Saturday, January 17, 2004


To those who haven't noticed, the ability to comment to our posts here at Sports and B's is back up. HaloScan picked up the few thousand BlogSpeak accounts and made it so we could save the comments that we have accumulated. Of course, you'll notice the comment boxes are much more bland and less colorful than before. I'm not sure if I can do anything about that or not. I think it might require me paying to actually do that. If that is so, then bland comment boxes it is.

So in the unlikely event that any of you out there may have wanted to comment on our posts over the past 4 or 5 days or however long it was, then hopefully the thoughts you had can be riled back up enough to where you can comment on things like what should be the Mariners' new slogan.


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I've been swamped by schoolwork the last couple nights and tonight will be no exception. To those of you out there saying "that's bull, he's posted a bunch of times," the posts you are reading are the fruits of nonproductivity, or what I'm not supposed to be doing at that moment.

That said, I'm just gonna put up the exact post that I posted onto the P-I Mariner blog in response to the Mike Myers signing...here goes.

This is inevitable, so I'm gonna get it out of the way now.

Wayne's World. The scene where they're at Rob Lowe's apartment and Rob is about to call in an order for some takeout food at a local Chinese restaurant. Myers, Carvey, and Carrere are also in the room. When asked what he wants from the Chinese restaurant, Myers busts out one of the greatest ad-lib lines in movie history...

"I'll have the Cream of Sum-Yung Gai!"

Yes, I did Chinesify the last three words. Sound it out if you don't get it at first.

As for baseball (not actor) Mike Myers...I'm really not sure about this. Sure, he might be able to make some hitters look stupid, but I seem to be able to replay images in my mind over and over where the trajectory of a Myers pitch invariably ends up right in the hitters' wheelhouse, no matter what side of the plate the hitter is on.

I had to. It was too easy. If there's anyone out there who would like to have a email rattle-off of Wayne's World references (or 16th season to present SNL in general), my email link is at the top of the sidebar.

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Phil Housley. Retired.

ST. MARY'S POINT, Minn. -- Phil Housley, the highest-scoring American-born player in NHL history, retired Friday after failing to sign with a team this season.

The 39-year-old defenseman had 1,232 points on 338 goals and 894 assists in 1,495 games in 21 seasons with Buffalo, Winnipeg, St. Louis, Calgary, New Jersey, Washington, Chicago and Toronto.

Phil Housley, the best American defenseman ever. Sadly, he never won a Stanley Cup. He did play for the 1997-1998 Eastern Conference Champion Washington Capitals, however.

As I noted earlier this week, Cam Neely should be in the Hockey Hall of Fame. So should Housley.

A class act, a great player...that was Phil Housley. Enjoy retirement, Phil, you've earned it.

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It's official. Mike Myers is a Mariner.

Myers, who pitched with the Diamondbacks the past two years, is familiar to manager Bob Melvin, the Arizona bench coach two seasons back. He has pitched in 609 big league games. After going 0-1 with a 5.70 ERA last year for Arizona, he has a 12-20 career record with a 4.37 ERA.

The only way I would accept Myers' presence on the 25-man roster is if the M's decided to release Kevin Jarvis, opening up a spot for Myers.

But that's not likely to happen. Expect to see Myers and Jarvis on the 25-man roster come Opening Day.

In other Mariners news:

Bill Bavasi is a scary man. Last night on the Northwest Sports Report, I actually had the chance to see an interview with the man responsible for this putrid offseason. His eyes bug out like nobody's business. During the offseason, we've discussed possible Bavasi look-a-likes, and Lenny from "Of Mice of Men" came up.

Well, I'm here to tell you that the Lenny comparison is dead-on. How could this man get a job?

Oh wait...he got a job because of his daddy. Damn them genetics!!!

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Friday, January 16, 2004


First week done and over with of the spring semester. Anyways...

---Mike Myers will be a Mariner. Book this with a capital B. Even though the M's ALREADY have a guy down in the minors (Mr. Lakota Sioux Man himself, Bobby Madritsch), the M's LOVE that veteran experience.

We all live, in a Myers submarine...the piece of sh!t submarine that will give up 8th inning homers to guys like Troy Glaus and Mark Teixera.

---I wouldn't worry about the M's getting Maels Rodriguez. The M's are interested in him, but just like the Jose Contreras deal last year, they will pull out when the Yankees and Red Sox get into the game. When the going gets tough, the tough get going. Sadly, that's not the Mariners.

The going gets tough!!! (GOING GETS TOUGH!!!..cue Danny DeVito here)
If you've never seen the Billy Ocean "When The Going Gets Tough" video, well, you haven't lived...

---Arte Moreno is great. Howard Lincoln is not. I don't care if the players the Angels have signed are big risks. That's the way it is. Everybody is a risk. You have to take chances if you want to win. But the M's are more interested in making sure that little 6 year old Tommy is happy with the Children's Hospital Playfield in center field, next to Kids' Clubhouse, a place I have worked in BTW.


---Too bad about Scott Sauerbeck. I hate to see such a talented guy get hurt like that. Why couldn't this happen to assclowns like Dan Wilson????

---NCAA Football 2004 is the sh!t. I wish I could have had this game back in August when it first came out, but what can you do? There's nothing like using a really crappy team (Baylor) and puttiing up 100 on teams like Oklahoma. Of course, that's with the rookie mode on. But I don't care. You play to win the game, no matter how you do it.

----NFL Street looks decent. I may have to check that out. However, I'll probably wait til it comes down in price before I even consider getting it.


My Conference Championship Picks (short and sweet):


(For those of you that didn't get that...it's gonna be Eagles-Colts in Houston Feb. 1, BELIEVE IT!!!!)

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This won't be about Scotch tape.

The second lefty in the bullpen (chronicled earlier by Jeremy) in all likelihood should come down to (assuming the Mariners actually do bring a second lefty in the bullpen) three M-names --

-- Mike Myers (he of the rule-bending 51-foot pitch)
-- Mike Matthews
-- Bobby Madritsch (the Lakota Sioux lefty)

You may notice that a name is missing from the list that doesn't start with M -- Scott Sauerbeck. He didn't need the Mariners medical staff to mess up his shoulder; he beat them to the punch. Scott Sauerbeck will not pitch in 2004 after failing physicals for both the Cubs and Reds; he will undergo surgery.

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Whoa, when did the P-I start putting all the visual aides and graphs and lists and stuff (in format other than text) into their online articles? Looks cool.

Anyway, Art Thiel has said his piece today.

Referenced by Thiel is the LA Times article (registration required) where Bavasi said Anaheim Angels owner Arte Moreno doesn't have to answer to a corporate board of directors. (Article also referenced by me.)

Thiel likens Moreno to being the Steinbrenner of the West, noting that Steinbrenner's spending in the last three years has gotten the Yankees zero titles.

As always, luck and baseball brains play heavily into a seasonal outcome. At least the Mariners hope so. Unfortunately for the Mariners, who embrace the corporate style, they have been outsmarted the past two seasons by the other AL West threat, the Oakland A's -- so much so that the Mariners explored the notion of prying away A's GM Billy Beane to succeed Pat Gillick.

They did not succeed. Nor did they succeed in getting another one-time A's employee, free-agent shortstop Miguel Tejada. Having failed either to beat the A's or join them, they also found themselves outspent by the new Steinbrenner of the West. So the Mariners reverted to form -- incremental improvement.

For some reason, I was reminded of the three words that go along with the Survivor show: outwit, outlast, and outplay. In this baseball case, it's two words (Thiel gave me the two, I may think of more later, who knows) -- outspend or outsmart. The Mariners aren't outspending (for the big names, anyway), and they sure as hell aren't outsmarting. Where does that get you? You already know, you've been watching the last two seasons...

Not only do the offensive upgrades fail to approach the Angels' improvements, they do nothing to buttress against potential power downturns by Edgar Martinez and John Olerud. As marvelous a hitter as he has been, Martinez has hit more than 30 homers once in his career, Olerud never more than 24, and just 10 last year.

And should slump or injury happen to Bret Boone, there is not another proven run-producer in the lineup that forces opponents to alter pitching plans.

Unchanged since the departure of Alex Rodriguez after 2000, the Mariners remain desperate for a bopper. Two factors seem set to keep it that way indefinitely -- the ballpark and the corporate-style ownership, even though no corporation is involved.

This is the part in the article where I had this weird feeling that I've gotten while reading some other Mariner articles -- the feeling where it feels like the writer dug up an old column and changed some of the dates and/or names. You know -- different year, same old story. Need a big bat, other teams pitch around Edgar and Boone, and if either of them suck, the team's screwed.

Even if the Mariners matched offers of the big spenders to render the biggest issues equal, the sluggers will almost always choose a hitter-friendlier park. The upshot is that the Mariners will get a heavy hitter only through the farm system, such as Griffey and Rodriguez, or a trade of their quality pitching.

Since there are no such creatures on the farm, and since pitching is what keeps the team competitive, the least damaging way to escape the trap is to overspend in free agency.

But as long as that notion continues to violate Bavasi's observation about corporate sensibilities, the buckle will be without swash, and the Mariners will be without playoffs.

I wish Thiel would have nailed the ownership for stockpiling, coddling, and tearing the labrums of the young pitchers (is it safe to say Ryan Anderson's career is in heavy doubt and that Ken Cloude's career is screwed, even though he's gone now?). Basically, if the Mariners don't trade any of the young pitching, then they have to overspend during free agency for hitting because the farm system's position player crop is crap.

The thing is, the Mariners DID overspend for hitting on the free agent market this winter. Unfortunately, the money was given to Raul Ibanez and Scott Spiezio. Outspending? Hell yes, no one else thought either of these guys was worth that much. Outsmarting? You know what I think.

Advantage: Beane and Stoneman.

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Do the Mariners just want to beat everyone to the Cuban-guy-du-jour (is he really 24?), or do they actually have a plan for this guy? I haven't seen an ounce of speculation (maybe I'm just blind) as to what role Maels Rodriguez would take in the pitching staff. If he still has the 100-mph fastball and they put him in the bullpen, then I guess you get a faster and better version of the 2000 Mariners' Jose-squared combo (thanks, Bill Krueger) of Jose Paniagua and Jose Mesa. Except this time it'd be Maels and Raf Soriano. Two righties who throw smoke. If Maels doesn't have an off-speed pitch slower than a slider, than we could officially say that it'd be two of the same guy. Let's pray that Raf learns a changeup or a curve and bolsters his case for the rotation, shall we?

I think the bottom line here is, I'd be a lot more happy about this whole Maels Rodriguez guy if he was left-handed.

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Thursday, January 15, 2004


The difference in this game was that the Sharks dominated the first period by outshooting the Canucks 17-6 shots and getting two goals. Ironically, in the second and third periods, the Canucks outshot the Sharks 16-6 and 16-7, but only converted once.

Dan Cloutier, who along with Markus Naslund were the two cogs in the Canucks' eight-game road winning streak, had his magic touch run out tonight in the form of two horrible decisions which led to two Shark goals. The first came when Cloutier tried to poke check, leaving him open for Alex Korolyuk's wraparound. The other bad decision happened in the third period and effectively killed the Canucks tonight. Cloutier came way out of the net to play the puck and had a ton of room to his left, but decided to throw the puck into traffic. He didn't get back in time, though he saved one shot, but then Alyn McCauley punched it in. Looks like Dan Cloutier has one thing in common with Pat Roy -- he's a crappy puckhandler.

Unfortunately, even with Vancouver on this red-hot road streak, Colorado beat Dallas tonight and now is tied with the Canucks (Colorado breaks the tie, and has played two less games). The Avalanche has picked up 17 of their last 18 possible points. Peter Forsberg has 36 points in 22 games. The man is nuts. Markus Naslund has 53 points in 45 games. Peter Forsberg is the best hockey player on the planet.

The Canucks have a big five-game homestand that starts Saturday against Anaheim.

Henrik Sedin had four hacks at the puck in front of Evgeni Nabokov in a sequence in the second period and none of them went in. Henrik was credited with seven shots in the second period. Nabokov was solid in net tonight, stopping 34 and not giving out a lot of rebounds.

Also with eight total shots was Markus Naslund, one of which went in. Naslund, with his 25th goal this year, is now in sole possession of third place on the all-time Canuck goal scoring list at 255 goals, passing Pavel Bure, who is now out of hockey. Unfortunately, Cloutier had deflated the Canucks' hopes 19 seconds earlier with his dumbfounded decision. No bad Cloutier decision there, and it's 2-1 instead of 3-1, and the end of the game is much dicier.

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Ben Davis has avoided arbitration by signing a $1.4M, one-year deal with the Mariners. Dan Wilson will be making $3.5M next year, in case anyone was wondering (I was).

In a weird tidbit off that wire article, Ben Davis has played in exactly 80 games in each of the past two years with the Mariners. I thought maybe there'd be an increase or decrease or something.

Anybody but Wiki, that's what I always say.

I'm glad I was able to get in at least one non-Canuck post today...I wasn't seeing anything too postworthy.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2004


I have to admit, I've referenced a ton of David Locke stuff on this page on this site, but the one part today about the Mariners having not acquired a player via trade or development for the last 10 years (sans Winn) slipped by me. I trusted David Locke a little too much.

And the thing is, I knew two nights ago while listening to a Locke shift on KJR that he hadn't come up with an idea for a column yet, and I think he had one due for the next day but must not have met the deadline or something (between all his Sonic pre-, postgame, and halftime spots). It's almost ironic that David Locke the stat geek slipped up on one of the more obvious things (non-statistical) in the article which, as stated by Derek, shouldn't have to require two assumptions to make the article go off without a hitch.

Kudos to Derek and Steve for nailing this. The blogosphere as a whole has managed to nail the normal beat writers for painting too-rosy pictures of the Mariners trials and travails, whereas this time a writer (Locke) has been nailed for going too far the other way. Good to see the blogosphere maintain a little level-headedness here.

As for me, I guess I must have been tired or something, letting the Locke gaffe slip by me. As I've said, I've used a ton of Locke references and stats on this page and I've come to trust David Locke, but I guess there's a reason why his day job is as an evening sports talk show host and not as a daily P-I writer (~once/twice a week). That said, David Locke's show (7-10p) is horribly entertaining. He's a total ass to callers who stumble or bring in faulty logic or interrupt him. His forte is basketball, no doubt about it.

I'll just be a little more careful next time. I'm crafting my watchful eye.

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TNT, they used to be dynamite...

General manager Bill Bavasi and his front office staff have narrowed their search to three veteran relievers - Mike Myers, Mike Matthews and Scott Sauerbeck - and are intrigued by an in-house candidate, rookie Travis Blackley.

If any of the three veterans sign with Seattle, it'll be to a minor league contract with an invite to major league camp. Before the Mariners clear room on the 40-man roster for a pitcher, he's going to have to earn a big-league job.

Among those veteran lefties, each would bring a résumé with him to the Mariners bullpen:

• Myers, 34, throws almost submarine fashion, and in nine years of big league experience is 12-20 with a 4.37 earned run average. Two years ago, now-manager Bob Melvin was a coach in Arizona when Myers pitched there.

• Matthews, 33, fought through nine years of injuries in the minors to get to the majors, where he's pitched for St. Louis, Milwaukee and San Diego. Last year, he was 6-4 with a 4.45 ERA for the Padres. In his career, he's 11-9 with a 4.14 ERA.

• Sauerbeck, 33, split last season between Pittsburgh and Boston, going 3-5 with a 4.76 ERA. In 367 career relief appearances, he's 19-16 with a 3.71 ERA.

Personally, I'd take Scott Sauerbeck as the second lefty in the pen. However, my gut feeling says Mike Myers. He's a former Diamondback, and Blow-Mel has tried to stock the M's with D-Backs. Why would he stop now?

Travis Blackley, however, is a very interesting possibility. Larry LaRue noted that the Angels had Chuck Finley start off in the majors as a reliever, and then he was able to return to starting after a year or two.

Obviously, Blackley should be better than Finley ever was. But who knows what will happen.

The wild card in all of this is Norm Charlton. That's right, Norm Charlton. I was watching the Northwest Sports Report last night (more on this later) and Norm is going to be at the Mariners Fantasy Camp down in Peoria this week to test his arm to see if he can still pitch competitively. For the love of God, I hope the M's aren't depending on Charlton to be able to pitch in 2004. He hasn't pitched competitively since 2001, so it would be a very long road for him to make it.

But these are the Seattle Mariners we're talking about here.

Anyways, on the whole FSNW deal...

My cable company got some new channels earlier this week. Yesterday, I was checking them out and all of a sudden, pops up Fox Sports Pacific, one of the 3 FSN digital channels available in most cable companies (Atlantic, Central, and Pacific). I had these channels back in Bremerton, so I'm already familiar with the Pittsburgh Sports Report and the New England Sports Report, sponsored by the Mohegan Sun (hysterical).

I had watched the 6:30 edition of the Northwest Sports Report (8:30 my time) and it was Jim Watson flying solo. I know that Watson joined FSNW after I left Washington, so this wasn't a huge shock to me. But he's much, much better on the Pac-10 magazine shows, such as "On Campus".

Alright, time to get ready for class.....

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What were the Mariners thinking when they signed Scott Spiezio, Raul Ibanez, and Rich Aurilia? According to David Locke, they're trying to recapture the lightning in a bottle they caught when they signed Bret Boone. Times three.

The Mariners have been the poster child for a team in desperate need of another bopper in the middle of the lineup for the past two seasons. Last season's devastating fades from Boone and Ichiro Suzuki underscored the need for big-time help.

Help is not defined as an average batter. Help is someone who makes pitchers adjust their approach. Help changes the way other players are pitched to. Help alters the entire complexion of your lineup.

Ibanez, Aurilia and Spiezio don't classify as help unless they take off like Boone did.
If they hadn't traded [Lou Piniella for Randy Winn], the last player [the Mariners]acquired via trade or development would have been [Dan] Wilson, 10 seasons ago.

I can totally imagine Bavasi and the Mariner brass using this logic. You can't bank on this. You just can't. You're trying to depend on shooting the moon and hoping for career years out of these guys rather than getting players that consistently do a good job, that will most likely help you, and that are dependable.

The way I look at it, this reminds me of when Norm Charlton was supposed to be the second lefty out of the pen in 2002. The logic is just as faulty. He hit the shelf, and they didn't do anything about it. The team was screwed and Rhodes got tired just like he did in 2000 (Rob Ramsay was more of a middle-innings long man), leading indirectly to the Dave Justice homer off Rhodes in Game 6 of the 2000 ALCS that is forever etched into my retinas, sort of like how some ATMs get their "Welcome" images burned into their screens (as will happen to any CRT with a standstill image, hence why screensavers were invented).

Anyway, when no move was made to get a second lefty in that bullpen until Doug Creek came in, this could have only meant that they were really banking on Norm Charlton (39 years old heading into the 2002 season) to be completely healthy and be that second lefty in the pen. I remember the very day he was shelved in spring training, the first thing that I and everyone else thought was "who's gonna be that second lefty?" We waited. And waited. And we got Doug frigging Creek in frigging August. And he sucked.

The point is, for me the Mariner brass is trying to place high hopes in things that just have a low likelihood of coming through (the three "Boone"-ish cases) or have a strong possibility of failing (Charlton).

I'm not even sure I know what I'm saying now.

[Bonus: I've figured out how to type the name Spiezio without messing up -- just try to add one more syllable to the word, kinda like how Schwarzenegger says Cahl-ee-FORN-ee-ah, except here I would say Spee-YEZ-ee-oh to account for that first letter "i" so I didn't miss it. So add one syllable, and stress the second.]

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The comments have been gone for the last couple days, and apparently they will be back by the weekend. Harry the Blogspeak head honcho has posted why the service is down, and this is some of what it says on the Blogspeak front page...

BlogSpeak is currently down because the bastards that host it (not the one you got the hosting offer from, those guys are wonderful) decided to suspend my account. ... Those of you with your own servers running PHP & MySQL will be able to run comments on your own server instead of relying on one controlled by a building full of douchebags. ... Thanks for your patience during this time, and I apologize for this bullsh!+.

I could have gotten a new comment system and stuff, but the last time this happened I went to HaloScan and put Blogspeak back on a couple days later. I realized that Blogspeak had kept all the old comments from before I installed the HaloScan. I also like the easy tailorability (is that a word?) of the Blogspeak comment boxes as opposed to the HaloScan boxes, and the fact that Harry the Blogspeak head honcho keeps everyone up to tabs on anything new. He's a'ight. In short, I think the service is better and the product is superior, and it'll have all the old comments saved up.

So if any of you readers out there have been saving any juicy comments for our posts over the last couple days, you can hang tight for the comments to come back up, or you can flood our email inboxes because our addresses are at the top right of the sidebar, as always.

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Tuesday, January 13, 2004


The Canucks have continued their torrid road ways. They are now 11-1-1 in their last 13 road games and have won eight road games in a row (franchise record). They are also 6-2-1 in their last nine games overall. Vancouver managed to hand shutout maestro Brian Boucher his first loss in 11 games (now 6-1-4) and the Coyotes their first loss in seven games (5-1-1).

The Canucks were 2-for-5 on the power play tonight, working their way back to getting the element of their game that was so strong last year.

With his two goals tonight, Markus Naslund tied Pavel Bure on the all-time Canuck goal scoring list with 254.

Goalie Dan Cloutier is 8-3-1 since coming back from his groin injury.

Goal scorers tonight for Vancouver: Markus Naslund twice (24), Ed Jovanovski (7), Daniel Sedin (6)

The top line of Bertuzzi/Morrison/Naslund had a total of seven points.

This post won't be very long tonight, and I'm not doing a Sonic post tonight because they're about to lose to the frigginng Cleveland Cavaliers. Game plan against the Sonics -- attack the rack; the Sonics can't play defense if you do that. The difference is that Cleveland has Zydrunas Ilgauskas, who is a formidable center when healthy, which is more than Miami had when they beat the Sonics. They just losrt to friggin CLEVELAND!!! That's Cleveland's THIRD ROAD WIN of the year!! They had just faced the Lakers the night before!! ARRRGGHH!!!

But I can't end a Canuck post on the note of a crappy Sonic loss. I'll leave it with this here article. It is about the Canucks power play futility this season, but also about the proficience of the penalty-killing unit. There's a cool little percentage-sum thing at the end of the article that's a cool little measuring stick for special teams play.

The Canucks visit the Shark Tank on Thursday. The corporate people call it the HP Pavilion, but the only HP Pavilion I will talk about is the one I'm working on right now, a heavily antiquated piece of crap (8370) that I got back in 11th grade. The Canucks will be trying to avenge the last-second loss the Sharks pinned on them when Pat Marleau was fed the game-winning goal after Trevor Linden coughed up the puck in his own zone.

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One week after Derrick Turnbow became the first player on a Major League roster to test positive for steroids, Terrmel Sledge of the Montreal Expos has joined him.

Both Turnbow and Sledge (minor-leaguer on the 40-man roster) tested positive at the same US Olympic tryout camp and have been banned from international competition for two years. Since the two players tested positive in 2003, they won't face any of the treatment requirements or penalties that will be put in effect for positive testers in 2004.

For my take on this, here's my initial reaction from when Turnbow tested positive.

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Vladimir Guerrero meets the press in SoCal...

My take:

"Wow, I get to face Kevin Jarvis again? BRILLIANT!!!"

BTW, in 11 at-bats against Jarvis, Vlad has a career .455 average against the suckass Padre that is now a Mariner.

I don't want to die. But I do want to bang my friggin head into a wall.

Don't worry though, I'll be doing that at least 20 days during the 2004 season. Vlad in Anaheim scares the hell out of me. Not many things scare me, but this does.


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Cam Neely. The most underrated hockey player ever.

Monday night at the Fleet Center in Boston, Neely became the 10th Boston Bruin to have his number retired. Neely only played 13 seasons, 3 with the Canucks and 10 with the Bruins, before being forced to retire in 1996 due to a chronic hip injury.

From the Boston Bruins web site...

His 344 career regular season goals total include 76 multiple-goal games including 14 career hat tricks, 129 power play goals, one shorthanded goal, 56 game-winning tallies and three game-tying scores. His franchise-record 55 playoff goals included three career playoff hat tricks.

He had 173 multiple-point games, with 120 two-point efforts, 45 three-point games, seven four-point nights and a career-high 3-4=7 performance October 16, 1988 in Chicago. He added 18 multiple-point playoff games, with 14 two-point efforts and four three-point nights.

His most frequent target was Patrick Roy, against whom he scored 16 regular season goals and 18 playoff tallies. Rounding out his regular-season top targets are Ken Wregget (15), Peter Sidorkiewicz (13), Tom Barrasso (12) and Mario Gosselin, Kirk McLean and John Vanbiesbrouck (10 each). In all, he scored goals against 81 different goaltenders.

His most proficient set-up man was Ray Bourque, who assisted on 103 of Neely's 344 career regular season goals (29.9%). Craig Janney assisted on more of Neely's 55 playoff goals than any other player with 28 playoff assists on Neely goals (50.9%).

His favorite team target was the Quebec/Colorado franchise, as he scored more points against the Nordiques/Avalanche than any other NHL team with 32 goals and 29 assists for 61 points in 49 games.

He recorded points in 344 of his 525 games as a Bruin (65.5%) with his longest stretch of games without a point four-game spans on four occasions. He averaged 1.12 points-per-game over his Bruins career.

He holds the second-longest goal streak in club history with eight-game stretches each in 1989-90 and 1990-91 (nine goals each). Those streaks are one shy of Phil Esposito's club mark of nine games in 1970-71.

He led the club in goals on seven occasions, in 1986-87, 1987-88, 1988-89, 1989-90, 1990-91, 1993-94 and 1994-95, and in overall scoring twice, in 1988-89 and 1989-90. Only Phil Esposito led the team in goals for more seasons at eight.


I miss Cam Neely. The man had to retire way too soon. He retired at the age of 31. Not fair. NOT FAIR AT ALL. Cam was tough as hell. He defined the term "power forward". The small rink of the Boston Garden was perfect for Cam. His style of play fit the Boston Garden just as well as the parquet floor.

You did kick ass, Seabass.


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Monday, January 12, 2004


I'm totally stealing this one from KJR's David Locke, but here's what he did during a commercial break on his show...

He went to ESPN.com and did a little stat split hijinks. Now we know John Olerud had an off year especially in the power realm last year. We also know that there's certain positions on a baseball team where other teams usually have pretty powerful hitters. These stats, though, are just wrong...

If you include the "underqualified" (not enough at-bats, I just realized I don't know how to filter those out) first basemen over all of the 30 teams in Major League Baseball and sort their 2003 statistics by home runs, John Olerud is 33rd with 10 home runs in 539 at-bats. The players that are 34th through 40th had the folowing numbers of at-bats: 330 (JT Snow), 202 (Hee-Seop Choi), 272 (Shawn Wooten), 183 (Brian Daubach), 197 (Julio Franco), 113 (Jeff Liefer), and 254 (Lyle Overbay).

The point is clear: John Olerud had one of the weakest first base bats in baseball last year. Olerud was 33rd. Some teams have TWO FIRST BASEMAN (by ESPN criteria) that had MORE homers than Olerud had in 539 frigging at-bats.

So the question is this, and I need to get to homework, so I can't research it right now: with the twenty or so more home runs that the Mariners should be getting out of the first base position (but aren't getting), can we say that this 20-homer disparity has been overcome by the moves that have been made this offseason?

Still, though, the bottom line is that the Mariners need way more pop out of first base, hence our incessant and futile Sexson in 2004 campaign from earlier this offseason, and the Sports and B's Miggy Hot Stove campaign (you know, to replace the no-bombs at first base with some bombs at short).

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I heard something great on the Groz and Gas Show today on KJR. Mike Gastineau referenced an LA Times article (registration required) which bore what he thought the new slogan for the 2004 Mariners should be.


Some easter eggs from that article...

If Buzzie Bavasi, [Harry] Dalton's successor as general manager, hadn't suddenly drawn a financial line amid a personality spat and refused to make Nolan Ryan baseball's first $1-million-a-year player after the 1979 season, prompting Ryan to depart as a free agent and leaving Bavasi to forever call it his biggest mistake, Autry's tormented Angels might have won a World Series with Grich and Baylor in '82 and another with Grich in '86.

Letting Nolan Ryan go in or possibly before his prime? I'll be damned if the bad decisions don't run in the Bavasi family. Yippee!!

Now, the slogan part in context...
[Angel owner Arte] Moreno and General Manager Bill Stoneman have assembled a World Series-caliber team that can be said to boast the deepest pitching in baseball and potentially the strongest lineup.

Bill Bavasi, the former Angel general manager who holds a similar position with the division rival Seattle Mariners, didn't put it that way Sunday, but he said:

"I think everyone was picking them to win the division even before they [acquired Guerrero], and he certainly doesn't hurt their chances. Given how good this guy is, I don't think he'll have any problems adjusting to a new team and a new league — unfortunately — but we're not conceding. We're very happy with our team. We plan to show up and give them a good run."

It doesn't stop there, kids!!

"Am I surprised by the way Moreno has gone about it?" the Seattle GM said. "Not really. It's different for a single owner who doesn't have a board of directors or a corporation [to whom] he has to answer. He can wake up in the morning and say, 'I think I'll have a Guerrero for breakfast,' and he does.

"Is he done? I guess so, but then I thought he was done before [signing Guerrero]."

Could it be that the GM of our favorite baseball team is dumb, helpless, AND spineless?


I want to die.

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Roger Clemens is a Houston Astro. One year, $5M.

Lastly, Jeff Nelson is headed to Texas, according to the latest KJR sports update. I can't find a print source on the Internet just yet.

You know, Arthur Rhodes and Jeff Nelson could have gone to 26 other teams. Why did they have to pick AL West teams?

Another great "Why...?" quote just popped into my head. It's from Ed O'Neill (Al Bundy) on Wayne's World 2, where he asks Wayne and Garth "Why do they come to me to die? Why do they come to me to die?"

We could adapt that last quote into sports...probably something to do with Seattle sports and why we Seattle fans always end up with the shaft.

[Edit ~10:36a: Here's the Nelson and Kenny Rogers wire link.]

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More stuff from that TNT article David posted...

The Sonics are increasingly concluding that the features they want can't be developed at Key-Arena because of limited space.

The footprint of KeyArena - which was renovated in 1994-95 at a cost of $74 million - is about 360,000 square feet, and there is nowhere to expand at Seattle Center. The footprints of buildings such as Conseco Fieldhouse and SBC Center are 750,000 square feet. For the Rose Garden in Portland and the United Center in Chicago, the figure is almost 1 million square feet. In addition, those buildings have at least some form of on-site parking, which KeyArena does not and never could have.

Of all the buildings the owners and manager have examined, the one they like best is Conseco, which has good capacity (18,345) but has retained the feel of an older gymnasium.

"Every building has great features, every building has things that they have said they would like to do over, and we are trying to learn from that," Walker said. "In terms of feel, functionality, revenue-generating capability, Conseco is the best."

Walker said he likes the internal gathering places at Conseco that allow fans to get out of the weather while they are either waiting to meet friends or clients or in line for security clearance.

You know, if Howard Schultz was the owner of the Sonics 10 years ago, Seattle would have already had a new arena built. But NOOOOOOOOOO, cheap ass Barry Ackerley was still the friggin owner. He decided to go the cheap route and "renovate" Seattle Center Coliseum and turn it into the underwhelming, overrated Key Arena...the same place that has the worst, godawful leg room EVER!

(See, David is right guys. Whenever I'm asked about Key Arena, I talk about the leg room within the first minute)

But if the Sonics can get their new arena, then by all means PLEASE build a fieldhouse-type of arena. I love Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, who doesn't? I for one would love to see a 19,500 seat Fieldhouse on the Seattle waterfront.

If you're not sold on a fieldhouse-type arena for Seattle, then you will change your mind after checking out this little link. And this link.

Man, if this new arena could get the NHL as well....hoo boy, then I would definitely have a reason to move back to the Seattle area. I'm currently studying to become a journalist, so by the time I'm out of school, maybe the NHL will be in Seattle. Maybe. I wouldn't mind covering hockey. Hell, I'd even go to Canada to land an NHL beat if I had to.

But anyways...

I hope the Sonics can get a new arena. Key Arena is crap and I know that Seattle isn't too fond of building another sports facility. But I speak for all the big and tall men of the Northwest who have attended at least one game at Key Arena and state that I'm in 100% favor of a new arena.

A new fieldhouse, of course. FIELDHOUSE ROCKS!!!

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Your Seattle SuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuperSonics!

That's right, the Sonic brass has concluded that the revenue-generating capabilites of KeyArena are not sufficient. Of course, they know they won't get an arena built right away (team is looking up but still mediocre, and the community won't warm up too easily since they've been busy paying for two stadiums), but they have some people looking at new arenas around the country and whatnot.

The article brings up the disparities between the Key and some other arenas...

The footprint of KeyArena - which was renovated in 1994-95 at a cost of $74 million - is about 360,000 square feet, and there is nowhere to expand at Seattle Center. The footprints of buildings such as Conseco Fieldhouse and SBC Center are 750,000 square feet. For the Rose Garden in Portland and the United Center in Chicago, the figure is almost 1 million square feet. In addition, those buildings have at least some form of on-site parking, which KeyArena does not and never could have.

It was always a bitch to park at KeyArena. I remember a couple times when I did security for CSC (the yellow shirt guys), me and my bro-in-law had to find some place to park around the arena for either Bumbershoot or a Sonic game (can't remember which) and I think we managed to park too far away AND park in a space where I had doubts that it was legal to park, but I wasn't sure because some of the stuff around there wasn't clearly marked.

In a related story, a couple years ago, Jeremy, and friends Steve and DT went down to Portland to see the Timberwolves and TrailBlazers at the Rose Garden. The parking lot was huge. The area right outside the arena was pretty cool, with the sidewalks and a couple of sculptures and whatnot. Memorial Coliseum (the hailed Glass Palace...remember how you could see the windows and the light from outside when guys shot free throws in that place during the national NBC playoff telecasts?) also isn't far away. Also, kudos to Paul Allen and the Blazer brass for picking OUR ROW in the UPPER DECK a few rows from the roof (and not some rich three-rows-from-courtside guys in suits) for the free Papa John's breadsticks. We had dinner on Paul Allen's tab. Felt great. Tasted even better. And it should have because we had to go to some creepy Papa John's in NE Portland to redeem the coupons.

Where Portland gets screwed in parking is if they want to see the Portland Beavers at PGE Park. The parking lots are blocks away. But the convenient thing is that the Beaver ticket stub doubles as a free day pass on the Tri-Met buses (or light rails if you come in from that far). You gotta love Seattle, though, because the town is way too cool for light rail and meaningful public transportation.

Also, KeyArena's seats are not for the big and tall. There isn't a lot of legroom, which also doubles as "room to walk between the seats of one row and the backs of the seats of the row below." The result is a lot of shin-banging.

Anyway, if that new arena gets built, one can only hope that if Schultz isn't too much of a bastard, the NHL could come to Seattle. Of course, they'd have to drum up some public support for hockey. The other sick thing would be this -- with how unknowledgable a good portion of the Mariner fans are, I could only imagine how brainless a bunch of hockey newbies would be. Yikes. Why not Seattle though? Frigging Columbus, Ohio has a team.

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The Canucks used two goals in the third period to erase a two-goal deficit and get a point at home. Mattias Ohlund put a puck off the crossbar in the overtime period, leaving the Canucks winless in regulation time at the Garage since the 8th of November. They are winless in five games at home.

Also in the overtime period, Henrik Sedin was nailed for an early high-stick, which the Canucks killed off thanks to some wicked Alex Auld saves on Viktor Kozlov and Val Bure.

Goals for the Canucks were scored by Mattias Ohlund (7th), and the game-tying goal by Henrik Sedin (5th).

Alex Auld stopped 29 shots for the Canucks.

Valeri Bure scored both goals for the Panthers. As you may know, Val Bure is Mr. Candace Cameron (DJ Tanner). No word on if the show Full House was showed in the Canuck dressing room as intermission entertainment/motivation.

In a weird stat, the Canucks lead the league in points (13 with a record of 4-5-4-1) when trailing after two periods.

The Canucks face the Coyotes on Tuesday in the brand-new arena in Glendale. The radio announcers will undoubtedly talk about how the sightlines are better and how the press box will be on the correct side of the rink, i.e., if the players are going from right to left on the monitor, they will also be going right to left when they look out of the press box and onto the rink.

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Sunday, January 11, 2004


Here's another trade rumor...

It's rumored that the Padres are going to turn around and trade Jeff Cirillo and Ramon Hernandez to Pittsburgh for Jason Kendall.

Damn, it looks like the Pirates reeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaalllllllly want to get rid of Jason Kendall's contract. If they'd really take on Cirillo and Ramon Hernandez (at least they'd get a catcher back in return) just to get out of the Kendall contract... I wouldn't do it, but then again, I'm not part of the inept Pirates management of the last decade.

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Bob Finnigan is up to his old tricks. I frankly can't believe Bret Boone said the horrible towing-the-company-line-type things he says in the article and I wish the Mariners still had Jeff Nelson so he could tell everyone what the players REALLY think about the Mariners' offseason moves. I found some stuff to mess with in this article...

But while Seattle may have afforded the ex-Expos slugger if it had put the combined $11 million that Ibanez, Spiezio and Randy Winn will make toward Guerrero, it chose instead to spread its money around. What the Mariners didn't want to do was sign Guerrero and surround him with the likes of Jose Cruz Jr. in left, Denny Hocking at third and Deivi Cruz at short.

I'm supposed to believe that Ibanez, with his soon-to-be-sunk-by-Safeco stats and stone glove, is better than Jose Cruz Jr.? If this is about hitting for power, last year Cruz hit 20 bombs and his team played in Pac Bell Park, a pitcher's paradise. Ibanez in 2003 hit eighteen homers (that's LESS) for a team that played in hitter-friendly Kauffman Stadium. Sure, Ibanez drove in 90 runs to Cruz' 68, but Cruz walked 102 times to Ibanez' 49. Just some Cruz-friendly stats here, but the point is, Cruz had MORE homers playing half his games in a pitcher-friendly park while Ibanez had less in a hitter-friendly park. But the worst statistic is this: the Mariners gave Ibanez 3 years and $13.25M. Cruz got 2 years and $6M from Tampa Bay. Oh yeah, Cruz won the Gold Glove last year.

So I've grilled that paragraph for implying that Ibanez is better (and more powerful) than (switch-hitting) Jose Cruz Jr. I'll say something else: I'd take Deivi Cruz at short and Denny Hocking at third if the Mariners got Vlad Guerrero. I would. There, I said it. That paragraph in the Times does not faze me. And quite frankly, Denny Hocking would probably be a better defender at third than Scott Spiezio anyway. I'd take on the ineptness of Hocking and Deivi Cruz if the Mariners got the big stick of Vlad Guerrero in that lineup. Nice try, Finnigan.

Boone said he thinks acquiring Ibanez alone made up the four games by which the Mariners missed finishing first. "Ibby beat us that many times by himself last year," Boone said of Ibanez, who hit .412 with three home runs last season against the Mariners. "He killed us."

He did kill the Mariners. Trident-loving John did a little research and found that Raul Ibanez had a decent OPS of .755 against the AL West. Take Seattle out of that, and Raul's OPS was a grand .588. Great. Just frigging great.

Well, enough of Finnigan. Larry LaRue did double-duty for Sunday's Tribune, mailing in an article introducing Bill Bavasi to the Tacoma readership, and penning another article going over Bavasi's moves.

Some of the implications are ridiculous.

LaRue notes that Bavasi "[t]raded Greg Colbrunn, who could play one position - first base - for Quinton McCracken, who can play anywhere in the outfield or pinch run." Did Larry LaRue type this with a straight face? Colbrunn was brought in to spell Olerud and most notably, HIT, and hit FOR POWER off the bench. Crack can "play" the outfield, but God knows Ugueto and Bloomsuck will be roaming the Mariner bench once again, so what's the use for another pinch-runner? I can't believe how badly the readers of Tacoma are being misinformed here.

LaRue also notes that Bavasi "[t]raded Carlos Guillen, first for shortstop Omar Vizquel - who failed a physical - then to Detroit for two young players, including backup infielder Ramon Santiago." Why didn't LaRue just say that the Mariners traded Carlos Guillen for next to nothing? He basically just said Guillen was traded for a backup infielder and a second guy that he didn't even name in the damn article.

Bavasi also "[s]igned free agent Scott Spiezio, a huge piece of the puzzle in Anaheim when the Angels won their first World Series in 2002. Spiezio will play third base this season, but could shift to first base next year if Olerud retires." Guess what? Spiezio was a big part of those 2002 Angels. AT FIRST BASE. I heard the words out of Bavasi's mouth when he said he thought Spiezio could play 150 games next year as a third baseman. Is this a realistic expectation when Spiezio has played a total of 132 games at third base in his entire career? As for the Olerud retiring thing...screw Spiezio, I want Sexson.

Bavasi also "[s]igned free agent shortstop Rich Aurilia, an offensive player with viable clubhouse presence." Clubhouse presence is overrated. Heavily. And hopefully Aurilia really is an offensive player, as opposed to a player whose performance I would consider offensive (stress the second syllable that time in case there's confusion).

LaRue also says that "[Bavasi] has changed the look of the bullpen, brought three new players into the starting lineup and given manager Bob Melvin a more flexible bench." Do we mean "flexible" as in redundant, crappy, and giving a big middle finger to deserving kids in the farm system (don't forget the fact the Mariners took on money in the Crack deal)? Seriously, for how much longer have the Mariners held back the career of Chris Snelling by signing Ibanez for three years? We can only hope that Rich Aurilia's one-year contract is a seat-warmer for Jose Lopez and not Willie Bloomcrap. Spiezio's contract at third is also holding back some prospects, if only for a year.

If there's one thing about these writers sometimes, I wish the rose-colored glasses would just come off a few more times than they actually do.

At least Larry Stone wrote an okay article, basically calling the Angels frontrunners in the AL West, whereas I basically handed them the division title and told them to find a way to screw it up.

[Edit ~12:13pm: More from the Finnigan article...
The anticipated loss of Mike Cameron required someone to play center field. Melvin's call was to have Ichiro remain in right, and how could anyone argue with the manager's extreme reluctance "to move the best right fielder in the league, if not in the game."

I can argue with that. The best rightfielder in the baseball now plays in Anaheim. Two of the best outfield arms in the Majors play the corner outfield spots for Anaheim (Jose Guillen in left). All that said, I think having the centerfielder being able to cover the most ground is more important than having the rightfielder posessing the best arm. Randy Winn's just not going to be able to cover those gaps like Ichiro would if he played CF. In that aspect, the defense in CF would be a more seamless transition from Cameron. Then again, if left field is the only place you can hide Ibanez' defense, you can't put Randy Winn's arm in rightfield. So we come full circle -- they never should have signed, let alone overpaid Raul Ibanez.]

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