Saturday, January 31, 2004
Yep, it's the Saturday before the Super Bowl. And since the title of this blog says "Sports and Bremertonians", well, I got your Super Bowl prediction column right here.
New England 30, Carolina 20
That's right, take the over. The over/under is 38 I think.
Now, this doesn't mean that both teams will be offensive juggernauts, because that's simply not going to happen.
Personally, it would make my entire weekend if Rod Smart, i.e. He Hate Me, runs a kickoff back for a touchdown and it was called back due to a block in the back. How funny would that be? As far as irony goes, the XFL debuted three years ago this Tuesday.
My best (worst) Vince McMahon impression:
THIS IS THE XXXXXXXXXXFFFFFFFFFFFFLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
(Best part of the XFL was the damn shower scene commercial with Karen McDougal, IMO)
Anyways, back to the only pro football league that matters...
Expect Jake Delhomme to inherit the ghost of Neil O'Donnell. He won't be as bad as O'Donnell, because that's pretty hard to do. But expect 3 INTs, one returned for a touchdown by Mike Vrabel.
Tom Brady is not Joe Montana. Trust me, you will NEVER hear me say "Brady is Montana" here at Sports and B's. But he's certainly no Chris Chandler. Brady has been solid for the Patriots all year long, and there's a reason why the Pats have won 14 in a row.
So, since I'm bored with schoolwork, here's my Super Bowl XXXVIII boxscore:
NE---Adam Vinatieri FG (3-0 Patriots)
CAR---Steve Smith TD (7-3 Panthers)
NE---Antowain Smith TD (10-7 Patriots)
CAR---Ricky Manning INT TD (14-10 Panthers)
NE---David Givens TD (17-14 Patriots)
Janet Jackson blows everybody else off the stage (everybody meaning Puff Daddy/P. Diddy/B.I.G.'s beyotch, Nelly, and Kid Rock)
NE----Adam Vinatieri FG (20-14 Patriots)
CAR---John Kasay FG (20-17 Patriots)
NE---Mike Vrabel INT TD (27-17 Patriots)
CAR---John Kasay FG (27-20 Panthers)
NE---Adam Vinatieri FG (30-20 Patriots)
Patriots 30, Panthers 20
Super Bowl XXXVIII MVP: Mike Vrabel, Patriots LB (9 tackles, 2 INT, 1 TD)
If Bill Simmons thinks that Houston is a bad city for the Super Bowl, just look at the next two seasons:
Super Bowl XXXIX, Alltel Stadium, Jacksonville
Super Bowl XL, Ford Field, Detroit
Jacksonville isn't much at all, but man I hope the Seahawks can win the Vince Lombardi Trophy in Jacksonville. Detroit is just a dump, plain and simple.
Oh yes, it will happen. The Seahawks will win Super Bowl XXXIX. Believe it.
The Canucks absolutely dominated a hapless Washington Capitals team tonight en route to their fifth win in a row, their tenth road win in their eleven tries, and they became the first team in the NHL this year to 30 wins. The Canucks are now one point back of Colorado, who has a game in hand but has one less win. The Canucks have won the last three meetings against the Capitals by a combined score of 17-2. Vancouver has a 25-game unbeaten streak against teams of the NHL's Southeast Division.
The Canucks did it tonight thanks to scoring on four straight power plays (partly thanks to the Capitals being undisciplined and making stupid penalties). The team had six different scorers overall. Brad May opened up the scoring a mere 26 seconds into the game, but the lead was erased when Robert Lang scored on a fluke goal 50 seconds later. The Canucks poured it on in the second period, as Wade Brookbank, Markus Naslund (two-man advantage), Trevor Linden (two-man advantage, 41 seconds left in the period), and Jarkko Ruutu (power play, under three ticks left in the period) all scored. Sami Salo lit the final lamp in the third period on the remaining power play time from the Jeff Halpern high-sticking double minor late in the second period, ripping a slapshot from the point over Olaf Kolzig's shoulder for Vancouver's sixth goal. Dan Cloutier stopped 15 of his 16 shots tonight in a light night of work, as opposed to Olaf Kolzig, who had to face 40 Canuck shots.
More about a couple of the goals: resident tough guy Wade Brookbank's goal was the first of his NHL career, and it held up as the game winner. Trevor Linden's goal, along with his assist on the Salo goal, moved him to within two points of the all-time lead on the Canuck scoring list. With his assists on the Naslund and Linden goals, defenseman Brent Sopel is up to 30 points on the year, six off his career high, and possibly good for a spot in the top 10 of NHL defenseman scoring pending statistical refreshments tonight.
The game's only tarnish were the fluky Robert Lang goal and the knee injury to the red-hot Magnus Arvedson early in the first period. Apparently it's bad enough to where he has to fly home to get examined. Not good.
As for the team as a whole, they just might be hitting their stride. With this long road trip, having Johan Hedberg back in the fold helps bigtime. He should have one more start on the road trip, as the Canucks head to face the two New York teams and New Jersey. The power play has been sluggish for a large part of the year, but has heated up of late. The Canucks were 4-of-7 tonight on the power play, and are 10-of-their-last-28 on the man advantage.
Top scorers: Linden, Naslund, and Salo with a goal and assist each, and Henrik Sedin, Brent Sopel, and Marek Malik with 2 assists apiece.
Goal tallies: Brad May (3), Wade Brookbank (1), Markus Naslund (29), Trevor Linden (11), Jarkko Ruutu (5), Sami Salo (5)
The Canucks move on to face the Rangers, Islanders, and Devils, on Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday. Canuck play-by-play man John Shorthouse said that if the Rangers tried to waive their entire roster, nobody would get picked up except for maybe three guys because the team is so overpaid and underproductive. Strong words about the Rangers' situation. True, too.
I shall now sit and root for more Colorado losses.
Before I get into the meat of this post, I feel like I have to point out that while I was researching this for the post material, your Seattle Mariners were 12-7 against Oakland in 2003. We know what kind of opponents took down the Mariners though. Most of them featured people (pitchers) we learned about for the first time. That scenario happened many times. Anyway, the subject of this post is supposed to be positive, and sifting though the boxscores and recaps was a good way in which to relive the good parts of the Mariners season. If I ever decide to make a post about the other end of the spectrum, though, it could get ugly.
I know it's a month late, but I am trying to somewhat uphold my promise to myself (and maybe one that I may have made with the audience, I'm not sure) to do some type of year-end list. I used my late Friday night to compile a list of the best Mariner wins of 2003. The factors I used basically centered around a somewhat balanced effort (solid pitching and solid/timely hitting), a worthy (or division) opponent, a good game and sometimes the point of the season in which the win took place. Hopefully I didn't contradict myself too many times, but there's some of those criteria present in all of these games. I realize twelve (thirteen) is a high propertion of the wins (a little more than one-eighth), but I didn't feel like narrowing it down more than this without totally screwing over some really great performances.
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you my Top 12 (actually 13) Wins of 2003 for Your Seattle Mariners
(links taken from ESPN.com; SportsLine has already taken down their 2003 boxscores and put up the 2004 schedules in their place)
29 Apr -- 6-0 win at NYY: All the hype was around the first meeting of Ichiro and Hideki Matsui. Meanwhile, a great game took place for the Mariners. Gil Meche really brought his stuff in a big setting, taking a three-hitter into the 8th and beating Roger Clemens. Clemens, losing for the first time in six starts to begin the season, was left stuck on 298 wins after giving up homers to Bret Boone, Ben Davis, and Edgar.
30 May -- 6-0 win at MIN: One week before, Joel Pineiro got tagged for six runs and twelve hits by the Twins. On this day, Joel was on like Donkey Kong, tossing a brilliant 121-pitch (83-strike) shutout while striking out 12. Randy Winn and Carlos Guillen had RBI singles, and Mike Cameron had a pinch-hit 2-run bomb in the 9th for insurance.
5 Jun -- 5-4 win at PHI: The Mariners completed the three-game sweep of the Phillies, coming back from down 4-2 to take their 9th straight win. Jose Mesa was brought in to nail down a 4-2 Phillies win. Boone singled to start the 9th, and Olerud walked. Mike Cameron failed twice on bunt attempts, but roped the next pitch into the bullpen. Long live Joe Table!!
8 Jun -- 13-1 and 7-0 wins at NYM: For me, easily the high point of the season. In the first game, Freddy Garcia tossed a six-hit shutout and hit an RBI single, Mike Cameron drove in three runs, John Olerud scored three runs, and Bret Boone and Jeff Cirillo had RBI doubles. The second game saw Jamie Moyer win his 10th game of the year, throwing a scant 86 pitches in seven shutout innings. Guillen, Cameron, Dan Wilson, and Boone had RBI singles. This doubleheader sweep left the Mariners with a sparkling 42-19 record. From here...well, you know -- their final record was 93-69. From this point, the Mariners went 51-50, and much like the California penal code (5150, solid album, by the way), I was made insane over the course of the next three-and-a-half months watching the season go to waste in a slow, drawn-out, mind-numbing stumble to the merciful finish.
13 Jun -- 2-1 win v ATL: The first meeting of the two best teams in the Majors went the Mariners' way. A top-notch pitchers' duel between Russ Ortiz and (on this day, not truly terrible) Freddy Garcia was decided in part by Rafael Furcal throwing the ball to nobody at first, allowing Mark McLemore to score from second for the game-breaking run in the first inning. Rhodes nailed down the final two outs of the eighth, and Jeff Nelson got his 4th save in six chances. Freddy threw 7 1/3 innings to win his fourth straight start. What a great series this Braves series was...
15 Jun -- 2-1 win v ATL: Gil Meche outdoes himself again, this time beating Greg Maddux in another great pitchers' duel. Boone drove in both of the Mariners' runs. Other Mariners weren't driving in runs, and were probably striking out since Maddux whiffed 11 over his seven innings of work. Meche went 7 1/3 with no other real flashy stats other than beating a pitcher who was mowing down his hitters.
30 Jun -- 3-1 win at OAK: Jamie Moyer took a no-hitter into the 7th inning (6 1/3 innings) and was pulled after allowing an Eric Byrnes double. Art Rhodes came in and sucked, allowing a single to Scott Hatteberg and walking Erubiel Durazo to juice the bags. Luckily, he cleaned up the mess (Tejada forceout, Chavez groundout) and Nelson nailed down the game. All the while, Greg Colbrunn hit a pinch-hit solo shot for insurance in the 9th, easily his finest hour as a Mariner. Good division win for the Mariners.
23 Jul -- 6-0 win v OAK: Randy Winn hit a solo shot and John Olerud drove in four runs, but that wasn't the story here. Ryan Franklin tossed a 121-pitch, 2-hit shutout for his first career complete game, beating a struggling Barry Zito.
9 Aug -- 2-1 win at NYY: Two hits over eight innings in the Bronx...Gil Meche is amazing once again at Yankee Stadium, this time beating Andy Pettitte. Meche managed to beat Pettitte, Maddux, and Clemens in the same year. Runs were scored on a Cameron groundout and a Boone sac fly.
15 Aug -- 10-5 win v BOS: Shigetoshi Hasegawa had some top-notch relief, coming in with the bases juiced in the 8th and nailing down the game with a five-out save. McLemore somehow went 4-for-4. The big story, though, was Ichiro. With a 4-4 tie, the bases loaded, and Mike Timlin on the mound, Ichiro fouled a pitch into foul territory (by third base); Bill Mueller slid and dropped the ball. Ichiro hit a grand slam on the next pitch. Jubilation at the Safe in a crucial game.
17 Aug -- 3-1 win v BOS: Eight days before the same team would basically hand the Mariners the death knell to their season, Freddy Garcia was in the middle of his other good stretch. On this day, Garcia went 7 2/3 innings and struck out eight, retiring 17 straight after a Trot Nixon solo shot in the third. Garcia left with runners on second and third and Nomar at the bat. Rafael Soriano came in and delivered in the clutch, blowing the ball past Nomar and whiffing him on three pitches. It was Raf's finest moment in an already fine season.
19 Sep -- 6-1 win at OAK: Though this was well after the fall of the Mariners' season, I still think this one deserves mention. Not because of John Olerud's two-run homer. Not because of Ryan Franklin's eight strong innings, in which he gave up only a Durazo solo shot in the first in terms of runs (four hits overall). Not because the Mariners strung together three straight singles in the 5th. Not because Mike Cameron had an RBI walk (bases loaded). Not because the Mariners managed to beat Tim Hudson. No, this one's for Edgar, who went 4-for-4 and scored twice on a broken big left toe. That's heart, that's courage, that's mental strength. A mere five days later, Edgar is rewarded with this. He gets convinced to come back for 2004, and he gets rewarded with Bill Bavasi and a bunch of older hacks to be surrounded with. I'm sorry, Edgar, I really am.
There you have it. Damn, this took me a while. I have no life. Anyway, I hope y'all enjoyed reading this, meaning as to how Sports and B's had no posts yesterday, partly due to schoolwork, lack of material, and catching up on sleep.
[edit ~12:37p: I read through it and wanted to clarify that in the 19 Sep game against the A's, Ryan Franklin didn't one-hit the A's other than the Durazo HR (clarification now in the post), because I kind of made it sound like it. Also, just to make a sentence work better, in the second Atlanta game, I added the word "in" because "driving runs" just didn't look or sound right.]
Thursday, January 29, 2004
The bottom line about this game is that Magnus Arvedson is simply on fire. That and the Canucks won this thing in the third period. They are 5-8-5-1 (16 points) when trailing after two periods of play, which may be tops in the NHL.
If any of the stats here don't seem as definitive as usual, it's because I didn't realize the game was on until halfway through the second period, and my ChainCast player was cutting in and out, so I couldn't get a coherent hold on the game. In a sense of luck and feng-shui-type ways, though, it might have been a good thing.
With the ChainCast working for a few seconds, it didn't take long for the Blues to draw first blood, when Martin Grenier made a bad poke check leading to the Marc Rycroft goal. The Blues had a 1-0 lead at home heading into the third period, with Chris Osgood (the guy doesn't suck horribly or anything) in net.
At 2:11 into the third period, Arvedson wristed one past Osgood on a coast-to-coast play with Bryan Allen and Daniel Sedin. Twenty-five seconds later, Dallas Drake of the Blues was sent to the box for a high-stick. The Canucks had gone 0-for-6 on the power play in the game up to that point, but Markus Naslund was able to convert for his 28th goal of the year (only his 4th power play goal of the year) to give the Canucks the lead for good at 2-1. Arvedson really put the game away at 10:52 of the third period, scoring his second goal on a wraparound assisted by the Sedins. Arvedson has four goals in two games and seven goals in seven games. Daniel Sedin added the final tally of the game after Keith Tkachuk put in his 20th goal of the year.
Johan Hedberg was solid in his first game back from injury, having last played on December 9th. The Canucks radio team raved afterward about how great of a puckhandler Hedberg is and how much of a tool that is on the penalty kill. Another way to interpret that is that Hedberg is a way better puckhandler than Dan Cloutier.
Goal scorers for the Canucks tonight: Magnus Arvedson twice (8), Markus Naslund (28), and Daniel Sedin (7)
Nice job by the Sedins, getting themselves a combined four-point night with a goal and three assists. Combine that with Arvedson's two goals, and you get a six-point night out of the all-Swedish line.
All in all, it was a good way to start off the huge road trip. The Canucks play Saturday against the now Jagr-less Washington Capitals.
[edit ~8:15a Fri: "Johan" instead of "John." I think I've lost my mind.]
One way I wish we could do all of this...well, the inventor of it is retiring. We shall pay homage to him.
Ladies and gentlemen, please give a 21-gun salute to Mister David Bradley, the inventor of Ctrl-Alt-Delete.
In his own words...
"After having been the answer on final 'Jeopardy,' if I can be a clue in 'The New York Times' Sunday crossword puzzle, I will have met all my life's goals," Bradley said.
There's many sports instances in my lifetime where I wish I could have hit Ctrl-Alt-Delete. How about just last year, when Bob Melvin yanked a cruising Ryan Franklin late so Armando Benitez could throw a meatball to Raf Palmeiro? How about when the Sonics were down 3-0 in the NBA Finals to the Bulls? How about this entire offseason for the Mariners? How about Matt Hasselbeck audibling and throwing to Al Harris when the receiver ran 10 yards on an 8-yard hitch route?
The possibilities are endless.
[Edit ~5:59p: I am an absolute zoo today. First the Taiwan thing with the last post, and now I forgot the word "weblog" in the very first sentence. Of course, the first sentence makes or breaks a lot of things, and hopefully it didn't break this post too badly. This zoo-fest may be thanks to my getting ~2.5 hours' worth of 20-minutes-at-a-time sleep last night while I was outlining two geologic papers with somewhat dense language and made a 22-slide Powerpoint presentation out of the whole deal earlier today. I am pretty damn beat. Again, sorry to everyone who was messed up by my horrible wordage.]
The last occurrence of Korean-ness in my life occurred when I last watched the second episode on the Aqua Teen Hunger Force Volume One DVD. The episode is called "Leprechaupolis" and there is an exchange between Flargon, the leader leprechaun, and a second leprechaun whose name I forgot. We'll call him "other leprechaun."
Flargon: "...you're not even Irish!"
Other Leprechaun: "Look, what I told you when I first saw you was that I wasn't from Ireland, that I was from Rhode Island, and that I was half-Korean."
Aqua Teen Hunger Force. 11:45 Sunday nights on the Cartoon Network.
[edit ~5:56p: Thanks to the other Jeff for pointing out the fact that I somehow glossed over the fact that Mr. Chen is TAIWANESE, and not Korean. Though I've been waiting to get that Aqua Teens line out for a while, it turns out it's completely unrelated to the rest of the post. Sorry.]
Wednesday, January 28, 2004
Usually with the Associated Press, I tend to attach a pretty decent amount of credibility to their reports, because they seem to turn out true a lot of the time.
So where does this leave our one-man rabble-rousing Pudge-to-Seattle crew named Justin Spiro from Detroit Sports Net?
Update: Pudge To Seattle
January 28, 2004
The AP has reported that the Detroit Tigers and Ivan Rodriguez are extremely close to a contractual agreement.
DSN Editor-In-Chief Justin Spiro will believe it when he sees it.
"Is this the third or fourth time Pudge has 'signed' with the Tigers? I stand by my report and will continue to do so until Pudge is at the podium to announce his signing."
Spiro has promised a follow-up report pending on Rodriguez's signing.
"If he signs with Seattle, I will report it. If he signs with Detroit, I will report that too. I have nothing to hide"
Check back at Detroit Sports Net for continued coverage on the Ivan Rodriguez sweepstakes.
Call me pessimistic, but I think Mr. Spiro is toast.
Who do you trust? The Associated Press or Justin Spiro? Is there even a question here?
In celebration of John Chaney's 700th win as a coach, I convey to you not only the words of Dick Vitale, but also this...
Feb. 13, 1994. After [John] Calipari's 13th-ranked UMass team beat No. 8 Temple 56-55 in Amherst, Temple coach Chaney broke into a postgame press conference being held by Calipari.
"I'll kill your (expletive) ass. You remember that," Chaney screamed at Calipari. "I'll kick your ass. Kick your ass."
Then Chaney, saying that Calipari had intimidated the refs, started toward the UMass coach at the lectern across the room. Gerry Callahan of the Boston Herald described the scene: "With at least one camera rolling and dozens of reporters looking on, Temple coach John Chaney charged Calipari and nearly assaulted him. (Mike) Williams got in the way and Chaney shoved the UMass junior toward Calipari, who was wisely backing up, stunned and amazed. Security guards sprinted into the interview room from all directions while Chaney continued to berate Calipari and thoroughly embarrass himself."
Chaney apologized after the incident, and was suspended for one game.
I have the picture from the video footage in my mind of Chaney going after Calipari and saying "Next time I see you, I'm gonna kick your ass, man! Kick your ass!"
This had to be one of my favorite moments of college basketball when I actually cared about it, and it was at the height of the UMass-Temple rivalry of the early- to mid-90s. Good times.
Read about more coach-related explosions from the article where I got this Chaney anecdote.
The AP is reporting that Ivan Rodriguez and the Tigers are close to finalizing a four-year, $40 million contract.
Rodriguez will be examined in Texas on Thursday by Dr. Andrew Dossett, two baseball sources told the AP on the condition of anonymity. If all goes well in the exam, the agreement between the free agent and Detroit could be announced Friday.
Well, this would be a shock...
Not one bit.
Personally, I think Pudge would show his true colors by signing with a pathetic franchise like Detroit. But at the same time, it speaks volumes towards how inept the Mariners franchise really is.
I'm just glad I didn't have a slogan or wagon for Pudge, because it looks like he's gonna be a Tiger.
But don't fear, Ron Villone is close to signing a 2-year deal worth 7.5 million.
Fudge it, I'm gone. "Chappelle's Show" on in 10 minutes (Central Time).
Finnigan and Hickey do the beat-writer articles on the Kazu Sasaki exit. Both articles mention that the first call went to Boras to discuss Ivan Rodriguez. Finnigan didn't take long in his article to unearth the name of Ron Villone, who would be the latest on the train of former Mariners to come back and hopefully not suck. I do think Villone would come back and blow. Both articles seem to emit a feeling of gunshyness toward signing Ivan Rodriguez, quickly pointing out that $500k is going to Ed Guardado for that saves clause that will more than likely be met. Hickey also mentioned Travis Lee and Raul Mondesi as possible acquisitions, which made me throw up all over my apartment. If they actually went with Mondesi, there's no way in hell anyone could rationalize Ichiro staying in rightfield at that point. If Mondesi is in, Winn is SOL (unless they find someone even dumber than Bavasi to take Ibanez' contract) because I'm moving Ichiro to CF. Mondesi has a cannon arm, lest you all forget. Of course, he's also a headcase and attention-getter, so we should probably just scratch these last couple lines of narrative by me because there's no way in hell Howard Lincoln would even think about this.
A guy named Brad Wong has the International District take on Sasaki leaving. They liked him, of course. He liked the niku jaga, "a potato, beef and onion dish cooked with soy sauce and sugar." That ain't no california roll, bro.
In comes Art Thiel with his send-off piece. Thiel notices that Sasaki is the first of the five-Mariner peak player exodus to actually say goodbye on his way out. There is some stuff in the middle of the article about Kazu's divorce speculation, which is somewhat intriguing. There's some stuff about culture shock, and there's also a use of the word "wrath" in the same sentence with the name Hiroshi Yamauchi. Lastly, Thiel advises that the Mariners not break the bank with the newfound moolah on the table unless something weird happens.
Allrighty, that was the first post-midnight-article-reading post I've had in a few weeks or so, at least on a weeknight. Hope I didn't let y'all down. About the subject line...I just had to. It was too easy.
Tuesday, January 27, 2004
The Chicago Blackhawks lost their 18th in a row (0-17-0-1) on the road. The play-by-play guys joked about how the Blackhawks only do TV broadcasts of their road games (none of the home games) back to Chicago, and that only seven households probably watch the games.
Still sharpening his play after coming off the back injury, Magnus Arvedson had two goals. Daniel Sedin got two assists, and brother Henrik had one as the Sedins have really stepped up their play as of late. Sami Salo also got an assist, his mean slap shot tipped in by Arvedson on the first Canuck goal (tied the game). The all-Swedish second line is stepping up where the Mattress Line left off, though there was a gap inbetween where Jason King fell off the wagon and the Sedins cooled off.
The second Canuck goal came on a brutal play by Blackhawk goalie Craig Anderson, who made a terrible decision to try to poke-check Todd Bertuzzi, who breezed in from the penalty box, behind the Chicago blueliners, chased down a pass from Henrik Sedin, and put it in past Anderson, who fled the net for the attempted poke-check.
The Chicago Blackhawks have brutal goaltending and really miss Jocelyn Thibault. Craig Anderson wasn't too sharp, as show by the poke-check on Todd Bertuzzi, who scored in the final minute of the second period. Canucks 18-0-0-0 when leading after two periods.
Scoring goals for the Canucks tonight: Magnus Arvedson twice (6), Todd Bertuzzi (15)
The Canucks have a five-game road trip coming, one that will visit Saint Louis, Washington, the New York teams, and New Jersey. The Canucks are 28-14-7-2 (65 points), three points behind the blazing-hot Colorado Avalanche. Three head-to-head matchups remain this season against Colorado, and the games may decide whether the Canucks make the playoffs as a number four seed or a first/second/third.
Jim O'Brien walks as coach of the Celtics, probably over philosophical differences between himself and Danny Ainge. For those of you who remember the last era in Seattle sports history when the Sonics were really good (mid '90s), the morning show of Michael Knight and New York Vinnie tried to get a Danny Ainge Hate Group together. To be honest, I never liked the guy either. But rooting for the Sonics around that time, I also hated Thunder Dan Majerle. A couple years later, I hated Rex Chapman for seemingly nailing every three pointer he took against the Sonics when he was falling out of bounds with the shot clock running down.
Robb Nen may sit for another year for the Giants, though Jason Schmidt is on schedule for his April return. I know the Giants did okay with Tim Worrell closing last year, and Robb Nen would have been a nice guy to have back this year. Worrell fled the coop for Philly, and now it appears the Giants will have neither of these guys at the back end of the 'pen. Now I don't know who the hell to pick in the NL West.
Kazuhito Tadano. Raise your hand if you've heard of him. I see all the experts of black-market Japanese gay porn have their hands raised. That's right, Cleveland Indians minor-leaguer Kazuhito Tadano ("not gay," in his own words) was apparently more than desperate for money at one time in his life, and has attempted to clear the matter up for his teammates; he has a legit shot to go north with the big club this year. This probably is the most public appearance of homosexuality and MLB since the instance where someone at Out magazine tried to say he was dating a high-profile east coast Major Leaguer, causing widespread speculation as to who it was. In a somewhat related story, a member of the 2001 class at B-town had a couple of turntables and some DJ equipment and made some music of his own. He posted it on the internet and eventually got signed. The school newspaper, as well as the yearbook, gave him some sort of mention, saying that his music was used in a movie. As one might expect from a high school-sanctioned publication, both the newspaper and yearbook omitted the phrase "gay porn" that normally would go before the word "movie" to describe where his music was used.
Okay, I really gotta do some schoolwork now.
I'll think of a lineup-specific post at another time, but all I can think of right now is the top ten songs that I would want to hear when I stepped up to the plate, walked out of the dugout on my way to the mound, or trotted in from the bullpen. I played baseball for eleven years as a youngster, and dabbled in intramural softball when I was 19. Given such experiences and baseball aspirations, any person playing baseball for that long would eventually have the topic of "what song would I want played when I stepped up to bat?"
Unfortunately, I probably have a huge revolving door when it comes to this. I could probably ask myself the same question next week and come up with ten different answers. Since it's me, this whole thing is going to be in-your-face in some way. Basically the number one thing is that the first ten seconds of the song has to be top-notch (or have what I like to call that "ominous feeling" in a song...you can feel it's going to let loose), unless you want the Safe DJ to cue up the middle of the song or something. If he can or has the competency to do just that, then the list may change at another time. For now, here's my top ten "if I stepped to the plate" songs, intro based.
-- Van Halen "Somebody Get Me a Doctor"; This one always gets me pumped up. I could have easily put "Unchained" on here, but that has been used before (Paul Abbott, I think), so I'm trying to branch out a little here.
-- Disturbed "Intoxication"; dammit, now that I think of it, this song would have been perfect for Carlos Guillen. Still, the intro is a thumper. "Liberate" wouldn't be bad either if the DJ knew when to cut out before the verse (cursing!!).
-- Metallica "Creeping Death"; possibly my favorite Metallica song of all time. Prerequisite thumping intro present in all its glory. For the five people out there who like post-Black album Metallica, my pick is "Ain't My Bitch." Another 'Tallica song with an intro is "The Frayed Ends of Sanity." I was trying to remember the title of that song, and I had to play the song through in my mind (to the chorus) to get it.
-- Megadeth "Holy Wars...the Punishment Due"; every second of this song is great, and the intro is no exception. Everyone and their mother has used "Symphony of Destruction." "Rattlehead" off the first album is great too.
-- the Cult "Earth Mofo"; just picked the first Cult song I could think of that pumps right out of the gate. "Soldier Blue" has a good shuffle beat, though there's a bunch of songs off their latest album that could go here too ("American Gothic"). Some people have used "Rise," I think NASCAR used it for something.
-- Foo Fighters "Good Grief"; an unsong song off what basically was the Dave Grohl solo album (he played every note himself). The first album was pretty top-heavy in that the four songs that got significant radio airplay were the first four tracks (sequentially) on the album. Then for some reason they ended up doing "For All the Cows" (8th track?) on Saturday Night Live, even though I'm fairly sure it wasn't a big radio play-getter. Other Foo songs that could have gone here: "I'll Stick Around," "Weenie Beenie," "Low," "Generator," and many more that I can't think of right now.
-- Motorhead "Ace of Spades"; from the horrible movie Air Heads -- "trick question! Lemmy IS God!"
-- Iron Maiden "The Wicker Man"; the song that ushered in the new era of Iron Maiden gets the nod here. Iron Maiden songs tend to have a lot of movements and a lot of them start out with a lighter intro.
-- Guns N' Roses "You Could Be Mine"; you guessed it right. This was the Terminator 2 song with the awesome video and everything. Maybe "Nightrain" might be a good fit here.
-- Queensryche "Queen of the Reich"; bow down to the high note. I couldn't think of a lot of blistering Queensryche intros other than this one and the title track off Tribe. Maybe "Resistance" or "Surgical Strike" might fit here, I don't know. For those of you questioning the presence of Queensryche on this list, keep in mind it's my list, and I like them way too much. Hell, I've seen them live three times.
So for now, there you have it: ten songs that I wouldn't mind hearing when I stepped to the plate. I've noticed right away that I've left Judas Priest off the list, but that's partly due to "Metal Meltdown" having the long shred part before the song kicks in. I could probably go on for hours about this topic, but it might be bending the parameters set by the mere title of this humble weblog.
Ten rockin' intros...feast forth!
And to Chris, who hopes he hears OutKast "Spread" at the Safe...that song is dirty as hell, but like I said, "Semi-Charmed Life" has been played endlessly at the ballyard.
[edit ~2:55p -- Okay, so I totally aped Chris and tacked on the Amazon links. I'm not sure why I didn't link sound clips in the first place, but good idea, Chris. Also, if the songs aren't linked, it's because they're not any of the first through fifth tracks sequentially on their respective albums.]
Monday, January 26, 2004
As far as Third Eye Blind goes, their only meaningful contribution to the music world was "Graduate".
Anyways, enough about mediocre bands. Here's my playlist that would be used at the Safe:
Iron Maiden "Aces High"
Who doesn't love Bruce Dickinson? High notes rule, it's simple as that.
Metallica "The Thing That Should Not Be"
I.E. the Mariners bench, which shouldn't be this crappy. But I digress.
Black Label Society "Life, Birth, Blood, Doom"
Respect Zakk Wylde.
Alice In Chains "Put You Down"
Everything you buy is for the jingle
Every time you lie it's all the same
And, the song that I would play when Sandfrog, I mean, Scott Spiezio comes up to bat...
Judas Priest "Metal Meltdown"
RESPECT THE HIGH NOTES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Songs that WILL NOT be played if I was the DJ at the Safe:
Baha Men "Who Let The Dogs Out?"
R. Kelly "I Believe I Can Fly" (I would play Chappelle's R. Kelly song, but it's not family-friendly)
Semisonic "Closing Time" (It's bad enough that Safeco has one Dan Wilson. Do we need another one, this one fronting the horrible band Semisonic?)
Garbage "Cherry Lips" (The M's DJ made a big mistake during the 2002 season when he abandoned "Zombie Nation" for a few games in order to play Shirley Manson's Bitches music)
Any Kelly Clarkson, Justin Guarini, Ruben Studdard, or Clay Aiken songs. And as sick and demented as I can be, I won't play the absolute piss job Keith from Atlanta did to "Like a Virgin".
A few things on Fan Fest:
Last year, I wasted 8 bucks on this crapfest. All to get an autographed Jeff Cirillo baseball. I would wash it off, but for "sentimental" reasons, I'll probably keep the headcase's name on it.
It's one thing to freeze your ass off when you're watching a game. But just to stand in line to get Julio Mateo's autograph? Come on.
IF the Mariners sign Pudge Rodriguez, and that's a big IF, I promise I'll lay off the brass for a while. This is what we want, a big name signing/acquisition, right?
No slogans or wagons needed here....just sign him.
New York Yankees third baseman Aaron Boone could miss the entire 2004 season after suffering a major knee injury last week while playing basketball in violation of his contract with the club, according to two baseball sources.
The sources said doctors believe Boone suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
The Yankees will seek all or some relief from the $5.75 million they were to pay Boone this season. Boone, whose dramatic home run ended the epic seventh game of the 2003 American League Championship Series against Boston, avoided arbitration Dec. 1 when he agreed to the one-year deal to return to the Yankees. His contract contains a standard clause that prevents the player from engaging in activities considered to pose significant risk of injury. Basketball is specifically mentioned in the clause as a prohibited activity.
Paging Mr. Henson, paging Mr. Henson...
Anyways, I guess this means that Bret's little bro gets to spend more time with this person.
It really sucks to be Aaron Boone right now, doesn't it?
Art Thiel has a precluding piece for tonight's P-I Sports Star of the Year awards banquet, pointing out that 2003 was largely a playoff-free year for Seattle sports (he's counting the Hawks playoff game as 2004, when it actually happened). 2003 also saw UW athletics getting rocked with scandals in football and softball, and Wazzu having a former employee (Mike Price) being a man of Destiny. Thiel points out that this may be the crappy part of a cycle. He also reminds me that 1993-97 was a pretty good time to be a Seattle sports fan, and I didn't realize it. The Huskies (though I don't really root for them) went to three straight Rose Bowls, the Mariners had their 1995, the Sonics took the Bulls to Game 6 of the Finals in 1996, the Huskies went 8-4 in 1997, and also in 1997, the Mariners bullpen screwed up what debatably was their best chance to win a World Series (Jeremy will take this issue up to any takers).
Steve Kelley brings us our first in-depth Sandfrog story. Now I know they've been together for six years, trained themselves to play, and have to play around Scott's baseball career, but man, to only have ten songs they can play out over that amount of time isn't a very good time-to-output ratio, and this is coming from someone who considers himself somewhat of a musician (me). I can't really argue with Scott Spiezio's musical taste, other than Pearl Jam (if it's post-Vitalogy).
A time-tested Safeco Field dream of ours here at Sports and B's comes to mind after the reading of the following statement in the article...
[Scott's] music isn't the kind of music all Safeco habitants would love. It's heavy metal, after all, which doesn't always play well with the season-ticket holders sitting behind the dugouts.
Jeremy and I have always wanted to hijack the DJ booth over at the Safe. If I were Safeco DJ, I could promise two things: (1) that the musical output would largely reflect the sidebar links at Music and Brems, and (2) none of it would be profane. As far as I'm concerned, if it's not profane, it's family entertainment. Case in point: I've heard Third Eye Blind's "Semi-Charmed Life" a billion times during batting practice at the Safe and during the games. Has anyone actually listened to those lyrics? It's pretty morbid and pretty sick, though it sounds poppy as hell and happy. It's not. It doesn't curse though, and that's probably all it takes for the DJ to render it good. I think the current DJ's other criteria involve heavy overplay by either The End or the incorrigible KISS 106.1. To link this to the Spiezio article, I would play "Angel of Death" by Slayer whenever he came to the plate, Diamond Clubbers be damned. They're probably talking on their cell phones anyway, or waving into the LCF camera when they're sitting behind the plate.
People are falling for it hook, line, and sinker. This year's Mariners FanFest managed to break last year's attendance mark. It appears that the stark reality of the upcoming baseball season has not permeated much past the Mariner blogosphere and maybe one or two Seattle-area columnists. What really got me about everything surrounding FanFest this year was that it was frigging $10 to get in. I think when I went back in 2000, it was $5 at the Exhibition Center. Sure, people got to run around this year on the grass at the Safe and everything this year, but they also had to freeze their extremities off. As an addendum to the paragraph, I'll add that I got autographs from Shane Monahan and Charles Gipson that year, and when everything was being taken down, Charles Gipson fired a winner into the "throw the ball through the hole and win something" display and I high-fived him. Long live Chuck Gipson.
Lastly, we have John McGrath's article on the second year of Bob Melvin. I guess there's only a couple of small things I have to say about this article. One is that something needs to be done about all these cop-out nicknames. Any nickname involving either (1) adding the suffix -y/-ey/-ie (Shig, Boone) to the end of a first or last name or (2) involving some sort of truncation of the first and last names of a player or manager (Bo-Mel, A-Rod) should be outlawed or something. Regular readers from the site may notice that I always refer to Alex Rodriguez by his first name as opposed to the phony nickname that was tacked onto him in Seattle. The second thing I have to say about this article has to do with how Melvin really didn't make any of the hires last offseason to fill the vacancies of the coaches who left with Piniella. Melvin is tight with Mike Aldrete, so maybe he can be a confidant and all that good stuff. Why did that have to come at the expense of John Moses (perfectly good baseball man from everything I've heard) instead of our nutty Dave Myers, who singlehandedly set back Chris Snelling's career by two years (a healthy Snelling as possible trade bait in 2002 also brings up many what-if possibilities)? Other than that, nothing really surprising out of the article, or nothing that really elicits a postworthy reaction from me.
Wire/other sources time!
Kazu Sasaki is on his way to Seattle to sign the termination papers. Let's hope this goes off without a hitch. Orza's not complaining, so it shouldn't be too hard, right?
Jim Caple gets on a roll, working off the name change of Pac Bell Park to SBC Park. He wonders why the name change is catching so much heat in the Bay because they're both corporate names. I say this: an abbreviation just SCREAMS corporate. He does bring up the valid point that since the park was built privately, the owners should be able to name it whatever the hell they want to name it. Caple then calls on fans to take back the names of their publicly-funded stadiums, even going as far to suggest some prospective new names for the Safe, including Pioneer Diamond and the Nie Haus. Clever. I dig names that are either after people or places, not corporate entities. Let me point out that the Reds managed to do it perfectly in that a lot of people can hear the phrase "Great American Ball Park" and not realize that Great American is actually an insurance group.
Buster Olney has a little blip on the Expos moving to Las Vegas. Imagine that. One Las Vegas-related question: why the hell are the walls so damn high at Cashman Field? It makes the Big League Challenge every year look harder than it probably is. By the way, where have those reruns been? I have seen any BLC reruns lately on the ESPN networks. It might have something to do with all the timeslots covered up by their lame NBA coverage. For as many years as I hated NBC for showing every single Knicks/Bulls or Knicks/Heat games every frigging Sunday, at least their announcing crews were ten times better.
Lastly, if anybody didn't catch it, ESPN updated their offseason power rankings. Your Seattle Mariners are eighth and plummeting. The next sinking team is the Marlins at 15th. The Angels are number one, which I really can't argue with. Interestingly enough, the A's are all the way down at 19th. I still think that Mulder/Hudson/Zito/Redman/Harden are going to have to stand on their heads most of the time to make up for what should be a putrid offense. Making up for Giambi bolting is one thing, but making up for Tejada's production is quite another. Here's one thing that every manager should be thinking of when facing Oakland: pitch around Eric Chavez. What else is there in that lineup other than Durazo?
[edit ~2:26p -- sorry I forgot to link the Caple article for anyone who read the post within a half-hour. The link has correctly been added. Sorry to all who had to go scouring for the link.]
Sunday, January 25, 2004
This also is the first regulation win at home for the Canucks since the 8th of November, and it's good to finally have that streak broken. The Canucks have also evened up the homestand that started out 0-2, which of course means this was their second straight home ice win.
Brent Sopel and Markus Naslund bagged three points each (Sopel tied his career high). Naslund took over the NHL scoring lead with 60 points, two up on Robert Lang of the Capitals. Sopel's first goal came on a one-timer set up by Mattias Ohlund. Flying in the face of their power play woes of most of the season, the Canucks were 3-for-8 on the power play, meaning there were three winners in the McDonald's Power Play giveaway game on the radio broadcast. Sopel originally had the assist on the Canucks' fourth goal of the game which was originally credited to Markus Naslund, but then he was knocked out of the scoring; Bertuzzi had apparently waved at and deflected the puck into the net. This screwed Sopel out a four-point (and career-high) night. Fans chanted Brent Sopel's name in the latter stages of the third period hoping he would get the hat trick.
Ed Jovanovski was hurt early in the game with a shoulder injury (coach Marc Crawford later said it was a shoulder sprain that would necessitate the call-up of a minor-league defenseman), but the rest of defenseman picked him up. Vancouver's blue line shots were getting through traffic tonight, a rare thing of late. If this can keep up, Sami Salo and his wicked slapshot should be seeing some goals soon.
Also, since this was Nashville, there was a decent number of penalty minutes handed out tonight. Brad May was tossed when he was the third man in during a fight between Jarkko Ruutu and Jim McKenzie. May jumped in when McKenzie hit Ruutu when he was down. A bunch of penalty minutes were also handed out when Scott Hartnell and Mike Keane tangled late in the first period.
Goal scorers tonight: Brent Sopel twice (6), Henrik Sedin (7), Todd Bertuzzi (14)
I've been forgetting the photos lately...one, two, three, four
The Canucks will try to make it a winning homestand on Tuesday against the Chicago Blackhawks.
Only a couple of other baseball headlines. Basically, we can stick a fork in Mo Vaughn, Ugueth Urbina apparently was firing in self-defense of a motorcycle-riding robber, and former picket line breaker (you remember, right? He was going to be a replacement player) Rick Reed has signed with the Pirates, his agent's tussling with Met GM Jim Duquette notwithstanding. Somehow Reed made $8M with the Twins last year. Whose idea was it to give him $8M? That's preposterous.
Larry LaRue and Bill Bavasi confirm what most of us are thinking: the story from Justin Spiro of DetroitSports.net is one steaming, fly-infested pile of crap (though he's standing by it). The Tribune article even says that Scott Boras and the Mariners haven't even talked yet about Ivan Rodriguez, further pushing back the Spiro story. I really wish he was a regular writer for a legit source, like a Sporting News or a legit newspaper, but there's second-guessing everywhere at this point because it's frigging Detroit Sports Net.
It turns out that all of this was enough for KJR to put him on the air (zip file that opens as an mp3 file -- ~23 minutes). I'm listening to it...(here's your quick recap) David Locke starts out saying that yes, Detroit Sports Net is just a website. Locke gives Spiro some credit for at least calling back when KJR called him. Spiro does not have a lot of links to all the guys Locke knows in Detroit. Spiro tries to justify his position, and doesn't have Red Wings credentials yet. Basically the first few minutes is Spiro trying to boost his legitimacy. Locke asks him what the risk would be if Spiro got the stroy wrong. Spiro says that the same source broke the Jason Johnson and Fernando Vina signings. Spiro says that even he had his doubts, but eventually felt confident. He says if it was wrong, it would hurt him, but that he had confidence in the report. Locke asks how it came about. Elise Woodward asks about the Sasaki delay. Spiro says Boras is stalling, and that the Tigers' only chance is if the Tigers go upward in their cash. Locke puts another disclaimer out, saying KJR doesn't know who Spiro is or anything, almost like a liability thing. Locke: "What's your goal in this business?" Spiro wants to move up with ESPN, who he apparently has contributed for. Locke gets handed the Detroit Free Press article saying the Tigers had agreed on four years. Spiro says he is not fazed by that report. Spiro then says that Boras is trying to get an offer out of the Mariners, and then Locke jumps on him. Spiro tries to cover up, saying Boras is trying to get more money on the table. Locke basically says, you're making me think he's signed, but then you go and say he's just trying to get an offer on the table? You're telling me there's actually not a deal? Spiro says he thinks time will tell as to the credentials of his site. Spiro then says he believes Pudge has a verbal agreement with the Mariners, but that he might agree with the Tigers if they up their offer for more than $2M per year. Locke tries to take him up on some email/phone message discrepancy (Locke is really laying into this guy). Locke asks Spiro why the source is telling him this; Spiro says he has a direct affiliation with the source and a friend of the family. Spiro tries to defend himself and his integrity and the tips that have come true for him. Locke says if Spiro is right, he can call KJR back anytime and Locke will have his back.
If Justin's wrong about all this, he's not totally screwed. Every time some misreporting like this happens, I quickly think of the fact that Dateline NBC is on the air to this day, after that thing where they rigged the GM trucks to explode in a side-impact crash back in 1992. But there were some NBC jobs lost over that, that's for sure. Okay, so I guess DSN isn't totally screwed, but Spiro will probably be screwed in some way or at least tarnished.