Tagged: Minor Leagues

Opening Night in the City of Destiny

So we fell to Rangers 5-2 in our return home yesterday; it could have been worse but unfortunately I wasn’t home to catch the game yesterday. No last night I was relaxing here: 


Yep that is the imperfect but beautiful and charismatic (kinda like me) Cheney Stadium. I braved the elements to attend the Rainier’s home opener against the Sacramento River Cats; the AAA affiliate of division rival and former Cheney occupant the Oakland A’s. 

My original plan for the game was to give a thorough and in-depth review of the team and the action on the field but I was simply unable to do so for 2 reasons”

1. It was raining pretty good before and during the early innings of the game so any notebook that I tried to use would have been destroyed and…

2.  Since it was opening night I’d had enough overpriced Budweiser by the 6th inning to write that I was the Emperor of America.  Ahhh sweet tradition. 

Some notes and knowledge about the game and team:

– During the opening introductions I couldn’t help but notice that a statistical relevant number of the Rainier’s players were sporting the classy and fashionable high socks look, it’s sharp in any baseball uniform but ultra sharp in the Rainier’s blue-and-whites.

Adam Jones once again proves to me that he is the real deal.  Hitting .389 went 2 for 3 with two singles and two walks.  Did I mention his defense continues to improve? Well it does, he is going to quickly attain ninja status once he gets called up again.   

Wladimir Balentien (2 for 3 with a stolen base, hitting .310 for the year) and Justin Lehr (who had his first great start of the year with 6 innings of 3 hit ball and only 1 earned run). 

– High cost golden boys Jeff Clement and Jeremy Reed didn’t do much to impress on opening night hitting a combined 1 for 9 for the game and a combined .220-ish for the young season. These two really need to bring to justify the dollars and personnel sacrificed to bring them to the organization. 

– In awesome Josh news I met former Rainier star and all-time baddass the red ninja himself Hiram Bocachica. I call him the red ninja due to the red accents on the uniforms the River Cats wore last night, and he is a ninja.  He was chillin on the dugout steps during the bottom of the 6th and he gladly dealt with the hero worship and even signed a ball for me. (A big deal for someone that never got to do that stuff when he was a kid).  By the way, he is once again tearing up AAA pitching hitting .333 on the year with an RBI double. 

– I left once they stopped serving beer because on fireworks nights like this one they lock the doors during the seventh to keep the drunks from wandering into the staging area and getting themselves blown up but apparently we errored the game away in the top of the 10th, it’s a shame with the great pitching all around. 

Finally I’d like to thank Vinny at http://leadingoff.mlblogs.com for giving me more additions to the Bill Swift All-Stars.  I can’t believe I forgot about the Mike Hampton trade. In 1994 we traded Hampton to Houston for Eric Anthony to hop on the 90’s left fielder carousel.  Anthony rewarded our sacrifice by hitting a blistering .237 with 10 HR.  Hampton went on to 22 games for the Astros in 1999.