Monday, April 04, 2005


Welcome to Monday. It's not just any Monday, though, I know that. Who's skipping work to see the game today? Who's at least got a radio nearby if they can't actually see the game? For those who can't see the game live, don't worry. FSNNW is replaying the game at 7. Of course, that'll go out the window if it turns into a 16-inning marathon or something.

For the random...there's been constant mention of the impending drought that's going to grip the Northwest. I've seen a news segment where some couple decided to put huge plastic drums out under their rain gutters to collect water and then pour the same water on their plants instead of using new water out of the tap, etc. That's reasonable. I don't mind that. You know what I hate? Mosquitoes. You know what mosquitoes like? Water. If it's a drought, it'll be quite dry outside...except for where those plastic drums carrying the old rainwater are. Using recycled rainwater good. Mosquito havens bad. I have more of a vested interest in this because I've found over the years that mosquitoes find my blood very VERY tasty. It's incredible, really. This is a multicontinental thing. Germans love David Hasselhoff, and mosquitoes love my blood.

In the USA Swimming World Championship Trials in Indianapolis, 2000 Bremerton grad/2004 Stanford grad/2004 Athens silver medalist Tara Kirk came away with the victory in the 100m breaststroke. She logged times of 1:07.99 to lead the prelims and 1:07.11 in the final. Her final time was 0.06 seconds short of the American record set in Sydney by Megan Quann, now known as Megan Jendrick, who was in the lane beside Tara yesterday. The win earns Tara a spot in the 2005 worlds in Montreal. Sister Dana Kirk is slated to race today in the 200m butterfly. The 200m breaststroke takes place tomorrow, and I'm thinking Tara is probably swimming in that.

To the post!

AP photo -- John Froschauer
It's finally here. No more meaningless baseball, because now it counts. I forget when New York Vinny does the annual "play a bunch of baseball music" show, but dammit, it should be today.

Let the Ichiro madness begin. He's not a 'roid-popping hulking slugger, no sir. He's just a guy with flawless hitting mechanics and a crazy eye. With the Ichiro madness of course comes the lists of records that are lofty, though not completely unattainable.

Raise your hand if you're excited about the 2005 Mariners' Opening Day shortstop, Wilson Valdez? I mean, the Abe Nunez thing was one thing, but flying this guy in last weekend and having him start on Opening Day...yikes. How did I get here? There is water...at the bottom of the ocean. This guy will probably be beyond nervous this afternoon. He's starting in Pokey Reese's spot. I'll always remember (I forgot what year it was) when Pokey made three errors on Opening Day for the Reds. Hopefully Wilson Valdez won't duplicate that feat. If he does, he will forever be known as Wilson "Exxon" Valdez by Mariner fans.

Jeff Angus will be the Times' stat guy for this season, and this is his first piece as the "StatScout." Looks like one formula's giving the Mariners more wins than I think they'll get.

For all the talk about having all those consecutive righties in the lineup, it's funny the media isn't raising a big stink about not having Raul Ibanez bat somewhere between the Beltre/Sexson/Boone trio. We sure heard a few articles' worth of that talk in spring training, and now, we've got nothing. I guess having some guy that just flew in last weekend to play shortstop is a more worthy story, though.

Eddie Guardado says the leg is okay and he's ready to go. I'm hoping he's healthy. I'm also hoping he doesn't go Arthur Rhodes on us. By that, I mean keep pitching despite really sucking and hurting the team, and I think that was 2003. The year where he should have went on the DL way earlier than he actually did.

Clare Farnsworth (a.k.a. P-I Seahawk beat writer) also needs the NFL Draft to hurry up and get here so that he's not relegated to doing stories about the Safeco Field event staff (the lower case Ls show up weird on that downloadable PDF). As worthy as the people are (the other writer at this very weblog was once one of them), couldn't this have been an Angelo Bruscas or Molly Yanity story? I'm pullin' for ya, Clare. Foodwise, if someone could inform me of whether the Shishkaberries sold at FanFest have remained in the park for Opening Day, that'd be great. And about the manual scoreboard, I'll say once again to anyone who's listening, it had a lot more of a retro feel when all of the letters and numbers were in highway sign-type font. Now it's just soulless Arial or something thereabouts. Also, remember when seating hosts were called "ushers"?

Today vs. Minnesota (2:05p, FSNNW)
Tomorrow vs. Minnesota (7:05p, UPN11)
Wednesday vs. Minnesota (3:35p, radio)
Friday vs. Texas (7:05p, UPN11)
Saturday vs. Texas (1:05p, FSNNW)
Sunday vs. Texas (1:05p, FSNNW)

It's a stretch to think they might get him, but linebacker Jamie Sharper could be in for a visit to Kirkland. He's had four straight 100-tackle seasons and is a ton more durable than Anthony Simmons. Though I'm not expecting a deal to get done, it'd be nice to have Sharper, no doubt about it. If not, gear up for the draft.

The Miah Davis Update
1999 Bremerton grad and 2004 Pacific grad Miah Davis and the NBDL's Roanoke Dazzle close out the regular season next weekend, with road games Friday at Huntsville and Saturday at Columbus.

The Marvin Williams Watch
For this year, only one night remains for 2004 Bremerton grad Marvin Williams and the North Carolina Tar Heels. They face Illinois tonight for the national championship at 6:21p as the two best teams in the country go at it.

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

Yeah, that was an ugly loss. There was absolutely no flow in the Sonics' offense, and it showed. The Warriors turned the ball over 20 times and still won. That'll happen when the Sonics shooting 34.5% from the floor. I posted in the game post that Ray Allen was shooting 36.4% in the last five games, but that'll happen when there's no Rashard Lewis to carry any of the scoring load and guys are draped all over Allen.

I thought that with 34.5% shooting, there's no way the Sonics could have won this game. I've thought about it and now it's made me mad, because now I think decent defense could have made up for the nine-point gap in the final score. They were playing Golden State last night; a hot team, yes, but by no means a worldbeating one. Of course, it didn't help that Damien Wilkins and Nick Collison had off games. Wilkins hasn't established a long streak of productive games, as he hasn't been getting the minutes for a prolonged stretch of time, so his performances might be spotty here and there. Collison, though, has made us accustomed to nights a lot better than the one he had last night.

Conversely, though hopefully not correlative with Collison's struggles, Danny Fortson had a Danny Fortson-type game. I'm talking about the good games he's had, not the ones where he throws people down and gets limited minutes. He was an integral part of trying to whittle down the Warriors' lead in the fourth quarter, where he got the ball down low, was fouled three times, and hit all six of his free throws. If he can do that in the playoffs, it'll be priceless.

Whew. There's no break in Rashard Lewis' foot. That is a good thing. Let's hope he comes back sooner than later. And hey, Vladimir Radmanovic will have the cast taken off and should be working out in a pool this week.

Tomorrow at Sacramento (7p, FSNNW)
Friday vs. Lakers (7:30p, FSNNW)
Saturday at Denver (6p, FSNNW)

A couple days ago, I finally got through a full EA Sports NHL 2005 season, with the Vancouver Canucks on easy mode with 5-minute periods and auto shot aim. Too easy, I know. Still, to my disappointment, I only had one guy score 50 goals, and Sergei Fedorov ended up having an absolutely crazy season, with way more points (like 170, something nuts) than any of my guys.

Here's how the fake Canucks did, with the final lines I had (goals-assists-points)...
Markus Naslund 50-24-74/Brendan Morrison 42-55-97/Todd Bertuzzi 49-32-81
Daniel Sedin 30-26-56/Henrik Sedin 22-32-54/Jason King 21-12-35
Matt Cooke 6-7-13/Trevor Linden 12-22-34/Martin Rucinsky 21-14-35
Magnus Arvedson 3-2-5/Artem Chubarov 9-18-27/Chris Nielsen 6-1-7

Ed Jovanovski 25-34-59/Brent Sopel 10-41-51
Marek Malik 14-37-51/Mattias Ohlund 18-32-50
Sami Salo 14-30-44/Bryan Allen 0-15-15

Other skaters...
Mike Keane 16-9-25/Brad May 2-6-8/Jarkko Ruutu 1-6-7/Mats Lindgren 1-5-6/Brandon Reid 1-0-1

Dan Cloutier 46-9
Johan Hedberg 15-4
Alex Auld 6-2

The Canucks would be having a home game tonight against Anaheim if there was a season. It would have been the Canucks' 80th game in their defense of the Northwest Division title. In the 80th game of last season, the Canucks beat Anaheim 2-1 to take the Northwest Division lead. Markus Naslund tied the game with a goal against the run of play in the second period. Brendan Morrison won a faceoff with 22 seconds left and passed to Sami Salo, who put a puck over the shoulder of Anaheim goalie Martin Gerber, who was amazing that night. The Canucks outshot the Ducks 22-4 in that third period.

Upcoming (WHL conference semifinal matchups to be determined)...
Tomorrow: Everett at Portland (Game 7), Syracuse at Manitoba
Wednesday: Syracuse at Manitoba
Saturday: Hamilton at Manitoba
Sunday: Hamilton at Manitoba

Have a great Monday and a great Opening Day, each and every single one of you.

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