Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Mariners Caravan pays a visit to Victoria

James Paxton and one
of his biggest fans, Alex
The Seattle Mariners Caravan made a pit stop at the Empress Hotel on Wednesday night and local fans came out in droves for a chance to meet some of their baseball heroes. Current Mariners James Paxton and Charlie Furbush, along with broadcaster Dave Sims and former big-league pitcher Steve Sinclair were there to sign autographs and press the flesh. The night was highlighted by a lively Q&A session in which fans had a chance to pose questions to each of the four special guests. Ah, there's nothing like a good old "Hot Stove" session on a cold January night.

The popularity of the Mariners players shouldn't really come as a surprise. They're clearly a team on the upswing -- right now they are the class of the American League West. In my estimation, the only thing that can keep them out of the playoffs this year is a slew of injuries. The Angels may be the favourite in some quarters, but Mike Scioscia's squad has one of the weakest pitching staffs in the majors and the M's have one of the best. Two members of that pitching staff who were in Victoria, Paxton and Furbush, are expected to play a big role in getting Seattle back into the post-season for the first time since 2001. In a mere 30 days, they'll be reporting for work in Peoria, Arizona along with the rest of the pitchers and catchers. Suddenly that chilly January evening doesn't feel quite so cold anymore.

Thanks to the Seattle Mariners and the Victoria HarbourCats for a great night!

GM Jim Swanson (far left) kicks off the event
Dave Sims livening up the evening
The flashbulbs were popping all night
Mariner Moose and Harvey kept things loose
The lineups were lengthy but well worth it
These youngsters were happy to give an interview

1 comment:

  1. Paxton was the Blue Jays #1 draft pick in 2009 but opted to return to the University of Kentucky for his senior year. However since he had a player agent (Scott Boras) he was ruled ineligible by the NCAA since it technically made him a pro. That forced James to play independent ball with Grande Prairie. The Mariners were able to draft him in the 4th round the following year.