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Chone Figgins not happy about move to bottom of Mariners' lineup

Jun 8, 2010, 12:54 PM EDT

Chone Figgins hit second in the Mariners’ batting order for the first 55 games of the season, but manager Don Wakamatsu moved him to the ninth spot yesterday and Figgins wasn’t very happy about it:

I mean, I’ve been getting on base. I’ve been swinging the bat pretty good. Obviously, it had something to do with me. I think I’ve earned enough respect as a player, because I’m still battling and I’m going good, that I should stay where I was at. I don’t have anything to say.



The fact is, I come to play. And anybody that’s ever known me or watched me play this game knows no matter whether you hit me first, second or tenth, I’m going to play. If I come off the bench, I’m going to come to play 110 percent. And there is not anybody in this game who can take that away from me.

Figgins had three hits last night, so surely Wakamatsu thinks the move motivated him, but in reality Figgins has been hitting well for a while now. Prior to yesterday Figgins was 20-for-68 (.293) with 10 walks and four steals in his last 19 games, producing a .294/.380/.353 line that basically matches his .288/.361/.383 career mark.
So after sticking with a legitimately struggling Figgins in the second spot for two months, Wakamatsu actually decided to move him to the bottom of the order exactly when he started producing like normal again.

  1. Joey B - Jun 8, 2010 at 1:37 PM

    Makes no sense to me either. He’s unlikey to hit any better than he has been for the last couple of weeks. In the last 10 games, he’s at .343/.439/.400/.839. If they wanted to drop him in the lineup, they should’ve done it while he was struggling, not when he got hot. It looks to me like he’s taking the fall for a bad offense. There are 5 guys with an OBP of .292 or less, and it was entirely predictable that they’d finish last in HRs.
    Maybe Sweeney can beat him up.

  2. MFan - Jun 8, 2010 at 2:08 PM

    This was done to effectively move Ichiro to the 2 slot. Figgins is a great lead-off hitter, and Ichiro has the bat control to be a great #2. However, Ichiro refuses to move and it’s easier to anger Figgins than the popular 10-year veteran M.

  3. Handwasher - Jun 8, 2010 at 2:49 PM

    I’m sorry Chone, the number you were trying to reach was 1-800-f-ing-waaah.

  4. Joey B - Jun 8, 2010 at 3:01 PM

    This was done to effectively move Ichiro to the 2 slot. Figgins is a great lead-off hitter, and Ichiro has the bat control to be a great #2. However, Ichiro refuses to move and it’s easier to anger Figgins than the popular 10-year veteran M.
    Sorry, that makes no sense. Ichiro has 6,864 PAs, and 6,786 of them have been in the leadoff spot. Exactly 4 PAs have been in the 2-slot (.0003 of his PAs). So your theory here is that, after ten years of being a premier leadoff hitter, Seattle decided he was really a #2 hitter all this time?
    Got to LOL! at this one.

  5. Chip - Jun 8, 2010 at 3:36 PM

    Joey B, MFan is completely right. Back when Hargrove was manager, they tried this before during the season for a game or two. Ichiro wasn’t happy. Then, when John McLaren (someone Ichiro had long admired) replaced Hargrove, they tried it again during Spring Training. Three different managers have tried–well, not so much tried as asked to move–Ichiro to the #2 and/or #3 slot. McLaren had the most relative success because he had Ichiro’s ear, but even then it didn’t keep. He’s just not comfortable anywhere but the top. Even in Spring Training this year, and immediately after Figgins was signed, there was talk of Figgins at 1 and Ichiro at 2 because Figgins works the count better, and they figured having a “pest” like Figgins on base for Ichiro might draw the pitcher’s attention and allow him to see better pitches (not that he needs it).
    This is just Wakamatsu seeing another way to get what he really wants–Figgins hitting and getting on base for Ichiro–and unfortunately comes at the expense of a bruised ego of one of the most professional players on the team.

  6. scatterbrian - Jun 8, 2010 at 3:37 PM

    I love how he bookends “I don’t have anything to say” with shit he felt he needed to say.

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