Don’t forget the Geoff Baker Live! show moves to a new time starting tomorrow. We’ve decided to to it at 10 a.m weekdays., not 9 a.m. like I told you on our special edition show yesterday. This should give you all time to get settled in your offices. The point of the show isn’t to dissect every play of spring training games, which is why we aren’t doing it at night. It’s to talk about the big picture in camp. So, I hope you can join me.
See Ken Griffey Jr. take his first swings in batting practice together with his new Mariners teammates. It’s all in our latest video down below. Several of the balls hit by Griffey rocketed over the fence.
Griffey seemed relaxed as he mingled and laughed with other Mariners. In the clubhouse afterwards, he and Mike Morse bantered back and forth.
“I think it’s important that he feels comfortable pretty early in here,” Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said, adding that he was impressed by a number of low pitches Griffey kept driving.
Griffey ripped one foul ball off the padded metal bar atop the cage. The ball ricocheted back and nearly hit him, but he avoided it. The reason they pad those things is so that fouled balls don’t come back at a player like bullets. I saw Darrin Fletcher nearly lose an eye while taking BP in an unpadded cage in Seattle back in 1999. Fletcher wound up with a broken orbital bone that sidelined him more than a month.
Wakamatsu received a birthday gift from players on the field when workouts were done. Mike Sweeney made sure the players gathered around, then Griffey was pushed forward towards Wakamatsu.
“Best gift I ever had,” Wakamatsu said.
Wakamatsu is in his office meeting with Adrian Beltre, Jose Lopez, Endy Chavez and Yuniesky Betancourt. He’s taking time to get to know all of his players and broach a number of topics with them. In Beltre’s case, whether he’ll be off to the World Baseball Classic next week is one item on the agenda. Lopez and Chavez are already assumed to be going.
In the shot below, Mariners president Chuck Armstrong and GM Jack Zduriencik watch Griffey take BP.