Category Archives: MLB

2017 Underway

Life as the season begins, is really kind of up in the air. We are in the final planning stages of our big move back to Tacoma, which most people assume is because we are bailing on the craziness which has taken over California (gas taxes, service taxes, other insanities, etc.) but it isn’t that at all. For all it’s wackiness, California still has five Major League Baseball Clubs, two AAA level teams and an entire league of high A teams, virtually all of which are within a few hours drive time.

Seriously, from where i sit right now, in 1.5 hours I could drive to two MLB teams, both AAA teams and at least three of the A teams, one of which is fifteen minutes away.  The loss of the Bakersfield franchise after last season has left something of a hole in my annual trek to see my parents and catch a few games, but really, where else in America – except during Spring Training – is there so much baseball so close?

As I said though, we are leaving, by the end of June, to move back to Tacoma from whence my wife came to marry me and where our children and grandchildren still live. Obviously, Tacoma isn’t a bad place to be. The Rainiers are wonderful and the Mariners reasonably close. The Aquasox are a bit of stretch though and beyond that it’s all a bit barren.

So opening day and week was something that I was really going to savor this year. And of course, we were on the road so my wife could interview for a couple of jobs up north.

Meanwhile the Ports were at home, but the Rainiers and the Mariners were not. I ended up listening to the Ports on the stream, and watching a lot of games on MLB.tv.

Then the Ports and the Rainiers (in Sacramento) got rained out on opening day. I felt bad for the players and fans. It’s such a buildup and a thing to look forward too, and then it doesn’t happen. kinda like when your wife gives you that look – you know… that look – at 3 in the afternoon. Then when all the kids are in bed and the day is over, you’re both wiped out and just too tired to even think about going out for ice cream.

Or anything else.

Skye Bolt

The Ports made it up with a double header, which is great. In the minors that means two seven inning games which became almost magical when Stockton dang near no-hit the Quakes in the opener. In the night cap the Quakes said, “Hey, let’s give that a shot ourselves” and did no hit the Ports. Not a lot of hitting, but certainly fun and interesting baseball. Driving home I was able to listen to the Dodgers play the Rockies (and lose) and later the Ports beat the Quakes again. On Sunday, Skye “Usain” Bolt raced home on a bottom of the 9th hit to score the winning run which even Zack Bayrouty (Ports Announcer) insists was a blown call and he was out. Maybe the Umps wanted to go have an early dinner?

The 2017 season is off and running. Ports host Modesto before heading to San Jose for the weekend. with the Passover holiday i have time to take in a day game on Tuesday at banner Island, and with school out on Friday I am trying to convince the wife to go to San Jose. The Dodgers head to Chicago to be the victims of the World Series Banner presentation, which is fitting I suppose after the NLCS, and the Rainiers, after a rain soaked 0-2 start are still hanging gout for a doubleheader in Sacramento.

We’re off and running!

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Pre-Historic Old School

So I found this on eBay for $30 and free shipping. A 1979 Willie Horton throwback authentic.

Oh what times those were for the M’s! Terrible teams, but awesome double knit unis!

1979 was an all but forgettable 67-95 season. But the M’s finished ahead of the woeful A’s and had a few moments here and there including hosting the All-Star Game that year.

But those Unis! I still love the 1980’s set, from about 1982 through 1986, before the switch to the more traditional button downs, the horrific Circle M logo and the “S” on the cap. I always loved the Trident, not just because I was a TRIDENT Missile Fire Control guy, but because I felt like it was just a really awesome logo.

1979 was also the year Willie Horton, the great Tigers player for so many years came to Seattle and had decent but not great seasons in 79 and 80.

It was also a year before I really became aware of the M’s and the American League in general. I spent the summer of 1980 in the Seattle area, and there were opportunities to attend games that I did not take, but I did hear them on the radio for the first time and like most people, I fell in love with the way Dave Niehaus called the game. That team was even worse than the 79 Team, losing 103 games which seems all but impossible to do unless you are trying to accomplish it. Wayne Cody used to pop champagne whenever the 100 loss happened. He was probably drunk a lot in those days.

Jim Presley wearing the hideous Circle M logo

Jim Presley wearing the hideous Circle M logo

One good thing that happened to the M’s in 1979 that was a positive though, saw them draft a shortstop out of Pensacola by the name of Jim Presley. He would go on to hit the most amazing Home Run I ever saw in 1988 in Baltimore. He played six solid years, including one as an All-Star and MVP Candidate (1986) in Seattle and remains one of my all time favorites.

In the 17th Round that season they also drafted a crafty left hander named Bud Black. He would appear in just two games for Seattle in 1981, before going on to his long and famous career with the Royals, Indians and Giants as well as becoming a manager of some repute.

Even in the worst of seasons, there can be a positive thing or two!

Major League Lawsuit over Minor League Pay

Maybe I have this idealized vision of what MiLB is supposed to be, based on my life and experience in watching both the leagues and Bull Durham about a thousand times. But whatever they are supposed to be, they are, at the end of the day, a weeding out process. A massive try out, if you will, for the Major Leagues. I get that most Minor League players aren’t going to make it. But they have a dream and they have a desire to try. And they have a passion for a game that they believe will be rewarded once they pay their dues and earn the respect of the game. Even players who never make the Big Leagues almost always receive something back from the game to which they have given so much of themselves.

Garrett-Broshuis-2013-bm-300x211So I was a little surprised when I came across the story of Garret Broshuis, a one-time Giants prospect and currently Baseball America writer, who spent six seasons in MiLB making it to AAA. He didn’t have Big League Stuff, and so he got his law degree and went to work for a law firm, stronger for the experience and probably with some great stories to tell. Now, as a lawyer, he has decided to make his bones with a class action lawsuit claiming that he – along with 30 other Minor Leaguers from every teams system – were victims as MLB was in violation of wage and overtime laws. Read the rest of this entry

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