John Jaso is a thinking man who happens to play baseball for a living, and nothing proves the fact more than his decision-making on postgame pie.
When the Seattle Mariners win a game with late heroics, and that player is being interviewed live on television, the team has enjoyed the tradition of putting a shaving cream pie in the face of the player being interviewed.
“This is a very loose ballclub off the field, and that makes us more relaxed on the field,” Kyle Seager insisted. “We have a lot of fun with each other. Someone is always goofing on someone else.”
Last week, outfielder Eric Thames produced a walk-off victory – and took a pie in the face so beautifully placed by Jaso that Thames said he actually swallowed shaving cream.
“Nasty stuff,” he said, “but my mouth was wide open when he got me.”
A few days later, it was Jaso who delivered a win, and Thames who found his way on to the field with a shaving cream pie.
“I got him and he got me, so I had to start thinking ahead,” Jaso said Wednesday. “I mean, I don’t want another shaving cream pie.”
So when Thames won Wednesday’s game with an eighth-inning, two-run double, Jaso – the Seattle Mariners’ designated hitter – had time to do a little planning.
He got the pie ready in advance. But he made it with whipped cream.
Sure enough, Thames was in mid-interview when Jaso’s pie showed up on camera. Thames sputtered and wiped away his eyes and then looked pleasantly surprised as he licked his fingers.
“This stuff’s pretty good,” Thames said.
“I figure if I get another pie this season, it’s going to be a whipped cream pie,” he said.
GUTIERREZ STOPS BY
Franklin Gutierrez had a pair of home runs for Tacoma on Tuesday night, and Wednesday found himself in the Mariners’ clubhouse, relaxing and getting looked over by team trainers.
“It’s a planned day off for him, a chance for him to work out with us and let us see him,” Seattle manager Eric Wedge said. “He’ll play nine innings in Tacoma (today).”
Gutierrez, 29, has been on the disabled list since suffering a concussion June 28 when he was hit with an errant pickoff throw. Injuries have limited him to 105 games, 13 this season, since 2011.
Thames has played 19 games with the Mariners and in them batted .286 with five doubles, a triple, three home runs and 10 RBI. … Wednesday’s starter, Hisashi Iwakuma, has pitched at least five innings in each of his nine starts. … With the winning streak, the Mariners are now 33-30 at home in 2012. The last season in which Seattle had a winning record at Safeco Field was 2009. … A year ago, the Mariners finished the season with 67 wins. This season, with 37 games to play, they have 61 victories.
Seattle has the day off before opening a three-game series in Chicago with the White Sox.email@example.com blog.thenewstribune.com/mariners @LarryLaRue