Lots of things going on in the world of the Rainiers, as you have probably heard by now.
As you know if you read the newspapers, the current Dallas-based owners of the Rainiers have signed a letter of intent to enter into negotiations with a local group called The Baseball Club of Tacoma for the sale of the Tacoma Rainiers.
It could take weeks before anything is finalized – everybody from Branch Rickey to Bud Selig has to give their seal of approval. I think even Rhubarb the Reindeer has to sign off on it.
News Tribune columnist John McGrath shared his insight on the current condition of the Tacoma franchise. Baseball writer Ryan Divish slipped into the role of investigative reporter and wrote the general news story.
Also, the TNT website has seven new photos of the Cheney Stadium construction project, including shots of the roof being built. These pictures are far better than anything I’ve been able to do – check ‘em out.*
Plenty of other things going on, too:
- The Mariners and their broadcast partners have begun the process of deciding how they are going to fill the Dave Niehaus void. It’s a very delicate and difficult situation for the M’s. Stories from John Hickey, Larry Stone, Larry LaRue, Lookout Landing. Yes, I’m aware that my name appears in these stories; it’s an honor to be considered.
- The Larry Stone link immediately above also includes the Seattle Times story on the Rainiers ownership situation.
- On the field, the Mariners re-signed catcher Josh Bard to a minor league contract with an invite to spring training. This is the same type of deal Bard had last year – and he spent very little time in Tacoma. Look for Bard to battle Adam Moore for the Mariners back-up catcher job.
- Some former Rainiers who are minor league free agents have signed with other clubs: catcher Guillermo Quiroz signed with the San Diego Padres, and infielder Tug Hulett joined the Colorado Rockies. Quiroz will battle Rob Johnson for the Padres back-up catcher job.
- Longtime prospect analyst John Sickels posted his Seattle Mariners Top 20 Prospects list.
- In the PCL, New Orleans announced that former Mariners and Rainiers player Greg Norton will be the manager this season. Norton became interim manager midway through last year when Edwin Rodriguez was promoted to the Florida Marlins.
- Check out this short video of the homeless man with the perfect radio voice. Apparently the Cleveland Cavaliers have offered him a voiceover job – and thank goodness, because you would not believe how many of my co-workers “joked” that I was about to lose my job to this man.
Speaking of radio, a kid named Josh Feldman just got a play-by-play job with a Class-A team in the South Atlantic League. Here, he raps his intro and starting lineups. Very creative – should I try this? I wouldn’t rap it – I can’t copy Feldman, and I’m not a big hip-hop fan anyway – so I guess I would scream my open and lineups, 1980s punk style. Or perhaps I should sing-speak them, like my hero Malkmus. Wait a minute – what about wailing the lineups, hair metal style?
* talk about being outclassed – aside from being a professional, the TNT photographer is apparently willing to climb a light standard, in icy conditions, to get a shot. No thanks!