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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Archive for July, 2010

Couples, Watson Paired at Senior Open

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

Going to the U.S. Senior Open at Sahalee Country Club?

Fred Couples and Tom Watson will be in the same threesome on Thursday (7:45 a.m.) and Friday (1 p.m.).

You can find all of the pairings, and ticket info, diretions, etc. at this USGA web site.


Sunday Links and Buzz

Sunday, July 18th, 2010

Before we get to Sunday’s links, here’s a shout out to Kitsap’s Buzz Edmonds. The 79-year-old Edmonds shot a 75 on Saturday during the first round of the Bad Dog Tournament at Kitsap Golf & County Club. Nice going to one of the nicest guys around.

Here’s some recommended links for a lazy summer Sunday day:

Justin Smoak goes from a pennant-contender to a Mariners team that will be playing meaningless games for the rest of thes season. The first baseman the M’s got from Texas for Cliff Lee only played 135 minor league games before being promoted to the big leagues. His dad, Keith, is his guru. Tim Brown of Yahoo!sports.com writes about the promising talent.

Here’s another Yahoo! Sports story you might want to check out. Adrian Wojnarowski gives you some interesting insight into the LeBron James saga, and how he ended up with the Miami Heat.

Here’s an NPR interview with Pete Carroll, the Seahawks coach who has been in the news a lot because of the USC fallout and because of the book tour he’s on. And if you missed it, here’s Carroll’s interview with HBO Real Sports that aired on Wednesday. He’s asked a lot of questions about USC’s sanctions.

After finishing 13 strokes back in the British Open, what’s next for Tiger Woods? Bob Harig of ESPN.com writes about Tiger, who has yet to win in seven starts.


This n’ That: Marvin for Shaq? Soriano vs. Coryell; Talbot’s an Offshore Force

Wednesday, July 14th, 2010

* NBA.com is reporting that the Cleveland Cavaliers are interested in acquiring Bremerton’s Marvin Williams from the Atlanta Hawks. It would be a sign-and-trade deal that would send Shaquille O’Neal to the Hawks. Cleveland’s new GM Chris Grant was the assitant GM in Atlanta when the Hawks took Williams with the second overall pick in 2005. Marvin was earlier in involved in trade rumors with the Golden State Warriors. Here’s a recent column on Williams written by Nate Joyce of our staff.

* There’s still no word on the how negotiations between Drew Vettleson and Tampa Ray are going. The Rays picked Vettleson, the Central Kitsap outfielder, with the 42nd pick of the amateur draft in early June. If he doesn’t sign, Vettleson will head to Oregon State to play baseball. His girl friend, Hannah Anderson, earned a scholarship to Oregon State to play soccer.

* Silverdale’s Kyler Talbot has only been at it for a year or so, but he’s making a name for himself on the offshore powerboating circuit. His boat is based in Key West, Fla., and he’s won two races this summer. We’ll catch up with him and give you a more complete report before he competes in the world championships in November. Check out this photo of his boat. Just click on the gallery.

* In case you missed it, a public memorial service for Les Eathorne will be held Aug. 29 at the Les Eathorne Gymnasium at Bremerton High. The coaching legend  died last week at age 86.

* Former St. Louis Cardinalas and San Diego Chargers head coach Don Coryell passed away on July 1.  In the newspaper business you’re supposed to write “died,” but when it comes to Coryell,  he “passed away.” He was dubbed “Air Coryell,” for his passing game innovations at the college and pro levels. While attending the University of Washington from 1949-51, where he was a standout defensive back, he once boxed Bremerton’s own Louie Soriano, a star basketball player at the time, during the intramural championships. Sorinao was taking a boxing class and somebody told him he was a natural. “Little did I know he was buttering me up,” Soriano said.

Before he knew it, he volunteered to fight Coryell in a light heavyweight bout at Hec Ed. It was big deal in those days, drawing 7,000-8,000 students, said Soriano.

“So I’m in this match, the only match of my life,” said Soriano. “And it’s against Coryell, who was a fine athlete. He worked out all the time. He told me, ‘Don’t worry.’ I made a mistake. I landed a punch and he came after me.” Coryell knocked Soriano down and the bout was over after two rounds.

There’s a  lot of former players and coaches who are angry and saddened that Coryell never made it the Hall of Fame. Here’s a column by NFL writer Howard Balzer.

* Troy Kelly is entered in this week’s Chaquita Classic in Cincicnnati. The Central Kitsap grad and former University of Washington golfer has playing with a bad hip, one that will require surgery. Kelly’s only 31.

* Willie Bloomquist made his first start as a DH since 2006 last Friday against the White Sox. Why would manager Ned Yost use Bloomquist, whom he calls a “super utility player,” at DH? The answer’s easy. Bloomquist was hitting .455 (15-for-33) against Chicago lefty Mark Buehrle. Batting seventh in the order, Bloomquist was 1-for-4 in the 8-2 loss. This blogger called Yost’s move “tactically nonsensible.”


Lee Goes From Last (M’s) to First (Rangers)

Friday, July 9th, 2010

A day after LeBronmania, the Cliff Lee saga captured our airwaves. It was reported early on that the Mariners were sending the lefty to the Yankees. Turns out he’s going to Texas. Several Internet sites reported the trade. The M’s plan to make an announcement soon.

Seattle will get first baseman Justin Smoak and three prospects. The M’s also gave up reliever Mark Lowe.

The proposed Yankee deal would have brought catcher Jesus Montero. It would have made for an interesting night at Safeco Field, too. Lee was scheduled to start for the M’s against the Yankees.

Now Lee joins the first-place Rangers, who will visit Seattle Aug. 3-4-5 and Sept . 17-18-19.

Smoak’s the centerpiece of the deal for the M’s, who also get Class AA right-handed pitchers Blake Beavan and Josh Lueke and Class AA infielder Matthew Lawson.

Beaven was the Rangers’ top pick in the 2007 draft and is 10-5 with a 2.78 ERA in 17 starts at Triple-A Oklahoma City. The 6-foot-7 pitcher has 68 strikeouts and 12 walks in 110 innings.

Lueke is another big guy. He’s a 6-5, 220 pound reliever, with 62 strikeouts in 38 1/3 innings at AA and A ball this year.

Lawson is hitting .277 with seven homers and 34 RBI at Class AA Frisco.

Do you think the M’s got enough for Lee?

Smoak is hitting .209 with eight home runs in 235 at bats. He’s supposed to be the real deal. Does Russell Branyan become the DH? What do you do with Casey Kotchman? I smell another trade.


More on Les Eathorne

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

It’s past midnight. and we’ve just put out another Daily Miracle. The Sun’s celebrating its 75th year this month, and right now iit seems like I’ve been here for most of them. And itt still amazes me how this newspaper gets put together. Anyway, another deadline has passed and I’m still thinking about Les Eathorne.

Can’t get the man out of mind. Les died Monday. I’ve always said if I could go back in time, I’d give anything to jump in a time capsule that would take me back to Bremerton during the 1940s and early ’50s. What an era it was. Bremerton was a booming, bustling place and the stories I’ve heard about the athletes — Eathorne, Roger Wiley, Ted Tappe, Louie Soriano, Ken Wills, Dwight Scheyer, Tiny Madlin, Darwin Gilchrist  and on and on.

I wrote a column about Eathorne that published Tuesday. In case you missed it, here it is. There’s so much more you could write about this man. Because of those damn deadlines, there’s only so much you can get in one column.

Eathorne was considered one of the best basketball players to come through Bremerton, but he rarely scored over 10 points a game, and he wasn’t very fast. But he knew the game better than anybody. Even back then Eathorne was figuring out ways to outsmart his opponents. Ken Will called him the best basketball player he ever coached.

If, by chance, you didn’t know Les Eathorne, you should go to the East High basketball web site. There’s a lot of good stuff on that site, including links to an interview Terry Mosher had with Eathorne in 2007. He published it as a three-part series in The Sports Paper and it chronicles his life. Check it out.

I’ve gotten a lot of calls and e-mails from readers. I’m gonna share one from Ron Ostrom. I don’t think he’d mind.

Ostrom wrote:

As I read all the nice things said about Mr.Eathones coaching skills and the life lessons he brought to his players, I’m reminded that he was also a great classroom teacher. I was not a ball player nor was I a particularly good student academically however I excelled in his classes. He could inspire the classroom every bit as well as a ball team. There is no doubt he was the best teacher I ever knew.

Several readers have wondered  if there’s going to be a funeral service or a memorial. At Les’ request, there will be no funeral service. The family is planning a memorial, possibly at the Bremerton high school gymnasium that’s named after him. It might not happen until August. The family will let us know when, and if, that happens.


Light Stuff: Hot Dogs, Pete Carroll on Country Music, Roughing Up Tiki Barker and Maradona

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

Takeru Kobayashi moved to New York in March to train for this week’s July 4th hot dog-eating contest on Coney Island. I’m not kidding. Check out the Associated Press report. Kobayashi’s the rail-thin dude who breaks the hog dog in half before stuffing both halves in his mouth and he chases them down with water. He’ll knock down 60 dogs in 12 minutes. It’s pretty gross, really.

I’m not trying to pile on Tiki Barber’s troubles, but Jeff Pearlman drops some really funny Pearls of Wisdom in this piece on the former New York Giants’ running back who has hit bottom after cheating on his wife, who was eight months pregnant at the time.

Diego Maradona, soccer’s version of Ozzie Guillen on steroids, has had his moments during the World Cup. In fact, here’s 10 of his craziest antics, as put together by goal.com. It could have been 100 of his craziest moments.

And Jim Moore of the Seattle P-I put together some pretty good lines in this Q&A with Seahawks’ coach Pete Carroll, which is really pretty revealing.  Consider this exchange:

What about country music?

Carroll: “I don’t listen to country at all. I don’t like it. I never turn it on, I only turn it off.”

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve grown to like country music.

Carroll: “I guess I’m not feeling as old as you then.”


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