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Report: Mariners to fire professional scouting director over Josh Lueke controversy

Sep 13, 2010, 10:15 AM EDT

Jack Zduriencik hired Carmen Fusco as the Mariners’ professional scouting director soon after he took over as general manager two offseasons ago, but Seattle’s local NBC television affiliate KING5 reports that Fusco will be let go in the wake of the controversy surrounding the team’s acquisition of prospect Josh Lueke.
Lueke missed most of last season after being charged with rape and sodomy, eventually pleading guilty to lesser charges and serving 40 days in jail, but some Mariners decision-makers–and specifically team president Chuck Armstrong–said they didn’t know of his history when they got him from the Rangers as part of the haul for Cliff Lee.
And then later there were contradictory reports about who did or didn’t know about Lueke’s history, and when they did or didn’t know. It was a big mess, and now apparently Fusco has been made the fall guy. Or one of the fall guys, at least.
“Mariners fire scouting director” is an attention-grabbing headline, but as Jason Churchill of Prospect Insider and ESPN.com notes Fusco was the professional scouting director, which is very much different than the amateur scouting director. Tom McNamara remains in the role people typically associate with the scouting director title, which is to say he’s in charge of the draft and minors while Fusco ran the big-league scouting operation.
Either way, Fusco is reportedly out of a job after 35 years in baseball and Zduriencik is burning through scapegoats pretty quickly.

  1. Jonny5 - Sep 13, 2010 at 10:34 AM

    Jack Z, from greatest mastermind behind any team, to loser in less than a season. Wow.

  2. APBA Guy - Sep 13, 2010 at 10:34 AM

    Watching the Mariners this season, it’s apparent that they were deficient in a number of areas. If Fusco is taking a fall for anything, it may be his input in the decisions to sign Figgins to a big contract and then move him to second to retain Lopez’s “bat.” Figgins is at .627 OPS, and J Lopez at .588.

  3. BC - Sep 13, 2010 at 10:52 AM

    This Zduriencik guy sounds like a loser. They make the Mets front office look like a well-oiled machine.

  4. Kevin S. - Sep 13, 2010 at 11:04 AM

    The weird thing is, none of Jack Z.’s moves in this past offseason were really bad – they just shouldn’t have led to the expectation of contention. I didn’t buy into the “best GM in baseball” hype that he’s gotten in some quarters, but I do think he’s an above-average one, and unless Chone Figgins’ collapse is permanent, he’s done nothing to set the team back going forward.

  5. John_Michael - Sep 13, 2010 at 12:25 PM

    The name Carmen Fusco just sounds like he should be a GM on a team from Queens.

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