Notebook | McLaren stands behind message
Mariners manager John McLaren apologized on Friday for his profanity-laced postgame tirade 48 hours earlier. McLaren wanted to make clear...
Seattle Times staff reporter
Today | @ Boston, 12:55 p.m., Ch. 13 | M's RH Miguel Batista (3-6, 5.90) vs. RH Tim Wakefield (3-4, 4.50).
Sunday | @ Boston, 10:35 a.m., FSN | M's LH Erik Bedard (4-4, 4.47) vs. RH Justin Masterson (2-0, 2.95).
Monday | @ Toronto, 4:07 p.m., FSN | M's LH Jarrod Washburn (2-7, 6.56) vs. RH Jesse Litsch (7-2, 3.45).
Tuesday | @ Toronto, 4:07 p.m., FSN | M's RH Carlos Silva (3-6, 5.96) vs. RH Dustin McGowan (4-4, 4.26).
Wednesday | @ Toronto, 9:37 a.m., FSN | M's RH Felix Hernandez (4-5, 3.07) vs. RH Shaun Marcum (5-3, 2.52).
BOSTON — Mariners manager John McLaren apologized on Friday for his profanity-laced postgame tirade 48 hours earlier.
McLaren wanted to make clear that he stood by the gist of what he said. But he added that he could have chosen more appropriate language to do it with.
"I really used some inappropriate language," McLaren told reporters before Friday's game. "I haven't had the nerve to call my mom yet. I really apologize for the people I offended."
McLaren said he first saw footage of his postgame news conference while on the team's charter flight to Boston on Wednesday night. The flights have satellite television and McLaren, who was listening to music on headphones, said he couldn't hear what he was saying but did see his face with a digital blur over his mouth — meant to cover up his profanities.
"I don't apologize for what I said at all," McLaren said. "I will not back off that. But my language was terrible. If I offended anybody — I know the beeps probably helped a lot, but still — I do apologize about that."
Some observers have suggested McLaren staged the entire episode in a calculated bid to jump-start his sagging team and preserve his own job in the process.
"I just went up to the mic and I just looked at all of you and I thought, 'Here we go again,' " he said, when asked by reporters whether his tirade was premeditated. "You're going to ask me some similar questions, and I was going to give you similar answers. I was going to be stand-up and not throw anybody under the bus. I don't think I threw anybody under the bus the other way. It wasn't meant to be.
"Something just hit me, and I said, 'I'm not going to do this. I'm not going to do this thing we've been doing.' I just felt something inside me, and I thought, 'Let it out.' "
McLaren did not address his players about his comments.
"I've run into the players," he said. "I'm not dodging them."
McLaren was asked about the message he'd like players to take away from what he said.
"I think we all need to take responsibility," he said. "Again, starting with myself. Knowing this isn't acceptable. Knowing that we all have frustrations. Knowing that we can all do something about it."
• Mariners president Chuck Armstrong was among those who accompanied the team on its trip here. General manager Bill Bavasi and his assistant, John Bowles, were also on hand for the series opener.
Armstrong has a daughter and granddaughter who live in the Boston area and confirmed that he was here to visit them. But when asked whether he was also here to keep an eye on the team, he responded: "Yes, I am."
Bavasi lingered in the clubhouse before the game. He made headlines on Wednesday afternoon by forcing Mariners players to stand in front of their lockers and answer to the media for their performance.
He also withheld the team's postgame food and made sure no towels were available for players to shower and dry themselves off with. The idea was the players wouldn't shower right away, but several of them were confused about what was happening and did so anyway.
When Bavasi spotted Jarrod Washburn drying off with a T-shirt afterward, he relented and ordered that the towels be dispersed.
• Bob Fontaine, Mariners vice president of scouting, reiterated on Friday his team's stance on the value of using high draft picks on hard-throwing relievers. The Mariners have taken plenty of heat for using their No. 1 pick Thursday to draft University of Georgia reliever Josh Fields in the 20th slot overall.
Fontaine was talking about how his team had hoped to land a power arm and power bat in its first two rounds of selections. But then he broke off from that to make a point about how power relievers aren't that easy to find, either.
"It's the one position that can really help two positions," he said. "It helps your bullpen, but it can also help your starting staff."
The Mariners selected 50 players overall, 29 of them pitchers — including five left-handers. Another eight players were infielders, five were catchers and eight were outfielders.
Among the draftees was outfielder Henry Cotto, taken in the 41st round. Cotto is the son of former Mariner and current Everett AquaSox coach Henry Cotto. Josh Rodriguez, son of Mariners first-base coach Eddie Rodriguez, was taken in the 49th round.
• The Mariners have once again juggled their starting rotation and will send Erik Bedard to the mound against Boston on Sunday instead of Washburn.
Mariners pitching coach Mel Stottlemyre said this wasn't a matter of the team trying to prevent Washburn from facing the hard-hitting Red Sox, or allowing Bedard to miss a start in his native Canada.
Instead, he said, it's merely to keep Bedard on his regular four days' rest. Stottlemyre has tried to give Bedard added rest as the team goes through a month in which it has off-days every Thursday.
But Bedard's short outing his last time out made the rest issue a moot point.
"It's more 75 pitches than anything else," Stottlemyre said. "I wanted to go back to him being on the fifth day."
For the record
vs. AL West: 10-14
vs. L.A.: 3-6
vs. Oakland: 3-2
vs. Texas: 4-6
vs. AL East: 6-14
vs. AL Cent.: 4-10
vs. NL: 2-1
vs. LHP: 4-12
vs. RHP: 18-27
Extra innings: 2-2
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
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