SEATTLE – We start by putting our spotlight on our word of the week. The word? Disaster. Definition? A complete or terrible failure. Examples? Chernobyl, the Hindenberg, the DeLorean, and the Mariners organization.
On Friday, Eric Wedge became the third Mariners manager in the last 11 years to quit, citing philosophical differences with Howard Lincoln, Chuck Armstrong and Jack Zduriencik. Wedge said he wouldn’t have even signed a five-year extension, because he shares a different vision of the future than the men at the top.
You can either call Wedge a quitter – or realize the truth. That a man who was consistently honest and straight-forward simply had enough of the men pulling the strings – and is helping expose a problem we already knew. The total ineptitude and dysfunction at the top of the Mariners franchise.
Listen, I haven’t been in Seattle that long, but I’ve been here long enough to see Mike Hargrove quit, John McLaren completely lose his marbles after a game, Jim Riggleman managed too, Don Wakamatsu fired as a scapegoat, Daren Brown help pass the time,
and now Eric Wedge, who might not have made all the right decisions – but at least has the courage to stand up for himself against the common denominators who have overseen this unmitigated disaster.
Howard Lincoln and Chuck Armstrong.
I’m not saying Zduriencik isn’t to blame either. He’s provided the personnel, and the Mariners won a lousy 71 games this season. But look bigger picture, and the cancer began before he arrived. A cancer that leaves us with a struggling franchise with a lame-duck GM, trying to hire a lame-duck manager, and leadership that has refused to take ANY responsibility or accountability for their failures.
Since ownership has done nothing, these are the faces of that ownership. These are the faces who have watched attendance plummet and interest wane. These are the men who shrink from the media and won’t answer the tough questions. In 12 playoff-less seasons, these are have been the men steering the Mariners ship, and they’ve been just as effective as Gilligan and Skipper instead.
I feel bad for Zduriencik, because he’s siding with the men who will eventually throw him under the bus. Everyone under Armstrong and Lincoln have always been the scapegoat, while they won’t publicly take the blame.
It’s disrespectful. It’s irresponsible. It’s delusional. And it’s wrong. Disaster, yes, right now, the Mariners fit the definition to a tee, and there’s only one real, true way out of this inexplicable mess.