The Rainiers announced their 2016 home schedule with game times on Thursday afternoon. You can check it out right here. If you have trouble seeing it, click on the PDF version and you can make it as large as you want.
(This early schedule always looks weird to me, without the road games listed. The team will release a complete schedule with all road trips once all of the away game times have been received from the opponents and approved by the league).
A few notes of interest:
- Over two-thirds of the home games come after June 1, which is good for us considering our traditional weather patterns.
- Tacoma both opens and closes the season at home. That seems unusual to me.
- The popular 5:05 Saturday games are back for another season. These are during the first three months of the season – in July and August, they revert back to 7:05.
- Sixteen of the first 20 games after the all-star break are at home. On paper here in October, this looks like the best time for the team to reel off a hot streak.
- The Rainiers close the season with (at least) eight straight games against divisional rivals. This has not been the case in recent years – I’m glad it’s back, because it increases potential drama in the playoff races.
We’re just five-and-a-half months away from starting! Wait, that seems like a long time.
The Mariners officially announced Andy McKay as their new Director of Player Development. It’s an interesting hire, as he has none of the usual background for this position.
McKay spent the last three years as the Colorado Rockies minor league “Peak Performance Coordinator.” My understanding is this was a mental skills coach / sports psychology position. Prior to that, McKay spent 14 years coaching junior college ball.
Apparently he had no previous relationship with new general manager Jerry Dipoto and simply blew him away in an interview.
McKay has a lot of interesting things to say – I encourage you to read some of the interviews in the links just below – but he’s going to need to earn the respect of his coaches during spring training. There are definitely going to be some minor league staffers thinking “I’ve been managing/coaching/playing pro ball for over 20 years and my new boss is telling me what to do and he hasn’t coached above the junior college level.” That’s an issue that McKay will need to overcome in March.
It’s another move in what is sure to be a long series of changes which will continue throughout the offseason. It’s a new frontier and we’ll see where it takes us.
Word got out earlier today that Scott Servais will be named manager of the Seattle Mariners, with Tim Bogar joining him as bench coach.
The team has yet to confirm, but numerous professional reporters are saying it’s true.
Update: the Mariners confirmed the hire. Scott Servais will meet the media at 10:30 on Monday.
Servais is part of the latest baseball trend: major league managers who have no previous managerial experience. The Cardinals, Rockies, and White Sox have each made similar hires in the last three years with varying degrees of success.
I honestly have no opinion on this hire. There is no track record to look at, he’s never managed a game, and I’ve never met him. All we know is he is Dipoto’s friend from when they both worked for the Angels.
Bogar, the bench coach, has lots of coaching and managerial experience in the majors and minors. That makes for a nice balance.
- We have several stories on new farm director Andy McKay, and each has a bit of a different angle. Click away for pieces from The News Tribune, Shannon Drayer, and Mariners.com.
- USS Mariner’s marc w gives his take on the recent front office moves.
- Early stories on the Scott Servais hire from Ryan Divish and Bob Dutton.
- The New York Mets reached the World Series with the help of a handful of former Las Vegas players who we frequently saw face the Rainiers.
- Tony DeFrancesco is returning as manager of the Fresno Grizzlies in 2016.
- It’s a long way from happening, but there are some rumblings down in Texas which could result in San Antonio becoming a PCL city someday.
Have a great weekend!