Quick hits and links: Villopoto, Hammel, Kelly, M’s, Hawks, more …May 1st, 2011 by cstark
POULSBO’S RYAN Villopoto is a top-five finish away from winning his first AMA Supercross 450cc championship. RV won in Salt Lake City on Saturday night and can wrap up the title this coming weekend in Las Vegas.
JASON HAMMEL of the Colorado Rockies has got the stuff to be a No. 3 starter and a 15-game winner. The South Kitsap grad improved to 3-1 with a win over the Pirates on Saturday night.
OLYMPIC COLLEGE’S baseball team took on Bellevue, top team in the NWAACC North, this weekend. After getting bombed 13-0 in the opener, they lost 6-5, 4-2, 2-1. They’ve all lost 1-0, 2-0 and 3-2 to Douglas (B.C.) and 4-3 and 7-5 to Skagit Valley. As close as they are to breaking through, the Rangers will never do it unless they can figure out a way to win those close games.
GOLFER TROY KELLY tied for 24th at the South Georgia Classic, good enough to for an exemption into this week’s Nationwide Tour event, the Stadion Athens Classic at Athens, Ga. The Central Kitsap grad is now 78th on the money list after two tournaments and looking for a high enough finish to get some status on tour. He had to Monday qualify for this week’s tourament, and he led the way with a 65. This week’s winner, Ted Potter, Jr., was also a Monday qualifier.
EVEN BAD teams have good weeks. Hey, last year’s Mariners figured out a way to win six in a row at one point. This year’s team is coming home after a 5-1 road trip. Pretty impressive and it could have been a 6-0 trip. If Ichiro doesn’t lose the ball in the sun, if the M’s could have gotten Felix Hernandez some runs … One month in, I think it’s still too early to figure these guys out, but if they play more like they did this past week than they did earlier in April, the season’s going to be interesting.
I DIDN’T SEE the entire broadcast of Sunday’s game at Boston, but caught the part where they were comparing Hernandez to Luis Tiant. I’ve been thinking that for the past two years. The way he turns his back to the hitter on his delivery, it’s really close to what El Tiante used to do. Not sure if it gives him more power or gives him a better rhythm, but I’m pretty sure it makes it harder for the hitters to pick up the ball.
THE EXPERTS didn’t like the Seahawks draft so much. Mel Kifer gave it a D+, his lowest grade of all 32 NFL teams. Here’s Kifer’s assessment:
Top needs: QB, OT, WR, DL
Summary: By passing on Andy Dalton, the clear impression is that Seattle has other plans (or hopes to) at quarterback. Could it be Carson Palmer or Kevin Kolb? I hope the Seahawks have better plans for quarterback than they appeared to in terms of adding value here. Carpenter fits a need, but was a reach with better tackle available. Moffitt can help this offensive line, but I didn’t see guard as a top need. Wright was a reach on my board, as was Durham, a wideout out of Georgia who may have been around much, much later. The Seahawks then made some sensible picks in the secondary, but at what impact that late? They did nothing really to help the defensive line and their sense of value was questionable. The positive might be that this is a very young team, and you suspect Pete Carroll expects improvement. I just don’t know if he added much this weekend.
Other draft analysts also were scratching their heads over some of the Hawks’ picks. Everyone seems to like their first-round pick, Alabama offensive lineman James Carpenter, but they seem to think Seattle didn’t need to use a first-round pick. As for the criticism of Kris Durham, who wasn’t invited to the combine, the Seahawks said they liked him because of his size. He gives Seattle another big (6-foot-5) receiver to go with Mike Williams.
Former Seahawks’ QB Trent Dilfer was critical, saying the Hawks “absolutely whiffed” with their picks.
It’s hard for the average fan to get excited about offensive linemen, but that’s where it all starts. If the Seahawks got it right this year, with top picks Carpenter and John Moffitt, everybody’s going to be happy about this year’s draft.