It’s physical exam day for the pitchers and catches, so while the temperature outside heads toward a forecast high of 83, it figures to be a bit more frigid inside where the poking, prodding and coughing will be going on.
We’ll post frequent updates on this blog regularly every day of camp – with the exception of a couple of weekend days off in order to hold down expenses (hey, it’s either that or have a bake sale, and I don’t do chocolate chip cookies all that well) – and, hopefully, provide news, nuggets and observations of interest concerning the Mariners and baseball.
So buckle up for a seven-week ride with the Mariners. Here’s what we’ve seen and heard after an hour in a fairly quiet spring training clubhouse:
• One of the few cars in the parking lot when I pulled in was a nice Jag convertible in the manager’s space. Yep, Eric Wedge arrives early. And that means The Old Bats, the loyal group of women from the Northwest who pride themselves of being the first at the ballpark every morning (even before the manager), had better be on their game this spring.
• Pitcher Josh Lueke was the first player I saw walk in, and I immediately asked him for a fishing report. Lueke is an avid hunter and fisherman who’s living down here with infielder Matt Mangini in a nearby neighborhood with some small lakes. He pulled his phone from his pocket and proudly showed off his latest catch, a nice largemouth bass.
• The first workout Monday morning will feature bullpen sessions by Erik Bedard, Doug Fister, Garrett Olson, Michael Pineda and Nate Robertson. Tuesday’s bullpen group will have Felix Hernandez, Luke French, Brandon League, Jason Vargas and Jamey Wright.
• Every year, the first question I ask of Ron Spellecy, the team’s travel director, is this: How many miles will the Mariners travel? His answer: 55,000.
“It’s the most in my 14 years,” Spellecy said.
The Mariners are taking 13 road trips in 2011 instead of the usual 11, and there’s only one three-city swing on the road. The Mariners would prefer more three-city trips to avoid so much cross-country travel, but the only one they have this year is Toronto-Boston-New York in late July.
The schedule also includes a one-city East Coast trip – to Washington June 21-23 – now that the three games on the second leg of that trip to Florida have been moved to Safeco Field. There’s a U-2 concert in Florida that made the Marlins’ stadium unavailable.
• Position players won’t officially report until Friday, although several already are here. Among those we’ve seen so far are Justin Smoak, Jack Wilson and Dustin Ackley.
• First-base coach Mike Brumley is happy to report that his son, Logan, will play again this summer with the Everett Merchants semi-pro team. Logan Brumley is playing college ball at Dallas Baptist and will report to the Merchants when the college season is over.
That’s it for now. More to come after we make another pass through the clubhouse.
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