The Wait Goes On, And Other News

We’re still in a holding pattern throughout baseball – and especially in minor league baseball.

Leagues are making all kinds of plans to prepare for many different contingencies, any of which may or may not happen. There is absolutely no way of knowing when baseball will start up again in the minor leagues.

It is especially frustrating for leaders in the sport, because it’s completely out of their hands. Even with a rain situation at Cheney Stadium there is a decision making process that ends with a result. Not in this case – we are in charge of nothing.

So all we can do is wait, follow our local government’s lead and stay safe, and hope for the best.

It’s also comforting to remember that it is only April 17th, and there is plenty of time to get baseball going again this year if our situation improves enough to allow it.

Damaso Garcia passed away the other day, at the age of 63.

Garcia was a two-time American League All-Star second baseman with the Toronto Blue Jays in the 1980s, typically hitting for a strong average with lots of stolen bases.

Prior to that, he was a Pacific Coast League Co-Champion with the Tacoma Yankees in 1978.

Tacoma was a New York Yankees affiliate for just one season, and it was a memorable one for those who were here to see it. The major league Yankees were defending World Series champions going into the season, and they won it again in 1978.

Meanwhile, the Tacoma club went 80-57 and was named PCL Co-Champions along with Albuquerque when rain washed away the playoffs in one of the stranger episodes in league history.

Garcia missed the PCL playoffs drama, because he was in New York for the MLB drama. Garcia spent most of the 1978 season in Tacoma, appearing in 102 PCL games at the ripe age of 21. He was blocked in the Yankees organization by Willie Randolph, so they eventually traded him to Toronto.

Speaking of the late-1970s Yankees teams, I recently watched another of those old World Series games on MLB Network. This time it was Yankees-Dodgers from 1977, and the national TV broadcast team was Keith Jackson and Howard Cosell. That was a duo!

Links:

  • The Seattle Times has a two-part series on the upcoming MLB Draft, how it will be different this year, and how the Mariners are adjusting. Here’s the first part and here is the second part which includes names of potential first round picks.
  • M’s new pitching coach Pete Woodworth talked about what the pitchers are doing during the break, and remains optimistic about his staff.
  • The Mariners PR blog caught up with a few of their minor league pitchers to see what they are doing right now. Potential future Rainiers Aaron Fletcher, Wyatt Mills, Brandon Williamson, and Penn Murfee chime in.
  • Wednesday was Jackie Robinson Day. The Seattle Times has a brief history of the event, and the Mariners put out a video of a roundtable discussion featuring several of their players along with host Dave Sims.
  • ESPN has a story on the passing of Damaso Garcia, which includes the details of the 1979 trade of Garcia from the Yankees to Toronto.
  • Baseball America lays out the worst case scenario for Minor League Baseball. Gee, thanks a lot guys.
  • In the PCL, the Rainiers were supposed to be the visiting team for Sacramento’s home opener on Tuesday. The River Cats had some fun with it, setting up a drive-thru ballpark concession stand in the parking lot and simulating the game via MLB The Show. Sacramento claims they won, 5-4, although we are officially protesting the results due to what had to have been excessive cheating.
  • Here’s a story from Omaha detailing how the Storm Chasers are handling the financial problems caused by the shutdown.
  • It snowed in Albuquerque the day before their previously scheduled home opener but hey, no one cared. They’re just waiting to see what happens like everyone else.
  • Here’s a feature from Oklahoma City on the Dodgers groundskeeper and his dog. It seems that at many PCL ballparks the groundskeeper is the only person there.
  • Fresno Bee columnist Marek Warszawski wandered around outside the ballpark on what should have been the Grizzlies home opener.
  • And we have a story from one of the Salt Lake City newspapers on the Bees cancelled home opener.

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