There have been rumors about this for a while, but today it was made official, on one end of the deal, at least:
Yes, the Mariners decided that one Southern League championship was enough for now, and are getting the heck out of Jackson, and also having to explain to prospects that it’s Jackson TENNESSEE.
A corresponding move hasn’t been announced for the Mariners, but it seems like they will be switching over to the Texas League. This will be a good move for the Mariners, believe it or not, as the Texas League should provide some stiffer competition and bigger crowds for the players. Imagine being a Jackson General, putting together one of the best seasons in all of MiLB this year, and having all of a hundred people there to see each game. Nothing has been confirmed yet but it’s looking like Jerry will use his connections to take over the Angels’ affiliate in Little Rock, the Arkansas Travelers. Well let’s just google up the Travelers and see what their mascot
...holy sweet mother of molasses. There are TWO mascots, apparently: Ace, a sexually confident horse; and Otey, a hillbilly swamp possum. Jumping Jehoshaphat, this thing. It looks like one of the animatronic band members from Chuck E. Cheese got loose in the streets and developed a meth habit. This thing will steal your car antenna and try to sell it for scrap metal. It simultaneously has all of the teeth and none of them. It definitely has a cousin named Carl.
Props to the Travelers for really leaning in on the whole “terrifying hillbilly nightmare mascot” thing:
We will, of course, keep you on top of any developments as they are announced. In the meantime, we must bid a sad farewell to the Jackson Generals, who were easily the Mariners’ most successful affiliate this year. Three players from the Generals are currently with the big club (Díaz, Altavilla, and Heredia), and several others look poised to join either the Mariners or the Rainiers next year. The Generals swept the Southern League post-season awards and Tyler O’Neill won all the awards, period. Like all of them. They’re still inventing awards to give him. And of course, the Generals won out at every stage of the season, treating us to endless celebration photos that called attention to the plight of the poor minor leaguer, unable to even buy a shirt. Or pants. When will these gentlemen be fairly compensated?
I would be remiss also not to mention Brandon Liebhaber, who does such a great job running the Generals’ social media accounts in addition to being the voice of the team. He is also a great friend to the site and we will miss him dearly. Like so many of the players who passed through Jackson this year, we will look forward to seeing you in the bigs, Brandon.