Saturday, January 03, 2004


The difference in this game was the second period, where the Canucks exploded for their three goals: Markus Naslund (20th of year), Magnus Arvedson (2nd), and Brent Sopel (4th)

The Canucks were "struggling to find their legs," according to play-by-play man John Shorthouse, in the first period, and it was Canuck minor-league callup goalie Alex Auld who kept the Flames out of the net until the Canucks hit their stride. Auld stopped 31 shots to get his record to 2-1-1. He also faced his first NHL penalty shot. I didn't say "stopped" because it turned out that Jarome Iginla never put the shot on the net because he tripped.

Naslund's goal was his 250th as a Canuck, putting him at 4th all-time on the Vancouver goals list, passing Tom Tanney. Pavel Bure is 3rd on the list, and Naslund is three goals away.

An encouraging moment came early in the game, when Kryszstof Oliwa of the Flames fought with the Canucks' latest acquisition Wade Brookbank. Brookbank dropped Oliwa with a right to "win" the fight, per se, but the big thing here is that the Canucks may finally have their enforcer. The guy's like 6'4" and 220, and if he can answer the bell like he did tonight, then maybe the Canucks (namely the Sedins) won't get pushed around so much.

Some little tidbits here: the Canucks are 8-1-1 in their last 10 road games. They have a nine-game unbeaten streak going in Calgary, dating back to December of 2000. The Canucks got their Northwest Division lead back to 6 points over Colorado and eight points over Calgary.

Next game for the Canucks is back at the Garage against San Jose on Monday.

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Friday, January 02, 2004


This was the best basketball game I've seen in a long time. There was a chance the weather was going to be crappy Saturday when I drive back over the pass to Ellensburg, and I might have left today. There's no KONG-6 in Ellensburg, and I'm glad I stayed.

Gary Payton returned to Seattle on this night, and was showered with a seemingly endless standing ovation from the sellout crowd (numerical memory: 17,072) after being introduced over the PA. I don't think Shawn Kemp got that big of an ovation when he returned to the Key, and if he did, then it looks like my mind might be having some selective memory. It should be noted that Kobe Bryant was the next player introduced after Payton, and he was lustily booed.

What a game this was. The Sonics had a few leads in the neighborhood of six points and thereabouts, but the Lakers were just being themselves, and battling back.

This was a great win for the Sonics even with Shaq getting pulled in the second quarter with a strained calf. The Sonics eventually figured out that they could take advantage of the lack of Lakers' inside presence, and started going to the rack more often.

David Locke of KJR pointed out that during Payton's last year with the Sonics, he was averaging about four points in the 4th quarter of every game. Ray Allen tonight was nuts in that particular department. David Locke (I'm listening to his postgame) says Allen (it's only five games, I know) is averaging about 10 points per 4th quarter since coming back.

The Lakers cut into the Sonics' lead in the 4th quarter with a 9-0 run. Around this stretch of the 4th quarter, the Sonics had a dry spell of 2:58. How they got away with that, I'll never know. The final minute of the game was amazing. Ray Allen busted a three-ball with 36.4 seconds remaining to break the tie and put the Sonics up 109-106. The crowd went nuts and Allen waved his arms emphatically. The ball was brought down and Ray Allen was all over Kobe Bryant defensively in front of the Sonic bench. Bryant hit a three and the crowd was hushed. With 22.8 seconds left, the Sonics ran a pick-and-roll and Allen knifed his way through three Laker defenders and laid in the winning basket with 5.8 ticks left. I forgot the sequence of the last Laker possession, but I'm pretty sure Kobe missed a three-point attempt.

It was amazing how these two teams matched each other shot for shot tonight. Payton had a hell of a third quarter, but we were all witness to what an amazing athlete Kobe Bryant (legal ramifications against him aside) is. David Locke tells me there were 19 lead changes and 25 ties in the game tonight. This wasn't one of those boring-as-hell 74-73 games, no sir. This was back-and-forth, well-matched, great-shooting basketball.

To the stat sheet... Kobe Bryant had 32 pts, 6 assists, and 6 boards. Payton had 24 pts, 5 dimes, and 5 boards. For the Sonics, Ray Allen had 35 pts and 9 boards. Rashard Lewis had 20 pts, 9 boards, and an assist. Their third-leading scorer tonight: Vitaly Potapenko. He played physically very well when Shaq was in, and when Shaq was out, he nailed a good share of jumpers. Vitaly had 13 pts on 6-of-8 shooting (we'll let that one rebound slide). Vlad Radmanovic had 12 pts, 7 boards, and 2 assists. Vlad was also crazy, going 0-for-6 from downtown. Come on. Brent Barry had an unsung double-double tonight, with 12 points and 11 assists. Even Ron Murray (wicked dunk) and Richie Frahm (key three early in the 4th) got into the act.

Great win for the Sonics. The Key was electric for the first time in quite a while, and I think the Sonics are 4-1 with Ray Allen. David Locke has likened tonight's game as somewhat of a passing of the torch in Seattle from Gary Payton to Ray Allen. Ray Allen was simply nuts tonight. There's no other way to say it.

The Sonics go to Sacramento for a Sunday night game.

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I'd been waiting for the recap of the Canuck game to finally appear via SportsLine, but even though the game end before the Sonic game, the basketball recap was attainable before the hockey recap. That said, I'll fly by the seat of my pants for this Canuck post with the stat sheet alone while I wait for the recap to reload.

The Canucks had a 1-0 lead after the first period after a Markus Naslund power play goal (warm up that power play, good sign). At the 1:55 mark of the second period, Colorado tied the score and the Canucks never saw the lead again.

The Canucks got a great road win earlier in the week when they stole a game from the Avs in Denver and managed to hold Colorado's high-octane power play scoreless. Such was not the case tonight, as the Canucks were bitten twice by the Avs on the power play: at the beginning of the second quarter by Rob Blake, and midway through the third period by Milan Hejduk.

Colorado scored twice in the second period on the Blake goal, and a goal by Alex Tanguay. The eyebrow-raising number on the stat sheet is that the Canucks were outshot 19-5 in the second period. Part of this may be due to the quick succession of penalties against the Canucks at the start of the 2nd period. Brent Sopel was nicked for a holding penalty 43 seconds in, and 37 seconds afterward, Todd Bertuzzi was sent to the box for a too-many-men penalty. Looks like the Rob Blake goal was scored on the ol' 2-man advantage.

Naslund got his 19th goal on the power play. The other Vancouver goal was some secondary scoring by Brad May (2nd goal) assisting by his mates on that particular checking line, Jiri Slegr and Trevor Linden.

The score was tied 2-2 after May's goal, but then Cloutier did his ol' giving-up-goals-in-twos deal with the Hejduk and Sakic goals. This is all stat sheet, though, so I don't know if there were flubs by the defensemen or not.

No word on whether Peter Forsberg punched Dan Cloutier in the nuts tonight. More will come when I get a hold of the recap...

Here's the "more" part. The Hejduk power play was a result of Cloutier getting tagged for delay-of-game for knocking the net off its moorings. This was only the third time in 13 games that the Canucks failed to get at least one point in the standings. After having no goals in his first 34 games this year, Brad May suddenly has two goals and an assist in his last three games.

The Canucks play at Calgary tomorrow, but alas, I'll be back in Ellensburg tomorrow night, so I won't see them on the CBC. Damn.

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But keep your clothes on...

Anyways, it was in the low 70s today in Pine Bluff, Arkansas. LOW SEVENTIES ON JANUARY 2. What the hell is this?

Well, the heat is even bigger, as far as the Arkansas Razorbacks are concerned. Dave from Dave's Mariner Blog has suffered enough. I hope the Huskers don't hire Houston Nutt. That being said, I hope he doesn't come back to Arkansas either. Stay tuned...

David "outed" the latest Mariner blog, From Basketball to Baseball..... Welcome ladies to the Mariner blognation. FBB is what David's calling it so far. I'll just call it "The Ladies' Room" for the time being. Gotta love the ladies, especially ladies who are sports fans.

My NFL picks for the Wild Card Weekend:

Tennessee over Baltimore
The Titans are a much better team than the Ravens. Anthony Wright can't possibly win a playoff game, can he? I'm hoping and praying that Jamal Lewis is the coverboy for NFL Madden 2005, or better yet, his "cousin" Ray Lewis. That would be some funny stuff right there. I believe in the EA Sports curse, I really do. Please let it happen.

Carolina over Dallas
I hate the Cowboys. Let's stop the madness down here in Arkansas and make sure the Cowboys' season is over Saturday night.

Seattle over Green Bay
Yes, the Packers beat the Seahawks pretty good back in October. But that simply doesn't matter here. I believe in Mike Holmgren. I also believe in God. Make this happen.

Indianapolis over Denver
The swing game of the weekend. This game could go either way. But I think Peyton Manning is due to win a playoff game. And besides, I hate the Broncos with a passion. Mike Shanahan continues his 0-fer playoff slump without Mr. Ed.

And finally, the best news of the year so far here in Arkansas...

I finally have Comedy Central.

With that, good night.

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How do you like it? How do you like it?

Sorry for that horrible musical reference (Andrea True) there, but yet another blog has entered the sphere.

From Basketball to Baseball.... is the tentative title for the blog, and it appears to focus mainly on the Mariners and the Gonzaga basketball team. It's also a tag-team (multi-poster) blog.

Welcome to the blogosphere, FBB. Is that a decent acronym for now?

Canuck post coming along with a post on possibly the best Sonic game of this year so far...

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From this piece...

... But remember what the Falcons did in Lambeau last year. The Seahawks can do the same thing. They are balanced on offense and they will get the play-action passing game going. Look out for the upset.

Prediction: Seattle 28, Green Bay 26

The optimism train is rolling, folks. Sure, it might be a stretch for this batch of Seahawks to go into Lambeau and beat the Pack, but it could happen. If they do, it'll the biggest win for the Seahawks franchise in decades. Maybe it'll give me a decent respite from all these inexplicable Bavasi moves.

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Thursday, January 01, 2004


I saw this here article about how one of the escalators at Coors Field lacked a safety switch, causing injury to handfuls of unsuspecting Rockie fans last summer.

I mentioned Seahawks Stadium in the tagline for this. Why? Because at the Hawk, we don't have to worry about malfunctioning escalator switches -- there isn't a single escalator in the entire place. No viven escalatores!! The Seahawks sure like this whole no-escalator thing, going from the Kingdome (I'm fairly sure I never saw an escalator in that place), to the spiral-ramped (if you didn't hop a golf cart) Husky Stadium, to no escalators at Seahawks Stadium.

Gotta slip one last thing on here...I love seeing Michigan lose. Great job today by them.

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I wasn't going to post today, but since I saw Gabe's "Mariners Blogosphere Awards", well, the door is wide open now...

Best Presentation---Mariners Musings
Best Writing---Mariners Wheelhouse
Most Humorous---Fire Bavasi
Most Consistent---USS Mariner
Most Original---None
Best Critical Analysis---Mariners Musings
Most Impenetrable URL---"Cracking" The Safe: pcloadletter.blogspot.com
Blogger most in need of a real life---None. And for Gabe, I do have a real life. Obviously, I know you're just kidding around. But remember, I'm living in Arkansas, where there is NOTHING to do. So just keep that in mind when you think I don't have a "life". Besides, I'm in no position to tell anybody what to do with their lives. That's not the way I operate.
Blogger most likely to end up in a white coat---Michael at Curlew Blog
Blogger most likely to be found at Pike Street Pub or Pyramid Alehouse---N/A
Blogger with least grip on reality---Rick at Mariner Bullpen
Best Overall--USS Mariner, with Sports and Bremertonians a close second

Yeah, we may post a lot, but is there anything wrong with that? No.

Remember, the title of our blog is SPORTS and Bremertonians. So we like to hit on more than just the Mariners.

It's now 2004, and you can damn well better believe that the Mariner Blognation is going to reach a new level (of confidence!) in the coming months.

By the way, here's my Opening Day lineup:
Pat Borders C
Willie Bloomquist SS
Raul Ibanez LF
Luis Ugueto 2B
Quinton McCracken DH
Jamal Strong CF
Scott Spiezio 3B
John Olerud 1B
Randy Winn RF
Kevin Jarvis RHP

Can you say 1-hitter against Bartolo Colon April 6??? The lone hit will come from Bloomquist in the bottom of the ninth, a blooper over David Eckstein's small head.

Crap, what a underwhelming offseason. Even I couldn't expect this.

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Here's the little P-I blip that is up about Rich Aurilia supposedly being close to signing with Seattle (citing the ever-popular "well-placed source"). Also mentioned is that Seattle may take prospects in exchange for Guillen. Great. The Mariners take on more salary, and then proceed to take on more prospects (knowing Bavasi, he'll probably ask for a bunch of arms as opposed to the badly-needed position players), and the prospects will be forever marooned in the minor-league system because Bavasi is busy signing a bunch of over-30 washed-up hacks.

Okay, I'm only linking the hated Darrin Beene (a.k.a. Larry LaRue's bitch) because he blows some Geoff Jenkins smoke related to Guillen's being run out of town. Oliver Beene (is that show still on the air?) notes that Bavasi is conveniently out of town until next week, which as we all know, is a great way to do business. Anyway, the article says that the Tigers and the Royce Clayton-less Brewers may want Guillen, and of course the Brewers have Jenkins on the block. Though Jenkins was born in Olympia, the bad news here is that he's 29 (NOT 30+), has a great glove, and is a lefty bat with power. Since picking up Jenkins (somehow, maybe not with this exact move) would make sense, there's no way in hell Bavasi would get Jenkins. Plus, it would mean that Bavasi would have to admit he made a mistake by signing (and overpaying) Ibanez, because let's face it, Ibanez and his stone glove wouldn't get any playing time with Geoff Jenkins and his rocket arm on the team...then again, I did forget for a moment there that BOB MELVIN is the manager of this team. That reminds me...

Opening day lineup:
Olerud 1B
Ugueto SS
Wilson C
McCracken DH
Ibanez LF
Spiezio 3B
Winn CF
Ichiro RF
Boone 2B

I'm totally joking here, but then again, there's that 0.0000000001% of me in the back of my mind that says, "hey, maybe there will be a day where Crack hits cleanup, Ichiro and Boone are batting 8th and 9th, and Edgar is left out of the lineup altogether, even though he's healthy..." You know how much of a kick I just got when I typed in Olerud for leadoff? Oh man, just hilarious. You should try it sometime, you really should. And Wilson hitting third. HAAHAAAA!!

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Wednesday, December 31, 2003


One last thing before the clock strikes midnight here in the Puget Sound area -- I'd like to once again extend a big thanks to all who read and/or comment here at Sports and Brems. Our December hit total was ~6800, a big jump over November's ~4100. If my math is right, that's somewhere in the neighborhood of a 66% jump in hits. Thanks, readers.

One more last thing that I feel I have to share before midnight. If you were told to choose between Elisa Hahn of KING-5 and Leslie Miller of Q13, is there any way you could go wrong? I'm a big fan of Elisa even with the short hair. I'm somewhat partial to her, though, because Grant, Jeremy, and I all saw her after the 2000 Mariners Fan Fest when she was doing a live remote in front of the Kingdome rubble. There's no letdown in person with Elisa. Leslie, of course, has the most famous head of hair in Seattle TV news, and is a native of Edmonton.

And before I forget, the all-knowing web counter at the bottom reads 9960. That part's just for reference.

Oh, and when I go back to Central and experience better bandwidth again, I'll have some year-end lists that I never made here. Mariner moments good and bad will be among them.

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Let me first describe the utter joy I felt when I sat through SportsCenter from 7:40 up until the Mayne Event segment w/Jen Love Hewitt (she's not aging well) that I didn't bother to sit through (just short of 9pm) and managed to not witness a highlight reel of this very Vancouver/Chicago game. I'm pretty sure it was over before the SportsCenter started, or at least it would have been over in the first stages of the SportsCenter. Instead, it was a bunch of bowl game rehash (highlights shown TWICE), a bunch of bowl hype, a bunch of lamenting about Bill Callahan's firing, and the obligatory Brett Favre asskissing. I know Favre is probably the most durable and probably the best (definitely top 3) quarterback of the last decade, but man...

Yes, there was a hockey game that took place tonight.

The Canucks are now 9-3-4 in their last 16 games and goalie Dan Cloutier is 4-0-1 in his last five games, thanks to tonight's overtime win at the United Center against the somewhat pesky Blackhawks. The win gives the Canucks a six-point cushion for first place over the Avalanche and the Flames in the Northwest Division.

The Canucks managed to blow a 3-1 lead they had with under 8 minutes remaining in the second period, but they got the two points in overtime, and since it was a road game, we'll let 'em slide.

Cloutier stopped 29 shots in the win. The Canucks peppered Blackhawk goalie Michael Leighton (last week's NHL defensive player of the week) with 29 shots, and as the score indicates, four of them went through.

Scoring goals for the Canucks tonight: Artem Chubarov (5th of year), Henrik Sedin (2nd), Brent Sopel (2nd, on power play), and Todd Bertuzzi (11th, on power play)

Two good things to see with the scoring: one is that the power play seems to slowly be heating up in the last few games, which is something the Canucks desperately need. On last week's Hockey Night in Canada telecast, the Canucks' retired longtime broadcaster Jim Robson was asked if he thought the team could win the Stanley Cup, and he basically said they wouldn't have a chance unless they spruced up their power play. The power play is showing some signs of life. The second good thing about the scoring is that Todd Bertuzzi has scored goals in consecutive games. If Bert gets warmed up, the Canucks could go on another tear like they did to open up the season.

Big battle at the Garage on Friday...Colorado/Vancouver. Wish I could be there. Even if I had the logistical wherewithal to get up to Vancouver, the Canuck ticket is not an easy item to obtain.

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Get ready for your lame day-late Sonics recap, aided by the Sportsline recap, the boxscore, SportsCenter, and what I heard of the game from Kevin Calabro and Billy McKinney...

Instead of showing actual worthy (and sequential) highlights like they usually do, SportsCenter decided to take away any sense of flow that viewers usually look forward to during the game -- they merely pointed out the fact that all 12 of the Sonics on the roster played and scored, then went about showing every Sonic player hitting a basket. If SportsCenter used the same rationale on Sunday for the Vikings/Cardinals game, you would have seen the final touchdown catch followed by some McCown scrambles from earlier in the game.

The Sonics won this game by six points, though the Griz were without the recovering-from-concussion Bonzi Wells.

Sonic color commentator Billy McKinney pointed out that Ray Allen was having an off night. Even so, Allen scored 22 pts and had 6 boards and 4 assists.

With Allen having an off night, Rashard Lewis went nuts, lighting up Shane Battier and the Griz for 33 points and 6 boards.

Brent Barry had a double-double with 10 points and 10 assists.

The other Sonic in double figures: Richie Frahm.

The Sonics followed up their 3pt brickfest from the Houston game with a more sparkling 11-of-23 night from downtown.

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Crap, with this over the hill middle infielder bonanza, I can see the Mariners signing Brady Anderson to a minor league deal. He's not an infielder, obviously, but you get the point.

Hell, he's a big one year wonder like Aurilia, and is over 30. He likes to roller skate and god knows 17 year old girls will love Brady. That's who the Mariners market to, not people like us.

What I still don't get after all these years is how women love Dan Wilson. I just don't get it at all. Love what about Dan Wilson? His craptistic 1-for-1523547 hitting slump in the postseason? His 2 percent throwing out basestealers percentage? Or is it his rally ending ground outs?

Meanwhile, Wiki Wiki Wiki Gonzalez and Kevin Jarvis are horrible. Worse than horrible. But it's not like the Mariners organization is filled with enough horrible players, so keep em' coming, Bill!!!


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Here's the Rocky Mtn News with some crap about a near-done deal of Rich Aurilia signing with the Mariners over the Rockies. The article also says it is more likely that Carlos Guillen will be shipped off to Detroit rather than Colorado. Also mentioned are talks about Jeff Cirillo involving the Mariners and Padres, in which the Fathers are trying to move the contracts of Kevin Jarvis and Wiki (Wiki-wiki-wiki) Gonzalez. You know, usually I'd hop on Wiki right away and say I'd rather have him (or any catcher) over Dan Wilson. I see from here that he only made $700k last year, but if you scroll down to his batting numbers...THEY'RE HORRID; possibly worse than Wilson's, and I didn't think that was possible. As for Kevin Jarvis, he made $3M last year, has had one decent year in his career, has a career 5.83 ERA, and is a right-handed starter, which the Mariners don't need.

Take a look at that last paragraph. If I'm getting a hold of the Bavasi philosophy like I think I might be, we all better get ourselves familiar with Rich Aurilia, Kevin Jarvis, and Wiki Gonzalez. All have had one good year or less and none are better players than what the Mariners already have filling those positions.

The other half of the over-the-hill middle infielder bonanza involves Eric Young, who should sign with Texas. A career second baseman, they plan to have Eric Young split time at DH (Fullmer better be playing 1B) and CF (ouch), because he's not going to steal any playing time away from the other Young (Michael) at second base.

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Well, people in the Mariner blogosphere may either laugh or be dismayed at the following Google search that Sports and B's showed up on:

Bavasi Zumsteg three-way.

No, we at Sports and B's did not put those three terms in the same sentence. The three terms appeared on our page in the same week (30 Nov to 6 Dec).

Better posts from me coming up, I promise.

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OK, I said I was going to have a Best and Worst of 2003 list, so here it is:

Best Mariner moment: Rafael Soriano striking out Nomar Garciaparra on three pitches August 18. Sadly, the last good Mariners memory of 2003.

Best MLB moment: Kerry Wood defeating Roger Clemens at Wrigley Field June 7. Sidebar to that game: Eric Karros hitting a 3-run home run off of Juan Acevedo just after Clemens was pulled.

Best Seahawks moment: Koren Robinson's game-winning touchdown against the Rams September 21.

Best NFL moment: The Colts comeback on Monday Night Football against the Buccaneers October 6.

Best NBA moment: Ray Allen's first month and a half with the Seattle Supersonics. Losing Gary Payton is tough to deal with, but I never would have thought that the Sonics would get a player like Allen in return for The Glove. Now that he's healthy, he will continue to thrive in Seattle.

Best NHL moment: The Minnesota Wild's first round upset over the Colorado Avalanche.

Best College Football moment: Last night's Washington State victory over Texas in the Holiday Bowl.

Best College Football player: Cedric Cobbs, Arkansas. This guy is a very tough runner and he should be a 1st-2nd round pick in the NFL Draft come April 24, 2004.

Worst Mariner moment: Losing to both Mark Hendrickson and Josh Towers in the same week in Toronto.

Worst MLB moment: The 2003 All Star Game. No, IT DIDN'T COUNT!!!

Worst Seahawk moment: The refs screwing Seattle at Baltimore and St. Louis.

Worst NFL moment: See above.

Worst NBA moment: Every single Portland Trailblazers player who got in trouble with the law.

Worst NHL moment: Dominik Hasek coming back to the NHL, therefore screwing Curtis Joseph in the process.

Worst College Football moment: The SEC officiating crew, every single one of them. They are horrible.

Worst College Football player: Kellen Winslow, Jr., Miami. YOU'RE NOT A SOLDIER. AND IT'S NOT ABOUT "THIS U".

Anyways, that's my best and worst of 2003. Happy New Year, fools.

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Today, I found something that I thought I would never come across again...

An old tape of the Mariners 1995 ALDS Game 3 against the Yankees.

Why do I bring this up? Well, remember The Baseball Network? Oh, I'm sure you remember it quite well. You know, the horrific package Major League Baseball, ABC, and NBC were all a part of. The Mariners-Yankees Game 3 was on a Friday night, October 6, 1995, to be exact. It was one of four games being played that night. The other games were Cleveland-Boston, Colorado-Atlanta, and Los Angeles-Cincinnati. For the record, those three series ended that night in sweeps (Indians, Braves, and Reds won those series).

What I'm trying to say is, we can bitch and moan about FOX's coverage of Major League Baseball all we want. But at least they give us an opportunity to watch every game in its entirety. No more of this "all four games at the same time" bullcrap.

And I also found my tape of the inaugural game at Safeco Field, complete with KIRO's pregame coverage, all 3 hours of it. There's even bonus coverage of KING 5's Safeco Field special as well. However, to this day, I still think they rushed Safeco Field. It should have opened up in April 2000, not July 1999. But I digress.

Finally, congrats to the Cougs for beating Texass last night. Being down here in Arkansas, I've had to defend the West Coast all season long. Well, them West Coast boys can play football too!!!


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Tuesday, December 30, 2003


I saw the late SportsCenter last night and was able to catch the highlight reel for this game. It was quite a treat. They showed the goal by Mike Keane (former Avalanche) that went off the skate of John-Michael Liles. They showed an amazing sprawling stick save in close by Av goalie David Aebischer that eventually was #1 on the Top 10 Plays of the night. Also in the Top 10 was a save sequence by Dan Cloutier. Also shown in the highlight was a moment toward the end of the 3rd period where Ed Jovanovski was by his own net and Peter Forsberg grabbed his jersey and they separated. Right in front of the official, Forsberg then appeared to go after Dan Cloutier and punch him in the nuts. John Anderson, Stuart Scott, and myself couldn't believe what we were seeing. Forsberg got a two-minute roughing penalty.

The Canucks were down 2-0 to the Avs after ex-Capital Steve Konowalchuk (just another near-unfair addition to the Yankee-like get-whatever-they-want moves that the Avs have amde over the years) scored his second goal of the night at 15:11 of the first period. Yes, this is probably were my patience would near its end and I would call for Cloutier's head, even though it's Colorado.

2:18 after the Konowalchuk goal, Vancouver was trying to kill off a Todd Bertuzzi slashing penalty when Matt Cooke put one past Aebischer to cut the lead in half.

The Canucks' top line got some well-needed action on the power play in the 3rd period, as Todd Bertuzzi got his 10th goal of the year to tie the score.

With 4:35 left in the third period, the Canucks got the off-the-defender's-skate goal by Mike Keane for the go-ahead goal.

The two teams meet again in Vancouver on Friday. This is a big win and an encouraging win, especially on the road, for the Canucks. It also pads their division lead over the Avalanche, which is a very good thing. The Canucks face the Blackhawks in Chicago on Wednesday.

Ben Kuzma describes the game, namely the patience of Dan Cloutier, who in the past would have lost his head and snapped in this game. He also points out that the Canucks had killed off four straight penalties before the Cooke shorthanded goal, and that they held the third-ranked power play in the NHL scoreless on seven tries.

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Last night, I realized when the score was 63-60 Rockets at the end of the third quarter that this is exactly the type of NBA game that I hate to watch. I also realized that Rocket coach Jeff Van Gundy was the man to thank for this brutal game. His coaching style turned the Knicks into a suffocatingly physical defensive team that battled the Miami Heat to some grueling (and very boring) 75-73-type games. He's trying to do the same thing with his Rockets. SportsCenter quoted Steve Francis as saying something to the effect of not caring about the points column in the boxscores anymore, just the assists.

Anyway, Jerome James had some stupid moments in the 4th quarter with turnovers, but he (along with Vitaly Potapenko and Calvin Booth) did a pretty good job on Yao Ming for most of the night.

The Rockets? Well, in Van Gundy's words...
"Turnovers, missed free throws at critical times, lack of rebounding and fouls down the stretch. I'm just thinking about how we can get better. Obviously, we're not good enough."

Even Vlad Radmanovic had his golden moment in this game, hitting a three to boost the Sonics' late lead from one to four.

One difference in this game that I don't think we would have seen before -- in a horribly low-scoring defense-dominated game, Ray Allen stepped up and delivered with 28 pts, 8 boards, and 3 dishes. I know Ron Murray has shown us some flashes of brilliance this year, but how many times can we really expect him to step up, especially with his decreased minutes?

As for Vlad's threeball, it was a matter of time -- the Sonics had launched so many threes in the game (a 9-of-32, 28% downtown brickfest) that they were bound to eventually nail one. The Sonics shot only 35.4% from the field and somehow managed to win this game. They also managed to outrebound the Rockets 47-42. The Sonics went 22-27 (81.5%) from the line.

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M's may sign Aurilia

While it is uncertain if they will have a new shortstop in time to ring in the New Year, the Mariners are trying to make their holidays happier by signing Rich Aurilia during this normally quiet stretch of the baseball calendar.

The situation is made more complex by the linked need to trade Carlos Guillen, with the 2004 player payroll currently at its $95 million limit.

Sources say Seattle could be working on a deal that would send Guillen to Colorado, one of the handful of clubs said to be interested in signing Aurilia.

The moves seemingly would have to be almost simultaneous. The Mariners could not risk being stuck with both players, with Aurilia at shortstop and Guillen, who signed for $2.5 million plus $900,000 in incentives, as an expensive utility infielder.

The Mariners are probably just talking about Rockies prospects in any trade of Guillen.

One, Rich Aurilia is a nice player, but he's not the type of player that will make Mariners fans like myself go nuts for.

Two, if Carlos Guillen is traded to Colorado, the M's BETTER ask for Brian Fuentes back. That's the only way I'd make a deal with the Rockies.

And three, Bill Bavasi is an idiot. But y'all knew that already.

If successful in these moves, Seattle could still be in the market for a veteran infielder off the bench, such as free agents Denny Hocking or Damian Jackson.

Hocking > Jackson

Denny Hocking isn't a great ballplayer, we all know that. But I think he'll be a Mariner in 2004. He's a veteran, and he has that "postseason experience" the M's seem to love.

I don't want Damian Jackson anywhere near Seattle. Bob Melvin is worse than Grady Little, and you can bet your ass that if Jackson came to Seattle, Blow-Mel would have Jackson play 1/4 of the games at 2B, sitting Bret Boone on the bench.

And Jackson has that "postseason experience" as well.

You know, it's times like these when I think, I wish I could talk about a Seattle team that's doing some nice things...

Oh wait..I can.

They play in that stadium just north of Safeco Field...

Oh, the 10-6, playoff-bound Seattle Seahawks. Yep, that team. The team whose owner will do whatever it takes to win. Do I need to go on here?

No, I don't. It's late. Really late. But what the hell, you know?

To end all of this rambling, Rich Aurilia will be a Seattle Mariner by January 12, the day I head back to school. ARGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!

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Monday, December 29, 2003


You know, I hate that all the satisfaction is taken away from such statements as "at least the Mariners didn't pick up that hack Dave Dellucci like Texas did" thanks to Bavasi's mind-blowing Colbrunn-for-McCracken deal. Now what's left of the Ranger fans can look at the Mariners and say "at least John Hart wasn't enough of a dumbass to trade Greg Colbrunn for Quinton McCracken." Sick, isn't it?

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KFAN (Vikings flagship station) on the touchdown that knocked the Vikings out of the playoffs

I hope that assclown Randy Moss has fun twiddling his butterfingers through his afro while the Seahawks are making a run for the Super Bowl!!!


And BTW, I'm already sick of the "feeling sorry for Brett Favre" media stories. Yes, what happened to his father is sad. But it's like the Seahawks are an afterthought here.

Oh well, I guess we'll watch the Seahawks send the Packers fans into Brewers season on Sunday...

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WISH FOR 2004 

Bill Simmons comes out with his wish for 2004, and it involves the owners in sports. He gets onto a small rant where he notes that before Christmas, Tom Hicks was trying to bail himself out of the horrible Alex Rodriguez contract, and USA Today released its annual list of player salaries.

Sonic fans, prepare to faint, vomit, throw something across the room, whatever...
Seattle pays Vitaly Potapenko, Calvin Booth and Jerome James more than San Antonio pays Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker combined.

Also a great note by Simmons is his assertion that "[the NHL is] a blue-collar sport without a decent TV deal that has priced out its fans." The NHL's TV deal in the States isn't even second-rate; it's probably fourth- or fifth-rate. I know FOX fumbled their NHL deal horribly, trying to show regional hockey coverage (it was Ducks/Kings/Sharks every Sunday on KCPQ-13, and all three of those teams sucked at the time), and trying to force a GLOWING FRIGGING PUCK down the throats of our country. ABC/ESPN show less hockey than FOX did. The coverage now is terrible. I can't believe that the NHL2Night show (on ESPN2) even exists anymore because I think they only do maybe two nights a week when they used to do five or six. It got so bad that Ray Ferraro, who used to be in the NHL2Night studio fairly often, took a color job with Rogers Sportsnet in Canada for their Edmonton Oiler broadcasts. Whoever is in the NHL's marketing department that is in charge of US marketing should be canned immediately. I know they had their golden chance in 1994 when the New York Rangers (biggest market in the country...) won the Cup (over the Canucks, no less) and then the lockout killed any possible momentum that could have been taken from that, but I think there's no reason that hockey should be behind NASCAR in most Stateside sports fan's trains of thought.

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...because they're NOT diamond notes.

-- surely opposing teams will fear playing the Angels in Anaheim because they will now be playing at Angel Stadium of Anaheim now that Edison International has exercised the opt-out clause in their naming rights deal with the Angels.

-- the Blue Jays have picked up pitchers Valerio De Los Santos, Jayson Durocher, and outfielder Chad Hermansen. No big whoop here.

-- Cory Lidle is taking one year and $2.75M to attempt to right the ship in Cincinnati. Good luck with that. I'd say those guys are probably at least two years away from sniffing .500. Moderate whoop here.

-- Brook Fordyce will be putting the pressure on Toby Hall next year in Tampa Bay. Fordyce will give Piniella a viable option when he gets ticked off at Hall. Semi-moderate whoop.

Finally, I've been a little sparse lately in the posting department, but that's because my nephews, niece, sister, and brother-in-law have overrun the house and taken over the room that has the computer in it. That said, I missed one story that saddened me.

-- people have touched on this in the blogosphere, but I have to mention the unfortunate death of former Mariner (and White Sock) Ivan Calderon, who died violently at the age of 41. I'll remember him as the guy that showed up on many of my baseball cards with those brutal red-white-and-blue horizontal SOX bands across the front of his uniform with his number on his right leg. Those uniforms were brutal. The other thing I'll remember him for was his baseball glove -- a glove that pushed the envelope in terms of length. Big glove. Not that he had sure hands or anything, but he certainly had a huge glove.

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It's true, I probably leave out some words and thoughts every once in a while, but my motive in the Tribune letter writer post was to rake the letter writer over the coals. Jason Barker of the USS Mariner was a conduit of the information, and I agreed with what he said, whereas Barry McLean (the letter writer) makes me sick.

With that out of the way...it's gotta suck to be a Vikings fan today. Everyone in the upper Midwest probably just realized that it's basketball and hockey season, and that the Timberwolves and the Wild really aren't that bad. Sure, the Seahawks were 6-2 and went 4-4 in the secodn half of the season to finish 10-6 (accurately predicted by John Clayton)...but the Vikings started 6-0 and finished 3-7 to MISS the playoffs. This might be a worse collapse than what we witnessed with the 2003 Mariners.

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Sunday, December 28, 2003


Since the Tacoma News Tribune has now decided to require registration for its readers to read the TNT online, I didn't see this letter from Barry McLean, one of many assclowns from that yuppie palace Gig Harbor.

But now I have, thanks to David.

A few things here:

---I love the Philadelphia fans. Sure, they have booed Santa Claus, Mike Schmidt, and an injured Michael Irvin. But dammit, these fans are awesome. They love their teams, and aren't afraid to tell their teams what they think about them. God bless them. And Kate Smith as well.

---Philly fans were/are whining? Come on, dude, they have that right. We, as Seattle sports fans, also have the right to praise and bitch as well. And if you're really delighted to get away from the "constant whining of Philly fans", then you shouldn't have moved to the Seattle area. Doesn't this guy understand that the last time a Seattle sports team won a championship, Bon Scott was still alive? If I were him, I would have moved to Utah. People there love their Utah Jazz. In a related note, I hate the Jazz.

Only one team walks away from the season with rings on their fingers. To listen to some fans, the other 29 teams are complete failures; that includes that 2001 Mariners team which thrilled us nearly every day for half a year.

Sorry, but the 2001 Mariners were "failures". That's the way things are. If you don't win the World Series, then your season is a failure. And that 2001 team didn't thrill me every damn day, either.

David is right, somewhat, about the whole Safeco Field function deal I attended while I was a Mariners employee. Rick Rizzs has been known to echo Barry's thoughts. But here's the real quote right here, from Howard Lincoln:

"A loss in Safeco Field is better than a win in the Kingdome"

I agree with David's points about the last three seasons of Mariners baseball. They have been very disappointing. Sue me if I haven't had a whole lot of fun talking about the Mariners in the past couple of seasons. We are way past the point of being happy to be in the playoffs. It's World Series or bust.

I've said it before and I'll say it again:

The Seahawks have a better chance of winning the Super Bowl than the Mariners winning the World Series in the next 3 years.

The thing is, the Seahawks are only 4 wins away from the Vince Lombardi Trophy.

Yes, they have a very tough first playoff game at Green Bay Sunday afternoon. But you know, why can't the Seahawks make a run for the Super Bowl? I see teams like Baltimore, New England, and St. Louis in the past couple of seasons win Super Bowls, and I think to myself, why can't that be Seattle?

They may be a year away, this is very true. But I state this again:

Why not the Seahawks???

Something tells me that Shaun Alexander is going to become a nationally known player in the next week or two. He's known for the 266-yard performance against the Raiders in 2001 and the 5-touchdown game against the Vikings in 2002. But he's never played in a playoff game.

Until Sunday.

I like the Seahawks chances. Four years later, it is finally Now Time.

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The Canucks got their first really good spanking of the year last night. I watched the game until it was 3-2 Oilers, and I turned away to play Medal of Honor: Rising Sun on my nephews' PS2. It turns out I had seen all the Canucks' scoring for the night.

The Manitoba Moose callup Alex Auld was in net for the Canucks, and it wasn't his night. The Canucks were up 1-0 and had a power play midway through the second period when Auld tried to play a soon-to-be-iced puck when Todd Bertuzzi already had control of it. Mike York stole it away and beat Auld in off the far post. The Canucks seem to be giving away a few too much shorthanded goals lately, but more so in the game against the Kings.

The Canucks grabbed a 2-1 lead on a nice attacking sequence on which the Sedin twins were involved, and Daniel scored the tally.

Scoring goals tonight for the Canucks were Brad May and Daniel Sedin (4th).

After the Sedin goal, the Oilers reeled off FIVE unanswered goals. The Canucks also managed once again to whiff on the power play.

All in all, it's just a game that the Canucks have to shake off and get out of their system, and they better do it quick because they play in Denver against the Avalanche tomorrow. This team needs its power play and Johan Hedberg back quick.

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Before I do anything else here, I just have to respond to one thing. Jason Barker had this to say about this letter that ran in the Tribune.

Needless to say, I'm gonna be against the over-optimistic letter writer in this one.

Letter writer Barry McLean of Gig Harbor, which is decidedly less ghetto than and has more Hummer H2's per capita than Bremerton, had this to say...

I was delighted to get away from the constant whining of Philly fans and come to a place where sports seems to be less fanatical and way more fun


No, they haven't won the World Series. But so what? Winning it all is way overrated; moreover, it's a ridiculous way to judge how much fun it is to be a fan.

Only one team walks away from the season with rings on their fingers. To listen to some fans, the other 29 teams are complete failures; that includes that 2001 Mariners team which thrilled us nearly every day for half a year.

Barry McLean, I venture to guess you don't know jack about sports. Also, there are a bunch of non-crazy sports fans in Philadelphia, and oh, guess what? They are, dare I say, more knowledgeable, more dedicated, and have a reasonable expectation as to what they expect and want from their teams. Worse yet, as I hear that "only one team wins the World Series talk," I can't help but think those were almost the exact words that came out of Rick Rizzs mouth when colleague Jeremy was doing some sort of Safeco Field function. This leads me to believe the letter is actually some sort of manifesto (crank up the conspiracy theory machine) under the guise of a Rick Rizzs-chosen pseudonym.

Barry McLean, if you see...

-- a Mariner team that wins 116 games (after being a mere two wins from the World Series the year before) and doesn't even get to the World Series,

-- a team that gets overrun by two of their division rivals in 2002 and misses the playoffs altogether, AND

-- a team that busts out of the gate 42-19 and misses the playoffs AGAIN


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Well, it's this place the Seahawks are going to for the Wild Card round of the NFC playoffs.

Seahawks at Packers.

Sunday, January 4. 10 a.m. Pacific, 12 p.m. Central time (GB time and my time), FOX.

Of course, the Seahawks got their asses handed to them the last time they played the Packers back in early October. But this is the playoffs.

There are many storylines to this game.

---Brett Favre's father

---Mike Holmgren coaching a postseason game in Lambeau Field, this time on the opposing side of the field.

---Matt Hasselbeck, former Favre understudy

---Seahawks losing to the Packers 35-14 back on October 5

There are more, but it's as simple as this. This is going to be a great football game. I expect a very close game that will come down to the running game. Can Shaun Alexander become the prime time player that he wants to be? Or will Ahman Green show up the Seahawks defense once again?

We'll see what happens.

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The Seahawks will either play in:

This place.

This place.

Or this place.


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Coyotes lose opener at Glendale Arena to the Predators, 3-1

If you're a hockey fan, you know damn well that the America West Arena was the absolute worst hockey venue ever. Half of the seating there was obstructed view and if you sat behind the goal, you couldn't see 1/4 of the ice.

Arizona hockey fans don't have to worry about dealing with that crap anymore. The new $220 million dollar Glendale Arena opened Saturday night to a sellout crowd of 19,052, 2,000 over the 17,000-plus capacity.

This is the Glendale Arena. Visualize.

The Canucks lost big tonight to the Oilers, 6-2. David may have more on that later, who knows. To be fair, Alex Auld was in net tonight for the Mother Canuckers.

Going back to Phoenix for a moment...

If there are any Cardinals fans reading this, I hope the Cards can beat the Vikings. I doubt that will happen, but hey, all the Seahawks need is a loss by either the Cowboys, Packers, or Vikings.

Later, y'all...

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