Signed as a free agent this offseason, new Mariners third baseman/second baseman Chone Figgins recently spoke with Sporting News’ Stan McNeal about his new team:
I’m a routine-type person, so being able to stay on the same side of the country and stay in the same division was a big consideration. So was the direction the Mariners are going. The Angels still have a tough team, but the plan is for us to finish on top.
Having me hit second behind Ichiro will be a perfect fit. When you have a guy capable of hitting .400 every year, he should get up a guaranteed five times a game. I’m more of a taker, so I’ll be able to watch some pitches and let him run.
If the pitcher throws me strikes, next thing you know we’ll have guys on first and third with the big guys coming up. There’s not a lot of room for error with Ichiro leading off and then someone like me — who’s capable of doing so much stuff — going the other way, dropping a bunt, hitting through the hole — in the 2 hole.
I won’t put pressure on myself because of the contract because I put pressure on myself anyway. I’ve never worried about the money side or tried to impress people. I’m a career .291 hitter, but if I hit .280, walk 80 to 90 times, score 100 runs and we win the division, that’s a great season.
This story first appeared in Sporting News magazine. If you are not receiving the magazine, subscribe today, or pick up a copy, available at most Barnes & Noble, Borders and Hudson Retail outlets.