The new one-game wild card playoffs are today. These games should be a lot of fun.
At 2:07 PM (Pacific), we have the St. Louis Cardinals and the Atlanta Braves, from Atlanta. This game will be shown on TBS.
St. Louis is starting Kyle Lohse. The Cardinals have no former Rainiers on their roster, although they are loaded up with former Pacific Coast League players, due to the long-standing affiliation with the Memphis Redbirds.
Atlanta is going with Kris Medlen on the mound. The Braves have one former Tacoma Rainiers pitcher on the roster: left-handed relief ace Eric O’Flaherty. Other than the lefty from Walla Walla, there are few former PCL players on the Braves – although one of them is Centralia’s own Lyle Overbay (Tucson Sidewinders 2002-03).
Then at 5:37 PM (Pacific), we have the Baltimore Orioles at the Texas Rangers, also on TBS. I still can’t believe the Rangers are in this game – what a collapse!
Baltimore is stating former Salt Lake left-hander Joe Saunders. There is one former Rainiers player on the Orioles: Adam Jones, of course.
Texas is going with Yu Darvish on the hill. The Rangers have no former Rainiers on the roster, but just glancing at it I feel like I saw 85% of their players playing against the Rainiers at some point.
Let’s hope for some epic games today! Personally, I’m rooting for the Braves and Orioles – who are also my picks to win, based on my Expert Knowledge. Please keep in mind that this “Expert” has not watched a single Braves or Cardinals game all season.
- The Mariners are not bringing back hitting coach Chris Chambliss, who had a two-year run at the position. All other coaches will return in 2013.
- A much bigger loss is the (possible) retirement of international scouting guru Bob Engle. The impact Engle has had on the organization is gigantic. Baseball America has more in-depth reporting on the story.
- Larry LaRue wrote a thorough Mariners wrap-up leading into the off-season. This article includes a player-by-player look at the 40-man roster.
- Geoff Baker suggests that the time is right for the Mariners to spend some money on a major free agent for the first time since 2009.
- We found a reason to be happy the A’s are in the playoffs: it caused the San Francisco newspaper to dig up this gem of a story involving the Fightin’ A’s of 1972, including an awesome Billy Martin quote.
I will be back with my playoff predictions on either Saturday or Sunday. I should do them Saturday morning, before the games start – but I am participating in the Pierce County Heart Walk. In case you have buckets of extra money lying around your house, this is my donation page. You can help support the American Heart Association.