BY Seth Kolloen 07:05AM 12/15/2010

December 15, 2010: Jack Zduriencik, You Frighten Me

The way he’s tossing out old-school baseball bromides, Mariner GM Jack Zduriencik is beginning to sound a lot like his predecessor, Bill Bavasi.

You know what scares me? When Jack Zduriencik starts sounding like Bill Bavasi. Here’s Dr. Z, speaking to KJR’s Ian Furness yesterday about his three main off-season acquisitions.

On Miguel Olivo: “Brings a degree of toughness to the organization.” (Super. So would Chuck Norris.)

On Jack Cust: “A proven veteran player, a been-there done-that kind of guy.” (Hi, Rich Aurilia here–did someone call?)

On Brendan Ryan: “Was a starter on a club that contended.” (True. You know who else was on that club? ALBERT @#$#@ PUJOLS!)

This was my greatest fear when the M’s hired baseball lifer Zduriencik over younger, more anti-establishment candidates. That we’d get the same old-school baseball bromides about “toughness,” “veteran presence,” and “knowing how to win.” At first, Zduriencik seemed different, unloading clubhouse leader J.J. Putz for a passel of youngsters. But now, with his job on the line, Zduriencik seems to be regressing back to traditional baseball thought.

And I’m annoyed. Because despite suffering through the most inept offensive display in 40 years last season from my seats behind first base, I renewed my season tickets for 2011. Because I am, at heart, an idiot.

When Furness asked Zduriencik if any more big moves were coming before Opening Day, this is how Jack Z responded: “In the next several years, as we move ahead…we’ll be a player in this market.”

The NEXT SEVERAL YEARS? I bought tickets for this year. What about this year? Jack Z did sound one optimistic note: “If Milton (Bradley) was the player he was two years ago, it would be really nice.”

You know what else would be really nice? If Isaiah Thomas grew nine inches. Not gonna happen. Looks like another season of offensive ineptitude is in order. And yeah, I know Zduriencik is hamstrung by a stagnant budget. But I’m not exactly flush with cash, and I don’t want to pay $40/game to watch veteran leadership. I don’t know if I can take it.

In other news…

The Mariners signed four players to minor league contracts.
You’ll have heard of Ryan Langerhans, who’s played in 98 games for the M’s over the past two seasons. Then there’s a catcher and two relievers–cheap guys who provide depth.

At least one Husky footballer gets a nice postseason honor: LB and conference-leading tackler Mason Foster was named a third-team All-American by the Associated Press.

Former Rainier Beach star Terrence Williams’ short, rocky tenure with the New Jersey Nets is over. Williams, the 11th pick in the ’09 draft, is off to the Rockets as part of a three-team deal.

Fuel in Pioneer Square is hosting a fundraiser for victims of the Colombia flooding tonight at 6 p.m. Sounder Fredy Montero’s family lives in the affected area, he’s down there now trying to help.

In a thrilling 3A game highlighted by a game-tying, buzzer-beating desperation three-pointer, #1-ranked Rainier Beach beat #2-ranked O’Dea in overtime. That link goes to my thoughts of the game for The SunBreak, where I write weekly Metro League Tuesday posts during hoops season.

Also, in 4A, #4-ranked Kentridge beat #3 Kentwood. Gonzaga-bound senior Gary Bell Jr. had the winning basket for Kentridge.

The Husky football team inked a commitment from junior college LB Thomas Tutogi. USC also recruited Tutogi.

Seahawks all-time leading rusher Shaun Alexander has been elected to the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.

With the Blazers at 12-13, Brandon Roy is speaking out about his dissatisfaction with backcourt mate Andre Miller. “I wasn’t that slow until you put a guy who is kind of slow next to me,” said Roy after yesterday’s loss, in which he had just seven points.

Questions are being asked…

1) Should Lorenzo Romar bench Isaiah Thomas?
Argument for: Abdul Gaddy and C.J. Wilcox have been more effective offensive players.
Argument against: Three losses to top teams is not a reason to hit the panic button.

2) After signing Cliff Lee, do the Phillies have the best four-man rotation ever?
Argument for: They have three bonafide aces in Lee, Roy Halladay and Roy Oswalt, plus a burgeoning one in Cole Hamels.
Argument against: The 1997 Braves had three bonafide Hall-of-Famers in Greg Maddux, John Smoltz and Tom Glavine, plus a future ace in Denny Neagle.

3) Should Jack Zduriencik trade Felix Hernandez to the Yankees?
Argument for: The Yanks are desperate after losing out on Cliff Lee, they might overpay Vikings-for-Herschel-Walker style.
Argument against: If the M’s traded Felix I would burn down the city.

Today in SPNW…

Todd Dybas on what the Huskies must do differently to beat Nebraska.

Doug Farrar goes all Xs and Os on the Seahawks’ new Wildcat-esque formation.

Today’s action…

NCAA hoops: Seattle U men @ Eastern Washington, 5:35 p.m. (ESPN 710)


YourThoughts

  • Dan Alexander

    I wonder how long mariners fans will tolerate one losing (last place) finish?  Jack Z. should not look for and hire not just good players, but the BEST players; ala NY yankies’s Steinbrenner,  When we develop good players, we let them go for more money and winning teams:  A Rod, Cliff Lee, Ken Griffey, and many others.  This Jack Z’s fault, and they give him a contract extension??  Dan Alexander, Olympia

  • Dan Alexander

    I wonder how long mariners fans will tolerate one losing (last place) finish?  Jack Z. should not look for and hire not just good players, but the BEST players; ala NY yankies’s Steinbrenner,  When we develop good players, we let them go for more money and winning teams:  A Rod, Cliff Lee, Ken Griffey, and many others.  This Jack Z’s fault, and they give him a contract extension??  Dan Alexander, Olympia