Mariners fans and those that would like insight on where their new GM Jack Zduriencik will take the team should read this piece from Geoff Baker’s Mariners Blog.
Baker praises Zduriencik (whose name I will copy and paste for the rest of this post) for his low key nature and respect of the organization and positions as currently arranged. While he seeks to make sweeping changes, he carries no agenda to do so abruptly. This refers not only to players but also employees and scouts within the organization. Says Baker,
"The best GMs in this game are the ones who know how to use the people who work under them. Look at Billy Beane in Oakland and the parade of fine assistants he relies on. Or at Gillick in Philadelphia, who holds weekly conference calls with the Phillies pro scouting staff — something that truly allows them to feel they are making a difference."
Baker says the most important decision Zduriencik will make could be his choice of manager. Baker breaks it down eloquently:
"The GM is the master-planner. But the manager is the guy in the field. The guy in the trenches. There is always the theory and the reality of carrying something out. A GM comes up with the theory. And a good manager takes that theory and — providing he has the proper tools and experience — knows how to make in work down on the field."
Baker notes how former GM Bill Bavasi did not communicate his reasons for making certain moves (Rafael Soriano-Horacio Ramirez anyone?) to his fans. Baker warns Zduriencik tends to play it close to the chest as well and how he handles the media will be decisive in his re-engaging and earning the trust of M’s fans.
See also this piece by Phil Rogers where he gives credit to the Mariners for "getting the best baseball mind available." He says Zduriencik’s scouting ability and keen judgment are responsible for the Brewers’ recent successes and should be a GM in the mold of Pat Gillick. Interestingly, Ned Yost is being seriously considered.