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08/02/09 7:50 PM ET
Playing for Mariners a dream for French
Recently acquired left-hander grows up following Seattle
By Jim Street / MLB.com
ARLINGTON -- When he walked into the hotel room occupied by the Tigers' general manager on Friday morning, right-hander Lucas French knew something was up. But he didn't know the news he was about to get would take him back in time. "When I was in the fifth grade," the Colorado native said, "I made a time line about where you want to be in the future and it was on my time line that I wanted to play for the Mariners. So this is pretty cool. The Mariners were my favorite team." That was back in the mid-90s, when the Mariners had such French favorites as Ken Griffey Jr., Randy Johnson and Jay Buhner, among others.
"I was a big fan of theirs," French said.And, as little kids do, French had big hopes. He put those hopes down on paper. Those hopes became reality on Friday, when French -- along with 20-year-old left-hander Mauricio Robles -- was traded to the Mariners for veteran left-hander Jarrod Washburn. "When the Tigers told me I'd been traded to Seattle, my first thought was, 'Awesome!'" he said. He couldn't remember the exact date he put on his time line for when he would actually play for the Mariners, but he probably didn't miss by much. His Mariners debut comes on Wednesday night against the Royals in Kansas City. French received an autographed jersey from Griffey last month when the Mariners played the Tigers in Detroit, and on Saturday received a typical Griffey "welcome" to the Mariners. "Mike Sweeney and I were talking when he walked up and stood there near us," Griffey said. "We knew he wanted to introduce himself, so when we were done talking, both of us turned and started to walk away. "Luke had his hand out and he just stared. Then I turned around and said, 'I'm just messin' with you."
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.