Big League Stew

Pitchers and catchers! Mariners get early start in Arizona

Big League Stew

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Seattle's Justin Smoak takes a few cuts on Sunday afternoon. (AP)

If there's anything I like more than saying "pitchers and catchers!" it's catching pictures of catchers and pitchers as they magically appear on the AP wire. (First person to say that 10 times fast wins my dog-eared copy of MLB's spring training media guide.)

Seriously, though: Embedding these first photographs of exercises that will soon become mind-numbingly routine is one of the highlights of my year. If you spent the last three or four months reading posts like this one, I'm sure you probably agree.

The early birds getting the worm this season are the Seattle Mariners, whose batteries (batterys? batterii?) reported to Peoria, Ariz., on Sunday afternoon, almost a full week ahead of most of the other 29 teams. (Note: This is the part where all of you at home let out a chortle and say, "Seattle sure needs the extra work!")

You can find reporting dates for all 30 teams here, but this week will be full of ballplayers and beat writers arriving in Arizona and Florida to finally get this 2012 season started. Derek Jeter and his merry band of scriveners, for example, are already doin' work in extending the legend at Steinbrenner Field.

At any rate, we've embedded a few more pictures of Mariners pitchers and catchers below the jump to put a skip in your step this morning.

Here's to there being plenty more where they came from.

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(AP)

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(AP)

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(AP)

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