Commentary: Mariners a disaster, and the obvious solution is ignored

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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.

eric wedgeListen, 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.


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  • Dennis

    This ownership group has proven time and time again that they’re completely inept when it comes to running a winning organization. Oh, they’re quite good at turning a profit, and sanitizing the live game experience to the point where you can’t make any noise lest you annoy tattletale patrons around you who will force you out. But, if you’re looking for a World Class organization, you better look elsewhere. Because with Howard and Chuck on the case, the Mariners will always be bottom-feeders.

  • Dave

    Absolutely spot on Aaron……Lincoln and Armstrong are complete disasters and I hope Nintento wakes up and cans them and we get some real baseball people in here…….fire them all and hire Lou Piniella as the top brass to hire and fire whom he pleases and then hide and watch

  • Madmancity-Seattle

    Aaron, my man- it is about time someone put voice to the Real Problem with Seattle baseball! And, although you haven't been here beyond a decade… I've been here all my 50 yrs, & it goes back to the beginning with Chuck Armstrong; who ran this club into the ground and forced all of the relocation nightmares from the 80's & 90's!! He made our Major League team into what George Steinbrenner used as the Yankees farm team. He sold off all of our talent- every year, until the Kingdome was populated by as many vendors & staff as fans. Well, he's done it again! When he was allowed back in… I got out; preferring the English Premier League (go Man City) & eventually the Sounders to the sad product on display at the "Safe"!! The "broom"- "AX" should start there, with Armstrong ( & Lincoln since he's adopted the suicidal business model of ol' Chuckie). I'm a new "Q it up" convert- & I'm watchin' from now on!! Thank God for Paul Allen (& Mgt.) doing it the "right way"… Go HAWKS!!

  • Amy Rhodes

    I have been reading the blogs and listening to commentary for the last few days regarding the situation with the Mariners and you, Aaron Levine, are the only one who has had the guts to tell it like it is. I am sick and tired of watching our baseball team being run into the ground. Armstrong and Lincoln have no clue what to do, and do not care about having a team that the fans and the Pacific Northwest can be proud of. While I am not a huge fan of Eric Wedge, and not sad to see him leave, I have no idea who, in their right mind would want to come and work for this organization with those 2 idiots running the show. I am not optimistic about the future for this team and it makes me sad.