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Spring Training Notebook Vol. V

We've got video, and foolish hopes and dreams, in equal measure.

Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Hello, and welcome to another quick roundup of the day's activities in sunny Peoria, AZ. One of the main takeaways from the admittedly very early proceedings so far has been that yay happy fun times are prevalent with the Mariners, in a way that simply hasn't been the case in the past.

Yesterday the team started a "Situational Hitting Contest", a new twist on a tired and boring batting practice staple. I'm a little unclear on how it all works, but the team was divided in two with Robinson Cano and Nelson Cruz as "Captains". All I really know if if you pull a home run you get -8 points and that it made Cano do this:

Today saw another round of the same game, and the moving pictures are a joy.

  • Firstly we have poor Kyle Seager, who hurt his team by being very good at baseball and hitting a home run to right field. A noted internet baseball personality judged him thusly:

    It ain't easy being Kyle.

    Kyle Bat Flip
  • Mike Zunino hit a double to right centerfield. Isn't that nice? Of course Mike Zunino hit the ball all last Spring as well. Many bad things can at times look like good things. What's of note is that Zunino was showing off a new, more open stance:

    Z Before After

    This led to remembering this Grantland article in which Scott Servais is credited with turning around Nelson Cruz by having him open his stance and, well, I'm dumb and it's the time of the year for dreams.

    Cruz Zunino
  • Bunts! I hate them, you hate them, the Mariners weirdly love them. Wait... no.... they used to love them. Now they hate them too!

    The team is different, I'll grant them that.
  • Also, Dutton takes a stab at a very early prediction of the final 25-man roster.
  • Funky ass gumby shit, I tells ya:
  • Two days until a real honest to goodness fake baseball game.

    Cano Laugh