Carmen Fusco Fired
As first reported by King5, and now confirmed by the team, the Mariners have fired Carmen Fusco, who was serving as the director of professional scouting. It was originally reported that he would be relieved of duties at the end of the year, but it’s now been made effective immediately, likely due to the fact that this became public – hard to have a guy hanging around who knows he’s a dead man walking.
I’m working on a longer post that I’ll publish tomorrow about how this move fits into what we’ve seen happen since the Cliff Lee trade went down. I’m still gathering information, so I don’t want to comment about Fusco’s firing prematurely. I did, however, want to tell the Carmen Fusco story. Those of you who have been around a while have already heard this, but for those of you who have found the blog in the last year or so, here’s why I’m a Carmen Fusco fan.
A few months after the Mariners hired Jack Zduriencik and re-tooled the front office, I invited him to come hang out with us at the Seattle Central Library for a Q&A with the readers. We’d done these with Bavasi and other friends of mine in the past, but I didn’t know Jack at all, and I wasn’t sure how the new front office would take to us. Due to a radio commitment, Jack couldn’t make it, but he made sure to send all of his top lieutenants in order to make sure the event was a success. Along with Tony Blengino, Tom McNamara, and Pedro Grifol, Carmen came and introduced himself to 275 of our readers on a Saturday afternoon.
It’s the only event we’ve ever had that I couldn’t attend. I really wanted to be there, but I just couldn’t make it happen. After the event was over, I got a report from Derek on how it went, and while it seemed like a success, he threw out one thing that I thought was odd – apparently, Fusco went through about half of the two dozen water bottles we had provided on stage. Everyone I talked to couldn’t stop talking about how much water Fusco drank. It was the story of the day.
Fast forward to last August. I went to Burlington to watch Pulaski, the Mariners rookie level affiliate in the Appalachian League. I wanted to see Steve Baron, Gabriel Noriega, and a few of the other interesting guys on the roster. Sitting behind me? Carmen Fusco. I introduced myself, and we started talking about the event in January. He talked about how he had a great time, and it was something he would love to do again. I brought up the water drinking, and here’s a paraphrase of his response:
“You want to know the story behind that? I was in so much pain, and I was just trying to stay hydrated. I went home when it was over and passed two kidney stones.”
Carmen Fusco spent four hours talking baseball with USSM readers on a Saturday in January while passing two kidney stones. And he had a blast doing it. After that, he could strangle puppies in front of my bedroom window at 2 am and I would still be a fan of his.