Chone Figgins designated for assignment by the Mariners

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The Chone Figgins era is over in Seattle. Mercifully.

From Greg Johns of MLB.com comes word that the Mariners designated the 34-year-old utilityman for assignment, removing him from their 40-man roster. He’ll either be traded or released within the next 10 days, and we would bet good money on the latter.

Figgins got a four-year, $36 million free agent contract from the M’s before the start of the 2010 season, then went on to bat just .227/.302/.283 with 104 total runs scored and 61 total RBI in 308 games with the team. He still has one year and $8 million remaining on that deal, but the Mariners are content with chalking it up as a sunk cost at this point.

Figgins started only 38 games for Seattle this past summer while earning a salary of $9 million.

The Mariners also designated outfielder Scott Cousins for assignment on Tuesday night.

MLB calls umpire union statement about Manny Machado discipline “inappropriate”

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Earlier today the Major League Baseball Umpire’s Association made multiple posts on social media registering its displeasure at what it feels was the league’s weak discipline of Manny Machado following his run-in with umpire Bill Welke. It was an unusual statement, as it’s not common for umpires, individual or via their union to comment on such matters.

This evening, in an official statement, the league called it inappropriate:

“Manny Machado was suspended by MLB Chief Baseball Officer Joe Torre, who considered all the facts and circumstances of Machado’s conduct, including precedent, in determining the appropriate level of discipline.  Mr. Machado is appealing his suspension and we do not believe it is appropriate for the union representing Major League Umpires to comment on the discipline of players represented by the Players Association, just as it would not be appropriate for the Players Association to comment on disciplinary decisions made with respect to umpires.  We also believe it is inappropriate to compare this incident to the extraordinarily serious issue of workplace violence.”

That final bit, about workplace violence, is something that I didn’t really consider when I read the umps’ statements, but it’s a damn good point. In an age where people are literally shooting up workplaces, umpires making reference to that kind of thing in response to a player throwing a bat is pretty rich indeed. And in pretty poor taste.