The Mariners have hired Ken Griffey Jr.

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The Mariners have issued a release announcing that Ken Griffey Jr. has been hired as a special consultant to the club.  Griffey “will be involved in numerous areas of the Mariners franchise, including, but not limited to, Major League Baseball Operations, player development, our minor league system marketing, broadcasting and community relations.”

That seems like a lot of responsibilities for a dude who can’t make it through a game without napping.

Don’t look at me like that. You were thinking it too.

More seriously, I would love to see a study of “special assistant” jobs in Major League Baseball.  I bet the vast majority of them are kind of do-nothing jobs. Which is totally cool, because it’s more about maintaining the association with greats from the franchise, and it sounds way better than saying “we’re going to just have the old Hall of Famer hanging around at high profile functions.”  But I really am curious to see if any of the ex-greats who get special assistant jobs really attack them. Show up at the office, go to meetings, chip in to the coffee fund and all of that.

I bet Jim Thome will someday.  Really, if he’s ever a special assistant to the Twins or the White Sox or Indians or wherever I bet he’ll buy a business casual wardrobe and everything. Car pool. The whole bit.

Brewers promote David Stearns from GM to president of baseball operations

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It used to be that the top dog in a team’s baseball operations department was the general manager. That has changed over the past several years with some combination of title inflation, a genuine addition of supervisory layers and, on some level, employe poaching insurance leading to the top dog now being called, usually, a “president of baseball operations.”

Brewers’ general manager David Stearns is the latest to assume that tile, as the club just announced that he has been promoted to Milwaukee’s president of baseball operations. He has also received a contract extension of unknown length.

Not a big shock given how well the Brewers did in 2018, winning the NL Central title and playing in the NLCS. It’s also worth noting — with a nod to that “employee poaching insurance” item above — that Stearns has drawn some interest from other organizations. It’s thus not unfair to see the promotion is both a thanks for a job well done and a means of keeping other teams’ hands off of him, as employees are generally not given permission to interview for lateral moves, but are given permission to interview for promotions.

The Mudville Nine may have wanted to steal him from Milwaukee, but for Stearns to get a promotion from where he is now would require the creation of some other lofty title.