While the baseball world awaits Commissioner Bud Selig's approval of the 12-player blockbuster involving the Miami Marlins and Toronto Blue Jays, the Arizona Fall League carried on with its championship game at Scottsdale Stadium on Saturday.
For one player involved, Jake Marisnick, that created a little bit of awkwardness, because he's one of the prospects heading from Toronto to Miami in that enormous deal.
After learning of the deal on Tuesday, Marisnick wasn't even sure he'd be allowed to participate in the championship game until Thursday. That's when the Blue Jays and Marlins agreed to let him fulfill his commitments to the Salt Rivers Rafters. But with that question answered, another popped up when Marisnick arrived in the clubhouse on Saturday morning. At that point, he wasn't completely sure which organization he would be representing when the game started, let alone when the game ended, which put him in a little predicament when it came time to put on a major league uniform to match his Salt River cap.
Marisnick ultimately started the game in his Blue Jays jersey, but according to MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo — who currently ranks Marisnick at No. 35 on his Top 100 prospects list — the Salt River clubhouse crew had a contingency plan in place in case that his organizational status changed during the game.
"I have the [Marlins] jersey in the locker room, so we'll see what happens," Marisnick said prior to the game. "That's the word right now. If it goes through, then I'll switch jerseys.
Yes, you read that correctly. Marisnick had two different jersery hanging in his locker, and was prepared to make the old switch-a-roo right there on the field if he had to. Of course we now know he didn't — the trade still remains in limbo as of late Saturday night — but just knowing that was the plan going in is pretty awesome.
Also, shame on Bud Selig for robbing us of that moment.
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In other AFL championship game news, perhaps fittingly it was Marisnick who made the final out, striking out against San Diego Padres reliever Kevin Quackenbush to secure the 4-3 win for the Peoria Javelinas. But it would take several minutes for that score to become official, because Salt River protested an appeal play in the seventh inning that saw Peoria challenge calls at two different bases.
On the field, it was ultimately determined that baserunner Brian Goodwin touched home plate, but left third base too early on a sacrifice fly, resulting in the out. After the game, it was confirmed by AFL officials that a team can appeal two different bases on the same play, meaning the original call was upheld, the protest was denied and the score was final.
There was also a scary moment in the eighth inning when minor-league stolen base king Billy Hamilton crashed into the wall back first while attempting to make a spectacular catch. He stayed down on the field for several minutes before leaving with assistance from trainers. It was later revealed he was dealing with back spasms and soreness. Before the injury, he was 2 for 5, including a triple leading off the game.