Second-guessing Popovich, the golf page, Wolves going to Fort Worden, BlueJackets & more

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 chuckstark00@gmail.com or Jeff at graham@kitsapsun.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 NCAA 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 Coast League.

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.

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