Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports
Following Saturday’s conversations with Jack Zduriencik, Mike Morse, and Mike Zunino, the Mariners ran a similar schedule during their Dugout Dialogue sessions on Sunday. A few former Mariners made appearances towards the end of the afternoon—most notably, Edgar Martinez, Julio Cruz, and Dave Henderson. Here are just a few of the insights from the Mariners’ team:
On whether or not Eric Wedge is really Johnny Cash
During Wedge and Jack Zduriencik’s Q&A, the GM had plenty to say about his skipper. “We hired Johnny Cash and John Wayne combined,” he said, then told the following story:
During a media presser, Wedge started to get fired up. With a gleam in his eye, he looked at the media members and declared, “I’ll tell you one thing: If these players don’t start producing, we’re gonna eliminate them!”
Another priceless quote from Wedge: “We don’t need choir boys, we need boys who care about the right things.” Both he and Jack explained that while character plays a large role in selecting players to fill out the team, they hope that some of the clubhouse atmosphere will have a positive effect on incoming players who might be a bit rough around the edges.
On preparing for a major league career
In response to a young boy’s question, Michael Saunders dispensed the old “hard work and dedication” formula. It was Mike Morse’s gleeful response that had everyone chuckling (well, it had him smiling): “Do your homework, go to school, listen to your mother, and you’ll be on your way!”
On Edgar’s recent Hall of Fame snub
While much talk was made of Edgar’s recent bid for the Hall of Fame, one brave fan ventured to ask him if he had something to say to the writers who kept him out of Cooperstown. Gar replied that he wished for no deserving player, regardless of position, to be left out of the Hall.
On the magic run of 1995
Edgar: “We played like we couldn’t lose.”
On the Mariners’ rebuilding plan
“It’s all about the ring,” Dave Henderson told the crowd, taking off his gloves to flash his 1989 World Series bling. Julio Cruz chimed in, agreeing with Henderson’s assessment that everything the Mariners are doing—everything they are building towards—is a World Series run, and a victorious one at that.
If you missed FanFest, or any of the players’ Q&As, you can find them archived at Mariners.com here. While the gates of Safeco Field are once again shut until April, it’s never too early to count down to a new season: just two months and eleven days until Mariners baseball returns to Seattle!