Servais will travel to Oxford, Mississippi to be there when his daughter receivers her Master's from Ole Miss. Manny Acta will serve as interim manager
TORONTO — It may not seem like it in the moments following a frustrating loss or a scintillating win. But at the end of the day, there are things that take precedence over baseball, specifically family and the memorable achievements of children.
It’s why Scott Servais will be absent from the first two games of the upcoming series in Detroit. The Mariners’ manager will instead travel to Oxford, Mississippi on Friday so he can be there when his daughter, Jackie, receives her master’s degree from the Ole Miss School of Journalism and New Media. The travel logistics of getting from Detroit to Oxford and the two ceremonies on Saturday wouldn’t allow Servais to travel the day of the event.
“I can’t get there early enough on Saturday morning to make both,” he said. “I made a commitment and that’s what we are doing.”
Bench coach Manny Acta will act as manager for the two games. Servais joked that Ichiro would serve as bench coach. But there was a little truth to it in that Ichiro can be on the bench during those two games. MLB limits the number of staff on the bench during games. With Servais gone and the Mariners down a coach, Ichiro, who is now special advisor to the chairman, can be on the bench in uniform.
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“This has been in the works for a long time,” Servais said. “It’s always easier to make those plans in December. And now all of the sudden, it’s here. I’m very proud of all my kids. To accomplish that and get the degree she did, I have to show up.”
Jackie Servais currently works as media official for the PGA’s Champions Tour. She worked as media intern for the Seahawks in 2016.
*** Dee Gordon was out of the Mariners lineup on Thursday because of a sore big toe on his right foot. Gordon fouled a ball off the toe on the homestand and it’s causing him some discomfort.
“He’s trying to figure out the best thing to do with his shoe to deal with it,” Servais said. “Running, it hasn’t slowed him down much. But it’s bothering him, so we are just trying to give him a day off.”
Gordon’s absence meant that Servais’ plan to rest an infielder on Thursday was put on hold. Jean Segura, who had his thumb stepped on a headfirst slide on Wednesday, could get a day off on Friday.
If there was a need for a pinch runner, specifically Nelson Cruz, Gordon will be inserted into the game.
*** Hisashi Iwakuma (shoulder surgery) will throw a live batting practice session on Friday at the Mariners’ facility in Peoria, Arizona.
*** Veteran right-handed pitcher Chris Young, who won the American League comeback player of the year award with Seattle in 2014 after going 12-9 with a 3.65 ERA, has a new job with Major League Baseball.
MLB announced Young was named vice president of on-field operations, initiatives & strategy. He will work under the direction of MLB chief baseball officer Joe Torre and reporting to senior vice president of on-field operations Peter Woodfork.
Young’s duties include working with “MLB’s Baseball Operations and Umpiring Operations Departments on issues affecting play on the field, including the application of playing rules and regulations, on-field standards and discipline, pace of play and other special projects. Among his duties will be ensuring that ballpark and field alterations meet MLB standards; working on MLB’s pace of play and game presentation initiatives; advising on on-field disciplinary issues; assisting with negotiations with umpires, players and Minor League Baseball; participating in issues regarding player safety, on-field equipment and wearable technology; and having a role in official scoring reviews submitted to MLB.”
Young is a graduate of Princeton where he was a standout in baseball and basketball.