Saturday, March 3, 2012

Halman's Obvious Absence

Today as the Mariners hosted the A's at their Spring Training home in Peoria, Arizona, those at the game saw this video on the scoreboard and took a moment to pay tribute to Greg Halman and Frank Mattox who the team lost this off season. Mattox, a scout, had been with the organization for eighteen years and Halman had been part of the team since he graduated from high school.

Earlier this week the Mariners announced that center fielder Franklin Gutierrez tore a pectoral muscle, will miss several weeks of Spring Training, and will likely not be ready to start in the season opener. The news was a blow to the Mariners in several respects, the first being that Gutierrez was finally healthy and looking to be an impact player as the season began. The other, a continued blow to the Mariners organization, is the loss of left fielder Greg Halman. Halman would have competed for time in center field with this injury to Gutierrez.

If Spring Training is any indication, the loss of Greg Halman will continue to challenge the Mariners as they embark on the new season. The roster challenge is something that Eric Wedge can handle with the many options available to him for center field (Casper Wells, Trayvon Robinson and Michael Saunders among them), but the emotional challenge before these young men who were incredibly close to Halman is going to be much more difficult to overcome.

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