MLB Franchise Notes: With Mariners Rebuild Off Track, Will GM Keep His Job?
In Seattle, Larry Stone wrote the Mariners' "once-promising blueprint has gone off track," leaving the team with "far too many question marks and unresolved problems for the fifth year of a rebuilding plan." As another season "unravels, it seems increasingly inevitable" that GM Jack Zduriencik will "pay with his job." But the "root problems with this organization reach much higher." It recently was reported that Zduriencik "was not in the last year of his contract," but "don't read that as job security for Zduriencik, particularly in light of the fact that the Mariners never publicly acknowledged the extension" (SEATTLE TIMES, 9/17).
TAKING CONTROL: With reports out that Marlins Owner Jeffrey Loria is making most of the baseball decisions for the team, CBSSN's Doug Gottlieb called him the "Al Davis ... of baseball owners." Gottlieb: "He doesn’t know a ton about baseball but he’s been around it enough to where he’s convinced himself he knows about baseball, and he becomes miserable to work for. That's why they’re so bad” ("Lead Off," CBSSN, 9/17). ESPN's Tony Kornheiser said, "This sort of meddling by an owner ... can go to the commissioner’s office. And this has happened before, a commissioner can say in the best interest of baseball, you can’t continue to act like this. So this could end up with Bud Selig." ESPN's Michael Wilbon: "If art dealers were so good at running a baseball team, how come everybody doesn’t have an art dealer on speed dial? ("PTI," ESPN, 9/17).
TWIN BILL: The AP reported the Twins have "purchased 500 tickets" for the WNBA Lynx playoff opener on Friday night against the Storm. Upper level tickets "will be available for free to those who call the Lynx ticket office." Twins P and Minnesota native Glen Perkins "cut some radio ads to congratulate the Lynx as they go for their third straight WNBA finals appearance" (AP, 9/17).
ROYAL TREATMENT? In N.Y., Tyler Kepner notes the crowd for Monday's Indians-Royals game "was enthusiastic," but just 15,413 fans "showed up under threatening skies." The crowd "was bigger" yesterday, but the Royals are "averaging only 21,340 per game, down a bit from last season, when they hosted the All-Star Game." They "have not averaged 25,000" since '91 (N. Y. TIMES, 9/18).