BY Seth Kolloen 01:00AM 03/29/2011

Exit 164: Bernandez left out of M’s rotation

The M’s second-best pitcher won’t start, but Pineda will

Husky Football (Practice) Is Back: The whistle will blow for the first of 13 spring practices today at 4 p.m. Coach Sark spoke at length about the state of the program, the injury situation, and the key position battles and QB and LB that will be closely watched this spring. All practices are open to the public.

Wedge Announces M’s Rotation: And, in a surprise, he didn’t include Larry Bernandez. The rotation is this: King Felix, Jason Vargas, Doug Fister, Erik Bedard, and 22-year-old Venezuelan fireballer Michael Pineda. Not too bad! Lookout Landing took a peek at the M’s opening week starting rotations since 1995.

Josh Wilson Released: After 153 games over two seasons, Josh Wilson is no longer a Mariner. Looks like five-year vet Luis Rodriguez will be the utility infielder. Though the M’s may still make a late spring move to get an outfielder to help spell Michael Saunders in centerfield.

Blaise Nkufo Retires: The former Sounder, Swiss international and first-division Dutch player joins that list of former star players who stopped in Seattle for a final flop performance. He announced his retirement yesterday, joining other one-year blunders like Franco Harris, Jerry Rice, Patrick Ewing, et al. Nkufo will stay in North America and coach youth soccer.

Today’s top five…

Top Five Most Important Mariner Body Parts
1) Milton Bradley’s Head
2) Franklin Gutierrez’ Stomach
3) Erik Bedard’s Shoulder
4) Jack Cust’s Back
5) Felix Hernandez’ Everything

What they’re saying…

“I’m not going to rush to judgment to name a starter for the sake of naming a starter. But I also don’t plan on going into the season platooning quarterbacks, either.” — Coach Sark on the Keith Price vs. Nick Montana QB battle

“Two days ago, after Tui got sent down, if you’d told me I was going to be released, I’d have thought you were crazy.” — Josh Wilson

“Great workout w/ Hayz & Carlson today at Evo. Weird running & throwing in parking lot but u gotta do what u gotta do.” — Matt Hasselbeck

In other news…

Sarkisian announced that backup DL Kalani Aldrich and backup OL Myekenna Ikehara are retiring from football.

He also said that his keys to the season were improving the turnover ratio, improving the team’s “football IQ,” and a more efficient passing game.

The M’s beat the Rockies with a walk-off single by prospect catcher Stephen Baron. Likely opening day CF Michael Saunders had a nice AB in the ninth, and Chone Figgins was 3×3 with a double and is now hitting .396 on the spring. Save some for the season, Chone-y!

The Mariners are asking everyone to wear white shoes on Opening Day in honor of Dave Niehaus. Done!

You can now follow Larry Bernandez on Twitter.

Husky F Brandon Sherrer made the Pac-10 All-Academic Team. I am calling shenanigans on this team for putting a guy from ASU and a guy from Wazzu on the first-team. Um, degree of difficulty, people?

Pasadena RB Tairen Owens has committed to the Huskies, according to Scout.com.

This week’s SPNW Wayback Machine is about the Stanley Cup winning Seattle Metropolitans, who nearly became a hockey dynasty.

Garfield High hoops star Tony Wroten was named 2nd team All-America by Parade Magazine.

Seven days closer to a championship…

Today, March 29
Baseball: Mariners @ Colorado, 1:10 p.m. (FSN)

Wednesday, March 30
Baseball: Mariners @ Dodgers, 7:10 p.m. (FSN)

Thursday, March 31
NADA

Friday, April 1
Husky Pro Day, 11 a.m. (ESPN3.com)
Baseball (for real!): Mariners @ Oakland, 7:07 p.m. (MLB Network, FSN)

Saturday, April 2
Baseball: Mariners @ Oakland, 6:07 p.m. (FSN)
Soccer: Sounders @ San Jose, 7:30 p.m. (KONG)

Sunday, April 3
Baseball: Mariners @ Oakland, 1:07 p.m. (FSN)

Monday, April 4
Baseball: Mariners @ Texas, 5:05 p.m. (FSN)


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