SSB, I know that you know Hudson failed a physical. What if he signed him and he couldn't play through the wrist pain. Would you be giving Bowden and the Lerners slack for at least trying, or decrying it as another boneheaded waste?
I think the physical is what needs to be questioned as well. I understand your point. It would have been one thing if the offseason had been well run otherwise and we missed out on one guy. To me, not signing Hudson has had limited impact on the outcome of the season. The pattern of how the last offseason was run - both in terms of moves (an non-moves made), how they were made, along with the failure of not cutting Bowden loose before it was too late, is what made the difference. Not signing an allstar, gold glove 2B who filled a glaring need is simply a symbol of all of the inaction and failure of siezing a once in a decade opportunity.
Of course, once we were stuck with what Manny still calls "the most talented team he has had" the blown saves can be chalked up to a combination of bad moves and a ridiculous commitment to pitchers like Hanrahan that everyone knew sucked. They dug a hole early, and no matter how much you pay players, playing through a lost season after a month and a half leads to diminished performance. It's human nature.