He’s outta here!
We recently stumbled across a Tacoma Rainiers job listing that hit us like a punch in the Schnoz. Our beloved baseball mascot, Rhubarb, has left the yard. Presumably he wants to graze in greener pastures.
Maybe he found a lady reindeer and is settling down at the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. Or perhaps, having watched too many Rankin/Bass Christmas specials, he’s heading north to try to hitch on with Donner, Blitzen and the boys.
The Rainiers are being rather coy. A team spokesman tells us only that the old Rhubarb is “pursuing other opportunities this offseason” and the team is considering applicants for a new Rhu.
The big fella joins the herd of former Rainiers who fled Tacoma for brighter lights and bigger cities — from recent players Franklin Gutierrez and Jesus Montero, to former team co-owner Nick Lachey.
Of course, we at the TNT possess keen investigative reporting skills and have known a secret for a long time. Spoiler alert: Rhubarb is really just an energetic dude in a fur suit. (The first clue was his blinkless, Charles Manson-esque eyes.)
The team finally acknowledges this fact in its job listing:
“Rhubarb must be an outgoing individual who works well with others and can engage with fans of all ages. He/she must be in strong physical condition to wear a heavy costume, endure high temperatures, and stand, walk, run, or dance for extended periods of time.”
Then comes our favorite part: “Rhubarb must be able to read individuals’ social cues to understand the level of interaction each fan may want.”
Translation: Don’t give people the creeps or make kids cry.
Other Rhubarb qualifications: The job ad lays out expectations, including an ability to lift up to 50 pounds, punctuality, flexible schedule and (very important) maintenance of costume cleanliness.
Yes, by all means. We’d like to enjoy a hotdog at the ballpark without having to see ear mites or tail mange.
Previous mascot experience a plus, but not required.
And, based on our observations: Willingness to cross-dress a must.
Also, based on the Rainiers’ record this year: It wouldn’t hurt if you can hit, pitch or play the field.
The Tacoma Rainiers are an equal-opportunity employer. Anyone with an aptitude for impersonating a member of the caribou family can apply.
A perfect match: Team spokesman Ben Spradling wouldn’t tell The Nose the hourly pay scale but said it was “on par with previous Rhubarbs.” (Gee, that’s helpful.)
He said the last mascot had “donned the antlers for upwards of three seasons.” To find a replacement, “the selection process is fairly intensive. Rhubarb could be considered the highest profile ambassador of the Rainiers.”
We have the perfect candidate. He recently found himself on the unemployment line in Puyallup.
And we’re pretty sure he already has his distemper shots.
One wild palooza: The latest issue of Pierce County Lawyer magazine is out, and it looks back fondly on the Lawyerpalooza 2015 event held in August in a big grass field in Olalla.
Those fun-loving rascals from the Tacoma-Pierce County Bar Association apparently needed to cross the county line for their annual hootenany.
“Games were played, songs were sung and dancing was had,” the article mentions.
Lucky for them, no charges were filed.
The article leaves out the part where Kitsap County Sheriff’s deputies showed up at 11:30 p.m. They found a bonfire in violation of a burn ban and faced off with a lawyer who allegedly called a deputy “vulgar names” and threatened to lock the gate.
A Kitsap deputy prosecutor told the Kitsap Sun that criminal charges weren’t pursued because “the Constitution allows people to be obnoxious and disrespectful and offensive.”
And frankly, it wouldn’t be a lawyerpalooza without a lot of lawyers and a few loozas.
Cash registers ringing in Gig Harbor?: The city is the third-best place in Washington to open a business, according to an analysis of 126 cities by financial services firm NerdWallet.
Though one exception comes to mind.
Hint: It starts with “H” and ends with “aggen.”
Popeless in Tacoma: Mayor Marilyn Strickland gave up a chance to see Pope Francis last week. She was offered seats to the Papal Mass in Philadelphia as part of an international mayors forum, but declined because she was leading the welcome wagon for Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Tacoma.
“I did choose Xi over the pope,” she tells us.
And who can blame her? If Vatican City starts investing in Tacoma high-rise hotels or exporting goods through the Port of Tacoma, then we’ll talk.