Fridays at Safeco, Tacoma Rainiers Edition

I was going through old photos today, and realized that I take far too many pictures, and a lot of editing needs to be done in my photos program; too many pictures means that I have a lot of hastily-snapped shots that may or may not be of the greatest quality. I believe that the photos I am posting today were actually taken with my old Canon. Since Jamie Moyer is currently with the Mariners in spring training, giving pointers and counseling our pitching staff, I figured maybe I’d throw back to this game that was played down in Tacoma during a time that feels so very far away now.  Moyer’s Phillies won the World Series in 2008 (also a great year for the worst-to-first Tampa Rays), and he was moved to the bullpen in Philadelphia before joining the Colorado Rockies in 2012. The Rockies signed him to a minor league contract, and then he spent his final days in the game playing for the Las Vegas 51s, one of my favorite MiLB teams because I love their little mascot (hey, we all have our reasons). When the 51s had a game against the Rainiers here and I found out that Moyer was starting, I realized that I had never seen Moyer pitch in person, so Su and I headed down to a sold out game to watch Moyer take on the Rainiers against starter Danny Hultzen. The 51s did not win; Moyer’s stuff was, sadly, leaving him, and he retired from the game not too long after. But it was worth it, and even though I didn’t see the best version of Jamie Moyer, I got to see Jamie Moyer. I go to a lot of games just for the history of the thing; this was one of those games.

hultzDanny Hultzen, with Vinnie Catricala’s legs in the background. Hultzen was, at one time, touted as the future of the Seattle Mariners, but so far he has languished in the minors, and last year spent most of the year shut down after shoulder tightness, and has been recently considering retirement. It’s always a shame when someone with such potential is shut down by injuries. Some guys just aren’t built to last in this game, and that is the cruel long and short of it. Vinnie Catricala, of course, took himself out of the game around 2014, and is now a police officer in California.

lineupThe lineup card for that game. We don’t hear a lot about these guys anymore. Anthony Gose plays for the Detroit Tigers now, and doesn’t believe in statistics. Eric Thames has joined the Korean League (KBO). Nick Franlin is with the Tampa Rays now, Carlos Peguero is in Boston (a good move by our front office, given his family’s past), and Adam Moore (it just hit me when I found this photo that I hadn’t heard that name in ages) is in the Cleveland Indians minor leagues. So much hope on the white board, none of it came to fruition for anyone, really. Such is baseball.

MOYERJamie Moyer winds up. It was difficult for me to get this photo, and took the full length of the handful of innings that Moyer played that night before being taken out after allowing several runs. His timing was unfamiliar to me, and his pitching style is of course not the typical fastballfastballfastball that we see from most pitchers in the game. But even though he was not victorious, I was still glad I went; it’s my little bit of history, and I remember it fondly.

As for the Mariners, spring training goes on, and given the fact that I work in a building that is death to all radio signals, and the ESPN stream is not allowing games (because their regular programming guys have to work), I cannot listen or watch. Tomorrow afternoon, however, there is an evening game on, and I intend to be planted in front of it, either in a pub with friends, or on my own couch; whichever the weather encourages me to do. Only 28 more days until the home opener. I’ve made it this far, I can wait a February’s length more…

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