Mariners Spring Training Update – Day 13

Pitchers going through morning conditioning on Field #1.

Pitchers going through morning conditioning on Field #1.

Monday, February 25, 2013 /  35 Days ‘til Opening Night (April 1 at Oakland) / 42 Days ‘til Opening Night in Seattle (April 8 vs. Houston)

Morning Workout:
The team is in full “Groundhog Day” mode, as every day feels the same. Playing our fourth straight day at home meant our fourth straight day of the same schedule. Pitchers did their conditioning at 8 AM and the full squad took the field at 9:30 for stretch. After a quick fundamental drill, the club took BP from 10:15 to 11:15 before breaking for lunch.

Here are some game highlights from the 9-8 walk-off win over the Angels:

Edgar’s Here (in spirit):
One of the best parts of Major League Baseball is the links between the generations of players. When Raul Ibanez was a young player in the Mariners Major League camp in the mid-90s, he decided to watch Edgar Martinez go about his work, and learn everything he could. One interesting habit of Edgar’s: he bought a small, very accurate, postal scale and would weigh all of his bats. While a dozen bats would arrive all listed at 31 ounces (for example), Edgar would weigh them and discover some were a fraction lighter, some were a fraction heavier and, occasionally, one was way off. Edgar would write a note on the knob of each bat with a precise weight (“30.9”) and then use lighter bats when he felt a little tired and the heavier ones when he felt a little strong. This morning in the clubhouse Ibanez, with a group of young hitters around him, was weighing his bats on a small, precise, postal scale, nearly 20 years after he learned the trick from Edgar.

Say Cheese (Again):
The Mariners team photographer, Ben VanHouten, has arrived in Arizona. He’ll be hard at work getting action shots of the players new to the team, posing a couple of players for the windows along First Avenue at Safeco, as well as doing cover shots for Mariners Magazine, and the Mariners Yearbook. If you’d like to see Ben’s work, and keep up with the team all year long, more information is available here:

Ben VanHouten setting up  (before the sprinklers went off).

Ben VanHouten setting up (before the sprinklers went off).

Game Recap:
The Mariners scored seven runs in the final three innings, capped by a walk-off single in the ninth, to claim a come-from-behind 9-8 win over the Angels at Peoria Stadium. Seattle scored two runs in the seventh, four in the eighth, and the game-winning tally in the ninth. Julio Morban collected the game-winning RBI in the ninth to cap a 2-for-2 day. Francisco Martinez was also 2-for-2, including a one-out triple in the ninth, and scored the winning run. Brendan Ryan (#1) hit a solo homer for the Mariners in the third inning, and Alex Liddi hit a bomb (#1) to left in the seventh. “That’s the longest ball I’ve seen in my short time (two-plus springs) in this park,” said Manager Eric Wedge. Justin Smoak also collected a pair of hits. All the offense was needed to offset the Angels’ Hank Conger who was 3-for-3 with a single, double, homer and 5 RBI.

Alex Liddi gives a high-five after hitting a towering two-run home run. (AP/Charlie Riedel)

Alex Liddi gives a high-five after hitting a towering two-run home run. (AP/Charlie Riedel)

Cactus League Report:
With the broadcast crew firmly ensconced in Arizona, the Cactus League Report live from the Salty Seniorita will be on the air tonight from 7 – 9 PM (PT) on 710 ESPN Seattle. Scheduled guests include Manager Eric Wedge, outfielder Michael Morse, pitchers Blake Beavan, Erasmo Ramirez, Brandon Maurer & Taijuan Walker, and Mariners.com reporter Greg Johns.

Radio Tomorrow:
Just a reminder, after an off-day today the Mariners return to the airways tomorrow on a tape-delay basis, starting at 7 PM (PT) on 710 ESPN Seattle. All games, including tomorrow, that are tape delayed are available LIVE and free of charge, online via Mariners.com.

Guests In Camp:
Guests in camp today included a Hall of Fame media member Tracy Ringolsby. Ringolsby, a national columnist for MLB.com and a contributor to ROOT Sports Rocky Mountain, was in camp talking to Mariners players, including catcher Mike Zunino, whom he met for the first time when Mike was just four years old. Ringolsby was a Mariners beat reporter from July 1980-July 1983, and was the 2005 recipient of the J.G. Taylor Spink Award, presented by the Hall of Fame annually to a writer.

GM Jack Zduriencik with Tracy Ringolsby.

GM Jack Zduriencik with Tracy Ringolsby.

Hey Bussy:
The Mariners will play their second road game of the spring tomorrow, but the first that actually requires them to go on the road, as they will travel to Maryvale to visit the Brewers. For the players, it is a return to high school or Legion ball as they will dress here in Peoria and then climb on the bus in full uniform. It’s always interesting to see which players forget what item in Peoria. Perennial favorites are spikes (since they get in the bus in tennis shoes), catching gear and, believe it or not, the jerseys.

Weather:
Another clear but somewhat cool day in Peoria with hardly a cloud in the sky but temperatures in the mid-50s.

Tweet of the Day:

Quote of the Day:
“Justin Timberlake”
– Senior Producer/Engineer Kevin Cremin’s response when challenged to name who he would choose to host the Oscar telecasts. Cremin, who can be heard during the season on the Sunday Mariners Magazine show hosting the “Road Eats” report, has an annual Oscar tradition in Arizona: He steams a lobster and bunkers in to watch the telecast, critiquing the winners (he’s seen all the nominated movies), as well as the host and presenters.

On Tap Tomorrow (Tuesday, February 26):
Tomorrow will be the first true road game of the spring, as the team travels to Maryvale to take on the Brewers. The road game will change the morning schedule at bit, as the team will take the field at 9 AM (instead of 9:30 AM) and will load the bus at 11:30 AM.

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