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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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March 2, 2008 9:28 AM

My last Sunday in Peoria

Posted by Jose Romero

Strange but true. I'm covering the M's until March 11, and they'll be in Tucson by this time a week from today. So that's where I'll be. Looking forward to eating at Mi Nidito, a very good Mexican place that I sampled on my only other visit to Tucson, when I saw my Oregon Ducks clobber the Arizona Wildcats in football some years back.

Kenji Johjima will catch when R.A. Dickey next pitches, Tuesday afternoon. This from manager John McLaren today. The thinking here is that the team wants to see Johjima catch the knuckleball, Dickey's signature pitch. I imagine its also somewhat of an indication that Dickey will make the final roster, the reasoning being why get your starting catcher used to catching the knuckleball if it isn't going to be seen during the season, unless there's another flutter-ball pitcher on the team I'm not aware of? Enlighten me, blog readers, if there is.

McLaren was also asked if Johjima has been instructed not to swing at a first pitch in games.
"Give him time," the skipper joked, drawing laughter. "We know it's in the cards."

I think someone asked that I post my picture on this blog so that people know who they are going after (in a matter of speaking). I politely and respectfully decline -- what are you, crazy? Now why would I invite potshots at my mug? Kidding of course. I'm the ghost blogger. I appear on the Seahawks blog a lot because that's my main job at the Times -- covering the Seahawks. I'm faceless there, too (it's Danny O'Neil's Seahawks blog).

The big news at this point is that Carlos Silva is making his spring training debut for Seattle today. He was the other big addition to the starting rotation in the offseason, along with Erik Bedard.

And I've just been informed that Chris Reitsma, Mark Lowe, Jon Huber and Arthur Rhodes are all throwing live batting practice today at 11 a.m. AZ time. They're all rehabilitating long-term injuries.

Now fans (in my best public address announcer voice)... welcome to Game 3 of the Mariners' Cactus League season. It's the Mariners hosting the San Diego Padres from right up the street. Let's meet the lineups for both teams...

San Diego Padres (1-1):
12 Scott Hairston DH
10 Tadahito Iguchi 2B
15 Jim Edmonds CF
7 Tony Clark 1B
3 Khalil Greene SS
8 Michael Barrett C
64 Chip Ambres LF
18 Paul McAnulty RF
2 Luis Rodriguez 3B

44 Jake Peavy RHP

Other Pitchers:
38 Glendon Rusch LHP
75 Mauro Zarate RHP
21 Heath Bell RHP
51 Trevor Hoffman RHP
50 Joe Thatcher LHP
67 Paul Abraham RHP

Seattle Mariners (1-1)
13 Miguel Cairo 3B
61 Bronson Sardinha CF
28 Raul IbaƱez DH
44 Richie Sexson 1B
2 Kenji Johjima C
12 Mike Morse RF
50 Wladimir Balentien LF
23 Tug Hulett 2B
5 Yuniesky Betancourt SS

52 Carlos Silva RHP

Other Pitchers:
31 Ryan Feierabend LHP
74 Philip Barzilla LHP
20 J.J. Putz RHP
35 Brandon Morrow RHP
59 Eric O'Flaherty LHP
54 Sean Green RHP
44 Andy Baldwin RHP
68 Doug Fister RHP


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Posted by PRchef

10:04 AM, Mar 02, 2008

Hola Jose

De donde eres?

It will be interesting to see that knuckler and how Kenji is able to handle it.

Posted by Kara M

10:06 AM, Mar 02, 2008

Has anyone heard from Mr. X? I miss him.

Posted by -k

10:14 AM, Mar 02, 2008

Jose,
First off, thanks for filling in for Geoff. you're doing a great job coving the M's. In fact, you should totally take over Danny's Seahawk Blog. Nothing against him personally, but he just doesn't seem to have the chops for it, and you're doing a great job!

Second, I spend 5 years in Tucson, and caught as many M's Spring Training games as I could in both Phoenix and Tucson, so.... while in Tucson, here's a couple other restaurants to check out:
1) Firebirds grill at La Encantada. It's like the Met in Seattle but with southwestern flair. very good.
2)Daisey Mays in West Tucson. Best BBQ food i've had outside of the deep-south. Great food makes the less-than-upscale setting totally worth it.
3)Mi Nidito for Mexican food, but you already know that one.

enjoy!

Posted by Ziasudra

10:24 AM, Mar 02, 2008

Jose - If you want a real treat, try Chino Banditos near the North East part of the Phoenix loop - you get great Chinese entrees with Mexican beans and rice, too much to eat for around $7. It is THE favorite lunch lunch place for the Aerospace crowd. Not upscale looks, you can't eat the facility. You may have to ask for directions on how to get there, but don't go at noon, you can't get in.

Posted by iowaMsfan

10:26 AM, Mar 02, 2008

Jose thanks for staying on top of everything. Is there any chance that Cairo doesn't make the team if Morse, Balentein and Jimerson keep playing well? Or has he already been given a spot on the bench just because he's a vet?

Posted by Chris from Bothell

10:30 AM, Mar 02, 2008

I can't decide if today's game thread will become a Sexson nitpick-fest, a raised eyebrow for Silva, or a Tugapalooza. With a side order of what-might-have-beens if Morrow has a perfect outing.

In any event, I have 3 reasons to smile:

Raul Ibanez DH
Mike Morse RF
Wladimir Balentien LF

Flop the OF positions of those last two, put these 3 in the regular season lineup this way, and I'd be a happy guy.

Posted by k

10:36 AM, Mar 02, 2008

How about we sign Klesko to be DH? It wouldn't cost too much, he's capable of .280/25/90... I'd much rather he be the DH than Vidro. Atleast lets sign him to minor league contract, bring him to camp and see what he's got..

Posted by iowaMsfan

10:38 AM, Mar 02, 2008

Amen Chris!! I hate the idea of not playing the best players just because they are young. This team needs some young talent to give them some energy. I miss the days when spring training was used to win and lose jobs, not just tease the youngsters into thinking that they have a chance.

Posted by ak-rowdy

11:28 AM, Mar 02, 2008

Morse is playing everyday. I wonder if McLaren is hoping that he'll wear him out and then get rid of him without us saying anything.

Posted by ceepdublu

12:08 PM, Mar 02, 2008

Beautiful day to be sitting at the ballpark. Great to be in Peoria.

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