In past years, Mariners manager Scott Servais has made several trips to the Seahawks practices in Renton.
He is a big football fan and likes to talk with Seahawks coaches about the different leadership techniques they use for their team. But he has yet to talk with head coach Pete Carroll about players stepping away from games or practices in a form of protest. The Mariners players voted unanimously not to play their game Wednesday against the Padres while the Seahawks didn’t practice Saturday.
“I have not had a chance to connect with Pete,” Servais said Saturday in his pregame video call. “I will say I did get a chance to watch his news conference. I watched it a little while ago and as always super, super impressed. Pete’s been at this a long time. He’s always had a good sense of the direction of the pulse of his locker room with his players.”
Servais said he has consistently listened to the Flying Coach podcast with Steve Kerr and Pete Carroll since it debuted. He particularly loved the episode with Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich.
“They are three really intelligent guys who have a good feel for their teams, and not just for the teams and getting the most out of their players, but what’s going on in our country and what’s going on around their players,” Servais said. “So listening to a few of those podcasts, getting to know those guys a little bit, it’s been really helpful for me in my education. And listening to Pete today, I thought he did a great job as always, very sincere. Coming from the heart. I thought it was great.”
Daniel Vogelbach spoke to the media for the first time since the Mariners designated Vogelbach for assignment Aug. 19 and then traded him to Toronto for cash considerations Aug. 23.
The slugging designated hitter was activated by the Blue Jays after passing intake protocols.
“It was a lot of mixed emotions,” Vogelbach said on a video call. “Seattle has been home for me for the past five years and becoming close with a lot of those guys over there. Teammates-wise it was sad to leave there, but I’m very, very excited for a fresh start and looking forward to being a part of a winning team.”
Vogelbach struggled this season for the Mariners, posting a .094/.250/.226 slash line in 18 games and 64 plate appearances. He had just five hits — two homers, a double and three singles in 53 at-bats — with four RBI, 11 walks and 13 strikeouts. But he admittedly didn’t think he was playing to remain on the team.
“I try not to really think about it that way,” he said. “I go about my day, just do my work and work hard. I’m very confident human being. I’m confident in my abilities because of the time and the work I put in. So I’m very confident in myself. Obviously, I got off to a slow start. I’m not someone that makes excuses. It had nothing to do with short season or COVID, it was just with however many at-bats it was, I just didn’t perform the way that I know I can perform.”
Vogelbach said he believes he got away from his identity as a player.
“I think the biggest thing for me is, I’ve always been a hitter first,” he said. “Be a good hitter first and take your walks and the home runs will come. I kind of lost that a little bit trying to be a home-run hitter. It’s an easy out when you’re like that, I don’t want to be a walk or a home-run guy. That’s not who I’ve been my whole career. So I’m just trying to go back to being a hitter first and that starts with your work in the cage and batting practice.”
A MRI on Evan White’s sore shoulder came back clean, showing no structural damage. He was scheduled to participate in pregame work before the game Saturday with the hopes of returning to the lineup.
Servais said relievers Austin Adams and Brandon Brennan are throwing at the team’s complex in Peoria, Arizona. They could be the first of the long list of relievers on the injured list to return to games.
Editor’s note: The Times declined to send reporter Ryan Divish to Anaheim for this game because of COVID-19 safety concerns.