The Rainiers lost the first game under new manager Jose Castro on Monday in Omaha, 11-1.
The Royals scored seven runs in the bottom of the third inning against Tacoma starter Blake Beavan, and they just cruised from there.
I’m willing to give Castro and the Rainiers a pass on this one. Yesterday was one of the strangest days I’ve ever seen in Triple-A.
Manager Daren Brown was promoted to Seattle, and Castro told me he was not informed that he was managing until about 1:00 pm Omaha time. Then the news started to spread – sometimes you start thinking about the big picture, and you need to lock down and focus on what’s important right now. I think the Rainiers will play a much better game tonight.
Tonight’s game is at 5:05 pm, with LHP Ryan Feierabend (3-4, 5.05) starting for Tacoma against Omaha RHP Matt Herges (5-3, 4.06). The broadcast is in the usual spots – South Sound Sports 850 AM, and streaming via www.tacomarainiers.com.
Tacoma’s lead over second place Salt Lake is down to 1.5 games.
I talked to Brown late Monday night, after his day was done and he returned to his Seattle hotel*. He told me he found out about the moves late on Sunday night, and was sworn to secrecy. His parents were visiting here in Omaha – they had made the five-hour drive from Holdenville, Oklahoma. He got to share the news with them before hopping on the first flight out-of-town on Monday morning – his folks decided to drive back to Oklahoma, and watch on the MLB package.
Daren said the first big difference he noticed was filling out his lineup – he just wrote it down on a piece of paper, and somebody else did all of the different lineup cards. In Triple-A you have to copy your lineup about five times.
Brown said he watched the Rainiers gameday screen on MiLB.com until the seven-run inning. (I wish I could have quit watching then, too).
He told me he maxed out his text messages and his voicemail - he didn’t know he had a limit.
He also sounded calm, in control, and like it was just another day – except in a bigger ballpark, with an impromptu beer shower at the end. This fits in with his character; he’s a very stable guy.
Lots of links today about Wak, Brown, and the Mariners:
- At The News Tribune, Larry LaRue writes that Wakamatsu and the two coaches knew the end was near - there is a good timeline at the end of this story.
- Ryan Divish wrote about the new man in the dugout, Daren Brown – there are some good quotes in here. Divish also wrote about the Mariners players reaction to the change.
- Dave Boling thinks that Jack Z is now on the hot seat.
- The Mariners turned a triple play, and won in Brown’s debut.
- The Rainiers have a new manager, too – here’s my story.
- From the Seattle Times, the prolific Larry Stone wrote the story about Wakamatsu’s firing, and the story about the search for Wak’s replacement, and the game story about the Mariners winning Brown’s debut.
- Geoff Baker detailed the Wakamatsu-Griffey split, and the problems Wak had with other players. Baker followed up that story in even more detail in his Long Geoff Baker Post.
- Both Steve Kelley and Jerry Brewer opine that the Mariners struggles weren’t really Wakamatsu’s fault.
- Steve’s son Mason wrote the story about Daren Brown.
- The AP story has some good imagery regarding Brown’s ceremonial baptism.
- Of all of the Seattle media, blogger Jeff Sullivan of Lookout Landing did the best job of explaining what the day was like for Daren Brown. If you’re going to read a couple of these links, make sure you read this one.
- Jim Caple is a very talented and insightful columnist – here’s his take on the Mariners change.
- The Mariners even landed on Joe Posnanski’s radar – he’s used to writing about struggling teams, and here he makes a brilliant comparison to “12 Angry Men.”
- Also debuting last night was Oakland’s Chris Carter, who was called up from Sacramento. The A’s are going to be patient with Carter.
- There were games in the PCL, too. Salt Lake had a dramatic win – down 5-3, bottom of the tenth, two on, two outs, singles-hitting Luis Figueroa at the plate – and he goes deep, winning the game, and then flies off to Puerto Rico to be with his ailing grandfather. Salt Lake is 1.5 games behind Tacoma.
- Here’s the Rainiers-Royals game story from Omaha, and Rob White wrote a feature on phenom Mike Moustakas.
- Wily Mo Pena led the Portland Beavers to a win, ending Iowa’s five-game win streak.
- Memphis starter Lance Lynn ended Reno’s winning streak.
- How would you like to be the guy who replaced J.P. Arencibia in Las Vegas? Money quote: “They called God up, so they sent me here.”
- The best defensive center fielder in Triple-A is switching to pitcher.
- Colorado Springs walked-off Oklahoma City, 2-1.
Wow, that was a lot. Hopefully we’ll have a normal day today at the ballpark, and perhaps even… dare I say it……. win a game?
* Brown declined to give me his suite at the Murano for the remainder of the Rainiers season.