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Because being on vacation is no excuse to quit writing cold turkey...

The Mariners were busy tweaking the 40-man roster yesterday, adding Michael Garciaparra, Mike Wilson, Ryan Rowland-Smith, and Bryan LaHair, and dropping Travis Chick, Jorge Campillo, and TJ Bohn. Bohn's already gone to the Braves as part of their decade-long effort to replace Tony Tarasco, but the other two are still around, at least for the next nine days. Chick'll probably be picked up by someone looking for a live-armed reliever with enormous lips, but Campillo cleared the last time this happened, and he'll probably clear again. Which is good, because I think he's a better shot to succeed in the rotation than Cha Baek or Jake Woods, and you'd like to have as many of those guys in Tacoma as possible.

Update: Campillo's apparently eligible for free agency if he clears waivers, so perhaps he won't come back after all. Rats.

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Speaking of better pitchers than Jake Woods (I know that doesn't really narrow things down), Jeff Harris signed with the Indians after leaving the Mariners as a free agent. A handy rule of thumb for evaluating GM's is that anything Mark Shapiro does is complete unbridled genius, so kudos to Bill Bavasi for doing the exact opposite.

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A few days after Jim Hendry gave out one of the worst contracts I've ever seen, Ned Colletti gave out one of the worst contracts I've ever seen. Judged against his peers, Juan Pierre is a bad baseball player, and now he has a contract as long as the one Vladimir Guerrero signed when he was 28 (and only $5m less per season). Quote Andrew from True Blue LA:

Here's my favorite part of this article. "'This man gets on base an awful lot,'" Colletti said of Pierre'. Pierre had on base percentages of .326 and .330 the last two years. This is the man in charge of building the Dodgers.

At least Alfonso Soriano is coming off an incredible season. Pierre sucked in Chicago, and he sucked in Florida the year before that, hitting like 2005 Jeremy Reed with wheels. Remember, 2005 Jeremy Reed was a disappointing player many people wanted dropped from the lineup altogether. There's zero chance that the Dodgers don't regret this contract by next November, but what really delights me is the anticipation of what Bill Plaschke might have to say about this when he finds time in between his busy schedule of bombing computer factories to fart out a couple one-sentence paragraphs.

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Ryan Howard didn't deserve the MVP, but then neither will Jeter, so whatever.

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To continue the theme of talking about what's going on everywhere else, be glad we're not the Reds. Rather than make an effort to re-sign the noted ex-Mariner superstar who just put up an .867 OPS in 440 at bats as an infield utility player, Wayne Krivsky gave five years and about $20m to the 40 year old Mike Stanton and the terrible Alex Gonzalez. Remember: bad decisions aren't made in isolation. A smart GM doesn't sign Jarrod Washburn for four years or trade half his talent for Gary Majewski. Bad decisions are made by people who aren't very good at their jobs, and the sooner you cut them off, the better. I'm willing to give Bavasi the benefit of the doubt because ownership hasn't given him the freedom to go after all the players he wants, but Krivsky's got free reign in Cincinnati, and he sucks. How long until people notice?

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Contrary to what Al Yellon assured me, the Soriano contract doesn't include any options. It really is eight years, guaranteed. Haha.

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In news that only makes today even more awesome, the Boston Globe claims that the Angels may be more focused on giving Gary Matthews Jr. $55m/5yr than going after the totally available Manny Ramirez. Ever since the Rangers hired Jon Daniels I've pegged Bavasi as the worst GM in the division, but there's not nearly as much distance between him and the rest of the pack as there should be.