And the first pick is. . .stay tuned

The Ellis Pavilion at Safeco Field is a hub of activity as we wait for the First-Year Player Draft to begin in a few minutes.

As my friend and colleague Kirby Arnold of Everett Herald fame noticed a few minutes ago, a high-ranking club official (well, not that high) walked out of the “war room” looking dapper in his dark suit and “Carolina blue” tie. Just a hunch, but I still think Dustin Ackley is the first player the Mariners will take — unless, of course, the Nationals pass on pitcher Stephen Strasburg.

If that happens, President Obama probably will decide to fire the whole Nationals front office staff and hand-pick his own replacements.

Meanwhile in Baltimore, shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt continues to boggle the mind. He is not in the starting lineup again tonight, possibly because he decided (foolishly) not to participate in early hitting. Someone should bop him over the head! He has tremendous talent, but is clueless when it comes to being the best player he can be.

Anyway, today it’s all about the Draft and not about a moody, pouty shortstop.

Stay tuned for the Mariners’ first pick of the day.

— Jim Street

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