SEATTLE -- The Major League schedule makers dictated that the Mariners had to celebrate Jackie Robinson Day on April 16 instead of the annual April 15 anniversary of the baseball legend's ground-breaking first big league game in 1947, but the sentiment was just as strong a day later throughout Safeco Field.As was the case with all the players, coaches and umpires around the Majors on Thursday, every Mariner and Detroit Tiger wore Robinson's No. 42 on their uniforms on Friday. For Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu, the first skipper of Asian-American heritage in Major League history, the day struck a particularly harmonious chord. "It means a lot to me," Wakamatsu said. "I think it's a special day that we take this time to honor it. It paved the way for me to get this opportunity." Wakamatsu also said players can learn a lot about perspective when they learn about the struggle of Robinson and other players of color throughout history. "There's players today that think they've had struggles," Wakamatsu said, "and then you go back and you think about the racism and the things Jackie had to endure, and just to prove how strong mentally he was ... it's phenomenal. "As a manager, when guys are struggling and worrying about things, it's easy to bring up a guy like Jackie and go, 'You have no idea.'"
Hannahan's rehab stint gets under way
SEATTLE -- Jack Hannahan was back in action Friday night, making his first rehab start for Triple-A Tacoma. But manager Don Wakamatsu said Hannahan would need at least 50 at-bats to be ready for big league action, so it's probable that the utility man will play in the Minors for at least two weeks.Hannahan, who has been on the disabled list since March 31 with a strained right groin, only saw action in two Spring Training games, going 1-for-4 with a walk. Wakamatsu said the plan would be for Hannahan to ease back into playing shape by being limited to third base and designated hitter for now. "We need to get him some at-bats and start playing under the lights," Wakamatsu said. "And if we have no problems, we'll try to get him to play some shortstop and second base and move him around a little bit."
Cantu's streak reminiscent of Sweeney's
SEATTLE -- Marlins third baseman Jorge Cantu's remarkable streak of logging at least one hit and one RBI in the first 10 games of the season and 14 overall bring to mind a similar streak by the Mariners' own Mike Sweeney.When Sweeney was with the Kansas City Royals in 1999, he became one of only three players in Major League history to notch a similar streak of 13 or more games, doing it in 13 straight. "That doesn't surprise me," Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu said. "Having seen him in his heyday, he was probably one of the most feared hitters around at that time."
Tigers' Jackson is big Griffey fan
SEATTLE -- Count Tigers rookie outfielder Austin Jackson as another huge fan of Mariners legend Ken Griffey Jr.Jackson said he grew up idolizing Griffey and considers the Seattle designated hitter one of the main reasons he became interested in baseball. "I met him when he was with Cincinnati two years ago in big league camp," Jackson said. "I had a million things to say to him, and then when I finally met him, I couldn't say anything. I got stuck."
Manager Don Wakamatsu said starter Erik Bedard would throw a 50-pitch bullpen session on Friday, another one on Wednesday in which he would extend to 60-65 pitches and "continue down that road" in his rehab from offseason shoulder surgery. ... Reliever Mark Lowe developed a stiff back on Wednesday but was feeling fine, according to Wakamatsu, and was available on Friday. ... Starter Ian Snell returned to the team after attending a funeral for a family member and threw a bullpen session on Friday. Wakamatsu said Snell was "good to go" to make his scheduled Sunday start against the Tigers. ... Seattle has had 18 players don jersey No. 42 in club history, but no one has worn it in a game other than on Jackie Robinson Days since 1999, when Butch Huskey appeared in 74 games. Other Mariners who have worn the number include Dave Henderson (1981-86) and Omar Vizquel (1989).
Doug Miller is a national writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.