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New Rookies Realize Mariners Aren’t Minor League Team Friday, February 4, 2011

Posted by mrgenre in Mariners.
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Photo courtesy Seattle Times

Spring training is just days away from beginning for the Mariners in Peoria, and a number of young players look to be the focus of this year’s club, especially rookies Dustin Ackley and Michael Pineda.  And despite a flood of local media attention on these two youngsters, both were surprised last week to receive a letter inviting them to train for a possible spot on a major league club.

“It was the major league part that confused me, ” Second-base convert and coveted prospect Ackley reported.  “I knew I was going to be competing for a spot higher than Tacoma, but I assumed Seattle was a minor league club, too.  High AA or something like that.”

Right-handed starter Pineda was just as confused.

“It was the letterhead that clued me in,” said Pineda through a club interpreter.  “I knew I was up for a spot in the rotation, but I wish they had told me it was for the majors!”

Both players were of course pleased and excited to have finally made it to “the show,” but this isn’t the first time a major league club has been confused with minor league teams, especially in Seattle.

“Ichiro was the clue in my case,” longtime bench player Michael Saunders said last year.  “I knew how good he was, and I hadn’t heard of a major league club keeping someone down that long, so I knew I must have made it, even if everyone else on the team was playing at my level.”

Even more confusion was had by Jack Wilson, who didn’t make such a realization until his second stint on the disable list last season.

“It was a little embarrassing, but it wasn’t until I checked my bank account that I realized the M’s were giving me millions of dollars instead of thousands,” Wilson confirmed.  “What was really embarrassing, though, is to realize all these years later that Pittsburgh is in the majors too.”

The Mariners also confirmed for this report that they have a stadium in south Seattle named Safeco Field that seats nearly 40,000 people, a membership in the MLB, and a budget of nearly 100 million dollars.

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