Well, this is awkward:
You know who I thought of first today when I heard of the A-Rod allegations? Bill Bavasi. Yes, that’s right. Let me explain.
A lot of the subtext of what’s come out in today’s report is that all those 104 players caught in the 2003 drug-testing sweep were essentially told they had a year to get themselves off drugs before the punishments became more severe. In other words, by 2004, a lot of those players “juicing up” likely got off their steroids and played the game clean. (Some may have gotten on to HGH, but we’ll assume some were clean).
Then, along comes Bavasi to run the 2004 Mariners. All of a sudden, a 90-plus win playoff contender from 2003 plummets to a 99-loss season. The offense drops off a cliff. Is there a connection between those drops and the stiffer drug testing? We’ll probably never know for certain. All I know is, Bavasi inherited a team that — for whatever reason — fell off the planet. I’ve never heard him complain about it. But I have heard other GMs talk about how much tougher it became to sign free agents and plan your team around the past performance of hitters starting with that spring of 2004.
– Geoff Baker, February 7, 2009.
Tell us, Geoff: would tarring the entire 2003 Mariners roster as ‘roiders have passed the “rigid standards” you used to teach at Concordia? Have go gotten around to looking all 25 of those guys from that team in the eye yet? Will you and Rosenthal still be friends after you allow him to rip you to shreds on national TV over this? So many questions . . .