The final game in all of Minor League Baseball gets played tonight in Columbus, Ohio: it’s the Triple-A National Championship Game, between the champions of the International and Pacific Coast Leagues.
The Durham Bulls (Tampa Bay affiliate) face the Memphis Redbirds (St. Louis Cardinals). Amazingly, it’s a repeat of last year’s game, because each league has a back-to-back champion.
The game will be televised nationally on the NBC Sports Network, starting at 4:00 (Pacific). George Grande, Jim Kaat, and Jim Callis are the announcers. On my DirecTV it is channel 220. The internet says that it is 408 on Xfinity, and 40/540 on Click.
Memphis starts RHP Kevin Herget, while Durham is apparently going with RHP Chih-Wei Hu.
Durham won this game last year. I’ll have some PCL pride and pull for Memphis this time around.
The Triple-A season hasn’t even ended yet (barely!) and we are already into the affiliation shuffle.
On Monday, the Las Vegas 51s announced a new affiliation with the Oakland A’s lasting through the 2020 season. Oakland once again moves into the newest ballpark in the PCL – just like they did four years ago in Nashville.
This will be fun for the Rainiers/Mariners. Now we’ll get to see the A’s Triple-A team 16 times each season, instead of just four when they were in Nashville. It’s always good to keep tabs on your rivals.
In a surprise today, the ownership of the new-to-Triple-A San Antonio Missions (moved from Colorado Springs) decided to stay with the Milwaukee Brewers, whom they have had a relationship with for the past four years in the Springs.
That leaves three teams left.
Houston (from Fresno) is expected to link with Round Rock. It’s not official at blog post time, but apparently an announcement is imminent.
That leaves the Washington Nationals (from Syracuse of the IL, which is now with the NY Mets) and the Texas Rangers looking for a match, with Nashville and Fresno the remaining partners.
The Nashville Sounds will ultimately decide who they want – they are in a better ballpark with a better geographic location for both of the remaining major league teams. Fresno will get the team that is left standing.
I’ll share my thoughts on the final results of all of this when it is over.
Hey, Vogelbach is heating up! Let’s get to the links.
- Here’s a preview of the Triple-A National Championship Game, with a focus on some of the key players.
- Here’s the story from Las Vegas on how the affiliation with the Oakland A’s came to be.
- The Mariners beat the Astros on Monday night in Houston, 4-1. Dan Vogelbach‘s pinch-hit grand slam was the key blow. The linked story includes some insight on Vogelbach’s future in the organization.
- On Sunday, the Mariners missed their chance to sweep the Angels in what might be their last game ever against Mike Scioscia, dropping a 4-3 decision to the Angels despite a two-run homer by Vogelbach.
- On Bob Dutton’s blog, the veteran baseball scribe explains why he was startled by some sharp comments Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto recently made.