x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Trouble in Seattle? Just blame the media

The Seattle Mariners are a team in turmoil. So far this season, one player has been placed on the restricted list because of personal issues.

The Seattle Mariners are a team in turmoil. So far this season, one player has been placed on the restricted list because of personal issues. Another veteran didn't take kindly to some criticism and talk of being traded elsewhere, so he hopped on his bicycle, rode out of the ballpark and ? retired. Then things really got ugly. Ken Griffey Jr, the greatest player in franchise history, fell asleep in the clubhouse earlier this month and thus was unavailable to pinch-hit.

So, naturally, the underachieving Mariners have decided the problem does not lie with them, but with the media. The players voted to stop speaking to the reporter who wrote the story. Blaming the media in professional sport is nothing new, of course. To the contrary, it is tradition for players to band against the media as a sort of common enemy, hoping that such unity will cure what else ails them.

But the Mariners are taking this one to the extreme. The story quoted two anonymous players on the Seattle roster. Veteran Mike Sweeney labelled it "a makeshift article made up of lies". And how does Sweeney know the story was full of lies? Simple. "I challenged everyone in that room, if they said that, to stand up and fight me. No one stood up. " Well, that settles that, then. As if a player especially a rookie, or a younger player might admit to Sweeney that he revealed an ugly truth about the team's most popular player. As if such a player might subject himself to the sort of abuse and notoriety that would surely follow such an admission.

The Mariners have problems, all right, but they go far beyond what's written in the newspaper. If they want to find some answers, they would be better off looking in the mirror. sports@thenational.ae