Armstrong, Lincoln interfered, sucked when we had a GM

DMZ · September 5, 2008 at 11:31 am · Filed Under Mariners 

A quick reminder on how active Lincoln and Armstrong’ have been even with a sitting, non-interim GM, and the results. From this Times blog piece:

The first was on who engineered the Kenji Johjima contract extension. Lincoln told me that it was Allan Nero, Johjima’s agent, who first approached the M’s with the extension idea. After that, it was primarily the team’s owner, Hiroshi Yamauchi, Lincoln and Chuck Armstrong who did the deal. Bavasi had limited involvement in it.

It’s not just something with Lee and the interim title. And GM candidates will know this.


43 Responses to “Armstrong, Lincoln interfered, sucked when we had a GM”

  1. cdowley on September 5th, 2008 11:39 am

    You stop that right now. One more post like this and the last of my dreams of getting a decent GM and a decent future for the team will be dashed…

  2. cgmonk on September 5th, 2008 11:45 am

    Is it possible that Kenji would ask the Mariners to void his contract ala Sasaki if he doesn’t do any better next year?

  3. DMZ on September 5th, 2008 11:46 am

    Anything’s possible. He’d pretty much have to retire, though.

  4. Elwood P. Dowd on September 5th, 2008 11:47 am

    We’re doomed. I’m buying gin on the way home tonight. Not Broker’s, can’t afford that. Gordon’s is good, also cheap. We’re doomed, doomed I tell you! Maybe the gin will make it hurt less.

  5. Colm on September 5th, 2008 11:49 am

    Ahh, meddling ownership a la early Steinbrenner and Peter Angelos. Always a recipe for success.

  6. smb on September 5th, 2008 11:49 am

    Pony up for Sapphire, anything less will only make it hurt worse.

    Doomed sounds about right.

  7. vj on September 5th, 2008 11:54 am

    I stand corrected, then.

  8. TotallyNotWilly on September 5th, 2008 11:56 am

    The Johjima deal, taken alone, is a firing offense. The only possible justification is that it’s a deal like Ichiro’s, where Yamauchi is ponying up a bunch of cash just for this signing, that doesn’t count against normal payroll.

    Let us hope that, at minimum, Armstrong will be shown the door this offseason. As a part-owner, I don’t see how they move Lincoln out.

  9. Colm on September 5th, 2008 11:59 am

    Nah, Elood is right. Gordon’s is a good gin. Others are just better.

    Even the bottom shelf stuff that comes in 1.75L jugs is tolerable in a G&T.

    And given that Armstrongs promise to perpetuate this asininity, Mariners’ fans might need to buy their hooch in such large quantities.

  10. Colm on September 5th, 2008 12:00 pm

    As a part-owner, I don’t see how they move Lincoln out.

    Ahh, he may be a candidate for the Anton Chiggurh treatment then.

  11. Swungonandbelted on September 5th, 2008 12:01 pm

    Shortly after Bavasi got canned, I remember an interview where an anonymous executive of another team mentioned that it wouldn’t matter who the M’s brought in as GM as long as those two idiots (chuck and howie) were at the helm. Right now I see the M’s as being hopeless. I hope I’m wrong, but until house gets cleaned (starting with Tweedledee and Tweedledum getting bounced out on their ears), I just don’t see this team doing anything that will yield actual improvement.

  12. Joe C on September 5th, 2008 12:07 pm

    This sucks.

    If Armstrong is with the Mariners longer than Felix, I’ll follow Felix to whatever team he goes to, unless its the Yankees or Red Sox.

  13. Elwood P. Dowd on September 5th, 2008 12:14 pm

    Wow, even I’m not going to move, just drink a little.

  14. Elwood P. Dowd on September 5th, 2008 12:19 pm

    But if they move Felix, I am definitely considering the 1.75L jugs. Maybe MD 20/20 even.

  15. edgar for mayor on September 5th, 2008 12:25 pm

    …Well, this states what I already know. Chuck and Howie are morons, and micro managers.

    I mean, how much longer can they stay?

  16. Colm on September 5th, 2008 12:31 pm

    I see a strategy.
    Lincoln and Armstrong stay in their roles but we embed Elwood P. Dowd somewhere near the corporate liquor cabinet in order to ply them with cheap gin and jugs of Mad-Dog and thus render them incapable of further clueless meddling.

  17. Steve T on September 5th, 2008 12:33 pm

    No GM in his right mind would take this job.

  18. edgar for mayor on September 5th, 2008 12:36 pm

    >> No GM in his right mind would take this job.

    Well not if you believe Geoff Baker 😉

  19. msb on September 5th, 2008 12:57 pm

    I might just emulate Clarissa Dickson-Wright:

    “and he said “this is a condition usually found in people who have taken a lot of malaria tablets”. And the penny dropped and I said “Quinine!” and he said “well, yes” and I said “well how about tonic water?” and he said in this rather pompous way that consultants have, “my dear young lady, you would have to drink a very great deal of tonic for over a very long period of time in order to get this condition”, and I said “well how about six pints a day for twelve years?”, and he said “well yes, that would do it”.”

  20. cdowley on September 5th, 2008 1:07 pm

    “>> No GM in his right mind would take this job.

    Well not if you believe Geoff Baker ;)”

    And you would believe Geoff on something like that because…?

  21. Elwood P. Dowd on September 5th, 2008 1:09 pm

    Clarissa Dickson-Wright

    Looked her up on Wikipedia. I Like her already. She has more names than Al Gallagher, remember him? You might not, I am pretty old.

  22. msb on September 5th, 2008 1:12 pm

    Baker’s latest, discussing Chuck’s finger in the pie

  23. scraps on September 5th, 2008 1:27 pm

    Will no one rid us of these meddlesome twits?

  24. Zero Gravitas on September 5th, 2008 2:05 pm

    This is the kind of thing that would cause me to cancel a season ticket subscription for next year. If I had one.

  25. nickwest1976 on September 5th, 2008 2:23 pm

    Armstrong is on KJR right now…

    WOW, he really DOESN’T get it at all! He is talking about how GOOD Washburn is and talking out of both sides of his mouth.

    I have NO hope for the M’s as long as Chuck is here.

  26. KaminaAyato on September 5th, 2008 2:28 pm

    Is there anyone, ANYONE out there that we can send en masse e-mails and letters to express our displeasure about the derelict U.S.S. HowChuck?

    Because just complaining about it here probably won’t do a lick of good. (Albeit writing letters to whomever can make a difference in regards to HowChuck will probably have little effect as well).

  27. gk91 on September 5th, 2008 2:35 pm

    After listening to Armstrong I’m now more convinced than ever that Raul will be starting in LF next year, with manager Riggleman and LeeP GM.

  28. scraps on September 5th, 2008 2:40 pm

    I don’t think Lee P will be back, because I think Armstrong and Lincoln are concerned with appearances and they know they at least have to give the appearance of change.

  29. Joe C on September 5th, 2008 2:40 pm

    en masse emails?

    Here’s the one I sent a few hours ago to the link on the Mariner propaganda website:

    To whoever reads the email:

    Why is it that we have a non-baseball person controlling the Mariners? Chuck Armstrong should not be making any baseball decisions when it comes to the Mariners. If he’d like to chime in on where to put a new popcorn stand or how much money the team will have available to spend on payroll, have at it. They should have very little control or no over player signings, extensions, and trades. That’s why the hire the GM.

    I feel bad for Pelekoudas because he’s in a spot with no decision making authority and is still expected to make progress towards turning things around. He should have dealt several players over the past few months and the news reports show the potential reason why that hasn’t happened – Chuck.

    Chuck Armstrong has kept the Mariners from trading (dumping) Jarrod Washburn and then says they need to cut payroll. Cutting payroll is ok with me if that is the course the team needs to take for a while, but if that was the plan, why do something like not making an obvious move to dump a bad player and then completely contradict yourself a few weeks later? And why extend Johjima when we had three catchers coming up through the minors quickly? Neither of those were decisions of Bavasi or Pelekoudas. So we were a big market team a month ago but a small market team now?

    If this cost cutting leads to no extension for Felix, that is just pathetic.

    Is there any chance of hiring a competent GM with Chuck of all people meddling with their decisions? Chuck doesn’t deserve to have a job selling peanuts under the left field bleachers let alone running the baseball team.

    Joe C

  30. KaminaAyato on September 5th, 2008 2:47 pm


    Definitely a start. Should we work on developing a standardized form letter that vehemently criticizes HowChuck? I think we probably need to restructure the comments a little to strongly criticize them without insulting him?

  31. msb on September 5th, 2008 2:50 pm

    huh. why, none of the callers seem to feel that Chuck made his case, or that he should be making baseball decisions.

  32. gwangung on September 5th, 2008 4:13 pm

    Well, Chuck has admitted it. He’s just another of these incompetent sports executives who meddle in areas where they know nothing about them, and don’t realize that they themselves are the prime reason why the franchise doesn’t do was well as it should. He joins the long line of Bidwells, Stirlings and other buffoons in the sports world.

    He’s clearly not even a Jerry Jones, let alone anyone halfway competent…

  33. scraps on September 5th, 2008 4:20 pm

    Our problem is we have small-market executive talent in a big-market town.

  34. Karen on September 5th, 2008 4:20 pm

    Joe C said, “This sucks. If Armstrong is with the Mariners longer than Felix, I’ll follow Felix to whatever team he goes to, unless its the Yankees or Red Sox.”

    You just might have to set your mind to do that, Joe. Armstrong has been with the Mariner since 1983, and he’ll probably still be with them in 2013.

    Just so that you know exactly where Armstrong’s coming from, this is from a 2005 interview of him:

    “Chuck Armstrong was the general counsel for Argyros’ real estate holdings and had moved up quickly through the ranks to manage Argyros’ growing business assets.”

    He lost his Mariners job when carpetbagger owner Jeff Smulyan bought the M’s, but when HE sold out to Yamauchi, Armstrong was brought back.


  35. great gonzalez on September 5th, 2008 4:39 pm

    Our problem is we have small-market executive talent in a big-market town.


  36. Breadbaker on September 5th, 2008 5:03 pm

    Chuck Armstrong still has the mindset he had when he was carrying water for George Argyros. They would always complain about the stadium and the size of the market. The fact was that the Mariners had incredible opportunities to expand revenue, because the market goes at least to Alaska and the Kingdome was huge and unfilled. But Armstrong is always a “glass half empty” kind of guy.

    The point someone else made earlier about Johjima was exactly right and I really should have thought of it myself. Trading Johjima during the offseason last year, when the price was highest, would have been a good move because of the wealth of catching talent we have in the minors (just like trading Sherrill, in isolation (as opposed to along with the top prospect in the organization and three good pitching prospects for two years of a fragile starter) made sense), because the guys to trade are the guys you can replace. But the M’s had this belief that this was “the year” somehow. And God forbid they should have a rookie catcher and think they could contend.

  37. gwangung on September 5th, 2008 5:19 pm

    Time for Armstrong to go.

    Time has passed him by, and he’s an old dog unable to learn new tricks.

    (not that he’d learned that much in the first place, but it’s clear that he hasn’t kept up, just as it’s clear that he doesn’t respect the lines of authority in a well run organization).

  38. scraps on September 5th, 2008 5:21 pm

    He never knew any tricks when he was young, even.

  39. scraps on September 5th, 2008 5:21 pm

    Your edit killed my joke!

  40. Jim_H on September 5th, 2008 6:10 pm

    Nothing about this surprises me. I fully expected that senior leadership and ownership were meddling. I see this happen every day in the Corporate world.

    Hire a technical specialist, and pay him/her a lot of money to do a specific job, and then micro-manage that job to the point where they are futily useless. Bring poor judgement, bad business decisions, and personal feelings into the mix, and you have a recipe for a 100 loss season.. repeatably…

  41. argh on September 5th, 2008 6:21 pm

    Gordon’s is a good gin. Others are just better.

    When you’re a Mariners fan there are no bad gins.

  42. mln on September 5th, 2008 8:25 pm

    Given the bumbling ineptitude of the M’s front office, how long will it be before Mariners fans start a riot at Safeco Field?

    Get your gas masks ready.

    Black Bloc anyone?

  43. 300ZXNA on September 5th, 2008 11:07 pm

    Amending my previous statements regarding Anton Chigurh, I had an epiphany. Anton Chigurh for GM. He is now my #1 choice. First time Chowie tries to mess with his plans, they’d get the cointoss . . .

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