The Stark Truth

Former Kitsap Sun sports editor Chuck Stark shares insight, laughter, news, views and analysis of Kitsap sports and beyond.
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The Jet, Willie, Seahawks, Hammel, World Cup & more

June 25th, 2014 by cstark

Here we go, in no particular order:

Dude can fly: James (The Jet) Jones is up to 14 steals (he’s been caught once) through Tuesday and considering he didn’t get his first one until May 1, that’s pretty impressive. Michael Saunders led the Seattle Mariners with 13 steals a year ago. Ichiro (438 steals during his time in Seattle), Jose Cruz (290) and Harold Reynolds (228) are Seattle’s all-time leaders in steals, but the M’s have never had a lot of speed guys. Willie Bloomquist (71) ranks No. 11 in steals in franchise history. Jones, if he’s as good as I think he might be, could pass Willie in the summer of 2015.

Speaking of Willie: The South Kitsap grad is hitting .278, and get this — the M’s are 18-7 when he starts (through Tuesday). That’s the stat that matters, right?

Sherm shuts up: Richard Sherman’s never been at a loss for worlds, but he reportedly isn’t speaking to the media, upset with the Seattle Times because the newspaper published the address of his new home. Got to side with Sherm on that one. Some things don’t need to be printed, and that’s one of ‘em.

Speaking of Seahawks: Sherman, Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson have all been nominated for ESPYs. 

World Cup fever: Portugal’s late goal in extra time against the U.S. in the World Cup was a punch to the gut, but it didn’t take long for me to get over the 2-2 tie. I’m really looking forward to see how Jurgen Klinsmann’s boys do against Germany on Thursday (9 a.m. ESPN). Klinsmann is a former German star, a legend in his country. He played on West Germany’s 1990 World Cup championship team and coached the 2006 German World Cup team. Germany is now coached by Joachim Lowe, a protege of Klinsmann. The U.S., which needs a tie to move on to the round of 16, has five players who grew up in Germany. This one promises to be emotional. I can’t wait.

Speaking of soccer: How ’bout those Pumas? Kitsap’s soccer club is 6-0-4 and has opened a seven-point lead in the Northwest Division of the PDL. Coach Andrew Chapman, the Olympic High grad who has turned Peninsula CC into an NWAACC power, seems to be making all of the right decisions. The Pumas are one of six unbeatens in the 64-team league. Kitsap won a national title in 2011, and it looks like the Pumas are going to make another serious run this summer.

BlueJackets bashing: Kitsap’s summer college baseball team, the BlueJackets, are off to a good start. Kitsap’s 8-5 and just a half-game back of Bellingham in the Western Division of the West Coast League (through Tuesday). They boast the No. 1 (Danny Woodruff, .453) and No. 3 (Alex Bush, .395, 2 HRs, 15 RBI) hitters. Woodruff’s an outfielder from Creighton who played in just seven games as a freshman. Bush is a 6-foot-6, 255-pound first baseman/DH who just graduated from high school in Turlock, California. He’s going to be a freshman at UC Santa Barbara. Kitsap’s second in hitting (.296 average) and eighth in pitching (5.46 ERA) in the 12-team wood-bat league.

Hammel report: Jason Hammel, the 2000 South Kitsap grad who is having a fine season (6-5, 2.99 ERA, 91 Ks, 20 BBs, 96.1 IP, 1.017 WHIP) for the Chicago Cubs, continues to be linked to the Mariners. This report says the Cubs and M’s have had serious talks, and that Chicago wants RHP Edwin Diaz, Seattle’s third-round pick in the 2012 draft, to be part of the package.

Minor league report: Brady Steiger (South Kitsap/WSU/Lewis-Clark St.) hit his first home run as a pro over the weekend. He plays for the Class A Staten Island Yankees. … Drew Vettlesen (Central Kitsap) wrapped up an eight-game rehab stint with the Auburn Doubledays. He was 4-for-4 on Friday and hit .318. The outfielder, who broke a bone in his hand when hit by a ball in April, is back with the Double-A Harrisburg (Pa.) Senators (Nationals) of the Eastern League. He was 2-for-3 with a stolen base on Tuesday. … Aaron Cunningham (South Kitsap/Everett CC) hitting .258 with no homers and 20 RBI for the Reno Aces (Diamondbacks) of the Pacific Coast League.

Back on the tee: Troy Kelly, the Central Kitsap grad whose 2013 golf season was derailed by a knee surgery after playing in just 10 PGA Tour events, is resuming his comeback. He played in four Web.com events earlier, but made just one cut and wasn’t satisfied with his game, so he returned to Tacoma to work on it. There might be some rust when he plays in this week’s Web.com tournament in Newburgh, Indiana. He’s using it as a tuneup for the PGA Tour’s Greenbrier Classic the following week in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. Kelly’s got fond memories of Greenbrier, where he shot 6-under 63 in the third round in 2012 to get into contention. He closed with a 66 and wound up losing a playoff on the third hole to Ted Potter. Kelly plans to play four straight weeks. He’ll head to Illinois for the John Deere Classic in Illinois after the Greenbrier Classic before returning to Boise, Idaho, for another Web.com stop. … Kelly’s brother Ryan, his caddie, finished second in the Tacoma City Amateur over the weekend.

Coming Friday: I’ll be writing about “The Legend” later this week. That would be 83-year-old Buzz Edmonds, a three-time winner of the Kitsap Amateur, nine-time club champ at Kitsap Golf & Country Club and one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. I chatted with Buzz and some of his golfing buddies earlier this week. The story will publish Friday.

Nice sendoff: South Kitsap’s three-sport star Logan Knowles, who is headed to the Naval Academy to play baseball, wrapped up his high school career by going 2-for-4 with a home run, double and 4 RBI in the consolation game of the Washington State All-State Baseball Series in Yakima. His home run was the only one hit during the weekend.

Recommended reading: Charlie Pierce, who writes for Grantland,com, among other outlets, weighed in on the O’Bannon vs. NCAA trial that is going on. He writes:

” … If you are a college athlete, you must — willingly or unwillingly — help the NCAA and its member institutions keep faith with Coca-Cola. One of the ugly moral truths about all our sports is that athletes represent one of the categories of Americans who can be legally and publicly treated as commodities, and nowhere is that truth more obvious, and more ugly, than in college athletics, where the athletes are not only forbidden from profiting from their own commodification, but also required to help the institutions they represent to profit from it. Then they have to hear the people who profit most from the commodities who play ball for them tell a judge that they’re doing it only for the athlete’s own good. This trial is about the NCAA’s desire to maintain that arrangement forever. Unless you’re afflicted with a kind of moral myopia, this is no less than grotesque.”

 


World Cup predictions & some linkage

June 12th, 2014 by cstark

What do I know about soccer?

Not a lot, but the World Cup might be the greatest show on earth. I first paid attention to the World Cup in 2002 when South Korea and Japan hosted the event. The games were televised live and many of them were on in the wee hours of the morning.

A few of us got our World Cup on after work, which meant that the fun didn’t start until after midnight. We usually warmed up with a couple of sake bombers after heading to a colleague’s home to watch the action unfold.

No sake bombers this time, but I’ll be watching as much of the tournament as possible. Over the years I’ve become a fan of Cameroon. The Les Lions Indomptables ((The Indomitable Lions) have only make it out of the group stage once (1990), and they’re underdogs once again. The Les Lions Indomptables are in Group A, along with favorite and tournament host Brazil, Croatia and Mexico.

Because of my Yugoslavian heritage, I’m also a big fan of Croatia. I’m also pulling for Mexico, also known as the El Tri. Mexico might have more fans in the U.S. than the U.S. I’ve seen the passion of the Mexican people for their soccer team while vacationing in Cabo, sitting side-by-side with them while watching the El Tri advance to the second round in 2010. They were eliminated by Argentina that year.

So Group A is where my heart is, but Cameroon, Croatia and Mexico all can’t advance.  Who will join Brazil in the round of 16?   I think Mexico, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Croatia grabs the second spot. I’d prefer Cameroon, and it would be an improbable story if the Les Lions Indomptables survive.

The U.S.? I think the Americans will defy the odds. They will not only get out of a tough group (Germany, Portugal and Ghana are the opponents), but I’ve got the U.S. winning a Round of 16 match against Belgium before losing to Argentina in the quarterfinals.

My quarterfinal predictions: Brazil def. Colombia, Germany def. Bosni and Herzegovina,  Spain def. Italy and Argentina def. U.S.

Semis: Brazil def. Germany; Argentina def. Spain

Finals: Brazil def. Argentina

In the spirit of Lionel Messi and World Cup, I suggest you read this story and have some Dramamine available just in case.

Some links

Marshawn Lynch to skip Seahawks’ mini-camp because he wants a contract extension? That’s the word.

My weekly Thursday column was about Willie Bloomquist, the South Kitsap grad who played in his 1,000th career MLB game on Tuesday. Of those 1,000 games, he’s started 684 of them. The breakdown by position: 244 at shortstop, 224 in the outfield (94 in center, 67 in left, 63 in right), 100 at third base, 100 at second base and 16 at first base, including five this season.

Rick Reilly’s last column. If you’re going to read anything today, read this.

Larry Stone of the Seattle TImes wrote this tribute about Derek Jeter, whose farewell tour passed through Seattle this week.

Silverdale’s Katie Lee has qualified for the U.S. Women’s Amateur Public Links tournament, a championship that will be conducted at The Home Course in Dupont, Washington, in July. It’s the second straight year that Lee, the younger sister of UCLA and Curtis Cup golfer Erynne Lee, has qualified for the APL.

 

 

 

 


Six ex-BlueJackets drafted by MLB teams

June 8th, 2014 by cstark

The Kitsap BlueJackets, off to a 2-0 start in West Coast League play after a pair of exciting wins Friday and Saturday, had six former players selected in the 2014 MLB amateur draft.

5th Round: Rhys Hoskins, first baseman from  Sacramento State, Phillies (Hoskins was overlooked when I put together the Jackets’ 10-year anniversary Dream Team)

7th Round: Relief pitcher Reed Reilly, three-time All-Big West first-team selection from Cal Poly, Red Sox

24th Round: First baseman Cisco Tellez, UC Riversside, Red Sox

30th Round: Pitcher Spencer Watkins, Western Oregon (threw a perfect game for BlueJackets in 2013)

31st Round: Catcher Alex McKeon, University of Texas A&M International, Boston

37th Round: Pitcher Sam Lindquist, Stanford, Mariners

Plus Brock Burke, a high school pitcher from Colorado who was supposed to play in Bremerton this summer, was a third-round pick by the Tampa Bay Rays. Burke has signed with Oregon. He’s expected to turn pro so he’ll probably never wear a BlueJackets’ uniform.

Notes: The Jackets play the Klamath Falls Gems at 3:05 p.m. Sunday at the Fairgrounds. They travel to Wenatchee for three games, then return to host Bellingham next weekend (June 13-14-15) and Bend (June 17-18-19) … Daniel Orr, first baseman from Kingston/Everett CC and Corban University, was another top homegrown product that deserved mention in the BlueJackets’ 10th Anniversary Dream Team.

 

 


BlueJackets open 10th season on Friday, June 6

June 1st, 2014 by cstark

Was checking out the new Kitsap BlueJackets web site — a big improvement by the way — and noticed they had linked to a story I wrote in July of 2007.

Photographer Larry Steagall and I joined the BlueJackets for a road trip to Bend, Ore., cramming into the old blue bus that the Jackets used to travel in. It was a fun team to hang out with and here’s the story about the boys on the bus. I apologize for the typos at the start of the story. Not sure how those crept into the online version of the story, but they did.

Hard to believe this is the 10th anniversary season for the West Coast League baseball team.

Kitsap opens the season on Friday at home against the Klamath Falls Gems.

I’m retired now, but still doing some writing for The Sun, and I’m going to preview the team later this week and in honor the 10th anniversary season, I hope to come up with a top-10 list. You know, best team, best player (or players), funniest BlueJacket, best moment, best game, etc. It’ll be something along those lines. I’ll pick the brains of current head coach Ryan Parker and former coach Matt Acker, who is back as a part of the ownership group.

In the meantime, check out the BlueJackets’ new web site. You can find the season schedule, ticket prices and roster, although I don’t think the roster is complete because there’s only three outfielders listed.

The Jackets are playing a doubleheader against the Seattle Cheney Studs on Tuesday at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma. Game 1 is scheduled to start at 3 p.m.

The WCL welcomes a new team — the Yakima Valley Pippins (named after the delicious apple that’s grown in that area). The Pippins were also the nickname of the pro team that played in the old Western International League. The Bremerton Bluejackets played in the Class B WIL from 1946-49.

Bluejacket or Blue Jacket may refer to an enlisted sailor in the Navy. The Bluejacket’s Manual is also the basic handbook for U.S. Naval personnel.

The WIL will be split into three divisions this season, with the BlueJackets in the West along with the Cowlitz Black Bears, Bellingham Bells and Victoria HarbourCats.

The Walla Walla Sweets, Wenatchee AppleSox, Kelowna, B.C. Falcons, and Yakima Valley Pippins comprise the East. Note: Walla Walla and Yakima have the same ownership group, which includes former MLB player Jeff Cirillo.

The South features four Oregon teams — Corvallis Knights, Bend Elks, Klamath Falls Gems and Medford Rogues.

Teams will play a 54-game schedule. The three division champions plus a wild-card will advance to the playoffs.

The WCL had 56 players selected in the 2013 Major League draft.

 

 

 

 

 

 


South Kitsap cruising in state semifinals

May 30th, 2014 by cstark

South Kitsap leads Wenatchee 8-0 in the fourth inning of the Class 4A state semifinals against Wenatchee in Pasco.

If the Wolves hold on, they will play the Puyallup-Wenatchee winner Saturday at 4 p.m. for the championship. South lost in the finals to Skyview a year ago, and lost two games to unbeaten and N0. 1 ranked Puyallup earlier, including a 10-0 loss in the district championship game.

There was a lot of conjecture about how coach Marcus Logue would use his pitchers this weekend. He started Logan Knowles today, but Mac McCarty is now pitching. He’s also got Cooper Canton available. Looks like he’ll probably go 3-3-1 today. I’m guessing he’ll start McCarty on Saturday. The submariner bounces back in a hurry and should be ready.

In case you missed it, here’s a story I wrote about McCarty.

WIAA is live blogging the semifinals. Click here. 

The championship game will be lived stream, but here’s a cost: $9.95. Go to wiaa.com and click on tournament central. You can follow all of the state’s championship events this weekend. The WIAA’s doing a really good job go with updates etc.

UPDATE: It’s still 8-0 going to the top of the fifth.


MVPs Kluge (Umpqua), Dixon (Peninsula) will play in NWAACC

May 28th, 2014 by cstark

Bremerton’s two Olympic League basketball MVPs — Sawyer Kluge and Deonte Dixon — have made their decisions on where they will play basketball in college.

Kluge’s heading to Roseburg, Oregon, where she will play for Umpqua CC. Former Olympic High athlete Ashli Payne, who scored 51 points in one game for Umpqua this season, will be a teammate. Kluge averaged 22.6 points, 11.7 rebounds and 4.5 steals per game her senior year.

Dixon, a smooth 6-foot-2 guard who averaged close to 18.9 points and 3.1 steals  a game, is headed to Peninsula College in Port Angeles.

Quick hits

Working on a story on Mac McCarty, the South Kitsap junior. He’s 10-1 with a 0.66 ERA in 64 innings. He’s struck out 88, walked 28 and allowed just 30 hits. Pretty impressive. Oh, he’s also hitting .388. The Wolves play Wenatchee in the Class 4A state semifinals Friday in Pasco. McCarty’s getting lots of looks from colleges and told me the expects to sign in the fall. … At least five SK seniors will also play college baseball: Logan Knowles (Naval Academy), Tyler Ludlow (Jamestown), Tyler Pinkerton (Everett CC), Tanner Paulson (Treasure Valley CC in Ontario, Oregon) and Conner Sharp (still undecided, but Jamestown, Treasure Valley and other see-cees in the region are possibilities, said coach Marcus Logue). … Drew Vettleson, a two-time Washington State Gatorade Baseball Player of the Year (2007-08 and 2008-09) from Central Kitsap is rehabbing in Florida from a broken bone in his hand that put him on the DL in mid-April. Vettleson’s an outfielder with the Double-A Harrisburg Senators in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. He was hit by a pitch and broke the pisiform bone, a small rounded carpal bone situated where the palm of the hand meets the outer edge of the wrist. … Kaitlyn Oberg, a middle infielder who helped Lehi High win the Class 5A state softball title in Utah, will play softball at Olympic College next year. .. The annual senior high school all-star baseball and softball games will be played Monday, June 9, at the baseball field at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds & Events Center. The Kitsap Athletic Roundtable sponsors the events. Tickets are $5 for adults, $3 for seniors, students and military and free for kids 12 and under.

Some linkage

“Hubris. Arrogance. Complacency. Inattention. Sloth. All more formidable than the San Francisco 49ers.” Art Thiel of Sportspressnw.com writes about the Seahawks as they return to the practice field for their OTAs (organized training activities). He also writes about OG James Carpenter and how the Seahawks are excited that the former first-round pick, a bust to date, could be on track for a break-through season.

Joe Posnanski takes a look at baseball’s batting average. He takes you back to when it was established (and why) and he examines how it has changed over the years. It’s a fun and informative read, for those who like to analyze statistics and for those who don’t.

If you don’t watch HBO’s Game of Thrones, then skip this link. But if you do, you might be interested in NFL.com’s All-Game of Thrones football team.


Memorial Day & other stuff I was thinking about

May 26th, 2014 by cstark

Shooting from the hip as the sun sets on Memorial Day and I’m thinking about my dad sitting in the back of a plane, landing and taking off escort carriers — known as “baby flat tops” or “jeep carriers” — in the Pacific and Atlantic during World War II. He was a radarman/gunner on torpedo bombers. I can’t even imagine what it must have been like. He tells the story of looking out the small window where he sat in the plane and he could see what looked like the entire Pacific fleet — big carriers, cruisers, destroyers — chugging towards the Philippines and Okinawa. Everywhere he looked, he said, he could see U.S. ships.

“I was never so proud to be an American,” he said.

Here’s some other things I was thinking about while driving home from Longview, where I watched the final day of the NWAACC baseball championships on Monday:

* NWAACC baseball, at the championship level, is about as good as it gets. I’d rather watch good college baseball than the pros. The emotion and energy is unreal. And when you get two rivals like Edmonds and Bellevue going head-to-head, you never know what’s going to happen. They met for the eighth time this season and Edmonds prevailed 7-6 in a  back-and-forth, momentum-changing game. It was the sixth NWAACC title in eight years for the powerful North region. Everett won it all in 2013. My son’s an assistant athletic director at Edmonds and Paul Gehring, the former Bremerton High/Centralia CC/York College catcher who assisted at Olympic College before taking an assistants job at Edmonds, is the strength and conditioning and catcher’s coach at Edmonds. Casey Bohlmann, a Central Kitsap/Bellevue CC/Hawaii-Hilo pitcher, is a first-year assistant at Bellevue, where his responsibilities include recruiting and helping coach pitchers.

* I admit it. I never appreciated Ray Allen as much as I should have when he was with the Sonics. Best clutch shooter of all time.

* Marshawn Lynch was a no-show when the Seahawks visited the White House last week. His mom told the Seattle Times the Seahawks’ running back “just didn’t want to go.” A lack of respect for President Obama? Not at all. It was consistent with how he handles off-the-field things. He doesn’t give many interviews and makes few public appearances. He had no obligation to show up in D.C.

* U.S. soccer coach Jurgen Klinsmann isn’t coming clean with his reasoning for leaving Landon Donovan off the World Cup team. Klinsmann said: ‘The ones we chose are just that inch ahead of ones we didn’t choose in performance terms.” An inch? Donovan came up an inch short. I’m not buying it. If there are 23 U.S. players better than the 32-year-old Donovan, then the U.S. should not be an underdog at all; they should contend for the title.

* Some former NFL players are suing the league, alleging that professional football knowingly supplied them with illegal narcotics and addictive painkillers. Even if the NFL encouraged it, nobody held a gun to the players heads and forced them to take pills or have someone poke needles in their bodies.

* Willie Bloomquist is the Mariners’ best option at shortstop right now, especially against left-handed pitching. Everybody forgets that he was a regular most of 2011 (hit .266 in 381 at bats with 20 stolen bases) when he helped the Diamondbacks win the NL West. Bloomquist proved that he could play shortstop on an everyday basis and hit leadoff for Arizona. He hit .302 the following season (318 at bats) while serving as the everyday guy for an extended period, and hit .317 an injury-plagued 2013 season when he was limited to 48 games and 150 at bats. Yeah, I know he’s hitting .192, but that’ll go up in a hurry if he gets regular at bats. Besides, Brad Miller is hitting .150 and Nick Franklin’s at .138.i

* The Derek Jeter Farewell Tour comes to Safeco Field on June 10-11-12. He’s among the greatest Yankees in the storied history of that franchise. Nobody will wear No. 2 again. It’ll be retired alongside No. 3 (Babe Ruth), No. 4 (Lou Gehrig), No. 5 (Joe DiMaggio) and No. 7 (Mickey Mantle). Not sure where he ranks among those immortals. He’s never led the league in hitting or won an MVP, but has there ever been a more class act than Jeter? Oh, by the way, no Yankee in history has more hits or has played in more games than Jeter. There’s not a lot of players I’d pay money to see, but I’m gonna pay money to see Jeter when he passes through Safeco next month.

* The day was Oct. 28, 1988. I turned 36. The same day, I wrote a column for The Sun, explaining why the grandstands at Roosevelt Field should not have been torn down. It should have been refurbished. For newcomers, Roosevelt was a grand old stadium that sat where there’s now a parking lot at Olympic College next to the Warren Avenue Bridge. I’ll turn 62 this October and still cringe when I look at that parking lot. I’m still from the school that says when you have a piece of usable recreational property you hang onto it. You can’t replace a field in the core of the city. Twenty-six years later, we know that to be true.

* Yeah, I was going through some old boxes, trying to downsize a bit when I came across the column on Roosevelt Field. I also came across a 1946 Bremerton Bluejackets program. It cost 10 cents back in the day. That the was inaugural season of the Bluejackets (yes, lower case J; the current West Coast League Kitsap BlueJackets spell it with a capital J). The Bremerton Bluejackets were a member of the Western International League, a Class B professional team. They were managed by Sam Gibson and the team was referred to as the “Gibsonmen” at times. Pitcher Joe Sullivan and second baseman Frank Plouf were the only Bremerton players on the roster that year. Oh, by the way, the Bluejackets, who were only around three seasons, played their games at Roosevelt Field.

 

 

 


CJ Allen Pac-12 champ, Seahawks’ links, Villopoto, recommended reading & quick hits

May 18th, 2014 by cstark

CJ Allen, a freshman from North Mason, didn’t take long to make a name for himself at the college level. The Washington State hurdler won the 400-meter intermediate hurdles at the Pac-12 meet on Sunday in Pullman. He won it in a lifetime-best 51.14 seconds. Ruby Roberts, a senior from Kingston, was seventh in the 1,500 and 21st in the 5,000. Here’s a story on the meet, courtesy Washington State athletics

Seahawks stuff

A couple videos from NFL.com about two of the elite players from 2013. And yes, they are Seattle Seahawks. Check out the best of Richard Sherman and the best of Russell Wilson. And did you know that Marshawn Lynch is making a movie … about himself growing up in Oakland? It’s called “Family First,” and is scheduled for release at the end of the year. Coach Pete Carroll likes what he sees from this year’s rookie class. Here’s his analysis of some, courtesy ESPN.com. Finally, some insight on Sherman’s contract, according to Peter King of SI.com (scroll to the bottom of the page; it’s the 10th item).

Villopoto out for outdoor season

Poulsbo’s Ryan Villopoto, 25, will not defend his outdoor AMA motocross season, opting for surgery to repair a lingering injury on his left knee. Villopoto won his fourth straight Supercross championship this season. Jeremy McGrath is the only other rider to win four straight supercross titles. Villopoto had surgery last week. Motocross is off-road motorcycle racing; the stadium version of motocross is supercross. Villopoto won seven supercross races this season, including the last four. He led the last 80 laps of the season, only fueling the feeling that he’s already one of the greatest riders in motorcycle history.

Recommended reading

“Sometimes the New Breed Stat Guys aren’t so good about accepting the vagaries of a very complex game.” That’s a pretty good line from Bob Ryan, the veteran Boston Globe scribe. He wonders if baseball fans care about the new breed of stats, and I’m right there with him on this one.

Larry Stone of the Seattle Times writes about Washinton State football coach Mike Leach, who writes about Geronimo. Legendary hoops coach Don Meyer dies. Meyer spent his career working at small colleges.

California Chrome’s Triple Crown bid could come up short by a nose. The burning question: Nasal strip or no nasal strip? Will New York horse-racing officials allow one?

Finally, some quick hits

Central Kitsap grad and Tacoma resident Troy Kelly will get 14 starts to make $563,133 or earn 354 FedExCup points to retain his PGA Tour card. Kelly had surgery on his right knee almost a year ago, and played in five Web.com Tour events earlier. He’s been working with nationally-recognized coach Brian Mogg, who was born in Bremerton and grew up in Lakewood. Dick Mogg, Brian’s dad, played basketball and baseball at Bremerton High and went on to captain the Seattle Pacific College basketball team.

Central Kitsap grad Drew Vettleson, Washington Natoinals outfield prospect from Central Kitsap, remains on the disabled list. Vettleson started the season at Double-A Harrisburg Senators. Vettleson, who was acquired from Tampa Bay, suffered a broken hand on April 13 when he was hit by a pitch.

Aaron Cunningham will be at Cheney Stadium this week, playing for the Reno Aces, the Arizona Diamondbacks’ Triple-A club. The Aces play a four-game series against the Tacoma Rainiers. Game times Monday and Tuesday are 6:05 p.m. with an 11:35 a.m. start Wednesday and a 7:05 p.m. start on Thursday. The South Kitsap grad hit .195 in April but has got his average up to .269. The 28-year-old outfielder had a walk-off game-winning walk in the 10th inning on Saturday and has collected at least one hit in eight of his last nine games.

Erynne Lee and the UCLA Bruins will compete in the NCAA Women’s golf Championship, May 20-23, at the Tulsa Country Club in Oklahoma. Lee’s a junior and three-time first-team all-Pac-12 golfer from Central Kitsap. Central Washington’s Kasey Bielec, a junior from North Mason, was named to the Daktronics NCAA Division II West Region second team. Bielec, a third baseman-designated hitter, batted .339 with team-leading totals of seven homers and 39 RBI.

Daniel Jewett, a junior from North Kitsap, helped Omaha win the Summit League regular-season championship, but the Mavericks (30-20 overall, 14-9 league) are not eligible for the 2014 Summit League Tournament due to its status as a reclassifying Division I program. Jewett, an outfielder who played for the Kitsap BlueJackets last season, was second in hitting (.333) and fourth in RBI (29) for Omaha. He played at Truman State (an NCAA Division II program) for two years before transferring to Omaha.

Cheyenne Barger, a sophomore softball player at Treasure Valley (Ontario, Ore.) is worth mentioning. She put up some amazing numbers this season. The big right-fielder/first baseman hit .600 with 22 home runs and 80 RBI heading into the NWAACC tournament. She struck out just twice. Boise State’s among the schools recruiting her. The Chukars were one of four teams left in the tournament, which was rained on Sunday. The top three seeds — Mt. Hood, Clackamas and Wenatchee Valley, in that order — were also alive going into Monday’s action. Olympic College lost 6-3 to Wenatchee Valley and 8-6 to Douglas, B.C., the fourth seed. They mixed in a wild 17-11 victory over Pierce between those losses.


Grading the Seahawks’ draft

May 11th, 2014 by cstark

ESPN NFL draft guru Mel Kiper Jr. gives the Seattle Seahawks a C-plus for their drafting prowess this year. SI.com gave the Hawks a B-minus. They got a B-plus from CBSsports.com. What do you think?

Here’s Kiper’s thoughts:

Seattle Seahawks: C+

Top needs: WR, DL, OL, TE

Needs: B
Value: D+

Summary: There simply isn’t a better player development program in the NFL right now than Seattle’s. The players the Seahawks draft — the players I’ve spent many hours evaluating and making calls on — are often players that evolve, improve and become something new after Seattle drafts them. While they’ve had some notable misses in Round 1, both in value and development, they’ve been awesome thereafter. So when Seattle moved down to No. 45 overall and still had the chance to take either Stephon Tuitt or Marqise Lee, both players that would have been nice fits at pick No. 32, you almost had to laugh because you knew the Seahawks would go in another direction. Paul Richardson was the pick, and he hits a big need, though his lean frame is a concern. The key will be that he maintains his explosiveness as he adds some needed strength. The presence of him and a healthy Percy Harvin, will keep safeties on high alert. I also thought O-line was a necessity, and Justin Britt adds depth, but he was my 21st-ranked offensive tackle, and struggles to create any movement in the run game. I saw him as a likelier fit in the third or fourth round. Again: They trust their development, and they showed it again when they took what I’d kindly refer to as a deep sleeper in Jimmy Staten, a D-tackle I had at No. 44 at the position in my rankings. The Seahawks know what they are doing, but it’s fair to say they had a couple value questions again today. I look forward to seeing what becomes of these players.

2014 draft picks
Rd Pk Pos Player College
(2) 45 WR Paul Richardson Colorado
(2) 64 T Justin Britt Missouri
(4) 108 DE Cassius Marsh UCLA
(4) 123 WR Kevin Norwood Alabama
(4) 132 OLB Kevin Pierre-Louis Boston College
(5) 172 DT Jimmy Staten Middle Tenn. State
(6) 199 T Garrett Scott Marshall
(6) 208 S Eric Pinkins San Diego State
(7) 227 RB Kiero Small Arkansas

Here’s what SI.com (Chris Burke and Doug Farrar) had to say:

As usual, the Seahawks drafted unconventially, ignoring need at times in favor of players with specific athletic skills. The lack of a dominant guard could come back to bite them later, and I’m not totally sold on the prospects of second-round offensive tackle Justin Britt. However, getting Colorado speed receiver Paul Richardson, also in the second round, could be a major steal.

Alabama’s Kevin Norwood, a bigger target for the end zone and the red zone, adds a key component to Seattle’s offense. UCLA defensive lineman Cassius Marsh, who committed to Pete Carroll back in the USC days before changing his mind, reunites in an end/tackle role. Watch out for Marshall offensive tackle Garrett Scott as the possible sleeper pick — he has a lot of the qualities you’d like to see in a top-flight pass-blocker.

I have to knock Seattle down for passing on the two best guards in this class — Xavier Su’a-Filo and David Yankey — because it is a position of enormous need that wasn’t sewn up in free agency, either.

Grade: B-minus

Pete Prisco of CBSports.com gave the Hawks a B-plus.

The Seahawks traded out of the first round to add picks and added a lot of good players. Second-round receiver Paul Richardson can fly and I love fourth-round picks Cassius Marsh and Kevin Norwood. Grade: B-plus

Here’s how NFL.com wrapped up the Seahawks’ draft: 

Another draft in which Pete Carroll gets the guys he wants where he wants. There were perhaps some reaches in there, but you have to really like adding Richardson and the underrated Norwood on offense. Marsh can be very versatile in the Seahawks’ scheme.

Bleacher Report gave the Hawks a B:

Upgrading at wide receiver was important for Seattle and without many other holes, the team’s draft was solid.

 


Catching up with some Kitsapers in college: Box MVP; Jonson, Lee earn 1st-team honors

May 5th, 2014 by cstark

SOFTBALL

Western Oregon’s Bridjet Box (sr., South Kitsap/Olympic College) was 3-for-3 with three home runs and five RBI in a 20-9 win over Central Washington in the GNAC Championship game on Saturday. Box was named the MVP of the tournament after  hitting .750. For the season, she hit .379 with seven homers and 41 RBI for the Wolves (33-21), who advance to the NCAA Division II playoffs.

Western Washington’s Haylee Baker (sr., Bainbridge/Bellevue CC) hit .354 with eight HRs and 46 RBI for the Vikings (30-14), who finished second to Western Oregon in the GNAC regular season.

Erin Kinney (fr., Bainbridge) is hitting .405 for Linfield (33-7), which won the Northwest Conference and opens play in the NCAA D3 regional playoffs next. Kinney, who has been used at designated hitter most of the time, has four homers and 21 RBI in 29 starts. She’s played in 39 games.

GOLF

UNLV’s Carl Jonson (jr., Bainbridge) was named to the first-team All-Mountain West Men’s Golf Team. Jonson is second on the Rebels in scoring (72.64) and 10th in the conference. He has three top-10 finishes in 10 events this season with a fourth-place showing at the Jackrabbit Invitational. He has shot in 60s three times with a low of 67. The Rebels will compete in the NCAA regionals on May 15-17 at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, Ill.

UCLA’s Erynne Lee (jr., Central Kitsap) was named to the first-team All-Pac-12 Women’s Golf Team for the third straight year. Lee posted her third college win in September at the Mason Rudolph Classic and has seven top-10 finishes this season with an average score of 71.7. Lee and teammate, Alison Lee, the consensus No. 1 player in women’s college golf, were named to the 2014 U.S. Curtis Cup team in march.

 

TRACK & FIELD

Ruby Roberts (jr., Kingston) wasn’t supposed to run the 3,000 meters, but she did and her third-place finish was the difference as she helped Washington State beat Washington 82-81 in a Pac-12 dual in Pullman on Saturday. Roberts ran 9:35.38. She was also second in the 1500 (4:30.13). Cameron Brink (so., Bainbridge) won the discus (154-11) and CJ Allen (fr., North Mason) was second with a PR in the 400 hurdles (48.14) for the WSU men, who lost 84-79 to the Huskies.

Western Washington’s John Hoskin (so., Bainbridge) won the javelin (181-2) at the St. Martin’s Invitational on Saturday. WWU competes in the GNAC Championships on May 9-10 at Monmouth, Ore.

BASEBALL

Tyler Baumgartner (sr., Central Kitsap/Bellevue CC) is hitting .309 for the Oregon Ducks (34-13, 13-8 Pac-12). Baumgartner has started all 47 games in the outfield and has one home run and a team-high 37 RBI.

Kasey Bielec (jr., North Mason) is hitting .340 with seven homers and 38 RBI for Central Washington (28-18, 17-14 GNAC). Pitcher Kurtis Pitcher (sr., Klahowya/Western Oregon/Olympic) is 2-2 with a 4.07 ERA for Central. The lefty has started nine games and pitched 42.1 innings. Central opens GNAC tournament play on May 8 against St. Martin’s at Western Oregon.

Outfielder Daniel Jewett (jr., North Kitsap/Truman State (Mo.)/Omaha University) is hitting .324 for the Mavericks (23-19, 8-8 Summit Conference) with a home run and 22 RBI.

Josh Sontag (so., Central Kitsap) helped St. Martin’s (18-28, 14-17 GNAC), reach the conference tournament as the No. 3 seed. Sontag, who is hitting .122 with a home run in 29 at bats, developed into a starting pitcher and was 2-5 with a 5.52 ERA in 60.1 inning. The 6-foot-2 right-hander got a no decision, but pitched 5.2 strong innings in an 11-6 win over beating Central Washington in a key game on Saturday. Sontag’s started 10 games.

Linfield’s Joe Stevick (jr., Olympic) has appeared in 13 games, pitching 20.2 innings of relief for the Wildcats (33-7), who won the Northwest Conference and will play in the NCAA D3 playoffs. Stevick a 6-6 right-hander, is 0-2 with a 3.48 ERA. He has struck out 11, walked two and allowed 17 hits.

A.J. Milyard (fr., North Kitsap) appeared in two games as a relief pitcher for Whitworth (13-22).

Two former Olympic College Rangers and Kitsap BlueJackets — pitchers Devin Smith (jr., West Seattle) and catcher Dustin Dhanani (jr., Blaine) — are playing at NCAA Division I Alabama A&M (20-29, 12-9) of the Southwestern Athletic Conference. Smith is 4-6 with a 4.31 ERA, and is the workhorse of the staff with 79.1 innings pitched in 15 appearances (11 starts). Dhanani is hitting .234 and has started 30 games.

Daniel Orr (jr., Kingston/Everett CC) led Corban University (29-26) in virtually ever major hitting statistic. The first baseman batted .374 with 23 doubles, four triples, three HRs and drove in 48 runs.

Catcher Curtis Wildung (jr., North Kitsap) is hitting .224 for Pacific Lutheran (25-14, 16-8 Northwest Conference) with four home runs and 14 RBI. He has started 33 games.

NWAACC Baseball

Everett CC: Ben Tamm (fr., North Kitsap) is 2-1 with a save and 0.54 ERA in 33.1 innings in 10 relief appearances. He has 30 strikeouts, 15 walks and allowed just 15 hits. … Michael Wood (fr., South Kitsap) is 3-5 with a 1.57 ERA in eight starts. He’s pitched 57 innings, allowed 47 hits, fanned 41 and walk d21.

Tacoma CC: Quinn Eldridge (so., Chimacum) is 5-0 with a 1.12 ERA for the Titans, who are 32-2 and ranked No. 1 in the NWAACC poll. Eldrige has appeared in nine games, four as a starter. He’s pitched 32 innings, struckout 24, walked nine and allowed 24 hits and five runs. … Cory Main (fr., South Kitsap) is 3-0 with a 1.44 ERA as a reliever. He’s pitched  18.2 innings and has allowed 11 hits, fanned 12 and walked three.

Here’s Olympic College’s hitting statistics.

Here’s Olympic College’s pitching statistics.

NWAACC Softball

Here’s Olympic College’s hitting statistics. 

Here’s Olympic College’s pitching statistics.

Go to nwaacc.org for complete NWAACC stats. Note: Cheyenne Barger of Treasure Valley is on pace to win the triple crown. She’s hitting .603 with 21 home runs and 79 RBI.

 

 


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