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The Rainiers were blasted Saturday night in Sacramento. It could have been worse; the parent club Mariners lost 16-1 at home to Cincinnati.

Not a night to remember for Pacific Northwest Baseball.


Augusta, Georgia is famous for the Masters and Jim Nantz at his most annoying. But Augusta is so much more than that. What else does this elegant old southern town sport?

GreenJackets baseball, what else? The South Atlantic League affiliate of the San Francisco Giants. The GreenJackets – named after the green sport coat awarded the Masters Champion – sport one of my favorite names in baseball. What to do with GreenJackets presents a problem, which the team takes care of pretty nicely with their yellowjacket with sportcoat look. The further deck out mascot Auggie with some lovely plaid golf pants. Giant scary eyes aside, I think is is one of the more tolerable mascots in baseball.

Photo Courtesy of

Of course, the franchise couldn't leave well enough alone, introducing a second mascot, apparently the runner-up who will fill in if Auggie can't fulfill his mascotly duties. Olmo, who lives at the bottom of nearby Lake Olmstead, likes to retrieve foul balls and throw them at unsuspecting fans.

Photo Courtesy of

Wait a minute. Does this guy look familiar?

Take a look at this:

See it? We think the family resemblance is clear. Olmo is obviously Elmo's drunken, borderline-retarded, absentee father, and the GreenJackets owe us an explanation and assurances that proper child support is being paid.

We've (gently) mocked the team's official site, but we feel the need to congratulate it. Over the past week or so has been a virtual link fest, and most of them are worth checking out. Baseball America on Our Favorite Rainier, on Wlad Balentien, a local kid makes good tale featuring Eastlake High's own Brent Ust, a TNT feature on ballpark art... It's a nice change from the days where the site featured just about nothing.

Also, the Rainiers are having a Job Fest on Monday. No request for team blogger, but we're always listening.

Being shutout just sucks. Wednesday was the sixth shutout loss for the Rainiers this season, about par for the course for a team with the worst record in the PCL. It's not like this team didn't get baserunners; no, they left 11 on base and put up an 0-12 with runners in scoring position. Mario Ramos – former prospect with Oakland and Texas – picks up the win in his 2007 Triple A debut, and Rich Harden throws a scoreless inning in a rehab stint.

Same two teams tomorrow night at 7:05 in lovely Sacramento. Justin Lehr (6-1, 3.19)can hopefully put the brakes on this skid.


Editor's Note: This is based on the actual PCL ballot. Some may already have been promoted to the majors.

Starting Pitcher Pick Two
-Yovani Gallardo, Nashville Sounds
Second in wins, 110/28 strikeout-to-walk ratio, and a 2.90 ERA. The best pitching prospect in the PCL.

-Chris Oxspring, Nashville Sounds
Not a prospect, but a great #2 to Gallardo. Six wins, second in the PCL in Ks.

Relief Pitcher Pick Two
-Chad Harville, Tucson Sidewinders
Leads the PCL in saves, solid 2.35 ERA and four vulture wins. Not great peripherals (13/25 K/BB ratio)

-Andrew Brown, Portland Beavers (Write In)
Hard to argue with a 40/14 K/BB ratio and 12 holds. No saves, which is okay. Saves are basically meaningless.

-Kurt Suzuki, Sacramento Rivercats
Good defensively, adequate offense. Best of a weak position in the PCL

First Base
-Mitch Jones, Las Vegas 51s
Probably should be on the ballot as an outfielder, but where ever he plays, a 1.099 OPS (best in the PCL) is hard to argue with

Second Base
-Eric Patterson, Iowa Cubs
An offensive second baseman with some power (24 XBH) and some speed (10 SB). Not much of a defender.

-Wilson Valdez, Los Vegas 51s (Write In)
PCL All-Star in 2006, plays good defense and currently sports a .383 OBP

Third Base
-Ian Stewart, Colorado Springs Sky Sox
Improved defensively, solid .296/.365/.834 line.

Outfield Pick Three
-Adam Jones, Tacoma Rainiers
Our Favorite Rainier earned his way here.

-Rick Ankiel, Memphis Redbirds
If it weren't for Josh Hamilton in Cincinnati, Ankiel would be the best story in all of baseball

-Nathan Hayes, Salt Lake Bees
Unlike Ankiel and OFR, he's past the point of being a prospect. His 1.040 OPS might change that.

Designated Hitter
-Craig Brazell, Omaha Royals
DH shouldn't even be on the ballot, but the PCL Player of the Month for May is an easy choice here

Online voting for the Triple-A All-Star game (July 11th in Albuquerque)has been going for a couple weeks and we have a major issue with the current results. Our Favorite Rainier – at worst, one of the 5 best players in the PCL – is currently seventh - seventh - in the voting for the PCL outfield spots. We shall be unveiling our ballot sometime this week, but for cryin' out loud, just vote at random if you have to. Adam Jones needs some love.

Oh, and please don't just vote for all the Rainiers. Jones and Balentien are the only guys who should be considered for the All-Star Game. It's a cold reality, but this team just ain't that freakin' good.

Remember: Vote Early and Often!


The Week That Was: Pacific Coast League baseball fans got their money's worth this week, as the Rainiers managed four extra-inning games in a row. The highlight has to be Wladimir Balentien's walk-off homer on Friday. The lowlight? Thursday and Saturday's extra-inning losses. Overall a down week for the Rainiers, who finish 3-4 over the seven days.

On Deck: An off-day Monday, which is always a good thing. Tuesday starts a week-long road trip with four against Sacramento, then on to the desert for a weekend series against the Sidewinders in Tucson. Neither are an easy mark; the two teams are in a virtual tie in the Pacific South Division. The Rainiers are still last in the Pacific North, and still sport the worst record in the PCL.

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