By Bob Dutton The News Tribune
SEATTLE — The Seattle Mariners responded to the animal-cruelty incident involving the head of the company that handles concessions at Safeco Field by announcing plans to donate a portion of September proceeds to the Humane Society for Seattle/King County.
An elevator surveillance camera in Vancouver B.C. caught Centerplate chief executive officer Des Hague dragging a Doberman puppy by the leash and kicking it several times.
Centerplate is a Connecticut-based sports catering company that handles concessions at Safeco Field and hundreds of other venues around the world. Hague has been its CEO since 2009.
“The Mariners deplore animal cruelty,” club president Kevin Mather said in a statement released by the club. “As the owner of two dogs, I was personally offended by what he did.
“In support of all those who are outraged by his behavior, we are pledging a portion of the proceeds from the sales at Safeco Field concession stands during games in September to the Humane Society for Seattle/King County in the hope that something positive can come from this incident.”
Centerplate did not fire Hague but ordered him to make a $100,000 donation for the safety and protection of animals in Vancouver B.C.. He was also ordered to perform 1,000 hours of community service.
Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon will miss the games Friday and Saturday against the Washington Nationals in order to attend the wedding Saturday of his only daughter, Schenell, in Chesterton, Ind.
Bench coach Trent Jewett will serve as the interim manager in McClendon’s absence. McClendon’s plans call for him to return in time for Sunday afternoon’s series finale.
It was 24 years ago Friday— Aug. 29, 1990— that the Mariners signed free-agent outfielder Ken Griffey Sr., who had been released Aug. 18 by Cincinnati.
The move united Griffey with son Ken Griffey Jr.
Griffey Sr. responded by batting .377 (29-for-77) with three homers and 18 games over the remainder of the season. He remained with the Mariners through the following May before retiring.
The Mariners open a three-game weekend series against Washington at 7:10 p.m. Friday at Safeco Field.
Right-hander Felix Hernandez (13-4 with a 2.07 ERA) will oppose Nationals right-hander Jordan Zimmerman (9-5, 2.93). Root Sports will televise the game.