Chone Figgins and A Lesson In Absolution

Once upon a time, I purchased an Ed Hardy t-shirt. I know. Stupid. But in my own defense, this was at the cusp of the Ed Hardy movement, prior to Ed Hardy making its name as the official clothing brand of douchebags. I realize that’s not much of an excuse, but whatever. I’m opening up to you people. Stop judging me.

Anyway, the shirt was fairly basic. It was black, short-sleeved, and was probably adorned with a few skulls and snakes and hearts and the like. I don’t really remember. I’ve tried to block this episode from my memory.

At the time, the shirt cost me around $20 to $25. I worked at Nordstrom, you see, and had a discount. Still, for me, that was a hefty price to pay for a t-shirt I was only sort of sure about. To make matters worse, as soon as I got the shirt home, I ripped the tags off, confident I would love and cherish my Ed Hardy shirt for all-time. Idiot.

Over the next couple years, the shirt sat folded in a drawer, untouched. I wore that shirt in public exactly zero times. And yet I couldn’t bring myself to give the shirt away. I had to justify my $20-to-$25 purchase by hoping against hope that Ed Hardy would rekindle itself as a clothing company with some level of respectability. What if I gave my shirt to Goodwill, only to watch Ed Hardy reemerge as the brand of an entire generation? I couldn’t risk that happening. So I kept it. And kept keeping it. I refused to let that shirt go.

I liken that shirt to Chone Figgins, disgraced Seattle Mariner that he is. Much like my ill-advised clothing purchase, Figgins was a poor investment by the Mariners organization a few years back. And not unlike me, poor investor that I was, the Mariners have attempted to justify their mistake by retaining an asset that carries minimal value and serves little practical purpose.

There’s no denying the fact that Figgins is the worst player on the Mariners’ active roster. The numbers tell part of the story, while the intangibles complete the tale. As he’s spent the past two-plus seasons underperforming between the baselines, Figgins has complemented his sub-par play with an equally sub-par attitude. He’s squabbled with his manager, bristled at the media, and in general, done very little to endear himself to a fan base that wanted so badly to see this guy succeed.

Ultimately, the Mariners will have to cut Chone Figgins. He has no discernible trade value and isn’t worth keeping around until his contract expires at the close of the 2013 season. On a team building towards the future, a deadweight veteran with little-to-no upside brings nothing to the table.

But instead of just severing ties with what manager Eric Wedge calls the team’s “super-utility player” — and there are all sorts of jokes to be made there — the M’s continue to cling to Figgins for no reason whatsoever.

On Thursday, the ballclub had their first great opportunity to dispose of Figgins’ festering presence. With catcher Miguel Olivo returning from the disabled list, a roster move needed to be made. Faced with a tough decision, the team crumbled under the pressure and instead took the easy way out, optioning outfielder Casper Wells to Triple-A Tacoma.

While Wells will benefit from extra playing time with the Rainiers, his confidence will undoubtedly suffer a blow from the demotion. True, he was essentially the Mariners’ fourth (or some might even argue, fifth) outfielder. But at age 27, Wells may not be much more than that. And with little left to prove in the minor leagues, should Wells really be forced to earn his way back to the majors? It’s not really fair. To Wells, to the 24 other guys who suit up each day, and to us, the fans.

There’s a reason we hate guys like Chone Figgins. At every job we’ve ever worked, we’ve known a Chone Figgins. He is the overpaid louse that casts a pall over the office and does nothing to help the rest of the team. What do they see in that guy, we ask ourselves. Why do they keep him around, we wonder. I’m putting in twice the effort with twice the results and I can’t get that paycheck, we cry. And it’s true. Figgins is more than just a shitty baseball player at this stage in his career. He’s a reminder that no matter how hard some of us work, we’ll never be as entitled as the high-priced investment that the company has hitched their wagon to. The Mariners have hitched their wagon to Figgins. The results of that single decision have hurt the organization, hurt the product on the field, hurt guys like Casper Wells, and insulted the fans who pay to watch this team play.

The Mariners need to rid themselves of Chone Figgins. They will end up releasing their “super-utility player,” eating the remainder of his salary in the process. But in doing so, they’ll separate themselves from a bad decision that has produced nothing but negativity for everyone close to the team. Why delay the inevitable?

About two-and-a-half years after I first obtained my one and only Ed Hardy t-shirt, I was preparing to move. As I was packing my things, I picked up that hideous crew-neck and gave it one long, final look. Then, without a second thought, I stuffed it in a plastic bag: Goodwill. I had finally absolved myself of that incredibly short-sighted impulse buy. It felt great. Good riddance.

20 responses

  1. Hey Fashion Geek-
    You are a joke, and you write as though you are illiterate, too. It’s not Figgins. The Mariners have a crappy environment. Nothing flourishes in Seattle. The whole town is screwed up. You screwed up Adrian Beltre, and you have wasted Ichiro. Seattle is a town of addicts, with Starbucks as the drug of choice. You guys deserve nothing more than Tacoma’s AAA. The only thing that is sustainable in Seattle is failure. Anaheim would welcome back Figgins anytime.
    Jeff

  2. Jeff Hodge sounds like a douche.

  3. I can smell your yeast infection from here in Palos Verdes Estates, CA. You need a good rinse. Your “taint” is infected, and so is your attitude. Wipe from front to back, moron, not back to front. Your mommy should have shown you how to wipe your mouth. Now, go rinse your mouth out with some vinegar, and then tell your mommy that you are not fit to address the public in this forum. You proved my point. The whole State of WAWA sucks out loud.

  4. Thank you for taking the time to a) read and b) comment.

    Asshole.

  5. No problem. Little bitches need to be pimp-slapped, and The Great North West is filled with little, whinny bitches. I think the lack of sunlight has something to do with it. Go Seattle Pilots! Oh yeah… Boeing moved to Chicago, which should tell you something. If it weren’t for industrial espionage by Bill Gates, you would have no industry at all. Go OKC Thunder, a team that also left Seattle for obvious reasons. The fans are ignorant.

  6. Yes, you’re right. We’re ignorant little bitches. You captured it perfectly. I hope this brings some joy to your otherwise shitty existence.

  7. You know less about me than you know about Chone Figgins. I’m a retired orthopedic surgeon defending one of my former patients, Mr. Figgins. If you clowns punk someone in a blog, you are just begging for the same treatment. Of course, I am happy to accommodate you. Besides, $9MM a year to Figgins is petty cash. Get over it. You clowns are not up against a salary cap. Pay the luxury tax and shut up. Groom players or buy them. In either case, keep your uninformed opinions to yourself. Go plant a tree, and keep your bile off the Internet. Why is everyone in Seattle a smug dickhead? You have accomplished nothing.

  8. Jeff Hodge, the orthopedic surgeon who Google’s his former clients to defend them across the scary internet!

  9. And seriously, look at this guy. “All the way from Palos Verdes Estates, CA.” As if we’re going to be impressed by this asshole. Congratulations, you live in an area with a bunch of other self-serving assholes.

    Say hi to Matt Barnes for me douchebag.

  10. Two days ago, the Angels’ broadcasters said the Seattle fans were tough on Chone. So, I checked it out, and I ran into you morons. Apparently, your mother gave birth to you during a bad case of diarrhea. Why didn’t she flush the fetus with the rest of her watery turds? Perhaps she needed the extra dependent to qualify for additional food stamps.

    You jokers in Seattle have a one-word vocabulary. Without the term “douchebag,” you would be completely speechless. You jackoffs cannot even compose one grammatical sentence. Where did you clowns go to school, Coney Island?

    I’ll just assume that Matt Barnes is your gay lover who likes to use your personalized butt plug from time to time. After all, I have not been a basketball fan since John Wooden retired in 1975, long before your mom’s bout with chronic diarrhea, which happened to smell just like your running commentary. Give my best to the bitch. She raised a real punk and a liar.

    You know you have never been to Palos Verdes, but you should come on down. We’ll go surfing at Redondo, Hermosa or Manhattan Beach. It’s time to sink or swim, pal. Of course, you sound very pudgy and pasty, just like everyone else in Seattle, where the women prefer flannel, and the men prefer sheep. As Dan Rather recently said on The Daily Show, “You are a nit on a gnat’s nut.” You are that insignificant. Now, go to the ATM and pull out your entire net worth in one, 10-second transaction, and then go watch a soccer game in the driving rain. Go Sounders, or whatever. By the way, a physician has patients, not clients, you uneducated fool.

  11. Chris-

    You better hurry. You are late for your swing shift at Starbucks. Your 21-year-old manager will be pissed.

    Chris, unless you were born before 1965, don’t even bother to write anything. You have not seen anything in your life, and you have nothing meaningful to say. You have done nothing with your life – nothing. Now go play your video games. Better yet, go play with your dolls – I mean action figures. I’m sure you still love The Power Rangers and The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. If you were my grandkid, I’d UFC your ass at Royce Gracie’s Gym in Torrance. You need to be shown the truth, which typically comes in the form of a dislocated elbow. If you were not so effeminate, I would love to meet you in person.

  12. Retirement has not been kind to you.

    Why don’t you vote in another movie star as governor? Maybe you should get back to work so you can pay for another “breast augmentation” for your wife. Or better yet, continue to think that your job helping Chone Figgins hit .181 while getting paid 9M was worthwhile.

    I can’t wait til I’m 46+ so I can finally argue on the internet. Until then I’m going to ride my bike back to Starbucks so I can wipe my ass onto the coffees of Seattle’s best orthopedic surgeons.

  13. Retirement is great. I have never voted. My wife died 8 years ago, and I do not drink coffee. I like Dr. Pepper.

    I’m glad you understand your place in this world. Glad I could point it out to you.

    Seattle has no decent surgeons, so knock yourself out with your ass-wiping fetish. Anyone with a half a brain has moved out of that town. Only tech geeks and myth-mongering environmentalists remain.

    Look, Figgins’ problem is his timing mechanism at the plate. He needs to adopt an accentuated stride where he lifts his whole front leg and then plants his front foot hard right after he sees the incoming pitch. Check out Adrian Gonzalez, Robinson Cano and Jose Bautista. Figgins’ swing path is fine. He has a gun for an arm, and he has a good glove and good speed. The soft “eggshell stride” is bullshit. It needs to be accentuated, with a heavy foot plant AFTER the pitcher releases the ball. You guys need to rag on the Seattle hitting coach. He is the screw-up for not helping Figgins. If the coach knew anything about hitting and TIMING, Figgins would be hitting .290 with a ton of walks in a lead-off role. The coach knows jackshit about real biomechanics.

    I hope you are not riding a bike because of DUI’s and a suspended license.

  14. Figgins had the same stride in his good seasons in Anaheim.

    The guy got paid to play on a terrible Mariners team and he let the suck get to him. Now he’s in a whole that he’ll never get out of.

  15. Reflexes change and diminish. The accentuated stride makes you feel as though you have 30 seconds to evaluate the pitch. The eggshell stride does not keep the weight and head back. At the MLB level, all slumps are caused by timing issues. Just ask Pujols this year. His walks are way down. He looks surprised on every pitch, and he is swinging at crap out of the zone because he feels rushed. The accentuated stride never slumps. When Geoff Jenkins went to USC, he was my poster child, although I hate USC. Check out his pics.

    Figgins was a slap hitter in Anaheim.. He’ll hit with real authority if he uses the accentuated stride. It saved Bautista’s career at his own admission. You can see him interviewed about it on the Internet. I coached it in Long Beach Little League in ’92 & ’93 and they won Williamsport twice in a row. With 8,000 Little Leagues, the odds of doing that twice were only 1 in 64,000,000.

    The next time you go to the batting cage, try it out. You will be amazed. In live BP, you lift the whole front knee and foot when the pitcher puts the ball behind him, and then you slam the front foot down after you see the ball coming to home plate. The MLB network often has good slow motion of the pitcher and hitter in the same frame. You can see that no weight is committed to the front foot until after the ball has been released by the pitcher. The eggshell guys often get screwed on off-speed pitches because they have committed weight too early to the front side.

    I can talk biomechanics all day long, especially throwing mechanics. Seattle should have kept Mark Langston. His mechanics were awesome.

    Take care, and good luck.

  16. Great post about Chone Figgins and why the Mariners need to cut him ASAP.

  17. Figgins wants to be released because he’ll get paid his full contract without having to listen to the Seattle fan base. The Mariners are trying to punish Figgins by keeping him on the team, by keeping him in Seattle, the rain capitol of the world. Figgins would be back in sunny Newport Beach within 5 minutes of his getting released. Seattle is six shades of gray, just as colorful as the residents.

    The Mariners are compounding their contractual mistake with Figgins by keeping him on the team. Idiots run the Mariners, and Seattle fans have supported that mediocrity for decades. 1995 was your last decent season; so, what does that tell you? The Mariners are the Chicago Cubs of the American League.

    The fans up there should be pushing for a change of ownership. Do Asians still own the team? Asians are good at factory-line assembly, not creative ownership. You should boycott the Mariners until the ownership sells the team to some smart white guy who understands the game of baseball. Teams should be owned by passionate individuals, not by disinterested corporations. Boycott the team until changes are made. Corporations only understand cash flow, so make it negative until the ownership changes. Peter O’Malley from the Dodgers is looking to by a team. With Twitter, you can organize a season-long boycott in one day. Be the antithesis of a flash-mob. Of course, season-ticket holders will need to eat their sunk cost, which is what the Mariners should do with Figgins’ salary. Economics 101 addresses the argument of sunk cost. You walk away from something at the margin if things are not working out, even if you have sunk $30MM on a utility player. Asians do not understand sunk cost. Only rich white guys understand it.

    All the best,

    Jeff

  18. Holy….

  19. omg that was priceless

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