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Hot Stone League

Larry Stone gives his take on a wide array of baseball issues and weighs in about the Mariners, too.

December 9, 2009 at 11:22 AM

Mike Scioscia on Chone Figgins, the one that got away

chone.jpg

I tracked down Angels manager Mike Scioscia today after the annual managers luncheon to ask him a couple of questions about Chone Figgins signing with the Mariners. Scioscia was hurrying off to a meeting, but he talked to me while he strode through the hotel lobby to the elevator. Talk about multi-tasking — several people thrust balls, programs and various other items to autograph at Scioscia as we were walking. He grabbed the items, scribbled his name, kept moving and answered my questions all at the same time.

Here’s what Scioscia said about Figgins:

“He’s obviously a guy that was a huge part of our team and what we were able to accomplish. It’s obviously going to create a void we’ll have to fill. He’s going to be a great addition to Seattle’s lineup. I don’t think you’re going to find a better person or a harder-working kid. That’s why he is where he is right now. He got a terrific deal, and he deserves it.

“The package that Chone brings, not only his ability to get on base, but his ability to move around the bases…I don’t know if there’s a guy better in our league going first to third than Chone. I think if he’s going to be able to do the same things he did for us for Seattle, he’s going to be setting the table very well for a lot of guys in that lineup.”

The Associated Press photo above is from the 2002 World Series, and it shows Scioscia congratulating Figgins and Garret Anderson after they scored on a double by Troy Glaus in the eighth inning of Game 6. When the inning started, the Barry Bonds and the Giants had a 5-3 lead and were six outs away from the World Series title. When it ended, the Angels were on top 6-5. They won by that score and took the crown the next night with a 4-1 win. Somewhere, I have the early story I wrote near the end of Game 6, all about the Giants and their long-awaited World Series title.

Figgins’ participation in that World Series was limited to two pinch-running appearances, but, hey, he has a ring. Figgins’ career post-season numbers aren’t great — he has a .172 average (21-for-122), including .143 (2-for-14) in the 2004 ALDS, .143 (3-for-21) in the 2005 ALDS, .118 (2-for-17) in the 2005 ALCS, .000 (0-for-12) in the 2009 ALDS, and .130 (3-for-23) in the 2009 ALCS.

The Mariners hope they have to worry very soon about how Figgins performs in the postseason.

If you’re so inclined, follow me on Twitter at stonelarry.

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