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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Stark Truth: Thoughts On Swim Trials, Sonics and M’s

July 6th, 2008 by cstark

On to Beijing and Tara’s ‘Despair’
Congratulation to Bremerton’s Nathan Adrian and Bainbridge’s Emily Silver – Kitsap’s latest Olympians. Both will be competing in relay events at the Beijing Olympics next month. A lot of you have been reading our paper or following our online coverage at kitsapsun.com/roadtobeijing.
As excited as it must be for Nathan, Emily and their families and friends, can you imagine how Tara Kirk feels.
Bremerton’s Kirk missed out on a second trip to the Olympics by one onehundredth of a second. If you want to feel her pain of disappointment, then check out her blog: http://wcsnblogs.com/swimming/tarakirk. I don’t know if I’ve ever come across an athlete who described her emotions with such honesty. “Today, despair lies on me like an avalanche,” she wrote.

Sonics Gone for Good?
I’ve been debating that question since the settlement was reached that allowed Clay Bennett to take Kevin Durant and Co. to Oklahoma City, leaving Seattle without an NBA franchise for the first time in 41 years.
Initially, I figured Microsoft Chairman Steve Balmer and his partners, who have said they’re interested in bringing a replacement team to Seattle, would have enough clout to convince politicians in Olympia to produce a plan that will enable the city to renovate KeyArena. Balmer’s group is reportedly OK with footing about half of the $300,000 million it would cost to renovate the facility NBA commissioner David Stern, nor Sonic owner Clay Bennett, wanted any part of.
Now, the rules have apparently changed. Stern’s not making any promises, but he said if you turn KeyArena into a facility that meets NBA standards, then maybe the city could get a new team.
If the Legislature comes up with money for a re-modeled KeyArena or a new arena, Bennett must pay the city another $30 million if they can’t get a team by 2013.
I went back and read Stern’s statement on Black Wednesday, the day of the settlement.
“Given the lead times associated with any franchise acquisition or relocation and with a construction project as complex as a KeyArena renovation, authorization of the public funding needs to occur by the end of 2009 in order for there to be any chance for the NBA to return to Seattle within the next five years,” Stern said.
“Under the circumstances outlined above, the NBA would be happy to return to the city of Seattle.”
Read between the lines: Stern would also be happy if the NBA never returned to the city of Seattle. He makes it pretty clear, I think, that it’s going to be difficult to put together a plan that will bring Seattle another franchise by 2013.

How About Those Mariners?
The Marineros are no longer the worst team in baseball. They’re the third worst. The M’s (35-52, .402 winning percentage) have passed San Diego (35-53, .398) and Washington (34-55, .382) and are closing in on Cleveland (37-50, .425). The M’s are 10-5 under interim manager Jim Riggleman.
If it seems like the Riggle Men are getting key contributions from a different player every night, it’s because they are. And it’s because Riggleman is using everybody on his bench, much like Lou Piniella used to when he was with the M’s. Mike Hargrove and John McLaren always talked about giving regulars days off and using role players more, but they never did.
Should they remove the interim tag from Riggleman’s title?
Should they dump Richie Sexson and Jose Vidro right now?
Is Erik Bedard worth keeping if he refuses to throw more than 100 pitches?
Why is Jamie Burke still on the roster?

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3 Responses to “Stark Truth: Thoughts On Swim Trials, Sonics and M’s”

  1. john jackson Says:

    Comments on the Sonics: Pro Sports are businesses. The owners and players make insane amounts of money at the expense of tax payers and fans. George W. Bush couldn’t make a go of it in the oil business so he got into the Pro Sports Game and in a short time without any effort on his part made a tidy 35 million.

    I would be interested in how much the Arena costs the taxpayers per year. Include the initial cost, plus annual maintenance, cost for renovations and also include the cost for destruction and divide it by number of years in use. I think people would be surprised how much taxpayers are paying per game.

    What I love is how gullible some people are. If you tell them to cough up 300 million dollars on the promise that such and such will happen. LOL. Fooled you again. Seems that contracts in the Pro Sports Rippoff game don’t mean much. The NBA and the courts always rule in favor of the owners over the taxpayers. The city will never another dime from Bennett. He will easily get out of that contract.

    I haven’t gone to a Sonics game for years. I got tired of watching the officials control the game in favor of teams like the Lakers.

    If some want Seattle to have a NBA team then they should pay for it and not us taxpayers. We have much more important things to fund like our crumbling infrastructure.

  2. Craig Says:

    so John, should we tear down the entire Seattle Center? or just the Key Arena? Not all of us find reality TV to be a “cultural event”.

    As for the Mariners, I am very pleased with Rigglemans managerial duties. We should have hired him in the first place instead of Melvin!

  3. Sharon O'Hara Says:

    It seems strange that we spend millions on a select sports center for professional players yet haven’t got the money to install walking paths ALL our citizens could use.
    Sharon O’Hara

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