Cirillo has had ups, and downs

Jeff Tully

With former Burroughs High and Oakland Athletics pitcher Mike

Magnante given his release from the club last week, there is only one

local player left in major league baseball.

For ex-Providence standout Jeff Cirillo, he has enjoyed highs and

lows during the season as a third baseman for the Seattle Mariners.

Heading into a weekend series with the Chicago White Sox, Cirillo

is hitting way below his career average. With a lifetime .305

average, the sure-handed infielder is hitting .246. In 358 at-bats,

he has 88 hits, 45 runs batted in, 38 runs scored, 14 doubles, six

home runs, 21 walks and 45 strikeouts.

If Cirillo doesn't bat .300, it will be the first season he has

failed to do so since 1997, when he played for the Milwaukee Brewers.

Cirillo -- a two-time all-star -- batted .312 last season with the

Colorado Rockies with career highs in home runs (17) and stolen bases


His best seasons came in 1999 and 2000 when he batted .326 both

years. In 2000, he had career highs in runs batted in (115) and

doubles (53).

Earlier in the season, Cirillo earned a spot with the sport's

all-time best third baseman by tying an all-time major-league record.

On April 19, he tied a record held by John Wehner for 99 consecutive

errorless games at third.

However the next game, Cirillo made an error and missed breaking

the record.

The streak began last season and Cirillo picked it up at the

beginning of the 2002 campaign.

Cirillo already holds a major league record as the only player to

have at least 45 doubles in both the American and National leagues.

Even with Cirillo battling to raise his average, he could

experience a first in his nine-season pro career. If Seattle

continues to play well and makes it to the postseason, it will mark

Cirillo's first trip to the playoffs.

Heading into the weekend series with Chicago, the Mariners were

leading the American League West Division, 3 1/2 games ahead of the

Anaheim Angels.

Cirillo is a former CIF Southern Section Small Schools Player of

the Year with Providence in 1986. The same year he helped the

Pioneers win a Small Schools championship -- the school's only CIF

title in any sport.

He also starred on the collegiate level at USC, where he was a


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