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Mariners' e-mail message to fans is missing somebody

Oct 4, 2010, 7:15 PM EDT

This is a day where nearly every team that isn’t in the playoffs is sending out mass e-mails, thanking their fans and talking about their grand plans to build a winning ballclub. There’s usually nothing newsworthy in any of them, but I wasn’t the only one who found a portion of this e-mail from Mariners CEO Howard Lincoln and general manager Jack Zduriencik rather interesting.

Courtesy of Larry Stone of the Seattle Times, see if you can spot who is missing in part of Zduriencik’s message.

We’ve got a flock of top-rated prospects on their way to the big club.
These include position players Dustin Ackley, Justin Smoak, Carlos
Peguero, Nick Franklin, Kyle Seager, Johermyn Chavez, Greg Halman and
Matt Mangini, along with hard-throwing pitchers like Michael Pineda,
Blake Beavan, Dan Cortes, Mauricio Robles, Maikel Cleto and Anthony
Varvaro. Many of our best prospects are headed for winter ball and the
fall instructional league – they’re driven to improve and play at the
next level.

That’s right, no mention of Josh Lueke. For the uninitiated, the Mariners insisted they knew nothing about the pitcher’s criminal past when he was acquired in the Cliff Lee trade, though former pitching coach Rick Adair says otherwise.

I’m probably not out of line to say that any organization that trades a player like Cliff Lee would probably attempt to hype up their newest acquisitions by default, but it’s fairly obvious they are trying to avoid any and all controversy here. For what’s it’s worth, Stone is fairly certain that the omission is “not inadvertent,” and goes as far to wonder whether Lueke is actually in the organization’s long-term plans.

Granted, maybe Lueke doesn’t fit the definition of a “top prospect” by virtue of being a reliever, but he did post a 1.86 ERA and 94/14 K/BB ratio over 63 innings between the Rangers and Mariners organizations this season. Some have even mentioned him as a future closer. The 25-year-old right-hander pitched 12 games with Triple-A Tacoma to end the season, so they’ll have to make up their minds pretty soon. 

  1. ChiSoxFanPurdue - Oct 4, 2010 at 8:34 PM

    No one comes out and say it that he faced charges for some pretty bad things. At least a link so people could know what everyone is insinuating.

  2. Michael - Oct 4, 2010 at 11:28 PM

    Maybe Z should have added Lueke so that you would think he’s “owning up” to something?
    I say again, every time you write something like this it just reminds me how many sportswriters totally forgave and forgot guys like Randy Myers as soon as he got back to work. Looks really hypocritical and scandal-chasing from here.

  3. Ari Collins - Oct 4, 2010 at 11:33 PM

    I’m a bit late to the party, having only just now read that article, but the guy should be released. Rapists should simply not be given major league jobs. Although I suppose it’s the fault of our judicial system that he was able to get away with it simply by saying, “No, really, it was consensual.” Either way, whoever was at fault for the info not getting to the top Ms brass prior to the trade, that’s in the past, and the present situation is that they need to take appropriate action.

  4. Old Gator - Oct 5, 2010 at 12:56 AM

    I notice that the Green River Killer isn’t mentioned either. These guys really have it in for violent criminals, don’t they? I bet they’re opposed to violent criminal marriage, too.

  5. D.J. Short - Oct 5, 2010 at 1:11 AM

    The “scandal” — or crime — already happened, now it’s just a matter of what the Mariners will do from here. In this instance, they decided to not include Lueke. I can understand, from a P.R. perspective, why he wasn’t mentioned, but the Mariners can only avoid this uncomfortable topic for so long, especially if he continues to have success. It would be different if he was a 19-year-old kid in A-ball, but he’s 24 and in Triple-A. I absolutely don’t condone anything he has done, but something will have to give eventually. Probably a clean break will be best for all involved.

  6. Reflex - Oct 5, 2010 at 3:52 AM

    Honestly the name that jumped out at me was Carlos Triunfel. Whatever happened to the SS of the future or was that just another Bavasi mistake?

  7. Chris Fiorentino - Oct 5, 2010 at 8:17 AM

    Ari, the problem is that he is not a rapist. He plead no contest to FI with violence, and served jail time and was given a 3 year felony probation sentence. Is he a bad guy? Yeah, maybe he is, but so is Michael Vick and we see what he is doing today. That’s the way the world goes. If this dude couldn’t pitch, he’d be washing dishes somewhere. But he can right now so it’s his right to continue his career. How many guys are in baseball right now who have plead no contest to bad stuff…I’m sure more than a few.

  8. Ari Collins - Oct 5, 2010 at 9:53 AM

    You seem to be confusing “rapist” with “convicted rapist”. And “bad guy” with “person who would ruin someone’s life to get his rocks off”.

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