It was Dustin Ackley Bobblehead night at Safeco Field on Friday, an event known to most everyone in the Seattle Mariners organization except Eric Wedge – whose 48th-game lineup didn’t include the second baseman.
Informed of the fact hours before the game, Wedge appeared genuinely surprised.
“Oh, geez, is it really? I didn’t get that memo,” he said. “Well, Dustin can revel in his own bobblehead without worrying about playing.”
The Mariners are in a stretch of playing 36 games in 37 days, with the last 20 of them consecutively. Wedge has been giving players time off with regularity – and Ackley, Miguel Olivo and Brendan Ryan had the night off Friday.
“I’m trying to navigate us through this stretch,” Wedge said. “But with Dustin, I’m surprised I didn’t get a telephone call.”
Ackley is the 15th different Mariner to be represented by a bobblehead since 2001, which also used the likeness of the Mariners Moose, Dave Niehaus and Larry Bernandez of commercial fame.
Ichiro has been featured in 11 bobbleheads.
A MINOR ADJUSTMENT
Right-hander Steve Delabar’s two-inning appearance Thursday was his 23rd of the season, second among American League relievers, and came after some work on mechanics.
“(Pitching coach) Carl Willis noticed in Cleveland I was standing awfully wide at setup,” Delabar said. “As a result, I was getting out front too much, a little off balance.
“I’ve done work in the bullpen to shorten that up, and it was like going back to something that worked. When I came in (Thursday), I did what I always try to do – shut the other team out.”
Was he aware of doing anything differently?
“Yeah,” Delabar deadpanned. “I didn’t give up any hits.”
WHOLE LOTTA GLOVE
Veteran catcher Olivo was breaking in a new glove and was asked how many he uses in a normal season.
“Maybe five,” he said. “I always have two gamers ready to use, and a couple that are coming along. Last year, I needed eight gloves.”
“Michael Pineda,” Olivo said. “He threw so hard, all the time, and one time he threw a pitch that ripped right through the glove I was using. Just tore it up.”
The ceremonial first pitch on Friday was thrown out by Hall of Famer Gaylord Perry, who won his 300th career game as a Seattle Mariner. … Another nugget to consider in the argument about moving fences in at Safeco Field. The Mariners’ strength remains it’s pitching, and the staff earned-run average this year at Safeco Field is 2.95 – lowest in franchise history. … Promotion alert! This afternoon’s 4:15 p.m. game will Turn Back the Clock, with fans getting a 1950s-like poster of Mariners players going retro, and a team decked out in bright red Rainiers gear from the era. … As Ichiro climbs up baseball’s all-time hits list – he started the night in 97th place with 2,482 – he’s moving up other lists as well. Ichiro stole his 430th base Thursday, which inched him past Marquis Grissom and into 33rd place all time. He is six steals behind Tris Speaker and 32nd place.
Seattle hosts Los Angeles in a 4:15 p.m. game that will be televised on Ch. 13. Probable starting pitchers: Jerome Williams (4-2, 3.74 ERA) vs. Felix Hernandez (4-3, 2.80).firstname.lastname@example.org blog.thenewstribune.com/mariners @LarryLarue