The Seattle Mariners RBI Club has conferred its top community service award on Mariners outfielder Michael Saunders. The 2014 Al “Moose” Clausen Community Service Award will be presented to Saunders on November 15, at the RBI Club’s annual Toys for Kids fundraiser at the Bellevue Hyatt Regency Grand Ballroom. The RBI Club is an organization of Mariners season ticketholders who are active in the community.
The Moose Clausen Award is given to a member of the Mariners organization (active or retired) for significant contributions to the community. This year’s award is being presented to Saunders in recognition of his community service to the Seattle area.
Saunders’ life has been touched by cancer and his community involvement reflects that personal connection. Saunders’ mother died in 2011 at the age of 50 after a 13-year fight with cancer. Each season, Saunders is involved with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Major League Baseball’s “Going To Bat Against Breast Cancer” initiative. Saunders also spends time during the offseason on the Mariners Caravan talking with elementary school students about education and staying drug-free and visiting children at Boys & Girls Clubs.
This year, Saunders joined Felix Hernandez and manager Lloyd McClendon as spokesmen for the Refuse To Abuse® anti-domestic violence public service campaign. The campaign is part of the 17-year partnership between the Mariners and the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence.
The RBI Community Service Award is named for Al “Moose” Clausen who is a Seattle born and raised baseball fanatic. During his years at Ballard High School, Clausen’s baseball coaches nicknamed him “Moose.” The name stuck, and he has been fondly called Moose ever since.
In 1982, Clausen joined the Mariners Front Office as Director of Sales and was part of the Mariners family until he retired in 2012. Due to his decades of service with Northwest baseball and the community, the RBI Club and Seattle Mariners named their Community Service Award for Moose in 2001.
Previous Moose Clausen Award Winners are:
2001 Jamie Moyer
2002 Dan Wilson
2003 Edgar Martinez
2004 Jay Buhner
2005 Rick Rizzs/David Henderson
2006 Raul Ibanez
2007 Dave Valle
2008 John Olerud
2009 Howard Lincoln
2010 Bill Krueger
2011 Julio Cruz
2012 Jack Zduriencik
2013 Eric & Kate Wedge
The Sporting News announced its annual Comeback Player of the Year award today and Mariners right-handed pitcher Chris Young was named the American League winner.
Young, 35, returned to the Majors for the first time since 2012 to go 12-9 with a 3.65 ERA (67 ER, 165.0 IP) in 30 games/29 starts with the Mariners. The 6-10 right-hander did not pitch in the Majors in 2013 after undergoing surgery on his right shoulder. From 2009-2012, Young made just 42 Major League starts battling various shoulder injuries.
“I am extremely honored to be named Comeback Player of the Year by the Sporting News,” said Young. “There are many deserving players who have demonstrated the commitment, dedication and perseverance to overcome similar obstacles and I am humbled to be recognized amongst them. The life lessons I have learned throughout this experience are invaluable and will stay with me the rest of my career. Furthermore, I hope that I can serve as inspiration to other players in the same manner in which I was inspired to pursue my comeback. I am extremely grateful to my teammates, coaches, the Seattle Mariners organization and my family, as each and every member contributed to my success.”
Young’s 12 wins tied his career-high set in 2005 with the Texas Rangers, and recorded the 3rd-most innings (165.0) of his 10-season Major League career. The span of 8 years between 12+ win seasons is tied for the 3rd-longest in MLB history behind Danny Darwin (12 years, 1980-93), Lindy McDaniel (9 years, 1963-73) and Ron Kline (9 years, 1958-68).
“Chris was a big part of our success in 2014, really solidifying our rotation,” said manager Lloyd McClendon. “To think he won as many games as he did, and made 29 starts, coming off the type of surgery and the injuries that he had, I think it’s just tremendous. He is a tireless worker and showed his determination with his performance. This is a very deserving award for him in every way possible.”
“This is a tremendous and well-deserving honor for Chris,” added pitching coach Rick Waits. “He worked tirelessly and stuck to his routine to keep himself healthy and on the mound throughout the season. He had a breakthrough year making a comeback, but it wasn’t really that surprising to me. This is a testament to his resolve, patience, determination, hard work, his routine and his tireless study of opposing hitters.”
Young is the fifth player in Mariners history to win the Sporting News Comeback Player of the Year Award, joining Willie Horton (1979), Richie Zisk (1981), Gorman Thomas (1985) and Gil Meche (2003).
Miami’s Casey McGehee was the NL Comeback Player of the Year. Here are the voting results:
American League (voting by only AL players)
1. Chris Young, Mariners-49
2. J.D. Martinez, Tigers-22
3. Scott Kazmir, Athletics-14
4. Derek Jeter, Yankees-11
5. Melky Cabrera, Blue Jays-6
National League (voting by only NL players)
1. Casey McGehee, Marlins-26
2. Tim Hudson, Giant-17
3. Matt Kemp, Dodgers-15
4. Starlin Castro, Cubs-2
The Seattle Mariners have gone solar. Solar panels have been installed at the Mariners Spring Training complex in Peoria, Arizona that will generate clean energy and reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions.
The installation consists of 1,380 panels that will generate 529 megawatts of energy every year. That’s enough to power 33 homes for a year. The output is equal to burning almost 200 tons of coal which means the panels will take about 365 metric tons of greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere.
The panels, which are manufactured by Kyocera, are on the roof of the Mariners Peoria headquarters and cover 96 parking spaces on the adjacent parking lot.
The project is a collaboration between the Mariners, Healthy Planet Partners, LLC (HPP) and Kyocera Solar Inc. HPP is a Clean Energy Solutions Fund that finances, implements and maintains distributed energy and energy efficiency projects in commercial buildings. Kyocera provided the engineering and project management support, as well as financing. Sky Engineering and Construction Inc. built the system using Kyocera’s industry-leading high-efficiency solar modules.
Healthy Planet Partners financed, owns and operates the panels, which are being hosted at the Mariners facility on a long-term Solar Services Agreement. Under the agreement the Mariners purchase power that is generated by the panels. The project benefits from a Production Based Incentive under the Arizona Public Service Schools & Governments Program.
Raise your hand if you’ve enjoyed the playoffs so far this season? And last night’s walk-off home run by Washington native Travis Ishikawa (Federal Way) has set up a pretty “wild” setting for the upcoming World Series.
For just the second time during the 20 years of the Wild Card era, two teams that entered the playoffs as wild card teams have advanced to the World Series. The Royals and Giants will open the 2014 World Series next Tuesday (4:30 pm PT/FOX) after clinching their respective pennants over the last two days.
The Royals and Giants join the Angels and Giants in 2002 as the only season since 1995 (the year the Wild Card was introduced) where both Wild Card teams advanced to the World Series. In total, 12 of 46 Wild Card teams have advanced to the World Series (26.1%), while 28 of 120 division champions have advanced to the Fall Classic (23.3%).
Another fun fact is that the Giants are the first “lowest seed” Wild Card team to advance to the playoffs since the expansion to two Wild Card teams in 2012. The following teams have won the World Series as a Wild Card team: Marlins (1997 & 2003), Angels (2002), Red Sox (2004), and Cardinals (2011), meaning that three consecutive titles were won by a wild card (2002–2004). A Wild Card team appeared in the World Series each year from 2002–2007.
Here is the official World Series schedule from @MLB_PR:
MILB.com published an article this morning naming the Mariners organizational minor league All-Stars and has comments from Director of Player Development Chris Gwynn. This is a good read on our minor league players and the fine seasons they put together. You can click on the photo below to access the article via MiLB.com.
Mariners Hall of Famer Randy Johnson had an amazing baseball career with over 4,000 strikeouts, 303 wins, 5 Cy Young Awards and one World Championship. Tonight “The Big Unit” will be featured on ESPN’s E:60, but not about his baseball career, but rather his hobby of photography. Tune in tonight to find out about the other side of Randy.
Mariners starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma put together another solid season in 2014, recording a career-high 15 wins (15-9) with a 3.52 ERA in 28 starts. After starting the season on the disabled list, Iwakuma set single-season club records for highest strikeout-to-walk ratio at 7.33 and lowest walk rate (1.06 BB/9.0 IP). In 179.0 innings, Iwakuma walked only 21 batters (including 2 IBB) and recorded 154 strikeouts.
Since joining the Mariners in 2012 after an All-Star career in Japan, Iwakuma has made 77 starts (91 overall appearances). His 2.99 ERA in his starts (since July 2, 2012) is the 9th-best in the Majors joining an elite list of pitchers:
Robinson Cano had a banner first season with the Mariners, batting .314 with 37 doubles, 2 triples, 14 home runs and 82 RBI in 157 games. The 6-time All-Star ranked 6th in the American League in batting average and hits (187), tied for 7th in doubles and 11th with a .836 OPS.
The .300 season was the 6th consecutive for Cano, tying Miguel Cabrera for the longest active streak in the Majors. Cano has hit over .300 in 8 of his 10 seasons since debuting with the Yankees in 2005, combining to bat .310 with 412 doubles, 30 triples, 218 home runs and 904 RBI in his career.
Cano’s .314 batting average over the last six seasons is 4th-highest in the Majors behind Miguel Cabrera (.331), Joe Mauer (.320) and Victor Martinez (.314).
What has been most amazing about Cano’s streak is the fact that .300 hitters are going by the wayside. Consider this, from 2003-2008, the combined MLB batting average was .266 with 221 players who hit .300 or better in a season (when qualifying for the batting title). Over the last six seasons (2009-2014), the MLB batting average has dipped to .256 with 158 players hitting .300 or better in a season.
Among American League players during the designated hitter era (since 1973), Cano’s 8 seasons batting .300 or higher are tied for 11th-most. Edgar Martinez and Ichiro Suzuki both had 10 seasons batting .300 or higher during their Mariners career.
In preparing the 2014 Season in Review, we are digging up a lot of information through research that we’ll pass along on the blog. Today we found this little nugget…
The Mariners had four players selected as All-Stars in 2014 – Felix Hernandez, Robinson Cano, Kyle Seager, Fernando Rodney – two of which joined the team through free agency (Cano and Rodney). With the help of STATS Inc, we were able to unearth the fact that this was only the 5th time over the last 10 seasons (since 2005) that a pair of new teammates (through free agency or trade) became All-Stars. Here is a look at the last 5 instances:
Furthermore, if you count strictly free agents joining a new team, this was just the second time since 2006, 5th time since 1999 and 8th time since 1993 (all according to stats guru Jeff Chernow at STATS Inc).
We’ll be passing along more information in the coming days, such as a fun tidbit on Cano’s six consecutive seasons hitting .300 or better and Felix having the lowest ERA by an American League pitcher in a LONG time.
Enjoy the weekend!
Throughout the offseason we will be giving you a behind-the-scenes look at Safeco Field. To start with, we wanted to share with you the rebranding of the conference rooms at Safeco Field. The main goal is to celebrate our history and current team in a more dynamic way throughout our offices.
The rebranding of the conference rooms at Safeco Field is an effort to give these rooms that are utilized by front office staff, corporate partners and fans a fresh look. The rooms will celebrate the organization’s history as well as the current team.
The first room that received a new-look was the large conference room on the suite level of Safeco Field. This room is not only used by Mariners staff but it can be booked on a game day by fans looking for a bigger space to have a meeting or a pre-game gathering (more on booking an event). The room was rebranded the “Legends Room.” It features all of the Mariners Hall of Famers as well as various photographs of Safeco Field.
Four other conference rooms will be rebranded this off-season. One will honor Ken Griffey Jr. Another will pay tribute to “Mr. Mariner” Alvin Davis. A third will salute the Mariners all-time hits leader Ichiro Suzuki. The fourth will celebrate the current team with images of Felix Hernandez, Robinson Cano, Kyle Seager, Hisashi Iwakuma and others.
All the work will be completed by the end of January 2015.
Here are some pictures of the Legends Room: