The Mariners are wearing Seattle Turks throwback uniforms today against the Chicago Cubs, and thanks to Sportspressnw.com, here’s a little background on the 1909 Turks.
It was nice to see the Kitsap BlueJackets get off the snide on Friday. They broke a seven-game losing streak with a 2-1 win over the Corvallis Knights in front of the home fans and local players had a lot to do with it.
In the top of the ninth, with the scored tied 1-1, Corvallis had a runner on first with two out when Cody Lenahan doubled to left-center. I was standing down the left-field line and it looked like the Corvallis runner was going to score from first, but Kitsap center fielder Dan Jewett, a North Kitsap grad who is playing at Nebraska Omaha, cut the ball off and wheeled and made a strong, quick, low throw. First baseman Daniel Orr, a Kingston grad who was instrumental in helping Everett CC win an NWAACC Championship this year, field the throw on a hop between third base and the pitching mound and in one motion turned and threw to catcher alex McKeon, who got the tag down just ahead of the runner. It was one of the best defensive plays you’ll ever see.
So we’re tied going to the bottom of the ninth. Orr, who was 2-for-4 in the game and has signed to play at Corbin College in Oregon, singled with no outs to put runners on first and second, and following an error that loaded the bases, third baseman Vince Sablan, a South Kitsap product who will be a sophomore at Olympic College next year, lofted a deep fly to left to drive in the game-winning run. Oh, yeah, pitcher Ryan Taylor, a Utah player who just finished his sophomore season at Olympic, got the win with two innings of scoreless relief.
Kitsap hosts Corvallis again Saturday (6:35 p.m.) and Sunday (1:05 p.m.), and has a makeup home doubleheader with Bellingham on Monday (3:35 p.m. start) at Gene Lobe Fields at the Fairgrounds. Bring your sunscreen. It’s supposed to get into the 90s on Monday.
Corvallis is expected to start Colin Feldtman on the mound Saturday. Feldtman’s a Bainbridge native and University of Portland pitcher who played the last two summers with the BlueJackets. He’ s 0-1 with a 4.56 ERA after four starts.
The Jackets annual Fireworks Night is Friday, July 5 with a special 7:35 p.m. start vs. Wenatchee. And Kitsap’s hosting a Christmas in July on On Saturday, July 6. Bring an unwrapped toy, which will go to Toys 4 Tots, to get into the game for free A nonperishable food item will get a coupon for a free hot dog and a drink at the concession stand.
Did you see those BlueJackets’ television ads on ROOT TV during the Mariners’ games? At least the ownership group is trying to get fans in the stands.
The Northwest Pro Rodeo Association is holding its annual Thunderbird Rodeo Benefit this weekend at Thunderbird Stadium at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds & Events Center. Performances are Saturday (7:30 p.m.) and Sunday (1:30 p.m.).
After his hot start, Willie Bloomquist has cooled off at the plate for the Diamondbacks. The South Kitsap grad is 5-for-32 (.152) over his last 10 games and his average has dipped to .292 for the 22 games he’s played in since coming off the DL.
Drew Vettleson, the Central Kitsap grad playing for the Charlotte Stone Crabs of the Class A Florida State League, has a nine-game hitting streak and has boosted his average to a season-high .270. The Tampa Rays prospect was hitting .193 after April before he started to get untracked. The outfielder has four home runs, five triples and 35 RBI, which is second on the squad.
Outfielder Aaron Cunningham, a South Kitsap grad playing at Triple-A Round Rock for Texas, has hit .316 in his last 10 games and is hitting .264 for the season. Seven of his last 12 hits have been for extra bases (5 doubles, 1 triple, 1 HR)
There’s a bunch of links about M’s shortstop Brad Miller in this post by Rainiers’ broadcaster Mike Curto.
Poulsbo’s Ryan Villopoto has won eight of 10 motos during the outdoor motocross season. This after winning his third straight Supercross championship.
RV2 is on the cusp of being considered one of the all-time great motocross riders of all time. A couple more championships, and he’ll be in the conversation with Roger Decoster, Bob Hannah, Ricky Carmichael and Jeremy McGrath as the greatest motocross/supercross rider of all time.
Dude might be the greatest professional athlete ever from Kitsap County. Yeah, greatest ever. Who compares?
Shortstop Brad Miller should be in the starting lineup when the Seattle Mariners take on the Chicago Cubs on Friday at Safeco Field.
The minor-league sensation found out after Thursday’s Triple-A game in Tacoma that he was being called up to the big leagues. Looks like Brendan Ryan is a the M’s new utility man.
Miller, Ryan Franklin, Mike Zunino and Kyle Seager. Now, if only Justin Smoak and Dustin Ackley can put it together. That’s not a bad nucleus going forward. I think the first three are the real deal, and there’s still hope for Smoak and Ackley, isn’t there? And Jesus Montero could be a pretty good DH, right?
Hey, be positive.
I picked my all-sports team in a column last week, and already, I’m having second thoughts.
Gregg Popovich was my coach, my manager, and I think the guy is as good as anybody, but what was up with having Tony Parker on the bench in the closing seconds of the Spurs’ Game 7 loss to the Miami Heat? A horrible decision, and when he was asked about it, he refused to elaborate. C’mon, Pop. Others chided him for having Tim Duncan on the bench at the end of Game 6, when Miami turned a couple of big offensive rebounds into big shots in a comeback victory to extend the series to Game 7. It’s a good point, but I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt in that one because he’s opted to go with a small lineup all year in those situations, trying to matchup with the opponents three-point shooters.
I also wrote that “I want Rafael Nadal, and anybody else who can match his level of fitness and intensity.” I still want him, but a first-round, straight-set loss at Wimbledon? Where did that come from?
YOU MIGHT have noticed that The Sun has brought back a Friday golf page. Well, not exactly a page, but at least some consistent news from the local golf scene. Current staffer Jeff Graham and myself, who’s been retired from the daily grind now for almost seven months, are alternating stories. I wrote about the changes Kitsap County has made to Village Greens a couple weeks ago, and Jeff wrote a nice story about Scott Fenske, a top local amateur, mentoring 16-year-old Aaron Holliday, last week. The plan this week is to write about how Gold Mountain Golf Club is faring under Columbia Hospitality, the group that now manages the city-owned course.
We’re also producing a weekly golf notebook and calendar, so if you’ve got a good story idea or some local golf news, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or Jeff at email@example.com.
I WAS AT the Detlef Schrempf Celebrity Golf Classic on Monday at McCormick Woods Golf Course. This was the 20th annual and the celebs have dwindled over the years, but the cause is still a good one and the guys and gals participating have a lot of fun. Former Mariner slugger Bucky Jacobson drew a lot of attention, wearing a green kilt and his golf hat backwards while touring around the course, but the four women on the No. 10 tee were the talk of the tourney. It was the 1-800-DIVORCE for men hole, and the women, at least two were KJR staffers, were dressed up in pajamas and swilling alcohol while going off non-stop on the men who stopped by. They were loud, crude, and very funny.
I caught up with former Peninsula High, University of Washington, and Seattle Seahawks receiver Paul Skansi, who now calls Poulsbo home. Skansi, entering his 14th year as a scout for the San Diego Chargers, looked back on his playing career — one that likely wouldn’t have happened if he had not played in the run-and-shoot offense that coach Larry Lunke ran at Peninsula High. Here’s my story. I also got a chance to talk to ESPN’s Kenny Mayne. He’s going to be the subject of my Thursday column.
SAW SOUTH KITSAP FOOTBALL COACH Eric Canton at the Detlef. The Wolves, as well as athletes from Klahowya, were helping out at the tourney. Instead of going to a team camp, Canton’s taking his team to Fort Worden State Park in Port Townsend for a four-day summer camp at the end of July. Perennial state powerhouse Bellevue goes to Fort Worden every summer for a week. Canton said it’ll cost the players $250 each. They’ll stay in old wooden barracks and Fort Worden will feed the players and coaches and do the laundry. Players won’t be allowed to bring cell phones or computers, said Canton.
I STOPPED BY for the last three innings of the
BlueJackets game against Belllingham on Monday night. I counted 60
people in the stands. 60! Egads! An eight-game losing streak and
4-15 start doesn’t help, but the West Coast League is a good level
of ball. Bellingham’s pitchers were from Washington State and UCLA,
and the Bells will be adding two more players from the
champion Bruins soon. (UCLA leads the College World Series
best-0f-three finals 1-0; the Bruins need one more win to win it).
I’ve only seen a couple of Kitsap games, but I’ve been impressed.
They are better than 4-15. If the rain holds off, I’m gonna check
’em out again tonight. It’s $2 Tuesday. Two bucks for a ticket, two
bucks for a hot dog, two bucks for a soda, two bucks for a domestic
beer. I hope there’s more than 60 fans in the stands when I get
there. One bit of advice to Kitsap management: your website is
pretty weak. Go ahead, check it
out: http://www.bluejacketsbaseball.com. Then compare it to
the sites of other teams in the West
TODD LINDEN, the former Central Kitsap star who is still playing with Triple-A Fresno, will face Mariners’ prospect Taijuan Walker Tuesday night in Tacoma. Walker’s making his Triple-A debut. Linden appears to be heating up after spending time on the DL and getting off to a slow start. He’s hitting .209, but is 6-for-14 in his last four games.
JUST A REMINDER. The Sports Paper, produced by former Sun staff writer Terry Mosher, is no longer published by The Sun, but it is available online. Go to sportspaper.org to read Mosh’s lastest columns and stories about local personalities and athletes.
Starting with the 2013 season, the governing body of high school athletics in New Jersey won’t tolerate trash-talking.
It’s a good thing the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Area didn’t have this rule when Gary Payton was a prep athlete.
Wonder if the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association would ever go this route? I’ve not witnessed a lot of smack-talk in high school sports, but you know it exists.
The problem is enforcing the rule. What one official might consider trash-talking might not be trash-talking at all. New Jersey’s putting a lot of pressure on its referees to make the right call.
What do you think?
Coyotes to Seattle?: By now, you’ve probably heard about the Phoenix Coyotes possible move to Seattle. If not, check out this report by the Seattle Times. Might be time to revitalize that NHL fantasy league. I once had a team named the Ice Tkachuks, after Keith Tkachuks, a former captain of the Coyotes.
Told you so: For all three of you who read this blog, I just want to remind you that I never liked the idea of turning Dustin Ackley into a second baseman. I thought Kyle Seager, a second baseman at North Carolina, was a better fit at second, and Ackley, an outfielder at North Carolina, should be the starting left-fielder. Ackley’s now playing outfield for Tacoma, where he’s also found his hitting stroke. Now that Nick Franklin is holding down second, I suppose it’s OK to keep Seager at third. But with Franklin, Brendan Ryan, and Carlos Triunfel all on the big club and Brad Miller waiting in the wings, the M’s are going to have to figure out what to do with all of those middle infielders. Miller’s hitting .341 with four HRs and 23 RBI since coming up to Tacoma 20 games ago. There’s probably no reason to rush him to the big leagues, but why not? When the July 31 trade deadline rolls around, look for Ryan to wind up back in the National League, and Triunfel, or even Franklin, could be pieces for a potential trade. If I’m the GM, I’d envision Miller at shortstop, Seager or Franklin at second, Ackley in left and a power hitter, someone acquired by trade or free agency, at third base, when Opening Day rolls around in 2014.
Interesting Finals: All but one game has turned into a blowout, but these NBA Finals have been pretty compelling. There’s been a different story every game. Manu Ginobili showed that he still has some game left in his tank on Sunday as he led the Spurs to a victory and 3-2 advantage over LeBron and the Miami Heat. Gonobili, 36, had 24 points and 10 assists. Last time the Heat was in this position, down 3-2 and going back to Miami, they watched the Dallas Mavericks celebrate on their homecourt. Lebron said he’s looking forward to the challenge.
Marvin returning to Jazz for another: Marvin Williams, who is recovering from heel surgery that will keep him out of the start of the next NBA season, has declined an option that would allow him to get out of his contract. So the Bremerton High grad is guaranteed $7.5 million next season. Here’s a blogger’s take on Marvin’s first year with the Jazz.
Hopson to T-Tech: Former Sequim fastpitch star Lea Hopson, a two-time Olympic League MVP, recently signed to play at Texas Tech. Hopson, who helped the Wolves to an unbeaten season and Class 2A state title, was a first-team junior college all-american at the College of Southern Idaho. Her offensive numbers were mighty impressive.
No. 2 and feeling blue: “I just keep feeling heartbreak,” said Phil Mickelson after his sixth second-place finish at the U.S. Open. Did he blow it or did Justin Rose win it?
Willie still hot: Willie Bloomquist is hitting .409 in 14 games for the Diamondbacks after going 2 for 4 on Sunday. The South Kitsap grad hit the ground running after being activated from the disabled list and continues to swing a hot bat for the Diamondbacks, who went 0-3 at San Diego but still cling to a first-place in the tight NL West. Only two games separate the four teams.
Unbeaten streak: The Kitsap Pumas can’t win, and they can’t lose. The Pumas are 0-0-5 in their last five games. The latest tie: 2-2 vs. the Portland Timbers U-23s on Saturday leaves the Pumas (1-2-5, 8 points) in fifth-place in the Northwest Division, which is led by the Timbers (5-1-2, 17 points). The Pumas and Timbers tied 0-0 two weeks ago at Gordon Field, and they will play again in Portland on Friday, June. 21.
Jackets back home: The Kitsap BlueJackets (4-8) get a day off on Monday, but will be back in action on Tuesday for the first game of a three-game series against the Bend Elks. Kitsap beat the Elks 5-3 on Sunday in Bend, ending a four-game losing streak. Catcher Alex McKeon (.371) leads the offense, but Kitsap is hitting just .234 as a team. Pitching has been decent in the early going as the staff has a 3.72 ERA. Here’s the pitching stats. And hte hitting stats.
Struggling: Todd Linden is in the midst of a 2-for-25 stretch with Fresno, the Giants’ Triple-A club, and is hitting .179 in 27 games. The Central Kitsap grad missed most of the early season with a foot injury after fouling a ball off it and suffering a deep bruise.
Good genes: Taryn Griffey, daughter of Ken Griffey Jr., recently committed to play basketball at Arizona. She’s just now coming back after missing her junior season with a knee injury. She gives her dad credit for helping her through the recovery process.
A few stories to start your day:
Willie Bloomquist’s two-run single in the ninth inning gave the Arizona Diamondbacks the lead in a game the D’backs won 5-4 over the Los Angeles Dodgers on Monday night. Bloomquist, a Port Orchard native, is hitting .467 since returning from the disabled list.
Do the Seahawks have a problem with Adderall? “It does seem that way,” says Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman in an interview with ESPN The Magazine.
Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports writes that Tim Tebow landed in the perfect spot after signing with the New England Patriots. Tebow’s never sought the limelight and coach Bill Belichick is the right guy to keep the media hounds away from the oft-criticized quarterback. Belichick, during a press conference on Tuesday, reiterated over and over that the Pats “will do what’s best for the team,” when it comes to Tebow.
There’s a lot of golfers to root for this week at the U.S. Open. Mike Tanner from the relatively new Sports On Earth blog, which features some of the best writers on the planet, mentions a lot of them, including Jordan Spieth, who won the U.S. Junior Amateur at Gold Mountain a couple summers ago.
U.S. Soccer has come a long way since 1976. Joel Petterson of the Seattle Times chronicles just how far in this well-done piece, writing about the state of U.S. men’s soccer the last time the team played in Seattle. The year was 1976, the opponent was Canada and the U.S. coach was Walt Chyzowych. I remember covering the Sounders’ game vs. the New York Cosmos and Pele earlier that year. It was the first event played in the Kingdome.
Still can’t get LeBron James’ epic block of Tiago Splitter’s shot during Game 2 of the NBA Finals out of my head. Adrian Wojnarowski writes about it for Yahoo! Sports.
Another story from the Sports on Earth blog: Minor League baseball hasn’t been the same since “Bull Durham” — the movie classic that celebrates its 25th anniversary on June 15. Thom Loverro writes the story.
In case you missed it, here’s the complete list of the Mariners’ 40 picks in the recent amateur baseball draft. And here’s a list of the 34 players with Washington state ties selected in the draft. Lower Columbia’s Easton Napiontek, a freshman pitcher from Port Angeles, was selected in the 34th round by the Texas Rangers. The 6-foot-8 Napiontek played a lot of shortstop at PA, but was turned into a hard-throwing, full-time closer at LCC. He’s already signed with the Rangers.
The Kitsap BlueJackets and Kitsap Pumas were both in action Saturday night at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds & Events Center.
The Jackets’ home opener at Gene Lobe Fields vs. the Medford Rogues drew 705 fans. The BlueJackets won 7-0 and play the Rogues again Sunday at 1:05 p.m. and Monday at 11 a.m. (yes, 11 a.m.,. not a misprint; it’s a one-time thing).
The Pumas tied the Vancouver U-23s 2-2 at Gordon Field. I couldn’t find the story online, and there was nothing on the Pumas or PDL website, so I have no details about attendance. The Pumas drew 633 for their home opener the previous Saturday against the Portland Timbers U-23s.
You want to see both local franchises do well. Scheduling games on the same night is probably not a good idea, and I’m not sure if it could be prevented, but I would think they would try to avoid that in the future, especially when one of the teams is playing its home opener. The Pumas, who won a national title in 2011 when playing at Bremerton Memorial Stadium, ran into a similar conflict the previous week when the Destruction Derby was playing to a full house at Thunderbird Stadium.
If you haven’t been to a BlueJackets or Pumas game, give ’em a shot. It’s inexpensive and family-based entertainment, and it’s local. If you want to sip on a cold one, you can do that too as both teams feature beer gardens.
The Pumas are 1-2-4 and buried in fifth place in the Northwest Division with seven points. Victoria, Portland and Vancouver are tied for first with 13 points. Kitsap’s next two games are against Portland, Saturday, June 15, at home, and Friday, June 21, at Portland. It’s a quirky schedule. As I mentioned, the Pumas just tied the Timbers 0-0 at home on June 1. Here’s a link to the Pumas’ schedule.
The BlueJackets are off to a 2-2 start in the summer college baseball league. Kitsap’s in the Southern Division of the West Coast League, an 11-team circuit (not nine as I erroneously wrote in an earlier story). Bend, Medford, Klamath Falls, Corvallis, Kitsap and Cowlitz comprise the Southern Division. Bellingham, Wenatchee, Walla Walla, Victoria and Kelowna are in the Northern Division.
You can catch both teams in action on the same day on Sunday, July 7. You can stop by and watch the BlueJackets and Wenatchee AppleSox at 1:05 p.m., then take a short walk to Gordon Field to catch a 4 p.m. soccer match between the Pumas and NorthSound SeaWolves. A double dip on a single trip.
The Kitsap BlueJackets jump into West Coast League baseball play this week. The Medford Rogues and Victoria HarbourCats join the college wood-bat league this summer, giving the WCL 11 teams. Yakima will make it 12 teams in 2014.
The Jackets open a three-game series at Longview against Cowlitz on Wednesday. Kitsap’s home opener is Saturday at 6:35 p.m. against Medford at Gene Lobe Fields at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds and Events Center.
I talked to outfielder Daniel Jewett and manager Ryan Parker over the weekend. Look for the story on Tuesday. Jewett’s a North Kitsap grad who spent a red-shirt season at NCAA Division I Nebraska-Omaha. He had to sit out this season after transferring from D2 Truman State in Missouri. Jewett figures to be a mainstay for the BlueJackets that Parker’s thinking about starting him in the opener because he’s familiar with the hard-throwing right-hander.
Parker, who doubles as Olympic College’s head coach, will be starting his second year as head man with the BlueJackets. He assisted Matt Acker four years previously.
Other locals who will be wearing the BlueJackets’ uniforms:
Daniel Orr, a Kingston grad who is coming off a very solid season for NWAACC champion Everett. Orr, a first baseman, hit .362 with 3 homers and a team-high 50 RBI for the Trojans. He was all-North Division and also made the all-tourney NWAACC team. Everett beat Pierce 4-1 in Friday’s title game.
Vince Sablan from South Kitsap, who just completed his first season at Olympic College. Sablan joined the Jackets for their final road trip a year ago and will play some shortstop and third base.
Pitchers Kyle McKay (Ferndale/Olympic College/Jamestown University), Ryan Taylor (Salt Lake City/Olympic College) and catcher Dustin Dhanani (Blaine/Olympic College) are also on the roster.
Go the BlueJackets site to see the rest of the roster and schedule.
Baumgartner delivers for Ducks
Oregon’s Tyler Baumgartner, who played for the BlueJackets last summer, was 5-for-10 with three RBI and five runs scored in two games Sunday as he helped the Ducks stay alive in NCAA regional play in Eugene. The Ducks play Rice Monday with the winner advancing to the NCAA Super Regional next weekend against North Carolina State.
Baumgartner, a Central Kitsap grad and transfer from Bellevue College, combined to hit for the cycle in the two games with a home run, double and single against San Francisco in the early game and a triple and a double in the game against Rice. Baumgartner, who DH’d much of the season, played left field in both games.
Five local baseball players were selected to play in the Washington All-State Series this coming weekend in Yakima: Michael Wood and Cody Wolfe from South Kitsap, AJ Milyard and Matt Fisher from North Kitsap and Matt Noll from Bremerton.erall
Poulsbo’s Ryan Villopoto won his fifth straight moto in the outdoor motocross season at Tennessee, but ended up fourth in the second moto after taking a spill early. He’s still got a healthy lead in the overall points chase. Check out the crash that ended his five-moto win streak.
Willie Bloomquist started at shortstop and went 3-for-4 against the Cubs on Saturday in his first game since being activated by the Diamondbacks. The Port Orchard native said the adrenalin was pumping a little more than usual.
The Bremerton City Amaterur golf tournament at Gold Mountain turned out to be quite a dog fight. Olympic College’s Kenyan Fanslow, who was three strokes back with two holes left, rolled in a 25-footer from off the green on No. 18 for a birdie to finish regulation tied with Chris Bae and Matt Hartley. Hartley won on the second hole of sudden-death playoff with a 3-foot birdie. Read my story here.