Saturday, February 21, 2004


And we got some photos...

Ben Davis trying to injure Dan Wilson so there's no controversy in 2004 as to who should be behind the plate

A dummy could probably get on base more often than Wiki Wiki Wiki

Shiggy's thinking "watch Raul Ibanez NOT do this during the 2004 season"

Spring training has begun. YEAHHHHHHHH!

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"The Comfort Zone" isn't just the title to one of Vanessa Williams albums...

Yada, yada, yada.

All offseason, I've heard how Bob Melvin is going to be "his real self" in 2004. How he felt like "the new guy" all of 2003. He didn't want to step on anyone's toes. It would be too much for a manager to do, you know.

Yeah, and with that logic, he basically cost the Mariners a playoff spot in 2003. Remember, the A.L. West was lost by only 3 games.

"When we get on the field (today), the excitement level will be different for me," Melvin said. "Last year, all eyes were on me, and I didn't know anybody.

"It was an odd feeling. I needed to get to know my personnel, learn the nuances of the job. When I came in, it was like it was the organization's team, not mine. It wasn't a turnaround situation. It was just a case that Lou had left.

"Now I know the guys in camp, the guys in the (minor league) system. I guess you could say I'm one of the guys now. I know everybody from the security guy (Warren Williams) at the door to (front office administrators) Jan (Plein) and Debbie (Larsen) upstairs."


Maybe we are right, a monkey could manage this team better than Blow-Mel can.

What an assclown.

He's also getting to know his new "personnel" for 2004, including former Mariner-turned Mariner again, Ron Suckass Villone:

"I've been on the phone a lot," Melvin said. "I've talked with everybody except Villone, and I was coaching in Milwaukee when he was there, so I know him pretty well already."

Melvin was the bench coach on Phil Garner's Brew Crew staff in 1999. He did not coach while Villone was a Brewer (1996-1997). Oh, and Garner is Melvin's idol. Yikes.

The inevitable question for the 2004 season: What will the Mariners offense do in 2004?

"I think our offense will be much stronger this year," Melvin said. "We're going to be much more consistent through the lineup. Aurilia had more than 100 RBIs and 30 homers (in 2001 with San Francisco). Raul drove in 90 runs last year. Spiezio drove in 70-some runs, too.

"Now, it's safe to say we won't be doing what the Yankees will do (offensively), but we do have some power. Our ballpark (Safeco Field) takes away some power from everybody, but we think we have more power than last year."

Seattle was fifth in the AL with a .271 average, but finished next-to-last in the 14-team league with 139 homers. League-leading Boston had 99 more homers and beat out Seattle for the wild-card berth.

"I think it's safe to say that we're going to be better than hitting 130 homers this year," Melvin said. "We have the potential to do a lot more."

It's not safe to say, Blow-Mel.

Folks, for all the optimism some fans seem to be feeling towards the M's, the fact is, this offense is putrid. An injury to either Bret Boone, Edgar Martinez, or Ichiro, and the season is done. What, you think that Raul Ibanez will pick up the slack? Sandfrog? Or hell, Ramon Santiago?

No. There's a reason why people like us are feeling very disappointed about the state of the Mariners going into spring training. Yes, this team will probably win 80-90 games. That's fine and dandy. But expectations change. Most Seattle fans are starved for a championship. See David's post here.

I really don't give a crap if every player on the 25 man roster is a nice guy. I seriously don't. If I had kids, I still wouldn't care.

Ibanez has been dubbed a "world class human being" by Howard Lincoln. Yeah, if only I could call him a "world class baseball player." Doubtful at best.

Oh, speaking of Lincoln, remember this? (October 1, 2003)

"I'm very optimistic, very bullish about this team's chances," Lincoln said. "We've got some plans in the offseason that will clearly strengthen the team."

It is February 21, 2004 now, and pitchers and catchers have their first workout today. Has this team improved. No.

But hey, I guess that's why they play the games, right?

But don't come crying to me in October when Ibanez is labeled "the worst free agent signing of 2004"...

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Bob Finnigan clocks in with an eve-of-pitchers-and-catchers-reporting article.

The article focuses mostly on the fringe spots on the pitching staff, and basically banishing all the minor-league arms as having no chance and leaving Mike Myers, Terry Mulholland, and Ron Villone for the final spot.

Villone gets a couple of mentions of a curveball in the article, one that I gues I'm supposed to be amazed about...

Villone...may have the edge there, especially after coming up with a curveball last year that made him more effective against left-handers.

Oh, this is good. Villone is effective against left-handers. Bob Finnigan, the great beat writer that he is, would surely put in some of Villone's stats versus lefties. I'm looking for them now...still looking...nope, didn't find 'em. Why? It's been chronicled more than once in the blogosphere that Villone is crap against lefties, and if by some shred of chance anyone out there knows when Villone came up with this "curveball" last year and has accompanying stats for that portion of the year, by all means, let us know. Right now, we're not being fooled.

[Unrelated note: new addition over at Sports and B's other stuff...a picture of Kazuo Matsui, altered by Jeremy.]
[Later unrelated note: Kazuo Matsui knows his place on the New York shortstop totem pole.]

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Friday, February 20, 2004


We'd be remiss here at Sports and B's if we didn't mention the two big things that happened in B-town sports yesterday, both closely related.

1) North Carolina-bound 6'8" Marvin Williams was named to the McDonald's All-America Team. The guy's not even out of high school yet and he's the best athlete to ever come out of Bremerton. Granted, there isn't much competition, but still...

2) The Knights earned a berth in the West Central District Tournament with a 72-64 win over Olympia. The aforementioned Williams had 30 points, 15 of which were in the 4th quarter. Guard Phil Houston provided what the Knights have sorely lacked in their losses -- secondary scoring. Houston had 21 points. Both players were out at some point during the season due to illness. Williams was out with viral meningitis and Houston was out with pancreitis. Ouch. Makes my post-44oz Vanilla Coke stomachache from earlier today seem small.

The Knights are 11-10, one game over .500 on the year. The Sonics aren't over .500. Hell, I'd rather watch the UW men's roundball team right now than the Sonics. Hell, I'd rather watch the UW women's team play basketball than the Sonics or UW men's team. It helps that they're good.

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Anyways, I've thought of a way to thank the folks who have visited Sports and Bremertonians. That way, you ask?

Why not invite a few of our readers into one of Yahoo's 45,000 fantasy baseball leagues?

Yes, that's exactly what I'm doing.

League Name: Sports and Bremertonians Fans (working title, for now)
YAHOO League ID: 66663
Password: bremsportfolk

League max is 12 (David and I will be in the league, so there's 10 open spots)

Only Sports and B's readers in this league.

There is a separate league for M's bloggers that I've started (I've sent e-mails out to a few bloggers, if you want to get in on the action, e-mail me at the address above, on the right side of Sports and B's)

If you want to join the Sports and B's Fans League, the info is above. Just leave a reply in the comments box below, and we'll go from there. There's 10 open spots.

Come one, come all, into the fantasy baseball world. Maybe you can beat the Sports and B's guys!

We'll see about that!!!

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Thursday, February 19, 2004


This is quite a way for the team to step up after learning Markus Naslund (their captain) would be out two weeks with a concussion. This was absolutely embarrassing.

Marc Crawford looked up at the video replay board in utter dismay after seeing the first Minnesota goal. He would have to go back for seconds. Repeatedly.

The Wild tallied three goals in a first period in which the Canucks came out horribly flat and unprepared, and that was all she wrote tonight as the Canucks had a teamwide crappy game tonight, squandering a golden opportunity to move within two points of Colorado, who were spanked in Denver by the Edmonton Oilers last night. The Canucks managed to match their worst loss of the season, a different 6-2 defeat at the hands of the Oilers at the Garage.

The only glimmer of hope out of this game was their first power play goal in forever (I didn't get the exact stat) for the Canucks, tallied by Todd Bertuzzi, who had gone a few games (sorry, unspecific again) without a point. How do I know it was the first power play goal in forever? McDonalds does a power play contest in the Lower Mainland where they give away an amount of money every time a Canuck scores a power play goal, and the pot increases every time they don't score on a power play. The Canucks' flagship station is CKNW 980, so they start the pot with $98 CDN. A lady won the pot on the Bertuzzi goal, and by then it was up to $328 CDN. Insane. Of course, that's probably equal to about $13 US.

The defense was crappy, and the goaltending was crappy. Blown coverage ran rampant, and not helping was Mike Keane pulling down Antti Laaksonen, leading to a penalty shot on which he converted. Dan Cloutier gave up four goals on a paltry 10 shots. Terrible.

The Wild played less than two minutes on the power play tonight, and the Canucks piddled away a lot more power play time than that, though the Bertuzzi goal came through on the power play, but the Laaksonen penalty shot was assessed during a Wild penalty. There have been 43 penalty shots in the NHL this season, and 15 have been converted. The Wild are 4-for-5 on penalty shots.

It was quite apparent that Minnesota and their fans hate the Canucks much more than the Canucks hate the Wild. The problem is, the Canucks aren't upping their game to the level of the Wild, and you'd think that would change after losing the final three games of a playoff series against the same team in which they had a 3-1 series lead. The Canucks lost those final three games to the Wild last year by scores of 7-2, 5-1, and 4-2. Play-by-play man John Shorthouse said tonight was the low point in the season for the Canucks, who are 2-5-0-1 in their last eight games.

The Wild had a comfortable lead to the point where they started settling scores from last year's playoffs in the third period. They came right after Matt Cooke, who of course ran away from the fight, not only due to his reputation, but because he was outmatched. Matt Johnson came out of the penalty box and gave Matt Cooke the mother of all two-handed slashes, for which he was penalized. Cooke responded by spearing Johnson in the belly, something the refs somehow did not catch. The Wild got a sick dose of what the Canucks felt the other night when Naslund went down, except they're probably not losing Johnson for two weeks, nor was he their captain or the NHL's leading scorer.

Canucks face Edmonton on Saturday. The NHL could assess the Cooke/Johnson situation.

Purely embarrassing.

[Edit Fri ~4:23a -- Forgot to say the goals were Todd Bertuzzi (17) and Mattias Ohlund (8). Photos here.]

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Boston sports fans lament constantly about the Curse, blablabla.

Bill Simmons (ESPN Page 2 columnist and die-hard Boston sports fan) today reacts to the feedback he received for his post-Super Bowl column.

From the Super Bowl column...
It's different being the favorite -- you spend the whole time hoping things don't get screwed up. With something to protect ... you become a parent. You worry. You fret. You cringe on every big play. It's like having a child leave for a sleepover. You worry all night, then you're just happy to see them return safely in the morning.

You reach a point where failing feels 10 times worse than succeeding feels good, if that makes sense. And then when it's over, and you survive all the ups and downs, and things finally turn out OK in the end ... you're just a mess. A giddy, overwhelmed mess. It's like surviving a brush with death. Then, and only then, can you appreciate everything that happened.
You want to go back. Again and again. You want to keep winning. You want to make history. You want everyone to remember this team, this particular group of guys. You want to protect your turf. Every time someone tries to come along and take it, you want to fight back. You won't lose. You can't lose.

... Anyone can win one championship. Few teams can keep coming back for more. And that's what I want: for the Patriots to reach that point.

I want true greatness. I want immortality.

There's a reason he got a ton of feedback for that article. Think about that last excerpt. The feedback? Yankee fans were welcoming Bill to the club.

My message to Boston sports fans (sports...not just baseball) complaining and moaning about the Red Sox never getting a title and being starved: SHUT THE HELL UP. You've just seen the Patriots win two Super Bowls in three years. I've been alive for 22 1/3 years, and I haven't seen ONE title out of ANY of the three teams in Seattle. I don't even know what winning is like, nor have I been in the proximity of a pro sports team (that singles out the 1991 Husky football team) that has won a title. That's even counting Portland and Vancouver.

Let's list our regional pro teams of the four major sports (if the BC Lions won a CFL title, I'm not counting that) and their titles...
Portland TrailBlazers: 1977
Vancouver Canucks: no Stanley Cups since 1970 inception
Seattle Mariners: no World Series appearances (let alone titles) since 1977 inception
Seattle Seahawks: no Super Bowl appearances (let alone titles) since 1976 inception
Seattle Supersonics: 1979

So once again, no native northwesterner under the age of 25 was even alive for the only Sonics title and it's probably a safe bet that nobody under the age of 30 even remembers the only ticker-tape parade down 4th Avenue.

To all Red Sox/Celtics/Bruins/Patriots fans in Boston...you saw the Celtics win three titles in the '80s, and if you're my age, you might remember the last one (1986). You just saw the Patriots win two Super Bowls in three years...

You call THAT suffering??

(and to top it off, the Sonics have let the trade deadline pass without making a single move...let's all give a sigh of relief as we'll still have the privilege to witness the great play of Vlad Radmanovic sucking as a power forward when he's actually a small forward, and of the stellar ineptitude of Jerome James, and of the Sonics having those spells where they never take the ball to the hoop and start jacking up a bunch of threes. Yaaaaay!)

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Wednesday, February 18, 2004



Former kicker Katie Hnida, 22, said this week she was raped by a teammate in 2000 after her final season at Colorado. Hnida, one of the first women to ever play college football and now a student at the University of New Mexico, said she does not plan to file charges.

Hoffman said she was shocked by the allegation and urged Hnida to tell police so they can investigate. Barnett told reporters Tuesday that Hnida never told him about a sexual assault and he knew of no evidence to back up her claim.

He said the football program tried to make Hnida comfortable and had provided extra precautions when she told him about a stalker. But he also bluntly criticized Hnida's ability.

"It was obvious Katie was not very good. She was awful," he said. "Katie was not only a girl, she was terrible. OK? There's no other way to say it."

Gary Barnett is an a-hole. There's no other way to put this.

I hate these stories, I absolutely hate them. There's absolutely no reason to hurt a woman, none whatsoever.

CU, fire Barnett ASAP, regardless of whether the allegations are true or not. The program is out of control and the fact that there are even allegations of rape in a college athletics program is just sickening.

I'm sick and tired of seeing women getting hurt just because some men think that they can do whatever the hell they want. I'm sick and fricking tired of it.

In more happier news, pitchers and catchers report tomorrow. Hooray for that.

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Tuesday, February 17, 2004


I was just checking to see if Justin Spiro at Detroit Sports Net had finally said anything about the whole Ivan Rodriguez-to-Detroit (instead of Seattle) thing, and wouldn't you know it, I go to DSN and I see this --

Detroit Sports Net is in the Process of Being Sold.

Check Back soon, It should be fully updated soon.

Intriguing...does anyone think they're actually being sold? Or are they buying time for something?? About to announce a trade of Spiro to the Times for Bob Finnigan? One can only wonder.

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I've got a bad feeling about this...

Federal affidavits said the following regarding a search of the house of Greg Anderson, Barry Bonds' personal trainer...

Inside Anderson's residence, agents found steroids, syringes and other paraphernalia associated with steroid distribution activities ... In addition, agents found files identifying specific athletes. These files contained calendars, which appear to contain references to daily doses of steroids and growth hormones. ... Some of the money was broken up into separate envelopes with the first names of known athlete clients written on them.

Add to this a little anecdote toward the end of the article about a little visit to Pac Bell Park. Also revealed is that BALCO founder Victor Conte had steroids and gave them to Anderson.

Bill Simmons used to mention playing the game "Who's on the Juice?," namely for Home Run derbies. He ranked Bret Boone pretty high. He doesn't have any BALCO ties, right? Right?

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AP: 3 years, 24 million

Well, well, well...so much for those "Greg Maddux to the Yankees" reports...

But anyways...

Mark Prior. Kerry Wood. Greg Maddux. Carlos Zambrano. Matt Clement.

Hey, that's not a bad rotation there, folks. It's better than the Astros' rotation, even with the acquisitions of Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte.

There's a reason why I think the Cubs will win the NL Central over the Astros. It's the pitching, of course.

And do you know who the manager of the Houston Astros is? Jimy Williams has never won anything, and he won't start doing it in 2004 either.

Hell of a pickup for the Cubs though. Sadly, I've said that about too many moves this offseason not involving my team.

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If you haven't noticed by now, from here on out, my new name for Alex Rodriguez is Tennille.

Kissing some New York ass, the prick

"I feel very special and honored. I hope that translates into being a good team player," said Rodriguez, who will shift to third base from shortstop, Jeter's position.

No, Tennille. You are not special. Don't ever call yourself special, Tennille, you are just a New York Yankee now. Nothing too special about that.

"I've come to a point in my career when winning is the most important thing," said Rodriguez, who played for three straight last-place teams in Texas. "And being a New York Yankee -- it provides the opportunity, when you drive to the ballpark, every day you have a chance to win."

Wow. When does Tennille ever stop?

So let me get this straight. Winning wasn't important to you in Seattle, Tennille? Guess it wasn't in Texas either.

Fervid Yankees fan and former mayor Rudolph Giuliani couldn't agree more.

"It's great for the city. He's returning home," he told The Associated Press. "This could be another variation of Maris-Mantle, Jackson-Munson, Gehrig-Ruth."

Folks, please stop kissing Rudy G's ass. He was not a good mayor for New York, not one bit. It just so happened that he was the mayor of New York on September 11, so I guess that's why people just love him.

I don't, he's a Yankee fan. Frick him.

Anyways, screw it. I'd boo Tennille if I was able to attend a Yankees-Mariners game at Safeco Field this season. The guy has no credibility whatsoever. He's a great ballplayer, but man, the guy just keeps sticking his foot in his mouth. I wouldn't expect that from someone as mature as he is, right?

Oh, and he's wearing #13, Jim Leyritz' old number. Yikes. Just another reason to hate Tennille.

Here's Bill Simmons' take on the Tennille deal. It's very entertaining, as are all Simmons columns.

"Do That To Me One More Time"...yep, Tennille just did that again. Frick him.

[Edit ~4:18p by David -- I clicked on the first Tennille link and unfortunately, I haven't found a way to link directly to allmusic.com either, so I guess the third- or fourth-best thing is to link to a somewhat official site. Hope that helped.]

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Saying you'd like to stay in Seattle, and then signing with Texas is one thing. Asking to be traded to Boston, having the trade shot down, buddying back up with the owners and the fan base in Texas, and then asking to be shipped to the Bronx is one thing, too.

Wearing Jim Leyritz's number is another. That didn't need to happen again. Bad, bad memories from a bad, bad man.

Did Alex manage to alienate the fans of three cities in four years? Seattle, possibly Boston, and now Dallas?

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The Vancouver Canucks had just blown all three games of a homestand, and had to enter the rarefied air of Denver to face the mighty Avalanche in a meeting of two of the most potent offenses in the NHL. The result: one goal. Total. The game was scoreless after two periods, and neither team was at their sharpest.

The Canucks went into Denver for the second time this year and, like the last visit to Denver, blanked the NHL's number one power play on seven chances, including a four-minute minor against Matt Cooke for a blood-drawing high-stick on Derek Morris. It's no secret that the Canucks' power play has been crap all year (0-for-6 in this game, four chances in the first period), but heading into the game, the Canucks were 2nd in the NHL on the penalty kill behind only the San Jose Sharks. This is mostly due to the guys who don't get the glory on the stat sheet, but just do the dirty work -- Brad May, Artem Chubarov, Trevor Linden (he gets his points though), and Jarkko Ruutu, who covered Peter Forsberg most of the night.

Dan Cloutier returned from the flu (apparently not a suspension from the match penalty for hitting a player with his blocker the other night) and though he didn't face many shots, he had to earn this shutout. He had some solid pad saves on Teemu Selanne in the third period and fended off Milan Hejduk in the waning seconds. He also had to stop (only) two shots in the four-minute minor penalty. Cloutier didn't allow a lot of second and third chances off the Colorado shots, partly credited to him and partly due to the defensemen.

The score remained until the third period, when Todd Bertuzzi wiped out two Colorado defensemen behind the net with one hit to cause a turnover leading to Daniel Sedin's 11th goal of the season at the 2:09 mark. Daniel has 40 points on the season, with 26 of them coming on the road.

The big story of this game, though, happened late in the second period, when Markus Naslund was skating across the neutral zone and was elbowed/shouldered in the head by Steve Moore. Naslund was caught off guard after being hit with the elbow and/or shoulder, and then his head hit the ice. Somehow no penalty was called, though when Brad May came in to defend Naslund, he was sent to the penalty box. Naslund sat for the rest of the game and was taken to the hospital for precautionary measures. Not sure what the prognosis could be, but a concussion isn't out of the question.

Post-game talk centered around the Naslund incident, for which coach Marc Crawford was the most ticked off that anyone has seen in his Vancouver tenure...

"It just mystifies me why this happens in this league," Crawford said in as fiery a post-game speech as he's had all season. "They talk about players not having respect for players -- how about the officials? Should they not have respect for the leading scorer in the league? When does that come?

"It could have been an obstruction call, it could have been an elbow call. It could have been anything. I have no idea what's going on. It was a cheap shot by a young kid on a captain, a leading scorer in the league, and we get no call? That is ridiculous. How does that happen? That's got to be answered.

"Why is there no respect from those referees for the leading scorer in the league? I do not understand that for the life of me. I don't care if they fine me. That needs to be answered."

Postgame host Dan Russell had a conspiracy theory about this. Crawford said something after the Atlanta game about one of the refs having a bad game last year, basically singling out one of the refs (Rob Martell), and saying he had another bad game, and that the refs had to step up and take control of the game, due to the physical character of the Atlanta game. Martell was on the ice for last night's game. Did he not call a penalty on the Naslund play on purpose? It's a reach, but you never know...

Anyway, the Avs lost their 1st game in regulation in 13 tries, and their 2nd in their last 26, which is an easy reason as to why the Canucks lost their division lead to Colorado a while ago. The Avs just wouldn't lose. The Canucks are now four points behind Colorado, with the Avs having two games in hand. Of course, since the Canucks had been pathetic this month, they have to be worried about Calgary, over whom they now have a 6-point lead. A loss to the Avs would have put the Canucks down 8 pts, and they basically could have kissed goodbye to anything above a 4th seed in the playoffs. Now they at least have a chance at one of the top three. Doubly important about the win tonight, though, was to hold off the Avs late so the game didn't end up tied, and so the Avalanche couldn't get any points in the standings out of the game.

The Canucks go to Minnesota Thursday, where hopefully they will have Naslund back. Todd Bertuzzi, however, will be booed mercilessly for probably no good reason.

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Monday, February 16, 2004


Sorry, I just couldn't resist. I'm a fan of Alex Rodriguez the player, but he is the Tennille to Derek Jeter's Captain. But don't worry though, we all know who had the "talent" in Captain and Tennille.

Maddux a Yankee??????

Free-agent pitcher Greg Maddux will sign with the New York Yankees sometime later this week, according to a report on New York's WABC-TV and in the Bergen Record, a New Jersey newspaper

Yankees GM Brian Cashman is denying the reports...

But I tell you what. If the Yankees sign Greg Maddux, holy crap.

Sure beats the Mariners offseason, doesn't it? (Please detect the sarcasm, I know some of you can't be that stupid).

Oh, and who did the Mariners add to their competitive roster in the offseason?

Raul Ibanez
Scott Spiezio
Rich Aurillia
Quinton McCracken
Ramon Santiago
Ron Villone
Terry Mulholland (minor league deal)
Eric Owens (minor league deal)
Mike Myers (non-roster invitee)

Yeah, sure beats the Yankees offseason, alright.

Gary Sheffield
Javier Vasquez
Kevin Brown

Alex Rodriguez.

Again, it is a chore to follow this baseball team, it really is.

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Selig gives his blessing, how sweet

"I am very concerned about the large amount of cash consideration involved in the transaction, and the length of time over which the cash is being paid," Selig said.

"I want to make it abundantly clear to all clubs that I will not allow cash transfers of this magnitude to become the norm. However, given the unique circumstances, including the size, length and complexity of Mr. Rodriguez's contract and the quality of the talent moving in both directions, I have decided to approve the transaction."

I would be pissed off over this, because it seems like the Yankees are getting special treatment.

But I'm not.

Hell, this is all just a case of "move along, nothing to see here".

We don't have to worry about the Mariners making a big move that involves the big money. Remember, they don't believe in long term contracts. It's all about "fiscal responsibility".

Well, I may have spoken too soon. Bill Bavasi will give Dickie Thon a 3-year deal, because he is over 40 and brings veteran leadership...

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I know most of us Mariner bloggers have probably whittled away some time in the past at the out-of-control world of the P-I Mariner Blog comment threads. If I go there, it's usually because I want to either make myself mad or laugh.

This one's a laugher. This may be the only time where I rake a P-I message board poster over the coals, but here it is. It was posted by "monkey" today at 11:46 AM in this thread. You might want to make sure you're not eating any solid foods when you read it...

I for one would trade (Mike) Cameron straight up for (Raul) Ibanez, a hundred times over! You wait, Ibanez will hit close to .300 with 85-90 RBI's and 18-25 HRs...

I hope everyone has gathered themselves after such a fit of laughter and I hope no one soiled themselves. I hope no one contracted cases of wile bowels, doodoo smells worse, or Mud Butt (tm). If you were eating Ribs to go to sleep, then you're exempt.

I could link to some Ibanez-slamming posts we've done here at Sports and B's, but the point is, there's way too many of them. We've probably done at least 60 or 70 Ibanez-slamming posts since the rumors of his acquisition started, and he'll give us many more reasons to continue to raise that number of posts.

But congratulations to "monkey," who has immersed himself in a Mariner do-no-wrong utopia. We admire him for such focus on the positive that he can't see bad things, but feel sorry for him for the same reason.

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In something that slipped under my radar for Sunday, Larry LaRue had an article where he interviewed the three longtime Mariners who could see their last seasons in a Mariner uniform in 2004: Edgar Martinez, John Olerud, and Dan Wilson. Supplementary quotes are provided in the article from Bret Boone and Lee Pelekoudas.


Edgar -- "I seriously thought about retiring after the 2002 season. My legs hurt, my shoulder was so bad I took myself out of the final game that year - I just couldn't swing anymore. There were so many little things that hurt, it just drained me ... Year to year, you see yourself slowing down. I was never fast, but whatever speed I had is gone. If I weren't the designated hitter, I couldn't have played last year with the broken toe. I couldn't move side to side."

Olerud -- "I identified with Bruce Bochte, and at that stage of my life I liked guys because they swung left-handed like I did, or because I liked their number. I loved Bob Stinson. He helped coach one of my Pony League teams. ... You don't want to stay (in baseball) too long. The last thing you want is to play a year more than you should have, and be hitting .200 in June and have your manager asking 'What am I going to do with this guy?' "

Wilson -- "I think your body tells you when it's the right time (to retire), and sometimes the game tells you," Wilson said. "If the game tells you, it's probably too late to leave gracefully."

This was a very worthy read. There was no reporter-spun Mariner corporate line bullcrap. The players provided most of the material and LaRue filled in the gaps. There's nothing really to bitch about in the article, it's just interesting to hear what the players think sometimes, that's all.

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Sunday, February 15, 2004


Now in the "other stuff" supplement to Sports and B's...

Photos from last night's crappy Canuck loss against Anaheim.

Aaaaand just as an added bonus for all our good-hearted readers here at Sports and B's...

Here's a little drawing from my notebook from last quarter (October specifically) for my structural geology class. The PowerPoint presentation was getting a little boring for me (well, just about any class does; I probably have ADD), so fellow geology classmate Seth and I took some artistic liberties in my notebook. Seth has the middle drawing depicting the trajectory of a Kyle Farnsworth slider. The top and bottom drawings are by me. The top drawing is a depiction of Barry Zito throwing a curveball to me. The bottom drawing is a depiction of Pedro Martinez throwing a pitch back around 1993, even though it jives more with the statistics of 1994-95 for Pedro.

In the drawing, the lettering that is written on the reverse side of the paper is my writing of the words "COMMIE RAT BASTARD" in pseudo-circa-1993-style Toronto Blue Jays font. Yes, I paid much attention in that class.

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Well, at least we know that this year's version of the Yankees-Red Sox rivalry will top Ben Affleck's performance in "Gigli"...

First series between these two teams: April 16-19 at Fenway Park (Friday-Monday)

Alex's first visit to Seattle as a Yankee? May 7-9 (Friday-Sunday)

Boy, I wonder how the Safeco crowd will be towards Alex? Yeah, you know how it will be. And that's too bad. For one thing, I've never really agreed with how the Safeco crowds have acted towards Alex. Folks, he did what he had to do. Sure, he could have stayed in Seattle. But why should he have done that? The Mariners brass is not commmitted to winning a championship. They are committed to be being competitive. Their opinion is that if everybody has career years, they will be just fine.

That's not a way to run a baseball team.

Anyways, Ben Affleck sucks. So does J-Lo.

M's brass, have fun with the "Yankees Suck" t-shirt fiasco in May!!!!!!!! I wish I could be there to see it!!!

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The U of Hawaii isn't involved here.

However, Rollen Stewart is (there's the Google search so you don't have to). Stewart was the one-man crew who took full advantage of his 15 minutes of fame with nothing but a rainbow wig, a portable television, and a banner reading "JOHN 3:16."

SportsCenter ran a pretty engaging story on the rise and fall of Rollen Stewart, and hopefully you're reading this in time if you've missed it, so you can either catch it on the late SportsCenter or the numerous reruns in the early morning. There were some anecdotes from Brent Musberger, from an ABC director from the Stewart era, from Stewart's good friend, and from Stewart's daughter.

Stewart is currently at California State Prison in Folsom serving out three life sentences. I won't spoil too much for you if you don't know about it already. For the part where they interview Stewart in prison, they show a camera panning out over a baseball diamond at the prison, and the first thing I thought about was the California Penal League -- I was waiting for Rick Vaughn to come out and mow down some batters.

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Did anyone happen to catch Ben Affleck's Red Sox rant in front of some reporters at the Daytona 500 today? He happened to use the word "mercenary" to describe George Steinbrenner as well as something to the effect of George being a "capitalist Pac-Man" who "gobbl[es] up" all the available talent at will.

For some other Red Sox reaction, dejection, and angst regarding the Alex Rodriguez trade, let's all take another well-deserved visit to the Sons of Sam Horn message board and look at some (hopefully not all in one sitting) of the 33 pages of posts regarding the trade. Break out your favorite beverage or maybe some milk and cookies and have some laid-back fun.

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Jayson Stark gives us the team editions of the "best of the decade" stat probes.

He shows that the Mariners and A's have the two highest winning percentages in the decade. No titles for either team. In fact, only two of the top 12 winningest teams in the decade have won the World Series (granted, there's only been four chances). We also find out that the Mariners and A's are leading the Majors in walks (when batting) for the decade.

The Mariners also lead the Majors this decade in batting average, on-base percentage, fewest errors, fewest infield errors, and stolen bases (odd because I never thought Lou threw the steal sign up enough). They are second in runs scored and ERA. They are tied for third for most shutouts. The Rangers lead in the decade for home runs, but check the article for the Mariner-related part to the story. It may shock you.

The A's lead in team ERA, shutouts, complete games, and fewest homers allowed. They also have committed the third-most errors and have stolen the least amount of bases.

That's it for this post...I was just reminded by SportsCenter that Alex Rodriguez would not have played a single game as captain of the Rangers. Sad sad sad indeed.

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But this time, it was Dale Earnhardt, Jr's turn to experience Victory Lane at the Daytona 500.

It was 6 years ago to the day that the late Dale Earnhardt won his one and only Daytona 500.

What a moment.

Oh, and yes, the Daytona 500 IS a sporting event. A great sporting event. Don't ever, ever knock NASCAR.

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It's a final, according to Scott Miller of SportsLine, who is saying the official announcement of the Alex-to-NY deal is coming this afternoon.

... Texas will pay $60 million of the remaining $179 million on A-Rod's contract, according to sources. The Rangers will pay $40 million of that up front and another $27 million will be deferred.

The math on it works like this: The Yankees will be paying Rodriguez, the reigning American League Most Valuable Player, $16 million a season on average, with Texas responsible for the other $9 million of A-Rod's $25 million annual salary.

Ouch...Hicks is still paying 36% (using purely the 9/25 figure) of Alex's remaining salary and he won't even be playing in Texas. So if I do some math, Alex made $73M out of the total $252M in Texas. The financial figures in the article have the Rangers' remaining bill somewhere between $60M and $67M -- I wish it was a little clearer.

So in perfect hindsight, let's all rewrite some of the articles that we read following the 2000 season to say --

"Alex Rodriguez surprised everyone today by signing with the Texas Rangers. The contract inked today by the All-Star Mariner shortstop will pay him $73M over three years with a $60M buyout clause and compensation from any team getting him after the buyout."

Let's hope everyone learned a little from all of this about blowing a big hole through the maximum salary ceiling. Screw the Rangers, Stars, ClearChannel, SFX, the whole thing. To hell with you, Tom Hicks.

[Edit ~12p -- Another way to look at it...the Rangers will have paid Alex for over half of his $252M when all is said and done, and he would have only played out three years out of the ten-year contract as a Ranger. In shopping terms, that'd be "THREE FOR THE PRICE OF FIVE!!" Sounds like Bavasi math or something. Let's wait three years down the road to see where Bavasi's math gets us...scary thoughts indeed. At least Hicks grossly overpaid for someone he knew was going to be damn good.]

[Edit ~12:45p -- Just made a grammar correction to make the "hindsight" sentence flow better. I'm watching the Daytona 500 here, and one thing's become apparent to me: these rampant commercials for male enhancement drugs (Leon Phelps would say "crazy wang pills") have got to go. Have you seen the Cialis ad? It reminds us that "erections lasting longer than four hours, though rare," require some sort of medical attention. In short, feminine hygiene and "crazy wang pills," no matter how much they're paying to get ad space in these big sporting events, are exactly what I don't want to see when I'm watching a sporting event.]

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Once again, the Canucks are not making it easier on me or my sports psyche. I'll let my postgame notes tell the story, along with some summaries of what Canuck radio personalities John Shorthouse, Tom Larscheid, and postgame show host Dan Russell had to say.

The Canucks dropped all three games in the homestand, and have lost 5 of 6.

Sergei Fedorov had two points for the Ducks for 1001 career points; he is the first Russian-born player to hit 1000 points. The next-highest Russian is Alexander Mogilny, who has been injured a ton throughout his career.

Canuck Tyler Bouck chased after a puck before it would have been icing; this hustle play led to the Artem Chubarov goal, which unfortunately would be the Canucks' only goal of the night. That goal (Artem's 6th of the season) tied the game at 1-1, and during the announcement of the goal over the PA, Matt Cooke hit the post with a shot. Chubarov reeled six shots off during the third period.

The teams have played three games this season, and the road team has won all three meetings (Ducks 2-1).

The Canucks played a good first period and a good third. They played a horrible second period though.

Johan Hedberg was in goal for the Canucks and did let in somewhat of a knuckleball goal that he probably should have had, but there were some saves he made that he probably had no business of making too.

The game-winning goal by Anaheim was aided in no small part by the weak stick check that Todd Bertuzzi put on Sergei Fedorov, allowing him to dish off easily for the assist on the goal.

Pathetic stat of the night: the Canucks have 3 regulation home wins in their last 19 home games.

The Canucks go to Denver to face the Avalanche on Monday for what is a must-win game if the Canucks think they can take this division. They lost two points on Saturday afternoon, when Detroit couldn't beat Colorado. That and the Canucks failed to get a point off another team that had played three games in four nights beforehand.

Now, the summaries of the postgame guys. Not exact quotes.
Larscheid: 1st period good, 2nd period asleep, 3rd good. Canucks need to play the full 60 minutes...Teams are ready to play the Canucks when they come to the Garage (gunning for them)
Russell: The Canucks got away with playing under 60 good minutes for first half of the season, had good record doing it
Shorthouse: The Canucks are not manufacturing goals like they did before; they've seemed to be the least-confident that I've seen them
Larscheid: This team's coming off the all-star break...Why are they playing sluggish? They should be chomping at the bit and coming out strong
Russell: Are they just biding time until playoffs? Colorado can't lose a game. Maybe the Canucks are just not as good as the media thinks they can be
Larscheid: None of the players seem to be on the same page; passing not sharp; no one's having fun...the group of players has been together for most of the last 3 yrs
Shorthouse: The fans/media haven't had an extended stretch of futility with this group of players...but only two teams have more wins in NHL
Larscheid: it's one thing if you lose five hard-fought games in the NHL, but it's another if the team is playing like crap while they're losing
russ: Anaheim was last place in their division coming into the game

[Edit ~9:45a -- some light editing done in the Larscheid/Shorthouse/Russell portion of the post. Sorry to anyone who noticed the word "maps" snuck into the post. That's what happens when you put the post up initially when you're damn near asleep, and you have some sort of project in cartography class looming in your mind. Sorry to anyone who noticed that and rendered the post mentally incoherent. The base of it was made in Notepad right after the game, and the cleaning up of the latter part of the notes was done very late last night among the cleaning spree that I took upon my apartment.]

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Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you, Mr. William Hung.

She Bangs! She Bangs!

He auditioned for "American Idol" in San Francisco. The rest is history.

You'll laugh. You'll cry. You'll do a lot of things.

When I saw the original episode that Hung was on, I just lost it. Absolutely, positively lost it.

So, if you want to provide yourself with some entertainment to keep your mind off of the eventual Willie Bloomquist base hit in the 9th inning with the M's down by 10 runs moment sometime in 2004, here you go.


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