Originally written February 21, 2012 on Oregon Sports News:
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In last week’s column I went on a nostalgic baseball trip. I wanted to snap everyone out of the winter doldrums and remind them; Baseball is coming!!! I also tried to provide some reasons why baseball fans, and especially Puget Sound fans, should be excited. Because of the Mariners’ trip to Japan this year, pitchers and catchers reported earlier than usual. Lots of new names and fresh faces along with the usual suspects.  Mariners invited 35 pitchers to spring training. And plenty of other players, young and old, for each position. Talk about competition! One player is new and old at the same time. Franklin Gutierrez. After a stellar 2009 season, Gutierrez was stricken with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. He lost weight and strength. He had dropped to 175 pounds and looked and played awful. He is back now. 210 pounds of muscle and eagerness. “I feel like I’m back to where I was in 2009.” Says the Gold Glover. When I was sick I’d hit the ball and it wouldn’t go anywhere.” Now it does...
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