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February 12, 2011 at 11:47 AM

Greetings from sunny Arizona

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Many of you had a chance to see from our live webcam that it’s a beautiful, sunny day here in Arizona. No matter how good, or grim, the Mariners’ chances seem to be this time of year, I always find spring to be full of hope.
This spring is no different.
The Mariners might not have much of a chance to win the AL West, but it’s still a year of hope for them and for many of you. You’d all like to see young players like Franklin Gutierrez, Justin Smoak and Michael Saunders take some major steps forward. You’d also like to see Dustin Ackley and Michael Pineda break into the majors.
Many of you want to see Chone Figgins have a bounceback year. Milton Bradley as well.
Most of all, I think you’d like to see the Mariners give all of you reason to hope for something better in the near future. Something like two or three years from now at most, rather than five or 10.
Well, this is the year in which we should get some answers. So, that makes it interesting. More interesting, in some ways, than running away with a 116-win season (though cheering on a winner is more fun), or floundering through 101 losses.
So, I’m looking forward to 2011 and to sharing all of the ups and downs with you. I’ve already tried to give you a bit more of the flavor of being down here, via the webcam. But starting tomorrow, you get the full onslaught.
Speaking of hope, Edgar Martinez is trying to give some to people living in Puerto Rico. Martinez was born in New York City, but grew up in Puerto Rico. Now, he’s returning there with Habitat for Humanity of East King County for a homebuilding trip.


The team of eight workers from Washington will join the Habitat for Humanity Puerto Rico affiliate starting Monday and running through Friday. During the trip, they’ll be laying the rebar for the second level of the house they’ll be working on. They’ll also be setting the wood forwork and helping the electrician and plumber with rough-in work.
After that, Martinez will be flying here to set up my Comcast converter. No, just kidding. Ha, ha, it’s spring training. Anyways…it’s a great thing they’re doing. For all the supplies and money people receive from charitable organizations throughout the world, simply helping them to build a proper home out of all the donated materials is a time-consuming, urgent need that many of us take for granted. Especially in areas that have been devastated by natural disasters and the like.
That’s why groups like Habitat for Humanity exist. Since the non-profit was founded in 1976, it has rehabbed, repaired or given new housing to more that 2 million people around the globe.
The East King County branch was founded in 1988, with the goal of making it possible for low-income Eastside residents to be able to purchase “simple, decent, affordable homes.” The families moving into these homes are required to put in 500 hours of their own time building them as part of their requirement towards home ownership.
So, it’s something that a lot of people need, even when not involved in disaster areas.
And I think it’s great that a former ballplayer like Martinez, hero to many in Washington and in Puerto Rico, will be on the island territory this coming week to lend his support.

Comments | Topics: Chone Figgins

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