Mariners 3, A’s 1: Opening Morning! Gotta say, for all of my bitching about this yesterday, it was kind of nice to wake up at 5:52 AM, roll over, fire up the laptop and watch some baseball. At least until my kids woke up. Then I had to take precious time away from the game to tell them that breakfast will be later and to go play video games because Daddy is watching baseball. My parenting is already in midseason form.
As for the baseball: it was pretty classic Seattle Mariners for a while as Felix Hernandez just didn’t know how to win, giving up one run on five hits while striking out six in eight innings. He should just pitch to the score more or something. Brandon McCarthy was good himself, giving up one run — a Dustin Ackley homer — and a boatload of grounders in seven innings. Some jokers were saying that the M’s and A’s would give us a 0-0 game for 19 innings. Nonsense. But for a while it felt like it would be 1-1 that long.
Dustin Ackley struck again in extras, singling in Brendan Ryan in the 11th. Ichiro added some insurance, knocking in Ackley on his fourth single of the game. Just Ichiro being Ichiro. Home cookin’, yo.
We do this again tomorrow morning. Then some time off. Then back next week. But hey, baseball.
Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.
That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.
Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.