The Hot Stove Radio Show

Hot Stove League

The Hot Stove returns to the airwaves tonight from 7-9 pm on 710 ESPN Seattle and Mariners.com. Announcers Aaron Goldsmith and Mike Blowers will join Shannon Drayer from the 710 ESPN studios for two hours of baseball talk.

Scheduled to join the show are Charlie Furbush, Stefen Romero and Dave Valle from the Mariners Caravan, an extended interview with manager Lloyd McClendon and a visit from Seattle Times columnist Larry Stone. The 2015 Mariners and today’s Hall of Fame vote will be one of the many topics discussed during the show.

The Hot Stove can be heard on 710 ESPN Seattle (and Mariners.com) every Tuesday 7-9 pm.

Welcome to Cooperstown Randy!

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It is a special day at Safeco Field, as one of our own, Randy Johnson, has been elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame with 97.3% of votes. Randy spent 10 seasons with the Mariners, amassing 2,162 of his 4,875 strikeouts in a Seattle uniform.  Mariners Chairman & Chief Executive Officer Howard Lincoln issued the following statement today on Johnson’s election to the Hall of Fame:

On behalf of the Mariners franchise and ownership, we wish to add our congratulations to Randy Johnson on his well-deserved election to the Baseball Hall of Fame today.

Randy began his career in Montreal, but began his ascent to the Hall of Fame here in Seattle.

After his arrival in 1989, he tossed his first no-hitter with the Mariners in 1990, had his breakthrough season in 1993 (when he was 19-8) and claimed his first Cy Young Award in 1995. No one who watched this fierce competitor dominate during his decade in Seattle —  including his wins in Game 3 and, on one day rest, Game 5 of the 1995 Division Series vs. New York – had any doubt of him taking his rightful place in the Hall today.

During his 10 seasons in Seattle, Randy was a key member of the group of players that cemented the Mariners place in the region.

We are equally proud of the work Randy did off the field in Seattle, and note that even after his retirement, he continues to give his time in support of important causes, including his many visits to troops overseas.

Just as we watched with pride as Randy collected a Cy Young (1995), an ERA title (1995), made five All-Star Game appearances (1990, 1993-1995, 1997) and earned four strikeout crowns (1992-1995) in a Mariners uniform, we will watch with pride as Randy is inducted in Cooperstown this summer.

Baseball immortality. Congrats, Randy! #HOF2015

A video posted by Seattle Mariners (@mariners) on

 

Johnson was acquired by Seattle (from Montreal) on May 25, 1989. He was 130-74 with 2 saves and 2,162 strikeouts in 274 games (266 starts) with the Mariners. He totaled 51 complete games as a Mariner, including 19 shutouts, and tossed 1838.1 innings with Seattle prior to being traded to Houston on July 31, 1998. He is one of eight members of the Mariners Hall of Fame (inducted in 2012 with Dan Wilson).

Here is a full bio of Johnson’s Hall of Fame career:

Hall of Fame Election Today

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Be sure to tune into the MLB Network today starting at 9 am PT/11 am ET for exclusive coverage of the 2015 National Baseball Hall of Fame election results. The official announcement for the Hall of Fame Class of 2015 will be announced close to 11 am PT/2 pm ET. Mariners legends Randy Johnson (first time on ballot) and Edgar Martinez (6th time on ballot) are up for election to the Hall of Fame.

Mariners Mondays – The Openers

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The New Year is upon us and Pitchers and Catchers report to Peoria, Arizona in a little over the month to kick off the 2015 season. To get you ready for baseball season, ROOT Sports begins its weekly Mariners Mondays show tonight from 7-10 pm (check your local listings).

The first installment of Mariners Mondays will focus on the 2014 season openers, both on the road in a 10-3 win over the Angels on March 31 and at home in a 5-3 win over the Angels on April 8 at Safeco Field.

In the 2014 opener, the Mariners fell behind early on a 2-run home run by Mike Trout in the first inning, but staged a comeback taking a 4-3 lead in the top of the 7th inning. Seattle added 6 runs in the 9th inning to reach double-digits in a season opener for the third time in club history. Felix Hernandez made his 7th career Opening Day start, earning the win to improve to 5-0 with a 1.52 ERA all-time on Opening Day.

Felix Hernandez struck out 11 batters in his Opening Day start vs. the Angels.

Felix Hernandez struck out 11 batters in his Opening Day start vs. the Angels.

In the home opener on April 8, the Mariners improved to 5-2 in the young season with a 5-3 win over the Angels. Rookie southpaw James Paxton earned the win allowing 4 hits and 3 runs in 5.0 innings and designated hitter Corey Hart hit a pair of home runs going 2-for-4 with 4 RBI.

Corey Hart belted a pair of home runs in the 2014 home opener.

Corey Hart belted a pair of home runs in the 2014 home opener.

The next edition of Mariners Mondays will air next Monday (Jan. 12) from 7-10 pm. The episode will chronicle the Mariners historic three-game sweep of the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park in late August.

Scouting Legend and Original Mariner Bill Kearns Passes Away

Scout of the Year Bill Kearns is surrounded by members of the Mariners Baseball Operations Staff.

Bill Kearns surrounded by members of the Mariners Baseball Operations Staff at the 2013 Winter Meetings.

The Seattle Mariners organization was saddened today to learn that Bill Kearns passed away in his sleep Wednesday night at the age of 94. Bill served as a scout for the Mariners since the inception of the franchise in 1976-77, covering the New England region.

Bill was a gentleman, in the finest sense, and represented his family and the Mariners in a first-class manner. And he was an excellent scout, a true ambassador of the Mariners and the game of baseball. Bill was one of the most positive people I have ever met.  He will be missed.

MLB.com columnist Tracy Ringolsby had a terrific tribute to Bill and his legacy as a scout.

At the 2013 Winter Meetings in Orlando, Bill was honored as one of the Scouts of the Year. We published this blog post at that time with a fun look at his first contract when joining the Mariners.

Mariners Acquire OF Seth Smith from San Diego

Seth Smith was acquired today in a trade with the San Diego Padres.

Seth Smith was acquired today in a trade with the San Diego Padres.

Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jack Zduriencik announced today the club has acquired outfielder/designated hitter Seth Smith from the San Diego Padres in exchange for relief pitcher Brandon Maurer.

Smith, 32, hit .266 (118×443) with 55 runs, 31 doubles, 5 triples, 12 home runs, 48 RBI, a .367 on base percentage and .807 OPS in 136 games with San Diego last season. The left-handed hitter appeared in 102 games in left field (81 starts) and 43 games in right field (37 starts).

Against right-handed pitchers last season he hit .270 (106×393) with 44 extra-base hits, a .359 on-base percentage and a .455 slugging percentage (.814 OPS). Against left-handers in 2014, posted a .424 on base percentage in 66 plate appearances. In his career against right-handed pitching, he has hit .277 (572×2065) with 142 doubles, 24 triples, 77 home runs, 271 RBI, a .358 on base percentage and a .481 slugging percentage (.839 OPS).

In parts of eight Major League seasons, Smith is a career .265 (657×2479) hitter with 359 runs, 159 doubles, 26 triples, 85 home runs, 321 RBI and an .800 OPS in 865 games with Colorado (2007-2011), Oakland (2012-13) and San Diego (2014).

Smith was originally drafted by the Rockies in the second round of the 2004 June amateur draft out of the University of Mississippi. He also played football at Ole Miss, serving as the backup quarterback to Eli Manning. He was a member of the USA National Team that won a silver medal at the Pan American Games in 2003.

Maurer, 24, appeared in 38 games for the Mariners last season, including 7 starts. He posted a 1-4 record with a 4.65 ERA. In 31 relief appearances he posted a 2.17 ERA (9 ER, 37.1 IP) with 38 strikeouts in 31 relief appearances. Maurer was originally selected by Seattle in the 23rd round of the 2008 June Draft out of Orange Lutheran High School (Orange, Calif.).

Here is a look at Smith’s bio and career stats via MLB.com.

Seth Smith recorded an .807 OPS in 136 games with the Padres last season.

Seth Smith recorded an .807 OPS in 136 games with the Padres last season.

Spring Training Tickets on Sale Saturday

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Tickets for the Seattle Mariners 2015 Spring Training games at the Peoria Sports Complex go on sale Saturday at 8am PST.

Tickets will be available by phone (800-677-1227 and 888-SEA-HITS) and online (Mariners.com). The Ticket Office at the Peoria Sports Complex opens on January 10.

Pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training on February 20. The first game of the 2015 Spring campaign is the annual charity game against the San Diego Padres on Wednesday, March 4. Proceeds from the game benefit several Peoria area non-profits.

The Mariners Spring Training Schedule includes 32 total games and 16 “home” games at the Peoria Sports Complex. The Mariners will host both World Series participants in Peoria. The American League Champion Kansas City Royals visit on Thursday, March 26, followed two days later (March 28) by the World Champion San Francisco Giants.

The Mariners close out the 2015 training camp with a pair of games against the Colorado Rockies: Friday, April 3, at Peoria (7:05pm) and Saturday, April 4, at Salt River Fields in Scottsdale. (12:10pm). The Mariners then travel to Seattle to prepare for the regular season Opening Day at Safeco Field on Monday, April 6, against the Los Angeles Angels.

Nelson Cruz Plays Santa Claus in the Dominican Republic

Nelson Cruz gave gifts to students in his hometown in the Dominican Republic today.

Nelson Cruz gave gifts to students in his hometown in the Dominican Republic today.

One of the newest Mariners, Nelson Cruz, was busy playing Santa Claus this morning in his native hometown in the Dominican Republic. Nelson, along with Ervin Santana and Yordano Ventura, visited their former schools in the DR to help underscore the importance of education and to encourage the youth to stay in school.

Through their own personal financial contributions and additional funding from the Major League Baseball Players Trust, Cruz, Santana and Ventura met with students this morning and read books to the kids. They also delivered gift-wrapped holiday presents and new books to more than 1,200 students at schools in Monti Cristi, Samana and San Cristobal, Dominican Republic.  Nelson is committed to helping improve the lives of children residing in his hometown, and to help ensure that they all experience the joy of unwrapping a present this holiday season.

Here are some photos from today’s event:

 

Mariners Acquire OF Justin Ruggiano from Chicago Cubs

Justin Ruggiano was acquired today in a trade with the Chicago Cubs.

Justin Ruggiano was acquired today in a trade with the Chicago Cubs.

The Mariners have acquired outfielder Justin Ruggiano from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for minor league relief pitcher Matt Brazis.

Ruggiano, 32, played 81 games with the Chicago Cubs last season, batting .281 (63×224) with 13 doubles, one triple, 6 home runs and 28 RBI. He missed extended time due to two trips to the disabled list, including season-ending left ankle surgery.

The Austin, Texas native has appeared in 398 Major League games over six seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays (2007-08, 2011), Miami Marlins (2012-13) and Cubs (2014). The right-handed hitter has clubbed 62 doubles, 3 triples and 43 home runs in his career. He has appeared in games at all three outfield positions: CF (166 G/148 GS), LF (118 G/71 GS), RF (76 G/56 GS).

Over the last three seasons he has combined for 54 doubles, 37 home runs and 114 RBI in 300 games. He hit a career-high 18 home runs in 2013 with the Marlins. In his career he has a .836 OPS vs. left-handed pitching (.266 batting average).

Ruggiano was originally selected by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 25th round of the 2004 June Draft out of Texas A&M University (also attended Blinn College). He made his MLB debut Sept. 19, 2007 with Tampa Bay.

2015 Pocket Schedule – First Edition

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The first edition of the 2015 Seattle Mariners Pocket Schedule is available for fans to pick up at any of the five locations of the Mariners Team Store. The first pocket schedule features Mariners ace starting pitcher Felix Hernandez. Be sure to stop by and pick up a schedule while completing your holiday shopping.

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