Originally written on NorthWest Sports Beat  |  Last updated 11/17/14

When the news first hit that the Seattle Mariners penned big time free agent Chone Figgins to a 4 year contract the air around Seattle seemed a bit sweeter than normal. Figgins had long since plagued the M’s during his time with the Divsion rivals, the Los Angeles Angles of Anaheim.

2010 was to be the year that the M’s would reclaim the glory that was theirs nine years before.

The prices were set and Figgins hitting behind Ichiro would provide a one-two punch that would irritate pitchers aroun the league.

Unfortunately things didn’t happen exactly like that. The fact was that nothing really happened at all.

Figgins started falling down in the batting order and things were not looking good with his defensive efforts at second base.

This culminated in a fist fight with then manager Don Wakamatsu after a particularly weak effort on Figgins’ part. But by the end of the season things were looking like they were turning around.

The Mariners believed in him so much that they turned away a trade offer from the Oakland Atheletics and made the announcement that Chone would become their every day third baseman which was his primary position in the past.


Things looked hopeful as 2011 spring training got underway as Figgins seemed to really be on top of his game again. Then the hopes seemed confirmed when Figgins sent a ball yard in the opening night effort against Oakland.

Yet again Figgins numbers started declining, and it wasn’t long before he dropped in the order and started making errors at the hot corner.

Things looked like they could be cured in the first week of the season of 2012...right Chone?

These facts lead to Figgins becoming one of the most hated players ever to wear the uniform.   Luckily fans had something to cheer about as Figgins went on the disabled list. He ended up only playing 81 games in 2011.

Figgins had lots of excuses about why he was struggling so much, the main one being that he was out of the lead off hitter spot.

So in a somewhat surprising move, the Mariners accommodated this role change for Ichiro and put Figgins up to lead the charge each night.

Things looked like they could be cured in the first week of the season of 2012, but before the end of the first month, Figgins had dropped his average to .189 which is right where he was at the end of the previous season.

The Bench

With these facts in place, Manager Eric Wedge finally decided to move Figgins over to a bench role.  This is difficult for the M’s as the combination of Ichiro Suzuki, Felix Hernandez and Chone Figgins make up for 58% of the Mariners payroll.

For now, the M’s are determined to get some value from Figgins as a utility player using him as the 4th outfielder and pinch runner.

It helps that he can play both second, third and short, but not much.  It wouldn’t be surprising to see the M’s drop him completely and swallow the remaining 18 Million he is owed.

For now Dustin Ackley will take the lead off role for the Mariners.  

The management is obviously hoping he will get on base more and put the game in motion, the real problem the M’s have is not getting the guys on base, it is getting them off.

After the series against Tampa Bay the team average with runners in scoring position was just .216.  Something obviously needs to change and fast, or the fans may end up turning on the M’s forever.


© Danny Ferguson for North West Sports Beat, 2012. | Permalink | No comment |

Follow NWSB on Twitter or join US on Facebook for real-time updates OR... | Share This on Twitter | Share NWSportsBeat.com on Facebook

Post tags: 2011, 2012, Chone Figgins, Don Wakamatsu, Dustin Ackley, Eric Wedge, Felix Hernandez, Ichiro, Ichiro Suzuki, Jack Z, Mariners, Mariners blog, Mariners Payroll, Mariners Roster

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Jon Jones wanted for questioning in hit and run

Pitcher throws perfect game with 23 strikeouts, still loses

Will LaMarcus Aldridge leave the Portland Trailblazers?

Wizards sweep listless Raptors

Clippers defeat Spurs, even series at 2-2


JR Smith 'nervous as hell' about possible suspension

Dana White: No more WWE for Ronda Rousey

Kevin Love rips Kelly Olynyk for 'bush league' play

Report: Eli Manning not concerned about contract

Several teams interested in Bucs' No. 1 overall pick?

Report: Marcus Smart overslept, could get less playing time

Paul Pierce burns Raptors fans with epic troll job

Yes, ESPN2 is airing video games

WATCH: Former NBA’er Darko Milicic is enjoying life

WATCH: Alex Gordon leaps into stands for incredible catch

WATCH: JR Smith ejected for hitting Jae Crowder in face

WATCH: Kevin Love leaves Game 4 with shoulder injury

Joe Flacco content with current Ravens receivers

WATCH: Demetrious Johnson wins with last-second submission

WATCH: Jerryd Bayless beats Bulls with buzzer-beater

John Legend catches Belichick checking out Chrissy Teigen

Jim Rice to Jim Palmer: 'Quit complaining'

Time Warner-Comcast failed merger hurts Dodgers fans

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Paul Pierce trolls Raptors fans

Yes, ESPN2 is airing video games

Darko Milicic is enjoying life

Pitcher throws perfect game, still loses

Will Aldridge leave the Blazers?

Alex Gordon leaps into stands for catch

Dana White: No more WWE for Rousey

Kevin Love rips Kelly Olynyk

JR Smith ejected for hitting Jae Crowder

Report: Wainwright likely done for year

UAB player brings helmet to graduation

Leah Still scores in Temple spring game

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.