The season was actually going well for Mariners ex-prospect Jesus Montero. He hadn’t played much big league ball, but he was having a strong year in Triple-A, with a .286 average and 16 home runs. Even earned the Pacific Coast League Player of the month award for July. Considering the bio-genesis laden disaster of the 2013 season and the fact that he came into spring training a reported 40 pounds overweight, a strong minor league campaign was probably the best he could hope for in 2014.
Then while on rehab assignment for an oblique strain, coaching first base – not even playing – this happened (from MILB.com’s Tyler Maun):
Montero was coaching first base, and at the end of an inning, the unidentified cross-checker yelled at him to hustle off the field according to Boise official scorer Liza Safford. Montero then headed to the AquaSox dugout on the third-base side.
According to a game offical, the cross-checker then ordered an ice cream sandwich and had it sent to Montero in the dugout, escalating the confrontation further. The official said Montero — who arrived at Mariners Spring Training 40 pounds overweight this season — approached the stands with a bat while screaming profanities and threw the sandwich at the cross-checker. Montero had to be pulled back from the stands by Everett pitching coach Nasusel Cabrera, Safford said.
A cross checker, for the record, is a type of professional scout.
This is story is a disaster from all sides, an unnecessary distraction from a big league team in position to collect the Mariners’ first playoff birth since 2001.
What type of scout openly mocks one of his organizaton’s players for his weight, going so far as to send an ice cream sandwich delivered to him? The level of un-professionalism is shocking. At a time when our country is grappling with obesity, negative body image and fat-shaming, this incident goes beyond baseball.
That doesn’t excuse Montero, who has to learn to keep his composure. This is a player who has been on the outs with the Mariners organization for years, and whose ability to contribute to a major league club now seem questionable at best. Even if the Mariners weren’t, there may have been at least a dozen teams around willing to give a shot to a player who thrice ranked as one of the top ten prospects in all of baseball. But an ex-prospect with diminished fielding skills, nebulous hitting skills, and a short fuse reminiscent of Milton Bradley? No one’s taking a flyer on that.
For now, the Mariners, are understandably remaining tight-lipped as they investigate the situation.
“We are in the process of gathering facts and information. Once all of the information is compiled, we will then proceed appropriately and accordingly.”GM Jack Zduriencik told the Seattle Times last night.