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Pacifics launch season tonight

San Rafael PacificsIt will either be a unqualified success or an amazing crash, as the San Rafael Pacifics (independent; North American League) open team history tonight at Albert Park.

We’ll give the Pacifics ownership big props for gutsiness: down to two years, they and Bob Young, owner of Maui Na Koa Ikaika, went out and added two teams so there would be a four-team circuit in California and Hawaii. The result, alas, was a schedule full of holes: July, for instance, sees the Pacifics playing only 20 games in 31, with eight days off between series and a long road trip to Hawaii to end the month.

Now, one thing the Pacifics have going for them: Mike Shapiro and crew have sold a boatload of sponsorships for the season — and they’ll need every single one of them to turn a profit on a season spent at 800-seat Albert Park. GM/coach Mike Marshall, a veteran MLB player and an experience indy manager, brings professionalism to the front office, Still, most of the 42 home games will be spent playing against a road team, the Sonoma Valley Grapes, and we’re guessing there will be some fatigue at the end of the season about playing the same opponent so many times. Really, the goal here is to make it through the season and make a run at a more solid California division for 2013.

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