Results tagged ‘ Chone Figgins ’

Spring Training VI: Practice Pictures

After a brief detour through the Metrodome, its back to Spring Training.  We still have a few more reports to go from the desert.  This one has no real *story* per se, its just a bunch of pictures.  It does, however, have a theme:  practice.  We took a bunch of nice pictures of Mariners doing the hard work of preparing for the 2011 season and its time to share them.

Each morning, the entire Mariners major league camp would report to practice field M3 for a big stretching routine:

1 - pitcher stretching.JPGYou can always expect to see the guys playing a lot of catch at Spring Training:

2 - Ichiro throwing.JPGAbove, Ichiro is playing catch with…hmm…probably Milton Bradley on practice field M1.

The Mariners coaching staff hits hours of fungo to the Mariners infielders during Spring Training.  Here, Justin Smoak gloves a grounder on the first day of full team workouts on M2:

3 - Justin Smoak grounder.JPGJosh Wilson got into the action right next to Smoak:

4 - Josh Wilson grounder.JPGAcross the diamond, Chone Figgins — back at his native third base — got hand cuffed by this grounder, but made the play:

5 - Chone Figgins handcuffed by grounder.JPGBetween fields M1 and M2, there is a little half field (infield only).  Here, Dustin Ackley practices taking grounders at second base on the short field:

6 - Dustin Ackley grounder.JPGThe pitchers spend a lot of time re-learning how to field their position during Spring Training.  Here, big Michael Pineda practices his pick off move as a bunch of his colleagues watch:

7 - Pineda drills.JPGThis next picture is hilarious to me.  This was the first day of full squad workouts and the coach (cannot remember which one) said, “First grounder of the season!” and then hit this ball to King Felix Hernandez a/k/a Larry Bernandez:

8 - Felix first grounder of 2011.JPGThe look on Felix’s face is priceless.  FYI, despite his surprised look, he did catch the ball.

Cook & Son Hall of Famer Jason Phillips was working the fungo a bunch the week we were in Peoria.  Here is an action fungo shot of Jason on M4:

9 - Jason Phillips fungo.JPGErik Bedard has been a pleasant surprise this Spring.  He is flat out pitching like a stud and finally looking like he might live up to the original hype.  Here he is getting in his work in the mega-bullpen between M3 and M4:

10 - Erik Bedard bullpen.JPGThree or four mounds over from Bedard, King Felix was strutting his Cy Young-stuff:

11 - Felix Hernandez bullpen.JPGIn a little strip of random grass between M2 and M7 (the half field), Ichiro, Dustin Ackley and a couple other guys played a little pepper:

12 - Ichiro and Ackley pepper.JPGSomeone peppered a hot one Ichiro’s way and Ichi had to make an acrobatic catch at close range:

13 - catching pepper.JPGWhat makes this next picture cool was unintentional and hard to decipher.  However, if you click on the picture to enlarge it, you will see that I captured two balls in the air — Figgy gunned a ball to Justin Smoak that appears in the upper lefthand corner of the photo and Brendan Ryan his underhanding a second baseball to 2B:

14 - smoak and two balls in air.JPGAs I said, lots of pitcher fielding practice.  Here, Jason Vargas, Luke French and Brandon League handle hot shots back up the box:

15 - vargas french league.JPGAnd here is another hilarious picture of King Felix fielding his position — he did not catch this one:

16 - Larry Bernandez.JPGBut Ichiro caught this one (during outfielder practice on M5):

17 - Ichiro catch.JPGYou can get so close to your favorite players during Spring Training that its almost ridiculous.  Here, Tim played in the warning track dirt just behind Ichiro waiting his turn at the plate:

18 - Ichiro stretch pre-batting.JPGOne day, the guys all came out to practice and the outfielders reported to M6.  Ichiro was all set to play catch with Milton Bradley when he realized he’d forgot his glove in the clubhouse.  Ichiro’s interpreter, Anthony Suzuki, bolted off to the clubhouse and came cruising back with Ichiro’s glove:

19 - Anthony Suzuki glove retriever.JPGMichael Saunders tracks this ball in the birght Arizona sun during outfielders practice on M6:

20 - Saunders ranging.JPGMore pitcher fielding practice — Erik Bedard doesn’t show the best form while snaring this grounder from the short stop position:

21 - Bedard grounders by short.JPGOne last group of photos, all of Ichiro.  I took the picture of Ichiro in the top left (below)…

22 - Ichiro up close.JPG

…Tim took the other three from close range.

So there you go, a look behind the scenes at Spring Training practice.   For my money, practice is where the fun is at Spring Training.

2008 Roadtrip, Game 2 – Angels at Indians (8/17/08)


ruth 1927 bat.jpgOn the second day of the 2008 Cook Grandfather-Father-Son Baseball Roadtrip, we left Cinncinati and headed down to Louisville, Kentucky for a tour of the Louisville Slugger factory.  It was awesome.  But they don’t allow cameras in the factory, so I don’t have much to share on it.  So go check it out for yourself.  In addition to the factory, there is an extremely cool Louisville Slugger museum that includes a Babe Ruth bat that has 20+ notches that Ruth carved into it around the Louisville Slugger logo for each homerun Ruth hit with the bat during his record setting 60 homerun 1927 season.

On day three of the roadtrip, we made our way up north to Cleveland, Ohio and…

1 - Hey Its Progressive Field.jpg…Progressive Field a/k/a “The Jake,” home of the Cleveland Indians.

We had a game on tap between the Cleveland Indians and the Anaheim Angels of Orange County, California.

We parked a block or two away, walked passed one of the worst corporated named sporting venues of all-time, the Quicken Loans Arena, through a nice little court yard festival area…

3 - courtyard outside The Jake.jpg…and we arrived at the Jake.

2 - Approach to the Jake.jpgWe headed inside and my dad immediately took a picture of me and Tim and our first view of the field:

4 - Inside Jake.jpgThere was no BP so we had plenty of time to explore the stadium.  We started by heading toward the home plate area…

5 - Behind Dugout.jpg…then we walked the field level concourse…

6 - walking The Jake concourse.jpg…in the concourse toward RF, we saw a big picture of former Mariner and still Seattle resident (as far as I am aware), Omar “Little O” Visquel…

7 - little O.jpg…the inset picture of his signature is from the wall in Heritage Park, the Indians Hall of Fame.

We walked through the large RF-CF concourse with all of its various concession stands…

8 - RF Concourse.jpg…and we made our way out to Heritage Park:

9 - heritage park.jpgHeritage Park has two levels.  In the top left picture, Tim is shown standing in the middle of a big circle which is lined with HOF plaques.  Above, I have included pictures of some of the Indians HOF plaques.  These are some top-of-the-line HOF’ers:  Bob Feller, Tris Speaker, Cy Young, Larry Doby, Early Wynn, Nap Lajoie and Earl Averill.

You might have heard of these guys.

Well, on second thought, although he is a member of the National Baseball Hall of Fame, maybe you don’t know Averill.  He isn’t quite on the same level as the rest included here.  He was voted into the National HOF by the veterans committee in 1975, 34 years after his final season.  I included Averill because, as his plaque notes, he is the “Earl of Snohomish.” 

That’s Snohomish, Washington.  I grew up in Edmonds, Washington, which is in Snohomish County.  Like Adam Eaton, Averill went to Snohomish High School, which many, many, many years after Averill graduated would eventually be in the same athletic conference, WesCo Triple-A, as my high school, Edmonds-Woodway High School.  More on Snohomish County and my former WesCo Triple-A foes later.

Back to the tour.  After Heritage Park, we headed to the upper deck so I could take pictures for this panaramic view:

9a - progressive 3B upper roadtrip panaramic.jpgFYI, Heritage Park is at the intersection of the LCF bleachers and the batters’ eye in CF.

Next, it was time for lunch…

10 - nacho time.jpg…Nachos!  A Cook family favorite.

Then it was game time.  This was our view from Section 175, Row M, Seats 3-5 at Progressive Field:

11 - lounging in seats.jpgA majority of the scoring occurred in the first inning of this game.

The Angels got on the board first.  After singles by future-Mariner Chone Figgins, Erick Aybar and Mark Teixeira, and a fielders choice by “Big Daddy Vladdy” Guererro, the Angels led 2-0.

The top of the Angels order would do most of the damage for the Angels on the day.  Figgins was 2-5 with 2 runs scored, Aybar was 2-5 with 1 run, and Teixeira was 2-4 with 1 RBI.

12 - our game view.jpgThen the teams switched sides and it was the Indians’ turn.  The Indians would match the Angels on a 2-run single by future-Mariner Franklin Gutierrez.  Gutierrez would eventually go 3-3 on the day.

The crowd was pretty low key…

13 - wow.jpg…but Tim can always find something to amaze him at the ballpark.  I have no clue what has his attention here, but I think its a funny picture.

In the bottom of the third, Ryan Garko hit a single…

14 - look at that future Mariner.jpg…that scored Jamey Carroll for the Indians’ first lead of the day.  Franklin would follow with another single.  I didn’t know it yet, but that guy rules.

Soon, it was time for ice cream helmets…

15 - indians ice cream helmets.jpg…Tim beat the heat by eating his ice cream sitting on the ground in the shady beneath his seat.

We’d driven to Cleveland in the morning from a camp ground an hour or so west of Columbus, Ohio.  Tim hadn’t napped so I knew he would crash at some point during this game.  That time came in the 4th or 5th inning.

I took him up to the concourse behind our section to get him out of the sun.  He fell asleep sitting on my shoulders and he stayed that way for 3 entire innings.

16 - shoulder nap.jpgWhile Tim was napping, the Indians and Angels scored their final runs of the day.  In the top of the fifth, Figgins singled and then scored on a passed ball by Sal Fasano.  That tied the score at 3-3.

Fasano would get his redeption by scoring the winning run for the Indians on a sixth inning single by Indians center fielder Grady Sizemore.

Speaking of Sizemore, you know where he grew up?  In Everett, Washington.  Yep, that’s the county seat of Snohomish County.  Sizemore graduated from my WesCo rival, Cascade High School.

Aside from rejuvenating Tim for the rest of the day, something else good came out of Tim’s nap.  In that picture above to the left, do you see the large usher in the green shirt and the dark-haired guy sitting under the “PR” in the “Express” sign?  Those two chatted the entire Tim I was standing up there.  The seated guy had a son (sitting right in front of me in the picture).  So the usher mentioned to him that it was KIDS RUN THE BASES DAY!!!  I had no clue.  The only advertised promotion was an art kit for kids.  Tim had never run the bases at a big league field (for that matter, neither had I), so I was extremely excited.  The usher told us where to go toward the end of the game to get in line.

After Tim woke up, we went back to our seats for a little bit.  I told my dad about it being Kids Run the Bases Day.  We decided to make our way over to the RF corner where the line would form.  On our way, an usher took a picture of us…

17 - RF foul corner.jpg…and since we were in Cleveland (and it was 2008), Tim wore his hat like C.C. Sabbathia.

We missed the uneventful ninth inning because we were in a long line snaking up the switch-back walkway from the field level to the upper deck behind the RF concourse.  Notably, Jeremy Sowers got the win for the Indians taking his season record to 2-6.  His only other win on the season was the Mariners-Indians game we had attended in Seattle back on July 19, 2008.

Anyway, the line finally started moving and we snaked our way under the stadium, and passed a sign that read:

ON THE JOB SAFETY BEGINS HERE

This Department Has Worked 19 Days Without a Lost Time Accident.

ACCIDENTS ARE AVOIDABLE

The “19″ was a red digital light that counts up each day from the last accident.

Anyway, eventually, we made our way out of the tunnels and through an entrance at the side of the visitors’ bullpen…

18 - visitors bulllpen.jpg…we walked out onto the RF warning track.  My dad took our picture against the OF wall (a picture we now try to duplicate at other parks)…

19 - 325 warning track.jpg…and I took my Dad’s picture with the warning track and OF grass behind him.

And much to my delight, since Tim was only two, I got to run with him…

20 - tim runs the bases.jpg…I gotta admit it, I was at least as excited about it as Tim.  It was really cool to be running behind Tim around the same bases we would eventually see Ken Griffey, Jr. circle after his 624th homerun.

After circling the bases, we met up with my dad and got a few more picture before we left the field of play.

21 - dugout and LF.jpgBetween the Angels loss (yeah, the Mariners were already out of it but its always good to see a division rival lose) and running the bases, it was an outstanding second game on the roadtrip.

We capped off the day at the KOA in Streetsboro, Ohio where my dad helped Tim roast the first smore of his young life:

22 - tims first smore.jpgA great day.

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