MLB Notebook | Mariners upset after getting "worst schedule"
The Mariners were so disgruntled when they received the initial copy of their 2008 schedule that they lobbied Major League Baseball to eliminate...
Seattle Times staff reporter
The Mariners were so disgruntled when they received the initial copy of their 2008 schedule that they lobbied Major League Baseball to eliminate the inequities they saw.
But the M's didn't get too far, resulting in the release this past week of what Seattle's veteran traveling secretary, Ron Spellecy, called "the worst schedule I've ever seen."
The changes, according to one team official, amounted to "re-
arranging the deck chairs. I wouldn't characterize them as a big improvement."
The Mariners have a few gripes, starting with the addition of nearly 5,000 air miles to what is always, by dint of geographic isolation, the most arduous travel schedule in baseball. Whereas the M's flew 51,000 miles this past season, they will be over 55,000 next season.
That includes three trips to New York before the All-Star break, two to play the Yankees and one for an interleague series against the Mets.
The Mariners don't like the fact that all but one of their ventures into the Eastern time zone (they play 12 such series) are part of two-city trips. They lobbied for three-city trips to alleviate the travel, but only three of their 12 road trips are three-city trips, mostly to the Pacific and Central time zones.
Another gripe is a stretch in May in which the Mariners travel for three games in Texas, come home for three games at Safeco, and then immediately leave on a road trip to Detroit and New York.
Finally, they are concerned about their first trip of the season, which opens with three games at Baltimore, April 4-7.
With no more games in Baltimore scheduled during the season, they fear a repeat of last year's Cleveland disaster. The Mariners and Indians had a four-game series snowed out in April. Because the two teams had no more scheduled games in Cleveland, the Mariners were required to make three separate trips to Jacobs Field for makeup games.
"MLB assured us that would never happen again," Spellecy said.
Bonds not coming here
The Mariners are being frequently listed as a possible landing spot for Barry Bonds, who will not be re-signed by the Giants and would logically fit best on an American League team as a designated hitter.
But you can put that notion to rest. Those in a position to know indicate strongly that the Mariners will not make a bid for the home-run king, who turns 44 next July.
Notes and quotes
• The resignation of Jim Duquette, Baltimore's vice president of baseball operations, could be the beginning of an Orioles bloodletting. The status of GM Mike Flanagan is still up in the air, along with pitching coach Leo Mazzone and hitting coach Terry Crowley.
Mazzone was hired away from Atlanta with much fanfare before the 2006 season, but with his longtime buddy, Sam Perlozzo, having been fired as manager during this past season, many in Baltimore believe that Mazzone will be dismissed.
• Those Tampa Bay Devil Rays really know how to end the season on a high note. In a span of five days that ended Tuesday, here's what happened:
Ace Scott Kazmir popped off, saying he was tired of playing for an also-ran and urging the front office to acquire veteran help;
Rookie Delmon Young was pulled from a game for not running hard and ripped by manager Joe Maddon for not respecting the game;
Pitching coach Jim Hickey spent Sunday night in jail after being arrested for DUI, hit-and-run and resisting arrest following the Rays' return from a season-ending road trip to Toronto;
Bench coach Bill Evers, the longest-serving uniformed member of the organization, was fired.
• Having cut ties with center fielder Andruw Jones, don't be surprised if the Braves make a play for free agent Mike Cameron, a native of LaGrange, Georgia.
• The Giants acknowledge a need to beef up their offense, which means that lefty Noah Lowry, a 14-game winner in 2007, could be used as trade bait.
GM Brian Sabean listed Matt Cain and Tim Lincecum as virtual untouchables, but Lowry didn't get such a label. One issue: Lowry's season ended a month early because of a bone spur in his left elbow.
• Kenny Lofton on the volatile mid-1990s Indians' powerhouses that included Albert Belle, Manny Ramirez, Carlos Baerga, Jim Thome and Dennis Martinez:
"I felt sorry for [Mike] Hargrove because he couldn't control us off the field. On the field, he knew we would play hard and play to win. But once the game was over he was like, 'Oh boy, now what's going to happen?' "
Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company
UPDATE - 8:27 PM
Catcher Gregg Zaun retires after 16 seasons
Sam and Sara Lucchese create handmade pasta out of their kitchen-garage adjacent to their Ballard home. Here, they illustrate the final steps in making pappardelle pasta.