Sigh: Tim Lincecum vs. Cliff Lee

You know what the difference is between Jack Zduriencik and Tim Ruskell Wally Walker Rick Sund Bill Bavasi?  Even in his BAD moves, at least I’ve understood the rationale behind it.

Trade the farm for Cliff Lee then trade him back for the farm?  Made sense, we didn’t contend this year.

Sign Chone Figgins to add a second leadoff hitter to your line-up?  Made sense, he’s hardly ever had a bad year in Anaheim and he seems built for the park to slap a lot of singles and doubles around.

Hell, sign Ken Griffey Jr. back after he struggled mightily in what was a “successful” comeback season?  Made sense, who could have seen him falling off the cliff so fast and so early?

I could go on and on, even not signing Russell Branyan at the beginning of the season, then trading for him later in the year when our chances for contending were long over made sense (albeit, somewhat of a stretch if you weren’t already loopy from a season gone so horribly awry).

You couldn’t say that about Bavasi.  Not whatsoever.  Thinking back on all the re-treads he tried to bring in – guys who were doomed from the start – just makes my stomach curdle.  However, no move he made set this ballclub back more than the move he DIDN’T make.

Tim Lincecum was a Washington Husky.  He was a highly touted force in college baseball.  Pretty much, he was a sure thing and SOMEONE was going to take him in the top 10.  In 2006, the Seattle Mariners held the #5 pick and chose Brandon Morrow – when everyone and their grandmothers thought the Mariners would pick the hometown hero – and we all know how Brandon Morrow turned out.

WHY didn’t the Mariners and Bill Bavasi choose Lincecum?  I dunno, something about his funky delivery and the potential for back problems.  Kinda like all those back problems Randy Johnson had when we made our minds up that we just COULDN’T re-sign him to a long-term extension at the end of the 90s?  Surely Randy Johnson wouldn’t go on to multiple Cy Young awards and end up winning ballgames well into his late 30s and early 40s.

Look, not taking a stud player because there’s a CHANCE he could get injured is absolutely rediculous!  Did the Seahawks get cold feet on Russell Okung because he might be injury prone?  Of course not, that would be a crazy notion; he never showed much in college that he’d be so susceptible to injury.  And yet, here we are, and he’s played one full game of regular season ball, looking to miss at least one more this week due to an ankle.

Well, did Lincecum show that he was injury prone in college?  I have no idea because I don’t watch or follow college baseball.  Nevertheless, I doubt it.

So, what was Brandon Morrow then?  The non-injury prone equivalent?  OK, that’s fine, he doesn’t get hurt.  Except, he’s NOT the equivalent!  He only played one season in major college ball as a starter!  And he wasn’t NEARLY as successful as Lincecum!  It’s just absurd!  Bill Bavasi, you are terrible!

It’s hard to say, “Look at what we would have” when imagining who Tim Lincecum has become alongside Felix and – dare I say it – Cliff Lee.  Because we botched so hard the early career of Brandon Morrow; who’s to say Lincecum wouldn’t be in Toronto right now trying to make good on all that promise while Morrow would be in San Francisco coming off back-to-back Cy Youngs?  One variable would be:  would Lincecum have been as attractive in the set-up role?  I don’t think he ever had a 100 mph fastball he could pound in on hitters in the 8th inning.  Maybe Lincecum could’ve gotten a year in AAA, then when things fell apart the next year gotten a chance in the major league rotation and we’d be in a significantly better boat.  I dunno.

What I do know is that the option was never given to the Mariners, because one man (or many men who that one man employed) decided it wasn’t worth the risk.

Sometimes It’s God Damned Worth The Risk!  What do you have to lose?  You’re a team that has won exactly NOTHING in the Major Leagues!

Anyway, this was going to be a preview of the World Series, starting tonight.  Lincecum vs. Lee.  My plan is to root for Cliff Lee while he’s in the ballgame, then root for the Giants every other inning.  I hope this game tonight goes 9 innings without a score.

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