By Shannon Drayer
It's moving day for the Mariners. The truck has been loaded up and is on its way to Peoria as the Mariners move their operations south for the next two months. Bat bags, uniforms, training equipment, office equipment, suitcases and tubs of things needed to set up temporary households were all stacked up in the clubhouse over the weekend and carted out this morning. Pitchers and catchers report in eight days and the spring training facility will be ready.
Of course, many of the players are already down there. Some spend their winters near the spring training complex; others report a few weeks early to start working out. For a good number of them it is back to work weeks before the reporting date.
Not a ton to talk about with the Mariners beyond the trunks and tricycles. No, that is not training equipment. It is not unusual to see outdoor toys or cribs or strollers or car seats in the pile of things that are to be transported. All necessary if you are making the move with kids as many do.
What we don't see in the pictures is the equipment bag of a fifth starter. With eight days to go until pitchers and catchers report we still have not seen an established pitcher added to the roster. That is not to say that something still couldn't happen. Earlier today we saw a major trade with Jed Lowrie heading to the A's.
Not an option, not that I suspected it ever was, is Kevin Millwood, who announced his retirement to the Shelby Star of Cleveland County N.C. over the weekend. At the end of last season Millwood seemed to be saying his goodbyes to baseball. A 16-year career came to an end in a Mariners uniform, which for him was probably not a bad deal as he was able to be a part of a no-hitter as well as throw a good number of quality innings for the team. He will be missed, probably most by Eric Wedge, who he helped greatly, and Blake Beavan, who he mentored.
One last note I am happy to pass on: I received word that the Hutch Lunch raised a record $485,000 for early cancer detection research at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. I wrote about the event last week and noted that Hutch Award winner Barry Zito seemed genuinely moved by the experience of touring the research labs and that he vowed that the Hutch would be a cause that he would be involved with from that day forward.
Well, he lived up to his words as I am told that he and his wife Amber donated $50,000 shortly after the event. Always good to see athletes doing good and great to see the Hutch inspire this.