Nine to Know: Monday Morsels – Pierre, Ichiro, Lance, Torii, Carp, and more Fish tales

  1. Juan Pierre has reportedly signed a one year contract worth $1.6 million with the Marlins. The 35-year old speedster was a member of the Marlins from 2003-05 and spent last season with the Phillies, hitting .307 and stealing 37 bases.
  2. The Marlins have reportedly put Juan Pierre on the trading block.
  3. Free agent Ichiro Suzuki has been in touch with his former team, the Orix Buffaloes. Orix’s director of baseball operations, Yoshio Murayama, said he met with Ichiro for about 10 minutes in Kobe but I’m not sure they actually talked. “We have an unspoken relationship. I said we can talk when things settle down for him,” said Murayama.
  4. Speaking about getting together with an old team, Lance Berkman met last week with AL Houston Astros owner Jim Crane to discuss the possibility of the first baseman returning to his former team. The Big Puma played 12 years with the NL Astros, making the All-Star team five times.
  5. In an event that I’m sure will be memorable, the Rangers and the Padres will meet in two exhibition games March 29-30 in San Antonio’s Alamodome. San Antonio is home to the Padres’ Double-A affiliate, the Missions who play in “The Wolfe.” The Alamodome,  which has hosted NFL games, the NCAA Final Four and the NBA Finals, will host baseball for the first time on a 133,000 square-foot custom field.The right-field pole will be only 280 feet from home plate, and there will be a 16-foot-high wall in right. It will be 395 feet to straightaway center and 340 feet to the left-field corner, where there will be a 4-foot-high wall. Seating capacity will be 52,295.
  6. At the Granite State Baseball Dinner in Manchester, NH on Saturday, Cardinals ace Chris Carpenter said that he wanted to be a big league catcher because he wanted to follow in the footsteps of fellow Manchester Trinity High alumnus Mike LaValliere, a former Gold Glove catcher with the Pirates. He told the crowd how he saved up enough money when he was a kid to buy a high quality catcher’s mitt but he could never break it in because the other kids couldn’t throw a pitch hard enough and balls just bounced off the mitt.
  7. Under stories I love: USA Today reports that Torii Hunter will continue to wear the No. 48 jersey with the Tigers. Detroit pitcher Rick Porcello had worn No. 48 in 2012 but gave it up after Hunter signed joined the team. But here’s the good part: “Veteran guys usually give a nice dollar amount for a number,” Hunter said. “I offered him a nice dollar amount, and he said, ‘No.’ I’m like, ‘What’s wrong with him?’ ” Porcello, who is from New Jersey, told Hunter “‘The money that you offered me, could you donate it to this organization for Hurricane Sandy?’ ” Hunter said Friday at Comerica Park. “That’s the kind of guy Rick Porcello is. He freely gave me No. 48.” Porcello will wear No. 21, which he wore in high school. Porcello is a class act and Torii the Tiger will be “Grrreat!”
  8. Chuck Hernandez has been named as the new pitching coach for the Miami Marlins. Hernandez spent the past two years as an assistant coach at the University of South Florida after serving as pitching coach for the Detroit Tigers in 2006-08 and for Tampa Bay in 2004-05. He pitched in the minor leagues from 1979-83.
  9. The Marlins have reportedly put pitching coach Chuck Hernandez on the trading block.