The Mariners designated Chone Figgins for assignment last night. That’s a real thing that happened. Some people can’t believe it took so long to happen, some of the same people can’t believe it ever had to happen at all. But it’s done.
The other day Kris “Sonics Guy” Brannon and I took to a local watering hole for a couple of adult beverages, and the headline of this post is my homage to his plight against the over-saturation of Monty Python humor in improv comedy. It parralels nicely with the over-saturation of Chone Figgins posts in the last three years, and the most recent posts celebrating his departure.
The one significant free agent expenditure in the Jack Zduriencik era is no more. He’s entering year five, and he’s had the purse strings loosened one time. That’s more telling than any win-loss record, if you ask me, but whatever. I don’t want to make this a post about defending Jack Zduriencik’s tenure in Seattle. I don’t want to make it a defending the Figgins signing. I don’t even want to make it a post about how Figgins’ game fell apart in Seattle, or how he may or may not play in a different set of scenery. I don’t want to add to the growing mob of Mariners fans following a stake holding Figgins’ severed head down 1st Avenue.
Chone Figgins is no longer a Mariner, and I’m thankful for that.
It’s not some malicious or cynical thankfulness that I’m glad Figgins has been cut. People losing their job doesn’t make me happy (even though he’ll get paid the same in the baseball-equivalent of the unemployment line). Chone Figgins not being a Mariner doesn’t make me happy, not intrinsically at least.
Chone Figgins makes me happy the same way that when the guy that lives below me stops playing guitar around 10 PM it makes me happy. It makes me happy like a fix makes an addict happy. It makes me happy like getting the oil changed on my car. It makes me happy like when I can’t find my god damn keys in the morning and I finally find them buried in my couch.
By all of this it means that it doesn’t make me happy, it just returns me to indifference.
I don’t hate Chone Figgins. This isn’t the first time a team has signed a player coming off a contract year and that player falls off a cliff. Figgins got a huge pay day, and then went from a guy with a reputation for doing all the “little things” to a guy who was kind of a dickhead, and a really bad hitter.
If anything, Figgins is a cautionary tale of the potential pitfalls in free agency. There are a lot of moving parts in baseball. Maybe Figgins didn’t like the rain in Seattle (I’m iffy on it myself at the moment), maybe his teammates didn’t like him, or Don Wakamatsu was mean to him.
Maybe since Sean Kramer refused to pronounce his name the same way he pronounced his own name Chone Figgins really wanted to stick it to Kramer. (The last seven words of which no woman has ever said with a straight face)(rimshot)
It doesn’t matter anymore. It probably never did. Chone Figgins sucks at baseball right now. He probably won’t not-suck ever again at baseball. The Mariners got rid of a bad baseball player today, but they didn’t get any tangible benefit. They won’t really pay him any less. They’ll just pay him. And he won’t be on the team.
The Mariners stayed exactly as good today as they were before. There’s no reason to celebrate stagnancy.
Instead, I’m celebrating not having to talk about Chone Figgins any more. I’m thankful for that.