Front Office Moves Continue…

Conor · October 29, 2008 at 6:27 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

The M’s recently announced that Benny Looper is stepping away from the team, rather than taking the demotion to pro scouting that was offered. From the release…

Looper spent 23 seasons with Seattle, beginning his Mariners career in 1987 as a part time scout. He served variously as a fulltime scout (1988), scouting supervisor (1989-91), national cross checker (1992) and national supervisor and special assignment scout (1993-97). He was promoted to Director of Player Development at the end of 1997 and to VP of Player Development in 2002. He took on additional responsibilities as Vice President, Player Development & Scouting at the end of 2003, and was promoted to Vice President, Player Personnel following the 2006 season.

This comes on the heels of the announcement that Bob Engle and Lee Pelekoudas will be staying with the team and that Tom McNamara and Tony Blengino will be following Zduriencik from Milwaukee to Seattle. The news about Engle is fantastic—he’s one of the best international scouting directors in the business.

This also gives me an opportunity to clarify my thoughts a bit about Fontaine leaving. I said that I was disappointed in Fontaine leaving and, while that’s true, it doesn’t mean that I’m necessarily against whoever Zduriencik decides to hire or appoint. I was sad when Griffey was traded, but Mike Cameron soon became my favorite player of all time. Zduriencik has obviously been one of the best scouting directors in the game, with an excellent track record, and deserves to hire his own guy. It could very well be McNamara or Blengino.

Here’s some information on McNamara from the release…

McNamara, 43, is rejoining the Mariners’ scouting department. He was previously an area scout for the Mariners from 1994-2000, covering the Northeast. McNamara also played one season in the Seattle organization, appearing in 50 games for the Bellingham Mariners in 1988.

McNamara has 15 years of experience as a full-time scout. He spent the 2008 season as the Milwaukee Brewers’ East Coast crosschecker. Prior to that he was a pro scout with the San Diego Padres for five seasons (2003-07). As an area scout for the Brewers during the 2001-02 seasons, McNamara scouted and signed All-Star first baseman Prince Fielder.

Blengino is very interesting in that he doesn’t have a prototypical front-office pedigree. His playing career ended when he graduated from high school. Upon graduating from St. Joseph’s University in 1985, he worked as a CPA for a little while before becoming the CFO for the National Kidney Foundation of Delaware Valley in Philadelphia. During that time, he also worked with John Benson on the “Future Stars” series of books marketed toward die-hard fantasy baseball players. He also covered the minor leagues for and played in the prestigious fantasy baseball league, Tout Wars. He got hired by the Brewers on Dec. 2, 2002 and worked as their New England area scout before being promoted to assistant director of amateur scouting after the 2005 season.


7 Responses to “Front Office Moves Continue…”

  1. SequimRealEstate on October 29th, 2008 6:56 pm

    To bad on Benny. [aaaaaand….OT. That was quick.]

  2. Willmore2000 on October 29th, 2008 7:03 pm


  3. joser on October 29th, 2008 7:23 pm

    So Blengino was at St Joseph’s in the early 80s? I wonder if he knew Moyer at the time?

    Anyway, that’s the guy to target with the wishing for upgraded information systems to support player evaluation.

  4. SeasonTix on October 29th, 2008 7:24 pm

    Jack’s not wasting any time cleaning house. I hate to see anybody lose his/her job but this shows that Jack means business. So far I like what I am seeing out of him. Looks like he’s keeping the right people and getting rid of redundant and/or “dead wood” types.

  5. msb on October 29th, 2008 7:37 pm

    Moyer was at St Joe’s ’81-’84, so there would have been overlap if Blengino hung around the baseball team when not at the business school

  6. HerseyChris on October 30th, 2008 8:49 am

    Blengino’s career sounds awesome. It’s always interesting to see people get high up in baseball who didn’t start out with baseball as their main job and how they did it.

  7. Brian Rust on October 30th, 2008 9:18 am

    If Looper, in his various player development roles, is in any way responsible for the free-swinging ways that characterize Mariners farm products, I see his departure as a sign of great hope.

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