Diving right in:
The unbeaten Kitsap BlueJackets, rained out Monday at Walla
Walla, play a West Coast League baseball doubleheader today. First
game starts at 5 p.m. Walla Walla Sweets. Ya gotta like that
nickname. Can’t be many teams named after an onion.
Speaking of nicknames, what do you think of the Joliet Slammers?
The mascot of the Frontier League club in Illinois? J.L. Bird.
Joliet, of course, is a prison town. One of the suggested names for
the team was the Joliet Jakes, in honor of the John Belushi
character in the “Blues Brothers” movie. Couldn’t do it because the
name is copyrighted.
Another of my favorite nicknames also has a prison theme. The
Deer Lodge Wardens. I lived in that Montana city for a spell, and
there was a time when I wanted to grow up to be a Warden.
Fueled by Vitamin R and maybe some other stuff, I remember
sitting in the garage with a buddy, knocking around possible names
for the baseball team in Seattle that would eventually be called
the Mariners. We came up with, we thought, the perfect name. The
year was 1976 and everybody was going to be celebrating the
Bi-Centennial of our country. And what could be more American than
having the Red, White and Blue Sox in the American League? Yep, the
Seattle Blue Sox. I still can’t figure out why I didn’t win the
And, just in case you didn’t know, the BlueJackets aren’t named
after some native bird. BlueJacket is a tern for an enlisted sailor
in the Navy. The Bluejackets’ Manual is the also the basic handbook
for U.S. Navy personnel. And the Bremerton BlueJackets were a minor
league baseball team that played in the Class B Western
International League from 1947-49. Home field? Roosevelt Field.
Every time I drive by that concrete parking lot next to the Warren
Avenue Bridge I think of Roosevelt Field.
You gotta favorite team nickname? C’mon, let’s hear
Baltimore’s Jason Hammel (6-2, 3.,06 ERA) will
seek his seventh win Tuesday when the South Kitsap grad pitches
against Jon Lester and the Red Sox. Hammel suggested that Toronto
was stealing signs in his last outing, a 4-1 loss to the Blue Jays.
Hammel, 29, beat the Red Sox earlier in the season.
Willie Bloomquist is hitting .349 (15-for-43)
over his last 10 games, raising his average to .283. The
Diamondbacks shortstop has been caught stealing seven times in 11
attempts, but that won’t stop the Port Orchard native from being
aggressive on the base paths.
Cleveland outfielder Aaron Cunningham, the
third SK grad currently in the major leagues, has appeared in 42
games, but is hitting .200 in just 60 at bats for the Indians. He’s
2-for-13 in his last 10 games, three of them starts. The Johnny
Damon experiment’s not working out for the Indians, so maybe
there’s a chance Cunningham will get more regular at-bats during
the second half of the season.
In the minors:
Todd Linden got a day off after a 1-for-19
stretch and responded with a 2-for-3 night on Monday for Triple-A
Fresno, a San Francisco farm club. The veteran from Central
Kitsap is hitting .267 and leads the Grizzlies with 37 RBIs. …
Outfielder Drew Vettleson from Silverdale is
hitting .271 with 4 home runs and 22 RBIs in 55 games for the
Bowling Green Hot Rods of the Class A Midwest League. The Hot Rods
are a Tampa Bay affiliate. Seattle teammates Joshua
Sale, an outfielder hitting .368 in 20 games, and
shortstop Ryan Brett (.322, 5 HRs) will play in
the Midwest League All-Star team … Poulsbo’s Jared
Prince is hitting .214, but has five home runs for
the Double-A Frisco Roughriders of the Texas League. The Rangers’
farmhand has played in 44 games.
Catcher Clint Coulter from Union High in Camas
was the state’s highest pick, going 27th overall to the Milwaukee
Brewers. He was considered the Pacific NW’s top player.
Other state picks so far: RHP Mitch Gueller,
W.F. West (Chehalis), 55th overall (1st Rd, compensation round),
Philadelphia; RHP Adrian Sampson, Bellevue College
(formerly Bellevue CC), 166th overall (5th round), Pittsburgh; OF
Andrew Pullin, Centralia HS, 188th overall (5th