As you may have heard, the Mariners put Ryan Garko on waivers – along with a half dozen other players – and, his fall from grace was more a matter of what the team saw in others than what it didn’t see from him.
Garko, 29, was signed in February and was seen initially as a right-handed hitter who would polatoon at first base with lefty Casey Kotchman, and be a bat off the bench.
Seattle fell in love with what Kotchman could do defensively, and he’s no longer going to be platooned – on days he doesn’t drive in runs, he may save the the Mariners a few with his glove. That diminished any role Garko might have.
And then Mike Sweeney, the clubhouse force who was brought in to show his abilities off for other teams, did just that. And he did it so well, the Mariners realized they didn’t want him on another team.
Sweeney made this team a few weeks ago. Putting Garko on waivers simply gave the Mariners the option of making the roster spot available for Sweeney. If another team makes a claim, they’ll likely lose Garko. If he clears waivers, Garko will likely be sent to Tacoma.
This time of spring, dozens of players are put through waivers. Most stay with the team, a few are claimed. Garko could be a Mariner later this season or a Rainier within the week.
And wildflowers? Well, after writing a story yesterday, I took off in the rental car and headed north into the desert, seeking acres of flowers the spring rain had produced. Found ‘em, too, and covered more than 250 miles in the process.
So when Garko was placed on waivers, my cell was in flower-town and apparently not even Verizon works out there. Just so you know, the trip was a success and I got in touch with my non-baseball side for a few hours.
Sorry the news is late, but considering everything, ’twas worth it.