Notes From The Road (New York & Baltimore)
The Mariners are in the midst of a 10-day, nine-game road trip to New York, Baltimore and Las Angeles. This is already the Mariners fourth road trip of nine game or more this season, and that doesn’t include the season-opening trip to Japan to take on the A’s, and a pair of Japanese clubs.
When Seattle flies home on Sunday afternoon, the team will already have travelled about 46,000 miles through the air, and an additional 420 miles by train (from New York to Boston on an earlier trip, and from New York to Baltimore on this one).
While it is always tough for the team to be away from Safeco Field, there are things you only see on the road. Here’s a few:
BIG CITY, BIG CLUBHOUSE…Old Yankee Stadium (the “House that Ruth Built”) had a lot going for it: history, Hall of Famers and championships, but a nice visiting clubhouse didn’t make the list. New Yankee Stadium (the “Palace that George Built”) has a big visiting clubhouse (pictured) and, rumor has it, a palatial home clubhouse. Given how much time players spend in the clubhouse on the road, it’s nice that the new stadium actually has enough lockers, and a place to sit down, for everyone.
WOW, HE LOOKS GOOD FOR HIS AGE…Taking the field for batting practice in New York, fans saw a man in a #40, Chambliss jersey jogging out to the outfield. A few of the younger fans starting yelling “Chris, Chris” trying to get an autograph. Hard to tell if Russell, Chris Chambliss’s mid-30s son, was complimented or just confused to be mixed up with his dad, Mariners hitting coach Chris, who retired from playing in 1988…at the age of 40. Russell, who played in the Yankees organization from 1997-99, was visiting and helped shag in the outfield during BP.
HE REALLY DOES IT ALL…The first day in New York, Seattle media were amused, New York media bemused (or just confused), to have their credentials checked at the visiting clubhouse door by Felix Hernandez. Felix had wandered outside to say hello to the longtime clubhouse door guard and was standing there at 3:30 pm, when the clubhouse opened to media. Always happy to assist, he checked passes and helped media sign in as they entered to talk to players pre-game.
OLD FRIENDS…Seattle media, players and staff were happy to catch up with a handful of media they hadn’t seen in a week or so…after seeing the same group nearly every day for 10 years. Five Japanese “beat” reporters moved to New York when Ichiro was traded on July 23. After being in Seattle for more than a decade, they are adjusting to New York and covering the Yankees.
ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK…For the second time this season, the Mariners left New York by train, rather than flying to the next city. Earlier this season, Seattle travelled by train to Boston. This time, the team boarded a chartered train to Baltimore. With Philadelphia native, and New York off-season resident Dave Sims providing play-by-play the team took a very smooth 2-hour ride from New York to Baltimore. The train travelled through New Jersey and Philadelphia (“historic Franklin Field on your right!”) on its way to Baltimore. Train trivia: The team left Penn Station in New York, and arrived at Penn Station in Baltimore. We did not pass through Penn Station in Philadelphia, as there is no Penn Station in Philadelphia.
GOOD SPOT FOR A SPORTS BAR…When TVs in New York and Baltimore were not playing pre-game scouting video, they were filled with the Olympics — usually two or three channels worth – pre and post-game. As Mariners players come from a variety of countries, there were a variety of rooting interests, and a variety of popular sports. Perhaps not surprisingly, soccer and basketball were very popular. Somewhat surprising was how much passion ended up being expended on swimming, volleyball and water polo.
SINCE WE SHOWED YOU THE OTHER ONE…Here’s a look at Baltimore’s visiting clubhouse. A very comfortable clubhouse run by longtime clubhouse manager Fred Tyler. Fred, who has been in charge of the visiting clunhouse since 1984, is part of the Tyler dynasty in Baltimore. His brother, Jim, has run the home clubhouse since 1979 after starting with the team as a clubhouse boy in 1962. They both worked with, or for, their father with the Orioles, and are a part of 11 Tyler children who worked for the Orioles at some point.
HE’S BIG EVERYWHERE…the Orioles home park (officially, Oriole Park at Camden Yards) is perhaps best known for the warehouse visible beyond right field. The B&O Warehouse is 439-feet from home plate (down the line), across Eutaw Street. Built between 1898-1905, the warehouse is the longest building on the East Coast at 1016-feet, but is only 51-feet wide. Ken Griffey Jr. became the first player to hit the warehouse on the fly, a feat commemorated by a plaque on the wall of the warehouse (pictured).