Mariners Update

  • Friday, September 29, 2000 9:00pm
  • Sports

Herald Staff

  • Opponent: Anaheim Angels

  • When: 1:05 p.m.

  • Where: Edison International Field, Anaheim, Calif.

  • TV: FOX (Channel 13)

  • Radio: KIRO (710 AM)

  • Probable pitchers: Seattle left-hander John Halama (13-9, 5.14 ERA) vs. right-hander Tim Belcher (4-4, 6.39).

  • Golden memories: Outfielder Anthony Sanders got called up by the Mariners – called way up.

    From the Southern Hemisphere.

    After surviving a 14-hour plane trip from Sydney, Australia, Sanders on Friday was called upon to pass around the gold medal he just earned as a member of the U.S. Olympic baseball team.

    And even those multi-millionaire major-leaguers in the M’s clubhouse – some of whom routinely wear jewelry as large as Sanders’ new bauble – were significantly impressed.”

    “Everybody’s been pretty excited about it,” said Sanders, a member of the Class AAA Tacoma Rainiers this season. “Everybody wants to touch it and feel it.”

    Sanders, 26, was one of four members of the Mariners’ farm system (Mike Neill, Ryan Franklin and Todd Williams were the others) to play under USA manager Tommy Lasorda.

    “That was the highlight of my life,” said Sanders, who was picked up on waivers from Toronto before the start of this season. “I don’t think it gets better than that. I’ve never been to a World Series or anything like that. I don’t even know if that would compare to this. Once you get there and get the feeling that you’re representing your country, it’s hard to describe that feeling, it’s so strong.”

    Mariners manager Lou Piniella, a veteran of several World Series, recognized the significance of Sanders’ achievement.

    “That’s something to be really proud of, representing your country and getting the highest award,” Piniella said. “It’s an experience these young men will never forget.”

    And the medal?

    “It’s a beautiful thing, it really is,” Piniella offered.

    Piniella wanted Sanders with the Mariners for the final three games against Anaheim mostly for his legs.

    “He gives us an extra runner; we don’t have to use Al Martin (as a pinch-runner),” he said. “That allows us to leave a left-handed bat on the bench (for late innings).”

    Sanders, who was called up by Toronto for three games last season, was a good candidate for a September call-up to the Mariners, but the experience in Sydney was too meaningful to turn down.

    “I think the experience he’s been through would override anything he could have derived from being here,” Piniella said.

    Piniella touted Sanders’ athleticism, and said he’ll have a shot at making the big club next spring … “if he can hit.”

    He was surely the hit of the clubhouse on Friday. As he was pulling on his knee-high socks before the game, he was asked one more time to show off his medal.

    “Uh, don’t have it right now … somebody around here’s got it.”

  • Moyer update: Veteran starting pitcher Jamie Moyer, who got rocked by Texas on Thursday, was examined after the game in an effort to detect the reason for soreness behind his left shoulder.

    Moyer couldn’t get out of the second inning Thursday, coming up with the shortest start of any Mariner pitcher this season.

    “We’ll know more Monday,” Piniella said of Moyer’s condition, indicating that further evaluation is warranted.

    “He warmed up fine, according to Bryan (Price, pitching coach). He warmed up well. But he said he felt it grab him a couple times. He said he had trouble getting on top of the ball.”

    Moyer was 2-7 in his last 12 starts with a 6.48 ERA.

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