UPDATE: 9:54 a.m.: Niehaus has arrived at the ballpark, looking no worse for wear. Presumably, he’s doing the game.
Hall of Fame boradcaster Dave Niehaus was taken by ambulance to a Boston hospital this morning after waking up feeling disoriented. Niehaus was conscious at the time and, from what we hear, was talking about actually doing the game broadcast this afternoon.
Niehaus is 74, so you have to be careful with these things, So far, he’s not at the ballpark, We’ll let you know when we get further word on his condition.
In other Mariners news, closer David Aardsma is feeling fine this morning after team trainers worked out “a knot” that had developed near the back of his rib cage area. Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu had earlier described the injury as perhaps “a mild intercostal strain” bu Aardsma told me afterwards that the problem had been taken care of while the manager was still speaking to reporters.
“I’ve had it for a few days now, but it didn’t bother me when I pitched, so I figured it was OK,” he said. “We didn’t want to push it last night, just for the sake of one game. Then this morning, I figured, we might as well just take care of it.”
A trainer massaged the area to work the knot out. Aardsma then underwent a series of mobility tests and says he no longer feels anything.
“I’m ready to go today,” he said. “You’d better believe it.”
Wakamatsu had spoken earlier about not wanting to use Aardsma today if he could avoid it. So, we’ll see now that the news has changed.
Spoke to Sean White as well and he told me he isn’t feeling as fatigued as he had been prior to being given that rest last weekend.
“For me, I’ve actually started to feel a little better,” he said. “I’m just a little rusty.”
White has struggled his last two outings, taking a loss in New York and then giving up the tying eighth inning runs last night. The team has identified some mechanical issues he’s going to work on this morning.
“It’s mostly just standing taller,” he said.
Wakamatsu is a bit shorthanded in the bullpen today, other than Miguel Batista and Roy Corcoran — and maybe Aardsma, if he has to close out a game.
That means Garrett Olson could be left out there to go six or seven innings — regardless of the score or how he’s getting hit. Remember, the M’s have Brandon Morrow going tomorrow and he’s an unlikely candidate to last more than five innings or so against this patient Boston club.
Yuniesky Betancourt is now unlikely to rejoin the team prior to the All-Star break. Part of that is that the M’s don’t want to rush him back for the sake of a few games. The other part of it is that backup Ronny Cedeno seems to be gathering steam as he gets more playing time. Cedeno has a pair of long home runs the past four games and had played excellent defense. He was especially smooth with the glove in the 10th inning of Friday night’s win, collecting three straight grounders — at least two of the difficult variety — and throwing runners out at first base.
Betancourt will likely be sent out on a minor league rehab assignment towards the end of next week. So, no, he won’t be playing second base in the majors anytime soon.
Ryan Langerhans has a mild calf muscle strain, but it isn’t enough to keep him out of today’s lineup.
Ken Griffey Jr. also deadpaned some news to Wakamatsu that he won’t be around for the start of next week’s series against Texas.
“Hed told me ‘Skip, I can’t be there Thursday because I’m going to Michael Jackson’s thing’,” Wakamatsu said.
Yes, he was kidding.
So, what exactly are these two kids up to? Why, they’re fishing for autographs. Here’s a shot, below, of an Ichiro card attached to the rod and reel.
Also, a look at last night’s winning pitcher Chris Jakubauskas, below, making a young fan happy.