Saturday, March 13, 2004



Well, 1999 Bremerton High School alum Miah Davis is going dancing.

His Pacific Tigers are your Big West Conference tournament champions, defeating Cal State-Northridge 75-73 in Anaheim. Davis hit 2 free throws with 5 seconds left in the game to give Pacific its first NCAA Tournament berth since 1997. It is likely that the Big West will get two teams into the Dance, with regular season champ Utah State getting the at-large bid.

While most people who are somewhat familiar with West Sound basketball will consider Marvin Williams as Bremerton's best player ever, Miah Davis isn't too far behind. While at BHS, Miah led the Knights to a 5th place finish in the 3A State Tournament in 1999, his senior season. He spent a year at Modesto Junior College before moving on to Cal State Stanislaus. He transferred to Pacific in 2001, redshirting during the 2001-2002 season. He's in his final year of college basketball, and he's going to the NCAA Tournament.

That's right, a Bremerton kid is going to play in the NCAA Tournament.

Damn, this really is going to be a great NCAA Tournament. It's Evergreen State loaded, baby.

Gonzaga (Spokane). Eastern Washington (Cheney). Washington (Seattle).

And Pacific's Miah Davis (Bremerton).

I really love this time of year. Don't you?

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Well, yeah, I would have had the VAN/EDM recap up, but the internet decided to go offline in the on-campus residences around noon today. That was right about when I was going to paste the text I had in the Blogger window into my Notepad, but then I think my whole computer went crazy. Anyway, the internet is doing the same weird thing it did a couple weeks ago when the messengers (AIM, MSN, Yahoo) all work, but the browser does not. The first time, I think MyDoom hit the campus, and this time, it's probably the same thing. I'm typing this from the geology undergrad room in rustic Lind Hall. I can't get away from Lind Hall this quarter. It keeps reeling me in. At least for now it isn't Bremerton that's reeling me in.

The recap will come after I watch Chappelle's Show and SNL over the next five hours. YEEAAAHHH!!!

Then I'll try to devise a postgame blurb about tonight's OTT/VAN game without hearing from the radio crew. I'll try my damnedest.

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No, our dreams of the Mariners landing a big time bat have not come true. We're still stuck with Quinton Pedro Guerrero McCracken.

M's hire Squiggy: David Lander, better known as "Squiggy" from the "Laverne & Shirley" sitcom during the 1970s and former owner of Portland's minor league team, has been hired as an associate scout, helping out in Southern California.

Well, it could be worse.

They could have Ralph Malph come back to Seattle for "70s Night".

In honor of this news, I bring you this.


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Jamie Moyer will be the Mariners Opening Day starter Tuesday, April 6 at Safeco Field.

In other Mariners news...

Quinton McCracken hit 2 home runs today in the M's 7-4 win over the Rockies. One of those HRs was off of last year's Rule V reject Matt White, who spent too much time with the big club last year. Of course, Blow-Mel had to pipe in about McCrackenpipe. After all, Blow-Mel is McCrackenpipe's official asskissing press secretary.

"Quinton's a guy who's got some sneaky pop,'' Mariners manager Bob Melvin said. "He hit a three-run homer against us last year when he was with Arizona. To do it from both sides of the plate, he showed you a little bit of what he has to offer.''

Sneaky pop? If McCrackenpipe has "sneaky pop", then tell me what in the blue hell does Mike Myers have? Chris Gaines Envy?

One more thing, non-M's related:

Washington has to be in the NCAA Tournament. If they are not in the field of 65, there should be heads rolling.

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For the first game after the Todd Bertuzzi incident, and the first game with their new acquisitions, it was somewhat unknown beforehand how the Canucks would react with this home game against Minnesota.

New guys Marc Bergevin, Geoff Sanderson, and Martin Rucinsky all played pretty well in their first game with the Canucks (Sanderson was a Canuck a long time ago, so technically not his first game), and Sanderson potted the equalizing goal (14th goal of the year) in the third period which got the point for the Canucks. The result could have been bad though, as Filip Kuba of the Wild hit the post with about two seconds left to nearly win it late for Minnesota. All in all, thanks to the timing of the Canuck goal, which was late, and the fact that it wasn't a win, it was a mostly quiet night at the Garage.

I could try to say something about the game, but it was the same night where I was trying to read two scientific papers and make up and type out a four-page paper for my cartography project. So, I'll probably just call in sick and let the crew of Dan, John, and Tom take the rest of this post. To make it even more ghetto, I'll minimally edit the postgame notes I took.

Dan: It was a difficult game to play -- a tough night to play hockey
Tom: Encouraged by Canucks...not a lot of scoring, but good third period. Liked the new guys. Rucinsky good, Sanderson adds "flash and dash." team to EDM tomorrow, probably good to get away from VAN and the media crush
John: Kuba goal would have been deflating
Dan: Both teams had skeleton lineups, not a typical MIN/VAN game
Tom: Almost like Matt Cooke and Matt Johnson (involved in incident earlier in the year) said they'd only have one fight all night. There was no indication of a goon show that we'd usually seen in the past
John: How do you bounce back from being mortified and play physically demanding hockey? Was encouraged by energy
John: Night of extremes for Cloutier...a couple of bobbles, but some great saves
Tom: happy to see Cloutier come back w/strong game...happy that the Kuba shot didn't go in. Cloutier robbed a lot of guys though. ... Mattias Ohlund was dominant in the 3rd period.
Dan: Brendan Morrison good game, led with 4 shots. Everyone was bracing for the Bertuzzi announcement (the suspension hadn't been handed down yet)
John: Happy when it's over with...bad thing is that NHL by scratching head has gotten themselves front-page headlines for another day
Dan: It makes you wonder if the decision was made before the (Bertuzzi apology) press conference
Tom: you wonder if Colin Campbell could see the Bertuzzi reaction. Was moved by the Bertuzzi words...genuine, moving. ... Most Colin Campbell decisions are announced same day as the hearing.

Yes, I am lazy. Last night's VAN/EDM game stuff will be coming shortly.

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Friday, March 12, 2004


A fellow named Mark has started up the Seattle Mariners Top Forum. The forum sort of reminds me of the Ultimate BBS sort of message boards, but it's pretty much a message board gone wild -- interface looks fairly user friendly, etc. Good luck to Mark.

On the Top Forum's link exchange page, we see a little site called Monk Mojo. To anyone who is a fan of crudely-drawn but hilarious paint files, this site's for you, with a Mariner twist.

And a warm blogosphere welcome to Nate at Hope Springs Eternal..., which bears an all-too-true URL.

Good luck once again to all newbies in the blogosphere. I know there was a while there where I wasn't able to give shout outs to every new blog that came along because they were sprouting like wildfire, but I'm pretty sure we managed to link them all here. One thing's for sure, though...if you emailed me and told me about your new Mariner blog and sent a URL, I linked it.

It's Friday night, and more posts will be coming from me, if I'm not asleep.

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Edgar's gonna bat fifth. Behind Raul Ibanez. I guess I'll have to raise my expected average of Raul Ibanez by 10 points on the batting average now, bringing him to .240. Sure, it may make some sense, with the righty-lefty switchups between Boone/Ibanez/Edgar in the late innings, but just like my mind still hasn't adjusted to home teams in the NHL wearing the dark sweaters, it's not going to adjust to Edgar hitting anything lower than fourth, especially behind Raul Ibanez, who, though a world-class human being, couldn't hold Edgar's jock. I love the Hickey assertion in the article that "Martinez's power numbers aren't as good as Ibanez's the past two seasons -- 39 homers and 157 RBIs." Ibanez played half his games in what hitters' park? Surely he knows the answer to that question.

Yeah, I've hated what Bill Bavasi's done with this team this offseason. But Bob Melvin is getting pretty high on the infuriate-o-meter with some of the stuff he's said (some would say it's get-off-my-case reporter-feeding fodder) and done this spring. Busting Ben Davis on the Thornton homers the other day wasn't something I thought had to be aired out in the media, unless Melvin is going against the company policy and thinks that chemistry is overrated. I'm sure pissing off Ben Davis makes for great clubhouse chemistry. And now Ibanez fourth? I don't think he could try to make me more uncomfortable about the 2004 season, until I remember the glowing things he's said about Hiram Bocachica and Ramon Santiago, both the hackingest of the hacks. Abhorrent it is. That's what Yoda would say. English: noun/object, verb, adjective. Yodaspeak: adjective, noun/object, verb.

Oh, and would you look at this? We've already seen Melvin snipe at Mike Cameron now that he's gone, and though I agree that John Mabry sucked last year, does he really need to say "I love Mabes, but he needed to be in the lineup more than he was. He is a good hitter, but he had trouble pinch hitting"? Fellow Mariner fans, I give to you Robert Paul Melvin, magna cum laude graduate of the Philip Mason Garner School of Bridge Burning. Melvin's idol is Phil Garner, which we've let readers here know many times. I'll try to sum up Garner's career as a manager quickly here: had a year of beginner's luck with his first year in Milwaukee (1992, 92-70), much like Bob Brenly (ugh) in Arizona, except without Johnson, Schilling, and a World Series. Come on, a monkey could have managed that Arizona team to the World Series, let's be honest here. Garner then was fired in the middle of his eighth year with the Brewers, who had then racked up seven straight crappy seasons and really haven't gotten anywhere close to 1992 since. Garner then went to Detroit, had two crappy years, was canned after an 0-6 start in the third year, and managed to piss off and shame the Tiger organization. When Alan Trammell leaves the Tigers because he has a problem with the manager...you think Tram honestly wanted to leave the Tigers? He'd given a ton to that organization and I can only imagine the degree to which Garner rubbed him the wrong way. ...And this Phil Garner character is the managerial idol of your Seattle Mariner manager, Bob Melvin. You like?

Looks like what the Mariners got in return for Jeff Cirillo isn't turning out to be much. Here's to hoping it results in no wasted roster spots, but I know better. What did I laugh at? "In one of the earliest Seattle cuts in memory, before this year's scheduled first round of roster trims, (Wiki) Gonzalez was sent to the minor-league side before yesterday's workout." Now I don't care if later in the article, Melvin says he was injured. In all actuality, "injured" is probably what Wiki told Melvin about his condition. When I heard a San Diego beat writer on KJR calling Wiki the laziest player in baseball, it gave me all I needed to know about this guy. I think "injured" probably means something along the lines of "my lazy ass doesn't want to work out." If they're stupid enough, the Mariners will baby him and cater to his every need. Again, here's to hoping that doesn't happen. In the boxscore at the bottom of the article, note that Matt Stairs went 1-for-4 for the Royals. Yes, good old power-hittin' Matt Stairs, a great bat off the bench. Sure, he's no Harold Baines. But Dave Hansen is no Matt Stairs.

Oh yeah, just when I thought I had been mostly done with my work for the week (cartography presentation and four-page paper turned in Thursday, isotopes presentation with four-page abstract due Thursday), I forgot I had an isotopes math assignment due Friday, but luckily it's due at 5p, or I'd be screwed. There's definitely going to be some team collaboration, that's for damn sure, because I don't know what the hell I'm doing on the assignment.

The Canuck recap for the Minnesota game will be up later today, as will some hopefully decent thought on the Bertuzzi open-ended suspension (which I think is open-ended both because of the severity, and because of the impending labor impasse). For now, I refer you all to Joe Tasca, who has probed through the sports pages across Canada and the States, and asks some interesting questions regarding the Bertuzzi scenario, and hockey violence in general.

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Thursday, March 11, 2004


To deserve this.

What have I?
What have I?
What have I?

Since you went away I've been hanging around
I've been wondering why I'm feeling down
You went away, it should make me feel better
but I don't know how I'm gonna get through
How I'm gonna get through


Nothing like quoting the great Pet Shop Boys track "What Have I Done to Deserve This?" to sum up some of our feelings about this current Seattle Mariners ballclub. And let's not forget the unsung hero of that great PSB track, the late Dusty Springfield.

Let's recap for a second here...

Three of the spots on the M's 25-man roster will likely go to...
Quinton McCracken, Hiram Bocachica, and Ramon Santiago.

Well, there's a reason why most of the M's blogosphere is in a pissed off mood this offseason. I just named 3 of those big reasons why. But remember, they are nice guys who will try their best!

And hell, with the 56 Little League days the M's have scheduled at Safeco Field this season, they have to teach the little kids a lesson. "Winning isn't important, just as long as you stuff yourself silly with garlic fries and an overpriced Mariner helmet sundae!"

In better news...

Congratulations to Eastern Washington for FINALLY making the NCAA Tournament. The 4th time was a charm for the Eagles. The country will know who Alvin Snow is next week. He's one of the guys Pac-10 schools such as Washington and Washington State forgot about. But he don't need no stinkin' Pac-10 school to prove that he's a Division 1 player.

The Eagles should get at least a #14 seed, but I have a feeling that they will probably get a #15 seed instead. Whatever happens, happens. Eastern is dancing. Some things are right with the world.

Notice I said "some things"...

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Wednesday, March 10, 2004


From today's "Mariners game at a glance" blurb in the P-I...

"Quinton McCracken is our fourth outfielder." -- manager Bob Melvin.

We knew it would probably be true for the most part, but (all together now)...


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I know Dead Reckoning linked to this Tribune article were the main headline was about Chris Snelling painting, and we later learn that he paints abstracts and thinks they're crap. I'm sure he can paint a better abstract than I can write one (especially of the scientific variety).

But did you see the other bullcrap in the article?

Some notes from Bob Melvin...
-- On [Ramon] Santiago: "I didn't realize he had such a tremendous upside. He's a switch-hitter with great range at shortstop. He's fun to watch."

-- On [Hiram] Bocachica: "We've seen him take part in drills as an infielder and an outfielder, and he's as good as anyone other than our starters at any position he's worked."

Forgive me if I'm short-sighted in saying this, but I think the same thing about these guys: CRAP. Crappity crappity crap crap crap. It may be the worst crap since R Kelly's doo doo butter from Chappelle's Show last year, and at least I could laugh at that. Having crap on your favorite team sucking up two roster spots (it's possible with these two guys) is not the least bit funny.

I've seriously thought a few times this offseason about not even caring about whether the Mariners do well or do crappy this year, and I've subsequently thought about hoping the Mariners go down in flames just so that a majority of the Mariner blogosphere will be vindicated.

I really shouldn't have to think about that, but in a lot of ways, it's out of my hands.

What did we...
What did we...
What did we do to deserve this?

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Todd Bertuzzi has had his hearing at the NHL offices in Toronto and the decision on his fate will come down on Thursday. The penalty will be for a verrrry long time. I can't believe I hadn't stumbled on it earlier, but Alanah and Jeff at Vancouver Canucks Op Ed have a good thing going. Today, they post that Todd Bertuzzi is solely responsible for hurting Steve Moore. But he wasn't solely responsible for all the crap that built up to that incident. They manage to touch on some factors that I'd never thought about, like why the two players were even on the ice in that stage of the game in the first place.

Also in the realm of bad, I'll just advise everybody that if you come within sight of Karim Garcia, just drop everything and run really far, really fast. After giving statements to police regarding a charge of battery against a pizza delivery man (who probably ragged on Garcia and Spencer because they're with the Mets instead of the Yankees now, haha), Garcia managed to hit a batting practice homer that conked a 60-year-old man in the head. Later, teammate Jose Reyes hooked a foul ball that shattered the right rear window of Garcia's Hummer. All of this happened in the same day.

Oh yeah, something I forgot to mention earlier...who the hell decided to give Hiram Bocachica number 44? I swear if he makes it on the roster and we have to see that guy wearing 44, we should all stage a massive puking session at the bronze hole-in-glove statue by the northwest gate at the Safe.

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Don't forget about Eastern Washington.

They're playing tonight in their 4th consecutive Big Sky Championship Game, but this year, they're at Reese Court in Cheney. The last three seasons, they've had to play the BSCG in Northridge, Calif (Cal St.-Northridge), Bozeman, Mont. (Montana St's homefloor, but lost to Montana), and Ogden, Utah (Weber State). Why the Eagle love? Well, I went to school at EWU for a year (2000-2001). Wasn't impressed with the academics at EWU, but the athletic department was a lot of fun (I worked in the AD while I was there).

Eastern will play Northern Arizona in what should be a good game. The game is on ESPN 2 tonight at 6 pm Pacific, 8 pm Central. I'm not sure who's going to call the game, but I'm putting my money on Terry Gannon and Doug Gottlieb.

If Eastern wins tonight, they win the Big Sky and earn an automatic bid into the NCAA Tournament. If they do make it into the dance, they're at least a 14 seed IMO. Not to be biased, but if they can get the right matchup in the first round, say, they play against a team such as Cincinnati, they have a chance to pull off the upset.

And let's be honest, to get 3 teams from the state of Washington would be something, wouldn't it?

Go Eagles!

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I'm just going to go ahead and post the info here, since I haven't gotten a lot of feedback from anybody I had invited into this league over a week ago:

Yahoo Fantasy Baseball
League ID#: 7960
Password: howieblows

So far, it's David and I, Peter from Mariners Musings, Jeff from Fire Bavasi, Corey from Mariner Optimist, and Dave from Dave's Mariners Blog. That's 6 teams. I hope to get at least 14 teams in this league. Mariners bloggers ONLY.

Live draft is on Saturday, March 20 at 5:30 Pacific, 7:30 Central, 8:30 Eastern. If you can't make it, join anyway and prerank like hell.

So there you go.

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I probably should just sleep now for the good of my schoolwork rather than get worked up over the Mariners, but I had to get to this at the very least...

Gotta love Bob Melvin busting Ben Davis' balls already about calling the game. I can't vouch for what happened on the Jose Guillen homer, but I have a few things to say about the Vlad Guerrero home run, which did make it onto SportsCenter. Melvin basically says Thornton should be blowing people down with his fastball, and we know it's his plus pitch and everything, but this is Vlad Guerrero, for God's sake. Your chances of blowing a fastball past Vlad aren't too good for anyone, I don't care if it's the spring. So Big Ben calls for the slider. In his words, "[n]obody covers the plate better than Vlad. He's the best in the league by far. You don't want to back up pitches on him, so after he fouled off a slider, I had Matt throw a change. It was a good pitch, down low. Vlad just went and got it." Davis gets busted later in the article for the Guillen home run, which I didn't see video of, but if it was a high change, then I guess maybe Ben should take some heat for that, but not in the media, because airing your dirty laundry in the media is juvenile. Back to the Vlad homer, did any of you see that? The ball was at his shoetops. It may have been lower than the homer I'm thinking of that Garret Anderson hit off Kazu Sasaki. It was a very very good pitch, and like I said, you're not gonna blow fastballs past Vlad. I remember one homer in particular, when Vlad hacked at an eye-level fastball from Randy Johnson and parked it over the CF fence at the BOB. That was amazing.

Hmm, they've wasted a roster spot already on Quinton McCracken, why not waste another on Hiram Bocachica? Why does my mind think Jose Offerman may actually be better than this guy? Yes, we're sickly reminded also that a roster spot has also been wasted on Ron Villone.

Yeah, I know I headlined this as a baseball post, but hooray for the Seahawks re-signing Darrell Jackson. This guy dropped balls like nobody's business last year, but when the guy is on, it's just sickening. I'm getting more and more juiced for the next Seahawk season. Could you imagine if they went 8-0 at home again? It's a lot to ask but man, it'd be awesome. Bobby Taylor has flown out of Seattle to visit with other teams, but former Cowboy and Dolphin safety Brock Marion is in town. These are big names, folks. The Seahawks aren't messing around. Though the free-agent signing period has been short, they've had a whirlwind of an offseason, and a possibly perfect one, according to David Locke. Oh yeah, I have to bring up the fact that Randall Godfrey bolted the Seahawks' coop to sign with the Chargers. You may remember Godfrey for missing the tackle in the backfield on Ahman Green when the Packers went for it on 4th-and-1 from the Seattle 3 behind 20-13 with just under 11 minutes left in regulation. Green scored on the next play to tie the game at 20 and close out the Packer scoring drive, which ate 6:56 off the clock and managed to infuriate me greatly, especially when you realize that the Panthers went to the damn Super Bowl.


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Well, I haven't had this feeling in a while...

The Canucks made four moves at the deadline --

-- trading Martin Grenier and the rights to RJ Umberger to the Rangers for Martin Rucinsky

-- trading a 2005 3rd-round draft pick to Columbus for Geoff Sanderson

-- trading a 7th round draft pick in 2004 to Pittsburgh for Marc Bergevin

-- trading Rene Vydareny to Montreal for Sylvain Blouin

-- trading Ryan Ready to Saint Louis for Sergei Varlamov

Deadline moves!! I can't believe it! A team I'm rooting for is actually making itself better at the deadline! I'm going to get that cool rush of a feeling when I listen to tomorrow's game and hear all the new names and stuff. I'll have that to hold on to while I try to forget that one member of the front line will be gone for a loooooong time.

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Tuesday, March 09, 2004


The page where I read up on all my Canuck material refreshed a lot sooner than usual today, probably as a direct result of the Todd Bertuzzi incident. Five of Vancouver's hockey columnists all were put into print this morning.

-- From Elliott Pap of the Vancouver Sun:
The Vancouver Canucks not only sent a message to their lame-duck general manager Monday, they sent one to the rest of the National Hockey League.

The message? The team, as constituted, can no longer be considered a Stanley Cup contender.

In their biggest test to date, and with first place in their division on the line, the Canucks were humiliated 9-2 by a Colorado Avalanche team that was supposedly coming apart at the seams.
The Canucks' big line of Naslund, Bertuzzi and Brendan Morrison failed miserably to get the job done when the game was on the line. Bertuzzi was minus-3 with no shots in the first period. Naslund and Morrison were both minus-2 in the first and were shotless as well.

-- From Gordon McIntyre of the Vancouver Province:
"We all feel bad about a fellow player getting hurt," Markus Naslund said. "It's a bad feeling to see someone get seriously injured like that."

The captain said he spoke to Bertuzzi after the game.

"Todd feels awful, he's very sorry. I know it might not mean much right now, but as weird as it seems, I don't think that was Todd's intent.

"He obviously gave him a sucker-punch, but he feels really awful about it right now."

Brad May, whose two goals and two fights with Avs giant Peter Worrell were lost in the blood-letting and final score, defended his buddy Bertuzzi's motives.

"Think what you want, but Todd Berutzzi is a good man," May said. "He tried to do the right thing, without a doubt the right thing.

"It went sour."
Avs defenceman Derek Morris didn't hide his feelings.

"It's the cheapest thing I've ever seen," he said. "It's fine if you want to jump a guy straight on, but you don't punch a guy from behind."

-- From Iain MacIntyre of the Vancouver Province:
In an incident more sickening than the dangerous blind-side hit three weeks ago that incited it, Canucks' Todd Bertuzzi knocked out Colorado Avalanche forward Steve Moore with a sucker-punch Monday in the third period of Vancouver's 9-2 disaster.

The gloved right hook, revenge for Moore's reckless shoulder to the head against Canuck captain Markus Naslund on Feb. 16, left the 25-year-old Avalanche player unconscious and bleeding profusely.
[Moore] appeared to be unconscious Monday by the time he fell face-first on to the ice with Bertuzzi on his back. His condition was serious enough that players from both teams soon ceased other altercations, allowing medical staff to attend Moore.

Both Avalanche trainers and Canuck medical trainer Mike Burnstein rushed to Moore, and a doctor and stretcher were quickly summoned. Moore was carried from the ice, his head and spine immobilized. The Avalanche reported only that Moore was conscious as he left the ice. He spent the night in hospital.

-- From Steve Ewen of the Vancouver Province:
Tony Granato was very pointed in his comments following the Monday night's shenanigans between his Colorado Avalanche and Vancouver Canucks.

Very pointed, seemingly, at Canuck coach Marc Crawford.
"It's a division game, a game for first place, a game where a team was up 5-0 and obviously something was said on their side to instigate, to initiate, the physical part of it," said Granato.

"When we're up 5-0, there's no need for us to get involved in something like that. Three or four times, we stood our ground like we had to and then that [Bertuzzi] thing happened and it put an exclamation mark on what they were trying to accomplish.

"Something was said on their side to provoke that. I don't think you go out and start fighting for the fun of it and having your goalie [Johan Hedberg] challenge the other goalie [David Aebischer] from centre ice [during the Bertuzzi-Moore melee]."

-- From Gary Kingston of the Vancouver Sun:
When the Avalanche buried the Canucks with a five-goal first-period outburst, Vancouver spent much of the rest of the game apparently trying to collect on the "bounty" Brad May had put on Moore.
"I didn't appreciate it and I'm going to stand up for my players," said [Avalanche coach] Granato, who had calmed considerably after the game. "He's responsible for their players and their actions. I didn't like the body language, the way he was standing there with ..."

He stopped himself at that point but Colorado defenceman Derek Morris spoke his piece.

"The worst thing about it is that their coach is over there laughing about it," said Morris. "That just shows the class of that guy."

Morris said he lost considerable respect for Bertuzzi.

"It was disgusting," said Morris. "There's no other word for that. I haven't seen something like that in my seven years in hockey. The Brashear incident [then Canuck Donald Brasher (sic) being whacked on the head by Marty McSorely's (sic, again) stick], but this was pre-meditated.

"I can understand them challenging a guy, but a premeditated act like that is unacceptable. Their coach laughing about it is just as bad."

Oh yeah, I stayed up late and saw the hit. Yikes. It was absolutely vicious. Unfortunately, this won't be something easily forgotten, as the Canucks face Colorado six times every year. It also won't be forgotten because Todd Bertuzzi, though quite big and strong, will be even more of a marked man the next time he steps out onto the ice, regardless of what team the Canucks are playing that night.

[Edit ~9:25a -- I'm a sick man, even in this situation, I couldn't resist a musical reference. If you hadn't noticed already, look at the headline, and then look around here.]

[Edit ~9:50a -- Even more thoughts from Off-Wing Opinion...

From Vancouver Canucks Op Ed...

There are many good things we could say about our team - and even many good things could be said about Bertuzzi himself in another conversation - but not right now. Because right now we just don't care. Last night Bertuzzi accomplished something that years of bad teams never could: he sunk our team pride.

The worst thing in all of this is most definitely what has happened to Steve Moore. We just pray that he is going to be okay (*we've heard nothing at this point). But Todd Bertuzzi hurt more than Steve Moore on Monday night; we also felt that punch in our own way, and we're not proud Canuck fans today.

From Canucks Corner:
This kind of incident is impossible for the team to ignore. Never mind the near psychopathic lack of respect for his fellow player. Consider the selfishness he displayed. Talk about taking a great season and tanking it! His teammates were counting on Todd Bertuzzi, hockey player, in the wars ahead and he's let them down.

He made the league look bad, he made the city look bad, he made his team look bad, and he made himself look... Well, words fail.]

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Well, that was quick.

Two hours after the Colorado-Vancouver debacle, Todd Bertuzzi was suspended indefinitely, without pay. The NHL will have a hearing on Wednesday morning in Toronto to decide how long the suspension will be.

Bertuzzi, Naslund's linemate and close friend, punched Moore in the head from behind while skating at center ice. The 245-pound Canucks winger then jumped on Moore's back and drove him face first into the ice, knocking him unconscious.

"Obviously, I think we all feel bad about someone getting hurt," Naslund said. "Todd feels awful about it and is very sorry. I know it might not mean much right now. As weird as it seems, I don't think that was Todd's intentions. He obviously gave him a sucker punch but he feels really awful about it right now."

I hope he feels awful. I'm a Bertuzzi fan, but there's simply no place for that crap in sports. He's one of the best players in hockey, but unfortunately, he may go down in history with the same fate as Kermit Washington. Washington was the player who suckerpunched Rudy Tomjanovich back in 1977.

David says it will be a while before he wears his Bertuzzi shirt. Well, I don't have a Bertuzzi shirt, but I'm definitely not going to play "The Todd Bertuzzi Song" for a while, that's for sure.

The Canucks are in trouble. If they go into the playoffs with Dan Cloutier as the #1 guy in net, they're in big time trouble. Especially if their 1st round opponent is the Dallas Stars. Yikes.

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You know what? It's been a while since I've rooted for a team that built themselves back up to almost take first place, and then choke horribly. This isn't Sonics-losing-to-Nuggets bad, but it's all the bad I want to have for a while.

It started out badly enough. Milan Hejduk scored just short of seven minutes in. You see, the thing about all of this is that the Avalanche had gotten their asses handed to them 7-1 by Calgary the day before. The Canucks were well rested and played like absolute crap.

So it was 1-0 until Steve Konowalchuk scored at 14:40 to make it 2-0. A mere 1:39 later, the Avalanche led 5-0. Boos hailed down from all reaches of the Garage. Dan Cloutier had some trouble on the second goal, and an intermission reporter said Cloutier could probably have been blamed for the third and fourth goals. The bottom line was that Cloutier gave up four goals on ten shots and was pulled.

Brad May tried to provide some spark late in the first period, going after Peter Worrell (both would be at each other for most of the game). That's right, May at 6'1" was going at Worrell (6'7"). This helped a little bit, as May helped inject a little life into the crowd in the second period, tallying his 4th goal of the year. Assisting on the goal was Trevor Linden, who finally has the all-time Canuck scoring lead, passing Stan Smyl. The fans gave a long standing ovation, and even the play-by-play guys confessed to getting goosebumps. Linden's games-without-scoring streak had reached 12. May scored again 52 seconds later, and Linden got another point.

In a span from late in the first period to the middle of the 2nd period, the Canucks gave the Avalanche six power plays in a row, twice involving Johan Hedberg putting the puck into the stands (delay of game), the second of which led to a Derek Morris goal. Brad May himself taunted David Aebischer after the second goal and was sent to the box for five minutes, effectively squashing any momentum the two Vancouver goals may have built up.

And just when I didn't think it could get any worse...
The account that I got from the radio guys (I haven't seen it yet) was that Todd Bertuzzi was trying to challenge Steve Moore, who wanted none of it. Then Bertuzzi suckerpunched Moore in either the back of the head or the side of the face. Moore was knocked out by the punch, because he didn't have a reflex to break his fall with his hands. He fell to the ice, and Bertuzzi landed on top of Moore and drove his head into the ice. Bertuzzi can be a hothead and everything, but sheesh. How bad is this? Tom Larscheid (color commentator) said that this was as bad as the Marty McSorley hit on Donald Brashear, if you all remember how bad that was. I think the RCMP got involved. There's definitely a suspension here, no doubt about it. John Shorthouse remembered one of Bertuzzi's first boneheaded decisions in the NHL, involving him and Scott Parker, then of the Avalanche.

A strange announcement was passed along after the game saying that the Canucks had scheduled a 9am press conference for the next morning. The radio personalities all reacted surprised to this, saying that if there was a trade (deadline 12p PT tomorrow), something would have surely leaked, because that's the way it always is with trades. Larscheid half-jokingly suggested that GM Brian Burke may have finally have his well-deserved new contract.

As for the Bertuzzi incident, postgame host Dan Russell said that one could suspect Bertuzzi might take the Naslund situation into his own hands. Shorthouse said Bertuzzi shouldn't have nailed Moore if he wanted no part of a fight. Larscheid said the Moore hit on Naslund was nowhere near as blatant and awful as Bertuzzi's hit on Moore. Tom also said that it sickened and saddened him that this happened, and he prays that Moore will be okay. Further describing the scene, he said that trainers and doctors were immediately screamed at for their attention, and the stretcher came out followed by Moore's leaving on the ambulance. Tom also said that he loves athletic competition and hockey because of the physical toughness and perseverance it demands, but you don't want to see cheap shots and players losing focus and taking up personal vendettas.

Brad May had half-jokingly suggested before the last COL/VAN game that Steve Moore had a bounty on his head. The last COL/VAN game passed without much recourse or fighting. Tonight's game sure didn't, and the NHL might be looking at May's comments differently now.

Since I don't feel like phrasing the rest of my notes from the postgame show, I'll give it to you in raw form...
dan: feels like way more than one loss
tom: an aberration, or circle this date and say "this is when it all fell apart"?
john: need inspiration? look at COL who got whooped 7-1 the day before
tom: poor trevor

Looks like the Canucks just piddled away the division and a top-three seed. They dug their own grave.

I'm really embarrassed. It may be a while before I'm sporting the navy blue Canucks shirt with "BERTUZZI 44" on the back.

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Monday, March 08, 2004


David will definitely have more on this later, but man, after seeing that hit Todd Bertuzzi put on Steve Moore, I have a feeling that Bertuzzi is going to get a long suspension.

You may remember a few weeks ago when Moore knocked out Marcus Naslund, giving him a concussion that knocked him out for 3 games. Tonight, Bertuzzi decided to get revenge.

The game was ugly from the start. Avs won 9-2, but that's not the real story here.

Bertuzzi punched Moore in the head, then drove his face into the ice. Moore left the GM Place ice on a stretcher. I hate Colorado, but this is not acceptable at all.

Bertuzzi is going to get a long suspension. Knowing Colin Campbell, you can expect it. I don't think he'll get a 21-game suspension like the Capitals' Dale Hunter did in 1993 when he laid a vicious hit on then-Islanders forward Pierre Turgeon. But I see at least a 10-game suspension.

With the 9-2 loss tonight, the Canucks pretty much pissed away their shot at the Northwest Division crown. And with the inevitable Bertuzzi suspension coming, who knows what's going to happen with this hockey team.

The trade deadline is tomorrow. The Capitals are dealing. Olaf Kolzig anyone?

Again, David will have more on the Canucks later. What an ugly night in Vancouver.

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Boo hoo, Gary Sheffield got hurt. I'm really crushed about this.

But as David said, this means that Magglio Ordonez is just a phone call away from being a New York Yankee. Don't ever put anything past Mr. George Steinbrenner.

Can we please stop it with the Ken Griffey, Jr. rumors??? He's not coming back to Seattle anytime soon, and I don't want him back. That's not to say that I don't like the guy. But what I am saying is that he's 34 years old and very injury prone. It's not like the Mariners need to get any older here.

I had a chance to watch the Angels-Mariners ESPN spring training game today. Yes, it's only spring training. But the first few innings reminded me of the last couple of seasons. 2 men on, so what? I still feel comfortable saying that Raul Ibanez is going to be the worst free agent signing of the offseason. Hell, he already is.

I'm thinking that the M's can win anywhere from 80-90 games. I'm guessing 86 right now, which would be good enough for third place in the West. Yes, it's amazing how my optimism for this ballclub can have its will sucked out by some goofy bald headed bastard, i.e. Buzzie's Baby Boy. You know it's sad but true.

In College Basketball news......

It's Championship Week. Do yourself a favor and watch as many conference tournament games as you can. That's my advice to you. I'm going to do it, and you should too.

Well, Washington is finally a tournament team in Joe Lunardi's Bracketology. It doesn't mean much, but Lunardi has UW as the #12 seed in the East region, going up against defending national champion #5 seed Syracuse.

At least ONE #12 seed wins in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. If Washington is a #12 seed, (yes, I think that's way too low of a seed for them) watch out. I sure as hell wouldn't want to play the Huskies right now.

But just watch the NCAA Tournament committee screw Washington, because they are a West Coast team. Well, if that's the case, then the Huskies might as well win the Pac-10 Tournament. I'm not a Huskies fan at all, but the UW's resurgence this year is one hell of a story.

It's only just begun, folks.

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Seriously, what's the first thought that pops up in your mind when you see that Gary Sheffield might be out three months depending on whether or not there's a torn ligament in his right thumb? The post headline is what I think. I don't know who the hell the Yankees would give up for him (or maybe it'd just be cash), but I think there's more of a chance of Ordonez going to the Bronx than there is of Ken Griffey Jr showing up in a Mariner uniform again. Keeping Griffey out of a Mariner uniform is probably one of the few instances in which Howard Lincoln's hard-on for hating superstar players might do the Mariners good.

At first, the Yankees thought Saturday's injury was just a bruise. But after an MRI exam Sunday, the team decided to send him to Dr. Melvin Rosenwasser, a hand expert in New York.

"Now I'm officially worried about it," general manager Brian Cashman said Monday.

Sheffield's worst-case scenario would be surgery, and best-case scenario would be a return for spring training games, according to Cashman. Sheffield downplayed the injury, describing it as "nothing major."

Man, talk about the most obvious best-to-worst-case scenario you could think of for this situation.

Asked whether he were worried, Yankees owner George Steinbrenner responded: "Sure I am." But he also added: "I'm sure he's going to be OK."

Sheffield said he aggravated an injury from last season, when he was hurt July 10 during a headfirst slide in Chicago.

"I stole a base, third base, and I kind of jarred it a little bit," he said. "From that day on my thumb was sore. I've been treating it since that time, and it's just starting to get better, and I banged it up again. It just feels like somebody jammed you with a pitch. The next time you go out in the outfield and come back, it hurts like that. Nothing more. The swelling has gone down a lot."

Cashman said the Yankees were not aware of the hand injury when they agreed to the deal with Sheffield, who passed a physical.

I've got a suggestion for a rehabilitation method for Gary Sheffield. It's called basketball. If they can get Sheff and three other guys to bite it while playing basketball, they can field a basketball team. Better yet, Steinbrenner will institute rules that say they still have to play even after being injured via basketball. ACL injury? Too bad. Broken leg? Bah humbug. Cracked ribs? Tape 'em up and hustle out there.

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Bob Finnigan has an article about some Griffey speculation, but nobody cares about that because Larry Stone has a candid peek inside the mind of Ken Griffey Jr. There's some happy, some mad, and some perplexity, as is always the case with Junior.

John Hickey has the P-I article, with a decent start from Freddy Garcia, a retirement from Norm Charlton, a great showing by Travis Blackley, and the fact that Bob Melvin has probably seen enough of both Ramon Santiago and Hiram Bocachica that he'll probably break camp with those guys. God help us all.

Larry LaRue brings us an in-depth look at George Sherrill, and his dieting habits. Sherrill had a bad ninth inning the other day, and considering that there's two older lefty hacks ahead of him on the depth chart, it's conceivable (though maybe a longshot this early) to think he may have punched his ticket out of Peoria sooner than planned. Sherrill apparently is 6-feet and 215 pounds, cutting down from 240. In all likelihood, my most fit stage of my life was as a ghastly lean 141-pound wrestler as a high school junior. It was kind of hard to cut weight and not be crazy about it. I had a teammate that could eat a Little Caesars meatzza (they're damn good) the night before a match and still manage to get to weight and have energy left for the match. Meanwhile, I was sitting back trying to eat rice and non-fried bland crap. Tasteless, and I had no energy left on the mat. It didn't matter anyway because I sucked at wrestling to begin with. Anyway, the bottom line is, don't spit into a bottle after you had orange juice and some vitamin C, because that's just way too much acid to be having in your stomach. I won't go further with the story, don't worry. Young and dumb, I was. Older and a little less dumb, I type before you now. By the way, Vision Quest may be one of the five worst movies ever made.

Lastly, I had posted earlier about my stadium-related cartography project. Now stored over at Sports and B's other stuff is the big-ass exported JPEG (sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't) of the project, which is the version I have saved as of two hours ago. The only real thing compromised by the Corel-to-JPEG transfer is the smooth gradient of the background fountain fill, which instead comes out as a few bands. Anyway, hope you like it. Century Gothic font reigns supreme.

[Edit ~5:15p -- Turns out the project isn't due until tomorrow. However, the prof suggested I cut down the scale bar even more and color the different balls/pucks, which I didn't think I could do originally, but it wasn't that hard. I just tweaked an ellipse, filled it with the appropriate color, and then buried it behind the unfilled stuff. Anyway, the new layout is linked, and I gave it its own page, because sometimes there's trouble if just the photo is linked itself. Geocities is screwy like that. Enjoy.]

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Sunday, March 07, 2004


Since I was bored as hell (yet again), I watched ESPN's "Dream Job".

They had the contestants in teams of 2. There was this one team that had a guy who's currently going to Stanford. The other guy said "how about that Stanford undefeated season?"

Al Jaffe, the man who hires all of the Sportscenter anchors, told them that nobody cares where he went to school, yada, yada, yada. That he has to be "objective."

Say, now tell me how in the hell can Stuart Scott get away with his "Tar Heel" bullcrap during Sportscenter? Rick Fox with the jumper there, TAR HEEL!!! Same goes for Scott Van Pelt when they have Maryland highlights. Fear the turtle!

Do I pay attention to these things too much? Maybe. But I'm a journalism major. Sue me.

Basically, the "Dream Job" winner is going to get the "honor" of hosting the late night West Coast Sportscenter with Neil Everett. YAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!

God, please bring back the ESPN of my childhood. You know, the one with Bob Ley hosting Sportscenter on a nightly basis. It would be very appreciated.



(Nice hustle, David, on that Marquette link)

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So I have this map due tomorrow at 5p for my computer cartography class. It's being done in CorelDraw11. Basically, I'm putting in little symbols to denote publicly-funded stadiums that have gone up since 1990. I'm putting in four levels of dots/circles to denote how much money one city or metropolitan area has spent on constructing these stadiums.

So I'd done a bunch of Google searching and stuff, I'd been using a bunch of data from Ballparks.com, which is great, but maybe not for this project, because it didn't always have a public/private financing breakdown for the stadium construction.

Then I stumbled on a gold mine.

I didn't know that Marquette has a Sports Law Department, which quite frankly, sounds very awesome. If I wasn't a geology major, and was about four years younger and lived in Wisconsin, I'd totally jump on the possibility of sports law.

Anyway, what I got from them were four handy-dandy PDF files. Basically these files gave me the percentage for public funding for all of the arenas that have gone up. If you have some time or even just a thirst for knowledge, see how this checks out for baseball, football, basketball, and hockey.

This stuff helped me a ton. I laid it all out on an Excel spreadsheet. With minimal number crunching, I'll give you the top five cities for public contribution to professional sports stadiums...

1) Seattle ~$703.34M (counting Safeco Field and Seahawks Stadium...I made KeyArena a renovation as opposed to a new facility, so it doesn't count toward that dollar figure, though it would have tacked on $74M more)

2) Cincinnati ~$672.9M (Great American Ball Park, and Paul Brown Stadium...if you find out how far the football stadium went over budget, you just might soil yourself)

3) Houston ~$656.92M (Minute Maid Park, Reliant Stadium, Toyota Center)

4) Atlanta ~$643.285M (Turner Field, Georgia Dome, Philips Arena -- Turner's funding depends on where you look...I saw somewhere that said it was privately funded through the Atlanta Olympic Committee)

5) Phoenix ~$467.15M (Bank One Ballpark, America West Arena, Glendale Arena...yes, I counted Glendale, and yes, the Coyotes are now playing in their second arena since they moved from Winnipeg before the 1996-97 season)

Hopefully my map can whoop some booty. You should see the little baseball, basketball, football, and hockey (stick blade and puck) symbols I made with CorelDraw11. It's beeyatchin'.

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But I'll list 20 songs that are currently in my head, i.e. what I'm listening to right now.

1. Metallica "Creeping Death"
2. The Darkness "Love Is Only A Feeling"
3. Incubus "Beware! Criminal"
4. The Cult "Fire Woman"
5. Iron Maiden "2 Minutes to Midnight"
6. Foo Fighters "Darling Nikki"
7. Rush "Ghost Rider"
8. Jerry Cantrell "Solitude"
9. Godsmack "Re-Align"
10. Finger Eleven "Slow Chemical"
11. Megadeth "Peace Sells"
12. Phil Collins "Something Happened On The Way To Heaven"
13. Disturbed "Rise"
14. Korn "Y'all Want A Single"
15. Tom Petty "So You Want To Be A Rock and Roll Star"
16. Queensryche "Della Brown"
17. Black Label Society "Funeral Bell"
18. AC/DC "Shoot To Thrill"
19. Live "Lightning Crashes"
20. Offspring "Gone Away"

In Mariners news......

Quinton McCracken is the team's DH if Edgar Martinez can't stay healthy. That should give fans nightmares.

Oh, but hey, the M's sold 110,000 single game tickets in the first two hours yesterday, so it can't be all that bad, can it?

So let it be written. Most Seattle fans are sheep waiting to get suckered in once again.

I'm Creeping Death!!!!!!

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Well, since I've been busy lately, and it's late at night, and I haven't read the Times article for Sunday yet, I'll post what's on my mind...

First off, since my Win98 computer with a Pentium II chip never got into the mp3 revolution, and I haven't gotten around to doing the mp3 thing and being able to randomize and do the "random mp3's -- list what plays no matter what it is" game, I'll just list the CDs that are in the two little cases that I take along with me in my backpack along with an AC adaptor so I can mooch off the school's power even more instead of having to use batteries...

1) the Black Crowes, The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion
2) the Cult, Sonic Temple
3) Megadeth, Cryptic Writings
4) U2, All That You Can't Leave Behind
5) Korn, Untouchables
6) the Police, Synchronicity
7) Van Halen, For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge
8) U2, War
9) Mitch Hedberg, Mitch All Together
10) the Police, Zenyatta Mondatta
11) Korn, self-titled
12) Disturbed, Believe
13) Audioslave, self-titled
14) Second Coming, self-titled
15) Queensryche, Tribe
16) Metallica, Ride the Lightning
17) Iron Maiden, Brave New World
18) Foo Fighters, One By One
19) Black Label Society, Stronger Than Death
20) Rush, Vapor Trails
21) Goodness, self-titled
22) Queensryche, Operation:Livecrime
23) Korn, Life is Peachy

Okay, so I may have been on a Police/U2/Korn kick.

Secondly, Baseball Prospectus 2004 finally showed up in my mailbox on Friday afternoon. I went straight to the player profiles of all questionable Mariner acquisitions this offseason and was highly entertained. I thought the size of a page was going to be like that of a World Almanac or one of those Information Please books, but the size of BP 2004 is about the size of a normal collegiate textbook, except mine is paperback. The price at Amazon is just gangbusters for the amount of info you're getting. As far as I'm concerned, it's worth the price just for the use of "the Ugueto effect" as mentioned on page 8. Hilarious. Good job by Derek, David, and everyone involved in the making of BP 2004.

Thirdly, you know those Nike commercials where they splice their athletes into other sports? Michael Vick and Brian Urlacher play for the Avalanche. Lance Armstrong is a boxer. Andre Agassi steals Bill Mueller's spot and plays third for the Red Sox. Marion Jones is a gymnast doing a vault, before which she probably told everyone she'd win five gold medals and afterward she probably only won three (can you tell I don't like her?). Serena Williams is shown playing volleyball. Bottom line is, these commercials need to get yanked the hell off the air. Not only are they dumb, they creep the hell out of me.

Fourthly, I've only seen five minutes of this ridiculous Dream Job show on ESPN. They did a segment called "Who Am I?" which I could try to describe, but it would be a train wreck. That train wreck, though, would not be worse than the show itself. I don't mind Kit Hoover and all, but do I want her on a panel telling critiquing people on how to be sports anchors? Would I want that from someone who was a Road Rules contestant, a Fox News entertainment reporter, and who has the most prominent cheekbones (seriously, take a look at them) in the business?

Fifthly, I played eleven years of organized baseball as a youngster and I love the game like it was my own son, but it pains me to know I'm more giddy for the next Seahawk season than I am for the next Mariner season. I smell two teams headed in opposite directions... I did some semi-research thing last summer where I tried to put into numbers the tendency that no two Seattle teams ever won on the same day, and how usually the crappy team would spoil the better team's day. Through the last few decades, though, there's usually been one good team, one average team, and one crappy team in Seattle. The Sonics losing tilt lately has cemented their crappiness, where a while ago we thought they may have had an outside shot at the eighth seed. The Mariners as they stand right now are slightly above average (thanks only to their first third of last year). A month of .500 ball, and they get that average slot. The Seahawks went to the playoffs and signed a top-notch defensive end to a steal of a contract compared to Jevon Kearse's deal, and they have an owner who will spend the money and people who have a plan for the team -- a good, thought-out plan.

Sixthly, congratulations to the Husky men's basketball team, who knocked off #1 Stanford and gave the remodeled Hec Ed a previously unknown atmosphere. For the first time in a long while, the Huskies have returned to the sports pages for something other than scandals. People will campaign for Mike Montgomery of Stanford for Pac-10 Coach of the Year, but quite honestly, this Husky men's basketball team was resurrected from the dead under Lorenzo Romar's watch. Something's gotta be said for that. I thought this team would eventually get back off the ground, but I didn't think it'd happen this quick. The only sad part of this is that my former baseball opponent Curtis Allen (he was Westgate, I was Warren Avenue) is graduating and won't be around for the upswing of the program.

Okay, I'm gonna read that Times article now, and hope there's something good.

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Though it took a while for the Canucks to get going, they eventually did what they're supposed to do against a team like Columbus -- take control of the game.

Johan Hedberg notched his second shutout in a row, stopping 32 shots, including 15 Columbus shots in the first period, part of which was a Blue Jacket flurry of nine shots before the Canucks got off their first shot (11:55 in) of the night. In six starts on Saturday nights this year, Johan Hedberg is 3-1-2, with the three wins being shutouts.

The Canucks had been fairly uptight to start, but Mattias Ohlund's tally for the first goal lightened the pressure a bit, and the Matt Cooke goal for the 2-0 lead really let off some steam.

As for what the announcers had to say, postgame host Jeff Patterson noted that the Canucks don't have a lot of laughers or pastings for games; they don't get easy wins very often. John Shorthouse responded by saying that the Canucks' last laugher (in Washington) was followed up by stumbling against the New York teams. Patterson noted that the Canucks did a nice job holding back NHL high-scorer Rick Nash. Shorthouse noted that Mattias Ohlund laid a stick on Nash all night and was able to neutralize him. He also noted that 12 of Ohlund's 52 career goals are game-winners, and that he has four goals in the last five games.

The Canucks are 36-20-8-4, one point back of Colorado (who has a game in hand), and they have 19 road wins.

Canuck goals: Mattias Ohlund (12, extending his career high), Matt Cooke (7), Markus Naslund (32, after some nifty Bertuzzi stickwork), Tyler Bouck (1, first as a Canuck; had two with the Coyotes previously)

Sunday night: Calgary at Colorado. A Colorado loss or tie will make Monday night's Colorado at Vancouver tilt a match for a share of the Northwest Division lead. Again. Except I don't think this one will be televised on ESPN2 (or ESPN). That and hopefully Joe Sakic doesn't reel off another hat trick.

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