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Daily coverage of the Mariners during the season and all year long.

March 23, 2007 at 12:56 PM

Mariners vs. Angels

Here are today’s lineups:
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (14-9)
24 Gary Matthews, CF
18 Orlando Cabrera, SS
27 Vlad Guerrero, RF
16 Garret Anderson, LF
12 Shea Hillenbrand, DH
35 Casey Kotchman, 1B
44 Mike Napoli, C
6 Maicer Izturis, 3B
32 Erick Aybar, 2B
41 John Lackey, RHP
Seattle Mariners (9-15)
51 Ichiro Suzuki, DH
7 Jeremy Reed, CF
29 Adrian Beltre, 3B
6 Jose Guillen, RF
23 Ben Broussard, 1B
3 Yuniesky Betancourt, SS
12 Mike Morse, LF
4 Jose Lopez, 2B
30 Rene Rivera, C
34 Felix Hernandez, RHP
Note the presence of both Jose Guillen and Shea Hillenbrand on their respective clubs. Early reports from both camps have been nothing but positive from a personality standpoint. Guillen walked by the visitors’ dugout here in Peoria moments ago, paused for a quick chat with Angels first base coach Alfredo Griffin, then kept on going. World War III did not break out, though Guillen didn’t chat with Mike Scioscia or anything.
Had a nice talk with Hillenbrand for about 20 minutes. Haven’t seen him since the night he got run out of Toronto. For what it’s worth, none of the Blue Jays players I have ever spoken to — on or off the record — had anything bad to say about Hillenbrand as a teammate. Gregg Zaun objected to some of the things he did out of humor, like writing messages on a clubhouse bulletin board, but even he wouldn’t rip Hillenbrand. Good thing, too. That would not have been a popular move amongst the players who matter in that clubhouse. The Hillenbrand-Toronto feud was strictly a management-player thing.
In Guillen’s case, it was a little different. He had management and the team’s pitching staff — most notablly, current teammate Jarrod Washburn — angry at him. Both Guillen and Hillenbrand will be facing some loud music from the respective fans of Anaheim and Toronto when they return to play there for the first time — Guillen in April, Hillenbrand in August.
Thing is, they also share something else. The need for a fresh start, and chance to prove they are greater than their reputations give them credit for. It should be interesting. Hillenbrand, by the way, adopted a baby boy just three months after adopting an infant girl. It was the latter adoption that caused him to leave the team last July and sparked a confrontation that led to his ugly departure from the Blue Jays. Hillenbrand now has three adopted children, two boys and a girl. He and his wife also have an extensive collection of exotic and unusual animals and recently bought a large horse ranch near his old Gilbert, Ariz. home to accomodate his growing family and animal herd.
See? There’s often more to guys than you read. Even so-called “cancers”. Always look at them with a fresh perspective. That would be my advice for the day.
Guillen got a mixed, noisy reaction of cheers and boos as he stepped to the plate in the first inning. He worked the count to 2-2, then drilled a Lackey pitch over the wall in left center for a two-run homer. It’s now 2-0 for Seattle heading to the bottom of the second.
No. 1 starter Felix Hernandez (it’ll be official soon enough) has gone six up and six down through the order, getting five ground balls and one strikeout on Vladimir Guerrero. Not bad for a first two innings.
By the way, J.J. Putz threw his bullpen this morning and felt fine. If he feels good tomorrow, it’s on to the next step.
Quite a curse I just put on Hernandez by mentioning his great first two innings. He promptly headed out for the third and issued an infield single to Mike Napoli, a double to center by Macier Izturis and then a two-run single to center by Erick Aybar on a 2-0 pitch. So, we’re all tied up at 2-2, heading to the bottom of the third.



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