A few items of interest today. I’ll be back with a Cheney Stadium Construction Photo Blog tomorrow afternoon.
- Star 2010 Tacoma Rainiers outfielder David Winfree told me he signed a free agent contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks. Winfree was one of the instrumental players in the Rainiers PCL championship and was a candidate for the team MVP award that went to Matt Mangini. Winfree will go to spring training with a chance to make the D-backs roster, and if he is sent to Triple-A it will be with Reno.
- The Mariners traded Class-A pitcher Maikel Cleto to the St. Louis Cardinals for middle infielder Brendan Ryan, who will compete for a major league starting job. This has an effect on the 2011 Rainiers – it increases the chances that Luis Rodriguez and Mangini will be in Tacoma on opening day. It looks like Josh Wilson and Rodriguez will battle for the Mariners utility infielder job, with the “loser” coming to Tacoma. Of course, there could be more trades…
- Ryan Divish wrote an interesting winter meetings review column, in which he talks quite a bit about the attitude that Mariners GM Jack Z wants to see from his young players.
- Is every baseball fan alive waiting to see where Cliff Lee signs? (I’m hoping he signs with Mystery Team). He’s going to get a huge contract, but it won’t be as long as Dave Steib’s 11-year deal with Toronto. Larry Stone takes us down memory lane.
- Baseball America released the Philadelphia Phillies Top-10 Prospects. It’s interesting that none of the three players the Mariners traded to the Phillies for Lee appear on the list. Of the players the Mariners acquired when they traded Lee away, none appear in their Top-10 – but Justin Smoak was not eligible for the list; he clearly would be ranked very high (top three for sure) if he was eligible.
- In the PCL, the Albuquerque Isotopes named their new manager and coaching staff. Special thanks to the Dodgers organization from all of the PCL RGs, who get to say the name “Lorenzo Bundy” many, many fun-filled times in 2011!
- The stadium planning in Escondido, CA is moving forward with a new targeted opening date of April 2013 – so Tucson is gearing up for a two-year run as a “temporary” PCL city.
- For the first time ever – well, not really ever, but for the first time since it aired live – we can watch Game Seven of the 1960 World Series. The orignal tape – thought to be lost, but recently discovered in Bing Crosby’s basement - will air on Wednesday at 5:00 Pacific on the MLB Network. Spoiler alert for the kiddies: this game has one of the most famous home runs in baseball history. My DVR is set. Is yours?
Check back late Tuesday for my second Cheney Stadium “photojournalism” post!