*The full context of this article, with pictures, can be viewed at SeattleSportsnet.com.
Seattle Mariners' GM Jack Zduriencik is not perfect. He has yet to make the playoffs as a general manager, and some would argue that he’s slightly out of shape.
But if you look at what this portly bald man has accomplished in the past four months, you have to be excited. With nearly every offseason transaction, Jackie Z. has hit a veritable home run. The man is part genius, part guru, and we love it.
In fact, we love it so much that we’ve taken the time to break down the Top 11 reasons why you should get on your knees and really love Dr. Z. I mean, really love him. Use your imagination.
11. He was ballsy enough to non-tender that ornery bastard Erik Bedard
Would Bill Bavasi have done that? Noooo.
Bavasi would have gone to bed with Bedard and given him a soft oil massage if Bedard asked for it, and that’s just messed up in so many ways.
The thing is, we all knew that Bavasi effed up badly about five minutes after he pulled the trigger on the deal. And knowing that we knew about his flub, Bavasi tried everything in his power to rectify the situation by continually running Bedard out to the mound, even when the guy should have been on the DL. Ultimately, it cost Vincent Price-lite his job.
Jackie Z., on the other hand, was tired of Bedard’s antics from the get-go. The unreliance, the attitude, the whole package. And because of that, he essentially cut the dude. Good riddance.
10. He has a master’s degree in physical education from Austin Peay State University
First of all, he has a master’s degree.
Second, it’s in PE.
Third, it’s from Austin Peay State U., which is not even a state.
Everything about this is perfect. Let’s just leave it at that.
9. In two seasons of single-A ball, Jackie Z. batted .068
He went 1-15 with the Appleton Foxes in 1973.
He went 2-29 with the Foxes in ‘74.
He recorded three total bases.
His OPS was .157.
He retired after the ‘74 season at the age of 22.
All of this brought him to us.
Somewhere, Mario Mendoza feels like a king.
8. He is the subject of THIS amazing article
Click the “THIS.”
It’s pretty funny.
7. He rocks the swest better than Ty Willingham ever did
The swest (sweater-vest) tends to get a bad rap around these parts.
Ever since the UW Bookstore started selling swests to coincide with Tyrone Willingham’s arrival, then clearance-racked those same swests when Ty got fired, people have shunned the swest.
Well, shun no more. The swest is back thanks to Dr. Z.
Dude rocks the sleeveless cashmere like a pimp, and he does it in all forms of weather. Rain, sun, extreme heat, extreme cold, doesn’t matter. Any time is swest time.
My wardrobe thanks you, Jackie Z.
6. He netted return value on Yuniesky Betancourt
Of all the moves that Jackie Z. has made, this is perhaps the most underrated.
Not only did Jack rid the team of the cancer that was Yuni, he sold the guy at his lowest value AND managed to get quality players in return. This is akin to trading Enron stock straight across for Google stock the day before Enron went under. It’s that impressive.
If there ever comes a time when the Z Man screws up and is searching for a free pass, please harken back to this ungodly deal that took place last July.
5. His real name is John A. Zduriencik
Which means that “Jack” is only a nickname.
What a great nickname. Most guys have nicknames that are just stupid reflections of their personality, like “Stubby” or “Smiley.” Not Jackie Z.
His nickname is actually a real name that he decided to turn into a nickname.
Think about that. How bad-ass are you when you just decide to change your name for the hell of it?
“Hey, Billy! Get over here!”
“Nah, my name isn’t Billy anymore. It’s Frank now. And I’m gonna kick your ass if you call me Billy one more time.”
What a baller move.
Jackie Z. is a freakin baller.
Give him a Jersey Shore fist pump for that.
4. He has climbed the ladder to success
Unlike some of these Moneyball nerds that sleep their way to GM positions before their 30th birthday, Jackie Z. has paid his dues. Here’s a summary of his credentials:
- Area Scout, 1983-1989, New York Mets
- National Crosschecker, 1990 and 1994-1995, New York Mets
- Director of Scouting, 1991-1993, Pittsburgh Pirates
- Director of Minor League Operations, 1995-1998, New York Mets
- Special Assistant to the General Manager, 1998, New York Mets
- Director of International Operations, 1998-1999, Los Angeles Dodgers
- Director of Scouting, 1999-2006, Milwaukee Brewers
- Special Assistant to the General Manager, 2006-2008, Milwaukee Brewers
- Director of Amateur Scouting, 2006-2008. Milwaukee Brewers
- Special Assistant to the GM for Player Personnel, 2008, Milwaukee Brewers.
Like a fine wine, he has gotten better with age.
Like a cougar with three kids and a really good boob job, he’s experienced.
And like a hooker with soft hands, loose lips, and a penchant for cash, he knows how to get the job done.
3. He looks like Shrek
2. He also looks like Dr. Evil
1. He brought Junior back for the hell of it
Jackie Z. did not have to bring Ken Griffey, Jr. back.
He had already signed Mike Sweeney for pennies, and there were other options still available through trade or free agency.
But for one reason or another, Jack wanted Junior. And so did we. And together, we made it happen.
Yes, there were other people involved in the deal, namely team president Chuck Armstrong.
But ultimately it was Jack’s call.
And you can’t deny it.
Jack made the right call.