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Reading at Third Place Thurs.: Profits Over Pennants, The Story of the Mediocre Mariners

Is Mariners management the modern day-version of the Black Sox?

Third Place Books in Lake Forest Park will host a reading by author Jon Wells who penned SHIPWRECKED: A Peoples’ History of the Seattle Mariners at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 10.

Kenmore-based publisher Epicenter Press, which publishes mostly books about Alaska, published the book. 

“Despite the heroic efforts of many great players, the Seattle Mariners haven’t been to the World Series because their owners’ relentless passion for the bottom line has repeatedly undercut chances for success on the field,” says Wells, publisher of the independent Mariners’ game-program The Grand Salami.

“Prioritizing profits over pennants ‒ mix in top-level management’s breathtaking arrogance and baseball ignorance ‒ add in some bad breaks, and the result is an owner-imposed ceiling on the team’s success,” says Wells. "Since the M’s record-setting season at the turn of the century, optimistic fans have continued to buy tickets and pricy souvenirs, but the team's owners have repeatedly chosen to pocket the money instead of investing more on players."

Fellow reporters are saying they’d forgotten many Mariners’ blunders and transgressions until reading advance copies of SHIPWRECKED.

Geoff Baker of The Seattle Times calls the book, “A sobering, brutally honest glance at the moves and misfires of one of baseball's last two teams (the Washington Nationals/Montreal Expos being the other) to never to make a World Series.” 

 Art Thiel, who wrote a slightly more optimistic book on the Mariners nearly a decade ago, says, “Deconstructing trades, drafts and free agent signings in one well-researched swoop, Shipwrecked is a despairing portrayal of how a franchise disappointed its once-ardent fan base.”

In the last few years, several franchise owners’ business and personal problems have affected their teams’ performance, but the compelling story of the Seattle Mariners and their ownership group has been largely ignored ‒ until now. In Shipwrecked, Wells describes the shortsightedness and stubbornness that upper-level executives have consistently repeated, even when the results have failed both their fans and the team’s own bottom line. Despite that, Wells has optimism for the team’s future. 

•The team’s prospects for the 2012 season and beyond

•Why the new demand-based ticket pricing isn't a good thing for Mariners fans

•Why the M’s are against a new Sodo stadium

•The team’s changed strategy under GM Jack Zduriencik

•Why the Mariners have it better than many other Major League teams

•The possibility that the team might be sold in the near future

•Why there is still hope for the M’s and their fans

Jon Wells is a baseball writer who founded The Grand Salami an independent monthly magazine that has covered the Seattle Mariners since 1996. Despite attending more than 42 major-league ballparks and 100 games per year, he still hasn’t seen a no-hitter in person.

Wells also enjoys NFL football, indie-rock music and red wine. He is a former entertainment lawyer and lives in West Seattle with his wife and their two dogs.

Shipwrecked events listed online at: http://grandsalami.net/shipwrecked-book-events

Latest news at    www.facebook.com/ShipwreckedinSeattle

Source: BookItNorthwest.com

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