Howard Lincoln’s letter to season-ticket holders

DMZ · September 4, 2004 at 9:07 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

First, a thanks to the readers who sent in a couple versions of this before I could update the original request. Our readers are great. Fortunately, having more than one meant that (like comparing Shakespeare folios, only without the quality of writing or historical significance) I could assemble a perfect copy. Therefore, I present to you, dear reader, Howard Lincoln’s letter to season ticket holders. Please set down any beverages you may be enjoying before you read this. Thanks to Adam, Jason, and Kirk, and I’d offer last names except that I don’t want them to yank your tickets.

August 30, 2004

Dear Season Ticket Holder,

Like you and other Seattle Mariners’ season ticket holders, I’m
terribly disappointed with our team’s performance this season. My
expectations for this season were very high coming out of spring
training. So were the expectations of our ownership group, our front
office executives, our players, our field manager and our coaches. We
all expected to be in the middle of a battle for the American League
Western Division title during the last month or so of the season.
Instead, we were never in the race this year. That is simply not

We’ve harped on the lack of dissent or an objective view of reality in the front office before, but this is pretty funny. What really sticks out is the “or so”. Did Lincoln seriously expect that they might be out of realistic contention in 30 days, but still have hope at 45? And that that would be okay? Isn’t the goal of the team to field teams that can compete for the division title all year long?

I appreciate all the support you’ve given this team, both this season
and in seasons past. Safeco Field remains a special place to see the
excitement of Major League Baseball, and the crowds continue to be
loud and appreciative for the home team, including rookies who are
getting their first chance to play at the Major League level. I know
that you continue to care about your team. I recognize and appreciate
your enthusiastic support. I certainly don’t take it for granted.

“Less special when we cram more seats in, but never mind.”

This goes back to another point we’ve made here — that they are deeply worried about fan perception. The decline in actual gate attendence probably has them spooked.

Your loyalty to the Mariners is what fuels this franchise. I know
that being a season ticket holder is not an inexpensive proposition!
In asking for your patience and continued support, I also know that
you expect that changes will be made as quickly as possible to turn
this team around. That is precisely what we are now in the process of
doing. That process will continue through the coming off-season.

Jeez, I’d hope so. That said, while I appreciate the nod to how much it costs, what the hell does Howard Lincoln know about season tickets being an expensive proposition? He’s worth eighty cajillion dollars and gets all the Gamecubes he can eat. I don’t think he sits around wondering if he’s going to be able to afford a 16-game pack next year if his job gets outsourced to India.

Okay, that was a little unfair. Sorry.

In late June, after it became apparent that we were too far behind, we
made the decision to turn our attention to the future. We needed to
turn the page and focus on building a team that can reach this
organization’s ultimate goal – a World Series Championship.

As long as, you know, we can do it pretty cheaply, and it’s a bad year for the other teams in our division.

Lincoln continues to try and make up for his accidentaly honesty in admitting they weren’t really interested in making a run for it. Trying for World Series is what everyone wants them to do, and it’s what they’d like us to think they’re going to do.

To achieve that goal, we need to be back in contention as soon as
possible, and hopefully next year. While some teams in our situation
decide to pursue long-term rebuilding programs, that is not our plan.
We plan to assemble a team that will be back in the race sooner,
rather than later. We know it won’t be easy. There are no guarantees
in baseball. But that’s our plan.

If you’re interested, Mr. Lincoln, we have some suggestions on how you could do that. Drop us a line, we’re happy to talk to you.

General Manager Bill Bavasi’s first step was to make several
mid-season moves to acquire some top young position players and to
call up some of the best players from our farm system. We have been
able to evaluate young players like Miguel Olivo, Justin Leone, Travis
Blackley, Bucky Jacobsen, Bobby Madritsch, George Sherrill, Jose
Lopez, Matt Thornton, Clint Nageotte and others against Major League
competition. It is important to determine now who will fit into our
plans in 2005, and who needs more time to develop. And it has given
our rookie players a chance to better understand what it takes to be
successful at the Major League level.

They have to be tested like this, you see, because Bavasi doesn’t believe you can get anything out of minor league statistics. But okay, this is all fine.

The next step will be off-season moves – trades and free agent
signings. Bill will have the financial resources and flexibility to
pursue key players via free agency and trades, to quickly return the
Mariners to the quality of play you want and expect. Although we’ve
been asked by several season ticket holders about our interest in
specific free agents, because of Major League Baseball’s tampering
rules, we are not able to identify the names of potential free agents
that we may be interested in signing. In addition, we don’t want the
other 29 teams to know our plans.

So Bavasi’s been given money and permission to do what he needs to do to get the Mariners winning again. What Bill doesn’t have is the ability to make good use of those things. But again, nit-picky. He’s right about tampering, though — while we’re free to scream “sign Beltran!” at the top of our lungs, he can’t hint at it.

I understand that when making promises to season ticket holders,
actions speak louder than words. I also recognize that we need to
learn from our mistakes. I’ve made my share! The challenge ahead is
exciting. I accept it with enthusiasm and confidence, and together
with Chuck Armstrong, Bill Bavasi and our entire front office, we’re
ready to go to work to field a team you will be proud of.

Lincoln admits he’s made mistakes! Pat Borders traded from a Gillick-associated team! Dogs and cats, living together! It’s telling that Lincoln and Co. aren’t interested in discussing the particulars of their mistakes, and that they’re still stuck on team you’ll be proud of, which means more Ibanez and less Bradley.

Over the past several months, I’ve heard from many of our season
ticket holders. Chuck
Armstrong and I have met with small groups of fans to talk about the
Mariners. We plan to
continue doing so for the forseeable future. We have also received a
number of email messages from our fans. The thoughts, feelings, and
comments of these fans about Mariners Baseball have been extremely
helpful as we plan for the future.

Phhbllltttt. Armstrong and Lincoln have also told fans before the season that they’d budgeted payroll based on x fans, and would have more money to spend if more fans turned up…. and then pleaded poverty all year as so many fans came out each game that they had to sit on top of the roof. Meeting with small groups of fans (How many groups, 2? How small, 2 fans? Do you think perhaps surveying casual fans might lead to an entirely different impression than talking to season ticket holders?) doesn’t mean anything to me, as the team’s shown in the past they’re not listening to even the most cogent and persuasive of their critics.

Off the field of play, we remain committed to providing outstanding
family entertainment and guest service at Safeco Field. Through
Mariners Care, the Mariners charitable foundation, we will continue to
do our part to make this community a better place to live. In our
meetings with fans, they have reinforced that these aspects of
Mariners Baseball are highly valued and appreciated. So, as we work
to improve the team, we will also continue to improve the fan
experience at the ballpark and our community service programs.

… by sticking more stands in your favorite places to hang out, for instance.

On August 9th, Edgar Martinez announced that he would retire at the
end of the 2004 season. Edgar is a true gentleman, one of the
classist people I’ve ever met. I hope to be in Cooperstown, N.Y.,
someday soon, to watch as he in inducted into baseball’s Hall of Fame.
I hope you will be in your seats at Safeco Field on October 2nd,
Edgar Martinez Day, when the Mariners honor Edgar in a post-game
ceremony to celebrate his career and what he has meant to Mariners
Baseball and to the people of this community.

And folks, Howard Lincoln knows classy. Seriously, okay, that’s all fine, and yet… and why is “Mariners Baseball” get the capital “b”?

Once again, thank you for being a Seattle Mariners fan.


Howard Lincoln
Chairman and CEO

Were it that I had a choice.

So what’s really important about this letter?

Bob Melvin’s fired. Seriously. Every rookie got a shout-out. Bill Bavasi is going to be the heroic architect of the team’s revival, following his destruction of the team. Chuck Armstrong got a nod, for crying out loud. Not a word about Melvin.

Dan Rohn, incidentally, won another Pacific Coast League Manager of the Year award. Totally unrelated.

Also unmentioned: the legacy of Pat Gillick, and his role (along with Lincoln) in building this team.

It’s interesting that Lincoln wrote this letter. He clearly wants to reassure season ticket holders that the team knows something went horribly wrong, and they’re going to fix it. They appreciate the business, and want to do better.

But it’s as if we’d complained to a car manufacturer about their incompetent design, exploding cars, and disregard for user comfort, as shown in the spiky metal seats and electrified gear shift, and the car manufacturer had replied “Dear loyal customer, we too are disappointed by this year’s models. Thanks for buying one, though. Next year’s cars will be better.”

This letter is missing something that’s a requirement for this kind of reassurance: a recognition of what’s gone wrong. An accounting or responsibility, and actions taken to prevent them.

What in this letter should lead us to believe the Mariners will do anything different than what’s led them to this disastrous season? What in Lincoln’s letter would even lead you to believe that they have learned any lesson at all?

I don’t need a detailed accounting of everything that went wrong. All I want is some kind of hope that the lightbulb went on over the head of someone — anyone — in the front office at any point this year.


24 Responses to “Howard Lincoln’s letter to season-ticket holders”

  1. Laurie on September 4th, 2004 9:51 pm

    Yeah, they’re going to listen to the fans and then when the 2005 team doesn’t do squat they’ll blame it on the fans. They’re getting rid of Melvin because the fans don’t like his lack of personality or whatever. They aren’t really analyzing his abilities as a manager – they’re reacting to the fans who whine about him not being Lou. They will hire another manager who will do exactly as they tell him to do, and there will not be a net improvement in that position. I’ve always wondered what kind of manager Melvin might be if they would take the muzzle and handcuffs off of him. Maybe just as ineffective, but maybe not. It will be interesting to see what happens to his career in the future – I won’t be surprised if he turns into a halfway decent manager one of these years. But he’s toast and it’s irrelevant.

    Bavasi is going to screw up the off season, and Lincoln’s letter clearly is setting Bavasi up to be the 2005 fall guy.

    These guys, Melvin and Bavasi, whether they stay or go, are irrelevant to the future of the Mariners. Howard Lincoln understands nothing about the magic of baseball that secures his precious fan base. Chuck Armstrong is a caveman who cares more about what a team looks like in those stupid commercials than on the field. The ownership may as well be non-existent.

    Waste of paper, Howard.

  2. J on September 4th, 2004 10:12 pm

    “Human sacrifice! Dogs and cats living together! Mass hysteria!”– bonus points for a vague Ghostbusters reference. Unfortunately, I have little else to add for the moment.

  3. Dan on September 4th, 2004 10:36 pm

    Wow, apparrently Laurie has some strong feelings.

    Melvin really is a problem. This was really apparent starting in the second half of last season, where he basically admitted he didn’t know why the team was having trouble winning, or what was wrong. This year it was the same story; he didn’t know what the problem was, or how to handle it. He doesn’t do intelligent things with rosters (unless you count batting spezio 4th intelligent), and he had horrible bullpen management skills at the start of the season. After that i really stopped paying attention.

    On the letter itself, what worries me is how he says they are not interested in a long term rebuild. It makes me concerned that they are not looking at long term players and long term contracts, but instead at short term players.

    Honestly, we should start a pool on what Delgado’s contract with the M’s is. I’m guessing 3 years $30 mil.

  4. Chris Begley on September 4th, 2004 10:37 pm

    By the by, in Peter Gammon’s chat on ESPN the other day, he said that he expected the M’s to go after Delgado, Sexson and/or Glaus. I think Glaus and Sexson would look good. 257 chances to drive Ichiro in!

  5. Dan on September 4th, 2004 10:40 pm

    Glaus should absolutely be off the list. He was pulled out of a game today complaining of soreness in his right shoulder, which he just had operated on. His rehad time was about 4 weeks shorter than expected, and there is a reasonable chance his shoulder didn’t heal properly.

    If the angels make the postseason and he plays all the way through, no problems, and maybe gets some time at 3B, then perhaps you consider him. But today, right now, he shouldn’t even be on the radar.

  6. Matt on September 4th, 2004 10:42 pm

    The letter sounds fine to me, though I’m not a season-ticket holder. What are you looking for, Derek? “Scott Spiezio sure has sucked this year and we made a mistake signing him.” ??? C’mon …

  7. Adam J. Morris on September 4th, 2004 10:47 pm

    I’m not a Mariner fan, but from an outsider’s perspective, I’m not sure what else you expected from Lincoln, or wanted him to say…

    What did you want from him? Mea culpas on some of the free agent signings? A literary hair-shirt about trading Carlos Guillen? A solemn vow to incorporate a more sabermetric-oriented approach in their decision-making process?

    It sounds like a typical letter from management, trying to soothe a grumpy fan base. I don’t see that it is something to beat up the front office about.

  8. Paul Covert on September 4th, 2004 11:26 pm

    This will sound more cynical than I mean it to be, but– I don’t think Howard Lincoln is capable of having a light bulb go off. Certainly not in the sense that we’d like to see happen. I’m sure he’s a good businessman in his own way (he wouldn’t have gotten where he is otherwise); but whatever form of intelligence he has is not of the analytical kind.

    More than that, if he managed to succeed as a manager of a high-tech corporation without recognizing analytical thought as a kind different from his own that is valuable to have in an organization, it seems unlikely that he’ll pick up on that thought in an industry as traditionally dominated by blue-collar anti-intellectualism as baseball is. After all, if Pat Gillick succeeded brilliantly in 2000-01, and at least kept the team going fairly well in 2002-03, without being able to think analytically (or having anyone in his organization that can), why should Lincoln conclude that analytical ability is important in putting a team together?

    Indeed, I suspect (though this is admittedly very speculative) that Lincoln may be more comfortable with the M’s front office than he had been with Nintendo. At Nintendo he must have had to deal with a fair number of those pesky engineers who always think they know better than management does. Such people are often difficult for an administrator-type manager to deal with; and, given the hiring decisions that Lincoln has made so far (Melvin, Bavasi), it seems likely that his preference is not to deal with zealous knowledge-seekers if he doesn’t have to. (Melvin is sometimes described as being “comfortable with computers,” in contrast to Lou. I’m not sure what that means– perhaps that he knows how to send e-mail, surf the Web, and play FreeCell in his spare time?)

    A similar factor, by the way, plays into the typical mainstream media coverage. A journalist’s job is not to reason things out carefully and come to a rational conclusion. His job is to bang out 1000 words on a deadline. And I’m sure Bob Finnigan and Steve Kelley can do that sort of thing much better than I could! But it’s like the Rob Neyer philosophy of “power-hitting shortstops”; that’s an independent skill from careful analysis (and indeed the two may work against each other in some ways), so that it’s rare to find somebody who’s good at both. Even a guy like Peter Gammons, who’s much more open-minded about sabermetrics than most of his mainstream media colleagues are, often says things that just don’t make sense once you think about them. You can teach a person to refer to OPS; not everyone can learn to think analytically.

    So, then– what hope is there for the M’s, long-term? It’s not impossible that we could win a championship even with a tradition-bound front office. Gillick almost pulled it off in 2001. Even with Bavasi it’s not impossible; he’d just have to get lucky on a few key player acquisitions (see “Reed, Jeremy”).

    But is it possible that we could ever have, not just a winning team, but an *intelligently-managed* team? The odds are against it. Howard Lincoln seems unlikely to hire anyone whose thought processes go beyond his own. It’s imaginable that, if Bavasi were to wear out his welcome, Lincoln might luck out by hiring Kim Ng out of diversity-politics and having her turn out to be a brilliant GM. Or perhaps somebody like Chris Antonetti might be able to get clever and pull off an interview where he seemed more like Lincoln’s kind of guy than he actually is. But as long as Howard’s in charge, I’m not counting on any of that.

    A more interesting possibility would be if somebody like Chris Larson were to succeed Lincoln as CEO. Larson was an old-school Microsoftie, if my memory is correct, and it seems imaginable that he might be more likely to hire smart young executives than Lincoln has been. So for the more distant future– perhaps five or ten years off– we might have hope for “baseball under the lights” here in Seattle after all.

  9. Charles on September 4th, 2004 11:39 pm

    Adam, Adam , Adam. We real Mariner fans don’t really care to hear anybody, in anyway shape or form, stand up for Lincoln. In the future we’d all appreciate it if you would refrain from doing so in place where our eyes or ears may fall prey to it.

  10. Cap on September 4th, 2004 11:51 pm

    Having received this letter, and being an avid baseball and M’s fan, I’ll share some thoughts regarding what I received in the mail the other day.

    The M’s haven’t been winning long enough for one truly bad season to go over smoothly. There’s a formula somewhere in here, where x number of winning years = 1 bad year where people won’t jump off of a bridge. The M’s brass doesn’t think that the team has won enough years in a row to allow a bad season to go without some kind of concession, if you will. The winning tradition isn’t here, yet. Lincoln knows it, and he’s trying to seal the cracks in the season ticket holders’ faith.

    If you read between the lines, Lincoln is telling the Season Ticket Holders (hey…if he can do it, so can I) to allow Bavasi to work his magic. He’s roughly saying, “Give the man a real off-season and the resources to make moves, and you’ll see Bavasi’s brand on the team starting next season.” This is what I read, and it’s what I believe. Maybe it’s what I read because it’s what I believe. Who knows.

    Bottom line is that I’m excited to see some fresh blood on the field next season. And damn if I don’t love the way Madritsch pitches, it’s like he’s fighting a war on his own. I’ll take him every fifth day.


  11. Andy on September 4th, 2004 11:54 pm

    It’s reasonable to expect the front office to figure out what’s causing them to screw up on a regular basis. It’s not reasonable to expect them to include it in a letter to their fan base.

  12. Jerry on September 5th, 2004 12:04 am

    It would have been nice to hear some specifics, but the tampering rules really limit this type of letter to irrelevant rhetoric.

    It would have been nice to hear something about a change of philosophy though. It would have been nice to hear them suggest that they are going to go after premier players instead of cheaper guys. It would also have been nice to hear them commit to getting a lot younger with free agent players.

    The youth thing is the biggest issue. A lot of people talk about the need for veteran leadership, but this team needs to make a bunch of signings of players that are under 30. Beltran, Beltre, JD Drew, Carl Pavano, Odalis Perez: these are good places to start. Lincoln can’t mention any people by name, but he could have mentioned something about putting together a core of young players through free agency. Since the M’s goal next season will be respectability and probably not the playoffs, they need to put together a team that will be good in 2007 and 2008.

    Anyhow, mentioning the young players was the very least he could have done. That suggests that they might have realized that young is the way to go. And the snubbing of Melvin is a good sign. I don’t think that they will go for any elite managers (I can’t actually think of any that are free right now) but Rohn would be a good possibility. All in all, the letter is really just talk. But there wasn’t anything in there that was really ominous (like “the M’s are committed to rebuilding a core of experienced, gritty veterans”).

  13. tede on September 5th, 2004 12:56 am


    You’re reading too much into this. This really is what it is, an attempt to sooth the frustrated season ticket holder base – a stop loss if you will. This is a cheap mea culpa to stem the losses in the season ticket holder numbers next year and as Laurie points out it sets Bavasi up for the fall next year if some improvement does not occur.

    It’s a business letter not a baseball letter and a peak into the damaged relationship with the season ticket holders. I know the FO has ruffled some long time holders in their behavior (arrogance) since ’95. One item not much talked about in public was how badly some of the original season ticket holders were treated in the move of their seats from the Dome to Safeco. Seniority was not really considered in the transfer and instead a rough overlay of the Dome to Safeco seats was done. Also, this is the first time since before ‘95 where they have had to beg for continued loyalty since they were either in the pennant chase or about to open a new stadium (note the line about how he knows that being a season ticket holder is not an inexpensive proposition). (Ah, bring back the days of autographed Piniella baseballs and extra gameday giveaways set aside for season ticket holders)

    The baseball content in this letter is pretty sparse but I was wondering if you going to catch the reference to “Mariner Baseball” in the letter. It does set Melvin up for the ax and promises a unfocused spending spree by Bavasi when “standing pat” and avoiding this mediocre batch of free agents might be the better long term (2006-07) move.

  14. DMZ on September 5th, 2004 1:18 am

    To all who want to know what I wanted to see: I point this out in the post, but I want to see what others on this thread want. If nothing else — even if they’re unwilling to say “we errored badly” — say that they’re going to make a commitment to building a younger team. Of course, I’d probably point out that that means they’ll be going “younger and more athletic” = more waterbugs, but it would have shown at least that they understood that the veteran-centric philosophy of this off-season didn’t work and were trying something else.

  15. jason in nj on September 5th, 2004 7:28 am

    I’d be interested to see what the letter to season ticket holders from last year looked like… any chance of that?



  16. matt on September 5th, 2004 11:01 am

    Do you think that bavasi will pursue a starter in the offseason
    we desperatly need one.And Please no glaus he strikes out often
    and it is like homerun or nothing.I really think the mariners
    have the ability to get beltre.

  17. eponymous coward on September 5th, 2004 11:31 am

    Well, Bavasi was on the post-game show a couple of days ago.


    – pointedly refused to say anything about Melvin’s future other than “we’ll evaluate at the end of the season”.

    – pointed out that something that happened in Anaheim is they got stuck in “win one for the Cowboy” mode, making signings that helped one year but hurt longterm.

    – he indicated he’s more inclined to go young for FA signings (helllooooo Beltran and Beltre!)

    Also, the M’s announcers (Glasgow) have bascially said Melvin’s gone. I view anything said by KOMO as coming from Pravda (official propaganda), so he is, indeed gone. Which begs the question of what Melvin did, other than get stuck with a bad team. He pretty much bent over for anything the front office wanted- stuck with veterans in May and June, went young in July and was a loyal soldier. That’s probably the most cynical part about it, that Melvin’s being fired to cover up for the front office incompetence.

  18. Jon on September 5th, 2004 12:23 pm

    Here’s where actions will speak louder than words: The M’s brass will eat the past’s mistakes and wipe them off the books so they can’t be used as excuses for not being able to afford to acquire talent. It is one thing to admit vaguely mistakes and quite another to actually rectify them. If , as just one example, the M’s continue to count Cirillo (or the crapfest they got for him) as part of their budget, then they are still the lying liars we have come to know them to be. If the M’s continue to play games with their stated “payroll”, then we’ll have confirmation that Lincoln’s letter is the hooey we suspect it is. If the M’s fail to make a move because they have too much money already tied up in, say, Spiezio, then we’ll know their stripes haven’t changed. Remember the failures to add talent for lack of resources? Remember the failure to use Sasaki money as soon as they knew they’d have it (which was way before Sasaki’s “surprise” announcement)? [Come to think of it, they still haven’t used that money, except perhaps to erect bleachers.] Nice try, Howard, but I am not buying it. I expect more of the same from you.

  19. Ron on September 5th, 2004 2:01 pm

    I’ll just say this: talk is cheap, Howard. You talk a great game, of how your goal is a championship for the Mariners and their fans. There’s only one problem…your actions don’t back up your words.

    Howard, no sports team in Seattle [including the Mariners] has a large, hard core fan base. Seattle fans support winners. When the teams stop winning, the fans don’t just get pessimistic…they stop caring. Just ask the Seahawks…just ask the Sonics.

    Yup, words are cheap Howard…especially yours. Show us or shut up.

  20. M.O. on September 5th, 2004 6:55 pm

    I’ve been thinking real hard, and I can’t think of anything positive that Bob Melvin has done for the team. A game where I’ve gone, “Wow, great moves by Melvin! He really earned his keep on that one.”

    I can think of lots of things I don’t like about what he’s done though. Bunt too much. Play Willie Bloomquist too much. Bad lineups. Bunt WAY too much. Bad bullpen management. No fire on the field (or worse, awkwardly forced fire). Generally, a giant sucking sound where the leadership should come from. Its been a very disappointing two years on his watch, and its time for him to move on.

  21. Pat Gillicks Hemorrhoids on September 6th, 2004 7:07 am

    Howard, no sports team in Seattle [including the Mariners] has a large, hard core fan base. Seattle fans support winners. When the teams stop winning, the fans don’t just get pessimistic…they stop caring. Just ask the Seahawks…just ask the Sonics.

    I have to admit, I’ve fallen into this category. I can’t remember the last time I listened or watched an entire game. The last time I heard even part of one was a few weeks ago.

    The Ms have lost a lot of goodwill from this season’s collapse.

  22. jc on September 6th, 2004 3:16 pm

    blah blah blah show me dont tell me!!!!!

  23. Dave D on September 6th, 2004 5:56 pm

    Ichiro’s pursuit of one of the long-standing records in baseball is the only reason I still pay attention. Its a good reason. But otherwise I agree with whats being said here, Howard L. and his folks don’t seem to know how to build a team any more.

    What ever became of the minor league / trade savvy that brought in people like Randy Johnson, Jay Buhner, Edgar Martinez, Junior, Alex and all the rest? What happened to that exceptional judgement of talent in the front office? All we get now is how they’re going to buy their way back to respectability.

    Without the balls of Steinbrenner, that approach will fail. Helps to have an intelligent GM on board too.

    Didn’t Cashman turn down an offer to come work for the M’s, then they wound up picking up Bavasi?

  24. msb on September 10th, 2004 3:15 pm

    “Without the balls of Steinbrenner, that approach will fail. Helps to have an intelligent GM on board too. Didn’t Cashman turn down an offer to come work for the M’s, then they wound up picking up Bavasi?”– Comment by Dave D — 9/6/2004 @ 5:56 pm

    Reportedly, they asked the Yankees permission to talk to him, and were denied. He never had a chance to say yes or no.