Rob Neyer described it thusly: “It’s early, but you have to admire the willingness of the Mariners’ new management to communicate with their smartest fans (and it helps that they’re saying most of the right things, too).”

He’s talking about this, an event organized by USS Mariner, the best Mariner blog out there, at the Seattle Central Library and attended by some special guests:

The guests for the afternoon are Mariners Asst. GM Tony Blengino and Mariners scouting director Tom McNamara. These are the two guys that Zduriencik brought over from Milwaukee – Blengino is the guy behind the Department of Baseball Research that is being established and the one pushing the organization into the 21st century of baseball analysis. McNamara is the top scout in the organization, and will be running the amateur draft this summer.

Two of the bigwigs in the M’s new administration got together for four hours with 250 Mariner fans and bloggers (there was limited space, so they charged a small entrance fee to cover the costs of renting the room, and admitted only people who had pre-registered), answering all questions. Read the recap of the gathering; lots of interesting information in there.

Now, the $100,000 question: Can anyone imagine the Reds doing anything like this in a million years?

I can’t imagine the Reds hiring anyone steeped in statistical analysis and giving them an influential role, much less putting them forward to speak to the most dedicated fans of the team. I’m really impressed with the new guys running the Mariners; we’ll see if it translates into on-field success.

And if anyone from the Reds wants to do something like this, email me. I’ll organize it myself.