Tuesday, September 30, 2003
SEATTLE -- Pat Gillick, the Seattle Mariners' executive vice president and general manager, is leaving the team after four years on the job, the Mariners announced Tuesday.
Gillick will remain in his position until a successor is found, then become a consultant for the team.
"After much thought I've decided to step away from my current role with the Mariners," Gillick said in a statement released by the team. "I've had four chances at the brass ring here and think maybe it's time for someone else to take a shot at taking this team to a higher level.
"I believe we have a core of players in place, especially pitchers, that will allow the Mariners to contend for the next several years, at least, and I am looking forward to remaining involved with the Seattle organization," he said.
During Gillick's four years as general manager, the Mariners won more games (393) than any other team in Major League Baseball, appearing in the American League Championship Series twice. He was named the league's Executive of the Year in 2001 when the Mariners tied a record for wins in a season at 116.
"We wanted Pat to stay on board as our general manager, but we respect his decision to step back and serve as a consultant," Mariners CEO Howard Lincoln said in a statement.
"We will begin a search immediately, which will include both internal and external candidates," he said. "We thank Pat for the exceptional job he has done the past four years, and the professionalism he has brought to the Mariners. Finally, we are pleased he will still be connected with our organization."
Gillick, 66, has 29 years of experience as a major league executive.
He started in 1963 with the Houston Astros and spent 10 years working his way up through the team's front office.
Gillick joined the New York Yankees in 1974 before moving to the expansion Toronto Blue Jays in 1976 where he was responsible for all baseball-related activities and helped guide Toronto to five Eastern Division titles and two World Series Titles.
He moved to Baltimore in 1996 and the Orioles reached the playoffs in his first two years as general manager, winning the American League East in 1997.