A longtime anchor of Cheney Stadium announced his retirement, and we want to give him a proper sendoff.
Bob Christofferson was the head groundskeeper at Cheney throughout the 1980s and 1990s before moving north when the Mariners decided to play their games outdoors. He was head groundskeeper at Safeco/T-Mobile from 2000 until last weekend.
After leaving Tacoma for Safeco, Bob continued as a volunteer advisor to the Cheney Stadium grounds crew. He kept to two crews linked, by having Tacoma crew members work games in Seattle, and vice versa. On at least one occasion he brought his Safeco crew to Tacoma to handle a delicate pitching mound issue. Bob allowed the Triple-A and MLB crews to work as a team.
We wish Bob a long and enjoyable retirement!
Names of minor league players released by the Mariners last week have been announced, and as anticipated a few of them played for Tacoma last year.
Chris Mariscal joins the previously reported Darin Gillies as the two regular members of the 2019 Tacoma Rainiers to be let go by the organization. An infielder by trade, Mariscal was hoping to make the 2020 opening day roster as a utility man.
Outfielder Billy Cooke came up from Class-A and spent a lot of time as a fill-in player for Tacoma last year, and even helped win a couple of games. He was hoping to make one of the lower-level clubs as a starting outfielder before being released.
The Mariners signed several veteran minor league free agents to help Tacoma, and some were released: outfielder Rymer Liriano, and pitchers Dietrich Enns and Manny Banuelos. Look for Banuelos to pitch in his native Mexico in August, when the Mexican League plans to start.
Other experienced free agents signed by the club this winter remain in the organization, presumably to be available on an MLB “taxi squad” or if the PCL is able to start later this summer.
Baseball America has the complete list of releases in its current installment of Minor League Transactions.