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Raul Ibanez: 'I wish Granderson the best'

02/25/2013 5:13 PM ET
By Lou DiPietro

Raul Ibanez called his pinch-hit home run in ALDS Game 3 "the greatest moment" of his career.(AP)
Raul Ibanez knows a thing or two about the challenge of replacing an injured outfielder, having played 90 games in left or right field for the Yankees in 2012 in the absence of Brett Gardner.

In doing so, he spent a lot of time patrolling the space next to Curtis Granderson, and Ibanez said on Sunday that he wishes his ex-teammate “the best” in his recovery from a fractured forearm.

“I knew the spot it hit him, that was not a good spot,” Ibanez told CBSSports.com’s Scott Miller. “It's terrible. I feel for him. … I wish him the best.”

In the interview, Ibanez, now with Seattle, said he was watching Sunday’s Yankees-Blue Jays game in the clubhouse prior to the Mariners’ Cactus League game against the Padres in Peoria, Ariz., and called Granderson a “great player, a great guy, a great human being.”

As for the Yankees as a whole, Ibanez joked that he wishes this year’s Bombers “the second-best” – quipping, naturally, that he wishes his own Mariners squad the best – but said that he had a “great time” in New York and called his pinch-hit home run in the ninth inning of Game 3 of the American League Division Series “the greatest moment of my professional career.”

“That was awesome,” Ibanez said. “Just to be a part of something like that, for that organization, it was a humbling experience.”

Ibanez, who will turn 41 in June, signed a one-year, $2.75 million contract with the Mariners in December, bringing him back to the team that drafted him in 1992. This will be Ibanez’s third stint in Seattle, as he previously played with the Mariners from 1996-2000 and again from 2004-08.

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