Rangers @ Mariners

The off-season signing of Ken Griffey Jr. was hailed by many (including this scribe) as a public relations masterstroke. Even if the Kid sucked on the field, his mere presence would serve to distract fans from a sub-middling team in the midst of an overhaul. Junior has, for the most part, sucked—but the Mariners haven’t, gamely straddling the .500 line while staying within striking distance of their more talented division rivals in Texas (Rangers) and Southern California (Angels). But now that third baseman and third-place hitter Adrian Beltre is out until Labor Day with a shoulder injury, the team’s low expectations may yet be met. So what’s a franchise to do? Bust out even more nostalgia: For tonight’s game against Texas (part of a Thurs.-Sun. series), the first 20,000 fans to pass through the Safeco turnstiles will receive a free, 2-DVD collection of ad man Jim Copacino’s brilliantly humorous television commercials involving the likes of Edgar, Buhner, Ichiro, and the Kid. They’re enough to make you wish TiVo had never been invented, or that Junior never forced a trade to Cincy in the first place. MIKE SEELY

Fri., July 10, 7:10 p.m., 2009

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