BY John Hickey 08:51PM 04/08/2011

Gimenez a surprise replacement

Experienced Josh Bard was passed over to step in for injured Adam Moore. The reason? The Mariners like Gimenez’s ability to play positions other than catch. Though there are holes in this argument.

The Mariners had a bit of a surprise in store Friday.

Needing to replace Adam Moore for the next month or two (he’ll have arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his right leg Tuesday), they opted to recall Chris Gimenez over Josh Bard.

Bard was thought to have the inside track, because he was with the organization last year, played some in the big leagues and knows the pitching staff better.

What Gimenez offers is the versatility to play left and right field plus first and third base in addition to catching.

“It was his versatility that really stood out,’’ manager Eric Wedge said. “I was really impressed by what saw of him in the spring.’’

The thing is, as one of just two catchers on the roster, Gimenez’s versatility is of limited value, because Wedge, like most managers, is leery about having more than one catcher in the game at any point.

Moore will have surgery on his right meniscus Tuesday. There’s no way to tell just how much time he will miss, but a meniscus injury is particularly troublesome for a catcher, because of the pressure constantly put on his knees.

So the Mariners decided to make sure Moore wasn’t rushed and put him on the 60-day disabled list rather than the 15-day list. That move enabled Seattle to have room on the 40-man roster for Gimenez, a non-roster player, because players on the 60-day DL don’t count against the roster limit.

“The news on Moore wasn’t bad; it could have been worse,’’ Wedge said. “It was tough to watch (the injury develop), and the doctors won’t know the full extent until they go in there.’’

BAT SPACE: Ichiro Suzuki has had 10 years to get used to Safeco Field.

And just when he’s got it down, they go and change it on him.

One of the subtle changes to the Mariners’ home this year is that the dugout benches have been rebuilt.

For 10 years, Ichiro has come into the dugout before batting practice and put two bats (never more, never less) in exactly the same spot in the dugout, there to remain while he goes to the outfield to stretch and catch flies and do some throwing.

Friday, however, he and trainer Rick Griffin were scouting out the best place to put the bats. Ichiro was having trouble settling on one.

Griffin suggested a couple of spots, but neither seemed to suit. Finally, Ichiro leaned the bats against the bench and went out to work.

There’s no betting in baseball, so they say, but it would be worth a fiver that the bats wind up in the exact same spot Saturday and for the rest of the 80 home games on the schedule.

NOTES: Franklin Gutierrez played three innings in the field and got two at-bats in an extended spring game at the Mariners’ minor league complex Friday. The Mariners would like to see Gutierrez, who is on the disabled list with ongoing stomach problems, be able to do the same Saturday and gradually build up strength. He could be back in a little over a week. …Ryan Langershans walked in each of his four plate trips, just the second time in his career he’s done that. … The last time the Mariner pitching staff surrendered 10 runs in an inning was May 8, 2003, when the Yankees got 10. … The last time Seattle pitchers gave up 10 hits in an inning was May 28, 2000 in a game at Tampa Bay. … In pregame ceremonies, Ichiro received his Gold Glove from last year, but Gutierrez, who also won a Gold Glove for his defense last year, wasn’t around to get it. The Mariners may have a separate ceremony for him, once he’s back and active. … Edgar Martinez presented Ichiro with a framed photo of Ichiro getting the 2,288th hit of his career last Saturday, the hit that moved Ichiro past Edgar and into first place in the Mariner record books for most hits. … Felix Hernandez got his Cy Young Award, too, or at least a version of it; he got the actual award in New York in January. … Much of the pregame was devoted to memories of late announcer Dave Niehaus. A section of 1st Ave. S was named in Niehaus’ honor. His wife, Marilyn Niehaus, threw out the first pitch.

Twitter: @JHickey3


YourThoughts

  • Nebstorm

     I was at the game last year in Washington and the fans up there where just great to us also. Go Big Red!

  • Henchman222

    Nice article.  For you Husky fans coming here bring your ponchos as there is a chance of rain.  If you have time try a nice meal at Misty’s or Lazlos in Lincoln.  You will love the game day atmosphere.  Here’s to your safe travel both ways, a great game and a great time.  I’ll understand if you still want to have Wahington as your favorite team, but after your experience maybe you will undesrtand why there is No Place Like Nebraska.  Not the victory but the action; Not the goal but the game; In the deed the glory”

    • Henchman222

      Sorry for the typos, dang smartphones.

    • Anonymous

      As a Lincoln resident, I will second everything said above.  The prime rib at Misty’s can be a religious experience for someone not raised on Nebraska beef, and I love the microbrews at Lazlo’s with their ribs.  Also – if you are a fan of buffalo wings, it’s hard to beat the grilled wings at the Watering Hole on O Street.

      Husky fans, have fun, enjoy yourselves (spend lots of money) and know that win or lose, we’ll gladly shake your hand or offer you a beer – as long as you’re not acting like jerks (i.e. your new conference mates from Boulder).

      Safe travels and good luck on Saturday!

      • Anonymous

        By the way – in addition to being overly passionate about the football team (Saturday will be consecutive sellout #314) we also have a tendency for taking over message boards.  Sorry!

  • TGK

    Two great programs.  Very nice article.  I have to say, after growing up in eastern NE, there are a few more Husker fans these days who do not know how to act all of the time.  Please remember there are good and bad fans everywhere.  For the most part though, all said above is true.  Husker fans will welcome you and have fun tailgating with you.  Just put your hand out to shake hands and you should have a good time.  What most Husker fans understand is that football is a game – a sport – and not life or death.  Sure, we win and lose with much passion but at the end of the day, we are all on this planet together and let’s treat each other like the brothers and sisters we are suppose to be.  Have fun UW fans – win or lose.   AND GO BIG RED!

  • KJP

    Nice piece.  It’s true, people in Lincoln are generally nice and honestly pleased that people would come visit.  Not to mention that it’s a great town with nice people, and a low crime rate.  If anyone isn’t nice to you, just tell another Husker fan, and the rude offenders will be berated and treated like the pretenders that they are.
    Also, while you’re in Lincoln, don’t forget to check out the nightlife at 14th and O Streets.  Lots of fun bars, and a super fun gameday scene (any night really).  It’s also the home of Duffy’s Tavern, which is a famous gameday venue with a big outdoor area, but an even better known music venue.  Nirvana (among others) played there, and it was rated as the best college bar in America by Complex.com earlier this year.  Everyone there is super nice.  Have fun in Lincoln.

  • HuskerT

    I was fortunate enough to treated to similar hospitality at Husky stadium in 97. I had people of all ages congradulate me after the Huskers won. Art, I grew up in central Nebraska on the edge of the Sand Hills. I would be glad to give you a tour of our hills.

  • Husker in Land o’ Lakes

    Very nice article. As a Husker fan, I look forward to the game and hopefully a win. I have always considered UWas a class program.Good fans, not a bunch of cheaters like SC or Oregon. Good hard nosed coaches and players. And that view from the campus and stadium is pretty darn impressive. I rate it way above Boulder. And your fans are one heck of alot better mannered.If you fly into Omaha and rent a car to Lincoln, Check out the downtowns a little bit. Lots going on. I live in the Twin Cities but I like what I see going on in Omaha and Lincoln.

  • huska

    One of my favorite memories of all time came after a devastating victory by Texas over Nebraska in Lincoln in 1998.  As recalled by Mack Brown….

    “The highlight of my sports life in sportsmanship was in ’98, when … (Texas’) Ricky Williams gained 150 yards,” he said. He recalled telling Williams to wear his helmet out on the Memorial Stadium field for postgame interviews, only to hear Nebraska fans start chanting, “Heisman, Heisman, Heisman” for Williams

    I hope that Husker fans don’t do anything to diminish that reputation this weekend or anytime for the rest of my life.  Have fun in Lincoln, U-Dub.  GBR.