August 12, 2015 was obviously an exciting day for Hisashi Iwakuma, etching his name in the history books by tossing a no-hitter against the Baltimore Orioles. If you were at the game (and even if you weren’t), we’re sure you wanted to save something from that day to remember the great achievement..and the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York was no different.
If you weren’t able to save a ticket stub, a game program or even some garlic fries (we won’t judge) from that day, now you can see a bit of Mariners history when you visit the Hall of Fame.
Iwakuma graciously donated his game-worn hat to them and it will be on display for all baseball lovers to enjoy.
This week, Kuma received a certificate to thank him for his generous donation.
If you want to take a trip down memory lane, here are some highlights from the no-hitter as well as some fun facts.
IWAKUMA NO-NO…Hisashi Iwakuma threw the 5th no-hitter (4th individual) in Mariners history August 12 vs. Baltimore at Safeco Field…here are some details on the no-hitter:
- Japanese No-Hitter – Became the second Japanese-born pitcher with a no-hitter in MLB history, joining Hideo Nomo: Sept. 17, 1996 at Colorado (with Dodgers) & April 4, 2001 at Baltimore (with Boston).
- Breaking the AL Jinx – At the time, became the first AL pitcher with a no-hitter since Felix Hernandez on Aug. 15, 2012…there were 12 no-hitters (11 individual, one combined) in the NL since Felix’s Perfect Game…marks the longest streak of no-hitters thrown in one league since the inception of the AL in 1901.
- Mariners No-Hit Theme – Each of the 3 previous no-hitters in the American League have been tossed by the Mariners…the last team responsible for 3 consecutive no-hitters in its league was NYY (3 straight, 1996-99).
- Home No-No’s – Was the 5th no-hitter in Seattle Mariners history, the 4th individual…all 5 of the Mariners no-hitters have come in home games, with 3 at Safeco Field (Iwakuma, Felix, combined no-no) and two at The Kingdome (Randy, Bosio).
Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto announced today that Andy McKay has been hired as Seattle’s new Director of Player Development.
McKay comes to Seattle from the Colorado Rockies where he has been Peak Performance Coordinator for the Rockies minor league system since September of 2012.
Prior to joining the Rockies, Andy was the Head Baseball Coach at Sacramento City College for 14 seasons (1999-2012). He compiled a record of 427-205-2 (.675) with 8 League Titles, and finished in the top-3 in the State of California 3 times, including 1 State Championship. He was the Assistant Coach at Sacramento City College from 1994-1998, after spending one season as a Player/Coach at the University of Tampa in 1993. Tampa won the Division II National Title in his only season there.
McKay has also coached in the summers in the Cape Cod League and the Northwoods League.
Andy, a Sacramento native, is a graduate of Del Campo HS (Sacramento), Sacramento City College and Sacramento State University. He earned his MBA in Organizational Behavior Studies from Sacramento State in 1996.
In addition to coaching at Sacramento City College, McKay taught classes in Physical Education and Business.
McKay and his wife, Anne, have two children: Hank and Gabrielle.
Here is the latest edition of the Mariners Weekly Winter League Update. You can get updated Winter League stats on Milb.com.
The 2015 season might be over for the Mariners, but there are a number of players from the organization that are continuing to play in various Winter Leagues all around the world.
Many baseball fans are curious about winter league baseball, what it is, and why players would leave the comforts of an off-season at home to go play. It is a chance for players to get more at-bats or inning and continue their development into Major League players. Teams usually send young players, someone who need more work because he didn’t get a full season in the minors, needs a little more experience, or a player coming off an injury and needs more playing time.
The Mariners will have prospects participating in the Arizona Fall League, playing on teams in Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Mexico and Puerto Rico, while also playing in Australia in the Australia Baseball League.
The 24th Arizona Fall League season opened on Tuesday and runs through November 24. Regarded throughout professional baseball as the “finishing school” for top prospects since its inception in 1992, the 6-team league features top prospects from every organization in Major League Baseball. The league plays 3 games per day 6 days a week (Monday-Saturday) in 5 Cactus League stadiums. This year the sites include Camelback Ranch in Glendale, Cubs Park in Mesa, Peoria Sports Complex in Peoria, Salt River Fields at Talking Stick, Scottsdale Stadium and Surprise Stadium.
Each AFL team is comprised of 5 major league organizations working cooperatively. The Major League affiliations for each AFL team are as follows: Peoria Javelinas-Peoria Sports Complex (Mariners, Braves, Orioles, Reds, Padres); Surprise Saguaros-Surprise Stadium (Royals, Brewers, Yankees, Cardinals, Rangers); Glendale Desert Dogs-Camelback Ranch (White Sox, Astos, Dodgers, Phillies, Pirates); Mesa Solar Sox-Cubs Park (Cubs, Angels, Marlins, Athletics, Rays); Salt River Rafters-Salt River Fields (Diamondbacks, Rockies, Mets, Blue Jays, Natioals) and Scottsdale Scorpions-Scottsdale Stadium (Red Sox, Indians, Tigers, Twins, Giants).
The Peoria roster includes left-handed pitchers Paul Fry, Ryan Horstman, James Paxton, David Rollins, infielders D.J. Peterson and Tyler Smith and outfielder Tyler O’Neill. Peterson was on the also a member of the Surprise Saguaros in 2014. Horstman recently replaced LHP Tony Zych on the Peoria roster after Zych reached his innings limit in September with the Mariners. 2015 AZL Mariners Pitching Coach Rich Dorman will be the Javelina’s pitching coach and AA Jackson trainer B.J. Downie will serve as the team’s trainer.
Paxton, who was limited to only three starts in September after spending the majority of the season on the 15-day disabled list with the Mariners with a strained tendon in middle finger of his left hand (May 29-Sept. 12), will make his first start for Peoria today as the Javelinas take on the Surprise Saguaros.
Peterson, the No. 3 prospect in Seattle’s organization according to MLB Pipeline, played a starring role in a huge comeback on Opening Day of the Arizona Fall League season yesterday. Peterson (2×4, R, 2B, 2 RBI) drove in the tying run and scored the go-ahead run in a 6-5 win for the Peoria Javelinas over the Surprise Saguaros. Peoria trailed for most of the game but scored five runs in the bottom of the 8th inning to come from behind to win.
Winter ball is also played in Venezuela (began Oct. 7), the Dominican Republic (begins Oct. 15), Puerto Rico (begins Oct. 30) and Mexico (began Oct. 9). At the end of the season, the champions of each league play each other in the Caribbean Series. The Mariners have a working agreement with teams in each league and send minor league players and coaches to help teams. It is also an opportunity for the Mariners organization scout talent from those countries as well as American players playing in Latin America.
OF/1B Jabari Blash (Aragua), OF James Jones (Aragua), OF Leon Landry (Lara), LHP Vidal Nuño (Aragua) and OF, Stefen Romero (Aragua) are expected to play in Venezuelan Winter League. SS Ketel Marte (Cibao), RHP Jose Ramirez (Cibao), LHP Tyler Olson (Cibao), RHP Sam Gaviglio (Cibao) and INF Ji-Man Choi (Estrellas Orientales), OF Patrick Kivlehan (Escogido) are expected to spend time in the Dominican Winter League. RHP J.C. Ramirez (Culiacan) will play in the Mexican Winter League, while OF Ian Miller (Santurce) is scheduled to play in the Puerto Rican Winter League.
If it is cold and drizzling in Seattle it is most likely hot and sunny in Australia. RHP Kody Kerski and infielders Jordan Cowan and Kyle Petty will represent the Mariners as members of the Adelaide Bite in the Australia Baseball League, which runs from Oct. 23-Jan. 24.
OF Tyler O’Neill and OF Gareth Morgan will play for Team Canada in Premier 12 Tournament in Taiwan, Nov. 8-21. INF/OF Gianfranco Wawoe (Netherlands), RHP Emilio Pagan (Puerto Rico), LHP Nick Valenza (Puerto Rico) and RHP Chien-Ming Wang (Taiwan) will also participate in the Premier 12 Tournament.
MLB.com has a comprehensive list of statistics from Winter Leagues participants.
The Mariners got some sad news yesterday. 2013 Honorary Bat Girl Kimberly Fugere lost her five year battle against breast cancer. Kimberly was just 35.
Her story was movingly told in this story by MLB.com’s Greg Johns.
Kimberly leaves behind her husband, Ross, and two young children, Emeline (8) and Dallin (5). A GoFundMe account has been established in their names.
Kimberly’s father Jim Greenman nominated her for Honorary Bat Girl, a Major League Baseball program that raises awareness and support for the fight against breast cancer. In his nomination, he described her as a fighter who had a rough start to life. She suffered a stroke before her birth which left her with brain damage and cerebral palsy. Doctors told her parents that Kimberly would never walk and that they should consider institutionalizing her.
But Kimberly defied the diagnosis. She went on to receive a college degree, marry her college sweetheart and start a family.
In 2011, Kimberly was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer, a disease that had claimed her mother a year earlier. She also lost her great grandfather, grandmother and aunt to cancer, and doctors learned that Kimberly and three of her siblings inherited a gene that makes them more vulnerable to developing cancer.
In the face of all life’s challenges, Kimberly’s greatest desire was to be a wife and mother, and according to her dad Jim, “She fulfilled that calling with all of her heart.”
Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto announced today the following medical update on second baseman Robinson Canó:
Robinson Canó underwent surgery today to repair both a right side and a left side core muscle injury. The surgery was performed in Philadelphia by Dr. William Meyers of the Vincera Institute.
Recovery is expected to take six weeks, and Canó should be completely recovered for the start of Spring Training in February.
Canó, 32, was originally diagnosed with a core muscle injury on his right side in late September. During his pre-surgery examinations with Dr. Meyers, an additional MRI was performed that revealed a second core muscle injury on his left side.
Canó hit .287 (179×624) with 82 runs, 34 doubles, 1 triple, 21 home runs and 79 RBI in 156 games (155 starts) this season. He hit .330 (109×330) with 52 runs, 15 doubles, 1 triple, 17 home runs, 55 RBI in his final 82 games.
Mariners General Manager Jerry Dipoto announced today that Lloyd McClendon and several of his coaches will not be returning for the 2016 season. (The news release announcing the changes is here.)
In a conference call with reporters this morning, Dipoto called it “a difficult decision-making day for the Mariners.”
Dipoto said that he respects and admires McClendon, especially for keeping the team playing hard until the end of the season, but after the better part of two weeks getting to know Lloyd and the coaches, Dipoto felt that it wasn’t a good match.
“I visited with him frequently over the course of the final week of the season, we had breakfast in the mornings, we talked baseball, we had a sit-down anywhere from an hour to two hours every other day, and then just general chatter at the ballpark. I learned that I like Lloyd a great deal. He’s a good guy, he’s very easy to spend time with, to talk to. But at the end of the day this was an opportunity to come into an organization and create a vision and I feel like this is the best way to do that.”
Dipoto plans to start the search for the new manager right away.
“I’d like to find an energetic positive influence in the clubhouse that I think will make a difference here. That starts today. I can’t put a final date on when we’ll conclude, but I do believe we’ll get the right character.”
When asked what qualities he’s looking for, Dipoto replied, “Energy, positive interaction with players, a good baseball background, a teacher, someone who can create a plan and lead people. In many ways in today’s game the manager’s position has become as much about creating an environment as it is about x’s and o’s.”
Dipoto is known as an analytics guy. But his ideal candidate for manager doesn’t necessarily have to be a member of SABR, “Just that they’re open-minded and receptive to different ideas. I like everyone to use information in a positive way. Critical thinking and decision-making is important and you can’t make those decisions without the information.”
But he conceded that analytics alone aren’t enough.
“Through the course of a baseball game, it is not all about the data you’re provided. It is not all about what you’re seeing with your eyes. It’s somewhere right in between. A prerequisite is going to be to find someone who has the ability to balance those two things in an effective way.”
Dipoto also announced this morning that Edgar Martinez has been invited to return as hitting coach next season.
“We didn’t have a relationship, but I played with Edgar many years ago in Puerto Rico, so I knew of the way he carries himself in the clubhouse. And sitting with him this week and listening to him talk about the players, listening to him breakdown hitting, and clearly how invested he was in making the players better really excited me. I’m very excited about the opportunity to bring him back as I think he is. This is where he wants to be.”
He also invited infield coach Chris Woodward to return.
“He has the type of passion and energy that I’m looking for and we will value in building the staff moving forward. And I felt like with Chris Woodward, we were watching a real impact coach. It’s hard in the Big Leagues to step in and make an impact early in your coaching career as a young guy, like Chris did, and I admire it. With guys like Robinson Canó and Kyle Seager and Chris Taylor and Brad Miller, Ketel Marte, he made an impact on both young and veteran players. They respect him and I really like his energy, so I felt like he was a very good fit moving forward.”
Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jerry Dipoto announced today that Lloyd McClendon will not be returning as Mariners manager in 2016.
Among the coaching staff, batting coach Edgar Martinez and infield coach Chris Woodward have been invited to return to the big league staff. Pitching coach Rick Waits and coach Chris Prieto have been invited to return to the Mariners organization.
Bench coach Trent Jewett, third base coach Rich Donnelly, outfield coach Andy Van Slyke and bullpen coach Mike Rojas will not be returning to the Mariners organization in 2016.
“I have a great deal of respect for Lloyd, as a person and as a manager,” Dipoto said. “It is a credit to his professionalism that the team continued to play hard through the final day of the season. However, after extensive conversations it became clear to me that our baseball philosophies were not closely aligned. On behalf of the Mariners I want to thank Lloyd and his staff for their hard work the past two seasons, and I wish him the best moving forward.”
McClendon was named Mariners manager on Nov. 5, 2013. He compiled a 163-161 record in two seasons in Seattle, including a 76-86 mark in 2015. He has a 499-607 career mark as a big league skipper with Pittsburgh (2001-2005) and Seattle (2014-2015).
One of the greatest moments in Mariners history happened 20 years ago on this day (October 8) in 1995 at The Kingdome.