June 17, 2009 at 6:14 PM
Jason Vargas will get the Saturday start that had been earmarked for Erik Bedard. The Mariners had hoped to give him an extra day rest, but that fell by the wayside. Felix Hernandez goes Sunday, which would have been Vargas start.
Kenji Johima will likely begin a rehab stint in Tacoma on Friday and play there through Monday, an off-day for the Mariners. If all goes well, he’ll be activated Tuesday.
Don Wakamatsu on Mike Carp: “I liked what I saw in spring training as far as his aggressiveness at the plate, his comfort level and his maturity at the plate for a young guy. Those are all things been proven down there. He can swing the bat, He’s also got a little power. And he has a little patience at the plate.”
And here’s Wakamatsu on being named an All-Star coach: “Joe Maddon asked me when we played Tampa Bay in Seattle if I wanted to go. I said absolutely. I’ve known Joe for 25 years, and was honored he’d ask me, especially as a first year manager. It’s quite an opportunity. I’ll bring my family with me and have them share it with me.
“I could never make an All-Star team as a player. I guess I found a calling. (Ken) Griffey said the greatest thing about me getting picked is we probably won’t have a workout (on Wednesday in Cleveland after the game).”
Griffey walked by at that point and loudly thanked Wakamatsu for taking the coaching gig.
“I knew we’d have two Mariners,” Griffey said. “I just didn’t know who would be the second one.”
Ichiro, of course, is the first.
Here is what Maddon told Tampa Bay writers, courtesy of my long-time colleague and friend from the St. Petersburg Times, Marc Topkin:: “Wak and I go back to the early 80s when he was at Arizona State. He was a catcher there and Jim Brock was the manager at that time. I was a young scout and a minor-league manager myself, and Coach Brock invited me out to work with his catchers and one happened to be Wak
“I got to know Wak back at that time and then had him in the minor leagues with the Angels as a coach, We coached together. I’ve always been impressed. We’ve worked baseball camps. His mind for the game, he’s very organized. I thought it would be a great opportunity for him being in his first year in Seattle to come to the All-Star Game. It should be, I think, in some ways beneficial to him and to the franchise.”
When I pointed out the disparity in wins between AL coaches Wakamatsu and Trey Hillman (135) compared to NL coaches Tony La Russa and Joe Torre (4,690), Wakamatsu laughed.
“We’ll catch them one day, hopefully. That’s our goal. To be around the players and the whole environment, from a learning standpoint, No. 1, it’s an honor. I talked to my parents about it, They’re awfully proud.”