There have been, and will always be, more insufferable human beings.
There have been, and will certainly always be, bigger free agent busts.
But when you combine a lack of talent with an insufferable nature, then add a bloated contract to the mix, what you get is the worst player in Seattle Mariners history. Who you see before you, friends, is Chone Figgins.
Call him a disappointment. Call him a nuisance. Call him a distraction, a failure, a bad decision. He is all of those things. Chone Figgins is — or better yet, because we can say it now, was — the most frustrating, irritating, annoying, pestering, festering excuse for a baseball player that ever put on a Seattle uniform. He collected a paycheck and never delivered. Ever. Outside of becoming the subject of our scathing bits of wit over the past three seasons, Figgins provided no value whatsoever. He was, as they say, a contractual albatross. Albeit the most puny, undersized albatross you’ve ever seen.
As of November 28, 2012, it is official: Chone Figgins has been released. Not 10 days prior, the 34-year-old benchwarmer had been designated for assignment by the Mariners. Unsurprisingly, the team was unable to find any ballclub willing to take Figgins off their hands in that period of a week-and-a-half. And so, with that, the organization quietly disposed of their waste.
Figgins’ legacy in Seattle will be highlighted by two defining moments. One, his attempt to fight manager Don Wakamatsu in 2010. And two, his infamous “Dumb question” post-game interview with members of the media. Neither one of those historical achievements occurred between the baselines. Which should tell you everything you need to know about Chone Figgins the baseball player.
You can look up the stats if you wish. They’re awful. So ridiculously awful. Here. Go here. You’ll find every number that attributes itself to Figgins’ suck-tastic tenure with the M’s. Perhaps the most important figures are towards the bottom of that page, where contract details are presented. The man who was supposed to be the team’s third baseman collected $8.5 million in 2010, $9.5 million in 2011, and $9 million in 2012. That’s a total of $27 million spent on essentially nothing. To top it all off, the Mariners will be paying their former employee another $8 million in 2013. That’s a lot of money to give someone to go away. It’s probably the wisest financial decision the team has made so far when it comes to Figgins.
There is nothing good to say about him. Nearly every article ever written about the guy — by most, if not all the media members in this town — was negative. He was here. He sucked. End of story.
No one will shed a tear over his departure. No one will mind that he’s leaving. He has become the symbolic representation of his now-former team’s failures of the past decade. He was the personification of ineptitude, the figurehead of unfulfilled expectations.
I want to lambast him one final time. I want to call out every one of his flaws and air them for the world to see. I want to tell you how much I truly despise the guy. How I hate the way he greeted this city, the way he played the game, the way he handled himself with the media, all of that. But instead, I’ll leave with you this.
In an era where seemingly every Seattle Mariner gets his own miniature likeness carved from a tree and painted in shades of teal and navy, where even one-time disappointment Yuniesky Betancourt has a spring in his neck and nods silently on the bookshelf of at least one fan, there is the following tweet. It served as a clarification to myself and another, discussing what may have become of Chone Figgins over the years. It was delivered by the man who would know best, the Mariners’ Vice President of Marketing, the guru himself, Kevin Martinez. And if it doesn’t perfectly sum up the end of Figgins’ reign of terror, nothing else will:
— Kevin Martinez (@Kevin_Martinez) November 23, 2012