Archive for the ‘ Uncategorized ’ Category

ROOT SPORTS back on in Bend

root_sports_northwest

Just in time for Spring Training, ROOT SPORTS will be back on the lineup for BendBroadband subscribers. The Mariners television rightsholder had not been available to Bend, Oregon area sports fans since 2012. Today, the provider and ROOT SPORTS issued a joint news release to announce that the regional sports network will be back among the channels offered to subscribers beginning March 1, 2015.

The announcement comes as Mariners pitchers and catchers prepare to report to Peoria, Arizona for Spring Training (February 20). Central Oregon fans will now be able to tune in for 16 Mariners Spring Training games that ROOT will carry in March, as well as the Mariners 2015 regular season games beginning with Opening Day, April 6, against the Los Angeles Angels.

ROOT SPORTS is the home of the Seattle Mariners, Seattle Sounders FC, Portland Timbers, Gonzaga Bulldogs, Big Sky Conference and Mountain West. The network reaches 3.4 million households across five states, including Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Alaska, and delivers more than 350 live events each year – all of which are available in high definition.

Vote #FelixHernandez for #FaceOfMLB

FaceofMLB_5

Each year, MLB Network hosts a bracket-style social media competition to determine the “Face of MLB”. In 2015, King Felix reached the semifinals only to fall to the eventual winner, David Wright of the New York Mets. Today, he is in a quarterfinal matchup with Sean Doolittle of the AL West rival Oakland Athletics. To participate, simply tweet the hashtags #FelixHernandez and #FaceOfMLB up to 25 times on Twitter. Fans can also leave those hashtags in the comments of MLB Network’s Facebook post. The contest runs from Wednesday at 6 a.m. PT until Thursday at 5 a.m. PT.

 

Mariners Sign Rickie Weeks

Rickie Weeks will give Manager Lloyd McClendon options in both the infield and outfield.

Rickie Weeks will give Manager Lloyd McClendon options in both the infield and outfield.

Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jack Zduriencik announced today the club has signed infielder/outfielder Rickie Weeks to a Major League contract for the 2015 season. Per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Mariners Transactions:

  • Rickie Weeks, INF/OF, signed to Major League contract for 2015 season.
  • Edgar Olmos, LHP, designated for assignment.

Weeks, 32, has spent his entire career in the Milwaukee Brewers organization, appearing in 1,142 Major League games from 2003-2014. In parts of 11 Major League seasons, Weeks has combined to bat .249 with 203 doubles, 32 triples, 148 home runs and 430 RBI. His best seasons were a three-year stretch from 2010-2012 when he combined to bat .255 with 87 doubles, 10 triples, 70 home runs and 195 RBI in 435 games. He was the National League starting second baseman in the 2011 All-Star Game and participated in the Home Run Derby.

Last season Weeks appeared in 121 games for the Brewers, batting .274 (69×252) with 19 doubles, 8 home runs and 29 RBI (.357 OBP, .452 SLG, .809 OPS).

During his Major League career he has played exclusively second base (8 games at DH). He is expected to fill a multi-use role with the Mariners heading into spring training.

“Rickie is a talented player who will be used at multiple positions,” said Zduriencik. “His toughness, right-handed bat and Major League experience are desirable factors for our 2015 ball club. We look forward to Rickie’s contributions this season and see him as a very nice fit, complementing the pieces we already have in place.”

Weeks was the second overall selection in the 2003 June Draft after an All-American career at Southern University. He won the NCAA batting title in 2002 (.495) and 2003 (.479), and was the 2003 Golden Spikes Award winner. He made his Major League debut in 2003 after only 21 games in the minor leagues.

To make room on the Major League 40-man roster, LHP Edgar Olmos was designated for assignment. The Mariners have 10 days to trade, release or outright Olmos’ contract to the minors. Olmos was acquired by the Mariners via a waiver claim from the Miami Marlins on Nov. 20, 2014.

Pitchers and catchers will report to spring training in Peoria, AZ on Feb. 20 (physicals) and hold the first workout Feb. 21. Position players are scheduled to report for physicals Feb. 24 and the first full-squad workout will be Feb. 25.

Triskaidekaphobia – Friday the 13th

Dustin Ackley is the 13th player in club history to wear the No. 13 jersey number.

Dustin Ackley is the 13th player in club history to wear the No. 13 jersey number.

Today is Friday the 13th, one of three that will fall during the 2015 calendar year (also: March 13 & November 13). For the first time since 2009, the Mariners will not play a regular-season game on a Friday the 13th. Seattle will play a Cactus League game on Friday the 13th in March vs. the Milwaukee Brewers, a game that will be televised by ROOT Sports.

Since the Mariners won’t play a Friday the 13th game this season, this is the perfect chance to share a bit of meaningless trivia about the date. And it may be a good thing that the club doesn’t play on a Friday the 13th this season.

Seattle is 10-26 all-time on Friday the 13th, which includes going 1-1 in postseason play. The team has endured 5 consecutive losses on Friday the 13th and dropped 8 of the last 9 games.

Without knowing the Mariners 2016 schedule yet, the next likely Friday the 13th contest will be May 13, 2016.

And in case you were wondering…

Triskaidekaphobia – fear or a phobia concerning the number 13.

Mariners Add LHP Rafael Perez to Spring Training Roster

Rafael Perez pitched for the Dominican Republic in last week's Caribbean Series.

Rafael Perez pitched for the Dominican Republic in last week’s Caribbean Series, tossing 5.1 scoreless innings against eventual champion Cuba (AP).

Looking to add depth to the left-handed pitchers pool, the Mariners have signed veteran relief pitcher Rafael Perez to a minor league contract with an invitation to Major League Spring Training. Perez will report to Arizona in a little over a week when pitchers and catchers hold the first workout on Saturday, February 21.

Perez, 32, has made 338 Major League relief appearances, all coming with the Cleveland Indians from 2006-2012. He last appeared in the Majors in 2012 making 8 appearances with Cleveland.

Last season he appeared in 24 games (16 starts) with AAA Round Rock (Texas organization), Rojos del Aguila de Veracruz (Mexican League) and AAA Indianapolis (Pittsburgh organization). In 16 starts he went 6-6, 2.97 ERA (30 ER, 91.0 IP), and in 8 relief appearances he went 0-1, 2.19 ERA (3 ER, 12.1 IP).

Perez pitched for Gigantes del Cibao in the Dominican Winter League posting a 2.31 ERA in 15 games (6 GS) during the regular season and was 3-1, 0.84 ERA (3 ER, 32.0 IP) in 6 playoff starts. He also made one start in the Caribbean Series, tossing 5.1 scoreless innings vs. Cuba.

Over a four-season stretch from 2008-2011, Perez made 268 appearances tied for the most by an American League relief pitcher (with Craig Breslow). Perez made 6 relief appearances in the 2007 playoffs as the Indians fell one win shy of reaching the World Series.

Here is a look at the pitchers with the most relief appearances in the American League from 2008-2011:

Baseball-Reference.com

Baseball-Reference.com

Here is a look at Perez’s professional career:

Watch Charlie Furbush on The [206] Tonight

Charlie Furbush with Pat Cashman and Chris Cashman.

Charlie Furbush with Pat Cashman and Chris Cashman.

Left-handed relief pitcher Charlie Furbush will make his comedic TV debut tonight (technically Sunday morning) as a guest of The [206] TV show following Saturday Night Live (on NBC/King 5).

Furbush joins Seattle comedians Pat Cashman, Chris Cashman and Dylan Avila on the show. Be sure to tune in to watch Charlie!

MLB, MLBPA Announce Education Initiative with USAID in the Dominican Republic

The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association jointly announced today a partnership with the United States Government through the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) to focus on education in the Dominican Republic.

The program will concentrate primarily on education in the Dominican Republic, in addition to initiatives supporting children with disabilities and combating domestic violence.

“Improving education has consistently been one of the primary goals of Major League Baseball’s efforts in the Dominican Republic,” said Ng.  “It is essential for the future of our game to provide these young players with the opportunity to develop in vital areas away from the diamond.  We are encouraged that the launch of this program with USAID and the Players Association will continue to strengthen Baseball’s educational initiatives in the Dominican Republic and build upon the progress we have made thus far.”

“The people of the Dominican Republic hold a special place in the hearts of all Major League baseball players,” stated MLBP Executive Director Tony Clark.  “With so many of our members calling the Dominican Republic home, it is an honor to join with Major League Baseball and USAID to provide funding that will help improve the lives of children and their families throughout the country.”

“Playing professional baseball requires dedication, sacrifice and lots and lots of practice,” said Ambassador Brewster. “This partnership with MLB and the MLBPA allows the people of the United States to share these values with young people throughout the Dominican Republic.”

“The partnership with Dominican baseball superstars will help USAID reach thousands of at-risk youth and encourage them to graduate high school, granting them more job opportunities,” said Feierstein.  “We also want to support the Dominican Government’s efforts to enable all children, irrelevant of need, to attend school, and help parents to provide a healthy home environment.”

Mariners players Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz are very involved through community service to improve education in their native country.

 

Go Seahawks!

Seahawks

Today is Blue Friday in Seattle, as most of the city is eagerly anticipating Sunday’s big Super Bowl match-up between the Seahawks and Patriots. We are pulling for our neighbors to bring home a second consecutive Super Bowl victory. Go Seahawks!

Mariners Sign Catcher John Baker to Minor League Deal

New Mariners catcher John Baker.

New Mariners catcher John Baker.

The Mariners have signed catcher John Baker to a minor league deal with an invite to Major League Spring Training.

Baker, 34, appeared in 68 games for the Chicago Cubs last season as the backup catcher, the most games he has played since a career-high 112 games with the Marlins in 2009. He hit .192 (35×182) with 7 doubles and 15 RBI with the Cubs.

He has played in 359 Major League games over seven seasons with the Florida/Miami Marlins (2008-2011), San Diego Padres (2012-13) and Cubs (2014). He was originally selected by the Oakland Athletics in the 4th round of the 2002 June Draft out of the University of California-Berkeley.

Baker is also part of a possible trivia question, as he recorded the pitching win and scored the game-winning run in a 16-inning game July 29 vs. Colorado. He became the first Cubs true position player to earn a win since Fred Pfeffer in 1885.

Pitchers and catchers will report to spring training in Peoria, AZ on Feb. 20 (physicals) and hold the first workout Feb. 21. Position players are scheduled to report for physicals Feb. 24 and the first full-squad workout will be Feb. 25.

The Mariners Spring Training roster is currently at 58 players (40 roster, 18 non-roster), including 27 pitchers (7 non-roster), 7 catchers (4 non-roster), 12 infielders (3 non-roster) and 12 outfielders (4 non-roster).

Manfred’s Takes Over as Major League Baseball Commissioner

New MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred.

New MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred.

Yesterday was the first official day for new Major League Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred.

Manfred penned a letter outlining some of his goals as commissioner. Please give it a read as it really shows his passion for continuing to grow the game of baseball.

Manfred_Letter

Another interesting item is that there will be new baseballs for the 2015 season, of course with Mr. Manfred’s signature on them. Since the 2000 regular season, the official game-used baseballs have had the signature of former commissioner Bud Selig. Prior to the 2000 season, the official baseballs bore the signature of the respective league presidents.

} New Baseballs with Rob Manfred's Signature (MLB Photos)

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