ARLINGTON, Texas - The Texas Rangers' clubhouse has become a very dangerous place since Mark Lowe got healthy.
Seattle Mariners fans will remember Lowe as the right-handed reliever who became an integral part of the looniest Mariners bullpen in memory, from importing battle helmets to having rookies wear pink backpacks.
Now with Texas, he’s gone high tech.
Lowe has an iPad, secure in a black leather book cover. Among the many things programmed into it are, well, various sounds of flatulence.
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Why, you ask?
Well, when a teammate was seated in a director’s chair doing a television interview, Lowe set his iPad timer to 30 seconds, programmed in something called “mosquito brown” and had the device strategically placed behind the player and his interviewer.
And yes, after 30 seconds, the most disgusting noise anyone has ever recorded began – and the interview stopped.
The clubhouse, of course, broke up. Nothing makes ballplayers laugh harder than the recorded sound of flatulence.
“Lowe hasn’t changed,” reliever Arthur Rhodes, another former Mariners pitcher, said. “Still disgusting. Still sick. He’s great.”
Lowe has also introduced pitchers to running football pass routes before the game, just the way Mariners pitchers do, to get their leg work in.
“Here, we only get to do it one day a week – our ‘fun’ day,” Lowe said.
Lowe, Rhodes and third baseman Adrian Beltre each sought out former M’s teammates before Monday’s game, sharing hugs and occasional curses. With Beltre in a conversation with other players, Felix Hernandez snuck up from behind and stole his cap. Beltre chased him in mock rage, then the two embraced.
“A great teammate,” Felix said.
Then, of course, they played a game against one another.
ADVICE FOR PINEDA
Asked if he had any advice for rookie pitcher Michael Pineda, who makes his first major league start tonight against Texas, manager Eric Wedge came up with this.
“Pitch to his catcher, pitch to spots and trust his stuff,” Wedge said.
Team baseball information guru Tim Hevly came up with this tidbit from Elias Sports Bureau: Four active players are the all-time hits leaders of their current teams – and two of them were in Arlington. Ichiro Suzuki (Seattle) and Michael Young (Texas) played against one another; the other two are Derek Jeter (Yankees) and Todd Helton (Colorado).
The Mariners face the Rangers in the second game of this series at 5:05 p.m. today on Root Sports. Probable starting pitchers: Seattle’s Pineda vs. Alexi Ogando.