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.

Update (7:53 PM ET): Martin elaborated more about the Mariners’ alleged wrongdoings on Twitter:

MLB crowds jump from ’21, still below pre-pandemic levels

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PHOENIX — Even with the homer heroics of sluggers like Aaron Judge and Albert Pujols, Major League Baseball wasn’t able to coax fans to ballparks at pre-pandemic levels this season, though attendance did jump substantially from the COVID-19 affected campaign in 2021.

The 30 MLB teams drew nearly 64.6 million fans for the regular season that ended Wednesday, which is up from the 45.3 million who attended games in 2021, according to baseball-reference.com. This year’s numbers are still down from the 68.5 million who attended games in 2019, which was the last season that wasn’t affected by the pandemic.

The 111-win Los Angeles Dodgers led baseball with 3.86 million fans flocking to Dodger Stadium for an average of 47,672 per contest. The Oakland Athletics – who lost 102 games, play in an aging stadium and are the constant subject of relocation rumors – finished last, drawing just 787,902 fans for an average of less than 10,000 per game.

The St. Louis Cardinals finished second, drawing 3.32 million fans. They were followed by the Yankees (3.14 million), defending World Series champion Braves (3.13 million) and Padres (2.99 million).

The Toronto Blue Jays saw the biggest jump in attendance, rising from 805,901 fans to about 2.65 million. They were followed by the Cardinals, Yankees, Mariners, Dodgers, and Mets, which all drew more than a million fans more than in 2021.

The Rangers and Reds were the only teams to draw fewer fans than in 2021.

Only the Rangers started the 2021 season at full capacity and all 30 teams weren’t at 100% until July. No fans were allowed to attend regular season games in 2020.

MLB attendance had been declining slowly for years – even before the pandemic – after hitting its high mark of 79.4 million in 2007. This year’s 64.6 million fans is the fewest in a non-COVID-19 season since the sport expanded to 30 teams in 1998.

The lost attendance has been balanced in some ways by higher viewership on the sport’s MLB.TV streaming service. Viewers watched 11.5 billion minutes of content in 2022, which was a record high and up nearly 10% from 2021.