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Last, but certainly not least, it's time to clean house.
To me this is no longer a question of if, but when.
Perhaps general manager Jack Zduriencik and manager Eric Wedge can continue to tread water a bit longer and even make it to the end of the season, but time and patience when considering their body of work in Seattle the past few years is wearing thin.
What's particularly frustrating is that Jack Z appears to want more time, but as Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times explained earlier this week:
Right now, other than a good bullpen and more minor league prospects who may or may not work out in another year or two, this team can’t produce evidence that things will be different in 2015. It can’t win right now, even with a rotation fronted by Felix Hernandez and Hisashi Iwakuma.
That could still change in the weeks and months ahead. But unless it does and Zduriencik can at least point to a .500 season from the current decade, the case for giving his plan two more years hasn’t been made. Remember, the end-goal of this plan was supposed to be contention year after year. Right now, there is no evidence this team can contend even once.
And giving Zduriencik two more years now could lead to pleas for two more years midway through the 2015 season. Which is how three-year plans give birth to five-year plans, seven-year plans and even 10-year plans.
At some point, there must be tangible results. And other than being younger and cheaper, this squad hasn’t proven any better than the one Zduriencik inherited in 2008.
Well put, but in the same breath Baker a few days later doesn't see the promotion of Mike Zunino as desperate by the front office, as much as a courtesy to the paying fans:
The Mariners owe it to their paying fans and players to put as close to an MLB product on the field as possible with the intention of winning games. This idea that you can use MLB as an experimental training ground for three, or four, or even six months every season, regardless of how many games your team loses, is a relatively new phenomenon encouraged by an extremely-vocal segment of fans and pundits more interested in the process of how a team is built than the actual yearly results.
Problem is, that phenomenon runs contrary to what those paying their way into games, as well as the team’s players, actually expect. You can’t ask 25 guys to bust their butts night in, night out, then tell people to pay MLB prices to see it, if you’re throwing less than your best out there.
Truth be told, the M's have been putting their best out there for a decade now—and the product stinks.
Fans in Seattle are cognizant of that fact as that ship sailed long ago, hence the reason the M's continue to see their attendance figures drop year after year.
Two separate general managers and handful of field generals working with them have tried anything and everything, only to see their chemistry experiment explode time and again.
Today the Mariners are no closer to putting a winning team on the field than the day that Jack Z took over as GM almost five years ago—and with several key issues hanging in the balance, I'm left to wonder if this organization needs to start over once again so it doesn't continue to make the same mistakes.
Whether the promotion of Zunino is a ruse or not is beside the point. It's more the unshakable doubt that the Mariners are forever trapped in a web of mediocrity they can't escape no matter what they do.
Deep down I want Zunino to succeed, just like I do for Dustin Ackley, Brad Miller and everyone else mentioned here. Yet in a strange way I still can't shake the image of Russell Wilson in a Mariners jersey.
Where is the Mariners' special someone capable of breaking the spell and helping people believe again?
Maybe Jack Z has already found him, but right now I have serious doubts. Even if this mythical figure did exist, Jack Z probably won't be around in time to see him—and that's a shame.
At the end of the day I like Jack Zduriencik and believe that he has a good eye at scouting talent; however, when it comes to putting together a roster capable of winning ballgames, his successes are dwarfed by his failures over the past five years.
As for Eric Wedge, he hasn't had much luck turning lemons into lemonade, and I'm not sure that we can keep watching this.
What should have been a joyous night at Safeco on Wednesday night with Mike Zunino's debut and the M's just three outs away from a 1-0 win soon turned into something so ugly, so fast that I still can't find the words to describe it.
Yet we each continue to foolishly keep waiting, wishing and hoping for something better.
Ultimately I consider myself a reasonable man, so while I understand it may be too much to ask for the M's to field a contender anytime soon, is it that hard to provide the good people of Seattle a major league-caliber team capable of entertaining its fans on a fairly frequent basis?
Let me know when you get the chance, as I along with everyone else in this town would appreciate it.