We’re in the final two-and-a-half weeks before pitchers and catchers report to spring training, and you can feel the baseball season approaching. It even stopped raining in my neighborhood for a while today in honor of the upcoming season.
Today we’ll do a news round-up, and on Thursday we’ll preview the candidates for Tacoma’s corner infield positions.
We’ve got some sad news stories right out of the gate.
- Former Rainiers hitting coach Alonzo Powell is battling cancer – and as usual, he is going into it with the right mindset. We wish one of the kindest people in the game a speedy and complete recovery.
- Longtime Mariners video coordinator Carl Hamilton passed away. He was a pioneer in the field.
- Former Padres and Diamondbacks general manager Kevin Towers succumbed to thyroid cancer at the early age of 56. “K.T.” as we called him was one of the most instantly likable people I’ve ever met in the sport. As the broadcaster for the Padres Class-A affiliate in the late 1990s, I’ll never forget Towers visiting our team on a scouting trip yet being completely glued to every nuance of the major league game, which he was following on some sort of primitive baseball score-tracking device that looked like a pager.
- Ryan Divish took a deep dive into Jerry Dipoto’s defense of the Mariners farm system. It really comes down to Dipoto’s philosophy: he’d rather trade risk (young prospects) for known quantities (current major league players).
- Multiple-time former Rainiers reliever Mark Lowe is getting a shot with the Los Angeles Dodgers, who are inviting him to major league spring training. Wouldn’t it be something if he followed the path of another ex-Rainiers pitcher, Brandon Morrow?
- Ex-Rainiers and Mariners outfielder Nori Aoki is going back to Japan on a three-year deal with the Yakult Swallows. He played six seasons in the majors.
- Art Thiel has a column on tanking in baseball.
- Matt Calkins writes that Dee Gordon is going to bring some excitement to the Mariners.
- Here’s a hot take for you: Jim Moore writes that it is time to end the “King’s Court.”