‘This is the beginning of everything’ — Gutierrez
The sun is out, the music is playing in the Mariners clubhouse — thanks to Michael Morse’s desire to wake things up early this morning — and the full squad is hitting the field for the first time after a team meeting with Eric Wedge.
There’s always a buzz on the first day of full-squad workouts, even for the guys who’ve been doing this a long time. It doesn’t hurt that the weather is gorgeous, with blue skies and a high of 81 degrees expected today in Peoria, Ariz.
“It’s always exciting the first day when you come to Spring Training, just seeing your friends here and everybody is excited to start practicing,” Franklin Gutierrez said. “This is the beginning of everything. It’s a long season and we’re starting today.”
Raul Ibanez, back with the Mariners for the first time since 2008, was waxing poetic as he prepared for the first day.
“The sunshine, the crisp air of Spring Training, get in the cage and guys are hovering around and guys are hitting,” Ibanez said. “It’s a lot of fun.”
Today’s workout will begin at 10 a.m. MT (or 9 a.m. PT) after Wedge’s chat, but the team will hit the field at 9:30 a.m. from here on out and normally work until about noon. It’s a condensed early schedule this year — due to the World Baseball Classic — with Cactus League games beginning Friday.
Reliever Jhonny Nunez, who was with the Rays last year, arrived today after dealing with visa issues. So the only player not in camp still is catcher Ronny Paulino, who has also been delayed getting out of the Dominican Republic by visa problems.