"You build your pitching staff from the back to the front - if we can shut you down in the eighth and ninth innings, you aren’t going to beat us."
This is nothing new for Bill. From a July 1999 publication:
"When [formergeneral manager] Whitey [Herzog] was here, he always told me that if he had his preference, he would build a team from the back to the front."
Now, first of all, this isn't a very good policy for a general manager to adopt. You should build your pitching staff from the front to the back, because while a good bullpen is important, a good rotation is more important. An effective starter is more valuable to a team than an effective reliever.
And second of all, it's an open question as to whether Bavasi even followed his own advice during his time in charge of the Rafael Soriano - one of the team's only effective relievers - for Horacio Ramirez. He wasn't building from the back to the front when, a week later, he gave $25 million and three years to Miguel Batista. There were questions in the bullpen when he gave $37 million and four years to Jarrod Washburn. After the bullpen imploded down the stretch in 2007, Bavasi gave $48 million and four years to Carlos Silva, then gave five players - including a good reliever - to the for Erik Bedard.. Bavasi wasn't building from the back to the front when he traded
Truly, one of the only pieces of evidence that Bavasi preferred to build from the back to the front during his time in Seattle was when he and the coaching staff put Brandon Morrow in the Major League bullpen after all of 16 innings in the minors. There was also all that time he spent not signing Felix to a contract extension.
Bill Bavasi has espoused an approach that is bad. He hasn't stayed true to his personal philosophy, which is bad. When he took his own advice, the results were bad. When he went against his own advice, the results were bad. Pretty much everything about Bavasi's time in charge in Seattle was bad.
Five years. Bill Bavasi ran this team for five years.