Baseball Notes: Mariners hoping Hansen is a hit

Posted: October 23, 2012

The Seattle Mariners announced Monday they have hired former major-leaguer Dave Hansen to be their new hitting coach, replacing Chris Chambliss, who was fired after the season. Hansen spent half of the 2011 and all of the 2012 season in the same position with the Los Angeles Dodgers before being fired at the end of the season. Hansen's charge will be improving a Mariners offense that was the worst in baseball. They finished last in the league in batting average (.234), on-base percentage (.296), and slugging percentage (.369).

Safe scooting

Ex-Phillie Hunter Pence has been riding a motorized scooter through San Francisco's streets to get to work.

"Don't worry about it," the Giants outfielder said of anyone concerned about him sustaining Evel Knievel-like injuries. "I don't ride it in the street. I'm partially in the bike lane and partially on the sidewalk. I use the bike lane if it looks clear. It's 5 minutes on the scooter, six blocks."

Giants manager Bruce Bochy said injured closer Brian Wilson also does it.

"I really don't think about it, to be honest," manager Bruce Bochy said. "These guys are going to live their lives, and you want them to have fun as long as it's under control. I think he should be able to handle that."

Shrinking Petco

The vast outfield at Petco Park will no longer be a place where long fly balls go to die.

The San Diego Padres said that work will begin this week to bring in the fences in right field and left-center.

After years of angst by their sluggers, the Padres said it was time to change the extreme nature of the downtown ballpark - which some people derisively called Petco National Park - to one that plays more fairly.

When Petco Park opened in 2004, then-general manager Kevin Towers joked that the Padres had made it Barry Bonds-proof, since the San Francisco Giants slugger always tormented San Diego. Bonds later quipped that the Padres had made Petco Park "baseball-proof."

Coaches, coaches, coaches

The Minnesota Twins have finalized their overhauled coaching staff. Tom Brunansky is the new hitting coach, Bobby Cuellar will be the bullpen coach, and Terry Steinbach will be bench coach and catching instructor. . . . The Colorado Rockies hired Mark Wiley as their director of pitching operations.

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