Friday, May 09, 2008

If You Can't Win, Fight

When you score 1 run in your last 32 innings(!), you are bound to be frustrated. So what the hell? Throw at guys and see if you can start something. But did you see the pitch to Sexson that started the brawl? It wasn't exactly a head-hunter pitch.

Yes it was high and inside, but that was only after Felix plunked a couple of their guys. That was 100% pure frustration boiling over on a team that is completely losing it's mind right now. You can bet the fire sale will start next month at the earliest, and right up until the trade deadline you'll see rumors of M's getting shipped off to contenders. I would expect Ibanez's name to be out there, and maybe even Beltre. You might even see Batista or Washburn for teams desperate for a back-end starter for the stretch run. But at this point, outside of Ichiro, Putz and some of the kids, the rest are all fair game. What a complete disaster this thing has turned out to be, and it's only May 9th!

The real question is whether or not Bavasi will still be the GM once the fire sale begins. His trade scorecard is pretty underwhelming, and ownership might have serious second thoughts about having Bavasi be the guy to rebuild this thing. It's not unheard of to change GM's in the middle of a season either. Cincy just did it a few weeks ago. But the bottom line is Bavasi's plan has completely blown up at this point, and his track record of trades is less-than-stellar. It might be prudent to hire your next GM now and put him in charge of the rebuild that can begin with trade-deadline deals. If you don't think rebuilds can begin with deadline deals, well, they can. Look back at Cleveland to see how it's done. A few years back they dumped their ace, Bartolo Colon, for some minor-leaguers named Grady Sizemore, Cliff Lee and Brandon Phillips. While Phillips is now starring as the #3 hitter as a potential all-star second baseman in Cincy, Sizemore has become one of the best outfielders in the AL, and Lee is just out of his mind GREAT right now! The M's are right at the crossroads now, and yet they still have some bullets in the holster to make some major strides to get better. But this thing is dead, and they have to move accordingly.

Moving on, I'm tired of the off-field stories. You know what's going on. Roof is in trouble, Hicks to get some jail time, the APR sucked 8 scholies out of the program, blah blah blah. This week can't end fast enough, and I'm just some lowly blogger. Imagine how some on the inside of the program feel right now!

Anyway, in the spirit of moving on, how about some Okie-State thoughts. August 30th is going to get here faster than we think (check out the new counter to the right that shows you when the '08 opener approaches). We'll have an in-depth look at the Cowboy spring session this weekend, but I thought we would look at their head coach and his now-famous "I'm a man, I'm 40" meltdown. In case you forgot....

Ok then.

For some background on the rant, he was pissed at an article written in what has been tagged as "worst paper in America", the Daily Joke-lahoman, which ripped Gundy's then-QB Bobby Reid for not exactly showing a good attitude, being a momma's boy, etc. You can read the article here.

So there you have the tirade. A coach is mad because one of his players was ripped, even though he's generally a good kid. There was even some applause after the meltdown. You thought it was over, right? Well, it wasn't. In fact, it turns out the whole thing might have been a big put-on or a fraud to begin with. Reid and his mom said so after the whole thing:

"Honestly, the way I took it, I felt like it was all a front," Reid says. "That it was all a big show. It didn't feel genuine."

Maybe it's just a bitter player taking one last shot at a coach he and his mom couldn't stand. Or maybe it really was just a bunch of BS. Nobody knows what was really going on behind closed doors between players and coaches. And Reid might just be a total flake that is tied to his mom's apron. But when you see a coach with a melt-down like that, well, you wonder what the heck is going on under the surface.

Maybe it's uber-donor T. Boone Pickens and his billions that put extreme pressure on the head coach to win games. After all, the Okie State stadium is named after the guy who donated an NCAA-record $165 MILLION dollars because he wants his Cowboys to win gosh darnit! Cougar faithful can smile about Pickens and his money, because it can buy a lot of things, but it couldn't buy Tony Bennett! You might remember that Okie State was prepared to throw the bank at Tony around the Final Four, but we know how that turned out. And Pickens and his billions couldn't land Bill Self either. It appears that some of the top coaches with a brain don't want to answer to this guy.

But keep in mind Pickens donated millions towards the "Swift Boat for Truth" guys that smeared the military record of John Kerry. Whether you liked John Kerry or couldn't stand him, even the most conservative of conservatives generally thought those Swift-Boater types were pretty out of line. But yes, the Swift Boaters are the same group that has hated Sonics minority owner Aubrey McClendon in their midst. While not busy telling everyone they never wanted the Sonics to actually stay in Seattle, McClendon spends a lot of money being "anti" a lot of stuff. He was quoted as saying he didn't want "those kinds of people" in OKC when they happily sold the Seattle Storm to a local Seattle group. What a bunch of GREAT AMERICANS! Whatever. It's their money and their belief system, they can do what they want.



CougarJen said...

Wow, that coach is a freak. He must be wound so tightly as their big money makes them so. Careful what you all wish for because money is not the end all/be all. I am so happy coach Tony said sorry no sale to those jerk-offs.

Sedihawk said...

Gundy sure looked tight in that video. Maybe he was just looking for an excuse to go nuts and let off some steam. But the I'm-a-man-I'm-40 stuff will follow him forever!

I despise the okies for other reasons, but just think if they did steal Tony Bennett?? I would be down in Olympia today asking the governor if she was up declaring war and invading Oklahoma.

longball said...

With our history of success against Oklahomans, i think we may want to keep this rivalry on the football field/basketball court and not the battle field. Not that i wouldnt be the first volunteer, gimpy legs and all!

I may be the last person on earth who feels bad for Bavasi, but i think he has made some good moves that were just cursed with hard luck. If anything, i think McClaren should shoulder the blame. There weren't too many "experts" out there who didnt think we had a darn good squad this year, but McClaren just doesnt have this team prepared at all. After wholsale changes tot he coaching staff in the off season, i think the one coach they missed was the one that really needed to go. Bavasi has put talent in that dugout, thats his job.

Sedihawk said...

I don't know Longball, I mean MLB managers, it's hard to say if they have that big of an impact. Lou was great here, and he's doing well in Chicago, but Tampa was a disaster. I don't think even the best managers can make chicken salad out of you-know-what.

But you might be righ about McLaren. He might have some "Doba" going on. You know, a long-time coach who took over for a coach who resigned? Known as a players coach, but now he's the man in charge? But it is probably more about the individual players that are just not good enough. They have their money tied up into Ichiro, and while he's a nice piece to the puzzle, he can't carry a team when they hit a two-week funk like all teams do. Ibanez and Beltre are fine, but are they legit 3-4 hitters in the AL? Maybe more like 5-6 or 6-7 hitters in a contending AL lineup, but not 3-4. If you put either of those guys in Boston, New York, even Cleveland, they would be in the lower-part of the order.

It's just too bad, because I sure as heck thought they would contend this year, if not win the division given the Angels and their injuries. It might not happen until the end of the year, but I think Bavasi pays for this with his job. And probably McLaren goes too. They should look no further than the bay area and flat-out STEAL Billy Beane to run this thing. Look what the guy does with less than half the M's payroll. Imagine if he had $100+ million to play with? If not Beane, then someone of his ilk who is simply ahead of the curve, ala Theo Epstein, or one of these brainiac, moneyball, OPS types that continually find value where other traditionalists overlook it.

Who knows though, they might not be that far away. They have the hardest thing in the world to find, and that's a deep starting rotation and a dominant closer when he's healthy. It could be a much easier task than it sounds to go out and get two impact bats this winter. Plus they are losing Sexson's 16 million, Vidro's 8.5, etc. We'll see! But it sure looks like a long summer.

longball said...

We really need the M's to get us through these Cougless months! At least there is an Olympics coming up. Nothing like leaping off the couch with joy and giving a full force Tiger Woods style fist pump because some 14 year old eastern european girl takes a header off the balance beam.

Any word on Jeshua Anderson's Olympic hopes?