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Tuesday, October 23, 2001 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Lou's 'guarantee' voided

Seattle Times staff reporter

NEW YORK — What might be remembered most from this 2001 ALCS is Mariners Manager Lou Piniella's "guarantee." After Game 2 in Seattle, when the Yankees went up 2-0 in the best-of-seven series, Piniella said the series would return to Seattle for Game 6 "and you can print it."

When the Mariners won Game 3, it looked like maybe Piniella would be right. But the Yankees took care of that last night, beating the Mariners to advance to the World Series.

Before Game 5, Piniella was asked about the guarantee.

"Well, (Sunday night) we were over Detroit on our way to Minneapolis," he said, to the delight of the assembled reporters. "And right now we are back at LaGuardia."

But a four-run Yankees third inning last night sent the Mariners home for good.

Ready Freddy

Freddy Garcia, who has settled into his No. 1 role on the staff with an outstanding postseason, said that he could have pitched last night on three days' rest.

"I could have. I would be ready if something happens," he said. "I don't like to feel that way, to watch. There is nothing I can do. I'd like to be out there, but sometimes it's not going to happen."

Sasaki hears it from media

The Japanese media showed their disappointment in the failure of Mariners reliever Kazu Sasaki to close out the ninth inning of Game 4 on Sunday. Sasaki gave up the winning two-run homer to Alfonso Soriano as the Yankees won, 3-1.

The headlines yesterday were "Sayonara Home Run" and "Hiroshima Minor Leaguer Beats Sasaki." Soriano played for Hiroshima, a minor-league team in Japan in 1997. He never reached the Japan big leagues and had never faced Sasaki in that country.

Piniella said if the same situation had developed in last night's game he would not hesitate to use Sasaki or any other reliever in the same role.

"We've called down there a couple times to get him in ballgames, but he would prefer just to throw on the side rather than just pitch in (non-save situations)," Piniella said. "He was sharp; they hit a couple fastballs. He missed with a split-finger and then he came in with a fastball.

"But he's gotten his throwing in the bullpen, on his regular routine, and during the season, the same way as in the postseason. You would prefer just to get his throwing in, as opposed to pitching in ballgames to stay sharp."

Ailing Edgar

Clearly hampered by his strained groin, Edgar Martinez entered last night's game with a .188 average (3 for 16) in the ALCS, with no runs batted in and six strikeouts.

"They are pitching him well, that's for certain," Piniella said before the game. "The groin can't help. You've got to use your legs a lot when you hit. Certainly, it's been a detriment to him, and especially running the bases. But he's a pro. He wants to be in that lineup, and rightfully so."

The Yankees have first-hand knowledge of Martinez's postseason potential. He hit .571 with two homers and 10 RBI against them in the 1995 Division Series, including the clinching double off Jack McDowell that scored Ken Griffey Jr. from first base with the winning run in the 11th inning.

"Like Ichiro, Edgar is probably the most balanced hitter I've ever seen," Yankees Manager Joe Torre said. "He can hit a home run. He can hit the ball over the right-field wall as well as he can pull it down the left-field line, as the Yankees found out in 1995. He's such a good hitter, and you can't pitch him any one particular way, because he uses the whole field. But we have been able to pitch him well."

Torre was particularly pleased when reliever Ramiro Mendoza struck out Martinez after Bret Boone's homer gave the Mariners a short-lived 1-0 lead in the eighth inning of Game 4.

"I was so proud of Mendoza, because that was huge to just stop that inning right there," Torre said.

The family business

Martinez's wife, Linda Beeler, and daughter, Holli Martinez, had a problem coming up with gift ideas for the nine weddings they were invited to in the summer of 1994. The Mariners' designated hitter had a solution.

Martinez gave them a computerized embroidery machine left from a failed business venture, and mother and daughter made nine sets of monogrammed towels.

The idea worked so well that, with Martinez's help, they started Caribbean Embroidery Inc., which will probably generate $1.1 million in revenue this year with corporate clients that include upscale sportswear maker Cutter & Buck Inc., Beeler said.

"It's amazing the way this has grown," said Martinez. "It's made good money the last two or three years."

Although Edgar Martinez owns Caribbean Embroidery and contributes to decision-making, Beeler runs the company on a day-to-day basis.

Martinez, who's making $5.5 million with the Mariners this season, said his interest in electronics and computers prompted him to buy the embroidery machine several years ago for a friend who lost his job in Puerto Rico. The pair started a small business on the island, which failed after a year or so, and Martinez brought the machine to his house in suburban Seattle.

He and his wife forgot about it until the wedding invitations came flowing in.

"One day, we decided to play around with it," he said.

Beeler and Holli Martinez started the business with four employees and a 900-square-foot space in a Redmond industrial park. Martinez contributed about $250,000 in equipment and capital.

"We didn't know what we were doing," Beeler said from company headquarters. "We moved into a warehouse with no customers."

The company moved three times within the same industrial park and now has 83 embroidery heads — each able to do one piece at a time — operated by about 20 full-time employees in two shifts from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Although most of their work is for corporate clients, Caribbean Embroidery has a small store with Edgar Martinez shirts and hats and American flag-themed merchandise.

Martinez, a six-time American League All-Star, and Beeler say that his fame hasn't been the main source of the company's growth.

"My family is pretty much out in front," said Martinez. "They allow me to concentrate on the game.

Note

Ichiro put on a power display in batting practice when he hit one ball into the third-deck of Yankee Stadium in right field and another off the façade of the third deck.

Staff reporters Larry Stone and Danny O'Neil and Bloomberg News contributed to this report.

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