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Irked fans wanted silence on no-hit bid

Larry Stone Seattle Times

BOSTON – To Seattle Mariners broadcaster Dave Sims, there was never a moment of hesitation.

As Felix Hernandez advanced toward a possible no-hitter against the Red Sox on Wednesday, he was going to tell his FSN viewers about it, superstitions be damned.

“I was all over it,” Sims said Thursday. “I’m looking at the line score while we were going to breaks, and it said no hits, so you talk about it. I’m a reporter, too.”

His decision to mention the pending no-hitter apparently irked a few viewers – some of whom e-mailed the Seattle Times to complain. They thought Sims should have adhered to the baseball tradition of not mentioning a no-no.

“It’s one thing in the clubhouse or the dugout that they don’t want to talk about it,” Sims said. “Great. But my job, I have to tell the audience what’s going on. If a guy’s getting pounded, I say it. So if a guy’s throwing a no-no, I have to report it.”

Sims is in his first year doing Mariners play-by-play. Dave Niehaus has been there from the beginning, and he said he has always maintained the same strategy regarding no-hitters.

When Hernandez lost his no-hitter to the first Boston hitter in the eighth, J.D. Drew, Niehaus was calling the action on KOMO radio.

“I have to be a reporter,” echoed Niehaus, who estimates he has called “13 or 14” no-hitters in his long career.

“From, say, the fifth inning on, certainly the sixth inning on, I’ve got to keep reminding people they might be sitting in on a piece of history. I’ll take the wrath of people calling up. And believe me, there will be some wrath.

“If I don’t report it, I’m not doing my job. People might tune in and think it’s just another ballgame. You’ve got to let them know what’s going on.”

Sims pointed out that veteran Los Angeles Dodgers announcer Vin Scully has no reservations about mentioning no-hitters in progress.

“If it’s good enough for Vin Scully, it’s damn sure good enough for Dave Sims,” he said.

Trio will don No. 42

Three Mariners players have decided to wear uniform No. 42 on Sunday when baseball honors the 60th anniversary of Jackie Robinson’s major league debut with the Dodgers.

The three who will don the historic number for the game against Texas at Safeco Field are Jason Ellison, Adrian Beltre and Jose Lopez.

The number 42 was retired 10 years ago throughout the majors, but commissioner Bud Selig has decided to let interested players wear it for Sunday’s occasion – even multiple players from the same team.

“For me, it’s going to be an honor to wear his jersey,” Beltre said. “I came from the same organization (the Dodgers). Even though I’m not African-American, I know a lot of the history and what he did for African-American players. It’s something Latin players can relate to.

“I hope no one is offended I’m going to wear it because I’m not African-American. That’s my concern, but I’m proud to do it.”

There goes the sun

Considering that Thursday’s storm in Boston was forecast for days, it would have been wise to play a doubleheader Wednesday, when the weather was fine.

In fact, the Red Sox and Mariners had discussed the possibility of having a day-night affair Wednesday, with separate admissions so the Sox could maintain their gate receipts. But that option was vetoed, reportedly by MLB.

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