Monthly Archives: May 2009

Todd Linden’s Hitting Streak Up to 19 Games

Todd Linden, the switch-hitting outfielder from Central Kitsap, is tearing up the International League — again. Linden, with the Scranton Wilkes-Barre (Pa.) Yankees, might be the hottest hitter in the minor leagues.

He’s got another hit Monday night, extending his hitting streak to 19 games.

Here’s a column on Linden from by Paul Sokoloski of the Wilkes-Barre Time Leader. If you’re not familiar with this Kitsap product, it gives you a pretty good synopsis of his career, which started when the Giants made him a supplemental first-round draft pick following his junior year at LSU. Linden started his college career at Washington.

Linden’s now 28 and it’s easy to say he’s running out of time, but he just needs another opportunity. And if he continues to play like he’s been playing, he’ll get it. He’s hitting .353 with four homers. His opportunity, however, might not come in New York. Shelley Duncan, a Scranton Wilkes-Barre teammate, is hitting .347 with 10 home runs. If the Yankees need help, they’ll probably turn to Duncan, who has previous experience with the pinstripes.

Linden’s a good story, though. He’s been through some tough times and hasn’t had a lot of breaks. He’s due for one.

Questions, More Questions and Some Video Links


 1. When does the clock strike midnight for the Cinderella Mariners? Or will it? Are these guys for real? Who’s your latest favorite Mariner? I like Rob Johnson. I’m always partial to catchers and you gotta love a guy from Montana who makes it to the big leagues. They don’t even have high-school baseball in Montana.


2. Is anybody following the NBA playoffs? Can anybody take LeBron James and the Cavaliers down? Atlanta gets the next shot. Bremerton’s Marvin Williams, a starting forward for Atlanta during the regular season, played just five minutes in the last five games with a wrist injury. Marvin averaged 13.9 points, hitting a career-high 35.5 percent of his 3-pointers, and 6.5 rebounds in his fourth NBA season. What do you think of Marvin’s career? Is he on schedule to be a future All-Star or will he remain a role player for the rest of his career? Remember, he won’t turn 23 until June.


3. Do you know who Calvin Borel is? He, more than anyone I can remember in recent times, was a picture of pure joy following Saturday’s Kentucky Derby. He was the jockey who guided longshot Mind That Bird through a couple of narrow passages to one of the biggest upsets in the race’s storied history. But it was Borel’s celebration that I’ll remember. Thanks to ABC for keeping its cameras focused on the 42-year-old, who laughed and cried and let one wild “Owwww-Eeeeeeee” after another. Was anybody else out there as happy for him as I was? Check out this video.

4. How can you watch three soccer matches in one day? Port Orchard’s David Falk, who writes about soccer for the Seattle Examiner, did it last weekend.

5. And what about Port Orchard native Willie Bloomquist? Remember him? The former M’s utility player is hitting .372 for the Royals. Yes, .372. That’s not a mistake. He hit his seventh career home run on Saturday night and came back Sunday with two more hits, one of them breaking up a no-hit bid by the Twins’ Geoff Baker. I hate to tell you I told you so, but I always said if he got regular at-bats that Willie would put up decent numbers. Read about one red-hot Royal right here.

Quick Hits

* Tony Fein’s got bazooka’s for arms and he’s living his dream. I talked to the former South Kitsap quarterback after the first day of Seattle’s mini-camp at Renton on Friday. Fein’s now a 6-foot-2, 247-pound linebacker. He’s an undrafted free agent who spent 2 1/2 years in Iraq. The story and photos will publish online and in our print editions on Sunday. Seattle rookie linebacker Aaron Curry, the fourth overall pick in the NFL draft, said the Hawks’ playbook was like reading Chinese.

* Seattle’s hosting the annual meeting of the American Society of Golf Course Architects this week. Members will play Chamber’s Bay and Gold Mountain during their stay. They’re teeing it up at 9 a.m. (shotgun start) on Sunday at the Olympic Course.

* Did you see Jose Lopez’s 14-pitch game-winning at-bat against the A’s? It capped a pretty impressive comeback for the M’s, who just keep surprising folks. And Lopez (.253) and Adrian Beltre (.203) haven’t been hot. Think the M’s can win the AL West? Can’t believe I just typed that, but I think this team can contend. The Angels are hurting and the A’s and Rangers are scuffling.

* The Mariners and A’s will wear throwback uniforms tonight in a tribute to the 1939 Seattle Rainiers. Former Bremerton resident Alan Strange was one of the Rainiers’ top players that year. Here’s a photo and some background information on him.  Alan Strange Jr., if my memory serves me correct, coached Babe Ruth baseball in Bremerton.

* The Kitsap BlueJackets haven’t released its roster for the 2009 season, but owner Rick Smith tells he there’s a need for host families. Go to the BlueJackets web site for info.

* The Kitsap Pumas, who are playing their first game today (Saturday) against the Spokane Spiders in Post Falls, Idaho, are putting individual game tickets for home games on sale today. Here’s more words and video on the Pumas from David Falk and the Seattle Examiner.

Thiel Reminds Us of How Bad Husky Stadium Really Is

Art Thiel spoke to the Kitsap County Bremerton Athletic Roundtable on Thursday at the Cloverleaf Sports Bar and Grille. The Seattle sports columnist, now writing twice a week for the Seattle P-I’s online product, covered a lot of interesting ground, including the demise of the newspaper industry and the proposed $300 million remodel of Husky Stadium.

Thiel reminded the BAR crowd that Seahawks owner Paul Allen was willing to use his money to makeover the old stadium by the lake if the university would allow the Seahawks to play its home games there their. The year was 1996. You would  have had Husky football Saturdays and Seahawk Sundays. Former Gov. Dan Evans, a Montalke resident, was among the leaders of some nearby neighborhoods to squelch that idea. Now guess who is leading the charge to renovate Husky Stadium?Yep, it’s Evans.

The point is the stadium problem could have been solved years ago — if Paul Allen had been allowed to turn the creaky old stadium into a showcase for the Huskies and Seahawks.

Just another opportunity missed. Now, the rebar is more exposed than ever, the plumbing problems are worse, and there’s still just one outdated elevator. I know several older UW fans who don’t go to games because it’s simply too much of a hassle to get to their seats.

The Seahawks don’t need Husky Stadium anymore. Allen has a state-of-the-art venue in Qwest Field that’s one of the NFL’s premier facilities. It would be a great spot to host the Apple Cup. Give the Huskies and Cougars $2 million a year to play the game in downtown Seattle. What? That’s already suggested that? And the school’s couldn’t come to an agreement? I thought these were tough economic times. Didn’t the UW just axe its swimming program? Isn’t Washington State considering major cutbacks?

Back to 90-year-old Husky Stadium, once one of the shining jewels of college football, but now a relic way, way past its prime. There’s been two attempts in the last two years to at the state legislature to come up with funding to renovate the stadium. The bill failed a year ago. And this year, a state bill that would have given the university $150 million (half of what it needs) toward refurbishing the stadium, never even got to the voting stage.

How many more years is it going to take to get that project done?

Thiel also sold few copies of his new book, that he wrote along with former P-I colleague Steve Rudman and KJR radio’s Mike Gastineau:  “The Great Book of Seattle Sports Lists.” It’s hot off the press and available at bookstores and at It’s about the best and worst in Seattle sports history. The year 2008, he said, was the runaway winner for worst sports year in Seattle history.

I haven’t read the new book, but I highly recommend Thiel’s 2003 book: “Out of Left Field: How the Mariners Made Baseball Fly in Seattle.”