SHANNON DRAYER

Drayer: The ‘good vibes only’ of Eugenio Suárez fit right in with Mariners

Mar 17, 2022, 12:05 AM
Mariners Eugenio Suárez...
Eugenio Suárez of the Cincinnati Reds reacts after hitting a double on Oct. 2, 2021. (Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin Berl/Getty Images)

“I’m so happy to be here. I like the way we work. I love it – the energy, the vibes – and we are together from the beginning. I come here to help the team win the game. That is our vision, that is our mentality right now so we feel so good together, and man, I can’t wait to start the season.”

Good vibes only.

Did new Mariners third baseman Eugenio Suárez think he would be traded by the Cincinnati Reds, the team he represented for the past seven years, in the early days of spring training? No.

“I understand the business, I understand the trade,” Suárez said Wednesday in his first meeting with Seattle media. “It’s not the first time it happened with me. But yeah, it took me by surprise, but it is what it is. Now I am here, now I am a Mariner and I will do my best for the team to win a World Series.”

Scott Servais: Mariners have ‘outstanding’ depth, can compete with anybody

There was genuine excitement in Suárez’s voice. He was coming to a team where he knew numerous players past and present. From Félix Hernandez to Luis Torrens, both fellow Venezuelans, the clubhouse was instantly comfortable. Getting calls from coaches before he was even able to make the drive from the Reds facility in Goodyear, Ariz., to the Mariners complex in Peoria helped cement the feeling.

“Now I am here and I am part of the family,” he said. “It feels so good to be here.”

Good vibes only.

Suárez leads with the positive, something we heard shortly after the trade from those who spent time around him – writers, players, broadcasters. “Good vibes only” is more than catchphrase or mantra for Suárez.

“That’s me,” he explained. “I try to be the happy guy. I don’t think about bad things. This game is so hard, this game sometimes is – I don’t want to say the worst, but it’s hard. Everybody is, ‘I want to see this guy when he doesn’t play good,’ and I keep it there every time. I’m happy, like good vibes bring me the good vibes. I always said, in my mind, good vibes only and I feel strong from that.

“That started from my dad. My dad always told me be happy no matter what. He brings me good vibes. I say it in Spanish but I translate it to English so good vibes is everything for me. Be happy no matter what. Be yourself.”

Of course, “be yourself” is a message that manager Scott Servais has been promoting since his very first day in the Mariners clubhouse. Yes, Suárez should fit in just fine.

“The first time I talked to Skip he told me to be myself and I said, ‘Alright! That’s what I like!’ I like being me. This is who I am.”

Part of who he is is reflected in the black and white, Cruella de Vil dye job that Suárez is currently sporting.

“I always do something different to feel myself, what I am,” he explained. “What I am is this. I walked home one day and I thought, ‘OK, I did it white a few years ago, why not do white and black?'”

After a quick “Are you serious?” from his wife turned into a “Let’s do it,” the new do was born. And if Suárez is able to add one more to his career high in home runs and hit 50 this season, well, you could see a lot more de Vils in the Mariners clubhouse.

“Skipper said if I hit 50 home runs he’s going to dye the hair the same,” Suárez said. “I told him if I hit it everybody has got to do it like me. Even you guys (media), you are part of the team so we will have to see.”

Yes, after just two days Suárez appears very comfortable in his new surroundings. He signed off of his media session in a manner that no doubt will become familiar. A flex, a big smile, and:

“Alright guys, good vibes only!”

More on Mariners spring training from SeattleSports.com

Notebook: Latest on Marco Gonzales, Julio Rodríguez and more
Jarred Kelenic catches eye of new teammate Jesse Winker
Drayer: Why Mariners made trade with Reds, what it means for lineup
New Mariners OF Jesse Winker: “We’re gonna be really good”
Mitch Haniger: Mariners want to have a team “that gets the city excited”

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Drayer: The ‘good vibes only’ of Eugenio Suárez fit right in with Mariners