Stark Truth: Three Thoughts

1) Cliff McCrath. Also known as Uncle Nubber, the former Seattle Pacific University soccer coach will speak at the Kitsap Country Bremerton Athletic Rountable meeting on Wednesday at Gold Mountain Golf Club. You don’t have to like soccer to enjoy McCrath, one of the best speakers you’ll ever hear. He’ll regale you with stories about the past and about how he was unceremoniously dumped by SPU officials last year after pulling within 10 victories of being the all-time winningest soccer coach in college history.
Here’s a story I wrote about McCrath after he visited Kitsap County for a soccer camp in April. http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2008/apr/05/chuck-stark-viewpoint-mccrath-one-of-a-kind/

2) The Mariners. To me, the most disappointing season part of Seattle’s disappointing season has been its defense. The Mariners have lacked focus on defense and made way too many errors for the talent that’s out there. That said, they turned in three gems on Monday against the Red Sox in what turned out to be a pretty fun game to watch with a pro-Red Sox crowd (It seemed like more than 50 percent of the fans were pulling for Boston).
Yunieski Betancourt started it off by catching a diving blooper in the first inning, Ichiro Suzuki made the catch of his career, crashing into the wall to make an over-the-shoulder catch in the fifth and third baseman Adrian Beltre diving stop that started a double play in the ninth was a jaw-dropper.
Betancourt, Beltre, Ichiro are Seattle’s best defenders. It’s about time they started playing like it. Defense, like hitting, can be contagious, and defense has been as much of an Achilles heel to this team as its hitting and pitching. Only two AL teams (Twins and Tigers) have made more errors (36) than the M’s. This is a team that’s been going through the motions. Monday, they looked ready to play. They had a little more bounce to their step when they were in the field.
Win or lose, it was worth the price of admission (and yes, I paid my way in; contrary to what many think, we don’t get freebies to ALL the games).

3) Artificial Turf. The Bremerton School District has formed a committee to look into raising funds for artificial turf at Memorial Stadium. I hope they don’t stop there. While they’re at it, Bremerton should consider turfing the infield at Legion Field, the baseball stadium that sits behind Albertson’s in East Bremerton. It’s a community field that gets a ton of play, and maintenance is a problem. Turf it.
If the opportunity ever arises, Kitsap County should turf the fields at the Fairgrounds, too. South Kitsap? It’s time to turf Joe Knowles Stadium and avoid the annual bog bowls in October and November.
Yeah, it costs money, but it’s a good reason for a joint project between community groups and school districts. Everybody benefits.

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