Saturday, February 14, 2004


Thank you

Yes, it's true.

You can find anything on the internet.

I found this site, called the Logo Server, earlier today on some internet message board (can't remember which one, and it doesn't really matter). Has all the logos of the 4 major sports as well as the colleges (American and Canadian). There's even minor league logos too!

Here's a few of my favorite logos, old, new, defunct, whatever.

New England Patriots...the Hiking Minuteman

Take hold of The Whale!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sacramento Surge. The WLAF. Great stuff.

And what about the Arkansas minor league teams?

Well, here's two failed minor league hockey teams, each of them folding within the past 5 years:

The Arkansas Glacier Cats of the WPHL

The Arkansas Riverblades of the ECHL

It's a great time wasting site. Check it out.

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As much as I want to just be pissed off over the Yankees possibly acquiring Alex Rodriguez, I can't be.

Folks, the Yankees are showing once again how badly they want to win. There's no problem with that at all. While the idiots with the "two outs, so what" banner are left with their little 116 wins bullcrap mantra, people such as myself realize that the goal in baseball is to win. It's not about how many games you win in a season or how nice your players are. You win or you lose. No sugarcoating whatsoever.

Personally, I think the Yankees would be better off with Alex at short rather than keep Derek Jeter there. But that's just me. And few other people.

Regardless though, I have to tip my hat to the Yankees if they can pull off this deal. Love or hate them, they want to win.

Although I'm sure there's some poor soul reading this and thinking, "hey Jeremy, Alex Rodriguez is only one player. The Mariners have added Ibanez, Aurillia, and Spiezio this offseason, it can't be that bad can it?"

Yeah, but you see, Alex Rodriguez is the best player in the game.

And he's going to be a New York Yankee.

Somebody get me a doctor!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Damn, was I wrong.

Scott Miller is quoting a high-ranking source, but he is saying that Alex Rodriguez will be headed to the Yankees for Alfonso Soriano and a minor-league pitcher, with minor details to be worked out over the next few days.

I tend to believe this a lot more than the Ivan Rodriguez-to-Seattle rumors spewed forth by Justin Spiro, who, by the way, still hasn't returned from "personal matters within his family" as posted on DetroitSports.Net on Feb 2nd.

If this is true, Boston and their fans once again have to feel like crap. With all the work that Boston tried to do to restructure Alex's contract, only to come up short, and then have King George able to pretty much take on Alex's contract (sans the money that Texas might send along) has to just kill Red Sox fans. The sick thing is, George is the one guy that could take on Alex's contract without too much hesitation.

At least they've got a better bench than the Mariners. And they've got 1918, too. That's more than the Mariners have.

[Edit ~5:45p -- supplementary Scott Miller link]

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In the "spirit" of the possible Alex Rodriguez-Alfonso Soriano deal...

The shot that ended the 2001 Seattle Mariners chances at a World Series

If Soriano does go to Texas, it's pretty safe to say that the Texas Rangers have had a better offseason than your Seattle Mariners.

The lesson here? Yes, even on Valentine's Day, I can feel like crap.

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Ladies and gentlemen, let's all take a second to remember the last time the Mariners had a legitimate shot to win the World Series. Steve Ringman caught that moment in time. As you know, it was all downhill from this point. It was a hell of a time for the bullpen to not slam the door, I can say that much. Timing is everything, and Art and Kazu picked a bad time to lack timing.

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Just thought I'd let everyone know about the small tinkering in case anyone gets screwed up.

I took Music and B's, my site, Jeremy's columns, and the "other stuff" supplement to Sports and B's over above "LOCAL/SOUND COVERAGE" on the sidebar.

Right now, "other stuff" is mostly a collection of Canuck photos (credits are given), and if it saved my last save, some photos from Kazu Sasaki leaving Seattle are in there too.

"Other stuff" will grow, possibly slowly, but surely.

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Alex. Yankees. Third base. Hold your laughter.

It could happen, but the people saying it could happen are the folks at NY Newsday, and you know how those New York print media types are...

Al Soriano would go to Texas in a deal, and ESPN says Jose Contreras and minor-leaguer Dioner Navarro would also go to Texas if Rodriguez came over. Texas would also send some cash to the Yankees.

Of course, we as trained baseball fans know what to expect from this -- nothing. Alex playing third? Haha. If Alex is on the same team, there's no way Derek Jeter deserves to play shortstop, but that's just what I think. This will never happen anyway. I hope it doesn't just so Tom Hicks can be saddled with that contract for the rest of his foreseeable future, and keep the Ranger pitching staff nice and crappy.

Anyway, I should stop now because I'm wasting web space on something that will have the net result of zero.

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McDonald's All-American Team rosters TBA Feb. 19

The 2004 McDonald's All American Boys Team will be formally introduced on Thursday, February 19th at 4:30 p.m. EST on ESPN

This will be featured on ESPN News' new show, "The Hot List", which airs at 1:30 p.m. Pacific, 3:30 p.m. Central, and 4:30 Eastern. "The Hot List" is simulcast on both ESPN and ESPN News.

Marvin Williams will be on this team. If he isn't, then there's something seriously wrong with the whole deal.

FYI, the McDonald's All-American Game will be telecast live on ESPN March 31 from The Ford Center in Oklahoma City.

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The Bremerton Knights boys basketball team has weathered a five-of-six losing skid, illness to Marvin Williams, and pancreitis to Phil Houston to return to the league playoffs for the first time in two years, beating Shelton 65-53 in overtime.

Last night's Shelton game was Phil Houston's first game back from the aforementioned illness (from which it was thought he would miss the rest of the season), and he gave the Knights some much-needed secondary scoring (16 points), which helped immensely because Marvin's three-point shooting was erratic, and he ended up with a mere 21 points. Williams did end up scoring eight of those points in overtime. Josh Johnson also chipped in a solid 13 points.

I'm glad to see these guys got to the playoffs, especially considering how they looked when I saw them in a game against Central Kitsap at home in mid-December (first post, second post).

But hey, the Knights are at .500 and the Sonics aren't. That's cause for me to go and get some breakfast and partially celebrate before I do my isotopes take-home midterm that's due Tuesday.

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So the Canucks wanted to put that last game behind them. After 20 minutes, it looked like they had what it took to do that. It shouldn't have been a hard thing to do against an Atlanta team that had played its third game in four nights, coming off a 5-1 pasting in Edmonton, and winless in their last 10 games, right?

The Thrashers ten-game winless streak disappeared. What didn't disappear was the Canucks' sudden 4 of 5 losing skid. This was thanks to some putrid special teams play, as the Canucks went 0-for-6 on the power play and also gave up a shorthanded goal late in the second period that put the game on ice (maybe that metaphor doesn't work as well with hockey...). They also managed to not convert on 42 seconds' worth of a two-man advantage in the second period.

Though the Canucks outshot the Thrash 13-1 in the first period, they physically stuck it to the Canucks (postgame host Dan Russell though it was the most physical that any visiting team has played at the Garage), and basically were able to get through the first period unscathed and then control the game the rest of the way. Their four goals were scored on a mere 19 shots.

Thrash goalie Pasi Nurminen was great in net, fending off all of those thirteen shots in the first period, including a Jarkko Ruutu penalty shot.

Canuck players were frustrated at many times in the game, notably when Markus Naslund yelled at Marek Malik on the ice, possibly for a wrong path on the ice.

There were some meaningless brawls toward the end, and Dan Cloutier managed to get into a squabble with Ron Petrovicky, drawing a 10-minute match penalty and an indefinite suspension from play until review by Colin Campbell.

Canuck goal scored by Daniel Sedin (10)

Canucks and Anaheim tonight.

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Friday, February 13, 2004


Here's a few of the games I've been privileged to attend over the past 14 seasons:

August 1, 1990 A's 1, M's 0 (11 innings): Doug Jennings base hit scores Lance Blankenship. Erik Hanson pitches 10 innings before giving way to Mike Schooler. Hanson struck out 11 A's and gave up only 2 hits. Dave Stewart pitched all 11 innings, earning the victory for the A's. This was the first game I ever went to, since I read a certain amount of books at my library that summer. Those were the days. You can read books and get a ticket to a game? Wow! I wish I could do that today, but I know that's not possible. Damn.

August 27, 1995 Yankees 5, M's 2: Scott Kamieniecki vs Tim Belcher. Yee-haw! But it's not the game I remember too much. It's two things.

One, I got a pack of Mother's Cookies Mariners Trading Cards. Who knew how valuable those things would be just two months later. I still have them, thank god. And two, it was the final game that the M's wore the teal jerseys. Jay Buhner infamously called them "softball jerseys". I agree, Bone. They weren't good. At all.

June 24, 1997 A's 4, M's 1: Randy Johnson struck out 19 A's. Mark McGwire hit a 538-foot shot into the second deck concourse in left field at the Kingdome. Two words that still stick with me to this day about that HR: "Holy s***!"

May 30, 2000 White Sox 2, M's 1: This was Class of 2000 Night at the Safe. This was also the night I became a Carlos Lee fan. His 5th inning home run off of Paul Abbott was a thing of beauty. 5/30/00 began the 3-plus year campaign from me to bring Lee to Seattle. Sadly, it failed. All because the "world class human being" Raul Ibanez could come back to Seattle.

August 27, 2000 White Sox 2, M's 1: Freddy Garcia got robbed on this day back in August 2000. He pitched 8 strong innings, but the M's offense couldn't do much against Sean Lowe. It was Sean Lowe's career day, and it had to come against the M's. It fricking figures.

But hey, David, our friend Grant, and I got to see Freddy in the 76 station right across the street from the Safe. That was very cool. Oh, and the Pyramid experience. Dammit, I miss Seattle...and it's because of days like 8/27/00.

June 27, 2002 M's 7, A's 4: Edgar Martinez comes back after two months on the DL. What does he do in his first game back? He hits a home run off of Barry Zito in the 3rd inning. The lesson learned here?

Edgar is great.

And with that, those are a few of the games that I've attended over the years. I could list them all, but for my sanity and yours, I will not do that. Just a hint though, I did work at Safeco Field during the 2000 and 2002 seasons, so with those two seasons combined, I did work at about 120-130 games. So there you go.

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Peter and Jeff have posted some Retrosheet-related things. To add to this, I posted around when Kazu left of my memory of Kazu's first Mariner blown save and its accompanying boxscore. My other Retrosheet memory is a 1999 game at the Safe. There was a good-sized Yankee-Mariner brawl, Chad Curtis was trying to antagonize the Mariners, Frankie Rodriguez was involved, etc. Jeff Fassero had spotted the Yankees a 5-0 lead before we even sat down in the 1st inning.

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2.1 to 1.8

NBC's broadcast Sunday of five regional AFL games drew the sport's highest television ratings for the network and beat the NHL All-Star Game on ABC by 17 percent. NBC had a 2.1 rating, while ABC was 1.8.

If any of you were wondering why the NHL is in a state of turmoil, look no further.

"Shot in the heart, and you're to blame. Gary Bettman, you give hockey, a bad name!!!"

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Actually, when Raul Ibanez goes into a 3-for-54 slump in June, I'll be doing a dance that's bigger than the Safety Dance.

Thanks to 1918 for the inspiration for this post.

People start reminiscing. "I remeber Raul Ibanez! I always liked him!" and so on. Reality will set in, and when he's hitting .260 with five home runs at the All-Star break, we'll all be reminded why he was let go in the first place. As history takes its course, Raul Ibanez will be the "You Spin Me (Like a Record)" of Mariners baseball.

I think what the 2004 Seattle Mariners need to do is hire VH1's Ahmir Whogivesafrickwhathisname is. He's the guy who hosts that horrible VH1 special "Bands Reunited". I mean, if the Mariners need a cheerleader who can get excited over crap players, it's Ahmir!

The thing is, the guy should be ridiculed forever for even thinking about bringing Kajagoogoo back for one more show. Ditto for The Alarm. Don't forget about A Flock of Seagulls as well.

The one shining moment of "Bands Reunited" is the Extreme episode, when Gary Cherone and Nuno Bettencourt would have nothing to do with a reunion. Seeing that was worth more than words, pardon the pun.

Folks, Raul Ibanez sucks. He really, really sucks. There is a reason why the Mariners didn't keep him after the 2000 season. So he had 3 decent seasons in Kansas City. Big freaking deal.

He's not worth the money he was given. David and I will be proven right. As will most of the Mariners Blognation. We do know what we're talking about.

And you can spin that like a record baby, right round, round round, beyotch!!!

(Musical related news, check out our music blog, Music and Bremertonians. More content being added as the days go by, which is a good thing.)

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I think Bill Bavasi and the Mariners can file a lawsuit over this -- the Saint Louis Cardinals are totally ripping off the Mariners' strategy here; they are bringing back two retreads. Getting their welcome back to the Gateway City (or at their their spring camp in Florida) are Ray Lankford and John Mabry (back for his third stint with the Cards). Lankford has simply been crap since the Cards fleeced the Padres in that Woody Williams-for-Lankford deal. John Mabry's been crap for a couple years now. But now it's time to play "say that word five times really quickly." The word? Jocketty.

Derek Lowe saw the Curt Schilling signing and took it to mean one thing: either he or Pedro was going to be shown the door after the season. To sum the article, Lowe has been able to put on 15 more pounds and actually work out early this year, as opposed to last year, when he had the skin cancer on his nose. I learned that Derek Lowe is a Scott Boras client. I don't think it's a stretch to say Derek Lowe could be a Mariner next year -- Lowe is a former Mariner and Boras is buddy-buddy with Bill Bavasi (meaning he can rob him blind). Lowe notes that his first two starts are in Baltimore, where he will prepare to face the wrath of Miguel Tejada for the crotch gesture during the ALDS last year.

Then Lowe ends it with the following...

When Lowe watched the Super Bowl, he said the Patriots reminded him of the Yankees that reeled off four World Series titles in five years (1996-2000). "You knew they were going to win," he said. "Like when the Yankees were winning those World Series, no matter what happened, those SOBs were going to win."

That is not how it feels around the Sox, he agreed.

"I think you create your own luck, but the Red Sox have such a bad history in the playoffs, I think people almost get talked into it, talked into something bad is going to happen . . . There's definitely something about the Red Sox as far as the playoffs go. They find a way to lose. "There's only one way to change that. I think the front office did real well this offseason. You can look at it one of two ways. Either they're going for broke this year, or it's going to blow up next year."

I wish the quote would have included the words or gestures with which he actually "agreed" that "that is not how it feels around the Sox." Just that, the one-guy-will-go talk, and the last quote that this'll be the year or they'll blow it up...it doesn't seem to me that these are very wise things to be saying. It almost seems like a defeatist attitude to me, but what do I know? I woke up an hour ago after getting to bed about 3:30 last night.

Derek's got one year to build up his clubhouse intangibles so he can sign with the Mariners next year for three years, $96 million.

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The great thing about having the Fox Sports digital channels is that I get the opportunity to watch the "Northwest Sports Report" from time to time.

So, as I'm getting ready to go to class Thursday morning, I'm watching the NWSR. Ho hum, there's a lot of Husky basketball highlights. But then all of a sudden, they have a story on Marvin Williams. Yes, the Marvin Williams.

FSNW picked a great day to head over to Bremerton. It was a beautiful day, not a cloud in the sky.

Similar to the Tribune story (DAMN REGISTRATION!!!!! I finally relented and gave them my info. I want more Larry LaRue when the season starts though!), FSNW interviewed Marvin and coach Casey Lindberg. Lindberg was not only a super substitute teacher of mine during junior high, he was also my economics teacher my senior year of high school. He's a great guy, and it's too bad that he's not going to be teaching too much longer. But the best of luck to him in his post-teaching life.

Back to Marvin...

The guy is unreal. He scored 45 points on Wednesday night against Gig Harbor, a school record. He's still not fully recovered from a case of viral meningitis, so what he's doing on the court right now is just amazing.

Even though I'm in Arkansas, it's not like I follow any of the high school sports down here with a passion. At least not this year. But I'm following Bremerton sports as much as I can. Thanks to the Sun and other Seattle-area papers for helping me do that.

Marvin is headed to Chapel Hill next year to play for Roy Williams and the North Carolina Tar Heels. The kid can't lose right now, he just can't. Getting to play basketball at the same school as Michael Jordan, James Worthy, and Sam Perkins isn't a bad deal at all. And to be coached by Roy Williams, one of the Top 5 coaches in all of college basketball, isn't too bad either.

ACC basketball is already interesting...but in 2004-2005, it will get even better.

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If Greg Maddux ends up in San Francisco, that would not shock me one bit.

Here's the thing that impresses me about the Giants. They are PAYING for Pac Bell Park themselves (it's not SBC Park to me), all the while trying to build a championship-caliber club. I respect the Giants ownership tremendously for doing that.

Yet there's a ballclub 824 miles north of San Francisco that schemed their way into getting Safeco Field built, and claims that they are trying to build a "championship-caliber club". But instead, they are building a competitive ballclub that little Jack and Diane would be proud of. You know, a team that thinks chicks dig the long fly ball deep to left center field only to be caught for the third out. Two outs, so what my fricking ass!!!

Yes, spring training is coming very soon. I'm excited about it, for the most part. But at the same time, I'm already planning on the Ron Villone 10 + ERA come mid-March...

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This one's from yesterday now, but our resident B-town UNC-bound b-ball player Marvin Williams got some good-sized press in the Tribune. There's some stuff about the recruiting process, some stuff about college before the NBA, and some quotes from coach Casey Lindberg, who was a super substitute teacher in my formative junior high years.

Also, John McGrath starts hacking away at the record books on the heels of the indictment of Barry Bonds' personal trainer in the big BALCO case. McGrath suggests putting asterisks next to every statistic from 1998-2003 to have an asterisk next to it due to the lack of steroid policy in those years. McGrath almost lays out an assault on Bonds' trainer. The article almost oozes of near-sarcasm or a chain of "what about this? This? Aaand this??!?!" thinking, if there is such a thing.

What intrigues me is how cavalierly Bonds associated with the men charged Thursday. He's often been seen wearing a cap advertising the the logo of Conte's company, BALCO. On the night he hit his 73rd home run, during a ceremony held after the game at Pac Bell Park in San Francisco, he singled out Anderson in his thank-you speech.

Like I said in a more concise fashion, I just hope like hell that we don't ever have to look on the records that fell with any sort of side-eye or necessary skepticism, at least not in the way that it would if this all went down.

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The Giants have apparently had heightened talks with Scott Boras about Greg Maddux. If you would have asked me two weeks ago where I thought Maddux was going to end up, San Francisco probably would have been fourth or fifth on the list. I thought Maddux was a near-lock to go to San Diego. If Maddux picks SF, it's a big loss for the Padres, I think. They seemed to be frontrunners in the Maddux sweepstakes for quite a while. Now they might lose him within the division. They wouldn't have Maddux to help fill the seats at the Dog Pound either (anything but Petco...Scratching Post, Kennel, Dogloo, Bird House, anything).

In a somewhat related note, how bad is it that one of the better things to happen in the season is the fact that Miguel Tejada didn't end up in Anaheim? A good thing in the Mariner offseason couldn't be "oh, we filled that hole with that guy, who consistently does a great job at that position" or anything like that. It's "hey, we bought out Mabry's contract" or this Tejada thing I just brought up.

Of course, the interval of time when we were glad Tejada didn't go to Anaheim was more than negated when Vlad Guerrero actually did go to Anaheim.

Hopefully the Tribune has some postworthy material, because I'm not seeing any out of the Times and P-I tonight.

[Edit ~1:25a -- Vlad note]

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Thursday, February 12, 2004


I'm in my local geology undergraduate room putting this one because there's either problems with the residential internet or my browser's shot. My messengers work, but my browser is shot. However, I've heard I'm not the only one who is experiencing this. Weird, weird, weird...

Here's a little article about the Blue Jays where Carlos Tosca (who I think is a joke, justifiably or unjustifiably) and JP Ricciardi spout off some stuff about wanting to get to the playoffs. Tosca says he won't be satisfied if the Jays don't reach the playoffs. Prepare to be unsatisfied, Carlos. Also mentioned is that the Jays are televising 145 games this year, beating out the Mariners' 140. However, I'm guessing those games get beamed out to the entire nation of Canada, so they probably have little to no trouble finding advertisers, and therefore, games worthy of broadcast. Also in a somewhat weird note, the Jays powers-that-be told Eric Hinske to lose some weight in the offseason and now he's 15 pounds lighter.

James Baldwin is going to minor-league camp for the New York Mets. If the Mets swing something to Oakland for Art Rhodes, the Mets will successfully reunite the Three Off-Centered Cap Musketeers. Mike Cameron rounds out the trio, of course.

I know this one's a hockey note, but it's still a grisly injury. Jeremy Roenick of the Flyers took a shot to the face from a puck shot by defensemen Boris Mironov of the Rangers. Roenick was motionless on the ice for a few minutes, and the end result was a sufficient fracture of his left jaw. Quoth Roenick: "When I came to I was spitting up blood. I just made sure I didn't choke on my blood."

Right now, I think I'll start trying to build up somewhat of an online photo database. First I'll start with those AP Canuck photos before they start taking the photos off, like they usually do after while. Then maybe some spring training photos, whenever those come around. Anyway, the way I'm doing it is I've got an alternate Yahoo login name and therefore have an alternate way to use Yahoo PageBuilder, i.e., webpaging for dumbasses. Anyway, it looks like I've got five Canucks photos to add to the database.

[Edit ~10:10p -- First page of Canuck photos is here.]
[Edit ~10:30p -- Second page of Canuck photos, from the Devils game.]
[Edit ~10:45p -- Third page...the Islander game. Fourth is the Ranger game.]

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Down on me (This isn't some Jackyl reference, fools. Respect the coolest bald man in the world, beyotch!)

Well, this little bit of info made me rain down a few tears of anger, whatever that means:

Terry Mulholland's brief stint with the Mariners in 1996 (yes, he is a former Mariner-now Mariner again, YAY!!!)

12 GS, 69.3 IP, 5-4, 4.95 ERA

He was traded to Seattle for Desi Relaford, in case you didn't remember.

Ron Villone's Mariner stint? 7.95 ERA.

Yeah, I can really soak up the Sodo Mojo in the fricking Bluff baby...


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Barry Bonds' personal trainer Greg F. Anderson has been indicted in the BALCO fiasco.

I don't have much to say here, other than that I hope the s*#t never hits the fan with all this steroid stuff.

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Well, with all this crappy Mariner news, it helps me when some of my other teams do good. Not tonight.

The Canucks blew a 2-0 lead in this one. They played sluggishly. Todd Bertuzzi has a new mohawk.

Not a good way to come back from the All-Star break. The Flames had played the night before.

I could try to say some meaningful things about the game, but I'll just leave that to these two articles. The key moment in the game was probably when Bertuzzi got robbed late in the first period by Roman Turek. That goal would have put the Canucks up 3-0 and in the driver's seat. Not long after that, the Flames got their first goal and the game was a very different one at that point.

In a bit of sad news, Magnus Arvedson has three letters on his mind: ACL. He's done for the year, and probably is done as a Canuck altogether. It's sad because that all-Swedish line was really lighting it up and Arvedson was red hot until he got hurt.

Canuck goals: Sami Salo (power play, 6), Jarkko Ruutu (6)

Canucks Friday/Saturday at home against Atlanta/Anaheim. There better be four points out of that.

The Canucks are two points back of Colorado, who has two games in hand.

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John Levesque absolutely kills me with today's piece. Right up there with the ol' registering-dead-people's-names-as-voters strategy from the days of yore in Chicago, the Mariners themselves hire a 17-year postmortem man as a "special front office consultant."

In a slightly veiled, but somewhat uniquely-spun fashion, Levesque gets in some dry hacks against almost everything that is wrong in Marinerland and a lot of the things being bitched about...

-- front office and fans wanting to live in the past (you know, the one guy that'll say "I've seen them suck for 16 years and now they put this team out there every year and win 90 games, so I'm not complaining" even though, as most readers reading this site probably know, expectations have been raised in the eight seasons that have passed since 1995. Or, every time Rick Rizzs mentions the 1995 or 2001 runs. Over and over and f*%&ing over again. If the Fred Hutchinson Center really wanted to rake in, they'd put a counter on every time Rizzs mentioned those two years of Mariner past. At least then it would be constructive if $200 went into the Center with every reference.)

-- "the days of being an automatic contender are numbered"
A no-brainer. The Mariners just need way too many things to right in order to return to the playoffs. Instead of getting guys that will just do their jobs and do what they're normally capable of doing, the Mariners have made it so that too many guys will have to have career years or stand on their heads for this team to actually do anything.

-- "...as good as we think they have been recently, they've finished third in a four-team division three years out of the past six."
Nice shot, John. Really nice shot. The Mariners don't look so great after that stat, do they? Can the optimists spin that one?

-- "it's important for Mariners fans to recognize the value of...the joy of taking the family to a ballgame regardless of the outcome. And...walking up to the ticket booth on game day and being able to get good seats"
As outlandish as this article is, there's that part of me that thinks this might actually be going on. This is more rational than any attempt from the front office to justify anything that's gone on this offseason.

There's a couple other goodies in the article, but really, I have to study more for my test that's in less than 90 minutes, so I gotta get to steppin'.

[Edit ~9:45a -- added S to the title. I realized it before I left for my test. It uses Levesque's name a little better.]
[Edit ~9:50a -- added the "constructive" note for what the Hutch center should do to up their funding.]

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Wednesday, February 11, 2004


He's a 42-year-old third baseman who hasn't played in the Majors since 1991. He's a former Mariner. He sounds like a perfect guy for Bill Bavasi to sign, right?

Well, the man who fits the description above simply knows better than to join this train wreck of a team.

Ladies and gentlemen, Jim Presley is the new manager of the Missoula Osprey of the low-A Pioneer League. Quite a town, that Missoula.

It's probably not all said and done, though. The Osprey are affiliated with the Arizona Diamondbacks. A couple of threats from Bavasi to Bob Melvin to use his Diamondback connections may result in the Mariners' quick-and-dirty overpayment of Jim Presley to a two-year, $8M contract. As a player. Why? They'll make up something, like the Mariners need depth at third base or something like that.

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Well, not really, but whatever.

I saw the same CBS Sportsline Power Rankings that David posted and was pleasantly surprised to see the Seattle Seahawks at #4. Remember, the Seahawks NEVER get any national respect, so this is good news.

Folks, it's obvious that even in defeat, the Seahawks impressed a few people January 4 in Green Bay. It's still a damn shame that the Seahawks lost on an INT by that sorry dreadlocked bastard (frick you, Al Harris!!!). But hey, things never go right for Seattle sports fans, so there you go.

Until the 2004 season.

The Seahawks 2004 season, that is.

As far as the 2004 schedule goes, it will be a little tougher. But I expect at least 11 wins from the Seahawks in 2004. The defense will be improved, and the receivers will catch the damn ball. Those two things prevented the Seahawks from making a run at the Super Bowl in 2003. I don't give a damn, you can't tell me that the Seahawks wouldn't have beaten Jake Delhomme and the Carolina Panthers. Or the overrated Chunky Soup kid in Philadelphia.

Oh, here are the teams the Seahawks will play in 2004 (dates/times won't be announced until April)

St. Louis
San Francisco

New England
New Orleans
New York Jets
St. Louis
San Francisco
Tampa Bay

BOLD = My Monday Night Football predictions
Italics = My Sunday Night Football prediction

I know this may sound nuts, but I think the Seattle-New England game should be the Monday Night Football opener, either on the first Thursday of the season or the first Monday. I'd love to see the Seahawks end the Patriots 15-game winning streak. And hey, get the New England game out of the way early, since the weather won't be a huge factor.

When the Rams come to Seattle, that's a MNF game in my book. The two best teams in the NFC West by far. Seattle deserves a MNF game in 2004, so it should happen.

It's so much better to talk the Seahawks when they have some promise, isn't it?

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You know, I love the game of baseball to death, I really do, and I love the Mariners, but what's gone on this offseason is just abhorrent.

That's why I'm really looking forward to next September. I'm dying to see how the Seahawks do next year. It's been brutally apparent since before last season that the Seahawks are (and were at that time) the Seattle team with the best chance at a title.

Enter Pete Prisco's fresh-off-the-Pro Bowl power rankings...

1) New England
2) Indianapolis
3) Denver

That's right, Pete Prisco of CBS SportsLine has your Seattle Seahawks ranked above every other NFC team.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is cause for slightly heightened anticipation.

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Tuesday, February 10, 2004


Boston and Chicago fans, you have no idea what it is like to be a Seattle sports fan.

Good night.

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Welcome back to Seattle, Terry Mulholland, and welcome to Seattle, Eric freaking Owens.

At least they're just minor-league deals without the pretty-much-guaranteedness of the Villone (Vanilli) deal, but still...

To hell with all of us bitching about the overabundance of players over 30 on this team, because thanks to this Terry Mulholland deal, Bill Bavasi is chasing players on the other side of 40. Much like Ibanez and Villone before him, Mulholland wasn't that good the first time he came through Seattle either.

As for Eric Owens, I read the wire article and see that his .270 average for last year and .264 career average more than likely make him the best hitter off the Mariner bench, and frankly, that tells you just how sad of a situation this is. It also means the Mariners are eating out of Anaheim's garbage. Sure, Quinton McCracken may somehow have a .280 career average, but Eric Owens has been much more consistent over the past five years with his season batting average totals, whereas Crack, well, amassed most of the good batting average numbers in exactly one year.

This from my dad about Mulholland, "that's just stupidity. It seems like every time I see him pitch, he loses!"

And with those words, I end this post. All our fathers are filled with such wisdom, I'm sure.

Baseball -- the ultimate father-son game.

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Fred McGriff will be attending spring training with the Tampa Bay Devil Rays.

Mentioned in the linked article is the possibility that McGriff could be an insurance policy for the D-Rays, or he can prove his health is up to par and the Devil Rays would let him go before the start of the season since they really don't need McGriff.

McGriff needs nine more bombs to reach 500.

Guess what? The Devil Rays just got some legitimate lefty pop on their bench...and for only a minor-league contract. Sure, he probably just figured going home was a good thing to do, but still...McGriff would make the Tampa Bay bench leaps and bounds better than the Mariner bench.

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Now that there is actual talent at the Major League level, Ranger GM John Hart is cranking the same process through again...

Job number one: try to sign Hank Blalock to a long-term deal
Subsequently: rinse and repeat, with Michael Young and Mark Teixeira

If he gets that done, the Rangers have a stable infield. If the Rangers learn how to get some pitching and the outfielding help they've needed ever since Rusty Greer (what a hustle player he was) got hurt one too many times, they'll at least be competitive, maybe even decent.

Of course, the second half of the John Hart process which carried out in Cleveland was the part where they started signing veterans and having the contracts add up, as chronicled here (thanks, Steve).

Anyway, the day the Rangers beat out the Mariners for third place is the day I focus a tiny bit less attention to the Mariners. Naw, I'll probably still watch the Mariners, but it'll be for watching individual efforts instead of the team outcome, i.e., "I hope Raf Soriano comes into this game and whiffs three guys in a row so I can at least justify sitting in front of the TV for three hours" or "I want an Edgar double. That's all I want" or "Come on, Freddy, you need to win 12 games by the All-Star break so we can trade you for prospects that will never break the ML roster!"

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Screw you, Dominik Hasek. Go back to the Czech Republic...oh wait, nevermind.

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David has posted all the Seattle-area paper links, so I'll just lay out my thoughts here...

Ron Villone sucks. He really, really sucks.

At this rate, when will Marc Newfield come back? I've said it before here at Sports and B's, he would probably be the best bat the M's would have on the bench.

I'm still seriously vexed as to how Suckass commanded $1 million. Yes, it's not guaranteed. But that's not the point. Under no circumstances do you even think about paying a player of Villone's calliber ONE MILLION DOLLARS. But hey, if you're over 30 and you were a former Mariner or love Seattle, come to Seattle and we'll pay you some good money, even though you probably suck!

Which brings me to Raul Mondesi...


A couple of years ago, I wouldn't have minded Mondesi. But in 2004? Absolutely not. The guy is done. But like David said, Bill Bavasi will give him a 3 year, $16 M deal. I'm already prepared for this...I was prepared for the Villone deal, somewhat.

Again, the Mariners end their Scott Boras Ban by signing Suckass Ron Villone????? There is no explanation for this, so I don't need Finnigan's cousin or Beene's ex-girlfriend to come calling and tell me why Villone is a good pickup.

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Larry LaRue weighs in on the Ron Villone signing...

"With (lefty) Eddie Guardado closing, we needed another left-hander to work before the ninth inning," (Bob) Melvin said from Phoenix. "Ron is versatile. He can give you two innings or face a couple of batters you have to get in a big spot. He's effective against right and left-handed hitters. This is a guy with a lot of experience in a few roles."

Let's take a couple pieces of that quote --
-- the need for another lefty before the 9th: there's people out there who love to argue in favor of Shig getting lefties out, though I still maintain there has to be another lefty. That said, the lefty should have a surname of any of Blackley, Sherrill, Madritsch, et al.

-- effective against...left-handed hitters: just look at the post two before this one. The guy was crap against lefties last year.

If there's someone out there that can confirm my possibly misled childhood memories of Ron Villone having some arm problems or two which hampered his development in the Mariners system, I'd really appreciate it. I have a feeling I'm right, but I also have the feeling I may have him confused with Roger Salkeld, who I know for a fact had arm problems, and was supposed to be so damned good, but came up and sucked heartily.

The Mariners have managed, with some wicked math, to piddle away a good portion of the $9.5M that was freed up when Sasaki walked. Perhaps they're using the same math as everyone's favorite former heavyweight champion of the world Mike Tyson, who apparently has made well over $200M in his career and was left with a paltry $5553 last New Year's Eve. I wonder how much that damn face tattoo was worth.

Two things bothering this semi-insomniac regarding late-night TV commercials...
-- mass burnings of Kidz Bop compilations should be organized and encouraged worldwide. There's really no musically redeeming value to these compilations, and they managed to make POD's "Alive" sound like a sad song, when in fact it's meant to be uplifting.
-- those new Quizno's commercials with the rats playing music and singing off-key are about as creepy as the collaged cats singing songs on VH1

Sorry if y'all don't like me straying too far off topic, but I'm borderline insane right now, so bear with me and I'll get back on track here.

Any ideas for a nickname for Ron Villone? Right now I'll just suggest Vanilli, though it would surely piss him off, I'm sure. I'm sure others will come up with names like Ron Vil-Groan or Ron Hangupthebullpenphone or Ron pitches like he's Vil-Stoned or Ron Toblerone, because I'll need to eat enough of those scrumtrilescent (thanks, Ferrell) chocolate candies so I can induce a diabetic coma* sufficient enough to make the Mariners' 2004 season less painful. It's like the Dane Cook bit about how everyone is pissed off waiting in the long line at the bank. Dane suggests that they have someone come out of nowhere and punch certain people so that they think "damn, that hurt!! Maybe waiting in line isn't so bad after all because that punch hurt like hell!" It's not verbatim, but that's pretty much how the bit goes.

Okay, time to sleep before 3:30 here...I'll know what I think of this Mariner move when I'm in the bathroom after a big meal sitting on the Ron Vil-Throne.

*no offense to all those who do indeed suffer from diabetes and/or associated comas. We're all about sarcastic humor here at Sports and B's and never would we actually induce diabetic comas to make sporting events or following sports teams seem less painful.

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Bob Finnigan in the Times, bringing little to the table on the Villone deal...

Villone can even start, which is the role he filled last year for Houston, when he allowed only 91 hits and struck out 91 batters in 106-2/3 innings in 19 starts.

I can't believe the implications of this sentence. Look at those first four words. "Villone can even start." What the Mariners (and hell, Finnigan) want(s) us to do is look at that and think "VILLONE CAN EVEN START!!!!!!" and then jump in jubilation because we got that second left-hander in the bullpen that we always wanted. Problem? Overpayment, of course. That and a blatant lack of improvement over the predecessors, and the pure oversight that there were indeed better lefties out there and better lefties in the organization. Anyway, Villone doing spot starting will make me break things back at my apartment in much the same way that Crack DHing will when Edgar needs a day off.

Okay, so maybe the subject is a little harsh on Finnigan. Of course, this might just be due to the fact that the P-I prints online an hour or two before the Times every night. Maybe I should have saved it for the next Darrin Beene article that I'll surely lay into. Anyway, I learned next to nothing from reading this article. He came up with absolutely nothing that I hadn't heard from somewhere else.

The news of Norm Charlton's upcoming shoulder surgery better not have had anything to do with this Villone signing...

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Andriesen in Tuesday's P-I...

... [Ron] Villone, who could earn an additional million in incentives (to the $1M non-guaranteed base salary), is expected to be the second left-hander in the bullpen and be available to spot start if needed.

"We think Ron is a real good fit in that role," Mariners general manager Bill Bavasi said. "He's tough on left-handers and right-handers and has the ability to work in a variety of roles."

Hmm, let me think about what's being said here...
-- spot starting: ick. Ick, ick, ick. When Meche lands on the 60-day DL, either Raf Soriano or one of the minor-leaguers should be in the rotation. Enough of this "veteran hacks plugging the holes" bullcrap.

-- tough on lefties: you don't need to look far at all in the Mariner blogosphere to know that this is complete and utter hogwash. I'll link you to what another, more established David in the blogosphere dug up. They're called "splits versus lefties," and it's sickly apparent that Unslick Willie didn't look at them before signing this guy.

"This is a guy who can pitch in that (setup) role and gives us some security for starting as well," (Bob) Melvin said. "We're happy about this signing today."

Someday I'll be eager to find out if Melvin is saying things that are remotely close to what he's really thinking. Does he honestly believe what he's saying? How can you be happy about this? If the Mariners are 20 games under .500 in mid-August and I'm Bob Melvin, my contract's up, and I'm hearing rumors about being fired, I'm letting loose. I'm letting out all the pent-up frustration that's accumulated over the past two years with the ineptitude of the management. I just wouldn't give a crap anymore. Have you ever given your employer a 30-day notice (or something similar, just warning of an imminent departure of some sort) and then just hung tight for the end of it all, doing just enough work so that no one's too pissed at you, but you don't try to overachieve or do anything too worthwhile? Maybe you tell more jokes or nasty rumors to coworkers that you wouldn't normally tell, but since you're almost out the door, you just kind of stop caring? That's what I'd do in that hypothetical Melvin situation there. I'd kick back, let loose, pop open a can of Lipton Brisk Iced Tea and a bag of bold-flavored Chex Mix, kick back, and say "it wasn't my fault that Bavasi held a gun to my head if I didn't use my Arizona connections to get Crack..."

As for the rest of the article, it's more speculation, now about Raul Mondesi. Let's see, Bill Bavasi's just been taken to the cleaners by high-powered agent Scott Boras...let's make it a two-step and have the Mariners get whitewashed by Jeff Moorad!! Raul Mondesi. Three years, $16M to do basically the same thing Crack is going to do off the bench. I have faith in Billy. He can get this done. He'd be 35 during the third year of that deal. I don't care if Moorad says he's looking for a one-year deal with an option for a second. He can squeeze two more years out of Bavasi. But will the Mariner brass enable Mondesi to get on the team, after he bolted on the Yankees? It's possible. Remember, Rey Sanchez was involved in the haircutting incident with the Mets, AND Sanchez was a Boras client, much like Villone.

We'll see what the Times and Tribune print about Ron Villone...

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Monday, February 09, 2004


Breaking news...

The Blazers have traded F Rasheed Wallace to the Hawks for F Shareef Abdur-Rahim, G Dan Dickau, and F/C Theo Ratliff.

No link as of yet, but it is official.

In related news, Sheed's last PDX moment was him yelling "WOOOOOOOOOOOOO" tonight at the Rose Garden during WWE Raw. It's the first time Raw has ever taken place in the state of Oregon.

Good riddance, Sheed. It's Zach Randolph's team now.

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Alright, I must use this new bold you speak of, David:

The Mariners lifted their Scott Boras Ban for RON VILLONE?????????????????

Wow. I think this brass is really out to sabotage this franchise. They couldn't sign Ivan Rodriguez, but they could sign Ron Villone. Lovely.

Again, I'm fricking sick.

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At least Ray Romano's character comes through every time.

Like Jeremy said, Ron Villone is once again a Seattle Mariner, continuing the parade of former Mariners who will come back and be crappy for your 2004 Seattle Mariners.

Jeremy posted the SportsLine link, which I was just about to link before he beat me to the punch.

The one part that gets me about that wire article, though...

In addition to his salary ($1M), Villone can make up to $1 million in performance bonuses.

[Small note to Jeremy -- I emailed the Blogger folks and we now have bold type that works!!! Yippee!! We can now bitch in bold type!!]

The $1M was bad enough...but to tack on another million's worth for incentives? This is so incredibly stupid in every way. This guy has the chance to double his fricking salary?! Granted, hopefully what Villone would need to do to get that extra million is something lofty, but man...there's no way that base salary should be $1M...the Mariners were bidding against the damn Pirates, for God's sake!!

Once again, I will remind everyone that the Mariners have made two defensible moves all offseason. One: buy out John Mabry's contract. Two: sign Eddie Guardado. What's more pathetic, as I've said, is that Bill Bavasi wasn't around for the Mabry buyout. He probably would have given him $30M over 4 years.

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One year, One Million Dollars?!?

I'm fricking speechless. What did Seattle fans do to deserve this bullcrap?

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The P-I blog has touched on it, but I figure I didn't just want to have my content slough off into P-I weblog hell, so I'm going to post what I put in response to the Oregonian article that sparked this post at the P-I weblog.

It basically has to do with the cramped space on basic cable these days and that if the Expos came to Portland, the Mariners and Port'Spos would be fighting over the same time slots, presuming the Port'Spos actually went after a cable deal (Mariners never had one until the early-to mid-'90s with Prime Sports NW, remember). Anyway, Harry Hutt, formerly of the defunct Action Sports Cable Network based in Portland (Paul Allen-led deal there) is quoted as saying the Mariners would basically lose 800k households if the Expos came to Portland. That'll put a dent in that cable deal. The Mariners will be showing 140 games over their two outlets in 2004, but take even the same number of games and concede the state of Oregon, and the net revenue would be a trifle bit different.

Anyway, here's my copied post over at the P-I blog. It'll probably be redundant now that I kinda ranted with that last paragraph, but here goes...

God knows how much money the M's are rolling in right now with that sweet cable deal they have with Fox Sports Net NW. With FSNNW and the free-TV games, they'll show 140 games in 2004.

If a Portland team comes in and they happen to want a cable deal...unless Paul Allen or someone down there tries to bring Action Sports Cable Network back from the dead or someone comes up with another regional sports channel, the Portland team will probably be swapping the slots on FSNNW that would usually go to the Mariners with the Port'Spos.

Tiny note, the TrailBlazers quickly signed their cable deal with FSNNW when ASCN folded. FSNNW never beams the Blazer games up into the Puget Sound area, because they'd rather we watch five straight episodes of "You Gotta See This!" instead of live basketball. Luckily next year, the Sonics will have a TV deal with FSNNW so that we won't be subject to so many YGST episodes.

I guess my point (roundabout as it may be) would be that if the Portland team wants to even think about a cable deal, the Mariners are going to get reamed unless a new regional sports network is launched. Again.

What was once a sweet cable deal may merely turn into a cable deal with a pinch of powdered sugar added to neutralize the flavor -- far from "sweet."

Yay!! Actual Mariner-related content today!! The only thing that would make this day better would be an absolute purge of assigned homework from my professors and a five-hour nap. All hail napping!

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The piece that I just saw on the late SportsCenter on Hall-of-Fame Baltimore Colt tight end (and first president of the NFLPA) John Mackey has to be one of the saddest things I've ever seen in my life. Doubly sad is that Mackey's frontotemporal dementia was not diagnosed soon enough to where it qualified for some sort of NFL disability payment. Mackey and wife live off of NFL pension and his wife's flight attendant job. Just seeing how Mackey had little to no short-term memory was just saddening, it really was.

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Sunday, February 08, 2004


Man, what an excruciatingly slow sports day. The Sonics got to within 84-82 in Portland before getting boatraced 95-85 (yes, that's the TrailBlazers finishing on an 11-3 run). The NHL All-Star Game was half-decent for one period before the goaltending inevitably went to hell.

So what am I left with to talk about? Not much. Even the baseball wire is showing snake eyes.

I've still got Miracle fresh on my mind, though, so I guess it'll be that. Not my piece on it, or anything, but those of two others.

John McGrath has his Chicago memories as a younger dude in 1980, and even throws in a memory of the organ at Chicago Stadium. My memory of Chicago Stadium: the buzzer that sounded like an airhorn.

Bill Simmons has his 1980 memory. Needless to say, the movie won't be able to fully replicate the real-life thing (especially for anyone alive then), but I think the idea to make a movie about this was justified.

Though it's not good for content here, should we be glad that there haven't been a lot of peeps out of the Mariner camp for the last two days? If there's no news, that does mean there isn't any bad news, or bad moves. It's bad because they are leaving gaping holes on the team, but it's good news because they aren't adding hacks during these lull periods.

Man, I might have to resort to actually doing schoolwork?!! NOOOO!!

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