Tomorrow we will be exactly three weeks away from the Tacoma Rainiers season opener, which will be played in lovely El Paso, Texas on April 9. Things are starting to heat up around here, as more tasks stack up in preparation for the season. Just when you cross a few items off your list, you think of six more things you need to get done before opening day.
My annual trip to Mariners/Rainiers spring training camp will be next week. I’ll be at the complex watching games on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. It will be a busy week on the blog as I’ll pass along what I see down there.
Minor league “exhibition” games begin this Saturday and run through April 4. The Mariners have four teams put together in minor league camp, and these are classified from Triple-A to Low-A. They will play teams from other organizations who have their camps on the west side of Phoenix. In Saturday’s “Triple-A Exhibition Opener,” if you will, an early form of the Rainiers will play Omaha on a back field of the complex in Peoria.
I’ll be watching these minor league games when I get down there next week – and maybe I’ll sneak into a big league game to catch a few innings.
In the meantime, here’s the latest news from Mariners camp:
- The Mariners unveiled their 2015 commercials and as always, they’re… well, just watch ’em here. Trust me, do it.
- The Mariners optioned reliever Mayckol Guaipe to Tacoma. He had a good year in Double-A last season and seems to be a lock to make the Rainiers roster on opening day.
- The Seattle Times has a feature on reliever Mark Lowe, who could end up in the Tacoma bullpen.
- Bob Dutton checked in on Kyle Seager.
- Left-handed reliever and “Rule 5 Guy” David Rollins is quietly having a good spring. Remember the original Rule 5 Guy?
- Mariners Morning Muses from Ryan Divish: today’s edition says there is no fight for backup catcher, and here is his issue from Tuesday.
- The Mariners are playing in the annual Civil Rights Game, on April 15 at Dodger Stadium. That’s a good place for it, but I also liked it when it was held in Memphis.
- Jay Buhner and Ken Phelps reminisced about the famous Seinfeld episode.
- MiLB.com has an article looking back at one of the best Triple-A teams of the modern era: the 1980 Denver Bears.
- In the PCL, the Nashville Sounds are putting the finishing touches on their new ballpark. Here are a dozen facts about First Tennessee Park. The project went substantially over budget.
Looking to join a free NCAA bracket? Friend Of The Blog Christian Caple is running one through his Huskies page for The News Tribune. See if you can beat me – it’s easy!