There’s still no official timetable for his return from last year’s broken ankle, but Kendrys Morales took a big step in his recovery yesterday by running on the field wearing cleats for the first time since early spring training.
Mike Scioscia was quick to point out that Morales was running at less than 100 percent, calling it “baby steps.” However, given that being able to run at something resembling full speed is basically the only thing keep Morales from rejoining the Angels’ lineup even baby steps are a major development.
He’s been taking batting practice and participating in fielding drills for a while now, but when Morales tried to ramp up his running in early March he experienced a setback in the form of foot soreness.
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:
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.