In November, the Seattle Mariners fired Dr. Lorena Martin, who had been their director of high performance. In the wake of her dismissal, Dr. Martin took to Instagram to accuse members of the team’s front office of making racist comments against foreign-born players. The Mariners responded, denying Dr. Martin’s claims, calling them “false” and “outrageous.” Dr. Martin has filed a discrimination lawsuit against the Mariners.
In the wake of those claims, Major League Baseball launched an investigation. The league just announced its findings:
On November 13, 2018, Major League Baseball announced that it would investigate allegations made by Dr. Lorena Martin, a former employee of the Seattle Mariners, regarding her treatment by the organization and her claims that senior Club officials made derogatory and inappropriate comments. The investigation was conducted by Epstein Becker Green, a national law firm specializing in labor and employment matters, whose attorneys interviewed seventeen potential witnesses, including Dr. Martin.
The firm did not uncover credible evidence that the Mariners, or any of its employees, violated Major League Baseball’s Workplace Code of Conduct, or applicable anti-discrimination law, in the treatment of Dr. Martin or the termination of her employment. The investigation also concluded that there is no credible evidence to support Dr. Martin’s claim that Mariners’ employees, including Jerry Dipoto, Scott Servais, or Andy McKay, made any of the comments attributed to them in her public statement or subsequent lawsuit.
Because of the ongoing litigation, MLB will have no further comment on this matter.
And that, I presume, will be that. At least unless or until Martin’s lawsuit uncovers anything missed by MLB’s investigators.
The Astros walked off 3-2 winners in the bottom of the 11th inning of ALCS Game 2 against the Yankees. Carlos Correa struck the winning blow, sending a first-pitch fastball from J.A. Happ over the fence in right field at Minute Maid Park, ending nearly five hours of baseball on Sunday night.
Correa’s heroics were precipitated by two highly questionable calls by home plate umpire Cory Blaser in the top half of the 11th.
Astros reliever Joe Smith walked Edwin Encarnación with two outs, prompting manager A.J. Hinch to bring in Ryan Pressly. Pressly, however, served up a single to left field to Brett Gardner, putting runners on first and second with two outs. Hinch again came out to the mound, this time bringing Josh James to face power-hitting catcher Gary Sánchez.
James and Sánchez had an epic battle. Sánchez fell behind 0-2 on a couple of foul balls, proceeded to foul off five of the next six pitches. On the ninth pitch of the at-bat, Sánchez appeared to swing and miss at an 87 MPH slider in the dirt for strike three and the final out of the inning. However, Blaser ruled that Sánchez tipped the ball, extending the at-bat. Replays showed clearly that Sánchez did not make contact at all with the pitch. James then threw a 99 MPH fastball several inches off the plate outside that Blaser called for strike three. Sánchez, who shouldn’t have seen a 10th pitch, was upset at what appeared to be a make-up call.
The rest, as they say, is history. One pitch later, the Astros evened up the ALCS at one game apiece. Obviously, Blaser’s mistakes in a way cancel each other out, and neither of them caused Happ to throw a poorly located fastball to Correa. It is postseason baseball, however, and umpires are as much under the microscope as the players and managers. Those were two particularly atrocious judgments by Blaser.