Mariners Insider

Archives: Jan. 2012

Jan.
13th

Former Mariner Guardado takes on autism

When he closed games for the Seattle Mariners from 2004-2006, Eddie Guardado was serious enough to save 59 games while – off the field – terrorizing teammates with a penchant for practical jokes.

Now retired, the affable lefty and wife Lisa have a new cause: autism. It’s one that hits close to home, because their daughter Ava was diagnosed with it in 2007.

Living in Southern California, the Guardados have established a foundation with a more immediate goal than finding a cure.

“These kids can’t wait 10 years for the research. We have to use what works now … the

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Jan.
12th

Thoughts on opening day lineups – 2011 and 2012

A year ago, the Seattle Mariners opened their season with a lineup that included Milton Bradley, Jack Cust, Chone Figgins, Michael Saunders - in center field – and Jack Wilson. The results, long term, weren’t good, and the team finished last in the American League with a  .233 batting average and 556 runs.

As the team stands today, an opening day lineup would look something like this: Ichiro RF, Dustin Ackley 2B, Mike Carp DH, Justin Smoak 1B, Casper Wells LF,  Franklin Gutierrez CF, Miguel Olivo C,  Kyle Seager 3B, Brendan Ryan SS.

Would that be an improvement and, if so, how big

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Jan.
11th

Mariners sign free agent infielder Munenori Kasaski

A week after he broke the news in Japan, the Seattle Mariners announced the signing of shortstop/infielder Munenori Kasaski to a minor league contract that includes an invitation to spring training.

“Being able to add a player with the resume that Kawasaki possesses is very good news for the Mariners,” general manager Jack Zduriencik said. “We are looking forward to having him compete for a Major League position in Spring Training. He is a high-energy player with a record of success in Japan.”

 An eight-time All-Star in Japan, the 30-year-old Kawasaki has a .294 career average over 1,145 games.

Kawasaki

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Jan.
11th

In the Prince Fielder auction, no one is bidding

An update on the status of free agent first baseman Prince Fielder is that more teams seem to be going in other directions and the market is smaller than his RBI total or his waist size.

The Seattle Mariners say they have not made an offer. The Toronto Blue Jays say they haven’t, either, and the Chicago Cubs just traded for Anthony Rizzo, a player they think is the first baseman of their future. The Dodgers ownership is in transition, and Fielder isn’t on their to-do list.

And the Washington Nationals, according to MLB writer Bill Ladson, aren’t willing to

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Jan.
11th

Ken Griffey Jr. at 42: ‘the ultimate dad’

Yes, Ken Griffey Jr. is still a ‘special consultant’ with the Seattle Mariners, and he’ll be in spring training with them at some point, but USA Today and writer Paul White caught up with the Griffey family – and football was the focal point.

Junior, wife Melissa and sons Trey and Tevyn are all interviewed, and while the story is in large part about wide receiver Trey, it’s a portrait of Griffey as a father, too.

Griffey is ‘the ultimate dad now,’  Trey said, and Junior talks about parenting in a way that makes his priorities clear.

“The key

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Jan.
10th

Mariners get pitcher Aaron Heilman – again

The last time Aaron Heilman was a Seattle Mariner, the 33-year-old right-handed pitcher wasn’t around long enough to put on a uniform.

Acquired in the trade that brought Franklin Gutierrez, Mike Carp and Jason Vargas to Seattle in 2008, Heilman was traded to the Cubs a month later for Ronny Cedeno and Garrett Olson. Today, the Mariners signed Heilman to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.

In nine big-league seasons, Heilman,  has gone 35-46 record with a 4.40 ERA and 16 saves in 477 appearances. How to define his role in Seattle? Consider him the 2012 version

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Jan.
10th

Wedge talks to hometown paper, Seddon moves on

A  couple of nuggets to report – including Seattle Mariners manager Eric Wedge’s interview with his hometown newspaper, the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette, and Tacoma lefty Chris Seddon signing a minor league deal to pitch for Cleveland.

Asked what the Mariners had accomplished last season, Wedge said:  “Just build the foundation, that’s what we wanted to do. You can’t put a Band-Aid over it. A lot of teams do that.

 “What we have to do here is we have to build a foundation I can count on and the front office can count on and the fans can count on,

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Jan.
9th

Hall of Fame calls for Barry Larkin but not Edgar Martinez

The only person to make it into the Hall of Fame on Monday was shortstop Barry Larkin. The wait continues for former Mariners DH Edgar Martinez.

Larkin was on the ballot for the third time after falling 75 votes short last year. The former Cincinnati Reds shortstop received 86 percent of the vote in balloting announced by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America, well above the necessary 75 percent needed.

Larkin will be inducted on July 22 at Cooperstown, N.Y., along with the late Ron Santo, elected last month by the Veterans Committee.

Martinez, who got 36.5 percent of

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