The Mariners lineup is a tad underwhelming

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Mariners logo.gifLarry Stone of the Seattle Times reports that the Mariners are considering making Casey Kotchman their number three hitter behind Ichiro and Figgins. What’s more, Milton Bradley is probably going to bat cleanup. I haven’t been paying all that much attention to the Mariners’ spring, so my first thought was “that makes no sense!”  Upon reflection, though, who else is going to hit 3-4?  Jack Wilson? Franklin Gutierrez? Griffey?

For all of the excitement about the moves the Mariners made this winter, the fact remains that there ain’t a heck of a lot of pop in that lineup.  And with Casey Kotchman (a slow, groundball hitter) and Milton Bradley (Milton Bradley) going 3-4, you’re going to see a lot of innings like this:

Ichiro: single;
Figgins: walk;
Kotchman: 4-6-3 double play;
Bradley: strikeout looking, ejected after blinking;

Not that I’m hating on the Mariners. Good pitching and stellar defense goes a long way. But once in a while you have to hit the ball over the fence, and I don’t know who’s going to be doing that for Seattle.

Dodgers to retire Fernando Valenzuela’s No. 34 this summer

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports
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LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Dodgers will retire the No. 34 jersey of pitcher Fernando Valenzuela during a three-day celebration this summer.

Valenzuela was part of two World Series champion teams, winning the 1981 Rookie of the Year and Cy Young awards. He was a six-time All-Star during his 11 seasons in Los Angeles from 1980-90.

He will be honored from Aug. 11-13 when the Dodgers host Colorado.

Valenzuela will join Pee Wee Reese, Tommy Lasorda, Duke Snider, Gil Hodges, Jim Gilliam, Don Sutton, Walter Alston, Sandy Koufax, Roy Campanella, Jackie Robinson and Don Drysdale with retired numbers.

“To be a part of the group that includes so many legends is a great honor,” Valenzuela said. “But also for the fans, the support they’ve given me as a player and working for the Dodgers, this is also for them.”