One thing you can bet on as a fan of a bad Seattle based team is that the national media will pay little to no attention to it. And in the case of the Seattle Mariners, it is a bit justified.
After all, the Mariners haven’t made the playoffs since 2001 and are coming off a 94-loss season immediately after winning 89 games the year prior. So, not being in the front of the mind of a national writer, who has to keep their finger on the pulse of 30 teams, makes sense.
But over the past year, a lot of these writers have skipped right over the reasonableness of forgetting about the Mariners and moved straight to disinformation.
Of course, our feud with Jon Heyman is well documented at this point. Heyman, who makes a living based on his connections and baseball “knowledge”, famously questioned the Mariners by not being able to come remotely close to articulating their plan.
Of course, in the same statement, he naturally admitted he didn’t know enough about the team to offer a strong opinion on it but decided to do so anyway. But we aren’t here to rehash the stupidity of those claims again. Instead, let’s look at the latest round of uninformed bull to hit the internet in recent days; the job security of GM Jerry Dipoto.
It is a typical exercise at the end of every season to proclaim certain managers and GM’s as “on the hot seat”, meaning these people are in danger of being fired. And, by no surprise to this blogger, Jerry Dipoto is on almost all of these lists.
Now if you haven’t picked up on my tone throughout this article, I’ll say it now as plain as I can: any article who proclaims Jerry Dipoto on the hot seat is unresearched, mitigated garbage from a lazy writer. It really is that simple.
There is no baseball reason to fire Jerry Dipoto or for his job security to even be questioned right now. ZERO reasons. Dipoto is entering year-2 of his rebuild plan and anybody trying to make the case that year-1 wasn’t an overwhelming success is a fool you need not pay attention to.
The farm system jumped from one of the worst in the league to one of the best. The payroll obligations went down significantly for 2021-2024. The Mariners developed players on the minor league level. They developed players at the Major League level. Seattle drafted well and cleared the deck of most veterans’ contacts, all in one calendar year.
Jerry Dipoto and his staff did in one year what most rebuilds take 2-3 years to do. The farm system is littered with potential impact players and everyday starters. We aren’t even talking about guys who are 4-years away that you’re hoping you can develop. We are looking at players who should stick in MLB by 2021.
Jarred Kelenic, Julio Rodriguez, Logan Gilbert, Evan White, Justin Dunn, Justus Sheffield, Cal Raleigh, Kyle Lewis, and George Kirby are all, at least, big-league contributors and guys like Kelenic, Rodriguez, and Gilbert are potential All-Stars.
That’s not even counting the young players who are no longer considered prospects like J.P. Crawford, Shed Long, and Marco Gonzales, all of whom had successful seasons with the Mariners. The simple truth is that the organization is in the best spot it has been in since the early 2000s.
For the first time in decades, Seattle has an organizational plan that scouts and develops well. Obviously, Dipoto has surrounded himself with good people who have done a good job as well. But the buck stops at the GM and in 2019, Dipoto was one of, if not the best, general managers in the entire game of baseball.
At the end of the day, we do not know if Dipoto’s regime will be a success. But that also means we cannot declare it a failure. A time will come when Dipoto will have to produce big league results or he will be on the hot seat.
But that time isn’t this off-season, next season, or next off-season. Dipoto has earned the right to be the GM of this franchise and until that changes, any calls for Dipoto’s job are straight-up foolish.