Ship of Fools: The Wacky SS Mariner
Just when the Seattle Mariners thought 2013 couldn't end fast enough, they found that it really couldn't end fast enough.
The only hits that kept on coming were to their PR department.
It was bad enough when manager Eric Wedge resigned in what was a bizarre, TMZ-style storyline of events. He seemed bitter that GM Jack Zduriencik received a contract extension but he didn't. No one outside the organization knew why, either, as the Mariners chose not to make that announcement until the season ended. So puzzlement ensued when Wedge said if the Mariners offered him a five-year contract, he wouldn’t sign it. He didn't just burn a bridge, he napalmed and nuked it at the same time!
Then, last week, news reports named the wife of Mariners ace Félix Hernandez’s in court documents, stating she was the victim of fraud. Turns out the wife of OF Carlos Peguero went hyper with an online shopping spree of her own at Sak's Fifth Avenue using Sandra Hernandez'a debit card. I guess if you’re going to steal money from somebody's better half, who better than the spouse of a dude with a seven-year, $175 million dollar contract? She couldn't have rung up $180,000 in bling if she was ripping off Brad Miller’s wife!
At least that would have only been petty larceny. As it is, she's looking at time in the big house.
Peguero’s wife was charged with three counts of wire fraud, ringing up 60 different transactions from the upscale retailer. That basically blasts the old 'it was a silly mistake' alibi out of the water.
According to the charging documents, Hernandez’s wife doesn't English very well, so Peguero’s wife helped her make a few purchases. Then she helped herself make a few purchases with the same card. It’s also stated that images on her Twitter account were the focus of the investigation. Just more evidence to be careful what you post online!
So, let’s recap the truly strange events that surrounded the Seattle Mariners this year:
- Catcher Jesus Montero is named in the Biogenesis investigation for PED’s and suspended 50 games for violating MLB’s substance abuse policy.
- Owner Hirochi Yamauchi passes away on 19 September.
- Manager Eric Wedge says he’d like to know where he stands with the team regarding a new contract for 2014 and then abruptly resigns a couple days before the season ends.
- During a game with the Oakland Athletics in June, Mariners players and umpires are forced to share the same locker room with A’s players because raw sewage was backing up in the stadium’s plumbing.
- Catcher Kelly Shoppach is released for getting into an argument with manager Eric Wedge.
- Fences are moved in at Safeco Field to try and spur some offense from Mariners hitters, who promptly finish 12th in the AL in home runs.
- Mariners upper management writes a letter balking at a new NBA/NHL arena proposed by hedge fund manager Chris Hansen, further alienating Seattle area sports fans who hail Hansen as a true American hero (as opposed to Sacramento sports fans, who nail him as a carpetbagger). This is the same ownership that didn’t want a strip club built next to Safeco Field, because why would they want fans spending money on live entertainment serving overpriced non-alcohoic beverages when they could be spending it on what they claim is live entertainment serving overpriced beer and Ichiro bobbleheads?
- Manager Eric Wedge suffers a minor stroke in the dugout before a home game and 'misses' about a month as Robby Thompson takes over managing duties while Wedge recovers. This could be the first sign that the 2013 Mariners were hazardous to Wedge's health.
I’m sure there was something else that happened to the Mariners in 2013 but isn’t that enough? Perhaps the best thing that happened to them was the Houston Astros joining the AL West, assuring that the Mariners wouldn’t finish in last place again.
Thank the sports gods for the Seahawks! Otherwise, sports fans in Seattle would be forced to watch 1995 post-season highlights over and over again.