Turn Back the Clock Night featured the 1984 uniforms of the Seattle Mariners and San Diego Padres on Friday, so it was natural to ask manager Eric Wedge what he was up to that year.
“I was a young, strapping lad, sophomore year in high school playing for the Middleton Bruins in Fort Wayne, Indiana,” Wedge said. “No gray. Lot better looking. Better shape. Man, you’re depressing me right now.”
Wedge, 43, was asked if his young players would know how to wear actual stirrups with socks.
“I know they’re going to be bitching about the stirrup underneath their foot, how uncomfortable it’s going to be,” he said, laughing. “Life’s tough, isn’t it? It’s a hard road we have.”
Not everyone remembers 1984 as well as Wedge. Take catcher Adam Moore, for instance.
“That’s the year I was born,” Moore said.
Shawn Kelley and Doug Fister were born that year, too, but here’s the kicker: Felix Hernandez, Michael Pineda, Dustin Ackley, Mike Carp, Justin Smoak, Greg Halman and Carlos Peguero hadn’t been born yet.
RAINIER TO RESCUE?
The team has yet to name a starting pitcher for Sunday’s game, which would normally be Erik Bedard’s spot – but the Mariners know who it will be.
They’re just not saying, other than to drop this major hint: He’s not currently on the roster.
The two likeliest candidates are Tacoma Rainiers starters Luke French or Blake Beavan, and both have arguments in their favor. French is already on Seattle’s 40-man roster, so calling him up would not force the Mariners to make a change there.
Beavan is not but has pitched better, with a 5-3 mark and a 4.53 ERA. French is 4-6 with a 6.25 ERA.
Rookie Dustin Ackley bruised ribs in Wednesday’s game, although he’s not certain how, and was not in the lineup on Friday. “He thinks it was diving on defense or sliding,” Wedge said. Ackley is expected to play tonight. … Another ailing Mariner, catcher Miguel Olivo, sat again with a tender left leg, but Wedge said he’s close to playing again. How did he know that? “He’s a little bit anxious, ornery, irritated. Those are all good things,” Wedge said. … One might think it would be hard to bat less than Seattle’s team average of .227, but one would be wrong. In their last seven June losses, the Mariners had a staff ERA of 2.60 – but the offense hit .215. … How consistent has the starting rotation been? It has allowed Seattle to carry a five-man bullpen – and use only four relievers most of the time. Right-hander Jeff Gray joined the team on May 14. In the six weeks since, he’s appeared in three games. … Although he won’t pitch again before the All-Star break, Bedard will accompany the team on its final trip before the break next week. The hope is he’ll make his first start in the days after the break.
Seattle hosts San Diego in a 7:10 p.m. game that will be televised on Root Sports. Probable starting pitchers: San Diego’s Cory Luebke (1-2, 2.86 ERA) vs. Doug Fister (3-8, 3.18).