Live Blog: Mariners Media Day
You can follow today’s Pre-Spring Training Media Day via a live webcast at Mariners.com.
10:05 am — Mariners Senior Director of Baseball Information Tim Hevly welcomes the media to the 32nd Annual Pre-Spring Training Media Luncheon and a video is shown of Jack Zduriencik and Eric Wedge talking about “The Plan.”
10:10 am — Mariners VP of Marketing Kevin Martinez unveils the 35th Anniversary Patch that will be worn on home and road uniforms this season. he also announced plans to bring back former players from throughout the organization’s history during home weekend series.
10:15 am — Senior VP of Communications Randy Adamack talks about the Mariners Opening Series vs. the A’s in Japan.
10:20 am — Head Athletic Trainer gives the off-season injury update. Says that Felix is doing great after getting hit by a line drive in his last start at Texas. Brendan Ryan should be full-steam ahead in spring training. Casper Wells was diagnosed with a “balance disorder” and is 100% and ready to go. Rick also says that Franklin Gutierrez is healthy and has put on about 15 pounds of muscle and looks as healthy as he ever has.
10:30 am — Director of Player Development Chris Gwynn takes the stage for his first introduction to the Seattle media. Gwynn says his basic philosophy is fundamentals, and whatever it takes to get those fundamentals down. Gwynn has been with the San Diego Padres in various scouting and player development roles. He played 10 seasons in the Major Leagues with the Dodgers, Royals and Padres.
10:40 am — Assistant GM Jeff Kingston and Special Assistant to the GM Tony Blengino talk about the players coming to spring training that have been added to the roster this off-season.
10:51 am — We are running a little ahead of schedule, which tends to happen with this event, so GM Jack Zduriencik is now on the stage. He begins by congratulating ESPN 710 Seattle’s Mike Salk on the addition to his family and Jerry Brewer on his Writer of the Year award.
JZ says that there is no question we will have a young team this year, but also have some young talent right behind them. Adds, it may be a challenging year at the Big League level, but we are up for the challenge. Sprinkled in some veterans as well that will provide clubhouse leadership. Now is is answering questions from the media.
11:00 am — Jack still has the stage and is answering questions from the media. Talks about the make-up of this year’s team and how they have grown together after last season. He says there will be some competition during spring training for some roster spots. Also mentioned having about 10 players up to Seattle in January for team bonding and to see how they have progressed physically. Said it was a good experience for the players to get on the same page before spring training.
1:10 am — Jack is deep in to talking about The Plan. Says that we are building this thing the right way and climbing the ladder. He is not satisfied, but there has been progress and is in the middle of the process. Lots of positives, lots of good young talent. Acknowledges patience is tough for fans, but says there are a lot of great things going on here and the future is bright.
11:15 am — Manager Eric Wedge takes the stage. In his opening statement says that he is more excited & more confident today than when he took the job. Talking about this year’s team with a lot of passion and energy.
11:30 am — Wedge has some interesting tidbits saying that he is leaning towards batting Ichiro 2nd or 3rd in the order. Also says that Chone Figgins will play all three outfield positions, in addition to shortstop, third base and second base. Said that he is going to get the opportunity to play all over the field.
11:35 am — Jesus Montero is introduced to the media, sporting his #63 jersey with Jack Zduriencik and Eric Wedge.
Jesus just met Edgar Martinez for the first time this morning. Montero once told his dad “I’m going to be like him, hitting ball to right field.”
11:45 am — Mike Carp and Michael Saunders are now on the podium. Both have been part of the caravan this week. Carp said he is hoping to build off his strong season last year and worked hard in the weight room during the off-season. Saunders said last year was a tough year and is using that as motivation for the upcoming season ahead.
Carp added “We are young and we want to win. We play hard. Hopefully some of the younger guys step up. With our pitching we should compete.”
Saunders said he has spent a lot of his off-season training working with video, and studying some of the best hitters in the game, and what they do right. His ultimate goal, and mindset, is to hit the ball hard and let the results take care of itself.
And that is a wrap from media day. We will post a photo gallery later this afternoon.