New altitude, fresh attitude

  • Tuesday, December 18, 2001 9:00pm
  • Sports

Associated Press

SEATTLE – Jeff Cirillo says he’s happy to escape the Coors Field factor.

Cirillo, who signed a four-year, $27.6 million deal with the Seattle Mariners last week, said Tuesday he won’t miss the questions about how much his hitting numbers were inflated by the thin air and vast expanses of the Colorado Rockies’ mile-high ballpark.

“I’m looking forward to the challenge of playing, I guess, a normal style of baseball, where you don’t have the press always on you with the Coors Field factor, where they say ‘you hit this at home and this on the road’ ” Cirillo said.

“You put on a Colorado Rockies uniform and you’re instantly kind of discredited,” Cirillo said at a Safeco Field news conference. “I think that as far as career moves go, you come to Colorado and you almost get forgotten.”

The third baseman batted .362 at home last season and .266 on the road; in 2000, he hit .403 at Coors and .239 on the road.

He brings a career .311 average to the Mariners after two seasons with the Rockies and six before that with the Milwaukee Brewers. He hit .321 or better three times for the Brewers.

Cirillo said he doesn’t know if the Rockies will ever be able to overcome their offense-friendly home field.

“There’s definitely some elements to that field where they’ll have trouble winning on it on a consistent basis,” he said.

Cirillo was traded on Saturday for reliever Jose Paniagua and pitching prospects Dennis Stark and Brian Fuentes.

Cirillo, 32, a two-time All Star, hit .312 with 83 RBI and a career-high 17 home runs last season. He led major league third basemen with a .982 fielding percentage.

He replaces David Bell, who became a free agent after hitting .260 with 15 home runs and 64 RBI for Seattle.

Signing with Seattle is a homecoming of sorts for Cirillo, whose wife, Nancy, is an area native. They live in suburban Redmond with their three sons, and Cirillo’s in-laws and his young sons attended the news conference.

Cirillo himself has been a casual Mariners fan.

“I went to Game 5 against the Indians,” in the American League Division Series last season, he said. “I took my son. It was a great game. We had some sausage, some dipping dogs, and sang Ichiro,” in support of Ichiro Suzuki, Seattle’s right fielder.

Mariners general manager Pat Gillick said he still hoped to re-sign free agent second baseman Bret Boone, a University of Southern California teammate of Cirillo’s. Gillick declined to say how far apart the Mariners’ offer and Boone’s demands were. The team is believed to have offered $23 million over three years, with a fourth option year based on incentives. Boone reportedly is asking for $10 million for at least four years.

Agent Adam Katz has said Boone may file for arbitration, which would return him to the Mariners for one more season at a salary to be determined by an arbitrator.

If Boone doesn’t return, Gillick said Mark McLemore will start at second.

Copyright ©2001 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Sports

Jackson players celebrate during a boys game between Jackson and Puyallup at Shorewood High School on Friday, Feb. 23, 2024, in Shoreline, WA. Jackson won, 55-48. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
State basketball: Capsules for all local boys teams at Hardwood Classics

A glance at the six area teams competing at this week’s state tournaments.

Arlington’s Samara Morrow tries to maneuver around  Snohomish’s Sienna Capelli during the 3A girls district championship game on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024 in Marysville, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
State basketball: Capsules for all local girls teams at Hardwood Classics

A glance at the six area teams competing at this week’s state tournaments.

Snohomish players celebrate a strong run against Meadowdale as they head for the bench during the 3A District One Semifinals on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2024, at Marysville Pilchuk High School in Marysville, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Snohomish’s early adjustments lead to postseason success

The Panthers ‘reinvented’ their strategies and are now one of the top-seeded teams in the 3A Hardwood Classic.

X
Examining where the Silvertips stand in the playoff picture

Everett seems destined for the No. 3 seed, but its opponent in the first round remains a mystery.

X
Vote for The Herald’s Prep Athlete of the Week for Feb. 19-25

The Athlete of the Week nominees for Feb. 19-25. Voting closes at… Continue reading

Arlington junior guard Leyton Martin drives on Marysville Getchell’s Bubba Palocol during a playoff matchup at Arlington High School on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024, in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Martin scores 43, Arlington boys outlast Getchell in OT thriller

The Eagles earn their second straight trip to the Tacoma Dome with a 76-72 win.

Everett senior Mae Washington pulls up and shoots a jumper against Seattle Prep during a playoff matchup at Shorewood High School on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024, in Shoreline, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Everett girls oust Seattle Prep for return trip to the Tacoma Dome

Alana Washington’s 33 points leads the Seagulls to a 64-60 victory.

Tulalip Heritage freshman Amare’ Hatch tries to force his way to the rim against Columbia Adventist Academy during a playoff matchup at Arlington High School on Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024, in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Tulalip Heritage boys bounced by Columbia Adventist

The Hawks’ late push falls short in a 70-63 loss during the Class 1B state regionals.

X
State basketball roundup for Saturday, Feb. 24

State basketball prep roundup for Saturday, Feb. 24: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To… Continue reading

Lake Stevens’ Tessa Anastasi heads to the basket against Skyview during a playoff matchup at Arlington High School on Friday, Feb. 23, 2024, in Arlington, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Lake Stevens girls book their spot at the Tacoma Dome

The Vikings knock off Skyview 47-33 to advance to the Class 4A round of 12.

Jackson’s Ryan Mcferran (0) shoots the ball during a boys game between Jackson and Puyallup at Shorewood High School on Friday, Feb. 23, 2024, in Shoreline, WA. Jackson won, 55-48. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Jackson boys overcome adversity again, reach round of 12

The Timberwolves survive foul trouble to defeat Puyallup 55-48 in a Class 4A loser-out game.

Davis’ Blake Garza (2) dunks the ball during a boys game between Glacier Peak and Davis at Shorewood High School on Friday, Feb. 23, 2024, in Shoreline, WA. Glacier Peak fell, 65-54.. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Glacier Peak boys outmuscled by Davis in 65-54 loss

The Grizzlies lose the battle of the boards as they’re knocked into the Class 4A round of 12.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.