Saturday, April 21, 2007

Rainiers Report #4 - Roster Chaos

So, the rumor about Brandon Morrow making his first start vs. Kevin Millwood down in Arlington? And that Jake Woods is down in favor of Sean Green? Well, I don't know if it was the slew of 'WTF?' comments over there or a sober look at the innings the bullpen's been racking up, but the M's brass seemed to have changed their mind about a few things.
Cha Seung Baek, last night's probable starter, wasn't in uniform, which led to a spot start by Jason Mackintosh. Sean Green, who was supposed to be in Seattle to be a long reliever behind Morrow, was in Tacoma, catching the ceremonial first pitch and then pitching one rather lackluster inning in relief. So: while both Woods and Baek are still listed on the Tacoma roster, keep an eye on the M's website (bastion of internet rumors!) and let's see if Baek doesn't come up if/when Felix is DL'ed.

Last night's game was notable in large part for Mackintosh's sterling first AAA start. He's soon to be 27, with a fastball at 85-87 MPH, so he's not exactly on a lot of prospect lists, but he exhibited great command and hid his change-up well. He induced some very ugly swings from some good hitters, like Justin Knoedler, whom he got swinging on 3 straight changeups. The News Tribune got a nice photo of Mac that's on the front page of the sports secton this morning, and the accompanying story has the details of Jason's journey to Tacoma from the bustling metropolis of Jackson, Tennessee. The new guy pitched 5 innings, giving up 2 hits (one a roped double, and the other a comebacker that died about 80 feet from home plate), giving up no runs, and striking out 4 to 1 walk.
Ryan Rowland-Smith came on in the 6th and gave up 4 runs on 3BBs and 3H in only 2/3 of an inning. Jon Huber finally had a nice outing, going 2 1/3 innings of scoreless baseball, before Sean Green allowed 1 run in his one inning.
As the Rainiers only mustered 1 run, there really wasn't much offense to speak of. Wladimir Balentien continued his hot start, going 2-3 with a walk. Wlad's out was a smashed one hopper that the Fresno SS made a great play on to get Wlad by a step. Adam Jones got a hit in the 9th, and Jeremy Reed and Brant Ust both slammed doubles to right.
We'll see if Salt Lake City helps the M's bats come to life, as Ryan Feierabend goes for the R's tonight in Utah. The R's return on April 30th versus Colorado Springs.


At 4/21/2007 11:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Marc,
Remember I told you about the RF bleachers leaving next year? Here's a cut/paste of the e-mail from Annie Schultz (Director of Rainiers Customer service) to one of my seatmates:

2. Projected construction has the right field bleachers being removed next
year in lieu of additional picnic areas and new offices for the Rainiers.

3. We are taking into consideration the fact that many season ticket
holder's are unhappy with the removal of wait staff. We received feedback
that many felt the wait staff was not timely, in addition with the stadium
construction/upgrades this year and our exciting new concessions we did not
feel the facility could maintain a level of service we would be comfortable
with. Please rest assured we are reviewing this and will certainly take
your feedback into consideration.

At 4/21/2007 9:33 PM, Blogger marc w. said...

Hey, thanks for the update.
I'm not sure I totally understand the reasoning behind the removal of the wait staff, but at least it gets their side of the story out there.

The reasoning just sounds a bit extreme - though it's funny that (according to the Rainiers) the season ticket holders brought this on themselves. Still, this sounds like "the inspection found rot in some of your floor boards. For your protection, the house has been demolished." "Your car was making a sputtering sound. To make sure your driving experience is exceptional, we've blown up your car. Have a bus pass."
"Well, you said you were suffering from wrist pain. What could we do but amputate the arm? We don't want you anything less than 100% satisfied with your arm, so we removed the defective appendage."

To any others, if it sounds ludicrous to compare wait staff at Cheney to your arm, it's not. There was simply nothing better than watching the game and having someone get your beer for you. The price premium was $0.25. It. Was. Rad. And I want it back.


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