Report: Mariners to fire professional scouting director over Josh Lueke controversy
Jack Zduriencik hired Carmen Fusco as the Mariners’ professional scouting director soon after he took over as general manager two offseasons ago, but Seattle’s local NBC television affiliate KING5 reports that Fusco will be let go in the wake of the controversy surrounding the team’s acquisition of prospect Josh Lueke. Lueke missed most of last season after being charged with rape and sodomy, eventually pleading guilty to lesser charges and serving 40 days in jail, but some Mariners decision-makers--and specifically team president Chuck Armstrong--said they didn’t know of his history when they got him from the Rangers as part of the haul for Cliff Lee. And then later there were contradictory reports about who did or didn’t know about Lueke’s history, and when they did or didn’t know. It was a big mess, and now apparently Fusco has been made the fall guy. Or one of the fall guys, at least. “Mariners fire scouting director” is an attention-grabbing headline, but as Jason Churchill of Prospect Insider and ESPN.com notes Fusco was the professional scouting director, which is very much different than the amateur scouting director. Tom McNamara remains in the role people typically associate with the scouting director title, which is to say he’s in charge of the draft and minors while Fusco ran the big-league scouting operation. Either way, Fusco is reportedly out of a job after 35 years in baseball and Zduriencik is burning through scapegoats pretty quickly.