Next Up At Bat On “Controversial Tweet Friday,” The Reserve Catcher’s Tweets!


Like Prof. Reynolds, Seattle Mariners second-string catcher  Steve Clevenger decided to express his unhappiness with the riots in Charlotte using his Twitter account, and also like the “Instapundit,” found himself in trouble as a result. Before posting the above tweet, Clevenger wrote this as his introduction:

cropped_steve_clevenger1Twitter didn’t suspend Clevenger’s account, but his employer, a baseball team located in a very liberal city and also a team that is embroiled in a desperate fight to make the play-offs, reacted initially with this, also on Twitter…


Clevenger apparently didn’t expect that his tweets would suddenly result in his being labelled as a racist blight on humanity  by the many, many, people on social media who live for such incidents, and he quickly released a long and emotional apology:

First and foremost I would like to apologize to the Seattle Mariners, my teammates, my family and the fans of our great game for the distraction my tweets on my personal twitter page caused when they went public earlier today. I am sickened by the idea that anyone would think of me in racist terms. My tweets were reactionary to the events I saw on the news and were worded beyond poorly at best and I can see how and why someone could read into my tweets far more deeply than how I actually feel.

“I grew up on the streets of Baltimore, a city I love to this very day. I grew up in a very culturally diverse area of America and I am very proud to come from there. I am also proud that my inner circle of friends has never been defined by race but by the content of their character. Any former teammate or anyone who has met me can attest to this and I pride myself on not being a judgemental person. I just ask that the public not judge me because of an ill worded tweet.

“I do believe that supporting our First Amendment rights and supporting local law enforcement are not mutually exclusive. With everything going on in the world I really just want what is best for everyone regardless of who they are. I like many Americans are frustrated by a lot of things in the world and I would like to be a part of the dialogue moving forward to make this a better world for everyone.

” I once again apologize to anyone who was offended today and I just ask you not judge me off of a social media posting. Thank you and God bless everyone.”

Steve Clevenger

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Legal, Unethical, and Despicable: The Seattle Mariners’ Contract Squeeze Play On Randy Wolf

"We made Mr. Wolf an offer he couldn't refuse. Oddly, he refused it."

“We made Mr. Wolf an offer he couldn’t refuse. Oddly, he refused it.”

What is it worth to a baseball team to save a million bucks? Apparently it’s worth being shunned by future players for being sleazy and dishonest.

Oh, it was all legal, don’t get me wrong. The Seattle Mariners, who, it should be noted, recently signed second-baseman Robinson Cano to a ten year contract averaging 24 million dollars a season, inked a deal with veteran pitcher Randy Wolf that guaranteed him a paltry million dollars if he made the team’s roster based on his performance in Spring Training. Sure enough,Wolf pitched well and not only made the team, but was told that he would be in the Mariners’ starting rotation.

There was a catch, however. Wolf was told that his being officially named to the team’s 2014 25 man roster to start the season—that’s next week, baseball fans—was contingent on him signing a legal document known as a 45-day advanced-consent release form. This would  allow the Mariners to release or demote Wolf after the first 45 days of the regular season and be obligated to only pay him a pro-rated portion of his million dollar salary, rather than the entire one million dollars his original deal guaranteed. In other words, “Gotcha!” The perfect Catch 22. “Yes, you are guaranteed a million dollars, Mister Wolf, if you make the team, and you made the team. We keep our promises. We want you on the team. But if you don’t waive that guarantee, we won’t let you make the team.

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Deadly Incompetence in Seattle….Luckily, It Was Just a Game

I know about the ADA, but still...hiring blind umpires who can't count just isn't working out...

It is rare that an ethics outrage repeats itself so closely that I could recycle a previous essay and just change the names. This occurred, however, in Seattle this past Saturday, in the baseball game between the Mariners and the San Diego Padres. San Diego’s Cameron Maybin walked on a 3-2 count (four balls are required by the rules) and eventually scored the only run of the game on Antonio Gonzalez’s fifth-inning single, allowing the Padres to defeat the Mariners 1-0 on Saturday night.

With one out in the fifth, Maybin walked when a pitch was called high by home plate umpire Phil Cuzzi. A video review of the at-bat by official scorer Dan Peterson confirmed the count should have been 3-2 when Maybin trotted to first base, meaning that his turn at the plate wasn’t completed. But Cuzzi, who like all umpires carries a pitch counter, saw that the stadium scoreboard showed a three-ball count before the pitch, and since 1) technology is always right 2) he wasn’t paying attention 3) he can’t count to “4” and 4) (or is it 3?) it isn’t like calling balls and strikes is his job or anything, he decided that the player had earned a base on balls. Continue reading

Ethics Dunce: Ken Griffey, Jr.

The reports are that Hall of Fame-bound Seattle outfielder Ken Griffey, Jr. was passed over as a pinch-hitter in a recent Mariners game because he was asleep in the clubhouse. Other Mariner players leaked this embarrassment to the press; Griffey won’t discuss it, except to say that the reports are “not entirely accurate.” Others have noted that the outfielder is a serial napper, and has slept during games in the past. In other words, no big deal.

It is a big deal. Griffey gets paid $2,350,000 in 2010 to play baseball or be available to play baseball for approximately three hours a day for six months. If he’s napping during that three hours, he hasn’t fulfilled his obligation to be fully fit, awake and ready to play.

“But the baseball season is a grind!”


“It’s boring just sitting on the bench!”


“You don’t know what it’s like playing a professional sport!”


When a police officer, a fireman, a lawyer or another professional is unable to do his or her job because he is taking a nap, the response is usually a warning, or even dismissal. Homer Simpson sleeps on the job in his position at the nuclear energy plant, but 1) he’s a cartoon character and 2) he isn’t making $2,350,000.

There is a minimum level of diligence, loyalty and commitment employers are entitled to from those they employ, no matter what their salaries are. Sleeping on the job when one is making millions, however, adds significant theft to the mix. If Griffey wasn’t ill or hadn’t hadn’t had a recent run-in with a tsetse fly, he not only owes the Mariners an apology; he owes them about $14,000.