SHANNON DRAYER

Mariners are ‘fascinating’ to Peter Gammons – one player especially

Feb 25, 2024, 4:33 PM | Updated: 6:12 pm

Seattle Mariners George Kirby...

George Kirby of the Seattle Mariners pitches against Tampa Bay on July 1, 2023. (Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

(Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

A highlight in any spring training camp is a visit from the Hall of Famer Peter Gammons, and it turns out visiting the Seattle Mariners may have been a highlight for him, as well.

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Gammons, the legendary Boston Globe baseball writer and former ESPN fixture, enjoys the city of Seattle and the baseball scene there. He counts Junior running the bases on Edgar’s double as an enduring memory in the game, one you can close your eyes and see. He also sees plenty to like with the current M’s team.

“I really believe they have the best pitching in the AL and they are fascinating to me,” Gammons said Sunday.

Early spring visits for Gammons is about getting the feel for a club. He was interested to see this group after the near miss with the postseason last year.

“With the Mariners, where they made the great move (by ending the playoff drought) two years ago, I remember thinking last spring it’s not that unusual for teams when they make it, the next year there are expectations that slide,” he said. “For my heart, they struck out too much.”

While he didn’t like the strikeouts, he loved the pitching and what he saw from one Mariners starter in particular: George Kirby, who he compares to Hall of Famer John Smoltz.

“I’m still a baseball fan. When I see certain people they become favorites of mine. He’s definitely one of them,” Gammons said of Kirby.

High praise from a man who has covered baseball for over six decades. Gammons first saw Kirby in the Cape Cod League and was intrigued by his strike-throwing ability and athleticism. To see it carry over to the big league level is special.

Gammons will be watching as the Mariners hit the regular season.

“I just have a really good feeling of what the Mariners are going to be (if they stay healthy).” Gammons said. “It’s fun to think we could have the Mariners in the postseason.”

More Mariners coverage from Seattle Sports

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Morosi breaks down three big Seattle Mariners concerns
Drayer: Seattle Mariners’ Ty France back after drastic adjustments

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Mariners are ‘fascinating’ to Peter Gammons – one player especially