There were some good times but whoooooo boy were there some bad ones.
Good morning. Jack Zduriencik has been relieved of his duties as Seattle Mariners General Manager. I wonder if anyone just read that sentence and it’s the very first they heard the news. Surprise! Jack Zduriencik has been fired. The Zduriencik regime lasted close to 8 years, which is long enough for a large amount of events to take place; some of the “Yay Felix” variety but, let’s be honest, there was a whole lot more of:
I asked a few of the staff to share their most positive and negative memories of Jack Zduriencik’s time in Seattle, which you may now find collated below.
Nathan Bishop – “Nothing has ever topped the Cliff Lee trade for me. Fresh off 2009, #6org not being a punchline, full of hope that the Mariners actually had an amazing, Tampa Bay with money kind of front office, the team acquired one of the best pitchers in the game for a collection of mediocre prospects. I was convinced that another great era was upon us.”
DERS Jorstad – “My favorite moment has to be that Figgins signing/Cliff Lee acquisition combination that happened during the winter before the 2010 season. It just seemed so brilliant at the time. Figgins was a stud third baseman with plate discipline and was going to form a seemingly killer combo with Ichiro at the top of the order. After that, Jack Z managed to get Cliff Lee from the Phillies for basically table scraps, giving the Mariners an awesome duo at the top of the rotation. Man, 2010 had so much promise.”
Michael Barr – “I remember attending the LL/USSM meetup at the Seattle Center (I think that’s where it was) after the 2009 season. The Mariners were coming off the inexplicable 85-win season. They squeezed usefulness out of Ken Griffey Jr. Jack flipped a decent reliever for Franklin Gutierrez who then put up his 6.0 WAR season, making Jack look like a genius. Russell Branyan hit 31 home runs and posted a 2.7 WAR despite miserable defensive metrics. Scrap-heap reliever David Aardsma saved 38 games. Don Wakamatsu appeared competent. All things appeared so unbelievably positive.
The place was absolutely packed, sold out in days. Jack and crew walked in and they received about a five minute standing ovation. How things have changed.”
David Skiba – “Ackley’s first game. Phillies at home and we were competing for the first time in what felt like decades. Ackley works a 3-2 count and gets a single up the middle off of second base bag.”
Peter Woodbrun – “Mariners got Cliff Lee in a trade. Cliff god damn one of the best pitchers in the game at the time Lee. Even better, I was coming out of the woods (of course) from the announcement, had no context and was celebrating with friends about two day old news via text.”
Brendan Gawlowski of Baseball Prospectus – “Jack Zduriencik’s interview on the broadcast during the final game of the 2009 season. The sun was shining, Felix was dominant, Ichiro had hits and our hero of the hour was discussing the process that would help lead the Mariners back to the postseason in 2010. Hours later, Griffey singled, the Mariners won and the team took a victory lap around the outfield amidst hugs, cheers and general merriment.”
Jake Mailhot – “Trading for Cliff Lee and imagining he and Felix atop an unstoppable playoff rotation.”
Colin O’Keefe – “Cano signing. Was riding in on the bus, saw the Heyman tweet and called Conner, who was asleep after following it all night. Showed things can go right, Seattle could be a power.”
Matt Ellis – “Best and worst: Jack Zduriencik learning he lost he Prince Fielder signing live on television from a beat reporter. Rather than counter a good memory with a bad memory, since, say, his foot-in-mouth Cano press conference with Jay Z is both a high and low point, I would rather remember the Jack Z era for precisely what it was: good intentions quickly slapped in the face with the wet noodle of a reality that doesn’t give two shits for you and your font sizes.”
Nathan – “It’s recent and I guess all hope and confidence should have been gone but I was camping earlier this summer and away from all communication for three days. The first thing that popped up on my phone when I got back in range was the Castillo/Trumbo-Nuno Trade. I don’t hate Trumbo as much as some but the realization that the Mariners were still going to hang Zunino out to dry, just after giving us hope with a smart trade for catcher help, and all in the name of Jack’s RH power fetish, broke me. I remain broken.”
David – “The only time I ever booed a player was a particularly egregious Brandon League blown save at home that spelled the end of him closing for us.”
Peter – “Trading away John Jaso. Never got over that. Also because getting John Jaso made it seem like Jack Z was a guy who knew how to find a diamond in the rough. Trading John Jaso made it seem like Jack Z was a guy staring at a diamond through a magnifying glass and then throwing it in the trash.”
Brendan (of BP) – “The Josh Lueke trade and subsequent organizational dance where executives made conflicting statements about what the Mariners knew about Lueke’s past. The scapegoating of Carmen Fusco added a cherry on top to Zduriencik’s worst hour.”
Jake – “The Josh Leuke trade and realizing Jack Z had no discernible interpersonal skills.”
Colin – “The last two months. Just a long, slow frustrating death by mediocrity.”
Matt – “Insert the gIF which I can’t find because I’m at the beach and drinking a beer without any shoes on but I think Colin has it?
Sent from my iPhone”
This article was written by Nathan Bishop from SB Nation Lookout Landing and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.