Mariners bullpen coach Mike Hampton resigned abruptly just before the All-Star Break last week. What’s the real reason?
It’s very possible Mariners bullpen coach Mike Hampton truly resigned to spend more time with his family, as most of us with jobs wish we could do, but what if there’s a deeper, more nefarious reason?
Hampton is of course the same Hampton who signed the most lucrative contract in baseball back in late 2000 and bombed historically on the mound for the Colorado Rockies in 2001 while earning renown as the best-hitting pitcher in MLB.
After he signed his monster deal with Colorado, Hampton coyly said he wanted to live in Denver because of the “school system,” which most writers assumed was pure tongue-in-cheek.
Is Hampton’s “spend more time with family” quote similarly coy and tongue-in-cheek? Maybe there’s problems in the House of Hampton. Maybe a close family member or a relative is sick, and if that’s true, then ignore my ramblings.
But since I don’t have the true story, we as Mariners fans are left to wonder: did someone drive Hampton out?
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Is there unrest in the Mariners coaching staff? General Manager Jerry Dipoto installed a new manager, new player development coaches, new staffers and staff coaches at all levels, and new scouts. He came with his own brain trust and assembled his team, which included longtime ally Scott Servais.
Perhaps the renowned former Mariners bullpen coach did or said something to irk Dipoto. Maybe Hampton didn’t want to be a part of this Mariners regime. Maybe he’s dissatisfied with how the pitching staff has been used and assembled this season.
If Hampton had a philosophical break with Dipoto, you know Dipoto would try to keep the rift in the team leadership under wraps. There is a long line of succession between bullpen coach and General Manager, but if Dipoto expects to have the latitude to build the team as he sees fit, he can’t have dissension in the ranks. Maybe I’ve been watching too much Game of Thrones, but you can’t have a challenge to your claim to rule lingering around your subjects.
What could have made Hampton move on? Only a few people know for certain. Let’s hope his resignation isn’t the sign of a brewing rebellion in the Mariners organization. Seattle named Nasusel Cabrera interim bullpen coach.