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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 to crack down on sign stealing

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We’ve had a couple of notable incidents of sign stealing in Major League Baseball over the past couple of years. Most famously, the Red Sox were found to be using Apple Watches of all things to relay signs spied via video feed. Sports Illustrated reported yesterday that there have been other less-publicized and unpublicized incidents as well, mostly with in-house TV cameras — as opposed to network TV cameras — stationed in the outfield and trained on catchers, for the specific purpose of stealing signs.

As such, SI reports, Major League Baseball is cracking down beginning this year. Within the next couple weeks an already-drafted and circulated rule will take effect which will (a) ban in-house outfield cameras from foul pole to foul pole; (b) will limit live broadcasts available to teams to the team’s replay official only, and the replay official will be watched by a league official to keep them from relaying signs to the team; and (c) other TV monitors that are available to the clubs will be on an eight-second delay to prevent real-time sign stealing. There will likewise be limits on TV monitors showing the game feed in certain places like tunnels and clubhouses.

Penalties for violation of the rules will include the forfeiting of draft picks and/or international spending money. General managers will have to sign a document in which they swear they know of know sign-stealing schemes.

As was the case when the Apple Watch incident came up, there will not be any new rules regarding old fashioned sign stealing by runners on second base or what have you, as that is viewed as part of the game. Only the technology-aided sign stealing that has become more prominent in recent years — but which has, of course, existed in other forms for a very, very long time — is subject to the crackdown.

While gamesmanship of one form or another has always been part of baseball, the current wave of sign-stealing is seen as a pace-of-play issue just as much as a fairness issue. Because of the actual sign-stealing — and because of paranoia that any opponent could be stealing signs — clubs have gone to far more elaborate and constantly changing sign protocols. This requires mound meetings and pitchers coming off the rubber in order to re-start the increasingly complex series of signs from dugout to catcher and from catcher to pitcher.

Now, presumably, with these new rules coming online, teams will figure out a new way to cheat. It’s baseball, after all. It’s in their DNA.