Portland Beavers Kick It Off in Style

beavos-2008.jpgThe 2008 Portland Beavers season kicked off in style last night. I was at the opening game along with over 8,000 other fans, some of which were probably drawn by it being the first Thirsty Thursday (Miller Lite Thursdays is now the official title, but I’ll stick with the older one since I’m not a Miller drinker). I’ll say the beer situation at PGE Park definitely continues to improve – besides your regular cross selection of Widmer products I saw at least one concession stand with Deschutes on tap as well as in chilled bottles with what looked like Hair of the Dog next to it being chilled as well.

As for the game, the Beavers played with a winning attitude all night. They pulled off a solid win over a struggling Fresno team. A rain-free night saw the Beavos pitching plenty of strikeouts, swatting several impressive home runs and showing a level of field caliber I haven’t seen in awhile. It was, of course, a little on the chilly side once the sun dropped, but the action on the field kept me there the whole game and on my feet cheering several times.

It is a little too early to predict where the Beavers will end up in the PCL standings. It also depends upon how the Padres, the parent organization, decide to shuffle line ups around as it tries for a winning season of its own. Regardless, Portland minor league baseball is back for what looks to be another awesome season. New owner Merritt Paulson has made some significant changes to PGE Park and the team’s look during the off season and it should add to the excitement. The new mascot – Lucky – is not an immediate sell to me though as I liked the older one. At least they sent Boomer off in style via a video clip on the scoreboard showing him leaving the building, so to speak. We’ll see if Lucky grows on me.

In terms of media coverage I’m hoping The Oregonian (disclaimer: I’ve written for them in the past) only made a minor slip up in not having a story on last night’s season opener. I read today’s paper and found only a column by Bryan Meehan, focused mainly on tonight’s starting pitcher Shawn Estes. The actual game coverage was relegated to what is more or less a footnote at the bottom of his column.

Now I realize Portland isn’t a big minor league sports town in terms of fans with the Blazers as well as college and prep sports keeping sports writers busy and all, but come on guys. It seems there are plenty of people out there who would like to have read more about the first game this season of the closest thing we have to professional ball. Hell – The Columbian (!) from Clark County had better coverage. I do like the game photos The O put up on its Web site though as part of its regular Beavers page – so, here’s to hoping last night’s coverage gap was a fluke. Please don’t leave Beavers coverage to a columnist (sorry Meehan, though I did like your Beavers preview story) and wire stories, but instead assign a stringer or regular beat writer to the team. They deserve it.

4 Comments so far

  1. daaaaave on April 4th, 2008 @ 8:38 am

    Beers available at PGE Park (as of last season)

    Beers in the Bottle

    Drop Top
    Broken Halo
    Heineken Light
    Dos XX Lager
    Fat Tire
    Black Butte Porter
    Mirror Pond Ale
    Coors Light
    Henry Weinhards PR
    Stone IPA
    Hair of Dog Ruth
    Dog Fish Head
    Moose Drool
    Mac’s Cream Porter
    Pike Kilt Lifter Scotch Ale
    King Fisher
    New Castle Brown
    Negra Modelo
    Full Sail Ale
    Shiner Bock
    Mother Ship Wit
    16oz Plastic MGD
    16oz Plastic Lite
    16oz Plastic Mike’s Lemonade

    Draft Beers

    Stone Arrogant Bastard
    Fosters Lager
    Red Hook Chinook Copper
    Kona Longboard Lager
    Kirin Ichiban
    Kona Fire Rock
    Stella Artois

  2. daaaaave on April 4th, 2008 @ 3:17 pm

    Hmmmm, ever wonder if possibly one of the reasons hits are going down here has to do with the fact that you can drop a shit-ton of good information in a thread and the blogger won’t even bother to respond?

    Nah, that can’t be it.

  3. nmarchetti on April 4th, 2008 @ 3:31 pm

    Hmmm…sorry I didn’t post a response. It didn’t seem like what you put up needed one. Thanks though for posting the list of beers.

  4. Betsy Richter (betsywhim) on April 5th, 2008 @ 6:18 pm

    Whoa – that’s a serious improvement in the beer selection – I remember when you could get Widmer’s Hefeweizen, another Widmer offering, Bud and Bud Light only when they first reopened after the remodel.

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