Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Seattle Sports: In the Morning

Dear reader: These morning roundup posts are an experiment; moving to a bigger platform soon. I'd love to hear what you think as I fiddle around with different formats and styles. Give me a shout at kolloen (at) gmail.

Sounders announce friendly opponents [team release]
They're no Barcelona and Chelsea, but Sounders' exhibition opponents Boca Juniors and Celtic are two of the most consistently successful clubs in the world. Boca has won 23 league championships in the Primera Division Argentina. Celtic's won 42 in the Scottish League. Boca comes to town May 26, Celtic on July 18.

Mariners 6, Royals 5 [box]
Ryan Rowland-Smith had a 5-1 lead with two outs in the sixth, and got Jason Kendall to pop up to short RF. Job well done, right? Nope. The pop up fell between Ichiro and Figgins, Mitch Maier followed with a game-tying triple, and Hyphen remains winless. Happily, the M's won the battle of the bullpens, getting a manufactured 8th inning run: Bradley double, Sweeney groundout, Rob Johnson sac fly. M's 11-11, 3rd place, 1 GB.

Quincy Pondexter and Danielle Lawrie are not dating [Jim Moore column]
Fans of eugenics will be disappointed to hear that future NBAer Pondexter and All-American pitcher Lawrie are just "good friends," in Lawrie's words. So much for what would be the best UW romantic combo since the glory days of Jon Brockman and Cristal Morrison. Lawrie tells Jim Moore that she and Pondexter might date, "if I wasn't so busy." Too busy? I don't remember college relationships being particularly time-intensive, but perhaps times have changed.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING
"If the Caps blow Game 7, DC vaults past Seattle for Most Depressed Sports City honors. At least Seattle has Pete Carroll for comedy's sake." -- Bill Simmons (@sportsguy33), via Twitter.

"@sportsguy33 seattle depressed? Come on! The m's are 1.5 gms out of 1st & its an exciting time for the 'hawks! And the weather's great now!" -- Pete Carroll, via Twitter.

"Clemons-Cole-Mebane-Jackson is perhaps the worst starting defensive line in the NFL." -- John Morgan, Field Gulls (full column on Aaron Curry as a DE option.)

"It's incredible to me how much agility and arm strength (Jack) Wilson packs into a body that looks like it was built by sewing together various bits and limbs from a group of dead seven year olds." -- Jeff Sullivan, Lookout Landing (full game recap.)

"I remember telling (mom), 'I'm going to just do school and get a 9-to-5,' I just said, 'I'd had enough. I don't want to do this anymore. It's not worth it.'" -- Steve Zakuani, on almost quitting soccer at 15 (full profile by Joshua Meyers.)

"If you have built castles in the sky, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put foundations under them." -- Walter Jones, via Twitter.

"Now my journey to Seattle starts!" -- Golden Tate, via Twitter.

"Here's something for ya. The next time the M's play a baseball game, their starting pitcher will be Cliff Freakin' Lee!" -- @HarveyRoad

"I like the fact that the #Mariners are trying to win a pennant with a 23 man roster, but it's time to cut Sweeney and Junior and get serious." -- @michaelcbarr

COLUMN OF THE DAY
Topic: Don Wakamatsu and his "belief systems."

Dave Cameron's take: Wak has confidence in his decisions and he sticks by them. When you don't agree with him, his stubborness can be annoying, but the benefits (stability) outweigh the costs.

My take: Completely agree, and am reminded of a quote I just read, from a legendary European soccer coach named Bela Guttman. Said Guttman: "A coach is like a lion tamer. He dominates the animals, in whose cage he performs his show, as long as he deals with them with self-confidence. But the moment he becomes unsure of his hypnotic energy, and the first hint of fear appears in his eyes, he is lost."

IN OTHER NEWS

Seahawks
The Hawks released two guys I've never heard of and signed two guys I've never heard of. Enlighten yourself.

Here's a list of all 24 Seahawks draftees/undrafted free agents who'll be at the minicamp that starts Friday.

Jeff Feagles, the Seahawks' punter from 1998-02 (between Tuten and Rouen), is retiring after 22 NFL seasons. Feagles also punted for Philly, and I always found it amusing to say "Jeff Feagles, late of the Eagles..." I'll miss saying that. Not sure anyone else will.

Huskies
The UW men's golf team won their second consecutive Pac-10 championship. UW was seven strokes down coming into Wednesday's final round, but stormed back to win by 3.

Husky DE Andre Pulu plead guilty to second-degree assault, reports Bob Condotta. Pulu could get nine months. The Huskies haven't announced what Pulu's status with the team/university is, and won't for a couple of days.

The Pac-10 announced the matchups for the Big XII challenge. The Huskies flip-flop last year's games, hosting Texas Tech 12/4 and visiting Texas A&M 12/11.

Husky baseball had 5 homers in a 12-4 win over Gonzaga.

Mariners
Jack Wilson made an unbelievable throw from deep short in the bottom of the 8th, watch it here.

Some of the M's top hitting prospects are really raking, writes Larry Stone.

Seriously, why the hell did some Kansas City fans boo Mike Sweeney? You know though, if I were a Royals fan, I think I'd boo everything up to and including the peanut guy.

Matthew Carruth of FanGraphs points out that Griffey/Sweeney's DH production so far would rank 9th among NL pitchers. Probably also 9th among NAIA 3rd basemen, adult fast-pitch catchers, and minor league groundskeepers. Still -- 1 game back!

Sounders
Apparently picking Celtic as a friendly opponent is controversial in soccer circles. This article in Prost Amerika Soccer goes into it a little bit, but I still don't understand exactly what the objection is. Something about how Celtic is known for "profiting from the sectarian, ethnic and racial divisions in Glasgow." Huh? How? Pardon my ignorance. Am confused.

Ivy League mighty mite Mike Fucito continues to struggle with "a really strange injury," as Sigi Schmid describes it. Fucito has got fluid under his knee that won't go away. Let's hope he gets back on the field soon, we don't want him being the soccer version of Moonlight Graham.

The Columbus Crew's leading scorer may not play when the Crew visit Qwest Saturday night.

National/Other
#8-seeded Montreal knocked #1-seed Washington out of the NHL playoffs. Could the #1-seed Lakers be next?

Denver stayed alive, beating Utah 116-102 to pull the series to 3-2. C'mon Nuggets! Win it for George!

Jamal Crawford's first playoff season is in deep trouble after the Hawks lost a home Game 5 to Milwaukee to fall behind 3-2 in the series. Crawford shot 4-18 in the game.

Ken Griffey Sr. is hitting coach for the Dayton Dragons this year. Players, including Cascade High's Brian Pearl, are in awe.

Inter advanced to the Champions League final against Bayern Munich on May 22.

Joe Posnanski's column on poor Zach Greinke includes a dig at Horacio Ramirez!

TODAY'S ACTION
Mariners off today.

The Seattle Times is holding an online chat with Seahawks GM John Schneider at 2 p.m.

Dallas @ San Antonio, 5 p.m., TNT (San Antonio leads 3-2).

Phoenix @ Portland, 7:30 p.m., TNT (Phoenix leads 3-2).

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