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Daily coverage of the Mariners during the season and all year long.

September 27, 2008 at 12:14 AM

No changes coming to M’s ownership

Here you go, Part IV of our Rebuilding the Mariners series. This is something many of you have asked to see for a while. We’ve heard the rumors all summer long. Here are some of the highlights:
— Mariners minority owner Chris Larson dispells all rumors that he’s been negotiating to buy a controlling interest in the team, or that he will do so shortly
— Former Mariners GM Pat Gillick, currently the GM of the Phillies, will not be coming here to replace Chuck Armstrong as team president. Armstrong says he plans on keeping his post for some time to come, making it a personal challenge to help this team recover from this disastrous season
— Armstrong has been chatting by phone with Gillick on a weekly basis. Gillick has offered Armstrong suggestions on Mariners GM candidates, but Armstrong insists this is just two friends talking on the phone and there are no plans for Gillick to come here.
— Mariners CEO Howard Lincoln says there are no plans to alter the team’s ownership structure moving forward and that he and Armstrong will pick the next GM of the club as a two-man selection committee
— Lincoln and Armstrong say they are both well aware of increased fan hostility and resentment towards them and understand where it’s coming from
I know that some of you are not going to be pleased with this news. But this is what’s taking place. I can tell you, that, having engaged in dialogue with many of you via this blog, patience in this city for the Armstrong-Lincoln duo is at its boiling point. They have to get this GM hire right. If not, they likely won’t be sticking around to make another one. I think, from talking with them these past few months, that I detect a greater openess. Less rigidity within the organziation.
They keep speaking of wanting to be open to new ideas and look at things differently. I think they realize how important it is for them to make the right call here and get this thing turned around in a hurry. They speak optimistically about loyal fans, but see attendance dropping. They listen to the radio, read the blogs. They read this blog a lot and know how many of you feel. No, they still are not the most open organization around. As witnessed by the team declining our request to interview owner Hiroshi Yamauchi in Japan. But they are starting to act a little more openly than I saw them do upon my arrival late in 2006.
This season was a huge slap in the face for them. A serious wakeup call. I get the sense they understand that failing to heed it and change some of the way they operate could prove their undoing.



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