Hanging Out In Oklahoma City

The Rainiers have been here in Bricktown since Saturday night, waiting for the Triple-A National Championship Game which will be played at Bricktown Ballpark on Tuesday night. It’s the Tacoma Rainiers against the Columbus Clippers in a one-game cross-league playoff.

The game will be at 5:05 Pacific time on Tuesday, with Columbus acting as the “home” team. The game will be televised live on the Versus Network, and we’ll air the awkward national broadcast on 850 AM. Tacoma is going to start LHP Ryan Feierabend against Columbus LHP David Huff.

The Rainiers have already done what they set out to do: win the PCL Championship. This one-game playoff against the International League has the feel of an exhibition – from the neutral site, to the broadcast plans, to the one-gameness of it. However, once the teams take the field I’m sure they will be fighting 100% to win it.

The TV broadcast will feature PCL announcers Mike Capps (Round Rock) and Jim Byers (Oklahoma City), along with analyst Chris Chambliss.

On the radio side, I’ll be calling the game with Columbus Clippers broadcasters Scott Leo* and Ryan Mitchell. We’ll be trading off innings, and it will be a national broadcast that will be fed into every Triple-A city – each of the 30 Triple-A team’s flagship station will have the option of airing the game. Of course, South Sound Sports 850 AM will carry it, and I suspect it will be streaming all across the internet.

This national radio broadcast is part of what makes the game feel like an exhibition game. Do the Columbus fans want to hear me getting all excited for every Rainiers home run? Of course not. And do you want to hear the Columbus announcers getting all worked up when Clippers centerfielder Ezequiel Carrera slaps us silly with a bunch of bloop singles? No, I don’t think you do.

See what we’re dealing with here?

Anyway, while I pride myself on taking only a “slight homer” stance during all Rainiers broadcasts, I’ll be forced into extreme neutrality for this broadcast. So, if Columbus scores during my innings, I will be expected to feign excitement. Sorry, guys. I assure you it won’t be heartfelt.

The teams have a workout day today, and this evening there is a “Gala” at a place called the Wormy Dog Saloon. I did not make that up – this is how they roll in Oklahoma City.

A few links for you:

  • The Mariners called up Justin Smoak and Dan Cortes after the Rainiers won the PCL Championship. I suspect a few others will get the call after Tuesday’s game.
  • Mariners manager Daren Brown talked about Felix Hernandez’s final starts of the year. On another subject, I have lost track of Brown’s won-lost record as manager. It’s taken a beating over the last two weeks.
  • The Mariners won on Sunday, taking the series two games to one against the first-place Rangers despite scoring a grand total of 5 (five) runs in the three games.
  • The M’s Low-A Clinton affiliate is going to a fifth and final game of the Midwest League Championship Series. Outfielder James Jones is having a big playoff series. Game Five is this afternoon at 3:30 Pacific; if you are interested in this you can hear Clinton broadcaster Dave Lezotte streaming online.

I am surprised how many people asked me where they could hear my call of the final out of Friday’s game. I tried to post it on this blog but apparently we do not have that option available. So, I sent the file it to our web people and they will eventually put it on the Rainiers home page – but it’s not up yet (much of the Rainiers front office staff is traveling to OKC today). I’ll link to it when it’s live.

* I will definitely be asking Scott if he is related to Ted.


3 Responses to Hanging Out In Oklahoma City

  1. Arne says:

    It may feel like an exhibition, but I think this is the first time any Mariners team has the chance to win the championship of an entire level of pro baseball. I went to the first game vs. Sacramento at Safeco, and it’s good to have the Rainiers relieve the despairing feeling about the big league team.

  2. Don says:

    It seems several of the Mariners minor league teams have done well this year. I hope that means the farm system is getting better and more able to produce major league talent. I’d appreciate Mike’s take on that when he gets a minute.

  3. Beau says:

    I have really enjoyed reading your blog this year Mike. Go Rainiers and Ted Leo!

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