Compass on Carmen Fusco - Zduriencik As Two-Fisted Talent Man

Q.  "In the abstract" it's on the junior exec to keep his nose clean with the senior exec?  Is this specific situation any different?

A.  There are concrete circumstances here that should have caused a completely different read by the 5th-level.

Jack Zduriencik was brought in as a Rainmaker.  He made rain.  He did it exactly as he did in Milwaukee.  Now the 5th-level is horrified by his tactics.... 


Q.  Rainmaker?

A.  Like in a law firm -- and the M's are run by lawyers -- say the Company is lacking big-pockets clients.  It hires a big gun away from another company because he brings eight huge corporate clients with him.  Boom, you're flush with cash (... blue-chip prospects ...) again.

They hire that Rainmaker in, aware of the fact that he's got his M.O. and that M.O. is why the guy's rich.  Or!  They don't hire him.

If the Phillip Morris CEO hires the lawyer who just won the cancer lawsuits for R.J. Reynolds, it's very poor form for him to feign shock when that lawyer scares off a witness by threatening T.V. on him.  It's the Morris CEO's job to know what a Rainmaker is and isn't.

Jack Zdurencik is serious about adding talent.  He grabbed a discounted talent, discounted because of baggage.  20 or 25 other GM's would have grabbed Josh Leuke -- and all the good ones would have.  Let's not act shocked now that you have to get your hands dirty to win a cage match.

But!  The Mariners' ownership isn't interested in cage matches.  Not the way the champs play it.


Q.  What M.O. are you talking about?  You mean, other MLB franchises sometimes use this "look the other way on the rap sheet" tactic to acquire talent?

A.  Do you think that any of the other 29 clubs swooned away and suffered the vapors that Jack Zduriencik would put talent acquisition above P.R.? 

You think that in the hardball, cutthroat world of MLB talent gouging, there are any real baseball men who don't "get it" about drafting Randy Moss?


The Seattle Mariners wanted a real, live MLB talent gouger and they brought one in.  A 60-year-old talent gouger who has been doing business the same way his entire life.

Now they're telling him, hey, you went too far with this "talent matters" thing.  In Seattle we care about things like date rape, even if none of the other 29 clubs do.

That's not Jack Zduriencik stepping on a land mine, not in my opinion.  That's Jack Zduriencik running with his head turned backwards, folding over a handrail, over the fact that the Seattle Mariners prioritize many other things over talent and winning.

I'm quite sure that 25 other teams, if not 29 other teams, would tell you the same thing.  Zduriencik was doing his thing, and WHAM he ran into that weird corporate culture in Seattle.


Part 3


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