Feb. 18, 2012: The day the Mariners bats came alive

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Sure the Mariners finished last in the majors in runs scored in 2011 and 2010 (and last in the AL in 2009), but that’s no reason not to be optimistic in mid-February.

We’ll let Seattle Times beat writer Larry Stone take over from here:

Ichiro, Carp, and Smoak are putting on a show in their BP group. Lots of bombs.

Mike Carp, in particular, was hitting tape measure shots, scurrying the fans behind RF and whacking at least one car

Montero just missed hitting a truck driving on road beyond left field

Gutierrez showing some pop. He’s hit a couple over the wall, lots of gap liners. Physical difference is notable

From the sound of things, it looks like a massive turnaround is on the way. Fortunately, Stone does have a sense of humor abut the whole thing:

If Mariners can talk opponents into starting Jeff Datz on mound every game, they’ll be in business

For the record, the Mariners did improve from 513 runs scored to 556 runs scored last year. Of course, that still put them 63 runs behind the AL’s next worst team, Minnesota.

Guardians trade OF Will Benson to Reds for OF Justin Boyd

David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
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CLEVELAND – The Cleveland Guardians traded outfielder Will Benson to the Cincinnati Reds on Wednesday for outfielder Justin Boyd.

The defending AL Central champions also will get a player to be named from the Reds in the swap.

Cincinnati drafted Boyd in the second round last year out of Oregon State. He led the Pac-12 with a .373 batting average and 24 steals in 2022. The 21-year-old batted .203 in 73 at-bats for Class-A Daytona.

The 6-foot-5 Benson spent 28 games with the Guardians last season, batting .182 with three RBIs in 28 games. The 24-year-old struggled at the plate, striking out 19 times in just 55 at-bats.

Benson was once considered one of Cleveland’s top outfield prospects, but has since been surpassed by Steven Kwan, Oscar Gonzalez and Will Brennan.