Mariners Insider

Mariners respond to allegations in Times’ story

Post by Bob Dutton / The News Tribune on Dec. 9, 2013 at 9:13 am with 4 Comments »
December 9, 2013 9:13 am

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Mariners sought to move past any distraction and controversy raised in the wake of a highly-critcial story that appeared in Sunday’s editions of The Seattle Times by issuing a statement Monday at the Winter Meetings.

The story alleged a high degree of dysfunction in the club’s front office from interviews with former manager Eric Wedge and Tony Blengino, a former special assistant to general manager Jack Zduriencik.

Zduriencik issued a statement that disputed the allegations of meddling and  incompetence painted by Wedge and Blengino.

The statement:

“Over the years, we have chosen to take the high road in talking about former Mariners personnel. It hasn’t always been easy but we always felt it was important to do so, not just for the club but also for the individual.  And in every case, it proved to be the right way to handle things. However, we believe the comments made by former members of our organization that appeared in the Sunday Seattle Times require a brief response.

“Eric Wedge, our former manager, criticized our organization, accusing Howard Lincoln, Chuck Armstrong and me of meddling.

“Everyone in our organization, including Howard and Chuck, is focused on putting a championship team on the field.  We all care very deeply about this team, just like the fans do.  We all see when the team is playing well, and when it isn’t.

“I’ve worked for several Major League organizations. Our upper management has suggestions and asks questions, just like CEOs and presidents in other organization do, all to be helpful and contribute to the goal of winning.  We all want to win as soon as possible.

“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.

“Howard, Chuck, Eric and I met every five to six weeks the past couple of seasons to make sure we were all on the same page.  Never once did Eric complain about our communications during those meetings. In fact, we all agreed that this was a good time to offer and share ideas.

“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.

“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.

“We have never deviated from our rebuilding plan. We have stayed the course, and we now have a talented group of young players. We are hard at work looking into every option to add to this core group, as we said we would, and we are looking forward to 2014 and beyond.”

Leave a comment Comments → 4
  1. Of course, I have no inside data on what passed between the leaders involved. All I see is performance on the field (esp. the lack thereof!) Fans are not interested in the blame game; we express our frustration over the game on the field, and we are generally in favor of anything to improve that.
    I do suspect that with the signings of Willie and Cano, we are in a position to package a young infielder in a “blockbuster” trade. We could use a strong outfielder – Kemp? I don’t know about his health, but that’s the arena that Z excels in -

  2. Quinault says:

    I think this all begs the question – what is a suggestion and what is a perceived order, when it comes from your boss? Anyway – bygones!

    Wedge, Tony and others are out the door. I am sort of glad that we did not rehash the termination of our Latin American scouting group, as I seem to remember a hint of a scandal there. Moving on.

    We are in the hunt for more offensive power, pitching and position players now, as well as a new Team President. We have opened up the checkbook, there is no going back now!

    I think that we will have a strong presence at the Winter Meetings. And who knows, with the installation of a new owner representative and a new Team President, maybe the Board will vote to replace Mr. Lincoln! There has to be some profit taking by the Nintendo Board sometime! I mean if they sell some of their interest in the team to fellow Board members, it is all profit! I mean it will cover their initial investment and they will still hold a controlling interest (should they care to). The Honorable Mr. Y has done his duty, now his successor needs to see the value of that initial investment returned.

  3. I find it interesting that about 3 months back (4? 5?) the Trib brass instructed Divish to tell us posters to lighten up on criticizing the M’s. Nothing posted here was even 1/2 as critical as the Times story. Don’t know if my opinion of the Trib can get much lower.

    At least I can still post here & on the Hawks blog without joining Farcebook.

    I really liked RD (we had a several off line discussions over the years by email) & I’m glad for him that he got to leave this sinking ship.

  4. Censor the fans disgust? That’s a total crumbling regime move. Nothing, and I repeat, nothing that this regime has done over the past decade has hinted that they want to field a championship team and making a desperate move to grossly overpay for what is destined to be a .300 20 85 hitter – and allegedly bidding against themselves no less – doesn’t suddenly shift the fan’s opinion. Seattle has great fans, and the Mariners have done nothing to capitalize on the SoDo Mojo of 2001. In fact, they’ve basically told the Mariner fan base that we don’t care what you think, we’re going to suck tremendously and you’re going to have to live with it.

    The fans are storming the castle and Chuckstrong and H-Linc and Jack Z are muttering “Let them eat cake”.

    Meanwhile, let us welcome the 8th manager in the past 10 years, Mr. “I’ll take any job I’m offered” Lloyd McClendon. This is obviously a championship caliber program you’ve entered. Not one where any manager is an ounce of pride gets canned for not winning with a garbage lineup and ownership that refuses to increase payroll. Good luck Lloyd. You’re going to need it.

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