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Daily coverage of the Mariners during the season and all year long.

August 6, 2009 at 2:56 PM

David Aardsma, other bullpen members doing slow “boil” over banned gladiator helmets

Sorry, I couldn’t resist the headline. Spoke to David Aardsma moments ago and he assured me the boil on his behind was no laughing matter. It could have been a lot worse than it was had he not gotten it taken care of.
“It’s something I can manage,” he said. “I’m ready to go, but I know the team wants me to take it slow and ease back into things, so we’ll see what happens.
The entire team, including coaches, filed into a training room in the visitors’ clubhouse to have a look at the thing. Hasn’t been anything attracting this much interest in a visitors’ clubhouse since Omar Vizquel of the Texas Rangers came to Safeco Field with a bunch of baby kangaroos back in July.
Anyhow, Aardsma and the other relievers are still miffed that MLB has banned them from carrying their gladiator helmets on to the field and out to the bullpen. While they’ve lined the helmets up and stood next to them during anthems and stuff — to increase their bonding and “warrior-like” mentality — Aardsma assures me they have never once worn them during a game.
That seems to be the impression MLB is under and — I must admit — I may have contributed to that impression by writing in this space yesterday that they had “donned” the helmets. My bad. The relievers all insist this was never the case and want MLB to be aware of that. An MLB spokesman, when informing the Mariners of the ban two nights ago, made reference to the sport’s regulations regarding uniforms.
I like the hemets and the idea behind them and don’t want to reinforce MLB’s decision in any way, so I’m writing this now. The sports world does take itself a little too seriously at times, espeically with all the corportate involvement nowadays and I’m all for a little originality and uniqueness.
So, there you have it.

Some bullpen members have talked of going to their union about the issue, though mostly in a joking manner. Garrett Olson is the team’s union representative and insisted that nothing formal is planned by way of protesting the decision. But Olson did say the relievers might raise the matter with union official Michael Weiner, who Donald Fehr has recommended should succeed him when he steps down as Players Association boss by next March at the latest.
Weiner is doing a tour of ballparks so players get to know him better and will be meeting with the Mariners when they visit Detroit in a couple of weeks.
The lineup:
RF Ichiro
1B Russell Branyan
2B Jose Lopez
DH Mike Sweeney
3B Adrian Beltre
CF Franklin Gutierrez
SS Jack Wilson
C Rob Johnson
LF Michael Saunders



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