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No Rhubarb! attended the Preseason Party this afternoon to check out the fresh coat of paint slapped on Cheney Stadium. It was quite pleasant, despite the weather not living up to yesterday's promise. Like everyone in the Pacific Northwest, we loved the sunshine yesterday, and we spent the evening listening to the Rainier game while enjoying a starlight sky from our deck.

But we digress... Today's Preseason festivities were designed to sell tickets. Season tickets -Gold Club tickets preferably- or 7-game ticket packages or single-game tickets or just any kind of tickets you can imagine. And I think they did pretty well. The Gold Club is a pretty impressive package. The best seats in the house, personalized signs on your seats, numbered parking, snacks and schwag included, plus the capper: A day to take batting practice on the field.

Batting practice on the field? Sweet Jebus, that nearly sold us. Unfortunately, this package isn't cheap, going for a cool $1200 per seat. Were it not for this pesky mortgage thing, it would have been a done deal.

The new ownership group (and the state of Washington) spent some money on various upgrades. The most noticeable of which is the mural that greets visitors to the main entrance. It's nice, but Cheney Stadium is what it is: a very utilitarian structure that was built in only 14 days nearly 50 years ago. It won't ever be a stunner like Isotopes Park or Victory Field. On the inside though, the park looks great. There are no bad views of the field, and on a clear day you can even see Mt. Rainier.

I did -as promised- did take some lousy pictures.

This would be the new mural.

How is this for a seat? You can have it for $1200.

All of my lousy pictures are available on Flickr.

Oh, and there were no demon goat-creature attacks. The sharp, pointy stick remained sheathed.

We will be attending the Preseason Party at the stadium later today (following sleep, feeding of dogs, breakfast and errands, preferably in that order). Now, we are well aware that the demon goat-creature will be there, so we will be armed with a sharp, pointy stick if it becomes necessary to defend ourselves.

There may be pictures, but we are historically inept at photography.

Okay, so we aren't off to a flying start here. The good news? Ryan Feierabend was fine in his Tacoma debut, going five solid innings. The bad news? The bullpen melted down for the second night in a row. The pen was supposed to be solid, so that could be a bad sign.

The worse news? Ryan Feierabend’s name is damn near impossible to spell. It’s pronounced “Feer-a-bend”, so I wonder if he spells it that way just to screw with us.

Tacoma and Sacramento again tomorrow night, first pitch at 7:05. Reclamation project Jorge Campillo starts for the Rainiers, undersized righty Shane Komine for Sacramento.

Update: boxscore, News Tribune wrap-up, Sacramento Bee wrap.

Okay, while we still hate the demon goat-creature called Rhubarb, I admit it could be much, much worse.

The link below will take you to Rusty, the mascot of the Texas League Corpus Christi Hooks.

It isn't for the squeamish. This isn’t pleasant. If you have a heart or bowel condition, we beg you to turn back. No Rhubarb! cannot be held liable for any strokes, seared eyeballs or night terrors.

It’s not too late to turn back.

Credit (blame really) goes to Deadspin.

Look upon the Mascot, ye mighty, and despair!

The hometown nine lose a tough one. Sorrow stalks the land, children walk the streets in tears, the womenfolk hide their faces in shame.

Until tomorrow anyway. Ryan Feierabend versus Brad Halsey, 7:05 first pitch.

Oh, and did I tell you that Adam Jones was your favorite Rainier? Ninth-inning, game-tying three-run homers will do that.

Update: The box score, courtesy of The Tribune's wrap-up is here, the Sacramento Bee is here. Both require registration or the power of BugMeNot.

The Rainiers open the 2007 Pacific Coast League season tonight at the Sacramento River Cats. The 'Cats have been one of the dominant teams in the PCL since moving to California's capital after leaving Vancouver in 2000. Being the Triple-A affiliate of Billy Beane's prolific Oakland A's has been beneficial to say the least. Sacramento fans have seen players like Barry Zito, Rich Harden, Bobby Crosby and Nick Swisher lead the River Cats to four division championships in five years and back-to-back PCL Championships in 2003 & 2004.

This iteration of the River Cats doesn't seem quite as imposing as those, reflecting a slight downturn in the A's farm system. Still, Catcher Kurt Suzuki and 1B/DH Daric Barton are solid prospects.

Like all Rainier games, tonight's contest is available locally on KHHO 850-AM (though good luck wading through KHHO's website. It looks like a eight-year old who couldn't read designed it) and over the web via's GameDay. Unlike the major league version, MiLB GameDay is free, and offers up a preposterous 6000 games over the course of the 2007 season. Mike Curto does the play-by-play for the Rainiers, and he's one of the best.

Photo courtesy of

Meet Adam Jones. By nearly unanimous acclaim (Baseball America, Baseball Prospectus, John Sickles, Top Prospect Alert, Prospect Insider... enough acclaim), Adam Jones is the best prospect in the Seattle Mariners system, and he starts this year as a Tacoma Rainier. A dynamic talent, the 21-year old Jones was initially thought of as a pitching prospect while still in high school. His fastball was clocked at 96, but he wanted to hit, and the Mariners let him develop as such. First as a shortstop, then moved to centerfield, he's sped through the system, making his major league debut last year.

Photo courtesy of Paul M. Photography

This young man can be fun to watch. Despite being new to the position, he was named the best defensive outfielder in the PCL last year. As befitting a former pitcher, he has a rocket arm. He's a great athlete, presenting a power/speed/defense combination that calls to mind former Mariner Mike Cameron. In 96 games as a Rainier last season he hit .287/.345/.484 with 16 homers and 13 steals.
But don't get too attatched. The Mariners have surrounded the free-agent-to-be Ichiro with the aged, the mediocre and the slightly insane. It doesn't take a genius to think that there will be a spot for Jones in Seattle, probably soon.

Other possible favorite Rainiers: Wladimir Balentien (grip it and rip it hitter), Jeff Clement (power-hitting catcher who... well, can't catch), Jeremy Reed (former top prospect trying to recover after two awful years in Seattle), Ryan Feierabend (lyoung starter who'll be in Seattle before too long).

Why No Rhubarb?

Why indeed? We here at No Rhubarb! love the Rainiers, from their slightly hand-me-down name to the quite frankly ugly and old Cheney Stadium. We love the team’s awesome home hat and even more awesome road cap. We love the fact that Nick Lachey –of all people – is now a part owner of Tacoma’s hometown nine. We love that on a cool summer night, we can drive just a few miles and watch a professional baseball game under the stars, enjoy a cold beverage and a hot dog, and spend less than the national debt to do it. We love the fact that the Pacific Coast League now includes teams from New Orleans, Oklahoma City and Memphis, just because nobody could think of anything better to do with ‘em.

But we hate Rhubarb. More to the point, we fear Rhubarb. What many think of as a slightly odd, but generally unthreatening mascot is actually a monster. This is exhibit A:

Now, you might think that this is a charming photo of Rhubarb entertaining a little girl, but look closer. The glassy eyes, the gaping mouth, the flaring nostrils…. This is not entertainment; this is the last moments of a little girl’s life. We have no proof – whatever photographs have almost certainly been destroyed, either by Rainiers management or Rhubarb itself – but we know that moments after this photo was taken, this little girl was devoured whole by Rhubarb.

Something to remember when enjoying that cold beverage, hot dog and PCL baseball game on that cool summer night: A monster walks the field of Cheney Stadium.

Picture is courtesy of the Tacoma Rainiers, whom I certainly hope have a good sense of humor.

From the official site: the Rainiers 24-man roster.

Under Construction

This will be up in time for the PCL Opening Day, April 13th for the Beloved Rainiers.

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