Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.
August 18, 2008 4:45 PM
Posted by Larry Stone
Seeing Mark Buehrle in the lineup reminds me of one of my favorite games I ever covered, right here at U.S. Cellular in 2005. It was Mark Buehrle against Ryan Franklin, a Saturday day game, and it was over in 1 hour and 39 minutes. The White Sox won 2-1. I believe Ichiro had all three hits off Buehrle. I think I was back in my hotel room, all written, by 5 o'clock.
Speaking of which, Ken Griffey Jr. held a press conference in the dugout before the game, and when he was asked the biggest difference in coming back to the American League, he replied, "Time of game. Every now and then, you get a 2:14 here."
You never know what persona you're going to get with Junior, but he was relaxed and personable. When he's like that, there's no one more fun to talk to. I'll be writing about the interview for tomorrow, but here's an interesting tidbit. Someone said that Jim Thome called Griffey the best hitter he's ever played against, and Randy Johnson the best pitcher he's ever faced. Griffey was asked to name the best pitcher and hitter he's played with or against.
"Probably the best pitcher was Pedro in his prime. The best hitter was probably two: Edgar being one, and Barry Bonds being the other.
"There was nothing Edgar couldn't hit. You'd try to jam him one time, and he'd shoot it to right field. You'd do it again, and he'd pull it down the line. You just didn't know what he was going to do with the bat. Plus, he had short arms. You couldn't really jam him.''.
I asked Junior if he thought that Edgar, who will be on the Hall of Fame ballot after the 2009 season, should be a Hall of Famer.
"No doubt,'' he replied.
Then I asked if he thought Edgar WOULD be a Hall of Famer.
"I hope so. In my book, he's a Hall of Famer.''
Unfortunately, Griffey isn't in the starting lineup tonight. He's been struggling since he got to Chicago -- .225 (9-for-40) with no extra-base-hits.
Miguel Cairo 1B
Raul Ibanez LF
Adrian Beltre 3B
Jose Lopez 2B
Wladimir Balentien CF
Kenji Johjima DH
Jeff Clement C
Yuniesky Betancourt SS
Jarrod Washburn P
Orlando Cabrera SS
A.J. Pierzynski C
Carlos Quentin LF
Jermaine Dye RF
Jim Thome DH
Paul Konerko 1B
Nick Swisher CF
Alexei Ramirez 2B
Juan Uribe 3B
Mark Buehrle P
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