and Bavasi was employed as GM during the trade.

    So what did we expect Bavasi to do? Say no to the guy who hired him a week before? I do believe Bavasi had a trade worked out for Omar Vizquel, which while not great wouldn’t have been horrible. Omar failed the physical. At that point every team knows you are dumping Guillen and you can’t get anything for him. Bavasi had his hands tied.

    Winn alone was more valuable than an old bust prospect and a career back-up catcher. I never stated I wanted the M’s to pay him $6 million the following year, I just wanted to get good value in exchange. We didn’t get it.

    Says who? We weren’t getting better than that for Winn. No one was going to give us more than we got. Foppert was a good gamble which may still work out. Name a team that would have given more for Winn. You can’t, and if he’d held out for more, we might have gotten nothing for him at all.

    He’s been in charge for two full seasons of misery. You say we should ignore how a GM handled himself with other clubs. That only contradicts your GM ranking list that you yourself took into account trades and deals a GM made in the past. When a Corporate Manager for a Fortune 500 company applies for a similar position with a competitor, his resume should be ignored?

    But we aren’t arguing who the best GM in baseball is. Bavasi isn’t posting a resume to be hired. We are trying to evaluate his performace as the GM of the Mariners. I don’t know about you, but if my boss started asking questions about my last job in my performace review I’d be pissed. His previous experience might have been a predictor of his success here, and it might predict is success going forward, but it has ZERO relevance on whether or not his moves here have been successful. Billy Beane could go to a new team and never win anything again, that wouldn’t change the fact that he was a great GM for the A’s.

    I guess you probably think Jonathan Mayo is not worthy also, since he also had rated Wladimir as the top #1 prospect in the minors after the 2005 season. Wladimir had a decline season in AA this year so far, I posted my prospect list on December 6, 2005. Based on their career stats up to 2005, I rated Wlad #1. That’s why Mayo and myself rated the 21 year-old at the top. Not everyone has to follow the same “Churchill system” of rating prospects. You laugh at Wlad, I laugh at your Asdrubal Cabrera analysis. Sorry but Betancourt’s job will be safe for the next century.

    If Mayo truly had Wladimir as the number one prospect, he’s crazy. The guy strikes out like crazy. When you strike out that much at that level, the chances of your success are slim. Any list that doesn’t have Clement and Jones as #1 and #2 shows no knowledge of the system. And just because Asdrubal Cabrera is rated high as a prospect is no indication that he will ever play for the Mariners. I think the organization favors Betancourt, but a slick fielding shortstop with a decent bat and good on base skills is certainly a nice chip to dangle. I can almost gurantee every other GM in baseball would rather trade for Cabrera than Wladimir Balentien.

    Don’t flatter yourself on the old “catchers develop late” song and dance. I have heard it before, it’s just not always true. Mike Piazza, Joe Mauer, Ivan Rodriguez, all were doing fine in their early 20’s. If given the chance to play earlier most other catchers that weren’t called up until 25 would have done fine. Mauer is a sign of modern thinking, that catchers can survive the show in their early 20’s.

    That’s why he said, “That’s why those that develop into big-leaguers at 22, 23 or even younger like Mauer, are blue-chippers on their way to 10 all-star games.” I do believe everyone you mentioned would fit Jason’s definition.

    You have succumbed to Bavasi’s madness, by comparing Jeremy Reed a player that has little power with Jim Thome, Anderson, and Sizemore. Clearly you are the one talking out of “yours”, that you so eloquently accused me of doing. Hitters that don’t hit for power or average can’t get away with being useless against lefties.

    Really? Is that the case? It doesn’t look like those really can get away with it either. When a lefthander turns them into Willie Bloomquist, it may be time to consider sitting them.

    Jim Thome – .781 OPS
    Grady Sizemore – .673 OPS
    Garret Anderson – .567 OPS
    Raul Ibanez – .733 OPS
    Willie Bloomquist – .789 OPS

  74. Revolution is a total joke. I guess his name is Logan. Fitting.

  75. ML Invader said

    Jason, please feel free to adopt Logan. We’re sick and tired of him over at the P.I. Forum.

  76. LOL. If I adopt him, he will CONTINUE to get the red-headed stepchild treatment.

  77. bilbo said

    If you are going to do a FAIR evalutation of Bavasi, BEGIN with what he inhereted and the conditions under which he has operated and THEN evaluate if the organization has improved under his control.

    FACTS: The team he inhereted was quickly becoming awful and old. Gillick left the farm system in shambles. Ownership did not want to “start over” and risk alienating fans, instead wanting to “rebuild on the fly”. Furthermore, they restricted the money (and length of deals) Bavasi could spend (ex- no extra year for Tejada). Plus, two of the teams decent/young players HAD to go in Guillen/Garcia.

    So where did that leave the M’s? Needing to replace 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, C, and CF not to mention the work needed with the pitching staff. All of this while not “starting over”, which means either bringing in vets on long term deals and blocking prospects or taking chances on aging veterans until prospects are ready (which is what Bavasi did in Spezio and Aurelia). The only position prospect close to being ready? Lopez, who wasn’t ready yet. (Other top position “prospects”? Try Santiago, Dobbs and Leone. Special thanks again to Gillick/Mattox. No wonder Gillick stepped down!)

    ACTIONS: Given the holes in this team Bavasi tried to flip Garcia for ready players in CF and C in Reed and Olivo, while filling 3B/SS with stopgaps Spezio and Aurelia (the FO didn’t allow Tejada contract and balked at bringing back Omar/ or failed physical). BB parted ways with local favs Boone and Olerud when it was clear they were finished.

    When Spezio and Aurelia failed and the budget finally allowed it, the FO finally permitted BB to sign some big FAs. But, alas, they restricted him to local boy Sexson (BB preferred Delgado and Glaus) and when Glaus signed with AZ they took a chance at Beltre, which was a good one IMO. They had to fill 3B and had no legit prospects to put there.

    Next, BB filled the SS position with YuBet and Lopez at 2B when they were ready.

    Finally, BB refused to part with draft picks this offseason so he signed Washburn instead of Millwood/Burnett/Loaiza. He filled the DH spot with Everett and the bench with Petagine and Lawton.

    JUDGEMENT:
    BB was able to turn 7/9ths of the lineup over in two years and replace finished veterans with young players/prospects (Reed, Yubet,Lopez,Olivo) and FA’s that were either in or entering their primes (Beltre,Sexson,Washburn,Jojima).
    Also, the farm system is being replenished with quality prospects that can either fill or be used to fill positions of need.

    Did everything go perfectly? Of course not. Olivo crashed and burned. They got virtually nothing for Boone, Olerud, Winn, Wilson et al. but they did get them off the books. The jury is still out on Beltre but he was a calculated risk. Ditto Sexson. But given that the cubbords were bare in the farm system they were risks worth taking.
    Everett is a stopgap until someone steps up to fill the spot (Snelling or Clement) or they sign/trade for a FA OF.

    But anybody that believes this team is in as bad or worse shape now than it was two years ago is hoarding the peace pipe. It simply isn’t true. The M’s are an up and coming team with some good prospects in the minors and money to spend this offseason.

    Could another GM have done better, quicker? Perhaps. But given the restrictions the FO placed on BB and what he had to work with, I am quite happy with the results BB has delivered.

  78. Goose said

    “That is pretty much self-explanatory. You would have a point if Bavasi had been the M’s GM for 5 years already with a succesfull track record. He doesn’t. ”

    So let me get this straight.

    If Bavasi had a successful track record then the past wouldn’t of mattered because it would of made him look good.

    But since he doesn’t it does matter because it makes him look bad.

    Wow, thats fucking retarded. Just like the rest of your posts!

    And I find it hilarious you bring up Detecto.Jason’s not the only that burns him and makes fun of his predictions and reports. Alot of us do. Some of them are extremely out of whack.

    But hey, at least Detecto has a good size reader base. He gets a fair amount of people there every day and has a good amount of comments in every topic.So he’s doing something right.

    Correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t you use to have comments enabled on your site? I remember checking it out some time back through USSM and seeing no comments being made on any of your sites. Detecto may be crazy sometimes, but at least people read his stuff. Hell I read his stuff and I’m one of the ones who thinks he’s a little crazy! Nobody reads your stuff because your nobody cares.

    Your just pissed because this site is relativly new and is already blowing your site away in terms of readership. Your a joke, your material’s a joke and your site’s a joke.

    God damn that felt good!

    But by all means stick around! I have alot of built up frustration because of being a mod over at ITP and not being able to tear dumbasses a new one. Here I can do that. So by all means, post more!

  79. willmore2000 said

    Goose … I did’t realize you were toning it down at ITP. Yikes, I don’t want to see you mad. 🙂

  80. Drew said

    Damn, dude. If this site bothers you that much, then don’t read it.

  81. Goose said

    Haha yeah Willmore. As my friends say, I am a grade A asshole. I’m not afraid to tell people what I think and rip people a new one when they need it.

  82. slim said

    The one thing that 100% of Mariners Blogosphere readers have in common is that we’ve all been trying to avoid Logan for as long as we can remember. No one can kill a forum faster than that guy. Even the PI forums used to have alot of readership and some interesting comments once upon a time.

    Jason, if you can block his IP or something, now would be a good time to start.

  83. Goose said

    Ah come on. We can have some fun with the guy.

    We haven’t had any dumbasses on this site yet. Everybody has contributed with well thought out comments and nothing extraordinary stupid has been said. So there’s nothing to rip on.

    Yeah gotta have at least 1 dumbass. Somebody we can tear apart from time to time.

  84. I can block him, but I won’t unless he is a constant pain.

    I’ve gotten about 7 or 8 emails about him since this all started — all of them said he wasn an idiot and I should ban him.

    But will he learn anything by that? No. He’ll just move on and find another plave to be a troll.

    Thing is, he has a brain. He isn’t stupid. He doesn’t know baseball very well if he thinks BOB FONTAINE blew the draft or if Wlad Balentien is the top prospect in the system… or better yet, that Bill Bavasi has done a terrible job as GM of the M’s. And we already know that he does… so…

    But he’s not hopeless.

    Many posters started out troll-like… but if they are intelligent humans, they can become good posters.

    Everyone keeps telling me that Revolution is a total lost cause, but I guess I’m feeling extra nice these days.

  85. eknpdx said

    Jason, while we know what shape the organization is in now, do we know what kind of system the front office desires? An Atlanta model? Twins? LAD?

  86. Jim Edmonds Fan said

    One Man’s Opinion:

    You should flame the Revolution now– He single-handedly destroyed the PI blog. If you don’t, soon all his other alter-egos will soon spring up here and start agreeing with him.

    Please, Don’t bother with him, tearing him a new one will get old quickly because he never learns and never admits he’s wrong– Even when it is clear that he cannot calculate a batting average, and is completely dense as to why on-base % should include walks, or when he insists there is a conspricasy to start Fernando Vina, so Bavasi can continue his mental abuse of Jose Lopez (I’m serious).

    After you have a few disagreements he will start stalking you (again, no joke). If you are a female he will call you all sorts of unsavory names in Spanish. He will Google your name and try to find out who you are, what you look like etc. Run.

  87. Beady Eyes said

    Wow…is Revolution dead wrong on every point. Nobody was beating down the doors for Winn and the Guillen trade was NOT Bavasi’s choice.

    Bet you think Ibanez was such a horrible signing too, right? If I am not wrong, he was signed on Bavasi’s watch, but me thinks management had that deal ready to go.

  88. Beady Eyes said

    Oh and Revolution, if you are going to make a point, I recommend you don’t use a blogger’s opinion as fact. Stephen C. Smith? Who’s he?

  89. Sakata said

    Don’t flatter yourself on the old “catchers develop late” song and dance. I have heard it before, it’s just not always true. Mike Piazza, Joe Mauer, Ivan Rodriguez, all were doing fine in their early 20’s. If given the chance to play earlier most other catchers that weren’t called up until 25 would have done fine. Mauer is a sign of modern thinking, that catchers can survive the show in their early 20’s.

    They do, and it’s been proven in various studies between The Hardball Times, Baseball Prospectus and Baseball Think Factory. Catchers typically hit their prime seasons 1-3 later than normal position players.

    Piazza, Mauer, and Pudge are all extreme exceptions to the general rule.

    Posada and Varitek, for example, didn’t begin to hit their stride until they were 29. And don’t forget that Pudge was better at 32 than every year of his career before age 27.

    You have succumbed to Bavasi’s madness, by comparing Jeremy Reed a player that has little power with Jim Thome, Anderson, and Sizemore. Clearly you are the one talking out of “yours”, that you so eloquently accused me of doing. Hitters that don’t hit for power or average can’t get away with being useless against lefties. Also, if you knew the M’s like you should Raul has done fairly well against lefties the past 2 years. This season yes he has struggled versus southpaws. In 2005 he hit .275/.346/.423 vs. lefties in 189 at bats. In 2004 he hit .295/.342/.438 vs. lefties in 146 at bats.

    Then compare him to Johnny Damon, someone whose MiLB career he practically carbon copied:

    1996 (Rookie Season): .591 OPS vs. LHP compared to .712 vs RHP 2000: .938/ .855

  90. Using Pizza, Pudge and Mauer are Hall of Fame talents… not simply GOOD catchers.

    Catchers DO take longer to develop… and “doing fine” isn’t peak, either.

    Is this guy serious?

    What friggin’ idiot.

    Logan, or whatever your name really is, don’t ever let me catch you in the blogosphere equivalent of a dark alley.

    I will end you.

  91. Sakata said

    Bet you think Ibanez was such a horrible signing too, right? If I am not wrong, he was signed on Bavasi’s watch, but me thinks management had that deal ready to go.

    Jason has stated in the past that the Ibanez signing was pretty much a done deal when Bavasi got the GM title.

  92. Sakata said

    Then compare him to Johnny Damon, someone whose MiLB career he practically carbon copied:

    1996 (Rookie Season): .591 OPS vs. LHP compared to .712 vs RHP 2000: .938/ .855

    Argh… … …

    What the heck happened there?

    I put his year-to-year platoon splits, and all it showed were his Rookie and 2000 seasons…

    Is there some kind of character limit, Jason? It was most likely some kind of html error I made somewhere, but I refuse to accept that at this point! *whistles innocently*

  93. WAB said

    Hey Jason,

    Does Guillermo Quiroz have any future in this org?

  94. re: html… I dunno, lemme go take a look. there is no character limit, no.

    re: Quiroz… I think he’s a better backup than Rivera TODAY and in five years.

  95. Mariners Revolution said

    No I don’t think Fontaine blew the draft as you stated. Yes, I disliked the Morrow selection. I wanted Lincecum. My points about cathers developing late was that I can’t accept one rule that applies to all catchers. My examples showed that it doesn’t. I tried having a reasonable discussion here, but my attacks on Bavasi were taken personally. In life you will encounter people from all walks of life with different political views and cultures. You should be more tolerant and open to debate and not call people names for voicing their difference in opinion. I have been guilty of responding back in the name calling when provoked. However, I have posted many times on USS Mariner, and the moderators have been respectful to differences in opinion, especially mine. It’s clear that healthy debate is not welcome here. I will issue apologies if the M’s don’t lose 90 games this year and win the division under Bavasi.

  96. I hate it when people disrespect me by saying that I’m intelligent but just lack all the data.

  97. Andrew said

    Revolution,

    My points about cathers developing late was that I can’t accept one rule that applies to all catchers. My examples showed that it doesn’t.

    Jason said that when you find a catcher who develops early, you generally have a HOF caliber blue chipper who makes 10 all star games. The examples you gave support his statement. As a rule though, catchers as a group develop later. There is no debate to this fact. There are exceptions to every rule, but in general it is the truth.

    In life you will encounter people from all walks of life with different political views and cultures. You should be more tolerant and open to debate and not call people names for voicing their difference in opinion.

    There is a difference of opinion, and then there is being wrong. When you continue to state your opinion based on overwhelming evidence to the contrary, people are going to assume you are hard headed.

  98. jp17 said

    All that talking still doesn’t change the fact that you are just dead wrong Logan.

    There are more reasons, other than being right, that Jason has a successful blog and does pieces for major newspapers.

    Catchers do in fact develop later. There are exceptions to the rule (Mauer, Ivan, Piazza) but the rule usually fits most catchers.

  99. Edman said

    I really don’t understand the catchers developing late debate. There is no debate, because it’s a fact.

    A majority of catcher are defensively behind ALL other position players, because the demands at the major league level are far greater than most kids are ready to handle. Thus, organizations tell them to not worry about their offensive numbers, when they first join their organizations. They usually spend at least the first two years concentrating on defense. Once ready defensively, they begin to work on their offensive skills.

    There are always exceptions……but only a few. Johnson for Seattle is one who’s moved up fast. But, he was an accomplished defender in college.

  100. Beady Eyes said

    Andrew: Amen. Sure, we can all discuss the points, but when somebody insists their way is the only way, that is NOT discussion either. I especially love the fact that Revolution thinks that we are being disrespectful. Funny, he posted some nonsense, was debunked by Jason numerous times and then wants to argue we aren’t being nice to him because his points have been repudiated.

    LOL…in my world people like that are called zealots. They refuse to listen to others, they hammer home debunked points of view hoping that if you repeat it enough it will magically become fact.

    Sorry Revolution, you’ve been proved wrong. Deal with it and don’t cry that you’ve been wronged or hurt. YOU haven’t as it’s called debate. The better debater won.

  101. jp17 said

    JAC or anyone else that knows

    Who is this guy on the Tacoma roster?

    Marquise Liverpool

  102. willmore2000 said

    Good news, bad news Nageotte. Good news: he did not walk a batter in today’s start. Bad news: he surrendered 9 hits and 8 earned runs in 1.2 innings. Yikes.

  103. JasonAChurchill said

    Liverpool was a 33rd rounder in 2004… 5-9/185, outfielder… good athlete.

    He was roster filler for a few days. But he’s back in Peoria now.

  104. drm said

    What’s up with Nageotte? Is it time to write him off as a top prospect? Is he bound for the bullpen?

    drm

  105. JasonAChurchill said

    Nageotte hasn’t been a “top” prospect for 2 years.

    And I think he’s hurt. His velo is way down.

  106. DIQ said

    Had such a high hopes for him after the AFL. Hopefully they take a look at him, better to catch that injur sooner than later.

  107. MatthewCarruth said

    That wouldn’t be the Mariner way.

  108. 2quarters said

    “Logan,”

    Hahaha
    Sorry pal.

  109. 2quarters said

    Furthermore,

    One of his ratings for Choo, prospect ratings that is, he has him ranked as a 62. Not overall, I believe it’s his power ranking. A 62 on the 20-80 scale.

  110. if 80 is the Manny, Vlad, AROD’s of the world, then 70 is 30-35 homers, which means 60 is about 20-30…

    Choo will have problems passing 15 in the bigs… he’s yet to do that in his minor league career.

  111. Re: Revolution

    He’s also the guy claiming Hide Sueyoshi would be a good scouting director.

    He knows jack crap about Sueyoshi.

  112. jp17 said

    Jim Na for GM because we went to the same high school.

    Funny as Choo has cooled so has Logans ravings for him.

    Snelling. Not Choo. Snelling.

  113. JasonAChurchill said

    Looper is probably gone at season’s end and there will be a little shakeup in the front office.

    But it’s not likely to be about Bavasi being fired.

  114. eknpdx said

    Jason, any idea when we might see something happen? Or is everything back in the wait and see mode with the ballclub.

  115. StandinPat said

    I’ve heard it mentioned, but wondered how realistic it is that Bavasi winds up Director of Baseball Ops, and we see a new Gm actaully pulling the trigger on moves? It sounds like Bavasi knows how to surround himself with the right people, but just lacks that littel something that makes a great Gm.

  116. JasonAChurchill said

    In response to all of Revolution's raving of Bob Engle as scouting director of the Jays between 91 and 95, I offer this:

    [note: Engle is a stud scout and does a tremednous job as the club's scouting gurur down in latin america. He's fantastic.]

    Revolution mentioned the draft picks of Billy Koch, Roy Halladay, Chris Carpenter, Shawn Green, Kevin Witt and Shannon Stewart.

    What he grossly fails to realize is that when the Jays drafted Green in 1991, he was one of three first round picks the Jays had that year.

    The other two were JRHP Jeff Ware and shortstop Dante Powell — both massive failures.

    In 1992, as Logan praises Engle's choice of Shannon Stewart, a solid but unspectacular big-league talent, he fails to mention that that year, too, the Jays went 1-for-3 — theyhad three first rounders that year, also.

    The other two 1st round picks in 1992? How about outfielder Todd Severson and shortstop Brad Cromer — both huge busts.

    In 1993, Mr. Revolution boasts about Chris Carpenter. Which is idiotic to begin with because they scouted, drafted and signed a player that had little to no success for the Jays. So little that they really had no choice but to let him go.

    But let's give Engle kudos for knowing talent.

    But… in 1993, the Jays had FOUR first round draft picks.

    Along with Carpenter, they selected Matt Farner, an outfielder, RHP Jeremy Lee and pitcher Mark Lukasiewicz — ALL huge busts.

    In 1994, they had just the one first rounder, and who did they take? Kevin Witt. 'Nuff said.

    Their best draftee that entire draft may be Tom Davey, failed reliever.

    In 95 they got Halladay, a huge get. and the best selection in Engle's shortlived career as scouting director.

    Now, Revolution goes on to claim that Billy Koch was the Jays first rounder in 1996, which he was, but Engle was not the scouting director in 1996. Tim Wilken was.

    Engle left the position that season, and was out of the front office.

    He rejoined as the club's asst GM and VP of player personnel in 1997.98 and served as the VP of baseball ops in 99-2000 before coming west to Seattle with Pat Gillick.

    Point is, Bob Engle does NOT have some great track record with the draft, and though he's a fine scout, this does not mean he's even a viable GM candidate.

    Scouting is done by scouts, not GMs. They gather there own info, yes, but in the end, the scouting director and those under him give the GM all the info he needs on a given player or players.

    Not sure what Revolutions point really is, but I'm not sure if that is because he had nopoint, which would be no surprise whatsoever, or whether I don't care enough to read his mumbo jumbo enough to get the point.

    He lost all credibility when he ignored FACTS about the Bavasi regime here in Seattle.

    Don't EVER ignore facts, specifically ones that I offer up in the post you are commentin to, and then use the alternate view as part of your arguement.

    It makes ya look like the idiot you probably really are NOT.

    Ignoring facts is just plain idiocy at its worst.

  117. Re: Pat

    Probably not this year. I think Bavasi deserves another year and I think he’ll get one.

    But barring ridiculously unforeseen circumstances, it’ll be his last shot to prove he can do the job.

    But considering the state of the club when he arrived (having to not only rebuild but actually start to shed the aging vets that STILL remained before he could start the rebuild) and the clowns that serve as his bosses, he gets a partial mulligan.

    For me, he gets a C’ish grade up to this point. He’ll have to make that a B to earn his keep here. But he’s got another year to do it.

  118. StandinPat said

    Jason,

    What about Bavasi being allowed to hire an assitant GM. Another voice for him to listend to. So far it seems that Bavasi does a good job of trusting his personel, so maybe adding soemone could help out the FO. Also, I couldnt agree more that he came into a horrible situation. Huge payroll full of aging players that werent MLB capable anymore, that were also Icons to many Seattle-ites and had to be handled with kiddy gloves. Farm system was barren, and a complete blow-up and rebuild was out of the question due to ownership not wanting to send that message to the fans. Typically a Gm would trade away almsot any MLB’r of talent that was going to command a heavy contract and get prospects back in return. The M’s had exactly one person who fit this bill, Garcia. Imagine coming into a situation where your one trading piece was Freddy Garcia. Thats enough to make you keep Garcia just so you can smoke some of his weed.

  119. JasonAChurchill said

    He has those types of assistant. John Boles and Dan Evans.

    Problem is, Evans isn’t the right guy.

  120. StandinPat said

    How do you get said info on guys like Evans? Is this something you know personally, or are others in the know saying he isnt the right guy?

  121. About Evans not being the right guy?

    Others in the know, of course. But at a 100% rate, those that I have asked about Evans that would know about him, say he isn’t the right guy.

    If it was a 50-50 split, I would just say that it’s very questionable that Evans is an asset for Bavasi.

    I don’t sit in on front office discussions. Unfortunately.

    Evans isn’t completely useless, he has connections and knows baseball, but Bavasi could certainly do better with a true assistant GM.

    I know of a special assistant in Texas that has the balls to be a great GM in this league. He’d make a great two-year assistant GM before he takes over the helm himself.

  122. Willmore said

    name ?

  123. Charley Kerfeld, former M’s scout.

    Remember him? He’s the guy that scouted so deeply into the minors for talent that he landed Madritsch, Sherrill and Jeff Harris, among others.

    You think it’s difficult to find kids that MIGHT turn into something?

    How about trying to predict whether a few never-will-bes can do something in the bigs.

    That’s talent.

  124. Mariners Revolution said

    Thanks for the correction on Koch Jason. I wouldn’t have noticed it if JP17 didn’t cut and paste your posts from your site onto the Seattle-PI Forum. A minor oversight on my part.

    [i]He’s also the guy claiming Hide Sueyoshi would be a good scouting director.

    He knows jack crap about Sueyoshi.[/i]

    And you do? Support in your empty statement why he wouldn’t be capable of handling International Operations when he did it for Orix for 7 years pal. Would you recomend the Director of Team Travel instead? Lol!

    In 1994, they had just the one first rounder, and who did they take? Kevin Witt. ‘Nuff said.

    Well let’s look at Fontaine’s “busts” in the first round.

    1987 John Orton
    1988-Jim Abbott
    1989 Kyle Abbot
    1991 Eduardo Perez
    1992 Jeff Schmidt
    1993 Brian Anderson
    1994 McKay Christensen
    1998 Seth Etherton

    It goes both ways, fantastic first rounders.

  125. I never said Fontaine was perfect.

    You just ignored all the facts that did not support your arguement for Engle.

    And yeah, I do know quite a bit about Sueyoshi… and the fact that he’s not a great communicator, partially due to language and cultural barriers, he would NOT be a good GM in the US.

    Now, go away and don’t come back. And That’s not a request.

  126. jp17 said

    Except I don’t remember JAC advocating Fontaine for GM as you have done with Engle.

    Sorry I like to spread Jason’s work around. It’s good stuff and others should have the chance to read if they don’t already know of his stuff.

    Jealousy and envy will get you nowhere in life Logan Calderon.

  127. StandinPat said

    Wow, thats pretty impressive on Kerfeld. I was wondering why we hadnt seen that Indy league influx in a while. Seemed like we snagged all those guys in like a 2 year span. Wouldnt mind seeing someone with that kind of eye having a major say in what talent we acquire.

  128. Knuckles said

    Jim Abbott a bust? What? Guy was a solid starter for several years at the major league level.

  129. eknpdx said

    “Charley Kerfeld, former M’s scout”

    Exactly why did we let him leave? Did he want a promotion?

    I’d love to have him back.

    Revolution Logan, I fail to understand the point of you posting about this anymore. Does it serve any purpose?

  130. Goose said

    Yeah I don’t think I’d called Jim Abbott a bust really. He had some good years with the Angels and the White Sox IIRC.

    Ok now that I’ve looked up his stats. It’s more like he had some good years with the Angels and a good year with the White Sox.

    1991 and 1992 he put ERA+’s of 142 and 144. 95 he put up a 125 while splitting time between the Chisox and California.

  131. If Jim Abbott is a bust pick, than so is Chris Carpenter, who did ZILCH for Toronto.
    Revolution isn’t as smart as I gave him credit for. He continues to ignore facts, simply because they don’t support his side of the debate.
    Fact is, I mentioned the moves that Bavasi made, good and bad.
    And one more time, for the record, I never said Bavasi has done a good job. Just that nobody with the ability to consider all the FACTS, can claim that he’s been terrible.

    He can post here all he wants… but he has to stop ignoring factual information.

    People disagree with me everyday. Goose does, Jerry does, Slim does. Happens all the time. Maybe they are right, maybe I am. But they are always welcome back here.

    Why? because they are rational people with brains who collect and consider evidence before posting.

  132. Jerry said

    JC,

    That is why this blog is so great. In general, the folks here are knowledgeable and, 99% of the time, the debate is civil and useful.

    Its just unfortunate when the lunatic fringe wander in. Actually, I sorta found that whole thing amusing.

  133. eknpdx said

    I still want to know what happened to Charley Kerfeld!

  134. Beady Eyes said

    JP: Good post! Thanks to you I found this site and am hooked.

    Hey Logan: Boy are you arrogant. He only came back to make another assinine statement because of JP’s posts. Wow, how honored we are for you to come back (yeah, right).

    Good work Jason, I love your analysis. I appreciate the mixture of real world + stats analysis mixed with insider stuff.

  135. jp17 said

    Beady Eyes

    Good for you, glad I turned you on to him….where from might I ask?

    If Jason wants me to stop spreading the good word about this place I surely can, but I’m sure the more the merrier.

  136. jp17 said

    Here is what the mighty Loganator had to say at the PI…didn’t have the nerve to put it here….

    Posted by Logan at 6/14/06 4:26 p.m. in reply to: #1150998
    Last edited at 6/14/06 4:31 p.m.

    Point is, Bob Engle does NOT have some great track record with the draft-Churchill

    Casey Blake, Chris Woodward, Shawn Green, Shannon Stewart, Chris Carpenter, Roy Halladay, Josh Phelps, Craig Wilson, Ryan Freel. That’s not a good track record of players in 5 drafts? No wonder he loves Bavasi.

    He lost all credibility when he ignored FACTS about the Bavasi regime here in Seattle.-Churcghill

    Sorry but I can’t accept Churchill’s “Bavasi never made a stupid trade” just at face value and take his word for it. I will ignore pompous statements every time. The guy loses credibilty when he states the following…

    And yeah, I do know quite a bit about Sueyoshi… and the fact that he’s not a great communicator, partially due to language and cultural barriers, he would NOT be a good GM in the US.

    The same Sueyoshi that interpreted to Japanese Officials in Kobe, Japan, communications with other countries for Orix Blue Wave over player scouting and worked in the “International Operations” department for Orix. Somebody doesn’t have a clue, his name is Churchill.

    In a story that will hit home, Hide Sueyoshi tells how his ability to speak Japanese and English led him to the Mariners just as they obtained the rights to negotiate with Ichiro, the best baseball player in Japan. Hide, a native of Osaka, Japan, who began studying English in the first grade, helped the Mariners sign Ichiro, and after Ichiro came to Seattle, Hide served as his interpreter.

    http://www.speakyourlanguages.com/guide.doc

    Jason claims Hide can’t communicate, yet he has studied English since first grade, and held a job for 7 years for Orix that required him to speak English. The way I see it, Jason is prejudging Hide because he is Japanese and Churchie speaking out of his rear. He wants us to take his word that Bavasi is a C+ GM and all his bad moves and trades were the result of Howard Lincoln and Chuck Armstrong. Also we can’t hold the ridiculous Bo Jackson and Mo Vaugn signings against Bavasi because it didn’t happen in Seattle. All the failed trades didn’t happen according to Bavasi Insider.

  137. Here ya go, jp…

    Just because you can translate English to Japanese, doesn’t mean you can COMMUNICATE well in the language.

    Hey Logan, want a perfect example of an english speaking person that doesn’t communicate well in his native language?

    Look in the mirror, pal.

    Why do you think Fontaine is not a GM?

  138. jp17 said

    ahhhahahahahahahaha

  139. There’s so much more to being a GM than scouting… Logan is just stupid to listen enough to learn this.

  140. WAB said

    A little OT here, but what about that extreme excess of OF’s in Dodger-land?

    Drew, Lofton, Guzman, Ethier, Kemp. Think the M’s could swing a deal for one of the rooks (or Drew) with current resources? Lol, it’s not like the Dodgers really need anything though (maybe bullpen…IDK).

  141. You forgot about the most available Dodgers OF – Jose Cruz, who’d be great as a platoonie and defensive replacement.

  142. WAB said

    How weird would that be? LOL…

    Well, cross Kemp off that list…dude’s a stud already.

  143. Kemp and Ethier aren’t going anywhere unless the Dodgers are getting damned good value in return.

    Cruz can be had I’m sure, but Drew, even considering his contract and injury history, would cost the M’s more than they can afford in trade.

  144. Ah, yes, how remindingly doth thou speaketh of Lord Kerfeld. Obviously, I’m a bit biased (my unabated fandom of all things GS52), but I do wish the M’s would rebuild their bridges with Kerfeld and lure him back into the front office fold. He’s a great baseball mind, and has a pretty keen eye for talent. I hear he had a lot to do with the Cameron/Nady trade, while he was still with San Diego.

    I’d LOOOOOVE to have him back!

  145. willmore2000 said

    Rohrbaugh … when is the dude getting a promotion ? He’s smoking hot in Cali, time to move to Texas !

    Also, great start by Feierabend. If he gets some consistency, he’s a stud. Is he going to get to see some AAA hitting this year, or are they taking it slower with him, because of his age ?

  146. I doubt Ryan sees time in Tacoma… there’s no room and two or three arms are ahead of him – Blackley, Bazardo…

    Rohrbaugh — Kaiser went to that game tonight and I told him before he left “You get to see Rohrbaugh, he’s pretty good.”

    He was really good tonight… he could see AA by year’s end, though I’m not so sure if that will be anytime before late July. Probably depends on when TBlack moves out.

    Re: Kerfeld…

    I think he’d come back under the right circumstances… he’s a really good dude, too. I mean, geez, you have to be to a good guy if you’ll talk to that Churchill fool.

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