Mariners Insider Blog

A Pep Talk Of Sorts For A Last Place Team

After playing first-place teams like " the Angels, Twins and White Sox and Rays over the last few weeks, someone asked manager Jim Riggleman if he worried the Seattle Mariners might have a let down when they face Oakland Thursday.

"We shouldn't, they're the team ahead of us, and they're a long way ahead of us," Riggleman said.

"I haven't seen anyone on this team quit."

Clearly, this isn't the Mariners team that opened the season - five players in the lineup today began the year in the minors.

Jeremy Reed, Jeff Clement, Wladimir Balentien, Bryan LaHair and R.A. Dickey were in Tacoma opening day, but they're part of a youth movement that includes Tug Hullett, Cesar Jimenez, Roy Cocoran, Ryan Feierabend and Jake Woods.

"I've been with teams where you knew you didn't have a chance," Riggleman said. "That's tough for players to keep it going. Here, though, we do have a chance every day.

"Guys are playing for more than pride. There are guys here playing for jobs, for careers, to establish themselves as major leaguers.

"I reminded them all, giving up is unacceptable."