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Have the Schlegel Sports Group cleaned house? Exit133 says yep, it looks like they have. Nothing is official anywhere, so we shall see what comes of this. Dave Lewis - though we've never actually met the man - has always seemed like a decent fellow.

Now does this effect any potential moves? I'd say no, I still think we won't start to hear rumblings until the end of this year and beginning of next. Even if they are planning a move, they can't do much of anything until a new ballpark is built, whether it's in Reno or Dallas or wherever.

Greetings from lovely San Diego! Thanks to the miracle of my in-laws fancy satellite internet (they live in a rather rural area) No Rhubarb! is on the air. Well, sorta… and not very often, but we’re here.

Rough day for the hometown nine yesterday, as Brad Thomas pitched his best game of the year, throwing six scoreless innings – and not getting anything to show for it. The bullpen – culprit this time was Jamie Cerda, who gave up five runs – failed the squad. Not that the offense and defense helped much either. The Rainiers ended up with a total of 5 hits and 3 errors. Not a pretty day all around.

This series stumbles on tonight at 6:05. The TNT lists Jorge Campillo (2-4, 4.07) as the starter, which would make sense, as it is his turn in the rotation. TacomaRainiers.com doesn’t list a starter for the Rainiers. What does that mean? Maybe something, maybe nothing, but we do know that DJ Houlton (5-2, 3.28) starts for the 51s.

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For an interesting take on the Our Favorite Rainier Conundrum, check out this USS Mariner post from yesterday. Dave makes the very valid point that Adam Jones is done with Triple-A, and at this point is one of the "5-6" best hitters in the organization. It’s not difficult to argue, nor is it obvious what the Mariners should do with Jones right now. There isn't a place on the major league team for him - thanks to some hopeless decisions by the Seattle front office - and he needs no further time with Tacoma.

Hey, time to slap myself on the back. I did get one right yesterday, as A.C. Milan rode two Inzaghi goals to a 2-1 win over Liverpool in the Champions League finale. Give the Reds credit though; when Peter Crouch was on the pitch Liverpool threw a scare into the Rossoneri. Honestly, was there any Milan fan in the world who wasn’t terrified the last two minutes and into stoppage time? Memories of 2005 die hard.

This is a hectic day for the Frinklin family. We are leaving to night for the sun-drenched lands of San Diego (no Whale's Vagina jokes please) for my lovely sister-in-law's massive wedding. All we need to do today is take the dogs to the kennel, finish the laundry, pick up my new glasses (thank you Downtown Vision), get the house ready for the cat-sitter, head out to Comic Book Ink to pick up comics for the flight (Comic Book Ink rocks, any and all South Sound Geeks should go there), and (oh yeah) pack for the trip.

Whew...

Now, what this means for the No Rhubarb! reader is that blogging will be rather erratic, definitely light and quite-possibly non-existent. Yes, you may – for the next week anyway – fall back into the dark days where there was no blog solely for the Tacoma Rainiers, and for that we apologize. If you need Rainier-based content,the TNT has a fine article on Our Favorite Rainier we recommend highly.

Also, for non-baseball fun, we recommend – nay, we command – that you flip your televisions to ESPN2 for the finale of the UEFA Champions League, A.C. Milan v. Liverpool. While we are by no means the expert that this fellow is, we just don't see the Reds being able to keep up with Milan, and very much doubt a repeat of 2005.

51s 8, Rainiers 6

A beautiful day for an ugly game. The Rainiers tied the game up at six, only fall behind again in the seventh when Mitch Jones' doubled home Matt Kemp. Tacoma dropped this game despite homers from Our Favorite Rainiers (his sixth in 10 games), Goooooooookie Dawkins and Rob Johnson. After a nice outing his last time on the hill, Jake Woods scuffled again, giving up six runs in four innings. The Jim Parque Experiment came in relief and pitched two scoreless innings.

Same two teams tomorrow at 6:05.

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The modern-day Pacific Coast League is a massive enterprise consisting of 16 teams stretching from Tacoma and Portland in the Pacific Northwest to New Orleans of the Deep South. These are the teams our hometown nine will face throughout the long season. You must know the enemy!


The Team: Iowa Cubs

The Location: Des Moines, Iowa

The Affiliation: Chicago Cubs

The Website: IowaCubs.com

The Ballpark: Principle Park. The second park placed by the confluence of the Raccoon and Des Moines River, Principle Park sits on the bones of Pioneer Park, built in 1947. Pioneer Park was renamed Sec Taylor Stadium in honor of the longtime sports editor of the Des Moines Register. The new field – also named Sec Taylor Stadium – opened in 1992. In 2004, the city sold the naming rights to Principle Financial Group and now goes by the rather unwieldy moniker of Sec Taylor Field at Principle Park.

The History: Des Moines has been a hotbed of professional baseball since the 1880s. A longtime member of the Western League, Iowa’s capital city was the host of the first night game held under permanent lights in 1930. The current club joined the now-defunct American Association in 1969 as the Iowa Oaks, and then switched to the Iowa Cubs in 1982. They have remained the Chicago Cubs Triple-A affiliate ever since. Despite being the smallest market in the current PCL, the I-Cubs have been a phenomenal success, including selling out 47 luxury boxes every season.

The Name: Hawkeyes, Prohibitionists, Midgets, Undertakers, Champs, Boosters, All-Nations, Demons… These are all past names for Des Moines-based baseball teams.

Any one of these would be vastly superior the “I-Cubs.” Can you imagine how well “Des Moines Undertakers” paraphernalia would do? The utterly amazing Ebbets Field Flannels used to offer a Des Moines Undertakers t-shirt, but not anymore apparently.

The Prospects: Felix Pie is one of the best prospects in minor league baseball. Imagine Our Favorite Rainier, only better.

Over at our other blog – one that we've been shamefully ignoring since starting up No Rhubarb! - our blogpartner, the misnamed Mediocre Fred, has revealed his deep, dark secret.

He is a Mascot American. Apparently, he appeared as the monstrosity known as “Uncle Slam” for the Class A Potomac Nationals in a recent parade. Uncle Slam, an oversize blue-skinned approximation of Uncle Sam (one that, judging by the bright red nose, sure likes to hit the sauce), is – like all mascots – an abomination before all. As it is written in the Baseball Testament, Book of DiMaggio, chapter 3, verse 7: And the mascot shall come unto you, inflated of feature and furred of complexion, and yea they shall not be of baseball, but of shameless hucksterism, and you shall stone them until the mascot head collapses in. And you shall be not afraid, for the Louisville Slugger of the Gods of Baseball is at thy command.

It is written that we must “Love the sinner, hate the sin.” and we shall do so for our blogpartner.

But if we ever see that creepy blue thing coming at us, we shall show no mercy.

Rainiers 8, 51s 3

Been awhile since it was this easy. The Rainiers jumped on Las Vegas for a run in the first, two in the third, and a four-spot in the fourth, and coasted for the first time since a 7-1 laugher against the Sidewinders last week. Our Favorite Rainier led the charge, going 3-5 with a homer and three runs scored. Ryan Feierabend picks up the win after a solid efforts, giving up three over 5 1/3.

A day game tomorrow at 11:35. Jake Woods (1-3, 5.23), coming off his best performance of the year, takes on Miguel Pinago (2-0, 0.82), who has been dominant since coming up from Jacksonville.

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When times are bad, you take wins where you can get them. In this case, that would mean a rain-shortened eight inning affair. Justin Lehr threw seven strong innings, and picked up the win after the game was called due to the downpour that hit Tacoma just in time for the ninth inning.

Considering how shaky the bullpen has been lately, it might have worked out for the best.

The Las Vegas 51s make their first appearance in Tacoma for a four-game series that starts tomorrow night. First pitch is at 6:05, Ryan Feierabend (1-2, 3.61) starts for the Rainiers, former big leaguer Joe Mays (1-2, 5.16) takes the hill for Vegas.

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Update: As per the comment left here, No Rhubarb! messed up. Joe Mays was released this week. William Juarez (NR) will replace him in the rotation tonight. Juarez was4-2, 4.79 with Jacksonville of the Southern League.

There is a truism in sport that says it is better to lose big than to lose small. We shall see how the Rainiers handle things, because they’ve now done both in the past 48 hours. After the 12-0 shellacking on Friday, the Rainiers - thanks to fine pitching by Jorge Campillo - went to the ninth inning with a 2-0 lead.

And promptly imploded.

Eerily reminiscent of the home opener, the Rainier defense cost them this game, with three errors in the ninth. The Sidewinders scored five runs to win in the ninth on only two hits. Tacoma is now officially in a tailspin, going 4-10 over their last 14 games.

Finale of the series is today at 1:35. Rainier ace Justin Lehr (4-2, 2.42) against Edgar Gonzalez (2-3, 4.81). Let’s see if the Rainiers can salvage a split.

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