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Generally Well Managed...or Not

Credit where credit is due.

The Seattle Mariners are Pat Gillick's success. More than Lou Pinella's, more than Ichiro Suzuki's, and evidently, a hell of a lot more than Bret Boone's.

The Yankees are Brian Cashman's baby, and before him, they were Bob Watson's. Joe Torre is great, but enough already. The G.M. gets the players. Enough with the Steinbrenner praise too. Once a boob, always a boob.

Billy Beane's genius in Oakland has been well-chronicled so we'll skip him, except to say that it's not all about payroll, and to make one more plea for Art Howe's propers.

Jim Bowden takes a lot of heat from all over the freaking place, some of it deserved, but he is great general manager. Kind of a blank-hole, but a great exec.

Minnesota? C'mon, let's learn these names now, shall we. G.M. Terry Ryan, Assistant G.M. Bill Smith. Mark it down.

Apologies all around for Bill Stoneman and Dan Evans. Both saddled with lame ownership and even lamer predecessors, the SoCal G.M.s deserve pats on the back (careful, not Kevin Brown's).

Don't give me that BS about money in L.A. The Dodgers are winning this year in large part because of their bargain guys, like Gagne and Perez and Roberts and Cora and Izturis, and even a bit of Kreuter and Mota and Carrara. It's not just Shawn Green.

In Boston, addition by subtraction primarily. He's a mercenary, there to build a stadium, but Larry Lucchino wasted no time with Dan Duquette, and it shows on the field. A no-brainer yes, but there wasn't exactly an abundance of Phi Beta Kappas at Fenway to begin with. Again, credit where credit is due.

More. John Schuerholtz -- smart and dependable, Ken Williams the same. Jocketty, solid, Minaya, up and coming, Arizona's Garage-door, great but lucky. Hunsicker and Giles, mediocre to incompetent.

K.C., Toronto, Cleveland, Detroit, Baltimore, Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh, Cubs, Brewers, Marlins? Doesn't really matter.

There is no explaining John "The horror!" Hart, so I won't try. If there is anyone in the sport who needs a vacation, it's that guy.

The rest? Well, you've got your Brian Sabean, with that incredible money-stream of a ball park, who's never too cheap to spring for a Deion or a Reggie Sanders or an Eric or a Russ Davis, or perhaps a David Bell, which is no doubt why the Giants have won a grand total of zero championships west of the Mississippi in half a century.

Then you have your Steve Phillips, who gets it right for a couple years only to lose his mind completely for another two, and your Dan O'Dowd, who does a yeoman's job on a regular basis but doesn't realize there's just no way.

Oh, and let's not forget the constantly-whining, Billy Beane-wannabe Kevin Towers, who, when he's not getting Ray Lankford or Ron Gant, is busy crying about how the Dodgers have too much money, or Curt Schilling is mean, or New York has better pizza (and Ted Lilly), or about how San Diego's smog is L.A.'s fault too. Bla, bla, bla. Just win baby. Better G.M.s do more with less all the time. I've laid it all out for you, K.T.

A personal aside (OK, another swipe at Kevin Towers, so sue me). Five or six years ago after a game in San Diego, I gave a jump-start to a senior couple, who claimed to be the parents of Towers' fiance. Nice couple actually. No crying about the injustice of a dead Diehard in a stadium parking lot. Just thanked me, and drove away...

Am I the only guy who thinks the All-Star Game ending the way it did was a good thing? Man, I thought it was awesome. Any way, and I mean any way Bud Selig gets to look more like the loser he is works for me. The man is so clueless, everything he touches turns to bleep. Why not this? So we had another game called. Happens all the time. BFD. Totally totally worth it. Just great...

Thanks for the feedback on my Barry Bonds column. We're all agreed. Great regular season player, one of the best, clueless human being, Andro…

Midseason award time. MVPs Green and Soriano, CYs Glavine and Lowe, ROYs Ishii and Hinske, Comebacks Ashby and Garciaparra, Managers Tracy and Howe.

No need to factor in the second half, Shawn Estes wins the Unbelievable, Bordering on Cowardly Lightweight of the Year Award. He will not finish the season in Flushing…

Angels? Don't care…

Perhaps therapy is in order, but when I was a kid, I thought Al Kaline was responsible for the Alkaline battery. Guys had to work during the off season in those days you know, and I thought maybe making batteries was Kaline's gig...

MacGyver is a five-tool player…

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