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Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.

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February 22, 2008 5:22 PM

Wilkerson on playing with Ichiro

Posted by Geoff Baker

Bedard 179.jpg

Wow, that Adrian Beltre just doesn't let anything get by him, does he? Look down below, he's at it again.

Bedard 183.jpg

Anyhow, on to the post...

We all got a chuckle out of ichiro's comments on new right fielder Brad Wilkerson this week. Ichiro said, and I quote: "For me, when I play the outfield, if the corner outfielders have too much speed or too much ability and try to do too much, it is harder for me to play center field. In watching him (Wilkerson) play, I think that he is not that kind of outfielder so personally, I am happy about that.''

Hmmm.

Any way, I chatted with Wilkerson after today's workouts to see what he feels about how he and Ichiro will mesh in the outfield.

"I talked with him today in the outfield,'' Wilkerson said in an interview you can listen to right here. "I try to talk to him a little bit at a time, to see some things that are going on as far as how he calls the ball, if he shows me a glove. I remember basically playing against him. He plays straight-up, pretty much a lot. I like to squeeze the gap anyway so that's not going to be a problem, leaving us a big hole.

"I just try to communicate,'' he added. "Once we get in the games, we'll see how it's all going to work out. It's going to be fine. It's playing baseball. He's a great outfielder and I think I'm a pretty good one, too, so, it's going to work out.''


We'll see how that goes. It didn't always work out with the aggressive Jose Guillen last year. Ichiro may have been making a commentary on Guillen as much as Wilkerson with his comments from earlier in the week.

What else did Wilkerson say? That he is counting on 500 at-bats this season. He says this is the first time in a couple of years that he didn't spend his winter recuperating from surgery and that makes a huge difference when it comes to preparing for a season.

Hear the rest of what Wilkerson had to say right here.

The rain is coming down and it's cooled off considerably here. Time to head out. I'll leave you with this shot of lonely looking Kenjo Johjima shagging fly balls in left field during batting practice. Or trying to stay awake, maybe, since the action is sporadic at best.

Bedard 188.jpg

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