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Dipoto: Scott Servais deserves ‘lion’s share of credit’ for Mariners’ culture

Jerry Dipoto credits manager Scott Servais with creating a winning culture for the Mariners. (AP)

The Mariners are off to one of the hottest starts in franchise history, now with the fourth-best record in baseball (56-32) at the midway point of the season. General manager Jerry Dipoto, who assumed that role for Seattle in 2015, has received plenty of praise for the turnaround. But to whom does Dipoto say credit is due?

Just over a month ago, 710 ESPN Seattle’s Mike Salk wrote that, despite Seattle’s still-struggling farm system, Dipoto created something the Mariners had been lacking for years: an athletic team identity. (Not to mention the fact that it was under him that Seattle acquired shortstop Jean Segura, outfielder Mitch Haniger, and second baseman Dee Gordon.)

But when it comes to curating a winning culture, Dipoto points to another source: manager Scott Servais.

“I really couldn’t be happier with where Scott is and how much he has evolved as a major league manager over these last three years,” Dipoto said during his weekly Jerry Dipoto show on 710 ESPN Seattle’s Danny, Dave and Moore. “And I really don’t think there’s any more he could have done for the 2018 Mariners than what he has.

“We’ve dealt with adversity. He’s had to be technically-precise all season long because of the nature of our run differential; it just is what it is. Having a manager call the right shots, make the pitching changes at the right time and push the right buttons in a lot of close games is kind of how you make your money. And I think Scott has done a wonderful job of it. I’ve always thought that his ability in the clubhouse, managing people and personalities and developing culture, has been a great strength of his. And I think he deserves a lot of credit, if not the lion’s share of the credit, for so much of the good things that have happened to this club and, really, what we’ve done as a franchise over these last couple years.”

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