Wednesday, February 16, 2005
Random note...water never tasted better than it did after wrestling practice in high school. The fountain in the locker room back at the high school could have been pouring out lead and arsenic, for all I knew, but after a few hours of losing a good amount of fluid, it was quite a relief to go to the fountain and spend about 20 seconds there, mouth agape, as water was gulped like mad. Fast-forward about seven years, and here at the house we're having water via the store-bought plastic jug. It tastes horrible. Maybe it's because I definitely haven't been working out to wrestling practice-type standards, which possibly leads to a lowering in taste standards for water. Still, I can imagine myself drinking the recommended amount of water every day if it tasted like it did in high school, but not stuff out of the plastic jug. My goodness, it's brutal.
Okay, here's the post.
It's finally here! Pitchers and catchers report today!! Yippee!!
Now let's come back down to earth by realizing that Travis Blackley is done for the year, and that a big part of the bullpen's fate rests on (or in) the shoulder of Eddie Guardado.
I have to say at this point that I don't know what the proportions are for other teams' arms having this many large-scale injuries, but putting that admittedly big caveat aside, I'm all but convinced at this point that there has to be some adverse activities in this team's minor league conditioning methods or something. I'm only drawing on a past experience at baseball camp, but here goes. When I was at baseball camp in Canada (1998), they were having us do these rotator cuff exercises where we would be standing and lifting our arms from vertical (downward) until they were horizontal and even with our collarbones (don't do this with weights over five pounds). Thumbs would be pointing inward at the start and downward at the highest part of the exercise. They made it a point to warn us not to raise our arms any higher than level with our collarbones, noting that apparently the Astros organization had some trouble with injuries popping up resulting from such movements in the same exercise.
I'm not saying that this is the exact thing that's busting arms in the Mariners' system, I'm just thinking it could be something like this -- something that is a repetitive exercise or stretch.
Of course, this is as good a time as any to link Steve's work on all the bad stuff that's happened with the Mariners' arms.
You know, if I was of the gambling sort, I'd get together some sort of over-under game that involves Ron Villone's wildness, probably with a percentage of strikes. Of course, if we had money here at Sports and B's, we'd have really neat and cool giveaways based on something like this, but that could be years from now. What would a moment of celebration be like? "All right! 45 balls and 35 strikes in two-thirds of an inning!! I win!!"
"I don't want to be the pr-r-r-r-resident of the Seahawks!"
Okay, so that's not exactly what Freddie Mercury said. I'm not sure how to convey the rolling of the letter "r" with a keyboard.
The Marvin Williams Watch
The Tar Heels are back home tonight for Virginia (4p, ESPN) and Saturday for Clemson (10a, ABC).
The Huskies go to Washington State on Saturday (4p, FSNNW) and host Arizona State the following Thursday (7:30p, FSNNW).
The Zags host San Diego tomorrow (6p, KONG 6/16 Seattle, Q6 NBC Spokane) and San Francisco on Saturday (3p, ABC)
I'm a day late posting this, but Kevin Pelton has the final installment in the four-part series "The Sonics Play Moneyball." Emphasis in this one is on plus-minus statistics, Nate McMillan as George Karl's plus-minus dynamo, the advent of 82games.com, how some plus-minus numbers might be deceiving, and plus-minus numbers in conjunction with groups of players on the court at a given time. Great stuff, Kevin. I enjoyed the series very much.
The Sonics' betterness this month can be at least partially attributed to more care of the ball and more crashing of the defensive glass. Still, they want to go into the All-Star break feeling good, as opposed to feeling bad. That'd happen if they lost tonight to the Warriors, who deserve a much bigger pasting than the close game in Oakland where the Sonics eked by for the win.
Also, Damien Wilkins' father, Gerald, will be one of the six trying out for ESPN's Dream Job. At this point, I don't even think former NBA players can get me to watch that show. That's even with Darryl Dawkins involved.
Tonight vs. Golden State (6p, FSNNW)
About this NHL thing, it's gotten pretty crazy in the last couple days. If all it took was for Gary Bettman to set a drop-dead date to really stoke the fire here, I wish it was set about a month earlier. The whole season could still be wiped away by the time many of you read this, but basically the owners backed down on the linking of player salaries and revenues, and the players backed down on the salary cap. It seems to me that all that has to be worked out are the numbers. If they do a season, it'll be a hell of a sprint, but I'm still going to love the playoffs. Of course, we can only speculate as to how many of the players in Europe will come back if the NHL kicks back into session. Most probably will, but there are also a lot of NHLers in Europe that are from there and live there. Most specifically, I'm thinking about Markus Naslund here, who for all we know may have already played his last game in Vancouver.
Everett's power play is key to their success. They score 43% of their goals on the man-advantage, leading the WHL. Of course, they're dead last in the league in even-strength goals, which makes the power play thing even more important.
Portland beat Red Deer 7-2. I was expecting Red Deer to come through the I-5 corridor and level every team they faced. This definitely wasn't the case last night. Red Deer was without coach Brent Sutter (yes, that name), who was at his dad's funeral. In the game, Calgary draftee Dion Phaneuf scored only 58 seconds in, but that was the Rebels' only lead of the night. Dan DaSilva, Brian Woolger (power play), and Cody McLeod (shorthanded with 11 seconds left) scored by the end of the period, and there was no looking back for the Winter Hawks on their way to victory. Woolger added another goal late in the second period. Garrett Festerling, McLeod again, and Martin Bucek rounded out the scoring in the third period. Portland has now won nine of ten, and goalie Blake Grenier has won seven straight starts. Portland outshot Red Deer 28-26, and Grenier stopped 24.
Tonight: Seattle at Kelowna, Red Deer at Vancouver
Friday: Red Deer at Seattle, Prince George at Everett, Spokane at Portland, Kamloops at Vancouver, Edmonton at Manitoba
Saturday: Seattle at Portland, Red Deer at Everett, Vancouver at Kamloops, Edmonton at Manitoba
Sunday: Prince George at Seattle
Tuesday: Everett at Kamloops, Kelowna at Portland
Have a great Wednesday, everybody. Does Kirkland Signature orange juice (from concentrate) always taste like Tang, or is that only if you mix it wrong with the water?