NEW YORK — All of the presidential candidates are in New York for the upcoming primary, so what better time than now for Mariners second baseman Robinson Cano, an ex-Yankee, to kick off his presidential campaign?
"I’m going to do a lot of changes as the President," Cano vowed in his campaign video. "I’m going to be more for the nation. And I’m going to be a great leader…yes, we Cano."
Here’s the video link.
"That’s just an (advertising) campaign," Cano said sheepishly, "but I would say I can be president of the Dominican. Not in the States. I need to know the rules a little more."
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OK, yes, there is the small detail that Cano is not a native-born American, which makes him ineligible to be president under Constitutional law. And, yes, this might simply be a promotional gimmick by Fresh Brewed Tees to promote it T-shirts.
They’re available for $26.99. And they’re imported.
Veteran reliever Joaquin Benoit says he’s ready to pitch after being sidelined for the last week because of tightness in his upper back and shoulder.
"It’s up to the trainers," he said, "but in my mind I believe I’ll be up today."
Benoit initially experienced the tightness in spring training, and it returned after he worked one inning April 8 against Oakland. While Benoit sidelined, the Mariners turned twice to Joel Peralta to protect one-run leads in the eight inning.
Each time, Peralta surrendered a leadoff homer.
Closer Steve Cishek worked two innings Wednesday in the Mariners’ 4-2 walk-off victory over Texas in 10 innings.
That figures to be an exception.
"It was a quick first inning," manager Scott Servais said. "It didn’t seem like he extended himself. It was also where we were at — having an off-day the next day. There were a lot of things lined up where we could say, `Let’s run him out there.’
"I don’t see it happening a lot."
Cishek pitched two innings in just seven of his 263 appearances from 2012-15.
"We needed it (Wednesday)," he said. "Our bullpen had been used quite a bit in that series. When (Servais) came over to me, I wasn’t surprised. I was ready to go.
"Get us on and off the field as quick as possible. That’s something I read that Mariano Rivera always thought about: Get the job done as quickly as you can. It worked out the first inning, which gave me an opportunity to pitch the second inning."
WEARING NO. 42
All players throughout majors again wore No. 42 on Friday in the annual tribute to Jackie Robinson, who broke baseball’s color line on April 15, 1947 while playing for the Brooklyn Dodgers.
"I don’t think anyone in the game today," Cano said, "could do what he did."
Major League Baseball retired Robinson’s number on April 15, 1997, which marked the 50th anniversary of his achievement. Players who were already wearing the number were permitted to continue doing so.
Outfielder Butch Huskey was the last Mariner to wear No. 42; he did so for 74 games in 1999. Ken Griffey Jr., then with the Mariners, received permission in 1997 to wear No. 42 to honor Robinson.
Griffey’s gesture soon turned into a tradition throughout the game.
Here’s the list of Mariners who wore No. 42 prior to its retirement:
Tom Brown (1978), Dave Henderson (1981-86), John Christensen (1987), Omar Vizquel (1989), Vance Lovelace (1990), Kerry Woodson (1992), Ted Power (1993), Roger Salkeld (1993), Jim Mecir (1995), Mike Jackson (1996), Griffey (1997, one game) and Huskey.
Four players (Miguel Batista, Adrian Beltre, Arthur Rhodes and Yuniesky Betancourt) and manager John McLaren wore No. 42 in 2008. The entire team has worn No. 42 on Jackie Robinson Day in each season since 2009.
Ticket prices at Yankee Stadium are among the highest in baseball — the average price of $51.55 is second only to Boston in a recent survey by Team Marketing Report.
But…the Yankees are currently running a Tax Day special offer for several April games, including Sunday’s series finale agains the Mariners. On Sunday, $10.99 gets a ticket for select terrace level, grandstand level and bleacher seats.
Sunday offers a much-anticipated matchup between two Japanese-born pitchers who are close friends: Hisashi Iwakuma and New York’s Masahiro Tanaka.
Dae-Ho Lee’s walk-off homer in the 10th inning of Wednesday’s 4-2 victory over Texas was immediately honored by the Topps Company through a short-time offer of a special collectable baseball card.
The card was part of the company’s Topps Now series and displayed Lee approaching the plate with a big smile and his arms spread.
ABOUT THAT HOMER
Lee’s pinch walk-off homer was the first in major-league history by an Asian-born player, according to research by SABR’s David Vincent.
And this from the Elias Sports Bureau: At 33, Lee is the oldest rookie to hit a walk-off homer since Luke Easter did it for the Cleveland Indians in 1950 at age 35.
Diaz, 22, gave up two runs and six hits over 11 innings in his first two starts while striking out 16 and walking one. He entered the season ranked No. 5 on the TNT Top 10 list of the Mariners’ prospects.
It was seven years ago Saturday — April 16, 2009 — that Ichiro Suzuki became the all-time hits leader for a Japanese-born player when he went 1-for-4 in the Mariners’ 5-1 loss to Anaheim at Safeco Field.
Suzuki’s ground-ball single in the fourth inning was the 3,086th hit of his career: 1,280 in Japan and 1,806 with the Mariners. He passed Isao Harimoto, who had 3,085 hits in a 22-year career from 1959-1982 in the Japanese leagues.
Harimoto is an ethnic Korean who was born in Japan. He was in Hiroshima when that city was targeted for the atomic bomb in 1945. Now 75, he continues to work as a TV commentator in Japan.
Suzuki, 42, is currently a member of the Miami Marlins and, entering the weekend, had 4,217 career hits, including 2,937 in 16 big-league seasons.
The Mariners and Yankees continue their three-game series at 10:05 a.m. Pacific time Saturday at Yankee Stadium. Right-hander Felix Hernandez (0-1, 0.69 ERA) will oppose New York lefty CC Sabathia (1-0, 4.50).
The game can be seen on Root Sports Northwest and heard on 710 ESPN.
Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners