Saturday, February 07, 2004


Yeah, I know this is two days late, but I had a ton of work to do, a'ight? This one will probably be pretty short because the game isn't too fresh in my mind, and I didn't hear a lick of it.

Before I go on, if you're actually paying attention to this post, go over to your local theater and see Miracle. When actual players off the 1980 US men's hockey team are saying Kurt Russell was spot-on in his Herb Brooks role and even has his mannerisms down, something has to be said for that. And really, Russell is the only person in the movie that had star power coming in. The players in the movie were not actors, but real hockey players that auditioned for the movie when they shot it in Vancouver. That of course gives a lot more realism to the gameplay sequences. And for any of you that have been on sports teams in your lives and end up seeing this movie, tell me how you react after the "postgame in Norway" scene.

As for this Canuck game, this was a good win, and a good strong note to finish out the road trip and head into the All-Star break. Also good is the strong play of late of the Sedin twins, who each had goals in this game. There was a shutout involving the Devils, but this time it wasn't Marty Brodeur that got it -- it was Dan Cloutier. Trevor Linden tied Stan Smyl for the all-time Canuck point lead at 673. Vancouver went 2-for-3 on the power play. Anyone seeing the SportsCenter highlights knows that the Sedins have a weird radar for each other that they use on the ice.

So this one's short...sue me.

Canuck goals: Henrik Sedin (9), Daniel Sedin (9), Brendan Morrison (16), Trevor Linden (12)

Canucks resume Wednesday at Calgary for the post All-Star break stretch. Good luck to them, and here's to a frigging Cup, because that would be awesome.

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The Dominican Republic won their sixth Caribbean Series title in eight years, beating Puerto Rico by a score of 4-3. Apparently PR went 0-6 in the series, which must be some sort of round-robin deal.

What made me sick was that hack Jose Offerman, who somehow scored three runs and got three hits.

What made me smile a bit was that Raf Soriano had a fairly solid start and got into the eighth.

Should this stoke the fire of Soriano-in-the-rotation speculation? Of course it should. If it's mid-June and Gil Meche goes on the 60-day DL with a shoulder tweak, then there shouldn't even be any speculation, and they sure as hell shouldn't try to sign some hack for a 5th starter, because if they wanted to use a hack 5th starter, they could use Kevin Jarvis. Once again, the vomit will have to be shampooed out of my apartment rug thanks to me typing that last sentence. Thanks a lot, Bavasi.

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Oh sh@!, I got a headrush!

Ron Villone, Seattle Mariner once again?!?

The left-hander is expected to get about $1 million to join lefty Mike Myers, previously signed as an invitee to camp, as a left-handed setup man in front of closer Eddie Guardado.

$1 million for Ron fricking Villone?????????????????????????????????????

And I thought the Sasaki situation was pathetic...

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From the Andriesen P-I link David posted just minutes ago...

It's the worst time of year to shop.

The timing of Sasaki's announcement could hardly have been worse. They won't say so publicly, but Mariners brass are furious.

"If Kaz had done that in October instead of January, we might well be looking at Miguel Tejada as our shortstop right now," one club official said. "That's the reality."

Instead, the reality is the Mariners watched the free-agent parade pass by, unaware they had so much flexibility. There's simply nothing left out there that would significantly improve this team.

YOU HAVE GOT TO BE FRICKING KIDDING ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



Folks, if you think I've been pissed off the past couple of months about your Seattle Mariners (mine too), well, you haven't seen anything yet. This is just unreal. Here we are less than 2 weeks away from pitchers and catchers reporting, and the Mariners are basically blaming Kazuhiro Sasaki for not giving them an "opportunity" to improve themselves?

I call bullcrap on this one. If you've been visiting Sports and B's on a daily basis, you know that's not the only time I've called bullcrap on an issue. But man, this just fired me up. Big f'n time.

How dare the Mariners try to blame Sasaki for their inability to improve this ballclub? Give me a fricking break. Who gave Sasaki the horrible deal in the first place? That's right, the Mariners. Way to treat the all-time saves leader like crap, Mariners brass. But hey, this isn't anything new. Remember, this is the SAME DAMN ORGANIZATION that ran Ken Griffey, Jr., Randy Johnson, and Alex Rodriguez out of Seattle. And before anybody tells me that the M's went on to two ALCS appearances in 2000 and 2001, I don't see a World Series banner at Safeco Field. That's all that matters...not some stupid ass 2001 A.L. West Division Banner with a little "116 Wins" ribbon at the bottom of the banner.

Sorry, I don't consider Raul Ibanez an upgrade. I sure as hell don't consider Quinton McCracken or Dave Hansen upgrades either. Scott Spiezio? Hell, anybody is better than Jeff Cirillo at third right about now, but Sandfrog sucks major ass, so I'd say no upgrade at the hot corner. Rich Aurillia? Nice hitter, but I don't think he will do as well without Barry Bonds. That's just me though.

In 3 months, Bill Bavasi has ruined most of my enthusiasm for the Seattle Mariners. Now, that's not to say that I won't follow the M's during the 2004 season. That's not the case. Let's be honest, does ANYBODY see this team winning 95 games in 2004? I sure as hell don't. 91 at best. That still won't win the A.L. West. And the Wild Card is not coming from the West, so it's division title or sit your ass on the couch once again in October time.

Anyways, even if Sasaki had told the team in October that he would not be back in 2004, the M's still wouldn't have spent the money on a quality bat. We know better by now.

Again, it can be very hard to root for the Seattle Mariners. It doesn't have to be that way.

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Friday, February 06, 2004


Since I'm crazy and doing overdue schoolwork on a Friday night, I'll just put in a tidbit that I thought needed to be mentioned from tomorrow's Dave Andriesen article, saying that the best thing the Mariners can do is sit on Sasaki's windfall.

The roster spot vacated by Sasaki must be filled. The average major league salary is about $2 million, so even getting an average player eats up a chunk.

I did a little baseball-oriented paper for English 101 a little over three years ago and I hashed through some salary figures, and I learned a little something that pertains to what Dave Andriesen is saying. He is saying that the average salary of a ballplayer these days is $2M. What did I learn back then? There's an average salary in the Majors, all right. The first thing I thought about when I read the above passage: the median salary, which, barring something weird happening in salary figures the last few years, is very far below the mean (average) salary -- remember, not everyone is making over $20M a year, but salaries like Alex's and Manny's drive the ML-wide mean figure way up. One might assert from the Andriesen column that any ballplayer the M's pick up is going to make at least $2M. That's not necessarily true, especially given the needs they're trying to fill. If that need is "righty bat off the bench," the player better not be making $2M, and if he ends up making that in Seattle, then the fire for that one can be directed at one William Bavasi.

If I'm totally wrong in the assertion that the median salary has somehow crept closer to the mean salary over the last couple years, I'll be glad to correct myself. This is jsut the first thing that came to mind.

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I'll be back later with a day-late Canuck post, but I had to put this one up for kicks...

Anybody who has seen Hockey Night in Canada on the CBC knows that former coach Don Cherry comes on (with some sort of outrageously loud suit on) during the first intermission to shoot his spiel with Ron McLean in a segment called Coach's Corner.

The revelation now is that Coach's Corner will now be broadcast with a seven-second delay. Why?

Cherry, who turned 70 on Thursday, was discussing the merits of protective visors as mandatory equipment in the NHL when he said: "Most of the guys that wear them are Europeans and French guys."

Now I know most of us south of the Canadian border might look at that and think "white guys. What's the big deal?" But this has ticked off some people in Canada (ethnic dichotomy is different). I'm not sure what the "official languages commissioner" in Canada would have to do with this (Cherry didn't say that in French, right?), but apparently that's who will be sort of investigating this. In the rare case that any reader out there would be willing to clarify what exactly is going on here, that would be greatly appreciated.

If there's one reason to read that article, it's so we statesiders can introduce ourselves to the word "francophone." It's almost like when I was listening to a CKNW in-game news break and there was a shooting in Gastown and the RCMP were looking for two Indo-Canadian males. If I had a nickel every time I've heard the phrase "Indo-Canadian males" in my life, I'd have about four nickels.

It's different up there, folks. But it's cool. I was in Vancouver in 2002 on the day when the MLB players and owners came up with their collective bargaining agreement, so good things happen when I go up there.

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Thursday, February 05, 2004

SO CLOSE...... 


To stay on the same theme, I can't go for that...no, noooooooo, no can do:

"We called soon after the (Kazuhiro) Sasaki departure was confirmed (freeing up salary money for Seattle), but apparently he'd gone down the road quite a bit with Boston," Mariners general manager Bill Bavasi said. "Because he'd gone down the road with Boston, we had to be aggressive. I'm pretty sure our offer was better than theirs."

Seattle's offer reportedly was $1.25 million.

"His wife's family is from Connecticut, and he's played there before," Bavasi said. "So there was no changing (his mind). We were close, though."

The Mariners are left searching for an impact bench player. An injury to Martinez would leave them with Quinton McCracken (.227, no homers in 2003) as their best DH option. Just two weeks before camp opens, is the right player available?

"We hope so," Bavasi said. "If there is, we'll try to find one."

Great. Just fricking great.

Two weeks before pitchers and catchers report, we, as M's fans, are still worrying about trying to find a decent bat for the bench. It's not that I'm setting my standards very low by saying "decent bat", it's that a "decent bat" would automatically make the M's bench better than what it is right now. Boy, I'm sure Mike Scioscia is shaking when Dave Hansen comes up to pinch hit for John Olerud.

Did I mention here at Sports and B's that we have a fricking moron for a general manager? Oh wait, I said that about our root beer barrel choking manager. Well, now I've said it about Bill Bavasi.

Well, as for that "decent bat", there's always Jeff Reboulet. He's 76 years old, and hell, it's not like the Mariners need to get any younger here. Give him a 3-year deal, why the hell not?

Can this offseason get any worse?

Sure it can. The season doesn't start for another two months.

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Boston's take on Ellis Burks

For a base salary of less than a million, or not much more than the Sox will be paying benchman David McCarty if he makes the club out of spring training, Sox general manager Theo Epstein outmaneuvered the Seattle Mariners, whose late bid for the 39-year-old Burks was for more money ($1.25 million) but did not afford him the same percentages for a championship sendoff to a stellar 18-year career.


That speaks volumes as to what the Seattle Mariners are right now. They are a nice team that will win at least 85 games, but won't make the playoffs. It's not a good feeling, being a fan of a team that will win a few games, but won't do what it takes to make the playoffs. Am I wrong here? I didn't think so.

As for Ellis Burks, he's almost 40, and is coming off of knee surgery. A gimpy Ellis Burks would have been the best player on the Mariners bench, by far. There's no debate on this, so don't try to start one.

But hey, I'm still waiting for that Ron Villone 2-year, 4.5 million dollar deal...

I'm waiting...just-a-waiting on you...waiting on you (oooooooooooooo)...

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Wednesday, February 04, 2004


Scott Erickson has resurfaced again, signing a minor-league deal with the New York Mets.

Yes, Scott Erickson. He went 20-8 in his first full season in the Majors with the Twins in 1991, who won the World Series that year (you know, the worst-to-first team).

It's just a wire article that I got this from, but in three days he managed to turn 36, marry Lisa Guerrero, and get signed.

The next two days of my week...tomorrow: finish up Powerpoint presentation for an immensely boring 15-page densely-worded isotopes paper, work on Intermediate GIS lab and isotopes homework due on Friday. Friday: make sure I have those last two things finished from the day before, read and summarize infinitely boring readings for Computer Cartography class using the hours of 1-5pm.

What week would I rather have?? Hmm...

Also, in a follow-up of this, Ellis Burks has indeed signed with the Red Sox.

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So it looks like the ESPN SportsNation part of ESPN.com did another version of their Ultimate Standings. Basically, this is a ranking of all of the franchises of MLB, the NBA, the NFL, and the NHL based on a combination of factors such as "bang for the buck," "affordability," "championships," "ownership," and a few other criteria. There are a total of 121 teams involved in these standings.

Number one are the San Antonio Spurs. Number 121 by default (null category) are the Houston Texans, but number 120 is the Chicago Blackhawks.

The best-rated baseball, football, and hockey teams are the Anaheim Angels (6th), Green Bay Packers (3rd), and Edmonton Oilers (8th), respectively.

The worst rated basketball and baseball teams are the Detroit Tigers (113th -- way to go, Pudge!) and the Atlanta Hawks (117th).

On the local front, the Vancouver Canucks are 20th. Yippee!!

On a more local front, the Seattle Seahawks are 54th. The Seattle Sonics are 60th. The Mariners? 67th. A look at the categories shows that they got reamed in the "bang for the buck" category, as well as "coaching/managing," "championships," and "affordability."

It may be a strange, weird, and convoluted set of standings, but guess what? We have something that says that the Sonics are better than the Mariners. How funny is that?!?!

Yes, the Mariners are 67th out of 121. Yes, that is below the median, and therefore is average to slightly below-average.

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Minor league deal

Mark McLemore will go to spring training with the Baltimore Orioles on a minor league deal. He played for the O's from 1992 to 1994. If he makes the team, he will make $725,000, and has an opportunity to earn additional performance bonuses.

Performance bonuses? Like what, booting an easy ground ball that would have ended the damn inning? If there's one great decision the M's have made this offseason, it's not bringing Mac back to the fold.

Best of luck to Mac...but he's not going to make the O's any better. They still need pitching. A lot of it.

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"Playmakers", CANCELLED!!!!!!!!!!

"Playmakers" has been sacked.

After months of speculation about its future, ESPN's originally scripted series about a fictional professional football team will not return, a company official said Wednesday. One of the main reasons for cutting the series after the first season was the reaction from the NFL brass.

And who says good things can't happen in this world?

Yes, in our world of waiting for Bill Bavasi's next horrible move to wreck the Seattle Mariners, good things such as the cancellation of "Playmakers" comes along.

I hated "Playmakers" with a passion. Horrible acting, horrible show, horrible hype for about 3 months leading into the season premiere, etc....

By the way, if you want to watch some GREAT television, check out "Chappelle's Show" tonight, 10:30 Eastern/Pacific, 9:30 Central (my time).

Just an idea for Mr. Chappelle to use in the future: If we can have a "Black Gallagher", how about a "Black Richard Simmons"? Can we make this happen? Yes, I've thought about this for more than 30 seconds, but sue me. It would be trippy as hell, no doubt about it.

At this point, "Black Gallagher" would be an improvement on the M's bench...

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Reports suggest that we can cross the next two guys off that list --

Ellis Burks has apparently taken a physical for the Red Sox. The Mariners would never need a veteran pinch-hitter who does okay against lefties, right? They would never admit that trading Colbrunn for crap was a mistake. What makes sense is they're not making the move, given their preferences over the offseason. However, Burks is older than dirt and they'd probably overpay for him.

Mike Lamb. The Yankees apparently may decide to plug the whole at third base (at least temporarily) with Lamb in a trade for minor-leaguer Jose Garcia. Kevin Brown immediately suggests trading away for pork, veal, and goat meat in the hopes that an all-meat infield defense will be better than an infield with Jeter/Soriano/Giambi. Here's Jeff's case for Mike Lamb.

Let me once again say to anyone with organizational pull out there that I will gladly be anyone's 22-year-old, 5'7" 165-lb rightie hitter off the bench. I might be able to get you a base hit every once in a while, and I can probably draw a walk (small strike zone), and since I'm slow as hell, you can use Ugueto or one of the many pinch-running possibilities, and they'll be happy to take the field for me. I can fight off the curveball and I think my swing is mechanically flawed to where I hit everything to right field (that's what my final two years of high school ball told me) regardless of whether I'm trying to or not, so that's good if there's runners aboard. Oh yeah, I'm a local boy!

So to answer your question, yes, Mister Bavasi, I will gladly be your rightie bat off the bench.

(this is me praying for the $300k minimum ML salary to come my way...)

[Edit ~3p -- As commented by "typhoon," the minimum ML salary is way higher than the $150k that I originally thought. Proof is here, and the change has been made accordingly. Back when I was a kid, it seemed like the minimum ML salary was $109k for the longest time. Anyway, it's $300k, not $150k.]

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Tuesday, February 03, 2004


Losing to the Rangers and then blowing a 3-1 lead with 4:15 remaining in the third period against the Islanders is a hell of a way to follow up a five-game winning streak.

Canuck color man Tom Larscheid said the Canucks played 55 perfect minutes of hockey -- exactly how an NHL team should play on the road. After that, the game just went to hell. It took the Islanders a mere 2:17 to score three goals and TAKE THE LEAD. The Canucks got lucky and were able to tie the game on a Henrik Sedin goal with 1:22 left and held on to pocket the point in the standings.

The Canucks seemed to be righting the wrongs of the night before against the Rangers. Like Larscheid said, it appeared for 55 minutes that the Canucks were on the fast track to two points.

The late lapse overshadowed a good game in which resident tough guy Wade Brookbank got a goal streak going and Manitoba Moose callup Martin Grenier scored his first goal. Both of the Sedin twins scored goals also, and the Canucks have an outrageously good record when both of the twins hit the scoresheet. They didn't add to it tonight.

Canuck play-by-play man John Shorthouse and Larscheid were on after the game and pointed out some other things...Johan Hedberg wasn't seeing a lot of action tonight, and he had only faced two Islander shots in the third period before the Czerkawski goal (15:45 into the 3rd) was scored to make it 3-2 Canucks. Jarkko Ruutu coughed up the puck that led to the Michael Peca goal that put the Isles up 4-3 with 1:58 left in regulation. Peca and Czerkawski had their names on all three of the Isles' goals in the third period (three points apiece). I'm not sure anymore whether I hate inept goaltending or defensive giveaways more. The Canucks hung on for the tie, but the Trevor Linden blood-drawing high-stick (blood makes it a four-minute penalty) with 57 seconds left in regulation pretty much dashed the Canucks' hopes to get an overtime win out of it. In a weird turn of events, though the Vancouver power play has picked up of late (though not tonight), the penalty-killing unit has dropped off a bit lately, as they've gotten stung for goals on three of their last nine penalties. Defensemen Bryan Allen and Sami Salo were both minus-3s tonight. Yecch.

Canuck goals: Martin Grenier (1), Wade Brookbank (2), Daniel Sedin (8), Henrik Sedin (8)

They got the single point, but sheesh...they had a two-goal lead with 4:15 left and were behind 2:17 later!! Pathetic!! As a growing proportion of Canuck fans are realizing, this team is not an elite hockey team. Yet. Elite hockey teams don't drop these kinds of games. This team's my best hope for a championship right now, though, so I gotta stick with 'em. Oh yeah, the game-winner was scored by Adrian Aucoin on a rocket shot. Former Canuck, that guy.

Canucks at Devils Thursday. Yikes.

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I don't think it's going to happen, but some Pat Gillick-to-LA speculation has made it into print in the form of this Dave Andriesen article...apparently he has returned to the P-I fold. I'm not sure what Gillick thought about the media nailing him for trade deadline inactivity, but if he pulls that routine in LA, a few more people are going to hear about it. Of course, I'm fairly convinced by now that the whole deadlines thing wasn't all his doing.

You know, I haven't mentioned it yet, but I hope that these good-but-not-good-enough years for the Mariners end up spawning some awesome tell-all autobiographies. Whose autobiographies would I want? Gillick, for one. Jeff Nelson. Lou Piniella. Jay Buhner (if he ever gets off the Mariner payroll). Bret Boone. Jeff Cirillo's autobiography would just be 294 pages of "I suck" printed over and over again, so it wouldn't be too enriching.

The David-opposite-of-endorsed Darrin Beene has some pretty failsafe Tacoma Rainiers material.

Included is this brainless quote --

"Tacoma should be an interesting club to watch because there are a lot of prospects on the team," said Benny Looper, the Mariners' vice president for player development.

It's sad how much of a mail-it-in quote this is. I bet Looper was sitting in the room or on the phone with Beene and the whole time was thinking "Darrin Beene? Who the hell is this guy? I know what I'll do! I'll just mess with him and give him absolutely nothing new to work with. Everybody will already know what I'll give him." If you look at the rest of the Looper quotes in the article, they're so painfully and previously obvious, much in the nature of the quote that I posted. I could bash on about the whole dealing-your-pitching-because-everyone-wants-it-at-the-deadline-except-for-the-one-year-where-everyone-wanted-position-players thing, but it's fruitless because they don't even think of touching any of those arms, with the exceptions of Brian Sweeney and Allan Simpson this offseason, which maanged to net the Mariners approximately nothing.

It's hard to believe the Mariners will be taking the bunch they have right now to spring training in about two or so weeks. I want to be sick.

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Well, Mr. Justin Spiro trusted the source a little too much. Hopefully he can learn from this. As for his reply, there really isn't one yet, because he is attending to "personal matters."

Yes, Ivan Rodriguez went to Detroit. Let's take a step back here and assess the situation -- did we really honestly think Ivan was going to be a Mariner? Did we? I'd say I can encompass most of the opinions out there on that possibility by saying "maybe, but proably not." Not is right in this case. Again. Let's not kid ourselves. Bill Bavasi may have had a decent relationship with Scott Boras, but he's only one guy pulling the strings out of the sure-to-be-tired-of-Boras group of Lincoln/Armstrong/Jongewaard/Gillick. Four against one? By the same token, these four guys may have been holding back from Bavasi getting taken to the cleaners, but I doubt it, because Bavasi's been taken to the woodshed with almost every move he's made this offseason.

The Tigers' last winning season (1993) was Sparky Anderson's third-to-last year in a Tiger uniform. What followed was ten years of futility. Buddy Bell was also a decent baseball man that was a casualty of the Tigers' woes. Larry Parrish was another manager to bite it in Detroit. Last of the managers from the revolving door was Bob Melvin's best buddy and "mentor" Phil Garner, who was partly (if not wholly) responsible for Alan Trammell walking from the Tiger organization (two-thirds of the way down this page) in 1999, and surely managed to tick off countless amounts of people within the Tiger hierarchy. Great job, Phil. You had one single good frigging year (1992 Brewers; Bosio was 16-6, Cal Eldred was a rising star at 11-2).

Remember Scott Boras' other client? The other Rodriguez? You might remember him from this commercial that's airing right now -- the one where it's an Opening Day promo, and he's in the same room with Derek Jeter and Josh Beckett (his face isn't that memorable yet, MLB...I had to think about the dialogue for a few minutes before I realized it was him) playing indoor wiffleball, but Alex is so out of place in the commercial because Jeter and Beckett are re-playing a matchup from the World Series. Alex is just there to shag the wiffleballs, I guess.

Anyway, Boras has managed to land big deals for his two Rodriguezes to go to Texas (2001), and Detroit (2004). Alex has seen his Ranger teams go 213-270 (.438). How will these Tigers hash out? Well, this will be Alex's fourth year in a Ranger uniform, and until now they looked like total crap instead of just crap. Now their infield has Hank Blalock and Mark Teixeira along with Michael Young and Alex. It's a pretty good infield. Of course, they haven't gotten any worthwhile pitching yet, so they'll be average at best until that happens. With the Tigers...is it going to take three years for Blalock- and Teixeira-type prospects to ascend to the Tigers' ML roster? Do they even have any prospects worthy to be mentioned in the same breath with Blalock and Teixeira? Ivan will be 35 years old at the end of this contract. If you have had that kind of career, and then decide to spend years 32 through 35 of your life with a horrible Detroit team, and then say it's about security (worse yet, saying that the Tigers "just had a bad season")...he's full of crap, or at least diverting from the honest truth. Would someone just say for once that it's about the money? Don't lie to us.

Notice that both Alex and Ivan have doled out pretty much the same stupid lines about their teams being on the up-and-up and getting things turned around. As for Ivan's "bad year" quote, the Tigers didn't just have a bad year. The last three Tiger teams have lost at least 96 games, and the last two topped the century mark in the ol' L column.

Let's not kid ourselves -- Ivan Rodriguez was never going to be a Mariner. Justin Spiro put a little too much faith in a source, and managed to really fan some flames in the process. If he's back on the David Locke show again, I'd pay to hear Locke hand Spiro his lunch; if you need any indication that this wouldn't happen, listen to when Locke interviewed Spiro a little over a week ago (zip to mp3; ~23 minutes).

I'm all for this Tiger spending if it means the Red Wings will be crap soon, because quite frankly, I hate the Red Wings.

[Edit ~3:13a: I forgot to mention that both Alex and Ivan Rodriguez cited "respect" from their respective owners as reasons they signed. I take that to mean money = respect. One thing about the late SportsCenter...holy crap, Jayson Stark shaved his 'stache! He's still a geek though. I miss Baseball Tonight, and when Karl Ravech is doing a spot start on SportsCenter or worse yet, doing a golf event like last month, it's a horrible tease for BBTN. My ear is tuned to hear Ravech's voice and think baseball.]

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Hopefully the Canucks got that one out of their system. It wasn't the worst loss they could have had, and I know this is a long, five-game road trip, but man...THIS WAS THE FRIGGING RANGERS!! I know I consider myself a Seattle sports fan, and this team's from Vancouver and all, but having my team get beat by a crappy team reminds me a lot of the Mariners getting swept at home by the Tigers in 2000. Ugh.

Todd Bertuzzi quickly said after the game that the loss wasn't Markus Naslund's fault. That play in the 3rd period didn't help -- instead of bouncing the puck off the boards to clear it from the Vancouver zone, Naslund decided to send a cross-ice pass (i.e., from one side of Dan Cloutier to the other) over to Sami Salo. That pass never got to Salo. A few ticks later, Bobby frigging Holik roofed the game-winner over Cloutier's shoulder.

Yep, the frigging Rangers. The Canucks blow a golden chance to pick up two points on an idle Colorado team. Back when Toronto was reeling early in the season, they beat the Canucks and got a whole new lease on their season because the Leafs got red hot afterward. We'll see what this does to the Rangers, but to their credit, their top line actually did something tonight.

The Canucks blew some power-play chances in the first period, failing to convert on three Ranger penalties, including 26 seconds of a two-man advantage. The Canucks also blew two power play chances in the second period, but their penalty-killing unit got burned two of three times in the period, by Holik and the where-is-he-now Alexei Kovalev.

The Kovalev goal seemed like a backbreaker, but the Canucks do have a ton of points when trailing after two periods. Down 3-1, the top line damn near took over the game. Markus Naslund scored at 2:40 of the period, and Todd Bertuzzi was given the tying goal on a deflection with 11:02 left in the game. The final Holik goal came with 2:41 left. The first Holik goal came with about 12 seconds left in the second period.


Canuck goals tonight: Brendan Morrison (15), Markus Naslund (30), Todd Bertuzzi (16); that's seven points for the top line tonight. Unfortunately, there was only one point (Brent Sopel) by the rest of the team.

Islanders tomorrow.

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Monday, February 02, 2004


Believing in just one mind.

(I have to continue the Phil Collins theme here...he's only the coolest bald man in the fricking world you know!)

Anyways, another NFL season has ended without my team winning it all. Shocking.

Jim Nantz must have smoked too many Boomer Esiasons during the game if he thinks that Super Bowl XXXVIII was "the greatest game in history." Super Bowl XXXVIII isn't even close to the greatest game in history. "The greatest game in history" doesn't make me yell out loud, "I'm bored as hell", 5 times in the first half alone.

But all in all, an impressive showing by both the Patriots and Panthers...in the second half.

Hey M's brass: Adam Vinatieri is over 30 (he's 31 years old). He's also pretty clutch.

Sadly, John Kasay isn't so clutch. What happened to him? Did the Ghost of Tom Joad Flores creep into his mind before the out of bounds kickoff? Better yet, it could have been the Englishman streaker dance right before the second half kickoff. But Kasay is a good Christian boy, so expect the M's to sign him to a 3-year deal soon. He's a former Seattle player you know (a Seahawk, yes, but a former Seattle player nonetheless). Of course, this would be the Seattle way...get the good guys who aren't clutch. Yep, THAT'S MY SPORTS LIFE IN A FRICKING NUTSHELL.

Well, I was close. Mike Vrabel could have very well been the Super Bowl MVP last night. He had 6 tackles, 2 sacks, a forced fumble, and a touchdown (on offense!!!). I just threw Vrabel's name out there, in the "spirit" of former unlikely Super Bowl MVP's Larry Brown, Dexter Jackson, and Ottis Anderson.

Halftime show/Lingerie Bowl...
I didn't see the Janet boob slip. I was too busy to notice it. And the Lingerie Bowl was a joke. I didn't order it, since I'm a smart guy. If I want to pay 20 bucks for lingerie, then I need to see it in front of me, not on my TV (I'm joking BTW, keep the sexist e-mails to a mininum). I'm, just being honest...I'm, just being honest.

Greg Gumbel sucks. Do I need to explain this further? And dammit, I wish Arkansas radio was better. I would have tried to pick up Westwood One just so I could listen to Marv Albert, but that wasn't to be. But hey, I got to hear Greg Gumbel's gibberish for 4 hours!!!

Great game, but not the greatest ever. BTW, "Boomer Esiasons" would be selling like hotcakes in the Cincinnati/Kentucky region. Reds fans are going to need a lot of Boomer Esiasons to get through another lackluster season in 2004. And it could help Ken Griffey, Jr. cure his injury fetish.....or not.

Football is over. Arena Football 2 in TWO MONTHS!!! Can't wait...

Actually, I can.

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Sunday, February 01, 2004


Another month has ended, and once again, I am awestruck at the traffic we've gotten here at Sports and B's.

In the dead of January, we have seen the end of the Seahawk season, less Mariner moves, crappy Sonic losses so bad that I've nearly abandoned covering them altogether (Antonio Daniels had a great night last night though), and the Canucks starting to pick it up.

Big stories? Kazu Sasaki bolting was big. Jeff Cirillo was whisked away to San Diego. Ivan Rodriguez coming/not coming to Seattle was fairly big. Rich Aurilia signed with the Mariners. The Seahawks lost a big game in Green Bay, and were the better team playing that day.

Even though a decent amount of things happened, there's going to be even more to talk about in two weeks or so when spring training cranks up.

So when I look at the hit counters and see that we still got ~7900 raw hits for the month (~16% jump from December) and ~7040 on-page counter hits for January...well, I just get taken aback. More people are reading this thing?!!

Thanks to everyone who cares and everyone who reads our little piece of cyberspace. I hope you all have as much fun reading it as I do posting on it. It's therapeutic, in a way. The more readers we get, the more I get motivated to get better at this whole blogging thing. Yes, I am aiming to step it up here at Sports and B's as time goes on. We'll see how I do, though. Maybe I've reached my ceiling as a blogposter/blogwriter, who knows?

Here's to a great February and some good times for our favorite teams, and hopefully some questions we've posed are answered in a less infuriating way than in the last few months (Mariners inparticular, not necessarily the Rashard-or-Vlad Rad thing that we've haven't touched on much here, or whether Darrell Jackson or Walter Jones gets franchised next year).

Thanks to all of you, dear readers, for making this all worthwhile. You flatter us, you do.

[Edit ~8:27p -- This is just a point of reference for me...the on-page hit counter was at 17000. Resume your prior activities.]

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Steve Kelley, he's money and I'm not sure that he knows it...

It isn't that the Mariners haven't done anything this winter. But they haven't done enough. It isn't that they are worse than they were last season. It's that they aren't that much better.

And rightfully, people are angry.

Even when they get $9.5 million worth of found money from the salary of departing closer Kazuhiro Sasaki, they use some of the most creative accounting this side of Halliburton to boil a $9.5 million gain down to about $3.5 million.

And instead of using that money as part of a plan to go after free-agent catcher Pudge Rodriguez, or maybe Chicago White Sox outfielder Magglio Ordonez, it appears they will use some of it to get a left-handed setup man like Ron Villone.

That's like a movie producer settling for Howie Mandel in the lead role of his new comedy when he was hoping to get Bill Murray. It's like deciding on a bucket of chicken wings when you went looking for coq au vin.

Seattle deserves better, and you can read the city's disappointment in the chatrooms. You can feel it on the streets. Fans feel as if they've been betrayed. Again. Like they were in July of 2002 and July of 2003.

Seattle does deserve better, I'm in total agreeance here.

As for Howie Mandel, don't say his name too loudly, Steve. The Mariners marketing department needs to make up another promotional day, so expect the first 15,000 kids at a July weekend afternoon game to receive a "Bobby's World" bobblehead doll at the gates.

Now, I hope this is the only time Mandel is ever mentioned in the same sentence as Bill Murray.

And if the M's sign Ron Villone, then why not Marc Newfield? Hell, let's have fun here. Bring back Keith Comstock. Or Tim Leary.

No Mariners fan would be surprised if they walked into the team's Safeco Field offices and saw a motto over the door: "No long-term contracts. No big deals. Period."

The Mariners aren't Pittsburgh, or Kansas City, or Tampa Bay. They aren't even the old Mariners. That's Seattle's good news.

But this ownership still acts as if the league has imposed a salary cap on it alone. That if it dares drift over its $95 million budget, there will be dire consequences.

As a matter of faith, the team owed it to the fans to do something out of the ordinary this winter. Any extra money it would have spent would have come back to them in good will and ticket sales.

Damn right.

We bitch and moan not because it's the fun thing to do, but because there's a reason for it. I'm sick and tired of seeing the M's choke their ass in the second half. The song cannot remain the same, Howard, Chuck, Hiroshi, etc.

Anaheim bought itself into the role of World Series favorite. Oakland still has the best starting pitching in baseball. And the Mariners? Well, they're still the Mariners.

Well, the Angels aren't "the" favorite, but they will be one of the favorites, and with good reason. The A's offense will be putrid, but they still have Eric Chavez (for one more year). Oh, and their pitching kicks ass. Yep.

The Mariners? Hey, Raul Ibanez is a "world-class human being".

OK, that's enough from me. But say what you will about Steve Kelley, the man is dead-on here. Maybe Larry Stone dripped some voodoo into his head or something...

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