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.
Day 9 / Monday, February 20, 2012 / 36 Days ‘til Opening Night in Tokyo / 52 Days ‘til Opening Night in Seattle
Weather: We didn’t check the forecast so we can’t give you an exact temperature for today, but it was clear that today was the nicest, sunniest day that we have had all spring.
Quote of the Day: “It’s okay! I told him what was coming!” – Miguel Olivo to pitcher Josh Kinney after Alex Liddi hit a pitch off the very top of the 30-foot wall that is 410 feet away on Field 3.
The Day: Day 9 saw a continuation of live pitching after the regular routine of infield drills and PFP. The live pitching was by far the most interesting for fans and media alike. Over on Field 4, the Japanese media had the perfect photo opportunity. Right-hander Hisashi Iwakuma was pitching, Ichiro was batting and infielder Munenori Kawasaki was working on reading the pitcher from second base. As you can see, it was quite a scene.
Day 2 / Monday, February 13, 2012 / 43 Days ‘til Opening Night in Tokyo / 59 Days ‘til Opening Night in Seattle
Weather: Sunny skies with temperatures in the low to mid-60 during workouts this morning. Temperatures are continuing to warm up through the afternoon, but rain may be in the forecast for tomorrow.
Quote of the Day: Shortstop Munenori Kawasaki introducing himself to teammates, staff and media: “I am Munenori Kawasaki. Kawasaki…VROOM VROOM.” Kawasaki signed a Minor League contract with the Mariners in January and is excited to be in camp.
The Day: Pitchers and catchers were on field for the second day of camp. After day one and figuring out which field to be on and at what time, day two went smoothly with everyone getting where they needed to be on time.
Sixteen pitchers had bullpens today after 18 did yesterday, including RH Hisashi Iwakumi, RH Hector Noesi, RH Brandon League and RH Kevin Millwood. General Manager Jack Zduriencik and Manager Eric Wedge have been impressed early with the pitchers in camp.
Pitchers continued working on PFP (Pitchers Fielding Practice) drills, including fielding a bunt and covering first on a ball hit to the right side of the infield. Infielders Mike Carp, Kyle Seager and Nick Franklin stood in as first baseman for the pitchers on one of the fields. Catchers also worked on controlling the running game and throwing out runners at second base.
The catchers wrapped up the day split into two hitting groups. While working on hitting to all sides of the field, Jesus Sucre hit a screaming line drive up the middle and nearly took out coach Nasusel Cabrera gathering balls in shallow center field. Cabrera had to jump out of the way and used a ball bucket to deflect the ball. The rest of the coaching staff laughed and continued to give Cabrera a hard time until BP was over. Jesus Montero, Miguel Olivo and Adam Moore each hit multiple home runs into the parking lot.
Big offense is the theme for this week’s Mariners Mondays (7:30pm on ROOT SPORTS™). Each week through March 5, ROOT SPORTS is highlighting big games from the 2011 season, helping to tide baseball fans over until Spring Training gets underway in earnest.
The Hot Stove League show will be hosted by Shannon Drayer and Matt Pitman. Fans can listen locally in the Puget Sound region on 710 ESPN Seattle and over the Internet on Mariners.com. Guests for the show are scheduled to include:
- Hitting Coach Chris Chambliss
- Catcher Miguel Olivo
- OF Casper Wells
- RHP Aaron Heilman
- ESPN.com writer Jim Caple
- Mariners Vice President of Marketing Kevin Martinez (talking about the 35th anniversary events and what the club has in store for the 2012 edition of the famous commercials).
Here is a teaser for the Mariners Mondays games that will be highlighted tonight on ROOT SPORTS™:
Tonight, moments of Biblical proportions (as in the old joke “In the Big Inning…”). Let’s go back to June 5, Mariners vs. Tampa Bay Rays. The Mariners have taken two out of three from the Rays, with the final game of the four-game series on tap. The big hit of the game is a tie-breaking three-run homer by Miguel Olivo in the 8th inning. But the game was notable for a couple of two-run triples, one of baseball’s most exciting hits. One by Ichiro in the 3rd inning, and in a bittersweet moment, Greg Halman’s 2011 debut with a triple in the 7th. Halman had three hits in the game.
The next series of highlights are from the August 24 game at Cleveland. Two games were rained out in May, so the Mariners and Indians made up one of the games on the Mariners return trip in August (the second game would be made up in September… see below). The Mariners won the first game of the series 3-2 on March 22, split the doubleheader on March 23 with a 12-7 win in the nightcap, and bashed out another 16 hits on their way to a 9-2 win in game four. The offensive star of the day was rookie Kyle Seager, who was 4-for-4 with three doubles and a single. Seager’s college teammate at the University of North Carolina, Dustin Ackley, also got in on the act going 3-for-5. And Willy Mo Peña had a good game with a two-run home run, a double and a single. Oh, and Felix Hernandez had another good outing striking out 10, the 17th time in his career he reached double digits.
For the third game of the evening, the Mariners 12-6 win over the Indians on Sept. 19 is highlighted. And wouldn’t you know it, it’s raining. (What is it with bad weather for our games in Cleveland?) Starting pitcher Charlie Furbush got plenty of run support in the 12-6 rain-shortened game for his first win in over a month. He had a career-high 8 strikeouts and was buoyed by the Mariners 9-run third inning, including Alex Liddi’s first MLB homer, and a Mike Carp grand slam. By the way, Liddi’s homer was the first by an Italian-born player since Reno Bertoia hit one in 1961.
– RH / JE
Day 1 / Sunday, February 12, 2012 / 44 Days ‘til Opening Night in Tokyo / 60 Days ‘til Opening Night in Seattle
Weather: 54 degrees at first pitch, mid-60s as the day wore on. Clear skies as far as you can see.
Quote of the Day: Pitching Coach Carl Willis, to the 35 pitchers in camp, when dividing them into Pitching Fielding Practice (PFP) groups: “On Field 4. I’m not going to name you. It’s real simple: If you throw left-handed, you are on Field 4. If you don’t know if you throw left-handed, come see me.”
The Day: It is official, the Seattle Mariners opened camp today with the first workout for pitchers and catchers. As you all previously read on this blog, all players, coaches and staff took their physicals yesterday and now the fun begins.
Players routinely arrive at 7 am (unless you’re Miguel Olivo and arrive at o-dark-thirty) and begin preparing for their day, some getting in a workout before the official schedule begins while others prepare for the day.
The media is also here in full force with the local Seattle writers (English & Japanese) being joined by a large group of extra Japanese media, Sports Illustrated, Reuters and the Associated Press. In all, nearly 50 media covered the first day.
The local media members all made their initial rounds in the clubhouse and to say hello and talked to players to pick up a story or two while in there.
Once 8:45 am came around, the clubhouse was cleared of all media for a 9 am team meeting.
At 9:30 am, the moment that we have all been waiting for since the 2011 season ended…players on the field!
The players spent 15 minutes stretching under the usual clear Arizona skies on Field 3.
After stretch, the pitchers huddled around pitching coach Carl Willis who laid out the plan for the day. (As well as delivering the line of the day, as you saw above).
And, per his instructions, all the left-handers found their way to Field 4.
By 10 am, all of the pitchers were in their PFP groups (Pitchers Fielding Practice) while the catchers worked on their fundamentals in the bullpen area between Field 5 & 6.
After the pitchers and catchers got their work in on the field, the catchers took batting practice from 11:15-11:45 am. After BP (batting practice), the catchers completed their day by working on their conditioning with the Mariners Major League Performance Specialist’s Allen “Rocket” Wirtala and James Clifford.
– FA, TH, KM