The Stark Truth

Former Kitsap Sun sports editor Chuck Stark shares insight, laughter, news, views and analysis of Kitsap sports and beyond.
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Covering all bases: Katie Lee, Bill Carter, M’s attendance & more

July 17th, 2014 by cstark

Congrats to Katie Lee for her strong showing at the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links Championships at The Home Course in Dupont. Lee knocked off Annie Park, the 2013 NCAA champ from USC, 1 up in the round of 64 but lost the next day.

Park and Erynne Lee, Katie’s older sister, are good friends and were teammates on the U.S. Curtis Cup team. Erynne Lee’s taking summer classes prior to her senior year at UCLA. Katie Lee’s also going to UCLA, but will reportedly concentrate on her studies. She will also be the team manager of the women’s golf team. After this week, you wonder if she’ll have second thoughts about putting her clubs away. UCLA coaches are probably thinking the same thing.

… Bill Carter and the Blame are playing at Brother Don’s in Bremerton on July 31. Carter’s a Central Kitsap grad who once played in the Chymes of Freedom. He’s been based in Austin for years and will do a lecture at the Port Townsend Blues Festival and Workshop the day before. His song  “Anything Made of Paper,” was named one of the top 50 Songs of 2013 by American Songwriter Magazine.

… The crowds were pretty good for the Mariners’ three-game series against Oakland before the All-Star break: 32,971 on Friday, 39,204 on Saturday and 25,944 for Sunday’s finale. Almost 100,000 (98,119) for three games. But it’s nothing to get excited about. Despite putting a pretty good product on the field, the fans aren’t exactly flocking to the friendly confines of Safeco Field. Seattle ranks No. 24 in MLB, averaging 23,858 per game. Oakland, always trashed for its low attendance, is No. 23, pulling in 24,137 a game.

… I like the Oakland A’s. There, I said it (or at least wrote it). Maybe the A’s should be our hated rival, kind of like the 49ers are enemy No. 1 when it comes to the Seahawks. But I can’t dig up any hatred for Oakland. It’s a fun team to watch, and the A’s are not coached by Jim Harbaugh.

… Not very kind, but my buddy tells me the Mariners have their own Group of Death. It’s called Ackley, Smoak and  Miller. Ouch!

… Speaking of attendance, the Sounders pulled 64,207 for its game against rival Portland on July 13 and are averaging 42,771 fans a game at The Clink.

… Hard not to like Bjorn Bjorke, the Olympic College golf coach who works for the Ryan Moore Golf Club. Good golfer, good coach, good guy. Here’s a story I wrote about the 34-year-old South Kitsap grad.

… Didn’t watch it, but they tell me the Seattle Seahawks stole the show at the ESPYs.

… If you were the Mariners’ GM, would you pull the trigger on a trade with the Rays for lefty David Price and utility man Ben Zobrist? Who would you give up?

… The Cave Singers are putting in another appearance at the Hi-Fidelity Lounge in Bremerton on Friday, August July 18. Good band. Check ‘em out.

… While researching this story about Bremerton’s Marvin Williams, I was shocked to find out that Kevin Durant led the NBA in technical fouls with 20. Yeah, really. Look it up.

… An 0-for-19 slump has dropped Drew Vettleson’s batting average at Double-A Harrisburg to .200. The Central Kitsap grad had hit three home runs and driven in 11 runs for the Washington Nationals farm team.

… South Kitsap grad Brady Steiger, the former Lewis-Clark State star, is having trouble getting untracked at Class A Staten Island, a Yankees’ farm club. He’s hitting .168 overall and is just 4 for his last 32.

… Aaron Cunningham, another SK product, is hitting .253 at Triple-A Reno. He’s still looking for his first home run for the Arizona Diamondbacks’ affiliate.

… Ripken Reyes, the son of former standout Olympic High athlete Paul Reyes and Central Kitsap grad Heidi (Westhoff) Reyes, is playing in a baseball tournament in Seattle this weekend. Reyes, a middle infielder from Stockton, Calif., has already verbally committed to the University of California. He’ll be a senior next year. Ripken was one of 40 players invited to the Team USA U-17 national development camp, which takes place Aug. 4-8 in Cary, North Carolina.

… Young softball players, ages 8 to 18, are invited to an Olympic College softball skills clinic on Saturday (July 19), 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., at Pendergast Park in West Hills. Cost is $60. OC head coach Dan Haas, assistants Dick Thompson and yours truly, plus OC players will be hand on to provide instruction. Hope to see you there.

 

 


Where’s Marvin Williams going to land? Charlotte? San Antone? Utah?

July 9th, 2014 by cstark

Bremerton’s Marvin Williams, 28, appears to have some options as the free-agent forward heads into his 10th NBA season.

Williams, who played his first seven seasons in Atlanta and the last two with Utah, has reportedly been targeted by the Charlotte Hornets.

In an earlier report, Williams was linked as a possible fit for the San Antonio Spurs.

Adrian Worjanowski of Yahoo! Sports, who broke the story about Charlotte’s interest in Williams, also writes that the Utah Jazz are still interested in keeping Williams.

The former Bremerton High star, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2005 NBA draft, averaged 9.1 points and 5.1 rebounds for the Utah Jazz last year. He shot 36 percent from 3-point range.

His career numbers are 10.1 points and 5.8 rebounds. There are not a lot of power forwards available and the 6-fo0t-9 Williams is valuable because of his ability to shoot the three and teammates and coaches in Utah raved about this leadership the past two seasons.

If it comes down to Charlotte and San Antonio, that would be a tough decision. He made $7.5 million a year ago and would likely make around $2.5 million if he joins the NBA champion Spurs. The Hornets are in a position to pay a lot more. Plus, Charlotte needs a starting power forward after losing Josh McRoberts to Miami.

 


Tuesday links: World Cup, Raul, Sherm and The Jet

July 1st, 2014 by cstark

Here’s some reading material before you settle in for the U.S.-Belgium World Cup match (1 p.m., ESPN):

Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports upset the Belgians with this column about why the U.S. can’t lose to Belgium.

He writes:

Belgium has just 11 million people, which is like, what, a Dakota and a half? (Not certain since I was too lazy and distracted to look it up. You want worker productivity? Go hire a Belgian.)

These guys are Canada-Lite, one of these perfect, nice, polite, pretty countries that take pride in the fact they all ride bikes and recycle and don’t unilaterally invade other sovereign nations.

There is no place for someone like this on the global stage of the World Cup, where each match is life and death … literally in some places if you blow a critical assignment.

Jason Whitlock of ESPN.com writes about World Cup fever and the lessons our pro leagues can learn from it.

He writes:

Again, the point of a season-end revival is to showcase a sport as the best. The World Cup, the Super Bowl and the Final Four are primarily gigantic marketing events. They entice fans and media to come and worship for a month, a week and three days, respectively. These events are impossible to ignore. They help grow and maintain soccer, football and college basketball congregations.

It’s puzzling, and counterproductive, that the NBA and MLB haven’t constructed a season-end revival. Eight years ago it was still fashionable to laugh at and ridicule soccer in this country. And now the World Cup is drawing NFL-size television ratings and a lifelong football groupie is analogizing Cristiano Ronaldo to Joe Montana.

 

Joe Posnanski writes about Raul Ibanez, who is back in Kansas City with the Royals.

Posnanski writes this about the 42-year-old ex-Mariner:

There are a million Ibañez numbers I could throw at you to blow your mind — here’s just one: He hit 276 of his 303 career home runs after age 30. That’s 91% of his home runs. That is BY FAR the highest percentage among the 137 players in baseball history who hit 300 home runs.

He hit as many home runs after age 30 as Harmon Killebrew, more (at this moment) than David Ortiz, more than Yaz or Frank Thomas or (how about this one?) A-Rod.

Or this stat: Ibañez is one of only 15 players in baseball history to have more than 1,000 RBIs after age 30. With one more RBI for Kansas City, he will tie a pretty good player named Willie Mays with 1,091 RBIs after 30.

Or this stat: Ibañez has scored almost as many runs after age 30 (945) as Derek Jeter (977).

Or this stat: Ibañez has hit more doubles after age 30 than Stan Musial did. Or George Brett. Or Wade Boggs. Or Barry Bonds.

And just because y’all can’t get enough of Richard Sherman and the Seattle Seahawks, here’s where you can check out Sherman columns for Sport Illustrated’s Monday Morning Quarterback (mmqb.si.com).

In his love letter to coach Pete Carroll, Sherm wrote:

I can’t imagine what life in the NFL would be like for me if he hadn’t used a third-day pick on a still-raw cornerback. I get texts from guys across the league which remind me how good we’ve got it in Seattle. They ask, “Is he really as cool as he seems?” and “I hear you guys have fun at practice?” Yes and yes. All he asks is that we be ourselves and protect the team’s reputation by not saying anything controversial.

In case you missed it, here’s Todd Dybas’ story on Mariners’ rookie James (The Jet) Jones. Don’t know if the nickname’s catching on, but don’t you think it should? Jones is now up to 17 steals after pilfering three on Monday night in Houston, when he went 4-for-5 at the plate.


The Jet, Willie, Seahawks, Hammel, World Cup & more

June 25th, 2014 by cstark

Here we go, in no particular order:

Dude can fly: James (The Jet) Jones is up to 14 steals (he’s been caught once) through Tuesday and considering he didn’t get his first one until May 1, that’s pretty impressive. Michael Saunders led the Seattle Mariners with 13 steals a year ago. Ichiro (438 steals during his time in Seattle), Jose Cruz (290) and Harold Reynolds (228) are Seattle’s all-time leaders in steals, but the M’s have never had a lot of speed guys. Willie Bloomquist (71) ranks No. 11 in steals in franchise history. Jones, if he’s as good as I think he might be, could pass Willie in the summer of 2015.

Speaking of Willie: The South Kitsap grad is hitting .278, and get this — the M’s are 18-7 when he starts (through Tuesday). That’s the stat that matters, right?

Sherm shuts up: Richard Sherman’s never been at a loss for worlds, but he reportedly isn’t speaking to the media, upset with the Seattle Times because the newspaper published the address of his new home. Got to side with Sherm on that one. Some things don’t need to be printed, and that’s one of ‘em.

Speaking of Seahawks: Sherman, Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson have all been nominated for ESPYs. 

World Cup fever: Portugal’s late goal in extra time against the U.S. in the World Cup was a punch to the gut, but it didn’t take long for me to get over the 2-2 tie. I’m really looking forward to see how Jurgen Klinsmann’s boys do against Germany on Thursday (9 a.m. ESPN). Klinsmann is a former German star, a legend in his country. He played on West Germany’s 1990 World Cup championship team and coached the 2006 German World Cup team. Germany is now coached by Joachim Lowe, a protege of Klinsmann. The U.S., which needs a tie to move on to the round of 16, has five players who grew up in Germany. This one promises to be emotional. I can’t wait.

Speaking of soccer: How ’bout those Pumas? Kitsap’s soccer club is 6-0-4 and has opened a seven-point lead in the Northwest Division of the PDL. Coach Andrew Chapman, the Olympic High grad who has turned Peninsula CC into an NWAACC power, seems to be making all of the right decisions. The Pumas are one of six unbeatens in the 64-team league. Kitsap won a national title in 2011, and it looks like the Pumas are going to make another serious run this summer.

BlueJackets bashing: Kitsap’s summer college baseball team, the BlueJackets, are off to a good start. Kitsap’s 8-5 and just a half-game back of Bellingham in the Western Division of the West Coast League (through Tuesday). They boast the No. 1 (Danny Woodruff, .453) and No. 3 (Alex Bush, .395, 2 HRs, 15 RBI) hitters. Woodruff’s an outfielder from Creighton who played in just seven games as a freshman. Bush is a 6-foot-6, 255-pound first baseman/DH who just graduated from high school in Turlock, California. He’s going to be a freshman at UC Santa Barbara. Kitsap’s second in hitting (.296 average) and eighth in pitching (5.46 ERA) in the 12-team wood-bat league.

Hammel report: Jason Hammel, the 2000 South Kitsap grad who is having a fine season (6-5, 2.99 ERA, 91 Ks, 20 BBs, 96.1 IP, 1.017 WHIP) for the Chicago Cubs, continues to be linked to the Mariners. This report says the Cubs and M’s have had serious talks, and that Chicago wants RHP Edwin Diaz, Seattle’s third-round pick in the 2012 draft, to be part of the package.

Minor league report: Brady Steiger (South Kitsap/WSU/Lewis-Clark St.) hit his first home run as a pro over the weekend. He plays for the Class A Staten Island Yankees. … Drew Vettlesen (Central Kitsap) wrapped up an eight-game rehab stint with the Auburn Doubledays. He was 4-for-4 on Friday and hit .318. The outfielder, who broke a bone in his hand when hit by a ball in April, is back with the Double-A Harrisburg (Pa.) Senators (Nationals) of the Eastern League. He was 2-for-3 with a stolen base on Tuesday. … Aaron Cunningham (South Kitsap/Everett CC) hitting .258 with no homers and 20 RBI for the Reno Aces (Diamondbacks) of the Pacific Coast League.

Back on the tee: Troy Kelly, the Central Kitsap grad whose 2013 golf season was derailed by a knee surgery after playing in just 10 PGA Tour events, is resuming his comeback. He played in four Web.com events earlier, but made just one cut and wasn’t satisfied with his game, so he returned to Tacoma to work on it. There might be some rust when he plays in this week’s Web.com tournament in Newburgh, Indiana. He’s using it as a tuneup for the PGA Tour’s Greenbrier Classic the following week in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. Kelly’s got fond memories of Greenbrier, where he shot 6-under 63 in the third round in 2012 to get into contention. He closed with a 66 and wound up losing a playoff on the third hole to Ted Potter. Kelly plans to play four straight weeks. He’ll head to Illinois for the John Deere Classic in Illinois after the Greenbrier Classic before returning to Boise, Idaho, for another Web.com stop. … Kelly’s brother Ryan, his caddie, finished second in the Tacoma City Amateur over the weekend.

Coming Friday: I’ll be writing about “The Legend” later this week. That would be 83-year-old Buzz Edmonds, a three-time winner of the Kitsap Amateur, nine-time club champ at Kitsap Golf & Country Club and one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. I chatted with Buzz and some of his golfing buddies earlier this week. The story will publish Friday.

Nice sendoff: South Kitsap’s three-sport star Logan Knowles, who is headed to the Naval Academy to play baseball, wrapped up his high school career by going 2-for-4 with a home run, double and 4 RBI in the consolation game of the Washington State All-State Baseball Series in Yakima. His home run was the only one hit during the weekend.

Recommended reading: Charlie Pierce, who writes for Grantland,com, among other outlets, weighed in on the O’Bannon vs. NCAA trial that is going on. He writes:

” … If you are a college athlete, you must — willingly or unwillingly — help the NCAA and its member institutions keep faith with Coca-Cola. One of the ugly moral truths about all our sports is that athletes represent one of the categories of Americans who can be legally and publicly treated as commodities, and nowhere is that truth more obvious, and more ugly, than in college athletics, where the athletes are not only forbidden from profiting from their own commodification, but also required to help the institutions they represent to profit from it. Then they have to hear the people who profit most from the commodities who play ball for them tell a judge that they’re doing it only for the athlete’s own good. This trial is about the NCAA’s desire to maintain that arrangement forever. Unless you’re afflicted with a kind of moral myopia, this is no less than grotesque.”

 


World Cup predictions & some linkage

June 12th, 2014 by cstark

What do I know about soccer?

Not a lot, but the World Cup might be the greatest show on earth. I first paid attention to the World Cup in 2002 when South Korea and Japan hosted the event. The games were televised live and many of them were on in the wee hours of the morning.

A few of us got our World Cup on after work, which meant that the fun didn’t start until after midnight. We usually warmed up with a couple of sake bombers after heading to a colleague’s home to watch the action unfold.

No sake bombers this time, but I’ll be watching as much of the tournament as possible. Over the years I’ve become a fan of Cameroon. The Les Lions Indomptables ((The Indomitable Lions) have only make it out of the group stage once (1990), and they’re underdogs once again. The Les Lions Indomptables are in Group A, along with favorite and tournament host Brazil, Croatia and Mexico.

Because of my Yugoslavian heritage, I’m also a big fan of Croatia. I’m also pulling for Mexico, also known as the El Tri. Mexico might have more fans in the U.S. than the U.S. I’ve seen the passion of the Mexican people for their soccer team while vacationing in Cabo, sitting side-by-side with them while watching the El Tri advance to the second round in 2010. They were eliminated by Argentina that year.

So Group A is where my heart is, but Cameroon, Croatia and Mexico all can’t advance.  Who will join Brazil in the round of 16?   I think Mexico, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Croatia grabs the second spot. I’d prefer Cameroon, and it would be an improbable story if the Les Lions Indomptables survive.

The U.S.? I think the Americans will defy the odds. They will not only get out of a tough group (Germany, Portugal and Ghana are the opponents), but I’ve got the U.S. winning a Round of 16 match against Belgium before losing to Argentina in the quarterfinals.

My quarterfinal predictions: Brazil def. Colombia, Germany def. Bosni and Herzegovina,  Spain def. Italy and Argentina def. U.S.

Semis: Brazil def. Germany; Argentina def. Spain

Finals: Brazil def. Argentina

In the spirit of Lionel Messi and World Cup, I suggest you read this story and have some Dramamine available just in case.

Some links

Marshawn Lynch to skip Seahawks’ mini-camp because he wants a contract extension? That’s the word.

My weekly Thursday column was about Willie Bloomquist, the South Kitsap grad who played in his 1,000th career MLB game on Tuesday. Of those 1,000 games, he’s started 684 of them. The breakdown by position: 244 at shortstop, 224 in the outfield (94 in center, 67 in left, 63 in right), 100 at third base, 100 at second base and 16 at first base, including five this season.

Rick Reilly’s last column. If you’re going to read anything today, read this.

Larry Stone of the Seattle TImes wrote this tribute about Derek Jeter, whose farewell tour passed through Seattle this week.

Silverdale’s Katie Lee has qualified for the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links tournament, a championship that will be conducted at The Home Course in Dupont, Washington, in July. It’s the second straight year that Lee, the younger sister of UCLA and Curtis Cup golfer Erynne Lee, has qualified for the APL.

 

 

 

 


Six ex-BlueJackets drafted by MLB teams

June 8th, 2014 by cstark

The Kitsap BlueJackets, off to a 2-0 start in West Coast League play after a pair of exciting wins Friday and Saturday, had six former players selected in the 2014 MLB amateur draft.

5th Round: Rhys Hoskins, first baseman from  Sacramento State, Phillies (Hoskins was overlooked when I put together the Jackets’ 10-year anniversary Dream Team)

7th Round: Relief pitcher Reed Reilly, three-time All-Big West first-team selection from Cal Poly, Red Sox

24th Round: First baseman Cisco Tellez, UC Riversside, Red Sox

30th Round: Pitcher Spencer Watkins, Western Oregon (threw a perfect game for BlueJackets in 2013)

31st Round: Catcher Alex McKeon, University of Texas A&M International, Boston

37th Round: Pitcher Sam Lindquist, Stanford, Mariners

Plus Brock Burke, a high school pitcher from Colorado who was supposed to play in Bremerton this summer, was a third-round pick by the Tampa Bay Rays. Burke has signed with Oregon. He’s expected to turn pro so he’ll probably never wear a BlueJackets’ uniform.

Notes: The Jackets play the Klamath Falls Gems at 3:05 p.m. Sunday at the Fairgrounds. They travel to Wenatchee for three games, then return to host Bellingham next weekend (June 13-14-15) and Bend (June 17-18-19) … Daniel Orr, first baseman from Kingston/Everett CC and Corban University, was another top homegrown product that deserved mention in the BlueJackets’ 10th Anniversary Dream Team.

 

 


BlueJackets open 10th season on Friday, June 6

June 1st, 2014 by cstark

Was checking out the new Kitsap BlueJackets web site — a big improvement by the way — and noticed they had linked to a story I wrote in July of 2007.

Photographer Larry Steagall and I joined the BlueJackets for a road trip to Bend, Ore., cramming into the old blue bus that the Jackets used to travel in. It was a fun team to hang out with and here’s the story about the boys on the bus. I apologize for the typos at the start of the story. Not sure how those crept into the online version of the story, but they did.

Hard to believe this is the 10th anniversary season for the West Coast League baseball team.

Kitsap opens the season on Friday at home against the Klamath Falls Gems.

I’m retired now, but still doing some writing for The Sun, and I’m going to preview the team later this week and in honor the 10th anniversary season, I hope to come up with a top-10 list. You know, best team, best player (or players), funniest BlueJacket, best moment, best game, etc. It’ll be something along those lines. I’ll pick the brains of current head coach Ryan Parker and former coach Matt Acker, who is back as a part of the ownership group.

In the meantime, check out the BlueJackets’ new web site. You can find the season schedule, ticket prices and roster, although I don’t think the roster is complete because there’s only three outfielders listed.

The Jackets are playing a doubleheader against the Seattle Cheney Studs on Tuesday at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma. Game 1 is scheduled to start at 3 p.m.

The WCL welcomes a new team — the Yakima Valley Pippins (named after the delicious apple that’s grown in that area). The Pippins were also the nickname of the pro team that played in the old Western International League. The Bremerton Bluejackets played in the Class B WIL from 1946-49.

Bluejacket or Blue Jacket may refer to an enlisted sailor in the Navy. The Bluejacket’s Manual is also the basic handbook for U.S. Naval personnel.

The WIL will be split into three divisions this season, with the BlueJackets in the West along with the Cowlitz Black Bears, Bellingham Bells and Victoria HarbourCats.

The Walla Walla Sweets, Wenatchee AppleSox, Kelowna, B.C. Falcons, and Yakima Valley Pippins comprise the East. Note: Walla Walla and Yakima have the same ownership group, which includes former MLB player Jeff Cirillo.

The South features four Oregon teams — Corvallis Knights, Bend Elks, Klamath Falls Gems and Medford Rogues.

Teams will play a 54-game schedule. The three division champions plus a wild-card will advance to the playoffs.

The WCL had 56 players selected in the 2013 Major League draft.

 

 

 

 

 

 


South Kitsap cruising in state semifinals

May 30th, 2014 by cstark

South Kitsap leads Wenatchee 8-0 in the fourth inning of the Class 4A state semifinals against Wenatchee in Pasco.

If the Wolves hold on, they will play the Puyallup-Wenatchee winner Saturday at 4 p.m. for the championship. South lost in the finals to Skyview a year ago, and lost two games to unbeaten and N0. 1 ranked Puyallup earlier, including a 10-0 loss in the district championship game.

There was a lot of conjecture about how coach Marcus Logue would use his pitchers this weekend. He started Logan Knowles today, but Mac McCarty is now pitching. He’s also got Cooper Canton available. Looks like he’ll probably go 3-3-1 today. I’m guessing he’ll start McCarty on Saturday. The submariner bounces back in a hurry and should be ready.

In case you missed it, here’s a story I wrote about McCarty.

WIAA is live blogging the semifinals. Click here. 

The championship game will be lived stream, but here’s a cost: $9.95. Go to wiaa.com and click on tournament central. You can follow all of the state’s championship events this weekend. The WIAA’s doing a really good job go with updates etc.

UPDATE: It’s still 8-0 going to the top of the fifth.


MVPs Kluge (Umpqua), Dixon (Peninsula) will play in NWAACC

May 28th, 2014 by cstark

Bremerton’s two Olympic League basketball MVPs — Sawyer Kluge and Deonte Dixon — have made their decisions on where they will play basketball in college.

Kluge’s heading to Roseburg, Oregon, where she will play for Umpqua CC. Former Olympic High athlete Ashli Payne, who scored 51 points in one game for Umpqua this season, will be a teammate. Kluge averaged 22.6 points, 11.7 rebounds and 4.5 steals per game her senior year.

Dixon, a smooth 6-foot-2 guard who averaged close to 18.9 points and 3.1 steals  a game, is headed to Peninsula College in Port Angeles.

Quick hits

Working on a story on Mac McCarty, the South Kitsap junior. He’s 10-1 with a 0.66 ERA in 64 innings. He’s struck out 88, walked 28 and allowed just 30 hits. Pretty impressive. Oh, he’s also hitting .388. The Wolves play Wenatchee in the Class 4A state semifinals Friday in Pasco. McCarty’s getting lots of looks from colleges and told me the expects to sign in the fall. … At least five SK seniors will also play college baseball: Logan Knowles (Naval Academy), Tyler Ludlow (Jamestown), Tyler Pinkerton (Everett CC), Tanner Paulson (Treasure Valley CC in Ontario, Oregon) and Conner Sharp (still undecided, but Jamestown, Treasure Valley and other see-cees in the region are possibilities, said coach Marcus Logue). … Drew Vettleson, a two-time Washington State Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year (2007-08 and 2008-09) from Central Kitsap is rehabbing in Florida from a broken bone in his hand that put him on the DL in mid-April. Vettleson’s an outfielder with the Double-A Harrisburg Senators in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He was hit by a pitch and broke the pisiform bone, a small rounded carpal bone situated where the palm of the hand meets the outer edge of the wrist. … Kaitlyn Oberg, a middle infielder who helped Lehi High win the Class 5A state softball title in Utah, will play softball at Olympic College next year. .. The annual senior high school all-star baseball and softball games will be played Monday, June 9, at the baseball field at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds & Events Center. The Kitsap Athletic Roundtable sponsors the events. Tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for seniors, students and military and free for kids 12 and under.

Some linkage

“Hubris. Arrogance. Complacency. Inattention. Sloth. All more formidable than the San Francisco 49ers.” Art Thiel of Sportspressnw.com writes about the Seahawks as they return to the practice field for their OTAs (organized training activities). He also writes about OG James Carpenter and how the Seahawks are excited that the former first-round pick, a bust to date, could be on track for a break-through season.

Joe Posnanski takes a look at baseball’s batting average. He takes you back to when it was established (and why) and he examines how it has changed over the years. It’s a fun and informative read, for those who like to analyze statistics and for those who don’t.

If you don’t watch HBO’s Game of Thrones, then skip this link. But if you do, you might be interested in NFL.com’s All-Game of Thrones football team.


Memorial Day & other stuff I was thinking about

May 26th, 2014 by cstark

Shooting from the hip as the sun sets on Memorial Day and I’m thinking about my dad sitting in the back of a plane, landing and taking off escort carriers — known as “baby flat tops” or “jeep carriers” — in the Pacific and Atlantic during World War II. He was a radarman/gunner on torpedo bombers. I can’t even imagine what it must have been like. He tells the story of looking out the small window where he sat in the plane and he could see what looked like the entire Pacific fleet — big carriers, cruisers, destroyers — chugging towards the Philippines and Okinawa. Everywhere he looked, he said, he could see U.S. ships.

“I was never so proud to be an American,” he said.

Here’s some other things I was thinking about while driving home from Longview, where I watched the final day of the NWAACC baseball championships on Monday:

* NWAACC baseball, at the championship level, is about as good as it gets. I’d rather watch good college baseball than the pros. The emotion and energy is unreal. And when you get two rivals like Edmonds and Bellevue going head-to-head, you never know what’s going to happen. They met for the eighth time this season and Edmonds prevailed 7-6 in a  back-and-forth, momentum-changing game. It was the sixth NWAACC title in eight years for the powerful North region. Everett won it all in 2013. My son’s an assistant athletic director at Edmonds and Paul Gehring, the former Bremerton High/Centralia CC/York College catcher who assisted at Olympic College before taking an assistants job at Edmonds, is the strength and conditioning and catcher’s coach at Edmonds. Casey Bohlmann, a Central Kitsap/Bellevue CC/Hawaii-Hilo pitcher, is a first-year assistant at Bellevue, where his responsibilities include recruiting and helping coach pitchers.

* I admit it. I never appreciated Ray Allen as much as I should have when he was with the Sonics. Best clutch shooter of all time.

* Marshawn Lynch was a no-show when the Seahawks visited the White House last week. His mom told the Seattle Times the Seahawks’ running back “just didn’t want to go.” A lack of respect for President Obama? Not at all. It was consistent with how he handles off-the-field things. He doesn’t give many interviews and makes few public appearances. He had no obligation to show up in D.C.

* U.S. soccer coach Jurgen Klinsmann isn’t coming clean with his reasoning for leaving Landon Donovan off the World Cup team. Klinsmann said: ‘The ones we chose are just that inch ahead of ones we didn’t choose in performance terms.” An inch? Donovan came up an inch short. I’m not buying it. If there are 23 U.S. players better than the 32-year-old Donovan, then the U.S. should not be an underdog at all; they should contend for the title.

* Some former NFL players are suing the league, alleging that professional football knowingly supplied them with illegal narcotics and addictive painkillers. Even if the NFL encouraged it, nobody held a gun to the players heads and forced them to take pills or have someone poke needles in their bodies.

* Willie Bloomquist is the Mariners’ best option at shortstop right now, especially against left-handed pitching. Everybody forgets that he was a regular most of 2011 (hit .266 in 381 at bats with 20 stolen bases) when he helped the Diamondbacks win the NL West. Bloomquist proved that he could play shortstop on an everyday basis and hit leadoff for Arizona. He hit .302 the following season (318 at bats) while serving as the everyday guy for an extended period, and hit .317 an injury-plagued 2013 season when he was limited to 48 games and 150 at bats. Yeah, I know he’s hitting .192, but that’ll go up in a hurry if he gets regular at bats. Besides, Brad Miller is hitting .150 and Nick Franklin’s at .138.i

* The Derek Jeter Farewell Tour comes to Safeco Field on June 10-11-12. He’s among the greatest Yankees in the storied history of that franchise. Nobody will wear No. 2 again. It’ll be retired alongside No. 3 (Babe Ruth), No. 4 (Lou Gehrig), No. 5 (Joe DiMaggio) and No. 7 (Mickey Mantle). Not sure where he ranks among those immortals. He’s never led the league in hitting or won an MVP, but has there ever been a more class act than Jeter? Oh, by the way, no Yankee in history has more hits or has played in more games than Jeter. There’s not a lot of players I’d pay money to see, but I’m gonna pay money to see Jeter when he passes through Safeco next month.

* The day was Oct. 28, 1988. I turned 36. The same day, I wrote a column for The Sun, explaining why the grandstands at Roosevelt Field should not have been torn down. It should have been refurbished. For newcomers, Roosevelt was a grand old stadium that sat where there’s now a parking lot at Olympic College next to the Warren Avenue Bridge. I’ll turn 62 this October and still cringe when I look at that parking lot. I’m still from the school that says when you have a piece of usable recreational property you hang onto it. You can’t replace a field in the core of the city. Twenty-six years later, we know that to be true.

* Yeah, I was going through some old boxes, trying to downsize a bit when I came across the column on Roosevelt Field. I also came across a 1946 Bremerton Bluejackets program. It cost 10 cents back in the day. That the was inaugural season of the Bluejackets (yes, lower case J; the current West Coast League Kitsap BlueJackets spell it with a capital J). The Bremerton Bluejackets were a member of the Western International League, a Class B professional team. They were managed by Sam Gibson and the team was referred to as the “Gibsonmen” at times. Pitcher Joe Sullivan and second baseman Frank Plouf were the only Bremerton players on the roster that year. Oh, by the way, the Bluejackets, who were only around three seasons, played their games at Roosevelt Field.

 

 

 


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