Mariners Spring Training Update – Day 5
Mariners Spring Training Update
Sunday, February 16, 2014 / 43 Days ‘til Opening Night (March 31 at Los Angeles Angeles) / 52 Days ‘til Opening Night in Seattle (April 8 vs. Angels).
Setting the Scene:
Today marked the fourth day with pitchers and catchers on the field at the Peoria Sports Complex.
RHP Fernando Rodney threw his first bullpen session as a Mariner this morning in group one. He looked relaxed and threw an assortment of pitches to catcher Mike Zunino. Rodney was joined in group one by five lefties, including Roenis Elias, Charlie Furbush, Bobby LaFromboise, James Paxton and Randy Wolf. Also throwing bullpens today were Jonathan Arias, Danny Farquhar, Brandon Maurer, Zach Miner, Hector Noesi, Mark Rogers, Logan Bawcom, Stephen Kohlscheen and Carson Smith.
The pitchers continued to work on fundamentals on fields 3, 4, 5 and 6. On field 3, pitchers were working on high choppers up the middle. Coach Rich Donnelly gave the players quite a workout, making them extend as far as they could to field the ball. RHP Danny Farquhar, might not be the tallest player on the team, but I don’t think I have ever seen someone extend that much to make a play. On field 4 it was the pitchers giving coach Jack Howell a workout. Howell was the first baseman as players worked on their pickoff moves. RHP Dominic Leone may have one of the hardest throws to first base during a pickoff move I have ever seen, causing Howell to move out of the way of a couple of balls thrown in his direction.
In case you haven’t noticed, the weather in Peoria right now is amazing. Temperatures hovered in the mid-80s all day. Make sure to bring your sunglasses! Even with a little cloud cover it is very bright outside.
Is that Music I hear?:
One of the first things that you will notice (or should I say hear) that is different this year is the music playing from the observation towers on the lower practice fields. Manager Lloyd McClendon decided to play music during the workouts and so far has been something everyone has enjoyed. It is loud enough to hear on the two upper fields, but at the same time not overwhelming for all the players working on the lower fields. Video Coordinator, Jimmy Hartley, put together a playlist of nearly 300 songs that will play throughout the workouts. From country music to classic rock to alternative all sorts of music genres are represented. Players, coaches and staff have all given their input on the music that is played on the field and I hear the Temptations are a favorite group amongst the staff. During the season players are used to taking batting practice while music is playing throughout the stadium, so it really isn’t that much different having the music going during spring training workouts.
Mariners Marketing Gurus in Town:
Part of the Mariners Marketing staff have been in town the last few days working on player interviews and green screens for the video board at Safeco Field, but the rest of the team arrived today to start working on commercials. Vice President of Marketing Kevin Martinez, Gregg Greene and Mandy Lincoln are in town assisting with the commercial shoots that will take place later this week. The marketing campaign was created by Seattle-based Copacino + Fujikado, the Mariners long-time ad agency, and will be shot and produced by Blue Goose Productions.
The commercials are always something that everyone looks forward to seeing every year. Last year they had a talking buffalo and I heard this year they have something bigger and better planned. There are so many classic commercials I can’t even narrow it down to a top 10. I would have to say the “Clapper” commercial with Edgar Martinez maybe be my all-time favorite. I still chuckle every time I see it.
Quote of the Day:
“Make sure you can see my bulging biceps,” said Mariners First Base Coach Andy Van Slyke said when setting up for a sit down interview with ROOT Sports.
Behind the Scenes Photo of the Day:
Have you ever wondered how professional baseball players keep their shoes so clean? Grass stains, dirt stains, or scuffs, cleats are bound to get dirty as soon as players head out the field. It’s just what happens. But, how do you get the shoes looking the brand new again, or at least better than what they looked like before? The answer, according to Mariners Clubhouse Assistant Jeff Bopp, is Scrubbing Bubbles. Bopp, who has worked in the Mariners clubhouse the last 8 seasons, spends time everyday making sure the players shoes are clean once they come off the field and are ready for the next workout or game. He starts with a wired brush that removes all the caked on dirt and rocks from the bottom of the shoes and then sprays the tops of the shoes with Scrubbing Bubbles to keep the rest of the shoe sparkling clean. He averages over two bottles of Scrubbing Bubbles a day, but it is well worth the finished product.
Tweet of the Day:
On Tap Tomorrow (Feb. 16):
Pitchers and catchers will hit the field again tomorrow morning at 9:30 am (Arizona time). The position players officially report and will go through physicals throughout the day.