Links & Quick Hits: Denny Strickland, Hope Solo, Knucklealls, Leach, M’s, Feuding Northenders, Turf Fields & More

I posted a blog earlier about Denny Strickland dying at age 73. Here’s my column on the 1956 West High grad.

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“We like our female athletes squeaky clean, like Mia Hamm, or crazy hot like Anna Kournikova. We have trouble with somebody like Solo, who has a little bit of crazy in her, a little bit of jerkhole and, yes, a little bit of hot mess. She does not fit the paradigm. She is not necessarily whom we want our little daughters emulating.”

That’s what Jen Floyd Engel of Foxsports.com has to say about Hope Solo. Read her column here. If she was willing to marry Jerramy Stevens, you know she’s got more than a little bit of crazy in her.

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Chuck Armstrong confirms that the M’s are possibly interested in signing outfielder Josh Hamilton. “We do need offense,” said the team president. Duh!

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Anybody who has played baseball has attempted to throw a knuckleball while warming up on the sidelines. When you’ve got short, stubby fingers like mind, it’s not easy. You dig your fingernails into the seams of the baseball and you let it fly, wondering if you can make it dance. It’s a wonderful feeling when it happens. You wonder if you could throw it for strikes in a game. Nah, no way. That’s why my hat goes off to R.A. Dickey, the first knuckleballer to win the Cy Young Award. And he did it when he was 38!!!

Quick hits

There’s been talk that the Bremerton School District is looking into turfing Memorial Stadium and Legion Field. The district has supposedly asked Olympic College if it would be willing to chip in any money toward the project.

Another rumor: A local soccer club has talked to the city about possibly turfing outdoor soccer fields at Pengergast Park. The kicker is the club would get preferential treatment when it comes to scheduling games. Good or bad idea?

Sources tell me some Kingston officials and parents aren’t crazy about playing all of its future home football games at North Kitsap Stadium in Poulsbo. The district had committed $30,000 to building a press box at Kingston’s field, but pulled it back.  Other districts seem OK with sharing a stadium, but there’s bad blood up north. People can deny it, but it’s true. Poulsbo and Kingston are only separated by eight miles, but they might as well be on opposite sides of the Puget Sound.

Huskies should be 8-4 going into the Kraft Hunger Bowl on Dec. 29 at AT&T Park in San Francisco. Navy (currently 6-4) is already committed to the bowl and Washington’s the projected opponent based on being the Pac-12′s No. 6 team. If the Huskies are the Pac-12 No. 12, they could wind up in Las Vegas for a Dec. 22 game against the Mountain West Conference champs, which could be Boise State. Got a preference?

Mike Leach or Marquess Wilson? Who are you siding with? Wilson quit on his teammates, walking off the field during a conditioning drill. Leach has repeatedly hurled verbal insults at his players. Doesn’t mean you have to like it or even respect it, but the Pirate of the Palouse isn’t a bad guy. He’s not politically correct at times,  but you have to like his backbone:  “We’re not changing,” he said. “This isn’t a democracy. We don’t say, ‘You 125 guys, how do you want practice to be and what direction do you want this or that to go?’ We don’t do that. Our standards are what our standards are, and we’re going to hold them to that.”

Seahawks have a bye Sunday, so why not take in this doubleheaders at Olympic College’s Student Center Gym: Olympic plays Chemeketa at 3 p.m. in the men’s season basketball opener at 3 p.m. and the Kitsap Admirals plays the Salem Sabres in a red, white and blue American Basketball Association game at 6 p.m.

Dec. 5: Save the date. The Kitsap Athletic Roundtable’s holding its version of a Hot Stove League at the Arena Sports Bar & Grille. The topic’s baseball and Ken Wilson, president of the West Coast League and former sidekick of Dave Niehaus who has broadcast Mariners’ game the past couple years, will be the featured speaker. Local minor leaguers Drew Vettleson (Rays) and Jared Pricne (Rangers) and others will be part of the program. Social hour at 6 p.m., program at 7. You don’t need to be a KAR member, although memberships are only $25 and the money goes to youth and amateur athletics in the region. Got questions. Email me: cstark@kitsapsun.com.

In case you missed it, Central Kitsap grad Todd Linden’s playing in the Dominican Winter League and have five home runs in 22 games. South Kitsap grad Aaron Cunningham was invited to spring training by the Texas Rangers.

 

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