Our last entry of the series. Ah, memories. It seems like it was only last Tuesday when we began this thing . . .
The Best: Call me crazy, but I loved the old trident M on the caps. It looked better with the star behind it than the original look , but like so many other expansion teams, be it the Angels, the Brewers or the Expos, a unique logo — as opposed to a near-generic letter — is the absolute best way to make up for not having a century of history behind you. Or rather, it is your history, Seattle, and it’s not something that you should hide from simply because it wasn’t around before World War II.
Ultimately, though, that’s just a cap. The jerseys of that era were kind of blah. And really, since then, the jerseys have been kind of blah. I guess if they could somehow incorporate the star-trident-M with something like this they’d be optimizing things, but I still believe that the Mariners’ best uniforms are in their future, not their past.
The Worst: The era of the big yellow S on the caps may have been one of the laziest designs in baseball history. “Well, we’re in Seattle. Let’s put an ‘S’ on there, OK boys? No, no need to make it look good or fancy or anything. Just a yellow S. We have more important things to do today.”
Assessment: The Mariners have at times been the worst team in baseball, and for one year at least, they were the best team in baseball. Never, however, have their uniforms reached heights or depths of any significance whatsoever. Kind of sad really.
Who says no-hitters can’t be just as fun when they happen during spring training?
Angels’ right-hander Bud Norris delivered two perfect innings on Friday night, paving the way for an eight-pitcher no-hitter against the Mariners at Tempe Diablo Stadium. Jose Alvarez, Cam Bedrosian, Andrew Bailey, Austin Adams, Drew Gagnon and Justin Anderson each filed a hitless inning of their own, leaving right-hander Abel De Los Santos to close out the ninth inning with just three pitches — and three game-saving plays by the defense.
Of course, it didn’t hurt that the Angels were facing a bevy of Mariners’ backups, rather than their starting lineup. In fact, Seattle’s lineup featured just two starting players — outfielder Leonys Martin and shortstop Jean Segura — while the majority of their everyday position players took on the Royals in a 4-3 win elsewhere in the Cactus League. The Mariners managed to reach base twice, first on catcher interference in the fourth inning, then on a four-pitch walk in the sixth, spoiling the Angels’ chances of turning their combined no-hitter into a combined perfect game.
Still, whether it’s executed in spring training or the regular season, against an All-Star lineup or one comprised of minor leaguers, a no-hitter is a no-hitter. The team’s eight-pitcher effort marked the first spring training no-no the Angels had completed since 1996, when they took on the Giants in a 15-0 showdown. Unfortunately for the 1996 squad, their regular season ended with a 70-91 record, good for last place in the AL West. Perhaps this no-hitter will prove a better omen for the coming season.
Rangers’ bullpen candidate Tanner Scheppers left Friday’s Cactus League game with pain in his “lower half,” according to reports by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The specifics of the right-hander’s injury have yet to be determined, but he was accompanied by the athletic trainer when he exited the game and is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday.
Scheppers, 30, has a long history of elbow and knee injuries. He missed all but 8 2/3 innings of the 2016 season after undergoing a procedure to repair torn articular cartilage in his left knee. While he appeared healthy enough through his first seven appearances this spring, he failed to impress with three runs, five walks and six strikeouts over 7 2/3 innings with the club.
Should Scheppers find himself on the disabled list for another lengthy stay, MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan speculates that his absence could clear some room in the bullpen for Rule 5 draft pick and fellow righty Mike Hauschild. Hauschild, 27, has dealt seven runs, five walks and 15 strikeouts through 17 1/3 innings in camp.