CHICAGO – Outfielder Endy Chavez received his green card as a U.S. permanent resident Monday, a process the 31-year-old had undertaken quite some time ago.
He was prepared for most anything, except perhaps the response of his teammates.
As he has done each time something of importance has happened since the first week of spring training, Mike Sweeney called the team together for a not-so-accurate announcement.
“Endy Chavez has become an American citizen today,” he announced, making Chavez stand on a chair in the middle of the circle. Much cheering ensued. “Today, he is no longer a Latino!”
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Sweeney then turned to one of Chavez’s fellow native Venezuelans, Carlos Silva, and asked him to lead the team in a moment of silence. Everyone was quiet, and then Silva broke the spell.
“(Expletive) you!” he yelled, and everyone laughed and slapped Chavez on the back.
That’s about as serious as this group gets about such things, but Chavez was beaming.
The Seattle Mariners will play a doubleheader with the White Sox today, making up for their rained out game Monday.
Chris Jakubauskas and Felix Hernandez will square off against Bartolo Colon and John Danks in a double header that will begin 2:05 p.m. (PDT), with the nightcap to begin 30 minutes after the first game ends.
FSN and 710-AM will broadcast the games.
Johjima in Arizona for rehab
Catcher Kenji Johjima has left the team and flown to Peoria, Ariz., where he’ll continue to rehabilitate from a strained hamstring muscle.
Eligible to come off the disabled list Friday, Johjima will work out in warmer weather than the team figured to experience in Chicago in late April.
After running well in Anaheim on Saturday, Johjima will continue to work in Arizona through Thursday, then return to Seattle to join the team Friday.
Ronny Cedeño is close to playing again, but still feeling the impact of a mild strain in his hamstring.
With no other middle infielder on the Seattle bench, what would have happened in Anaheim if the Mariners had lost Yuniesky Betancourt or Jose Lopez?
“We’d have slid Adrian Beltre over to shortstop and put Cedeño at third base,” manager Don Wakamatsu said. “And we’d have ordered Cedeño to walk, not run, if we’d had to use him at all.”
Brandon Morrow played catch and is ready to return his job closing in the ninth inning after missing three games with a tender right shoulder. …
Betancourt begins today without a walk in 66 plate appearances, the second highest at-bat total in the majors without a base on balls. Who’s ahead of him? San Francisco’s Bengie Molina, who’s been to the plate 68 times without a walk. Ichiro Suzuki, meanwhile, ranks fourth in the big leagues with a 48-at-bat streak to start the season without a walk. …
Add walks: On the other side of the ledger, Ken Griffey Jr. is tied for 10th in the American League with 12 walks. …
Left-hander Ryan Rowland-Smith played catch Monday for the first time since going on the disabled list April 15. The schedule is for him to throw three days in a row, take a day off, then throw another three days before starting bullpen sessions – tentatively scheduled for May 4.
After Monday’s rain postponement, Seattle starts its series against the White Sox with a doubleheader that begins at 2:05 p.m. (PDT) today. The second game will start 30 minutes after the end of the first game.
Probable starting pitchers: Jakubauskas (1-2, 7.11 ERA) and Hernandez (3-0, 3.12) versus Chicago’s Colon (1-1, 6.14) and Danks (2-0, 0.95).