SEATTLE — John Jaso is a thinking man who happens to play baseball for a living, and nothing proves the fact more than his decision-making on post-game pie.
When the Seattle Mariners win a game with late heroics, and one player or another is being interviewed live on television, the team has enjoyed the tradition of putting a pie in the face of the man being interviewed.
“This is a very loose ball club off the field, and that makes us more relaxed on the field,” thrid baseman Kyle Seager said. “We have a lot of fun with each other. Someone is always goofing on someone else.”
Last week, outfielder Eric Thames hit an RBI-single in the ninth inning as the M’s walked off with a victory. During a post-game TV interview, Thames took a shaving cream pie in the face so beautifully placed by Jaso that Thames said he actually swallowed shaving cream.
“Nasty stuff,” he said, “but my mouth was wide open when he got me.”
A few days later, it was Jaso, a catcher/DH, who delivered a win, and Thames who found his way on to the field with a shaving cream pie.
“I got him and he got me, so I had to start thinking ahead,” Jaso said Wednesday. “I mean, I don’t want another shaving cream pie.”
So when Thames won the game with an eighth-inning, two-run double, Jaso — the Mariners designated hitter on Wednesday — had time to do a little planning.
He got the pie ready in advance. But he made it with whipped cream.
Sure enough, Thames was in mid-TV interview when Jaso’s pie showed up on camera. Thames sputtered and wiped away his eyes and then looked pleasantly surprised as he licked his fingers.
“This stuff’s pretty good,” Thames said.
“I figure if I get another pie this season, it’s going to be a whipped-cream pie,” he said.
M’s outfielder Franklin Gutierrez had a pair of home runs for the Tacoma Rainiers on Tuesday night, and Wednesday found himself in the Mariners clubhouse, relaxing and getting looked over by team trainers.
“It’s a planned day off for him, a chance for him to work out with us and let us see him,” Wedge said. “He’ll play nine innings in Tacoma (today).”
Gutierrez, 29, has been on the disabled list since suffering a concussion June 28 when he was hit with an errant pickoff throw. Injuries have held him to 13 games with Seattle this season, after he played only 92 in 2011.
Thames has played 19 games with the Mariners, batting .286 with five doubles, a triple, three home runs and 10 RBI. … Hisashi Iwakuma had no decision in his ninth start, but he’s pitched at least five innings in each of them. … With the winning streak, the Mariners are now 33-30 at home in 2012. The last season when the team had a winning record at Safeco Field was 2009. … A year ago, Seattle finished the season with 67 wins. This season, with 37 games to play, the Mariners have 61 victories.
Larry LaRue, The News Tribune