What Does Sale of Mariners Mean for Team on Field?
Wednesday, the Seattle Mariners made a significant announcement that Nintendo America will sell all but 10% of it's share in the Seattle Mariners, turning control over to a 17-member ownership panel led by Seattle billionaire John Stanton. But what does this mean for the team on the field?
Briefly, the sale is not a surprise, but the result of over two years of work. Nintendo America, faced with declining shares in the video game world, has been eyeing cash, and considered the sale back then. Other considerations, including the health of some Nintendo corporate officials, sped up the process.
Also, CEO and GM and Minority owner Howard Lincoln had expressed a desire to retire and move on, and Stanton finally got his team. He and 16 other partners will assume full control of the franchise, and it's expected GM Jerry Dipoto and Manager Scott Sevais will remain, according to statements made by Stanton.
But what does this mean for the team on the field? Most experts believe the 17-member group will be demanding more accountability and take a bigger role in who the team drafts or brings in as free agents, and depending upon their finances, probably more willing to spend the necessary money to keep key players.
Under Lincoln, and previous GM Jack Zduriencik, the team was more known for bad draft choices, poor trades, and being unwilling to keep players who later blossomed with other teams. Some call it the "curse" of Safeco Field. The list of players who've become All-Stars or even Hall of Famers with other teams includes:
- David Ortiz (Big Papi!) to Boston 1996-retiring this year, First-Ballot Hall of Famer
- Julio Cruz
- Freddy Garcia (to White Sox)
- Astrubel Cabrera (Shortstop) to Cleveland
- Shin-Soo Choo (Cleveland)
- Rafael Soriano (Yankees) a great pitcher
- Doug Pfister (Detroit) pitcher
- Adam Jones (outfielder) now a perennial All-Star with Baltimore
- Derek Lowe and Jason Veritek (Boston) these two would go on to help the Red Sox break the curse of the Bambino and win that big World Series.
While mysteriously shelling out big bucks for some players such as King Felix and Ichiro before he was traded, they've drafted poorly and let other prospects get away, as well as trading for such duds as Richie Sexton. Look at what Adrian Beltre' has done in Texas after leaving Seattle. He'd hit 41 home runs in L.A. the year before he signed in Seattle, then his bat went dead.
It's hoped this new ownership group will provide the eyes and money to make sure the on-field folks are doing their job, and that the Mariners will relegate the Washington Nationals (formerly Montreal Expos) as the ONLY MLB team to NEVER have made it to the World Series.
That's correct. While there's 8 teams that have never won the Fall Classic, there's only TWO who have never even made it...yup, Mariners on that list.