The Mariners chose Bill Bavasi over Al Avila in 2003, and less than five years later, they're again looking for a new general manager.
Maybe this time they should hire Avila, who as Dave Dombrowski's assistant has helped revive the Tigers.
Dombrowski and Avila overhauled the Tigers when they took over, and the same type of overhaul is needed now in Seattle. There isn't a quick fix. Listen to what M's pitcher Jarrod Washburn told reporters Sunday: "There's no sign of turning it around. We're not good."
The thing is, the Mariners were in need of an overhaul in 2003, too, and they didn't get one. They were an aging team, and yet they kept trying to convince themselves they were a move away. That's how you end up with a $117 million payroll and the worst record in baseball.
It's strange to look back at the Mariners-Orioles trade from the winter, the one that sent Erik Bedard to Seattle. Now the M's are a mess, and could well trade Bedard. Meanwhile, the Orioles -- who finally themselves realized an overhaul was in order -- are respectable at 34-34.
I'm in Philadelphia tonight, and the Phillies honored Orioles third-base coach Juan Samuel by inducting him into their Wall of Fame. Samuel said the thing about the young Orioles is that "they think they can win, and they talk about winning." He also said that they've turned things around because there's been a focus on playing the game right, starting with manager Dave Trembley, and the players have bought into it.
Why have they bought into it?
"Because they see the results," Samuel said.
They see results in Seattle, too -- negative results.