Until the Mike Wilson re-signing news came out, these were the only three pieces of "news" related to the Mariners today, courtesy of Rotoworld and MLB:
- Clement getting crash course at first. Mariners backup catcher increases versatility by learning new spot.
- New Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said he'd consider batting Yuniesky Betancourt second to begin the season.
- Ken Griffey Jr. hit five home runs during his first batting practice session with the Mariners.
None of these are news. Some of them seem like news thanks to creative summarizing in order to desperately drum up interest, but I'll take these in order and explain why these are showing up because of a 24-hour news cycle and not because they have any significance.
JEFF CLEMENT AT FIRST BASE?
What you might think: We have been talking a lot about Jeff Clement's defense at catcher and how sticking behind the plate really helps his value, but that reports have been pessimistic about his long term future at the position. He must have shown up to camp and not made any progress over the winter and thus, they are preparing to move Clement to first base and DH.
The Reality: The Mariners are considering Clement as a possible emergency first baseman. Like if Chris Shelton, Mike Sweeney, Russell Branyan and whomever else the team might carry with 1B experience all decide to defect to Russia to fulfill their secret lifelong dreams of starring in the least artistic ballet ever produced. Now, that would be news. This isn't.
Key Quote: "I'll continue to work at it and hope to reach the point where I feel good enough to get into a game if they ask me to." Clement figures to get most of his playing time this season as the designated hitter and backup catcher to Kenji Johjima.
YUNIESKY BETANCOURT BATTING SECOND?
What you might think: Betancourt has a career .305 OBP. Don Wakamatsu apparently went to the Dusty Baker school of filling out lineup cards, but only managed a B- average.
The Reality: Remember this? Betancourt's first appearance in the on deck center while Ichiro was at the plate was August 22nd and though he did log the majority of the September games batting second, who cares? A lot of those games featured Matt Tuiasosopo, Bryan LaHair and Miguel Cairo (holy crap we were bad).
Key Quote: There isn't one because this is all based on a throwaway line from Wakamatsu that isn't reprinted as far as I can find. Clearly, everyone down in Peoria is taking the matter seriously.
GRIFFEY HITS FIVE HOME RUNS IN BP
What you might think: Oh god, more Griffey love
The Reality: Yep, it's more Griffey love. It's batting practice! Batting practice!
Key Quote: The line came in the midst of an article transition discussing Griffey's sense of humor with his new teammates and a quote from Wakamatsu about how Jr. says his legs feel better.