The title is Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations. Jerry Dipoto, spent three and a half seasons as GM with the Angels. He is well thought of and a good choice. At least my wacko Angels fan brother-in-law thinks so. And the way these things play out he is as good a source as any, or better.
New GM’s tend to get measured by looking back at trades and free agent signings. SOme good, some so-so and of course, some horrible. The horrible moves always carry more influence with fans. A deteriorating, worsening relationship with Angels ownership reportedly was the door opener for Dipoto.
Nobody knows how this hiring will work out. There is no reason to feel it will be really bad. Dipoto has the kind of experience as a player as well as stints in scouting, player development and as an assistant GM. It is also interesting that Dipoto was a short list candidate for the Mariners job back when Jack was hired. He should be a fine GM. The question is can he fix whatever is wrong with the scouting and player development side of things. Particularly with position players THAT is the challenge and the failing for the last seven years.
This change is a move that had to be made. That part was easy. Producing results, not so easy.
Briefly, here is what’s new, how things looked Sunday…The Hawks bagged a solid 26-0 win against a pretty pathetic Bears team. Almost any NFL team is pathetic without their starting QB. Hawks, Good, Bad & Ugly:
The Good: The Hawks Defense is still the Hawks D. The shut out the Bears out and never allowed this game to feel like anything but a win. The D is as solid as ever and the kicking game is right there as well. WIth the D and kicking game hardly any offense is needed at all, which brings us to….
The Bad: The Hawks offense is right where it has been for two + seasons: pretty productive when it gets going but for half the game or more it does NOT get going. The O has never been extremely productive in generating offensive touchdowns. In 2014 the Hawks O was kind of middle of the pack in that realm. Against a really bad Bears team the offense generated ONE touchdown. Not good. Will need better against better teams down the road. That brings us to…
The Ugly: Within that not-so-productive offense there is this element called the offensive line. Sunday it was ugly. For the first half there was little or no push, running lanes or anything else. But the real ugliness was the pass protection. Wilson is not just getting sacked ,he is getting hit, often. This is a trend carrying over from 2014. The QB is getting knocked around. Forget all that tough and fast stuff. If Wilson isn’t better protected very soon one of these games he is not going to get up. And T-Jack at QB would truly be ugly.
Ya know what I like about preseason football?
Not a $#@^&* thing!!!!!
If I was one of those NFL “fans” who really follows what is going on all year round I would be sick of the NFL already, weeks before the first game. I really don’t follow the NFL off-season much at all but I am still pretty sick of the off field NFL. And here we are, in mid August and this league teeming with woman beaters, DUI violators and substance abusers seems to be flexing its morals and standards in court, going after one of its prized employees.
U.S, District Judge Richard M. Berman is the federal judge wasting time hearing the “deflategate” case featuring the NFL and Tom Brady, New England QB. Brady, with support of the NFL Players Association is fighting the four game suspension handed down by the NFL commissioner/God, Roger Goodell.
Berman during one exchange questioned Goodell’s defense of the Brady suspension on the grounds of during one exchange the punishment was defended by the NFL on grounds it was comparable to performance enhancing drugs violations.
“How is that equal to steroid use” the judge asked.
“They both go to the integrity of the game” responded an NFL lawyer.
“Well ,everything goes to the integrity of the game.” the judge shot back.
There are probably no innocent parties here. I do tend to side with the employee who actually performs and somehow avoids criminal activities. At least over the CEO of a non-profit enterprise that gets paid $40 million plus. But there is one point that the judge and the NFL legal team are both way off target on:
This issue could only go to the integrity of the game if the NFL actually had any integrity.
It is July, 85 games through a 162 game season. The Mariners, our Mariners have called up Jesus Montero from Tacoma. Everyone knows the M’s don’t hit much, don’t run well and….well they just don’t score enough runs to win often. And that is NOT a recent development. So with the M’s in year six or seven of a nine or ten year run of low scoring, not hitting struggle we think they would try anything, right?
Like hit Lomo at leadoff? Tried that. Like try to steal bases? Tried that. IF you call getting caught stealing 26 out of 35 attempts trying. They tried waiting out Ackley, Zunino, Chris Taylor, Austin Jackson, Ruggiano. Hoping for some production. Mariners prayers were answered with silence, nothing.
After almost a half season Franklin Gutierrez is called up. Desperation move? Only if the team was NOT out of first place. AND NOT fi the guy (Franklin) is hitting over .300 and is probably as good an outfielder as any on the Mariners roster. Whether he really contributes a lot doesn’t matter. Hit .265 and you are an offensive monster on this team.
Another few weeks go by and the M’s decision makers finally thought maybe the big club could use a little more help. So scanning the Rainiers roster they spot this guy we have all been watching all year. This guy named Jesus Montero. This guy with all that history, most of it bad. That guy everyone said we would NEVER see again at Safeco, not with the M’s. The guy who played 135 games for the M’s in 2012, smacking 20 doubles, 15 homers while batting .260. This season at AAA Tacoma? Montero hit .332 while leading the PCL with 113 hits, runs scored ((57), total bases and RBI (68). His .899 OPS powered 12 doubles, FIVE triples and 15 home runs. Pretty cool , huh? WAITAMINUTE! He batted .369 with RISP. That is runners in scoring position, .369! Not sure how good that is? Well, it is better than the current Mariners team mark of .215.
I really hope both Gutierrez and Montero make a difference . I hope they both produce. I doubt they will turn this floundering offense around in any immediate way. But they both can minimize the shoulder shrugs and continual line up sheet with three sub .200 hitters starting. And for one guy, Jesus Montero, this will surely be the second coming.
We used to be able to count on a few things around here. Like summer showing up around the Fourth of July. Like a few Sasquatch sightings once in a while. Like an NBA / NHL arena is right around the corner, any day now. I am pretty sure we can’t really count on any of those anymore. But there is one thing you can count on. Whatever happens with the Mariners, EVERYONE will blame Jack.
Jack Zduriencik came to the Mariners for the 2008 season. He is now in his seventh season here. Remember the greats? Only one GM has served more than the seven seasons of Jack. Pat Gillick (4) Bill Bavasi (5) Lou Gorman (4) all had their moments. Only Woody Woodward’s 1988-99 tenure is longer. Other than the 1995 epic season, four winning records in the late 90’s are not well-remembered. Nor is Woodward’s name even noted as a contributor. But any mention of the Mariners this season carries with it an energetic Jack slapping. For the last few seasons Jack has earned plenty of criticism. This season the whining, complaining, and general rock-throwing has continued. But for a change, Jack should NOT be the target.
These 34-41 Mariners are NOT nearly as good as most of us thought they were in March. They probably were never a 95 win threat to sneak through the playoffs. But they are not only at .450 right now, they have been at that level since late April. My guess is that the M;s can “keep it going” and play .500 ball the rest of the way and win around 78 games. To even finish at 82-82 the Mariners must play .540 ball, to win 90 and challenge for a wild card spot 56 more wins are needed, or a 64% clip. Not gonna happen. Why does Jack deserve blame? He doesn’t.
Jack brought in Cruz and Seth Smith to provide a little offensive help. Both have made significant contributions. Problem is almost nobody else has. Ackley hit.245 with 45 extra base hits in 2014. He will not approach that this season. Zunino, Brad Miller, Lomo, Austin Jackson, Trumbo have all been between almost tolerable and awful. Cano has been a big disappointment but is getting more blame than he deserves. Rodney was given way too many opportunities before being moved out of the non-closing closer spot. Seager has nice looking numbers but like the team does not produce well with runners in scoring position.The team is and has been a horrible run scoring bunch, as in a non scoring bunch.
Jack traded Saunders for J.A. Happ and the M’s rotation is propped up by Walker and Happ as Paxton and Iwakuma continue on their endless rehab adventures. The pen has been equal parts good and bad. Smith has looked good but every other outing the pen gives up runs late in games. Manager Lloyd appears to know what he wants to do but unsure of what he really ahs to work with. There is really no reason at all this team should be this bad.
Unless things improve dramatically (they won’t), Jack will most certainly be gone at the end of this season. The irony is, unlike the last three seasons he won’t deserve the flack or the pink slip.
-Going into Wednesday’s game with The Giants our Mariners had scored 30 runs since June 6, the last 10 games. Only three runs per game won’t win many. Well the Mariners won five of those 10. Amazing? More amazing is the fact the M’s scored 17 of those 30 runs in two of the 10 games, both wins. That means that in the other eight games, the Mariners scored 13 runs, a blistering 1.63 runs per game. And they won three of those! What does this mean? Even in the best of times, when the M’s win a few, they still don’t and can’t score. AND if the pitching ever heads south we will break out the paper sacks.
-Should no-hitters and shutouts count if they are thrown against the Mariners?
-Can you imagine how great Felix’s numbers would be if he got to pitch against the Mariners?
-With the weather so great without the M’s we would have nothing to complain about.