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Ventura praises Piniella's work in Seattle

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SEATTLE -- Robin Ventura played against the Mariners before Lou Piniella arrived as manager in 1993 and faced them after the fact. So he knows first-hand the difference made by Piniella.

"Absolutely. He had a good group of guys," said the White Sox manager of Piniella, who was inducted into the Mariners Hall of Fame pregame Saturday. "He had some talent. He brought some of that and he was fortunate to have some of that, I think he had [Ken] Griffey and Randy [Johnson] and Edgar [Martinez] and [Jay] Buhner. And you get [Dan] Wilson. They had a good core group that was a tough group to play against."

Although the start of the game was delayed by the moving and entertaining ceremony honoring Piniella, Ventura was glad to be part of the honor.

"It's fun seeing him come out here," Ventura said. "You enjoy, like everybody else, the stories of him up here. It was just fun when you came up here and played because you just knew he was going to do something. He just competed. He appreciated other teams that competed and did the same thing. I'm glad we're here. This is fun."

Scott Merkin is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Merk's Works, and follow him on Twitter @scottmerkin. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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