With the second wild card, everyone’s a contender

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Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times has a good piece up today talking about the second wild card has changed the competitive landscape (i.e. put far more teams in contention longer) and thus creates some real benefits to teams’ bottom lines. If you have a chance, people watch and buy tickets and beer and foam fingers and stuff.

Another consequence: a lot of inactivity at the trade deadline. Or at lease leading up to it. Since everyone thinks they’ve got a chance — or, at the very least, want their fans to think they have a chance — there are way fewer sellers at the deadline and way more buyers. That, in turn, makes the few players who are available go way up in price and makes trades even harder to come together. We still may see a lot of deals in late July, but they’ll be minor ones, as fewer teams decide that they need to mount a fire sale.

Given the more-teams-are-in-it-longer dynamic of the two-wild-card era, it would behoove Major League Baseball to look into extending the non-waiver trade deadline a couple of weeks into August instead of having it stop in late July. We need more things to shake out if we want more players to shake loose.

Dr. Lorena Martin accuses members of Mariners’ front office of making bigoted comments

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Dr. Lorena Martin, recently let go as the Mariners’ director of high performance, is accusing members of the front office of making racist comments against foreign-born players. In her Instagram post, Martin wrote:

The Mariners organization has major issues.

The things I’ve witnessed and heard first hand have left me shocked. How can their GM Jerry DiPoto, Manager Scott Servais, and Director of Player Development Andy McKay speak about their players like this…

Calling LATINOS LAZY, DUMB, and STUPID, especially the DOMINICANS

And then they wondered why they didn’t make it to the playoffs.

Leadership is to blame, under Jerry Dipoto’s leadership no team has made it to the playoffs and they will continue to miss the playoffs with him in his position. Poor leadership.

It’s come to the point where I have to speak out because they are firing innocent trainers for trying to do the right thing and because of their color/race.

Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reports that the Mariners recently terminated Martin’s contract after hiring her last offseason. According to Divish’s sources, the Mariners did not want to pay the remainder of what was indicated to be a three-year contract.

Responding to Divish’s tweet, Martin wrote, “They wanted to negotiate to keep me quiet.”

Per Divish, the Mariners plan to make a statement addressing Martin’s termination and the claims made in her Instagram post.

The Mariners had and still have a handful of players to whom the alleged comments might have been referring. Félix Hernández is from Venezuela. Edwin Díaz is from Puerto Rico. Roenis Elias is from Cuba. Juan Nicasio, Alex Colomé, Jean Segura, and Robinson Canó are all from the Dominican Republic. Others are U.S.-born but have familial ties to other countries.

Martin is torching a bridge, and is likely making herself unhireable across baseball, in order to make her claims. It will be interesting to see what the Mariners say in response and if anyone else steps forward to back Martin’s claims.

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Update (7:45 PM ET): The Mariners said in a statement:

Lorena Martin was relieved of her duties with the Mariners on Oct. 10, 2018.

While it is our policy to not comment on personnel issues, we do feel it is important to respond to the outrageous, false claims made by her today on social media. And to note that Martin did not make any of these false allegations until after she was relieved of her duties.

The Mariners categorically deny that any member of our management or coaching staff made racist remarks regarding any of our players or staff. Additionally, we have not terminated (or threatened to terminate) any trainers during the off-season.