It is 3:15 p.m. and the swiftest of the Mariners position players are going through bunting drills off Iron Mike the pitching machine.
The group includes Jose Lopez, Yuniesky Betancourt, Ichiro, Ronny Cedeno, Franklin Gutierrez and Endy Chavez.
The sluggers on the team — Ken Griffey Jr., Mike Sweeney and Russell Branyan and Adrian Beltre — might have been in the indoor batting cages working on their power swings.
The Mariners have hit nine home runs this season, which is tied with the Angels for next-to-last in the American League. In the hard-to-believe department, the Athletics have three (count ’em) 3 home runs AS A TEAM.
The Indians have the most in the AL with 24.
Congrats to the eight Mariners listed on the All-Star Game ballot. I think this might be the first time that has happened to Branyan, but I’ll check on that when I get downstairs. The media isn’t allowed in the clubhouse until 3:40 p.m.
This just in from the Public Relations Department: The organization has been able to reduce the amount of paper used in the press box for each home game by approximately 2,000 sheets per day. That calculates to about 160,000 sheets per season. Not quite sure how many trees that would be.
The team’s 2.94 ERA after 14 games is the lowest in the Majors and also the lowest in franchise history at this point of the season.
— Jim Street