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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 23, 2008 1:14 PM

Sights and Sounds: Fan Fest

Posted by Geoff Baker

Remember that autograph crush around Ichiro I mentioned in the last post (and which some of you have commented on)? Today's opening video segment shows it to you. Wouldn't want to be that woman losing the feeling in her legs. J.J. Putz has a little fun with the camera guy (me) on his way to joining Raul Ibanez and Erik Bedard in signing for the crowd positioned down the left field line. M's manager John McLaren proves more adept at catching baseballs with one hand than he does pens.

After the autographs, the players warm up and then participate in the pop-fly drill. You can hear them screaming for the ball. This isn't a game. It's how they do it for real once the action starts. You just can't hear them doing it when there are 40,000 people in the stands. Even Ichiro shouts a clearly-audible "I've got it!'' from center field.

After that, the players partake in batting practice. There's a shot of a ball going over the right field fence, but keep an eye on the center fielder, who climbs the wall to go after another ball hit seconds after that. It's tough to see. The final shot shows the right fielder (I think it was Brad Wilkerson, but I'm not sure) hauling in a ball at the warning track and getting some applause. Hope you get a feel for what the day was like, from a player perspective, down on the field.

McLaren still hasn't announced the rest of the rotation.

fanfest 016.jpg

He knows what it is, but has yet to tell the pitchers, who all left the park well before he returned from the field. We already know that Erik Bedard (pictured above) and Felix Hernandez are 1-2. Miguel Batista headed off to Taco Bell after today's workout, which probably isn't the best place to tell him he's the fifth starter. We think.

No real news. Anderson Garcia played catch for the first time since coming up with a sore biceps tendon earlier in the week.

The pitchers for this coming Wednesday's intrasquad game are as follows:

RHP Joe Woerman
LHP Robert Rohrbaugh
RHP Brodie Downs
RHP Stephen Kahn
LHP Cesar Jimenez
LHP Philip Barzilla
RHP Roy Corcoran

We'll leave you with a shot of the pop-fly machine being used at this morning's open workout. Looks like an anti-aircraft gun if you ask me.

fanfest 018.jpg

Down below, a photo of Miguel Cairo snagging one of the pop-ups.

fanfest 021.jpg

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