We’ve got news on the ex-Portland Beavers, who were officially agreed to be sold to San Diego Padres part-owner Jeff Moorad late yesterday.
The deal has to be approved by Minor League Baseball and Major League Baseball, but that is seen as a formality and should be done at the Winter Meetings.
It appears that the team is going to play the 2011 season in Tucson (yay!), and maybe the 2012 season as well, while a new stadium is built in Southern California – most likely Escondido.
Here is the story of the sale from Baseball America, and the story from The Oregonian. In this story, Beavers outgoing owner Merritt Paulson says that he thinks baseball will return to Portland – and so do I. In fact, I would bet the Rose City regains Triple-A baseball within eight years*. Yup, 2018 – mark it down, and get back to me.
Yesterday, Baseball America had another story, in which they speculate who might run the franchise in Tucson. I’m curious to know which park they’ll play in – Tucson Electric Park is the better facility, but it’s located on the Southern edge of town and the Sidewinders couldn’t draw there. Hi Corbett Field isn’t quite as nice, but it’s located centrally - where the people live.
Either way, I’ll embrace two trips to Tucson. I always liked going there – and it is, after all, an In ‘N Out city.
A few links for you:
- The latest on the Mariners manager search from Larry Stone, with a shout-out to interim incumbant Daren Brown and wife Cindy‘s new baby girl, Chloe. Stone’s interesting blog post talks about the first time Bobby Valentine was a candidate for Mariners manager – in 1992. But now comes word that Valentine is out.
- At The News Tribune, Ryan Divish has embarked upon a rather ambitious project of writing a full analysis of each of the manager candidates. He started with Bobby Valentine, and then moved on to Eric Wedge. Will Divish complete the series before a manager is hired? Stay tuned!
- Everybody loves it when John McGrath writes about baseball – which he did today, gearing up for the League Championship Series.
- In the Arizona Fall League, the M’s got a scare when Dustin Ackley injured a finger – but it turned out to be a very minor issue.
- Best wishes to my friend and contemporary Jim Byers, who is switching from baseball to hockey as the voice of the Oklahoma City Barons of the American Hockey League. Bricktown won’t be the same without him.
If you are reading this at work, do not click on this link if you need to be productive, because it takes you to Joe Posnanski’s Top-32 sports broadcasting calls of all-time. I am partial to #4, which I believe is the greatest sports call of all-time, because of the string of adjectives that Joe Starkey unleashes once the game goes final. I could write a whole post on this call – really, the way he handles it is incredible, because what’s happening on the field is completely unexpected – its mayhem. No matter how many games you call, you will never anticipate what happens in this play. The laterals, sure, but once the band is on the field, and fans are running everywhere, and the trombone player goes down – we’ve moved out of football announcing, and into something else entirely. Starkey just reacts, and it still gives me chills, 28 years later.**
* Hopefully much sooner. Portland was one of the best road trips in the PCL.
** I was just a kid when The Play happened, and was not yet a Cal fan. I do remember that it seemed like the whole Bay Area was talking about it for weeks afterward.