Here’s the lineups for tonight ….
Updated 3:43 p.m. Greg Gagne time
Kyle Seager had a busy day. For the second straight day, he had breakfast with his brother, Corey, who is a top Dodgers’ prospect. If you’ve never seen Corey Seager, he looks nothing like Kyle. He’s about 6-4 and has hair. Kyle recently shaved his head because as Corey said, “he’s finally giving up the dream.”
“I can’t compete,” Kyle joked. “Pretty much of everything you can think of he’s just better at – baseball, life.”
Well, that’s not necessarily true. Seager is a major league all-star and his brother hasn’t even gotten a major league at-bat. Seager is still largely under the baseball radar nationally. People don’t realize how good of player he has become, but his AL West opponents know.
“He’s really good,” said A’s closer Sean Doolittle. “We got back aways. He’s a UNC guy and I played at UVA so I’ve been dealing with him and seeing his name for a long time. You just look at the past couple of months he’s had. He might have got off to a little bit of a slow start, but he’s been arguably one of the best hitters in the last couple months. That’s the kind of stuff he’s capable of. He’s continued to get better every year. Now he’s got Cano in front of him. That could be a formidable punch for a number of years.”
The A’s also think the Mariners are really good. They know that the division games in the second half of the season are going to be difficult.
“It’s the toughest division in baseball,” Doolittle said. “You look a the Mariners starting staff and that’s not adding in Walker and Paxton. The Angels’ offense is absolutely ridiculous. The Astros are no longer a team where you can roll into Houston and expect to win a series. They’re young and play with a ton of energy and make stuff happen and we have always have battles with Texas. There’s nowhere to hide anymore. There’s no easy wins.”
Most people believe the Mariners need to add offense. Kyle Seager believes the Mariners can win if the roster stays the same.
“I really do think we have enough in that locker room to win,” he said. “We won in the first half. We got enough in there to continue to compete and win.”
He believes the A’s series showed that.
“That’s the best team in baseball and they’ve been the best team in our division the last few years,” he said. “With our pitching, the way we match up with anybody with those arms, we are going to be in every game. It’s up to us to score some runs.”
*** John Buck has cleared waivers and has been officially released by the Mariners.
*** Lloyd McClendon has a fan in Victor Martinez.
“I’m not surprised at all,” Martinez said of the Mariners’ success. “I told him a couple years ago, that he’s going to have another chance to manage. I knew he was going to be a good manager. Look at him right now, he’s doing his thing. He’s the kind of guy that lets you go out there and play if you do things right and the rest will take care of itself. He expects you to respect the game. Go out there and play hard and good things will happen.”
*** Yankees hard-throwing reliever Dellin Betances knows Mariners’ center fielders James Jones very well. They played amateuer baseball together on the famed Youth Services team in New York City.
“I’m happy for him,” Betances said. “James is a great kid. He’s always had the ability and talent to make it happen. He actually used to pitch and throw hard. I’m happy for him.”
Betances said that Jones was always one of the most liked players on their team.
“He’s always been really nice,” Betances said. “He’s always cracking jokes. I don’t know if he’s more quiet over there, but he liked to clown around.”
I’m guessing Felix will throw two innings tonight.
We will do a live chat before the game and during the game.
Here’s my story on Felix starting the all-star game. And here’s the notebook on Kyle Seager, Robinson Cano and Fernando Rodney. It also addresses the latest hot stove involving the Mariners and Marlon Byrd and also the Rays.
The Mariners have been reported to have interest in Billy Butler. This isn’t new. Butler has struggled this season with a sub .400 slugging percentage. Why would the Royals – a team contending – want to deal him? He has a $12.5 million club option next season which they have no intention of exercising. The buyout fee is also $1 million.
Commissioner Bud Selig met with the BBWAA this morning.
A few quick notes before the clubhouse opens:
- Selig plans to address smokeless tobacco use in the next CBA.
- He believes that replay is working better than expected.
- The rule for collisions at home plate will become permanent in some form.
- Oakland and Tampa’s stadium issues are far from being resolved. There are no plans to relocate either of those teams to Montreal.
- There may be a special ceremony to honor Derek Jeter in the future. (Because of course there is).
- Some of the broadcast rights problems in LA, Houston and DC are being discussed and he’s trying to help move the process along.
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