The Mariners made some surprising news on Wednesday, announcing a sale of the team.
Longtime majority owner Nintendo of America sold its majority stake of the franchise to the previous minority owners, who are part of an ownership group called First Avenue Entertainment.
First Avenue Entertainment is headed by John Stanton, who becomes the Chairman and CEO. Howard Lincoln will retire from this role when the ownership transfer gets approved by Major League Baseball, most likely in August.
Stanton is already a part-owner of the Tacoma Rainiers. He and Rainiers principal owner Mikal Thomsen have been business partners for decades.
This deal is good for baseball in Tacoma. It strengthens the link between the Rainiers and the Mariners, which was already very secure. We certainly don’t need to worry about the Mariners switching their affiliation to Reno or anything like that.
Congratulations to Stanton and his group, and may the Mariners flourish under their ownership.
The entire PCL was off on Wednesday. We’re back in action tonight live from Las Vegas.
Yesterday: Prior to Wednesday’s day off, Tacoma suffered a tough 1-0 loss to visiting Sacramento at Cheney Stadium on Tuesday afternoon. Ramiro Pena‘s solo homer in the top of the ninth inning was the only run of a game in which Tacoma mustered just five hits. Adrian Sampson had a terrific start, delivering 6.1 shutout innings of two-hit ball, with one walk and six strikeouts.
Today: Tacoma (11-8) at Las Vegas (8-10), 7:05.
Opponent Affiliation: New York Mets.
Season Series: 0-0. Tacoma and Las Vegas will play 16 games this season.
Starting Pitchers: RHP Donn Roach (1-1, 8.59) at LHP Sean Gilmartin (1-1, 1.62).
Roach is from Las Vegas; this is a hometown start for him. He knows all of the recent Las Vegas baseball royalty including Bryce Harper and his family, and Kris Bryant.
Hot Rainiers: Chris Taylor has reached base in 18 straight games… Stefen Romero has a 12-game hitting streak… Mike Zunino has a six-game hitting streak, and he’s hit safely in 16 of 17 games overall.
Look Out For: Matt Reynolds has the longest hitting streak for Las Vegas at seven games, but TJ Rivera has been on a mini-tear: he’s 8-for-13 over his last three games.
Ex-Rainiers Alert: Former Rainiers infielder Ty Kelly is playing a lot of outfield for Las Vegas, and he’s been getting on base all of the time, as usual. Kelly has reached via hit or walk in 12 consecutive games.
Broadcast: The pregame show starts at 6:50 on South Sound Sports 850 AM. The broadcast also streams online via the TuneIn app – just click here.
PCL Scoreboard: Follow all Pacific Coast League games in real-time with links to Gameday screens right here.
- Here’s the Rainiers game story from The News Tribune – this is Tuesday’s 1-0 loss to Sacramento.
- Your Rainiers-related must-read is Larry Stone’s column on Mike Zunino and what he is working on in Tacoma.
- The Las Vegas paper has an article on Donn Roach, who starts for Tacoma tonight in his hometown.
- We have news stories on the Mariners ownership transfer, from the Seattle Times and the TNT.
- Howard Lincoln‘s long stint as the Mariners CEO is winding down. Larry Stone summarized the Howard Lincoln era in three easy points.
- John Stanton has loved baseball for decades, we learn in this profile. Hopefully he has a sense of humor, because John McGrath wrote that Stanton looks a little bit like Donald Trump.
- Geoff Baker looks at how the ownership deal went down, and the history of Mariners ownership.
- Mariners on-field reports: The Mariners kicked the Astros on Tuesday night, 11-1, with Robinson Cano launching a grand salami… but the team missed out on an opportunity to sweep the Astros, dropping Wednesday’s meeting when Jose Altuve had a huge game.
- Bob Dutton’s Mariners Notebook looks at some of the team’s hitting stats.
- The most successful manager in the PCL is awaiting another shot at managing in the majors.
- Congratulations to Sky Sox broadcaster Dan Karcher, who will be inducted into the Colorado Springs Sports Hall of Fame.
Baseball tonight! We’re back at it.