Before we get to anything, I need to post that Mariners director of professional scouting Carmen Fusco has been relieved of his duties immediately. King5 first reported this move yesterday but said that Fusco would be done at the end of the season. The Mariners confirmed that Fusco is done now. I posted something on Twitter this afternoon, but it wasn't posted on here. So now you know.
The King5 report said that Fusco was fired because of his role in the acquisition of Josh Lueke and failed to mention his past transgressions with the law. The Mariners refused to comment on that assertion.
But as director of pro scouting, it was Fusco's job to know all aspects of such deals. Still, the whole Lueke situation appears to be a breakdown of communication at all levels of the front office. Making Fusco the complete scapegoat is ludicrous. There had been quiet rumblings about Fusco's role with the Mariners before the trade ever took place.
But it is still surprising since Fusco is a longtime friend of general manager Jack Zduriencik. The pair grew up in New Castle, Pa., and worked together with the Mets and Brewers in their careers.
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Still, the turnover in this organization continues. Fusco is the sixth Mariners staff member fired this season.
Not much is going on with the team - certainly not winning. The Mariners have dropped four straight games. And much of the talk pregame was about a team that is winning - the Tacoma Rainiers.
Mariners interim manager Daren Brown and most of his staff watched the final few innings of the game, having gotten back from being swept by the Los Angeles Angels.
"It was good to see them celebrate," Browns said. "I spent over a 100 games there with them. You talk about April, May, June, all the stuff you see them go through, from the early work, you see them go through slumps, you see the pitchers go through bad times, and then to see them keep plugging along, it was good to see them pop the champagne. It was good to see and I’m excited for them."
But also impressive to Brown was that several players - most of whom spent time with the Rainiers this season - also stayed and watched. Players like Adam Moore, Brian Sweeney, David Pauley, Chris Woodward, Ryan Langerhans, Matt Tuiasosopo spent time with the Rainiers and felt a bond with their teammates.
"I’ve tried to build that," he said. "I think it takes a whole coaching staff. When you get along as coaching staff, and get along with all the players in the clubhouse, you build a family mentality. I saw a few of them – Woody came out and got wet. Stuff poured over him, Adam the same. There’s a little bit of a bond built there. They spent a lot of time with those guys, and I think it is a camaraderie. They were happy for them."
Moore and Woodward were both dressed in suits per Mariners travel rules. So a champagne and beer shower wasn't ideal. Moore's suit was still drying in his locker on hangars. But it was worth it.
"I was really excited for them and happy for them," Moore said. "Obviously, that’s good for this organization having a team at the highest level of the minor leagues going and winning. I wish them the best of luck. I hope they do get a ring. I want a ring."
There is some debate about the actual benefits of playing in the postseason in the minor leagues. But Moore is a believer. He was on the Rainiers team last season that also played in the playoffs.
You play this game to win, no matter what level you are at.
"I think it helps," he said. "Everyone wants to come to the big leagues, but at the same time you’re there in Triple A getting your work done and putting yourself in a key situation like a playoff game or playoff atmosphere is important and a lot of fun."
Rainiers third/firstbaseman Matt Mangini hit a big two-run homer in the Rainiers win and Brown was asked if Mangini was a prospect for the big leagues. Mangini hit .317 with31 doubles, 18 homers and 63 RBI. He posted an OBP of .352 and a .521 slugging percentage. But he isn't very good defensively. He committed 28 errors this season and really struggled at third base at times.
"He impressed me this year," Brown said. "Coming into the year, really didn’t know what to expect from him. I’d seen his numbers at AA. He had shown some power, .270-.280. Didn’t expect him to come in and hit .310. Hit 18 or 19 HR. Third base, you can look at numbers, made 20-some errors. Offensively, he’s come a long way. He’s played third base, first base, so he’s leaving his options open where he could play. He’s an interesting guy. He’s performed well down there. It makes you start thinking can he do it up there. You’ll always looking for a guy who can come up and be an offensive impact."
Also speaking of the minor leagues, the Everett Aqua Sox won the Northwest League championship yesterday.
Also Class A High Desert has renewed their deal with the Mariners for two more years.
Red Sox (79-64)
- Marco Scutaro 2B
- Ryan Kalish CF
- Victor Martinez C
- David Ortiz DH
- Adrian Beltre 3B
- Jed Lowrie SS
- Josh Reddick RF
- Daniel Nava LF
- Lars Anderson 1B
LHP Jon Lester
- Ichiro Suzuki RF
- Chone Figgins 2B
- Russell Branyan DH
- Franklin Gutierrez CF
- Jose Lopez 3B
- Casey Kotchman 1B
- Matt Tuiasosopo LF
- Adam Moore C
- Josh Wilson SS
RHP Doug Fister