Saturday, September 27, 2003
In 1995, the Mariners had their run, blablabla, we know.
Randy Johnson was 18-2 and struck out 294 batters. The Mariners played a 144-game schedule (plus the one game playoff for 145). If you tack on the extra 17 or 18 games that normally would have happened, Randy would have gotten to 300 strikeouts easily. Given the record the Mariners used to have in the games when he pitched, he probably would have gotten to 20 wins too before his back would put him out of most of the 1996 season before the Mariners came back to give us the homer-happy 1997 division-winning team that would blow it in the first round to Pat Gillick's Orioles team. Man, it's really not fair to think about that. Ugh.
I KNOW the Mariners' brass will say "we're successful. We've won 391 (or 392, pending tomorrow) games in the past four years." I KNOW that the Mariners brass won't hire a GM that'll have everyone buzzing with confidence about this team. I KNOW the Mariners won't get that player that can carry the team on his back (Sexson, Tejada, or Vlad).
I KNOW that 391 wins has led to this team missing the playoffs twice and getting their asses handed to them in the ALCS by the Yankees when they did make the playoffs. I KNOW the only thing worse than having my heart stomped on twice by the Yankees is NOT EVEN GETTING TO THE PLAYOFFS. I KNOW this management hasn't done everything they can to bring this team a World Series.
Well, here's a visual aide.
North Kitsap 24, Gig Harbor 11. Guess what, kids. North is good. They weathered a 21-for-35, 227-yard, 1 TD day by GH quarterback Matt Shearer and a 8 catch, 93-yard, 1 TD day by Matt Schweitzer. North's defense was so good GH ditched the ground game to take to the air to catch up. GH had 60 ground yards.
Fife 41, Bainbridge 34. One big fat defense-free game on the island. Everyone on the island was probably filling up the Field Level and the Diamond Club at Safeco Field that night anyway.
Shelton 51, Olympic 27. It always sucks to get beat by a team called the Highclimbers. I was never sure if that really was forest/lumber-related or not. Shelton RB Isaiah Taito rushed for 22 carries and 234 yards (yes, that's an average of a first down on every run). I should also note that a company named Taito made a Nintendo game back in the day called Bubble Bobble, one of the greatest games ever made for the Nintendo Entertainment System.
Orting 34, Klahowya 6. Ouch. Dustin Byers was involved in three (pass, rush, INT) touchdowns for the Orting kids in the path of destruction of Mount Rainier. K's Shawn Squires ran for 23 carries, 108 yards, and a TD. Can't say I expected the Eagles to lose this game, though.
And finally, but painfully...
Port Angeles 56, Bremerton 6. Ouch ouch ouch. Novick's boys trounce. If a running bacl in any football game runs 26 times for 312 yards (PA's Adam Macomber), it's a pretty good bet his team wins. Coach McKnight was well enough to give the Sun a quote; he was out last week with the flu.
This report brought to you by David's not-wanting-to-study mentality.
Friday, September 26, 2003
The club doesn't reveal the size of its contingency fund, but it is believed to be in the area of $2.5million. That means Garcia's win claims a full 40 percent of the contingency fund.
"It's going to have a significant impact on the budget," CEO Howard Lincoln said. "Will it impact what we'll be able to do in July? Clearly, the answer is yes."
Unfortunately, it did affect the M's willingness to deal in July. I had a feeling this would come back to bite them in the ass. And it did.
In 2003, Freddy Garcia was 12-14 with a 4.51 ERA. You can't tell me that Howard Lincoln calling him out didn't affect him this season. As far as I'm concerned, in hindsight, February 12 was a big turning point in the Mariners season.
And sadly, it didn't have to be that way.
Okay, here's a trade that once again, probably won't happen.
to SEA: Eric Byrnes
to OAK: Jamal Strong, cash considerations
The cash is only to offset the fact that Byrnes has legit Major League experience. I guess my only rationale for Oakland here is that they could use more speed. BUT, my rationale for Seattle is this -- Eric Byrnes had an AWESOME FIRST HALF and A PUTRID SECOND HALF!!! He'd fit right in!!
I got a three-way deal that probably won't happen; I haven't taken contract length into account or anything at all. So this trade probably has no chance in hell of happening. That said...
to SEA: Pat Burrell (from PHI)
to PHI: Preston Wilson (from COL), maybe a Craig Anderson or something (from SEA)
to COL: Jeff Cirillo and cash (from PHI via SEA) and two minor-league arms or something (from PHI)
Now, my attempt at rationale. With Cirillo and Burrell, based on this year's stats, you're trading crap for crap. Of course, Burrell has more power and upside, so that's where the Craig Anderson or some minor-league arm comes into play. Of course, the Phils don't want Cirillo if they have David Bell. But do they want Preston Wilson (again, no research)? That's where they send Cirillo. If there's one thing Cirillo could use, it's the false sense of security and confidence that Coors Field exudes, right? And of course, Cirillo sucks, so the Phils would sweeten the pot with a couple minor-league arms or something.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is the non-researched, no-chance-in-hell-it'll-ever-happen trade of the day. More will come, I'm sure.
Anyway, the quote that perked me the most right off was this:
A line had been drawn between the men in June (2002). The franchise for 10 years had been dominated by one personality, but it was about to be succeeded by another. Piniella knew it, and knew his time in Seattle was near an end.
"I like Howard [Lincoln] personally," Piniella said. "I enjoyed working with him. He's a bright guy, a charming guy. But I'll tell you this -- he's bottom line. Howard likes total, total control.
"Pat wants to win. Howard just doesn't know how."
Wow. Those last two lines. Man.
In other news, Sonics center Predrag "Peja" Drobnjak may be signing an offer sheet with the Clippers. He averaged the most points of any center on the Sonics roster and made the least amount of money among that group. But the worst part about this would be losing the most entertaining website in the history of the NBA. I hope it gets passed on if he goes to the clip joint. Until then..."VICTORY FOR SONICS!!"
Thursday, September 25, 2003
I wish I could say it was a nice run by the Mariners, but it wasn't at all. It was a death march. Lead the A.L. West for over four months (mid-April to late August), and nothing to show for it at all.
We can only hope for a miracle that this is going to be a long and productive offseason for the Mariners. However, I'm already dreading the day when the M's sign Terry Shumpert.
But at least we have Seahawks football. And Sonics basketball too! Flying chickens in the barnyard!
Oh yeah, hockey season starts in less than two weeks. Hooray! But I don't have CBC down here, that's not good. Can't have everything in life though.
Remember when Randy was almost traded to the Dodgers? Well, I never knew until now that the deal was killed by Hiroshi Yamauchi, the reclusive owner of the M's. Hideo Nomo was in that proposed M's/Dodgers deal, but Yamauchi didn't want him. But when he was a free agent before the 1995 season, the reclusive Japanese owner wanted Nomo. But Howard Lincoln misinterpreted Yamauchi, and Nomo instead went to Los Angeles.
It's been anything but a rumor that Yamauchi will spend whatever it takes to bring Japanese players to Seattle. Although this quote is from 1998, this is the first time I've seen Yamauchi quoted on anything baseball-related.
"I thought I told you you can run this damn club," Yamauchi said through his interpreter, "but when it comes to Japanese players, you check with me first."
WOW. I'll say it again, if Yamauchi could, he would put the Orix Blue Wave players into Mariner uniforms, lack of Major League experience be damned. I really don't want to come off sounding iggnorant here, but the main focus of the Mariners should be to cater to the SEATTLE FANS, not the Japanese fans.
But that's not the way it is, unfortunately. I'll give Yamauchi and his group credit for saving the ballclub. But that honeymoon is long gone. It's time to go out and win a championship.
Too bad it has to wait at least another year.
More stuff from the P-I article:
Gillick also chose not to take Martinez's vocal displeasure personally.
"He should be upset with the way the darn thing was played," Gillick said about the game. "We've played hard all year. BUT WE ARE NOT OUT OF THIS THING YET."
HELLO PAT?!? ARE YOU THERE? The Mariners are DONE. FINISHED. WAIT TIL NEXT YEAR, AGAIN!
The only way the M's are still "alive" in the Wild Card race is if they win their final three games at home vs the A's and the Red Sox lose their remaining four games (tonight at home vs the Orioles, and 3 with the Devil Rays down in Tampa). That's NOT going to happen. Lou Piniella wants to stick it to the M's front office one more time, so he will have his guys lay down this weekend. And quite frankly, I'm not going to be pissed off about that.
This front office doesn't deserve to see the postseason, especially not Gillick. I feel terrible for the players, especially Edgar Martinez. I don't cry very often, but DAMMIT, I feel like crying over this. I'm not though, but most of you know what I'm saying. This is absolute bullcrap and the M's front office should be taken to the damn woodshed for this.
After reading this P-I article, I've never felt any worse as a Mariners fan. And that's saying something. I should be "happy", because they've won 90 games. HELL NO. That's NOTHING. Getting to the playoffs and making a run at the World Series, THAT'S doing something.
But who am I kidding? Just listen to Howard Lincoln. If he could, he'd have a 20 million dollar payroll.
Don't let the door hit you on the ass, Gillick! And go back to Toronto, and watch the Maple Leafs choke their ass once again!
General manager Pat Gillick, frustrated by a series of Mariner goofs, including forgetting how many outs there were (John Olerud), getting picked off base (Mark McLemore) and failing to make a timely throw (Mike Cameron), asked traveling secretary Ron Spellecy what time the team bus was scheduled to leave for the airport.
Told the time was 4 p.m., Gillick told Spellecy to move it up to 3:45 p.m.
Overhearing this, Edgar Martinez asked what the problem was.
Gillick said the team had played quick, so they were leaving quick, leaving no doubt that he felt the Mariners played this one too quickly.
Martinez stood his ground in a loud authoritative voice that carried to all corners of the clubhouse.
"Hey, we've been busting our asses all year," Martinez said. "We don't need this."
PAT GILLICK, HOW DARE YOU. YOU SHOULD BE RUN OUT OF TOWN JUST FOR THIS. HOW DARE YOU PISS OFF EDGAR, AND MAY IT BE THE LAST THING YOU DO AS GENERAL MANAGER OF THE SEATTLE MARINERS.
Now sure, later in the article Gillick backtracks, but the damage is done. He complains about how the team does, but what the hell did he do to make it better/ HUH, PAT?! WHAT THE HELL DID YOU DO TO MAKE THIS TEAM BETTER? HOW DID YOU ADDRESS THE WEAKNESSES ON THIS TEAM?! THANKS FOR GIVING EDGAR THE BEST CHANCE HE HAD TO GET TO THE WORLD SERIES. OH WAIT, YOU DIDN'T!!
Wednesday, September 24, 2003
The Mariners are tied for 26th in home runs after the All-Star break.
The Mariners are TIED FOR 28TH with Anaheim in home runs in September with 13 this month. The Tigers have 18 home runs this month. Only the Mets are worse than the Mariners in this stat.
I'm calling that on September 24, 2003. Sad but true.
And for the Boston Red Sox, can you just end the drama already? Get it over with.
Armando Benitez pitched a 1-2-3 inning. Nice to know that he's doing that when it really counts. Now that's clutch.
Linden in 14 games, 29 at-bats: .241, 1 HR, 5 RBI
Bloomquist in 88 games, 192 at-bats: .245, 1 HR, 14 RBI
And Linden's only been with the Giants for over a month! He's going to be a great 4th OF for the Giants for the next 2-3 years, while Barry Bonds is busy breaking down the walls of the home run record.
Take that, South Kitsap zealots! By the way, SK boy Jake Beitinger is going to play college basketball at Eastern Washington University, where I spent my freshman year of college before I realized how bad Cheney really was. Yeah, and I don't see Beitinger playing one second of ball under current Eagles head coach Ray Giacoletti, who's going to get a bigger job very soon.
Chapel Hill > Cheney...take that again, South!
Number of wins since 2000 (division titles):
1) Oakland 391 (3 div titles)
2) Seattle 390 (1 div title)
DON'T TELL ME THIS IS SUCCESSFUL. Expectations grow, you know. Sure, I expected this team to go 88-74 before this season started. But you know what? You get people to believe that the team can do certain things when they bust out of the gate with a 42-19 record. Surely you don't expect the team to go 48-49 from that point on. That's listless baseball. Sure, the players (namely the lack of clutch from Olerud, Cameron, Ichiro, and to a lesser extent, Boone) deserve some blame here, but what did the brass do about this mediocre brand of play, as well as their glaring weaknesses of having no second lefty in the pen, no pop off the bench, and no third baseman that could hit? They got Sanchez to plug the hole when Guillen went down; an absolute stopgap move which we would be grilling the mgmt for even MORE if something wasn't done about it. So that was a sudden need that presented itself. They made up their own "need" when Nelson was traded for Benitez, who I don't recall ever being used in a true closer role, and given that, you can't tell me Nelson wasn't traded for popping his mouth off (he was right, by the way). Other than that, you heard the same "we'll wait till we get healthy" from Gillick (Sasaki never did get back to form) and "it WILL turn" from Melvin. Other than two 4-game winning streaks which were easily negated by one 6-agme losing streak and four 3-game losing streaks (see post below), it never turned. Gillick's "wait till we get healthy" apporach resulted in Guillen playing third. Sanchez and Guillen did provide a little bit of offensive health down the stretch, but it was nowhere near enough to compensate for the second-half offensive black hole of Ichiro, Cameron, and Olerud. Bottom line: this team sat on its hands and did nothing to spark this team. It's brutally obvious they needed some outside intervention of some sort to get them up. Meanwhile seven or eight left-handed relievers were shuffled at the deadline and the Mariners DIDN'T GET A SINGLE DAMN ONE. Matt Stairs would have been a cheap left-handed option with pop off the bench who anyone would rather have coming off the bench than McLemore or Mabry, and they didn't get him at EITHER deadline. Brian Giles eventually went to San Diego and the Padres DIDN'T have to take Jason Kendall's contract after all. And as for those trades and hypothetical lineups that I was drawing up in class on deadline day, the trades for Tony Batista and Ryan Klesko never happened. And yes, even with how good Garcia has been for the last couple starts, if I can get Ryan Klesko for him (and maybe Blackley. That's right; I'll take that chance) on July 31st, I pull that friggin trigger. And I would have put him at first OR rightfield; John Olerud and Ichiro be damned.
Well, I don't have to tell you that the Mariners' freak 116-win season certainly helps in skewing the correlation between wins and division titles. Of course, if you look at this at a purely statistical standpoint, then one win gets you two more division titles, which is ludicrous but fun to think about. 392 wins would get you 5 division titles, which is impossible in a span of only four years, but yes, that's minutia.
That said, let's look at the Mariners' streaks after the All-Star break when the Mariners were 58-35 going in. This will be from July 17 at Kansas City until now. I know it's not an exact segue, but hell, it'll still make you sick after I'm done with this.
Jul 17 (@KC): L 1
Jul 18 (@KC): W 1
Jul 19-21 (2 @KC, @MIN): L 3
Jul 22-23 (@MIN, OAK): W 2
Jul 24 (OAK): L 1
Jul 25-26 (2 TEX): W 2
Jul 27-28 (2 TEX): L 2
Jul 29-31 (3 DET): W 3
Aug 1 (CHW): L 1
Aug 2-5 (2 CHW, @CLE): W 3
Aug 6-8 (2 @CLE, @NYY): L 3
Aug 9-10 (2 @NYY): W 2
Aug 11 (TOR): L 1
Aug 12-13 (2 TOR): W 2
Aug 14 (TOR): L 1
Aug 15 (BOS): W 1
Aug 16 (BOS): L 1
Aug 17-19 (BOS, @TOR): W 2
Aug 20-25 (2 @TOR, 4 @BOS): L 6
Aug 26 (TB): W 1
Aug 27-28 (2 TB): L 2
Aug 29-Sep 2 (3 BAL, @ TB): W 4
Sep 3-4 (2 @TB): L 2
Sep 5 (@ BAL): W 1
Sep 6-9 (2 @BAL, TEX): L 3
Sep 10-13 (2 TEX, 2 ANA): W 4
Sep 14-16 (ANA, 2 @TEX): L 3
Sep 17 (@TEX): W 1
Sep 18 (@TEX): L 1
Sep 19-20 (2 @OAK): W 2
Sep 21 (@OAK): L 1
Sep 22 (@ANA): W 1
Sep 23 (@ANA): L 1
Winning streaks: two 4-game streaks, two 3-game streaks, six 2-game streaks, six singles.
Losing streaks: nine singles, three 2-gamers, four 3-gamers, one 6-gamer.
They're 32-33 since the break. WAY TO GO!
Yes, the pitching's been pretty great all year. The only time they slipped up, it was the entire turn through the rotation that sucked and that was around Aug 25th, the date that the A's caught the Mariners in the standings. On the 25th of August, the Mariners had just gotten swept in Boston. They never sniffed first place again. And I knew they wouldn't; THAT is the sick part. The Mariners had their lead hover around 4 or 5 games over the A's for a couple weeks before that, but once it got to three, it all went downhill because suddenly Oakland WASN'T losing on the same days that the Mariners were.
I think David Locke of KJR brought up what I'm about to talk about. This really wasn't a pennant race. This was more of a pennant slip-away. A "pennant race" is when you have a bunch of ups and downs, and your team gains ground and loses ground from day to day and it's a rollercoaster. These Mariners went from August 13th to September 19th (Oakland lost on a Mariner off day Sept 8th) before they gained ground on the A's on a day in which they actually played a friggin game. THAT IS NOT A PENNANT RACE. THAT'S OVER A MONTH WHERE THE TEAM DIDN'T GAIN AT ALL.
Believe it. It's over. Move on. And don't even THINK of holding on to the Wild Card. One, the Mariners have to sweep the A's. Two, the Red Sox have three in Tampa Bay. Read that again: TAMPA BAY. Now, usually you'd just think about strength of schedule -- of course Boston should beat Tampa Bay. The clear factor for me, though: LOU CAN STICK IT TO THE MARINERS FRONT OFFICE ONE LAST TIME. If he's smart, he will have his team lay down for the Red Sox, improvement over last year be damned. Hell, Texas and Anaheim have laid down for Oakland a bunch of times down the stretch -- OAKLAND IS 10-2 AGAINST TEXAS AND ANAHEIM THIS MONTH. I have just made myself sick putting down that stat.
Goodnight, everyone. I have class in 7.5 hours.
Tuesday, September 23, 2003
WAAAAAAAAAAAAA.....IT'S THE ART OF CHOKING.
BLUE, YOU'RE MY BOY!!!!! THE MARINERS ARE DUST IN THE FREAKING WIND!!! ALL THEY ARE IS DUST IN THE OCTOBER WIND!!!!
NO PENNANTS. NO WORLD SERIES. BUT THE 90-90-3 RATIO BABY.
I hate this. Absolutely hate this. Goodnight, Brooke.
Oakland won on a ball off Alex Rodriguez's glove in the 10th (I called an error; I was half-right).
The Mariners tie the game to get it into extras and Salmon jacks one to end the Mariners' season.
IT'S OVER!! THE MARINERS HAVE DONE IT!!! MY OH MY!!!
"If we could have a competitive team for $20 million, I'd do it in a second," he says. "Bringing the focus that it's a business, with the expectation that we make money, keeps us from doing some silly things."
"Howard is always available if (Chuck) Armstrong and myself need advice, counsel or support," says (Mariners GM Pat) Gillick. "He's a guy not afraid to make a tough decision."
"It's the second year in a row Chuck Armstrong and I had to walk into George Steinbrenner's suite (to congratulate the Yankees owner), and quite frankly, I'm getting tired of it," Lincoln says, only half-jokingly. "It's disappointing. When you see grown men with tears in their eyes, it's tough, really tough. I feel for them."
Lincoln doesn't espouse a "win-at-all-costs" mentality. He wants to field a winning and competitive team, but with quality people, not just quality players.
He believes it's all intertwined - a competitive team will keep fans coming to Safeco Field, which generates higher revenue, which in turn leads to increased profit and a higher payroll. It's a sound business philosophy, one which places pressure on the club's marketing and public relations efforts and its player personnel decisions.
This is why you shouldn't hold your breath anytime soon if you think the Mariners are committed to bringing a championship team to Seattle. But they've reached their fiscal goal already, the 90-90-3 ratio (credit to KJR's Dick Fain). Sickening.
Oh yeah, Nelson was right. Thanks, Nellie.
The Seattle Mariners have now won 90 games in 2003. They've drawn over 3 million fans, and they have a payroll over 90 million dollars. Folks, that's business as usual for the slimy fools at Safeco Field.
Yes, baseball is a business. But it's also a game. And dammit, I want a World Series in Seattle! I went to the Mariners official site last night, and I see a story on GM Pat Gillick possibly coming back to the team in 2004. What I didn't know about Gillick's 2003 contract was that he was able to stay home in Toronto when he needed to. If I would have known about this before the season had started, maybe I could have set myself up better for the team's downfall in the second half. But that's life.
For the good of the Mariners franchise, Gillick should leave. Yes, the team has won close to 400 games during his tenure in Seattle. But that doesn't matter. What matters is how many World Championships have been won.
The answer is zero.
Congrats to the Oakland A's, a team with whom the Angels and Rangers have made an under-the-table agreement this year to lay down for in a conspiracy to make the Mariners not win the division title at all costs.
And congrats to South Kitsap's own Willie Bloomquist, whose two-base throwing error cost Jamie Moyer a shutout. Great job, Willie! Also, his .245 batting average is three points worse than Cameron's at .248.
Monday, September 22, 2003
He said that if the Mariners end up being over and done with (let's face it, that was a while ago, but what the hay), the one name they can look back at and frown at is RONDELL WHITE.
Just think for a second how devastating those blows seemed at the time and how even more devastating they seem now. Where have the Mariners been since that point? Until that point, the Mariners seemed almost unstoppable. The first grand slam by White was the first game of the SEA/SD series on June 20 off Jeff Nelson. The second came on June 29 off Arthur Rhodes (yes, it's easy to say this was the after-this-it's-all-downhill point in Rhodes' season) in the last game of the SD/SEA series, in which San Diego took that series thanks to the grand slam 2 games to 1.
Even more sick, the Mariners were 52-28 after losing that final game to the Padres at the Safe (after the east coast road trip, they were 42-19). Since then (not counting tonight's game in Anaheim), the Mariners are 37-39 (47-48 since the eastern swing). Yup, folks, that's sub-.500 baseball for YOUR 2003 SEATTLE MARINERS.
Imagine Mariner PA announcer Tom Hutyler giving you THAT last sentence.
Now, the Philadelphia Eagles cheerleaders are great and all. I love their new unis as well as their "lingerie calendar". But for my money, I'll take the Sea Gals every day of the week and twice on Sundays.
And believe me, the Sea Gals Calendar is much better than a DOG calendar...that's what the M's tried to sell 3 years ago to the fans. Lame, lame, and....LAME.
And GO SEAGALS. YEAH BABY.
Thought my computer had the Blaster worm there or something. I guess it didn't. My connection was just out for 20 hours or something. Computers have been getting hit with the Blaster worm here, as has been the case on quite a few campuses in the region.
Anyway, I could have gotten this post in yesterday, but the connection went out.
The Hawks came back from 23-10 with 18:45 left in the game to reel off 14 unanswered points. But there were a couple of plays that I (and on one occasion, Jeremy) noted. The general premise and the big plays are mine (Jeremy's where noted) and the numbers are aided by SportsLine.
On the final Hawks drive of the 3rd quarter (which ended with a Koren Robinson TD catch), the team was on their second set of downs on a 2nd-and-12 (after Alexander was stuffed for a loss of 2) when Koren Robinson false started. As Jeremy pointed out to me (he's the ex-football player, I'm the ex-baseball player), there's no excuse for a wide receiver to false start. Anyway, the Hawks were then left with a 2nd-and-17 at their own 36 and Mack Strong caught a 3-yd pass. The penalty indirectly put the Seahawks in a dicey situation with a 3rd-and-14 on their 39 down by 13 with 1:01 left in the 3rd quarter. Luckily the Hawks came through on 3rd down, with a pass to Itula Mili for 18 yards into Ram territory to end the 3rd quarter. Three plays later the Seahawks hit paydirt with the Koren touchdown.
Two plays into the Rams' first drive of the 4th quarter, Reggie Tongue got a key interception to give Seattle the drive they needed so badly. They went from their own 36 all the way to the Rams 14 and were in the red zone with 9:16 left. On the first play from the Rams 14, Hasselbeck was hurried and sacked for a loss of 10. Jeremy and I would like to thank Chris Terry for getting suspended for using drugs. I'm not saying there's a direct correlation here between the sack and the suspension, but it sure would have helped to have Terry on the line. Anyway, the following 2nd-and-20 didn't help the Hawks, and they never got another set of downs on the drive. But they WERE well within field-goal range for Josh Brown. From 35 yards and with 7:57 left, Brown missed wide right and things did not look good in the northwest.
The Rams took over from their own 25 and three-and-outed, though with help of a Kyle Turley false start, the Rams weren't able to convert on a 3rd-and-9.
The Hawks got the punt and had the ball on their own 39 with 5:27 left and down by 6 points. On a 3rd-and-12, Hasselbeck ran with the ball and reached out for some extra yardage, but was just a yard short. So down by 6 with 4:13 left, the Hawks go for it on 4th-and-1. So they let Shaun Alexander pound through the line for one yard, right? How about an incomplete pass to Darrell Jackson instead? WHAT THE HELL??!!!?! WHY NOT RUN THE DAMN BALL??! ONE DAMN YARD!! SHAUN ALEXANDER!!! COME ON!!!
So the Rams took over from the Seattle 41 with 4:12 left and with how they'd been throwing the ball at will all day, it seemed like a lock that they'd at least get into field goal range and put some points on the board to make it a two-score game for the Hawks. On a 3rd-and-3 from the Hawks 33, Bulger threw to Dane Looker but luckily Anthony Simmons picked it off, giving the Hawks a second life after it looked damn bleak. Jeremy noted here that Mike Martz decided to PASS and not RUN on 3rd-and-3. Sure, Faulk was out with a broken hand at that point and you would be depending on Lamar Gordon or some other 3rd-down back to get you three yards, but you gotta wonder.
The Hawks took over from their own 26 with 3:15 left in the game. They had some big plays on the drive. On the first play from scrimmage, Hass hit Koren with a 32-yard pass to get into Ram territory. Three plays later, they converted on a 3rd-and-10 for a 13-yd pass to Bobby Engram (the steal of last year). Then came the big play. Seattle was on the 13 with a 3rd-and-8. Hass threw an incomplete pass to Darrell Jackson as flags flew. The call? Defensive holding on the Rams. Automatic first down. A fresh set of downs. Three plays later, Koren caught a 3-yd TD pass. THERE IS JOY IN THE NORTHWEST!!! THE SEAHAWKS ARE GOOD!!! THE MARINERS ARE NOT!!!!
Please note to yourselves how badly the Seahawks and Mariners are polar opposites right now. Just brutal. Any anticipation for next year's Mariner season ticket drive?
Sunday, September 21, 2003
This is a game that the Seahawks needed. They were 2-0, and the national media had been hyping this game up with ferocity. ESPN was actually talking about the Seahawks in the first 10 minutes of their NFL shows for crying out loud. Usually, since the Seahawks are a Seattle-based team, they would disappoint the masses.
Not today. I think this Seahawks team is very special. Sure, it's hard to say that after only three games. But as today showed, this team has a lot of character. Their defense had struggled most of the day, allowing Rams quarterback Mark Bulger time to throw the ball all day long. But in the end, the Seahawks won this ballgame.
The Seahawks missed Shaun Alexander badly in the first quarter. Alexander was at the hospital with his wife, who had gone into labor Sunday morning. Happy to report that the Alexanders had a baby girl, named Heaven, born at 12:37 Pacific time. Kudos to the Seahawks organization for allowing Shaun to be there for his wife...even with the fact that they had a big game to play today. As always, this shows that there are more important things than football.
Back to the game. It is amazing to see how well Matt Hasselbeck has responded to being a starting quarterback in the NFL. When he first came to Seattle in 2001, he tried way too hard to be Brett Favre. I think Mike Holmgren had tried to label him as the man way too early as well. Hasselbeck had his moments during his first year in Seattle, but also struggled mightily as well. 2002 rolled around, and Trent Dilfer had become the main guy behind center. Dilfer had signed a brand new contract before the season, and Hasselbeck was on the bench. Then Dilfer got hurt in the preseason, giving Hass another shot to start. Dilfer came back in Week 2, then got hurt again in October down in Dallas. Hasselbeck took over the offense and never looked back. During this past offseason, a lot of national attention had come Hasselbeck's way, with good reason. But could the Seahawks offense pick up where they left off last season? Well, with a 3-0 start, they haven't been great. But the scary part is, they haven't reached their full potential yet.
With the bye week next week, the Seahawks won't play again until two weeks from now, at Green Bay. That is a very winnable game as far as I'm concerned. Yes, the Seahawks have not done too well coming off of the bye week. But this is a different team. They could very well be 4-0 going into the Sunday Night Football showdown with the 49ers October 12.
Here's the deal: You hear about all of the mediocre teams that have gone on to win in January in the past couple of years. Baltimore, St. Louis, New England, to name a few. Why not Seattle? Remember, Mike Holmgren is one hell of a football coach. As far as I'm concerned, the big deal of the offseason was when Holmgren relinquished his duties as general manager. He was finally able to coach again.
Not to say a whole lot, but that could be the difference between the Seahawks playing in January or sitting at home.
Finally, it's NOW time. 4 years later, but whatever.
Not that he's superstitious or anything, but after munching on some Root Beer Barrel candies during the first two games of the series, Melvin naturally stuck with it in Sunday's series finale.
"I usually mix them up a little," he said of the various candies he consumes. "Earlier in the year I had some Jolly Ranchers. I don't chew sunflower seeds, gum or tobacco."
Are you kidding me? Save this crap for Little League baseball!
I got something for you to chew on, Blow-Mel...how about some Bit-O-Honeys? Because I'm bitter as hell and your ballclub is soft as honey!
Thank god for football, or else my day would have been a total waste...
MY ONLY DREAD IS THAT THE HAWKS HAVE A BYE NEXT WEEK SO THERE'S NO GAME!
SCREW THE MARINERS, IT'S FOOTBALL SEASON!!
The Seahawks are 3-0 and the Mariners have tanked it. How will YOU invest your time?
The Seahawks just blew a key 4th-and-1 (passing on 4th-and-1?!!) in their territory with about 5 minutes left in the fourth quarter, down by a TD after Josh Brown blew a field goal from 33.
Black Sunday, kids. And to think I blocked out my whole day for this.
The theory holds: no two Seattle teams win (70% of the time) on the same day.
Showing on ESPN2 (national telecast of Mariners/A's): simulcast of ESPNEWS
Showing on KSTW: SIMULCAST OF THE TV-LAND NETWORK
Airing IN ELLENSBURG on KXLE 1240-AM (regular Mariners/Seahawks/Sonics affiliate): Rams/Seahawks.
THIS IS BULLCRAP. People in Ellensburg are getting screwed. And I don't care what the locals think, when the Central basketball team is playing and they're on KXLE, I'm getting screwed out of hearing a Sonics game. That's the only way I look at it.
ESPN2: Red Sox/Indians
Decent choices here. I'll be flipping back and forth, especially because the baseball game has Wild Card ramifications.
Bad news though: pitching for Cleveland is probable future Mariner beater Cliff Lee. Pitching for the Sox -- Pedro.