Thursday, August 02, 2007

Of Doyle and Conspiracy Theories 

I posted this in comments on Geoff Baker's blog, where we digressed into Chris Snelling/Doyle talk, somehow, and looking at it, its somewhat amusing.

I guess I accidentally started it when I wrote the FACT we got Jose Vidro "For $15M for two years. And for Chris Snelling". In hindsight, I shouldn't have mentioned it.

To which, Go Cougs responeded with the inflammatory post "Why the hand-wringing over Chris Snelling? Do you really think he's ever going to amount to anything? The guy can't stay healthy and can once again be found in his customary position on the 60 day DL. I wouldn't have grabbed a declining Vidro because of his salary but I don't think Bavasi gave up too much to get him." Sums up the Snelling was overrated camp nicely, doncha think, but nicely includes the personal attack on Doyle bound to raise the ire of Doylites.

thewyrm takes the bait and follows the USSM-inspired Cult of Doyle line, perfectly stating the case that Snelling is everything Vidro is, except younger, cheaper, and with upside. But missing the "MLB Veteran" shiny seal of approval. Eloquent and succinct.

And finally, Mr. X chimes in with the brilliant, "you can't spell Doyle without DL."

Amazing how the mere mention of Chris Snelling's name brings out this little microcosm of pro/con Doyle angst, and yet so eloquently summarized by four posts.

I'm wondering if anytime Snelling's name is mentioned if a similar capsulized debate breaks out. Kinda interesting, really. We M's fans are so well read that we know the opinions by heart and can pull them out at will. They may have originated as our own opinion, but through practice and repetition they do begin to sound alike.

A Conspiracy of Joses

The interesting thing to me, is, why did Bavasi make the Vidro for Snelling/Fruto trade in the first place. Bavasi knew how beloved Doyle was to the Mariner "blogosphere," and how they would hate this trade. He's taken the time to speak at USSM sponsored events and he knows the high regard they have for Doyle. But the hard-core fan who reads blogs is most likely not going to give up on the team at this point, even if they trade Snelling.

But, 11 days before trading for Jose Vidro, Bavasi signed one Jose Guillen, who now has gone out of his way to indicate his displeasure at the callup of Adam Jones. One Adam Jones whose presence directly threatens the playing time, not of Jose Guillen, but of Jose Vidro. Jose Guillen has been Jose Vidro's teammate for the past two (relatively calm for Guillen) years in Washington.

Coincidence? I think Guillen has got Vidro's back and somehow, for whatever reason, Bavasi wanted Guillen bad enough to take both Jose's in a package deal.

And knowing he was going to take the RF/DH package of Joses, Bavasi did the right thing for Chris Snelling. He gave him a chance at major league playing time by trading him to the Nationals. I don't think the Nationals even wanted him. Based on the amount the Nats played him (sparingly), and how quickly they shipped him off to Oakland, I truly believe the inclusion of Snelling in the deal was Bavasi's goal, and not the Nationals.

The next question would be, why would Bavasi want Guillen and Vidro over someone like Snelling and some other hitter. Guillen was the best bat available for a 1-year contract, and probably the best bat besides Soriano and Lee megacontracts on the market. Interestingly, he also has a history of fighting with his manager.

Somehow, the conspiracy theorist in me can't quite find the picture, but the pieces are there. Hargrove won't play Snelling. Ichiro suffered next to two rookie cneterfielders in another losing season. Ichiro threatens free agency. Guillen and Vidro are connected somehow and Bavasi gives up Snelling to acquire both Joses. Neither Jose sees the bench in first half when Vidro definitely deserved it. Hargrove resigns out of the blue. Within days, a happy Ichiro signs contract extension. Bavasi Mission Accomplished? Were these his goals for the first half of the season - lose Hargrove by giving the clubhouse over to the Joses, and thus keep Ichiro? Hmmm... And now, there purpose served, its time to make the playoffs. So lets get Adam Jones, and even trade for Jose Vidro's eventual replacement in Mark Loretta. Is Jason Ellison connected also? He's all-field, no stick, but supposedly another "good clubhouse guy" who has now served his purpose.

There is a pattern here, but I can't quite figure it out. But I prefer to think of my GM as an evil mastermind than a bumbling idiot so I'll continue to ponder...

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