Mariners notebook: Scott Servais enjoys day off with Lou Piniella
Aug 18, 2017, 6:21 PM | Updated: 6:51 pm
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – The Mariners arrived at the team hotel in St. Pete’s in the very early hours Thursday morning, and while most chose perhaps wisely to spend the majority of their off-day getting rest, Scott Servais hit the links with two Tampa area residents who just happen to play key roles in Mariners history: Lou Piniella and Woody Woodward.
“It was just fun seeing him and Woody, the dynamic, the relationship there and sharing stories about how they acquired players. It was a great time,” said Servais.
Third base coach Casey Candaele rounded out the foursome and rode with Woodward while Servais was a guest in Lou’s cart. There were stories, of course, but also good baseball conversation. Servais jumped at the opportunity to pick Lou’s brain.
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“I threw a lot of things at Lou,” he said. “Things I have tried with our team, try to get guys attention, how to push the right buttons at the right time. If you push the button too often it falls on deaf ears after a while so you have to pick your spots there. He’s just very candid, fires it out there. Every question I had from the ’78 Yankees to different things he went through, dealing with Randy Johnson and everything in between.”
The two managers couldn’t be much different in how they approach the game, with Servais sticking to numbers and plan while Lou was never shy to go with instinct or his gut. Dealing with players and situations is universal, however, and Servais had his ears open.
“It was probably the best golf game I have had in 10 years because I did not worry about one shot because I was just locked in on the conversation,” he said.
What baseball fan wouldn’t be. And while there was plenty of shop talk, there were even more stories. It all added up to a very special off-day for Servais.
“I never got much of a chance to spend much time with him,” he said. “Eighteen holes with him was something I certainly will never forget. I really had a good time with it.”
• Kyle Seager was back in the lineup Friday night after missing two games with a stomach bug. He was not however 100 percent. Seager said he lost 10 pounds and while he felt good enough to play, he had yet to regain his appetite.
• Jarrod Dyson missed a second straight start because of a groin issue. Servais had hoped to keep Dyson off the field Wednesday but was forced to play him when Guillermo Heredia exited the game shortly after getting hit with a pitch on the arm. Dyson will be re-evaluated Saturday.
• David Phelps threw his first bullpen since being placed on the DL with an elbow impingement and all went well. He threw 25 pitches mixing in his breaking ball. Phelps is scheduled to throw a sim game Monday in Atlanta and could be activated shortly after.