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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Once again Bavasi shows his ability to pick a pitcher


We've talked about this before, but Saturday's game just underscored it again. Bill Bavasi should not be the Mariners' general manager.

How did Saturday's 9-1 win over Kansas City lead to that conclusion? Simple. Bavasi, and the organization I'm presuming, didn't think Cha Seung Baek could win in the big leagues, despite Baek's decent late-season stint last year. So Bavasi spent millions of the organization's dollars on Jeff Weaver (great choice) and Miguel Batista (maybe that one will work out). He also spent one of the best arms in the bullpen to get Horacio Ramirez (the best pitcher on the team when he's in the 206 area code; everywhere else, watch out).

So what has Baek done? The guy who wasn't good enough and is only pitching due to injuries is the third best pitcher in the rotation. Nice call Mr. Bavasi.

The second-best pitcher, Jarrod Washburn (and to give Bavasi credit, he did sign him before last season) takes his 4-4 record and 3.15 ERA to the mound today (11:10 a.m.; FSN; 920-AM) against the Royals as the M's try for a sweep before moving on the Anaheim.

Today's hot list …

• Baek's pitching and the recent offensive explosion seems to be the theme in today's stories. Here they are, from the Times and the News Tribune. The Kansas City Star had this focusing on Meche.

• Kenji Johjima might just be the best catcher in the American League right now. At the very least he is in the top three.

• J.J. Putz is excited about what the future holds for the M's bullpen.

• Larry Stone goes into the steroid "stuff" that is about to hit the fan, thanks to Jason Giambi once again. This is something I'm going to address soon.

• And our question of the day …

• Is Johjima playing over his head or is going to have a great year with the bat?

SportsLink is your portal into sports news around the Inland Northwest and beyond. You'll find updates, notes and opinions, and plenty of reader feedback.

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Vince Grippi's daily take on all things regional sports has been moved to our main sports section online. You can find a collection of these columns here.