The Seattle Mariner GMs That Weren't

Yesterday I brought back memories of the Mariners hiring Don Wakamatsu. Well, maybe not. Do you have any memories of that? I don't. Maybe nobody did; it was a pretty bland announcement since it was not a surprise and Wakamatsu was mostly an unknown. Do you remember the Mariners signing Matt Fox this past winter? Maybe none of this stuff actually happened. If nobody is around to remember it, did it still happen?

Yes, because the internet is now always around. Stupid internet and its memory. One other thing the internet remembers is that the Mariners also had several choices for who to be the General Manager after Bill Bavasi and interim Lee Pelekoudas.

Tony Bernazard (Mets VP of Player Development)
Jerry DiPoto (Diamondbacks Director of Player Personnel)
Bob Engle (Mariners VP of International Operations)
Tony LaCava (Blue Jays Assistant General Manager)
Kim Ng (Dodgers Assistant General Manager)
Lee Pelekoudas (Mariners Interim General Manager)
Peter Woodfork (Diamondbacks Assistant General Manager)
Jack Zduriencik (Brewers Assistant General Manager)

Tony Bernazard you might remember from the meltdown that was the Mets 2009 season and several reports that he had challenged multiple other employees to fights. Or from offending Carlos Delgado back in 2004. Or for being implicated in getting Willie Randolph unceremoniously fired in 2008. How he ended up a GM candidate for the Mariners is confusing to me, but good thing he was eliminated from consideration quickly.

Jerry DiPoto became the interim GM for Arizona after they unexpectedly fired Josh Byrnes but like Pelekoudas he didn't survive the interview process for the promotion and Kevin Towers was brought in. DiPoto stayed with Arizona for another year, but last fall moved to Anaheim to take over the GM job there from Tony "Stealth Ninja" Reagins.

I doubt Bob Engle ever had much of a chance at the Mariners' job. I'm glad for that because he is so very good at the job that he does now and that job is also essential to the Mariners' future success. I hope Engle stays right where he is, but continues to get amply rewarded for his talents.

Running down those same eight, here are their current positions.

Tony Bernazard (unknown)
Jerry DiPoto (Angels General Manager)
Bob Engle (Mariners VP of International Operations)
Tony LaCava (Blue Jays Assistant General Manager)
Kim Ng (MLB Senior VP Baseball Operations)
Lee Pelekoudas (unknown)
Peter Woodfork (MLB Senior VP Baseball Operations)
Jack Zduriencik (Mariners General Manager)

With about 3.5 years of hindsight now to reflect on, I don't find myself wishing the Mariners had chosen any of the other seven candidates. Only with DiPoto do we have evidence of how he or she would actually perform as a GM and that's very little evidence. While DiPoto's moves to date have seemed well received (haha, Albert Pujols), is it worth messing with the current timeline for that switch? I suppose that ultimately comes down to how you feel about the past three seasons and the ones to come.

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