Bavasi and the Feed

Dave · July 18, 2005 at 1:54 am · Filed Under Mariners 

As you’ve almost certainly heard by now, Mariners GM Bill Bavasi spent two hours on Saturday before the game answering questions from the BP/USSM readers in attendance. His candor was remarkable, and he got high marks from everyone in attendance for his ability to simultaneously be insightful, strong, funny, and articulate. For almost everyone there, I’m sure it will be a highlight from a season that hasn’t had many.

As we’ve also mentioned, Bavasi was extremely honest with his opinion of a large amount of players, speaking his mind openly about their strengths, weaknesses, and the organizations take on their abilities. Those comments were made with the understanding that they wouldn’t be published on the site, and we have no problem honoring that commitment, even though we realize this may be a bit frustrating to many of you were not able to attend. We’re sorry about that, but we feel that is the right course of action in this case.

However, Bill was also very forthcoming with regards to the questions he received on baseball theory, player development philosophies, the roles of scouting and statistical analysis, and his methods of player valuation. What follows is both a recap of Bavasi’s responses to his philosophies as well as a look at how our assessment of the organization’s direction has gone since he was hired.

There are qualities that make up a good general manager that we simply have no possible way of knowing about Bill Bavasi right now that devoid us of any ability to make a strong stance either way on this issue.

— me, 11/08/2003

That was my stance on the hiring of Bill Bavasi when it was announced. After a disastrous first offseason, however, the fans took a pretty strong stance against Bavasi, and we were extremely critical of the new administration.

We’ve been asked several times lately to expound on our current opinions of the Mariner front office. We’ve held off, until now, partly because I knew the feed was coming. Combined with the recap from Saturday’s event, this seems like a perfect dovetail to launch a discussion on the Mariner front office.

So, let’s do it question and answer style. These aren’t the exact questions that were asked on Saturday, but the relevant answers will find their way into the post.

Are the M’s a traditional or ‘Moneyball‘ organization when it comes to evaluating players?

Neither. Bill certainly knows about Moneyball, respects what Billy Beane and company have done in Oakland, and believes in the value of statistical analysis. He also grew up as the son of a GM and is a firm believer in the value of scouting. On Saturday, he said that the Mariners have, by far, the largest scouting and player development budget of any team in baseball. The M’s make an effort to see every player they are interested in drafting two or three times, even the players selected in the 40th round. That takes a lot of money, and is part of the commitment the club has made to developing players from within.

The M’s draft approach, essentially, is take the best talent, no matter his age. Bavasi has given full reign of the draft to Bob Fontaine. When it comes to drafting, Bavasi’s opinion is simply a suggestion. Fontaine has a history of leaning towards college players, but not to an extreme degree. Bavasi and Fontaine trust their scouts, but also understand that two good scouts can grade differently. They adjust reports for a player depending on who turns in the grade, knowing that some guys grade higher than others do. A 50 on one scouts card may be the same as a 60 on anothers. Bavasi feels it is his responsibility to scout his scouts and adjust accordingly.

The M’s do have a “statgeek” on the payroll in Mat Olkin. Mat doesn’t have the influence in the organization that Bill James may have in Boston or their counterparts have in cities like Oakland or Toronto, but Mat provides consultation mostly in regards to pro scouting. Bavasi believes in the value of statistical analysis primarily at the upper professional levels and leans more towards scouting reports than performance as you get down to A-ball and the amateur ranks. The M’s do believe that there is a huge gap from Triple-A to the majors, which we feel may be a bit smaller than they do.

Overall, however, the M’s are essentially run by people who will use any means they can to make the correct decision. They’re not Ivy League graduates running algorithms to decide between Player A and Player B, but they are certainly open to new ways of evaluating players and are attempting to apply both scouting and statistical analysis to their decisions.

Is the team more interested in putting out a competitive product with nice guys than winning a championship?

This is probably the main criticism fans have of the organization, and its one that gets repeated a lot. It may have been true at one time, but from the perspective of the GM, it isn’t now. The days of bringing back players for sentimental reasons ended when the team lost 99 games last year. Bavasi’s mandate is to win ballgames, and if he has to trade a nice local kid for a guy who won’t be as popular with the media to improve the club, he’ll do it.

However, he did acknowledge that being a local icon will carry some weight in decision making processes. He understood why the team wanted to do whatever it took to make sure Edgar retired as a Mariner. Certain players earn the right to end their careers when they want to, in the uniform that they want to. Edgar was one of those guys.

What happened to the M’s vaunted young pitching surplus?

This was asked in a variety of forms. Bavasi felt like there was actually less pitching than he thought there would be when he took the job, but that they’ve also suffered some bad luck with the amount of injuries to hit their top pitchers. Having Nageotte, Blackley, and Soriano all lose a lot of development to injuries took its toll on the organization’s depth.

However, they do not feel that they have overworked their young arms. They hired Dr. Jobe and his team to work on studies to discover if there were any better ways to prevent arm injuries, and they were unable to find anything better than limiting innings. The organization will not let a pitcher throw more than 10 innings for every year he is old, including spring training, and no pitcher under 24 can throw more than 200 innings.

Also, interestingly, Bavasi pointed out that while they are always looking for clean mechanics, they realize its not always in a players best interest to be “fixed”. Some guys have great stuff with bad mechanics, but if you correct their mechanics, you also eliminate their stuff.

Finally, when asked about performance enhancing drugs and the need to account for them in evaluating players, Bavasi made a point that I’ve been pushing for quite a while as well; we’ve seen huge drops in velocity this year, and while everyone was talking about the sluggers taking steroids, people haven’t realized how many pitchers have been using. Velocity loss is one of the indicators that the M’s will look at when evaluating a pitcher, and you probably won’t see the M’s going after too many guys who used to throw 94 and are now hitting 88.

Why do the M’s keep acquiring shortstops?

With Morse, Betancourt, and Tuiasasopo, the M’s have brought three prominant shortstops into the organization in the past 12 months despite already having Adam Jones, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Oswaldo Navarro in the fold. The lower levels of the system are nearly overloaded with middle infielders.

The philosophy here is simple and yet complex; acquire the best possible players and challenge them to develop at all times. The best athletes often play shortstop at young ages (Gary Sheffield was a shortstop in the minors, for instance), then grow into other positions. The M’s certainly have a couple of guys playing SS in the minors who profile as corner guys, either on the infield or the outfield. However, they will not move them until they have to or they feel it will stunt their growth offensively to leave them where they are.

The second part of that answer is something that isn’t often considered, but the challenges of playing a demanding defensive position can hinder development of a hitter’s skills. Brandon Inge is a great example of a guy who improved by leaps and bounds once moved from behind the plate to third base, and the club wants to make sure that they aren’t harming a potential contributor with the bat by asking him to play a premium position. So, while we all expect Tui and Jones to end up at positions other than shortstop and have been mentioning them as outfielders in the major leagues, you likely won’t see those moves being made until there is simply not a roster spot for them at the level of play they need to be at or they’re offensive progress seems to have derailed. In other words, not this year.

What is the biggest focus for the team heading forward?

Starting pitching. The team feels that the rotation is the issue that needs addressing the most, and with a thin crop of free agent pitchers and the insane market for mid-tier arms that developed last year, you should expect the team to really press for starting pitchers when acquiring players. They would like another left-handed bat to hit with power in the line-up, but the priority is the rotation.

Also, there had been some talk about moving a couple of guys currently relieving into the rotation, but it can be very hard to convince a player who is comfortable in a certain role to accept a different role.

What do you guys think about the front office now?

When Pat Gillick retired, we wanted the team to bring in a GM who would remove a lot of the entrenched Gillick philosophies that we didn’t agree with (no star players, lack of value of the draft, emphasis on veterans), would blend traditional scouting with statistical analysis, understood the influences of Safeco Field on the performance of the team’s players, and would reshape the roster into a younger club with potential for improvement rather than hanging onto veterans til the very end.

Realistically, Bill Bavasi meets almost all of that criteria. The M’s have been terrible since he took over, and he’s certainly made some mistakes—when discussing the Carlos Guillen trade, he said “we can’t do that again”—but he’s also made some solid moves and laid a framework for developing an organization that is headed in a better direction than it was when he took over.

We don’t think Bill Bavasi is the best GM in baseball, and we’re not going to stop criticizing questionable moves simply because he was gracious enough to give us several hours of his time. However, Bavasi is certainly more enlightened and educated than we gave him credit for after the miserable first offseason. As weird as this will sound coming off 10 months of bad baseball in Safeco Field, I’m certainly happier today with the state of the organization than I was 20 months ago when Bavasi replaced Gillick as the team’s general manager.

There are things that we will disagree about with the front office and places we feel they could improve. But, overall, the club is headed in the right direction, though perhaps not as quickly as we would all like.


93 Responses to “Bavasi and the Feed”

  1. Shoeless Jose on July 18th, 2005 10:59 am

    You know, I think a lot of people here have never been in the position of having to manage a lot of talented, highly-paid, tempermental (and often young) individuals whose performance depends on their mental state and whose results reflect on you personally. I’ve never worked in sports, but I’ve been in similar situations in other fields. The last thing you need is for one of your people to come to you with a quote from you in a newspaper (or any industry news media) where you said something critical in perhaps too bald-faced a way. Criticism in person is important and valuable, when handled correctly; criticism through the media is poison at the very least. Now, if something gets posted on a blog based on a discussion over pizza, you can easily make the case that it doesn’t accurately reflect what you said (if it gets back to the guy at all). But if it’s in a story or a regular column from one of the two local papers, that’s a lot more difficult to handwave away. I’m sure Bavasi was aware that stuff would leak. I’m also sure he was aware that second-hand comments oozing out through random second-string blogs weren’t going to be anything like the headache he would have if they were attributed quotes in the papers or almost-legitimate news sites like this blog may be becoming. I’m sure Bavasi says stuff off the record and not for attribution all the time, and I’m sure he knows full well some of that gets out, and probably even counts on it from time to time — preparing the ground by cultivating a point of view in the minds of reporters was a well-established tactic long before Comisky was inviting reporters into his office for drinks.

    So I think it’s completely reasonable that Bavasi would ask that his comments not be repeated; I think it’s reasonable that USSM honored that request; and I don’t think anyone is or should be surprised that those comments are getting repeated in some form elsewhere. The players don’t get ticked off, Bavasi retains his deniability, USSM gets the chance to ask him questions in the future, and the people who like to read rumors and innuendo can find them if they google hard enough. Everybody wins.

  2. Dave on July 18th, 2005 11:01 am

    Whew. Not exactly a fun thread to read. Hopefully I can nip a bit of this in the bud.

    In the days leading up to the event, as Bill and I set some guidelines for the talk, he made it quite clear that he wouldn’t comment on any players in the organization and was attending as a part of a discussion on player development, scouting, and organizational philosophies. We agreed that he didn’t need to answer anything about Player X, and we’d try to steer the questions away from the players to baseball theory. Specifically, he told me that he couldn’t “tell us things that I should be saying to the players themselves”.

    Obviously, at some point during the feed, he changed his mind, and began answering all kinds of questions about players, and quite honestly. We weren’t about to stop him if he didn’t want to be stopped, and so the event went down as it did, and he talked openly about half the roster. After the feed, I talked to him and thanked him for his candor and reiterated our promise that none of the player specific comments would make it on our site. He thanked me for my “discretion” in choosing what to publish and what not to.

    He didn’t ask for a blanket vow of secrecy, and neither have I. The email I sent out to the attendees simply asked to respect the promise I made to Bill and to not “widely spread” the player specific comments Bavasi made at the feed. Posting it here is spreading it widely, I would say. Same goes for doing something at lookoutlanding. Or emailing the quotes to a beat writer or someone with a substantial audience. What I was hoping to achieve was to keep the comments from getting back to the players themselves, which could stir up some problems, quite honestly.

    I don’t necessarily think that posting the comments on a message board somewhere is a big deal. Obviously, Bill knew when he said it into a microphone in a crowd of 80 people that it wasn’t going to stay in the room. I’m not inclined to agree with the folks who are calling that guy unethical and say he’s ruining it for the rest of us. He’s telling a small (I’m assuming) number of friends about it. No big deal, to me.

    We promised Bill that we wouldn’t publish the comments that related specifically to the players. That’s what we’re enforcing. We didn’t promise Bill that we’d become his net-policemen, tracking down anyone who repeats anything they heard and breaking their legs. He didn’t ask us to, and we’re not going to. If you guys tell your friends, I don’t really care. If you draw up a transcript and email it to every beat writer in America, I will care.

    Basically, I want to honor our promise to Bill that we’re not going to expose what he said. But no one else made him that promise, and he knows that. So if the comments are posted on a message board somewhere, no big deal. I don’t care, and I don’t think Bill does either.

    Hope that clears some of this up.

  3. JPWood on July 18th, 2005 11:20 am

    “He decided to meet with you guys not because he’s a hell of a nice guy, he did it because he wanted to get you to soft-sell your criticism of him so he doesn’t have as much pressure on him and his job.”

    Welcome to heaven: USSM now has a much clout as the PI and the STimes.
    I have no idea why Bavasi said yes. Maybe he enjoys fan contact, as he showed 2 weeks ago in Kitsap, or maybe he’s intrigued by the whatever of USSM bloggers, the moxie of reserving the press room, or maybe he just can’t resist pizza, but it certainly wasn’t to make his job easier.

  4. Dave on July 18th, 2005 11:26 am

    On the why Bavasi came question:

    The man is a baseball nut. He absolutely loves to talk about the game. Its his favorite thing in the world. He’s a huge fan of discussing game theory, scouting, and player development. It’s all he’s ever known. He grew up with a Dad and Granpda in the game. His brother owned the Aquasox. They’re all baseball lifers. The Bavasis just love to talk about baseball.

    So, Bill saw this as an opportunity to talk baseball with some of the more informed parts of his fanbase. This beat the crap out of going on KJR and spewing company lines and having 95 percent of the audience not know what muscle memory was.

    Bill had a great time because this is something he loves to talk about. He didn’t do this to get us to stop criticizing him. And we’re not going to. He’ll be back for this kind of event because he genuinely enjoyed it.

  5. [blip] on July 18th, 2005 11:30 am

    [deleted, see comment guidelines]

  6. IgnatiusReilly on July 18th, 2005 11:37 am

    You’re a good guy Dave. Rather than attacking people, why don’t you all just ask the man himself why he did it?

    “When I started posting I had just gotten home from the game. Nobody at the Feed mentioned to me personally, neither did I hear a statement to the group that we were not to talk or post about what we heard. I did not know anything about USSM’s agreement with Bavasi until the next day. I heard it here on this forum first. I then checked my email and had gotten a letter from Jonah over at BP asking us to not post anything in regards to specific players. It was not to me directly I believe it was a group email to all who attended. As I even stated in my posts if IIRC I was going to respect there wishes. But I did not want to ruin it for other’s at a later time if they can set up a similiar event. I also would not want to ever do anything to damage Mr Bavasi’s credibility or do something to hurt my beloved M’s”

    Accusing people of being social misfits? You’re attacking an anonymous guy, and spending a good deal of time posting on a Mariners message board / blog. Get real.

  7. DMZ on July 18th, 2005 11:44 am

    When did Dave attack anyone? I think you’re thinking of someone else.

  8. [blip] on July 18th, 2005 11:45 am

    [deleted, see comment guidelines]

  9. strong silence on July 18th, 2005 11:45 am

    Dave never accused someone of being a social misfit.

  10. strong silence on July 18th, 2005 11:47 am

    The comment guidelines ask posters to not impersonate Mariners management or ownership or players. It’s polite to adhere to their guidelines.

  11. DMZ on July 18th, 2005 11:49 am

    Read the comment guidelines. You can’t pretend to be who you’re pretending to be.

  12. norm on July 18th, 2005 11:49 am

    Look, I appreciate that people think he’s such an awesome guy that he didn’t have any ulterior motives by showing up at the Feed, but let’s get real here; any big league GM understands that a large amount of his job in the public eye is to manage expectations and to, yes, mute criticism so that there’s a positive buzz about the organization and about his performance as a GM. My only point of my previous comment was to note that I have previously read a lot of very direct and pointed criticism of Bavasi, and didn’t want the authors to pull any punches and just write fawning write-ups about front office moves because he was now paying attention and showed what a nice guy he is.

  13. IgnatiusReilly on July 18th, 2005 11:50 am

    Sorry DMZ; I’ve never been very clear with my writing skills. That was more to some of the random people that have slipped over onto “our” message board to attack MarinersDiehard, or calling him a soul-less freak here.

    I was thanking Dave for the “cool it” post.

  14. dw on July 18th, 2005 11:52 am

    When did Dave attack anyone? I think you’re thinking of someone else.

    I don’t think that’s what he’s saying. I think he’s talking about the general tone of this comment thread.

    You’re a good guy Dave. Rather than attacking people, why don’t you all just ask the man himself why he did it?

    In other words, the second person plural. In my homeland, we would say “y’all.”

    So Derek… care to revise your answer to my question about regretting allowing comments? 🙂

  15. colin_hesse on July 18th, 2005 11:56 am

    Guys, I am as jealous as anyone, living down here in Arizona and not being able to hear Bavasi, but why should it be a HUGE deal to respect his privacy on things he didn’t want said? Wow. Thanks for the recaps Dave and DMZ.

    I actually have two questions on the Bavasi talk, just yes/no questions. If you can’t answer them, fine.

    Did he talk at all about Joel Piniero’s performance this year?
    If yes, were you satisfied with his answer?

    Seriously, just yes/no those if possible.

  16. [blip] on July 18th, 2005 11:56 am

    [deleted, see comment guidelines. Also, that was the Moose]

  17. Dave on July 18th, 2005 12:02 pm

    Did he talk at all about Joel Piniero’s performance this year?
    If yes, were you satisfied with his answer?

    Yes. Yes.

  18. Colm on July 18th, 2005 12:07 pm

    Re 43. Oh Christ. I really AM a wanker.

  19. Top Cat on July 18th, 2005 12:09 pm

    I find it at the very least curious that there are those who rail upon DH for posting his thoughts and impressions of the Bavasi session [], yet in essence, veiled or otherwise, you’ve essentially done the exact same thing here have you not?

    Why the angst? Bavasi couldn’t possibly have expected a lid to be kept on that stuff. And if he did, then he’s just not as smart as many here are portraying him now is he?

    My 02.


  20. DMZ on July 18th, 2005 12:11 pm

    I recommend Dave’s comment about what we are/aren’t writing about. It’s pretty clear.

  21. RLaw on July 18th, 2005 12:22 pm

    The information is just not a big deal.

    My father was a beat writer for many years, several of them covering the M’s. I know a lot about how things are said and what’s really “off the record”. There is absolutely no way that Bavasi’s comments, even if he said those things, should be construed as “off the record”. That’s simply not how it works.

    Not only was there not a lot of substance in the “leaks” that DH posted, but there is no evidence I can see of the “lack of integrity” accusations so loosely thrown around here.

    Are you going to lose your chance at another feed with BB because of this? I highly doubt it. What exactly are the attenders trying to protect? A members-only information club?

    I would bet my paycheck that Bavasi probably said some things he *wanted* to get out, but through different channels. If USSM doesn’t publish them, the “leaks” can be easily discredited because no one of any journalistic background is publishing them. But attacking the integrity of someone who leaks “secret information” to a totally harmless message board is a waste of time.

    My .02 (or less).

  22. DMZ on July 18th, 2005 12:24 pm

    Can we please end the accusation/recrimination part of this? Dave’s said his bit (in comment 52, which I highly recommend), and I totally agree with him. There’s no need to sling mud at people anyone feels is a mud-slinger, or whatever. It’s not that huge of a deal.

  23. Steve Thornton on July 18th, 2005 12:28 pm

    We could always poison the well, by “revealing” inaccurate Bavasi comments to throw people off the scent.

    You know, like when he said Sexson was going to be the Opening Day shortstop in 2006, or that 75-year-old Willie Mays will be doing some pinch-hitting for us next year, or that we’re close to sealing that Bloomquist-for-Dontrelle-Willis-and-cash deal he’s been working on….

  24. strong silence on July 18th, 2005 12:29 pm

    Two years ago I attending a meeting of CPA’s in which the feature speaker was the M’s CFO – I don’t recall his name now. At the beginning of the talk, he stated that his comments were off the record. He revealed financial data and took a few questions. He didn’t seem concerned. It wasn’t a big deal.

  25. Paul Molitor Cocktail on July 18th, 2005 12:30 pm

    Don’t forget the Jeff Nelson-as-starter experiment.

  26. strong silence on July 18th, 2005 12:35 pm

    And believe you – me, I’m fairly certain he fed us some numbers designed to paint the M’s in the best light.

  27. IgnatiusReilly on July 18th, 2005 12:39 pm

    Willie Bloomquist and $25 million could probably land us Willis.

  28. Jeff on July 18th, 2005 12:42 pm

    I think Dave’s comment here sums up the position we’re in very well. We, as a group, made certain promises that we intend to keep. We didn’t intend to become ‘net policemen, don’t want to, and couldn’t even if we did.

    I would like to address the question of motivation, however.

    I consider myself a skeptic, and what that means to me is I always try to question the easy explanation, even when I think those explanations have validity. Seriously, the first thing I thought when I heard that Bill Bavasi was coming to the feed was “Qui Bono?” — who benefits? What does he get out of this?

    The first thing that came to my mind was — as some have suggested — that he gets a chance to improve relations with a hardcore section of the fanbase.

    This is not to say that this is a sinister motivation. As Norm points out, this is part of his job. It doesn’t even necessarily mean that he’s consciously trying to blunt criticism from us. Where is the line between “pure p.r. move” and “just trying to explain his plan in more detail”?

    Coming out to events like this is also a wise move, and I’d probably do the same thing in his position. The guy knows that if the team doesn’t win next year, that seat he’s on will heat up in a hurry. He’s said as much in the media. If you read this blog, you’re more likely to know and care more about the team’s direction than the average fan, thus more likely to be critical.

    Dave’s right about the other motivation, though. The guy loves to talk baseball, and that’s one reason I think he said so much. Put a blunt guy who is passionate about a subject in front of 75 rabid fans with probing questions, and he’s gonna talk. So he did.

    Now, of course, it’s impossible to say with 100 percent certainty what anyone’s motivations — even one’s own — really are. The best you can do is evaluate that questions based upon the best available information, think about how much it matters, and go from there.

    I do think that both motivations — the “reach out to the hardcore fans” theory and the “got wrapped up in talking about his favorite subject” explanation — played into his decision.

    How much does Bavasi’s motivation matter?

    As much as we, the authors here, let it. Look, if we start to shy away from independent criticism of the team or the people that run it, by all means, blast away, because we deserve it.

    But I know the other guys pretty well, and I know their track record very well, and I’m not worried.

    We’ve bashed Bavasi moves (like the Guillen trade) on the ‘blog; we’ve praised Bavasi moves (like the Garcia trade) on the ‘blog. Those of you that were at the feed heard Dave ask him a probing, critical question about the McCracken trade.

    Might Bavasi have wanted to use this as an opportunity to get people on his side? Sure. Does that mean we’ll let the access he offered influence our opinions, or that we ought to shy away from such access in the future?

    I believe the answers are no, and no.

  29. strong silence on July 18th, 2005 12:53 pm

    Might Bavasi have wanted to use this as an opportunity to get people on his side? Sure. Does that mean we’ll let the access he offered influence our opinions?

    I think this is very well said, Jeff.

    And it raises a key point about influence. I’m sure we don’t intentionally let our opinions be influenced directly. But, there are several factors in which we could get INdirectly influenced.

    1. Is the information from Bavasi true? If not true and not challenged or disputed, then it has the possibility of being accepted as fact. Someone else can explain better than I how this happens.

    2. As the Gulf war coverage has shown, journalists who become embedded tend to be less fair and impartial. I don’t mean to suggest that this will happen to USSM authors or other attendess. I am suggesting that as relationships become closer, emotions such as bonding come into play, and impartiality may suffer.

  30. Typical Idiot Fan on July 18th, 2005 1:08 pm

    Sorry DMZ; I’ve never been very clear with my writing skills. That was more to some of the random people that have slipped over onto “our” message board to attack MarinersDiehard, or calling him a soul-less freak here.

    I would like to point out that even though MarinersDiehard posted that statement you quoted above, two pages later he just went ahead and posted a couple of Bavasi’s comments on players. His justification? It had already been posted / leaked on other message boards, so that gave him the okay to go ahead and do it on yours.

    I’m sorry, but that kind of attitude just sucks.

  31. forgotten schmo on July 18th, 2005 1:43 pm

    Bavasi motives – who cares it was cool. Fans do not get the ear of the GM on a regular basis. Plus 80% of communication is body language. You get a lot more understanding of someone going back and forth with them in person than reading a flat qoute in the middle of an article. Thanks

    Others behavior is out of control. You make a request and they may or may not honor it. It may be for noble reasons, just an oops, miscommunication or someone is just not honorable – who knows. Its out of your control after the request is made. Move on, enjoy the moment, and don’t feel someone else’s mistake gives you license to make more of your own.

  32. Rusty on July 18th, 2005 3:25 pm

    Cool thread. I’ve enjoyed it all. The funniest parts are from the guys who spread Bavasi inside info, and then who turn out to be thin-skinned about attacks on their behavior. Par for just about any blog.

  33. DMZ on July 18th, 2005 3:37 pm

    The funniest parts are from the guys who spread Bavasi inside info, and then who turn out to be thin-skinned about attacks on their behavior. Par for just about any blog.

    Us? Was Dave’s long comment not clear about where we stood on this stuff? I’m confused about who’s spreading inside info and thin-skinned.

  34. Rusty on July 18th, 2005 4:01 pm

    Us? Was Dave’s long comment not clear…

    No, I meant DH and his apologists. Sorry about not being clear.

  35. IgnatiusReilly on July 18th, 2005 4:40 pm

    Re: Apologists

    “I don’t necessarily think that posting the comments on a message board somewhere is a big deal.”

    So…just Dave then.

  36. Ace of Spades on July 18th, 2005 4:53 pm

    That’s hilarious. It really is.

    The number of people who have learned Bavasi’s top secret CIA KGB uber hush-hush information has climbed from 80 to about 150.

    Oh dear God. Dear God no.

    I’m usually not so rudely sarcastic, but let’s get realistic here. The person who “leaked” this information was clearly not trying to be a spy or a mole for the forum that has drawn so much criticism. And I find it ironic that some feel this blog is somehow more worthy of such information.

    This issue should probably die at this point, though.

  37. IgnatiusReilly on July 18th, 2005 6:16 pm

    “Unwarranted flaming? Unwarranted my A**. This idiotic Moron knew what he was doing. Knew that he was not suppose to be posting inside information. He was specifically asked not to.

    Also from what I have been told 9/10’s of what he posted was plain and simple BS. Boy this guy must have you all on a leash or something. Keep him for all he is worth. He also needs to learn how to write. Oh wait maybe he is some Junior high dropout oh well.

    I sure hope that he does not get invited to the next event. If you guys want to keep morons like this one your board then so be it. Just hope he decides to stay here. At least the fans over on our blog have some basic baseball knowledge.

    If you want to be a part of real writers, with some good baseball knowledge join us over at the USSmariner.”

    Lovely. ‘Our blog?’ So, Derek…that you? (Joke.)

  38. roger tang on July 18th, 2005 6:39 pm

    I’m usually not so rudely sarcastic, but let’s get realistic here. The person who “leaked” this information was clearly not trying to be a spy or a mole

    Well, yeah…he was being an asshole.

    Don’t assholes get flamed on the ‘net?

  39. Scraps on July 19th, 2005 3:49 am

    but let’s get real here

    This locution is almost always a signal of a dismissal of optimism/trust in favor of one’s own clear-eyed cynicism. A kernel of truth — cynics don’t have difficulty pointing to plenty of examples of blind optimism and misplaced trust — becomes a cornerstone for a crippled worldview.

    Cynicism is skepticism debased to a faith. Jeff’s 78 is an excellent and thoughtful response to this particular outbreak, and is a model for considerations of others’ motivations outside the easy cynical jerk of the knee.

  40. Scraps on July 19th, 2005 9:14 am

    (Just to be clear, I’m quoting from comment 62, not 88.)

  41. IgnatiusReilly on July 19th, 2005 10:01 am

    I question whether people can read.

    Did MDH know he was breaking rules when he posted originally? No. Did Dave or anyone of importance here give a rip? No. Was MDH breaking said rules? Not really, but Dave’s own definition.


  42. Jim Thomsen on July 19th, 2005 1:49 pm

    I really regretted not being able to attend this feed, but in retrospect, I’m glad I didn’t. As a newspaper journalist, I would have had to tell our hosts that I would not honor any pledge of confidentiality, and would thus recuse myself from the festivities. It would be ethically irresponsible of me to be in the presence of news as it’s being made and not report it. It would alos be ethically irrresponsible of me to agree to USS Mariner’s terms, attend the feed then dishonor my promise. So there’s no way I could have attended and not put myself in an impossible position.

    Even though specifics haven’t been mentioned here, it’s been strongly implied that the things Bavasi said would be of great value to my newspaper’s readers, and I would have wanted to report them. And if there was any way to parse the promises made, I would have. I guess I’m glad I didn’t put myself in a position to slice things that ethically fine.

    It’s a shame. I hope what happened this time can be modified in the future so I can be both a fan and a journalist. I had so much fun at last December’s pizza feed that I’d hate to have to think that I could never attend such functions in the future.

  43. M.O. on July 20th, 2005 2:39 pm

    What’s funny is that MarinerDieHard has now been banned from []. I have no idea how much of what he wrote is true or not. He was banned because he created two other personas on the same thread that badmouthed him and all of the forum readers.

    Strange tale.

    Anyway – thanks to USSM for setting this up and getting us a little inside information that we are all hungry for. You guys rock.

    Now, if you can just work out a way to get Doyle some playing time…