Thursday, February 24, 2005


Welcome to Thursday. I don't take too long with the post titles, but this one just might be the most cryptic one yet.

For today's random note...it's going to be short. Ready? Lindsey Cardinale's my pick. She's just gotta pick the right songs. Okay, maybe this will get longer. The oodles of new ways they're finding to put the contestants on the hot seat before they get ousted are just getting progressively crazy. Worse yet, pretty much everyone that got eliminated last night had chosen bad songs the night before. So what do they have the eliminated contestants do after getting voted out? They have them sing the same damn song that aided their demise. Absolutely brutal, yet incredibly watchable.

I'll throw in a bonus random sports-related note. I flipped to the CBC, as I often do, and I saw the introductory CBC Sports bumper (voiceover: "The following is a presentation of CBC Sports, Canada's Olympic Network"). Of course, I saw what was aired the night before, and I knew what was going to be shown. What was it? Tape-delayed women's curling. Still, I'm not sure why I'm having trouble flipping away from this really quickly. I'm waiting to see the Quebec team and hear them scream in French (always fun), but for now it appears that the Ontario team has the David Seal of Approval. I usually type these random notes last, and the Ontario/Saskatchewan match just ended. Though tape-delayed, it took three hours, and I typed up this post in about half that time. As for describing curling, I'd have to say it's a mix of shuffleboard and bocce.

Before we get started here, the Pac-10 swimming championships are underway, and last night Dana Kirk of Bremerton held down the butterfly leg of the winning 200 medley relay team for Stanford. They got a winning time of 1:39.69. The meet continues through Sunday. Dana will swim in the 400 medley relay final and the 100 fly preliminaries tomorrow before swimming the 200 fly prelims on Saturday. If she advances past prelims, the 100 fly final is later tomorrow and the 200 fly final is later on Saturday.

On TV tonight -- Arizona State at Washington (7:30p, FSNNW), Gonzaga at Portland (8p, ESPN2)

And the rest...

Pick your Yuniesky Betancourt article. Lots of similarities between the articles exist, though Bob Finnigan puts in the name of Ken Griffey, Jr (not trade speculation this time). He missed a year of baseball, which can't be easy to recover from. Of course, the guy did get through four days on a boat with only the clothes on his back, so I won't be one to doubt his resolve.

The rains that aren't falling in Washington are definitely falling in California and seem to have infiltrated the Cactus League camps. Ron Hassey says it hasn't been too bad, but Mike Hargrove says Hassey's probably not in too much of an admirable position trying to schedule drills and workouts around the rain. Also mentioned is the fact that the Peoria complex has six fields. Six fields sounds great to anyone, sure, but if I had six fields like the one Central Kitsap uses, my excitement would be greatly tempered. Why? The whole field slopes downward to one side, for goodness' sake. The short fence in right field is better for lefties, of which I am not, and Todd Linden probably hit a billion balls over that fence.

Also in that article is a mention of Bryan Price liking the progress of Rafael Soriano, the Mariners' shooting of the ad campaign is underway, and the Mariners signed Travis Blackley, JJ Putz, Justin Leone, and Chris Snelling. Eight players off the 40-man roster are yet to be signed.

Pokey sprained his ankle in a rundown drill yesterday. It's said to not be serious, though they'll really find out when the swelling goes down. From personal experience, I turned an ankle trying to stop a secondary lead before diving back to beat a pickoff throw. I did come back to play left field in the back end of the doubleheader, but I did miss a couple games after that due to the swelling, rehab, and stiffness. Still, it shouldn't take Pokey too long to get over it. Also mentioned was Mike Hargrove laying the hammer down on small talk during stretching. No word on whether he cursed. Yes, that's a jab at Melvin.

This week's Zumsteg article points out the possible underrating of pitching or hitting depending on one's park. The Kingdome was fifth in the AL at preventing runs, and that had to say something for the Mariners' pitching staff at the time. At the same time, the Mariners added some punch to their lineup, though it's right-handed and some people immediately were less keen to the idea. Frankly, I saw other teams at the Safe belting balls out all over the yard last year, no matter what side of the plate they came from. I may have been in the sticks of Oregon at the time with a static-receptive radio, but that doesn't mean I forgot what Victor Martinez did last summer. Two of his three homers that day were off of Blackley and Villone, and I'm assuming he was hitting righty against those two guys. Still, I remember seeing tons of balls hit by the opposition that landed in the bullpens. If you can hit a homer, you can hit a homer. This isn't Comerica Park pre-fences being moved.

Seattle Times photo -- Steve Ringman
Look at the jewelry on his right hand (the ball hand).

It took about six weeks, but the Seahawks finally showed their new president/general manager to the media. Tim Ruskell seems to like what Mike Reinfeldt has done in his short time with the team, though Reinfeldt apparently has not been offered a permanent position (that needs to change quickly). Ruskell stresses unification within the organization. Some people would call it unity. Then they'd spell it out.

Les Carpenter puts some stock in the fact that Paul Allen was present at the press conference to introduce Ruskell, rather than just a Tod Leiweke. Apparently Holmgren threatened to quit, which got the ball rolling to have Bob Whitsitt canned. But Carpenter suggests that Allen took the guise of a confident owner who genuinely knew what he was doing, calling him the "new Paul Allen."

But whatever happens, these two things I know are true...Tod Leiweke and Mike Reinfeldt absolutely rule. They've saved the offseason. Well, Allen canning Whitsitt helped too.

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

The Huskies host Arizona State tonight (7:30p, FSNNW) and Arizona on Saturday (1p, FSNNW)

The Zags go to Portland tonight (8p, ESPN2) and host Northern Colorado on Monday (FSNNW Seattle, Q6 NBC Spokane) before starting WCC Tournament play.

For my take on last night's game, scroll down a post or click here if this post is the only one on the page.

Nate McMillan likes blowouts. Last night's three-point barrage and utter demolition of the Hornets gave the Sonics their 37th win, equaling their win total from last year. They needed 30 less games this year to get those 37 wins.

Also, Danny Fortson is back with the team after tending to his ill grandmother. He didn't play last night, and more than likely needs to practice a bit to get himself back into playing shape. It doesn't take much to get out of it. He hasn't played in two weeks.

Also in that notebook article, Vlad Radmanovic will have his wrist reexamined, and most of the team slept in instead of working out in the morning after they got to the hotel at the wee hour of 4 in the morning. They're human.

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

Kelowna beat Seattle 4-3 in overtime. The Thunderbirds were down 3-0 in the third period on the road and managed to tie the game and send it to overtime, where they eventually lost. Still, rallying from three goals down against a top-notch Kelowna team is no small achievement. Nate Thompson, Zack FitzGerald, and Aaron Gagnon scored for Seattle. The T-Birds were outshot 34-31, and Bryan Bridges stopped 30.

Vancouver beat Tri-City 2-1. The Giants tightened up the defense but had to pepper Carey Price with pucks to get the desired outcome. Cam Cunning scored in the second period, and Mitch Bartley scored the winner in the final frame. The Giants outshot Tri-City 32-19. Marek Schwarz stopped 18.

Wilkes-Barre Scranton beat Manitoba 2-1. The Moose spoiled the shutout with under a minute to go thanks to a goal by Ryan Kesler, but that was about it as Dany Sabourin stopped everything else for the Penguins. Shots went 31-30 to Manitoba, and Wade Flaherty stopped 28.

Tonight: Manitoba at Syracuse
Tomorrow: 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)
Saturday: 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 wonderful Thursday, everybody.

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