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

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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 sites it’s important to keep tabs on stuff like this.

Tigers in discussions with Jordan Zimmermann

Jordan Zimmermann
AP Photo/Alex Brandon
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Jon Morosi of FOX Sports reports that the Tigers are in discussions with free agent starter Jordan Zimmermann. His sources have told him that the talks have become “serious”.

Zimmermann, 29, has a career 3.32 ERA across parts of seven seasons in the majors. He finished fifth in National League Cy Young Award balloting in 2014, finishing with a 2.66 ERA and a 182/29 K/BB ratio over 199 2/3 innings.

Among starters who have amassed at least 1,000 innings since 2009, only Cliff Lee, Dan Haren, Madison Bumgarner, and Zack Greinke have compiled a better strikeout-to-walk ratio than Zimmermann’s 4.09. While he doesn’t have the star power of other free agents such as Greinke or David Price, the Tigers would certainly improve their rotation by bringing him on board.

Blue Jays still focused on upgrading their pitching

Marco Estrada
AP Photo/LM Otero

Having already added Jesse Chavez and J.A. Happ to the mix and re-signing Marco Estrada early in the offseason, Blue Jays interim GM Tony LaCava said the team will continue to pursue pitching upgrades, as Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports. Nicholson-Smith added that LaCava declined to comment on free agent ace David Price. It is believed that the Jays will not pursue Price and other big-name free agent starting pitchers given their November activity.

The Jays re-signed Estrada to a two-year, $26 million deal on November 13, acquired Chavez from the Athletics in exchange for reliever Liam Hendriks on November 20 and signed Happ to a three-year, $36 million deal on Friday.

Nicholson-Smith notes in a column on Sportsnet that the Jays need to address the bullpen in particular. That is especially true after swapping Hendriks, who had a career-best 2.92 ERA out of the Jays’ bullpen in 2015, for a back-end starting pitcher.

Report: Jonathan Papelbon is “untradeable”

Jonathan Papelbon
AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin

Jon Heyman of CBS Sports spoke to an anonymous baseball executive, who said that Nationals closer Jonathan Papelbon is “untradeable”. The Nationals are hoping to trade both Papelbon and the man he displaced, Drew Storen.

Papelbon has a poor reputation in baseball, particularly after a dugout altercation with superstar outfielder Bryce Harper. Focusing strictly on what he does on the field, Papelbon still gets the job done. The 35-year-old finished the last season with a combined 2.13 ERA, 24 saves, and a 56/12 K/BB ratio over 63 1/3 innings between the Phillies and Nationals.

The Nationals owe Papelbon $11 million for the 2016 season.

Minor league home run king Mike Hessman retires

NEW YORK - JULY 29:  Mike Hessman #19 of the New York Mets bats against the St. Louis Cardinals on July 29, 2010 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Mets defeated the Cardinals 4-0.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Baseball America’s J.J. Cooper reports that corner infielder Mike Hessman has retired from professional baseball after 20 seasons. Hessman hit 433 home runs in the minor leagues, an all-time record. He broke Buzz Arlett’s record this past August and with style as #433 was a grand slam.

Hessman, 37, was selected in the 16th round of the 1996 draft by the Braves and remained with the organization through the 2004 season. He then went to the Tigers from 2005-09, the Mets in 2010, then drifted into the Astros and Reds’ farm systems before returning to the Tigers for the last two years.

Hessman took 250 plate appearances at the major league level, batting .188/.272/.422 with 14 home runs and 33 RBI.