News today that Howard Lincoln is retiring as CEO of the Mariners. That is huge news. Chuck Armstrong, gone. Howard Lincoln gone. How much longer can the nay-sayers complain about the Chuck and Howie show?
Nintendo has also sold its majority stake in the team to the remaining owners, while retaining a 10% minority share. Lincoln’s role will be assumed by minority owner John Stanton, a founding member of the cellular company T-Mobile and a minority shareholder in the Sonics during Howard Schultz’s tenure. Since 2000, Stanton has been a member of the baseball ownership group.
What does it all mean? Damned if I know. There was a ringing endorsement of President Kevin Mather’s actions, increasing the budget and firing Jack Zdurencik and hiring current G.M. Jerry Dipoto. Aside from the unfortunate, persistent public criticism of a NBA/NHL arena in SODO, it seems the new boss is same as the old boss. Let’s see how this all plays out.
But wait, this is all big picture stuff. YOUR SEATTLE MARINERS ARE IN FIRST PLACE IN THE AL WEST!!!!!
Yes, the same team that went 1-5 in their first homestand, have already doubled their win total in the first two games in a series against the Houston Astros. A brilliant 3-2 gem by Taijuan Walker on Monday was followed by an 11-1 Robinson Cano-led pummeling on Tuesday. Combined with Rangers and Athletics losses on Monday, the M’s slipped into the lead at 9-7. On Tuesday they slapped around Cy Young winner Dallas Keuchel, reliever Michael Feliz and back-up catcher/bullpen savior Erik Kratz to hold their lead in the face of convincing victories by Texas and Oakland, makes it that much easier to enjoy.
Don’t know how long the Mariners will stay in the lead. Maybe this is the beginning of the decades anticipated Mariner Juggernaut, or maybe it’s just a little tease. Might as well play it out and learn.