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Mariners blog

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

March 28, 2007 at 9:03 AM

Rivera out, Burke in

The first big move of camp has yet to be officially announced, but Mariners backup catcher Rene Rivera was packing his bags here this morning. That’s because the team is taking Jamie Burke north to be the backup behind regular catcher Kenji Johjima.
Burke had still yet to be officially told about the move when I spoke to him. But he saw Rivera leave with his duffel bag like we all did. He can sense he’s about to be delivered the biggest news of his playing career. The native of Roseburg, Ore., a town of roughly 20,000 about an hour south of Eugene, is about to “begin” his career at age 35.
“That’s what it feels like, definitely,” an emotional sounding Burke, who has never been on an Opening Day roster before, told me.
Burke has just 78 big-league games to his credit, with the Angels and White Sox, in a pro career that dates back to 1993. Besides “paying some bills” the biggest thing for him will be the chance to live out a big-league dream. He hasn’t even called his wife, Katrina, yet, preferring not to jinx his good fortune until officially told by manager Mike Hargrove — probably within the hour. But he plans to have her, his 20-month-old son, Parker, and his parents, Walt and Marilyn, at Safeco Field next Tuesday.
“I know now that my boy will get to say he saw his father play in a big-league ballpark,” Burke said.
Nice.
REED, O’FLAHERTY SENT DOWN
The Rivera move was just made official moments ago and joining him on his way to Class AAA will be outfielder Jeremy Reed and lefty reliever Eric O’Flaherty. Sean Green will be headed out as well, no big surprise there.
What does this mean right now? Ben Broussard isn’t getting traded. George Sherrill showed enough to be heading north. Brandon Morrow is still alive is his quest to jump from one game of Class A to the majors. Note that Jon Huber still hasn’t been cut. Nor has Sean White. This is coming down to the wire. Lookie here, Rey Ordonez is still around.
Aaron Small, no surprise, was sent to minor league camp.

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