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September 6, 2008 at 11:17 PM

More bad news

This game is done, with the Mariners taking a 7-4 loss to the New York Yankees on a night that saw the bullpen falter in a five-run seventh inning. Seattle had a 3-2 lead after Raul Ibanez hit a three-run homer in the sixth. But the bullpen could not hold on.
But the other bit of bad news, which I’m sure some of you will take much harder than the game, is that Jeff Clement will have season-ending knee surgery on Tuesday. Clement has a torn meniscus in the knee that’s prevented him from playing of late.
It’s a three to four week recovery period, so forget about 2008 (I’ve had four of these on my right knee and know he’s not getting back on the field this season).
“It’s not a complicated procedure, I’ve had it done once before, so I figure let’s get it over with and come back fresh,” Clement said after the game.
I asked him how he’ll look back on his season.
“I’ve gotten to take back both the positive and the negative,” he said. “I think you learn a lot from the bad times. Struggling’s not unusual and everybody’s done it. It’s how you handle it that defines who you become as a player and I think I handled it as best I could.”
I caught up with Ibanez after the game and asked him about his pending free-agency, topping 100 RBI for a third straight year and whether he feels teams will want him to stay in left field next season.
“I don’t see why not,” Ibanez said. “Physically, I feel very good. I feel the same that I’ve always felt, really. I don’t see why not.”
Well, his defense has been a concern. The Mariners will be looking to improve their defense next year. But they also say they want Ibanez back — at the right price, of course.
Ibanez was asked whether the whole left field thing could become a “sticking point” in any contract talks.
“I don’t see that happening, really,” he said. “And to be honest, I don’t think that far ahead.”
As if on cue, as we were heading towards an outer corridor near the manager’s office, Jim Riggleman appeared. Steering Ibanez towards his office, arm around his shoulder, he asked: “Can you DH tomorrow?”
Stay tuned. It would only be for a day. But this question is bound to be asked again.
Ryan Rowaland-Smith admitted that all of the people watching him might have thrown him off a bit when he walked three consecutive hitters in that third inning. He had his father, Rob, in the stands visiting from Australia and watching him pitch in the majors live for the first time. His girlfriend’s family was there watching as well.
Oh yeah, one more person.
“I have a confession to make as well,” he said. “I grew up idolizing Andy Pettitte, so I was kind of sitting there going ‘What’s Andy thinking about this?’ ”
Wow. Too bad the M’s won’t have an edge like that tomorrow. I doubt Mike Mussina will get all jittery because Felix Hernandez will be watching from the dugout. But hey, you never know.

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