The Rainiers enjoyed a rare PCL off-day yesterday – a needed respite after playing 23 games in 20 days.
Some guys chose to spend the day with their families, others participated in the annual Tacoma Rainiers Golf Tournament, which benefits the Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital. I attended the golf event and it was fun for all, and we raised money for a great cause. Many thanks to the players and coaches who participated, the event sponsors, and those of you who donated via the auctions and raffles, etc. I hope you had a great time!
Today the Rainiers begin a brief three-game series with Portland, and it’s going to be an action-packed series. Promotionally, we have Tasty Thursday tonight, Friday Night Fireworks tomorrow, and the gigantic July 3rd Fireworks Extravaganza on Saturday. It’s going to be a big weekend for the pyromaniacs. Broadcast-wise, we have TV games tonight and tomorrow, with Jeff Heaverlo joining me tonight and Doug Sisk tomorrow.
And on the field, the Rainiers welcome Erik Bedard to town for a rehabilitation start. I heard Don Wakamatsu on the Mariners pre-game show yesterday; he said that Bedard is supposed to get close to 100 pitches tonight, and they have pencilled him in for the July 6th start for the Mariners. This will be Bedard’s first ever game at Cheney Stadium.
Bedard will be opposed by Portland RHP Cesar Carrillo (4-6, 4.73). Game time is 7:05 and the radio pre-game will begin at 6:50 – I intend to grab new Rainiers reliever Scott Patterson as my guest. Once the game starts, we’ll join the Comcast SportsNet simulcast – channel 179 on most Comcast Digital systems.
On another front, we have an all-star in our midst: Tacoma ace Luke French was voted onto the PCL All-Star Team. French is 9-2 with a league-leading 2.39 ERA, his nine wins ranks second in the circuit. Congratulations to Luke; he will join manager Daren Brown representing Tacoma in the Triple-A All-Star Game in Allentown, PA on July 14. The game will be televised on the MLB Network and broadcast on 850 AM.
Links coming up!
- Larry LaRue – who is rumored to be heading to Cheney Stadium tonight - wrote an excellent Erik Bedard preview piece.
- Here is the entire Pacific Coast League All-Star Team. There will be changes – when a player gets called up, he is immediately replaced, usually by a teammate.
- It was ex-Rainiers day in The Bronx. Felix tossed a shutout, and Michael Saunders hit two homers. I’m pleased to see Saunders get a lot of playing time – today he even started against tough lefty CC Sabathia. As usual, Larry Stone perfectly nailed the Saunders situation.
- Josh Bard reported to the Mariners, and Eliezor Alfonzo cleared waivers. I expect some Rainiers roster moves tonight; I will post them when they happen.
- The SF Giants are trading Bengie Molina and installing former PCL prisoner Buster Posey as the starting catcher. This presumably buries Jarrod Saltalamacchia in Oklahoma City.
- On Tuesday, Reno finally beat Salt Lake, and the Rainiers have a one-game lead in the division.
- This is kind of fun - Baseball America lists best and worst teams in all of minor league baseball in several categories. Tacoma is 9th in the country in home runs.
That’s it for today – make sure you tune in on Comcast SportsNet tonight!