Cliff Lee appealed his five-game suspension that was doled out by Major League Baseball in spring training after Lee was ejected from a spring training game in Tucson for throwing a ball past the head of Arizona's Chris Snyder.
"I thought it went really well, but we won't hear back for a couple days on that," Manager Don Wakamatsu said.
Wakamatsu, GM Jack Zduriencik, Lee, a few Mariners coaches met in a conference room in the Mariners clubhouse to have a teleconference with MLB's Bob Watson, an arbitrator and Lee's agent.
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"It was more than two hours," Lee said with a fair amount of exasperation. "I didn’t have any idea how long it would take. We were saying the same things over and over, really.”
Well, what exactly did they talk about for two hours?
"A lot of fodder," Wakamatsu quipped.
In all seriousness, Lee said he was asked "a lot of questions" by Watson. Wakamatsu said his "two cents," even trainer Rick Griffin also testified.
Basically, the Mariners used the fact that Lee was injured on the collision and also that it was spring training and just his second start.
The arbitrator will now make the decision. Wakamatsu was hopeful that it would come in a few days. While Lee is happy to have the appeal over with, he knows it's still not over until he hears the ruling.
It was the first time either Wakamatsu or Lee have had to sit on an appeals process.
"It’s a pretty interesting process," Wakamatsu said.
RHP Ian Snell is set to return on Thursday following the funeral of a family member in Florida. Snell was originally scheduled to pitch Saturday, but with the off day tomorrow, Wakamatsu decided to switch Snell's start to Sunday and move LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith to Saturday.
"It gives us time to get Snell a solid bullpen before Sunday," Wakamatsu said. "If we need to switch it back later on we can do it with the off-day coming up."
Matt Tuiasosopo will get a start at first base and Eric Byrnes will start in left field today against LHP Gio Gonzalez.
"I know as we go farther into the season and start to establish our identity, some of them won’t play as much - but I think it is important to get those guys in early," Wakamatsu said. "Tui is a talented player and he’s a guy you don’t want to sit a lot"
Shortstop Jack Wilson has had health issues in the past few seasons, and his durability has been questioned. But he has yet to sit a game, and probably won't since the Mariners don't really have a true back-up middle infielder.
"I told if he played today, he could have tomorrow off," Wakamatsu joked. "One thing we’re trying to focus on more than anything with Jack is his postgame workout routine. He’s been on it since spring training. He looks stronger to me and says he feels good. We’re hoping we’re going down the right track keeping his legs in shape. He’s working much harder than he has in the past and I think it’s evident. He’s feeling it right now, so we’re hoping it keeps him healthy."
The postgame workout isn't anything too complicated - mostly focusing on building and maintaining strength in his legs.
"A lot of players as they go forward and play a lot of games they don’t want to work out because they feel they’ll get fatigued more," Wakamatsu said. "But I found it to be quite the opposite. You have to go in there at least once a week to do a fairly strenuous leg workout to kind of jump-start them. That’s what we’ve been trying to do since spring training and he seems to be a lot better because of it."
Several players took early, voluntary batting practice including Wilson, Milton Bradley, Franklin Gutierrez, Ken Griffey Jr. and Casey Kotchman.
"That’s what we talked about yesterday in the meeting," Wakamatsu said. "When things aren’t going well the only way we know how to attack it is to continue the work ethic. That way we can look ourselves in the mirror and say we’re doing everything we can. We’re going to continue to work. I don’t want it to be a reactionary thing. We’re going to do a lot this year, whether it’s team defense or individual hitting or bunting, we’re going to continue to hone the skills."
- 11 Rajai Davis CF
- 10 Daric Barton 1B
- 8 Kurt Suzuki RF
- 5 Kevin Kouzmanoff 3B
- 50 Jake Fox DH
- 7 Adam Rosales 2B
- 18 Gabe Gross RF
- 1 Eric Patterson LF
- 2 Cliff Pennington SS
LHP Gio Gonzalez (1-0 3.00)
- 51 Ichiro Suzuki RF
- 9 Chone Figgins 2B
- 21 Franklin Gutierrez CF
- 4 Jose Lopez 3B
- 15 Milton Bradley DH
- 1 Eric Byrnes LF
- 27 Matt Tuiasosopo 1B
- 10 Adam Moore C
- 2 Jack Wilson SS
LHP Jason Vargas (0-1, 8.44 ERA)