Now that the Kam Chancellor saga is finally over – for this season at least – it’s important to focus on one of the most overlooked aspects of the holdout:
The fact that, by all accounts, Seahawks owner Paul Allen had John Schneider’s back the entire way. Without that support – we likely have a much different outcome.
If you include the Seahawks trade of Percy Harvin last season, it’s now the second time in the last year that Allen has supported a critical decision regarding the franchise’s future. His steadfast backing of Schneider and coach Pete Carroll throughout their entire tenure and allowing them to do their job – which has obviously called for an abundance of patience at times – is a critical piece of the championship puzzle.
I bring this up, because we’re at another pivotal moment across the street, where the Mariners are reportedly down to their final two general manager candidates.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter who the M’s hire, unless he has complete autonomy and support from ownership – or in this case, ownership’s representation.
The M’s now have the longest postseason drought in all of baseball at 14 years. And while that time has been tarnished by the failures of Jack Zduriencik and Bill Bavasi, the one constant has been CEO Howard Lincoln. Lincoln is the man tabbed by ownership to sign off on all big decisions – and the Seattle Times’ report two years ago of his “ongoing interference” in the day-to-day operations and decisions only confirmed our worst fears. It’s a terrible formula to have someone whose primary task is ensuring the profitability of the franchise, meddling in decisions. And it’s been that way…way too long.
Best-case scenario? Lincoln and company hire former Angels GM Jerry DiPoto – and then let him do his job without any interference. Whether it’s realistic or not is up for debate.
Again, as tough as these scenarios have been, Seahawks owner Paul Allen has done it the right way: staying apprised of tough situations, but ultimately deferring to Schneider and Carroll to make the final call. It’s that kind of ownership support that’s invaluable and often rare – the type of support that’s been absent at Safeco Field.
In the end, it’s one thing to pledge complete support for those you hire – and another to actually do it.