Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.
June 20, 2008 10:28 PM
Posted by Larry Stone
See, this is how they drew it up in spring training -- except for the part about Erik Bedard getting hurt. Bedard was actually quite pleasant after the game, saying that he hurt himself (back spasms) throwing to the first batter in the third inning. He finished the inning but could barely make it back to the clubhouse afterward. He needed help walking. By the time we saw him, he felt better, but wasn't sure if he would be able to make his next start.
Jim Riggleman wasn't too giddy after the game, which is both appropriate and in character. He's a very serious, no-nonsense kind of guy. He made a good point, saying, "We've lost a lot of games. I'm not going to get excited over one win. We need to string some of these together.''
To those wondering why Willie Bloomquist started instead of Jeremy Reed against a right-handed pitcher, it was because Jorge Campillo is much tougher on lefties (.174 batting average against) than righties (.274). Then Reed came through with a big hit against Campillo, a pinch-double on a hit-and-run to score Bloomquist with the go-ahead run.
As for clubhouse issues: it's hard to unravel how much of this is general disgruntlement from a miserable season, and how much is deep-seated problems tearing apart this team. I had a couple of people tell me that some of the friction involved players' resentment toward Ichiro and Johjima (as Ken Rosenthal wrote on Fox), but it obviously goes deeper than that. Most of the players I talked to, even off the record, said they honestly didn't think it was a big problem, that if the team was winning, no one would say anything. But they're losing, and I've rarely been around a losing team that didn't have some friction and jealousy. This obviously warrants more digging.
Sorry, it's late (1:45 a.m.), I've been working non-stop until noon, and I'm burned out. I don't have the stamina of a Geoff Baker.