Ryan Divish is down in Peoria for Mariners spring training, and now everyone on the team is, too. Position players reported earlier this week and the team’s first game is next Thursday, the 27th. Join Ryan for a live chat on Friday at noon to get the latest on how things are progressing for Lloyd McClendon’s…More
Two veteran Mariners outfielders on decidedly different paths returned to New York for the first time since leaving their respective teams this past off-season to sign with Seattle. Jason Bay was a flop with the New York Mets but has since revived his career with the Mariners, entering tonight with a .253 batting average, four homers and an on-base-plus-slugging percentage (OPS) of .813.
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Raul Ibanez, on the other hand, was a playoff hero when he left the New York Yankees but has since struggled in Seattle, batting .194 with an OPS of .653.
“I feel a little more comfortable, at least in my preparation and in my role,” Bay told a large media throng that held court in the visiting team’s dugout a short while ago. “At the beginning of the year, I talked a lot to Raul (Ibanez). Him and I, the first few games, we were on the bench and I was like, man, knowing now, this was my role, I was asking ‘What do you do?’ It was more like formulating a plan because I knew early on I wasn’t going to play. I might get in there to pinch-run, for defense, hit here or there. So, it was just when to be ready, how to be ready. And that was kind of a process and I feel I got a handle on that.”
Bay says he now feels he’s ready for anything he’s needed for. He views it as “the evolution of a career” that bottomed out here in New York and led to the Mets releasing him with a year still to go on his contract.
Bay has given the situation plenty of thought. And naturally, he was asked about it by New York media members.
“Obviously, I was trying to do the things you think you can do,” he said. “Somewhere along the line, it wasn’t happening. It wasn’t for a lack of trying. I tried everything. It was to the point where I turned down offers from some clubs for more playing time to go to Seattle and be close to home and see how that worked.More