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Rick Rizzs thrilled for Mariners lineup, Opening Night

Mariners' Michael Morse loosens up before batting against the Colorado Rockies on Saturday. (AP Photo)

Despite the return of overcast skies, Mariners fans are betting on a bright future. Play-by-play announcer Rick Rizzs couldn’t be more thrilled for Opening Night Monday in Oakland.

“It’s time to open up that Christmas present that’s been under the tree for two weeks,” Rizzs told KIRO Radio’s Seattle Morning News. “I think the fans are going to be pretty excited about what they see when they open up that gift.”

The Mariners beat the Rockies 4-3 in Salt Lake City Saturday for the final spring training game and Rizzs said it was the team’s best preseason it’s ever had with 22 wins.

Besides seeing Felix Hernandez on the mound Opening Night against the A’s, Rizzs said he’s “really excited about seeing a legitimate middle part of the order.”

“It was a lot of fun watching this group of guys, the veterans and the young guys, come together as a team,” he said.

“Raul Ibanez, at the age of 40, can still hit and he had a great spring. What a difference he’s made with the young players on this team.”

Rizzs said he looks forward to seeing what Kendrys Morales, Michael Morse and Jason Bay will do in the regular season.

“I really think the Mariners can surprise some people this year with the group that they put together,” Rizzs said.

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