Mariners Insider

Archives: Oct. 2011

Oct.
31st

Aardsma a free agent, Ichiro not a Gold Glove winner

Closer David Aardsma had expected it  since July 22 – the day he had major elbow surgery - and today the Seattle Mariners made it official, outrighting him and giving him the option of becoming a free agent, which he did. 

In news about as surprising, the Rawlings company and ESPN have announced the finalists for the 2011 Gold Glove awards, which will be given tomorrow. After winning 10 consecutive Gold Gloves, Ichiro Suzuki this year is not even among the three finalists in right field. Ouch.

On Monday, the team activated the right-handed eliever from the disabled list, out righted his contract to the

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Oct.
31st

LaRussa cared about more than the numbers

The tributes to Tony LaRussa are piling up today, after his retirement caught most folks by surprise. He won a third World Series championship last week, and the next time we see him might be the day he walks into Cooperstown.

He is being remembered for the numbers – 2,728 wins – and should be. Only two men in history managed more games, Connie Mack and John McGraw.

I’ll always remember him for a small kindness to a young m anager, Don Wakamatsu.

It was midway through the 2010 season, and Wakamatsu had gone from superb rookie manager in 2009

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Oct.
28th

Mariners land Chris Gwynn for development job

It cannot be formally announced because the World Series is still being played – and baseball can’t have this kind of news overwhelming Game 7! – but the Seattle Mariners have apparently hired Chris Gwynn from the San Diego Padres to become their director of player development.

Gwynn, 47, is the brother of Hall of Famer Tony Gwynn, and played for 10 years in the majors with the Dodgers, Royals and Padres.

Since 1996, Gwynn has been in the San Diego organization, first as a scout, then as a scouting department administrator, until becoming the Padres player development director two

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Oct.
28th

The rumor mill grinds on, even for Figgins

Not even a marvelous World Series Game 6 could stop baseball writers from doing what some say they do best – putting together rumors, speculation and thought pieces that are at least as much fun to read in October as cold, hard facts.

Example?

Calros Beltran is a free agent and the San Francisco Giants want him back. But in the past two days stories have surfaced in Boston and New York that the Red Sox and Yankees want him, too. In New York, the source for one story was ‘someone familiar with the Yankees thinking.’ Yikes!

It reminds me

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Oct.
27th

Mariners broke the mold by bringing ‘em back alive

When the Seattle Mariners announced manager Eric Wedge’s entire coaching staff was coming back in 2012, it broke a long stretch of finding fault with – and firing – someone every year.

The last time an entire staff returned for another season in Seattle? Lou Piniella’s crew after the 116-win 2001 season.

Since then, win or lose, the Mariners have made changes annually, often scape-goating one coach or another – often a hitting coach. Of the seven managers since Piniella, five were fired and one – Mike Hargrove – quit mid-season.

After Bob Melvin’s 2003 Mariners won 93 games, barely

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Oct.
26th

Mariners retain all coaches for 2012

They’re all coming back for 2012 … the coaches, that is.

Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik and manager Eric Wedge announced today the team’s coaching staff will be unchanged for next season.

Returning are bench coach Robby Thompson; pitching coach Carl Willis; hitting coach Chris Chambliss; first base coach Mike Brumley; third base coach Jeff Datz; bullpen coach Jaime Navarro and bullpen catcher Jason Phillips.

“Having the staff return next season is another positive step as we continue to build our Major League team, and organization, to where we want it,” Zduriencik said in a statement released by the team. “It

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Oct.
25th

Winter League notes from the Seattle Mariners

It’s been nearly a month since the Seattle Mariners stopped playing, although they’ve sent prospects across the planet, it seems, to continue working toward 2012.

Winter league ball, whether it’s in Venezuela or Arizona, can make you crazy with spectacular numbers that don’t pan out come spring training. Still, for the kids working on their skills, those numbers deserve a little notice.

For instance:

  • Right-hander Forrest Snow, who was up with Tacoma at the end of the year, has been dominant in four Arizona Fall League games – opposing batters are 1-for-29 against him.
  • Francisco Martinez, the infielder included

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Oct.
24th

All Moyer wants for 49th birthday is chance to pitch

Three weeks away from his 49th birthday and more than a year after undergoing ‘Tommy John’ surgery, Jamie Moyer is throwing again and believes he will start the 2012 season in the rotation of a big league team.

Pat Gillick has seen Moyer throw and says it’s no pipedream.

“I’ll be frank – he looked just like he always has,” Gillick said of a bullpen session he observed. “I think he’ll pitch again.”

From the time he walked off the mound in June, 2010, the former Seattle Mariners ace has been committed to another improbable achievement in coming back.

“I’ve been

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