Saturday, August 28, 2004


Bob Melvin flip-flopped the pitchers in today's doubleheader sometime last night without me knowing about it. This made Clint Nageotte the starter in the first game, matched up against Kansas City's Darrell May.

Nageotte wouldn't stay in this one for long, and a roster move was made after the game as a result.

Does anyone else out there get ticked off when Rick Rizzs and Ron Fairly add an "h" sound to the surname Berroa? These guys deal with at least twenty surnames every day they go to work. Is it too much to expect Berroa to not be pronounced as Berroja? Rico, Red, there's no J in that name. Also, I was one of those guys who'd get ticked off when John Mabry became "John Mayberry" to Ron Fairly. Grr.

Again, the spectrum...

Mariners on defense/pitching (bad to good)
massacre < terrible inning < some damage < fighting out of jam < decent inning < 1-2-3

Mariners on offense
I hate this team < come on, y'all < ho, hum < minimal damage < some damage < big inning

TOP 1ST -- terrible inning
Nageotte walked David DeJesus to start the game, and gave up a longball to Joe Randa two batters later (KC 2-0). Two groundouts on two pitches followed to end the inning, but walks are bad. Homers after the walks are bad, too.

BOTTOM 1ST -- come on, y'all
Ichiro, Randy Winn, and Edgar fall 1-2-3 to Darrell May. Yuck.

TOP 2ND -- terrible inning
Nageotte allowed singles to Calvin Pickering and Aaron Guiel to lead off the inning. John Buck bunted the runners over, and Angel Berroa drove them in with a single (KC 4-0). Hiram Bocachica one-hopped the backstop from centerfield with his throw to the plate. Once again, Nageotte would somehow end the inning with two groundouts on two pitches.

BOTTOM 2ND -- come on, y'all
Bret Boone hit a one-out double to left. With Dan Wilson at bat, Boone breaks for third on the first pitch. Keep in mind that the Mariners are down 4-0 at this point. Boone was meat at third, Wilson flew out. A quick end to something that had a chance to be a rally.

TOP 3RD -- fighting out of jam
With one out, Nageotte gave up a Matt Stairs single and walked Abe Nunez. A Pickering groundout to first moved the runners over, and Guiel bounced out to Boone to end the inning. Nageotte threw 20 pitches in the 3rd.

Clint Nageotte left the game after the 3rd inning with back spasms. How bad were they? It's probably debatable (bad spasms or excuse to make move?), but Nageotte was optioned to Tacoma, then placed on the 15-day disabled list. Cha Seung Baek was brought up in his place. Nageotte's line: 3 innings, 4 runs, 5 hits, 2 walks, no strikeouts, 49 pitches.

BOTTOM 3RD -- minimal damage
May fell behind 3-0 to Hiram Bocachica before giving up a single. Jose Lopez doubled to left, scoring Bocachica (KC 4-1), and moved to third on a bad throw by Guiel. Willie Bloomquist fouled off two pitches, looked at the third one, and then sat down. Ichiro bounced out to short, and Lopez scored (KC 4-2). Winn singled and Edgar whiffed.

TOP 4TH -- decent inning
Matt Thornton came into the game, bringing his trademark to the day's festivities: the three-ball count. All the hitters in the inning saw the three-ball count, though there were only three hitters. Berroa got on board thanks to a Lopez error, but was erased on the back end of a strike-'em-out-throw-'em-out double play (DeJesus the whiffer).

BOTTOM 4TH -- minimal damage
Bucky Jacobsen reached the leftfield bleachers with a smash (KC 4-3). Other than that, Boone walked and was erased on a Dan Wilson line-out double play. Hiram Bocachica walked and was picked off.

TOP 5TH -- fighting out of jam
Five Royals came to the plate in the inning, and Thornton went to three-ball counts on three of them. Randa and Stairs (who Thornton had 0-2) drew consecutive one-out walks, but Nunez and Pickering both flew out.

BOTTOM 5TH -- some damage
Bloomquist drew a one-out walk. Ichiro and Winn followed with shallow and/or hard-hit singles (the games weren't televised today). Edgar apparently hit an infield single, and Bloomquist scored to tie the game at 4-4. If I see Edgar hitting an infield single in the game logs with runners on, I've got to think that whoever fielded the ball threw late to a base other than first. Bucky then mashed a double to rightfield, scoring Ichiro and Winn to give the Mariners the lead (SEA 6-4). This chased Darrell May from the game, as he was replaced by the Reign Man, a.k.a. Shaaaaaaaaaawwwwwwn Camp! Yeah, it sounds slightly different, but I was just remembering when the Sonics were good. Memories indeed. Camp used five pitches to get Boone to bounce out and Wilson to whiff.

TOP 6TH -- 1-2-3
Thornton still managed to go to three balls on John Buck before getting him to whiff. This was Thornton's final inning. His line: 3 innings, no runs, no hits, 2 walks, 5 strikeouts. The high pitch count and the three-ball counts were a little unnerving, but it's a little less maddening when the K/BB ratio is 5/2. Or 2.5/1, for whoever wants it that way. The zero hits factor is also one of mitigation.

BOTTOM 6TH -- minimal damage
Bocachica fought back from 0-2 to draw a leadoff walk off Camp. Lopez singled on the next pitch, and Bloomquist bunted the runners over. Ichiro was walked. Winn bounced a ball to the pitcher, and was put out 1-3 as Bocachica scored (SEA 7-4). I can only hope that play wasn't like the catastrophic Matt Herges play from Atlanta the other night. Edgar bounced out to the pitcher to end the inning.

TOP 7TH -- terrible inning
George Sherrill came on, and had a little hiccup. DeJesus hit a leadoff single adn moved to second on a wild pitch to Desi Relaford, who would walk. Joe Randa grounded out to the right side, moving the runners over. Stairs doubled the other way, scoring the runners (SEA 7-6). Nunez flew out and Pickering bounced to second to end the threat.

BOTTOM 7TH -- minimal damage
Boone hit a one-out single and moved into scoring position thanks to a Camp balk. He moved to third on a Wilson flyout to rightfield. Bocachica bounced a ball to Berroa at short, be it was muffed. Boone crossed the plate for an insurance run (SEA 8-6). Lopez hit a ball to the pitcher to end the threat.

TOP 8TH -- fighting out of jam
It's only a jam because Scott Atchison walked Aaron Guiel to lead off the inning, and I still remember what Ken Levine said about the leadoff walk. Atchison then caught Buck looking, whiffed Berroa, and got DeJesus to line out to Bloomquist at third.

BOTTOM 8TH -- minimal damage
The Mariners tallied another insurance run on Camp. Bloomquist drew a leadoff walk and scored on a double by Winn two hitters later (SEA 9-6). Edgar walked on four pitches, but BUcky whiffed and Boone bounced into a fielder's choice.

TOP 9TH -- some damage
JJ Putz didn't weather a lot of damage, just a Desi Relaford leadoff smash (SEA 9-7). Randa doubled, but Putz got Stairs to whiff, got Nunez to line out to Ibanez, and got Pickering to whiff. Ballgame.

Well hey, whaddaya know? The Royals blew another 4-0 lead to the Mariners. I'll be damned.

Gameball: Hiram Bocachica. 1-for-2 with 2 walks, scoring twice. He got on base and scored twice, and quite frankly, that's way more than I expect out of someone who shouldn't even be on this roster. Yes, I'm playing the unsung card here, knowing full well that Bucky went 2-for-5 and drove in three, and that Randy Winn was 3-for-5 with a double and 2 RBI.

Goat: Dan Wilson. 0-for-4 with a strikeout, stranding four. Yeah, bruthah!!! Surely none of us expected Olivo to catch last night and then catch both ends of a doubleheader. That'd be nothing short of crazy, and quite possibly sadistic.

I've got to be honest; I didn't expect the Mariners to win this game, no way. But that's why it's the Royals they're facing. Anything is possible when the Royals come to town, at least nowadays. Three more homers today added to the nine from last night. Bucky's homer today was his 9th of the year, and the most by a Mariner rookie since Jose Cruz, Jr. hit 12 in 1997. Aw hell, let's have Bucky chase Junior Cruz in addition to Ichiro chasing Sisler, what the hell? Along that Ichiro line, he was 1-for-4 in this game, adding another hit to the tally, but sinking the average a bit. Yes, we can kiss .400 goodbye; it's all about Sisler now.

Even with three of the choppiest no-hit innings seen by mankind, it's time to congratulate Matt Thornton on his first Major League win. Congrats, buddy.

The next recap will commence its being typed up as soon as this second game ends. I'll just say I would have been ticked if Madritsch would have been tagged with the L after this game. Stuff may have been thrown.

[Edit Sun ~1:19a -- The Bugger reminds me in the comment box that Hiram had a wild throw to the backstop, something I completely neglected to factor into the gameball. That said, let's go with Bucky.]

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The 2004 World Cup of Hockey begins on Monday. All 19 games will be televised by CBC, while ESPN and ESPN 2 will televise all but 4 of the games (programming conflict with college football).

Here's the programming schedule for all 19 games, CBC, ESPN, and ESPN 2:

Czech Republic vs Finland (Helsinki) 10 a.m. Pacfic/Noon Central (ESPN)

Germany vs Sweden (Stockholm) 10 a.m. Pacific/Noon Central (ESPN)
United States vs Canada (Montreal) 4 p.m. Pacific/6 p.m. Central (ESPN 2)

Czech Republic vs Sweden (Stockholm) 10 a.m. Pacific/Noon Central (ESPN)
Slovakia vs Canada (Montreal) 4 p.m. Pacific/6 p.m. Central (ESPN 2)

Finland vs Germany (Cologne) 10:30 a.m. Pacific/12:30 p.m. Central (ESPN 2)
Russia vs United States (St. Paul) 4 p.m. Pacific/6 p.m. Central (ESPN 2)

Germany vs Czech Republic (Prague) 10 a.m. Pacific/Noon Central (ESPN)
Slovakia vs United States (St. Paul) 4 p.m. Pacific/6 p.m. Central (ESPN 2)

Sweden vs Finland (Helsinki) 5 p.m. Pacific/7 p.m. Central (no ESPN/ESPN 2)
Russia vs Canada (Toronto) 4 p.m. Pacific/6 p.m. Central (no ESPN/ESPN 2)

Slovakia vs Russia (Toronto) 4 p.m. Pacific/6 p.m. Central (no ESPN/ESPN 2)



Championship Game

European Division
Czech Republic, Finland, Germany, Sweden
North American Division
Canada, Russia, Slovakia, United States

World Cup rosters

The U.S. won the last World Cup of Hockey in 1996. Mike Richter was the tournament MVP. The tournament was known as the Canada Cup from 1976 to 1991. I remember the 1991 Canada Cup very well, almost like it was yesterday. Hockey was just fun as hell back in the early 90s for me. You know, before the New Jersey Devils decided to ruin most of the fun with their f**king trap.

These could be the last hockey games we will see for a while if the NHL owners and players don't get their act together. The CBA expires on September 15, just one day after the World Cup championship game.

I hate to end this post like that, but that's reality, folks. We love hockey here at Sports and Bremertonians. We want the NHL in 2004-2005. Not just a shortened schedule, we want a full regular season schedule. I'm still optimistic about the current labor situation being settled. But who knows what's going to happen.

Enjoy the World Cup of Hockey.

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Oh my goodness, this game got way out of hand.

But first, a complete aside. Has anyone realized that Gaard Swanson hosts the Tulalip Casino Night show on KIRO? Is CBS ticked that whatever network show that goes to all affiliates at 10pm on Friday isn't being shown in Seattle because of Gaard's hijinks? Possibly the most hilarious moment of the show was when they showed the leaderboard and the Pair of Queens team was last out of 11 teams. Knowing that the Pair of Queens team did not consist of two females (in fact, it was the complete opposite), Gaard may have slipped the tongue-in-cheek line about the Pair of Queens "bringing up the rear" in the competition (can he say that?). I guess the only thing more hilarious than that was after the end credits, when a logo with crossed swords was labeled with "On Gaard Productions." Hilarious. So finishes the complete aside for the night.

Gil Meche wasn't quite the Gil Meche that we've seen in his previous few starts. The Mariner bats were quite different on this night, to say the least.

Once again, the scale...

Mariners on pitching/defense (bad to good): massacre < terrible inning < some damage < fighting out of jam < decent inning < 1-2-3

Mariners on offense: I hate this team < come on, y'all < ho, hum < minimal damage < some damage < big inning

TOP 1ST -- 1-2-3

BOTTOM 1ST -- come on, y'all
Ichiro led off with his 201st hit, a single the other way. Jolbert Cabrera followed with a single of his own. Raul Ibanez singled into leftfield, and Ichiro took off for home. Aaron Guiel had a good beat on the ball, and Ichiro was meat at the plate. Bucky Jacobsen lined the second pitch right to shortstop Angel Berroa, who had more than enough time to double off Cabrera at second.

TOP 2ND -- 1-2-3

BOTTOM 2ND -- ho, hum
Scott Spiezio dinks a one-out single into rightfield, and watches the rest of the inning at first base.

TOP 3RD -- some damage
Gil Meche got Guiel to whiff. Backup catcher Alberto Castillo hit a double to centerfield (he wasn't done for the night). Ruben Gotay singled to put runners on the corners. David DeJesus hit a ball to the right side that Spiezio fielded. Or at least he tried to do so. He bobbled the ball, and when he recovered, he threw to second even though Gotay had pretty much reached the base safely about a millisecond after the ball left Spiezio's hand. All the while Spiezio could have had at least one out at first, depending on whether anyone was covering. In sum, Castillo scored on a play that should have been an inning-ending double play (KC 1-0). Still, Meche didn't let this get to him, getting a groundout from Berroa and a flyout from Joe Randa.

BOTTOM 3RD -- ho, hum
Hiram Bocachica, Ichiro, and Cabrera went away 1-2-3.

TOP 4TH -- 1-2-3

BOTTOM 4TH -- ho, hum
Ibanez, Bucky, and Bret Boone went away 1-2-3.

TOP 5TH -- terrible inning
Meche allowed a one-out homer to Castillo (2-for-4 on the night, KC 2-0). Meche walked Gotay and then yielded a gopherball to David DeJesus (KC 4-0). Homers will happen, but the walks don't have to. Granted, Meche has kept the walks way down over his last handful of outings. Meche would sandwich a Randa double inbetween a couple of outs in the remainder of the inning. And remember, there's that trademark Meche tendency to have one really crappy inning per start, even when he's on. This one was it.

BOTTOM 5TH -- some damage
It's only some damage, but the way they did it was certainly unexpected, and the victim was Zack Greinke. With one out, Miguel Olivo, Jose Lopez, and Bocachica (opposite field) all homered. Consecutively (KC 4-3). That's some punch out of the bottom of the lineup. Holy crap. Ichiro then bounced out, Cabrera singled, Ibanez doubled him to third, and Bucky was caught looking.

TOP 6TH -- fighting out of jam
A Calvin Pickering double-play ball erased the leadoff walk (Abe Nunez) from the basepaths. Guiel doubled, but was stranded. Meche would not return, as his pitch count was insane and almost TTF-esque at this point, except he gave up a couple less runs. A good portion of Meche's pitches were thrown in the 3rd (35 pitches), as well as in a 10-pitch Gotay walk, and Matt Stairs' at-bats of 8 and 9 pitches in the 3rd and 5th, respectively. Meche's line: 6 innings, 4 runs, 6 hits, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts, 122 pitches. Meche yielded two homers, but along with Ryan Franklin and Jamie Moyer, he's not the only one giving up the longball on this staff. Longballs are contagious.

BOTTOM 6TH -- minimal damage
Nothing happened here except that Olivo mashed another ball that hit somewhere near the staircase above the bullpen to tie the score at 4-4. This was Olivo's first career multihomer game.

I think Olivo seems to have this knack where he'll not block a few balls behind the plate (okay, that's all the time), hang up a couple of 0-for-4s, maybe a 1-for-3 now and then, and then he'll bust out every 8 or 10 games with a game like tonight's game, where he drives in a couple of runs or hits a key home run. I'm not sure whether the time interval is accurate or whether it's below or above normal, but it's well above Dan Wilson standards. Bill Krueger mentioned something on FSNNW about Olivo facing Rene Lachemann and the JUGS machine next spring training, and if he gets through that all right, then Olivo might be a bright spot for next year. A catcher that can hit? It's been a while since we've seen that. It's been a while since we've seen a catcher with an arm also. But enough of this Olivo praise, let's get on with the 'cap.

TOP 7TH -- fighting out of jam
Small jam. Scott Atchison managed to keep a zero on the board despite giving up a one-out DeJesus double. Berroa hit a grounder to Atchison, and DeJesus was hot-boxed between second and third. Atchison then got Randa to whiff.

BOTTOM 7TH -- ho, hum
Ichiro gets hit number 202 on a drag bunt along the first base line, then gets doubled off on a hard Cabrera grounder to short.

TOP 8TH -- some damage
George Sherrill came in and left a pitch way too high in the zone to Nunez (who had quite a night in the first game of the series), who smashed the ball out to leftfield (KC 5-4).

BOTTOM 8TH -- some damage
George Sherrill was now on the hook for the loss, which he seemed destined for, given the Mariners' usual fate. Ibanez legged out an infield single, but Bucky bounced into a fielder's choice. Then Boone got a hold of a DJ Carrasco pitch and drove it out to give the Mariners the lead (SEA 6-5). Hell, even Spiezio got into the act, getting a low pitch he liked and driving it out to rightcenter (SEA 7-5). This was Scott's first RBI since July 20th (Boston) and his first homer since July 6th (at Toronto). I was out in the sticks of Oregon for those Spiezio milestones. But hey, this display of "clutch" tonight probably bought him the starting third baseman's job for next year.

TOP 9TH -- decent inning
George Sherrill was still the pitcher of record, but now was in line for the win. JJ Putz allowed only a one-out single, but then got a double-play ball to end it.

Nine homers tonight, six by the Mariners. On this day, Safeco Field was Coors Light. Does anyone want to bet on a 3-week homer drought for the Mariner offense? Also, the sixth through ninth hitters (Spiezio/Olivo/Lopez/Bocachica) were 6-for-15 tonight with five homers and five RBI.

Gameball: Scott Spiezio. 2-for-4 with a homer and an RBI. I can't remember the last time he got a gameball from this outlet. I just wanted the chance to say something good about this guy even though I know he muffed that double-play ball and a run scored on the play.

Goat: Bucky Jacobsen. 0-for-4 with one strikeout, stranding five. Luckily most people will be focused on the feats of the others in the lineup tonight. I've said on occasion that he's going to have nights like this, but we can probably just wait a couple days and then see him go nuts and bash a couple out of the ballyard and whatnot.

May. Nageotte. About twelve hours.
Serrano. Madritsch. After that.
[Edit ~12:44a -- If you saw the blank spaces for some Spiezio-related stuff, it's because I hadn't pulled up his game log before I went offline to type this post.]

[Edit 2:09p -- Yeah, the flipping of the Mariner starters flew right under my nose. I didn't realize it until I started listening to the first game.]

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Friday, August 27, 2004


Even though the Americans lost to Argentina today in men's basketball, it's still been a good day in Athens. At least David and I think so, anyway.

Not only did Marion Jones not medal in the long jump, but she caused the 4x100 relay team to be disqualified. She screwed up the baton pass to Lauren Williams, disqualifying the U.S.

Granted, she has not been found guilty of the whole BALCO deal yet. But at the same time, I've never liked her at all. She's too f**king arrogrant. She and Lisa Leslie would be perfect for each other.

I'm still rolling over the time when David Locke called Leslie a bitch on KJR. Funny as hell, that's what that was.

So yeah, I'm downright giddy about Marion Jones not doing jack in Athens. Way to go, Tar Heel!

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By far, tonight has been the Seahawks best performance of the preseason.

On the first play of the game, Drew Brees gets picked off by Ken Lucas who runs it back for a touchdown. However, his TD was called back by a 'Hawks penalty. Big deal, the 'Hawks go on a 3-play, 15 yard drive, capped off by a Darrell Jackson touchdown. 7-0 'Hawks.

On their 2nd drive, the 'Hawks go 65 yards on 12 plays, with Josh Brown kicking a 52-yard field goal to make it 10-0. Brown has a big leg. See last October's Green Bay game.

The 'Hawks 3rd drive is stalled when Shaun Alexander is stopped for no gain on 4th down in the red zone.

Philip Rivers made his preseason debut for the Chargers in the 2nd quarter, and on his first play, throws a 38-yard pass to Josh Norman. Rivers leads the Bolts on a 9-play, 70-yard drive before MacKenzie Hoambrecker's 39-yard field goal is blocked by Anthony Simmons. Simmons runs it back for 67 yards, touchdown Seahawks. 17-0 'Hawks.

Late in the 2nd quarter, Marcus Trufant intercepts Rivers. Shaun Alexander runs for a 13-yard touchdown to make it 23-0. Brown's extra point is blocked, so it's 23-0 'Hawks. As long as there's no extra point blocks in the regular season, that's fine by me.

And that's where I'll leave it.

How did the starters do? Well, no key guys have gotten hurt. That's a good sign.

Matt Hasselbeck -- 16-of-24, 167 yards, 1 TD
Shaun Alexander -- 12 att, 48 yards, 1 TD, 2 rec, 33 yards (81 total yards)
Darrell Jackson -- 1 rec, 1 TD
Koren Robinson -- 5 rec, 59 yards
Jerramy Stevens -- 2 rec, 18 yards

Anthony Simmons -- 3 tackles, 1 sack, 1 TD
Ken Lucas -- 1 INT
Marcus Trufant -- 1 INT

Philip Rivers was 4-of-11 for 74 yards and 2 INTs. Granted, he has gotten into camp late. But I for one would not be shocked to see him start early in the season. Maybe not Week 1, but by Week 5, he could be the starter. We'll see though.

Well, the first team is still in. I had read that Mike Holmgrean was going to do this tonight. I may decide to update this post later with the 3rd quarter stats, but I doubt it.

Enjoy the weekend, folks.

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Rotoworld is reporting that the Giants have claimed Pirates closer Jose Mesa off waivers.

However, Mesa has said he'll go home instead of reporting to a new team:

"I don't mind and I don't care because I am not going to the Giants," he said. "I already made up my mind a long time ago. I'm not going nowhere. If they trade me, whatever team picks me up is in trouble because I'll go home."

Maybe it's better that he doesn't report to a contender. Game 7 of the 1997 World Series ring a bell? Screw Mesa. He's an a**hole who ruined Safeco Field's opening night.

Seahawks-Chargers first half recap coming up in a few minutes...


The Mariners had back-to-back-to-back home runs? Test them!

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This year, I'm going to do something different for my college football preview.

Instead of doing a preview on every conference and its teams, I will give you my 2004-2005 bowl game projections. When December rolls around, you could look back to this post and see which bowl projections I got right.

Anyways, here it goes (bowls listed from the New Orleans Bowl to the Orange Bowl)

NEW ORLEANS BOWL (Sun Belt #1 vs Conference USA)
North Texas vs Houston

TANGERINE BOWL (ACC #4/5 vs Big 12 #7)
Virginia Tech vs Texas A&M

GMAC BOWL (Conference USA #2 vs at-large/MAC)
TCU vs Boise State

LAS VEGAS BOWL (Pac-10 #5 vs Mountain West #2)
Oregon vs San Diego State

FORT WORTH BOWL (Conference USA #4 vs at-large/Big 12 #8)
Southern Mississippi vs Fresno State

HAWAII BOWL (Conference USA #3 vs WAC)
Memphis vs Hawaii

Toledo vs Michigan State

UTEP vs North Carolina State

INDEPENDENCE BOWL (Big 12 #5 or #6 vs SEC)
Oklahoma State vs South Carolina

INSIGHT.COM BOWL (Pac-10 #4 vs Big East #2 or #3)
Oregon State vs Connecticut

HOUSTON BOWL (Big 12 #5 or #6 vs SEC)
Nebraska vs Arkansas

ALAMO BOWL (Big 12 #4 vs Big Ten #4)
Kansas State vs Purdue

Arizona State vs Tulsa

HOLIDAY BOWL (Pac-10 #2 vs Big 12 #3)
California vs Texas

EMERALD BOWL (Pac-10 #6 vs Mountain West #3)
Washington vs New Mexico

CONTINENTAL TIRE BOWL (ACC #5 vs Big East #3 or #4)
Georgia Tech vs Pittsburgh

Maryland vs Alabama

LIBERTY BOWL (Conference USA #1 vs Mountain West #1)
Louisville vs Utah

SUN BOWL (Pac-10 #3 vs Big Ten #5)
Washington State vs Iowa

MUSIC CITY BOWL (SEC #6 or #7 vs Big Ten #6)
Mississippi State vs Penn State

Tennessee vs Minnesota

GATOR BOWL (ACC #2 vs Big East #2)
Clemson vs West Virginia

OUTBACK BOWL (SEC vs Big Ten #3)
Auburn vs Ohio State

COTTON BOWL (SEC vs Big 12 #2)
Florida vs Missouri

Michigan vs LSU

Miami vs Oklahoma

Boston College vs Florida State

USC vs Georgia

--- --- --- --- ---

To sum it all up:

USC -- Pac-10 Champions
Georgia -- SEC Champions
Oklahoma -- Big 12 Champions
Miami -- ACC Champions
Michigan -- Big 10 Champions
Boston College -- Big East Champions
Florida State and LSU -- BCS at-large teams

Texas-El Paso, otherwise known as UTEP, will go bowling this year, to Boise for the MPC Computers Bowl (it is the Humanitarian Bowl). Mike Price will show the college football world how good of a coach he really is this year in El Paso. Remember, he turned around a mediocre Washington State program. I think he can turn around the Miners' fortunes as well.

The Houston Bowl could be the most underrated matchup of the bowl season. Arkansas head coach Houston Nutt was very close to accepting the Nebraska job this past January. He decided to stay in Fayetteville, accepting a new long-term contract. Not a lot of people are expecting the Razorbacks to do much in 2004. But they have Matt Jones at quarterback. He's good for a few wins alone. And watch out for freshman running back Peyton Hillis. The guy is 6'2", 240 and is a beast. SEC defenders, look out.

West Virginia is the most overrated team in the country, book it. And the Big East has no business having a BCS automatic berth.

Mississippi State will go to a bowl game this year. New head coach Sylvester Croom will have the Bulldogs believing they can win. Add to the fact that Ole Miss lost Eli Manning, and I think MSU can definitely overtake the Rebels in the SEC West.

Texas will fire Mack Brown after he loses yet another Holiday Bowl game, this year to Cal. Oh, and the Longhorns will lose once again to Oklahoma.

Finally, I see USC winning the national championship. This time, there will be no question about it. Sure, they lost Mike Williams. But they are quite simply the most talented team in America. Georgia is right up there with the Trojans, but the boys from Southern Cal are just too strong.

The 2004 season kicks off with Virginia Tech vs USC tomorrow night from FedEx Field on ESPN. College football is back. Good freaking deal.

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There's one main motive to this post, and it's to move the sidebar back to the top (i.e., get the sidebar-pushing photos off the front page). The other semi-motive: shorties.

-- Clint Nageotte will take on a much more familiar role on Saturday, that of starting pitcher. He will be pitching the second game of the doubleheader. Will he look like the Nageotte that debuted against the Astros and did fairly well, or will he walks eight guys in five innings? One thing's for sure, he's got a crappy Kansas City lineup to work against.

-- The Oregon Baseball Campaign is pushing on with their plans for a $350M ballpark even as the likelihood seemingly increases of the Expos ending up near the nation's capital. Peter Gammons said on Baseball Tonight earlier this week that the Expos were basically on their way to the DC area, with the money and other details having to be hashed out. Has Gammons been wrong before? Many, many times. Gammons aside, though, a couple of things raised my eyebrows about the plan. One is that the plan calls for $115M of the $350M to come from taxes to future baseball players and team personnel. I'm not sure if there's precedent for this or what, but will prospective players want to pay federal income tax, Oregon state income tax, AND a ballpark tax? Seems like a reach to me. The other thing that raised the brow is that the stadium would be a 38000-seater. That sounds to me like a small ballpark, and one that would probably be shoehorned into Portland somewhere. The probability of parking being absolutely horrible would probably be pretty high. That's where the ticket-stubs-as-free-TriMet passes idea comes in (the Portland Beavers do it already).

Still, why the NHL hasn't elicited more of a groundswell in Portland than baseball has is beyond both writers of this weblog.

-- Short hockey note. The Phoenix Coyotes have done some things this offseason. Having already signed Brett Hull and Mike Ricci, the Dogs have signed Petr Nedved (pretty good post-deadline last year with Edmonton) and have traded Daymond Langkow for two key pieces of the Calgary Flames' run, Denis Gauthier and former Seattle Thunderbird Oleg Saprykin. New players, new arena. The Glendale Coyotes.

-- Don't click the upcoming link if you're squeamish. I got a hold of the link, and basically, if you saw Chappelle's Show during the first season and thought the R. Kelly video (and remix) were hilarious, then take a look at this. No, there's no graphic depictions, just a lyric sheet.

Have a great Friday, all.

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Thursday, August 26, 2004


Ichiro gets his 200th hit of the year tonight on a leadoff homer in the 9th, making him the first player in Major League history to get 200 hits in his first four ML seasons. Getting 200 hits in any four seasons is quite a feat. This record, well, what you think of it probably depends on what you thought when Hideo Nomo, Kazuhiro Sasaki, and Ichiro won Rookie of the Year awards. If you think those ROY awards were bogus, then you probably think the same about this. I'm not sure if I quite call this bogus, but it sure doesn't have the same air about it as it would if some 22-year-old fresh out of the minors reeled off four straight seasons of 200 hits.

I just heard Bob Melvin call this the worst game of the year. I can't really tell anymore, frankly. Though I am kind of surprised he said something even to that degree.

Okay, I'm going to try a new scheme here tonight. It'll involve some scales and/or spectra.

Mariners on pitching/defense (bad to good): massacre < terrible inning < some damage < fighting out of jam < decent inning < 1-2-3

Mariners on offense: I hate this team < come on, y'all < ho, hum < minimal damage < some damage < big inning

As a bonus here, a quick totally unrelated stat from David Locke: teams are hitting .290 off Ron Villone as a starter.

Recap time, with a new and experimental twist.

TOP 1ST -- terrible inning
Jamie Moyer got David DeJesus to bounce a ball right to him. What followed were two singles and a walk to load the bases. Abe Nunez stepped to the plate. He got a Moyer-speed pitch up over the plate and got the barrel on it. Yes, 'twas a grand slam a few rows back inside the foul pole in left (KC 4-0). Yes, the wind was taken out of the ballpark early tonight. But you know, this team never quits!

BOTTOM 1ST -- ho, hum
The Mariners actually did score in this inning. Randy Winn and Edgar Martinez singled, and Raul Ibanez walked to load the bases with one out. Bret Boone had the ol' RBI fielder's choice (KC 4-1). Bucky Jacobsen lined out to the third baseman.

TOP 2ND -- 1-2-3

BOTTOM 2ND -- ho, hum
Dan Wilson and Willie Bloomquist were on first and second with one out. Ichiro hit a hard grounder to second, and there was ample time for the double play.

TOP 3RD -- fighting out of jam
Well, maybe a semi-jam. Moyer walked Matt Stairs and Abe Nunez with two out. Nothing more, though.

BOTTOM 3RD -- come on, y'all
Just a 1-2-3 inning here out of the 2-3-4 hitters in the Mariner lineup: Winn/Edgar/Ibanez.

TOP 4TH -- fighting out of jam
John Buck hit an infield single to lead off. Aaron Guiel took his place on the basepaths with a fielder's choice. Ruben Gotay worked the count and fouled off five pitches before walking on the 11th pitch of the at-bat. Guiel was nailed breaking for second on the first pitch to David DeJesus, who would ground out to second.

BOTTOM 4TH -- ho, hum
Bucky hits a single with one out and stays there.

TOP 5TH -- 1-2-3

BOTTOM 5TH -- come on, y'all
Bloomquist drew a leadoff walk and didn't move, thanks to Ichiro (flyout), Winn (whiff), and Edgar (groundout).

TOP 6TH -- some damage
Nunez (2-for-3 with 4 RBI tonight) hit a leadoff single. Calvin Pickering lined out to Jose Lopez, who tried to catch Nunez napping off of first. Instead, he threw the ball wide of big Bucky. Pickering ended up on second, a good vantage point to watch John Buck draw a walk. The next play was a bit weird. Guiel hit a single to right, and Nunez was going to score anyway. Ichiro tried to gun down Buck at third, and the ball hit Buck as he was sliding into third. He would get up and break for home as Bloomquist, backing up on the play, tried to nail Buck at home. Wide throw (KC 6-1), Guiel (SONIC BOOM! Yeah, I know it's spelled wrong) scores.

Moyer was pulled. His line: 5 1/3 innings, 6 runs (5 earned), 6 hits, 5 walks, 3 strikeouts, 117 pitches (68 strikes). Here's some stats that I heard David Locke spit out tonight. Jamie Moyer has not won a game since June 18th against the Pirates, which made his record 6-2. I was in the sticks in Oregon at that time. Moyer is now 6-9. Moyer has allowed 4 or more runs in eight of his last ten starts. I haven't brought it up in a while, but...QuesTec, anyone? I don't want to make it seem like an excuse, but we know Jamie needs certain calls to be effective. Let's not forget that on this same night where Ichiro gets a record, Jamie Moyer was involved in that home run record. You know, the one that had Scott Bankhead's name on it? Moyer tied it, yielding long ball number 35 on the season.

Shigetoshi Hasegawa came to the mound. Gotay hit a shallow fly ball to Ichiro in right, and Guiel decided to press his luck and break for home. Ichiro's throw short-hopped Dan Wilson a foot or two up the line from the plate, but Wilson caught it cleanly. I never saw a conclusive camera angle on the play, and couldn't tell when the tag was laid down, and whether it was before Guiel's foot touched the plate. Who cares, though, really. The game was decided long before this point.

BOTTOM 6TH -- I hate this team
Ibanez led off with a double. Boone hit an infield single, and Ibanez held. Bucky hit a ball deep enough to right to move Ibanez to third. With Dan Wilson up, Boone took off for second base on a 2-2 pitch. He was nailed. Problem? The count as recorded on the scoreboard was 3-1, which was incorrect. Boone didn't know that though. Lopez singled to score Ibanez, at least (KC 6-2). Bloomquist hit an obligatory fly ball to left. The Mariners had four baserunners in the inning. It took four hitters to score Ibanez from second after he led off with the double. I'm trying to look for a real damning sentence here, but I can't come up with one.

TOP 7TH -- some damage
Typical 2004 Hasegawa here. He gets the quick double play after Moyer gets pulled, then he gives up a run the inning after. Angel Berroa (Mr. Sophomore Slump) hit a one-out double and scored one out later on a Matt Stairs single (KC 7-2). Not exactly a New Brunswick-sized bomb, but he'll take it, fresh off the DL.

BOTTOM 7TH -- ho, hum
Winn hit a one-out double on a high-and-away fastball that Nunez got a terrible jump on, as it was just out of his reach. An Edgar flyout would move Winn to third. Jamie Cerda would walk Ibanez before getting Boone to whiff.

TOP 8TH -- fighting out of jam
Hasegawa allows back-to-back singles on two pitches with two out. Nothing more, though.

BOTTOM 8TH -- ho, hum
DJ Carrasco allows a Lopez walk with two out. Bloomquist is caught looking to end the inning.

TOP 9TH -- decent inning
Matt Thornton allows a one-out Joe Randa single. Matt Stairs bounces into a double play to end the inning. Thornton doesn't lose his mind or his control, always a plus.

BOTTOM 9TH -- ho, hum
Yes, that's right. Ichiro tallies a home run for his 200th hit for the season, making it four straight seasons of that many hits to start his Major League tenure. However, the inning is still "ho, hum." Why? The three hitters afterward went down 1-2-3.

These guys never quit.

Gameball: Randy Winn. 2-for-5 with a double. It gets harder and harder to find gameballs these days.

Goat: Jamie Moyer. I posted his line already. The guy hasn't won in over two months. Surely no one out there is as sure about Moyer as they were two months ago. Can we expect to see him return to form next year, defying the usual trends of regression with age once again? It's got to stop somewhere, right?

Ichiro hung up a 1-for-5 game tonight after the 0-fer last night and three more 1-hit games before that. I think we can probably kiss a run at .400 goodbye, unless he picks the pace back up to the ungodly level from a few weeks ago. He's definitely got a much better shot at George Sisler than he does at .400.

Yes, the Mariners have lost four in a row to start the homestand. Against Tampa Bay. And Kansas City. Somehow, I still expect the Mariners to pull two wins out of the remaining four against the Royals. The suckitude between the two teams has to balance out, right? Like identical polarities on different magnets?

Holy crap. I just looked at the league-wide scoreboard and saw that Chan Ho Park won his first game off the DL; his first win since May 12. Texas is at 71 wins, equaling their win total from last year. At least HIS team doesn't suck.

Holy crap again. I just saw Livan Hernandez hit a home run and flip his bat on the highlight reel. Yikes. I really need to end this post.

Greinke. Meche. Tomorrow.

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Lloyd Christmas: Hey, wanna hear the most annoying sound in the world?

Well, tonight, I just heard the most annoying sound in the world.

Michael Irvin. Stephen A. Smith. In the same damn Sportscenter segment.

God help us.

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Week 1 of the 2004-2005 school year is over. No, Southeast Arkansas College does not have classes on Fridays. And yes, I'm definitely trying to get the word out about Sports and Bremertonians on the SEARK campus. Why I didn't do this more last year, I have no idea.

Anyways, a few sports notes before I get to the real reason why I'm posting:

---The NCAA will not reinstate WR Mike Williams to USC. Well, the Trojans are still going to win the Pac-10. They're simply the most talented team in America. Wait, that reminds me, I still need to do a college football preview. It may be shorter than I wanted it to be, because of time. But by 6:30 Central time Saturday night, I'll have my 2004 CFB preview up.

---Rams RT Kyle Turley will miss the 2004 season because of his back. As David said, the Seahawks better win the NFC West this year. The Rams offensive line has already lost center Dave Wohlabaugh. And now Turley is gone. Yikes.

---Willie Bloomquist sucks.

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And for the real reason why I'm posting.....

I'm going to start something "new" here. From time to time, I'll post my musical soundtrack, or in other words, what in the blue hell am I listening to? I'm sure somebody gives a damn out there. No, my views aren't influenced by the terrible situation that is Arkansas rock radio.

So here you go, in no particular order:

Gravity Kills "Blame" (Escape From L.A. Remix)
---Don't even bother with the album version of this song. The L.A. remix of "Blame" is just solid. And without a doubt, "Blame" is much, much better than "Guilty".

Dropbox "Wishbone"
---I like to call this my "wake the f**k up" song. It's in my CD alarm clock radio as we speak. Now, as good as "Wishbone" is, I'd also recommend "End of Days". Dropbox is a good band. Their self-titled is cheaply priced, around 8-9 bucks right now. Go get it if you need some new music.

Van Halen "It's About Time"
---I don't have the "Best of Both Worlds" CD like David does, but I've listened to this song more than a few times. If you have Windows Media Player, open it up, go to Music, and go to Rock Grab Bag. From there, you'll find the link to the entire stream of Van Halen's "BOTW" album. And no, I wouldn't pay 70 bucks to see Van Halen on their current tour either. But that doesn't change the fact that Van Halen rocks.

Green Day "American Idiot"
---New album comes out September 21. I can't wait. If "American Idiot" is any indication, this is going to be a damn good album.

Velvet Revolver "Fall To Pieces"
---This is when the "Contraband" album picks up. Hearing this song puts me back in time to 1988 when I first heard "Sweet Child O' Mine" on the radio. For those wondering, I was 6 at the time. Yes, I have a great memory of these things. Don't bother asking me why I do. Needless to say, "Fall To Pieces" should be a huge hit for Velvet Revolver. If it isn't, something is seriously wrong with the music industry. Oh, nevermind, the music industry already sucks as it is.

Lenny Kravitz "Always On The Run"
---Oh how I miss the old Lenny. Sadly, he will never come back. RIP.

Finger Eleven "Stay In Shadow"
---You want to know the one band's albums that I should own, but I don't? Well, it's these crazy Canadians. There's simply no excuse as to why this is the case. Anyways, "Stay In Shadow" rocks my face off.

Genesis "Abacab"
---I've never claimed to be a narrow minded music fan. Time and time again, David and I have proclaimed Phil Collins to be the coolest bald man on the planet. I know that Collins released a Greatest Hits album a few years ago. Did Genesis ever release one? If they did, I need to get it. Oh, and I prefer the Phil Collins-led version of Genesis, not the Peter Gabriel era. But this isn't a Gabriel-bashing session. I did love "Sledgehammer". Who didn't?

Sevendust "Beautiful"
---Lately, I've played the hell out of the "Animosity" album. So I could include many songs off of this album here, but for time's sake, I'll just put "Beautiful" on the list. Why this band hasn't gotten the major push that they deserve is beyond me.

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Of course, this wouldn't be complete without a song that I just absolutely hate right now:

Breaking Benjamin "So Cold"

I heard this song before.....

When it was called "Spiders" by System of a Down.

That about does her right now. Oh, now it really wouldn't be a complete post if I didn't make light of the Dave Matthews Band sh*t incident...

Taking a sh*t now...


And I too have never seen the big f**king deal with the Dave Matthews Band. They're a decent band, let's leave it that. I'll say this though, if they would have tossed that sh*t in the Columbia River, there would be some hell to pay.

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Just a bunch of tidbits here, all over the map...

-- Eddie Vedder and Mike McCready were at Safeco Field last night. As I've probably said here before, Pearl Jam hasn't been the same since Vitalogy, and not even one of my favorite drummers (Matt Cameron) can get me to listen to their newer stuff. My friend Steve and I always get into heated arguments over the song "Black." I think it ruins the emotion of the first four tracks on Ten, whereas he thinks it's a lyrical masterpiece and a welcome diversion. I think barely any of Vedder's lyrics actually make sense.

-- Van Halen is suing the Orioles for $2M for reneging on a scheduled concert, but that's sort of old news. Van Halen got me through high school, but I still wouldn't pay $70 to see Sammy Hagar do the same four David Lee Roth songs he's done on every Van Halen tour he's been on. Say what you will about Gary Cherone, half the set list at the Gorge the night I went consisted of a handful of Roth songs that hadn't been played in decades.

-- This doesn't even link to sports, but how would you have liked to be on that tour boat in Chicago when the Dave Matthews Band's tour bus allegedly dumped 800 gallons of human waste off a bridge onto the boat? Let's hope no one on that tour boat was on their honeymoon. Yikes. By the way, I hate whoever made the unwritten law that absolutely everybody on a college campus has to think Dave Matthews Band is the best damn band ever. Maybe it's just at Central, who knows. I came into those four years at school thinking they were extremely skilled musicians and were a very good band. After the four years, I think the same thing, except I'm really sick of them.


-- Kyle Turley is done for the year. The Seahawks get to face a decimated Rams team twice. They might be less decimated by the second time the teams meet, but they won't have Turley. Man, the Seahawks better win this division.

-- Wide receiver Mike Williams was not granted eligibility by the NCAA, and will basically be working out until next year's NFL draft.

-- Whoever mows the grass at Shea Stadium is out of his mind. The Padres/Mets day game today showcased a concave diamond pattern (think playing card suit) in the grass, with maybe a few thousand people witnessing the game. Who thinks Thursday getaway day games are a good idea?

-- Short Canuck tidbit. Brendan Morrison and Dan Cloutier are working out, and both think the odds are bleak that the NHL season will start on time. Also, Todd Bertuzzi pleaded not guilty to an assault charge in connection with the suckerpunch and piledriving into the ice of Colorado Avalanche player Steve Moore.

-- I could get on a roll with why I hate the Little League World Series (no, I won't even think of trashing the kids from Redmond here, I'd much rather congratulate them), but I'll try to keep it short. My main reason: curveballs thrown by kids that age. These kids are still growing, and I think they shouldn't be throwing curveballs until they're 14 or 15. When I'm flipping through the channels and see these kids throwing curves, all I say is "don't come crying to me when you're begging your parents for Tommy John surgery at the age of 16." In a somewhat related story, the lefthanded teammate I hung out with the other day began throwing curves pretty early in his baseball life, and I tried to play catch with him just one year out of high school, and his arm is now shot. Dude can't throw anymore. If I ever coach or have a little baseball-playing chip off the block, he's locating a fastball and a changeup until he turns 14 or 15, no questions asked. Location, location, location. If he throws curves anyway, I don't know what I'd do; that's why I'm not a parent.

I didn't even get started on why I don't like ESPN televising it, the role that that plays in the parents that are overzealous (I know most probably aren't), the fact that if the tournament just had (for example) 10 teams from 10 countries with the US represented by one team in a round-robin pool-play type deal, they'd probably get stomped every year.

Oh man, I didn't even get started on some of these kids' pitching mechanics. A few of the pitchers look fairly smooth out there, but a lot of them are just painful to watch. I know these kids are 12 years old and everything, but I'm weird. I was complimented on my pitching mechanics once by an umpire (I was probably 13 at the time), so it's given me somewhat of a complex. I was the kid who was watching baseball games on the TV all through the 90s and picking an open space on the floor and imitating the motions I saw on television. Years of this. In my most embarrassing moment, I took a Rich DeLucia delivery to the mound (don't ask me why) when I was about 10 or 11, and I managed to nail a Westgate batter in the foot. Pretty short outing for me, much like DeLucia's career.

For the record, Bremerton does not have Little League. I'd explain to my dad all the time that even if I was on an awesome team that kept winning, we'd never go to the LLWS and for some reason, he never understood that. Bremerton has the Kitsap County Pee Wee Association, which basically consists of teams from Bremerton, the Silverdale area, North Mason (Belfair), and sometimes North Kitsap. South Kitsap and Bainbridge are Little League.

-- Jeremy's right. This commercial with Macy Gray doing the cover of "Walk This Way" is just beyond putrid.

This post was weirdly exhausting to construct.

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Wednesday, August 25, 2004


Well, well. The Mariners get the big inning, Ron Villone somehow gets through seven innings, AND they finally solve Jorge Sosa (sort of). Sosa had given up 1 run in 22 innings against the Mariners coming into this game. Despite scoring five runs in the 6th and finally getting to Sosa, the Mariners still dropped tonight's game by a score of 6-5. Yes, the Tampa Bay Devil Rays just swept the Seattle Mariners. Lou Piniella is laughing and will laugh some more when he celebrates his birthday in the Bay Area in the very near future.

Ron Villone didn't take long to look like he was going to take an early exit. Jose Cruz Jr. ran out an infield single and went to third on a Jorge Cantu double. One out later, Geoff Blum (average now up to .221) singled to leftfield to score both runners (TB 2-0). Two pitches later, Rey Sanchez doubled to Randy Winn territory to plate Blum (TB 3-0). Carl Crawford singled to put runners on the corners, and Julio Lugo hit an RBI groundout to drag out the lead to four (TB 4-0).

Meanwhile, Jorge Sosa looked like he was up to his old tricks against the Mariners, firing 95mph fastballs to the plate and retiring the first 10 hitters to face him.

There was nearly a Mariner scoring threat in the 5th. Bret Boone walked on four pitches to lead off. Bucky Jacobsen's groundout moved Boone to second, and a Jolbert Cabrera groundout moved Boone to third. Miguel Olivo then whiffed.

The Mariners would get to Sosa in a big way in the 6th, with big help from the Tampa Bay defense. Jose Lopez dribbled a 1-2 pitch along the third-base line; the ball must have had a chalk magnet in it or something, because it rolled on the line until it hit the bag at third. Ichiro swung at a 2-0 pitch and hit a bouncer to Cantu at third. Cantu hurried the throw and airmailed the second baseman by about five feet. Runners were on second and third with nobody out. Winn singled into rightfield to score Lopez (TB 4-1). Edgar Martinez came to the plate and hit a sac fly to centerfield (TB 4-2). Raul Ibanez ripped a 3-1 pitch into rightfield for a single. Bret Boone bounced into a 5-4 fielder's choice to put runners on the corners. This set the stage for Bucky. The Hermiston Hammer ripped a 1-2 pitch foul down the third-base line (just missed a double), but mashed a hanging slider on the next pitch into the front couple of rows in the leftfield bleachers above the KOMO 1000 sign to get the Mariners the lead (SEA 5-4). End result for Sosa is that four of the five runs are unearned.

What would Ron Villone do with his newfound lead? If your guess is "walk the leadoff guy," you are correct. Geoff Blum (again, a formidable and fearsome .221 hitter) drew the leadoff walk, and was singled over to second by Sanchez, who was 2-for-3 on the night. Carl Crawford bunted the runners over, and Julio Lugo hit a fly ball to centerfield that may have been deep enough to score Blum even with a league-average arm throwing the ball back in (5-5). Yup, that Mariner lead lasted for all of three hitters. Villone would walk BJ Upton on four pitches and start Tino Martinez off 3-0. Tino would bounce out to Bucky to end the inning. Villone would not come out for the 8th inning. His line: 7 innings, 5 runs, 8 hits, 3 walks, 3 strikeouts, 107 pitches (66 strikes). Basically, the number of innings is good, but the runs and walks are not good. I wish people (certain media outlets, i.e., KJR's postgame show tonight) would stop saying that this guy is important. The guy gave up five runs tonight to bring his ERA up to 4.50. To me, there's guys out there that can do what he's doing that cost considerably less than $1 million. If both Bob Melvin and Ron Villone are wearing Mariner uniforms next year, I'll be miffed. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but did the Mariners break the Scott Boras client moratorium on Rey Sanchez last year? That's just a Villone/Boras-related thing that came to mind there. One great moment of last offseason was when I read that Boras and Bill Bavasi apparently get along well, which I think translates to "Boras cleans Bavasi's clock." If Ron Villone comes into spring training next year with a multiyear deal, I might be forced to go back to Mitchell, Oregon and live out of a tent or something. Believe me, that's bad.

Olivo hit a leadoff single right after the 7th inning stretch. Lopez bunted Olivo to second, then Lou Piniella put Ichiro on first base. Travis Harper came out of the bullpen to whiff Winn and get Edgar to fly out to Cruz.

The Mariners mounted a small threat in their half of the 8th after Scott Atchison set down the Devil Rays 1-2-3 in the top half of the frame. Ibanez singled to lead off, and went to second on an 0-2 low/away slider in the dirt to Boone (he laid off of it?!). Boone woudl whiff two pitches later. Bucky would also whiff. Jolbert Cabrera would ground out to Tino.

Atchison returned to the mound in the 9th. How did he start off? Exactly like Villone started the 7th: leadoff walk to Blum. He moved to second on a Sanchez bunt. Carl Crwwford was put on first, then Lugo hit a hard single to rightfield, which prevented anyone from scoring (somebody's got an arm out there) and left the bases loaded. Aubrey Huff was brought in to pinch-hit and George Sherrill was brought in to face him. Huff hit a ground ball to Boone's glove side that was too slow and too far away for Boone to turn an inning-ending double play. Instead, Boone merely got the sure out at first as the go-ahead run crossed the plate (TB 6-5). Tino hit a comebacker to Sherrill to end the inning.

Unlike last night, Danys Baez threw a 1-2-3 9th, setting down Olivo, Lopez and Ichiro.

Ichiro is still stuck on 199 hits. Does anyone want to wager how long it'll take him to get 200?

Last tidbit of note for the night: Tampa Bay's tying run and go-ahead run were put on base via the leadoff walk.

Gameball: Randy Winn. 2-for-4 with an RBI single in the big inning. Honorable mention to Bucky and his big three-run smash, one night after his pinch-hit two-run single. To think the Mariners are paying Scott Spiezio $9 million over three years for the type of clutch hitting that Bucky has shown the Mariners over the past two days.

Goat: Jolbert Cabrera. 0-for-4 with a strikeout, stranding two. That's called being a waste of space.

You know, what sucks about the LA area not having an NFL team is that I can't take tonight's way-out-of-hand Kansas City/Anaheim game and say something like "the Rams hung three touchdowns on the Chiefs" or anything like that. All said, do you think the Royals might have a chip on their shoulder after having the Angels hang up 21 runs on them the night before?

Oh yeah, I was watching some of that Baltimore/Oakland game that went scoreless into the 9th, when Marco Scutaro walked off with a three-run blast. After the game, the viewing choice was between a Wednesday Night Baseball postgame show of Pam Ward/Rob Dibble or a Baseball Tonight show with Karl Ravech involved. No contest.

Anderson. Moyer. Tomorrow.

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Check out Ron Villone's stats since August 13, when the news starting coming out that he wanted to re-sign with the Mariners.

AUG 13 vs New York (L)
3.1 IP, 8 ER, 10 H, 3 K, 3 BB

AUG 20 at Detroit (L)
6 IP, 4 ER (5 R), 8 H, 2 K, 3 BB

Tonight vs Tampa Bay (through 3 IP)
3 IP, 4 ER, 5 H, 2 K, 1 BB

Villone had a 2.87 ERA before the All-Star Break. Since the All-Star Break? 6.45 (not including tonight's game)

Yes, he's still untouchable.

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...you'll never get it.

Anyways, in what can only be described as a "post-padding" measure, I listened to "Easy Lover" by Phil Collins and Philip Bailey for the first time in ages today. And the age-old question is always asked, "which famous singing voice would you love to have?"

Well, I'll definitely take Bailey's voice. It must be said that I've listened to plenty of Earth, Wind, and Fire in my lifetime, so it isn't just "Easy Lover" that I'm basing this on.

OK, I'll go ahead and just give you the reason for this post-padding measure: I'm bored. In an upset, I'm done with all of my homework for the day. And it's only after 6 p.m. This won't happen very often, trust me.

So there you go. Even I'm guilty of "post-padding". Later.

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One year, 660k

Chad Eaton is now a Dallas Cowboy. He missed the entire 2003 season because of knee problems. The Cowboys are hoping for Eaton to provide some depth on the defensive line.

To this day, I'm still embarassed about Eaton trash-talking Emmitt Smith in 2002. Way to just make Emmitt better, douche. When you think of all-time lowlights in Seahawks history, Emmitt Smith breaking Walter Payton's rushing record against the 'Hawks has to be right up there on the list.

Oh, and I love the new look. Hopefully you do as well. We're really trying to make this place an even better one. Enjoy yourself.

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Since we've got some input on the whole dark background thing, you may notice a stark change on the front page of this site (the archive pages are still as they were before, mainly for purposes of comparison).

I have only one question...

Is the white text on the light Seahawk blue background easier on the eyes than the white text on the navy blue background?

Your comments are greatly appreciated.

To those wondering where the sidebar went, it's all the way at the bottom. When you post a picture into Blogger that's wider than the text margins, Blogger pushes the sidebar all the way to the bottom rather than running the top of the sidebar, interrupting it, and then resuming it right below the pictures. Of course, there's probably a way for it to do this, but I don't know what it is. Anyway, since I posted those pictures last Friday, they should disappear off the page when we make our first post this Friday, upon which the sidebar should get pushed back to the top in its rightful place.
[Edit ~1:25p -- Added reason for archive pages being left alone and reason for sidebar push.]

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Well, the pain train has been derailed for a while, but the Trenches are still in full effect.

Some news from the National...Football League here while watching the 2003 Seahawks Yearbook on ESPN:

---The Jets have signed Quincy Carter. He was released by the Cowboys on Aug. 4. Carter is expected to be the backup to starting quarterback Chad Pennington, who still hasn't earned the hype that he's been given in his young career. Play all 16 games first, then we can talk about Pennington being an elite quarterback in the NFL.

---In other J-E-T-S news, defensive end John Abraham may have violated the NFL's substance abuse policy for the second time. Abraham was arrested last October for driving under the influence, and was suspended by head coach Herman Edwards for one game against the Bills.

---The Chargers have finally signed Philip Rivers. It remains to be seen whether Rivers will have a chance to be a significant player this season, since he is in camp so late. I think he can be a very good player in the next few years. Hopefully the Chargers will fire Marty Schottenheimer after the 2004 season so he won't ruin him.

---First round draft pick J.P. Losman will miss the first half of the season for the Bills due to a broken left fibula. Expected to take over for Drew Bledsoe in the coming years, Losman was selected by the Bills with the 23rd pick overall. Buffalo acquired the 23rd pick from Dallas in exchange for a 2005 first round pick.

---Free agent defensive end Kenny Holmes has signed with the Packers. Green Bay, desparate for any type of pass rush at this point, doesn't expect Holmes to be an every-down player, but hopes for him to have 8 to 10 sacks.

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As I conclude this post, I must leave you with this. From the 2003 Seahawks Yearbook:

"The Seahawks did what they were born to do........fly!"

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Tuesday, August 24, 2004


Before I go on with the recap here, I've got some issues with Bob Melvin's "strategy" in the 9th, and I want to type it at the beginning here so I don't forget. With the Mariners down 6-2, Edgar Martinez and Bret Boone were on second and third with one out. Still, Bob Melvin leaves Scott Spiezio in the game in this situation. That's where I bring in Bucky Jacobsen. There's no way I let Spiezio hit in that situation. Still, Dan Wilson was up after him, and I'd be a little hesitant to run him out to the plate too, though not as much as I would be with Spiezio. Jose Lopez has a terrible average right now, but he's young and needs the Major League experience, so let him hit. So why the hell is Willie Bloomquist up representing the winning run with two out? Give me Jolbert Cabrera, give me anyone else to see up in that situation, but not Willie Bloomquist.

Also, congrats to Jay Buhner. My big Buhner memory is the ball off the ambulance at Yankee Stadium, which I'm sure I share with a lot of people.

KJR clubhouse reporter Jason Puckett was just on the air, saying it was a great day for Mariner clubhouse reporting, as none of the players were available for comment, and he ended up talking college football with Dave Andriesen of the P-I.

Now, the recap.

Ryan Franklin didn't wait long to get into some hot water, allowing a leadoff single to Carl Crawford. Crawford moved to second on a BJ Upton bunt and went to third on a Randall Simon groundout. The station-to-station transportation (that's all me, no rhyming dictionary in this house) of Crawford was rendered moot when Tino Martinez mashed one into the stands in right (TB 2-0). Surely we haven't forgotten that Ryan Franklin has a propensity for home runs. Not as Much as Jamie Moyer this year, but he's still got the longball bug in him.

The bottom of the 1st also had a withered scoring opportunity for the Mariners. Ichiro's 199th hit of the season led off the inning on the first pitch. Randy Winn hit a comebacker to pitcher Rob Bell, which moved Ichiro to second. Ichiro moved to third on an Edgar Martinez fly to right. Ichiro remained at third as Raul Ibanez grounded out to first.

Franklin dug the hole a little deeper in the 2nd. With one out, Jorge Cantu singled to centerfield. Cantu scored from first base two pitches later on a Toby Hall double to deep leftfield (TB 3-0). Hall would end the inning stranded on third.

The Mariners made some hay in their half of the second. Spiezio drew a one-out walk (he got on base!) and Dan Wilson doubled to put two Mariners in scoring position. Lopez bounced a ball to Cantu at third, who made a bad throw (didn't see that part of the game; can't comment on throw details). Spiezio scored on the play (TB 3-1) and Lopez ended up on second, making me think that the throw got into foul territory somehow. Dan Wilson would score on a wild pitch by Bell on a 1-1 count to Bloomquist (TB 3-2). Bloomquist bounced out to short, holding Lopez at third, and Ichiro whiffed.

Starting with Ichiro's strikeout to end the 2nd inning, Rob Bell would retire 13 straight Mariners. No Mariner hits would be recorded from innings 3 through 6.

Not many hits were tallied up by Tampa Bay either. Franklin gave up a leadoff double to Julio Lugo in the 4th, and a single after that to Cantu, who advanced to second on a throw or something (game log interpretation). Franklin buckled down and got outs through the air on Hall, Rey Sanchez, and Crawford to end the inning. Ryan Franklin would match Rob Bell with his own streak of retiring 13 straight hitters.

Of course, Franklin's streak of 13 straight retired Devil Ray hitters had to end somewhere, and it ended with one out in the 8th. Franklin fell behind 3-0 on Randall Simon and walked him. Tino worked Franklin for another walk. Jose Cruz Jr. hit a slow bouncer to Boone, who spun to throw to second, but held it when he realized there wasn't enough time. The completion of Boone's 360 spin concluded with an in-time toss to Spiezio at first. Runners were on second and third with two out for Lugo, who singled to rightfield. Simon scored immediately (TB 4-2), but Ichiro's throw was cut off by the infield, and Lugo was caught in a rundown between first and second. Lugo was tagged out before Tino crossed the plate at home (if he even tried to score at all...damn lack of video replay).

Rob Bell was pulled after seven innings of mastery of the Mariner lineup, on only 86 pitches. Not that that's hard to do against the Mariners. Jesus Colome made mincemeat out of Bloomquist, Ichiro, and Winn in the 8th.

Ryan Franklin was pulled after a fairly solid outing, consisting of two crappy innings, one cliffhanger/fighting-out-of-jam inning, and five good-to-great innings. He couldn't stay away from the longball. You know, I have sympathy for pitchers that go deep into the game, give up two runs, and end up losing. When the pitcher gives up four runs, I'm on the fence about it. Basically, the best thing about Franklin's outing is the eating of the innings. The other good thing was the string of 13 straight. The bad things, though, are the homer and the leadoff walks in the 8th. His line: 8 innings, 4 runs, 8 hits, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts, 120 pitches (76 strikes).

Scott Atchison was on the mound for the Mariners in the 9th. He promptly had Cantu rip a double on an 0-2 pitch. Atchison caught Hall looking, but Sanchez singled to score Cantu (TB 5-2). Matt Thornton was brought in, consequences be damned. Crawford doubled on the second pitch, and two runners were in scoring position. Then a weird play happened. Pinch-hitter Damian Rolls popped a 2-0 pitch into foul ground way behind first, toward the tarps (why are there tarps?). Scott Spiezio gives chase to the ball, and runs a long way to eventually catch it. Sanchez breaks for home, partly because Spiezio is far from the plate, but also because Spiezio's momentum is taking him away from the plate. Spiezio throws toward home and short-hops Dan Wilson. The ball goes off the inside of Wilson's left knee and toward the backstop, and Sanchez scores (TB 6-2). A good throw gets Sanchez on the play, sure, but where do you draw the line on catching or not catching the ball in foul territory if you're being carried away from the play?

Here's why a good throw would have been slightly timely. Edgar led off the 9th with a single off Danys (called "Danny" on the Safeco Field scoreboard tonight) Baez. Ibanez whiffed (great night for him), then Bret Boone flipped the bat on what ended up being a double to the gap in right that one-hopped the wall (the roof was closed; Bret's longball batflip radar needs fine-tuning). Runners were on second and third with one out (needless to say, Edgar didn't score from first on the Boone double). Spiezio flew out to Julio Lugo, who was running backward toward leftfield while making the catch. Bucky came in to pinch-hit, and he fisted an 0-2 pitch into centerfield to score Edgar and Boone (TB 6-4). Miguel Olivo ran for Bucky, and took second on the first pitch to Jose Lopez (indifference was called). Lopez singled to leftfield to score Olivo (TB 6-5). Bloomquist was up representing the winning run. Baez threw all fastballs, except for one pitch. His first pitch was taken for a strike. He blew the ball past Bloomquist with his second pitch. He threw a low-and-away slider in the dirt on the third pitch, which wasn't offered at by Bloomquist. Bloomquist fouled off the next pitch before taking a pitch that apparently was high and away. Bloomquist fouled off the next two pitches before taking what I thought was pretty much the same pitch for a called third strike to end the game. Frankly, I would have wrung him up the first time.

I already bored everyone with the 9th inning strategy complaints for the opening of this post, so I won't bore you again with it.

Gameball: Bret Boone. 2-for-4 with a double. Definite honorable mention to one Bucky Jacobsen for his pinch-hit two-run single. Semi-honorable mention for Franklin, who along with Madritsch have adequately rested the bullpen for their sure necessity to relieve tomorrow's starting pitcher at length.

Goat: Raul Ibanez. 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, stranding two. Not a good night, no sir. Just to tick me off, Jose Cruz Jr. put up the same exact boxscore line as Raul. Of course, contract heftiness is the tiebreaker here. Advantage: Cruz.

Since he left Seattle, Lou Piniella is two games over .500 when managing against the Mariners. "I'm sick of [being asked] the same damn thing, over and f%&$ing over!! Don't ask me, ask the players!" -- Lou, late 2002.

One more against the Devil Rays. Was anyone as surprised as I was when Tampa went to dominant green on their uniforms and other apparel from that purple/green/yellow fading scheme? Once again, I must point out that the green uniforms and the Buddy balls (Selig-era baseballs) were the two discrepancies I noticed when viewing The Rookie, a.k.a. the Jim Morris story. I don't think Jose Canseco and Wade Boggs ever wore the dominant green uniforms, yet they were among the first things Dennis Quaid saw when he walked into the locker room at the Ballpark in Arlington. As for the baseballs, I'm fairly sure the baseballs were still marked differently between American and National leagues at that point.

Oh yeah, the Mariners have the handful of games with the Royals after tomorrow. On another uniform note, I think Kansas City needs to put some cursive on the front of those gray road tops. Hell, the same thing they have on their home tops would work; they've done it before, and I think that's what they had when they first moved away from the powder blue road tops. Also, one uniform fad I hated was gray caps. The Orioles and Royals tried this in conjunction with their road tops, and I hated it.

One final note concerning backs of uniforms. The Orioles this year moved back to the orange numerals/letters from the black on their home uniforms, but stuck with the orange on the road uniforms. They should have gone back to the black. And yeah, the gray cap with the gray uniform and the orange letters/numbers was terrible, like I alluded to. On my other backs-of-uniforms note, if there's an above-the-field play these days involving the Blue Jays on the road, I won't be able to tell who the hell is involved in the play. Use a darker shade of blue on those numbers and letters, PLEASE. The color's too light to begin with, and then the lights reflect off it, and I can't see.

My goodness, how did I get off on that tangent?

Sosa. Villone. Tomorrow.
[Edit ~11:55p -- Originally I said Baez threw nothing but fastballs to Bloomquist, forgetting that Baez wasted a slider on 0-2. The sentence in the recap has been revised.]

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Well, add this one to the endless list of sports curses...

You may recall that a week or so ago, I did a post on the "Madden Curse". However, I have not hit on the Campbell's Chunky Soup NFL spots here. Consider the players that Campbell's has featured the past few seasons: Michael Strahan, Terrell Davis, and Kurt Warner.

Tonight, I see the brand new Chunky Soup commercial with, who else, Donovan F. McNabb. Of course, "his mother" was part of the show as well. But in a shocking turn of events, McNabb has his Eagles teammates show up to the party. Chad Lewis and Hank Fraley make cameo appearances. No word on whether former Arkansas Razorback Shawn Andrews is seen in the commercial or not. If you've seen the Hogs play the past few seasons, you know how big of a monster Andrews is.

Anyways, blogging will be light here in the Bluff this week as I get back in the school mode. Yes, school has already started down here. Understand that until last August, I was always starting school in September, not August. But I've gotten used to it, I guess.

Push back the square, now that you need her, but you don't, so there you go.

'Cause back in school we are the leaders of it all.

(Musical pick of the week, kids: Deftones "Elite". Two words that describe this great track from Sacramento's own: Nonstop aggression.)

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Before I get to Kazmir/Madritsch, here's why I'm late with the recap tonight. A lefthanded longtime teammate of mine roped me into a pizza-and-poker fest. The pizza was...I'm not picky about pizza, so it doesn't matter (very edible). The poker match was among six players, with a $10 buy-in. Unfortunately for me, it was winner-take-all. I folded most of my crappy hands, and only won one good full house hand, with a couple of minor hands. I was the third person to bow out, ahead of two others that knew more about poker than me. Not bad, but I don't plan on playing again for a while. See, if that was tournament format, maybe I could have at least won my money back.

That said, there's still no reason for poker to be on ESPN, Fox Sports, etc.

I saw Scott Kazmir throw his first fastball of the game tonight, and man, was I impressed. I liked his mechanics, I liked the hair on his fastball, and I liked how well he was doing considering it was his Major League debut and he was 20 years old.

Bobby Madritsch also pitched fairly well, but he had one bad inning, and it just wasn't meant to be tonight.

I saw the first five innings of this game before I left to lose $10. Madritsch and Kazmir appeared locked in a pitchers' duel, though with Kazmir being the visibly more jittery and wild pitcher.

Kazmir had himself and Rey Sanchez to thank for landing him into some hot water in the 2nd. Kazmir walked Bucky Jacobsen on four pitches. Miguel Olivo hit a grounder to the normally sure-handed Rey Sanchez on a 3-1 pitch. On what would have been a double-play ball, Sanchez had the ball fly out of the pocket of his glove on his transfer/twist movement before he would have thrown to second. Sanchez would immediately atone, turning a 4-6-3 double play on the next hitter, Jose Lopez. Kazmir got Willie Bloomquist to line out to Carl Crawford in center after blowing a fastball by him.

Then came Kazmir's 27-pitch 3rd inning. He got two quick outs before Edgar doubled off the top of the wall (it bounced off the horizontal surface of the wall and back into the field of play). Raul Ibanez worked the count full and drew a walk before Bret Boone also worked the count full and bounced out to third.

Madritsch weathered BJ Upton's leadoff double in the 4th by getting Tino Martinez to pop out to Olivo, by getting Jose Cruz, Jr. to line out to Ibanez, and by getting Jorge Cantu to pop out to Bloomquist at third.

The last out of Kazmir's night occurred in the 5th when Ichiro was nailed trying to steal second on a 1-0 pitch to Ibanez.

Then came the runs. With one out in the 6th, Madritsch fell behind 3-0 on Julio Lugo and walked him. Upton then singled on a 1-2 pitch to move Lugo to third. Tino then dinked one into leftfield on the first pitch to score Lugo (TB 1-0) and move Upton to second. Then Cruz mashed one off the leftfield foul pole (TB 4-0). Tough break for Bobby Madritsch. I wish I could have seen the pitch he threw, but man, it was only a pan of two pitches, and four runs crossed the plate. Ain't that a b. Cantu hit a comebacker to Madritsch and Toby Hall lined out to Lopez to end the inning. Madritsch followed his unsightly 6th inning with a 1-2-3 7th inning, his final inning of the night. His line: 7 innings, 4 runs, 5 hits, 2 walks, 6 strikeouts, 109 pitches (78 strikes). The most positive thing about the start is probably that he threw seven innings, and is consistently throwing about that many innings every start, and giving the bullpen enough rest for when the Ron Villones of the world have to take the mound for a start.

What followed Scott Kazmir's exit was two innings of complete impotence from the Mariner offense against Travis Harper. What followed Travis Harper was Clint Nageotte and his complete impotence in terms of holding the game at least remotely close. Nageotte threw two pitches, and Lugo was on third base with one out (Lugo doubled, Upton fly ball). Tino then reached on what was probably a well-placed infield single. Cruz singled to score Lugo (TB 5-0) and move Tino into scoring position. Nageotte's 1-2 pitch to Cantu was wild, moving both runners into scoring position. Nageotte then walked Cantu, loading the bases with one out. Hall hit a sufficiently deep fly ball to score Tino (TB 6-0). Even Geoff Blum version 2004 got into the act, singling to left to score Cruz (TB 7-0). Just to drive the dagger, former Mariner Sanchez drove in Cantu and Blum with a double (TB 9-0). Just to break down that inning, Clint's line was: 1 inning, 5 runs, 5 hits, 1 walk, 0 strikeouts, 24 pitches (16 strikes). Hey, Clint's ERA for that inning was 45.00, not that it makes any sense to calculate an ERA over one single inning or anything.

The Mariners would muster some glimmers of false hope against Lance Carter in the 8th. Randy Winn singled to lead off, and Edgar walked. A deep Ibanez flyout moved Winn to third. Boone whiffed, and Bucky hit into a fielder's choice. End of threat. Carter would follow this up with a 1-2-3 9th to end it.

That's about it.

Boy, Scott Kazmir sure looked like a young pitcher that I'd want on my team, holy crap. That fastball had some life to it, to say the least. The breaking balls may need a tiny bit of work, but man, that fastball, yikes. I'd like to see him about five outings from now, maybe see how he does without the jitters and butterflies.

Gameball: Edgar Martinez. 2-for-3 with a double. The double tied him for 33rd on the all-time list with Mark Grace, at 511 doubles. This isn't to detract from another solid (though not the best) start by Bobby Madritsch.

Goat: Bret Boone. 0-for-4 with a strikeout, stranding six. Stranding six runners is the only thing that would keep me from goating Willie Bloomquist for his back-down-to-earth 0-for-4 (with a strikeout, stranding two) game.

For the record, Jose Cruz Jr.'s batting average is 39 points lower than that of Raul Ibanez, but Cruz has a better on-base percentage than Raul, has one more Gold Glove than Raul, and the two are pretty much a wash in the OPS department. I know Raul spent a long time on the DL, but yeah, I'm still bitter about his contract.

And what was up with Clint Nageotte doing his best Matt Thornton impression tonight? Or is Thornton the one doing Nageotte impressions? There's been some KJR discussion about how some trades the Mariners have tried to make over the last couple years involving their young pitching have fallen through because other teams had valued the Mariners' arms much differently than they did. Given that we're closest to this team, and we've been hearing about these young arms and how great they are, it's quite possible to think that the Mariners thought they had the best freakin' young arms out there, while other teams knew better when trade talks came. Long story short, this is what I think about every time Matt Thornton and Clint Nageotte stink it up on the mound for the big club, and this is what I think about when I read the minor league reports and see that Travis Blackley has stunk it up once again in Tacoma. If only it were so simple for those three just to get their heads on straight and throw strikes.

Bell. Franklin. Tomorrow.

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Monday, August 23, 2004


Just off the wire...


CHENEY, Wash. (AP) -- Linebacker Chad Brown, a three-time Pro Bowler, broke his left leg during practice Monday with the Seattle Seahawks.

Coach Mike Holmgren said doctors believe Brown likely will miss the first four games of the regular season. Holmgren said Brown broke the bone after getting his feet tangled with tight-end Itula Mili during a passing drill.

This is not good. Reserve linebacker D.D. Lewis is recovering from offseason shoulder surgery, so the 'Hawks are thin on OLBs right now.

Brown has been hampered with injuries since the 2002 season, when he broke his right foot. He missed 2 games in 2003, as well as missing most of the 'Hawks playoff game against the Packers last January.

So it looks like we will see Isaiah Kacyvenski getting a lot of playing time in the first few weeks of the season. Good luck, Kaz.

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Sunday, August 22, 2004


I sat there after the Mariner game today, taking into account the game's happenings, and I thought to myself, "do I really have to recap this game?" Alas, I do.

Not that I haven't sat on it long enough. It was pretty much an insanely boring Sunday for me, as the two most prevalent things I did in lieu of the recap were sleep and drive around with Van Halen playing.

Then I got back home. The mum made some sloppy joes, among which I have eaten way too much. Since the sloppies have probably relegated me to the chair I'm sitting in for a while, it's probably a good time to crank out the ol' recap.

After both teams went 1-2-3 in the 1st, Raul Ibanez led off the 2nd with a double off Mike Maroth, and advanced to third on a Bucky Jacobsen flyout to right. Jolbert Cabrera singled Ibanez across (SEA 1-0). Since I was eating breakfast and showering for a decent portion of the 10am hour, I can't say much about the play that ended the 2nd inning. If I'm reading it right, the ball Olivo hit must have been in the hole toward rightfield. The second baseman must have grabbed it and gunned out Olivo, and then Cabrera had to be tagged going to second. Wish I could have seen it, and then laughed.

The start of Gil Meche's 2nd inning looked like there might be a reversion to the Meche of earlier this year. He gave up three singles on five pitches. Eric Munson had a good ol' RBI groundout to tie it, then Marcus Thames flew out to Jose Lopez at short. Brandon Inge, who had a pretty good night on Friday, hit a 2-run double (DET 3-1).

Willie Bloomquist spent the Mariners' half of the third inning getting his team into and out of a scoring opportunity. He doubled to left with one out, and then got nailed on a pitch-out on the first pitch to Ichiro. Ichiro would reach on an infield single, probably his favorite kind of hit.

The Mariners had a small threat in the 4th against Maroth. Edgar Martinez drew a leadoff walk, and reached second one out later on an infield single by Bucky. Cabrera then bounced into a 4-6-3 double play to end the inning.

The Mariners broke the game their way in the 5th. Miguel Olivo and Jose Lopez led off with consecutive singles, with somewhat of a catch. Both plays involved Eric Munson at third, and both could have been called errors. I think one of the balls was hard-hit and went off his glove, but the other was a roller that went right under his glove as he was charging it. In any event, this basically lost the game because Bloomquist homered on the second pitch (SEA 4-3). This was followed by the earth crashing into the sun and brilliant flashes of light. Seriously, folks. He needed 372 Major League at-bats to get two home runs. He hadn't hit a homer in over 13 months. If Bloomquist gets signed to a 3-year deal due to his fan-favoriteness, as Jeremy is fearing (post directly below this one), can the Mariners have a spot on their roster for the Mariner blogosphere/consortium favorite? It'd be awesome. We could arrange home run derbies and steel cage matches between our blogosphere favorite and Bloomquist, maybe even go-kart races. It'd be great fun. You know, David Locke did a bunch of KJR ads for the Willows Run golf course involving greens fees for the price of Jeff Cirillo's batting average or the number of runs the Mariners scored in that last Yankee series. There's gotta be a Willie Bloomquist-related Willows Run promotion in the future.

Still in the Mariner 5th, Edgar walked with two out. Ibanez singled him over to second, and Bucky hit an RBI single (SEA 5-3). Little did we know this would cap the scoring.

Gil Meche had retired eight straight Tigers when he gave up an Inge double with one out in the 5th. Nook Logan (again, best baseball name of the last 20 years) singled to put runners on the corners. Meche managed to pick Logan off of first, and then he got Jason Smith to fly out and end the inning.

Meche pitched into the 7th. Inge and Logan singled with one out and both moved into scoring position on a Smith groundout. Meche was pulled. His line: 6 2/3 innings, 3 runs, 9 hits, 0 walks (very good), 4 strikeouts, 111 pitches (72 strikes). Basically, Meche only had the one bad inning (3rd). Let's just be thankful the lineup didn't turn back over to Carlos Guillen in that inning. Even with the unsightly inning, Meche did not walk a batter, which, well, that's great. Can we get Matt Thornton to do a Meche impersonation in this regard? George Sherrill threw two pitches and got Guillen to fly out and end the 7th.

The bottom of the 9th was preceded by semi-noteworthy things: Sherrill pitched a quick 1-2-3 8th, and the speed of Ichiro and Winn bailed them out of what would normally be two double-play balls in the 9th. JJ Putz, apparently the one with closer-type stuff, as we've been told, came on to shut the door. He got two quick outs, as anyone probably should against Omar Infante and Thames. Putz had Inge 0-2, but then muffed a comebacker to the mound. Rondell White came in to pinch hit, and singled on the first pitch. It was interesting, all right. Ivan Rodriguez came in to pinch hit, with Guillen on deck. Putz got ahead 1-2 before Ivan managed to work the count full. The final play of the game would be a sinking line drive to rightfield which landed in the glove of a charging and sprinting Ichiro.

Gameball: Bucky Jacobsen. 2-for-4 with an RBI single. Surely my pick (or my non-pick) doesn't surprise anyone.

Goat: Randy Winn. 0-for-5 with two strikeouts, stranding two? Yikes!

We know Willie Bloomquist was a Jeff Moorad client. Moorad is moving into the Arizona Diamondbacks front office, thanks to Jerry Colangelo getting pushed out. If an article comes across the wire saying Bloomquist has hired Scott Boras as his agent, then consider a 6-year, $70M contract for Bloomquist to remain a Mariner a done deal. If you ask the people that run this here blog, bat boy Demetrius deserves that contract before Bloomquist. On the heels of today's performance, is anyone else ready for a string of 0-for-4s?

Kazmir (hoo boy). Madritsch. Tomorrow.

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Willie Bloomquist hit his first home run since July 13, 2003 against the Tigers today in Detroit. It was a 3-run shot off of Mike Maroth, giving the Mariners a 4-3 lead. The M's went on to avoid the sweep in Detroit Rock City, defeating the Tigers 5-3.

Well, be prepared for the inevitable. The Mariners will sign Bloomquist to a 3-year deal. I wish I was joking, but just watch, it will happen. Moments like today justify that long term deal in the Mariners front office's opinion.

If there's anybody who wonders why David and I bash Bloomquist at any opportunity, it's because we can. It's legitimate criticism. What has Wee Willie done to deserve a spot on the roster?

Obviously, I know I've had similar posts to this in the past. I'm repeating myself, I know. But quite frankly, what else am I going to do? Support Bloomquist just because he had a 3-run home run today? IT WAS HIS FIRST HOME RUN SINCE JULY OF 2003.

This is Major League Baseball. I don't feel good for a player who has no business being in the big leagues at this time. I believe the guys at Leone For Third wondered the other night if there was anybody on the Tacoma Rainiers roster that is worse than Bloomquist. Well, there isn't.

Face it, there's many reasons as to why the 2004 Seattle Mariners are a terrible baseball team. Willie Bloomquist is one of those reasons. It didn't have to be this way.

But here we are. Trust me, I'm not feeling confident about the offseason at all. Let's hope my mood changes. It would definitely help if Bloomquist is shown the door after 2004. He's had his chances. And he's failed.

Much like the 2004 Seattle Mariners, players, coaches, and executives included.

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