Ken Griffey Jr. has arrived in camp and already the volume is being turned up inside the clubhouse. Griffey arrived with his steamer trunk and several boxes in tow. He isn’t working out just yet. Instead, he’s sitting at a clubhouse table on a cellphone at the moment, glancing up at television coverage of the press conference by golfer Tiger Woods — who lives in the same Orlando complex as Griffey (actuallt, check that — Griffey just told me he moved out of that spot five years ago. Still goes to the go
lf course there on occasion, though).
Actually, Griffey has now been joined at the table and is chatting amicably with Cliff Lee.
Franklin Gutierrez and Chone Figgins are also here, several days before Monday’s mandatory reporting date for physicals of position players.
Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu was pleased to see so many position players showing up here days before they have to.
“I think everybody’s excited,” he said. “Especially when you get Griffey in there.”
Wakamatsu wasn’t surprised or disappointed by how Griffey immediately got the clubhouse noise level a little more elevated and upbeat.
“It got real loud in there,” Wakamatsu said. “It’s amazing how one guy can change the karma of a room.”
Griffey was actually supposed to arrive yesterday. Mike Sweeney, his comarade in clubhouse camaraderie, won’t be here until Sunday.
“I just called him, I said ‘Griff’s here, where are you at?’ ” Wakamatsu said. “He said ‘I got a late invitation. It wasn’t my fault.’ ”
Sweeney didn’t sign with the club until last week, inking a minor league deal.
On the news front, Erik Bedard continues to progress health-wise and will increase his throwing program to 12 minutes.
Lee will increase his participation in pitchers’ fielding practice today, based on his ability to tolerate any pain and discomfort.
Rob Johnson will also catch a bullpen session today, a first test of where he stands when it comes to handling normal catching duties.
It turns out nobody failed the annual shuttle run. We’ll see position players do it on Tuesday — camera rolling.
Jesus Colome arrived today, having taken care of his personal business in Venezuela. Yusmeiro Petit is the only pitcher yet to report, still tending to visa issues in the Dominican Republic.