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Mariners respond to Seattle Times report on dysfunctional front office

Dec 9, 2013, 12:40 PM EDT

jack zduriencik getty Getty Images

Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times wrote a fascinating article about the Mariners’ dysfunctional front office, featuring vicious quotes from former manager Eric Wedge and former assistant to the general manager Tony Blengino. And now general manager Jack Zduriencik has issued a statement in response.

It’s too long to reprint in its entirety–you can get the full transcript by clicking here–but a couple excerpts stood out. First, on Wedge:

Eric approached me numerous times throughout the year expressing his desire for a long-term contract. Even the day before he quit, Eric called a meeting with me and demanded a contract extension.

And then on Blengino and the team’s statistical analysis department:

I can also say that our current statistical analysis group is doing excellent work. Our dedicated staff and the tools they are using are a key component in our decision making process, and are light years ahead of where we have been. I am engaged with their work on a daily basis and very excited in the improvements made.

Wedge basically accused the front office of being an absolute nightmare to work under and Blengino flat-out said Zduriencik lied about being well-versed in statistical analysis while having zero interest in valuing it.

  1. nymets4ever - Dec 9, 2013 at 12:45 PM

    Jack Z just looks like a big douchebag.

    • yahmule - Dec 9, 2013 at 3:48 PM

      Years of nobody being able to spell or pronounce his name soured him on humanity.

  2. chacochicken - Dec 9, 2013 at 12:55 PM

    Fortunately for Jack, he can point to this stellar history of successful transactions and the exceptional win-loss record to defend himself.

    • historiophiliac - Dec 9, 2013 at 12:58 PM

      Well, it’s not like he can play the Pudge card.

    • Michael - Dec 9, 2013 at 2:45 PM

      Reasons Howard Lincoln doesn’t fire Z:

      1. Loyalty
      2. Yes-man-ship
      3. Convenient hole in back through which to operate arms, mouth

  3. jdillydawg - Dec 9, 2013 at 1:02 PM

    Man, this is ugly. If anyone doesn’t think the Mariners have a problem, tell me, what top-notch organization considers it a good business practice to just air its dirty laundry in the press? This is the most dysfunctional group of owners/managers I’ve ever seen.

    If I’m Cano, I suppose I’m just going to sit back and enjoy the paycheck and resign myself to the fact that my new team will never be a contender for the life of my new contract. That’s pretty sad.

    God, I wish this team could get its act together.

    • NatsLady - Dec 9, 2013 at 1:49 PM

      Well, here in the other Washington… we are have the some fun with the football team. I think WE want the title of “most dysfunctional group of owners/managers!” Not baseball related, but this editorial is pretty juicy.

      At first, you want to laugh, in self-defense, perhaps: a weasel, a skunk and a peacock come into a bar . . . oh, sorry, that’s just Mike, Dan and Robert.

    • sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Dec 9, 2013 at 2:58 PM

      I wonder if a guy like Cano, who had only ever played for the Yankees, might underestimate the value of playing on a winning team. I look at some of the great players in baseball history who never made the Playoffs, and I wonder how much of their personal regular season success or personal wealth they would have been willing to give up for just a shot at the playoffs.

      With $240MM he can do just about anything he wants, except play baseball in October.

    • clydeserra - Dec 9, 2013 at 4:09 PM

      Have anyone pointed out the J.Z. Jay Z coincidence?

      • yahmule - Dec 9, 2013 at 5:21 PM

        Same dude?

  4. NatsLady - Dec 9, 2013 at 1:42 PM

    From the transcript:

    When there are areas that need improvement, it’s my job to ask questions, suggest ideas and give direction to the field staff. When our upper management has questions or suggestions, it’s my job to respond to them. I don’t believe meddling is a fair portrayal.

    One good example is the issue of the Mariners doing extra work last September. That suggestion was mine. Everyone in the baseball department thought this would be a good teaching time to help us improve our fundamentals with a young team, and help set the tone for spring training.

    In other words, I was a buttinsky, I am a buttinsky, and I plan on being a buttinsky in the future. Because, obviously, no field manager knows how to run drills or prepare for spring training.

    • chinahand11 - Dec 9, 2013 at 3:50 PM

      And micro-manager. Oh, how bad would the Mariners be without this doofus running around telling everyone how to do everything. Sigh.

  5. beastmode5150 - Dec 9, 2013 at 6:01 PM

    Dumpster fire

  6. Old Gator - Dec 9, 2013 at 6:36 PM

    As a Feesh fan, I have no intention of getting down in the gutter with a bunch of delusional we-have-the-most-dysfunctional-front-orifice wannabees and arguing to a pointless draw. Dream on, Crew of the Minnow fans.

  7. anxovies - Dec 9, 2013 at 6:54 PM

    The Seattle club is quietly chugging along with a little less than moderate success the past few years. Not a very good team but not a very, very bad one either. They have a legitimate star pitcher and a few younger players and a couple of prospects that are starting to look good. Then they decide it would be a good idea to sign the best free agent available and they get the spotlight. Everyone tells them they are paying way too much for way too long and then former managers and executives dump all over them and the press descends like a brother-in-law on a free meal. You have to feel a little sorry for them. A little.

  8. blynch67 - Dec 10, 2013 at 6:47 PM

    Seattle is the perfect place for Robinson Cano. Expectations are low, and Robbie can just show up and hit 30 homers, bat .300, etc. with no real pressure to excel… That is the key reason why he chose Seattle over NY.

    Excelling under pressure, even for a gifted athlete, is hard work. And we Yankee fans all know that Robbie really don’t have that ‘passing gear’…

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