Saturday, May 12, 2007

When will the hurting stop?

I haven't posted much recently, and that's probably for the best. I'm truly, truly disgusted by the Mariners organization. But I still have the urge to respond to the disaster that is Bill Bavasi's leadership of a team that I care about, so here's this week's rant:

Hey, fellow Seattle sports fans! Remember this little gem from the P-I on 31 January, 2007:

Weaver and Batista were among the top six starters the Mariners targeted back in October, Bavasi said.

"If you told me we were going to get two of these guys, I would have been very, very happy," he said. "And I am happy."

Let's just take us a gander at two of the "top six" starting pitchers targeted by Bill Bavasi in the offseason, shall we?

Number One (sadly, not the cool, cat-owning villainous head of S.P.E.C.T.R.E., Ernst Stavro Blofeld, unless maybe it's the pathetic Telly Savalas version):

Jeff Weaver
0-6, FOURTEEN POINT THREE TWO e.r.a., despite only 4 HR allowed in 22 IP.

Number Two (sadly, not the funny spoof of a villain's henchman playing a savvy second fiddle to Mike Myers's spoof of Blofeld in the Austin Powers series):

Miguel Batista 3-3 (I'm assuming that the M's can't recover from the touchdown he coughed up to the Yankees tonight), 6.52 ERA, with decent peripherals (10 BB/22 K, averaging nearly 6 IP/G), but...ugh.

Really? THESE were your INTENDED targets this offseason? Serious? And I'm supposed to support this franchise without question.

Look, I went to a game at Bell South Park AT&T Field in Chattanooga last night, and I had more fun there, for eight bucks (yeah, I splurged for seats three rows from the field), with impending rain at any time (no roof!), and with zero real major league prospects in sight, than I have had at any point this season rooting for these Mariners. (Hey, come to think of it, the zero real major league prospects line might work at the Safe...nahh, they usually play a major league opponent...). I've been following the minors more and more closely in the last couple of years, and I'll be perfectly happy waiting out the stupidity of Bavasi & Co. while finding other things to occupy my time.

Does that make me a poor fan? I guess that after over 20 straight years of pretty rabid M's-fan-ness, I just can't take the incompetence any more. I love the game of baseball, and I'll continue to follow it. I'll even continue to root for the M's, write blog entries (less and less frequently, it seems...the Mariners are just sucking the life right out of my fandom), and watch them when I can (without giving them any more money...they'd just waste it, and I can do that on my own).

The thing is, there is this huge disconnect between the talent on the team, and the record through 32 games. We're at .500, and that must be good, right? Entering today, that put us in the company of only 6 other AL teams. The average fan is probably pretty happy with a .500 record in a weak division, and they are likely getting excited about the apparent signs of life.


Folks, we have two legitimate major league starting pitchers. One's hurt. The other one is a tick above league average, in the long run. Plus, we have Number One, and Number Two. Those are perfect euphemisms, I think. Even if everything goes right the rest of the way, we have no hope.

I can hear it now: What do you mean we have no hope? Not only are we a contender right now, but look! The Brewers are doing well! See...evidence that crappy teams like the Mariners can rise from the cesspool of decades of incompetence, and challenge for the division crown!


I'll do a series of posts on what competent organizations have done to build winning teams, and we'll go ahead and start with Milwaukee, but I would submit that of all the mistakes that Bavasi has made, the biggest ones have to do with his seeming inability to evaluate talent--his primary job as GM. The quote about Weaver and Batista is just the tip of the iceberg there, and no amount of him being a "good guy" redeems him in this situation. He can be a good guy and a crappy GM, and...this just in: he is! In a cage match between Bill Bavasi and Wayne Krivsky in which victory would be awarded for the first hint of a positive move toward building a winning major league club, we'd end up with a locked cage and two moldy skeletons. But they'd be really NICE skeletons.


At 12:41 AM, Blogger Walter said...

There is a single, solitary upside: the disastrous regime is about to come to an ignominious end

At 7:49 AM, Blogger Tad said...

I'd be with you Wally, but as long as we hang around .500, Bavasi and Grover are probably safe. Although I don't know how you could look at Bavasi's offseason moves and see competence, no matter what our record.


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