By Shannon Drayer
Kyle Seager is out of the lineup for the first time in 106 games. For the Mariners' go-to guy, you would think a day off from the field was a day off from the media, but no such luck for Seager.
"Ripken's streak is over," snickered Michael Saunders as the media approached Seager at his locker before the Mariners' game against the Angels.
The 106 consecutive games (dating back to May 24) is a record for Seattle third basemen. Adrian Beltre held the previous record starting 86 games at the hot corner in a streak that took place in 2005 and 2006. For Seager, while he accepted the break, he didn't feel that playing 106 straight should be anything out of the ordinary.
"I've actually been feeling fine," he said. "It's something that as I have kind of got into the routine of everything it honestly does feel fine. I don't feel physically tired -- not crazy tired for game whatever we are on."
Seager said that while he would do his best to try and lighten the work load on his day off, that mentally it wasn't a day off. He realized he would have to be ready to come off the bench in whatever situation the game dictated. If called upon, he does feel better about what he has been doing at the plate the last couple of days. After going 2 for his last 40, he got two hits Thursday.
"I am feeling better at the plate," he said. "I think I was just a tick off. I think I have figured a couple of things out. Yesterday felt better. It was nice to hit a few balls hard and nice to see the ball drop."
The remarkable thing with Seager is if you watched him in or out of the games during that streak, you wouldn't know if he was hitting .400 or .040. I think that was one of the reasons Eric Wedge kept him out there. Not just in the hopes that one of his best players would pull out of it, but to set the example as well. Hitters are going to go through slumps. You don't want them taking it to the field or off the field as well. Seager handled it as any manager would want a player to handle it. Hopefully the younger players took note.
The Mariners' players will wear a patch honoring Hiroshi Yamauchi.