Mariners Insider Blog

Trainer down! And spirits are up in camp

Ken Roll has been in enough spring camps to appreciate the fun that can be had on a baseball field.

At 65, he's a trainer with years of experience around players, and yesterday he was standing on the sidelines chatting with two other trainers while the Mariners played catch.

A throw got away, as throws do, and someone yelled 'Heads up!'

Roll did what most of us would do in that situation – he ducked, tried to wheel around so his face wasn't in the path of the all. Then he saw the ball go harmlessly by. Except, by then, he was off balance and staggering.

"I stayed up as long as I could," Roll said. "I was going to go down and I knew it, but they say it took me about 10 seconds to go down."

When he did, players went into near hysterics. Nearly 24 hours later, they were still having fun with Roll.

On the field near where he finally came to rest, uninjured, Ken Griffey Jr. lay splayed while a teammate taped an outline of his body. When completed, it resembled those chalk outlines at evidence scenes on television. They even taped in eyes, a nose and a frown.

Then came the re-enactment.

"Trainer down!" someone screamed.

Out of a crowd of players staggered Adrian Beltre, stumbling, wobbling and then collapsing hard directly into the taped outline. Players bent over they laughed so hard, and no one did so more than Roll.

"I've been in a lot of these camps, and I don't think I've ever been in one where guys had more fun or got more instruction," Roll said. "It's good to hear guys enjoying themselves again."