Saturday, March 27, 2004


What a great way to end my viewing experience of tonight's Hockey Night in Canada doubleheader (though KOMO here stupidly wasn't able to air Colorado/Detroit). After seeing the latter half of the third period and a very entertaining overtime period between Ottawa and Toronto, I was treated to the Canucks' best and most spirited performance since the Todd Bertuzzi incident, though it was against a Marty Turco- and Sergei Zubov-less Dallas Stars team. Adding to the excitement tonight was the chance for Vancouver to crawl to within one point of Colorado for the Northwest Division lead, something I never thought they'd do again after getting skunked 9-2 in the game with the Bertuzzi incident.

It didn't start out too nice though. The Canucks had some decent chances and some good things going for them early in the first period, but that almost seemed deflated after the Brendan Morrow goal that made it 1-0 Dallas. Dan Cloutier had overplayed to his glove side and was sprawled across the ground to block a shot that never came as the puck was carried behind the net and given to Morrow, who had a wide open net. To top it off, the Canucks lost Bryan Allen with a right shoulder injury and lost Brad May in the first period, making the blueline crew extremely thin. The Canucks then tied it late in the first period on a Daniel Sedin redirect off from Marek Malik at the point. Pierre Turgeon beat Cloutier in the 2nd period by moving to Cloutier's glove side and tucking the puck in past Cloutier's left skate.

The Canucks were down 2-1 after the second period. The Canucks have quite a few points in the standings this year when trailing after the 3rd period (ties, OT losses, or wins). However, when leading after three periods, the Stars had gone 69 straight games (61-0-8, longest active streak, 3rd-longest ever) without losing.

The Canucks played hockey like a desperate team in the 3rd period, and it was much of a delight to see. They held the puck in the Dallas zone a lot, and kept hacking away (outshot Dallas 15-6 in the period) even though Ron Tugnutt was solid in goal and the Stars were very good at clogging up the shooting lanes (as demonstrated on a Vancouver power play when Markus Naslund camped with the puck looking for a place to center/shoot the puck, but couldn't).

The game turned when the Canucks took the puck in their own zone and the Stars' defense was caught napping. The outlet pass went to Canuck trade deadline acquisition Geoff Sanderson, who provided the most electrifying play of the night, blasting off toward the Dallas net and beating Ron Tugnutt high on the stick side to tie the game at 2. After many more chances but no goals, the game moved into overtime, where Brendan Morrison capped off the night on another breakaway, netting the Canucks their 11th overtime win of the year.

I didn't think much of Cloutier's gaffe on the first Dallas goal, but I'll let him slide because he stopped Rob DiMaio on a 3-on-1 break. A goal there and the Stars are up 3-1 and the game is probably over. It was a big stop at that point in the game.

This win formally clinched a playoff spot for the Canucks. Yippee!!!

Canuck goals: Daniel Sedin (17), Geoff Sanderson (16), Brendan Morrison (21)

And for the second and final time, here's the postgame notes that were fading in and out on my radio, trying to get CKNW 980AM Vancouver over the air, hundreds of miles away. Here come Jeff Patterson, John Shorthouse, and Tom Larscheid.

Jeff: could Vancouver leapfrog Colorado and turn the tables on the end of last year?
John: Colorado has scored 7 goals in last 6 games
Tom: Colorado has LA, Minnesota, Columbus, and Nashville left on their schedule; Vancouver has Phoenix, San Jose, Anaheim, and Edmonton
Jeff: NSH/COL game could be big for the Predators...might be their entire season
John: If Vancouver has a chance to dethrone Colorado, this game could be a big springboard. They could run the table
Jeff: For a team reeling up until an LA win, you have to take your hats off to Vancouver
Tom: Wild atmosphere in GM Place in 3rd period. The fans got their money's worth. It was the 80th consecutive sellout
Jeff: Cloutier had the nice stop. Sanderson and Morrison may have had the only breakaways of the game
John: It was like the Red Sea parted for Morrison
Jeff: Dallas will take the single point and play tomorrow in San Jose. They probably feel good about Tugnutt.
John: Dallas has been the hottest team in the league since January. They probably are not pleased with some of the front-line guys' performances tonight
Jeff: Vancouver Giants beat Kamloops in 5 tonight
John: Great job by coach and crew
Tom: They drew 8000 at Pacific Coliseum even GM Place selling out
John: Sanderson got the first star (though Sopel was great on the tape-to-tape pass), Brendan Morrow got the second star, and Dan Cloutier (3-on-1) got the third star
John: It was important to show they could compete with Dallas, and particularly for Cloutier, who was 3-9 against Dallas lifetime coming in; this game could be big down the road
Tom: 29th win for Clouts...one more means three 30-win seasons for Cloutier
Jeff: This week's practice time made well?
Tom: Yeah, but the power play still needs to get on track...maybe the Canucks need to go with something other than Naslund on the side boards
John: If the power play isn't on track, other teams can take liberties against your best players
Jeff: the Canucks were thin on defensemen
John: they went with 4 defensemen most of the night

Phoenix at Vancouver on Monday. The Canucks and Avalanche have four games apiece to play with Colorado up by one for the Northwest Division lead.

[Edit ~1:45a -- There's no way in hell anyone caught it, but I listed the person who Daniel Sedin redirected the puck from as (name!!!) rather than the correct Marek Malik. It is eerily reminiscent of the one time David Locke nailed the Hoochie Mama (Dwayne Price of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram) for saying that the Mavericks won a certain game, probably on the road against a west coast team, by the score of XXX-XX, meaning he didn't go back in and fill in the score. My mind says he had to have the rest of the article in before press time in the Central Time Zone and put the score in later, but I could be wrong.]

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I'll warm up to the Mariner stuff here with a slight diversion. I had stayed up again last night just to make sure CBC British Columbia didn't show the animated flyover pre-signoff montage with "O Canada" playing (to those wondering how closely I paid attention to this, the sequence now is photo montage => still ID with moving graphics => test pattern => snow/static). Before I made sure of that, the channel was airing a late night movie, like it seems to usually do. The movie last night was some movie with Tom Cavanagh from Ed, and I tried to go to IMDb.com and look it up, but I couldn't find it right away and didn't want to look through every title just yet. If it helps, the movie involves four male friends who seem to all have relationship problems with their female companions at the same time. Cavanagh's character has his wife cheat on him. He then goes back to his (and his wife's) house and runs a chainsaw through the kitchen counter, after having thrown and smashed other breakable things. He ends up going to the store, buying food, and eating all of it in a gluttonous fashion. Another of the male friends in the movie was a wife beater. Some other female that one of the guys knew got knocked up on a one-night stand. I really wish I could remember the title of this movie. The storyline for these guys was like a minefield. Anyway, there was a narrative part in the movie that spouted off a quote that stuck in my head...

"Hell is other people." -- Jean Paul Sartre

It's a fun one to interpret, it is. You could take it in an obvious way, or you could try to think deeply about it. Or you could click that last link and totally spoil it for yourself, then try to interpret it again.

And now...Mariner links and hopefully half-intelligent thoughts from me.

Okay, so I just read the articles and have realized that I unfortunately didn't see a lot to work with. The Times and P-I articles focus on a lot of the same things. The Mariners won today. Edgar clubbed one off Ryan Jensen. Jamie Moyer stretched out to seven innings (if that doesn't make you realize how close opening day is, nothing will). Cuts were given to Luis Oliveros, Bucky Jacobsen, Jamal Strong (because cutting Crack just wouldn't be prudent...), and Rule V.

Main differences --

The Times article quoted Melvin as suggesting Edgar will "almost certainly" hit cleanup against lefties. This returned a bit of sanity to my life, knowing that Edgar, at least some of the time, wouldn't be hitting fifth and wouldn't be hitting behind Ibanez (presuming they don't hold back Boone to fifth, which would irk me).

With Melvin saying such things about Edgar batting cleanup again, it may suggest a leak of sanity into his mind. Add to the situation this, from the P-I article...

Melvin, who praised catcher Ben Davis' calling of pitches for Moyer, planned to have Moyer throw just six innings.

Wha...? Ben Davis? Bob Melvin? Praise? Pitch calling? I think my head just exploded.

This is sad. That's pretty much all I have to say about the Mariners for now. Maybe it's because I'm pretty much pooped after seeing a co-worker and his band (Fear of Sorrow, the answer to the question "how much is possible with three people, drop-D tuning, and not a lot of solos?") play at the Manette Saloon (a Port Orchard growly metal band named Kilkhal opened...both bands were solid). Maybe it's because I have the chance of having a wicked hockey day with the opportunity to watch Colorado/Detroit and Dallas/Vancouver on the same day, along with select NCAA tournament action.

If any of you were treated to seeing Spike TV's marathon of Most Extreme Elimination Challenge on Thursday, you'll be able to catch another marathon on April Fool's Day. The show is just beyond evil. Japanese gameshow (that takes care of the visual) combined with rapid-fire American punchlines (humor). To top it off, seemingly everyone on the show is wearing some sort of outrageous inane costume.

I need to wind down here before my mind starts running a thousand miles an hour. It should only be doing that during the day. It's bad when that happens in class, let me tell you.

My next post will not feature a Spanish headline.

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Oh boy, a few people just don't like to read bloggers bitch and moan.

Too bad. 96 percent of the time, my bitching and moaning is valid. There's a reason for it.

Anyways, if Hiram Bocachica doesn't make the 25-man roster because the Local Boy Willie Bloomquist sticks with the team, I'm going to be outraged. I don't put too much stock in spring training numbers, but let's look at them anyway:

Bocachica 17 games (31 at-bats), .323 BA, 3 HR, 8 RBI
Bloomquist 16 games (42 at-bats), .190 BA, 0 HR, 3 RBI, and a few errors along the way

I can't believe I'm actually in favor of a hack like Bocachica, but in this case, I have to be. Bloomquist has no business being on the Mariners 25-man roster at this point. What has he done? Hit a meaningless grand slam home run against Tampa Bay right before the All-Star Break? Have a lucky day against Jarrod Washburn in September 2002?


Of course, we all know the answer. He's a local boy. It would help the Mariners sell just a few more tickets if the Port Orchard kid was on the Mariners. I mean, come on, who cares about a World Series, just as long as little 8-year old Cody gets to see a guy from his hometown play baseball for his favorite team?

As we've said time and time again, we don't care for Willie Bloomquist. Not only is it because he's from Port Orchard, it's the fact that he's not a good ballplayer. Maybe if he went to a non-contending ballclub, he could possibly prove me and some people wrong. Fine. It won't be the first time I've been proven wrong.

I just don't want to see this guy on my team. You know, the team who SHOULD be contending for a world championship, but chooses not to go the extra mile.

But go ahead and enjoy the Moo Mobile at Safeco Field.

And Willie Bloomquist's bunt single in a 12-1 rout in the middle of July.

One more thing...

I hope Freddy Garcia has a great year. You can count me in on that "bandwagon", too. See, I can be optimistic. I'm optimistic about the starting rotation. It's just that I'm not too optimistic about everything else with the M's. But more on that in my baseball preview, which will be coming in a few days.

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Friday, March 26, 2004



It's worth it, trust me.

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Before I go any further, I must say that Duke gets all the breaks. If my hatred for Duke wasn't so deep, I would have picked them to go to the Final Four. Oh well.

Anyways, the games...

Kansas 100, UAB 76
Big shocker.

The Jayhawks are going to the Final Four IMO. They're in St. Louis. You really think that's not going to be an advantage for them? Please. For the love of God, I hope in future years that teams are REQUIRED to fly for their NCAA Tournament games. Kansas was not a great team during the season, therefore they didn't deserve this "break".

That being said, get ready for the "Could Kansas win the national championship the year after Roy Williams leaves" stories. (Chris at A Large Regular stole my thunder there. But what can you do...)

Xavier 79, Texas 71
First we gonna ROCK, Then we gonna ROLL
Then we let it POP, GO LET IT GO
X gon give it to ya
He gon give it to ya
X gon give it to ya
He gon give it to ya

DMX, "X Gonna Give It To Ya", 2003

Xavier >>> Dante Hall (At least this version of "X" doesn't choke...)

Texas sucks. All is well with the world with the Longhorns losing. Well, just about everything.

Georgia Tech 72, Nevada 67
Say nighty-night, Wolf Pack.

Mr. Official won't help you guys every time.

Duke 72, Illinois 62
They get to play the first and second rounds in Raleigh, not even 30 miles from Durham.

They get to play the regionals in Atlanta, which is an ACC city.

They get all the calls. Coach K doesn't have to do sideline interviews at all. Chris Duhon is praised as the almighty God just because he's playing hurt. And the Cameron Crazies are the greatest fans ever, just because they jump up and down and yell.

I hope X gives it to them Sunday...

As for this weekend's schedule:

8 Alabama vs 2 UConn SATURDAY at 1:40 Pacific

EAST REGION (East Rutherford)
2 Oklahoma State vs 1 St. Joseph's SATURDAY 4:05 Pacific

4 Kansas vs 3 Georgia Tech SUNDAY at TBA

7 Xavier vs 1 Duke SUNDAY at TBA

What is my Final Four out of that mix?

UConn, Oklahoma State, Kansas, and Duke (I hate Duke, but we all know what's going to happen). UConn-Oklahoma State National Championship Game.

Too bad I couldn't pick that when I needed to...


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From last fall into part of the winter, one of the most-Google searched things that showed up in our referrer log at Sports and B's were searches along the lines of "pudge urbina kissing," because, well, they did that, we referred to it, and quite frankly, we would rather have not seen it in the first place.

This does not help that...

Urbina's friendship with Rodriguez was a deciding factor in settling on Detroit.

"Pudge has called me several times. He called three days ago. He said, 'I really want you to play with me,'" Urbina said this week.

You know, the immature junior high student in me would totally play Double Entendre Match Game with that Ugueth Urbina quote, but I'm just going to let it rest. I haven't had any energy this during this whole spring break to do much of anything.

And in a totally unrelated note, I was watching the Red Wings/Avalanche game last night while everyone else was watching the NCAA tournament because I'm weird. I'd also like to congratulate and thank the Red Wings and Manny Legace for doing the Canucks a favor and beating the Avalanche. The Canucks are still somehow within three points of Colorado heading into tomorrow night's tilt with the Marty Turco-less Dallas Stars. Some of you may have seen the high-stick he put on Ryan Smyth the other night that got him suspended. It's good for the Canucks because Turco simply owns them.

And oh no...Dom Hasek may have gotten off easily.

One last thing...one of SportsLine's biggest sponsors is MegaSports.com, which I basically interpret as "offshore gaming." A lot of the time they make their ads easily attractive to the eye by placing attractive women in the ads. The one that's disturbed me lately is the one where a woman is wearing a purple and gold near-spaghetti strapped top with "LOS ANGELES" and number 8 on it. Now is it just me, or does something seem really wrong about this?

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Thursday, March 25, 2004


No big long post on the NCAA Tournament tonight...

I'll keep it simple.

The three teams that I had remaining in my Elite Eight have advanced. St. Joseph's beat Wake Forest 84-80, Oklahoma State beat Pittsburgh 63-51, and UConn destroyed Vanderbilt 73-53.

And Alabama knocked off the defending national champion Syracuse 80-71.

I'll just say this about Alabama. They have finally reached their potential. Last season, they were ranked #1 in the country for a few weeks. They barely made it into the tournament last season. This year, they struggled and finished middle of the pack in the SEC West. But a tough schedule can do wonders for a team like Alabama.

Knocking off Stanford and Syracuse in the same tournament is a cause for celebration.

However, the ride will most likely end Saturday against UConn. I'm still kicking myself for not taking UConn out of the West region. Dammmmmmmmmmmit!

That's all from me tonight on the regional semis. More semis tomorrow.

Anybody but Duke.

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I was originally going to pack it in for the night, but then I found one thing truly worth noting about, but I'll build it up for you and comment on the other things first...

First off, Kelley on Freddy Garcia. Not too much new stuff, other than some references to the new slider, and Bryan Price noting that Freddy may have built his own expectation to the point where his getting booed last year was facilitated and magnified.

Secondly, Hickey on Mike Myers. Yes, Mike Myers, over 30, good guy as far as we know, and former Diamondback. Just give this guy the roster spot and move on. I've referenced it before, but when I think of a specialty pitcher trying to throw something different (like Myers trying to throw three-quarters) I think of Tim Wakefield trying to sneak a fastball past Mike Blowers in the Kingdome.

What I really wanted to comment on was something in the P-I notebook article. Ryan Franklin is trying the splitter. If that can get him to strike more guys out (so they don't fly out as much), then that's great. Four of the Mariners' final five exhibition games are in NL parks, so they're going to try to get SD to play by AL rules for a game to get Edgar some at-bats. I'll guess that it's going to be a snub.

So what did I want to comment on?

Lumbering Chicago DH Frank Thomas tagged up at second base and went to third in the third inning, challenging Randy Winn's arm. Winn said he wasn't surprised by the move. "It was just bad mechanics," Winn said of his looping throw that was too late to get Thomas at third.

Here's what I said just two days ago...

...the Mariners' defensive "scheme" allows for runners taking off from second base on a sharp one/two-hopper base hit to centerfield to automatically score, regardless of how many outs there are. ... opposing third-base coaches will have sore shoulders after series with the Mariners if their hitters know how to hit ground balls to centerfield.

Not the same exact play, but you get my point, hopefully. Call me crazy, but I think Frank Thomas gets to third base on that second-to-third play six times out of ten off of Randy Winn. I wish I was lying about this.

Totally unrelated, but since I don't really have anything to comment, I'll leave these two Seahawk links...one about the Bobby Taylor signing, and one for Brian Davis leaving (great column from John Levesque, I thought).

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Wednesday, March 24, 2004


The Canucks finally have a win to hang their hats on. They are now a grand 2-3-2-1 since the Todd Bertuzzi incident. After that COL/VAN debacle, the Canucks dropped from one point behind the Avalanche to three points behind the Avalanche. After tonight (somehow, someway), they are in the exact same spot, just with less games (five, COL has six) to make up the ground. Sure, the Canucks have been crap, but the Avalanche aren't really doing anything to put the Canucks away for the division lead for good. Last year, the Canucks lost to the Kings in their last game and also lost the division to Colorado. In a perfect world, the tables turn this year. As my friend Grant would say, "it could happen. It's a McWorld."

I tried to fire up the ChainCast player on the 56k (haha) and it wasn't the quickest, but then I turned on the radio to see if there was any chance in hell I could get CKNW from Vancouver, and sure enough, it was audible. It was fading in and out, but I could hear it. I had convinced myself the game was a 7:30 start, but it must not have been because I tuned in at 9:30 thinking I'd be hearing actual game action. This wasn't the case. However, thanks to the miraculous fact that I got reception, I was able to catch the postgame show. I was getting the station at 980AM on the dial, and I was getting something else inbetween 980AM and KJR, and they were also talking hockey. I think it was a Calgary station or something. You gotta love hearing faraway stations at night!! I didn't check to see if I could get KNBR from San Francisco, but I might try it later.

The Canucks pretty much dominated the first two periods of play, and the Matt Cooke (9th of year) goal in the first period turned out to be the only tally. Cooke was moved to Bertuzzi's spot on the Naslund-Morrison line to basically wreak havoc and be strong on the forecheck. Though this 1-0 win does give the Canucks something to build on, and does give Dan Cloutier (15-stops shutout) something to build on, they still went 0-for-3 on the power play. Cloutier didn't have to do much until the Kings held the puck in the Vancouver zone for much of the third period and took some shots. Cristobal Huet did a good job keeping the Kings in the game, fending off all but one of the Canucks shots in a furious first period.

And now, after a one-game absence from Sports and B's, postgame notated commentary taken by me of the Russell/Shorthouse/Larscheid postgame chitchat:

Dan: LA was badly outplayed in the 1st. Klatt hit the crossbar in the 2nd. LA had the puck in the Vancouver zone a lot in the 3rd.
John: big 1st period
Tom: Vancouver outshot the Canucks 13-4 in 1st and could have had 20 shots in 1st (missed net). The finishing isn't there like they want, but got the one goal. This was a big two points for the Canucks.
Dan: It was scary -- LA was always one shot away from tying the game.
John: If the other team sticks around for that long, it's always scary. The team is fragile, which isn't good, and it feels worse when they're only up by one.
Dan: The tide could have turned on the late Luc Robitaille shot
Tom: Luc came over the boards (line change) to launch a shot from 25 feet...Cloutier made a great save.
John: That was his best save of the night. Who knows what would have happened if the game went to OT? Getting two points is good, should give Dan Cloutier some confidence.
Tom: LA's deadline acquisitions are not panning out...The Kings have lost 4 straight on home ice, and would be better with decent goaltending
Dan: The three stars were Cooke, Huet, and Cloutier
Tom: The game should help Dan's confidence...Huet was fantastic...Cooke was flying in the first period
John: Matt Cooke is on the forecheck...that's why he's on that line
Dan: The practice time seemed to help them this week with the new faces...the power play is still quiet, however.
Tom: They'll continue to work on that...I liked the way the defense moved the puck...Malik was good; he was plus-1 on night, plus-33 for year, tied for NHL lead...(radio fadeout here) It makes sense to have Jovanovski and Ohlund on the ice in last 5 minutes of game
John: Jovo coming back is key...he adds an entirely different dimension to this team.
Dan: Baby steps...Vancouver had to win, but had to play well; they needed something to feel good about.
Tom: They played really good without the puck (held LA to 15 shots). They still has players in long goal slumps. Sooner or later, the defense has to start scoring. I never thought Naslund would have these horrible numbers (the latest stretch) for this time of year.
Dan: Big game on Saturday.
John: Vancouver does not control its own destiny to get 4th seed and home ice in first round

Dallas at Vancouver on Saturday. Biiiiiig game.

Before I end the post, I have to say that I stayed up until 2am last night to see if CBC British Columbia still ran the animated cartoon flyover with "O Canada" playing before they went off the air for the night. I'm pretty sure they don't have it running anymore. Instead, I was treated to a video montage of Canada, with a weird orchestral arrangement of Canada's anthem. I want the animated flyover back, dammit!! There's a slight chance they could have ran the flyover, but that'd have to be if they showed it between the CBC still logo with stuff (graphics) moving behind it and then the static/snow.

And to those who haven't done research, the French version of "O Canada" translates out to something pretty violent. If I remember right, swords are involved along with property defense (seconded upon finding first link).

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This one might be a little strange, and scatterbrained...

-- I've been listening to way too much KJR since the place where I've worked the last two summers hasn't hired me back for the week. Usually Softy can be a pretty pessimistic guy, but EVEN HE is drinking the Bill Bavasi Kool-Aid (I need to hear what David Locke thinks...if there's a Mariner pessimist at the station, it's gotta be him). I couldn't believe the stuff that he was spouting. He thinks Raul Ibanez is going to have a big year. Based on what? I tried to tell an Ibanez proponent (and former teammate, who also said "have you seen how he hits in Safeco Field?" My reply: small sample size) yesterday that the Mariners should have gotten Jose Cruz, to which he said "Cruz hit .250 last year." I've made this argument quite a few times on this site, and I said Cruz had more homers than Ibanez while playing half his games in Pac Bell, walked more, won a Gold Glove last year, and cost considerably less than what Ibanez was stupidly paid. I'll move on before I bore you with the same argument...

-- I just got done watching my first second full NBA game of the season, the Dallas-Indiana game on ESPN. I thought Tony Tolbert was the color guy, but I guess it was actually Sean Elliott who used the word "bitchin'" to describe a blocked shot. I couldn't believe it. Anyway, players fell to the floor way too often, Mark Cuban didn't do anything too weird, and some of the play was a little sloppy. One thing that gets on my nerves about the NBA sometimes: weird-ass jump passes that involve weird body contortions and transfers of weight. I guess you'd have to see it. They're not smooth by any means. What made the game gratifying, you ask? Indiana broke 100 points. This wasn't some boring Houston-Detroit game with a final score of 72-67, hell no. This was good ol' back-and-forth basketball. I love this game!! Okay, technically I only loved this particular game that I watched tonight. Most of the time of I have the ESPN NBA coverage on, I end up wanting to either yell at Stephen A. Smith to shut the hell up or just reach through the TV and strangle him so I can shut him up myself.

-- Last spring, I was on a field trip with my volcanology class in the sticks of central Oregon with our tiny group from Central and some OSU folks. I brought a ball and glove, and so did classmate and occasional partner in crime Seth. We were playing catch, and I tried to throw a circle change. Seth said it moved in such a way that it would have tailed inward to a right-handed hitter. Basically, I tried to throw a changeup and it came out as a screwball. I think what happened is that the ball came out in such a way that it came off my middle, ring, and then pinkie finger, mimicking a counterclockwise motion out of the hand. I wish I could duplicate that toss a bunch of times, then make a career out of it like Jim Mecir has. Then later I threw a ball over Seth, it hit a truck, and we threw our mitts off to the side and walked away like we didn't know what just happened. I've had past experiments with the knuckleball, but it's one of those things where I only have about a 16% success rate or so when trying to throw the damn thing.

-- Back to KJR, most of Softy's show today was a justified lovefest for the 25th anniversary of the Sonics' (and the Seattle pro teams') only championship (the Friday DEN/SEA game will also retire Gus Williams' #1 jersey). It was just a joy to hear the excitement in the callers' voices, recollecting how much of an under-the-basket force Jack Sikma was, or how much of an unsung hero Paul Silas was. Callers had some great stories. One said that his daughter was being born during the 4th quarter and he was going back and forth out of the delivery room to get the score. Another said that he and three friends were with their prom dates and lobbied the restaurant staff for a table close to the bar and to the TV; they completely ignored their dates the whole time and went to the phones to call whoever they could after the final buzzer sounded. Another said that he and many others raced (after one of the playoff series wins) through the Bon Marche to the ticket counter, and the attendant asked what big concert was coming to town, but it was the Sonics. The most humorous caller said he and his friends would play an over-under game for the time Wally Walker took to draw a foul after coming off the bench.

-- Who do you like better: Jason and Jaron Collins (fmr. Stanford) or Sam and Simeon Haley (fmr. Missouri)? You might have to hop into the Wayback Machine and set it to the mid-90s to construct an educated answer about these college basketball folks. "Neither" is a suitable answer.

-- My KeyArena memories involve three events, all involving me doing security (hilarious at the time given my 5'7" 160 lb frame). I worked at a Bumbershoot, a Deck the Hall Ball, and a Hornets-Sonics game. At the Bumbershoot, I was guarding one of the exits which people weren't supposed to exit through for some reason (I tried to have a spine when it came to this, but if you ran through, I wouldn't have gone after you), and I could see the stage from where I was. Ozomatli (I subsequently bought both of their full-length albums) was on stage when a fight broke out in front of the stage. They stopped in the middle of the song and told the warring factions to stop. Quite frankly, I don't know how anyone could fight during an Ozomatli song because their stuff is the complete opposite of angry. At the same Bumbershoot I was inside guarding a section that people weren't supposed to sit in due to fire marshal's orders. This wasn't easily enforceable, though I did manage (at request) to enforce KeyArena's smoking policy, to which some fairly hot girls clapped and gave me a brief self-esteem boost. At the Deck the Hall Ball, I was taken back and forth behind the stage many times and had to restrain from pulling the big-ass master light switches that were back there. Some guy that looked like Matt Cameron paced back and forth through there, but I quickly realized he was probably too high-class for most of the hacks that were at the concert. Granted, Green Day are not hacks, but Orgy are. Speaking of Orgy, I think I saw the entrance of their lead singer into one of the special-pass bars that I was guarding in front of. As the concert was let out, I was with another fellow security guard and I laughed at some girl who looked like she got her face smashed in the pit or something, and her friend tried to call me out for it. Who cares? I laughed it up -- I'd never see them again. The third event I did was the aforementioned CHAR/SEA game (the Ewing year). I don't remember the score, only the ending. A few of you may remember the ending: Vin Baker, off the top of the shot clock and in. Sonics win. Where did they have me guarding after the game? Let's put the puny guy in the main tunnel!! There have been few instances where I have been more scared in my life than when I was in the midst of multiple players' entourages. Everyone was at least a foot taller than me, and man, I was just scared as hell. If some kind of scuffle broke out in there, there was nothing I could have done. I'd be an inept security guard, much like in Austin Powers.

-- I have a batting practice ground-rule double ball that Carlos Guillen bounced short of the warning track and into the stands at the Safe back in 2000, when the place was still fan-friendly (i.e., CF gate still opened three hours before game time, no net shielded the staircase behind the bullpen, the font on the manual scoreboard was still in that cool highway sign font instead of the soulless business font that it was in last year). I think I went to six games that year, more than I ever went to at the Kingdome. It was great that year when the Blue Jays came to town, though friend Grant and I had to decide whether to camp out in LF or RF during batting practice, depending on whether we thought we'd have a better chance at a homer ball from Tony Batista (who hit a lot of bombs that year) or Carlos Delgado. I think the same game was the one where Shannon Stewart took a fly ball in the face in LF. One of the other games I went to was the Kansas City game where Mike Cameron scored the winning run (he was really out) in extra innings on a Jay Buhner double. This was also the year where the Red Sox were in town and I tried to get Rich Garces' attention when he was getting his running in with the bullpen. "EL GUAAAAAPOOOO!!!"

-- Final KJR note: Steve Sandmeyer and Mitch Levy got onto the topic of the Mariner commercials this morning. I guess Mitch hadn't seen them yet. Sandmeyer referred to what he said on the air when the commercials came out; he thought two of the commercials were great and the rest were crap. Sandmeyer then said he got 200 angry emails because he said that. Sandmeyer: "it's like you can't even criticize the Mariners in this town." I get that feeling sometimes, too. Way too many people out there are drinking the Mariner Kool-Aid right now. I guess if I tried to sum up what my problem is with the Mariner offseason, I'd say that the Mariners have made moves based on what might happen, not what probably will happen. Sure, the starting rotation is great. Some people forget Gil Meche can land on the DL at any second. Softy is buddy-buddy with Ryan Franklin, so there's no way he's going to slam him, but with Cameron gone, some fly balls are going to drop, and I haven't got to what happens if people are actually on base this year when Franklin gives up the home runs. If Meche gets the knife and Franklin stinks it up...the starting five doesn't look so great now, does it?

Okay, I've got to end this rant. Chappelle's Show is on in about 40 minutes. Hope you enjoyed a peek into the twisted and horribly convoluted mind of a guy named David who hails from the Bremerton ghetto.

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No point for the title, it's just there.

Jeff, you're solid, and I know you're joking, but please don't link us to that horrible band from Silverdale MxPx. Yes, Silverdale. After all, they did graduate from Central Kitsap, not Bremerton.

But good call on the second choice. David and I can always appreciate "Master of Puppets".

Personally, if I can think of any song that just says "Bremerton" for me, it's Sunny Day Real Estate's "In Circles".

As far as my fake MP3 list, i.e. songs that I just can't get out of my head, here's a few that's been running circles in my head:

Jet "Cold Hard Bitch": I can't help it. I'm a sucker for bands down under. AC/DC. Silverchair. The Living End. Jet. And for the record, "Cold Hard Bitch" is better than "Are You Gonna Be My Girl?"

Incubus "Sick Sad Little World": I'm also a sucker for great intros. Is there a better intro in rock music right now? I dare you to find it.

Drowning Pool "Step Up": Good for these guys. I thought that they were going to fold up shop after the untimely death of lead singer Dave Williams. But they're back. It's also featured on the Punisher soundtrack, which also features a collaboration between Jerry Cantrell and Damageplan (Vinnie Paul and Dimebag Darrell's answer to Phil Anselmo's Superjoint Ritual). BTW, Jerry needs a record label. A shame, indeed.

The Vines "Ride": I didn't believe the hype when these guys first came on the scene in 2002. Consider me a believer now.

The South Park "Hey Hey Let's Go, Protect My Balls" song: I can't resist. It's insane.

Alright, that's enough from me for now.

I go in....Circles


In Circles.

Sunny Day Real Estate, solid band. I miss them.

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After a run to the playoffs, I thought the Seahawks might have finally had an identifiable radio voice. Today, I learn that Brian Davis is gone as Seahawk play-by-play man. The Seahawks want to "go in a different direction." The issue was just brought up in the Mitch Levy/Softy crosstalk segment, scattered with Steve Sandmeyer's impressions of Brian Davis and Hacksaw Hamilton. Softy suggested that the one guy they should get (if it were possible) would be Kevin Calabro. Sandmeyer suggested that if (God forbid) Dave Niehaus is unable to resume his duties, Calabro should just run the table in the Seattle market and do the Mariners (he did step in years ago when Niehaus was sick), Seahawks, and Sonics.

But happy trails to Brian Davis. One more for the road...

"2nd and 10 from the I-formation, Kitna takes the snap, hands off to Watters, who MARCHES FORWARD FOR A ONE-YARD GAIN!!!!"

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Tuesday, March 23, 2004


So I saw the Mariners/Rockies spring game tonight on FSNNW. I came away with some thoughts...

-- Ron Fairly: senile. He told some story that I think involved hanging people. I think this was after Doc Holiday's great-grandson was batting for the Rockies.

-- Freddy Garcia: looked fairly good in 5 2/3 innings. Last August (chat transcript post here), Dave Niehaus and Ron Fairly talked about the possibility of Freddy tipping his pitches. I thought for the longest time that maybe this tipping Freddy may have been doing was something complicated. Then I thought I might have noticed something (though obvious to me) -- whenever Freddy threw a fastball, he would do his leg kick, then bring his arm back, and then he would have this herk-jerk stop in his arm movement before he brought his arm up and threw the pitch. Whenever Freddy threw a changeup, he would do the leg kick, and the arm motion would be smooth all the way through, an uninterrupted circle/ellipse of a path on his way to throwing the pitch. In tonight's game, Freddy had the same arm motion for all of his pitches. He was getting the pitches over, which was definitely a good thing. The only problem I see is that from all of what I've heard and have been taught over the years, short-arming the ball (which is what Freddy is doing with this new motion of his) is something that will lead to injury, and therefore, full (as full as possible) motion and extension of the arm is best. Freddy's short-arming isn't quite along the lines of Bob Wolcott or some Major League catchers, and it sure as hell isn't the quality of a graduate from the Ken Hill College of Short-Arming, but it's short-arming nonetheless.

-- The mammoth bomb that Garcia gave up to Todd Helton occurred with Dan Wilson behind the plate, but I'll be damned if Bob Melvin laid into Wilson after the game.

-- The play where Wilson had a ball in the dirt, tried to nail the runner going to second and threw the ball short and wide of Willie Bloomquist and into centerfield...I'll be damned if Melvin nailed Wilson for that.

-- Ramon Santiago is basically on the team, baserunning blunders tonight be damned. First, he got hung up between third and home on a weird play, and apparently abandoned the bag at third even though he was entitled to it. The runner coming from second was tagged, because I guess Ramon should have been on third. Anyway, it was a double play. Bob Melvin tried to argue, but fell to the ground in diabetic shock induced by root beer barrels, Bit-O-Honeys, Pixy Stix, the leftover stuff from when you're done with all the pieces in a package of Sour Patch Kids, Air Heads, and four shots of one part Hershey's chocolate syrup and one part Karo brand corn syrup. Okay, so that didn't happen. What did happen: later in the game, Santiago was picked off of first. Midseason form!

-- Bloomquist whiffed on a ball low and away in the dirt. Midseason form!

-- Bucky Jacobsen is a big guy. He has a shaved head. He wears number 33. When he was facing away from the over-the-field camera, my mind was trying to tell me David Wells was playing first base.

-- Jose Lopez looked good at third. He should have looked good at shortstop, but let's face it, the organization has a hard-on for that other guy that made the baserunning mistakes, you know, the one that probably won't get nailed by Melvin in the press because he likes him too much.

-- A pitcher getting lit up in spring training is one thing. A batter getting blown down in spring training by a fastball or getting fooled by a curveball is one thing. Making baserunning errors (no matter when) is a purely mental mistake. I'm looking at you, Senor Ramon Santiago!

-- My gut instinct wants to tell me Jason Jennings is a fatass as much as Bartolo Colon is a fatass. Fairly commented, saying Jennings had "big powerful thighs," three words that I hope to never hear out of Fairly's mouth ever again. Of course, neither of these two have legs in the ballpark of CC Sabathia. I've always thought he has the lower body of a woman. Seriously. I don't mean this in a good way, either. More like CCCC Sabathia. Each leg needs more than one letter C until he decides to get in some more running or lift for more reps and not sets, sheesh.

-- Scott Atchison, without my aid of a media guide or immediately available internet info (I'm typing this offline right now) looked like he was about 6'2" and 160 lbs, looked a tiny bit like Jeff Fassero (facially), and looked like he was about 35 years old. I'll probably dig up Atchison's file later and realize how grossly wrong I am in all those guesses.

There you have my thoughts on tonight's 3-3 10-inning tilt between your Seattle Mariners and the Larry Walkerless and Preston Wilsonless Colorado Rockies.

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John Clayton reporting

Eagles cornerback Bobby Taylor was looking for a chance to move west after he realized his days in Philadelphia were over.

He made the move Tuesday night by reaching a four-year, $11.3 million deal with the Seattle Seahawks. Included in the deal: a $3 million signing bonus and significant incentives.

The contract could become $16.8 million over four years. Taylor is gambling that he can make interceptions in the Seahawks defense. For leading the team in interceptions, Taylor could pocket more than $1 million in a season.

Bobby Taylor >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Shawn Springs

Another solid move for the Seattle Seahawks. They've added two key defensive players this offseason (DE Grant Wistrom a few weeks ago), and they may not be done. Brock Marion is a possibility as well.

The draft is just about a month away, and I can't wait for it. Hell, I can't wait for the 2004 season to start. YEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!

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God help us, the Seattle sports fans

The Mariners didn't really have a true reserve outfielder last season, when they used Willie Bloomquist and Mark McLemore, both primarily infielders, in the outfield.

Who says Quinton McCracken is a true reserve outfielder? Personally, it's true that he's a piece of crap!

He thinks the 2004 Mariners have the kind of pitching and defense it takes to make it to the postseason. He also believes the Mariners have a better offense than they're given credit for.

"When you have a bunch of professional hitters like this team has, good things can happen," he said. "I think if everyone plays up to their capabilities, then it can be a very fun season."

For the 35,465th time...


Professional hitters don't choke in the second half. Professional hitters don't allow themselves to get beat by the likes of Eric Dubose, Josh Towers, and Doug Waechter. Professional hitters don't sit at home in October wondering what might have been.

Opening Day is just two weeks away.

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Here she is, the Nationwide Arena Stat Girl. HEY NOW!!!

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I've been reeling over last week's South Park, not a show I watch anywhere near as religiously as Chappelle's Show, but something about the ads for it got me to watch. That "something" was the four kids drawn anime-style.

So I'm sitting there watching the show and having a good guffaw, when all of a sudden they were in a battle sequence and this song comes into play where the lyrics are mostly in Japanese with English phrases thrown in. The English phrases: "Hey, hey, let's go," "protect my balls," "so let's fighting," "let's fighting love." I've been around some foreign languages where the native tongue is being spoken and then a few english words get thrown in, and then if you don't understand the language, those english words act as teasers here and there. Since this song is basically the same thing, it's funny as hell to me. Also, since you can totally imagine such a cheesy-sounding song in an anime 'toon, it makes it that much more funny.

Why am I posting this? I finally found a loose translation (via a message board thread) of the lyrics. Scroll way down and look for the post by user aoimenosamurai9 at 6:53am or do a Ctrl+F on the user's name. The song makes absolutely no sense, and that's what makes it great.

Hey, hey, let's go kenka suru!
Taisetsuna mono, protect my balls!
Boka ga warui so let's fighting!
Let's fighting love!

Jeremy saw the episode and thought the tune of the chorus was lifted form Billy Joel's "We Didn't Start the Fire."

Cartman did a great job of using his super power of invisibility.

Back to normal business...

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...without sanity.

After waking up late, I went to where I've worked in the summer to see if they might hire me for spring break (I'm guessing not), then I went to the local Knight baseball game, where they were creamed by Klahowya. Then I went and got a bunch of blank CDs to run off my collection because I don't want any grubby evildoers' hands getting on the original copies when I go to field school this summer. Ridiculous? Maybe, but I'm horribly territorial over my CDs.

And now, a slew of Mariner articles...

First, the duplicative ones. Finnigan and Hickey let us know that Danny Bautista of the Diamondbacks lined a ball off Joel Pineiro's elbow. Joel toughed it out and got his work in, though the elbow hurt afterward. Let's hope he's all right. Terry Mulholland lost thanks in part to ee-ROM Bocachica, who dove for a ball and missed, allowing the leadoff runner to reach base. Bret Boone hit a wind-aided home run. Hickey brings the news that Olerud and Boone may have seen a straight change out of Randy Johnson. Arizona doesn't pop up on the Mariner schedule this year, but no worries...they'll probably scrounge up a start from Clemens, Pettitte, or Matt Morris given the NL Central interleague play this year, and maybe one out of Wells since, as everyone knows, the Padres are the Mariners' natural rival. Sure gets me fired up, I don't know about you; it just makes my blood boil. Marriages have been broken up over this intense Padres/Mariners rivalry, after all.

The surprise part of these two notebook articles for me was the two somewhat different accounts of a weird Eddie Guardado pitch, the difference being whether he wanted to throw to first or pitch out, as an amazingly slow pitch went across for a strike. The surprise to me in all this was that Bumbling Bob Melvin didn't try to add some fuel to the fire, because Ben Davis was behind the plate when this happened. One of three things could have happened: (1) BlowMel's been reading Sports and B's (or many of our esteemed blogging colleagues) and heeded our advice, (2) someone higher up put him in his place (maybe Lincoln didn't want Melvin to be a prima donna? This is the only instance where I might like that policy), or (3) Melvin just got rusty. My money's on Reason Number 3.

Before I bring the rest of the articles here...FSNNW has been running their schmaltzy "Before the Bigs" segments featuring cheesy TV-Y7-rated stories with notorious homer Rick Rizzs voicing over and with melodramatic background music, designed to bring a tear to the Mariners' target demographic: late-30s/early-40s soccer moms making over $70k/yr who watch because they love Dan Wilson's ass, not because they want to see this team win or something. Anyway, what I was really going to complain about was this: who the hell's idea was it to run one of these segments about Howard Lincoln?!! You know, it's almost sad what Fox Sports has become. It can only be trusted for televising Mariner games, and nothing more. Here's my history of that there channel: Fox Sports took over Prime Sports, where the Mariners had their cable deal for a couple of years. Fox Sports Net comes up with the very noble idea of making nightly regional sports recap shows (in our case, the Northwest Regional Sports Report) at 10pm, next to their National Sports Report (anchored by Chris Myers, I believe, who they had wooed from ESPN), which they tried to run up against SportsCenter (i.e., the show was doomed from the start). It was all great, though...we got an hour of regional sports, and the dead weight of the NSR was cut off. Meanwhile, at the NW RSR desk, the turnover was rapid. The original crew of Rod Simons (Coug and KSTW vet, helped build the KSTW sportscasts into arguably the best sportscasts in the Seattle TV market at the time) and Tom Glasgow (fmr KIRO), both solid in my opinion, were run out, and the revolving door was open (former KING-5er Gaard Swanson was thrown in the fire too) for everyone that wasn't named Brad Adam or Angie Marzetta/Arlati/Mentink/Segui/whoever the hell she's going to marry next (never married Segui; just a joke there). Where has this all gone? Well, it might be due to a national trend, but the NWSR (the world "Regional" was taken off sometime around when the word "Net" was added into the phrase "Fox Sports Northwest") is now only 30 minutes long, according to an ad I saw the other day. That's right, at 10pm, it's your Northwest Sports Report. At 10:30? You guessed it -- LATE NIGHT POKER. Enough said. I've got a more useful idea for that half-hour: give Bill Krueger (think what you will of him, but you at least figure out what's going through a pitcher's head) his own show and make him take calls. Bonus points to anyone out there who can convince me that a Krueger show in the Seattle market would get worse ratings than Late Night Poker.

Okay, now you're waiting with baited breath for the two other links...

Hickey has an article about the five starters. It's kind of weirdly structured, with so much emphasis in the beginning on stopping Eric Chavez, Garret Anderson, and Raf Palmeiro. They're eventually going to worry about balls hit to left field and balls in the gaps. Cue Richard Rizzitello: "Two down, two aboard, top of the eighth, Mariners up 1-0. Villone comes set. Here's the 3-1 pitch on the way to Bobby Crosby...swung on and it's a high fly ball to fairly deep left field, Ibanez drifts back a few steps and IT DROPS IN FOR A BASE HIT!! Both Durazo and Dye come around to score, Crosby rounds second, and Ibanez kicks the ball toward the bullpen!! Crosby rounds third and is heading home!! Ibanez finally gets a hold of the ball and hands it to one of the great fans at Safeco Field, because he's a 'world class human being'!! EVERYBODY SCORES!!! YEEEEAAAAHHHH!!!!!"

Of course, with the above hypothetical Rizzs call, it should be noted that at this point of the season, Gil Meche has blown his arm out so Raf Soriano is in the rotation -- that's why he's not protecting the 1-0 lead in the 8th against Oakland. Also, most of Rizzs' calls when in times of despair for the Mariners usually have him exhibiting a sort of slower drawl, almost in the realm of Shakespearean iambic pentameter (caps for stressed words): "...and the A'S have RETAKEN the LEAD by a SCORE of FOUR to TWO." He drags out the words in much the same way that Bill Shatner uses the dramatic pause. Also, I just had to throw in the Joe Namath/Howard Dean/Li'l Jon (depending on your preference) "YEEEAAHH" for dramatic effect and for kicks.

Not much to say about the article, really. Bryan Price says "J.J. (Putz) and (Aaron) Looper are major league pitchers right now." In an interesting note, Kevin Jarvis is not. I don't have to tell you who out of those three has the money and the roster spot.

Final article: Finnigan on Randy Winn.

In Winn's first few years with the Devil Rays, Quinton McCracken played center most of the time.

Hopefully knowing that Crack is now on the bench will help lessen the sure self-esteem blow from that Tampa Bay situation.

There's some filler/baseballese in the article about thinking with every pitch, which is an article smokescreen for...

Melvin said he has no concerns that Winn's arm is not as strong as Cameron's.

"You won't see many center fielders throwing guys out at home," the manager said. "In our defensive scheme, the most important things for them are to run balls down, cut off extra-base hits and keep that runner from going around first to third."

In a related story, the Mariners' defensive "scheme" allows for runners taking off from second base on a sharp one/two-hopper base hit to centerfield to automatically score, regardless of how many outs there are. If any of you remember the games when Cameron was out last year and Winn was in CF, he had a couple of opportunities to show his arm, and oh my goodness, it is hilariously bad. I know Cameron's arm wasn't something to write home about, but Randy Winn's arm is something to write home about, and not because it's a cannon. It's more like a thin rubber band compared to Jose Guillen's Howitzer. One bold prediction from me for 2004: opposing third-base coaches will have sore shoulders after series with the Mariners if their hitters know how to hit ground balls to centerfield.

And an interesting quote from new first base coach Mike Aldrete, who apparently wears another hat for the Mariners, too...

"The best thing about Winn is that he's a smart player," said Aldrete, Seattle's new outfield coach. "Yes, Cameron plays the heck out of center. But Randy's a confident player; he's not a mistake guy."

Here's my thought process while reading this...

Angel on left shoulder: Randy Winn is good. He's not a mistake guy. He's smart.
Devil on right shoulder: Mike Cameron is a mistake guy, according to Aldrete's logic, and he probably took lessons from Bob Melvin in a coaching staff-wide email Bumbling Bob sent out with an attachment entitled "cameron_sucks.doc."

Sorry, angel, but the devil's argument is just too good here.

I wish this stuff were just crap that I made up with my mind on a really late night, but I can convince myself that some variation of this is actually happening, and it's not a nice thought.

There you have it...that's what I'm doing for a late night in Bremerton after a four-hour nap.

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Monday, March 22, 2004


Thanks to Chris over at A Large Regular for linking me to the latest Peter Gammons column.

Please tell me we aren't looking at John Olerud AND Raul Ibanez hitting in FRONT of Edgar Martinez. That's all I have to say about the M's lineup at this time.

Anyways, this little tidbit caught my eye...

Then there are the Mariners, who after winning 116 games in 2001 have won 93 each of the last two years ... and finished second and third. "Sometimes people act as if we finished last," says Bob Melvin. "We didn't play as well at the end as we should have, but we had a pretty good year."

Hey Bob, the Mariners were 35-34 in the second half of 2003. That's not good enough in my opinion. The A's, on the other hand, were 42-27 in the second half, finishing 3 games ahead of the M's in the AL West.

No, people aren't acting like the Mariners finished last, Bob. People like myself expect this ballclub to contend for a championship. Tell me why I shouldn't think that way? We're two weeks away from the regular season, and quite frankly, I can't see this current cast winning the AL West in 2004. Maybe things will change, i.e. the M's acquiring a hitter. But there is such a thing as a track record. If you're a Mariner fan, then you know the track record very well.

This isn't fun and games, Bob. This isn't Detroit. This isn't Texas. And this sure as hell isn't Milwaukee. I'm frustrated by this team missing the playoffs the last two seasons. I don't want to see this team miss the playoffs for a third straight season. I don't give a crap about profits and pink Mariner hats. I want to see this team win, not choke their ass once again in the second half.

Oh, and as for the Aaron Boone Peoria sighting. He will be a Mariner. Then again, this is nothing new. I did call this when he got hurt over two months ago.

I'm not satisfied about the Mariners right now. But I am very satisfied looking at Aaron Boone's wife, Laura Cover. She would definitely put the "HEY NOW" in the 2004 Mariners...

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Before I start with the Mariner links here, I'd like to congratulate two Seattle sports personalities for some mispronunications within the last 24 hours --

-- Dave "Softy" Mahler, who for the longest time has pronounced Sonic big man Vitaly Potapenko's last name as "poh-TOMP-ick-oh," a pronunciation that omits the letters N and E but adds letters M and I.

-- The asian guy (I can't find his name at the FSNNW website, but he's an absolute hack) that was teamed with Brad Adam on the Northwest Sports Report last night, who pronounced fellow Bremertonian and Pacific guard Miah Davis' name as something sounding more like the first name of Mia Farrow instead of something short for Jeremiah.

Now, your Mariner links.

Finnigan and Andriesen chime in with their articles about Aaron Boone making a visit to camp. Apparently, Aaron is aiming to play this year. I'm kind of on the fence about the thought of the Mariners picking him up. On one hand, it would take them to admit they made a mistake by signing Scott Spiezio. On the other hand, Aaron is on the high side of 30, is a good guy (we'll see how being married to a Playboy playmate takes away from the "good guy" image), and will be a redundant move if you consider Spiezio a third baseman for the time being. It's been argued that getting Crack was redundant because Jamal Strong is the same exact player and less expensive. One of the articles says if Aaron became a Mariner, Spiezio would step into the DH role when Edgar retires. But hey, what if Olerud is gone? Wasn't Spiezio supposed to step in for Olerud? Who the hell's your DH then? In a much nicer world with a much better manager and front office/GM, this is where Richie Sexson would come into play. Instead, the Mariners would probably bring Oddibe McDowell out of retirement and try to convince Mariner fans that he would be a big stick off the bench.

Lastly, Larry LaRue tells us that Ichiro is working on being more patient this spring. I have the feeling he'll follow this for the first two weeks of the season and then will ditch it after a .192 start.

From the notes of both articles, it appears that Mariner fans are going to be stuck with Hiram Bocachica this year. They'll be stuck with Bocachica batting .102 off the bench, and will be stuck with him wearing 44, which is absolute blasphemy toward the number considering what it was attached to for the last four seasons. Joey Cora is third-base coach for the White Sox. Cora had no problem making errors at second base for the Mariners, and will not have to handle grounders and foul balls coming at him in the 3B coaches' box. Evading the ball should be no trouble for him. LaRue says Gil Meche is having some delivery issues between types of windups, which could actually mean something because he has to have that down by his first start. Something else that is somewhat meaningful: Jamie Moyer has stretched out to six innings in a start. Something that doesn't mean anything: the Mariners pounded 21 hits against the White Sox, with nine straight hits in the fourth. Some things mean something in the spring, and some things don't.

To any of you listening to KJR right now, you learn that Softy is a total Husky honk and a total Gonzaga hater. He is just railing against Gonzaga today. The reason he wanted to see Gonzaga lose? So the Huskies can get more of the in-state recruits. Sure, the ending sucked for Gonzaga, but just for a second, stop hating!! I know the West Coast Conference was crap, but you have to be good to run the table in ANY conference. Softy's using the word "fraud." Just being brutal. If Ivy or Kris at FBB are reading this, call or email Softy at KJR and defend your team!

That post felt a lot more disorganized than usual. Being in B-town is getting to me already.

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I was traveling back to B-town during the game, so no postgame comments from the Canuck crew. I'll do my best via the SportsLine game stats and recap.

Ugh...if there's any Mariner fans that are feeling nostalgic and/or need their fix of first half greatness and second half mediocrity, look no further than the Vancouver Canucks.

In this one, the Canucks had a 4-2 lead with 17:19 to go after Artem Chubarov's second goal of the game, an offensive explosion for him. With a 4-2 lead, I would imagine most Canuck fans liked their chances up two goals against COLUMBUS.

But even with the returns of Ed Jovanovski (out 25 games) and Henrik Sedin (out five of last six) to the lineup, it wasn't enough to stave off a four-point night from Russian 19-year-old Nikolai Zherdev.

Reading through the recap, Johan Hedberg had his second terrible night in a row. One goal was off a defenseman's shoulder, and another was screened, so those might be somewhat possible, but most of the others just come down to the bottom line -- stop or no stop.

Canuck goals: Brendan Morrison (20), Henrik Sedin (10), Artem Chubarov twice (10)

The Canucks are 8-13-6 at the Garage after blazing out of the gate at 9-0-1.

Kings at Canucks, Wednesday.

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Sunday, March 21, 2004


Just had to get that off of my chest.

It's Sunday, another day for my bracket to blow up into even bigger pieces of crap.

Here we go...

Xavier 89, Mississippi State 74
So much for the Starkville boys being "for real".

They not only were eliminated from the NCAA Tournament today, they have to return to Starkville, MS. Ouch.

Oh, and the Bulldogs were the THIRD Final Four team eliminated from my bracket. But at least I'm not in Starkville, MS!

Xavier will face Texas on Friday in Atlanta

Georgia Tech 57, Boston College 54
BC bores the hell out of me. A big salute to the Yellow Jackets for knocking them out.

Georgia Tech will play Nevada in St. Louis Friday.

Oklahoma State 70, Memphis 53
My lone Final Four team is still alive.

John Calipari sucks. It's always good to see his sorry ass lose.

Vanderbilt 75, North Carolina State 73
The Wolfpack deserved to lose this game. How do you foul the three point shooter not once, but TWICE???

Vandy plays UConn on Thursday in Phoenix.

Illinois 92, Cincinnati 68
Bob Huggins is eliminated. I'm loving it.

Illinois will play Duke Friday in Atlanta.

Pittsburgh 59, Wisconsin 55
The Panthers overcome the Badgers faithful in Milwaukee. Big win for Jamie Dixon's squad.

Pittsburgh will play Oklahoma State Thursday in East Rutherford.

UAB 76, Kentucky 75

I had Kentucky losing in the second round. Too bad that I had Washington beating them.

Sickening moment of the tournament so far: Nolan Richardson was in the crowd wearing GREEN. UAB head coach Mike Anderson was an assistant under Richardson at Arkansas. Folks, I haven't found a person here in Arkansas who likes Nolan Richardson. Great coach, but terrible person. His trial against the University of Arkansas starts in May. Hoo boy.

And in the most important game today for Bremertonians...

Kansas 78, Pacific 63
It was a good run for Miah Davis and the Tigers. But it is simply asking way too much for a Big West team to beat the Jayhawks in Kansas City. Kemper Arena is about 30 miles from the doors of Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, KS. This KU team wasn't a great team this year, but they got to play their first and second round games in Kansas City. A travesty, IMO. And that's not even the worst part about this. They get to play the regionals in ST. LOUIS. That's a picnic for Jayhawks fans. They can get on I-70 and be there in no time.

Back to Miah. Miah had 10 points, 5 rebounds, and 5 assists in 36 minutes. He may not be playing in the tournament any more, but that doesn't make us any less proud of him. Today was the end of Miah's collegiate career. It was great to see him end it on the biggest stage a college basketball player can be on, the NCAA Tournament.

Again, you can't expect to beat Kansas in Kansas City when this stuff is going on. I didn't get to see the game on TV or on AOL Broadband, so I was able to catch the Pacific radio feed. The announcers were just going nuts. "Are they going to call a foul here? Of course not."

It was that type of day in Kansas City. But what can you do?

Kansas will play UAB in St. Louis Friday. Expect a big Jayhawk crowd in the Edward Jones Dome.

So there you have it. Today, I was .500, with Georgia Tech, Pittsburgh, Oklahoma State, and Illinois winning.

Who's left in my Sweet 16? The above four teams, St. Joseph's, and Connecticut.

I won't get any points for this, but here's my revised Final Four:

Kansas (do you really think they're going to lose in St. Louis?)
Oklahoma State (my only team left in my Final Four)
Illinois (why not?)
Connecticut (I knew I should have picked them over Stanford in the Elite Eight, DOH!)

This will set up an Oklahoma State-Connecticut National Championship game, with the Cowboys winning. Eddie Sutton deserves a National Championship. Jim Calhoun already has his.

No commercial report here, because it's all the same.

Does anybody find it funny that the only two SEC teams left are Alabama and Vanderbilt? Who would have thunk it?

As for the baseball player with the bionic eye, my local CBS affiliate didn't even show "Century City" last night. Hysterical.

It's time to take a break from the tournament for a few days. I'm back in school tomorrow. Damn.

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Implode the Kingdome!!!

And if you can't get the Pacific-Kansas game on your CBS affiliate, then check out the official Pacific Tigers website to get the live radio feed.

C'mon Pacific!!!

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