Some kind of birthday gift

Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu celebrated his 47th birthday on Sunday and received a unique “gift” from the team.

At end end of practice, the players gathered near the batting cage by veteran Mike Sweeney.

“You knew it was coming,” Wakamatsu said. “I didn’t know if it would be a pie in the face, or what. But that’s Sweeney.

“I couldn’t figure out why everybody was staying, especially the veteran guys,” Wakamatsu said. 

All of a sudden, Sweeney escorted Ken Griffey Jr., to the manager. Happy Birthday, indeed.

“They gave me my birthday present — our new hitter,” Wakamatsu said.

The group dispersed and Sweeney led a happy birthday rendition as players and spectators joined in the serenade.

— Jim Street

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