It does matter. That Bavasi is unable to come up with a coherent organizational view — that they’re patching problems as they see them, without reference to what each solution does — is damning evidence that this an organization that has no long-term plan or future.
Take Soriano. Soriano’s going to be a set-up man, limiting his value. Why? Because the rotation is full. Why is the rotation full? Because they brought back Garcia for a ton of money and Franklin at much less. Is Franklin a good bet to outperform Soriano if they were both in the rotation?
Uhhhhhhhhh… he doesn’t know.
This is the essence of the Mariners front office: moving from patch to patch, with no idea whether the ship itself is in good shape or not.
I’m gonna take the other side for a few minutes. Does anything Bill Bavasi said in that interview matter? While we’re at it, do any of the recent asanine comments from Bob Melvin about being more involved, screwing with the line-ups, and bunting with Edgar in game 7 of the world series (okay, that ones not real) matter? I don’t really think so. Baseball men have a language of lip service that nearly everyone abides by. Hang around a stadium for more than 5 minutes, and you’ll hear endless prattle about the value of contact, doing the little things, advancing runners, being a gamer, and showing up early for batting practice. Then, when the rubber hits the road, Juan Gonzalez is being offered 8 year, $160 million contracts and teams are fighting for the rights to Carl Everett.
Bill Bavasi can talk about how he prefers Rafael Soriano as a setup man due to the composition of his team, and Derek can accurately state that its a giant waste of resources. However, I’m willing to bet that when Ryan Franklin’s ERA is approaching 6.00, Gil Meche is being transfered to the 60-day DL, and Soriano is decimating people in relief, we’ll find out what the organization really believes. If the team starts giving starts to Kevin Jarvis to keep Soriano in the bullpen, then we can rant about their stupidity. But, I don’t see the point in getting too frustrated with what baseball men tell the media. They say crap all the time that they’ll never follow through on. Melvin could come out tommorrow and talk about tinkering with Ramon Santiago as a cleanup hitter, and I wouldn’t really care, because he’ll never do it. The daily notebooks from Peoria are useful for keeping us interested in the game, but as far as offering any insight into what will actually go on this year, their best use is for lining litter boxes.
And, since I’m here and posting, we might as well turn this into a list of Dave’s Ramblings On Things He Hasn’t Had Time To Comment On Recently:
1. Snelling’s injury isn’t a big deal. Hamate problems aren’t long term issues, and this shouldn’t effect his development too much. While some view it as another injury to put on the witness list for the prosecution of him being brittle, this was an old injury that was never fixed. He should be ready to play for Tacoma a few weeks after they break camp.
2. While I’ve never been a big fan, I got two very positive reviews on how Matt Thornton has looked early in camp. I don’t think there’s any way you can really consider him a candidate for the second lefty spot, but like Julio Mateo last year, he could open a lot of eyes if he keeps throwing well in spring training.
3. Despite the fact that he’s been getting quite a bit of press in the local dailies as a contender for a roster spot, the odds of Eric Owens actually making the roster are extremely slim. He was brought into camp as insurance in case someone got hurt, and he’s not competing for Quinton McCracken’s roster spot. As long as McCracken doesn’t break a bone in the next month, he’ll be on the opening day roster.
4. I’ve gotten a few emails asking who the “next Felix Hernandez” is, after we let you in on the secret of King Felix before Everett’s season even started last year. Unfortunately, there is no next Felix Hernandez. The M’s just don’t have anyone of that caliber talent thats ready to debut in the states this year. That isn’t a knock on the organization; few teams do. Hernandez is a pretty unique case.
5. Its just a personal preference, but I hate the phrase BlogNation. I’ve always hated the cliches Raider Nation and Red Sox Nation, and BlogNation sounds even worse. If I get a vote, lets stick to blogosphere.
Second part of BP’s Q&A with Bill Bavasi went up today. They prefer having Freddy to Maddux, Soriano trapped in the bullpen because that’s where he came in and made an impact… oh, it’s terrible to behold.
The good news: they’ve “prepared themselves to have flexibility at the [trade] deadline.”
Great stuff, and kudos to Jonah again.
Oops. I should have said “if I was an M’s fan and not already a BP Premium subscriber, I’d subscribe ….”
We’ve talked a little here about how Cameron’s strikeouts weren’t as big of a deal as they were made out to be, and I’d like to point everyone to Ryan Wilkin’s article over at BP, “Just Another Out?” which shows how the strikeout really isn’t worse than any other out. “No matter how you slice it, it just doesn’t appear that strikeouts have much of an effect on a team’sâ€”or an individual’sâ€”ability to produce runs.”