In our continuing series of Seattle Mariners Players Who Suck, we have one I never wanted to write. The Chone Figgins piece.
As soon as we signed him, he became my new favorite Mariner. He’s exactly the kind of try-hard, Johnny Hustle type of guy I like to watch play baseball. He’ll slap around a .300 average, he’ll steal you a whole mess of bases, and he may not be Adrian Beltre-good, but he’s still a pretty good third baseman.
Except, no he’s not, no he won’t, and shut the hell up!
Chone Figgins has been nothing short of worthless over the last year and a month. Completely without value. He came into our organization still ostensibly in his prime and IMMEDIATELY came under the Mariner Jinx. That isn’t supposed to happen. Not to this guy. It’s SUPPOSED to happen to past-their-prime sluggers who’ve made a career on strikeouts and home runs; they get signed by the Mariners and instantly a lot of those erstwhile home runs are warning track outs. Safeco Field eats them alive and they end up completely without confidence, batting at or below .200, wishing every game was an away game so they wouldn’t have to hear the boos from the ever-dwindling crowds at home.
Chone Figgins never had power to begin with, so I don’t know WHAT to tell you!
I suppose you COULD have knocked the rationale at the time of his signing; we already had a Chone Figgins on this team and his name is Ichiro. But, I’ll be damned if it wasn’t tempting to think about all the damage they could’ve done at the top of the order. Ichiro gets a hit, Figgins – with that excellent eye for balls & strikes – gets a walk, and then we turn them loose on the basepaths.
And that’s true, actually. When they both manage to get on base together, good things generally happen for the Mariners. It’s just too bad that only happens about every 50th game. We could probably count on a single hand how many games those two combined have wreaked havoc on opposing teams; and I’ll give you a hint for free: it’s not Ichiro’s fault.
Beware the baseball player who is always starting out cold, only to catch fire in the second half of the season. Because eventually, they’re going to get too old to pull themselves out of the shitpile they put themselves in.
Last year, Figgins ended with a .259 batting average – his worst since he was a rookie. He was batting .211 at the end of May. That’s all well and good, he managed to climb somewhere near the realm of respectability, but you know what? We pay you to play baseball for 6 months, not 4! And we pay you $9 million so you’ll bat .300 and get on base at a .375 clip! Not to hit weak grounders back to the mound!
Of course, this year through almost a full month, he’s right where he was last year. .160 batting average, .207 on base percentage, 10 strike outs vs. only 13 hits. Unbelievable.
I’m finished trying to defend this guy. The tide has turned, bucko. Nobody in Seattle likes you anymore. You’ve had a year and change and you’ve squandered every fucking minute of it. You don’t give a shit about defense, your hitting is a joke, and overall you have the look of someone who doesn’t give two shits about the game of baseball because you got yours. Well, enjoy the $36 million you’re bleeding out of this organization. I can’t wait until you’re gone.
And you know, the stupid thing about all of this is: if he DID care, just a little bit, and actually TRIED … he’d probably get traded to a contender and could forget all about his Seattle experience. Come on! If for no other reason than to get yourself out of the cellar, let’s see a quick turnaround! It’ll be beneficial for us all: you get to leave and we get to be rid of a $36 million punchline.