Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.
March 10, 2009 8:48 AM
Posted by Larry Stone
Aaron Miles 2B
Ryan Theriot SS
Micah Hoffpauir 1B
Jake Fox DH
Mike Fontenot 3B
Reed Johnson CF
Doug Deeds RF
Koyie Hill C
So Taguchi LF
Rich Harden P
Franklin Gutierrez CF
Yuniesky Betancourt SS
Ken Griffey Jr. DH
Adrian Beltre 3B
Russ Branyan 1B
Wladimir Balentien LF
Mike Wilson RF
Rob Johnson C
Ronny Cedeno 2B
Garrett Olson P
The story today is Lou Piniella's return to Peoria with the Cubs to face his old buddy, Ken Griffey Jr. The big question is what prank Griffey has in store for Piniella. It probably won't match this classic from the spring of 1995. Here's Bob Sherwin's story in the Seattle Times, April 16, 1995:
PEORIA, Ariz. - Even if it takes all summer, Lou Piniella vowed, he will get even with Ken Griffey Jr.
Griffey, paying off a bet, surprised the Mariner manager with a smelly, pregnant 1,200-pound Hereford cow yesterday. The animal was delivered to Piniella's clubhouse office.
"I tell you what," Piniella mused, "I will get even. You wait and see this summer. I don't know what it will be yet, but I'll get him."
Piniella bet a steak dinner that Griffey couldn't hit the ball out of the batting cage in a specific at-bat against hard-throwing Scott Davidson. Davidson, tipped off by Piniella, threw a 90-mph fastball low, away and past Griffey.
Instead of a steak dinner, Piniella got the whole cow.
It was trucked from Brian Johnson's farm in Peoria at about 9 a.m. Piniella was called away by traveling secretary Craig Detwiler while the cow was coaxed into the manager's small office. When Piniella returned, he opened his door and uttered something that didn't sound exactly like "Holy cow."
The cow didn't leave a gift on the office carpet, as Griffey had hoped, but flicked plenty of slobber on Piniella's desk. She also smelled up the room quite a bit.
"It reminds me a lot of Cincinnati," said Piniella, a former Reds manager whose office at Riverfront Stadium was frequently visited by Reds owner Marge Schott's St. Bernard dog.
Said Piniella, who earlier yesterday morning met with pitcher Randy Johnson, "I had two Big Units in my office today."
The payoff was actually cheaper for Junior than buying a dinner. He paid six autographed baseballs for the services of the cow's owner and his cowboys.