The off-season is off to a quick start for the Mariners with the club signing right-handed starting pitcher Hisashi Iwakuma to a two-year contract extension through the 2014 season (with an option for 2015) and re-signing left-handed reliever Oliver Perez to a one-year deal.
And to keep you excited about baseball, awards season is about to begin. You already know that Brendan Ryan won the Fielding Bible Award as the top defensive shortstop in baseball and was a finalist (along with 2B Dustin Ackley) for the Rawlings Gold Glove Award, but more awards are about to be handed out.
Here’s the rundown of the MLB Awards schedule:
- Tonight (Monday): Players Choice Awards at 5pm PT on MLB Network
- Thursday, November 8: Silver Slugger Awards at 3pm PT on MLB Network
- Monday, November 12: Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Awards at 3pm PT on MLB Network
- Tuesday, November 13: Manager of the Year Awards at 3pm PT on MLB Network
- Wednesday, November 14: Cy Young Awards at 3pm PT on MLB Network
- Thursday, November 15: Most Valuable Player Awards at 3pm PT on MLB Network
This year marks the first time that the BBWAA Awards (ROY, MGR, Cy Young, MVP) will be presented live on television (MLB Network). Prior to BBWAA Awards Week, for the first time ever, the five finalists in each league for the MVP Award and the three AL and NL finalists for the Cy Young, Manager of the Year and Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year awards will be announced live during MLB Network’s BBWAA Awards Finalists Show this Wednesday, November 7 at 3pm PT. Tune in to see how King Felix fares in the American League Cy Young race.
The Mariners double play combination of Brendan Ryan (shortstop) and Dustin Ackley (second base) have been named finalists for the 2012 American League Rawlings Gold Award® at their respective positions.
Ryan and Ackley anchored the Mariners defense that tied for the American League lead with a .988 fielding percentage (72 E, 6012 TC), second-best in club history. The duo combined for a Major League-high 38 defensive runs saved, the most by any middle-infield combination in the Majors.
Ryan led all Major League shortstops with 27 defensive runs saved (2nd-highest by any position player). He posted a .985 fielding percentage (9 E, 601 TC) in 138 games at shortstop (134 starts).
Ackley tied for third byAL second baseman with 11 defensive runs saved. In 142 starts at second base he made only 7 errors for a .989 fielding percentage (7 E, 639 TC).
The Gold Glove award winners will be announced tomorrow (Tuesday, Oct. 30) at 6:30 p.m. PT on ESPN2. Each manager and up to six (6) coaches on his staff voted from a pool of qualified players in their League, and were not able to vote for players on their own team. The 2012 Rawlings Gold Glove Award finalists are as follows:
|P||Jeremy Hellickson||Tampa Bay Rays|
|Jake Peavy||Chicago White Sox|
|C.J. Wilson||Los Angeles Angels|
|C||Alex Avila||Detroit Tigers|
|Russell Martin||New York Yankees|
|A.J. Pierzynski||Chicago White Sox|
|Matt Wieters||Baltimore Orioles|
|1B||Adrian Gonzalez||Boston Red Sox|
|Eric Hosmer||Kansas City Royals|
|Mark Teixeira||New York Yankees|
|2B||Dustin Ackley||Seattle Mariners|
|Robinson Cano||New York Yankees|
|Dustin Pedroia||Boston Red Sox|
|3B||Adrian Beltre||Texas Rangers|
|Brandon Inge||Oakland Athletics|
|Mike Moustakas||Kansas City Royals|
|SS||Elvis Andrus||Texas Rangers|
|J.J. Hardy||Baltimore Orioles|
|Brendan Ryan||Seattle Mariners|
|LF||Alex Gordon||Kansas City Royals|
|Desmond Jennings||Tampa Bay Rays|
|David Murphy||Texas Rangers|
|CF||Austin Jackson||Detroit Tigers|
|Adam Jones||Baltimore Orioles|
|Mike Trout||Los Angeles Angels|
|RF||Shin-Soo Choo||Cleveland Indians|
|Jeff Francoeur||Kansas City Royals|
|Josh Reddick||Oakland Athletics|
|P||Bronson Arroyo||Cincinnati Reds|
|Mark Buehrle||Miami Marlins|
|Clayton Kershaw||Los Angeles Dodgers|
|C||Yadier Molina||St. Louis Cardinals|
|Miguel Montero||Arizona Diamondbacks|
|Carlos Ruiz||Philadelphia Phillies|
|1B||Freddie Freeman||Atlanta Braves|
|Adam LaRoche||Washington Nationals|
|Joey Votto||Cincinnati Reds|
|2B||Darwin Barney||Chicago Cubs|
|Aaron Hill||Arizona Diamondbacks|
|Brandon Phillips||Cincinnati Reds|
|3B||Chase Headley||San Diego Padres|
|Aramis Ramirez||Milwaukee Brewers|
|David Wright||New York Mets|
|SS||Zack Cozart||Cincinnati Reds|
|Ian Desmond||Washington Nationals|
|Jose Reyes||Miami Marlins|
|Jimmy Rollins||Philadelphia Phillies|
|LF||Ryan Braun||Milwaukee Brewers|
|Carlos Gonzalez||Colorado Rockies|
|Martin Prado||Atlanta Braves|
|CF||Michael Bourn||Atlanta Braves|
|Andrew McCutchen||Pittsburgh Pirates|
|Drew Stubbs||Cincinnati Reds|
|RF||Jay Bruce||Cincinnati Reds|
|Andre Ethier||Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Jason Heyward||Atlanta Braves|
A panel of 10 analysts, including Peter Gammons, Bill James, Joe Posnanski, Doug Glanville and scouts from Baseball Info Solutions—examined the 2012 seasons of every defensive player in Major League Baseball and then used the same voting technique as the Major League Baseball MVP voting. First place votes received 10 points, second place 9 points, third place 8 points, etc. A perfect score was 100. Here is what John Dewan and the Fielding Bible have to say about Ryan’s defensive play:
Brendan Ryan is the best defender in baseball. Period. Make that double period. His has saved 67 runs for his teams defensively over the last three years, the highest total among all players. The next highest runs saved total is not even close (Michael Bourn, 51). Ryan led all shortstops in 2012 with 27 runs saved, led in 2011 with 18, and finished second in both 2010 and 2009 with 22 runs saved each year. Seattle recognizes the value of Ryan’s defense, and that’s why they keep putting him out there day after day despite his .194 batting average during the 2012 season. It will be interesting to see if the American League coaches and managers, who vote for the Gold
Glove Awards, can look past Ryan’s offense and base their ballot on his defense alone. This has been one of the problems with the Gold Glove voting—a certain amount of offense has always been required for what should be a defense-only award. Gold Glove voting has never allowed for a position player hitting below the Mendoza line to win a Gold Glove. Hopefully Ryan will be the first.
Ryan fell one point shy of the maximum score after leading all shortstops in Defensive Runs Saved by a significant margin with 27. His closest competitor was Atlanta rookie Andrelton Simmons with 19.
Here is a look at some of Ryan’s stellar plays at shortstop:
In voting conducted by a ESPN.com writers, statisticians and former players, Mariners shortstop Brendan Ryan finished second for the 2012 MLB Defensive Player of the Year.
Angels rookie center fielder Mike Trout edged out Ryan, who received six of our 10 first-place votes. Ryan received the other four firsts and finished second in the voting.
Heading into the last game of the season Ryan leads all Major League shortstops with 27 runs saved and a 15.5 UZR.
Last week Ryan was also chosen as the front-runner for the Fielding Bible Award.
The following is an excerpt from John Dewan’s Stat of the Week, which examines the leading contenders for the 2012 Fielding Bible Awards.
Shortstops: It is hard to believe that Brendan Ryan has never won either a Fielding Bible Award or a Gold Glove. Ryan has at least 18 Defensive Runs Saved in each of the last three seasons, and he has already flown by those previous totals with 29 this season. That’s 12 more than J.J. Hardy, the closest shortstop behind him. In addition to covering ground, Ryan has converted an impressive 77 percent of his opportunities for double plays, which is a career high. Ryan leads all players in Runs Saved and could break through for his first Fielding Bible Award. It is less clear how he will fare against some of the bigger names at short for the American League Gold Glove, like J.J. Hardy and recent winner Erick Aybar. Over in the National League, Andrelton Simmons will win his share of defensive awards during his career. He did not get enough playing time to be on the Fielding Bible Award ballot this year, but he may have done enough to snag his first NL Gold Glove.
|Fielding Bible Award||Brendan Ryan (29)||Alexei Ramirez (14)|
|Yunel Escobar (16)|
|AL Gold Glove||Brendan Ryan (29)||Erick Aybar (3)|
|J. J. Hardy (17)|
|NL Gold Glove||Andrelton Simmons (17)||Clint Barmes (14)|
|Jimmy Rollins (-7)|
A group of kids from Seattle area Boys & Girls Clubs and community centers got to play at Safeco Field Tuesday with Mariners players and team trainers.
It was the annual P.L.A.Y. event, which stands for Promoting a Lifetime of Activity for Youth. Miguel Olivo, Brendan Ryan, Trayvon Robinson, Mike Carp and Cater Capps joined Mariners head trainer Rick Griffin and three members of his staff and put the 100 or so kids through the same paces a professional baseball player goes through before each game.
The kids did sprints, high knee lifts, scissor kicks and agility exercises on the outfield at Safeco Field. They also got some information about good nutrition and with the help of the Taylor Hooton Foundation, the kids got a lesson about the dangers of performance enhancing drugs.
Mariners shortstop Brendan Ryan told the kids from the South Park Community Center, and Rainier Vista and Federal Way/Auburn Boys & Girls Clubs that there are consequences to every action and they should do their best to make the right choices. “Steroids may seem like an easy fix, but in the long run it’s going to affect your life and your family. Follow your heart and try to do the right thing,” said Ryan.
Trainer Rob Nodine told the kids that although they may never be Major Leaguers they can still be successful at whatever they do. “These guys have worked hard and made the right choices. In your life and your future careers, you can make the same right choices and work hard and succeed,” said Nodine.
P.L.A.Y. is a public awareness campaign developed by the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS) in 2004 to combat child obesity. Through a series of fitness programs at all 30 MLB ballparks, P.L.A.Y. encourages kids to be active, eat right and sustain a healthy lifestyle.
Working with the Taylor Hooton Foundation and all 30 Major League Baseball teams, PBATS incorporates anti-steroid education within their P.L.A.Y. campaign to generate awareness about the dangers of performance enhancing drugs.
Friday is the annual Mariners Wives Favorite Things basket auction. They load up baskets (really, any kind of container) with various items of their husbands’ choosing and then auction them off to benefit Mariners Care, the team’s non-profit foundation.
Among the categories of items are candy, movies, music, restaurants and hobbies. The baskets are usually loaded up with autographed and sometimes game-used items. New this year, a couple of small kitchen appliances.
Here are some highlights:
The other small appliance is a Keurig single-cup coffeemaker in Eric Wedge’s basket. He uses his every day and has gone through three of them, that’s how much he likes it. He’s also a fan of the HBO original series with the complete first season of The Sopranos and the second season of Entourage.
Shawn Kelley filled his basket with autographed Mizuno spikes (they look too clean to be game-used), size 13. His DVDs are Step Brothers, Braveheart, and the first season of Boardwalk Empire. He also included an electronic Scrabble Catch Phrase game.
Kyle Seager is a fan of the original Caddyshack (and really, who isn’t?), as well as Panera Bread and P.F. Chang’s restaurant. You’ll also get an autographed copy of the July 2012 Mariners Magazine featuring cover boy Kyle Seager.
Relief pitcher Josh Kinney is clearly a big hunter. His basket has a camo cap and pack, mule deer call, a selection of human scent eliminator sprays, a shotgun shell-shaped thermos. Oh, and a bottle of Tefft Cellars merlot.
Michael Saunders is a crossword puzzle guy, so he included a book of 200 puzzles. His basket also includes a Barnes & Noble and AMC Theatres gift cards. And true to his Canadian roots, a Vancouver Canucks scarf. Go Canucks!
The Favorite Things baskets will be on display near Section 128 on the Main Concourse at Safeco Field on Friday, August 17. Silent bids will be accepted through the end of the sixth inning.
When Gutierrez took the field last week, something kept catching a bit of sunlight: the gold patch on his glove.
As a 2010 Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner, Guti receives a specially made glove featuring the Rawlings Gold Glove patch.
The patch may seem like a minor thing, but for those elite defenders who earn a Gold Glove during their career, it has special meaning.
“It is an accomplishment for me, something that I wanted to do for a long time,” said Gutierrez. “To obtain this prize, a glove that not everybody receives, that Rawlings sends with the gold mark for each player inspires me and makes me feel happy and makes me want to work more every day.”
While the glove is special, Franklin hasn’t taken it out on the field during a game yet.
“Right now I’m using it during practices to get it used to the games,” continued Gutierrez. “I continue to use the old glove with which I won the Gold Glove but when I feel the [new] glove is ready, I’ll use it.”
His current game glove, while still in use, has already been claimed by the National Baseball Hall of Fame. When Gutierrez feels that it is time to move on to a new game glove, the current glove, the one with which he won a Gold Glove and set an American League record with 816 (and counting) consecutive errorless chances, will go to Cooperstown, New York.
“That is an honor and it is something that I wasn’t expecting,” said Gutierrez. “I’ll donate it with kindness knowing that it will have a special place in the Hall of Fame.”
Brendan Ryan, currently having a Gold Glove-quality season, found out just how cherished and respected those Gold Glove patches are when he received one by mistake.
“[It was] not the best experience ever,” said Ryan. “It was my first big league camp and I was one of the youngest guys there in St. Louis Spring Training. I thought I needed a bigger glove to be more of a utility guy and play some third base so I had a glove sent in. It had a gold patch on it like all the Gold Glovers are rewarded with and some of the Gold Glovers on that team didn’t take a liking to that and gave me a lot of trouble for that.”
While it would be tempting to keep such a special glove, Ryan did what any young player would do.
“I ended up having to send the glove back so we could get a regular red patch with Rawlings on that back there. I thought it was cool until I realized that guys actually earned those things and it’s actually really cool.”
Day 11 / Wednesday, February 22, 2012 / 35 Days ‘til Opening Night in Tokyo (March 28 vs. Oakland) / 51 Days ‘til Opening Night in Seattle (April 13 vs. Oakland)
Today’s workout started with temperatures hovering around 53° and climbed to near 70° as practice ended. The next few days are supposed to heat up, with high temperatures expected in the 80’s.
The workout was almost a carbon-copy of Day 10. Today’s workout consisted of baserunning on Field 6 from 9:45-10:05. A couple of the players had to be cautious when rounding third base and when they approached home plate due to the field still being a little damp. The team fundamental today was working on pop-ups and infield/outfield communication on Field 3. A group of 16 pitchers threw live BP today on Fields 3, 4 & 5, including Kevin Millwood, Brandon League, Hector Noesi and Hisashi Iwakuma. Mike Carp again put on a hitting display in batting practice and live BP against RHP Scott Patterson.
Quotes of the Day:
“They kind of knocked heads there, but if you are going to have two guys knock heads, those are two pretty good ones” manager Eric Wedge when asked about the pop-up drill when Miguel Olivo and Justin Smoak collided near home plate.
“Cheater” from a group of pitchers to Charlie Furbush as he broke towards first base during PFP drills, but AAA pitching coach Dwight Bernard hit one right back to the mound.
“Polar Bear was trying to get me” from Brandon League as he was almost hit by a high pop fly from the pitching machine during pop-up communications drills.
“Heads up, heavy hitters coming through” from Brendan Ryan to manager Eric Wedge as he led his hitting group consisting of himself, Munenori Kawasaki, Chone Figgins and Dustin Ackley onto Field 3 for live BP.
Outfielder Carlos Peguero celebrated his 25th birthday today.
Tweet of the Day:
— David aardsma (@TheDA53) February 22, 2012
Mark it Down:
The first of four Intrasquad games will be held Friday (Feb. 24) at 12:45 p.m. The game is scheduled to be 8 innings, with Jason Vargas and Danny Hultzen scheduled to be the starting pitchers. A “B” game has also been added to the Cactus League schedule for March 5 at Cincinnati. The “B” games do not count towards the Cactus League records and are designed to get players extra at-bats or additional pitchers innings. Here is an updated listing of recent schedule changes:
|Feb. 24 – 12:45 pm|
|Feb. 26 – 12:45 pm|
|Feb. 28 – 12:45 pm|
|Feb. 29 – TBA|
|March 5 at Cincinnati – 10 am|
|March 8 at Colorado – 10 am|
|Cactus League Game Addition:|
|March 16 vs. Milwaukee (at Tucson) – Split Squad – 1 pm|
Lights, Camera, Action:
The Mariners Marketing crew began shooting the 2012 edition of their award-winning commercials this afternoon. Not going to play the spoiler role, but over the next three days the marketing crew, along with Copacino+Fujikado & Blue Goose Productions will shoot five commercials, featuring 14 players (Felix Hernandez, Ichiro, Brendan Ryan, Justin Smoak, Franklin Gutierrez, Miguel Olivo, Casper Wells, Dustin Ackley, Kyle Seager, Jason Vargas, Brandon League, Jesus Montero, Chone Figgins) and manager Eric Wedge. There may even be a Larry Bernandez sighting! Each year the marketing crew puts together some of the best (and funniest) commercials in all of baseball. The 2011 commercials won an award at the 2011 ProMaxBDA Sports Media Marketing Summit.
Don Carson, the President of Don & Charlie’s restaurant in Scottsdale, and a must-see destination during spring training visited camp this morning…Mariners team photographer Ben Van Houten also arrived in camp to shoot pictures for the commercials and for the publications you will see throughout the season…reporter Shannon Drayer of 710 ESPN Seattle arrived for her first day in camp and will be with the squad throughout the remainder of spring training and in Japan…you can follow her Mariners Blog and her twitter feed for some great information…representatives from Wilson Baseball Gloves had all their mitts lined up for players to look at and order for the upcoming season…the Topps Baseball Card Company also had a representative in the clubhouse talking about upcoming baseball cards…there was again an national media presence in camp with Jorge Arangure (ESPN.com), Bob Nightengale (USA Today) and Dave Sheinin (The Washington Post) covering the Mariners.
Shortstop Brendan Ryan threw on the side for about 5 minutes at 60 feet. Ryan has been sidelined by a sore elbow…Franklin Gutierrez and Trayvon Robinson were limited in practice with hamstring tightness…former Mariner closer David Aardsma, who is coming back from Tommy John surgery, signed as a free agent with the New York Yankees.
Day 4 / Wednesday, February 15, 2012 / 41 Days ‘til Opening Night in Tokyo / 57 Days ‘til Opening Night in Seattle
Weather: The weather was a little chilly again today but warmed up by the end of the workout. A high of 65-degrees is expected later today and it is supposed to be 70-degrees tomorrow.
Quote of the Day: “Guante. Guante! That’s my word for the day. Guante! Guante!” – Brendan Ryan, on his way off the practice field cradling his new glove in his arms. Guante is the Spanish word for glove.
The Day: While it might feel like groundhog day here during the early part of Spring Training, you can always find, see or hear something new and today was no exception. There was a lot of energy on Field 3 as the pitchers and some infielders (not all first baseman) worked on covering first base on a ball hit to the first baseman.
Infielder Munenori Kawasaki was very vocal on the field, shouting out commands in both English and Japanese to pitchers covering first base. He could also be seen patting a pitcher on the back for a job well done and generally providing energy for the team, much like Brendan Ryan does.
Kawasaki played on Team Japan in the 2009 World Baseball Classic tournament, and while there were several stars on that team that included Ichiro, Hisashi Iwakuma and Yu Darvish, people say that Kawasaki was the “heart and soul” of the team.
Inside the clubhouse, there were plenty of laughs around Felix Hernandez‘s locker. Turns out the Mariners TV commercial scripts arrived today and Brendan Ryan was sitting at Felix’s locker, reading the script aloud as various players including Felix, Dustin Ackley and Brandon League couldn’t stop laughing.
The Mariners marketing crew will arrive in Peoria tomorrow and will begin preparations for all their commercial and in-game entertainment shoots.