We still don’t have a name here at the blog*, but Cheney Stadium was named a big winner, and Baseball Prospectus named the Mariners top prospects.
Ballpark Digest – the top website for stadium construction news, reviews, etc. – named Cheney Stadium “Renovation of the Year” for 2011.
In the full story on the website, they talk about the things you already experienced this year, getting down to the core fact: the renovation successfully updated the fan and player conveniences, providing modern amenities, without sacrificing the old-time right-on-top-of-the-field feel that fans have always had in the seats at Cheney. They also mention, quite realistically, that the project probably saved Triple-A baseball in Tacoma.
It’s pretty cool to get recognized by a national web publication that is read by baseball front offices throughout the game.
As noted in the story, Mortensen Construction also won a national award from the Design-Build Institute of America for their work on the project.
Speaking of recognition…
Baseball Prospectus is the first of the major outlets to release its Mariners Top Prospects list for the 2012 season. You need a subscription to see the list and read the scouting reports – this is one of my favorite websites, worth subscribing to if you have a thirst for baseball knowledge.
The whole list with the scouting reports and ETAs is right here. It’s proprietary information, but BP partner Kevin Goldstein has kindly allowed me to print the ranking:
1. Taijuan Walker, RHP
2. Danny Hultzen, LHP
3. James Paxton, LHP
4. Nick Franklin, SS
5. Jose Campos, RHP
6. Guillermo Pimentel, OF
7. Francisco Martinez, 3B
8. Vinnie Catricala, 3B/1B/OF
9. Chih-Hsien Chiang, OF
10. Chance Ruffin, RHP
11. Phillips Castillo, OF
A couple of thoughts: First, there are no Rainiers on the list (although he had Alex Liddi as #12). This is because the Mariners called all of our potential candidates up, and they received too much major league playing time to qualify. Second, based on where he expects the top players to open the season, it appears that Double-A Jackson is going to be *loaded* this year. This will be very good for us down the road, with a wave of talent right below – that was how the season started in 2010, and we all saw how that worked out.
Here is Goldstein’s summary:
Summary: The Mariners organization has some of the best starting pitching around, but there is a lack of depth among position players and a dependency on very young players. Still, there is more than enough help on the way to provide optimism in the Pacific Northwest.
We even have a few Mariners-related links today:
- The Mariners hired former major leaguer Jack Howell to be Minor League Field Coordinator, filling a position that had been empty since Andy Stankiewicz left to become head coach at Grand Canyon University last May.
- Larry LaRue riffed on the Baseball Prospectus list over at The News Tribune’s Mariners Insider blog.
- So you want to be a minor league RG? We learn from Ballpark Digest (again!) that the Mariners Class-A Clinton affiliate apparently needs a new radio guy. That’s Clinton, Iowa, folks – a great place to start. Note: the Mariners don’t hire for this; either the Clinton LumberKings or their radio station does it. Best of luck to their former RG Dave Lezotte, who is moving on to do PR at Triple-A Gwinett of the International League, where he will work closely with former Rainiers manager Dave Brundage.
- This will make some of you feel old: Led Zeppelin IV was released 40 years ago today.
I know I’m a crazy person, but I watched six-and-a-half hours of live heads-up poker on ESPN last night, and I found it riveting. German pro Pius Heinz is this year’s person who lived my dream and won the Main Event at the World Series of Poker.
* I hope that the Rainiers marketing gurus come up with a name soon – just to end the stream of unprintable blog name suggestions being texted to my phone by clearly bored Rainiers manager Daren Brown.