In God we trust. Everybody else needs data. - Rick Peterson

Monday, September 20, 2004


A Closer's Mind or a Closed Mind?

Time demands are still forcing me to cut down on blogging, but this simply cannot pass without mention.

According to this item from Ken Rosenthal, Bavasi thinks it would be a good idea to make Madritsch a closer because of his mentality. Here's the full item from Rosenthal's column, including Rosenthal's quote of Bavasi:
"Whitey (Herzog) always said to build a staff from the back -- start with a closer so you can play your 27 outs vs. their 24. Bobby seems to have the mental makeup to close."
This is just preposeterous. With this logic, the Twins should not have moved Santana out of the bullpen. In fact, every intimidating starting pitcher - Randy Johnson, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Roger Clemens - is being wasted as a starter and should be used out of the bullpen so they can "shorten the game".

When you have a pitcher who keeps the other team from scoring, the most important thing you can do is get as many quality innings from him as you can. It just doesn't make sense to take innings away from a pitcher who shuts down other teams.

Folks, I really do want to be optimistic about the Mariners Front Office. I really want to believe that the team is ready to update its decision-making and analysis. But comments such as this tell us not to expect any significant changes from Royal Brougham for next year.

The Mariners Front Office sees this year as an aberration - they believe their general operating approach is sound and simply needs to be updated, not overhauled. Certainly, the Mariners will be more aggressive about signing free agents this winter, and they will herald this as a huge change in philosophy. But it's really just tweak. But the Mariners' analysis of what free agents to pursue and how to construct the roster will still largely be built on their same premises as this year.

If you believe this season shows fatal flaws in the team's operating philosophy, I don't think you can be very optmistic about the future. But if you believe the team's approach is basically sound, then there is ample reason to be optimistic. Then you look at someone such as Bavasi and say he might be just what the team needs - an outside person to make needed minor corrections.

For myself, I'm inclined to the more pessimistic viewpoint. That's because I don't think the Mariners really recognize the profound changes in decision making that are being wrought in other organizatins.

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