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March 11, 2011 at 8:21 AM

Morning briefing — Torre pays a visit

A different kind of day everywhere, obviously, and it was here in Peoria, as well, as one of the TVs in the clubhouse — usually turned to a sports station — was instead on a news station, players paying attention to the events in Japan.
Larry Stone touches on that in a post on his blog so I won’t go into that in any more detail.
Aside from that, the big news was a visit from sure-to-be Hall of Fame manager Joe Torre, who is now serving as the executive vice president of baseball operations for Major League Baseball.
Torre said he calls his job being “the liasion guy for the commissioner with the managers and the general managers.”
In that capacity, he plans to visit with every manager during spring training for a half-hour or so. Today was his day to visit with Seattle manager Eric Wedge, someone he’s known for years and battled often during Wedge’s days in Cleveland.
“You sit in the dugout and say ‘oh, I’d like to see that change’ or ‘maybe we can do something about this,”’ Torre said of being a manager. Of his meetings with the managers he said they are “very casual, write some notes down, see how many things match up, then try to pay attention in those areas. But it’s mainly to go face-to-face with those guys.”
Torre said umpiring is at the top of the concerns.
“The first thing for me, that I really want to pay attention to, is the umpiring,” he said. “I think we’ve given the umpires a lot of dirty jobs to do, and I’m not just saying that now that I’ve taken the uniform off. I said that when I was out there arguing with them.
“The fact that we make them hurry up get in the batter’s box, hurry up in from the bullpen, we make them do a lot of things other than what they are paid to do other than calling balls and strikes and safe and out and all that. I had a meeting with the umpires’ union representatives last week and I just basically let them know how I feel, that they are every bit a part of this game as the players and the managers and we feel that we want to have the game to be the priority, and let’s take care of the game and hopefully when we hand it off it’s in good shape. That may be idealistic but that’s the way I think. I want to continue being very passionate about what I do and just want to relay that to those guys and let them know it’s not us against them because with all the replays and all the mistakes they are a little uncomfortable and I don’t think that’s right.”
He was also asked about Wedge being in his second managing job and whether Torre did things differently after his first managing job.
“He’s ready to do this, for sure,” Torre said of Wedge. “He was ready the first time. He’s had some success over at Cleveland, he beat my brains in. But everything is experience. There is no such thing as a bad experience or looking back and saying ‘I wish I didn’t do that.’ What you have to do when you have your first managing take what you maybe wanted to or would have done differently you go ahead and do it now and make adjustments and learn as you go.
“To me it’s all about the players, the game is all about the players and the manager’s job is basically be able to read it and have the players understand what direction we are going and the only thing that managing your second club does for you is to I think it gives you the understanding even though the uniform might change but the job remains the same and the motivation remains the same and he is certainly motivated after spending a half hour with him in there.”
TODAY’S LINEUP
The Mariners will play Cleveland today in Goodyear and have a decidedly B team lineup going. Here it is:
Josh Wilson, SS
Luis Rodriguez, 3B
Adam Kennedy, 1B
Jack Cust, DH
Matt Tuiasosopo, LF
Michael Saunders, CF
Dustin Ackley, 2B
Chris Giminez, C
Johermyn Chavez, RF
Michael Pineda, RHP
Other pitchers who could go are Manny Delcarmen, Nate Robertson, Cesar Jiminez, Chris Seddon, Yusmeiro Petit, Edward Paredes, Royce Ring, Chaz roe.
And yes, Alex Liddi is on the list of others making the trip, so maybe he can three-peat.
And in case you missed them, here are our stories for today:
— Stone on Erik Bedard;
— and my story leading off with Liddi.

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