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The Friday night Sky Sox-Rainiers game that was supposed to serve as Colorado Springs Home Opener was canceled due to extremely cold temperatures.

Sounds like fun. Weather permitting, the Sky Sox and Rainiers will play one Saturday and a doubleheader Sunday.

The Charlotte Knights, Triple-A farmclub of the Chicago White Sox have a lot of things going for them: a burgeoning market that many think is ready for a major league club, a distinctive name and striking logo, a nice stadium and plans for a new downtown stadium that will be state of the art for a minor league team. Not everything is perfect; the color scheme isn't perfect and the uniforms are seriously overdone, but nevermind that. The Charlotte Knights are one of the very best franchises in minor league baseball. Well.... we do have an issue. This is the Knights mascot:

Homer is a dragon, which isn't necessarily easy to ascertain. At first I thought he might be some sort of green horse creature, but no, there are flaring nostrils and spikes down his back. And there is my problem: What is the relationship between Knights and Dragons? Why they kill each other of course. Hasn't anybody ever heard of St. George? We need a more realistic look to this. The next time Homer starts prancing on the field, one of the Knights should chase after him with his bat. Add a damsel-in-distress and we're golden.

Last night on the radio broadcast, Mike Curto said, "If the Rainiers get pitching like this, they will win a lot of games." Yes, Mike, yes they will. After R.A. Dickey's masterful job on Wednesday, the Rainiers Robert Rohrbaugh (say THAT 10 times fast)pitched a gem in his first start of the year. Rohrbaugh scattered three hits over six scoreless innings, matching Dickey from the day before. Cesar Jimenez continued his hot pitching start, striking out five of his six batters faced. Wlad Balentien continued to heat up, driving in the only RBI of the game with a sixth-inning double. Wlad went 2-for-4, the only Rainier with multiple hits.

Tonight the Rainiers head on the road for four in Colorado Springs and four in Fresno. The game tonight is starts at 5:05. Jose Capellan (0-0, 5.40) for the Sky Sox. Still no announcement for the Rainiers. This is assuming that the game gets off at all. The current forecast for Colorado Springs calls for highs in the thirties and light snow. Good luck fellas.


Another rain soaked early-season game in Tacoma, as the Rainiers beat the Grizzlies for the second straight day. Two Our Favorite Rainier candidates lead the way, as R.A. Dickey threw a no-hitter for 6 2/3 and Wladimir Balentien jacked his first homer, a grand slam in the fifth. That was all that Dickey needed, as he picked up his first win as a Rainier. Dickey, after losing the no-hitter on a soft Scott McClain single in the seventh. Dickey recovered and finished with eight strong innings and his first win of the year.

The last game of the four-game series and the homestand Thursday night at 7:00. This is the first Dollar Days promotion, so come out for some good baseball and cheap eats. Sean White (0-0, 0.00) for the Rainiers, and former Rainier and Mariner Julio Mateo (0-1, 9.00) gets the start for the Grizzlies.

Matt Tuiasosopo is in the lead, despite being off to a bit of a slow start. His .063/.063/.167 line is pretty unimpressive, but it's still very early. As to be expected, the more-major league ready Rainiers are off to better starts. Jeff Clement is tearing the cover off the ball at a .400/.467/.526. Considering how much Jose Vidro and Kenji Johjima are struggling for the Mariners, Clement might well be ready for the show.

In a completely unrelated note, we are currently listening to the Rainiers broadcast so ably manned by Mike Curto and we do wish KHHO wasn't so quick to switch to the FOX Sports Radio feed during rain delays. This is for two reasons: 1-FSR really sucks and 2-It's fun to listen to Mike Curto talk baseball. Hey, need a co-pilot Mike? Bloggers are the next media stars you know.

The Rainiers shook off the beating Fresno gave them on Monday, jumping out to a five-run lead after three innings. Tacoma then rode six strong innings by Ryan Feierabend to pick up their third win of the year. The Rainiers struck quickly, scoring three runs in the first, triggered by back-to-back doubles by Greg Norton and Bryan LaHair. Tacoma never looked back, as Feierabend picked up his second win of the young season, and extended his scoreless streak to twelve innings to start the year.

Fresno and Tacoma again tomorrow - the still-shaky weather notwithstanding - at 7:00. Our Favorite Rainier candidate R.A. Dickey (0-1, 3.86) against Matt Palmer (0-1, 4.50) of the Grizzlies.


Our Feed Tacoma bracket challenge has come to a close and big congratulations go to our champion: bracket buster. Taking charge over the weekend, bracket buster withstood a furious rally from Izenmania, who was the only Feed Tacoman to choose the Kansas Jayhawks as the NCAA Champion.

Congratulations to our winner, who now gets the privilege of hanging out with No Rhubarb! and his or her choice of coffee and a scone at Satellite, cupcakes at Hello, Cupcake or a dog and a beer at the Red Hot. Anyone else who entered the contest is welcome to come along. We'll have to do this again next year.

We here at No Rhubarb! usually spend our Monday nights at the Red Hot with various other bloggers and friends. Tonight we watched the final of the NCAA tournament, then followed that up with the most demented TV show ever. On the way home we flipped to KHHO to check up on the beloved Rainiers and hear the dulcet tones of Mike Curto. At that point Mike let us know that the Grizzlies four and five spot hitters (Scott McClain and Brett Harper) had accounted for nine RBIs.

As you might imagine, this is not a good sign. Tacoma could have used some of Sunday's rain as they were blasted, pummeled, obliterated... take your pick. The Grizzlies picked up a run in the second, two in the third and six in the fourth, racing to a 15-2 win at Cheney Stadium. Rainier starter Joe Woerman picked up the loss, giving up eight runs in 3 and 2/3 innings. Andrew Baldwin took over and didn't do much better, giving up seven runs in two innings. The only real bright spot for Tacoma was Jeff Clement's two-run double in the fourth.

The same two teams tomorrow. Hopefully it will go just a touch better for the hometown nine.


The time has come to choose Our Favorite Rainier 2008. Who will it be? Matt Tuiasosopo, the young third basemen from a legendary athletic family? The knuckleballing PCL Pitcher of the year, veteran R.A. Dickey? Perhaps Jeff Clement, the powerful catcher and top Mariner prospect? The flashy outfielder Wladimir Balentien? Or maybe Rhubarb, the beloved - if slightly crazy - mascot? Who will you choose? The polls opened at midnight Monday morning and will remain up for one week. Next Monday, April 14, we will name Our Favorite Rainier!

Due to some nasty on-again, off-again rain and a soaked playing field Tacoma and Sacramento were only able to complete one game of the Sunday doubleheader. Veteran Mike Kinkade punched a two-run homer in the fourth, and Phillip Barzilla vultured a win after replacing starter Sean White in the fourth. Cesar Jimenez pitched a perfect ninth to record his second save. The second game was eventually called off, likely to be made up later in the season.

The Fresno Grizzlies come to town, starting a four-game series on Monday. Each of the four games starts at 7:00 PM.


PCL Baseball on TV

The Hated Portland Beavers have a TV deal with Fox Sports Northwest, and unlike last season, they are broadcast up here in Tacoma. The Lucky Beavers and Fresno Grizzlies are on FSN at 2PM. This is a very nice chance to see both a fellow PCL team and Portland's PGE Park, which Jamie used as a photoshop to show what a Foss Waterway park might look like.

Update: Seems that nobody told the fine people of Portland that the Beavs would be playing today. There are maybe 250 brave souls in PGE.

Update Again: And now we get a rain delay!

During the inaugural season of No Rhubarb! we faithfully followed the exploits of Our Favorite Rainier, outfielder Adam Jones. Jones is in Baltimore now, on his way to what we firmly believe will be a long and excellent career. The title of Our Favorite Rainier cannot stay vacant though, and we will take the next few days to find our new favorite. This year we will let you, the reader chime in on the subject. No Rhubarb! will present the case of several players and then let you vote who you think is Our Favorite Rainier. After which we will almost certainly ignore the results and just name whomever we want anyway.

Next Up: Rhubarb!

Rhubarb is the mascot of your Tacoma Rainiers, a reindeer born in the Mt. Rainier National Park. According to the bio posted on, he was born of parents Rhubob and Rhubarbara, then moved to Cheney Stadium in 1995. He entertains children and fans at Rainiers games and makes public appearances all year long.
Three Reasons Why Rhubarb is Our Favorite Rainier
1.Beloved by (most) children.
2.Always fun and cheerful.
3.The Face of the Tacoma Rainiers.
Three Reasons Why Rhubarb is NOT Our Favorite Rainier
1.Technically NOT a ballplayer.
2.Possibly devours children.
3.Crossdressing Reindeer probably not what the New York Knickerbockers had in mind when they came up with the rules of the game.
Photos courtesy of and

Let's Play Two! So says Ernie Banks and the Rainiers will listen. Thanks to the rather nasty rain on Saturday night, Tacoma and Sacramento will resurrect one of the great traditions in baseball: the Sunday doubleheader. The River Cats and Rainiers go for two seven-inning games starting at 1:00 PM.

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