The Seattle Mariners were delighted with the good-health of catcher Miguel Olivo in their 4-2 win last night, but never intended to play him today - a day game after a night game in Oakland.
Olivo, however, wanted in.
"After the game, he was in here deep into the night, lobbying to play," manager Eric Wedge said this morning. "I love that about him. But he missed six games, played one and we'd be crazy to push it right away."
Olivo was in the clubhouse this morining, trying to burn off a bit of excess energy and terrifying the media. 'Miggy,' as teammates call him, is as fun-loving as anyone in the clubhouse - though he can give you a look he admits even confuses his wife.
"She says even when she knows I'm not serious I can look really serious," he said.
I rounded a corner in the clubhouse and ran into Miguel, who made a muscle with his right arm - and that's a considerable muscle - and pointed to the tiny area between his forearm and bicep.
"Some day, I'm going to put your head in there," he said.
"Not today, I hope," I said.
Miggy smiled, then wandered around the clubhouse, throwing a wadded towel to Ichiro, who was waving a bat. Strike one, strike two - then Ichiro unleashed a swing you could hear and lined the towel into a bin across the room.
Another media innocent. MLB.com's Greg Johns, looked up as Olivo approached, smiling and holding that towel. In one quick motion, he had it around Johns' neck. Considering it was a near-death experience, Johns took it well.
"I was teaching him self defense," Miggy said, beaming.
So, memo to Mr. Wedge: "Please, get Miguel Olivo back in the lineup soon. We'd all like to get to the All-Star break alive."
Here's today's lineup vs. Oakland RHP Guillermo Moscso:
Ichiro RFBrendan Ryan SSAdam Kennedy DHJustin Smoak 1BDustin Ackley 2BCarlos Peguero LFFranklin Gutierrez CFJosh Bard CChone Figgins 3BJason Vargas P