ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Jack Zdurencik isn't well-known, and he has an easy-to-mispronounce name (it's zur-EN-sik).
But he might just be the perfect guy to take on the mess that's the Mariners.
"I guess that means they're going back to scouting and development," one scout said Wednesday, as word circulated that the Mariners have hired Zduriencik as their new general manager.
You'd think that's what it means, since the 57-year-old Zduriencik's background is in scouting and development. He was in charge of the Brewers' successful scouting operation for the last nine years, and under his guidance the Brewers drafted the core of the team that ended Milwaukee's 16-year playoff drought.
If this is the guy you pick to run your ballclub, presumably you're committed to building a winner from the ground up, rather than trying for a quick fix.
The quick fixes haven't worked in Seattle, that's for sure. This is a team that believed it was one trade away last winter, and reacted by surrendering young players in a deal with Baltimore for pitcher Erik Bedard. The Bedard deal was a miserable failure, but it wasn't the only one in recent years in the Pacific Northwest.
Now it's Zduriencik's turn, and now the Mariners will -- apparently -- try to build a winner. One look at Seattle's 2008 record (61-101) will tell you there's a lot of building to do.
One positive from that record: the M's will have the second overall pick in next June's draft, behind the Nationals.
With Zduriencik in charge, maybe they'll know what to do with it.