The first two was a different management team.
The Mariners have abentee owners (mostly Nintendo's Hiroshi Yamauchi, who has never seen a Mariners game live) and are run by two executives named Howard Lincoln and Chuck Armstrong that have final say in all decisions. Lincoln and Armstrong have been around since 1993. The two of them have publicly stated that it is not their intention to try to win a championship in any one year, but rather to remain competitive each year. That would be fine if they were overseeing a large market team like the Angels, Dodgers, Yankees, Red Sox, etc. But it very obviously isn't going to work for a team like the Mariners or Twins.
And you think they should have looked at their 116 win team and said "eh, we're missing something"?? I mean, they led the league in runs and had 5 guys with an .830 OPS or better.
It was very obvious that the team overachieved in getting to 116 wins. Moreover, even if you don't agree with that, don't you still pull the trigger on a trade to improve if it's the best shot your mid-market team had in its entire history?
It's difficult to explain to someone who hasn't followed the team closely for years, but the Mariners make an absolute ton of decisions like signing two righty flyball hitters to huge deals (Adrian Beltre and Richie Sexson) to play in a park that murders righty flyball hitters because they are worried about fan unrest. Or having a rookie pitcher with a 3.4 something ERA (Bobbie Madritsch) throw way
too much (up to 135 pitches in a game; I think he was second in pitches/game behind Livan Hernandez that year) and blowing his arm out because they were desperate to avoid losing 100 games only a few years after Howard Lincoln made his famous "compete every year" statement.
I'm not even a Mariners fan, but it's infuriating living in Seattle and watching the front office flush such good work from the team's lower level employees down the toilet on a yearly basis.
Edited by moly99, 14 January 2012 - 08:18 PM.