Very serious allegations by #Mariners employee who has been fired.
For those without Instagram, here’s Dr. Lorena Martin’s comments …
Back in the 1960’s the San Francisco Giants should have become a powerhouse team to rival the Yankees, but never did. Later it was revealed that manager Alvin Dark had some major issues with racism, particularly towards his Latino players.
Now it might appear that the Mariners, who are nowhere near becoming a powerhouse to rival anybody might have similar problems…
Trouble is brewing around what was formerly known as Safeco Field. After terminating the contract of team doctor Lorena Martin, the M’s appear to have opened a Pandora’s Box.
Dr. Martin took to Instagram on Monday to voice her displeasure with the front office, detailing alleged incidents in which the front office said several disparaging things about Latino players:
If there is truth to these allegations, Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto and other members of the top brass have some explaining to do. In fact, numerous individuals would deserve to be out of a job.
It’s already been a rough few months for Seattle. They initially looked like they would be a dark horse playoff team before collapsing over the latter half of the season. Reports then emerged early this offseason that they were potentially considering a full teardown of their current roster in order to prepare for the future.
Now, on top of all of that, they have to deal with this mess.
The extent to which these allegations can be corroborated remains to be seen. But for now, things certainly do not look good for Dipoto– or for manager Scott Servais.
There was a time not so long ago when these two men had high hopes for 2018. Now, they’re likely just hoping they can weather an oncoming storm and and keep away from the unemployment line.
Coming out of spring training this last season, Mike Zunino held a slash line of .395/.458/.791 with five dingers. He looked happy, comfortable, and confident at the plate. He looked like he was building on his 2017, when he posted similar numbers in the spring and finished with 3.7 fWAR thanks to his always-excellent defense and a second-half improvement that saw his wRC+ rise from 99 in the first half—still totally fine for a catcher with gold glove-caliber defense—to a scorching 155 over the second half.
2018 was supposed to be the Year of Mike Zunino.
Instead, an oblique injury knocked him out for the first month of the season, and an ankle injury later in the season. Zunino was never able to get on the right track offensively: although he recovered some of the power the oblique injury sapped from him, the strikeouts he’d worked hard to control over the second half of 2017 ballooned back up while his walk rate tumbled. It was, as Ryan Divish said, another lost year at the plate for Zunino.
And now there will be no chance for a Year of Mike Zunino in 2019. Or there might be, but it will be as a member of the Tampa Bay organization, as the Mariners dealt him and human ray of sunshine Guillermo Heredia to the Rays this week.
Beyond the actual players traded, this trade deals away psychological angst: Jerry Dipoto creates another fissure between his version of the Seattle Mariners and the roster he inherited, hurtling ever-nearer to the day that a clean break is made; and Zunino gets to lay down the burden of representing Mariner fans’ hopes and dreams for the future, a burden that grew heavier with each draft pick that flamed out. For Zunino, the trade to Tampa Bay represents a fresh start in his own backyard. His long, complicated, at times heart-wrenching history of player development in Seattle has come to an end.
We will miss him.
Back in June, before his season went off the rails, John wrote about the help the defensive wunderkind Zunino offers to a pitching staff that relies heavily on location. As it stands right now, the entire Mariners pitching staff just got a little worse, and maybe a lot worse. Defense has always been the one unassailable part of Zunino’s game, and Mariners fans who love the fine art of catching should start preparing themselves now to understand how spoiled we’ve been by watching Z’s plus-plus defense the last handful of years.
The Mariners made their first major roster move of the offseason this morning, sending catcher Mike Zunino and outfielder Guillermo Heredia to Tampa in exchange for outfielder Mallex Smith.