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Former Kitsap Sun sports editor Chuck Stark shares insight, laughter, news, views and analysis of Kitsap sports and beyond.
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Archive for the ‘Ichiro’ Category

Links on Couples, Seahawks, Ichiro, Rougheart MMA & more

Friday, September 21st, 2012

Some reading material to get you through the weekend:

Joe Posnanski writes about Fred Couples and whether the Seattle golfer is really Hall of Fame worthy. Some, Posnanski writes, think the talented Freddy was an underachiever during his career and should have won a lot more. Posnanski disagrees. He writes: “Couples’ breathtaking swing, his casual persona, his amazing shot-making — these and other things have made him a superstar. When people think back to the last 20 years of golf, they will think of Fred Couples. Does that make him a Hall of Famer? The way the golf Hall of Fame voters look at it, well, yes, it definitely does. I don’t think that’s a bad way for golf people look at it.” 

Rich-Rod goes Dumb and Dumber on us while answering a question about Arizona’s chances of taking down mighty Oregon on Saturday.

Ichiro is in a real good place right now in New York. He’s now hitting .321 in 54 games with the Yankees.

If you can’t get enough Russell Wilson, read this ESPN.com piece on the Seahawks’ rookie QB. Lots of good insight and background on Wilson.

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune, whose byline and columns often appear in our print editions, wrote this about Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers and the Packers will be in town for MNF and he talked about his admiration for Seattle’s No. 12 during an interview earlier in the week.

Eleni Englert? Never heard of her? Check out Gregg Bell’s story on this amazing blind athlete, a freshman rower at the University of Washington.

Tampa Bay Bucs coach Greg Schiano might be a bully, as Mike Silver of Yahoo! Sports writes in this piece, but I still don’t think he did anything wrong when his defensive linemen caved in the Giants’ o-line when Eli Manning was taking a knee in a recent game. I’ve heard arguments both way on what should transpire at that point, but I’m with Pete Carroll on this one. If the game is still on the line, then there’s nothing wrong with competing on the final play of the game.

And here’s a shout out to MMA fans out there. Joshua Beranis writes a reader blog on the local MMA scene and he’s looking to expand coverage of the sport in our area. If you’ve got news tips or stories to tell, get hold of Bernanis. Here’s a column he wrote last week.  His contact info is at the end of the column.


Monday Musing

Monday, August 13th, 2012

Links, opinions and quick hits on sunny Monday while waiting for 13-year-old Babe Ruth baseball players to invade Kitsap County. Drove by the Kitsap Fairgrounds & Events Center and Silverdale Beach Hotel earlier and things are eerily quiet. Anyway, here ya go:

Don’t know about you, but I’ve seen enough to think that rookie QB Russell Wilson just might be the real deal.  I know that it’s early, but he could bring some serious excitement to CenturyLink. And Matt Flynn looked pretty good too. T-Jack, it was nice to know ya.

Bremerton Olympic gold medalist Nathan Adrian was part of the closing ceremonies and is now back in the area after exploring London and, no doubt, having the time of his life. If you’re into twitter,  check out his tweets here.

Bremerton’s other Olympian, bobsledder Bree Schaaf, is training in Colorado Springs, Colo., trying to regain strength following offseason hip surgery. This is a big year for Schaaf, who needs to secure the No. 2 ride in order to solidify endorsements. If she’s driving the No. 3 sled heading in to the World Cup season prior to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, she will probably have to dig into her own pockets again to pay for training, travel and equipment expenses. Yes, it’s a cruel world sometimes for  athletes involved in fairly obscure sports. Nate Murphy of Kitsap Public Relations has created an online fundraising campaign for Bree at www.indiegogo.com/breeschaaf.

If you want to be reminded how serious folks in the south take their football, check out this $60 million, 18,000-seat high school  stadium in Allen, Texas. It’s for a high school near Dallas with an enrollment of 3,000. A far cry from the muddy bog South Kitsap plays on in the fall, huh?

State high school football players hit the practice field on Wednesday. First games are Friday, Aug. 31. Kentridge at South Kitsap is an intriguing Week 1 matchup. Former Bremerton, OC and Central Washington QB Marty Osborn runs the show at Kentridge and is considered one of the top coaches in the state. Port Orchard native Eric Canton, a former SK QB who played at Washington, will be making his head coaching debut for the Wolves. Elsewhere that night, North Kitsap, considered by many as the team to beat in the Class 2A Olympic League, visits powerhouse Archbishop Murphy in Everett, and Central Kitsap heads to Bainbridge for an all-Kitsap County affair.

I’ve been told that Waite Park, Minn., the Midwest Plains Regional 13-year-old Babe Ruth champs, played in the Cal Ripken 12-year-old World Series a year ago. That could be an advantage during the Babe Ruth World Series at the Kitsap Fairgrounds & Events Center this week. Remember, tickets are just $5 a day and it looks like the weather is going to cooperate. It would be nice to see the stands packed during the 10-day tournament.

Ichiro’s not exactly ripping it up in New York, but he’s fitting in with the Yankees. He’s hitting .265 (he was hitting .262 this season with the Mariners). It will be interesting to see how the 38-year-old performs in the postseason. Think he raises his game? Or will he go 1-for-4 with a meaningless slap single to left field?

Congratulations to Silverdale’s Erynne Lee for another top finish at the U.S. Women’s Amateur. She’s been a quarterfinalist three times and a semifinalist once. Here’s hoping the Silverdale golfer can break through in 2013 or 2014, which will be her last chance before turning pro. She’s going to attempt to qualify for the Canadian Women’s Open in British Columbia before returning to UCLA for her sophomore year.

Kitsap’s PGA Tour golfer Troy Kelly is back in action this week, playing in the Wyndham Championship, which starts Thursday at the Sedgefield Country Club in Greensboro, N.C. I was in Reno for the Reno-Tahoe Open two weekends ago. I watched Kelly bomb a couple 400-yard plus drives (consider the elevation, 5,800 feet with some steep climbs on both sides) on his way to a tie for 48th. It was a Stableford format and Kelly didn’t take advantage of his length on the par 5s, but it was a lot of fun watching from outside the ropes. And did I mention the elevation? And the heat? It was 100 every day.  I thought someone was going to have to give hefty Guy Boros, Kelly’s playing partner the last day, mouth to mouth. Kelly’s currently No. 102 on the money list ($747,984) and needs to stay above 125 to keep his card for 2013. This is also the final week for players to move inside the top 125 in FedExCup points. Kelly is 117th, but starting with the No. 126 player in points (Brendan Steele) going into this week, 44 of the next 55 players in points are playing at Sedgefield. The top 125 in FedExCup points will play at The Barclays Championship the following week at Bethpage State Park in Farmington, N.Y.


Ichiro links

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

Some  linkage to ponder following another Seattle Mariners loss, this time 4-1 to Ichiro and the Bronx Bombers:

Here’s some MLB.com video from Monday’s game at Safeco Field. Ichiro high-gives the Ichimeter Lady before the game.

Ichiro made life a whole lot easier for the Mariners’ organization, writes Art Thiel of sportspressnw.com.

Ichiro Suzuki’s a fading star, but the iconic outfielder will fit right in with the Yankees. That’s what Tyler Kepner of the New York Times writes.

The trade caused shock waves in two nations, writes Erik Boland of Newsday, which calls it a 2 1/2 year month rental of a possible future Hall of Famer.

Sportspressnw.com takes a look at Ichiro’s glory years. Only Ken Griffy Jr. had more impact than Ichiro for a franchise that has never played in a World Series.

Analysis and twitter reaction to the deal that caught everybody by surprise.

We contract with the Tacoma News Tribune for our coverage of the Mariners. Here’s links to their stories, most of which were printed in Tuesday’s Sun:

Ichiro divorce has a good ending, writes columnist John McGrath.

Ichiro gets his wish, a trade to a contender. This is Todd Milles’ trade story.

Milles also visited the M’s clubhouse after Tuesday’s 4-1 New York victory to get reaction from the players.

A couple of fans from Bremerton were quoted in the fan reaction story. This one got squeezed off our printed pages.

Here’s a game story with a video of Ichiro’s single from ESPN.com. Sayonora Seattle, Hello New York.

On a night when everyone was saying good-bye to Ichiro, they were also saying good-bye to first baseman Justin Smoak, who was optioned to Tacoma. Smoak is hitless in his last 19 at bats (he’s 4-for-43 since the All-Star break) and his average has dropped to .189. Mike Carp will re-join the Mariners.

 


Ichiro’s a quote machine

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

You don’t think of Ichiro as a good quote. But the dude who will batting No. 9 and playing left field for the New York Yankees Monday night at Safeco Field, has had his moments.

Vince Dice, the assistant local news editor at The Sun and a former sports designer, has compiled a list of some of the things that Ichiro has said over the years.

I think you’ll enjoy some of these quotes:

“If there is a problem, we need to notice what creates the problem. The problem usually isn’t just on the cover. You need to look much deeper. For example, if we’re talking about a tree and the tree has a problem, you need to look at the root. But you cannot see the root. The mistake is to keep watering the fruit. That’s not going to solve anything.”
— On … well, we’re not sure what, in 2006

“Tiger is a great golfer, but … when you say athlete, I think of Carl Lewis. When you talk about (golfers or race-car drivers), I don’t want to see them run. It’s the same if you were to meet a beautiful girl and go bowling. If she’s an ugly bowler, you are going to be disappointed.”
— In a 2007 USA Today article, on what constitutes an athlete

“If I’m in a slump, I ask myself for advice.”
— On how to break a slump

“The ball became the same color as the sky. So, I wasn’t able to see it … I was sending mental signals for the ball not to come my way, because during that time of day it’s impossible for me to see the ball so I lacked mental signals. I lacked in that area. Usually, I don’t send mental signals. So, because this is the first time, I thought, please don’t come my way.”
— On missing a fly ball in 2007

“I hope he arouses the fire that’s dormant in the innermost recesses of my soul. I plan to face him with the zeal of a challenger.”
— about his first time facing Daisuke Matsuzaka in 2007

“To tell the truth, I’m not excited to go to Cleveland, but we have to. If I ever saw myself saying I’m excited going to Cleveland, I’d punch myself in the face, because I’m lying.”
— About returning to Cleveland to make up a snowed-out game in 2007

“If I had spiritual powers and knew the ball was going to be landing there, then I would have. But I don’t have spiritual power.”
— about missing a fly ball in Yankee Stadium in May 2008

“Playing on this team and seeing what is happening around me, I feel that something is beginning to fall apart. But, if I was not in this situation, and I was objectively watching what just happened this week, I would probably be drinking a lot of beers and booing.”
— About a long M’s losing streak in 2008

“Usually I enjoy Japanese beer, but given the situation, if I was objectively watching the game, I wouldn’t care if it was Japanese beer, American beer or beer from Papua New Guinea.”
— When asked what sort of beer he’d be drinking

“I don’t know if it’s a good memory or a bad one. But when I first came over to play in the United States, I had a few teammates from the U.S. who had played on my team in Japan. So I had somewhat of an idea of what American players would be like.
“But when I met him, he was kind of a human being that you would never meet in Japan. So, whenever I was around him, I almost felt like I was witnessing a creature, not a human being. It was fun for me to watch him.”
About former teammate Bret Boone, 2008

“I was worried that there might not be any food after the game today. I was worried that if we won today, maybe they would continue the streak of not serving the food. … I felt it was kind of cute, actually. It’s something a parent would do to a young kid and that’s basically my emotion.”
On the day he drove in two runs in an 8-0 win over the Red Sox, which snapped a four-game M’s losing streak. The previous day (also the day manager John McLaren went on his infamous “Get After It” rant), GM Bill Bavasi had withheld postgame food and towels to punish the underachieving team. June 2008
“I feel so good it’s annoying.”
— clamoring to return to the lineup after missing seven games with a bleeding ulcer, April 2009

“There is a destiny. It’s like a girl you said goodbye to, and then you bump into the same girl again on the street so many times, because there’s a destiny to meet again. Maybe better, might as well get married if we are going to meet this frequently.”
On the possibility of playing South Korea a fourth time at the 2009 World Baseball Classic, March 18, 2009

“Chicks who dig home runs aren’t the ones who appeal to me. I think there’s sexiness in infield hits because they require technique. I’d rather impress the chicks with my technique than with my brute strength. Then, every now and then, just to show I can do that, too, I might flirt a little by hitting one out.”
Ichiro Suzuki, to the New York Times, August 2009

“There should be no reason for me to answer that question. I’m not here to play soccer.”
Responding to a question about whether he was frustrated to have been held out with a calf injury

“You can’t forget about him (Ken Griffey Jr.). I believe that even in this winter, in my sleep, he will appear in my dreams. To play together with that hero of mine, in the same uniform — and on top of that, in Seattle — that time we got, even now, seems like a dream. I believe that time with him will continue.”
About Ken Griffey Jr. in October 2009


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