EL PASO, Texas — The Tacoma Rainiers made it to El Paso in time for Thursday’s game. However, their baggage did not.
No gloves, no bats, no uniforms, no cleats.
That meant no game, as Thursday’s series opener was postponed.
Playing in borrowed equipment is not an option in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League.
“From your shoes to your glove to your bats, everything that you need to play with is each guy’s individual preference,” Tacoma manager Roy Howell said. “The biggest thing is liability and getting someone hurt because he’s wearing something that isn’t his.”
The Rainiers and Chihuahuas will pay the price for the postponement: a day/night doubleheader Saturday, with the early game starting at 11:05 a.m. and the late game at 6:05 p.m.
The split doubleheader was necessitated by the popularity of the first-year Chihuahuas, who already have sellouts Friday and Saturday. Thursday night’s postponed game was sold out, too.
Howell recalled a game in his past where his team played without uniforms.
“We didn’t have uniforms once because of a laundry problem when I was a player, but we had our equipment so we were able to play,” Howell said. “We went out there in T-shirts and borrowed pants.”
Nady moves on
Veteran outfielder Xavier Nady opted out of his Triple-A contract and became a free agent Wednesday. Nady hit .236 with two home runs and nine RBIs in 22 games for Tacoma. He finished with a seven-game hitting streak.
Provided the team’s equipment arrives, Tacoma will start right-hander Matt Palmer (1-4, 4.76 ERA) against El Paso right-hander Donn Roach (0-1, 3.57) at 6:05 p.m. Friday.
Mike Curto is the radio broadcaster for the Tacoma Rainiers.