Here's the Crux of the Disconnect (3)

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=== Good Intentions Dept. ===

As Baker has made clear, his own intention was nowhere near the hemisphere of "putting two CEO's at one another's throats" nor were his intentions to see Josh Lueke suffer. 

Another apology by me:  I've implied, lightly, that Baker wouldn't mind seeing Armstrong and Zduriencik go at each other.  This was evidently incorrect, and unfair.  I'm sorry.  Baker's own remarks on this are:

As for pitting executives against one another, I can't help it if Chuck Armstrong says he was told one thing by Zduriencik and two people of solid reputation suggest something very different. If their contradictory statements appear to put them at odds, speak to them about it. Not my job to pick and choose who to write about based on who is the most popular guy in Seattle at the minute.

Muckracking? Well, compared to the average story, perhaps. But compared to standards across the country? This is tame stuff. Maybe you don't get to see enough of it, I don't know.

Well, that's not good enough for me, the "it's their problem" attitude.  But of course I agree that this is tame stuff, as far as the subject matter.  And I agree that a solid executive relationship ought to be able to withstand much more than this.

"Muckraking" is another unfortunate word choice on my part.  "Muckraking" has the connotation that you're out to get someone, and searching for unfair or trivial material to use against them.

Baker's fight is more of a cage match between equals, and the tactics he is using are much more above-board than the typical media muckraking game.


Baker's agenda has always been clear:  he thinks that this set of executives needs to be held accountable for its W-L record on the field -- and that its way of doing business has some serious flaws.

As G-Money put it, Lueke became one of the crowbars used to lever, and many of us object to that.  But we also can all agree that it's nice to have one sportswriter in Seattle who calls the Mariners on their "winning would be nice if it didn't cost too much" attitude.

I maintain that Baker is being callous toward Lueke; he's welcome to show me where I'm wrong.

I maintain that it's a lousy thing to do to rip a band-aid off of the professional relationship of two execs at Nintendo; Geoff is welcome to show me where that's wrong, too.

As G-Money noted, this battle could have been fought using something other than Josh Lueke as a club.  And a different theater of war could have been selected, than the personal relationship between Zduriencik and Armstrong.  Whose business is that, except theirs?


Personally, I'm more sensitive to Zduriencik's suffering and Lueke's, than I am to the suffering (?) of interest groups who would like to see Statement X tatoo'ed onto Josh Lueke's forehead.  So, I wouldn't have dived into the guts of the story in such a way to rip the band-aid off Zduriencik's and Armstrong's relationships.  But maybe I'm the one whose priorities are wrong.

Geoff's position seems to be that this simply isn't his responsibility.  I see where he's coming from.  From where Geoff sits, the truth is the truth, and if Armstrong is going to fire Zduriencik over it, that's on their own dysfunctional relationship -- if they had a healthy one, Baker wouldn't be a worry for them.

I don't think that Carmen Fusco should have lost his job over this.  Given my druthers, I'd like to see Geoff agree that Fusco's firing was disproportionate.  But Fusco will be quickly snapped up by another team, and perhaps the nature of the problem lies more with the Mariners' mission statement than with Geoff Baker shining a light on it.


Or not,




...sorry to say, I think it's completely immoral and difficult for me to respect the use of a person as a lever to sell an agenda. Ever. I don't care what Baker's intentions are...intentions do matter - any good church will tell you that - but the road to Hades is paved with good intentions. Actions matter too. The bottom line is that Baker refuses to be fair to Josh Lueke and that he's abusing a person to sell an agenda. Whether I agree with his agenda (I do, for the most part) or not is irrelevant morally. From where I sit, Baker did an immoral thing and I won't pretend to believe otherwise to make nice.
Of course, Josh Lueke also did a deeply immoral thing...but that doesn't mean Baker should have an all access pass to attack the man. Two wrongs don't make a right.


And, of course, we're not making nice here.  We're sorting through a fascinating debate.
But your emphasis on the unfairness to Lueke, to use him as a lever, I respect that.


I would like to register my agreement that Baker is a standup guy willing to do the trench work to come up with and defend his positions. When I think of Times baseball writers of the past like Bob Finnegan, it makes me really, really appreciate what we have in mister G.B. I hope he does in fact stay here a long time. And I consider myself duly chastened for speculating as to his career agenda.
I fundamentally disagree with Geoff in his work on this issue that he has fulfilled his duty as a sportwriter when he presents Leuke as simply a rapist with incredible pitching ability, nothing more, nothing less. If that were the case, no team in baseball would have him. It clearly is not the case. There is more to the story, else Leuke would not have remained with the Rangers, neither would he have been acquired by the Mariners. The overly simplistic presentation when it comes to Leuke's personal story omits an integral part of the story. A fuller and more fair presentation is not just a PR duty of the Mariners.


That he has presented Lueke as "a rapist with incredible pitching ability." 
To you and me, that has been the insinuation, at least -- I wonder if that is the target at which he was shooting.
If I believed Lueke to have been demonstrated to be "a rapist," this would be a different conversation.
Your material points are important here DaddyO.  I think that Geoff's responsibility to fairness does include fairness to Lueke, and I believe the general impression left of Lueke is a misleading one.
Of course, he would disagree:  Geoff evidently sees Lueke's crime as -- in many senses -- unforgivable, comparing Lueke to other sports personalities who were not, in fact, forgiven.
I agree with you, that if the hidden story tended toward heinous, that we'd be getting a different vibe from BASEBALL.  Lueke is just a minor league reliever.  He can be powerflushed easily enough.
As to your first paragraph, mega-c-points, as per usual for you.

CA's picture

I object to the injection of religious mantra into what amounts to nothing more than pointing out inconsistencies in stories and business ethic.  Moral issue? Sure.  Depends on your perspective.  Certainly a legal one.  Its not fair to throw a blanket of non-secular behavior onto those who have a responsibility to not to display (publicly) their beliefs.  In other words, I would like to keep the discussion on the rails, where everyone can have input, you get into religion,,,, the M's, Baker, the kid, can't fight back. Not directed at anyone by the way, just sayin'. 


Sorry about that.
Am definitely not implying that non-Christians (or pick your term) are liars by default.  I realize that such is not true.  I've spent more time outside the church than in, and shot around the corners with plenty of great men and women who differed from me on worldview.
Am saying that by the corporate F-500 standards under which I've worked ---> lying is not the absolute sin that Baker has argued it to be.
Execs I've worked for?  They don't chop heads off for spinning a foulup into a positive light that protects your boss.  They chop heads off if you damage them and don't repair it.
Geoff's arguing that Zduriencik's "misleading his boss" is a capital offense within upper management.  It ain't.

CA's picture

(Really wasn't aiming at you, or anyone else, Doc).  I like that Geoff digs this stuff up, its a fascinating story, though with a very sad reality.  Your version of corporate reality comes with the realistic background that seems pretty believable. My industry deals with the individuals in that structure, not their working day, thus, I can't speak to those inner-workings.  I don't buy for a second, that this information wasn't available to the higher-ups.  
I have a tough time with rape cases.  I have an obvious hatred for the act, but know the day to day reality of the accusation, and its not always the same thing.  While no means no, and so on, its also true (and very common) that regret does not equal rape.  Unfortunately, a good number of rape cases in the system are based on that, and our system isn't able to cope with this scenario effectively.  

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