By all accounts, accountability will rule the day ~ and the dugout…

Who is this 2011 Mariners team?

It has the super talents of Felix and Ichiro.

It has the wily vets of Cust, Figgins, Kennedy and Olivo.

It has the sky-high potential of Smoak, Pineda, League and Lueke.
It has the uncertain health of Wilson, Bedard, Aardsma and Guitierrez.

It has the utility/journeymen of Wright, Ray, Kennedy, Rodriguez and Langerhans.

It has the mixed capabilities of Vargas, Saunders, Moore, Pauley, Fister, Laffey and Ryan.
It has the bartender, Tom Wilhelmsen and the ever-impending eruption that is Milton Bradley.

But, it now has a manager who, by all accounts, is BIG on accountability.  this from Ichiro

“Every year is always different,” Ichiro said through interpreter Antony Suzuki. “But we have a new skipper. He’s pretty clear with what he wants to do, and we all are facing the same direction. He has a strong base that won’t sway. We know our roles and we all see the big picture, and that’s a big influence for us.”

One of Wedge’s pushes is to get players working and thinking in tandem with hitters above and below them in the batting order, and Ichiro talked of both directions Thursday.

With regard to No. 2 hitter Chone Figgins, he said the growth from a year is obvious.

“We’ve played for a little more than a year now, and we obviously know each other a lot more,” Ichiro said. “Spring Training and the season are different, so we’ll have to see how it works out starting tomorrow. But we trust each other more, we know more about each other’s personalities and game style. So that said, we rely on each other more because we know each other. That’s how it should be, and that’s how it will be.”

He also sees good things in having Brendan Ryan and Jack Wilson hitting eighth and ninth at the bottom of the order, setting up more speed on the basepaths in front of him than in recent years, and the potential for more run-producing opportunities.

“It’s interesting because I have more to do now with guys on base,” he said. “I have to do what I can do to help the team, and that’s what I look forward to.”

So, while the long term goal is … WINNING…
The short term expectations have been notably lowered, as this season the team comes together under new leadership to show marked improvement in terms of on the field talent and performance and off the field attitude and accountability.  Baby steps that, over time, this will lead to that ultimate goal.

Patience is a virtue fans….

In the end, I’ve no doubt it will be worth the wait.


ST17 | vs. Royals

Mariners 1 | Royals 9


Comments from Wedge and Felix say it all…

After watching his team lose, 9-1, to Kansas City, manager Eric Wedge tried to be a little understanding.

“It’s the middle of spring,” he said. “In the beginning, guys are all fired up to be playing games. About halfway through, where we are now, they realize, ‘Hell, there’s a couple more weeks of this.’

“There’s no excuse for sloppiness, and this is not the way we’re going to operate. You’ve got to come to play, and the last couple nights, we’ve been a little sloppy.”


Felix Hernandez didn’t like the green baseball cap Major League Baseball requires all its players to wear on St. Patrick’s Day – and he wasn’t crazy about his pitching, either.

“I threw everything tonight, and they hit it all hard,” the Seattle ace said. “I got my work in, but 80 pitches in four innings? That’s not good. And six runs? That’s terrible.”


And the coaching staff winners are….

Appears to be a good mix of experience and acquaintance – some with ties to the M’s, some with ties to Eric Wedge, some with ties to both … and one new guy.

“I think it’s really important that we had somebody within the organization, somebody outside the organization and somebody connected to last year’s staff, too,” Wedge said Thursday in a conference call. “We really tried to cover the bases.”

Hiring the coaching staff was the first major step for Wedge and Zduriencik as a team. Wedge was hired a little more than two weeks ago.

“We’re happy with the staff we were able to put together,” Zduriencik said. “Eric and I spent a lot of time together as we considered our needs and desires.”

Chris Chambliss * Hitting Coach

Chambliss, 61, played on four World Series champions with the Yankees and has worked 13 years as a major league hitting coach with the Yankees, Cardinals, Mets and Reds. He managed the past two years at Class AAA Charlotte in the White Sox organization.

“He’s a guy who really knows hitting,” Wedge said. “His experiences and his presence are going to be a big plus for us as we get our hitting program on track.”

Bench ~ Robbie Thompson
Bullpen ~ Jaime Navarro
Pitching ~ Carl Willis
First base ~ Mike Brumley
Third base ~ Jeff Datz

Welcome Skipper Wedge!

Well, since Lou left the M’s have had as their field manager a Bob, a Mike, a John, a Jim, a Don and a Daren.  Now, it’s Eric’s turn – here’s hoping that turn lasts a  l o n g  time.

Jack Z introduces another “W” (AP)

Official Press Release

Drayer | My

How did he get here? In lightening-quick fashion it turns out. Jack Zduriencik started out with a list of 59 names. He was looking for someone who had experience, someone who had won before, someone who had leadership ability and what he called a no-nonsense approach. He did his due diligence, spoke with trusted allies, former players and Wedge’s former general manager, Mark Shapiro. Then he spoke to Wedge himself. In addition to having the qualifications he was looking for, Zduriencik saw something else.

“When you’re sitting across from someone you want to see who they are, you want to feel the accountability, the work ethic, the passion and the character,” Zduriencik said. “Quite frankly, that is what I saw.”

Zduriencik added: “He’s not going to be me and I am not going to be him, but the passion I think is there for both of us. Where we are going, there is a process to get there. We both understand it. There are going to be times when I will judge him and say, ‘OK, I understand your point, we will go with it.’ There will be other times when he will have to say, ‘OK Jack, you have the bigger picture than I do. I get it.’ His experiences and my experiences are different and that’s good. He said that in the interview process that he did his homework on me, who I was, where I came from. Now, does it work? Is the ability there to come together? At the end you think it works and you go with it.”

LaRue | The News Tribune

“When Eric left to fly home, we talked it over and I called him just as he was walking in the door,” Zduriencik said. “I asked him if he’d enjoyed the visit, liked the city, had a good time.

“Then I asked him, ‘How would you like to be our manager?’ He said, ‘Jack, I haven’t put my suitcase down yet.’”

About to start his third year in Seattle, Zduriencik found in Wedge all the criteria he’d listed when the search began.

“I wanted experience, a winning track record. I wanted toughness, I wanted someone with discipline, a leader,” he said. “I was looking for the kind of leader to turn our players over to, and we found him.”

Wedge, 42, had interviewed with three other teams and was considered a finalist for two, but when the Mariners offered the job, he didn’t hesitate.

“For me, it just felt right. I can’t put it into words. It was just a good feeling I got here,” Wedge said. “I love the energy of the city, of Safeco Field. I’ve seen it from the other side. It’s electric.”

Brewer | The Seattle Times

The Mariners are finally committing to the kind of solid rebuilding plan that the people have clamored for forever, but they arrived at this eureka too late for anyone to acknowledge it. There’s a statute of limitations on doing the right thing, apparently. The Mariners are so tardy to the party that they’re forced to reason with a crowd drunk on outrage or, worse, apathy.

So, there has been only a tepid response to the hiring of manager Eric Wedge, even though his track record suggests he can develop those young players that fans are desperate to see mature. And general manager Jack Zduriencik, who just completed a bad but not devastating season, is a polarizing figure, even though he’s mostly building the team in the proper manner. And the Mariners will likely have one of their youngest, but most precocious, rosters in 2011, but assuming they don’t win a lot, it will be difficult for fans to chase their frustration with patience.