Jaunt to Japan, agreement not arb, M’s HoF and some pitching lists…

Eric Wedge, Ken Griffey, Jr and Tim Hevly (Senior Director of Baseball Information) recently took a quick trip to Japan to promote the upcoming MLB season opening games to take place in Tokyo on Marvh 28th and 29th between the M’s and the A’s.  Ex-M and current Oakland manager, Bob Melvin was there as well.

One of the highlights of the trip for the Mariners contingent was a clinic they attended on Sunday at the Yomiuri training site, about an hour outside Tokyo, for about 110 kids from around Japan.“That was terrific,” Hevly said. “The passion those kids have for baseball was really evident. The amount of energy from kids between 8 and 12 years old was amazing. They were very attentive. They want to be better.”
Wedge and Griffey both offered tips on various aspects of baseball. Among the attendees were a group of 36 kids from Fukushima, which had been devastated by last spring’s earthquake and tsunami. They road a bus four hours to attend, and got a special “meet and greet” with Griffey and Wedge afterward, in which they received some Mariner gear the team had sent with the group. The other kids received memorabilia as well, and the Mariners posed for pictures with all the participants.
“It was fun to see how excited they were,” Hevly said. “It’s a reminder how resilient kids are.”

AP
AP
AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi

M’s came to agreement with all three of their arbitration eligible players prior to the deadline today.  Brandon League, Jason Vargas and Shawn Kelley all have brand-new, one-year contracts.  The M’s haven’t had to go to arbitration with a player since 2003 (Freddie Garcia).

Mark your calendars for July 28th as that is the day that the Big Unit and Dan the Man will be inducted into the Mariners Hall of Fame.  Fitting that Randy Johnson and Dan Wilson will go into the Hall together after their “special battery” of the late 90’s.

AP

Last but not least – a little something to ease the pain of losing Michael…
Hultzen and Paxton name to the TopTen LHP list
Walker is #8 on the TopTen RHP list