First of all, Don Wakamatsu claims the lineup omissions today are innocent. Russ Branyan, who was 1-for-11 over the weekend, is stil having some back discomfort, and Jose Lopez woke up this morning with back stiffness.
“He couldn’t seem to get loosened,” Wakamatsu said. “I think both these guys are day to day. I expect them back in the lineup tomorrow.”
Also, Jack Zduriencik wandered into the dugout and held court for a little while. Much of it was the usual “we’re always looking to help the club” rap, but here are some of the more interesting comments:
“Obviously, there’s a lot going on. A lot of people anticipate things…Our focus right now, after this weekend, is just try to get back on track, and try to get back on our winning ways. With Felix today and Wash tomorrow, we have a chance to do that. We’ll see what happens….This club has been resilient, they’ve bounced back.
“People are going to call, obviously. Everybody’s talking to everybody right now. Things have heated up in terms of communication. That doesn’t necessarily mean something is going to happen. You have a responsibility to sit back and look at everything and weigh the big picture, that’s all. At the end of the day, do what we’ve always tried to do, continue to help our club get better.
I asked him if his strategy has changed now that the team is 7 1/2 games out of first (6 1/2 out of the wild card).
“Again, here in the next few days, if you win two games here in this series, or three games — we have four games left (before Friday’s trade deadline), that changes things, too. I suspect people are going to wait until the very last second to make a move. If we’re fortunate enough to have a real good series, and start off real good in Texas again, you have to look at where you’re at at that moment. You always have to take a realistic view and an honest view. We go through it every week. I don’t think that changes at all. There’s great fan interest in the trade deadline, and clubs are always making calls to see where you stand.”
And I asked him if Roy Halladay, whose presence in Seattle has drawn a reporter from the Philadelphia Inquirer to Safeco Field (as well as Yahoo.com’s national writer, Tim Brown), was the domino upon which all other deals were dependent on.
“It depends. I see where that certainly is (a factor). But as many clubs as you hear, who knows how many clubs are actually involved in that particular piece there. Maybe two or three clubs are, and the ones right behind them are not. I can’t worry about what someone else is waiting to have happen or waiting to do. Our focus is on our ballclub, our organization. That’s what we’ve always tried to do.”
I’ll have a Jarrod Washburn post up in a bit.