We’re back after the winter break – I hope you all enjoyed the holidays – and now we look at the calendar and spring training is just six weeks away.
Tacoma Rainiers opening day is April 7th – and the season starts at home this year. That’s just 95 days from today!
There was some sad news over the holiday break, with the passing of Dave Henderson.
Henderson had a long major league career with the Seattle Mariners, Oakland A’s, and Boston Red Sox (among others). He was involved in some truly memorable on-field moments, and he was known for his non-stop smile.
Did you know Hendu played in a few games at Cheney Stadium, for the Tacoma Tigers?
Henderson was with the Oakland A’s when Tacoma served as their Triple-A affiliate. Although he was already established as an excellent big league ballplayer, Hendu found himself wearing the Tacoma Tigers uniform for three games in 1992, and three more in 1993. These were injury rehabilitation assignments: he had hamstring troubles which landed him on the disabled list for most of 1992 and part of 1993.
Other than a few brief meetings, I did not know Henderson well. But he touched many people, and you can read some good stuff on his life in the links down below.
We had some player news regarding former and future Rainiers over the holiday break. Most of this stuff is over a week old:
Right before Christmas, outfielder Daniel Robertson cleared waivers and was outrighted to Tacoma – we’ll pencil him onto the Rainiers opening day roster for now. He has a track record of hitting well in the PCL and should be a nice addition to the club.
Left-handed reliever Rob Rasmussen was claimed off waivers by the Angels. He briefly pitched for Tacoma last year but appeared in 19 games for the M’s.
The Angels also acquired former Rainiers left-hander Bobby LaFromboise. He’s on their 40-man roster.
Edgar Olmos was picked up by the Chicago Cubs.
Baltimore signed free agent ex-Rainiers outfielder Xavier Avery.
Ten Days Worth Of Links:
- The Hall of Fame election results will be announced at 3:00 on Wednesday. Larry Stone dug up some great stuff about Ken Griffey Jr.‘s early days in the major leagues. To go with that story, the Times digital department came up with an elaborate look at Griffey’s top moments in Seattle.
- Tim Booth wrote about growing up a Griffey fan.
- Bob Dutton checked in on the Mariners AL West rivals to see how they’re doing this offseason.
- Here is the news story on the death of Dave Henderson.
- Rick Rizzs reminisced about his friend Hendu.
- John McGrath recalled unexpectedly watching part of a game in 2015 with Hendu from the left field area at Safeco.
- Larry Stone has a column about his experience with Dave Henderson.
- At ESPN, Christina Kahrl wrote a wonderful remembrance of Hendu.
- Shannon Drayer shared her memories of Hendu from the broadcast booth.
- Tony Blengino took a look at Hisashi Iwakuma‘s history with the Mariners.
- Veteran Triple-A outfielder Greg Golson wrote an interesting report from the Mexican League.
- Baseball America has an item on the degree of difficulty in jumping minor league levels.
- El Paso Chihuahuas broadcaster and The Sporting News contributor Tim Hagerty spoke with Lee Smith about the time his game in Double-A was postponed due to spiders. Lots of spiders.
- In the PCL, the Las Vegas stadium issue continues to be a story. Someday someone will build a new ballpark in the suburbs and the franchise will take off.
- Humor from The Onion: No One Seems To Know Guy Leaning Against Batting Cage Giving Hitting Advice.
Check back on Wednesday for a new post.