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MARINERS NOTEBOOK: Riggleman OK with replay - for now

Beginning with games on Thursday, Major League baseball will begin using instant replay to help umpiring crews determine controversial home run calls – the kind that can enrage fans, players and managers.

Mariners manager Jim Riggleman was asked what he thought of the change.

“I think all of us, including the fans, have come to appreciate the human element in calls,” he said. “I like the idea the way they’re going to use it, but I wouldn’t want to see it spread to other plays or calls.”As it stands now, the replay will largely involve fair or foul calls on possible home runs – and the always hard to determine over or under the yellow line on outfield fences.

Riggleman said managers and players have been warned hat arguing with the final determination will be viewed similarly to arguing balls and strikes.

“I think they’ll listen to you a little, but not for long,” Riggleman said.

“To me, it’s a little like when they began showing radar gun readings on the pitcher on the scoreboard,” he said. “At first, no one wanted anyone to know how their pitcher was throwing. Now, it’s one of the first things everyone looks for, it’s become part of the game.”

Surprised, but in a good way

A day after being traded from Texas to Minnesota, Eddie Guardado talked about the past 24-hour blur.

“We were in Kansas City when Ron Washington called me, and when the manager calls you at 12:30 (p.m.) you don’t know if it’s good or bad,” Guardado said. “He told me I was going to Minnesota, and I just said ‘You’ve got to be kidding.’

“Then the general manager called me, and I asked who they got for me and he said a young pitcher named Hamburger. I said, ‘What, no fries or milk shake, just me for a hamburger?’

“I caught a plane, got here by 6 p.m. and got to pitch in a 2-1 game in a pennant race. Does it get any better than that?”

It could, if the Twins – Guardado’s original team – go on to the postseason.

Short hops

Ichiro Suzuki’s outfield assist Monday night was his ninth of the season, the 76th of his career. Since his debut in 2001, Ichiro has had at least eight assists each season, with a career-high 12 in 2003. ... With the off-day Thursday, Miguel Batista will lose the chance to make another start this season, as the Mariners’ rotation quickly fills up. In Cleveland this weekend, Felix Hernandez, Jarrod Washburn and Carlos Silva will start. Beyond that, the Mariners still want to look at Ryan Rowland-Smith and Ryan Feierabend – and Brandon Morrow will start one of the games in the New York series at Safeco Field that starts Sept. 5. ... Adrian Beltre’s walk-off home run Monday was the 60th in franchise history, the sixth of his career and his second as a Mariner. Alvin Davis (4) has the club record, Raul Ibañez, Jim Presley and Richie Sexson each have three.

On tap

Seattle hosts Minnesota in a 1:40 p.m. game on FSN. Probable starting pitchers: Glen Perkins (11-3, 3.90) vs. Ryan Feierabend (0-1, 7.88).

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