M's notebook: Ichiro an All-Star again
In another sign of the Mariners' decline, the team had only one player selected to participate in next week's All-Star Game...
Seattle Times staff reporter
In another sign of the Mariners' decline, the team had only one player selected to participate in next week's All-Star Game — Ichiro.
Every team is required to have at least one player in the game, and the Mariners were represented when Ichiro was voted as a reserve on the player ballot after he was fourth in the fan voting. It was the first time in his Seattle career he wasn't voted in as a starter.
Ichiro said he was happy to again achieve what he sets as a yearly goal.
"As a player, obviously you want to make the All-Star team," he said through an interpreter.
The Mariners had hoped they might land another player on the team, specifically closer Eddie Guardado, who got his 20th save of the season in yesterday's 2-1 win over Texas and has a sterling 1.55 earned-run average with only one blown save.
Guardado, who has pitched in two other All-Star games (2002, 2003), admitted he was a little disappointed.
"I don't know who picks the All-Star team or who does what, but I guess it was just not my time," he said.
The consolation for Guardado is that he gets essentially seven straight days at home.
The Mariners close the first half of the season in Anaheim, near his residence in Tustin, Calif., meaning Guardado can simply stay there to spend the All-Star break at home.
The Mariners had only one All-Star last year as well when Ichiro was voted onto the team.
It's the first time Seattle has gone two straight years with only one selection since the 1988-89 seasons.
Manager Mike Hargrove said he hoped for more Mariners on the team, but having managed two All-Star games, said he understands how tough it is to fill out the roster.
"You could expand the roster to 50 and you'd still be leaving out people who are deserving," Hargrove said.
He called the selection of Ichiro "very logical. He's not having an Ichiro-like year so far, but he's still hitting .300 and he did set the all-time hit record last year. I totally agree with it."
Guardado gets revenge
Interestingly, on the day he got snubbed for the All-Star team, Guardado got revenge for his only blown save of the year, which came April 9 against the Rangers at Safeco Field.
In that game, Ranger Richard Hidalgo hit a two-run homer in the ninth to give Texas a 7-6 win.
Yesterday, Hidalgo again came to the plate in the ninth with a runner on base and the Rangers down a run.
This time, Guardado got him to fly out to center field.
"Revenge is always good," Guardado said with a smile. "This game is always about revenge and it's always nice — especially with the way we have been playing."
• Texas starter Kenny Rogers hadn't pitched since June 22 when he gave up six runs in 3-1/3 innings against the Angels. That game came five days after he broke a bone in his right (non-throwing) hand in a temper tantrum June 17 at Washington. But the hand didn't seem to be an issue yesterday as he allowed just six hits and two runs in 7-2/3 innings. Seattle had just five singles and one double.
"Kenny was outstanding and impressive today," Texas manager Buck Showalter said. "He gave us a chance to win."
Rogers, however, was roundly booed before the game and when he left in the eighth inning. It was his first appearance since his infamous altercation with a cameraman earlier this week.
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.