We're live from a sun-drenched Peoria Stadium where it's only 73 degrees. But I'm really glad I'm not back in the Puget Sound area.
As a hint of the lightness of mood in spring training, when Ken Griffey Jr. along with the capacity crowd giving generous, White Sox bench coach and Jr.'s former teammate Joey Cora offered some applause. Griffey looked right at him and said a few things and then Cora said a few things back and Cora started to do the bowing "We're not worthy" motion. Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, a person who himself can't help himself from saying things, was continually yapping at the player he managed for half the season last year.
Then catcher AJ Pierzynski stood up and made the signal for pitcher Jose Contreras to intentionally walk Jr. Fans didn't think it was funny at first but Griffey did, he had to step out of the box to compose himself.
It didn't help the at-bat, though as Griffey eventually struck out looking.
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UPDATE 1:37 -- While the mood was light to start early, manager Don Wakamatsu's mood might be souring. Mariners starter Garrett Olson walked a hitter in the first inning, then walked the first two hitters to start the second inning. Josh Field followed with an RBI single.
Olson managed to get an out, but then walked lead-off hitter Jerry Olson to load the bases. Pierzynski unloaded them with a sharp single score two runs. Carlos Quentin followed with a deep triple to right center that scored two runs. Then the relay throw from Yuniesky Betancourt to try and get Quentin at third was wild and got past Adrian Beltre allowing Quentin to score.
Olson managed to get a second out, getting Jermaine Dye to pop up, but he promptly served up a two out walk to Josh Kroeger and Wakamatsu had seen enough pulling Olson for Marwin Vega.
I wrote yesterday about how bothersome the walks are to Wak, and Olson had fivein two innings.
And the carnage still isn't over. Vega gave up a bloop hit to right that Mike Morse couldn't come up with and then Alexei Ramirez crushed a pitch deep to left-center for a three-run homer. Vega finally ended the inning. It's now 9-0 and the Mariner have only had three players come to the plate. Thankfully it's a nice day out.
Olson's line 1 2/3 innings, three hits, 7 runs and five walks and a strikeout.
UPDATE 2:28 --- Well, it's now 10-0 as Marwin Vega gave up three runs himself but didn't walk anybody.
Miguel Batista game in in the fourth and got an out and then - walked two guys in a row - but he was bailed out on nice double play by Adrian Beltre.
Jr. just popped out to left and is 0-for-2
UPDATE 2:42 -- The Mariners are on the board as Russell Branyan ripped a two-run homer to right-center. It was no doubter to be certain.
Randy Messenger came in for one inning and struck out the first two hitters he faced, gave up a hit and then got Carlos Quentin to ground out to third. Messenger pitched a second inning and gave up a home run to Josh Kroeger.
UPDATE 3:23 --- The Mariners are showing some offense, Russell Branyan and Mike Morse just hit back-to-back solo homers. So now it's 15-4. A real nailbiter.