Tacoma, WA – In wake of the tragic events of this past Sunday, the Tacoma Rainiers will be paying tribute to the fallen Lakewood Police Officers during their Saturday, April 10, 2010 game versus the Colorado Springs Sky Sox. That evening, the Rainiers will be honoring the service and sacrifice of Sgt. Mark Renninger, and Officers Tina Griswold, Ronald Owens and Greg Richards. All ticket proceeds from that game will be donated to the Lakewood Police Independent Guild (LPIG) to assist the families of the officers.
“This is something that we not only want to do this year, but do every year” said Rainiers President Aaron Artman. “The fact of the matter is that law enforcement personnel are too often underappreciated, and this tragedy – and perhaps equally as important - the groundswell of support and appreciation that the people have shown, needs to be remembered for years to come.”
On April 10th, Rainiers players will also be wearing Lakewood Police Department patches on the sleeves of their uniforms with the initials ‘MR,’ ‘TG,’ ‘RO,’ and ‘GR.’ Those patches will remain on the Rainiers jerseys throughout the entire 2010 season.
“I know that Rainiers’ games hold a special spot in the hearts of thousands in the South Sound including many in our department” said LPIG President Brian Wurts. “April 10th will be a celebration of the lives of Mark, Tina, Ronald and Greg as well as honoring the service of all peace officers while spending time with friends and family.”
More details about the exact activities and tributes to take place on April 10th will be released closer to the start of the 2010 Tacoma Rainiers season.
The Tacoma City Council on Tuesday night approved selling $28 million in bonds to pay for renovations at Cheney Stadium that will help keep minor league baseball in Tacoma through 2041.
“Many of us … have been waiting for this for a long time,” Mayor Bill Baarsma said of the project.
The nearly 50-year-old ballpark’s first general remodeling is the biggest piece of as much as $51 million in general obligation bond sales to cover a host of pressing capital projects.
Tacoma City Council votes pave way for major Cheney Stadium upgrades and 30 year lease with Tacoma Rainiers
The Tacoma Rainiers will continue playing baseball in Cheney Stadium for the next 32 years, under a lease agreement approved by the Tacoma City Council this week.
Although the minor-league ball club’s lease hinges on major upgrades to the city-owned ballpark by March 2011, the City Council has all but approved a bond issue to cover the bulk of a $30 million renovation plan.
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On Sept. 18, veteran Rainiers catcher Jamie Burke was traded by the Seattle Mariners to the Washington Nationals for cash. Burke was an integral part of Tacoma’s PCL Pacific North division championship team, and a fan-favorite among the Rainiers faithful. The Nats will be Jamie’s fifth franchise since being drafted by the Angels in 1993.
The News Tribune has reported that the Seattle Mariners have recalled three players from the Rainiers, now that the season has come to an end. Catcher Adam Moore, infielder Matt Tuiasosopo and pitcher Garrett Olson have all gotten the call, as has rehabbing righty Carlos Silva.
Tonight, Tacoma fans saw something they hadn’t seen in over eight years: a home playoff win. Thanks to some magnificent tightrope walking by starter Garrett Olson and a 12-hit attack, the Tacoma Rainiers fought off the Sacramento River Cats 5-2 to give the crowd a postseason W for the first time since Sept. 6, 2001 and even the Pacific Conference Championship Series at 1-1.
Early excitement set the tone for the rest of the contest, as after Tacoma scored a run on a walk, a single and a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the first, Sacramento came right back to load the bases against Olson in the top of the second. But, the 25-year-old lefty showed remarkable poise, getting the dangerous Chris Denorfia to foul out to catcher Adam Moore on the first pitch. After falling behind 2-0 to Rainiers killer Matt Carson, Olson then fought back to get the River Cats’ center fielder swinging at an 89-mph fastball for strike 3 to end the threat.
Mike Wilson sent a very loud answer to Sacramento’s charge in the bottom of the frame, parking a no-doubt-abouter over the visitor’s clubhouse beyond the left field wall for a no-out two-run bomb to put Tacoma up 3-0 after two.
The River Cats got one back in the top of the third on a two-out solo homer by first baseman Chris Carter–his second circuit shot in two days. The very next hitter, right fielder Aaron Cunningham, sent a long fly ball to center for a double, and took third on an Olson balk. Once again, however, Olson was able to wriggle off the hook, thanks to an amazing defensive play by shortstop Oswaldo Navarro. Catcher Eric Munson lofted what should have by all rights been an RBI single to short left, but Navarro sprinted back and made a sprawling, diving snag to end the inning, stranding Cunningham at third.
In the bottom of the sixth, Navarro traded in the leather for the lumber, smoking a one-out ground rule double down the right field line. Center fielder Jerry Owens then lined a first-pitch fastball down the left field line, scoring Navarro to put the Rainiers up 4-1.
Still with one out, second baseman Matt Tuiasosopo smoked a 1-0 92-mph fastball just to the left of the second base bag. With Carson charging hard, manager Daren Brown feigned the stop sign to Owens from the third base coach’s box, only to change his red light to green at the last moment, sending the Tacoma stolen base leader hurtling home to score, putting the Rainiers up 5-1.
Clearly feeling the fire from Tacoma’s surge, reliever Jared Wells came on and retired the side in the top of the seventh. Wells allowed just one run in his two innings of work–a solo shot to Munson to deep right center field–and struck out two on the evening without walking a batter.
Not willing to be outdone by Navarro’s defensive heroics, Owens turned in a highlight-reel catch of his own in the top of the eighth. With two outs, Denorfia sent a sinking liner to shallow center. The speedy Owens charged in and dove forward, snaring the drive mere inches before it hit the turf to end the inning. It was Owens’ second SportsCenter-worthy snag in the past week.
In the top of the ninth, wily side-arming veteran Mike Koplove came on to close the door, retiring Sacramento in order for his first save of the postseason.
PREVIEW: California, Here We Come
The Rainiers now head to Raley Field to face the River Cats for the final three games of the series, with Tacoma stalwart Andy Baldwin taking the hill tomorrow night against Sacramento’s Jerome Williams.
During the regular season, Williams went 0-1 in his only start against Tacoma, lasting just 2.1 innings, over which he allowed nine hits and seven runs–all earned. Williams went 5-6 with a 5.58 ERA in 27 appearances–14 of which were starts–for the River Cats this season, allowing 41 walks in 101.2 innings while allowing opposing hitters to post a .297 batting average.
Notes: Eight of Tacoma’s nine starters registered at least one base hit, with Mike Wilson, Prentice Redman and Matt Tuiasosopo each going 2-for-4 … Wilson is now hitting .286 in the playoffs after hitting .164 in 146 regular season at-bats … Tuiasosopo is now hitting .500 (4-for-8) in the postseason … Garrett Olson went six innings, allowing five hits and one run while walking three and striking out six to earn the win.