Sports: Look for a livelier Seattle Mariners team this season, front-office exec says in Port Angeles

PORT ANGELES — Whether the Seattle Mariners improve on their 69-93 record of 2005 is ensconced in hopes and dreams that abound during spring training.

But the 2006 Mariners will definitely improve in team energy and passion, says their front-office lawyer and lead negotiator, Bart Waldman.

Waldman, the team’s vice president, baseball counsel and associate general counsel, looked ahead to the coming season for the Port Angeles Rotary Club as the group’s luncheon speaker Wednesday at the Port Angeles CrabHouse Restaurant.

The Mariners’ 14-year lawyer, who has been a member of the front office staff since January, said the biggest conclusion drawn from last year’s dismal season was that the team “lacked energy.”

“You look around the clubhouse and the dugout, and see who’s on the top step, who’s hustling in the eighth or ninth inning,” Waldman said.

“There weren’t many.”

Except for closer Eddie Guardado — known for his upbeat clubhouse attitude and practical jokes — the Mariners lacked the ferocity that management feels is needed to produce a playoff contender, Waldman told the Rotarians.

That need set in motion, Waldman said, offseason acquisitions designed to fire up the Mariners in 2006.

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