Kinney enjoying his time back in the Majors

Kinney enjoying his time back in the Majors

SEATTLE -- Josh Kinney is a realist. He's been in pro ball for 12 years. And while he pitched two games in the 2006 World Series for the Cardinals, he's spent most of his time in the Minor Leagues.

The right-handed reliever sat in the Mariners' Safeco Field clubhouse for a second straight day on Monday underneath a nameplate where "Kinney" was written in magic marker instead of on the permanent plates adorning his teammates' lockers.

"In my situation, you take things day by day," Kinney said with a smile.

The 33-year-old was called up from Triple-A Tacoma on Sunday to help cover for a short-handed bullpen. He was warming up late in that afternoon's game, but didn't get the call before Boston rallied for a 2-1 win in the 10th inning.

"There's no adrenaline rush like warming up for a Major League game," he said.

Kinney has 45 games of big league experience with the Cardinals from 2006-09, and pitched 13 games for the White Sox last year. He was with the White Sox last August when they played in Seattle, and decided then he would like to play in the Northwest if the opportunity arose.

"I'd never been to this part of the country other than playing Tacoma," he said. "And in Triple-A, you never really get out and see anything. I remember getting up here and it was cold and rainy and they had a trailer out there [in Cheney Stadium] for the visiting clubhouse, and I said if I ever have a chance to play for those guys, it ain't gonna happen.

"But when we came up in the big leagues and played here at Safeco last season, it was just awesome. Beautiful blue skies and I personally love seafood and the atmosphere downtown, and I fell in love with the place. I thought, 'Man, this is great.' So when they called this offseason, I was really excited."

He was even more excited when Rainiers manager Darren Brown called him Saturday night with the news that he was headed to Seattle.

"This isn't my first time in the big leagues," Kinney said, "but that phone call never gets old."