Bavasi Agrees: This Team Sucks

Dave · June 4, 2008 at 10:11 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Andriessen covers the blow-up and gets this quote from Bavasi:

“They may not know how to play the game well, they may not know how to hold each other accountable, they may not know how to fight hard,” he said. “But they are playing hard. They are trying hard.”

Talking about the plans for the rest of the season:

Bavasi said he thinks that his current personnel, theoretically, could put this team back in contention, but “I’m not sure we’re going to give them a chance to.”

It only took until June 4th, but it appears that management is finally in agreement that this season is over, that this team is lousy, and this organization needs a good purging.


90 Responses to “Bavasi Agrees: This Team Sucks”

  1. PADJ on June 4th, 2008 11:44 pm

    I would feel better about this whole “sit at your locker” thing if the players did it because THEY came up with the idea. That would show that they cared enough to face the media and take some heat. As it is I’m pretty sure it comes across as being jammed down their throats by the FO.

  2. msb on June 4th, 2008 11:54 pm

    As it is I’m pretty sure it comes across as being jammed down their throats by the FO.

    well, it was.

    I wonder whether the chewing out given the Vastly Expensive and Experienced Coaching Staff will have any effect– when it appears that infielders are being noodged to take extra infield practice by members of the media, and not by their infield coach or their manager, perhaps something should be done.

  3. sealclubber253 on June 5th, 2008 12:05 am

    You know what bothered me more than anything while reading this article? The recuring line “pick it up.” That is a generic term that means nothing but try harder, right? Well, you just said, Bill, that they are trying hard. So, maybe some constructive comments would be more effective? Like, “Sexson, you need to open your stance” or “Yuni, you need to trow the ball over your body and not side armed to first base?” Those are the types of things coaches and managers tell players to make them better, not “Pick it up.”

    Disclaimer: Don’t put too much thought into my replacement comments, they are there only as examples.

  4. PADJ on June 5th, 2008 12:09 am

    53 – you aren’t suggesting that the coaches…I don’t know…”coach”? 🙂

  5. Librocrat on June 5th, 2008 12:10 am

    I don’t know why all of you are so unhappy. In a roundabout way, responsibility was taken (even if it was by blaming everyone else). Changes will/might be made. I’m giddy. Will these changes likely be awful? Yes. But at least something is going to be different. Some sort of emotion is going to stir, even if that emotion is hate.

  6. Milendriel on June 5th, 2008 12:10 am

    What’s astonishing to me isn’t the team’s record. The potential for replacement-level (or worse) production existed up and down the whole roster, although the struggles of Bedard/Putz/Beltre have been surprising.

    No, what’s most shocking is how completely everyone at the manager level and above has lost any remaining shreds of baseball competence. I mean, think about it. The team has progressed from merely stupid decisions like bringing in Mateo to get a ground ball, sacrificing Rick White on the Vladimir Guererro altar, and tendering HoRam a contract only to cut him before the season, to decisions incomprehensibly bereft of any semblance of mental facility, like starting Miguel Cairo at first base and batting Jose Vidro cleanup. The rationales for these decisions (if any are provided at all) have also utterly eroded as well. I mean, isn’t it shocking that things have gotten so bad that McLaren makes Mike Hargrove look like a Hall of Fame coach, and Cairo makes Bloomquist seem like an amazing asset? Did anyone think Bavasi could do THIS poorly so perpetually? Has he made even a single good decision this season?

    I’ve never seen an organization go from “mediocre” to “historically terrible” so quickly, especially with the same manager and front office. That’s what I never saw coming, not even while knowing this team would lose a lot of games. Add to that all the verbal explosions going on in the clubhouse right now, and it’s downright fascinating.

  7. sealclubber253 on June 5th, 2008 12:19 am

    56- I agree, fascinating. I can’t wait for tomorrow to see what happens! Is Sexson finally gonna get the axe? Is Mac gonna come unglued and beat Washburn half to death with a bat weight? Is the next Ken Griffey Jr. Gonna be drafted? Is WFB gonna get an extension? Is Turbo gonna hit cleanup? Gonna have to wait for Friday for the last one, but damn, this is better than Melrose Place!

  8. DMZ on June 5th, 2008 12:28 am

    I don’t know why all of you are so unhappy.

    Yeah, that’s right up there with proving whether the axioms of arithmetic are consistent on the list of ultimately unsolvable problems that humanity may never be able to satisfactorily resolve.

  9. Librocrat on June 5th, 2008 12:38 am


  10. jro on June 5th, 2008 12:42 am

    It sure does seem that the dysfunctional part of the aggregate organization is coming out in the open. I’m glad it’s happened, because it’s so freaking overdue. But now I want the uphill climb to begin. Like NOW.

    I want Clement recalled from Tacoma, put in the starting lineup, and left there for the rest of the year. And bring his hitting coach from Tacoma with him. He sure knows how to make him work down there; give him a chance up here. Pentland isn’t doing anything for us at this point.

    I want Sexson, Cairo and Vidro DFA’d. They are baggage, they are in the way, and they aren’t showing the younger guys anything about playing the game right. We won’t be any worse with replacements for these guys.

    I want us to acquire Omar Vizquel from the Giants and make Yuni and Jose carry his lunch around for him. He’s not a hitter, but he played the game right and knows a thing or two about defense (which is about two things more than Jose and Yuni at this point.) I have no way to gauge whether Yuni and Jose could *improve* their defense. Assuming they can, get them some guidance.

    I want us to trade Ibanez, Putz, Washburn, and Batista before the trade deadline for prospects. Ibanez can hit but is old, and Putz could still be a dominant closer. Washburn and Batista could be serviceable 5-hole guys for playoff contenders. Collectively, they could return talent in an exchange. I’m shaky about this because Bavasi is pulling the strings, but he’s the guy in place right now. Move them before they have zero value (like the DFA guys).

    Let Mclaren go in as respectful a way as possible. He’s not been in a good position for a long time, and he is not a good fit as a major league manager. Don’t make him an example. Then, go out and hire a real manager who won’t be a friend of the players (that’s the bench coach’s job.)

    If none of this happens, start figuring out replacement value for Armstrong, Lincoln, and Bavasi. Or simply swap them out for Alvin, Simon and Theodore. We can supply Dave. 🙂

  11. NickBob on June 5th, 2008 1:19 am

    #60, I like your thinking. But I don’t want Bavasi making the deals.

    If none of this happens, start figuring out replacement value for Armstrong, Lincoln, and Bavasi.

    Boston had a similar situation in 2002, and the future looked bleak. We all know what happened next. Steal their script.

    Lincoln gets replaced from within. This ownership isn’t the problem per se, they spend but haven’t spent wisely. They’ve put together a business that works pretty well apart from the main attraction. I mean, garlic fries, microbrew, and the moose. No complaints there. But Lincoln’s the guy that values getting along to getting ahead. He’s failed and needs to go. They have other capable people among their partnership, they need to decide on a replacement managing partner. Armstrong needs to retire, or become a consultant. The new CEO should be able to find a solid replacement elsewhere. Cashman may be looking for work at season’s end, a change of scene and a desire for revenge would bring back an attitude missing since Lou left. USSM stumped for Antonetti and Ng last time around and they are still available.

    We have assets and money to spend. We lack the knowhow and the attitude, at least where it matters. Change those, and we could bee reaping the rewards sooner than later.

  12. seattlesundevil on June 5th, 2008 2:07 am

    60 – I have just started thinking about the same kind of thing. At this point, I would be all for trading / finding a way to get rid of Silva, Batista, Washburn and replacing them with Dickey, Morrow and Feirabend – granted, Silva is not really possible to get rid of at this point, and I guess he could stay..

    Bite the bullet and deal Putz, of which a considerable haul could be brought from a contending team with a need for a dominant closer. Ibanez, Sexson, Vidro and Yuni can all be dealt – with Ibanez and Yuni likely bringing back the most value (most being a relative word.)

    There is a solid core of players in place, and the Mariners’ front office has done one helluva job of finding cheap, solid relief pitchers so replacing J.J. on a bad team won’t be all that difficult. This is the same dilemma from a handful of years ago before Guardado was rendered ineffective. We had a chance to deal him at the deadline of a lost season, but held on to him – why? What is the need for a closer that is in high demand when you are not going to be winning anything or having any real need to get a high-pressure win.

    So yeah, basically this was all just a post saying that I agree with you jro.. I would actually thoroughly enjoy watching a rotation of Felix, Bedard, Morrow, Dickey and Feirabend – especially if a defense could be assembled through moving a few parts.

  13. Bender on June 5th, 2008 2:15 am

    The terrifying thought is that Bavasi is going to make some kind of crippling trade to try to right the ship and leave us even more fucked for next year.

  14. jsa on June 5th, 2008 2:17 am

    #52 Yes, Something should be done.

    Hire Shannon maybe?

    The assumption around baseball seems to be that if you get to the big leagues you no longer need to practice these skills. Its considered insulting to their ego to tell professionals to go out there and hone their skills.

    This works for almost no other profession that I know of. Cops go to the gun range monthly. Pilots take check-rides all the time.

    Lopez needs the work he needs to expand his range, and if our chirpy reporter can talk him into it, she’s doing a better job than McLaren. Yes, I’m only half kidding.

    Quoting the key paragraph from Shannon Drayer:

    I was even more encouraged to see Jose Lopez take even earlier ground balls. He told me that he was going to do this when we were in New York. He was devastated by the error in the second game against the Yankees he committed. I sat at his locker and talked to him about it as the clubhouse cleared that day. I reminded him that he had told me that he took early ground balls three days a week in winter ball. Just an aside, when he told me this in spring training I asked a couple of Mariners officials if this was something that was dictated by them and they said no, he did that on his own. I told Jose that I thought it was time he get out there again, that he was a good player, but an even better player when he put in extra work. He smiled and said he liked to hear that, then he called me coach. I showed up early to see if he actually did take the extra practice and was happy to see that he did. I asked if maybe he could bring his friend (Yuni) the next day and he said he didn’t know.

  15. Typical Idiot Fan on June 5th, 2008 2:47 am

    They’re blaming an old tiger with three broken legs for not jumping through the flaming hoop. Everybody thought it would do it and fans are expecting it and it sure roars loud. What could be wrong?

  16. Typical Idiot Fan on June 5th, 2008 2:50 am

    He smiled and said he liked to hear that, then he called me coach.

    Holy crap. So all this team of Lost Boys needed was a mom? Would that make Willie “Tinkerbell”?

  17. John in L.A. on June 5th, 2008 2:50 am

    jsa – Do you really think that pro players think they don’t have to work on their craft? They do it more than any of your examples. Cops don’t hit the shooting range before every shift.

    These guys are continually working on their craft. Innovating? Maybe not. But honing their skills? Absolutely. More, probably, than most other professions.

  18. John in L.A. on June 5th, 2008 2:59 am

    And I find that pretty patronizing coming from Drayer. Lopez should have asked her what his VoRP was and said that he noticed her questions were better if she showed up to work early and memorized some stats, maybe took a class. And maybe she could bring her under-educated colleagues to the community college stats class with her.

    I’d love it if these guys flipped out from all the insinuations and started asking the reporters when they could expect the quality of questions to improve. Or ask Hargrove when his use of the bench was going to make sense. Or Bavasi if he could get AJ back.

    Their performances are totally fair game, but the implication that they don’t care or aren’t trying is bush league.

  19. Flowin on June 5th, 2008 5:13 am

    Let us assume these things happen:

    1. McLaren fired today
    2. Sexson cut.
    3. Silva or Batista (both equally bad) put into long relief– Dickey is a starter
    4. Clement or Johnson is brought up, and Kenji is sent down.
    5. Vidro is cut. Reed takes over LF. Ibanez is DH.

    What happens to the team? Do we actually get any better??

  20. CCW on June 5th, 2008 5:49 am

    Traiiiiin Wreeeeeck Theaaaaaattter. Love it.

  21. scottbankhead on June 5th, 2008 6:06 am

    “This is a problem that includes the general manager and his office, the manager and his staff, and the players to a great degree,” Bavasi said, adding wryly: “Right now, the medical guys are doing a great job, and the clubhouse guys are tremendous.”

    I am glad Bavasi can make jokes with his job on the line.

  22. pygmalion on June 5th, 2008 6:54 am

    I don’t think that I ever remember seeing anything like this before. It’s unbelievable. And right before the draft! Talk about bad timing. “Hey kid, want to sign with us?” Life flashes before his eyes. “I’m going to college!”

  23. G-Man on June 5th, 2008 7:16 am

    Bavasi and Mac had a couple strange rants there. They would not blame the players, but they professed unhappiness with the results. IMHO, John’s rant was totally put on, just an attempt to stir up the players without throwing them under the bus.

    The organization has a fundamental problem that I assume comes from Lincoln and/or the owners: they try to be competitive every year – no, make that every month, as they don’t know when to give up on a season. That needs to change, and if that means dumping Lincoln, do it. OTOH, if ownership is OK with a rebuilding program and Bavasi is the eternal optimist, then ditching him will suffice.

  24. eponymous coward on June 5th, 2008 7:38 am

    Until today, anyhow. Today, we got Armstrong and Bavasi in a rare public double-header. Though Armstrong apparently didn’t want his yelling at coaches this morning to become public. Why would he? He’s on record saying they’ve done a tremendous job.

    Like I’ve been saying, the public posturing about “gee, things are swell” from the Mariner front office is exactly that- posturing for the public.

  25. SequimRealEstate on June 5th, 2008 7:43 am

    “Right now if I were to say, you know what, (Triple-A first baseman Bryan) LaHair’s a better solution here, or (Jeff) Clement’s a better solution … yeah, it’s a minimum salary,” Bavasi said. “It’s got nothing to do with money. Those changes, yeah, you can do that. It’s not that tough. But the trade market is where you can have greater impact, I would think.” This is the the thing that scares me about this situation and Bender 63 as well. Whole sale changes and by the guy who cannot do it is enough to make one scared, very scared. Just bring up what we have or do something on the cheap and let the next GM try and man the pumps and right the ship.

  26. cody on June 5th, 2008 7:46 am

    You know, up to this point I haven’t had much of a problem with Bavasi. Sure, he is incompetent, but he can’t help it if he was hired for a spot that he wasn’t qualified for. Sure, there have been bright spots (Beltre, bringing in Felix, etc.), but the bottom line is: this team sucks. I have a problem with Bavasi now because he’s taking the team that he put together and throwing off a cliff. If a building collapses, does the blame get put on the materials its made up of? No. I get puts on the idiot who constructed it.

  27. msb on June 5th, 2008 8:11 am

    huh. according to Nightengale, “Bavasi … blamed himself for constructing the team”

  28. PADJ on June 5th, 2008 8:37 am

    It’s a comedy of errors. Bavasi claims that Mac’s job isn’t in jeopardy and says something to the effect that “this isn’t a field managerial issue.”

    Okay then, Bill. What kind of managerial issue IS it? I’ll go along with the concept that it’s up to the players to execute and perform once the game starts, so they are partly responsible.

    But it is the manager’s job to come up with a lineup that puts your team (such as it may be) in the best position possible to compete and succeed. We’ve seen evidence Mac hasn’t done that well, so he’s accountable.

    It’s also the manager’s job to find ways to motivate his team to succeed. Again, take a look at this year’s Mariners and Mac hasn’t done that well, so he’s accountable again.

    Of course, Bavasi put this roster and its contracts together so he is accountable for that.

    The tree is rotten from roots to leaves. There has been a lot of shouting, swearing and finger pointing, but the link in #77 is the first time I’ve seen it reported that ANYONE associated with this fiasco has acknowledged their OWN accountability.

  29. Rain Delay on June 5th, 2008 8:57 am

    #8 – As a Braves fan, you guys can have Norton back. Bobby Cox has developed a man crush for Norton, and he’s gone from Bench Bat to starting Left Fielder.

    Not. Good.

  30. JerBear on June 5th, 2008 9:59 am

    DEAD SERIOUS HERE. Couldn’t we take out a couple full page ads in Seattle newspapers calling out Bavasi and Co. for constructing this awful team? You know, complete with some actual numbers to combat the baseball voodoo going around, and show why this team was destined to fail from the start. Heck, we could even have alternating quotes from the M’s FO and the writers of this blog & other savvy analysts. i.e.*

    “Nobody in the world thought we were going to be this bad.” – Mariners Management, June 2008

    “Um, it’s gonna be bad folks. Third to last place at best.” – USSM, March 2008

    “Defense is our strongpoint!” – Mariners Management, May 2008

    “This defense is gonna suck.” – USSM, March 2008

    “We’re just one piece away from a contending team.” – Mariners Management, February 2008

    “Management is delusional if they think they are just one piece away from a contending team.” – USSM, January 2008

    “Nobody saw this coming!!!” – Mariners Management, June 2008

    “Um, yeah, we did. You just don’t listen.” – USSM, June 2008

    *(Not-quite-actual-quotes. For illustrative purposes only.)

    Seriously, I think the only way there are going to be real changes at the top, is if the ownership feels pressure from the fans. And unfortunately, the majority of people out there get their news spun directly from the M’s. They think Raul’s a good fielder, Vidro’s a good hitter, “and so on and so forth.” They buy the lie that it’s solely the players fault, not the person who assembled the players.

    Educate the masses and the people will revolt!!!!

  31. Steve T on June 5th, 2008 10:17 am

    Speaking of taking responsibility, Carlos Silva in the P-I today is saying that “some teammates play for themselves, not team” and that the “Mariners lack desire”. So says the guy with the 6 ERA. The article includes this gem: “Like baseball observers have reiterated for weeks, Silva said the Mariners are a talented group that inexplicably doesn’t win.”

    Yeah, imagine that. There’s NO WAY anybody could have foreseen that these superstars wouldn’t perform. Who woulda thunk it?

  32. Steve T on June 5th, 2008 10:21 am

    More goodness from Andriesen’s article, quoting Bavasi: ” ‘ It’s a completely demoralizing position we’re in right now, based on the completely legitimate (preseason) expectations,’ Bavasi said.”

    No possible way anyone could have known we’d suck. Not with superstars like Sexson and Cairo and Vidro on this team.

  33. crazyray7391 on June 5th, 2008 11:04 am

    So, it sounds like most of us want the same things to happen: Fire Bavasi and McLaren, DFA or move Sexson, Vidro, Cairo, Ibanez, Putz, ect…

    But what do you think the FO is actually going to do? Are they going to just let McLaren go and call it good until the end of the season? Would they really eat somebody’s contract so that they could DFA them?

    I’m actually very curious to see what is going to happen next. Until something does happen however, I guess I’m going to go out and buy some Coors Light so I can “vent” during the game tommorow.

  34. PADJ on June 5th, 2008 11:51 am

    But what do you think the FO is actually going to do?

    In the short term I would guess that Mac would go and we may see a few player moves…DFA’s or trades if anyone is interested. They pretty much have to do something. Insanity is defined as doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. If they think the heat is bad now, try it in a couple of months if they don’t do anything!

    I think the recent rash of temper tantrums, finger pointing and tossing people under the bus is motivated partly because their lousy performances have been noticed and they’re being called out for it. As I said, they’re pretty much committed to having to do something…and we can only hope it isn’t a terrible thing.

    I don’t think that this is all that should be done, but your question was directed at what the FO would actually do… 🙂

  35. joser on June 5th, 2008 3:37 pm

    Does anybody have a scan of the Dennis the Menace cartoon from today’s (June 5) PI? It’s the most hilariously appopriate non-editorial editorial cartoon I’ve seen.

  36. pgreyy on June 5th, 2008 4:05 pm
  37. pgreyy on June 5th, 2008 4:06 pm

    Yesterday’s was more appropriate, I think.

    …definitely something Richie Sexson would agree with.

  38. Arkinese on June 5th, 2008 5:15 pm

    Can anyone speculate on what, if anything, it will take get Bavasi to resign? Is he so absolutely delusional that he will go down rearranging deck chairs on the Hindenburg (â„¢Mr. Colbert)? And I’m not asking for realistic possibilities based on this club’s attitude/owners/etc. Literally, just anything that people think would get him to resign. I cannot come up with something drastic enough but thought others might be able to.

  39. BigJared on June 5th, 2008 6:49 pm

    4.) Ibanez to center. You think he’s gritty now, watch him try to cover 50% more ground.

    I may have just laughed myself a hernia.

  40. joser on June 5th, 2008 7:05 pm

    Yes, it was the the latter. I was sure I was looking at today’s paper, but maybe I was wrong (or maybe the PI is out of synch?)

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