Now that the season has started I thought it would be fun to answer some questions from some of my readers. So here it goes.
Big John: What will be the fate of Jack Zduriencik if the M’s have another bad season?
That is a good question BJ. While it is still very early in the season it’s never too early to speculate on what may happen in the future if certain things take place. My guess is if the M’s have another bad year, which would be something like another below .500 record, play uninspired ball, end up in last place or close to it, then there could be some major changes at seasons end.
If all those things happen this is what I would like to see take place. First, I would not like to see Jack Z fired. I know he has made some not so great trades, signed some less than productive free agents but he has done a nice job in resurrecting the minor league system. Although we still haven’t seen any of his draft picks hit the big time, the system is being lauded around baseball as one of the best.
Instead of firing Jack Z I would restructure the front office. Since the Mariners like to bring back ex-Mariner players like Griffey (which was a mistake by the way. But that is a whole other post), Olivo, Ibanez and Morse just to name a few. Why not bring back the man that led the organization during its most successful run. Pat Gillick lives in the Seattle area and has said he would be open to returning to baseball in some capacity but not as a General Manager. And at the age of 75 that probably wouldn’t be prudent anyway. I would change the dynamics of the traditional General Managers position. I would think a little outside the box. For example, I would keep both Jack Z and Tom McNamara to run the draft and player development. But I would hire Gillick to handle all the decisions made at the major league level like trades and free agent acquisitions. This way Gillick and Jack Z get to do what they do best. And, when it comes time for Gillick to retire then you could elevate Jack Z back the GM position if you wish. You would have to think that working under Gillick, Jack Z would learn some valuable things when it comes to making the major league team better.
I just think it is a shame that we have one of the best, if not the best GM in the history of baseball living in our own back yard and we are not taking advantage of his expertise. Say what you want about how he left the minor league systems when he left his GM jobs, but he always won at the major league level, and quite frankly that is the most important thing to an organization isn’t it? And besides, that is why we retain Jack Z and McNamara, to maintain the minor league system. With the expected influx of money coming in to the organization from the new TV deal the Mariners signed, I think this organization would bounce back quickly under the guidance of Pat Gillick and the continued work of Jack Z and Tom McNamara. With Gillick heading the charge, I can guarantee you that the Mariners wouldn’t finish last under his watch. And would even challenge for the AL West title sooner rather than later.