Mariners Insider

Archives: March 2010

March
29th

A rare thing: Griffey is making a road trip

It’s a sure sign that the regular season is close when Ken Griffey  Jr. finds himself in a lineup for a road game – he has steadfastly managed to avoid being in one all spring.

Today, he’ll make the trip to Phoenix to play the Oakland Athletics, in part to see Oakland pitching, in part because the Mariners believe Griffey’s swing is looking better and they want him hitting.

Jason Vargas will start the game, and Doug Fister – who was going to start this one – will pitch in a minor league contest, instead.

Interesting lineup, as manager Don

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March
29th

Tuiasosopo is pressing, and that’s not good

As the Seattle Mariners tighten up their roster – and try to pick up their game – in the final week of camp, the guys on the bubble known they’re being watched more carefully.

It happens every spring. Players who start red-hot suddenly cool down as they face better pitching and, perhaps more importantly, realize how close they are to making the team.

Matt Tuiasosopo is the 2010 case in point. A week ago, he’d played his way into consideration for the role of utility player/reserve shortstop, as much with his bat as his versatility.

Over his last seven games,

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March
28th

Mr. Bedard will climb the mound

Erik Bedard has been throwing a baseball from about 120 feet for a few weeks now, and manager Don Wakamatsu took note – it’s no longer a case of Bedard playing catch.

“Erik’s throwing it on a line from 120 feet, and he’s throwing hard. He’s feeling good,” Wakamatsu said. “We’re going to get him acquainted with the mound again.”

No, Bedard won’t throw a typical bullpen session, but in the next few days he will climb the mound, stand on the rubber and throw.

“We don’t care if he throws 50 mph, that’s not the purpose,” Wakamatsu said. “We

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March
28th

A lineup – without Bradley – vs. Cubs

The most popular show in the Cactus League, the Chicago Cubs are coming to Peoria today to play the Seattle Mariners.

Last night, Chicago writers were calling to ask if former Cub and now Mariner Milton  Bradley was going to play.

No, he isn’t.

It wasn’t Bradley’s call, it was manager Don Wakamatsu’s, and it’s not hard to figure why. Bradley and Seattle will face the Cubs during the regular season, and why stir up bad memories on a lovely Sunday afternoon when none of it matters?

Here’s who will play:

  • Ichiro, RF
  • Chone Figgins, 2B
  • Casey Kotchman, 1B

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March
28th

Our dinner with Bryan Price

A few of us dined with former  Seattle pitching coach Byan Price last night - Kirby and  Debbie Arnold, Jim Street and me – and had about as much fun as is legal on diet Pepsi.

Price is with Cincinnati and Dusty Baker now, but was with Arizona when Eric Byrnes was, and his scouting report was succinct: Byrnes brings his high-energy hustle to the park every day.

We took turns telling stories about the managers of Price’s career in Seattle, Lou Piniella, Bob Melvin and Mike Hargrove, and about ourselves. Somewhere on the drive home it occurred to me

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March
27th

Griffey’s ‘gift’ just keeps on giving

It’s been two weeks since Ken Griffey Jr. stunned former roommate and now roving instructor Roger Hansen by unveiling an immense photo of the two on the batting eye of the No. 1 playing field of the Peoria complex.

The faces of Junor and Hansen can be seen from virtually every part of the Seattle Mariners practice facility, and while Hansen hasn’t exactly enjoyed it, lots of other folks have.

Fans take photographs of the banner each day. Visiting teams see it as their bus pulls into the parking lot, and players file out of that bus and gawk at

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March
27th

Here’s Mariners lineup vs. dreaded Dodgers

National League game, National League park – no designated hitter – but Mike Sweeney will come along to pinch-hit at some point today.

Outfield/first base coach Lee Tinsley approached Ken GriffeyJr. and said he was coming to Glendale for a pinch-hit at-bat, and Junior smiled.

“Yeah, right,” he said.

Griffey doesn’t make spring road trips, in part to rest his steal-healing left knee, which was surgically repaired in the off-season.

Lots of other players do travel, and here’s today Seattle lineup vs. Los Angeles:

  • Ichiro, RF
  • Chone Figgins, 2B
  • Casey Kotchman, 1B
  • Milton Bradley, LF
  •  Jose Lopez, 3B
  • Adam

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March
26th

Will the Mariners experience a cover jinx?

The other day when I arrived to my humble abode in the ‘hood over in South Tacoma, I found my bi-weekly issue of ESPN the Magazine waiting in my mail box and when I looked at the cover guess what I was greeted with …

Imagine my surprise. Inside there was a story by Jeff Bradley on the Mariners talking about our cover boys and the idea of run prevention. Obviously, we’ve heard of the Sports Illustrated cover jinx. But does ESPN the Magazine have one?

Well, um this cover photo was shot before Lee got into that little

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