I hope you all enjoyed the Super Bowl – that was one impressive blowout! It’s great to have a major championship here in the Pacific Northwest. The Seahawks are so young, they may get one or two more shots at the title in the next couple of years.
One thing the Super Bowl did not have: a dramatic finish. Over the weekend, we got word that the Rainiers have lost the player who was responsible for the most dramatic finish since Cheney Stadium was renovated. The Mariners released Rainiers utility man Scott Savastano, and he was immediately signed to a minor league deal by the Baltimore Orioles.
Savastano spent the last two seasons with Tacoma, serving mostly as a bench player. That role didn’t stop him from having one of the most memorable performances in recent Triple-A Baseball history.
On July 18, 2012 Tacoma and Sacramento lasted 17 innings with the score tied, 1-1. At that point both teams were out of pitchers, so Savastano was asked to pitch the top of the 18th inning. He worked a scoreless inning, and then made himself the winning pitcher when he launched a walk-off homer in the bottom of the inning.
He came through in the post-midnight hour again on August 16, 2013. Savastano hit the game-inning sac fly in the 14th inning to beat Round Rock, ending Tacoma’s longest game of the 2013 season.
Hopefully Savastano will get an opportunity to get more playing time in the Orioles organization. At the very least, the Orioles got themselves an extra innings specialist.
- The Scott Savastano move was one of many noted in this week’s rendition of Baseball America’s Minor League Transactions. The Mariners released a few minor leaguers, including pitcher Jandy Sena who appeared in five games for Tacoma in 2012.
- Greg Johns caught up with Mariners infield prospect D.J. Peterson.
- Former Rainiers pitcher Doug Fister is getting paid.
- The Caribbean Series started on Saturday down in Venezuela. It’s of particular interest this year because the Cubans have been invited to participate for the first time since 1960. Here’s a preview from Baseball America.
- It’s been well-documented that the Texas Rangers drafted Russell Wilson in the minor league Rule 5 Draft even though he is not expected to ever play in a game. Well, the Rangers Class-A affiliate in Myrtle Beach is offering $10,000 to Wilson’s favorite charity if he plays for them in one home game. That’s going to be tempting for Russell, who is on his way to spring training.
- A number of former Tacoma baseball employees gathered at Cheney Stadium on Saturday to remember Ron Zollo. I did not know that Ron invented Used Car Night – we still did that in my first few seasons with the team and it was always a fun one.
- My TV carrier does not provide the Pac-12 Network, so I have to go to bars/restaurants to watch certain games. I’d like to publicly apologize to the customers of the Cloverleaf Tavern for running a celebratory lap around the dining area when Justin Cobbs nailed the game-winner to beat No. 1 Arizona on Saturday night.
We’ll preview the Tacoma corner infield candidates on Wednesday.