Friday, February 25, 2005


Welcome to Friday. Your work week is about over. If you attend school or college, that week's about done too, unless you have to study for some huge project over the weekend.

For today's random note...toilet paper has got to unroll toward the seat. That's how it has to be. For me, it's more aesthetically pleasing, and it's closer to the user. Also, if you're trying to find the loose end of the toilet paper, and none of the paper is immediately hanging, it's much easier to see and feel for if it's closer to you and not on the back side of the roll. Of course, when I wrestled back in high school, there were some very evil locker rooms that dispensed single squares of toilet paper in their stalls. I wish I was lying about this.

If anyone is in Kitsap County tonight, you've got a chance to see playoff junior hockey as the Puget Sound Tomahawks take on the Tri-City Titans in Game 1 of the Cascade Cup semifinals at the rink in Bremerton. Game 2 is tomorrow night.

In Federal Way, Dana Kirk of Bremerton will be swimming at least twice today for Stanford at the Pac-10 swimming championships. She will swim in the 100 butterfly prelims as well as the butterfly leg of the 400 medley relay. She will swim in the 100 fly finals if she attains a qualifying preliminary time.

To the rest of the post...

Let it be said once again that although Cha Seung Baek did have the one good start against Texas last September, he really didn't do much in his other appearances with the big club to impress me. I seem to remember doing game recap posts with Beck lyrics as the titles until he finally won a second time. It turns out he did lose four straight starts. Though it's all Small Sample Size Mania (ask for it by name), there's nonetheless a larger sample size of Baek getting hit at the Major League level (three of his five starts were for 8, 5, and 5 earned runs) than the one good start. Of course, there's also the start where he gave up another five runs (one earned, thanks to a Bret Boone error in a game against Cleveland). But the other thing with Baek for me is that I don't think he showed the control necessary to make up for his lack of speed. Basically, and more so than others, he really can't get away with missing his spots when he's topping out at low 90s (correct me on the speed if I'm wrong), and I don't remember seeing any devastating breaking pitches from him that often. I guess it all boils down to this -- if Baek makes the rotation over Madritsch, Baek better have had a freakin' good spring.

But hey, the thought of having Baek in the rotation is a lot better to me than the thought of having Aaron Sele, who is 0-6 lifetime in the postseason, in the rotation. I'm still operating under the belief that if he doesn't get injured in the 2002 season, the Angels don't go on to win the World Series. Don't laugh, I'm serious here. Of course, this is coming from someone who knew the 2001 ALCS was over as soon as the ball went over the wall to end Game 4. Game 5 still had to be played, but that one was started by Aaron Sele, who after the game would be 0-6 lifetime in the postseason. So if he somehow cracks the rotation (sadly, I'm guessing that Price, Wilson, and Bavasi are all on his side), I just hope it's the very back end of the rotation, so we never have to see him start in the postseason. Luckily, I don't expect this team to make the postseason this year, so I'm not feeling so bad as of yet.

I just might make it a self imposed rule that I won't mention Aaron Sele's name in one of these posts without mentioning his postseason record, which by the way is 0-6.

Eddie Guardado's pitches were apparently flying all over the place, and it turns out he used his legs more with the bum knee than he was in camp, post surgery. They're opting to have Guardado come set a little lower and use more leg, with both factors apparently being better for his shoulder. In other news, Pokey's ankle turn is still believed to be minor, Chris Snelling's MRI results are still being anticipated, and Joel Pineiro threw gas at "90 percent" throttle with his last five pitches in his bullpen session. He says it "felt fine."

A happy Mike Holmgren is at the combine in Indianapolis. He hasn't talked to new president/GM Tim Ruskell yet, though that will happen today. He's happy that the three main free agents are out of the way, though he would like most of the remaining ones to get signed as well. Holmgren also hints at drafting defense, which I think should be a full-speed-ahead proposition.

The Marvin Williams Watch
The Tar Heels travel to face Maryland on Sunday (2:30p, FSNNW) before hosting Florida State on Thursday (6p, local only)

Tre Simmons was the hot hand with 29 points (6-for-7 from beyond the arc) in 14th-ranked Washington's 90-82 win over Arizona State. Ike Diogu had a monster night for ASU, but the Sun Devils shot 39% from the field, with their bench shooting 6-for-29 (note: two of the bench guys got starter-type minutes, not that it makes the shooting numbers any better). The Huskies are now 14-0 at home, but it's a 15th win, against Arizona, that would really put the icing on the cake.

The Huskies host Arizona tomorrow (1p, FSNNW) and travel to Berkeley to face the Cal Bears on Thursday (7p, not televised)

The 12th-ranked Zags went on a 16-0 tear in the first half to put away the Pilots of Portland by a score of 84-68. Adam Morrison had 22 points, JP Batista had 13, and Derek Raivio scored 12. Ronny Turiaf is gaining steam at the right time, once again tallying another double-double with 14 points and 11 boards. It was his 10th double-double of the season and 24th as a Zag. Gonzaga clinched the WCC regular-season title, therefore earning a first-round bye in the conference tournament.

The Zags host Northern Colorado on Monday (FSNNW Seattle, Q6 NBC Spokane) before starting WCC Tournament play, where they have a first-round bye. The tournament itself starts next Friday the 4th.

The deadline was a very active one this year for the NBA, but the Sonics stepped aside. Nothing really new, just that the Sonics didn't feel the need to mess with the chemistry, which does seem like a key component of their success this year.

Also in the notebook portions of those articles were the revelation that Luke Ridnour has plantar fasciitis (Rashard Lewis came back nicely from it), they're still awaiting Vladimir Radmanovic's wrist exam results, and Danny Fortson missed practice, flying back home a second time to be with his ailing grandmother.

Art Thiel is content with the Sonics throwing what they have against a wall and seeing if it sticks. Why not? They've gone 37-15 with what they have, so let's see how far it can possibly go. They've had some amazing wins this year, and I think their style of way is infinitely more playoff-friendly than that of Phoenix. If they get into a boring defensive game on the road, they just proved in Houston that they could win that type of game as well.

I'm just hoping the Sonics erase the bad taste in my mouth from that last game against Minnesota at the Key. I want Wally Szczerbiak on lockdown.

Tonight vs. Minnesota (7:30p, FSNNW)
Sunday at Milwaukee (12p, FSNNW)
Tuesday at Indiana (4p, FSNNW)
Wednesday at Cleveland (4p, FSNNW)

Syracuse beat Manitoba 5-3. The Moose lost two straight in regulation for the first time since the 23rd of October. The Moose had an early lead on a Josh Green goal before blowing the lead. They tied the game at 2-2 on a Ryan Kesler goal. Two Syracuse goals in 54 seconds brought an end to Alex Auld's night in the net, and it was over from there. Tim Smith got the Moose within a goal inside four minutes remaining, but that was countered by another Syracuse goal. Shots were 42-24 for Manitoba. Alex Auld stopped 10 of 14, and Wade Flaherty came in and stopped 9 of 10 for the Moose.

Tonight: Seattle at Kamloops, Everett at Tri-City, Portland at Spokane, Kelowna at Vancouver, Tri-City at Puget Sound (Cascade Cup semifinal -- Game 1 of best-of-5)
Tomorrow: Portland at Seattle, Vancouver at Everett, Manitoba at Hamilton, Tri-City at Puget Sound (Cascade Cup semifinal -- Game 2 of best-of-5)
Sunday: Spokane at Seattle, Tri-City at Everett
Wednesday: Vancouver at Seattle

Have a great Friday. Have a great weekend for all those that can't stick with us for the weekend. For those who return, same bad channel, y'all.

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