Video: Mariners aim to ‘Control the Zone’ in 2016
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) December 28, 2015
An interesting item popped up on Twitter Monday afternoon.
While the week between Christmas and New Years is usually off time for Major League Baseball front offices, the Mariners put out a video tidbit, giving a little more insight into a message that has been promised since Jerry Dipoto’s first day on the job. Development throughout the organization would be a top priority. Check it out above.
C The Z, or “Control the Zone,” is not a new slogan in the organization. It is something that has been preached throughout the minor leagues the last few years with annual C The Z awards being given at the end of each year. While it sounded good in theory, I’m not sure it worked in practice. I talked to a number of young players last spring about C The Z and most were not able to articulate the meaning of the slogan. Some admitted to not being interested in it. C The Z looked good on a plaque, but the concept appeared to be anything but an organizational philosophy that took root.
As you can tell by this video, Dipoto, Scott Servais and Andy McKay not only define what controlling the zone is and why it should be the focus, but they also put actionable plans behind the words. They stress that this is the plan, and that plan, philosophy and terminology will be the same from level to level. The expectations and instruction will be clear. While he didn’t come out and call it the “Mariners’ way,” Dipoto stated what players developed by the Mariners should look like at the end of the video.
“You teach the kids how to care about the player next to them,” he said. “How to care more about the uniform that they wear and the name on the front rather than the name on the back. And to be selfless in what they do, and then we will teach them to be fearless because they are controlling the strike zone, and when you are finding success, which you will because you are controlling the zone, the game is a lot of fun to play.”