Notes: Fairly calling it quits

Notes: Fairly calling it quits

CHICAGO -- After being on the field or in the broadcast booth for what he estimates as 7,000 games, Ron Fairly has decided to walk away from baseball following this season.

Fairly -- a member of the Mariners' radio and television team since 1993 -- won't return for the 2007 season, the club announced before Thursday's series opener against the White Sox.

"My kids would, every now and then, ask me how long I was going to do it," the 68-year-old Fairly said. "At that particular time, I said, 'I'm having fun, going to the ballpark every day -- it's fun.' But it's time. ... 7,000 games is a lot of hours on the field and in the booth."

Fairly played in the Major Leagues for 21 seasons with six different teams and appeared in four World Series and two All-Star Games.

Fairly spent another 27 seasons as a broadcaster for the Angels, Giants and the Mariners.

"Ron Fairly has been a valuable member of the Mariners organization since joining us in 1993," Seattle president Chuck Armstrong said. "His knowledge and love of the game of baseball have added much to our radio and television broadcasts over the years."

Fairly joined the team in 1993, the same year that manager Lou Piniella did. A majority of Fairly's fondest memories in Seattle include stories that involve Piniella, Ken Griffey Jr., Edgar Martinez and Randy Johnson.

"The Mariners have been fantastic in letting me talk about the game of baseball," Fairly said. "For me, that was easy. The fans here have been great to me and I will be forever grateful for their support."

Dressing down: Following Wednesday's victory over Texas, 11 Seattle rookies dressed up -- or is that down? -- in about everything from a latex sumo wrestling suit to women's clothing to pink pajamas as part of the Mariners' annual rookie initiation event.

The players had to wear these outfits onto the team bus in Arlington and on the charter flight from Texas to Chicago. Worse yet, the bus carrying these players stopped a few blocks shy of the hotel in Chicago so the players could walk the rest of the way on the street.

"Luckily it was during the middle of the night so there weren't a lot of people around," Seattle rookie pitcher Travis Chick said. "It was all in good fun. We had a good time."

Chick got off pretty easy in regards to his outfit -- Santa's Little Helper. Where he ran into trouble was with the actual outfit itself.

"I didn't see much hanging there, let's put it that way," Chick said. "... There wasn't a whole lot there. It didn't leave much for the imagination."

Some of the other outfits worn on Wednesday were a Wonder Woman costume by T.J. Bohn, baby's sleepers by Emiliano Fruto and Francisco Cruceta. Kenji Johjima sported the sumo wrestler outfit.

"I knew it was coming but I didn't nessasarily know it was going to be last night," Chick said. "We all had some pretty risqué outfits on. My mom was there at the ballpark last night in Arlington. She got to share in the laughter."

Worst secret: As expected, 21-year-old pitcher Ryan Feierabend will make his first Major League start on Sunday in the series finale against the White Sox.

Feierabend will take the spot of left-hander Jarrod Washburn, who tore a muscle in his right calf during his start on Tuesday in Texas. Washburn will miss his final two starts.

It's not known if Feierabend will also take Washburn's final scheduled start against Texas as Safeco Field on Sept. 29.

Feierabend hasn't been scored on in two relief appearances since he was promoted from Double-A San Antonio on Sept. 9. He's struck out four and allowed one hit in six innings.

Feierabend was 9-12 with a 4.28 ERA in 28 starts for San Antonio. He is regarded as one of the top pitching prospects in the Mariners system.

On the mend: Joel Pineiro was doing better Thursday after being hit in the calf with a line drive with two outs in the eighth inning of Wednesday's game in Texas.

Pineiro remained in the game to finish the eighth inning but left after allowing a leadoff double to Carlos Lee to start the ninth inning.

"He's better," manager Mike Hargrove said. "Last night he was walking fine. When we got here, he was certainly better. I talked to [trainer] Rick [Griffin] today and he said he was much better. He should be OK."

Hargrove was asked if Pineiro might be available to pitch in relief Thursday. He said if he wasn't it would be because of his sore calf and not the fact that he threw an inning on Wednesday.

Mariners log: Seattle closer J.J. Putz needs two saves to tie Eddie Guardado for fourth on the club's single-season save list. Guardado had 36 saves last season. ... Since being elevated to the closer's role on May 6, Putz is third in the Major Leagues in saves. Putz has 32 of his 34 saves since May 6. ... Raul Ibanez entered Thursday's game with 999 hits in his career. He also has 198 career doubles.

On deck: Seattle plays the second game of its four-game series against the White Sox at 5:30 p.m. PT on Friday. Gil Meche (11-8, 4.34) gets the start for the Mariners. The White Sox will counter with Jose Contreras (13-8, 4.08). The-CW, channel 11, will televise.

Corey Brock is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.