Mariners Melt-Down: Chone Figgins' Lack of Hustle Leads To Scuffle

Jeff EngelsContributor IJuly 24, 2010

SEATTLE - JULY 24:  Chone Figgins #9 of the Seattle Mariners is congratulated by manager Don Wakamatsu #22 after defeating the Boston Red Sox 5-1 at Safeco Field on July 24, 2010 in Seattle, Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

 The Mariners lost another close game tonight 2-1 to the Boston Red Sox and in the process produced enough controversy to keep all of us bloggers busy for a week. But to be honest with you I knew something had to give at some point and tonight’s melt-down in the dugout comes as little surprise with the way this season has been going. There is no excuse for the way Chone  Figgins dogged that play in the fifth allowing Cameron to go to third. I guess Don Wakamatsu decided to set an example of Figgins and that lead to the dugout  scuffle . I really don’t know exactly who said what or who threatened who, and the whole thing is just a sad situation.

  I saw Don Wakamatsu’s post-game interview and he looked visibly shaken as he brushed-off certain questions. I have been quick to judge the skippers decisions in my blog this year but in this case I have to back him up and hope the Mariners front office does the same. Granted there has been several other players who have made some really weak plays on the field, and especially on the bases recently who deserve to ride the pine for awhile as well,  thus choosing to bench Figgins may have been a bit unfair. But as long as Wakamatsu is the manager he has the right to bench players who don’t hustle and he exercised that right tonight plain and simple

   I hope those who thought Griffey and Sweeney were not important because of their age and thus bad-mouthed them in the media and on several other blogs, may realize now that winning is a lot more difficult than calculating sabermetrics stats. No, a club needs veterans to show leadership and set the tone and if need be call-out other players who aren’t hustling. Yes the manager needs to set the tone, and perhaps Don Wakamatsu isn’t strong enough to manage in the Big Leagues, but the players themselves need to keep each other accountable as well.

   I saw this coming even when I was down in Peoria at spring training this year. Just a few things here and there that showed me something was not right with the chemistry. Certainly some of the veterans were acting a little cocky around Wakamatsu, and not only did I hear a few things but I could tell by body language. However in my experience both as a player and a fan I do know that these little blow-ups happen every now and then and they are not the end of the world.

   Athletes are intense, competitive and often times a little full of themselves after years of being adored by fans and coddled by teams trying to win games. And of course it doesn’t help when you are losing, especially as bad as the Mariners are this year. You add-up a losing season, a relatively green skipper, and Jocks with giant Egos who are not hustling and something has to give. So it finally happened, and maybe it needed too….

Tagged: Boston Red Sox , Chone figgins , Don Wakamatsu , dugout scuffle , Mariners , not hustling