Mariners Insider

Archives: March 2012


Ichiro, back on native soil

Editor’s note: Art Thiel, former Seattle Post-Intelligencer columnist, will be covering the Mariners while they are in Japan for The News Tribune. Here is his first dispatch:

TOKYO — Wearing a pork-pie hat and high-water jeans, the hipster at baggage claim looked a little familiar, except he was just about alone.

“Welcome to Japan,” I said. He smiled.

“Let me welcome you to Japan,” he said. I beat Ichiro by an hour Friday, but he had me by 38 years and change regarding trips to his native sod.

The Oakland A’s charter flight, bearing some media personnel, arrived about an

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Mariners land in Japan

From the Associated Press:

The Mariners and Oakland Athletics arrived in Japan, five days before opening Major League Baseball’s 2012 season at Tokyo Dome.

About 300 fans greeted the teams after they landed at Tokyo’s Narita Airport, with Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki drawing most of the attention as the team made its way through the terminal.

Utility infielder Munenori Kawasaki and pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma are the other Japanese players here for Seattle.

The teams open the regular season with a two-game series on Wednesday and Thursday.

“We’re thrilled to be back in Japan,” Oakland general manager Billy Beane said. “When

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The Mariners are on their way to Japan

The Seattle Mariners flew to Japan with 30 players today, with 28 of those players available to  create the team’s 25-man opening day roster.

Who went to Japan? Check out the list:

Pitchers (14)
49     BEAVAN, Blake                     RHP
35     DELABAR, Steve                   RHP
34     HERNANDEZ, Felix              RHP
18     IWAKUMA, Hisashi               RHP
23     KELLEY, Shawn                    RHP
43     LEAGUE, Brandon                RHP
45     NOESI, Hector                       RHP
50     RAMIREZ, Erasmo*              RHP
59     RUFFIN, Chance                   RHP
54     WILHELMSEN, Tom             RHP 
41     FURBUSH, Charlie               LHP
44     LUETGE, Lucas                     LHP
52     SHERRILL, George               LHP

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First Kuo, now Camp released by Mariners

Veteran reliever Shawn Camp was released today, 24 hours after left-hander Hong-Chi Kuo was let go by the Seattle Mariners.

The move cleared another roster space for non-roster invitees to make the club – think Kevin Millwood Munenori Kawaksi – but may also mean the team has faith in its younger relievers to do the job.

Both Camp and Kuo signed big-league contracts on Feb. 3, and conventional wisdom was that one or both would make the team at the expense of inexperienced pitchers like Steve Delabar, Chance Ruffin or Erasmo Martinez.


An opening day lineup that will start today

No announcements expected today on the final 30 players the Seattle Mariners will take to Japan – and no explanation why it won’t be released – but the lineup vs. the Chicago White Sox today is almost certainly the same one the team will open the year with.

The tough news if you’re a Kyle Seager fan: He’s not in it.

With 39 players still in camp, the Mariners will fly to Tokyo at noon tomorrow – and Seattle is disinclined to announce it’s roster until close to flight time. Why? No real reason.

Here’s today’s lineup:

Chone Figgins  3B

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A new lineup & cuts coming for Mariners

The Seattle Mariners are down to two games and 39 players before heading for Japan on Thursday, and one game – and several of those players – will be taken off the ‘to do’ list today.

Manager Eric Wedge and his staff are huddling to discuss cuts, and they’ve posted this lineup against the Cincinnati Reds:

Munenoi Kawasaki SS
Luis  Rodriguez 2B
Mike Carp LF
Jesus Montero C
Kyle Seager 3B
Alex Liddi 1B
Vinnie Catricala DH
Carlos Peguero RF,
Casper Wells CF
Kevin Millwood P


Spend 6 1/2 minutes with Kirby Arnold (video)

Yes, the Seattle Mariners allowed seven first-inning runs and lost the Chicago Cubs today, 12-7, and yes, threy released left-hander Hong-Chih Kuo to get their roster to 39 players in camp.

Without much good news in camp, we present 6 1/2 minutes with Kirby Arnold, who spent the last 13 springs bringing Everett Herald readers great coverage of a game he loved.

With a gentle style and sense of humor and fairness, Kirby was a natural storyteller, a great friend and a man who is missed this spring by readers, writers and players. Retirement may serve

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A regular season-like lineup vs. Cubs

No, it won’t likely be the opening day lineup for the Seattle Mariners – Mike Carp isn’t playing, Chone Figgins is in left field – but it’s a batting order you might see the team use on occasion.

Against the Chicago Cubs today, Eric Wedge has rolled out a lineup that, one through five, might all be in those spots on opening day in Tokyo next week.

Today is one of three final games in Arizona before the Mariners fly off with 30 players in tow, and Wedge isn’t going to waste a lot of lineup space on players who

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