Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.
February 18, 2009 9:40 AM
Posted by Geoff Baker
By the way, today's Geoff Baker Live! show will begin at 1 p.m. Pacific time. I've heard all your complaints about the live question format but there's only so much we can do. If people want to act like imbeciles, I can't walk into their living rooms and tell them to grow up. Just keep in mind, please, we have people tuning in from all over the world. This is a project never tried before in newspaper sports coverage and many are monitoring to see how it goes. What they see on the question screen will reflect in many ways on the baseball fans of Seattle and their relative intelligence. This city has a great reputation for asking smart questions. Why anyone would want to disrupt folks trying to do so is beyond me. Some people just need to get a life, as many of you have already figured out for yourselves. We'll try to moderate it as quickly as we can, but we're going to keep on doing the live shows. And when you're live, you have to take the bad with the good. So far, the response has been great and could lead to many other such projects around the country. Let's all be patient. And thank you for helping make the show a success so far.
As you can see from the above video, the entire squad is out there warming up as we speak, with the exception, of course, of the Japanese players and a couple of injured Mariners (and yes, Wladimir Balentien is having visa issues). Yuniesky Betancourt, who took ground balls on Tuesday, has a sore hamstring and will be held out of today's drills. And third baseman Adrian Beltre will be monitored closely, as he has a stiff shoulder. Remember, his problems last year involved both his thumb -- since surgically repaired -- and the shoulder. So, with spring training just kicking off, no one is rushing him.
This could, however, impact whether or not Beltre heads off to the World Baseball Classic. Here's what manager Don Wakamatsu (pictured above, watching this morning's workout) had to say on an audio link.
"The thumb seems to be outstanding,'' he said. "The shoulder, he's having a little bit of stiffness in it right now. So, I think in the next week or so, we'll see where he's at and watch him continue to work out.''
By the way, Larry Stone is covering the Ken Griffey Jr. story from Braves training camp in Florida and reported this morning that all signs point to Griffey heading to Atlanta. He spoke with Chipper Jones as well, who seems convinced his good friend is joining the Braves. The interview was fairly extensive and Stone lays it all out for you. A good read. I don't know what else to tell you at this point. I've seen the other denials and rumors floating around the internet, but we'll have to stick to what the folks close to Griffey and the Braves keep saying.