Mariners’ Brumley spends quality time with son

There’s not a person connected with the Seattle Mariners — management, manager, players, popcorn peddlers — who doesn’t feel some degree of disappointment with how this season has turned out.

You don’t go into a year with first-place optimism and spend most of it trying to dig your way from last place without agonizing over what went wrong.

It’s a mental grind on everyone involved. And that includes Mike Brumley, the Mariners’ first-base coach.

However, in this summer of professional disappointment there’s personal joy for Brumley. He gets to spend much of it with his 21-year-old son.

Logan Brumley is a middle infielder with the Everett Merchants, a team comprised of college players and a few former professionals who play in the eight-team Pacific International League. He joined the Merchants in late June and has played regularly on a team that went into this weekend with a 27-9 record.

Several times this summer, when there was a break in the Merchants’ schedule and the Mariners played at home, Logan has been able to work out in the afternoons with his dad at Safeco Field.

“It’s awesome to be around him and be at the ballpark,” Logan Brumley said.

Much like the Mariners’ season, it wasn’t supposed to work this way for the Brumleys. But unlike the Mariners’ season, things have turned out better than they could have imagined.

The plan was for Logan Brumley to finish his sophomore season at Seminole State College in Oklahoma, then join a college-level team in Portland for the summer.

With Mike Brumley a few hours up the road with the Mariners, he hoped there would be a break or two in the schedule that would allow Logan to drive to Seattle from Portland. It would allow them to spend some brief, but quality, time together.

That’s before a pop fly down the right-field line during a midseason game at Seminole changed everything.

Logan, playing second base, sprinted back toward the ball while Seminole’s right fielder sprinted in. They collided, and Logan’s legs were undercut by the outfielder. He injured his left leg and, although he tried to keep playing on it, an X-ray showed he broke it.

End of college season.

And, it turned out, end of an opportunity to play summer ball close to his dad in the Northwest. At least it seemed that way.

By the time Logan was ready to play again in June, the team in Portland already had filled his roster spot with another player.

From that missed opportunity, however, came something better.

Harold Pyatte, the longtime manager of the Everett Merchants, was looking for a shortstop last month after one of his players came down with mononucleosis. Pyatte learned of Brumley’s situation and brought him aboard.

Family is so important to Mike Brumley that he has turned down opportunities to advance his coaching career over the years because it would have kept him away from his wife Dana and their four kids. It especially would have prevented him from seeing Logan’s high school baseball games or daughter Shailey’s swim meets near the family’s Dallas-area home in Keller, Texas.

“When I was with Anaheim, I was in line for a major league (coaching) spot,” Mike Brumley said. “But there’s so much sacrifice at this level, with the travel and distance and time.”

Instead, Brumley took jobs as a minor league field coordinator with the Rangers and Dodgers from 2005-2009.

“I did that for five years and I got to see Logan play quite a bit,” Mike Brumley said. “To go to the major leagues as a coach, you leave for spring training and don’t come home until October.”

After playing with the Merchants, who’ll end their season early next month at the National Baseball Congress World Series at Wichita, Kan., Logan Brumley will begin school at Dallas Baptist University.

As nice as it would have been for Logan to play summer ball in Portland, his opportunity with the Merchants worked out better.

“It would have been difficult for him to drive over (from Portland),” Mike Brumley said. “But now he gets to stay here and play in Everett, and being so close to Seattle we see each other. It’s been nice to get out there on the field with him.”

Article courtsy of the Everett Herald