A week to go!

Today’s excitement involves Shawn Kelley getting kicked in the face by Mark Lowe. I’m not sure which is more hilarious – that Erik Bedard won a pool that involved stitches, or that Cliff Lee guessed 13 stitches for a chin wound. Must have looked a lot worse than it was.

This article on the place-switching thing with Chone Figgins and Jose Lopez makes it look a little more serious than just drills. I’m totally convinced that major league ball coaches know better than I do about such things, but I’m not totally convinced that I like the idea. For one thing, I’m accustomed to Lopi at second. Second, it seems like we need someone stronger than Lopez at the corner  – at least if he’s at second, he has a Franklin Gutierrez backup, just in case things should go Horribly, Horribly Wrong. I don’t want to use the word downgrade – I have a genuine fondness for Lopez, and while I acknowledge his defense might use a little work, I certainly don’t hate him  – but it seems like a step back for us to have someone without much range at third. Then again – as I sit here and talk myself out of my own opinions (I’ve gotten really good at it this offseason) – it does seem like one of Lopi’s current strengths is his ability to make plays to his left; so maybe this isn’t such a bad idea after all. Also, if Figgins is at second and has a lengthy contract, does that not provide a bit of a blockage to Dustin Ackley’s possible/kind of/maybe future position? I like surprises, but this is a bit of a head-scratcher. It has been repeated numerous times over the past few days that these are just drills, this is just Spring Training, everything is “wait and see”. And shuttle runs. Lots of shuttle runs.

More talk of Milton Bradley and the Mariners Clubhouse Effect (if it’s proven again this year, I may have to start calling it the “MCE”) on Brock and Salk today. A lot of words about Bradley’s competitive streak, and his ability to hit well when healthy, and his being pleased with being on a team with Ken Griffey Jr. For their part, Don Wakamatsu and Jack Zduriencik have both gone on (radio) record in the past few days, acknowledging their awareness of and respect for Bradley. I kind of wish we could just get done with it now. Everyone knows, and the more it gets hashed over, the more likely he may be to bring that mess here; and he obviously doesn’t want to – and our reporters obviously don’t want him to. So it’s out in the open, let’s move on and play ball, yeah?

Mike Sweeney is just too damn cool. Seriously – how did I ever not like this guy? Also at that link, Cliff Lee video goodness.

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