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February 19, 2014 at 8:49 AM

A few Wednesday morning links and notes … Lloyd McClendon, a victim of Larry Stone’s butt dialing

So Lloyd McClendon had some pretty memorable comments yesterday. But for me, his single greatest comment came this morning at his morning media meeting.

Esteemed baseball writer and Times columnist Larry Stone joined the fray of reporters this morning. He politely walked up to McClendon and said, “Hey Lloyd, I’m Larry Stone from the Seattle Times,” and the two shook hands.

McClendon then paused briefly, looked at Stone and said, “Hey, you’re the guy that keeps butt dialing me.”

“Do I?” Stone said meekly.

Of course, the entire room broke up in laughter.

Stone then admitted his guilt, saying that for some reason McClendon’s number is the one that seems to get dialed when this happens.

This just didn’t start when McClendon got the job. This has been going on for five or six years.

“I always said, ‘The next time I see him, I’m going to tell him, Stop butt dialing me.’” McClendon said.

Speaking of Stone and McClendon …. in between unplanned calls to McClendon … Larry managed to craft a pretty good column on the hustling down the line issue with Robinson Cano and McClendon’s strong comments about the criticism. Here’s my story on Cano’s day, which had all eyes focused on him.

A few morning notes …

Rick Waits said that Danny Hultzen is playing catch three times a week from about 90 feet. He’ll move to 120 feet very soon. I’m not sure whether this is on schedule for Hultzen. But Waits said they plan to be cautious with him.

McClendon said he has three or four people he’s considering for the lead-off spot, but wouldn’t divulge names. I would guess you would consider Brad Miller and Dustin Ackley as candidates along with maybe Michael Saunders or Abraham Almonte.

Corey Hart is working mostly with the outfielders right now. Ideally for the Mariners, they’d like to be able to play him in right field more than a few times a week.

“We still have to be selective with his workouts right now,” McClendon said. “He’s progressing very well. He did not do the sliding drills yesterday, but he ran the bases and all the other drills. He’s doing his work out there. But eventually as the camp progresses he’ll get some work at DH.”

If the season started today, Hart would bat clean-up behind Robinson Cano.

“If he’s healthy, he should have a big year hitting behind Robinson,” McClendon said.

McClendon and the training staff will monitor Hart and Logan Morrison, who both have had knee issues, quite carefully.

As for the shortstop position, McClendon said the competition is truly open. He told Nick Franklin that during a meeting.

“I said, ‘Look we have a hall of fame second baseman, that’s just the way it is. This is a new chapter in your career. One door is closing and another one is opening so it’s an opportunity for you and I’m going into this with my wide eyes open and you have the opportunity to compete for the shortstop position,’” McClendon said. “I don’t have any preconceived notions.”

Both Franklin and Brad Miller can hit a little bit. But McClendon is looking for who separates themselves defensively.

“You gotta be able to catch the ball,” he said. “I’m looking for a guy that’s going to make all the routine plays.”

McClendon mentioned Jhonny Peralta as an example of making the routine plays.

“Everybody complained that he didn’t have the range, but you knew if the ball was hit to him he was going to get an out,” McClendon said. “That’s what I’m looking for. I’m not looking for a flashy player. I’m looking for a guy that’s very sound fundamentally, that makes the plays consistently and provides offense.”

Bullpens

1st group: James Paxton, Randy Wolf, Brandon Maurer, Mark Rogers, Fernando Rodney.

2nd group: Danny Farquhar, Charlie Furbush, Bobby LaFromboise, Zach Miner, Hector Noesi, Yoervis Medina

3rd group: Jonathan Arias, Logan Bawcom, Steve Kohlscheen, Carson Smith, Roenis Elias, Ramon Ramirez.

Here’s some more LINKAGE

Here’s Kevin Kernan’s story from the New York Post. He also had this tweet …

Screen Shot 2014-02-19 at 8.49.07 AM

Tyler Kepner from the NY Times has this story on Cano. There’s also some comments from Felix Hernandez about watching the Seahawks victory parade.

Mark Feinsand and Andy Martino, who was in Peoria,  combined   a story  about Cano for the NY Daily News. Here’s Jerry Crasnick’s story from ESPN. Tim Brown of Yahoo also filed a column on the day. Meanwhile, Jorge Ortiz wrote this story for USA Today.

Let’s go outside of the Cano sphere.

Brendan Ryan did the media rounds yesterday in Tampa. This story from ESPN New York has curious assertion in the final paragraph. Apparently, Ryan said the Mariners coaches wanted him to hit for power. That’s odd. Even his former teammates heard about that story and found it curious. Here’s a story from the NY Times on Ryan.

Michael Morse, now with the Giants, had some interesting comments about being injured last year that weren’t too flattering to the Mariners’ medical staff.

Seth Kolloen’s first story for Lookout Landing is on Fernando Rodney and old closers.

Never get into a bench clearing brawl in Cuba.

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