Mariners broadcast didn't show Figgins-Wakamatsu dugout altercation due to "communication faux pas"

1 Comment

Chone Figgins and Don Wakamatsu had an altercation in the dugout Friday and Mariners play-by-play announcer Dave Sims mentioned the incident on the air moments later, but the local FSN broadcast never showed the video despite the other team’s broadcast (and a short time after that MLB Network) replaying the footage several times.

Or as Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times put it: “MLB Network viewers around the country could see the Mariners throwing each other around in the dugout, while viewers in the Pacific Northwest had only the words of Sims to paint them a picture.”

Baker asked FSN Northwest executive producer Jon Bradford for an explanation and he called it “a communication faux pas” while adding that “nobody said anything about not airing it.”
Here’s more from Baker:

What it boils down to is, the people in the control truck, running the broadcast, wanted to check with the folks upstairs at FSN Northwest to make sure they could run the footage. Bradford was in a movie with his family at the time and did not get in touch with the people running the broadcast until a few innings later. By then, it was already late in a close ballgame and everyone decided, Bradford said, to go with the footage right after the contest was over.

They would cut in live to Wakamatsu’s postgame press conference and use the footage to supplement the coverage. Bradford also said that the FSN employees viewing the footage “wanted to get their facts straight” initially about what they were seeing on the video–which contributed to the initial delay. … Chalk it all up to some FSN Northwest people being a little cautious. Maybe more cautious than a non-rights holder might have been.

I’d say there’s no “maybe” about it. And as more and more baseball coverage comes from local FSN affiliates that are partnered with teams and team-run MLB.com sites it’s important to keep tabs on stuff like this.

Kolten Wong lashes out after losing his starting role with the Cardinals

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Kolten Wong is no longer the only second baseman being considered for a starting role on the Cardinals’ roster, and he’s not happy about it. On Saturday, GM John Mozeliak and manager Mike Matheny hinted that Wong could lose playing time to Jedd Gyorko or Greg Garcia in 2017 — in other words, an infielder who brings a little more pop at the plate. Prior to the Cardinals’ game against the Marlins on Sunday, Wong gave his heated response to the media. Via Ben Frederickson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

I don’t think you give somebody a contract for no reason,” Wong said. “When you are given a contract, you are expected to get a chance to work through some things and figure yourself out. Josh Donaldson, Jose Bautista, all these guys never figured their stuff out until later on down the road. It’s the big leagues. It’s tough, man. For me, the biggest thing is I just need people to have my back. When that comes, it will be good. But, I think right now, it’s just staying with my play, understanding I’m working toward getting myself more consistent, understanding what kind of player I can be. If that’s going to be with another team, so be it.

When pressed, Wong said that he would rather be traded away from St. Louis than step into a limited role with the team. “I don’t want to be here wasting my time,” he told the press. “I know what kind of player I am. If I don’t have the belief here, then I’ll go somewhere else.” The 26-year-old was inked to a five-year, $25.5 million extension prior to the 2016 season, complete with a $12.5 million option and $1 million buyout.

Part of Wong’s frustration stems from the Cardinals’ backtracking on their stated commitment to him as their starting second baseman last winter. Mozeliak admitted that while Wong had the defensive tools necessary to hold down the position, he failed to impress at the plate. It’s an argument that Wong hasn’t been able to rebut this spring, going 8-for-44 with two extra bases and 10 strikeouts in camp. He hasn’t looked much better in the regular season, sustaining a career .248/.309/.370 batting line with a .678 OPS and 5.1 fWAR over four years with the organization.

Still, the second baseman feels that he should have been given some heads up that he was playing to keep his starting role this spring, admitting that he entered camp with the mentality of someone who had a guaranteed spot on the Cardinals’ roster and not someone whose job security was dependent on his day-to-day results. “I need the time to consistently figure out how to be me and succeed at this level,” said Wong. “Everybody goes through it. Not everybody is Mike Trout.”

The Tigers are trying to convert Anthony Gose into a pitcher

Getty Images
1 Comment

Tigers’ center fielder Anthony Gose wants to try his hand at pitching, according to comments made by manager Brad Ausmus on Sunday. Gose is poised to start the year in Triple-A Toledo after receiving a midseason demotion to Double-A last summer following an altercation with Triple-A manager Lloyd McClendon.

While the experiment won’t detract from Gose’s outfield work in Triple-A, the 26-year-old is expected to take on additional bullpen sessions throughout the year. According to MLB.com’s Jason Beck, the left-handed hitter last took the mound in high school, where his fastball was clocked as fast as 97 m.p.h. Gose ultimately rejected the idea of starting his professional career as a pitcher, despite receiving favorable assessments from scouts.

Ausmus said the idea first surfaced at the end of the 2016 season. It appears to be a fallback option for the outfielder, who has struggled at the plate over his five-year career in the majors. Via Chris McCosky of the Detroit News:

Doolittle in Oakland did it and he was in the big leagues a couple of years later,” Ausmus said. “It’s going to take some time. He’s going to have to be a sponge and catch up on experience fast. But we feel it’s worth investigating.