I know we have an open game thread below on the front page, but that's a game thread for Thursday's Major League action. Thursday also brings minor-league action! Of the Tacoma Rainiers variety! And of several other varieties, but of the Tacoma Rainiers variety in this instance.
It's the season opener down in Cheney, with the Rainiers hosting the Salt Lake Bees. The Seattle Mariners aren't playing the LAnaheim Angels today - the Seattle Mariners aren't playing anyone - but the Seattle Mariners' triple-A affiliate is playing the LAnaheim Angels' triple-A affiliate, which is the next-closest thing. The schedule says it's a 7:05pm PDT first pitch. Mike Curto informs me that it's a 7:20pm PDT first pitch. But the pre-game starts at 7. You never know what you could miss if you miss the pre-game. You never know.
Here's an audio link, if you want to listen. Here's a Gameday link, if you want to follow and not listen, or if you want to follow and also listen. The audio is free, unlike Major League game audio, which costs money. Usually the Major League game audio does not end up being worth it.
The Rainiers' starting lineup:
That's Luis Jimenez at DH. The Bees have Luis Jimenez at third base. It is a different Luis Jimenez, with a different birth date and different dimensions. But they both occupy the same dimension. The Bees also have Mike Trout leading off and DH'ing. He's recovering from a virus that cost him weight and energy so now's probably the best time to drill him in the hand. He won't be so quick to move it out of the way, and if the ball hits him just right, presto, no career! Which means no career against the Mariners! And if the ball doesn't hit him just right, he takes first base, and then the pitcher can just keep throwing over to make Trout dive back and get worn out. I hope Mike Trout enjoys being hurt or exhausted.
Starting for the Rainiers on the mound is Matt Fox. Fox's triple-A ERA last season was 3.96. His triple-A ERA the season before was 3.95, though, so that's a worrisome trend. Starting on the mound for the Bees is some stupid pile of crap.