SEATTLE -- After Howard Lincoln watched yet another Seattle Mariners news conference to introduce a new employee, the CEO of the organization said he would take another personal financial hit because of the club's losing season.
Lincoln, the CEO of the Mariners for the past 16 seasons, who rarely speaks, said on Tuesday that as a condition of Seattle having another losing season he would be taking less compensation for his role overseeing the club. Lincoln said he viewed taking less money as his way of being accountable when the club has not succeeded.
"Over the years when we've had losing seasons I had made some very painful and self-imposed financial hits in terms of compensation, in terms of bonuses as my way of trying to be accountable. I will do that this season as well because it's a losing season," Lincoln said after new general manager Jerry Dipoto was introduced.
Lincoln has become a polarizing figure for many Seattle fans as the franchise has endured a 14-year playoff drought, now the longest in baseball after Toronto reached the postseason this year. While players, managers and general managers have cycled through Safeco Field during that time, Lincoln has remained in charge.
Lincoln said in 2008 that he was on the "hot seat" after the Mariners lost 101 games and underwent front-office changes. On Tuesday, Lincoln said he would not use that phrase again but feels responsible for the success of the franchise.
Lincoln became CEO in September 1999 and left his position as chairman of Nintendo of America in February 2000. The Mariners have had seven winning seasons and nine losing seasons since Lincoln became CEO.
"I certainly feel responsible for the performance of the team and the overall performance of the franchise and when we have losing seasons like this I accept responsibility the only way that I can, and that is to take a financial hit," he said.