Saturday, March 06, 2004
In the two games (COL and DET) on this road trip, the Canucks have never had the lead (125 minutes). Other than Bryan Allen (blocked a few shots) and Sean Pronger (first game as a Canuck), there really were few good games by any of the Canucks. Add to this the fact that the Wings were without Mathieu Dandenault, Kris Draper, and Pavel Datsyuk, and still handily won.
The Canucks looked in good shape after the first period. Then early in the second period, Brendan Shanahan beat Dan Cloutier with a slap shot from the blueline (about 60 feet, which should never happen). The downward trend had started subtly in the the first period -- the Canucks put Detroit on six straight power plays. Early in the first, the Canucks got a power play on a Kirk Maltby penalty, but Todd Bertuzzi took his team off the power play again for the millionth time. After Daniel Sedin got nailed for high-sticking early in the second period, coach Marc Crawford started jawing at the officials. The bench was hit with a minor, and Fedor Fedorov served the penalty. The Canucks were nine seconds away from killing off the two-man advantage when Brett Hull did what Brett Hull does. And with Mike Keane's 6th goal of the year coming in the third period, the Hull goal off the two-man advantage where the coach jawed at the officials stands as the game-winner. Oh yeah, when Fedorov came out of the box, he was hit right away with an inteference penalty. Tom Larscheid's disturbing trend of the last two games: the Canucks giving up goals early in periods. It happened twice in Colorado, and it happened twice against the Red Wings. Even more sickening, Detroit scored on their first shot in both the second and third periods. I'm blaming both the defense and Cloutier for this.
Canucks at Columbus tonight.
Friday, March 05, 2004
He said that he thought Buck Showalter took him out a little too early back in '95 when he'd pitched against Randy Johnson (he was replaced by Steve Howe, who gave up some runs). Buck was hoping to have Jack for relief later in the series, and was apparently managing for later instead of managing in the now. However, the Yankees did have three chances to win one game and blew them all.
Jack's funny Steinbrenner anecdote: when he first came to the Yankees, the players on the team reminded him that the goatee was against team policy. However, Wade Boggs and Don Mattingly were really pushing him to stand up to the policy. Jack figured, what the hay, since he had no prior ties or anything. He asked Buck about the team wanting to sport goats. Buck said, "that's not my rule, that's George's rule." Jack went to George Steinbrenner, and George said, "that's not my rule, that's the manager's rule." End result is that they did wear goatees for six weeks. Apparently during the six week span, the Yankees went 1-9 on a west coast road trip (with some other brutal showings, I'm sure), and George reinstituted the ban.
Mitch brought up how it was a shame that Don Mattingly wasn't around for any of the Yankees' playoff success. Jack brought up something I didn't know. Mattingly had some sort of eye infection for most of the early part of '95, and it was healing for most of the season. Mattingly hit 10-for-24 (.417) in the 1995 ALDS, with four doubles, a homer, and six RBI. Jack suggested that Mattingly was more than capable of playing past 1995, but that they'd basically run Mattingly out of town, Tino Martinez was going to play first base in 1996, and it was set in stone. Mattingly was only 34 years of age on opening day of 1996. But he'd retired.
Wow, you mean to tell me that this is the "real" Bob Melvin? Hell, the real Slim Shady could probably manage this team better than Blow-Mel.
Anyways, as for the Randy Winn trade rumors. Be very afraid.
Randy Winn to the Cardinals for So Taguchi and a AAA prospect. This would be a typical Mariners deal. Taguchi is Asian, and let's be honest, the Mariners have to fill a void in their clubhouse. Kazu is gone, so that void must be filled.
Be very afraid, folks. Remember who the general manager of this team is.
Be afraid. Be very afraid. Stay tuned for Jeremy to blast off on this.
The main topic of the article was Randy Winn, who is "unfazed by trade rumors" as the headline indicates. The phrase "trade rumors" is used, and a total of zero names are mentioned in regards to who would come Seattle's way in a trade involving Winn. Also, the main instinct for me was to think "hey, there's new trade rumors" when I saw the headline, but when no names are used, I just take it as the same old crap, i.e., nothing that we haven't known for a while now. As for the possibility of Winn being shipped to make room for a big-bat outfielder (Andriesen's words), I'd hate to see what Bill Bavasi thinks a big-bat outfielder is (generic form: "I'd hate to see what Bill Bavasi thinks a ________ is"). That said, most of the article basically says Winn will have to play a little more to his right than a usual CF would becuase Ichiro is fast and Raul Ibanez is not fast.
The other tidbits in the article: Gil Meche is trying to work low in the strike zone, or as teammates and coaches used to say to pitchers in my later years of baseball, "live down." JJ Putz bailed Rett Johnson out of a bases-loaded, nobody out situation. I had looked at the ESPN boxscore earlier today and seen an "R Johnson" in the pitching lines and had to take a second look. It's not Randy, I reminded myself. I'm conditioned. I was looking for a 10 or 12 under the K column.
But remember, don't even think about talking on your cell phone inside the Mariner clubhouse after 2pm on a game day. If you do, Bob Melvin will come out in a tornado of limbs and teeth. From there, he will belittle and intimidate you until you are driven to tears. Got it?
Thursday, March 04, 2004
Defensive end Grant Wistrom has signed a 6-year, $33 million deal with your Seattle Seahawks. Wistrom had spent the last 6 seasons in St. Louis. Not only do the Seahawks get better on the defensive line here, they also made the Rams a little weaker tonight.
Wistrom had 7.5 sacks last year for the Rams and has 41.5 in his career. He's one of the premier defensive ends in the NFL, and for the Seahawks to sign him just speaks volumes. This is the biggest free agent signing for the Seahawks since they signed linebacker Chad Brown in 1997.
I guess this means that Marcellus Wiley isn't coming to Seattle. But that's fine with me.
Grant Wistrom is a Seattle Seahawk. What a great start to my weekend.
To the game...
This one was absolutely draining. The Canucks were down two goals on three different occasions (2-0, 4-2, 5-3). When Alex Tanguay scored 80 seconds into the third period to make it 5-3 Colorado, I pretty much wrote off the Canucks for the night. You don't let Colorado score five times and manage to get any points out of the game, right? In the same game where Joe Sakic has a hat trick and Tanguay notches five points? Here's a travesty: Alex Tanguay had a five-point night and was only the third star in the arena after the game.
Amazingly, the Canucks thought otherwise. Down 5-3 in the third period, they probably had no business getting a point. But at 6:08 of the third, a Vancouver shot sailed wide of the net. From behind the net, Marek Malik pushed the puck forward, and pulled it into the net -- toward himself, except he was behind the net. At 7:50 on a power play, Markus Naslund skated around and put the puck right on the tape of Mattias Ohlund's stick, who redirected the puck past David Aebischer.
That wasn't all she wrote, however. The Canucks had to kill off two penalties in the final 10 minutes of regulation. Dan Cloutier was stellar in net in the overtime, which was well needed in a game that wasn't a real good one if you like good goaltending.
In the first VAN/COL game after the Naslund/Steve Moore incident, there was not a lot of fighting, even with Brad May suggesting there was a bounty on Moore's head. The only thing done to Steve Moore was when Brent Sopel stole the puck from him, leading to his own goal.
Colorado snapped out of their goal-scoring funk. They had scored six goals total in their last seven home games. That said, Vancouver wasn't the team that blew the 5-3 lead on this night, and the Canucks were much more happy with the one point than Colorado was. The Canucks have tallied 17 points in the standings when trailing after two periods.
In the announcers' tidbits section...There were multiple times in the overtime where a Canuck would get the puck behind his own net and stand there until someone else came back, circled around, and pushed it back up the ice. Dan Russell thought that the Canucks were trying to set up the Flying V from the Mighty Ducks movie. Trevor Linden has gone ten games without a point, is still one behind Stan Smyl for the franchise point lead, and managed to not tally a point in a game where the Canucks scored five times. Todd Bertuzzi had three assists, but took the Canucks off the power play twice in the game, something that is infuritating, especially for color man Tom Larscheid, who noticed this trend long ago. Dan Russell noted one of Bertuzzi's penalties may have been partly due to some spotty officiating. Larscheid notes that Bertuzzi always looks for Naslund to score, but pushes people from behind and gets whistled. John Shorthouse put in his two cents on the rumors of Colorado coach Tony Granato being fired and relaced by Joel Quenneville (ex-STL) by saying this game didn't make Granato's job any safer, and the same with David Aebischer. Larscheid said the Canucks need three players to get over the top: depth on defense, a winger to skate with the Sedins, and a center to move Trevor Linden over to right wing. Also suggested was the possibility of Miroslav Satan coming to Vancouver from Buffalo. That'd be a good move.
Canuck goals: Brendan Morrison (17, shorthanded), Brent Sopel (9, career high), Markus Naslund (31), Marek Malik (3), Mattias Ohlund (11, career high)
The big line scored nine points, and the blue line had three goals and two assists, which kinda makes up for all those horrid defensive giveaways they had.
The hits don't stop. Vancouver at Detroit on Friday.
Wednesday, March 03, 2004
Oh happy f*cking day!!!
Shawn Springs is finally out of Seattle!
Please refer to this post as a source as to why I hate Shawn Springs with a passion.
Oh by the way, the Redskins beat the Seahawks 27-20. Seahawks fall to 6-3, and could be tied once again at the top of the NFC West if the Rams beat the Ravens later tonight.
As long as Shawn Springs is getting significant PT, this team is not a playoff contender. It's that simple.
The Redskins think that Springs can replace Champ Bailey. They're out of their f*cking minds. If Terrell Owens is an Eagle next season, you can expect to see 3 T.O. touchdowns when Philly plays the Skins.
Speaking of the Eagles, they signed DE Jevon Kearse to an 8-year, 66 million dollar deal. Great move by the Eagles. I guess the Seahawks will have to look elsewhere for their pass rushing defensive lineman...
Marcellus Wiley anyone???
Larry LaRue put a half-fluff, half-info article into the Tribune today. Paul Molitor observes that Boone is somewhat of a leader. Boone himself talks a little about his pa (not the best of managers) and his grandpa's playing careers. LaRue compares some of Boone's numbers to Ryne Sandberg's. Boone talks about other great two-baggers like Joe Morgan and Rogers Hornsby and mentions contemporaries like Jeff Kent and Rob Alomar. Bret also talks about the weight program that helped turn his career around, and he answers the obligatory steroid question.
In the Wayback Machine, here's the second post (dated 13 Nov) I ever made at Sports and B's that contained the word "Ibanez." After I make some disparaging remarks about Mike Cameron (hindsight, everyone), I said the following about the possibility of Raul Ibanez signing as a Mariner...
As for bringing back Ibanez for a second cup of coffee (small last time, large this time, or in the terms of Fourbucks coffee, "tall" and "venti"), this will go one of three horribly obvious ways. The first and best one is they bring back Ibanez and he's great (like Bret Boone the second time around). The second is they bring him back and he's just okay (can't think of one right now, I'll think of one later). The third is that they bring Ibanez back and he stinks it up (John Mabry). I think Raul's more likely to be one of the last two. Call me pessimistic, but that's just what I think. With the Mariners' luck with this kind of stuff, he'll probably have something end up playing mind games with him and he'll fall 50 points off his average off the last couple years, maybe drop off by 15 bombs a year, who knows. Just got a feeling, that's all.
Of course, this is well before I had looked at any hard numbers or basic stats about Ibanez or realized Kauffman Stadium was a blatant hitters' park. Also, in only my second post referring to Ibanez, I already had a bad feeling about it.
The Ibanez signing hit the wire on the night of the 18th. Here was my reaction. This is where I asked the question of why no Mariners could have gone to a Vlad Guerrero party and convinced him to Seattle.
Here's another past post where I make another somewhat disparaging Cameron remark, but the main premise was that I had kind of seen the writing on the wall on 15 Nov that Cameron was as good as gone. The funny thing about the post is that I said Cameron wouldn't get anywhere close to $7M/yr and he is getting nearly that much from the Mets.
I've got ESPN2 on right now and they're playing that World Series of Poker, and I swear to God, they've played a certain Las Vegas tourism commercial a million times...the one where the girls in the back seat of a limo are laughing incessantly at the cross-dressing guy toward the front. I swear they ran it like 4939409 times in one hour. Amazing.
Here's some articles to get everybody revved up...
Canucks take aim at Avs -- Iain MacIntyre, Vancouver Sun
It's hockey, not Ice Capades -- Ben Kuzma, Vancouver Province
Moore offers olive branch -- Brad Ziemer, Vancouver Sun
More at stake than revenge -- Gordon McIntyre, Vancouver Province
Oh crap. I said in my last post that my next post would be about baseball. I really mean it this time...
Tuesday, March 02, 2004
Here at Sports and Bremertonians, we were able to get exclusive audio from an unidentified member of the Mariners front office.
If you haven't heard yet, Geoff Jenkins re-signed with the Brew Crew today.
"We sure wanted to talk to Geoff," said a Mariners front office source. "He's a good person and plays the game the right way. Geoff, however, is in Milwaukee and is playing for a guy who I have tremendous respect for. However, we are very happy with our current LF, Raul. He's a world class human being, and we couldn't be any happier."
"Geoff could have helped our ballclub. Our reports were good on him, but he just decided to stay in Milwaukee"
This source went on to add that Mariners single game tickets go on sale Saturday morning at 10 a.m. Come one, come all. You can even get 30 percent off at the Mariners Team Store on all John Mabry merchandise.
But as I was gazing through the usual pages, I realized I had totally fallen asleep at the wheel regarding Seattle's best chance to win a title (the Mariners sealed this with their offseason dealings), the Seahawks.
John Randle retired? Chad Eaton is a salary cap casualty? Where the hell have I been? I'm kinda sad to see Randle go because he was pretty much awesome in every way except that his body was getting a little old. As for Chad Eaton, I won't miss him. He was a Coug that talked big, but got it shoved in his face a few too many times. So what do the Hawks do now? Well, these two moves just cleared more room under the salary cap...
I'm still asleep at the wheel regarding the Sonics. I can't even tell you the last team they played against. How sad is it when the Sonics have Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis on the court, and Kevin Calabro on the telecasts, and I still won't at least listen to them? That's brutal. Kevin Calabro is beyond awesome. The only thing better than Calabro doing Sonic games is when he told "Jack and the Beanstalk" and "The Three Little Pigs" to a group of kids on the unjustly canceled Almost Live!
In Canuck-related news, Tampa Bay shut out the Avalanche in Denver last night. Nikolai Khabibulin got a lazy 16-save shutout, which is amazing considering all the offensive firepower that Colorado has, and the fact that they have Rob Blake healthy again. But this regulation defeat for Colorado sets the stage even better for Wednesday night. That's when the Canucks travel to Colorado for their biggest game of the year. With a regulation win, the Canucks will retake the Northwest Division lead. The big thing about winning the division is so you don't finish fourth. If you finish fourth, you have to face the fifth seed, of course. The fifth seed will probably be Dallas, who have been fairly cold most of the year. Dallas has Marty Turco in net, who is solid, but can also get really hot. The playoffs is a bad time to have that happen if you're the opposition. Last year, the Canucks were overtaken for the division lead in the final weeks of the season, and ended up drawing the Blues in the first round. They got to the second round and blew a 3-1 series lead and were eliminated by the Wild, and I still remember being irate about that last spring.
My next post will be about baseball. Book it.
Monday, March 01, 2004
It took 33 years, but sheet music has finally come out for the Hockey Night in Canada theme. It is available in simplified or intermediate piano, piano and guitar chords, and will be available in arrangement for a brass quintet.
The clincher? The HNIC theme has been arranged for a 79-part band. That's right -- piccolos, flutes, oboes, clarinets, bassoons, three types of saxophones, trumpets, fluegel (sp?) horns, trombones, tubas, upright basses, and an array of percussive instruments can combine to bring the Hockey Night in Canada theme to you in an auditorium setting or maybe even a football halftime show, should you choose to become a high school band teacher and try to make 79 kids do this, which would be amazing. If anyone out there does this, please send me a recording.
One of the articles in the history section had this to say:
Kara Horne, manager of materials development for the (Royal Conservatory of Music), said they're temporarily adding the song to a list of contemporary songs students may choose to play for their Grade 4 or Grade 7 examinations.
She expects girls and especially boys will soon push its popularity past Darth Vader's dark, brooding anthem, beating out the Batman theme and the jazzy anthem of Charlie Brown.
The HNIC theme would have been awesome to play on my recorder for fourth grade, as opposed to the copout "Mary Had a Little Lamb," which I was totally guilty of playing, as was everybody and their mother in that music class at Naval Avenue Elementary School.
That's right, Pete Rose will be inducted into the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Hall of Fame.
Why? Check out these pics from Wrestlemania XIV in 1998:
Hellfire..., ...and brimstone!
That was WWE superstar Kane tombstoning Rose. He also tombstoned Rose at Wrestlemania XV in 1999.
In related news, Wrestlemania XX is less than two weeks away. Hard to believe it's almost been one year since Wrestlemania XIX hit Safeco Field.
I like wrestling. Sue me. This is "baseball" news, sort of.
The end is nigh because I wandered over to Mariner Musings and saw some Haiku along with the usual top-notch content we've come to know and love from Peter. Then I see that Peter linked a new blog, Edgar is God.
From the first post...
My ultimate goal is to turn this into a Sports and Bremerton style blog based strictly on Mariners' commentary.
Oh crap!! We've laid the framework for others!! I've helped more people through blogging than I've helped in my entire 3.5 years here at Central!
I wish "momo" or "taro" or whatever the blogger's desired name is well, and hell, I wish all our bloggers well. If I wished said blogger ill (which I'm not) for biting our style (which I'm sure is not happening), I would say something to the effect of that blog being the Morris Day and the Time to our Prince and the Revolution. And since the EisG blogger used the word "bitches" in his first post, I was quickly reminded of the Charlie Murphy and Gang vs Prince and the Revolution basketball game (have some grapes) that was shown on Chappelle's Show a couple weeks ago. Absolute hilarity. It's sad, but if you use the word "bitch" or any permutation thereof in a way that's supposed to be even remotely funny, I'll probably be laughing for hours.
Thanks to Conor of the Grand Salami for leading me to another piece of Howard Lincoln bullcrap
MLB.com: What's the worst thing anyone has said about you?
Lincoln: It's a tie between "money-grubbing, soulless leech" and "ordinary pond scum." More recently, after we didn't make the playoffs after the 2003 season, one of the Seattle columnists said I was the most disliked person in Seattle, which was incredible to me. I thought it was still Alex Rodriguez.
Yes, there are people who hate Alex Rodriguez...
But you see, with more bullcrap like this being spewed out of Mr. Lincoln's mouth, there's a reason why Lincoln is the most hated person in Seattle. Why?
Do I really need to explain this?
Oh, and it just makes me feel really damn good to hear that Miguel Tejada wanted to play in Seattle. Again, another round of warm glasses of STFU to the M's brass. Enough of this "we're gonna spread the $$$ around to a group of players and not one player alone" bullcrap. Tejada is an MVP-caliber player and he's not in Seattle, but in BALTIMORE.
But hey, we have to love these guys. Right? Bueller?????? Fry???????
Dave Andriesen refers to Willie Bloomquist in the article as "Port Orchard's favorite son." Technically, this probably isn't true because if daddy's a dentist, we can pretty much rule out the entire city limits of Port Orchard as being suitable for Casa de Bloomquist. If you've been to Port Orchard, you know this. Besides that, if there was any justice, Benji Olson would be the favorite son of Port Orchard. How could anyone forget about Benji Olson? He was on some great Husky teams, has started for five of his six years as a Tennessee Titan protecting Steve McNair, has gone to the playoffs four times, and has gone to a Super Bowl. In the two seasons that Willie Bloomquist has worn a Mariner uniform, the Mariners have failed to make the playoffs. Coincidence? I don't think so.
Three cheers for you, Benji Olson, the best South Kitsap athlete that I can remember at this moment. Chances are he probably remembers me when he was a 6th-grader at Burley-Glenwood Elementary school and I was a wee lad in AM kindergarten at the same school.
In conclusion, Benji Olson gets all the South Kitsap athlete props that a B-towner raised to hate South Kitsap like me can possibly give.
All you need to see is the headline to today's Larry Stone article. I'll let you click on it for the initial shock.
Now, some words from MVP shortstop and former Seattle free-agent target (the extent to which is debatable given the lowballing that took place) Miguel Tejada...
"I liked [Seattle]. I know it's great place to play there, a contending team. But my agent got me a better deal."
... the Mariners bit their lip and reluctantly stretched their offer to five years, for a reported $45 million.
It wasn't close to enough, just as the Mariners sensed.
"It came close," he said. "I hoped I was going to Seattle. After I talked to Mr. Gillick at my house, I thought I might be there. They told me they were going to try to sign me. I told them I was going to listen to everything they said, because I want to go there.
"Baltimore give me six years," he said. "That's why I'm here, why I decided to sign with them."
There's so much venting I could do right here, there really is. I could just give you the same stuff I've been giving to you all for months.
All I'm going to say now (since I'm doing lab work) is this...
If you're looking for balls, go raid the equipment locker of your local high school, your local driving range, your local YMCA basketball rack, wherever, because this Mariner ownership can't prove that they have any.
[If you got the Jesus and Mary Chain reference, give yourself a pat on the back.]
For purely statistical purposes, our stat counter put us at ~5420 hits for the month of February, while the on-page counter had us at ~6010 hits, which is really messing with my mind because I thought the on-page counter was supposed to be the one that didn't count the duplicate hits from the same IP address.
So, in comparison to last month, we experienced hit drops of 31.4% (stat counter) and 14.6% (on-page). I don't know what the hell to think about the on-page counter anymore.
But thanks again to all that stuck with us in this month that didn't have too much material, and hopefully we weren't scraping the bottom of the barrel too much here at Sports and B's. I hope y'all enjoy reading our stuff as much as we do coming up with and/or working with it.
March forth, fellow bloggers and blogfans.
[For my reference, on-page counter was at 23006]
Sunday, February 29, 2004
Of course, knowing me, the gems have nothing to do with actual ability or anything. My tip to you is to scroll down to the "Free entertainment at combine" portion of the article, about halfway down the page.
Here's a great excerpt...
Perhaps the most embarrassing moment in combine history took place during the height and weight measurements of the linemen. One of the young college hopefuls entering the draft, while standing tall in front of hundreds of coaches and scouts, had an extremely unfortunate accident -- literally. This youngster began to rock back and forth a little while being measured only to suddenly run off the stage. It turns out, this young man drank a gallon or two of water to add pounds for his weigh-in. Well, he didn't plan ahead too well. The kid ran from the stage but not before leaving a little gift on stage. Yup, the poor kid actually urinated himself on stage, prompting officials to wipe up the area before the next kid got up there. "The funniest thing was the next kid's face," said one coach. "He was the best. The last thing he wanted to do was move over to that spot." The incident prompted the best nickname of the weekend as teams began referring to the player as "Puddles."
A big lineman pissed himself on stage!!!!! How great is that??!! Puddles should thank his lucky stars that didn't happen in high school. His life would have been over.
The other two funny stories have to do with inside/outside running and Maurice Clarett.
I usually don't like posts where (in my discretion) there's more copied text than me blabbing, but I guess this is more of a FYI post than a "this is what I think" post. Just letting you know.
Perhaps the sign shown reminded Steve of Sports and B's because if you have Denmark font on your computer, the characters toward the bottom of the sign are what our post headlines and our blog title look like. The other reminder is probably that Steve could imagine Jeremy and I laughing at or bitching about such a landmark near Bremerton (the place seems like it should be pitched to Kitsap County as a resort idea on the incorrigibly stanky shores of Sinclair Inlet, next to everyone's favorite sleazy Kitsap County strip joint, Toys Topless, the pride of Gorst).
The other reminder is (I won't speak for Jeremy here) that I am a horribly immature early-20s male that would immediately laugh at such a sign.
But what I've been laughing at the most lately is my copy of Chappelle's Show season 1 on DVD. One great thing is when you learn how long their resident Japanese guy (named Yoshi, used in the Blackzilla sketch and the Player Hater's Ball sketch) has lived in America and how that correlates to how much English he can speak coherently.
My favorite line from Yoshi is from the Player Hater's Ball, where he plays a player hater named Mr. Roboto...
"I am top player hater from Korea...you bitches better recognize!"
Imagine that in a heavy Japanese accent and you have comedic gold.
Angels owner Arte Moreno has made a huge splash in his short tenure in Anaheim. He's lowered concession prices. But more importantly, he's signed Vladimir Guerrero, Bartolo Colon, and Jose Guillen. There's a reason why the Angels should be the A.L. West favorite in 2004.
No one was prepared for the Angels to spend like Yankees owner George Steinbrenner. Now with a starting rotation so deep a double-figure starter might be cut, Anaheim might well be the best team in the American League, and the game has gotten just a little heavier at the top.
Moreno squints into the breeze. The band is playing louder now, everybody is eating, burritos, beer and soda. Children are laughing. The Angels' owner glances at them and smiles.
"What are we trying to accomplish in the long term?" he asks. "Is it to try and stay competitive? If you have the opportunity to get better, why don't you take it? Our baseball people felt we needed to change our pitching, so we signed Colon and Escobar. We needed a right fielder, and we went out and got Jose Guillen. At the 25th hour we had the opportunity to get Guerrero.
"Basically what am I supposed to do when I tell the Los Angeles papers I had the opportunity to get a player of (Guerrero's) caliber and didn't? I would have been doing a disservice to the fans."
Instead, he gave them everybody they could have ever wanted.
THIS IS A MAN WHO GETS IT.
Folks, if you want to run a baseball team, don't run it like a charity case. It's not about how nice the players are. Baseball is a business. In order to be successful, you must win. And I don't mean winning 393 games the past 4 seasons and not having jackcrap to show for it.
The Anaheim Angels finished NINETEEN GAMES behind the Oakland Athletics in 2003. This was coming off the 2002 World Championship season. So what did the Angels do to improve themselves?
They signed a very solid starting pitcher in Bartolo Colon. Sure, 48 mil is a lot of money for the guy. But the fact is, he's good for at least 14 wins in 2004. Not too shabby if you ask me.
Oh, and they also signed the most underrated player in baseball. That would be Vladimir Guerrero. He's in the A.L. West for the next 5 seasons. Tell me that isn't scary to think about.
Who did the Mariners acquire this offseason? Well, they certainly didn't sign or trade for a player of Vlad's caliber.
"Let me ask you a question," Moreno says. "Do you like Guerrero playing in Seattle? How about Colon pitching?"
This isn't even a question.
If the M's brass had any sense whatsoever, they would have told Mr. Ichiro Primadonna Suzuki to move his ass to center field to make room for Vladimir Guerrero. Yes, I just called Ichiro a primadonna. Sue me.
And Colon in Seattle? Well, this is harder question to answer, only because the M's problem isn't pitching. But hey, I wouldn't mind Fat Ass Colon in the M's rotation, that's for sure.
Folks, Arte Moreno wants to win. He wants to win now. Hell, with this lineup, I think he has a reason to think that way:
C Bengie Molina, 1B Darin Erstad, 2B Adam Kennedy, SS David Eckstein, 3B Troy Glaus, LF Jose Guillen, CF Garret Anderson, RF Vladimir Guerrero, DH Tim Salmon
The only guy in that lineup that I don't really think is a problem is that punk Eckstein. But other than him, the Angels lineup is clearly the best in the West. I wish I could say the same for the M's, but I just can't.
The Angels have already won a World Series (2002). But you see, Mr. Moreno wasn't in charge when that happened.
He's in charge now. Watch out, Howard.
I wasn't able to catch the radio postgame show, so I can't fill in too much on what the crew thought of the game. One thing's for sure. Johan Hedberg was great in the net, which is good because he hasn't been getting a lot of chances to stay sharp. He had a couple of amazing saves tonight, and his 31st and final save of the night came on a Pavol Demitra penalty shot, where he sprawled to his left to glove the shot and preserve the shutout.
The Canucks scored on two somewhat odd goals. Artem Chubarov scored the first goal after Chris Osgood tried to clear the puck out of his own zone, hit one of his own men, and the puck went right to Chubarov. Artem made good on the wrist shot. The second goal came when Chris Osgood lost his stick after some ruckus in front of the net, leaving him defenseless for the most part when Mattias Ohlund launched a slap shot.
Canuck goals: Artem Chubarov (8), Mattias Ohlund (10)
The Canucks' biggest game of the year is Wednesday at Denver. Right now the Canucks are one point back of Colorado for the division lead. Colorado has a home game against Tampa Bay on Monday, and the Lightning has been a very tough team of late, so Colorado could be tired after that, you never know.