Mainframe Crunch: Zuumball Gone?
Second base: It ain't like there's money involved

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Q.  What is the basic paradigm here?

A.  The Mariners traded a fairly good regular catcher for a solidly good center fielder.

The catcher is erratic with high upside and the center fielder is dependable with a lower ceiling and higher floor.  

The deal gets rid of one of the last Zduriencik holdovers.  :- /  Can't have those previous-regime personalities dirtying up your roster.  When you win it's gotta be with players you found.

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Q.  Why would you deal a catcher for a center fielder?

A.  Three things:

(1) It's a "waiting for the next shoe to drop" move.  For absolute sure, Dipoto will follow this move with other deals, perhaps major deals.

(2) I think Dipoto dislikes Zuumball's erraticism and strikeouts.  Remember, the M's were one of baseball's 5 lowest-K teams in 2018.  I think the industry is juuuuuuuust about ready to turn around here and Dipoto can be given credit for being ahead of the curve.

(3) There is a discussion going on, at BJOL, as to whether slow corner OF's are becoming obsolete.  Some plays in the World Series are being held up as evidence.  Corollary:  speed in the OF is becoming a "sine qua non," an aspect of your team that you must have, according to this theory.

Ergo, it seems to the Mainframe that Dipoto is stockpiling speedy OF's, especially those who are effective with the bat.  Mallex Smith had 3.5 WAR last season, based on his .367 OBP, his 40/52 stolen bases, and his gap power.  He's a fast Denard Span.

So, you could say that there are two major faultlines in baseball on which Jerry Dipoto just hopped to the safe side of. 

Or not.

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Q. Assuming Smith is a young star, and Zuumball doesn't crush 40 homers a year ... what do the Mariners do from here?  Robinson Cano just responded to the trade today by growling that he is the ballclub's second baseman.  Dipoto's rebuttal was a rather milquetoast "we'd like to see Gordon in the infield where possible."

A.  Cano's attitude complicates the situation majorly.  If he were to take over 1B or DH and rake from there, you'd move Gordon's fancy mitt to 2B and be sitting on a beatiful defensive lineup.  However, as so often, ballplayers want to win on their own terms, even when there is no money involved whatsoever.  Such a shame.

If you could just let Cruz go, and redeploy his $16M elsewhere, fine.  Or if you could swap Healy, fine.  What you do if Cano is ossified at 2B .... well, you've got not only Gamel but Denard Span playing LF in front of Gordon.

......

One interesting and encouraging thing:  Dipoto has already indicated a willingness to pull rank on Cano.  It worked over the course of a month that followed being busted for drugs.  Will it work for five years during which Cano has the ability to fracture the clubhouse?

Or can Dipoto find a taker even for the $24M Cano?  Would it require his packaging James Paxton into the bargain?  ::shudder::

Major deals lie ahead.  B'lee DAT.

BABVA,

Dr D

Blog: 

Comments

1

I thought the mariners turned down his option and paid his buyout?

Heredia and Span gone gives the mariners an outfield of Gamel/Smith/Haniger. Dee Gordon needs to be traded or Cano needs to be traded. I don't think the two can work together. Cano was really...really bad at first base...I don't think he liked it much. :/

2

 Except I was thinking earlier that Gordon is the cost of getting Paxton.  Almost posted it.  I don’t think you can swap out Cano’s $24M, unless you eat 1/2 of it.....for 5 years.  Gordon is only guaranteed $28M over three years.  That is easpier for a team to absorb, considering you get some full usage/value from Gordon for two years, before you buy him out.   If you trade Cano in a Paxton swap, then you have to eat a bad salary in return.  Maybe like Cano and Paxton for Gray, Ellsbury and Farm talent.

3

Trade Segura, Gordon to SS.

Segura brings in a whale of a lot more in talent than either of the other two, drops bucks, and allows for Gordon/Cano to co-exist (also keeping 2B backup by Gordon as an option for the inevitable Cano-to-DH day).

I know there's a no-trade clause. I don't particularly like the idea of losing Segura, personality questions noted. But of the Big Five (Pax, Segura, Gonzo, Haniger, Diaz) it always seemed that Pax and Segura were the easiest to move out for a talent reload. (Diaz the hardest to stomach aside from Haniger, but if we aren't going for it 100% in 2019 you have to consider reliever longevity as a huge negative...)

4
tjm's picture

I think Cano is still fine at 2B, especially in the shift era when range is less a facotr. He catches everything he gets to and will still have that arm when he's 50. Plus, I don't think he's tradeable in any advantageous way - meaning you'd have to hit so much salary you might as well keep him.

I see Gordon in the McLemore role, playing all over the field. Of course, if he doesn't hit better than he did last year he won't be playng anywhere. That assume King isn't right about trqading Segura, which seems a very Dipoto thing to do. Packaging him to Miami for Realmuto might actually be viable.

And Matt's right - Span is gone.

5

We have 4 or 5 years of Segura left. Basically he gets $15M per, except for $17M in '23. But that final season is a Team Option season, we can cut him adrift for $1M in pocket change.

Realmuto is projected to get $6.1M this year, then it would be close to $10M next.  But then he's a FA goner in '21

So you save a tidy bit this season and then $5M next season.....but after that you don't have Realmuto or Segura.

I love Realmuto, but unless we are in full bore rebuild mode, then 4 years of Segura is better than 2 of Realmuto....unless Segura is a lockerroom cancer, or something.  And if you are in full bore rebuild mode, then Realmuto is just a different trade chip than Segura is.

In round numbers, if you just look at what Segura has hit on the road (which eliminates the Arizona and Safeco factors) over the past three seasons, Segura is roughly a .308-.365-.430 SS with a better than average glove. The guy flat out hits.

6

From where I'm sitting, if Jerry wants to put Dee at 2nd and Cano at 1st (which would easily be the simplest allocation of resources), he should do that. If Robbie objects, he can suck it. Baseball is a team sport, and if Robbie isn't willing to help the team by shifting a few dozen feet on the diamond then he can hold out. Oh no wait, he can’t, this isn’t football. He has no leverage here, as far as I can see. He's under contract for years, but so are Jerry and Scott Servais. If he tries to throw a fit, they can remind everyone that he took steroids last year and was absent during our failed playoff run. Sure, he could try to do the clubhouse cancer thing and sink the Mariners’ brass, but doesn't that + the steroids keep him out of the HOF? He's good, but probably not good enough to get in if the last decade of his career is defined by selfish, immature acts of self-destruction.

So yeah, unless Jerry has another trade lined up (which, Jerry, that is probably the case) he should be ready to pull rank and put Robbie in his place. I'm gonna boo Cano at Safeco the next time I'm there if he pulls a prima donna act and makes us jettison Segura, who is pound for pound a better player. He's already rich, famous, and a future lock for Cooperstown. If he wants to draw the line at this positional switch, it's because he's a selfish git.

7

A very reasonable solution, Sherm.....if we want to keep Gordon.

I particularly don't. I don't think we get even-up stuff when we trade him, but I think we have to take the discounted haul, anyway.  

If Gordon is a utility guy, playing 2B, SS, 3B and LF.....then he's more interesting.  But his value is really his 2B glove, even if he hits .300.   

8

Might I ask why you're so down on Dee? Last year was bad, surely, but I'm cautiously expecting a rebound. Since he became a starter in 2014, he's had three good season (OPS at 101, 116, 97) and two duds (77, 79 last year). In his good years he's been worth 2.5, 5.1, 3.1 WAR. Bad years 0.8 and 0.6. That's 2.4 per year on average. Personally, I feel pretty good about penciling him in for about 2 wins next year. I mean, last season he spent the early months trying to learn a new position, and then he broke his toe. He was a race car with a busted tire. I'm not remotely surprised that he had a bad year.

His BABIP was .306 last year. In his other four fulltime seasons he averaged .350. Now you tell me, should a guy like Dee Gordon run a .306 or a .350, if he's healthy? I gotta think he bounces back next year based on health and luck regression alone.

He also went from 60 SB to 30. Fun fact: Dee led the league in steals in 2014, 2015, and 2017. Each of his good offensive seasons. He's also 133rd all-time in success rate, 77%. Ichiro his own self is 39th, 81%. If Dee bounces back offensively, he's an awesome weapon on the bases. There's value there, and a bunch of value baked into his gold glove defense at 2B. Speed doesn’t slump, is the adage. I gotta figure his non-injured floor is way above what he did last year.

No matter where I look from, he seems like a good bet to be an average starter at second base next year. There’s downside there, sure, but also upside. He posted five wins a few years ago! He’s still just 31. I don’t see why we should assume he’s out the door like so much ripe Figgins.

In fact, bold prediction time: I expect Dee Gordon to have a higher WAR than Kyle Seager next year. And probably the next one, too. So why aren’t we trying get rid of K-Swag and move Robbie to third?

9
GLS's picture

I wonder about the history of moving declining 2nd basemen to third. It's a less rangy position, so that part makes sense, but the ball comes so fast and hard. Five more years of Robbie though. We knew this was coming.

10

And maybe one more year of adjusting to AL arms makes a big difference. Next season is his year to hit .300, too.  But his walking 9 times is no result of bad luck.  It is a historically abysmal number.  The stuff of terrible horror stories told by kids in the backyard tent.  It makes me wonder if he’s been pitched to differently in the AL.  If you check out fangraphs you see that he saw a career low number of fastballs and a career high number of sliders. In fact, for the last three years, he’s seen fewer and fewer heaters and more and more sliders.

He worries me (I was pretty in when we got him) and I think he is way easier to swap that Cano.  

11
GLS's picture

With all sorts of coaching and analytics resources available to him, you would think that a major league hitter would be able to adjust to a trend like that, i.e. increasing numbers of breaking balls vs. decreasing numbers of fastballs.

12

Hitters choose the swings they choose for a reason. Generally, that reason is "other choices produced worse results." It sometimes happens that a swing that produced worse results in the past produced better results later...that's why you have coaches to spot that possibility. But in most cases, I strongly believe guys like Seager aren't merely being stubborn. I think if he went to a spray hitting profile, he would be a worse overall hitter.

Oops...editing to add that this was supposed to be in the Seager part of the conversion

13

If you trade Gordon, you might get a bucket of balls. If you trade Seager, you're paying part of his contract and getting a bucket of dirt in return.

14

Yes, Dipoto likes to swap out a lot of things, but he specifically likes two sorts of trades: swapping out Jack's guys for guys he himself has scouted, and trading low-low minors guys for players more likely to impact the team in the next year or two.

So you get 16-game-winner Ryan Yarbrough going out the door (one of Jack's guys) and Luis Gohara (a low-minors guy) in order to get Drew Smyly here. That didn't work, obviously, but that's what Dipoto seems to favor.  He hasn't traded a whole lot of high minors guys unless it's for starters on his big league club, and he's out of Jack's guys.

The Ms have a first baseman of the future. His name is Evan White, and since Seattle got his swing tweaked for power later in the year he's been on a rampage. His August and Fall League numbers are...startling. He's a ++ defender who is now hitting with the sort of power a first baseman should. Is he better than Cano at first base in 2019? Almost certainly not - and he can use at least another consolidation year in AA and AAA while you figure out what to do with Robbie. 

But it does mean that Robbie moving to first base for the next 4 years doesn't really help Seattle, as they've got a guy who can play there - and they have few guys who can play anywhere down on the farm at the moment.

OF Kyle Lewis is still adjusting to AA and is only now able to actually play at full strength again after that devastating knee injury. OF Julio Rodriguez has not played stateside yet and is a prime chip for the impatient Dipoto to move (and as fans of the team we will probably regret that later, he looks good). CF Braden Bishop is an interesting leadoff and defensive candidate, except we just traded for Mallex Smith, which makes Bishop a trade candidate (assuming Mallex stays this time). CF Josh Stowers just touched down in the minors and is years away (sensing a theme yet with Seattle's top position players and their playing locations?).

Seattle's three best arms are: college arm just drafted and missed the season with mono, prep arm that missed two seasons with arm issues, and setup/closer righty who got a cup of coffee with the big club last year. Everyone else in the system is essentially just drafted. The Ms have a system full of crock-potters: just turn up the heat and wait and see what happens. There are some relief arms that will be available sooner (cook time is shorter) but Seattle just doesn't have right now much other than a first baseman and some outfielders.

I assume the Mariners are trading most of their outfielders. They can scrounge together some backups if they need them, but if Mallex really is staying then others should be going. I hope they don't trade 6+ years of club control on first-rounder White because they have to put Robbie somewhere he doesn't want to play, but they might.

If it was me I would be clearing decks and re-organizing my minor league hand.  Seattle needs a rebuild. They don't have the talent right now and they aren't set up to have it in the future with one of the worst farm systems around still. Felix is cooked. There's no trade return to be had there. Paxton can't stay healthy but still has years of club control and a killer arm, so Seattle can flip him for some people who will be ready in 3 years when Seattle might be coming out of this. Figuring out who stays and who goes would be interesting, as the Ms haven't done a firesale at any point that they should have during this whole playoff-less ordeal.

And I don't expect them to do it now. Seager will be here, as he can't be moved for real value after his year. Same with Felix. The Mariners want to sell their "nice night at the ball park to watch a bunch of good guys you know play baseball at a mediocre level" so they'll make sure there are faces fans know. But chopping off their high ticket items, adding more draws to the pitching deck, and reorganizing the position players to get away from the "fleet of outfielders and then tumbleweeds" that exists now would be good.

Of course, Seattle will not do this, which is why Oakland has been to the playoffs 7 times since Seattle last made it, and after a couple of teardowns on their part. The James Paxton trade is what I'm waiting for. That's not a deck chair trade, and is the thing that could help set Seattle up for an actual future instead of this interminable purgatory they've been in for the majority of my adult life. Paxton will probably go Full Zeus somewhere else, but even if he does it here Seattle is not going to overcome its other deficiencies.

Restock already, Seattle. And then grow some ball players this time. Feel free to check out how your poverty-stricken cousins in a terrible stadium do it down in the Bay Area if you need pointers. 

15
GLS's picture

I'm with you on clearing the decks and starting fresh, but that sort of thinking seems to be anathema to this organization, so they soldier on trying to put together a "pretty good or at least not terrible" team each year, and I guess sort of hoping for a magical season where everything goes right and they make it deep into the playoffs. They've wasted Felix's career just like they did with Ichiro. 

If Paxton wasn't so injury prone, I wonder if DiPoto would have the go-ahead to pursue a trade. 

17

The system is... paper-thin, neglected and missing anything resembling immediate depth or All-Star-level impact in the short or long term. I think they had a good draft last year, but they need 3 more of those to get it back where it should be. When a team doesn't have a drafted future, and is capped out as a non-playoff team in its present, then normally you fire the GM and start a rebuild. Jerry just got his extension, so I guess we'll see whether he decides to rebuild now that he has some job security or if he just keeps plugging holes to keep the Mariners between 78 and 88 wins.

18

Is that the return on Zeus should be the equivalent of a good draft all by itself. You're looking for a top-3 arm and a top-5 bat from someone's system, plus a reliever or low minors blue chipper at the least. 

In Seattle's system, the first two players returned should stuff easily into Seattle's top-5, and anything else would also be top-10 probably. That right there is a top of the sytem restock.  Seattle's top-3 picks from this last draft slotted in at #3, #7 and #13 in the system per MLB.com, but the players being traded for Paxton will already have jumped over hurdles last year's draftees have yet to clear.  

Then the question is what to do with Edwin Diaz. Yes, he's an incredible (and incredibly cheap) closer. But the longevity of closers can be an issue, and he has another 4 years of club control. Seattle will be unlikely to make the playoffs - assuming they really do rebuild - for another 3. The Astros traded 5 pitchers for a young closer with lots of club control a few years ago. 

The Ms can get two drafts' worth of guys for two pitchers, if they really want to. Or they can use one of those arms to get off of some salary, should they so choose. I'm not worried about their salary and profit margins, so I'm more interested in what they can get for tearing down these non-playoff Mariners and going another direction. If Dipoto wants to make some trades then let's see whether he can do more than move deck chairs or throw babies out with bathwater.  He won the Arizona trade, snagging Haniger and Segura. Should they now trade Segura? He's a 3-4 WAR being paid like a 2 WAR player even with his new contract. Haniger was a 6 WAR player last year and is under team control for his entire prime. That's insane, and I don't know how they keep him rather than trade him except that he will only be getting to 30 by the time the rebuild really hits and they may want to let some teams restock before they trade him.

The Ms have a lot of decisions to make if they do rebuild, and who sticks around for it is definitely one. I would love for Haniger and Segura to stay. I am a fan of both. But if you only have 4 players that will bring value and you desperately need that value to rebuild your team, you have some tough choices to make. The Ms have taken the easy way out for too long.

19

We can’t run and chew gum at the same time? Well, maybe not. But at least walk fast and see if you can spit out the gum by August or so. Every season, you better give me a game plan to compete for the playoffs. If it falls apart, then and only then make your trades, make your moves. But don’t you dare give me a wink and a nod while you enter a season with a totally demolished team designed to compete in 2-3 years. I’ll come back in 2-3 season then, if at all.

Show me a plan going in to increase your win total from 89 to 91. If your plan falls apart by June, year it apart. Even if you are counting on a bit of luck to pull it off, show me why that bit of luck is plausible. Be creative. Think outside the box a bit. Otherwise, you darn well better be giving me exhibition game ticket prices if I am watching a farm team playing exhibition games s cause we are an extended spring training/farm team practicing for 2020.

Don’t you dare trade James Paxton for a bunch of future talent that may or may not pan out, and expect me to pay James Paxton prices to watch Erasmo Ramirez hold down the fort while we wait for Loisagia to either turn into a cheaper Paxton, or blow out his arm With a TJ surgery. I already paid to watch Dustin Ackley and Justin Smoak lead us to the promised land, thank you very much.

20

The trouble is this: even WITH a complete rebuild, who here has confidence that they can do with it what the Astros and Cubs have done? Who here has confidence that this regime, like the many ones before, has the necessary combination of vision,  talent, disposition, savvy, resources, and luck to chart a course, ANY COURSE, and make it pay off?

21

I can easily see Paxton and others not mentioned as part of the core by Dipoto (Segura, Gamel, Leake and etc...) going this off season.

However, I do not expect the M's to send major cash in any deal, so I doubt Cano, Seager, Gordon, Nicasio, Felix, and etc... are going any where. Thus, this will not be a complete rebuild, and in fact this should be an above average team again. The M's management seems content to spending / throwing money away so they are not perceived to be throwing in the towel on the season. M's management takes great pride in the stadium experience, and with giving the impression to the fans that the team has a chance to compete.

Moreover, with this latest fiasco with Dr. Martin, I expect the M's management (whomever they are come December) to try to keep the fans happy / interested... so a big signing at SP or C is not out of the question.

With that said, an OF of Haniger, Smith, and ??? Gamel / Gordon / new guy will be fine. The infield of Seager, Segura, Cano, and Healy / Gordon / Vogs is also fine.

The Pen will have Diaz, Nicasio, Armstrong, Altavilla, Pazos, Festa and others will also be fine.

The rotation of Marco, LeBlanc, Elias, Felix and a couple projects will be good enough to get this team to roughly 75 wins.

Then add in those from the other trades, and like I suggest, one BIG signing... this could easily be an 83+ win team. Still not good enough for the play-offs, but what did Billy Beane expect out of his team last year??? I highly doubt it was 83 wins. 

24

I pointed this out mid-season; with your indulgence I will come back to it again.  This list of numbers is the total XB hits Seager has had in each season since 2012, his first full MLB season: 56-56-56-63-69-61-59

Other than a big number in ‘16, he has been remarkably consistent in this statistic, even in a toe-injured ‘18.

This is the number of singles he has hit in each season:  98-104-102-103-97-83-70

The shift is killing his singles numbers.  It may have taken away as many as 30 base-hits this season, 20 in ‘17.

Lifting and elevating more is not the issue.

25
GLS's picture

He needs to adjust and hit the other way, or do so more often than he does now. That would mean giving up some extra-base hits, possibly. Question: is he unable to do this, or unwilling? Also, what is the organization asking him to do? 

26

Seager came up as a spray hitter. His numbers in that rookie season were very weak. The team told him he needed to hit for more power if he wanted to survive and he did that. Without the power swing, he's a .275-.280 hitter with way less power production. Not something of value to this team.

28

 Not sure I am buying in to her post, right now.  It smacks too much of a frustrated, recently-canned consultant.......although I suspect she is the “trainer” referred to in her note.

There was a big deal made by the FO of her hiring just a year ago; it must have been a terrible match, with philosophical difference, for the separation to come so quickly.  I would also wonder why she didn’t call out the organization at the time she witnessed such incidents.

Just thinking out loud, of course

29

Can you imagine a GM, manager or any front office person getting away with saying these things in ANY context...much less to a first year employee?

She better have some proof or good luck finding another job...

30

Unfortunately, this should get VERY UGLY... and fast.

The league MUST conduct a thorough investigation, and it also now MUST look into the allegations made against Mathers as well... the the results will have to be made VERY public, or else there will ALWAYS be a cloud around this organization and the people in it. That is just a fact of today's world. 

I know baseball will try to brush this under the rug, BUT I highly doubt people / lawyers / Me Too and etc... will just let this die.

Time will tell though, and how much politics really plays in baseball versus football.

31

https://www.thenewstribune.com/sports/mlb/seattle-mariners/article221571...

The Mariners CANNOT come across as being hostile to Latinos. It's a death knell in their current stage, and if that wedge is jammed between coaches and players it will be impossible to fix. Unbelievably bad, and I don't know how they fix it short of demolishing the front office and staff they just extended.

This is going to drag on, and it's a huge problem - especially after the Kevin Mather stuff. Just reeks of problems.

32
GLS's picture

I think this front office is done. It might take a couple of weeks, but I'm calling it: DiPoto, McKay, and Servais are gone. 

33

I think Ms. Martin is the worst kind of liar...the one who believes her interpretation of events is true even though she's wildly...wildly offnase. I think she did hear them calling certain players dumb or lazy and ASSUMED it was because they were Latino/Dominican. This is very...very common thought for today's leftists, and it sounds like she's infected with it.

Here's the thing though...every front office says stuff like this. I heard it with the Yankees, for example. If they think a player isn't putting the work in, they say it, regardless of skin color.

If this front office team is fired over these outrageous claims, I'm done with the mariners for good.

34

Don't go all political on me--I'm a "leftist" and I totally agree with you on this!

35

I think there is an ancient baseball code being violated here.  Coaches and GM's need to be able to freely curse lazy, careless, indolent or unspirited play and players without regard to race, creed, color, or national origin.  This code is more ancient and more American than left or right wing. 

36
GLS's picture

I'm not saying it's right, but unless this thing gets nipped in the bud, the pressure will be too much and these guys will all have to resign or get fired. I basically see it as an impossible situation to deal with because it's unlikely there will be proof of any kind on either side. But what do you do when the accusation is out there? 

37

I highly doubts this goes all the way to the top, but I expect heads to roll... as something MUST be done to quell the fears of the casual fan, satisfy the impetulant zealots, and ease the minds of the Latino players.

As Matt and many others on many other blogs have said... this type of talk happens all the time in and around sports, and like it or not - some office people or outsiders will consider it racist and sexist. Heck, even on this site, a few have commented on Cano's lack of hustle, and how it has rubbed off on Segura. Moreover, Servais in late August was publically getting on Segura for not playing due to a minor injury... and that belief is probably what caused the fight in the lockeroom. Thus I find it very believable that comments were made that taken out of context, some will find offensive... and in today's world, offensive = action MUST be taken... like someone fired. I just don't know if that is enough. 

40

Not saying it didn't happen, but I'd have to suspend the idea that virtually everybody, especially in Seattle, at least has the tiniest clue that saying even one thing like this can get you fired.  To have smart well-spoken guys doing that does not seem plausible.

If it's an allegation without corroboration, I'm sorry, but that's not enough to ruin real peoples' livelihoods for.

If there is corroboration that is credible, then let's hear that.

41

The court of public opinion can actually be illegal, several charges that apply depending on your involvement.  There are courts, police and jails that are the legal version of our current sudden "They say:You pay" circus that's overstepping media's role.  Though there's more information available now, less of it seems to be shared by these public shamings that go ahead and assume guilt without due process.  Witches, communists and perverts have rights too.  Accusations don't remove them.

The fact that people think it's brave to step outside the legal system instead of punishable is a real problem.  

42

I get that we've all just learned about this story, and I totally get the urge to snap off some instant responses. But I hope we can all cosign on a few points which I think everyone on both sides of the aisle can agree on.

  • It is not impossible that this is true. There are surely still bad, racist people in the world, often hiding in plain sight. In that sense, this is not an accusation so ludicrous as to be written off immediately.
  • It is not a given that this is true. The #MeToo movement has largely functioned as it has (on the assumption of probable guilt in the absence of hard evidence) because of a number of factors. Many #MeToo allegations involve situations in which the victims were understandably reticent to report, due to power imbalances, fear of retaliation and societal indifference. This is not a #MeToo issue. It is something else entirely. THIS IS DIFFERENT, because...
  • ... first, Mrs. Martin came forward close to immediately, in the amount of time one would expect given that she may (as she claims) have been trying to reach a settlement with the team. The timeline neither helps nor hinders the veracity of her allegations: if she's telling the truth, it tracks just fine.
  • ... second, this is a recent situation. One in which she is alleging a pattern of behavior, which as others have noted was apparently so open that it took place in front of freshman employees. So, before anyone believes these accusations, I think we can all agree that there MUST BE CORROBORATION. Surely someone must have heard something, if this story is true. MLB is already looking in this, as they should, and if they put forward a serious effort they should be able to uncover damning evidence. If they do not, it is likely because there was none.
  • If there is no evidence, and also no credible allegations of a coverup, then the front office could still be brought down by public opinion // clubhouse dynamics. If public opinion sinks them even in the absence of any evidence, well, that is a pretty damning critique of the social justice warriors now isn't it? And I say this as a devout liberal. Now, if all of this is untrue, Scott and Jerry should be flying to the offseason homes of as many players, latino or otherwise, as possible. They've got to keep the clubhouse, or they've got to go. Which is horribly unfair to them if these allegations prove to be false, but it is the correct business decision. You can't let this kind of cancer grow untreated for years. It's got to be driven into remission, and promptly.

TLDR: let's not rush to judgement guys. Either way. If this is true, which it could be, there should be additional evidence forthcoming. If it is not, the proof will be in the lack of corroboration.

Now me, personally? I agree, this doesn't seem to pass the smell test. Martin's post is messy, vague, and somewhat incoherent. Moreover, it is incredibly hard to believe that executives could operate in a business such as this if they really harbored racist views. Jerry has gone out of his way to bring in Dominicans: Alex Colome, Juan Nicasio, and Jean Segura spring to mind. They've stood behind Cano during his drug bust, and heaped praise on Nelson Cruz from day one. It's not impossible that this all occurred in spite of some kind of latent racial animus, but it would certainly be very, very unexpected.

One of Matt's arguments from above seems especially apt: I'm sure all front offices heap verbal abuse on their players from behind closed doors. It would not surprise me in the slightest if someone said that a Dominican player was lazy. I mean let's be honest, Robinson Cano is kind of lazy. The dude is a hell of a player, and obviously puts in a ton of effort to maintain his level of greatness, but he sure doesn't run hard to first base does he? And maybe someone even noted that Cano (Dominican) might be rubbing off on Segura (Dominican). Maybe their nationality even came up! Not because Andy McKay said, "all these Dominican players are lazy bums," but because he said "I'm starting to think those two were just screwing off down in the DR last offseason." Those two players are reportedly very close, and they also both have long histories of questionable work ethic from OTHER organizations prior to joining the Mariners. All of that is plausible, as is misconstruing it if you only heard it out of context.

Of course all of that is speculation, but if I had to guess at the truth given the dearth of information available, that'd be it. I suspect Martin heard something that she genuinely thinks was racist. I also suspect that she is wildly misconstruing whatever it was. If I had to put odds on it, they'd be something like:

  • 20% chance she is credible, and her story turns out to be true.
  • 60% chance that both sides sincerely believe they are right, but that no one else saw things the way Martin did.
  • 20% chance that she's a malicious disgruntled employee trying to make a cash grab or bring the men she disagreed with down out of spite.

At any rate, we will see. Let’s just not rush to judgement, shall we?

EDIT TO ADD: The latest on her allegations must have just broke as I was typing this up. Looks like she's accusing them of overt, blatant racism and misogyny. Guess my percentages were way off. Allow me to amend them to:

15% chance she's on the level.

85% chance this is some pretty ridiculous slander.

Personally I have no idea how this could be true. Did they think they'd get away with it? Is the incredibly well-spoken DiPoto actually a blithering idiot once the bright lights are off? Actually, screw it, I'm pushing it to 10%-90%. If this stuff is true, it'll blow my freaking mind.

43

... for someone with three post-doctorates, Martin reads like a reality tv show participant. Not since Donald Trump have I found it so hard to parse the meaning of someone's broken syntax. Maybe English is just her second language and I'm being too harsh, but if not... wow, does she ever sound like someone who's making sh*t up off the cuff.

44

I noticed that one came from a place I'd never heard of--Nova Southern.  So I looked it up.  Reviews seem to indicate it's a pure diploma mill.  

45

I have a friend here in Seattle who runs an organization with offices in a couple cities.  One of his key lieutenants is a woman he's worked with for many years.

One day recently she was in his office and he raised his voice (of which he is fully capable) to complain about how something was running that she was in charge of.  There was no allegation of any kind of sexism, racism, even profanity.  He just blew his top and hurt her feelings.

She went to HR to complain...he was suspended for more than a week until the "investigation" was completed.  They made up and now work together as before...but he is seriously considering leaving because there is a taint now that will never go away.

This is where the Mariners are now. An investigation will get nowhere as long as it's "he said/she said".  Without corroboration, there's nothing to investigate.

If they don't get strong supportive statements from the key Latin players, it will never fully go away.  

47
GLS's picture

This is why I made my prediction above that DiPoto, Servais, and McKay all have to go. Maybe I'm wrong. It certainly isn't fair, but fairness has no place here. In fact, it's categorically unfair. But it seems like this will need to happen at some point, regardless. 

48

Seattle Times article:  https://www.seattletimes.com/sports/mariners/no-matter-how-it-plays-out-...

But I find this quote from her (from a year ago) the most interesting thing in the article: “I have an opportunity to be an agent of change,” she told me. “I get to pioneer high performance in professional baseball.”

One quote might certainly be of little value, but it seems that she was more focused on herself as "a pioneer agent of change" and not on the Mariner's being a better team.

I remain highly sceptical.

49

Has Doc posted since this thread went up a week ago?

There is a pretty decent LookoutLanding article up on this, "There is no best case Scenario."

I disagree with some of the conclusions drawn there...and some here...that the M's organization is tarnished, irreparably, for years to come. If these allegations are unsubstantiated, then I think this is a temporary tempest.  However, there are some interesting bits in the article.  Such as:

"It was Dipoto himself who also stated Dr. Martin would have the final say in playing time with regards to scheduling days of rest, from Shannon Drayer back in November, 2017:     

“...I flat out asked Dipoto if it was buck stops here with Dr. Martin and he said it absolutely was. Buy in is critical and it appears they have it now with the staff.”


And:

In Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches, Audre Lorde notes “revolution is not a one-time event,” yet the Mariners, in the most generous reading of the current situation, launched a massively aspirational overhaul of sports fitness and health training in the famously hidebound sport of baseball, seemingly in a half-assed fashion.

If DiPoto really thought that a hired consultant with an alphabet of letters behind her name but with no baseball experience at all (and really little actual high-level athlete background) was gong to determine playing time, then he had sort of lost his baseball mind.  If he was just blowing smoke, as I suspect he was, trying to make the organization appear cutting edge, then he was setting up an unavoidable failure.

And if this was all about instituting a massive tectonic shift in baseball, then that speaks poorly of DiPoto, as well.

I actually think that DiPoto was "keeping up with the Joneses" and trying to give the appearance of some analytical edge the M's would proceed with, here forward. But I do not believe he even had bought in to the idea that some woman in an office was going to determine if Haniger sat today, basing his decision on some analytical (to the players) hocus-pocus.

DiPoto has proven that he can make "some" trades that bring in MLB help (Segura, Haniger, Marco).  He hasn't established that he can keep the cupboards loaded with FAs (he has generally bombed here) or build an organizational talent base.  

And he hasn't establiished that he can change the culture of the organization, in revolutionary (or even simple) ways.

If he and Servais go, then we start over....but not dramatically ahead of where we were when he got here.

50

Didn't they make some big announcement about a new male trainer in spring training a couple years ago...who also wound up a bust?

In my mind, Jerry doesn't try to "keep up" with the Joneses...he's always trying to stay out in front of them.

Also, I'm still trying to figure out how McKay isn't also hocus pocus.  

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