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Further Updates From The Mariners' Thursday Press Conference

Matthew already covered the injury information, as trainer Rick Griffin revealed that every Mariners player who has been hurt or ill is doing really great, and probably better than you. But Griffin wasn't the only guy to talk. A bunch of different people talked about a bunch of different things, and while I won't go into every detail, here are the highlights:

(1) The Dave Niehaus statue the team has planned could be done by the end of the season, and will certainly be in place by the start of 2012. My hope is that the statue will be located in center field, in the actual center field, giving the team something of a home-field advantage once Franklin Gutierrez grows accustomed to how the ball bounces. And the statue should also be engineered such that, should a ball land in Niehaus' mouth on the fly, it subsequently rolls out of one of three pipes lodged in various places around the outfield wall, like you see in minigolf courses. It's the way Dave would've wanted it. Also the statue has laser eyes.

(2) This is the Niehaus patch the Mariners are going to wear through the season:


For the sake of comparison, here are the Harry Caray, Ernie Harwell, and Harry Kalas patches previously worn by the Cubs, Tigers, and Phillies, respectively:


I don't know how I feel about the Mariners' patch design - it seems more like a bumper sticker - but I'm glad that they have one, and if nothing else, at least there's no mistaking to whom the patch is dedicated.

(3) Eric Wedge got a turn at the microphone and said a lot of things all intensity-like. A good number of Mariners fans have spent the past several seasons longing for a fiery son of a bitch like Lou Piniella to run the team again. A good number of other Mariners fans have preferred the more brainy, quiet type. Wedge seems to be an even compromise between the two. While he probably won't get ejected very often, he'll still get mad. Instead of getting mad at the umpires, he'll just get mad at his own team.

(4) Somewhere along the line, it was suggested that the M's are still looking to bring in another arm or two as a non-roster invitee - presumably someone to add to the Luke French/Nate Robertson/David Pauley competition. As we know, there isn't a ton left out there, hence Nate Robertson, but, say, Jeremy Bonderman's a guy who's cheap and who was born in the area, so, who knows. Anybody else surprised that we haven't heard anything about Jarrod Washburn?

(5) The Mariners' series that was to be played against the Marlins in Florida from June 24th - June 26th will now be played in Seattle, as the Marlins' stadium is all booked up by a U2 concert. Despite the location, the Marlins will still be considered the home team and the games will therefore be played in accordance with NL rules, meaning the Mariners will play without a DH, just as they played much of last season.

(6) Pedro Grifol said that Dustin Ackley has gained nearly ten pounds this winter, and is "ready to hit the ground running." I know what the expression means, but it's curiously worded, as it suggests that the subject is falling from somewhere. When I hear that Dustin Ackley will hit the ground running I just picture him among the Lemmings dropping out of a ceiling trap door.