Thursday, February 17, 2005


Welcome to Thursday. Today, Mariner pitchers and catchers work out for the first time this year. Fun. As I learned in one of the articles below, Yuniesky Betancourt is in camp, and George Sherrill came early, but the security people wouldn't let him past the gate for about 15 minutes.

Random note...my favorite plant of all-time is the cactus, which I guess makes this somewhat spring training-related, and not so random. I once wrote some weird piece in a high school english class about wanting a saguaro cactus in my house, and then drilling a hole in the ceiling if the cactus grew higher than the ceiling would allow. This wouldn't fly in Washington due to the moisture, but what's a high school student without dreams and unattainable goals? In directly related news, I've got problems.

To the post!

Hickey's in Peoria. He says nothing too surprising about Felix, but then makes me cringe at the notion that Aaron Sele has a great chance at a spot in the rotation. Yikes. I know there's some questions about the rotation, but is it in that bad a shape? Worse yet, Hickey says that Sele's curve doesn't bite as well, so he could get tattooed pretty good in the spring even if he threw well. Anyway, I'm just not looking forward to seeing starts of 4 2/3 innings out of Sele every fifth day. Of course, if it has to be done, there's part of me that wants the fifth day in the rotation to be the Sele/Villone day, where Sele doesn't get out of the 5th, and Villone mops up the next three or four innings.

Zumsteg boils it all down to a DH battle of Bucky vs. Ibanez. I'm rooting for a trade of Ibanez or Winn so that Bucky can get the shot he so deserves, but I'm thinking it looks bleak. As such, it's one year later and we're still lamenting the horrible Ibanez contract. Ugh. More from last offseason -- I just remembered how the only solace I could take out of the Mariners not landing Miguel Tejada was that he signed with a team outside the division. Of course, that solace was dragged out to the barn and shot after Vladimir Guerrero signed in the division.

Don Baylor says he didn't see ex-teammate Jose Canseco juicing up. Jose Canseco can only be so trusted in all of this, seeing as to how he's peddling a book, but regardless of his validity, he's succeeding in planting the seed of doubt on a few of his past teammates, fair or unfair. Of course, from my standpoint, when Pete Rose came out with that book not too long ago, I just wanted him to just go away for a long time, and now I feel the same way about Canseco.

By the way, if someone still has one of the masks from No Way Jose Mask Night at the Kingdome, I'd like to see how much one of those things could fetch on eBay right about now.

Walter Jones. Signed. Seven years. The Seahawks won't have to franchise him. The guy will actually be in Cheney. Pertaining to the Bishop/Romero article, is sacks yielded really a formal statistic? I could swear that Jones let at least one guy past last year on the way to a sack. Well, maybe it might have just been pressure. I don't have all the games from the past season on tape...just those darn game posts.

This of course means one of a few things. The one I'll say is three cheers for Mike Reinfeldt. He didn't have long to get this done, but lo and behold, he's gotten Walter Jones in for the long term, and that's something he couldn't do even before Bob Whitsitt shoved him out the door. I don't know if Reinfeldt will be the president of this team, but they've got to at least remove the temporary tag, because he's more than earned it with this signing.

Of course, with Matt Hasselbeck and Shaun Alexander as the bigger free agents remaining, the widely-held belief is that the Seahawks sign Hasselbeck and franchise Alexander. If they do this, in my mind, they better be sure of the following...

-- Mo Morris better be a 1000-yard back, and/or
-- They better get a solid receiver through free agency that can actually CATCH AND HOLD ON TO THE BALL
-- They better draft wisely in case one or both of the previous fail(s) to pan out

It might be rudimentary and simple, but I think it's sound thinking. If you tag Shaun and trade him for some freakin' sweet picks, you're losing a 1700-yard back, and someone that carried the offense when Hasselbeck was having a bad day or the other receivers were dropping passes like mad. If you let Shaun go, you obviously have to make up the holes that Shaun patched. Of course, you're not going to improve the quarterback situation, and Maurice Morris isn't going to match Shaun yard-for-yard (or even within 700 yards, I think). So if this offense is more pass-oriented (it's Holmgren we're dealing with here), can you really afford to just turn loose the same exact receiving core next year as you did this past year with a running back that isn't as good? I hope not, and this is why the names of Plaxico Burress and Muhsin Muhammad (if his Carolina contract situation falls through) sound so great right about now. I just don't think you can go with the same quarterback, a worse (though not crappy) running back, and the same exact receivers. If you're going to throw more, you'd better get a set of hands that is more sure.

The Marvin Williams Watch
Marvin Williams had turf toe (left) and sat out North Carolina's 85-61 home win against Virginia. In related news, Sean May is awesome.

The Tar Heels host Clemson on Saturday (10a, ABC) and travel to face NC State on Tuesday (5p, local only)

Ah, yes. A topic everyone loves -- Pac-10 officiating. Hold your applause until all the names have been announced.

Of course, there was another article where Gregg Doyel tried to sort of call out Lute Olson. Olson has been flying the East Coast Bias flag for years, but Doyel doesn't like Olson naming JJ Redick, even in defense of Salim Stoudamire. While I don't think all of Doyel's argument is gospel, I love this paragraph...

...luckily for Lute, I'm located east of the Mississippi and therefore don't know enough about Arizona to realize he has won just three Pac-10 titles since 1995, despite having Damon Stoudamire (a senior in 1995), Ray Owes, Reggie Geary, Ben Davis, Michael Dickerson, Mike Bibby, Miles Simon, Jason Terry, A.J. Bramlett, Michael Wright, Richard Jefferson, Loren Woods, Luke Walton, Gilbert Arenas, Jason Gardner, Rick Anderson, Andre Iguodala, Hassan Adams, Channing Frye, Salim Stoudamire, Mustafa Shakur ...

Ah, gotta love inter-regional discontent. You can ask Jeremy what the SEC folk think about the Pac-10.

The Huskies go to Washington State on Saturday (4p, FSNNW) and host Arizona State the following Thursday (7:30p, FSNNW).

Since I peruse the boxscores after every Gonzaga game before I post about it here, I know about what this article tells us -- Ronny Turiaf is back in his groove. His ankles are feeling a ton better, and his numbers have shot up to go with the very welcome dominance down low for the Bulldogs.

The Zags host San Diego tonight (6p, KONG 6/16 Seattle, Q6 NBC Spokane) and San Francisco on Saturday (3p, ABC)

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

Man, do I have to read these articles? That game was horrible. The lack of defense all game by the Sonics was just maddening. All-Stars Ray Allen and Rashard Lewis were a combined 1-for-7 in the fourth quarter. Ron Murray was the only pulse for the offense in the final frame. It was a shame to see Nick Collison's double-double go for a losing effort.

Aaaaaand I need to lay off a bit on Vladimir Radmanovic for last night's game on account of the sore wrist. Such will be noted in the game post.

Tuesday at Houston (5:30p, FSNNW)
Wednesday at New Orleans (5p, FSNNW)

Kelowna beat Seattle 2-1. The Thunderbirds are trying to find their groove again, but it's hard to do against a solid Kelowna team. The best they did tonight was spoil Derek Yeomans' shutout with a second remaining in the game. That goal went to Zack FitzGerald. Seattle was outshot 32-24, and Bryan Bridges stopped 30.

Red Deer shut out Vancouver 3-0. Brent Sutter was back behind the bench for Red Deer, but it also helped that the flu bug had ravaged through the Giants. The Giants were outshot 25-20, and Marek Schwarz stopped 22. Mikko Kuukka, Colin Fraser, and Tanner Gillies scored for Red Deer.

Tomorrow: 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
Wednesday: Seattle at Kelowna, Tri-City at Vancouver, Manitoba at Wilkes-Barre Scranton

Have a terrific Thursday, o great readers of ours.

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