Thursday, July 20, 2006

Bavasi Losing Face

I've been a supporter of Bavasi for quite awhile. I've stood against those who banter about the "Fire Bavasi" perspective. I've trusted his judgment through the questionable trades and even MORE questionable signings. But the one thing that sticks out in my mind is his treatment of Chris "Doyle" Snelling.

If you recall, the M's had a decision to make with Snelling to start the season. They needed a roster spot to make room for a decent backup catcher (Quiroz), and Bavasi decided to DFA Carvajal rather than place Snelling on the 60-day DL. The reason that Bavasi gave for not putting Snelling on the 60-day DL was along the lines that it was more of a mental thing for Snelling. Bavasi wanted to give Snelling a bit of a psychological break.

Now, however, what favor is Bill giving Chris by holding him down in Tacoma, while Carl Everett sucks roster space and crucial at-bats up in Seattle? It's been waaaay more than 60 days, and I'd like to think that the extra 40-man spot freed up (take your pick -- Lawton, Borchard, Carvajal) would have helped the M's more than the psychological negative vibes would've hurt Snelling.

I've seen Chris a few times in Tacoma. He's struggled a little bit, but his defense has been solid, and he appears to be healthy enough. Maybe marc or Oly Rainiers Fan can give a little more insight, but it doesn't appear to me that Snelling needs any more time in Tacoma.

A brief discussion
over at Prospect Insider gives us, possibly, one reason for Snelling's extended stay in Tacoma. Jason suspects (as does a wide group of others) that Hargrove's insistance on Everett is blocking Snelling's return.


Does anyone believe that Hargrove's lovefest for Everett is reciprocated -- that Everett likes Hargrove as much as Hargrove likes Everett? I have many reasons to believe that it's not -- starting with Everett's little tirade shortly after the M's landed Perez. If Hargrove's own 'ally' is against him, then, then why are the M's so intent on keeping Hargrove and/or Everett around? Why doesn't Bavasi do something about this situation?

I'm of the belief that Bavasi doesn't have ultimate authority over roster/coaching decisions. Based on his track record, that may not be a bad thing. But still, I don't see Chuck Armstrong retiring any time soon, and even if he did, there's no reason to believe that the M's would take Bedirthanaverage's suggestion to replace Armstrong with Bavasi. It's fairly common knowledge that Bavasi's strength as an executive is moreso in the field of farm system management, especially when partnered with Bob Fontaine's drafting knack.

That's an important reason to keep Bavasi around -- the seismic aftershocks of decimation wrought about by the failures of the farm system to produce much outside of the international market (which, actually, is somewhat of an understated area of overlooked success, in light of the common criticism of the Gillick era) have started to subside. Some Bavasi-era trades, a couple of drafts, and a focus on rebuilding from the rubble seems to point to an improvement in the farm system.

But the fact that he either has no authority or hasn't used his authority to remove some obvious holes in the clubhouse and in the lineup cannot be overlooked. Again, I've been one of Bavasi's biggest supporters. But I'm really starting to tire of his lack of proper action.

It's not like he's averse to risk...


At 7/22/2006 8:45 PM, Blogger Snave said...

When does Everett's contract vest? I haven't been paying that much attention, but if he gets too many more plate appearances won't the M's have to pay him a bunch more money? And for what? Everett has been a pretty decent camper so far re. not being a major off-the-wall distraction, but I still can't believe they went after him like they did when there were probably better, cheaper alternatives... like Snelling is now, for instance.

I don't know what to think about Bavasi's GM skills as the trade deadline approaches. On one hand, I'm a bit concerned that he might realize he can save his job by getting the M's a division title, and to do that he might have to trade valuable future pieces for a couple or three rent-a-players. Then again, I think that what you suggest might be more correct, that Bavasi really doesn't have all that much power, i.e. Everett is still playing lots, probably because Grover is enamored with Jurassic Carl or because Grover likes veterans.

What I am hoping is that the Mariners won't trade players such as Lopez, Betancourt, Jones or Hernandez for the chance at a division title but then a quick playoff exit if they even win the division, then with rent-a-players leaving Seattle during the winter. I would be much less averse to Bavasi "giving up" and dealing away Beltre and/or Sexson for young versatile players who don't cost as much and who have potential.

Overall, while I won't get on the "Fire Bavasi" bandwagon yet, I have been less than impressed over this past year. Signing Beltre and Sexson to huge contracts hasn't yielded the kind of benefits envisioned with the signings... same with Everett and with Jarrod Washburn. I think Eddie Guardado was a potentially good trading chip, but it doesn't look like we got much for him... I guess time will tell whether Travis Chick has a good arm to go with his fun last name.

So while I'm not really very confident about what Bill will do during the next ten days, I tend to think he will be fairly conservative. Given his more recent track record, that's what I'm hoping for. No wild hairs here, Bill!


Post a Comment

<< Home