Mariners Podcast: Rick Rizzs, catcher Tom Murphy and two relievers

Apr 17, 2020, 3:30 PM | Updated: Apr 20, 2020, 2:59 pm

Mariners C Tom Murphy...

Shannon Drayer was able to catch up with Mariners catcher Tom Murphy. (Getty)


On this week’s Mariners Podcast is a little bit of everything. Players and broadcasters have been so generous in sharing their stories and time and this week, I even put one guest to work. More on that below.

Mariners Podcast: Chatting with Cameron, Bishop, Gerber and Howdy

We start in West Monroe, N.Y., home of Tom Murphy just miles from the Canadian border. Murphy is one who really gets away from it all when the season ends and as such, outside of not being able to play baseball does not appear to be struggling doing the things he and his family need to do to keep others safe. He gives us a little insight into his life away from baseball and goes in depth into what he has been sharing on Instagram with his workouts and why. Murphy is not terribly social media inclined, but in these challenging times wanted to share more and make himself available more for those who have interest in his baseball workouts.

We also get into the robo ump debate with Murphy revealing some interesting observations he has made during the baseball shutdown. While like most Mariners hitters he does not have access to a hitting facility, let’s just say he has been using his time well to stay on top of his game. There has also been the bonus of quality family time, and we get the update on any new tricks (remember the cartwheel?) his daughter may have taught him. You can watch the interview here.

Rick Rizzs follows and while I have talked with him numerous times since the shutdown this was the first time I had actually seen him and that did the heart good. Rizzy is sporting the new quarantine goatee, and it is spectacular.

The conversation started like just about like any phone conversation I have recently had with him and then got into some story telling. Did you know that when he was a broadcaster in the minor leagues he had to recreate games? Do you have any idea the logistics involved in that – remember, no game day or statcast – back then? It is a remarkable – and humorous – story that leaves me wanting to hear him recreate a game during the shutdown.

While we were on the topic of the minor leagues I wanted to hear about the best promotion he ever saw while in the minors and let’s just say this one is heavily Shannon Drayer endorsed. We finish the interview with my favorite question these days for Rick, what’s for dinner?

Art Warren is up next and I wanted to do something different with him. I had learned that in AA he took it upon himself to run new player get-to-know meetings. He figured that if this was something they were doing in big league camp it was something they should do in the regular season in the minors as well. Scott Servais heard about this and decided to assign an entire spring training morning meeting to Art to run. A daunting task, 30 minutes in front of the whole player group and coaching staff. Art took on the challenge and took it a step further doing the meeting as Servais himself. A 30-minute imitation of your manager is a gutsy move for someone who spent the previous season at AA before his big league debut, but by all accounts he pulled it off.

Where am I going with this? Well, I figured since he had the experience, and one of the better set of pipes we have heard from a player- if he was interested I would turn the tables and have him interview me. Something different, something I am usually not terribly comfortable with but hey, I thought it would be something different and possibly fun in these troubled times. Needless to say, Art was fully on board, did some serious research – he came up with something on me nobody has come up with before – and was a terrific interviewer. We will definitely put him to work when baseball resumes.

Last up is the full interview with Carl Edwards Jr. from spring training. This was an interview I was so anxious to do because I had read up on him and thought he had a tremendous story. I loved the story so much that I was afraid that when I did finally get to do the interview I would be disappointed. Thankfully, that did not happen.

This is a feel-good story. A 48th rounder from Prosperity, South Carolina making it to the big leagues and eventually pitching in the World Series. A 6-3, 155 pound pitcher that somehow figured out how to throw 97-98. There is tragedy in his story, there is joy in his story. What grabbed me was how rich his community baseball story was and how he fell in love with the game. Off camera at the end of the interview he assured me that was how baseball was still played in his hometown and that hit me in the baseball part of my heart. I hope you enjoy the conversation as well.

You can listen to all the interviews at this link or in the player below, or find a full video version here.

Follow 710 ESPN Seattle’s Shannon Drayer on Twitter.

Most of MLB, including Mariners, taking part in coronavirus study

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Mariners Podcast: Rick Rizzs, catcher Tom Murphy and two relievers