Melvin speaks out on his firing in a Times piece. Essentially, the reason given to him for his canning was that players leaving the team got better, while players coming on got worse. This is an interesting argument and not one I’d have expected the team to advance. It seems good: that they’re paying attention, but also bad: there’s a lot of small sample size in this, and Safeco as a huge pitcher’s park… I don’t know what to think of this.
Bavasi also recommended Melvin for the Arizona job, which seems weird.
Jon Wells noted in the comments that remaking of the team in Bill’s image continues. This may be good, or bad, depending on your opinion of Bavasi. Not including the mid-season shake-up, the list lately includes:
Roger Jongewaard, listed on the site as “VP Special Asst to the GM” and sort of the institutional talent evaluator
Charlie Kerfeld, scout who signed Madritsch among others
Jim Slaton, the pitching coach for Tacoma who seemed to be able to turn anyone with a pea in their head and a good attitude into something worthwhile. I’m sad to see Slaton go. He did good work for the organization, and I wish him well.
As a larger issue, it’s clear that this is not Gillick’s organization anymore. I expect these are not the only changes we’re going to see, as Bavasi sorts through what he’s seen this first year and starts to perform the Heimlich maneuver on people until they spit up a resignation.
The change away from Mattox was the most important this season: the team has had a serious of disastrous drafts. It would have been hard to have intentionally picked a less productive strategy in the draft than the team pursued without doing something like taking the Baseball America draft projections and reversing them. No, even then…
If Bavasi’s moves so far are any indication, we can expect that he’s going to stock the organization with his people, those he’s worked with and liked in previous jobs, name floaters around the league. Dan Evans is already hanging around collecting alms, so might as well get him an office.
And the more I think about it, the more I think that’s how he’s going to get his manager — it’s going to be someone he’s comfortable with, and probably he knows, or has people he trust recommend to him. Given the likely other priorities of the team (name guy, different disposition) I have no idea who that might be.