It’s a baseball smorgasboard today, with four straight major league playoff games being televised with very little overlap.
With that, let’s find out who the former Rainiers players are in the postseason this year – and then I’ll make my annual incorrect predictions.
First off, there are not many former Tacoma players on the postseason rosters this year. To really load up on ex-Rainiers, we need one of Jerry Dipoto’s trading buddies to make the playoffs – but both Tampa and Arizona came up short.
Boston Red Sox: no active players have Tacoma ties. Two ex-Rainiers are on the coaching staff: Andy Barkett and Ramon Vazquez.
Cleveland Indians: the bullpen includes Oliver Perez, the veteran lefty who re-started his career as a reliever with the Rainiers in 2012. Also in the bullpen: sidearming Adam Cimber, who never pitched for Tacoma but is a graduate of Puyallup High School (Class of 2009). Ex-Rainiers pitchers from long ago Brian Sweeney and Scott Atchison are both on the Indians coaching staff.
Houston Astros: there are no former Rainiers on the active roster, but if you come to Cheney Stadium a lot you have probably seen about half their team suit up for Fresno on the visiting side. Here’s a deep pull for you: first base coach Alex Cintron played brifly for Tacoma in 2009.
New York Yankees: another team with no ex-Rainiers on the roster. Bench coach Josh Bard caught for the Rainiers toward the end of his career, in 2010 and 2011.
Atlanta Braves: ageless catcher Rene Rivera is on the playoff roster. He played for Tacoma parts of three seasons: 2004 to 2006. The coaching staff includes 2010 Tacoma interim manager (and PCL Championship winner) Jose Castro, former Tacoma Tigers infielder Walt Weiss, and trivia question answer* Jose Yepez who caught for the Rainiers in 2010 and 2011.
Colorado Rockies: like the Astros, the Rockies don’t have any former Tacoma players but do have a lot of familiar names from the opposing roster when Albuquerque has been in town the last few years.
Los Angeles Dodgers: super utility man Chris Taylor played for Tacoma extensively from 2014 to 2016. Third base coach Chris Woodward was a regular infielder for the Rainiers in 2009 and 2010.
Milwaukee Brewers: catcher Erik Kratz was with Tacoma briefly in 2015.
That’s it, that’s all we’ve got. Four active ex-Rainiers players, one local guy, and ten coaches.
Now for the predictions, which are always wrong, so don’t even bother reading the next part. Why am I even typing them? I could be taking a nap right now. Anyway, here we go.
NL Division Series: Braves over Dodgers in five games, and Brewers over Rockies in four.
AL Division Series: Astros beat Indians in four, and Red Sox defeat Yankees in four.
NL Championship Series: Brewers take it over the Braves in six games.
AL Championship Series: Red Sox edge Astros in seven
World Series: Red Sox 4, Brewers 1.
So that’s not going to happen.
* Jose Yepez was called up by the Seattle Mariners and spent a few days in the big leagues without ever appearing in a game. The only other Rainiers player in the last twenty years to do this was pitcher Ryne Harper in 2017.