Come June 18 the Los Angeles Angeles of Anaheim hope you attend that nights game against the Seattle Mariners to see baseball and be part of the Mike Trout promotional night.
That night the Angels will be giving away fish hats, more specifically a trout hat, if you will. It features, prominently and beautifully, a trout mouth agape in wonder and a trucker mesh in the back that kids these days wear.
The Tampa Bay Rays could leave spring training with 32-year-old Juan Sandoval on the roster. The right hander has never pitched in the majors but there is more to the story. Sandoval is blind in his right eye.
“I’m 32 years old and, honestly, I’m in the best shape of my career,” says Sandoval, who is scheduled to pitch Sunday during Tampa Bay’s spring game against the Minnesota Twins at Fort Myers, Fla.
“I’ve worked hard but it’s not about the eye,” he says. “I don’t think about that. I have three kids now. I support my mom and dad. These are key things that are at the center of my life, the ones that make me work harder. These kids are maybe why I got better. I have to support them. Not because I want to prove to the world.”
Sandoval spent four years in the Seattle Mariners system before a shooting at a restaurant in the Dominican Republic left him blind in his right eye.
Last year Sandoval played in the Mexican League where he made 67 appearances, finishing with a 2.97 ERA. Those results left Sandoval with a clear perspective.
“They don’t care, as long as you’re getting people out. If you know you could be pitching every day, you have to prepare harder. I had to work my ass off.”
The Seattle Mariners announced that a new high definition video display system will be installed at Safeco Field for the 2013 baseball season, replacing the main scoreboard in centerfield. It will be the largest in Major League Baseball and among the largest in all of sports. Measuring 56.7-feet high by 201.5-feet wide and covering 11,425 square feet, the new video screen fills the same location and space as the old scoreboard, but because the entire thing is a high definition screen, the video space itself is nearly 10 times the size of the current video screen.
To put it in perspective the Mariners say that the viewing area will be equal to about 2,182 42-inch flat screen TVs.“Northwest sports fans have never seen anything like this. From the high-resolution imagery to the dynamic presentation, this new video screen provides the flexibility to present real-time game information in a way we’ve never been able to do until now,” said Kevin Martinez, Seattle Mariners Vice President of Marketing.“
The new Panasonic HD video screen will combine 1080p x 3840 screen resolution and Surface Mount LED technology, which uses more pixels and therefore produces higher quality images. Paired with the latest ANC Sports VisionSOFT operating system, Safeco Field’s new video screen will have image quality that is superior to broadcast HD signals. VisionSOFT is the first 64-bit operating system in large format live event display.
The video screen and production upgrades are part of an estimated $15 million maintenance and capital improvement plan for Safeco Field to be completed before the 2013 season. The Mariners, who are responsible for maintenance, capital improvements and operations of Safeco Field, have invested over $80 million in the ballpark since 1999. All current improvements to Safeco Field are scheduled to be completed in time for the home opener on April 8 vs. the Houston Astros.
It appears that Tebowing is dead but fortunately the progressive folks in Seattle have come up with, well, a perfect substitute.
Seattle Mariners Felix Hernandez tossed a perfect game against the Tampa Bay Rays last week and at the decisive moment Hernandez to pose with his back turned to the cameras. Loosely termed, Felixing involves balancing on one leg while raising both arms skyward.
Even Pearl Jams Eddie Vedder’s has been caught doing it.
There have only been 23 perfect games pitched in the history of Major League Baseball, so it goes without saying that witnessing one of these feats is quite rare. Don’t tell nine-month old Bode Dockal that. The little man has had the pleasure of witnessing two baseball games in his career, both perfect games.
Paul Dockal decided to bring his 9-month-old son, Bode, to Safeco Field for his first baseball game on April 21. Paul treated his son and his wife, Jennifer, to first-row seats behind the opposing dugout.
And that’s when the good luck started for Bode. The family witnessed Phil Humber’s perfect game for the Chicago White Sox in Bode’s first-ever baseball game.
“It’s one of those things that, I don’t think he could understand how important it was for me to be with him until he has a son of his own,” Paul told MLB.com. “The first thing I said to my wife was, ‘This is the best day I’ve ever had with my son.’”
Paul took Bode to another game when his uncle wanted to catch a game on Aug. 15 since Felix Hernandez was pitching. And just like that, Hernandez threw a perfect game and Bode witnessed history AGAIN. You can’t make these things up.
Just like that, Bode has already seen more in his nine months on earth than most die-hard baseball fans have in a lifetime.
Arizona Diamondbacks 18 year old prospect Stryker Trahan is officially ready for the big leagues after laying out Seattle Mariners prospect Joseph DeCarlo.
Billy Beane, Bruce Bochy, Buster Posey are impressed
Former Seattle Mariners outfielder Jay Buhner, one of the most beloved players in the history of the franchise where fan opinion is concerned, didn’t hold back any words when he was asked during a radio interview what his reaction would be if his former team brought back outfielder Ichiro Suzuki on a three-year deal worth $35 million or $40 million. Ichiro is in the final season of a five-year, $90 million deal.
“I’d vomit,” Buhner said on ESPN 710 Brock and Salk show. “I mean, really, no offense. No offense, we’ve got to get this organization turned around. You can’t be spending all the money on one guy.”
Ichiro had his worst season in the majors, by far, in 2011 when he hit .272 and failed to reach 200 hits for the first time in his North American career, which began in 2001. This season his average is down even more, to .260, and he’s again on track to come up short of 200 hits. He’s also unlikely to steal 30 bases for just the second time in his big-league tenure.
Ken Griffey Jr sat there, so did Edgar Martinez, Randy Johnson and even Mario Mendoza and pretty much anyone else you can think of from the first 22-plus years of the Seattle Mariners existence.
The dugouts that used to line the Kingdome in Seattle are now up for sale and they can be yours for the taking. The visitors dugout has popped up on on eBay for a mere $7,499.99. Memorabilia dealer Center Field Sports has set up the auction and even is willing to cut up the dugout which was spared when the facility was imploded in March 2000.
Both the home and visitors dugouts have been on the company’s website, listing for $5,999.99. The home dugout also was on eBay for the $7,499.99 price but has been removed and replaced by offers for chunks of it at $2,499.99. Both dugouts were built in five easily detachable sections but the company originally was reluctant to sell the pieces separately.
“Shipping is 100% buyers responsibility,” according to the eBay listing for the still-intact visitors dugout. “You will need a forklift to unload. We have one to load.”
At 49 years old Jamie Moyer has made it back in the big leagues. Moyer earned a spot in the Colorado Rockies rotation and will start the team’s second game of the season.
“It is still Jamie Moyer. It’s the Jamie Moyer that was pitching prior to the arm injury that cost him the entire 2011 season. It’s the same guy,” Rockies manager Jim Tracy said.
“It’s the same worker. It’s the same professional. It’s the same stuff, same velocity, same pitches. When he’s right, same type of effectiveness. You’re going to venture into this.”
Moyer, who is entering his 25th major league season, posted a 2.77 ERA this spring and beat out 22-year-old Tyler Chatwood and 28-year-old Guillermo Moscoso for a rotation spot.
Moyer will start April 7 against the Houston Astros. He can become the oldest pitcher in major league history to earn a victory. The last player to play in the majors at 49 years old was infielder Julio Franco, who finished out the season with the Atlanta Braves in 2007 after turning 49 in August.
Moyer will be 50 in November and has a career record of 267-204 with a 4.24 ERA. He was an All-Star in 2003 with the Seattle Mariners, and he made his major league debut on June 16, 1986 with the Chicago Cubs.
Seattle Mariners shortstop Brendan Ryan took full advantage of his time in Tokyo, Japan for the team’s season-opening series with the Oakland Athletics. Ryan seized the perfect moment presented to him while in an exotic locale by proposing to his longtime girlfriend, Sharyn.
Ryan took Sharyn to the Sky Deck on the 90th floor of Mori Tower to pop the question. Telling his girlfriend that they were going on a tour and needed to get dressed up. He had the plan for months and here’s how he described the moment:
“I had this planned for quite a while,” said Ryan. “Once I heard we were going to Japan, I figured it was a pretty cool opportunity. Then MLB heard about it and stepped in and rolled out the red carpet for us and it was just awesome.“We got up there at sunset so it was starting to get dark and you could see the lights of the city and the Tokyo Tower was lit up,” he said. “It was perfect.”
“She didn’t answer at first,” he said. “I’d instilled in her that we’d be close to 40 when that would happen, so she was pretty shocked. But after 5-10 seconds, she finally gave me an answer, which of course was yes.“I said, ‘Are you going to put this thing on or what?’ She took the box and just held on to it and grabbed me. I said, ‘I think you’re supposed to put this thing on.’ I was afraid it wouldn’t fit, but it did.”
Coco Crisp never would have re-signed with the Oakland Athletics, he revealed Monday, if he had known they were going to move him to left field.
“No, I wouldn’t have come back here as a left fielder,” said Crisp, who signed a two-year, $14 million free-agent contract in January. “I would have signed with Tampa.
Crisp was informed Monday that Yoenis Cespedes would be the starting center fielder when the Athletics open the season in Japan against Seattle Mariners, forcing him to move to left field.
“I was a little hurt,” Crisp said. “It’s humbling. It’s going to be an adjustment, I won’t lie.”
The primary reason Crisp didn’t sign with Tampa Bay Rays in the first place, he said, was the uncertainty he would be the everyday center fielder. The Rays told him he would play center, but there were no promises, not with B.J. Upton still on the team.
“I was going to play center with the notion that they’d do something with B.J.,” Crisp said. “But there was a possibility I could still play left here. That’s why I came here. I was very close to going over there. It’s a great organization.
“But they [the Athletics] told me I was going to play center coming over here, it made it a little easier. There was a lot of things that played a part in it, but that was definitely one of the reasons.”
Crisp last played left field in 2005 with the Cleveland Indians. He has played 804 games in center, and 216 in left field.
“It’s tough because I never really haven’t played the position in a while,” he said. “It’s a challenge switching positions. I think if you enter with an open mind, and not closed off, you allow yourself to get better faster. That’s what I’m trying to do. Go out here and just accept it. I think the faster you accept something, the faster you allow yourself to get better instead of fighting it.
The Athletics felt that Cespedes, the Cuban refugee who signed a four-year, $36 million contract would be more comfortable in center. Cespedes said he was happy playing in center, but would have been willing to move to left field for Crisp, who has helped him during camp.
The Seattle Mariners are hoping for a turnaround of magnitude portions in the fan department after losing 67 games last season. Their first move to win the fans back is to put out the best commercial in MLB. Mariners Ichiro Suzuki drops a top notch Sean Connery imitation while shortstop Brendan Ryan can’t get teammates to recognize his Robert De Niro.
The Seattle Mariners and Oakland Athletics will open next season in Japan with a two-game series at the Tokyo Dome on March 28 and 29. Major League Baseball and the players association said the series will be dedicated to assisting rebuilding in Japan following this year’s earthquake. It’s the fourth season opener in Japan and the first since the Boston Red Sox and Athletics played in 2008.
“The Seattle Mariners are proud to represent Major League Baseball and open the 2012 regular season in Japan against the Oakland Athletics,” said Mariners President Chuck Armstrong. “More Mariners games have been televised in Japan over the past 10 years than any other MLB team, so the fans there will be familiar with us. This will be a memorable experience for our players and our organization.”
The Athletics will be the home team, the Mariners the “road” team. Seattle and Oakland had been scheduled to play there in March 2003, but the series was scrapped because of the U.S. invasion of Iraq the day before the clubs were to depart.
This time around though this series could feature a pair of Japanese stars, the Mariners Ichiro Suzuki and Athletics Hideki Matsui, who is eligible for free agency.
Former major league outfielder Milton Bradley was arrested Tuesday for an alleged battery after it started as a verbal argument that escalated when he took out a baseball bat and began swinging it at his wife, who ran out of the home. Authorities said she was not struck with the bat. Bradley was arrested at the same residence where he was arrested back in January for allegedly threatening a woman. Charges weren’t filed in the initial incident.
He was booked Tuesday, was released on bail and is due in court on October. Bradley, 33, has a long history of anger-management problems both on and off the field, and his past transgressions might have contributed to the end of his playing career. The 33-year-old was released by the Seattle Mariners in May and has failed to catch on with another franchise.
In 12 major league seasons, Bradley is a .271 hitter with 125 homers and 481 RBIs. He was an All-Star in 2008 with the Texas Rangers when he hit .321 with 22 homers and 77 RBIs, and led the AL with a .436 on-base percentage and .999 OPS.
Colorado Rockies catcher Eliezer Alfonzo become the first player suspended twice for performance-enhancing drugs under the Major League Baseball testing program when the commissioner’s office announced a 100-game penalty. Alfonzo, a 32-year-old backup in his sixth big league season, was suspended for 50 games in April 2008 while a member of the San Francisco Giants.
“I am surprised by this positive test,” he said in a statement released by the Major League Baseball Players Association. “I learned my lesson in 2008 and have not taken any prohibited substances since then. With the union’s help, I intend to fight this suspension and look forward to appearing before the arbitrator in the near future.”
Alfonzo used a similar statement three years ago when he said he never took steroids but did take medicine for bronchitis while home in Venezuela. He is hitting .267 this season with one homer and nine RBIs in 75 at-bats. He has a .240 career average with 17 homers during a career than also included stints with San Diego Padres and Seattle Mariners.
Baseball began testing with penalties in 2004. Under the current rules, a third violation would carry a lifetime ban. There have been 60 suspensions this year under the tighter minor league testing program. Three other 50-game penalties were announced Rockies right-hander Randol Rogers (Boldenone), Cincinnati Reds right-hander Cole Green (Methylhexaneamine) and Baltimore Orioles first baseman Rhyne Hughes (an amphetamine) also learned of their suspension which they will serve at the start of next season.
The Tampa Bay Rays will be giving away a David Price Superhero Action Figure to the first 10,000 kids ages 14 and under at the game on Sunday, August 21st against the Seattle Mariners. The David Price Superhero Action Figure will also include his dog Astro.
Tropicana Field will probably see an increase from it’s normal 6,000 fans to 6,010 in attendance for Astro and Price.
During Seattle Mariners Dustin Ackley’s at-bat in the bottom of the third inning he lined a fair ball down the first base side on a sure triple. That is until the fake Ichiro Suzuki sitting in the stands, who has been attending Safeco Field for the past few Mariners games posing for pictures and signing autographs, leaned out of the stands and interfered with the play grabbing the live ball with his glove.
After initially ruling it a ground-rule double, umpires gave Ackley third base, where he was stranded.
Seattle Mariners brought back once members of its Seattle SuperSonics in a celebration of the team and the history of the city over the weekend at Safeco Field. The Mariners honored the history of the SuperSonics before their game against Tampa Bay Rays by bringing back Lenny Wilkens, George Karl, Gary Payton, Shawn Kemp, Tom Chambers, Hersey Hawkins, Slick Watts, Dale Ellis, Jack Sikma, Spencer Haywood, Fred Brown, Gus Williams, Nate McMillan, Michael Cage and James Donaldson.
The Sonics played in Seattle for 41 years before owner Clay Bennett, who purchased the team in 2006, moved them to his hometown of Oklahoma City a year later, leaving the 14th-largest TV market for the 45th.
“We didn’t deserve to lose a team. We lost a team,” said former Sonics forward Detlef Schrempf, originally from Germany. “We’re a major city in the U.S. We should have a franchise. You shouldn’t lose it, not the way we did.”
The former Sonics appreciated the gesture by the Mariners.
“Athletes recognize one another. It’s nice the Mariners did this,” said Wilkens, who led the team to the city’s only championship, the 1979 NBA title. “I’m a Mariners fan, I’m a baseball fan. I grew up in Brooklyn with the Dodgers. So I go way back to Jackie Robinson.”
To get a team back in Seattle has been a mission for Payton as he is trying to muster up support from local leaders to build a new arena.
“We’re not able to talk about a team coming back here yet because the 5-year deal is not over yet. That was part of the deal when Clay Bennett took the team,” Payton said. “When that happens then you can go to David Stern and say, ‘Look, this is what we have.’ We need to get an arena here first. We all know that this is a great city, a beautiful city, but NBA is about show. You got to show them. The history is rich here. The team was here for a long time. Then we broke it. We just gave the team away. This city needs basketball.”
Every Tuesday Sports Grind Entertainment presents you with the Buffalo Wild Wings Blazin Player of the Week. This week the recipient of this prestigious honor goes to Roberto Alomar, Bert Blyleven, and Pat Gillick for being elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York. Alomar becomes just the third Puerto Rican and first Toronto Blue Jays position player to enter the hall as well as become the 19th second baseman. Alomar holds the most Gold Golves at the his position with 10 and is a lifetime .300 hitter. Blyleven ranks fifth all-time in strikeouts and finished a career with 287 wins. Gillick becomes just the fourth general manager to enter the hall after guiding four franchises to playoff appearances and a winning a total of three World Series championships with two different organizations. Gillick engineered titles for the Blue Jays and the Philadelphia Phillies while also helping the Seattle Mariners win 116 games the most ever by an American League team in the history of baseball.
Congratulations Roberto Alomar, Bert Blyleven, and Pat Gillick you are this weeks Buffalo Wild Wings Blazin Player.
Every Thursday Sports Grind Entertainment will present you with the Mama Margie’s Major Meltdown. The recipient of this honor goes to the Seattle Mariners for their 11 game losing streak. Back on July 6 the Mariners were a .500 club and just 2 1/2 games behind the Texas Rangers and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in the standings out in the American League West. Since then they have lost 11 in a row and dropped to 12 1/2 games back in the American League West. In exactly two weeks, the Mariners went from hopeful contenders to season over. The Mariners have scored two or fewer runs in seven of their 11 losses.
New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter knocked a base hit to left field to lead off the bottom of the first then hit a home run for number 3,000. Tampa Bay Rays lefthander David Price fed Jeter a wide range of pitches and starting off with a four seam fastball but it was a curveball that he hit over the fence. It’s been a long way from Jeter’s first career hit that came on May 30, 1995, a single to left field off the Seattle Mariners Tim Belcher in just his second Major League game.
Jeter became the 28th player to reach the historic plateau and just the second player in Major League history to log his 3,000th hit as a homer, joining Wade Boggs, who did it on Aug. 7, 1999, while playing for Tampa Bay.
Of the 27 other members of the 3,000 hits club, four have suited up for the Yankees including Boggs, Rickey Henderson, Paul Waner and Dave Winfield but though no player had recorded that hit at Yankee Stadium or in a Yankee uniform.
The lucky fan to have caught Jeter’s 3,000th hit reportedly is Christian Lopez, 23, of Highland Mills, New York and is said to have gotten the tickets as a birthday gift from his girlfriend last month.
Every Thursday Sports Grind Entertainment will present you with the Mama Margie’s Major Meltdown. The recipient of this honor goes to the San Diego Padres, Seattle Mariners and home plate umpire Phil Cuzzi who lost count Saturday during Padres outfielder Cameron Maybin at-bat and was able to take first base with a three ball walk. He later scored the games only run. With one out in the fifth inning, Maybin fell behind 0-2 against Mariners starter Doug Fister, then fouled off a pitch before Fister missed to make the count 1-2. Maybin fouled off another before Fister missed with a curveball in the dirt. The count both in the stadium and on the television broadcast showed 3-2 and the next pitch missed high with Maybin walking to first base and no one making an argument to Cuzzi.
On Saturday San Diego Padres outfielder Cameron Maybin got on base after an umpiring mistake that let him get after only acquiring three-balls instead of the required four-balls in a walk against the Seattle Mariners. Plate umpire Phil Cuzzi lost track of the count and allowed a walk on ball three to Maybin, who later came around to score the only run of the game.
With one out in the fifth inning, Maybin fell behind 0-2 against Mariners starter Doug Fister, then fouled off a pitch before Fister missed to make the count 1-2. Maybin fouled off another before Fister missed with a curveball in the dirt. The count both in the stadium and on the television broadcast showed 3-2 and the next pitch missed high with Maybin walking to first base and no one making an argument to Cuzzi.
Crew chief Tom Hallion told the Seattle Times that the lack of a reaction by either team to the error convinced Cuzzi that he had missed a pitch and that the scoreboard count, which showed Maybin with an extra ball, was correct.
“My plate umpire thought his count was wrong. The scoreboard had 3-2 and he thought he was wrong because when Maybin took off for first, nobody said anything. The catcher [Josh Bard] didn’t react, the dugout didn’t react, so he thought he had the wrong count,” Hallion said.
Hallion said umpires regularly check with catchers to make sure they have the count right, but Cuzzi didn’t do that Saturday.
“It happens a lot of times in the game you look down and it says ’2-2′ and a lot of times what you’ll do is ‘Josh, what do you got?’ just trying to make sure you’re not wrong or something is wrong. Unfortunately we didn’t do this in this case and that’s where we stand with it. It’s one of those things that you wish didn’t happen,” Hallion said.
Seattle manager Eric Wedge took it as far as calling a team meeting Sunday morning in part to apologize for missing the wrong count.
“I’m the captain of this ship and something like that cannot happen. That falls on me. I should have trusted my instincts with what I felt it was, but I didn’t and that’s my fault,” Wedge said. “That can’t happen. I preach to these guys about being accountable and I sure as hell need to be accountable for that yesterday.”
Jim Riggleman resigned from the managerial position of Washington Nationals on Thursday minutes after beating the Seattle Mariners. That we know, but hours after resigning and quitting on team he was spotted taking shots with these college girls at Caddies a bar in Bethesda, Maryland.
“I’ll tell you what, I had to get down there and let those college girls get a look at me. There’s some beautiful young ladies in that place. Unbelievable.”