Straight from the best sportswriter in the city:
In search of a replacement for Bill Bavasi, who was fired on June 16, the Mariners will interview Peter Woodfork, the Arizona Diamondbacks assistant general manager; Jerry DiPoto, Diamondbacks director of player personnel; Tony Bernazard, New York Mets vice president of player development; Kim Ng, Los Angeles Dodgers assistant general manager; and Tony LaCava, Toronto Blue Jays assistant general manager.
The Mariners are expected to talk to more candidates next week as they aim for an announcement shortly after the World Series.
When you're dealing with people who don't have any prior GM'ing experience, it's impossible to say what they'd be like once granted total control of a roster, but based on a little quick Googling, none of these executives rode the nepotism escalator too close to the sun, so that's a step up from our last guy. There's pretty much no possible way we come out of this looking worse. It's just up to the suits in charge to maximize the degree to which we get better.
Of these five, I think I'm most fond of Woodfork (Harvard! Epstein!) and least fond of Bernazard (Controversy! Subterfuge!), but honestly, I can't say for sure, because we just don't know enough about these people to draw conclusions. It's a mystery, and as easy as it would be to simply judge the candidates based on the organizations for whom they've worked in the past, that's a dangerous and highly misleading approach, because a single organization will employ people with a million different philosophies. Mat Olkin and Bill Bavasi worked for the same team, remember. The same goes for Paul DePodesta and Randy Smith. Hiring someone who worked for the Red Sox isn't guaranteed to work out better than hiring someone who worked for the Orioles, because every front office is a mixed bag. We just have to hope that Armstrong and Lincoln know what they're doing, which, uhhhhh
We'll see which other names come up next week. Barring some nightmare, I think I'll be happy just as long as we avoid hiring some leathery retread. In this case, I'd say better the devil we don't know than the devil we do. If this organization is to persist as a failure, here's to failing differently.