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Former Kitsap Sun sports editor Chuck Stark shares insight, laughter, news, views and analysis of Kitsap sports and beyond.
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Friday Links and Comments: On Wille B, Gray, Hammel, Locker, Hawks …

November 12th, 2010 by cstark

The Washington Nationals are reportedly interested in Port Orchard’s Willie Bloomquist, who finished the season with the Cincinnati Reds. Here’s the link. Larry LaRue of the Tacoma News Tribune reported that Cincinnati GM Walk Jocketty has made no attempt to re-sign the former Mariner. Bloomquist is also included in this list of super utility players compiled by Ron Neyer of ESPN.com.

Comment: It’ll be interesting to see if the veteran utilityman gets another two-year deal this time around. I doubt it, but he’ll land on his feet and he’ll continue to be a valuable player for somebody. Jim Riggleman, the Nats’ manager and former interim manager of the Mariners, would be the kind of no-nonsense guy who would appreciate what Bloomquist brings to the table: versatility, smart base-running, defense.

If you’re into baseball’s new-wave statistics, this story will interest you. Using something called Fielding Independent Pitching (FIP), it compares the 2010 seaosns of Jason Hammel, the Rockies’ pitcher from South Kitsap, with right-hander Clay Bucholz of the Boston Red Sox. Read the story here.
Comment: I have had a hard time getting excited about the FIP, WHIP, WAR — acronyms for other popular statistical measures — but this is pretty interesting stuff. Hammel’s numbers were a lot of better than they looked, especially when measured side-by-side against Bucholz.
College Hoops
Steven Gray said he made it right past intermission before his character — Tybalt — was killed off in the student production of “Romeo and Juliet.” Gonzaga coach Mark Few seemed a little disturbed  that his senior guard, the former Bainbridge and Chimacum star, wasn’t fully devoting himself to basketball during the offseason. At least, that’s what he told Howie Stalwick, who write this story for The Sun. But Gray’s off to a pretty good start, hitting 5-of-8 3-pointers and scoring 25 points with nine assists in the Zags’ blowout win over Southern on Friday night.
Comment: Outside of John Stockton, the Zags haven’t had a lot of players make it in the NBA. Even Adam Morrison was a bust at that level. I think Gray’s got a chance. He’s got the size — Gray’s a legit 6-5 — and an all-around game. I think he’ll prove to be a dangerous 3-point shooter his senior season.

College Football
Ted MiIller of ESPN.com points out that the Pac-10 likely won’t have six bowl-eligible football teams this years. He writes:
The conference started the season with only nine eligible teams for six contracted bowl slots because USC is ineligible for the postseason due to NCAA sanctions. Washington State is already assured of a losing record. Washington and Arizona State needs to win-out to become bowl eligible. UCLA and Oregon State need two more wins. California needs one. It’s almost certain that the conference won’t produce six bowl-eligible teams. And if Oregon plays for the national title and Stanford manages to get a Rose Bowl invitation — or at-large berth to another BCS bowl game — then a number of contracted bowls could end up scrambling for replacement teams.
Comment: It’s stacking up to be an unusual year. Oregon and Stanford are as good as anybody in the country, but the Pac-10 IS NOT the best strongest conference in the country, as some have proclaimed. That honor still belongs to the SEC, which is, by far, the deepest conference in the country. The Pac-10′s passed the Big Ten this year, and the Big 12′s in a major decline with Texas and Okalahoma, its two traditional leaders, having sub-par seasons.
Washington QB Jake Locker has slipped from No. 1 to No. 16 on Mel Kiper’s Big Board, a rating of the top NFL prospects in the country. Stanford QB Andrew Luck is No. 1 on the list. This is what Kiper writes about Locker::”I expect Locker to bounce back during the workout portion of the draft buildup, but he has simply raised a lot of questions.”
Comment: From the get-go, for a vareity of reasons, it’s not been a very good year for the fifth-year senior. But it would be pretty cool to see him lead the Dawgs to three straight victories and get an opportunity to finish his career in a bowl game. His final home game is Thursday, Nov. 18, against UCLA, but there’s no guarantee he’ll be healthy enough to play. You’re not supposed to cheer in this businenss, but it’s hard not to pull for the kid from Ferndale.

The Seahawks
Seattle has not defeated the Cardinals in Arizona since Ken Whisenhunt took over as head coach. Here’s a look at this week’s NFC Worst matchup.
Comment: It’s hard to take the Seahawks seriously at this point. When they were 4-2, Tony Dungy thought they might be the best team in the NFC. They’re still 4-4 and tied for first in the worst division in football, but this is a team in decline. And there’s really no reason to beleive that they can turn it around.
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One Response to “Friday Links and Comments: On Wille B, Gray, Hammel, Locker, Hawks …”

  1. summer dresses Says:

    Having grown up in Seattle, childhood summers always included plugging the radio into the outside socket and listening to the M’s while playing in the backyard with my brother. As an adult, I loved driving home on summer nights with the window down, feeling the warm evening breeze and listening the game. Through the good and many, many bad years, Dave was always there. Mariners games just won’t be the same without him. We miss you already, Dave!

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