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Mid-game dugout fight new lowlight in Seattle’s season

SEATTLE — Add fighting among themselves to the Mount Rainier-high list of problems the Seattle Mariners have right now.

Friday night’s 2-1 loss to Boston brought a new, most unseemly low: a mid-game fight in the dugout between benched second baseman Chone Figgins and manager Don Wakamatsu.

The brief but intense scrum included: a shouting match across the length of the bench; pushing between players and coaches who were trying to intervene; one Mariner climbing over others and lunging toward Figgins; the starting pitcher in the middle trying to make peace; and third baseman Jose Lopez having his jersey pulled off his back.

An irate Figgins spent the last few innings stewing inside the clubhouse. Veteran clubhouse leader Russell Branyan went back there to talk to Figgins. Branyan was glad to see Figgins hadn’t left the stadium during the game, as Milton Bradley had done after Wakamatsu benched him during a game in May.

The second-year manager said Figgins will not be suspended for the insubordination. Figgins left the ballpark before reporters were allowed into the clubhouse. General manager Jack Zduriencik was in nearby Tacoma watching his Triple-A team Friday night and will take up the issue on Saturday.

The last-place Mariners sunk to a season-low 23 games under .500 with their 16th loss in 20 games. What should their fans be thinking about a last-place team that is now fighting among themselves in the dugout?

“With the way we’ve been playing, it’d be hard to convince any fan to come out and watch us play. Because it hasn’t been pretty,” Branyan said.