July 15, 2011 at 9:21pm
It never rains in Cheney Stadium. Oh, wait. Yes it does. Mother Nature cares not about baseball games.
At first, tonight’s one hour rain delay wasn’t kind to the Tacoma Rainiers (46-47). But after being down for most of the game, the Rainiers rallied in the ninth inning to score a victory over the Rainiers’ PCL North Division rivals, the Salt Lake Bees (39-54).
See? And you thought rain was a bad thing. Nope. It just means walk-off wins for the local baseball team.
-Tonight was the first time I’ve ever experienced a rain delay firsthand. Since the press box is a warm, cozy place, I didn’t mind waiting an extra hour for the game to start. The delay gave me a chance to cruise around Cheney Stadium without having to miss any baseball, which is, I don’t know… fun?
During a delay, the press box grinds to a halt, with occasional outbursts of delay-related updates. Sensing the tension in the box grow with each passing minute, I took my leave and headed down to the concession area. Even with all the rain, the concession stands were hopping. Fans seemed to use the rain break as an opportunity to pound hotdogs, sodas and beers. No one looked too concerned about the drizzle. Wondering what fans thought of the rain, I caught up with a poncho-wearing gentleman and asked him if he was planning to leave the stadium.
“No,” said Brian, the man in the poncho. “I’ll just stay undercover and eat my peanuts until they make an official announcement that the game is canceled.”
But what about a rain delay in July? Aren’t you miffed?
“It sucks, but this is freaking Washington after all,” said Brian. “I was ready for it.”
Damn, Washington. You rain so much we don’t even know how to get properly pissed about a rain delay in July.
-Tonight was also the first time I watched a manager get ejected from a game. Rainiers’ manager Daren Brown was ejected in the top of the sixth inning after arguing a balk call. It was nice to watch Brown throw his hat and make a fuss. So nice, in fact, that I chose to write about the incident here.
-The Rainiers early game trouble began in the top of the third inning when starting pitcher Nate Robertson gave up four runs. Interestingly enough, tonight wasn’t the first time Robertson has struggled after a rain delay. In Robertson’s last appearance following a delay, he gave up 10 runs on 14 hits. That’s 10 runs on 14 hits. Somebody doesn’t like the rain.
-The minds behind the Rainiers Minute have decided it might be cool if we occasionally dissect a player’s walk-up song. You know, the song that plays when a player walks up to the batter’s box. Tonight, we chose to look into outfielder Michael Saunders’ decision to use Too $hort’s ‘Blow the Whistle’.
At first glance, Saunders doesn’t seem to have much in common with Oakland area rapper Too $hort. But look closer. Too $hort’s first album, Don’t Stop Rappin’, came out in 1985. Twenty-four year old Saunders came out a year later in 1986, born just north of Oakland in sunny British Columbia. Furthermore, doesn’t Too $hort claim he still bumps, even after sixteen albums with him on the front? Yes he does. And didn’t twenty four year old Saunders bump tonight in the fourth inning, when he casually drew a bases-loaded walk? Yes he did. People, the connection is clear. Saunders and Too $hort go together like baseball and Cracker Jacks.
-As mentioned above, the Rainiers rallied back after being down for much of the game. Rainiers’ third baseman Alex Liddi tied the game in the bottom of the ninth inning with a solo blast to right center field. Then, Rainiers’ catcher Jose Yepez hit a game winning knock up the middle to score Mike Carp. Although Liddi and Yepez put a kink in this blog (the original title was ‘Rain, Rainiers, go away’), it was fun to see a walk-off win.
-Especially fun because Friday night fireworks followed the game. The soundtrack, including CCR, was killer. If only they allowed beer in the press box….
The Rainiers continue their quest for the sweep against the Salt Lake Bees tomorrow at 7:05. Hopefully the quest for the sweep won’t come with a side of rain. But we can’t make any promises. It is July after all.
Off duty rules.
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