M's Notebook | Four M's spent a day in Dominican Republic
A quartet of Mariners took the tradition of off-day sightseeing to a whole different level on the team's last road trip. Mariners right fielder Jose...
Seattle Times staff reporter
Today | vs. Tampa Bay, 7:05 p.m., FSN | M's RHP Jeff Weaver (6-12, 6.05) vs. RHP Jason Hammel (2-4, 6.57)
Friday | vs. Tampa Bay, 7:05 p.m., FSN | M's RHP Felix Hernandez (12-7, 4.17) vs. RHP James Shields (12-8, 3.96)
Saturday | vs. Tampa Bay, 6:05 p.m., Ch.11 | M's LHP Horacio Ramirez (8-6, 6.80) vs. LHP Scott Kazmir (12-8, 3.65)
Sunday | vs. Tampa Bay, 1:05 p.m., FSN | M's LHP Jarrod Washburn (9-14, 4.49) vs. RHP Andy Sonnanstine (5-9, 5.96)
Today | at Oakland, 7:05 p.m., FSN | M's RHP Miguel Batista (13-11, 4.67) vs. RHP Dan Haren (14-7, 3.11)
A quartet of Mariners took the tradition of off-day sightseeing to a whole different level on the team's last road trip.
Mariners right fielder Jose Guillen chartered a Gulfstream IV jet from New York City and invited teammates Miguel Batista, Adrian Beltre and Yuniesky Betancourt to join him on a one-day sojourn to the Dominican Republic.
The four flew out of New York about 12:30 a.m. on Thursday, after the team's loss to the Yankees. They arrived several hours later, spent the day and night in that Caribbean country and flew back out the next morning, arriving in Detroit about 12:30 p.m.
"It's not a long flight," Guillen said. "Only about 2 ½, maybe three hours."
Guillen had bought a block of flight hours from the jet's company and invited his teammates along. The plane landed in Santo Domingo, and Batista and Beltre headed off to visit their families nearby while Guillen spent the day with his 7-year-old son, Jose Jr.
Betancourt is a native of Cuba but went along on the trip to see a niece. He had never previously been to the Dominican.
All four players received permission from the team to make the trip. A couple of other players stayed behind in New York to visit families and did not travel to Detroit until the day of the game.
The four made it back in plenty of time for that night's game against the Tigers, in which Batista was the starting pitcher.
Guillen said the trip wasn't that much farther than many destinations in the United States. The plane was full-service with stewards supplying food and beverages.
"It's a real comfortable plane," he said. "It has a nice bed in the back so I can get some sleep."
The players also saved time by not having to wait in line at customs. Because the plane was privately chartered, customs inspectors came aboard and processed them in both countries.
Johjima feels good
Kenji Johjima sat out Wednesday night's game with a bruised left wrist after being hit by a relay throw while attempting to break up a double play sliding into second base on Tuesday. Johjima was laughing and smiling in the clubhouse beforehand, claiming he felt much better than the previous night, when there were initial fears the wrist was broken.
"I could be in the lineup," he said.
Johjima said he'd never been hurt in so bizarre a fashion before.
"He hit me at a very close range," he said. "So, at first, I didn't know exactly where [on the arm] the ball got me. I was in so much pain."
Mariners manager John McLaren said Johjima visited his office in an attempt to lobby him to play.
"The training staff jumped right on him two or three times during the game," McLaren said, adding that the quick response helped.
"Thank God it wasn't broken," he said.
But McLaren still wanted Johjima to have a night off and instead started Jamie Burke -- who had Seattle's first hit and scored its first run in the third inning.
Richie Sexson will be out of action another 10 days or so and could even be done for the year. That was the word Wednesday after the team revealed that an examination on Sexson found he was suffering from tendinitis in his left hamstring and lower back area.
"He's not going to be back any time soon," McLaren said. "He's going to be out for a while. I can't give you an exact date, but he's going to be out for a week, maybe longer.
"You know how Richie is. If we get things going, he'd like to contribute somehow, somewhere, sometime."
M's gain a fan
A letter from a Chicago White Sox fan complimenting the Mariners has been prominently posted on a bulletin board in the team's clubhouse. The letter, addressed to Mariners CEO Howard Lincoln, is from a fan who says he was at Seattle's game in Chicago on Aug. 12 when White Sox reliever Bobby Jenks tied a major-league record with his 41st consecutive putout.
The fan, Michael D. Hunt, praised the Mariners for remaining in their dugout a little while longer before taking the field so that the crowd could salute Jenks.
"I was very moved by that high-class gesture by your ballclub to Bobby Jenks and the White Sox," Hunt wrote, adding that the Mariners had become his second-favorite team and that he'd be rooting for them if they make the playoffs.
• Mariners reliever Jon Huber was re-activated to the roster before Wednesday's game after missing the last three months with a sprained elbow ligament.
For the record
vs. AL West: 23-24
vs. L.A.: 4-11
vs. Oakland: 11-5
vs. Texas: 8-8
vs. AL East: 23-17
vs. AL Cent.: 21-18
vs. NL: 9-9
vs. LHP: 24-11
vs. RHP: 52-57
Extra innings: 5-1
Wednesday's crowd: 26,194
Season total: 2,388,534
Biggest crowd: 46,377 (Aug. 5)
Smallest crowd: 16,555 (May 2)
Average (71 dates): 33,641
2006 average (71 dates): 31,320
Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company
UPDATE - 8:27 PM
Catcher Gregg Zaun retires after 16 seasons