FanDuel - WFBC

June 16, 2008

Seattle Mariners (finally) fire GM Bill Bavasi.: For weeks the indisputable worst team in the majors, the $117M Seattle Mariners have finally made a major personnel change by firing General Manager Bill Bavasi today. Many in the media predicted such a shakeup should the Washington Nationals, who came into Seattle with worst record in the NL, complete the sweep of the Mariners in Seattle this weekend.

In his 5 years as Seattle GM including 2008, Bill Bavasi guided the Mariners to a last-place finish in every single year but 2007, where the 88-74 Mariners finished 2nd. The fervent Mariner blog community, who have demanded front office firings for a long time now, are already advocating for his replacement.

posted by hincandenza to baseball at 08:44 PM - 5 comments

Well it's about friggin' time. The day that they announced Bavasi's hiring my heart sank just a bit and I got a sick feeling in my gut. But as a Seattle fan, I was going to be optimistic. Fail. Losing Pat Gillick was huge. Chris Antonetti would definitely be a huge leap forward in the GM dept. but I don't know how likely he is to becoming the next Mariners GM. How long til McLaren gets the axe?

posted by THX-1138 at 11:37 PM on June 16

Speculation is that Bavasi didn't fire McLaren for two reasons: One, that even he knew that the failures were mostly his own, and even the greatest managers don't make 90 win teams into 55 win teams (the current pace of the Mariners). Two, the reality is the new general manager- either Lee Pelekoudas or his hopeful replacement- will likely make a huge house cleaning priority one, and that means things like firing McLaren. Why fire McLaren when I'm sure Bavasi knew he'd be gone soon enough, and that GM's first acts would include... firing McLaren or his replacement? I'll be honest, I'm not hopeful for the M's; the execs have shown way too much "old-school" thinking, and for all the grudging respect that a young, college-grad number cruncher like Theo Epstein has earned there are still far too many in baseball who think "Moneyball" and sabermetrics are just a silly nerd-geek fad. Why would leadership that picked Bavasi in the first place think to pick someone like Antonetti this time around? I suspect the GM the Mariners finally pick will be another "chemistry and intangibles first" old-schooler who doesn't know how to stock the farm system while building the major league club by simply looking for the best value- runs, getting on base, defense, win shares- for the money. The USS Mariner link offers some reasons a good GM would want to come to Seattle, but if it's not someone who doesn't realize that there is a pretty energetic sabermetric/techie community here that can be tapped for use in making a 21st century team, then it'll just be more seasons of the same.

posted by hincandenza at 01:25 AM on June 17

Why would leadership that picked Bavasi in the first place think to pick someone like Antonetti this time around? I suspect the GM the Mariners finally pick will be another "chemistry and intangibles first" old-schooler who doesn't know how to stock the farm system while building the major league club by simply looking for the best value- runs, getting on base, defense, win shares- for the money. Even without sabermetrics, you'd think someone could find a way to get hitters to take a pitch every once in a while. The M's are full of Vladimir Guerrero wannabes, constantly swinging at bad pitches, only nobody on the Mariners can get away with it like Guerrero has for years. What a waste of a season this has turned out to be. I guess it could be worse; at least nobody is threatening to move the team to Oklahoma yet.

posted by chamo at 10:13 AM on June 17

I admit that I don't know much about sabermetrics but just watching what Billy Bean has been able to do in our division consistently should be proof to anyone involved in baseball that it works. I am surprised that an area such as Seattle doesn't embrace the technology that is available, it being a rather tech savvy part of the country. And the ownership is in the tech industry. Maybe the hitters could practice with their Wii's. And thanks, Hal, for the knowledge.

posted by THX-1138 at 01:24 PM on June 17

No vision whatsoever. No plan. All gut and style -- and wayy too much money thrown at both. I look forward to some kind of blueprint, any kind of blueprint, for this team. Their fans are too supportive and show up with real numbers that make ownership very lucky...but it can't last forever. Time to start winning.

posted by diastematic at 02:08 PM on June 17

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