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September 19, 2007 at 12:25 PM

Bavasi under contract for 2008

(Note: For in-game commentary, please scroll to the bottom…)
Just thought I’d throw this out there on a day when many of you are talking about the possibility of a Tony LaRussa-Walt Jocketty combo coming to Seattle. Mariners GM Bill Bavasi automatically had his contract extended for next year earlier this summer. It’s an automatic thing that kicks in just to prevent a GM from becoming a “lame duck” of sorts.
I spoke to Mariners president Chuck Armstrong this morning and he confirmed the roll-over extension, but didn’t want to go into detail about contract length or talk contract in any way. When I asked Armstrong whether the team planned to clarify Bavasi’s 2008 status at any point between now and season’s end, I got this reply:
“I don’t know that there’s any need to announce anything,” he said.
But then, he added that he supposed it could be a good idea given all the “Hot Seat” talk that’s percolated in the media this year.
Armstrong laughed off the LaRussa rumors, saying he didn’t know where that got started and saying that nobody had talked to the Mariners. Well, of course not. That would be tampering. But regardless, it’s pretty clear Bavasi is under contract. Could Bavasi still be terminated and paid off for the remaining part of the deal? Of course. But if the team is still mulling over whether it’s even neccessary to make an announcement, it doesn’t appear there’s any great urgency to clarify things.
“We’re just focused on finishing this year and this year’s games,” Armstrong said. ‘We have not talked about next year.”
That goes for manager John McLaren’s status as well. Armstrong said the remaining games are “very important” for the club in that the team isn’t officially eliminated yet and anything can still happen. He said McLaren is being constantly evaluated and that everything would be taken into account when the season ends.
So, there you go. That’s about as up-to-date an update on the situation as I’ve seen anywhere. You have it first…
So, it’s a 7-5 lead for Seattle after another wild and wacky eighth inning, featuring four walks by M’s relievers. Jon Huber walked the only two he faced, Sean Green walked another to load the bases, then gave up a sacrifice fly. George Sherrill entered the game, got a huge popout on Daric Barton and then — one walk later — fanned Dan Johnson to end it.
I liked the way Ryan Rowland-Smith was pitching, with two scoreless innings. No idea why he was taken out. The good news for M’s fans is that J.J. Putz is warming up. Looks like his triceps is no longer tight.
For “ScottM” I keep reading your posts and am trying to understand your latest point about objective journalism. Larry Stone writes baseball columns for us. He’s been doing it all year. Mentioning a soft rumor is done by columnists every day in this country. Stone can’t exactly ignore it when it’s been circulating around town all day. Tough to write it as a “news” story, but as a a subjective columnist, I see nothing wrong with it.
My blog item today was about Bill Bavasi and it’s played rather straightforwardly. It makes a passing reference to the LaRussa rumor and has Armstrong more or less dismissing it. Not sure what the issue is. I’ve taught journalism at the university level for several years, know all about ethics debates and don’t really see a problem here. But maybe I’m missing something. What exactly is the problem?
Felix Hernandez ran his pitch count up to 110 through just five innings, so he’s done and Ryan Rowland-Smith just worked through the sixth — allowing one hit. The M’s upped their lead to 6-4 when Jamie Burke doubled and later scored on a single by Yuniesky Betancourt, who’s hitting the ball a ton today.
Burke was waved around third for a second time today and scored largely because of a poor throw from left fielder Shannon Stewart. I covered Stewart for years in Toronto and his arm is terrible because of an old high school football injury (he was a star running back, recruited by Deion Sanders to play at Florida State way back when). Anyway, third base coach Carlos Garcia seems to be taking the attrition approach today, meaning wave around as many guys as possible until one of them gets thrown out. Stewart’s throw beat Burke, but catcher Rob Bowen took his eye off the ball ahead of the collision and let it bounce away.
Here’s a link to Lookout Landing, trying to pick up somewhat from where we left off yesterday in our discussion about how team chemistry has an impact on the decisions a team, or GM can make. It’s interesting, as is the level of discussion. Sort of what we’re aiming for here.
M’S LEAD 5-4
It’s now 5-4 for the Mariners in the fifth inning, as Felix Hernandez fritters away a lead that was once 5-0 in the second. Too many walks being issued by Hernandez today and his throwing error in the second inning didn’t help his cause either. Adam Jones lost a ball in the sun earlier on, but you can’t fault him for that. Plenty of outfielders have trouble here in the sunlight. It’s a very bad ballpark for that.
Not much offense by Seattle since the second inning, though all the early pitches by Dan Meyer drove him up to 98 by this frame and forced him from the contest.
Adam Jones in the lineup today, with Raul Ibanez as a DH and Jose Vidro at first base. A preview for 2008? No. I’ve already told you, Vidro can’t play the field more than once or twice per week. Is it possible we could see this lineup on occasion next year? Certainly. By the way, Ryan Feierabend will start one of the doubleheader games next Wednesday.
By the way, Ibanez just tripled — off a lefty at that — to bring home Ichiro for a 1-0 lead in the first inning. I guess playing every day can perhaps improve a guy’s hitting against southpaws. Ibanez went deep off a lefty reliever in Detroit 10 days ago. But who knows? Somebody should do a study. Jose Guillen just singled to drive Ibanez home, so it’s a 2-0 lead for Seattle.
The lineups:
OAKLAND (74-79)
LF Shannon Stewart
1B Daric Barton
RF Jack Cust
DH Dan Johnson
2B Mark Ellis
3B Jack Hannahan
SS Marco Scutaro
C Rob Bowen
CF Jeff DaVanon
LHP Dan Meyer
SEATTLE (80-70)
CF Ichiro
2B Jose Lopez
DH Raul Ibanez
RF Jose Guillen
3B Adrian Beltre
1B Jose Vidro
LF Adam Jones
C Jamie Burke
SS Yuniesky Betancourt
RHP Felix Hernandez
HP Sam Holbrook
1B Randy Marsh (crew chief)
2B Bob Davidson
3B Hunter Wendelstedt



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