Mariners Spring Training Update – Day 7

Thursday, February 25, 2016 / 39 Days ‘til Opening Day (April 4 at Texas Rangers)

First Full Squad Workout:

 

Weather Update – Sunscreen Needed:

When players took the field this morning for the team’s first full squad workout at 10:00 am, the temperatures hovered in the low 70s and by the time the team got off the field temperatures were already in the 80s. We are entering a stretch of extremely nice weather in Peoria (though when is it not nice in Arizona?). The 10-day outlook calls for temperatures in the mid to upper 80s! Now that is what I call fantastic weather to watch baseball, but remember your sunscreen! The most popular item you will see around camp is the Mariners floppy hat (thanks to Mariners Special Assistant Joe Bohringer for modeling the floppy hat).

Happy Birthday Jose Moreno:

Happy Birthday to Mariners Latin America Field Coordinator Jose Moreno, who is currently in camp with the rest of the Mariners Player Development Staff. Moreno is entering his 16th season in the Mariners organization, his fourth as Latin America Field Coordinator. He spent his first 12 seasons in the organization as a manager, including leading the Everett AquaSox to a Northwest League Championship in 2010, which marked the franchise’s first title since 1985.

Also celebrating birthdays today are Hall of Famers Ron Santo and Monte Irvin as well as wrestler Ric Flair, actor Sean Astin and comedians Carrot Top and Chelsea Handler (and many others, but those were the names I recognized!).

Hello Canó:

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Robinson Canó arrived in camp yesterday, but today was the first day he talked to the media about his injury last season, his offseason and what he is looking forward to during the 2016 season. Here is a small video of his media availability.

Busy Day for Aoki:

Nori Aoki met with the media today with the help of his interpreter Kosuke Inaji. Aoki also met with NPB outfielder Atsushi Inaba, who was teammates with both Aoki and Hisashi Iwakuma on Team Japan during the 2009 World Baseball Classic.

Let the Public Know:

First baseman Adam Lind looks like he is ready for Opening Day even though we still have 39 days of spring training to go. He got some extra hacks in the cages after workouts today. I think that swing will be a nice addition to the Mariners lineup this season. #LetThePublicKnow

All Dae Long:

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It was a big day for Mariners non-roster invitee Dae Ho Lee.

It was the first day of full camp, with position players and pitchers all in the same workout. Lee had time in the cage early, then a full team meeting at 9. Following the team’s workout, he stayed and did an extra session with Manny Acta taking ground balls at first base.

Once he was through all that he spent time with the US, Japanese and Korean media.

Getting to Know Catcher Steve Clevenger:

Commercial Time:

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The filming of Mariners annual TV campaign started today and will wrap up tomorrow evening. This year’s campaign consists for 4 spots and features 10 players, General Manager Jerry Dipoto, Manager Scott Servais and Hitting Coach Edgar Martinez.

The group will be working on spots today that include Felix Hernandez, Nelson Cruz, Nori Aoki, Wade Miley and Steve Cishek.

The commercials are the result of a 22-year creative collaboration between the Mariners and Seattle agency Copacino+Fujikado. All four spots will be shot on location in Peoria, Arizona, and directed by Blue Goose Productions of Mercer Island. Together, the Mariners and Copacino+Fujikado have produced over 100 award-winning commercials!

Look for the newest Mariners commercials to be released on March 16.

 

Who Wants to Be In A Video Game?:

Each year, the Major League Baseball Players Association sends a group to do head scans of the players to put in to their video games. This year, 10 guys including Chris Iannetta, Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma, Nori Aoki, Robinson Canó, Chris Taylor, Ketel Marte, Steve Cishek, David Rollins and Franklin Gutierrez, stepped in to a room where 41 cameras simultaneously took pictures of them so they could build 3D images of them for the MLB video games.

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ESPN in Camp:

ESPN was in camp today sitting down with Felix Hernandez, Robinson Canó and Nelson Cruz taping a “my position” segment that will air throughout the 2016 season and during ESPN’s game coverage and Baseball Tonight.  Keep an eye out for each of the player’s individual stories!

Cruz with ESPN

Follow the Mariners during Spring Training:

It was a full house on the field watching the Mariners first full squad workout today. The Mariners currently have beat reporter Shannon Drayer from 710 ESPN Seattle, Greg Johns from Mariners.com, Ryan Divish from Seattle Times and Bob Dutton from Tacoma News Tribune in Peoria covering the Mariners throughout Spring Training as well as the regular season.

Also currently in town are SeattlePI.com reporter Adam Lewis, Seattle Times Columnist Matt Calkins, KING 5, KOMO 4, KCPQ 13 as well as numerous Japanese and Korean affiliation. National baseball columnist Tim Brown from Yahoo Sports was also in camp today catching up with the Mariners staff and players.

To follow all the Mariners action all spring long, be sure to bookmark and frequently visit the following sites…

Mariners.com (Greg Johns)
website | blog | twitter

Seattle Times (Ryan Divish)
website | blog | twitter

Tacoma News Tribune (Bob Dutton)
website | blog | twitter

MyNorthwest.com/710Sports.com (Shannon Drayer)
website | blog | twitter

ROOTSports Northwest
website | twitter

Bat Companies In Camp:

Over the course of the spring, various vendors (including bats and gloves) show up at the Mariners complex. Today, it was DINGER Bats, Viper Bats and Rawlings.

Stress Test:

Every year the Mariners go through a rigorous physical before hitting the field. This year Seattle Times beat report Ryan Divish decided he would go through the same physical as each of our players. Check out his story and video to see how he did that appeared in today’s Seattle Times and also on their website. Despite the mocking and the bets he wouldn’t survive, Ryan proved all his naysayers wrong and actually crushed it. Not going to name names, but I think a few members of the Baseball Information Staff need to step it up next year!

Tweet of the Day:

The Part of Mariners Baseball You Don’t Always See:

You hear a lot from professional athletes and even sports teams talk about how they want to “give back to the community.” Here at the Seattle Mariners, we take our responsibility to be good corporate citizens seriously.

Every year, the Mariners community relations department comes down Spring Training to sit down with each player on their involvement in the community as well as secure all the donations items that they will use throughout the year. CR staffers Sean Grindley and Demetrius Grant arrived today, while Gina Hasson, Jeri Baer and Korey Traynor will each spend time in Peoria over the next two week.

Through our Community Relations Department and our non-profit foundation, Mariners Care, we are able to channel resources to over 4,000 worthy causes and organizations. Since 2000, Mariners Care has helped raise over $17 million to benefit primarily youth-oriented community service programs. And each season, we are proud that every member of the Mariners team participates in our community programs.

For more information on the Mariners Community Relations department and Mariners Care, check out their website: http://seattle.mariners.mlb.com/sea/community/programs.jsp

Count Down to Games:

The site of tomorrow's Cactus League opener vs. the Padres. (Aaron Goldsmith)

The Mariners and San Diego Padres open their spring schedules on Wednesday, March 2 at 1:10 pm (12:10pm PST) in the annual charity game, with proceeds benefiting local charitable and youth organizations in the Peoria area. The two teams will meet again the following day on Thursday, March 3.

The Mariners are slated to play 33 Spring Training games, which includes 18 home games at the Peoria (Arizona) Sports Complex.

The first televised game will be Wednesday, March 9, when the Mariners meet the 2015 World Series Champion Kansas City Royals at the Peoria Sports Complex at 12:10pm PST. Root Sports will televise a total of 16 games this spring.

On the radio, 30 of the Mariners Spring Training games will be carried on 710 ESPN, the Mariners flagship radio station, beginning with the annual charity game against the San Diego Padres at the Peoria Sports Complex on Wednesday, March 2 at 12:10pm PST. Of the 30 game broadcasts, 20 will be carried live and 10 weekday games will be aired on a delayed basis at 7pm PDT. All 30 games will be available live at no charge on Mariners.com (game feed is free, but MLB.com registration is required).

710 ESPN will also air the “Cactus League Report” live on Mondays from 7-9 p.m. beginning February 29.

Spring Ticket Information:

Single-game tickets: Tickets for all Mariners games at the Peoria Sports Complex are now on sale. Tickets may be purchased via phone at 800-677-1227, online at mariners.com or in person at the Peoria Sports Complex box office located at 16101 N. 83rd Ave., Peoria, AZ 85382.

Spring Training Tours packages: Official Mariners Spring Training fan travel packages are currently available. Packages include choice of hotel accommodations, rental car, game tickets, merchandise and an opportunity to meet Mariners personnel. For more information, go to Mariners.com/SpringTravel or call 1-800-892-7687.

Single Game Tickets on Sale Saturday, March 5:

Single-game tickets for the 2016 Seattle Mariners season go

on sale to the public at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, March 5. Highlights of the 81-game home schedule include Opening Night, Friday, April 8 vs. the Oakland Athletics, Ken Griffey Jr. Hall of Fame Induction Weekend, four postgame fireworks shows, six bobblehead giveaways and Star Wars Weekend. A full roster of special events and giveaways is available at Mariners.com/Promotions.

Single-game tickets will be available without a service charge at the Safeco Field Box Office and Seattle Mariners Team Stores. They will also be available at Mariners.com/Tickets and by phone at 1-888-SEA-HITS (service charges apply).

Presale Opportunities

Select groups will have the opportunity to buy single-game tickets before they go on sale to the general public on March 5:

  • Season ticket holders—Wednesday, February 24 at noon through Friday, February 26 at 5:00 p.m.
  • Mariners Mail Registered Users—Tuesday, March 1 at noon through Thursday, March 3 at midnight (deadline to sign up is February 27 at Mariners.com/Register);
  • Social Media Followers and Ticketmaster Registered Users – Wednesday, March 2 at noon.

Buy Early and Save

Because the Mariners use dynamic pricing, and ticket prices can change as games approach, lower prices are available to those who buy early. And as always, the best prices, and locations, are available to season ticketholders, who save as much as 40% off the cost of single-game tickets.

For information about Mariners season ticket plans (including Full Season and 20-Game Plans) and benefits call 206-346-4001 or log onto Mariners.com/16.

10-Game Flex Packs

Fans can select the games they want to see with a 10-Game Flex Pack. Fans can choose from a menu of options for the season’s biggest match-ups including Opening Night, Ken Griffey Jr. Hall of Fame Weekend and Star Wars Weekend. Packs start as low as $120 for View Level locations, with discounts of up to 43% over single-game ticket prices. More information is at Mariners.com/Flex.

Ticket Specials

The Mariners will continue popular ticket offers that provide discounts throughout the season such as BECU Family Nights, Safeco Grand Slam Family Packages, College Nights, and Girls & Guys Nights Out, discounts for seniors and military members, and exclusive group prices.

 

MLB Rule Change:

A rule governing slides on possible double plays and two additions to the pace of game program have been approved for the 2016 regular season, Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Major League Baseball Players Association (MLBPA) jointly announced today.

Following the injury suffered by New York Mets shortstop Ruben Tejada in the post-season last year, Major Leaguer Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association sat down to take another look at the rules governing “take out” slides at second base. The result of those conversations (which also included MLB umpires) was revealed today.

“Neighborhood play” calls refers to the previous practice of not reviewing whether middle infielders actually touched second base on double plays, or if they were just “in the neighborhood”. The neighborhood play was allowed as a safety feature so that infielders had a little more room to dodge oncoming baserunners. With the new slide rules in effect, middle infielders will be required to touch the bag while in possession of the ball, or risk having the runner at second base ruled safe via replay.

The World Umpires Association (WUA) also has given its assent to the new regulations:

SLIDES

Under new Rule 6.01(j), which has been added to the existing Rule 6.01 on “Interference, Obstruction, and Catcher Collisions,” slides on potential double plays will require runners to make a bona fide attempt to reach and remain on the base.  Runners may still initiate contact with the fielder as a consequence of an otherwise permissible slide.  A runner will be specifically prohibited from changing his pathway to the base or utilizing a “roll block” for the purpose of initiating contact with the fielder.  Potential violations of Rule 6.01(j) will be reviewable using instant replay.  Also reviewable will be “neighborhood play” calls, which previously were exempted from replay review.  Rule 6.01(j) reads as follows:

RULE 6.01(j) – SLIDING TO BASES ON DOUBLE PLAY ATTEMPTS

If a runner does not engage in a bona fide slide, and initiates (or attempts to make) contact with the fielder for the purpose of breaking up a double play, he should be called for interference under this Rule 6.01.  A “bona fide slide” for purposes of Rule 6.01 occurs when the runner:

(1)          begins his slide (i.e., makes contact with the ground) before reaching the base;

(2)          is able and attempts to reach the base with his hand or foot;

(3)          is able and attempts to remain on the base (except home plate) after completion of the slide; and

(4)          slides within reach of the base without changing his pathway for the purpose of initiating contact with a fielder.

A runner who engages in a “bona fide slide” shall not be called for interference under this Rule 6.01, even in cases where the runner makes contact with the fielder as a consequence of a permissible slide.  In addition, interference shall not be called where a runner’s contact with the fielder was caused by the fielder being positioned in (or moving into) the runner’s legal pathway to the base.

Notwithstanding the above, a slide shall not be a “bona fide slide” if a runner engages in a “roll block,” or intentionally initiates (or attempts to initiate) contact with the fielder by elevating and kicking his leg above the fielder’s knee or throwing his arm or his upper body.

If the umpire determines that the runner violated this Rule 6.01(j), the umpire shall declare both the runner and batter-runner out.  Note, however, that if the runner has already been put out then the runner on whom the defense was attempting to make a play shall be declared out.

PACE OF GAME

The pace of game program will expand this season to include timed 30-second visits to the pitcher’s mound by managers and pitching coaches.  In addition, break timers will now mirror the time allotted to broadcasters between innings: 2:05 for locally televised games and 2:25 for nationally televised games, a reduction of 20 seconds each from the 2015 season, when the timers counted down from 2:25 for local games and from 2:45 for national games.  The change aims to allow players to more closely match the resumption of play with the return of broadcasters from commercial breaks.

The vast majority of last year’s newly implemented pace of game initiatives will continue in 2016.  The 2015 changes centered around enhanced enforcement of Rule 5.04(b)(4) – the “Batter’s Box Rule” – and the addition of ballpark timers measuring the break time between innings and during pitching changes.  Those efforts contributed to a reduction of six minutes and seven seconds (6:07) per nine-inning game from 2014 to 2015, dropping the average length from 3:02:21 to 2:56:14.

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