Meche leaves Monday's start with shoulder stiffness

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Gil Meche headshot.jpgGil Meche, who was limited to just 23 starts last season due to a lower back injury and shoulder fatigue, left Monday’s start against the White Sox after three innings due to a stiff right shoulder.

Meche did his best to downplay the situation after the game, but what he told Dick Kaegel of MLB.com didn’t sound particularly optimistic:

“They checked me out, the shoulder’s strong but the tightness is there. I
don’t feel real strong when I’m pitching,” he said.

“So I just kept working through it and after the third inning, it was
like well, I’ve had enough. I didn’t want to keep going, I felt like I
was getting stiffer in a way, I’m not throwing any good pitches. Just
take it easy on this one and then see what happens my next one.”

Meche, 31, was 6-10 with a 5.09 ERA and 1.57 WHIP last season. Signed to a five-year, $55 million contract in December of 2006, he is set to earn $24 million over the next two seasons.

Ichiro wore a fake mustache to sneak into the Mariners’ dugout

Associated Press
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Ichiro Suzuki is now a Mariners employee and, as such, he’s not allowed to sit in the dugout during a game. That’s for coaches and players only.

He knows that, too. Indeed, on the day Ichiro announced his sorta-retirement, he talked about how it was going to be hard not to be down on the field with the other players. He even made a ridiculous joke about how, “[he] can’t say for certain that maybe [he] won’t put on a beard and glasses and be like Bobby Valentine and be in the dugout.”

In related news, this mysterious stranger was seen by an Associated Press photographer in the Mariners dugout during the first couple of innings of the M’s-Yankees game:

(AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

No beard, but I guess that joke was not very ridiculous after all. Either way, by the end of the second inning — poof — he was gone.

Obviously, when something interesting like this happens you mustache an expert for their opinion on the matter. To that end, the Associated Press reached Bobby Valentine, who famously did the same thing after an ejection way back in 1999, for comment:

“He was perfect. I never would have known it was him.”

Valentine was suspended for two games and fined $5,000. I’m assuming Ichiro won’t get hit quite as hard given that he wasn’t defying an umpire’s authority, but even if he does have to pay a fine, he’ll likely do so willingly.