Closing the bullpen loophole in our open-meetings law

Seattle's reputation for full citizen participation is besmirched at Safeco Field night after night. We must begin the process of fixing it at once.
Crosscut archive image.

So long, "Safeco Field"?

Seattle's reputation for full citizen participation is besmirched at Safeco Field night after night. We must begin the process of fixing it at once.

Why are the citizens of Seattle excluded from participating in important decisions? At Safeco Field, which was financed partly with public funds, the decision to bring in a relief pitcher is made in private, without hearings, without public consultation, and without due process. I say end this elitist, exclusionary, and undemocratic process. I propose that the following regulations shall apply to pitching changes at Safeco Field:

  • Mound conferences: The state's open meeting law shall apply to all conferences held on the pitcher's mound.
  • Notice: Notice of a mound conference must be published in the official paper of record at least seven days prior to a proposed change of pitchers. Notice shall be given only after completing a Community Visioning Process (see below).
  • Nomination of relief pitcher: Mariners management may nominate one of the two candidates with the highest score on the Relief Pitcher Merit Examination. Candidates must demonstrate relevant skills by staying awake during City Council meetings. Tests of athletic skills may constitute 25 percent of total score; provided such tests do not disproportionately impact any protected class including women, the elderly, minorities, fire worshipers, whiners, and tri-gender activists.
  • Community Visioning Process: For "visioning" purposes, the "community" is defined as wackos, windbags, self-appointed moralists, psychopaths, fatuous jerks, and tri-gender activists. Community visioning meetings will be held at all bus shelters on alternate Wednesdays.
  • Public comment at mound conferences: The Seattle Meeting Rule shall apply to mound conferences. This rule, which applies to all public meetings, private dinner parties, and business meetings, states: "The time allotted to each speaker shall be inversely proportional to the speaker's knowledge of the subject." Management must provide simultaneous translation of mound conferences in four dialects of Khmer.
  • Petition to remove: Management may file a petition to replace a pitcher ("Shelled Pitcher"), specifying performance issues in writing. Shelled Pitcher must be allowed at least three more innings to remedy performance problems. Under certain circumstances, management may remove Shelled Pitcher if performance is not rectified after three innings, provided Shelled Pitcher is offered counseling (three counselors if Shelled Pitcher is tri-gender).
  • Appeal: Shelled Pitcher may file a grievance with his shop steward or the National Labor Relations Board. Shelled Pitcher may also appeal the decision to the Civil Service Commission, City Human Rights Commission, State Human Rights Commission, Federal Equal Opportunities Commission, or, if tri-gender, to the Trilateral Commission. If Shelled Pitcher believes poor performance was due to physical disability, he may sue under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
This is the Seattle way. You can help. Contact your City Council member and demand action. If we begin now, these regulations could be in place by the 2026 season.   

Please support independent local news for all.

We rely on donations from readers like you to sustain Crosscut's in-depth reporting on issues critical to the PNW.


About the Authors & Contributors