Notebook | Marlins talk draws Mariners' ire
That long-awaited Ichiro contract extension, expected to be announced today, already has drawn fire from a top executive of the Florida...
Seattle Times staff reporter
That long-awaited Ichiro contract extension, expected to be announced today, already has drawn fire from a top executive of the Florida Marlins.
And the Mariners on Thursday night fired back at Marlins president David Samson for telling a Miami radio station that the pending Ichiro deal is "a joke, it's inexcusable, it's complete mismanagement. It can't be true."
Mariners president Chuck Armstrong responded curtly that: "The Seattle Mariners, ownership and management has never criticized another team for whatever they have done, even if we might consider it to be folly.
"It strikes us as bizarre that Samson would go public and make such a statement."
Armstrong went on to add: "He has no idea what the terms of any contract extension might be for No. 51. So, how can he comment on it when he has no idea? When we haven't done it yet?"
Today | vs. Detroit, 7:05 p.m., FSN | M's LHP Jarrod Washburn (8-6, 3.72) vs. RHP Jeremy Bonderman (9-1, 3.48).
Saturday | vs. Detroit, 7:05 p.m., Ch. 11 | M's RHP Miguel Batista (8-7, 4.54) vs. LHP Kenny Rogers (3-0, 1.04).
Sunday | vs. Detroit, 1:05 p.m., FSN | M's RHP LHP Jeff Weaver (2-6, 6.34) vs. RHP Justin Verlander (10-3, 3.14).
Monday | vs. Baltimore, 7:05 p.m., FSN | M's LHP Horacio Ramirez (4-2, 6.47) vs. LHP Brian Burres (4-3, 4.27).
Tuesday | vs. Baltimore, 7:05 p.m., FSN | M's RHP Felix Hernandez (6-4, 3.66) vs. RHP Jeremy Guthrie (4-3, 3.07).
Several reports have the deal lasting five years for a total value — including any bonuses or incentive clauses — that could exceed $100 million. Samson, on his regular Wednesday night interview segment for Sports Talk 790 AM, said the Ichiro figures, if accurate, would be a sign of baseball entering another ridiculous fiscal age.
"It'll take the sport down, that contract," he said. "Right back to the ridiculous contracts. It can't be."
Samson, it should be noted, faces a looming contract obstacle of his own regarding blossoming star Miguel Cabrera. While the third baseman won't become a free agent until after 2009, there already is speculation he could become the sport's second $200 million player.
No word yet on how this latest exchanging of barbs would impact the Mariners in any trade discussions regarding Marlins starting pitcher Dontrelle Willis. The Marlins are expected to make Willis available before the July 31 trade deadline and are in need of a young center fielder, which the Mariners have in Class AAA players Adam Jones and Jeremy Reed.
Huber still hurting
Mariners relief pitcher Jon Huber had a setback last Sunday while making his second appearance of a minor-league injury rehabilitation stint. Huber was into his second inning of a relief outing when his elbow began to get sore.
He had an X-ray taken earlier this week and is to undergo a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) exam today.
"It felt good the other day on Friday," Huber said of his previous rehab outing. "The first inning I threw on Sunday felt good too. And then after that, it wasn't just any pitch that made it get sore. It just kept getting a little more sore, a little more sore."
Huber hasn't pitched for Seattle since his elbow stiffened up in a June 6 game against Baltimore. The injury is roughly the same as the one that sidelined him for a good part of the 2003 season in the minor leagues.
The results of the MRI today will be compared with an exam he had of that same elbow in 2003 to see if anything stands out.
• It didn't take long for Mariners manager John McLaren to be asked about whether Jones will be joining the team from Class AAA shortly. The question came up in his first pregame session with reporters since the All-Star break.
"We have a solid team right now," McLaren said. "We know he's there. I think when he comes, he's going to be an impact-type player. When he comes, I can't answer that. The players we have here, I'm comfortable with, I'm ready to go do battle with tonight. But when he [Jones] does come, he's going to be a great player."
• Mariners starter Horacio Ramirez says he feels ready to rejoin the club and could do so today. The Mariners were awaiting medical word on Ramirez after he played catch Thursday and could activate him off the DL in place of Ryan Feierabend.
In Ramirez's final rehabilitation start, last Tuesday in Peoria, Ariz., he battled temperatures up around 105 degrees.
"I've pitched in it before," Ramirez said of such extreme weather. "In the National League, we got to play the Marlins. They had similar weather. Before you go out there for the first, you're already dripping in sweat."
Ramirez allowed only one run over seven innings, pitching for Seattle's rookie-level affiliate. He then went and threw another inning worth of pitches indoors, a move that allowed him to escape the heat and still get his work in.
• McLaren got some belated celebrating of his new managerial gig in Wednesday night, prior to flying back to Seattle from his home in Arizona. "I had champagne last night, I'll be honest with you," he said. "Some of my friends came over last night, so I did add that little jubilee to that mix and it felt good."
For the record
vs. AL West: 15-11
vs. L.A.: 2-7
vs. Oakland: 7-2
vs. Texas: 6-2
vs. AL East: 15-7
vs. AL Central: 11-9
vs. NL: 9-9
vs. LHP: 16-7
vs. RHP: 34-29
Extra innings: 3-1
Thursday's crowd: 31,994
Season total: 1,347,375
Biggest crowd: 46,340 (June 22)
Smallest crowd: 16,555 (May 2)
Average (43 dates): 31,334
2006 average (43 dates): 27,875
When vice president of Sub Pop Records Megan Jasper isn't running things at the office, she's working in her garden at her West Seattle home where she and her husband Brian spend time relaxing.