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September 27, 2007 at 7:02 PM

Bavasi speaks

Bill Bavasi met with the media and was asked about this season and whether he’d met his objectives. As for how far along he is in the process of getting this team where he wants it, he said:
“I think we’re at a point we should be bringing young kids in that have impact at the major league level. I think we’re at a point we should be able to ut a competitive club on the field. By that, I mean, get to the postseason and compete successively in the postseason.
“I think we’re there,” he added. “Those are the expectations we can make of ourselves.”

Did this team meet objectives?
“We felt we were close to that this year,” he said. “We knew we were going to the whip on the young bullpen early. That’s why we were trying to get veteran bullpen help at the trade deadline, and why lacking that, we took shots with some other veteran guys.”
Hello Rick White, John Parrish. Didn’t work out so well. Bavasi admitted he was reluctant to give up on his prospects to get a deal done. Given how some of the late-inning relievers panned out with other clubs, this looks like an astute move. Trouble is, it would have been more astute had the team not given up Rafael Soriano in a bad winter trade. At this rate, moving Miguel Batista to the bullpen might have been a July answer, but that’s just me talking. He’s been a closer before. Would have made a better eighth inning guy than what was available. Of course, that would have involved picking up another starting pitcher.
It’s getting more and more obvious the season was cooked before the first pitch in April was ever thrown. Sounds like Bavasi knew from Day 1 that a bullpen implosion was going to be a serious possibility.
“We really felt we had a chance to get to the postseason,” he said. “We did our best to get there, except trading guys like Clement and Jones. We just weren’t going to do that. And this off-season, we’re not going to do that, either.”
For the record, if Johan Santana is on the table, I’d do it. I’m sure tens of thousands of you out there reading this would as well. This could be simple posturing by Bavasi.
Bavasi was pretty blunt about his reasons for bringing John McLaren back.
“We evaluated from a much closer angle than you or anyone else does,” he said. “Managing a major league team looks a lot more simple than people understand. I don’t care who it is. Whether their last name is McLaren or La Russa. It doesn’t matter. It’s a complex job. It’s not as simple as it seems. It’s not fantasy baseball. It just isn’t.
“We actually deal with the day to day reality of putting human beings out there. If it was that easy, then the year the Red Sox tried to win without a closer, they would have won. But guys that think that way don’t get the human element. They don’t understand that in the ninth inning, there is a human element that comes into play. That’s just one little human element a manager has to put together.”

Sounds like he’s been reading this blog. Just FYI, Bavasi and I don’t consult with each other before we do or say things. I’m sure the USS Mariner, “Adam” and a lot of you will have a terrific time with that quote. I’ll just leave it alone and let it float out there like chum in shark-infested waters.
By the way, Jose Guillen hit a home run in the first inning off Paul Byrd, a two-run blast that leaves him with 99 runs batted in. That made it 2-0 for the M’s. I chatted briefly with Guillen’s agent, Adam Katz, before the game. He was seated in the stands behind home plate. Wouldn’t say much. Talks are still ongoing. I wouldn’t bet on anything getting done before season’s end. It’s a wide-open market out there and Guillen wants to be paid handsomly.
Kenny Lofton just doubled home a run with two out in the second inning to cut Seattle’s lead to 2-1. I’m staying away from a lot of game-related stuff tonight because frankly, in light of today’s developments, no one really cares much about this contest.

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