Demoted relief pitcher Julio Mateo is once again receiving his major-league salary from the Mariners. The big difference this time is the...
Demoted relief pitcher Julio Mateo is once again receiving his major-league salary from the Mariners.
The big difference this time is the team is paying Mateo to stay home. Mateo was placed on the Class AAA Temporarily Inactive List by the Mariners on Wednesday, nearly two weeks after his arrest in New York on charges of assaulting his wife.
Mariners general manager Bill Bavasi said it’s too soon to say whether Mateo has thrown his final pitch in a Seattle uniform.
“That’s way too far in the future and hypothetical,” Bavasi said. “I’ll leave that one alone.”
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Mateo had been suspended 10 days without pay by the club for having skipped a May 5 game at Yankee Stadium without permission the day he turned himself in to police. The suspension ended on Wednesday, but there is no time limit for how long a player can remain on the inactive list.
Today | vs. L.A. Angels, 7:05 p.m., FSN | M’s LHP Jarrod Washburn (3-3, 2.64) vs. RHP Bartolo Colon (4-0, 3.66).
Friday | vs. San Diego, 7:05 p.m., FSN | M’s RHP Miguel Batista (3-3, 6.98) vs. RHP Chris Young (4-3, 3.11).
Saturday | vs. San Diego, 7:05 p.m., Ch. 11 | M’s LHP Horacio Ramirez (3-2, 6.40) vs. RHP Greg Maddux (3-2, 3.20).
Sunday | vs. San Diego, 1:05 p.m., Ch. 11 | M’s RHP Felix Hernandez (2-1, 2.57) vs. RHP Justin Germano (1-0, 0.69).
Monday | @ Cleveland, 4:05 p.m., no TV | M’s Cha Seung Baek (1-1, 5.16) vs. LHP C.C. Sabathia (6-1, 3.65).
Bavasi said Mateo will continue to train privately, but “under the supervision” of the team. Mateo also continues to receive counseling from the club.
“He’s contrite, cooperative, whatever you want to call it,” Bavasi said of Mateo, due back in court June 15 in Manhattan on charges of third-degree assault. “He understands the gravity of this situation, let’s put it that way.”
The team admitted last week it was unaware Seattle police responded to a 9-1-1 call at Mateo’s residence on Dexter Avenue a week before his arrest in New York. Mateo wasn’t at the scene when police arrived but his wife, Aurea, indicated to officers that she had been choked. No charges were filed.
Mateo apologized to his wife and the team in a statement issued two days after his arrest, but would not say for what.
At his arraignment in New York, prosecutors alleged he attacked his wife in their hotel room after being informed she was leaving him. He is said to have choked her, punched her in the eye and bit her lip, causing a cut that required five stitches.
Bavasi said Mateo, optioned to Class AAA the day of his arrest, will not join the club’s minor-league affiliate in Tacoma while he is on the inactive list.
You wouldn’t like me
when I’m angry
Jose Guillen was so pumped up about facing his former Los Angeles Angels squad on Wednesday that he hardly got any sleep the night before. And that was after Guillen had drilled a run-scoring single and double off former teammate Kelvim Escobar on Tuesday to raise his season batting average to .375 against the Angels.
Guillen went 0 for 4 Wednesday but has gone 11 for 33 (.333) with a homer, two doubles and six runs batted in against the Angels since leaving the team after the 2004 season.
Perhaps he wasn’t angry enough Wednesday.
“I’m going to tell you this — you don’t want to piss me off,” Guillen said before the game. “That’s all I’m going to tell you. You don’t want to piss me off because when somebody pisses me off I could be the best player I can be that nobody’s ever seen. That is something that’s always happened to me.
“It’s better off for you to keep me cool, relaxed,” he added. “That’s something I don’t really want. I don’t want to relax. I want to be mad all the time. That’s when I’m at my best.”
Guillen would love to channel some of his anti-Angels energy over an entire season. He is hitting .348 with two home runs and 13 RBI in May, pulling his average up to .283 after a slow start.
“I don’t just want to do it against one team,” he said. “I want to do it against everybody.”
Point of origin
Mariners pitcher Sean White still has plenty of congratulatory calls to return from Washington residents after notching his first major-league win on Tuesday night. White tossed 4-1/3 hitless innings of relief to pick up the victory and his cellphone was soon flooded with calls.
The one thing White wanted to clear up Wednesday is that he is actually more of a Mercer Island native than anything else. He was born in Pullman — as is listed in the team’s media guide — but never actually lived there. His family lived across the border in Idaho until he was 3, then moved to Mercer Island, where most of the congratulatory phone calls came from Tuesday night.
Felix feeling fine
Mariners starter Felix Hernandez felt fine and reported no elbow problems after his abbreviated outing the previous night. Manager Mike Hargrove said Hernandez could throw as many as 100 pitches his next outing, against the San Diego.
“There’s usually a 15-to-20-pitch increase,” said Hargrove, who pulled Hernandez after 78 pitches in the fourth inning Tuesday.
• Plenty of fuss was generated locally by a story on Ichiro that appeared in Wednesday’s editions of USA Today. Mariners fans spent much of the day debating the meaning of Ichiro’s comments on free agency and his views on the team.
Here’s what the newspaper didn’t say: Ichiro’s comments were gathered in a spring-training interview and haven’t been updated since.
For the record
vs. AL West: 8-6
vs. L.A.: 1-4
vs. Oakland: 4-1
vs. Texas: 3-1
vs. AL East: 5-5
vs. AL Central: 5-6
vs. NL: 0-0
vs. LHP: 6-2
vs. RHP: 12-15
Extra innings: 0-0
Wednesday’s crowd: 22,331
Season total: 543,223
Biggest crowd: 46,181 (May 13)
Smallest crowd: 16,555 (May 2)
Average (19 dates): 28,591
2006 average (19 dates): 26,981