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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 27, 2008 6:02 PM

Batista gets heard

Posted by Geoff Baker

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A beautiful evening here in San Diego as we await the start of tonight's game. Mariners manager Jim Riggleman was pretty frank pre-game when asked about Miguel Batista and some of his comments from the other night. Batista, you may recall, said something about how he's the only guy out there trying to pitch through nagging hurts every night when others are on the DL or in the training room.

Riggleman said he wasn't aware of the extent of Batista's back stiffness problems. Neither, it appears, was the training staff.

"It kind of slipped through the cracks a little bit,'' he said.

Riggleman and Batista go way back, to the time when the pitcher was part of the Cubs organization that Riggleman managed in. The manager planned to speak to Batista after batting practice today. He was also going to have pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre talk to him. I saw the two of them (Stottlemyre and Batista) chatting later on in the outfield as Batista was shagging fly balls. You get the sesne the manager and the team aren't thrilled about Batista's public comments. Especially when they imply that a $25-million pitching investment has been taking the mound hurt since spring training.

For now, the M's plan to let him pitch. But it may not be in the rotation until he gets things sorted out.

"I don't know if we'd start him or not,'' Riggleman said.

Speaking of pitchers, the guy below doesn't have any issues with back stiffness. Too bad you can't rewind to two months ago, huh? By the way, Cha-Seung Baek (the uniformed guy in the picture below) told me the team's explanation to him the night he was designated for assignment was that he'd gone back-to-back nights and a fresh arm was needed. Kind of what we'd figured all along, but that's a tough pill to swallow. You groom a guy, see him have some success in the majors, then lose him because you need a long reliever every second night. Oh well. Baek starts tomorrow against his former team.

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By the way, it's Retro Night here, which means both teams will be wearing their 1978 style uniforms. You can see the San Diego batting helmets, pictured above. The M's will have their powder blue uniforms on. I've seen them and they're a hoot. Those of you ages 35 and up have probably seen them, too.

The lineups:

MARINERS (28-50)

51 Ichiro RF
4 Jose Lopez 2B
28 Raul Ibanez LF
29 Adrian Beltre 3B
44 Richie Sexson 1B
2 Kenji Johjima C
5 Yuniesky Betancourt SS
16 Willie Bloomquist CF

56 Jarrod Washburn LHP

PADRES (32-48)

33 Jody Gerut CF
2 Edgar Gonzalez 2B
24 Brian Giles RF
23 Adrian Gonzalez 1B
5 Kevin Kouzmanoff 3B
16 Chase Headley LF
3 Khalil Greene SS
8 Michael Barrett C

25 Randy Wolf LHP

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