Surreality bites

What I remember from my illustrious Mariners career.

Mike Moore, Mark Langston, and I, among others, played pepper on the roof of the Kingdome once, before they had all of the communications gear on the roof. You could walk up there through a ladder and a gate way up behind the third baseline, walk up one of the spines of the roof, and end up on this small, round pad, this little piece of roofing. We had our picture taken hanging over the edge and throwing our gloves into the air (it still hangs in Sneaker's bar somewhere). Then we hit fungoes toward the railroad tracks. Beautiful view from there.

The Kingdome was unforgiving of mistakes. I fooled Lloyd Mosby on a slow curveball and tried to do it again on the next pitch—third deck in right field. Another off the tarp in center. I think that I had the longest shot until about four or five years ago. I didn't know I could throw it that far.

I talked Bill Caudill into shaving off half of his beard for a game (in '83). My current very good friend Barry Bonnell, then of the Blue Jays, lined a drive off of Bill's chest after telling teammates he'd like to knock the other half of the beard off. Bill went in at the end of the inning and shaved off the rest.

When people ask me what managers I played for when with the Mariners, I have to look at my watch and see how much time I have.

We had great fans—I mean fans in the early '80s. Only about 5K, but they were loyal and on a first-name basis.

Playing for George Argyros was demeaning, to say the least. He would parade friends through the clubhouse and point at players and say, "This is my second baseman . . . this is my relief pitcher . . . this is my shortstop. . . ." Word would circulate that Argyros was coming through, and you'd see players disappear into the showers or treatment rooms—off limits to nonplayers. They'd look like jet fighters peeling out of formation. . . .

I used to pour a little beer on the winning pitcher's uni to celebrate a win. If you had just woken up as the game ended and the team came into the clubhouse, it would have been difficult to know whether the team won or lost in those days. So after wins, I would walk over to the winning pitcher, pour a drop of beer on his uni, and say, "Difference between winning and losing."

There is a speaker in the trainer's room that has a dent in it dating back to '83. I had been taken out of a game, after pitching brilliantly I might add, but heard some disparaging words over the radio. For some unknown reason, I jumped up and punched it. I would like to have that as a memento.

For some reason I will always remember the day Latch was fired. He really took care of the bullpen—understood how to use it. It was truly a pleasure playing for him. Unfortunately, players had no respect for him . . . he was too nice. The first spring training in '82 with Latch, one of the players showed up on the practice infield with headphones on, listening to music. Couldn't believe it.

 
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