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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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June 20, 2008 4:28 PM

Game thread, Mariners vs. Braves, June 20

Posted by Larry Stone

UPDATE 5:39 P.M.: Erik Bedard left the game after three innings because of back spasms. Yikes.

Lots going on today -- so much that I've got to get caught up with writing it for the newspaper. Lots of reaction to McLaren's firing in the clubhouse, a lot of puzzlement over John McLaren's comments about jealousy and friction. The players I talked to said, at least on the record, that they didn't think there was a major clubhouse problem. More on that later.

Jim Riggleman held his first media briefing. He said he doesn't plan any major changes in the lineup. He said he wants to change the mentality on the club and make it more positive.

"I think we've got to get ourselves feeling like we can win ballgames,'' he said. "We prepare hard and work hard, and have meetings and everything you can do before the game starts, and then the game starts. It seems like sometimes we resign ourselves, well, it's not going our way. We have to be bigger than that. We have to be better than that. That's a tough challenge.''

Richie Sexson held court today for the first time in a long time. I asked him if a change of scenery might do him good, as McLaren said in his conference call.

His answer: "It's no secret that it's kind of a tough environment for me around there. I think you got 30 to 40,000 people that just as soon see me in the electric chair than play first base. It's no secret."

Brandon Morrow didn't make the trip to Atlanta because of back spasms. The medical staff decided that a cross-country flight would be detrimental, so he won't fly out until they subside, and no one knows when that will be. So the Mariners are a man down today. Riggleman said Miguel Batista is his closer tonight.


LINEUPS

Mariners

Ichiro RF

Jose Lopez 2B

Raul Ibanez LF

Adrian Beltre 3B

Richie Sexson 1B

Jeff Clement C

Yuniesky Betancourt SS

Willie Bloomquist CF

Erik Bedard P

ATLANTA

Gregor Blanco CF

Yunel Escobar SS

Chipper Jones 3B

Mark Teixeira 1b

Omar Infante LF

Brian McCann C

Jeff Francoeur RF

Ruben Gotay 2B

Jorge Campillo P

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