On Saturday night, news broke that Geoff Baker, of the Seattle Times, had just dropped some, well umm, news on us. Baker has recently moved off of the Seattle Mariners beat and into a columnist/investigative role. His first story was this one. As far as reporting goes, this was a bomb. The story was about problems in the Mariners front office, and reflected especially poorly on Jack Z, Howard and Chuck. Baker interviewed a few former employees and that is what the story was based on. It was a very well-written piece and Baker was simply doing his job, and doing it well.
With all this being said, I think there are some problems with the way this article is being received. Seattle media and fans have a way of really eating any information up and reacting to it in the most negative way possible. That’s what happened here. Admittedly, I’m not a huge Geoff Baker fan. I’m not going to go into why, but I do think he’s an extremely talented writer and reporter.
I’m writing this post, not as an attack on Baker, but because I think the story needs to be questioned in the way of who the quotes came from and the relevancy of today’s team. I will be going straight through the article, paragraph by paragraph, and talking about some problems I have with it.
Before I begin with that, I think the timing of this article is noteworthy. Ryan Divish did say that this article has been in the works for over a month and I have no reason to believe him. But, the story came out 2 days after the Mariners finalized the deal with Robinson Cano and people were feeling optimistic about Seattle for the first time in years. The Mariners were a hot topic and this story came out about 36 hours after the big news. Coincidence? Possibly. Great for Seattle Times subscriptions? Definitely.
Let’s move on to the story. If you haven’t read it, please do that before you read the rest of my post. I don’t want to use many quotes of the story in here because Baker should get the views for his work, so the rest of this post won’t make much sense if you don’t read that. (Here’s a link to the article)
The article begins by telling a story of former manager, Eric Wedge, getting yelled at by Chuck Armstrong and Howard Lincoln after the 2012 season had ended. Apparently, the meeting got heated as Wedge fought back. In short, Wedge didn’t like getting yelled at, as the team had improved, and he didn’t like that Z didn’t warn him it was going to happen.
If what Eric Wedge said is true in this part of the story, that really is too bad. The team did improve and Wedge couldn’t have done a ton more with the players he had. But, this is professional baseball. Eric Wedge made a lot of money and his team finished 12 games under .500. Employees have been yelled at by their bosses for a lot of worse things. Also, Wedge was probably angry at this point in time and may have overdramatized what was said in his mind. Probably not, but that is something that should be taken into account. Continue reading