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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 4, 2008 9:28 AM

Road Phoenix

Posted by Jose Romero

Today I head south to Phoenix for today's game against the A's. But first, the skipper (John McLaren) had his morning briefing.

By the way, former M's catcher Dan Wilson has arrived in camp. He's here for some instructional work with the catchers. Jay Buhner is still around as well.

McLaren started by talking about watching Cubs manager Lou Piniella from the Mariners' dugout during yesterday's spring training game. He admitted peeking at the signs a little bit and laughed about it, signs he probably knows well from all his years with Piniella.

After the game, McLaren went out for dinner with Lee Elia, Wilson, Buhner and others, and they told "10 years worth" of stories from the days with Piniella.

McLaren was then asked about Richie Sexson and the fans' reaction to his struggles last season. Does he think fans are more apt to boo bad performances in the age of Internet and high salaries and expectations?

"Good question," McLaren said. "All I can say is, I know there are certain cities, New York comes to mind right off, where they don't care who you are. If you're not doing what they think you should be doing, they let you know about it. Of course there's Boston and Philadelphia and I think they're from the same school of thought.

"You hear boos every now and then in the home park, and you wonder what's going on. Especially somebody that's a established player and whatever. It's part of the game. It's not a good feeling but it's part of the game."

On to some news of the day:
-DH Jose Vidro will not be rushed back, and isn't likely to play before Friday. Jeff Clement will get a few at-bats as DH in games, McLaren said. Clement is in the starting lineup at DH against Oakland today. Vidro felt something during extra batting practice one day, kept swinging and aggravated the pain in his right elbow.

-P Anderson Garcia is to have an MRI on his arm injury today. Injured IF/C Brant Ust also had an MRI for his back spasms.

-Kenji Johjima will start at catcher today so he can work on catching the knuckleball from R.A. Dickey, who is scheduled to pitch today in relief. Johjima will also catch starting pitcher Erik Bedard tomorrow.

-T.J. Nakagawa, an intern trainer with the club, was the featured performer in the daily "Mariners Idol," when a young player or employee has to sing or do something in front of everyone in the clubhouse. Nakagawa, who went to Arkansas for college, drew rave reviews for leading the group in the Razorbacks' traditional chant of "Whoo Pig, Sooey!!!"

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Posted by shortbus

10:02 AM, Mar 04, 2008

"Vidro felt something during extra batting practice one day, kept swinging and aggravated the pain in his right elbow."

Please...take your time resting that 'bow, Vidro. Take all year if you have to.

Posted by PRchef

10:08 AM, Mar 04, 2008


Got a chance to watch the game yesterday, interesting finish.

Ahh, the Piniella days...

Is there any more information on Vidro? Are they planning to do more tests?

Too bad people have to bash him for doing a fine job as a number 2 hitter last year. Hopefully he will silence those critics with his play this year.

Can't go wrong with Clement at DH right now though. He is hot! Hope that lasts a long time.

Posted by AKMarinersFan

10:36 AM, Mar 04, 2008

Tests came back on Vidro - Apparently he is frickin old!

Posted by shortbus

10:38 AM, Mar 04, 2008

I criticize not Vidro, but the organization for using Vidro as a DH when he was the worst full-time DH in the league last year, base on OPS. DH needs to hit for power. Vidro's numbers last year were based on an insane number if infield hits. There's little to no chance he repeats the same batting average and no chance at all he increases his power numbers significantly. He's a fine guy and hits well for average...but he's no DH. The answer at DH this year is Ibanez, playing Reed or Balantien in LF. That's just a better team, all around.

Posted by zsgamer

1:01 PM, Mar 04, 2008

I go to the University of Arkansas, so it's good to see some Razorback support out there.

Posted by PRchef

2:20 PM, Mar 04, 2008

You are right shortbus, the DH position should have power numbers included. The organization definitely does things in a backwards manner. I just think Vidro gets a bad rap for something he can't control and someone should stick up for the guy.

I disagree about the chances of the average being as good. I think he will hit better this year after getting a little more used to American league pitching. He works really hard and takes good care of himself during the season. I think he will surprise a lot of people this year.

AKMarinersFan, I'm having a hard time finding anyone funnier than you on this blog, or as sarcastic for that matter. And there's a lot of competition in those fields... Keep up the awesome one liners!!!

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