Tuesday evening rains washed out the Tacoma Rainiers’ scheduled home game against the El Paso Chihuahuas.
Against the what?
Yes, the El Paso Chihuahuas. That is the latest incarnation of the San Diego Padres’ Triple-A affiliate that had played as the Portland Beavers before spending the past three seasons as the Tucson Padres.
Now the franchise is ready to settle down in a west Texas city excited about stepping up to the Pacific Coast League.
“The (owners have) got a commitment to the community,” Chihuahuas manager Pat Murphy said. “... These are El Pasoans — the people that own it — and this is something that they want to give the community: just great baseball and see tomorrow’s major leaguers.”
Part of the excitement involves their new downtown ballpark: Southwest University Park.
Unfortunately for the Chihuahuas, that new home wasn’t ready for the start of the season, so their ongoing series in Tacoma is part of an almost monthlong season-opening trip.
“We’ve got 24 games in 25 days — all on the road,” Murphy said. “We do get a little reprieve in that four of the games are in Tucson (Ariz.), which some of the guys are familiar with. And we will actually be the home team — we won’t be batting first.”
As for that nickname?
“I think (the players) have embraced it pretty much,” Murphy said. “These are professionals, and they understand that those types of nicknames and mascots are part of the minor leagues. I think we’ve got a great one, and I couldn’t be more excited to be a Chihuahua.”
The rained-out game will be made up as part of a seven-inning doubleheader starting at 5 p.m. May 24 at Cheney Stadium. Tickets from Tuesday may be exchanged at the stadium box office for any remaining 2014 Rainiers home game except July 3 and Aug. 27.
The Rainiers and Chihuahuas will play their regular scheduled game at 6:05 p.m. at Cheney Stadium. The probable starting pitchers are the ones who had been scheduled for Tuesday: Tacoma left-hander James Gillheeney, and El Paso left-hander Juan Oramas, each in their season firstname.lastname@example.org @donruiztnt