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Alone? Bored? Nothing to do? Flip to FSN at 7:00 and watch Our Favorite Rainier candidate R.A. Dickey make his starting debut for the Mariners. Dickey and his knuckler open a huge April series against the Angels tonight.

Sometimes baseball can be a bastard. Tonight was one of those times for our hometown nine. The Rainiers went into the ninth with the lead, and Cesar Jimenez - who has been damn near unhittable this year - was on the hill. Jimenez was still unhittable at first. Unfortunately he was so wild Fresno had no need to hit. He struck out Jake Wald on a wild pitch, allowing Wald to get to first. Emmanuel Burris then came up showing bunt, but Jimenez threw wild to first, sending Wald to second. The bunt was off and Burris scalded a triple into right. Brian Horwitz doubled home Burris, and the Grizzlies get the win.

Ugh... This can be such rough game. The finale of this four-game series on Friday. Rainier ace Ryan Feierabend (2-1, 1.59) takes the hill for Tacoma against Nick Periera (1-1, 5.00) for Fresno.


Justin Thomas was called up from Double-A West Tenn and made his Triple-A debut for the Rainiers on Wednesday.

Maybe he can call for a mulligan. Thomas was rocked by the Fresno Grizzlies, going five innings, giving up six run on only five hits. Four walks didn't help matters either. The Rainiers didn't give Thomas the help he needed, collecting only one run on five hits.

Game three is Thursday. Sean Green (0-0, 5.40) expected to start for Tacoma against Victor Santos (1-0, 3.60) for Fresno.


We here at No Rhubarb! are not sure the actual statistics, but we are willing to bed that when one team scores nine runs in a single inning, they usually win. That's how it went down tonight in Fresno, as the Rainiers broke open a scoreless tie in the fourth with nine runs. Tacoma never looked back and romped to an easy win. Bryan LaHair, Wlad Balentien and Jeff Clement all homered in the win. Robert Rorhbaugh pitched 5 2/3 innings to pick up the win, and ex-Ranier and ex-Mariner Julio Mateo took the loss.

Game two tomorrow at 7:05. Lefty Justin Thomas is scheduled to make his Triple-A debut for the Rainiers. He'll face Patrick Misch (1-0, 3.86) for the Grizzlies.


As if to celebrate his being named Our Favorite Rainier on Monday, Matt Tuiasosopo had his best day as a Rainier, going 2-4 with four runs batted in and a triple. Plus, R.A. Dickey found himself promoted to the major leagues.

To top it all off, today Adam Jones - wearing the number 42 in honor of Jackie Robinson - hit his first home run as an Oriole.

After a week of voting, we have Our Favorite Rainier for 2008. Meet Matt Tuiasosopo, starting thirdbaseman for Tacoma, and youngest player on the team. Signed out of Woodinville High School in 2004, Matt turned down the chance to follow his brother Marques as quarterback for the University of Washington.

As we mentioned when we introduced him, Matt does have an issue with slow starts. Currently hitting at .212/.297/.333, Tui is having to adjust to playing at the Triple-A level at a very young age. But don't worry, Rainier fans, we have every faith in Matt Tuiasosopo, Our Favorite Rainier.

A hopefully on-going history of Tacoma, the Rainiers and the PCL in general. Mostly cribbed from Wikipedia, Baseball Reference, and various official sites. Check out the entire series here.

With the demise of the Western International League in 1951, Tacoma was without professional baseball again. The WIL had transformed itself into the Pacific Northwest League, which is still a low Class-A league with teams from Vancouver BC to Boise. Tacoma though, was not invited. It would be until 1960, when the Pacific Coast League - Triple-A, the highest level of minor league ball - would bring baseball back to Tacoma. The South Sound's return to baseball would be fall out from the biggest change to hit the major leagues since Jackie Robinson: California baseball.

In 1957, Walter O'Malley, owner of the beloved Brooklyn Dodgers, convinced that the city of New York would not build him the replacement for Ebbets Field he believed he needed, moved his team to Los Angeles. He convinced Horace Stoneham, owner of the rival New York Giants, to join him on the west coast. The Giants and Dodgers, National League rivals since 1883, had taken National League baseball from New York, and stifled any dream the Pacific Coast League had of major league status.

And the PCL certainly did dream big. By the late 1920's, with teams in cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and Seattle, the PCL was large and wealthy enough to offer baseball just shy of major league status. Stars like Joe DiMaggio (San Francisco Seals), Ted Williams (San Diego Padres) and Tony Lazzeri (Salt Lake City Bees) got their start in the Coast League. Thanks to mild west coast weather, the PCL season was longer, allowing players and owners alike to earn more money. There was a gap in the quality of baseball between the majors and the PCL, but it was not very big.

In 1952, the league was granted Open status. Meaning it was not the major leagues, but no longer was it minor league either. Open status severely limited the ability of the majors to poach players from the PCL, and it was widely viewed as the first step toward major league status. It certainly made sense, especially for the league's glamor teams, the San Francisco Seals, the Hollywood Stars, and the Los Angeles Angels. The Stars, which in actually was the old Tacoma Tiger franchise from the 1904 and 1905 seasons, was certainly major league caliber. The team advertised itself as "Hollywood Stars owned by Hollywood's stars", and with an ownership group that included Gene Autry and William Frawley, the Stars were certainly that. They were also smart enough to begin televising games as early as 1940 and name Jayne Mansfield "Miss Hollywood Star".

But with the Dodgers and Giants arrival, the PCL was forced to move the Seals, Angels and Stars. In 1957, the Angels moved to Spokane to become the Indians. The Stars headed to Salt Lake City and became the reborn Bees. The Seals would end up in the desert, and life as the Phoenix Giants. Without the Los Angeles and San Francisco markets, the PCL dream of the major leagues was shattered. Attendance fell of precipitously, due both to now-unfair comparisons to the majors, and the expansion of television. The Seals, after two seasons in Phoenix, were looking to move. Enter Ben Cheney and the City of Destiny

The Rainiers could have used another weather delay. After Friday's game with Colorado Springs was postponed due to cold, the Sky Sox home opener was pushed back to Saturday, and the Sox delivered. After masterful back-to-back starts by Rainier pitching, Sean White was unable to keep the streak going in the thin Colorado air. White went five innings and gave up five runs. He did leave with the lead, but Andrew Baldwin had another rough outing, giving up five more in just 2/3 of an inning. Phillip Barzilla and Eric Cyr slammed the door on the Sox, but the Rainiers bats couldn't make up the difference.

Scoring seven runs wins in most ballparks, but not in Security Service Field. The Rainiers did feast on the high altitude and Sox pitching. Both Jeff Clement and Wlad Balentien hit both a double and a homer, and Matt Tuiasosopo hit his first Triple-A extra base hit, a double in the first of off Sox starter Josh Towers.

Another doubleheader on Sunday. Joe Woerman (0-1, 19.64) takes the hill for Tacoma in the first game. Ace Ryan Feirebend (2-0, 0.00) in the second. For the Sky Sox, Greg Reynolds (0-0, 9.00) and Jose Capellan (0-0, 5.40) are scheduled to start.


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