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

September 22, 2009 at 3:52 PM

Seattle Mariners at Tampa Bay Rays: 09/22 game thread

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The Mariners and Rays are just about to get underway in about 20 minutes time. And no, I am not in St. Petersburg, Fla. with the team. We have decided to hire a freelancer locally to do the Florida and Toronto trips, then will pick up the home portion of the schedule when the team returns.
No, this is not like last season when the paper stopped covering some trips in August. The Times was perfectly prepared to finish off all the trips this year until I changed their minds, based on an idea that Larry Stone came up with.
It’s been years since this paper covered the Arizona Fall League and I can think of no better time to do it than this year, with so many prized young Mariners prospects getting set to participate. There are a bunch of compelling stories to be written out of Arizona this year and I felt, after Larry raised the idea, that we’d be better off spending our baseball budget doing those than covering a bunch of meaningless games at the end of a long season.


The expense of going to Tampa for two games, for me, was especially excessive. Sort of like two years ago, when some papers decided to skip covering those single games in Cleveland because of the early season snow postponements. It would be different if it was a three or four-game series at Tampa, or if the games meant something. If this team was still in it, we’d be there. If Ichiro was still going for his record, we’d be there.
Instead, we’re going to put the money towards spending much of the first week down in the AFL, coming to you blog, newspaper and all.
So, once again, this is a move I fully endorse and one that I pushed the paper to go for, not the other way around. I feel it is a better use of our resources as we work on finishing up end-of-season features like the one you read on Jose Lopez today. So, sit back, enjoy the game and feel free to come on here and discuss it as usual. The Times is paying someone to cover the team on the road, so there will be stuffin tomorrow’s paper and online tonight. We just won’t be using the considerable airline, hotel and meal money it takes to send one of us there. Instead, that money will be spent in Arizona in a few weeks.
The lineups:
MARINERS
RF Ichiro
CF Gutierrez
2B Lopez
DH Griffey
3B Beltre
LF Hall
C Johjima
1B Carp
SS Josh Wilson
LHP Ryan Rowland-Smith
RAYS
SS Bartlett
RF Kapler
3B Longoria
2B Zobrist
DH Burrell
1B Aybar
C Navarro
CF Upton
LF Perez
RHP Neimann

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