The division-leading Tacoma Rainiers minor league baseball team will contest any 2010 playoff games at Safeco Field. Their home, Cheney Stadium, gets a major renovation at season’s end.
In light of this exciting news, which would end a 3,000-day pro baseball playoffs drought at Safeco, I have a few suggestions for the Mariners:
1) Demote Ichiro, Felix Hernandez, and Russell Branyan to Tacoma immediately.
Give the only three Mariners who I’m sure are better than the AAA guys a chance at postseason. And us a chance at cheering on a winner. Sure, the season-ending road trip to Fresno doesn’t sound enticing, but can it be any worse than Cleveland?
2) Announce that Rainiers playoff games are free, as a service to long-suffering fans.
Remember when the Sounders gave their fans a refund? This is the Mariners’ chance to make amends for a season that did not live up to their hype. The current plan is to charge $20 for the cheapest seats–that’s ludicrous. Open it up to the people as a form of penance. It would be fun. And you’ll make the money back on concessions.
3) Induct Lou Piniella into the Mariners Hall of Fame
This doesn’t have anything to do with Tacoma, I just think it would be a nice gesture.
If the Rainiers do get in, I’m going to choose to see them as the heirs to the old Seattle Rainiers, our fair city’s only pro baseball team from 1919-68. The name “Rainiers” is not an homage to the mountain–at least not directly. Rainier Brewing Company owner Emil Sick gave the team that name when he bought them in 1938. Shrewd move–Rainier is still getting publicity, even if the $$ goes to Pabst. The Seattle Rainiers won six league titles. Our City of Destiny brethren could make it seven.
The Rainiers hold a 3-game lead in their division with 14 games to play, so a playoff trip looks more likely than not. If they hold on, Safeco would host one game for sure, a Game 3 of a best-of-five. That would be on Friday, September 10 at 7 p.m. Games 4 and 5, if they were played, would be Saturday and Sunday. And then, perhaps, a round two? And all the way to the AAA World Series? Go Rainiers!